jianantonic: (Default)
All year long, I've been saying "I can't believe it's [today's date] already!" But here we are, July 20th, the year more than half gone, and a whole bunch of awesome stuff I've been looking forward to forever is just around the corner. Here's my schedule:

Aug 1 -- fly to NY for Falcon Ridge
Aug 7 -- fly to Dublin
Aug 9 -- fly to Edinburgh
Aug 17 -- fly to Dublin, leaving Toby in Edinburgh
Aug 18 -- fly to NY
Aug 20 -- fly home (parents will already be here)
Aug 21 -- solar eclipse
Aug 22 -- drive to Seattle, get on cruise
Aug 22-29 -- cruise to Alaska with the Massie family
Aug 29 -- drive home, spend a few more days in Portland with my folks, and Toby will be back by then
Sep 7 -- fly to New York
Sep 8 -- drive to CT with ChrisChin
Sep 9 -- KraBs wedding
Sep 10 -- drive back to NY
Sep 11 -- fly home
Oct 1-7 -- Seaside Regional
Nov -- not yet booked, but will be in Philadelphia for Friendsgiving 2, then VA for Thanksgiving
Dec -- Edinburgh again for Xmas then the last week of the year in Virginia, hopefully?


This crazy schedule reminds me of how my life used to be all the time. I'm glad I'm in Portland most of the time now. This is a great place to hang one's hat. But I do still love to travel, and I'm glad I get to do so much of that, too. I'm hoping to add in another regional with Zac if we can find one that works for us both, and also more visits with Emily, Chris, and Trevor either hosting them here or going up to Vancouver. There's neither time enough in the year nor money enough in the bank to do all the things I want to do, but I'm pretty happy with what's in front of me right now.

The owner of my favorite restaurant asked me yesterday if I could help him find a space downtown for a new location. He's keeping his restaurant in Beaverton, just wants to expand downtown. I'm working on it. Shouldn't be too hard to find something; there's a lot of new construction downtown and those buildings all need retail tenants on the ground floor. The question is, will it be better economically for me to take my regular commission, or negotiate free Indian food for a few years? Honestly, the free food would probably be a better deal! But saag paneer don't pay the bills -- except the credit card bill, which is mostly saag paneer.
jianantonic: (Seahorse)
My grandmother would have been 100 years old next Wednesday. Before we sat down to our feast, we held up a picture of her as a young woman and sang "Happy Birthday" to her. It was really sweet.

Toby and I ran the Earlysville Turkey Trot this morning. I usually see at least a handful of people I know from high school, but I didn't recognize anyone there today, except for one old friend who actually lives along the course and was standing outside cheering on the runners with his daughters. I shouted a hello as I ran past, but that was it for reminiscing. The run felt pretty good in the cold weather, but the hills were a bitch, as always. Toby finished in 26 minutes. I was slower :)

Toby is fitting in beautifully with my family here. He's socializing on his own, without hanging by my side the whole time. Everyone likes him and he especially hit it off with Bruce and Greg. Casey brought his mandolin and we had a little jam session before eating. That was loads of fun, too.

All the baby cousins are 3 this year, and very cute.

Emily is 38 weeks pregnant now, and I'm very excited for the arrival of her little guy. I just hope he doesn't come until I'm back in the northwest so I can go be there when he makes his debut.

Tomorrow I'm going to Lexington to have a Marma Round Table with Kent, Allan, and Laura. I had sent Kent a bunch of questions about my grandmother, his mother, and he said he was looking forward to answering them, and wanted his kids to be a part of the discussion as well. I'm going to try to record it on my cell phone. I know it will be great to get these stories.

Things are good. Except for politics. But for a few days, I've thought much less about it.

Friendsgiving in PA was awesome, too -- and I was totally right about what I thought would happen...
jianantonic: (Seahorse)
I'm at that point in the trip where almost everything is irritating me and I just want to be home. It's too hot to get comfortable, and every time I attempt to relax, someone is knocking on the door or barging into the room. My brother wanted to go to a restaurant in the next town over tonight. He's been here before and wanted to visit that place before we left. He invited me, but I declined, saying I wanted to go relax on my own for a while. He and Rachel both scoffed and laughed at me, saying "You need to relax after the long, taxing day you've had?" (I've been in my room resting almost all day.) YES, I DO.

This is how I am. Depression manifests in constant fatigue. I may have other health issues contributing to my fatigue. My shingles is flaring up again. I'm sleep deprived. My ankle still hurts. I miss my routine. I miss my cat. I miss my boyfriend. I miss my friends and the things we do together. I miss my city. I love my family but I need alone time.

I came back to my room and got online, started to read some articles, and chill. Frankie and my mom walked in about 10 minutes later. "Mom, I came back here to have some alone time."

"You've had it!"

"Mom, really. This is my room and I'd like to be alone in it. There's nowhere else I can go to be alone here."

She gave me this look like I was breaking her heart. Like I was committing some huge betrayal by suggesting I'd prefer to be alone when I only have a few hours left to be with my family.

"I'm serious, Mom. Please."

She took Frankie and went to her own room, finally. I have every intention of playing cards with them later when WT gets back from his little excursion. I just want this time to myself. (I'm sharing my room with Lucy, who is super respectful of my need for down time -- she seems to have similar needs -- so I haven't had true alone time all week.)

I'm so ready to be home. My flight isn't until 5pm tomorrow, so I have what I call a lame duck day. It's one of those days where you're going to travel/have to check out/are all packed so you can't really do anything, but it's still a full day so you've got to entertain yourself somehow. I don't get into PDX until almost 1am. So I'll get home to Beaverton around 2. I can't wait...then hopefully after a good sleep and a shower, I can go pick up Cleopatrick and he will still love me.
jianantonic: (Seahorse)

So many things going on. This'll be a long one.

Falcon Ridge

Our flight landed in Newark at 5am on Wednesday. We hadn't slept much, and desperately needed to catch up on snoozes before the drive up to Hillsdale, so we picked up our rental car and came into Brooklyn to nap in my brother's apartment. We got up and got on the move around noon, showered, reorganized our suitcases so that we could leave some non-essentials back in Brooklyn, got some foods and set out on the 3-hour drive to Dodd's Farm. We got there around 4:30 and I giddily ran around giving hugs and introducing Toby to my Shantyfam. Then we went to set up our tent...

Toby opened up my small suitcase to look for it and I said "oh, no, it's in the other suitcase." "The other suitcase?" "Yeah..." "Oh..."
See, when we set out, I went to get the car from where I'd parked it, and asked Toby to bring all our stuff down to load. I stayed in the car while he and the doorman loaded everything, and never really took inventory of what went it. Turns out he'd thought when I reorganized my suitcases, I'd put everything I needed in the little one and was leaving the big one here with stuff I wouldn't need for camping. HA HA WHOOPS.

So we turned around and went back to Brooklyn to get it. It wasn't just the tent, or we'd have borrowed one from someone else -- it also had my meds and ALL my clothes. So going back was necessary. Since we had six extra hours to spend in each other's company, I launched into a relationship talk -- that'll teach him to forget shit! Seriously though it wasn't anything bombshelly or difficult. Just like "hey so we basically live together now, can we get a little more organized about how we handle planning and budgeting for the house and the future and stuff?" and we talked about that. It was nice. We've always been on pretty much the same page, but it's good to talk about it rather than just assume shit.

On the way back, Toby read to me from my new Scientology book. We were back on the farm by 11ish, set up our tent by the light of our headlamps, and got down to the socializing right away.

The festival was great, as it always is. The stars were out in full force each night, and we could see the arm of the Milky Way clearly overhead with our naked eyes. It was hot during the days and cool at night, and only rained overnight, when it was no inconvenience to any of us. We did some contra dancing this year, and like every year, I always come away from that wishing I did more of it at home. So that's on the list of things to try in Portland. We also went to a few more stage acts -- our friend Eric Lee had a solo set on the Lounge Stage, so we checked that out (he's great! so happy for him to be moving on up as a singer/songwriter), saw Mike & Ruthy (of the Mammals), Brother Sun, Eric Schwartz, and The Grand Slambovians. That's like five more acts than I usually see :)

Back at camp, we played our instruments with friends -- I still feel nervous about jamming, but I'm getting better at it, and when it's a song I know, I can really nail it. Eric gave us some pointers that helped a lot, and we learned some new tunes that I really enjoyed. We also did a lot of yarncrafting. Toby had his knitting, and I'd brought a crochet hook and a skein of yarn -- I knew someone there would be willing to give me a refresher course, and after a quick lesson, I was working on a nice rectangle :) The idea is baby blanket, but this may just be a practice one. I'm not sure I have enough yarn to make a very big one, but it's something to do with myself for now and I'll be ready to pick up a few skeins and do a real project when I get home. There was lots of singing and drinking and merriment.

Friday afternoon/evening was our annual camp party. This year it was a steak and martini luau. Luau because that's what we'd planned all along, and steak & martini because Stuart used to always host a steak & martini night for whoever wanted to participate. Janice (Stuart's widow) was there just for that one day and overnight, and we started the festivities with a big circle and chatka for Stu with his favorite Scotch. We passed the bottle around and took turns sharing memories and love, and everyone cried a lot, but it was one of my favorite moments from the fest this year. Of course it was devastatingly sad, but to lay bare our emotions and be there for each other was really special. We hugged and held each other and raised our glasses and our voices to our friend, and it was really beautiful.

Brooklyn

Toby and I got back to Brooklyn on Sunday afternoon, and promptly fell asleep for five hours. We still had to return the rental car to Newark, but going later in the evening meant a fairly smooth journey. My cousin Ben and his wife Lorraine were staying here at WT's place as well, so we hung out and caught up with them for a while. Ben is the oldest in my generation (57), and I'm the youngest (33), so we've never really done much hanging out, and I hadn't seen him more than 3 or 4 times since Marma died in 1998. But it was great to hang out and chat, and they seemed to like Toby, too. Good to get the seal of approval, even though I don't require it.

Monday morning we went for a walk in Brooklyn Bridge Park, and decided we'd try to do a theater thing later. Toby's never been to the city before, so I wanted to give him a good NYC experience without being overly touristy about it. (No Statue of Liberty, no Times Square bullshit, etc.) My little cousin Byron from the other side of my family is living here now, so we made plans to meet up with him for a show. I found a ticket app that has discount tickets for same-day shows, and after browsing the list of available options, we were most interested in something called Drunk Shakespeare. The blurb wasn't really clear on what it was, but the title was enough of a draw anyway. Here's what I wrote in an email to Emily about it:

Drunk Shakespeare was amazing. It's set up as this like Shakespeare club meeting thing, and I'm not sure if they rotate different plays each time (from their social media, it's clear that the one we saw has been done before, but it also sounds like they do some others), and one actor does five shots before we start. Also the whole audience gets shots as we're being seated. They constantly call points of order, and this part seemed totally improvised, where one cast member will make a suggestion to change something. Usually it's to make another cast member do their next lines as someone else (elmo, donald trump, liza minelli, in german, while doing the macarena, whatever). The "drunk" cast member is definitely not the only one who's intoxicated, they're just the most so. My favorite part was when the drunk cast member decided she didn't like one of the character's names, and she took suggestions from the audience to change it. The five-year-old boy who becomes Macbeth's main challenger was known from Act IV on as "Big Dick Kitty Cat." They didn't do the entirety of Macbeth, but they hit all the main points, so that the whole story was done in the time of the show. It was a great mix of Shakespeare's original dialogue and some hilarious modernizations and improv. Anyway I think you'd really love it if you ever get a chance to see something like this.

Yesterday we had plans with our friend Craig to do a trivia night in Bushwick, but plenty of time before then to check out some other things. We started the day by walking across the Brooklyn Bridge into Manhattan, and browsed around Chinatown and Little Italy (with a gelato stop in Little Italy, natch!) before heading uptown to check out the Museum of Sex.

The Museum of Sex is great and I definitely recommend it. But there was one major flaw. The first several exhibits were, as one might expect, very sexy. It's hard not to get a little hot and bothered in there. And of course I was there with my very sexy boyfriend, so I was feeling a little worked up...but then the last exhibit is about animal sex and sexuality. It was very interesting and totally relevant, but I guess I just didn't really enjoy going into that feeling horny. It was awkward. Great museum, though!

We walked around that neighborhood for a bit afterward, and stopped in the Museum of Math for the gift shop -- we didn't have time to check out the museum, and I'd been there before, but the gift shop had awesome stuff and we got a new game to play and he picked up some gifts for his niece and nephew in Scotland.

Today we're going to check out the NYC Transit Museum, then I'll take Toby to the airport and he'll fly off to Scotland for two weeks. I'll miss him, most of all during the next four days when I'm just sort of hanging around Brooklyn by myself, but then I'll be in Cancun with my family so the second half won't be so bad.

McKenzie Feels

Before this trip began, Z and I had been communicating a lot more frequently, and it had been really nice. Very friendly, not just mere logistics. We were getting along great and being kind and supportive. Still keeping a safe distance, but communicating. Then I found out from Katy that his parents have their house listed for sale. That was a real punch in the gut. I know they have a Realtor friend they've worked with for years, so I'm not outraged that they didn't hire me, but I was surprised they didn't talk to me about it first anyway. It hurt to find out after the fact. So I sent McKenzie an email just saying I didn't really know what to do with my feelings about it and asking him if he knew why they had chosen not to talk to me. He didn't reply. I figured he was busy with the NABC so whatever, I let it go. Then he sent me a short email on Sunday with some quick business about our property transfers (STILL not done). I wrote back, answered his questions, and asked him to please address my previous email. He wrote back but only responded to the condo part of my message, and again ignored the part about his parents. I wrote back again and called him out for ignoring me, saying it's okay if he doesn't want to talk to me about it, but he needs to at least SAY that. So he wrote back and said he wouldn't talk about it with me. There was a little more back and forth and the content is unimportant, but the point is that I could feel that his attitude had shifted in a bad way. I could tell he was upset with me. I have no idea why and he won't tell me, which sucks. I've had so little interaction with him that it's impossible that it's something recent that I've done. He's either mad about something from the past that he only just now learned about or is starting to process, or he heard something from someone else that's not true and is mad about that. In either case, I'd like the opportunity to defend myself, or at least do damage control. Even though we're not together, I hate that he's upset with me, and I hate that we have another backslide now when our communications were at a place where talking to him was leaving me feeling GOOD. So to lose that sucks.

I asked some mutual friends if anything had happened that they knew of that would have caused such a stark change in his attitude toward me. No one could offer me anything more than theories -- he had a bad time at the NABC, or maybe it's the stress of moving. So I found out he's moving to Alabama to be with his girlfriend.

Hearing that was hard. Obviously I'm with Toby and I'm very happy and we're serious about each other, so it's not like it's out of the question that McKenzie could've found the same thing with someone else, too. But it's still hard. I think it would be easier for me to wish him well if he'd told me himself, or if he were still being kind and friendly. But since I'm hurting from the way he's spoken to me lately, my first reaction is not wishing him well but rather smugly enjoying the fact that I know he will hate living in Alabama. I don't like that I feel this way, but...okay. And maybe whatever made him change his tone to me is more about him than me. Maybe he's sad to be moving away and he's having triggery feelings about when he left Portland to move to Virginia with me and I'm sure that's hard for him. I don't know if that's what's making him change his tone the way he has, but until he can talk to me about it thoughtfully the way we had been talking, my feelings are not charitable.

There are several silver linings, though. The FOMO will be so much less -- while he's been in Seattle, he's been in social groups with lots of people I used to be social with and have really missed since leaving bridge. It's so hard to know that he's been up there having fun with the people I really miss. Since I don't know anyone in his Alabama circle, I will be a lot less jealous about his life there. And it makes room for me to get back in better contact with the Seattle folks, since now I could go to Seattle and not feel weird. It also means he won't be working local bridge events, so I'll feel free to actually participate in them again. I really do look forward to that. Toby is learning and I want to play with him in real events. And now I will be able to, so that's good.

I talked to Katy yesterday and told her about some of my concerns, particularly regarding whether my in-laws still want me in their life, since they didn't tell me about the house. She assured me that they love me very much and I'm still family, so that made me feel a lot better. The McKenzie stuff is hard and probably always will be, but I'm in a good place, really. Toby is wonderful and I'm happy in Portland and in the relationships I've got. Things are good. If I'm not scoring 10's across the board, I'm still okay.

Off to the transit museum now!

jianantonic: (Seahorse)
I played in the Rip City 3-on-3 basketball tournament this week. It's the first time I've played organized ball since college intramurals. I figured I'm in pretty good shape, and I worked on shooting with a men's ball for two weeks to get ready (I was playing in a men's division), so I felt good going in. After the first game, though, I was totally gassed. First off, basketball is entirely different from distance running. It's more repeated sprints. I was not physically prepared for that challenge. Secondly, men are faster and stronger than women, by and large. And I was up against athletic men, so...that was a challenge! No one on our team knew each other before this weekend -- the Blazers morning show that I listen to wanted to field a team, but only one of their employees wanted to play, so the rest of us (4 total) were listeners that volunteered. Not knowing each other definitely didn't help us get flowing, but we actually played reasonably well together. I was really pleased with myself -- shot 100% from the line in the five games we played, and was leading scorer in one of our games. My defense was okay for being slower and weaker than most of the opponents, and I think I did a respectable job, especially being a 33-year-old girl in a tournament of mostly 20-something dudes. But holy shit, I am sore. The sorest. Like, I can barely move sore. So I think some conditioning is in order.

But first I'm going on vacation.

Toby and I leave on Tuesday for Falcon Ridge. We're dropping Cleopatrick off with Josh and Mary for a three-week stay. I'm going to miss that kitten so much! I'm also really worried that he'll think we've abandoned him, but I know Josh and Mary will give him a good temporary home. I just wish I could communicate to him that I will be back soon and I love him and will miss him. Maybe he doesn't even care, as long as he's got food and water and a place to crap. But I will miss him anyway.

We're taking a redeye to New York, so we'll arrive Wednesday and then pick up the rental car and drive to WT's to crash for a few hours before heading upstate to set up camp. I'm so excited to share Falcon Ridge with Toby. It's the kind of scene he'll really enjoy. And he spent a lot of time with Eric last year and they're like besties, so I know that won't be a source of drama like it was last year. I warned Dan in advance that my obsession with Eric was a long-running joke in camp, but he was unable to take that in stride. Dan was also mad at me last year because I didn't teach him all the songs we were going to sing at camp beforehand. The thing is, we camp together because we all already like all the same music. (Well, a lot of the same music!) Also, I was kind of beyond the end of my rope in that relationship by this time last year anyway, so it really soured a lot of the experience for me...and I'm fairly confident that Toby will be the last partner I ever bring to FRFF with me.

After Falcon Ridge, Toby and I will go back to Brooklyn together and stay in my brother's place for a few days. Toby heads off to Edinburgh mid-week, and I'll go on to Cancun on Sunday for a week with my family. Then we'll both get back to Portland at about the same time, we'll pick up the kitty, and get the house ready for new carpets...which probably also means fresh paint before then, since there's no better time...paint party in Beaverton, anyone?
jianantonic: (Seahorse)
It should be illegal in this day and age for a cross-country flight to charge $4/hour for wi-fi and have absolutely NO streaming video or other in-seat entertainment. Bah. I'd be a lot less grumpy if I hadn't been fighting a raging need to relieve myself for the past two hours, as the fasten seatbelt sign has been lit up the WHOLE TIME. Every time someone gets up, the flight attendants get on the PA and get super snippy about it. I don't really feel like telling a whole plane full of people that I'm afraid I'm about to soil myself. :/ I just really hope we get out of the supposed turbulence soon. The only turbulence I'm feeling is in my gut and bladder, but captain knows best, right? This flight is all about the torture.

But let me talk about my trip to New York, which was awesome! I flew in on Thursday. I never really did get a handle on the time change -- I didn't try that hard, knowing it would only be three days, and luckily there was always time for naps. But on Friday morning, Bess and Frankie would have none of my jetlag excuses. I had to wake up "because it's morning!" and because it was absolutely crucial that they tell me all about My Little Ponies right then and there. Sigh. But they eventually had to go off to school, and I was free to curl up and sleep again, which I did for most of the day. I did manage to do a run and several of the training exercises from this fitness app my doctor encouraged me to try. Then I was awake enough to hang out and be Aunt Meg when everyone got home for the evening. Lucy showed up at dinner time, and I also got in touch with my cousin Byron, who has just started his first real-world job in Manhattan. He joined us for dessert and some games at WT's place that evening. It was great to catch up with him.

On Saturday I went for another run, then my whole family went out to Coney Island to have Grimaldi's Pizza. There's actually a Grimaldi's walking distance from their house, but for some reason the Coney Island one was the one to go to. They're both places that have long lines all the time. I guess it's an icon, but...meh. The pizza wasn't that good. I mean it wasn't bad, but it was neither worth $20 per pie nor worth waiting in any line for. But, whatever, I can check off my list that I've done that. The girls rode some rides at Luna Park, but I was nervous about how the Coney adventure was cutting into my nap time -- we had tickets for Wicked on Broadway later that evening, and I was already dragging by 3 o'clock. Frankie's weak stomach to the rescue! After a kiddie coaster, she got ill and we cut the visit short. I was able to nap for about an hour and a half before we had to leave for the show, which was just long enough for me to have enough energy to be engaged throughout the whole thing.

I wasn't really psyched about seeing this play. I know a lot of people who absolutely love it, and it's been a huge success for like a decade now, so I knew it would be good, but I'd read the book a while ago (back when the Broadway show started making waves and everyone was raving about how great it was), and the book SUCKED. It's one of few books I've ever read and truly hated. It was BAD. I kept reading because I figured it would all come together somehow...nope. It was a steamy pile of shit. So it really tempered my expectations for the show.

But the show was amazing. I really did love it. It's got a few of the same characters as the book, but several plot lines (like, more than half of what appears in the book) are removed, and others are changed so that they are more relatable and make more sense. Whereas the book had almost no message at all, the message of the play was super clear. And very well done. Definitely a metaphor for politics and power. Lucy and I had a great talk about that after the show. She asked me why everyone thought Elphaba was evil, when obviously she wasn't. I asked her if she knew what metaphors are, and she said yes, and we talked about how the parts of the play could be compared to government -- and the mistreatment of the public, and certain minorities especially. She really got it. That girl is awesome. I love talking to her about stuff like this. (Tangent: on Friday, her class -- she's in 6th grade -- hosted a school-wide LGBTQ Pride event. She told me about it as if it was just another school event. I don't think she realizes how revolutionary it is.)

Anyway the play was delightful and we talked about it the rest of the weekend.

On Sunday, I had plans to meet up with a couple of NYC-based friends. First was Rez, who I only know from mutual Facebook friends. Seth was the one who said "YOU TWO NEED TO BE FRIENDS," several years ago, and he was spot on. We hit it off immediately, and have been good buddies for years now. But I finally got to meet him yesterday! We took a long walk through Brooklyn Bridge Park and talked about life like friends do. When we separated, I was off to meet Craig for some drinks. I was a little early getting to his neighborhood, so I stopped at a Taqueria in a Mexican part of town -- I was the only gringa in there. I thought briefly about trying to order in Spanish, but was too afraid I'd make an ass of myself, and I was fairly confident they spoke English. So I ordered a simple mushroom quesadilla to tide me over while I passed the time before meeting Craig. Mistake! Turns out an authentically Mexican quesadilla is SPICY AS FUCK. (For the purposes of this paragraph, fuck is very spicy indeed.) I didn't want to be rude and just ditch it, though, and I was hungry, so I did my best to pick out the jabaneros, but my whole body was on fire for several hours after eating that. I know that people are wired differently, because there is no way that spicy foods as I experience them can be enjoyable to anyone. Not even a little bit.

I had a nice time hanging out with Craig for a few hours, then headed back to Downtown Brooklyn for one last family dinner. Lucy had gone back to Philly already, but I had a nice time playing with Frankie and Bess. They still mostly wanted to talk about My Little Ponies, but I did what I could to direct our interaction to other things :) I stayed up late to watch the Blazers-Clippers playoff game 1, but by the middle of the third quarter, it was clear this was not our night, and I let myself doze off before it finished. Hopefully tomorrow's game is better. I hate the Clippers so much...I do like CP3, and I liked Blake Griffin until the whole punching incident...but Doc Rivers can go fuck himself. And I want to beat them SO BADLY. Go Blazers!

This morning, I walked Bess to her preschool class. She kept asking me to play games with her when she got home from school -- she never really did grasp that I'd be leaving. But it was nice to walk with her that whole way, just me and her. That girl is so funny. She kept saying she didn't want to go to school "because it's bowwing" and "I know evwything alweady." But as soon as she got there, she became engaged in classroom activities. I don't think she really finds it boring at all -- I think she's just learned that this is a thing kids sometimes say about school. I got one more nap in before I had to leave for the airport, but I still had plenty of time -- 7pm flight out of Newark, and I arrived at the airport at 3. I walked the entirety of the terminal, determined to find a spa and spend an obscene amount of money on a massage, but no such spa ever materialized in Terminal C, so I guess I saved about $75 or something. I was briefly tempted to buy Toby a really girly I <3 NY shirt, but decided to save that $15, too.

I've been in the air for 4 hours now, and flightaware says we'll be landing in 58 minutes. I hope it passes faster than the first four hours. I'm not tired enough to snooze, just tired enough to be bored and uncomfortable. Meh.
jianantonic: (Seahorse)
I'm flying to Virginia tonight. I hate redeyes, but they're so much cheaper...when I book them, I'm always like, fuuuuck, I guess I have to. Then when I'm on them I'm like I WOULD SO PAY $300 MORE TO BE ABLE TO SPEND THE NIGHT IN A BED. I'm flying into Richmond rather than Charlottesville because money, and my mom has it in her head that we'll go shopping in Short Pump after she picks me up at 10am. Nooooooooooooo. I told her I'd want to sleep as soon as possible. "You can sleep in the car while I shop." Not cool. Hopefully she'll be reasonable and I'll remind her that I have Amazon Prime so she has no need to go to a mall...

At some point in the next few hours I should probably pack a suitcase. I still don't know exactly when I'm coming back, or how I'll get here. I'll get as far as San Francisco with Kelly. She needs to bring a car from her mom's place in Charlottesville to her place in the east bay, so I invited myself along for the trip to keep her company and help with the driving and probably annoy the shit out of her with my mandolin :) Other than "yes this is happening," I don't think we have any further plans. We're aiming to stop in New Mexico (one of my 5 remaining states!) to see a friend and her new baby, so I'm looking forward to that. But I have no idea if Kelly wants to zoom through the drive or take it slow and stop and see a bunch of weird roadside shit or what. Either way is fine with me; I've got nothing going on right now :) I'll probably book a train ticket back from SF. Hopefully I'll be able to keep my luggage load small. One suitcase, one mandolin, one laptop bag. For probably three-four weeks away. Whatever, there are washing machines in Virginia. Totally doable. I'll miss Portland, though! It's a long time to be away from everything I love here. I'm sure the adventures will be worthwhile, though.
jianantonic: (Seahorse)
I ended up staying an extra day in Virginia to get a little more time with family. I believe I have mentioned before that I love my nieces, yes? I really, really love those girls. Frankie tried to block the door as I was leaving today because she didn't want me to go. That girl. <3

Lucy played games with me each day, and Bess squeezed my elbow, which is her thing. She's realized that you can get more skin in the squeeze if the person's arm is extended, so she kept straightening my arm any time I'd bend it. She's really bossy, but because she's the baby of the family, she can get away with it for now. It's just really cute. We went to one of those trampoline places yesterday, and she always insisted on having her own trampoline. If anyone ever came into her area, she would escort them out. But then when I tried to just stand on the border to rest while she jumped, she pushed me back onto my trampoline and yelled "JUMP!" Taskmaster! Love her.

I'm on a plane now and I've been mostly miserable for the entire flight (one hour to go of a 5.5-hour leg) because I have a window seat and I hate the window seat. I almost always get an aisle seat but because I changed my ticket at the last minute, there wasn't one available. And I am just uncomfortable and really have to pee but don't want to bother the nice people who both have laptops and drinks and all manner of things that make it a pain in the ass for me to get out of the row. The last hour of this flight cannot go by fast enough...
jianantonic: (Seahorse)
I flew to DC today and sat near the gate agents' desk for my flight to Providence. I noticed them in a panic about an hour before the flight, because the flight was WAY oversold. They needed a minimum of 4 volunteers. They came on the PA and offered $500 in travel vouchers, a hotel room, and meal vouchers. A great deal -- usually they start at like $200. But I was so anxious to get to McKenzie in Rhode Island, it wasn't good enough for me. Still, I heard the agents talking to one another and knew the deal was going to get sweeter. I texted Z to see how he felt about me taking a better deal. When they upped the ante to $700, I got up to volunteer. But I was the only one, and they needed 4. They had to up the offer to $1300 before a 4th person volunteered. So I got $1300, too. It's all in travel vouchers, so it's not like I'll pay off my mortgage or anything, but still, this will pay for a trip somewhere awesome, or several trips somewhere kind of awesome. The gate agents were all saying that they'd never paid out even close to that large a voucher. It's because the flight was full of bridge players, none of whom wanted to sacrifice their chance at a few masterpoints by missing a session at the NABC. Thanks for being ridiculous, guys!

I'm bummed that I didn't get to see McKenzie yet, but I'll get there early tomorrow, and I think the compensation is well worth it. Still, I was incredibly torn -- I've been really anxious for this reunion for a long time, and to have to put it off again, ugh. $1300 in airfare is a nice consolation, but still. I was stressing. And then I got a nice message from a good friend and it just made me feel so much better.

I swear my friends can sense when I need them from far away. It seems I always get a text or an email from someone I haven't spoken with in a while at exactly the moment I need it most. Several of my friends send me messages like "Hey I just wanted you to know I was thinking of you and I love you!" and it's the BEST. I try to reach out to my friends when I think of them, too, but it's not always natural. I want to do better at it, because I know how much it means to me to hear from others. I know I haven't been around LJ much lately, but that doesn't mean I haven't been thinking of you, my e-friends. I have been. LJ has changed a lot (and so have I!) in the 11+ years that I've had this account, but this community has always meant so much to me. Some of my best friendships started right here, and others have flourished due to the connections we've made through LJ. All of you who read, comment, post your own blogs here, you are very important to me. I <3 you.
jianantonic: (Seahorse)

McKenzie just booked a trip to Zanzibar next month. I'm really excited for him...and incredibly jealous.

I could go. I can afford the ticket and I can probably swing the time off. But I decided the responsible thing for me to do is stay home and work. I need to put some real hours into real estate, and also get real hours on the clock at my hourly job at NCM.

It is SO HARD to decline an opportunity to travel, though. Especially someplace so awesome. While my husband goes.

I hope I get some excellent presents out of this trip.

My travel agenda is pretty light for the rest of the year: Seattle the weekend after next, SFO two weekends after that, Philly-Charlottesville-Providence circuit right around Thanksgiving and the NABC, and then maybe traveling over Christmas, either back to VA again or to Reno for the regional. Possibly a little of each.

I do understand that calling that agenda "light" is ridiculous to some people. But this is how I live. I have roots, but I'm a wanderer. And I really love it. I'm hopeful that my real estate career will take off in such a way that when travel deals come along, I won't feel like they're now-or-never opportunities. Sure, it's great to get a huge discount on a trip to an exotic place, but I'm hoping that I'll be able to comfortably afford the regular price soon enough. Then it won't sting so much to say no to Zanzibar right now...I can go to Zanzibar later. Right? Yeah. Who wants to go to Zanzibar with me?

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)
I'm back at work after a really fabulous overnight trip to Central Oregon with Z on Monday/Tuesday. I'd been wanting to go back to the McKenzie Pass for literally YEARS, since the first time I went, it was beautiful but too cloudy to see any of the mountain views. The pass is closed most of the year, and it's a long drive from Portland, so getting there isn't super convenient, but I finally nagged my husband about it enough to plan a getaway. I'd read in some BEST HIKES EVER article about Tamolitch Pool in Central Oregon, and it turns out that it's pretty near the Pass, so that was the first thing on our trip agenda. Holy shit, you guys, it's amazing.

Tamolitch
Just look how blue that is! That water looks like it's just a few feet deep, but it's actually 30-40 feet deep. This is where the McKenzie River emerges from underground -- there's a big cave under the rocks to the left. The water in the pool looks totally still, but just to the right of the frame, it's rushing out, being the river that it is. The hike to the cliff here was pretty easy -- 2 miles, mostly flat -- but to get down to the water where those people are, you basically have to rock climb. It took us a really long time just to find something that looked like a path down, but we eventually got down to the water's edge. We put our feet in, but only for about a second, because HOLY SHIT it's piercingly cold. The water is 37 degrees. If it had been a more strenuous hike, maybe the cold would've felt good, but I don't know how hot I'd have to be for that to feel refreshing. I did the ice bucket challenge just the day before and that was CHILD'S PLAY compared to putting my toes in this water.

Anyway it was a beautiful day for hiking, and Oregon continues to dazzle me with its natural beauty.

After Tamolitch Pool, we drove on further up the Pass and stopped for a short hike at Proxy Falls. There are two sets of falls and a whole bunch of lava beds there, and I'm sure that hike would've impressed the shit out of me had I not just come from the previous one. As it was, it was beautiful, but kind of meh in comparison.

Our last hiking stop of the day was at the top of the McKenzie Pass, at Dee Wright Observatory. The summit of the Pass is an expansive field of lava beds from an eruption 360,000 years ago. The landscape is like being on the surface of another planet. From there, you can see Cascade peaks in 360 degrees. It was a clear day, and the views we got were absolutely breathtaking. I imagine it's even more stunning in the winter when all the peaks are white with snow, but you can't get there that time of year. Anyway I loved it.

We continued down the other side of the mountain range and stayed the night in Redmond, then did another hike along the Deschutes before taking off the next morning. I could not keep my eyes open on the drive back, which was a shame, because we drove through some beautiful parts of the wilderness, but I slept most of the way. I think Z was a little disappointed about that, and I am, too, but it sure felt good to sleep...

We got back to Portland in the late afternoon and had our first counseling session in about six weeks -- I hope we never go this long between sessions again. Counseling is good for us, but we were way overdue for some maintenance work. It was a difficult session. We've been all over the map emotionally the last few weeks, and I think more regular counseling will keep us more level...I think we're in a good place right now, mostly...but it's hard. It remains the biggest challenge I've ever faced, but I'm proud of the progress I've made and the work I continue to do. I think McKenzie feels the same way, but he is less hopeful than I am, which is very hard. Anyway. It's going reasonably well, but it's not smooth. We're doing our best. This mini-vacation was really, really good for both of us.
jianantonic: (Seahorse)
Delayed in Denver. Due into pdx at midnight, will probably be after 1 when I get home. Up at 630 for work tomorrow. Fuuuuuck. I didn't take my vitamin supplements on my trip because I figured I'd get plenty of D between camping and a Caribbean cruise. But that appears to have been a poor assumption. I've been super fatigued all week, and I'm absolutely dreading how full my day is tomorrow...I'm going to a craft event after work, about which I am excited, so I don't want to flake, then picking Z up at the airport around 9 or 10. I hope the five hours of sleep I get tonight are extra restful, anyway. I woke up at 7 eastern...Bleh. Bitch, bitch, bitch.

I shouldn't bitch...I've just had two fantastic weeks of vacation. It wasn't all fantastic, but it was largely fun and happy. I'm always depressed post-falcon ridge, too.

We're boarding in a moment and my battery is just about done, but two quick niece stories first.

Bess is learning colors, but so far she only knows the words, and really sucks at matching them to the actual colors. She was wearing a color block dress the other day, and I quizzed her on the colors. She answered "red" for the green, blue, and purple patches. She said the red one was yellow, though. Doh.

Frankie is kind of obsessed with boobs. She always wants to touch them...mine, her mom's, nana's...one night at dinner, she was sitting in my lap, and she reached for my chest and announced to the whole family, "Meg's boobs are humongo!" My brother couldn't handle that, but I thought the whole thing was funny. (They're not humongo.) Time to go. I hope I sleep on the plane.

I think my favorite thing about flying first class is that people assume I'm famous. How else do you explain such a sloppy looking girl traveling by herself in first class? Heh.
jianantonic: (Seahorse)
Vegas was super fun. But holy shit I should've taken today off work. I am barely here. Luckily it's been pretty slow in the office so it's not a big deal. I'm just bored and tired and cranky.

I got upgraded to first class on my flight to LAS, so I got a head start on drinking for the weekend. McKenzie picked my drunk ass up at the airport and we were back in our hotel before 1am on Saturday. Adrian had arrived shortly before, and he was already asleep for the night, so we tried to quietly settle in. Somewhere in there, though, I found a second wind I wasn't looking for, and I ended up awake doing Kakuro puzzles until 3am.

I rolled out of bed for real around 9, and A and I hit the town. He wanted to do the roller coaster at New York, New York Casino, so we took the monorail up there. When we arrived, the coaster still wasn't open yet, so we decided to start drinking while we waited. I hadn't exactly had breakfast, and I knew going into it that it was possibly a terrible idea, but YOLO...

I do think being tipsy made the roller coaster way more of an adventure. When we finished that, we grabbed some food and then started walking up the strip. When we got to Casino Royale (basically the midpoint between LVH and NYNY), we ducked in and got going on the craps table. We did quite well and both left up a couple hundred bucks. Adrian used to deal craps, so I always like gambling with him. I was too young when he worked in AC to actually visit him there. He's got good stories, though.

We were going to get on the monorail and ride the rest of the way back, but at that point, we were already most of the way to our hotel, so we just decided to walk instead. That is a long, hot walk. It was about 110 degrees outside. We saw Bruce Willis (not really, just the wax museum sculpture of him outside Madame Tussaud's, which my brother thought was real). Then we saw Bill Gates at our hotel (really. He was playing bridge. Adrian was psyched). I honestly can't remember what we did that afternoon. Must've involved more drinking. We had dinner with McKenzie and A went to bed early while I stayed up to heckle bridge players and join the midnights. We lasted exactly one round there.

The next day, Adrian and I monorailed back to Casino Royale, where we both gave back what we'd won the day before. We hopped around some other places on the strip for food and drink and to place a bet on the Blazers to win the 2015 championship. I was hoping to find a sports book with more interesting prop bets, but the only NBA bets available this time of year were who would win the title. Closer to the season, oddsmakers will set the lines for the other stuff, but instead of putting some money down that the Blazers would win X # of games or whatever, I had to go for the all or nothing bet. I put $5 down for the championship, which will pay $180 if it hits. In other words, I gave away five bucks to prove that I'm a true fan.

Adrian took off to go back home at that point, so I went back to the room for a good long nap. McKenzie took the night off and we got dressed up super fancy for a date. We went to Cirque's Love, and he loved it as much as I expected him to (lots), went back to the LVH and played more midnights (again, early exit -- apparently we're bad at bridge). Z went to bed, but I stayed up playing electronic craps and shooting the shit with Ankur and Mike. Craig and Rob joined us much later in the night, and by the time I went to bed, I was up $100 or so and the sun was rising.

I slept until noon, then went back to the casino to try to undo my losses from the day before. At one point, I was down 95% of the bank I'd brought with me, and it looked like my gambling was over, but then I hit a couple of huge dumbass bets (hard six, hit once, then parlayed, hit again for a $100 to $1 payout), and I was back in the saddle. I don't recommend this approach. It's a stupid fucking bet. I just got luckier than I deserved.

McKenzie and I had planned to play the evening side game that night, but Mike was also off, so we teamed up for loser Swiss instead. Mike and I had spent the hour before the game at the bar, where obviously the bartender liked me a lot because I could barely walk after the two -- okay, it might have been three...possibly four -- drinks I had there. I do think it was just two. But I had some of Mike's, too. Z was annoyed at how drunk I was when I showed up to play, but aside from revoking on the very first board (d'oh!), I played reasonably well and we went 3-1.

I was sober by the midnights, and we actually made it to the second round this time. We had what looked like a really solid card that round, and our opps were sure we'd crushed them, but sometimes your teammates shit the bed. So we got to go to bed then, too.

That was basically it for my Vegas escapades. Just a lot of drinking and gambling. After all the ups and downs, I finished my trip about +$100. I got back home at midnight, was in at work before 8 today, and I'm tired as fuck. But I had a good time. Woo.
jianantonic: (Seahorse)
I don't know if it has more to do with the particular moment in time, or just the age that I was, but the songs that were top 40 hits when I was in middle school (1993-1996) have this amazing staying power -- I can go for literally years without hearing it, and then a song like "Breakfast at Tiffany's" comes on my shuffle, and I can sing along to every word, every pause, every hum and filler word. I love that.

This morning was a windows down, drive fast, sing loud kind of commute. It felt awesome. I was confirmed for an upgrade on my flight to Vegas tonight, and now just one busy workday stands between me and some Vegas shenanigans.

The silly Blazers had to lose their silly summer league playoff game yesterday, though, so now I don't get to watch them play this weekend after all. Bah. Oh well. My brother decided to drive up from Phoenix, so I'll spend the weekend partying with him, and McKenzie asked me to pack our convention cards, so it sounds like he's setting aside some time to actually play bridge with me, too. I'm 55 points away from Gold Life Master. McKenzie wants to be playing with me when I get it, which means I shouldn't enter any major events without him until I'm over. I wasn't planning on it, anyway, but if I can find good pickup games this weekend, I'll take them. Only a Bracket I KO would pay that much for a single event win, though. Anyway. I'm excited about this weekend, no matter how much or how little bridge there is.
jianantonic: (Seahorse)
Yesterday was a very long travel day, made longer by the fact that I got really ill on the 5.5-hour flight home. I've had mild cold symptoms for a few days, but I was feeling fine, really, until we boarded the plane. I think it was about 130 degrees on there, and we were on the plane and on the ground for about an hour before we took off and I felt any sort of relief, temperaturewise. But I think that hour of cooking really fucked me up, because I got more and more nauseated as the flight went on.

I never did throw up, but I made several OH GOD I THINK THIS IS THE ONE trips back to the lav. A sweet flight attendant noticed I was looking pale and got me a cold, wet cloth for my forehead, some ginger ale, and dug through her personal stash for some ginger candies that she said would help settle my stomach. The candies were truly disgusting, but they totally helped, and I was so grateful to her. She came by my seat to check on me several times throughout the flight. Even though I'm a seasoned traveler, it was nice to have a mom-figure looking out for me in this particular situation. It was a very long six hours.

When I landed, I had a message from my friend Lorie that she was picking up her niece about the same time and would give me a ride home from the airport. It was a huge relief not to have to take the 90-minute transit ride home feeling like I did, and getting some fresh PNW air went a long way toward feeling better. I'm still feeling icky today, but not at all nauseated, so I'll count my blessings and call it good enough. I'm glad I have today as a buffer day between travel and work -- I was going to go to the Windermere sales meeting this morning, but slept through it. That's okay. I needed that sleep.

I did do the final day of the 30 day ab challenge when I got home last night. I completed the whole thing, without missing a day. I feel awesome about that. The Facebook group has a new challenge up for this month, so I'm in. It's a more total-body thing this time. I weighed on my WW scale this morning, and maybe it's just because I was sick and didn't eat much yesterday, but I did still manage to lose weight last week. I'm glad to be back home, though, where I have more control over what I'm going to eat and how I'm going to exercise. Trying to decide now if I'll do a gym class tonight, or just go for a long run since I'm doing a 10K on Sunday for which I have not really trained at all...
jianantonic: (Seahorse)
I've been sitting in the United lounge at Dulles for several hours now, and will be here for several more...I rode up here from Charlottesville with WT and family, and they wanted to be on the road by 9am, so, lalala.

I really wish I had a place to lie down here. The chairs are comfortable for sitting, but I'm sleepy as fuck, and I can't stretch out at all, and the chairs are not comfortable for trying to sleep. Could be worse. But I hope I can sleep on the plane.

It was a great weekend, by and large, but it was also a time of pretty harsh self-loathing for me. I didn't work out nearly as much as I'd intended, I ate poorly, and I trained not at all for the 10K I have less than a week away. I also didn't do any real estate work. In other words, I was a huge fucking slacker and I'm feeling down on myself for that. But I get home tonight, and tomorrow is a day off work -- it'll be my buffer day to get shit back on track. I know that one bad week doesn't undo all the progress I've made. I just, grr.

Riding up here, I sat in the middle seat in the back of the SUV between Bess and Frankie's car seats. Both girls started to nod off, and Frankie wrapped herself around my left arm while Bess held my right hand as she slept. It was so sweet. Then Bess woke up a little, and she picked my hand up and put it on her head. She'd move it from over one side of her face to the other. I giggled about this and Rachel just said, "Oh yeah, she loves to have a hand on her face." Weird kid. After a little while of this, she started putting my fingers into her ears. I have a husband who does this as well.

Just four more hours until my flight! I'll play some more bridge...
jianantonic: (Seahorse)
It's been a really good few days. McKenzie and I are working hard on changing our perspectives so that we stop expecting negativity from the other. I'm honestly blown away by what an amazingly positive impact this attitude shift has had. I'm trying to be more conscious of when he's bidding for my attention, and vice versa, and we're just trying extra hard to engage each other. Not forcing it, but seizing opportunities. It's working beautifully so far. We had a really nice trip to Klamath Falls for the weekend. We listened to Jon Stewart's "America: The Book: The Audiobook" on the way down, and finished it just as we were pulling into our hotel.

We played two days of bridge and then drove home after the Swiss on Sunday. As is our grand tradition, we finished 2nd in the pair event. That's not just my tradition with Z -- I think I have more 2nd place finishes than any other results combined. Not a bad way to be, but I'd love to actually WIN more often. Oh well :)

I'm working the first half of this week so I can fly back to Virginia on Thursday for the big huge Massie reunion on the farm. I'm so unbelievably excited. Lucy is already in Charlottesville staying with my parents this week, so I've been checking in with them each day and talking to her a lot. You guys. My niece is so cool. I love that kid. I can't believe she's 10 years old. She's amazing. I can't wait to see her, and the other two nieces, and the hundreds of other relatives that will be at Pharsalia this weekend.

I was just going to pack a carryon, but I've just been informed that I will be returning to the PNW with the at-long-last-completed bridal shower/slightly-belated-first-anniversary quilt for Emily and Chris. I'm really psyched to see that finished product, too. Emily, when are we getting together for the quilt exchange? And by exchange, I mean I just give it to you; you don't have to give me a quilt in exchange. I know they don't have the fourth of July in Canadia, but maybe you can come down that weekend anyway and run a 10K with me.

Oh yeah. I signed up for a 10K. It's called the Red, White, and Blues Run, and it's at the Portland waterfront on 7/6. It's my first time doing a course that loops on itself -- it's a 5K course, and those that run the 10K just do it twice. I'm somewhat concerned that I'm going to hate this particular format -- I'll be mentally prepared to go around again, but there's still something really bummery about seeing a finish line and then having to run the opposite direction. Oh well. I've got nothing to prove. I'm just gonna run. Or walk. Whatever. I'm going 6.2 miles that morning, somehow :)

I'm doing a 5-mile practice run tomorrow with Rigo, since I haven't done more than 5K since my half marathon. I should probably make sure my legs are still up to it. I think probably they are...then I'm meeting Marissa after work for noms and walks in our beautiful city. Antidepressants are great and all, but nothing's better for my psyche than walking around Portland.

Two more days of work (and really challenging workouts!), then I'm off to the east coast. Life is still far from perfect, but I'm in a great fucking mood nonetheless. I hope it lasts awhile.
jianantonic: (Seahorse)
I'm in the Boise airport, waiting to fly home (via SFO). I've never been to this airport before, and it occurs to me that I cannot remember the last domestic airport that was new to me. Everywhere I've been recently was a repeat visit, and I've been to all the hub cities before, so none of my connection airports are new, either. I seriously can't remember being in a new airport (other than international) in the last several years. I'm sure I have, though...probably? Maybe not. Even the obscure tiny airports I've been through recentlyish were repeats... I need to go more places.

This weekend's road trip was lovely. We drove all the way from Portland to Salt Lake City on Thursday, then had a lovely brunch on Friday and went from there to the SLC sectional. Z had requested that we play 2 sessions, maybe 3, but Max and Dee were planning to play the whole time, so we did, too -- 2 sessions each on Friday and Saturday. We had a 67.5% in our first game, which is usually good enough to win by a lot, but someone had an even better game, so we were second. Our evening session was just slightly above average, and we didn't make the overalls. Saturday morning we were 4th overall, but 2nd in our section with a 60%, then a 63% in the afternoon was good enough for another 2nd overall. Always the bridesmaid! It's all good, though -- I had a great time playing with McKenzie. I really cherish the opportunity to do so, and I'm glad he wanted to play all those sessions with me, too.

Saturday night, we went to a Mountain Goats show at this venue that Max described as "a garage." Now, the Mountain Goats have a pretty big cult following, and SLC is a biggish city, so I figured it was one of those industrial-type spaces. But, no, it was literally a garage. At the end of an alley. There was a little courtyard outside, where we hung out during the opening act, but then we packed ourselves into the tiny room with about 200 other people for the MG show. It was hot as fuck and too packed to really see anything, but the sound was great and we really enjoyed it. Still, I'm surprised that they even booked themselves at a place like that. I'm sure there are better venues for them. Whatever, it was a good show.

The next morning, we drove up to Boise, stopping for a few hours in Twin Falls to hike. It was lovely there, and we hiked the entirety of the Centennial Trail, which ends at the jump site for Evel Knievel's 1974 Snake River Canyon jump. That was neat.

We caught the Mountain Goats again last night at a much nicer venue in Boise -- The Knitting Factory. The show was lovely, and I especially appreciated that even when he played the same songs, he introduced them in new ways. It's not like his act is just canned. And there was a lot of variation from the previous night's setlist. I enjoyed it very much, but a couple of the songs ("No Children" in particular) were difficult for me -- a lot of them are about bitter divorce, and with what Z and I are going through these days...it's raw.

But Z and I are doing pretty well, all things considered, I think. Therapy continues, progress continues. It's not easy, and there's a lot of pain still, but we're getting better.

Z is on his way to Penticton now, where he'll be largely out of touch for the week. I have more real estate classes tomorrow, then a regular work week, and no plans yet for the weekend. Feel free to suggest something.

My wrist has not bothered me at all for a few days, and my foot is almost all the way better. I think that injury may have been somewhat legit. The wrist was totally a brain thing, though. Glad it's gone, hopefully for good.
jianantonic: (Seahorse)
I painted my fingernails bright red and bright yellow yesterday. Every time I look at my hands, I think of fire trucks.

Things are going...okay? McKenzie and I are communicating pretty well, and things have been nice between us for the past few days. I know he got to talk to some people and unload some thoughts, and we've had a couple of counseling sessions now, and we're getting better at handling this shitstorm together. We like each other and love each other a lot; that's not in doubt. But can we be happy in our marriage? We don't know, and not knowing is hard and it sucks and this is the prevailing state of my mind lately. But I know I will be okay. I am okay now, mostly. Just really sad a lot, but not void of happiness, either. It's a weird time.

We leave for Italy on Monday, and we still don't have much in the way of a plan for when we get there. I had wanted to go to Pompeii, but it looks like that's not going to work out -- it's about an 8-hour drive from Milan, where we're landing, and lodging options where that's a reasonable day trip are more expensive. So the vague plan is "tour northern Italy." I'd love to cross over to Switzerland for a day if it's feasible, just to say I've stood between more different imaginary lines. But anyway if you have any suggestions for the general area of northern Italy, hit me. My main request is that I want to see ancient things. Oh I'd also like for my marriage to hold together at least through the vacation, because if it all implodes over there, that's going to be a super fun 16-hour plane ride home. Or however long it is.

I really think it'll be okay, though. Indications are that things are going better. McKenzie's even keeping a spreadsheet with formulas. The math says our marriage is improving. (I love my husband. I love that he keeps a spreadsheet of his feelings and mathematical formulas to indicate how we're doing.) We're both looking forward to the trip. I have therapy tonight with my therapist, then we have joint counseling tomorrow online, then Saturday and Sunday I have the best therapy ever -- nieces! So I'm going into this trip all therapied up, and I think we'll experience it in a healthy way. Our game plan is to just enjoy each other's company, and without brushing things under the rug, treat the trip like we are a happy couple in love and on vacation, and see if we can really work out what that feels like. This could be just an epic disaster, but I am optimistic. Even though things are questionable, we're being kind and respectful and loving, so there's no reason to expect we'd make each other miserable on this trip. And if it was a movie, this trip would totally be the climax where we discover our certainty in our relationship and everyone lives happily ever after -- Thanks, Italy!! That's totally how it's going to go down, right? Totally.

Anyway I'm running 5 miles with Rigo today at lunch. He went with me on my 5-miler last Thursday, too, and it was definitely one of my better runs. He let me dictate the pace (last time I ran with him we did 8-minute miles, and I was DEAD at the end). We finished our five miles in 46 minutes -- on my own I run slower than a 10-minute mile pace, so I guess there's something to this running buddy thing. I felt better than I usually do, too. Here's hoping the same goes for today's run. I have Indian food for lunch when I'm done, and a massage scheduled for tonight at 7. Heh, if you count massage as therapy, I have three therapy appointments in the next 24 hours. I might be addicted to therapy. I wonder if there's therapy for that.

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Meg

September 2017

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