jianantonic: (Seahorse)
I was super anxious to get the vom smell out of my car, so I actually set an alarm to get up early and start calling detailers as soon as they opened. Unfortunately, the few that are open on weekends were all booked up several days out, and waiting two or three days was just not an option. One of the guys I talked to told me that I probably just needed to treat it with an enzyme cleaner thing -- it's the same stuff they sell in pet stores to get urine smells out. So I went to PetCo and got a couple different kinds, plus some new toys for Cleopatrick, then cleaned the car in the parking lot. Since I was up and out in that neighborhood anyway, I went to my gym and did my running program. 5.3 miles all before breakfast. (I mean, it was after noon by then, but I still hadn't eaten...)

Toby met me after my workout and we came home and made food, then I showered and we headed back out to hit up the Portland Pride Festival. It was really great. Such an atmosphere of love! I bought a t-shirt from a PAC there that says Bill for First Lady. I still love Bernie but I never didn't love Hillary, so I'm happily on board with her campaign now. I just hope Bernie keeps doing his thing in the Senate, and leverages his much bigger fandom to get some more progressive laws through Congress. One can dream. That's kind of why I'm opposed to picking a second-favorite politician as a running mate. Leave the good Senators in the Senate, where they actually have power. The VP is like being the understudy. You could be called up to the #1 job at any time, but most likely, you'll hang out offstage for the duration of your run and not really leave your stamp on the administration in any meaningful way. So as much as I love the idea of a Clinton/Warren or a Clinton/Sanders ticket in theory, the reality is we'd be much better off with a Clinton/somebodyawesomewhoisn'tcurrentlyinapowerfulposition ticket, imo. I'd volunteer for the gig, but I'm not old enough yet. It's funny how at 33, there are still areas where I'm not "of age." (Not counting senior discounts and things of that nature.)

Anyway Pride was great. In addition to my Bill for First Lady shirt, Toby and I both got new kilts. I've been telling him he's going to need one for Falcon Ridge (other than his formal tartan, which would be way too hot there), and it just so happened this place had some femme designs, too, so I got a purple one (of course!) and Toby got a navy blue one. They're kinda like Utili-kilts, but they're Portland-made. Stumptown Kilts. I love mine, and Toby looks just delicious in his. After Pride, we swung by his office to print some things for a craft project I'm working on. He was super helpful with the design aspect. I'll be posting that when I'm finished, hopefully in a few days :)

Came back home, played some board games, ate some foods, and now I'm going to bed at a reasonable hour! Also note that I got out of bed and was active all day long without a nap today. 10am to 10pm. Still a shortish day by most people's standards, but this is HUGE for me. All week prior, I spent an average of about 4 hours a day out of my bed. I wasn't sleeping all the rest of that time, I just wasn't doing anything particularly productive, either. So this is good. Tomorrow will look the same, I think -- up early to do an open house, then Toby and I have a craft project to work on, then off to game night. And Monday is the day I've vowed to start my "get up early and be productive" plan. In that case, early means before 8am instead of before noon. (Tomorrow, being a weekend, early means 10am.)

Night night!
jianantonic: (Seahorse)
When my parents visit next month, they're staying in a hotel, because I don't have empty rooms at my place right now. (Thank heavens.) I sent them a guidebook's worth of information about local hotels. I know my parents -- they will shun boutique hotels for things like Holiday Inn just because they assume chains are cheaper. And they're fucking not. Some of the nicest hotels in downtown Portland are like $2/night more expensive than a shitty corporate hotel in the far suburbs. I tried to drill that point home in my email, but knowing it was unlikely to stick, I emphasized that wherever they book, it needs to be in the SOUTHWEST quadrant, or it won't be convenient to me. "The address MUST start with SW."

Of course it's like talking to a brick wall.

Today my mom emails back saying the fancy downtown hotels are too expensive (maybe more expensive than a hotel in Charlottesville, but not more expensive than any other hotels in Portland, and they can afford it), and she doesn't want to be way downtown because I live in Beaverton and she wants to be convenient to me. I explained that the hotels closest to me still require a car, whereas the ones downtown are straight down a transit line and VERY convenient.

She's not sold. She says the best deal looks like the Holiday Inn at the airport. The airport in Northeast. The opposite quadrant. The airport, which is at the far corner of the opposite quadrant. Jesus Christ. Even money they book something by the airport.
jianantonic: (Seahorse)
I've always been very silly and outgoing and open, and I'm guessing that most people would assume I'm the kind of person who loves to go streaking or flash random strangers when I'm drunk or maybe even not drunk. But the thing is, no. I've had body image issues for my whole life, and I've *never* been comfortable getting naked in front of others. Even with sexual partners, there have always been things about my body that I'm not comfortable with. In all my time with Z, I never did get past some of my hangups, even with him.

This is something I've been trying to work on. I mean it's not like it's an important life skill to be able to be naked in front of people, but I think the underlying body image and confidence are a big part of the whole deal, and also a lot of my friends do a lot of naked things and I'd like to not feel weird about it. Because I honestly don't care if my friends know what my tits look like. Clothing is such that the shape of a person's body isn't really ever a secret anyway -- but despite logic, the hangups remain, and so it's a thing that's hard for me.

I've done a few naked hot tub sessions with a handful of friends. It's always awkward for me at first, but then I loosen up about it. I'm getting more comfortable with the idea.

Then last night was the Portland World Naked Bike Ride. I've been planning to participate in this for years, but had been conveniently out of town in previous years, so I didn't have to worry about facing this anxiety until this year, when I had no alternate plans. I was literally sick to my stomach for most of the day just thinking about it. But I also knew all along that this was an illogical feeling and that I would be with 10,000 other naked people, so let's do this, right?

Well, I fucking did it. I went to the park about an hour before the ride and slowly removed more of my clothes until I was down to shoes, socks, underpants, and helmet. A lot of people keep their underpants on because, yeah, it's a sweaty thing, and I felt like that was a good stopping point for me. I stood around naked in the park with 10,000 other naked people. I met some new people for the first time while we were all naked together. Then I rode my bike through the streets of Portland for 5 naked miles. There were a few times where I felt a little weird -- a LOT of people stand on the sidelines and take pictures, which is pretty fucking skeevy, but I wasn't too icked out by it because it was mostly dark and I was part of a whole sea of nudity, so whatever. It actually didn't feel sexual at all. And that's the point. Part of the idea of the ride is to promote positive body image. And I don't feel like it cured my desire to look a little different, but I do feel like I can be as comfortable in this naked body as I could be in a perfectly sculpted one. And this was a big step that meant a lot to me. Yay.
jianantonic: (Seahorse)
Hey, where was I?

It's been a crazy weekend. I've been all over the place and exhausted but I've had a great time. Some highlights...

Jen arrived late Thursday, and the two of us spent Friday running around downtown. First we went to a BodyPump class -- my first since the accident -- and then wandered around Portland and had food cart lunch. While we were eating in the park, we overheard a really upsetting conversation. This older man on a bike stopped right in front of us to take a phone call. He speaks some medical jargon and then goes on to say "NO! I will absolutely not ever hire someone with two last names, or a hyphenated last name. They are always high maintenance, and they usually come with two or three failed marriages. I will not endanger the care of a patient just to comply with some stupid non-discrimination law. Tell them we will pay them not to apply. We have a trust fund set up just for dealing with their lawsuits. I will not budge on this." We were both dumbfounded. How I wish I wish I wish he had revealed his name or where he worked. I wish I could expose to the world what I heard and what a piece of shit this asshole is. Seriously, fuck that guy. I'm still upset about it and it's been four days. BUT other than that, Jen and I had a lovely day downtown.

On Friday night, Other Jen arrived down from Seattle. We had our 5K on Saturday morning, followed by Oktoberfestivities at Oaks Park. I did not realize that dachshund racing was an Oktoberfest tradition, but apparently it is, and we got to watch some of that. It was really hilarious, and my desire to own a dachshund has really escalated. I've been wanting one for a while. Probably won't get one, but if I do, I'm going to name him something like John Thomas or Willy or something. Get it? It's a dick joke. A very long-running dick joke. Paul joined us for another food cart lunch, and then we hung out with Shanon and her kids in the afternoon. Sloane slept on my tummy and Jack was very sweet. I love them so much. We hosted games that evening, which turned out to be just game -- a marathon Cards Against Humanity. I won. I'm the best at being offensive. Obv.

Sunday we did another BodyPump class -- I felt fine after the last one and decided it would be okay to get back to my regular routine. I still used lighter weights, because I can feel that I am injured, but the injury doesn't bother me, if that makes sense. I still want to be smart about it, though. Anyway, Pump was good, then we did more food carts with Paul, and ice cream at Paul's house. Seattle Jen went home, and ABQ Jen and I watched Pirates of the Caribbean until bedtime for us.

This morning, Jen took me to my first RPM class. It's the Les Mills cycling/spin class, and HOLY MOTHERFUCKING SHITBALLS OUCH. I haven't ridden my bike in almost a year, because I suck, and so I'm out of cycling shape, and also do not have the crotch tolerance for the saddle. So even more than my muscles are sore from the workout, my nethers are like what did we do to deserve this? But I know that it only takes a few days back on the bike to build up the crotch callousses or whatever, and it was a really amazing workout, so I should probably try to keep going, maybe. Jen insists it will be good for running if I do a lot more cross training on the bike. Also? I sweat so much in that class. I'm sweatier than most dudes already, but that class was like 10x more than my normal amount of sweating. My entire shirt was soaked. Sexy. Smelled awesome, too.

After RPM, we came home to shower and change and then drove to the coast. I took her to Cannon Beach, and then we met up with Z and his folks for dinner in Seaside. We just got home and I'm exhausted and in bed already. I'll drop Jen off at the train to the airport on my way to the real estate office tomorrow, where I'm going through some more training and some one-on-one time with my principal broker. Yay for professional development and getting closer to my goals...

My sewing class starts tomorrow night, so between my real estate meetings and then, I'll probably nap all afternoon. I'm excited to start that, though :) I guess I should figure out where it is and if I need to bring anything...
jianantonic: (Seahorse)
Youguysyouguysyouguys! I finished my real estate coursework! I still have a few steps before I'm licensed -- there are end-of-course exams I have to pass, and I should study a bit before I try to take those, because some of that reading is not very fresh in my mind, but I did take one of them today and passed it (for the most recent subject material I covered). It only took about ten minutes to complete that exam, though, so I don't think that the rest of them will take up too much time. Then I need to schedule my final licensing exam, pass the mofo (you find out immediately), and proceed with my startup stuff like getting photos taken and launching a website and all that fun stuff. I'm so close! Finishing the coursework was huge for me, though. I've been stagnating for a long time, really close to the finish line but just not focused enough to fucking get it done. We talked a lot about that in therapy last night, discussed strategies to get the ball rolling again (and to stay on task), and whaddya know, I applied said strategies and was successful. Huzzah!

Therapy has been really good lately. I'm feeling a lot better about so many things, and both Z and I are much more relaxed in our coexistence than we have been in...ever. So that's good. Obviously there's a lot about it that's still really hard, but I feel like we're making the right kind of progress.

I've got an awesome long weekend ahead of me. We've got three different guests coming for various stays -- Jen Cote is coming up from NM tonight, and will be here through Tuesday. She was here about this time last year and I love her and we always have a blast together. Then tomorrow, Jen Chalfan is coming down from Seattle, probably bringing her daughter, and staying for the weekend. We're all signed up to run a 5K on Saturday, which happens to take place at a local amusement park, so that'll be a fun day. Then on Sunday, we have a new short-term renter moving in.

In preparation for all of this, we've been doing a lot of housework. That's something else I'm working on in therapy to try to be better at...not letting my laziness overcome me to the detriment of my living conditions. It's a struggle. But guests are good motivation.

I've also solidified most of my travel plans for the rest of the calendar year. I've all but given up on hitting the mileage requirement for Gold status again, but I'm well into Silver anyway. I was hoping to go someplace international, and I still might if the right fare pops up, but right now I'm just planning on sticking around here for the most part, and going to Providence for the duration of the NABC (after having Thanksgiving in Virginia with my folks). Because of my work schedule and the Thanksgiving holiday, I'm able to take two full weeks off and only having two days covered by my coworker, so even though I'm traveling for a long time, it's not a major burden on my office. That's nice. I still haven't worked out what I'll do for Christmas. I would say that going home over Thanksgiving is enough, really, but William and his family don't come down then -- only for Christmas. So if I want to see them, I need to go then. And of course I want to see them! So we'll see. All this stuff is time off work, money spent, etc. More likely to go to VA for a quick Xmas visit if I don't end up doing any more traveling the rest of the year, and it looks like that's how it'll go. I'd like to get down to Phoenix a time or two to visit with A and Katy, and my regular four-day weekends should make that a viable option. But I also want to dive into real estate up here, which means I probably should be around a lot.

Anyway, super excited to have some of my favorite people visiting for the weekend, and I look forward to hugs and talks and good workouts and girlfriend time.

<3
jianantonic: (Seahorse)
In happier news, I went to see 10 String Symphony and Tattletale Saints last night. My friend Justin joined me and a good time was had by all. Spent some time catching up with my Nashville pals, collected some soul-nourishing hugs, and got to know a new friend better. Justin is talking about possibly moving away from Portland, likely just temporarily, sometime in the soonishness. It always bums me out when people talk about leaving here. I just don't understand how it can be done. But he also said he likes soccer, so I guess our brains are just very different.

McKenzie gets home tonight. It feels like we've had a really positive week+ since he's been out of town, but then this morning he was feeling really down, and that deflated my optimism a bit. I'm still looking forward to seeing him and working together. One of our assignments from our counselor was to focus on lifting each other up, so I want to practice that here for a moment.

Last night at the show, I was mingling with lots of different people, and it seemed that every other sentence out of my mouth was "My husband loves ___," or "My husband taught me all about ____." One guy I talked to was a FedEx pilot from Memphis and bluegrass musician, which is like a trifecta of things that McKenzie loves. The way McKenzie gets enthusiastic about the things that interest him makes them interesting to me, too. I don't dive in as deeply as he does in all things, but I appreciate his vast and thorough understanding of things many people never think about. I love asking him questions about logistics and details of the FedEx system, for example, or the ACBL, or highway and urban planning. He appreciates what is fascinating about all these things, and he shares it with me in a way that enriches me. I love that we connect that way.
jianantonic: (Seahorse)
I had a fabulous and full weekend. I'm exhausted now, but not because of fatigue (yay!) -- it's because I did a whole bunch of awesome, active shit all weekend. Jen came down from Seattle, and we did very Portlandy things in beautiful Portland summer weather, and I spent a lot of time with Paul as well. Paul and Jen are good friends from college, and it just worked out for us to meet up both days, and it was lovely. I love Paul. I love Jen. I love all my friends. I was surrounded by good people all weekend. Other activities included a bridge lesson (Jen and me teaching Brian and Paul), game night with a huge group, 10K this morning, brunch with Lorie & David, games, ice cream, and more vegging with Paul.

The 10K was great! I was able to manipulate Jen into doing it with me, and I'm so glad she did. She's always been a runner, but due to persistent injury issues, she's taking it slow and doing the Couch to 5K program right now. She's right in the middle of that, which is the perfect time to insert a 10K race into the training, right? Heh. I agreed to do plenty of walking with her, because truth be told, I was in no condition to run 6.2 miles anyway. She was my excuse to take it a little easier than I otherwise would have let myself. We agreed to do the race in 4x1 increments, running approximately 4 minutes, then taking a 1-minute walk break, and repeating this pattern throughout. It was great! We don't know our official time yet, because it's still not posted (wtf?), but the clock was at 1:02 when we crossed. It was chip timed and we didn't start at the very beginning, so it's possible we broke the hour mark. I don't think quite...but still, an impressive time for me. My 10K PR is actually my split from the half marathon, like 55 minutes or so, but my best 10K race was 58 minutes and change. To come damn close to a PR after phoning in the training and then doing plenty of walking feels kind of amazing. Though there are rumors that the course was a little short. We're going to ignore those rumors.

Difficult things in life remain difficult, but the perspective and outlook keep improving. Improvements are outpacing my expectations, in fact. I feel good about things. ((Hugs)) to the world because I'm just feeling huggy right now -- but especially to anyone who wants them from me right now. :)
jianantonic: (Seahorse)
Just taking a moment to post while I wait for Jen and McKenzie to finish getting ready...I think I have a few minutes to hit the highlights of the last few days.

Jen has been visiting since Saturday. I picked her up in the early afternoon, and we hit the food carts, the Saturday Market, and the Waterfront Park while we chatted and caught up. Sunday was BodyPump followed by more food carts and downtown wandering, then the Blazer game. We both wore wigs for that and had a grand time. Yesterday, we went to the Gorge in the morning. Next we went to the gym together and I trained with Ertan while she worked out on her own, but she did check out what Ertan had going on with me and gave him her full endorsement. We had frozen yogurt and then sushi for dinner, and picked up Z at the airport last night. Today is her last day in town -- we're taking her to the airport in the early afternoon. We went to a spin class this morning -- my first ever...it wasn't terrible. I was glad she was there with me and I will definitely go back for another. Having Jen here has been great motivation. I've been eating well and exercising like a Romanian. (For those not following me on Facebook, I have been really using "like a Romanian" ever since my odd encounter last week. Sometimes it means "like a boss," and sometimes I just throw it in there when it sort of fits.)

We're about to head out for our last few hours on the town -- Nicholas Cafe for lunch, then Voodoo Doughnut for Jen before she leaves (but I won't get one this time because I'm doing so well with WW, no need to sabotage that), and off to the airport to say farewell. We've had a wonderful time together this weekend. I love her so much and having her here has been a blast. She keeps musing about moving up here, and I haven't even been pushing it as hard as I do with my other friends, because she has a husband and kids and they are all established in New Mexico, but she's been talking to her husband about how they could live up here...heh...dunno if they will, but I'd love to see her more. It definitely sounds like she'll be back to visit as soon as she can :)

Off to soak up more of this fantastic city. It'll be a while before I have another visitor, but I'm totally flexible on that...let me know if you wanna come!
jianantonic: (Seahorse)
People in Portland are seriously the best. The people who choose to visit a place like Portland are also pretty rad. I always end up having fun conversations, usually with tourists, in the long line at Voodoo Doughnuts. Yesterday I went there with my mother-in-law while Katy and her group of friends shopped at the Saturday Market. The wait was about an hour, and I spent most of that time talking to the guy in front of us in line. It was his first visit to Portland, and he was only here for a day, so I was trying to give him some ideas for what he should cram into his too-short visit. He was totally starting in the right place!

Anyway it was an awesome conversation -- he was so interesting, and I always love talking about Portland, so the time just flew. After we got our doughnuts, he got another visitor to take a picture of the two of us together, and we exchanged Facebook information so we could stay in touch. He's a senior at NYU working this summer in San Francisco. So he lives in the places I frequent...maybe I'll see him again someday. Or maybe he'll fall in love with Portland the way I did and he'll end up here when he graduates, and he'll want me to teach him bridge and we'll become the most dominant pair of young players in the northwest. Hey, a girl can dream :)

Something about this city just makes this kind of interaction the norm. It feels safe and comfortable to talk to strangers. The underlying fact that each of you chose to be in Portland is enough of a basis to know that it's all good.

I haven't been everywhere, but I've been a lot of places. Portland is the best place I know. I'm so lucky to live here.
jianantonic: (Seahorse)
One thing I love about Portland is the weather. It cracks me up when people in the southeast are all "how can you stand all that rain?" First of all, it's not as rainy as people think, and second of all, how can YOU stand all that heat and humidity? Seriously, yuck. I mean, I grew up in it so I was used to it, but when I moved away I realized how much nicer outside can feel. Outside is awesome! Here, anyway.

That said, the last few days have been brutally hot. In the 90's...no humidity, thankfully, but 95 degrees is still uncomfortable enough. Our house has A/C, but it's not particularly effective. The upstairs is always at least 20 degrees warmer than the downstairs (true all year round), and our bedroom has these 15' high ceilings and big windows and one teeny tiny A/C vent that just doesn't get the job done. Heat makes me lethargic, but it was too uncomfortable to sleep until I pulled an ice pack out of the fridge this afternoon. I put it on my stomach and enjoyed one of the longest naps of my life. Which is why I'm awake now at 1am, but I don't mind terribly because it's comfortable in here now with the sun down and the windows open and our fan going full blast. I went out to run some errands when I woke up from my nap (at 9pm, heh), and went to Target to get another fan. No dice. Apparently I'm not the only uncomfortably hot person in Beaverton. Air conditioning isn't standard at all here, because like I mentioned before, the weather is generally pretty fucking beautiful and it's just not a necessity. But on days like this, it's nice to have. I shudder to think how awful it would be here without ours going, even though it does underperform.

I had an awesome dream last night where I was skydiving, but the only part I dreamed about was the freefall part. I was just flipping and twisting and doing all sorts of air-acrobatics, and it felt amazing. I love dreams where you can feel the sensations you're dreaming about. I also love that I got to dream about the awesome part of skydiving without the scary parts of actually jumping, figuring out how to land, and all that nerve-wracking stuff. I was just flipping at high speed, and it was awesome.

I've always been someone who enjoys motion, particularly the kinds of movement that tend to make others sick. I love being dizzy (exception: drunk dizzy is scary as fuck and I do not like it), roller coasters, free falls, spinning and jumping and bouncing and taking that bump on Earlysville Road at 80mph...I hope I never grow out of this.
jianantonic: (Seahorse)
Yesterday was quite a lovely birthday indeed. We hiked in a place I'd never been, called Sauvie Island. I love how Portland is this big city with big city things and then you can go just a few minutes outside of downtown and suddenly you're deep in the woods. It's one of my many favorite things about living here. The hike is along the Columbia River to a lighthouse, a 7-mile round trip, which I guess I should call a walk rather than hike, because being at the river's edge, there wasn't much in the way of elevation gain. There were lots of beaches (including a nude one I didn't know existed). The concept of a river beach was foreign to me before moving out here. There might be a few sandy spots along the James or Rivanna, but they're not recreation spots at all. These were real, large sandy beaches, complete with families on beach towels and kids playing in the (bitterly cold snow-melt!!) water. We saw a sea lion frolicking, some bald eagles, and also a dead mole. One of these was less exciting than the other two.

Back home, we had a brief siesta where I had some time to Skype with Lucy and Frankie. Lucy said she just finished writing a report about Granddaddy (my dad) for a school project. I really hope I get to read it. When I asked what she wrote about, she said "EVERYTHING!" and then specified "and that time he was on a date with Nana and they were playing tennis and he split his pants!" Ha! I didn't know that story...but I'm glad it made it into her school report! People reassembled at my place at 6ish, and we played board games and ate yummy things until we were all tuckered out. Today I'm lounging in bed until something forces me up. That will probably be when Katy and her friend get here. I told her I'd spend the day with her and take her downtown. It should be fun.

I'd like to take a moment to clarify some family dynamics that I write about, which may be a little confusing. I am the baby of my family, but I have a little sister. Little sister is Emily, who is actually not a relative, but my neighbor since she was born until we went on to college. She's a year younger than I am, and we have been inseparable for our entire lives. She is a part of my family and I hers, and it feels like I'm underselling our relationship when I refer to her only as "best friend." She is my sister. We just have different parents and DNA and all that.

My husband McKenzie is an only child, but he has a little sister, too. Sort of. He has a cousin (first cousin once removed, actually, his first cousin's daughter) who has had kind of a tumultuous childhood, to say the least. My in-laws have been the only family that have really been there for her, and two years ago, they became her legal guardians. Katy is 16 now, and I really enjoy spending time with her. She's a great kid and I love her to pieces. I just try to be a safe place for her. So she's my little sister-in-law, and we're hanging out later today.

Anyway. 30. For all the time I spent thinking about it before the actual day, it hasn't really hit me yet that it's actually come to pass. Maybe there's nothing to hit me, and the big secret is that nothing changes at all. I've never put much stock in arbitrary dates on the calendar having real meaning or power, but I have always felt a little special in spite of my own philosophies on my birthdays. Yesterday was lovely, but more than any other birthday before it, it felt like just another day, even though I had special events with friends going on all day. I just expected maybe to feel something about this decade marker, but I think I've actually been feeling it since I turned 29. I've spent the last year so aware that my 20's were coming to an end that I must have numbed myself to the impact of 30 already. Or maybe there is no impact. I'm still exactly who I was on April 26th, it turns out. And thank FSM I'm not who I was when I was 25. I think my 30's are going to be great.
jianantonic: (Seahorse)
It's been busy times lately, so of course a righteous bout of insomnia hit me on the night before my work week began. I was kind of dreading this whole day, knowing I'd be exhausted, but it hasn't been too bad, actually. It's possible I'm a little flakier than usual, but luckily there hasn't been a whole lot going on. No real opportunities for me to drop the ball anyway.

Kelly, Dave, and I hit up the first day of the 2013 Portland Saturday Market this weekend. While we were eating our lunch in a park, a guy came up to us and asked for pennies. Not any other money, just our pennies. I gave him three, and he explained why they were so valuable to him (something about bus fare but I'm pretty sure you're allowed to use quarters to buy bus passes, too, so I didn't really get it), and then told us where he'd be later if we had more pennies to get rid of, or knew someone who would. When he walked away, Dave asked "Were we just in a Portlandia sketch?"

Sunday was my ten mile day, and it actually went quite well. I got up earlyish to get the run out of the way, and also take advantage of the break in the rain so I could do the run outside. It was nice. I had enough on my mind to distract me for stretches of time, and I paced myself well so that I wasn't dying or worrying about getting through it. I always feel a strong sense of empowerment when I get to the turnaround point in these long runs. There's some strong psychology behind the idea of being more than halfway done with something difficult. The first couple of miles after the halfway point have been the easiest for me on all my long runs. The last mile still tends to be a bitch, though. Only 3.1 more miles of distance to add. The race is a month from tomorrow. I'll be glad to have it behind me.

After my run, I basically stayed in bed the rest of the day. It was glorious. I did go to the store, at least. Not the slothiest day I've ever had.

On Monday afternoon, Kelly, Dave, and I went over to Shanon's to hang out for a bit. We helped her rip up all the moss from her back yard -- really fun and destructive, but my back is feeling it still. Jack is super cute, but still a giant crybaby. It'll be nice when he grows out of that. He's getting really close to talking, so I bet it will get better once he's able to communicate what he wants. He kind of said "apple" while we were all eating apples, but it's possible those were just random syllables that came out sounding like "apple" because it made sense to us.

Yesterday was another glorious day of no obligations, so I slept in really late (thus my insomnia, probably). Kelly and Dave spent the whole day packing to leave, so I did my best to ignore that fact, because it makes me sad. I gave them hugs when I left for work this morning, and I expect they're somewhere in Idaho by now. Kelly did leave a bunch of stuff in her room, so I told her she can't have it back until she moves back. Her job is April through October, and Dave's employment picture is still pretty fuzzy, but the expectation is that they'll both be living in Portland by this fall. I'd feel a lot better about it if I knew for sure, though! At least she has to come back for her stuff... It will be sad going home to an empty house tonight, but I'll get through it. I loved living here before Kelly got here, too, after all.

I'm hoping work stays chill for the rest of the day, and then I can go home, watch the Blazers play (east coast game, thank goodness for time zones), and crash really early. Snoozing by 7:30 is the hope...
jianantonic: (Seahorse)
I usually never go this long between updates!  Apologies -- I just purchased Civ V after not playing for years, and suddenly all my free time disappeared.  Funny how that happens.  (It's a great game, by the way...but it's looooong and if you're like me, it will rob you of sleep and productivity, so don't say I didn't warn you.)

Since I last checked in, Kelly turned 30, and we celebrated in style.  We joined a new friend from our board game group and his girlfriend for a hike in the Gorge, happy hour at Edgefield, and then we split off and Kelly and I went to the Blazers vs. Jazz game that evening.  I was super bummed because Gordon Hayward has been injured and didn't play, but at least my loyalties weren't at all divided, then.  The Blazers won another thriller, and when the confetti fell from the ceiling, I told Kelly I'd arranged that for her birthday.  The next day was Super Bowl Sunday, and we went to Linda's for a little soiree, but that was more bridge and food than football.  

My work week was a little nutty this week.  The underwriting company that we work with is doing a huge audit, so I had to sift through lots of files to find specific documents that they wanted.  This is not easy, when an insurance policy is ~100 pages long, and I'm looking for a specific page, and I'm not really clear what that page is supposed to look like anyway...I usually only deal with the claims, not the policies.  I don't really like not knowing what I'm doing, and that made it the most stressful week I've ever had at work.  Still, really not bad.  Just comparatively so.  I did learn that most of these insurance policies have exclusions for things like terrorism and also "undeclared civil war."  "Sorry, we won't be covering your accident.  You see, it wasn't road rage, but an act o undeclared civil war."  Seems like that could be a pretty vast category, if adjusters wanted to be assholes and just deny every claim.  I've never known it to come up, though :)

Running training continues.  I'm <2 months from race day now, and while I'm feeling fairly confident about it, I'm also starting to feel the effects of harder training.  Twinges in my legs that I haven't felt before, lower back soreness...so I'm icing things and stretching thoroughly and hoping that my body will hang in there through the race.  If the aches and pains don't go away, I think this will be my one and only half marathon.  I'm just so afraid of injuring myself (especially without health insurance) that I'm going to take my body's signals very seriously.  But I do like that I'm running longer distances, and hope I can keep at it, just maybe not quite as many miles as I'm putting in throughout this training schedule (20-25/week...still less than a single whole marathon, but more than human bodies were really built for).  And I look forward to getting back to a more varied activity plan.  Right now I do five days a week of cardio, but only one of those days is not running.  Tomorrow I have an 8 mile run on the schedule.  

Kelly and I went downtown today, specifically because I did not want to spend the whole day playing Civ.  Well, I DID want to spend the whole day playing Civ, but then I'd feel shitty, so I decided I needed to go to American Apparel to get more awesome knee socks, and asked Kelly to come with me.  This is safe, you see, because Kelly hates shopping.  I can't get into too much trouble with her.  Yeah, turns out that's not true.  Kelly hates shopping for clothes, sure, but she's outdoorsy and athletic and needed to go to REI...where I managed to find a rain jacket that will be perfect for biking this spring.  Then I remembered Nike was near the food carts where we had lunch, as is the rule when you go to downtown Portland, and I'd been meaning to get some new running shoes before they discontinue the line that I've been wearing for my training.  And compression socks for running, because sometimes my calves get tight, and I've heard those are great.  So we went into down for socks and a food cart lunch, and somehow I ended up spending my whole paycheck.  It's cool, though.  All that stuff was stuff I did legitimately need (at least a little) and would have eventually purchased.  And hey, I didn't sit on my ass and play Civ all day!  (I have still played several hours of it.  Sigh.  Eventually the magic will wear off and I'll be able to focus on other things.  I hope.)

Anyway that's what's up with me lately.  Basically more of the same.  I play a lot of games, run a lot of miles, and go to work in between.  
jianantonic: (Seahorse)
Max had to be a grownup and go to work today, so he dropped me off at the SLC airport about five hours before my flight.  No biggie, I enjoy airports, because I like watching the planes and scoping out the shops and whatnot.  I walked around the entire Terminal 2 before I let myself sit down -- I figured with this much time to kill, I had no excuse not to do some light exercise, and it took me 35 minutes to circle the whole terminal, so now I'm enjoying the free wi-fi while I wait for an appropriate hour to eat lunch.  

I'm not feeling any ill effects from yesterday's run, so that's good.  Slight muscle soreness, but nothing major.  One week down...it'll be a few weeks yet before I'm running longer distances than I ever have before -- that's when I'm sure things get really fun.  But I'm doing this.  Grr!  (That's the sound of me being tough.)

I'm glad I am done traveling for a while now.  I've been dissatisfied with my body and the food choices I've been making lately, and it's much easier to regulate those choices in my home environment.  That will also help with my training, I'm sure.  My next trip isn't until St. Louis in March, so hopefully the time at home will be productive.  McKenzie is also home for a long stretch now, so we can possibly finish setting up the guest room...which will be occupied in two weeks when Chris comes down from Seattle to play the Portland sectional with me.  I guess we need to buy a bed.

Max is fun.  I really hope he moves to Portland.  He made the mistake of telling me that this is actually a possibility.  He applied for a job in Hillsboro, and he says he may not actually take it even if he gets it, so I get that a relocation is still a long shot, but god dammit!  Don't dangle that carrot unless you're serious!  So from now until Max hears one way or the other about this job, I'm likely to badger the fuck out of him about moving to Portland.  (I keep typing "here," but I'm still in the airport in Salt Lake, which is where Max lives already.  Heh.)  I just have to find the right balance between enthusiastically encouraging him to move and driving him fucking insane about it.  But he's stuck by me through some of my roughest bouts of insanity, so I think he can handle some pretty hardcore badgering -- which is good, because I can hardly contain myself.

I added two bridge players to my shit list yesterday, but luckily they only show up in Salt Lake City area tournaments, so I don't have to deal with them much.  Both are top-level (for SLC) players who should know better than to behave the way they did...so I'm just steamed about that, but know it would be better for me to just forget about it.  Bleh.  Trying.

I think I'll go get a massage from the airport spa.  My lower back has been bothering me and that'll be a nice way to kill some time.
jianantonic: (Seahorse)
I went to Chipotle tonight to grab dinner on my way home, wearing my Virginia Tech sweatshirt.  When I got to the register to pay, the guy in front of me waved me off and said he'd buy my dinner.  "Because you're a Hokie.  Merry Christmas!"  Turns out his son was class of '07 :)  That made my day.  I called my parents to tell them about it, and it made their day, too.  

I love that I'm a part of these communities -- Virginia Tech and Portland -- where the people care about one another and are just so flippin' friendly.  Now, what should I do to make a stranger's day tomorrow?
jianantonic: (Seahorse)
Yesterday was a day of hosting visitors.  I spent the first half of the day tagging along with Shanon and family as we all took our friend Sharon around to see the sights of PDX.  First stop Voodoo, then a quick stop at Multnomah Falls, and a visit to Ikea, which I think is Shanon's favorite place to take visitors in the city.  We all kind of fell asleep in the car on the way back home, so we scrapped the last part of our plans in favor of naptimes instead, but I think we're going to try later this week to go see the lights at the zoo.

After a little R&R at home, I met up with a few bridge friends for dinner and kitchen bridge.  An acquaintance from Charlottesville contacted me a while ago mentioning that he's thinking of relocating to Portland, and wanted advice on the bridge scene and the general way of life here.  I don't know him well, but I'm always happy to host a visitor, so I set him up with several bridge games, a home bridge party at Linda's (tonight, yay!), a Blazer game, and possibly some hiking and yoga, too.  He was part of our group last night, and I think so far we've shown him some good reasons to move here.  I'm not sure if he ultimately will or not, but I love having visitors anyway.  And it would be lovely to add to the Charlottesville mafia that I'm building here in Portland.  We've got Shanon, Kelly, possibly Rob...

Today is full of more of the same.  Indian food for lunch with Shanon, Sharon, Kelly, and Jack, a little time for digestion, then meeting my trainer at the gym, followed by transitting out to Chris' office from which we'll carpool to Linda's for a bridge/dinner party.  Linda is freaking awesome.  She's always so willing to host, and she doesn't just have people over, she puts together a TO DO.  So when I mentioned to her that Rob was coming to visit and check out the bridge scene, she got twelve of the best and friendliest local bridge players lined up for an evening of cards at her house, and she's going to cook for everybody, and she won't let me bring or make anything.  I need to come up with a good hostess gift or something.  She also hosted my 28th birthday party when she found out that I didn't have any plans that year.

Anyway I'm looking forward to today's events...with the exception of the pain Ertan will deliver in my training session, but I know even that is good for me, so it's all good.  Sometime this week, I'm going to get a massage....
jianantonic: (Default)
Finally made it home just before 7. It was a long day, but a good one. We detoured to the Painted Hills in central Oregon and had a lovely hike there. We also drove through a cattle drive on Route 26 between Ontario and John Day. That was a first for me -- I thought it was awesome and kept taking pictures. The cowboys driving the herd looked at me like I was nuts. Whatever, dudes, you're the ones riding a horse in the snow on the highway. Think about it.

I can't believe how close we are to Thanksgiving already -- it's my favorite holiday, basically the only one I celebrate at all anyway. I love hanging out with my family and just having a few days of down time. This year I'll get to do some wedding stuff with Emily, including hosting her bridal shower on Friday. I'm psyched!

This weekend is going to be great, too. Katy is coming up, and Kelly and I have plans for the Saturday Market, Voodoo Doughnut, and the Chinese Gardens. I'm going to a board game party on Friday night, and Katy and I will do something fun and low key together on Sunday, then I fly to Virginia on Monday for a week. Just three days of work first. I was telling Kelly earlier, I love my job and certainly don't mind "having" to work, it's just the having to be awake and in a certain place at a certain time that can be a drag. I have a Thursday evening appointment with my trainer, which means Thursday is going to be a long day for me, but it's all good. I'll survive it, and then an awesome weekend and extended vacation will be my reward.
jianantonic: (Default)
My friend Kelly emailed me yesterday to inform me that she is considering a move to Portland.  I told her no teasing -- either she's coming or she's not, and if she's going to dangle that carrot in front of me, she'd best prepare to follow through.  She gets here in ten days, and will be staying in my new place while she finds a job!  Shanon and Kelly know each other from high school, too.  As far as I know, we're the only AHS alumni from our general era (Kelly and I were '01 and Shanon was '02) in Portland, but to have two of my high school besties in my town, 3000 miles away from our hometown, is pretty awesome.  

Speaking of the new place...we signed the paperwork today and handed over payment, but closing doesn't officially happen until Thursday morning.  The inspection is tomorrow, so if something's off on that, we can still back out, but I'm so excited about it that you'd basically have to tell me it's highly radioactive and situated on top of a Native American burial ground and is haunted by hostile spirits.  I can live with most anything short of that :)  

We picked out floors today, and then I called my parents to tell them that we have a move-in date and also to ask for one of their spare oriental rugs.  We're going to put down laminate floors (looks like hardwood, costs like plastic) on the first floor, but I think we'll want a rug for the living room space.  My mom has a bit of a problem saying no to a good deal on oriental rugs, and was buying them left and right for a while when I was in high school and college.  I think every room in their house is currently sporting a full-sized oriental rug.  So I figured maybe she'd have an extra she'd be willing to part with.  Apparently my brothers got the last of the spares, because she said she didn't have one, but then told me to tell her how much we were spending on the floors so she could help out with it.  I was floored (heh, get it?).  I told her that I wasn't calling to hit her up for money (especially since my parents gave us a fairly sizable loan to buy the house in the first place!), and I honestly didn't need her help, just wanted an extra rug if she had one.  She insisted that it was a housewarming gift from her personal funds and she wanted to do it.  Well, shit!  She can certainly afford it, so I'm not going to say no to her generosity.  Thanks, Mom!  Since we're not getting one of her superfancy oriental rugs, I think it'd be fun to go with something whimsical like a world map.  I'll probably spend most of my downtime at work tomorrow shopping for rugs and other householdy things.  If anyone has links to good places to shop for fun, inexpensive area rugs, hook me up!

Thursday is moving day!  (And so is Friday, and Saturday, and Sunday...)
jianantonic: (Default)
I'm almost done with all my WW training, and it looks like I'll be taking on some meetings of my own pretty soon.  It'll be nice to get more into that and start seeing the income from it.  Funds are about to get tight for a bit.

Our latest update on the house situation is that the construction will be complete on Monday (of course, we've heard this before...).  If that's true, we'll have an inspection on Tuesday and hopefully close basically right away.  Our lease is up on October 31st, so we've got wiggle room, but Z is home next week and then not again until the end of the month, when I'm gone for Jess and Noah's wedding (!!!!).  So it'd be ideal if we could start moving next week.  Not sure how realistic it will be to aim for that, though, since we can't close before Tuesday at the earliest, and I'll work W-F, and we want to replace the first level floors before we move in any of the downstairs furniture...I have a feeling that's not going to be very fun.  But it'll be great to get it done!  New floors!  Woo!  (Signs you're getting old:  you get excited about floors.)

I ran the Portland Color Run today -- that was a different experience!  It was untimed, and there were 16,000 participants, so I wasn't going for a PR or anything.  I don't even know what my time was, but it felt fastish.  It was hard to go full out though because it was just too fucking crowded.  I was a little (okay, a lot) annoyed that even though they made like eleventy thousand announcements for walkers to stay to the right, the course was clogged with walkers the entire way, and they made absolutely no efforts to make way for runners.  <<Elitist runner grumblings>>  With so many participants, they staggered the starts, so I started like half an hour behind the first starters, and thus had to deal with walkers for the entire course.  Whatever, this event was so not about running anyway.  Shanon was walking with Jack, and started a few waves behind me, so after I finished my run, I doubled back on the course to find her (about halfway through it by the time I found her) and just walked to the end again with her.  We got Jack good and colorful by the end, and he just looked at us like "WTF are you crazy grownups doing?"  One of the people in our group brought her new exchange students with her -- they got here from Thailand YESTERDAY.  What a crazy welcome to the US!  I don't know how people do the Color Run when its in other places, but I guarantee you Portland is one of the crazier ones.  Even for regular 5K's here, a good percentage of the crowd shows up in costumes of some sort.  Today everyone was dressed all crazy and throwing paint on each other all day.  I wanted to tell them "Portland's not really like this all the time," but the thing is...yeah it is.  I went into Chipotle for lunch covered in paint, and no one even gave me a second glance.  Just another day in Portland.  I love living here.



You can't really tell from the pic, but my entire face was blue.  My bathtub looked really interesting when I showered...

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