Ramblings · Running

The Hair Abuse Chronicles

Well, here we are. It’s been months since my first unfortunate foray into permanent hair lightening. As you may remember, I attempted to lighten my hair at home. Mistake number one. Then I attempted to try again. Mistake number two. Then I tried to fix it, which took several tries to appear decent. You see where this is going. I think I’ve dyed my hair about 5 times since, most recently being mid-June. Yeah, cringe with me on that. I chose a permanent black and it was harsh at first, but it’s evened out nicely now, and my roots growing out won’t look so drastically different. It’s safe to say that my hair is not a happy camper. My roots have grown out about half an inch, and I’ve made a super sexy discovery – gray hairs! I’m not sure why I’m going partially gray at 24, but I’m just going to have to assume it’s sexy. I won’t know the extent of how it will look once it all grows out, but feast your eyes on this awesomeness.

Emo MySpace shot alert: feel my sadness about gray hairs in front of this book shelf

The rest of my over dyed hair is definitely feeling more like straw some days. I’ve been researching options for hair repair conditioners or intensive treatments. I used one from John Freida and it was pretty good. This time I’ve ordered Morrocanoil, which I’ve heard good things about via my Facebook feed. See, acquaintances/random people you don’t remember but still have on Facebook can be useful!

In other news, I’m still running. I had some drop-off time when it was between 90 and 100 degrees but I’m back on track now. I think reading many running blogs has both inspired me and frustrated me. I like to be good at everything immediately and realizing that my speed and distance will only increase over time gives me the sads. But those other girls are so fast, waaahh. I’m hovering around a 9:30 minute mile, and I occasionally take short 30 second walks when I need them as long as I can make it an extra mile. Oh right, and by that I mean so I can make it to 3 miles instead of 2. I’M SO AWESOME. I’m currently blaming the sun and humidity for my lack of improvement (wah wah cries the Californian), so we’ll see what I can blame come fall. I do feel pretty good with the running business, and after a quiet day at the office (cube life is so quiet! ah!) I really need that run to let out tension and feel alive.

[Insert picture here. I don’t usually take pictures of myself before/after/during runs. Maybe I should start.]

Over the weekend Collin and I went on a 6.5 mile hike. I have yet to acquire proper hiking shoes, which can sometimes make me a grump on these. Plus, I kind of hate nature sometimes. Sorry, Oregonian friends. But it was still fun! We picnicked among a fleet of dragon flies, which was cool and creepy at the same time. Hooray!

Cat Lady · Running · TV and Movies

Things and Stuff

This clever headline of mine (it took a while) made my brain go straight to one of my many favorite Ron Swansonisms. I’m overly investing in TV shows. It happens. Just ask me about that time I drunkenly fangirled Richard Kind at a theater bar and told him how much I loved his work in Scrubs. Yeah.

Since coming back from a long weekend away in Buffalo, I’ve done a lot of stuff. I’ve worked. I go home. I sometimes run. Sometimes I run and feel good. Sometimes I run and suck. Sometimes I run a trail that has many teenage boys hanging out and drinking, and they are surprisingly nice despite tackling each other before I run through. And sometimes, sadly, you have to tell a guy to eff off after his unleashed dog freaks out and runs after you. Dude, it doesn’t help that you know your dog is harmless, being chased is freaking SCARY. #runningramblingover

Two weekends ago Collin and I hung out with our friends and took a day trip to Indian Lake for some canoeing. It was pretty fun – especially the picnic lunch while docked on the water. Collin and I weren’t the best at coordination, but it was enjoyable anyway.

Messing with Mini (tm?) continues on a relatively consistent basis.

Yesterday Collin and I took a day trip to Glens Falls. It has recently reemerged after being a bit of a desolate town previously. We picnicked at a random park and made a ground hog friend (not really, but that dude was cute). We explored the Hyde Collection, where I set off an alarm accidentally and which also had a cool NYC exhibit going on. I keep getting nostalgic for living in the city, even though I’m happy with the move – and looking forward to a future move somewhere west.

The Hyde House

We came across several cute animal related themes. It was a nice lazy afternoon. Might as well take advantage of all that is near now that we’re upstate, I believe.

Today was another busy day, but much less exciting overall. We did much necessary shopping and Collin and I visited Wal-Mart for the first time. I know it’s wrong, but super cheap clothes feel so right…

Ramblings · Running

Running Power!

This headline comes from a subject line I emailed to Collin a few days ago. See, I’ve really committed to getting back into running, and I’ve become totally nerdily excited about it. I was never a fitness-focused girl growing up, even though I did spread my interests sporadically among running, dance and tennis. I’m bad at sport commitment, I guess. When I got to college I met people who liked to run and work out and sort of started to get into it. One of the reasons my friendship blossomed with my friend Maren was because we started having gym dates when I was going through a rough patch. She became one of my best friends after that period. And she showed me that I could lift weights! I learned pretty quickly the power of getting yourself out the door when you feel crappy – afterward, you almost always feel better.

Love this lady

When I first moved to NYC I started running again. Given that I was a casual runner who mostly ran in the easy climates of Oregon and California, I had no idea the real challenges of running in the heat and humidity of the East Coast. It wasn’t a problem for long, though, because I quickly injured myself. This is an honest-to-goodness true sober story: I was walking home from seeing In The Heights for the first time with Kim, I was wearing sandals with almost no traction, and in my excitement I slipped in a curb cut and twisted my knee. I’m stupid, so I continued to run and hurt myself more. I had just started my new job and sort of let fitness disappear in favor of my long hours and happy hours and friendships.

Holiday party with a wrapped knee. So cool.

A few months into dating Collin, his running enthusiasm got to me. I went to physical therapy briefly – it was awkward, one of the workers made fun of how my leg shook during the strength exercises, WTF – and managed to heal my knee somewhat. Over the winter Collin encouraged me to run in Prospect Park with him. It went pretty well, but I only went with him maybe once a month. Plus, it snowed. I’m not running in that! That spring I went for a run and stopped short, almost dying and gasping for air. I even wrote about my confusion with what the heck was wrong with me. I basically gave up on running, but my many doctor visits left clues in my head to figure this out.

I prefer to do this in the winter.

The best, and somewhat lame, reasoning I have is related to allergies and breathing. I’m not a seasoned runner, but I’ve always been competitive. I wanted to run as fast as I could because that’s what I thought I should do. When I stopped I was gasping in pain, not realizing that I pushed too hard and wasn’t breathing properly. Add in allergies I didn’t know I had, and it’s no wonder I though I couldn’t run anymore. I didn’t realize that going slower and building up mileage and speed would make a difference. I gave up running again in favor of fitness videos and general laziness.

Once we got to Troy, I decided to try again. I bought new running shoes, since my old ones were from 2006 or something, and figured out my allergy situation. I saw my doctor and accepted that I did in fact have seasonal allergies, and just needed to find the right pill. Most importantly, I went slow. As I wrote earlier, my first run was sad and pathetic. I barely made it a mile. Since then I’ve set up a 2-mile route. I had to walk at times at first, but now I’m running solidly the two miles, pushing through that voice in my head that says it’s too hard and I should stop. Plus, Collin and I are taking little day trips and hiking, and I’m definitely feeling good.

Foodie Times · Ramblings · Running

It’s a Hot One

There I was, minding my own business, and suddenly the summer showed up. More specifically, it showed up on the day I decided to push harder on my running attempts. At 12:30 p.m. I finished a respectable-for-me 2 mile run, and then returned to an A/C- and fan-less apartment after realizing the sun was trying to melt me. I spent the rest of the day chugging water and tomato-faced. Later, when I walked a few blocks to meet a friend I was still overheating and sweaty. It was a gross realization that it was indeed the emergence of summer. Sharing is caring.

But I can’t resist having a little fun…

Mini lives a life of unwanted photo-ops

Collin and I are not really big fans of humidity. I never experienced humidity most of my life and now I’m living through my fourth summer on the east coast, trying to survive. We’re still figuring out the A/C situation (weird sized windows, aversion to spending money, etc.), which is leading to us being somewhat overheated grumps. I believe the suggestion of moving to Alaska has been thrown around with increasing seriousness.

Anchorage, August 2010, cooler temperature memories

I’d give Alaska a chance. For now, though, I’m excited to be starting a job here soon. I went in for my orientation yesterday and start in two weeks. It’s definitely the biggest company and most straight-laced (i.e. business casual dress, formal policies and procedures for everything) I’ve ever worked for, but that’s not a bad thing. I like experiencing new work environments, and on the plus side, as always, the people I’ve met so far seem really nice.

Back to the heat issue, though, Collin and I had to take a night off from cooking with the stove or oven. We got crafty and just put together a big cold salad – it had chick peas, corn, fried peppers, olives, cilantro and other things I might be forgetting. I added beets to mine as well. We made guacamole, always delicious and some hard boiled eggs. Random, but good. It was extra refreshing with ice cold beers, which are a necessary staple of a hot summer.

Yes, that is our fancy set up with my iPad propped up against my Nike box and a half eaten pan of brownies. Tomorrow is supposed to bring the weather back down to the 60s, so here’s to hoping.

Musical Love · Ramblings · Running

On Employment and Newfound Domesticity

This past week has been a pretty great one. It started on Wednesday with a great dinner out with Collin’s friend (from his new Master’s program here) and his girlfriend. It was really nice to meet new people and have a fun night out. I may have drank a bit more than I am used to (lightweight alert) and was out of it the next day.

After my hungover day of nothing-ness, Friday morning greeted me with a job interview. Collin alerted me to this job, which involves writing web content for a decent sized company. Most other jobs I was finding were administrative or part-time retail, or just plain scams. It seemed like I had a hard road ahead of me. But this interview went well – the people were nice, the company was pretty unique in my mind, and there is a lot of stability and room to move up.

Mini was really excited for me. (She runs around like a horse sometimes, and then spooks herself. It’s great entertainment for me and a workout for her. All groovy.)

I was feeling good, so that afternoon I thought it was about time to make use of the free time and big kitchen I now have and bust out some domestic habits. I mean, after all, the college my degree was housed in used to be called Home Economics. (That makes me laugh more than it probably should.)

You have to squint a bit, but the engraving is still there

I took my mom’s recipe for Eggplant Parmesan to the grocery store and stocked up. I also bought ingredients to make a sweet potato soup, but upon returning home I realized we don’t have a blender. I guess I better get on that.

Anyway, I got to work in the kitchen. I propped up my iPad and put on The Book of Mormon cast recording, and started frying my eggplant slices. This takes about 50% of the prep time and oh-my-gosh so much oil. After I finished that I started layering in the pan. I think next time I’ll cut the mozzarella slices ahead of time, because they came out uneven and I think I used too much cheese. Maybe. I put it in the oven and hoped for the best. I’d have to say, it turned out decently. Collin approved as well, which is really all I can hope for.

As we’re finally out of the moving stages of putting things together or lugging things upstairs, we really enjoyed the relaxation of this weekend. Also, the lack of rain at times. Saturday we spent the afternoon in Hudson, a cute town we had visited over the winter. It was amazing to be able to walk around there when it was 9 degrees! We stopped in at a literary book fair, which was smaller than expected, but I found a book I liked. We wandered around, enjoying the sun and eating some pizza from a Kosher pizza-falafel place.

Sunday started out on a good note as well. We were headed to a place near the Adirondacks to go hiking, but the day was kind of crappy with a sky full of haze and clouds. We made a pit stop in Saratoga Springs and walked around a bit in hopes of the sun coming out.

Even though no sun appeared, we went to the trail head anyway. Spraying ourselves with bug spray, or at least attempting to, we started on the hike. But like I said, the rain ruined this. Collin got bit by a mosquito and the bugs were swarming us, making the hike kind of miserable. We went about half way and gave up. It was disappointing, but we learned later that was just the wrong time to go – post rain and when all the bug babies hatch. Ew. I tried to stay positive though!

Post-hike showering was heavenly. We made dinner and started watching Spinal Tap – I’d never seen it and Collin doesn’t remember much from when he watched it long ago. We made it through a good portion, but were too wiped out from the long day and driving, so we didn’t finish it.

Monday started out positively for me even before I got any good news. I want to finally get back into working out, and I had already bought new running shoes (Nike Frees, I like how light they are). So I did an old cardio workout video I have at home and then set out for a very unambitious run of 2 miles. I made it about half a mile before getting very winded and a cramp. I turned around earlier and clocked in 1.2 miles total. Kind of sad, especially when you date a marathon runner.

Run = sad. But, I will have a 5 minute drive to work. Best commute ever.

Despite some linger pain in my foot, I still felt great after my run. As I got out of the shower, I saw I had a missed call and had a voice-mail on my phone. It looked like the same number from the company I interviewed with, but they had told me they would take 2 – 3 weeks to decide. But no, they really were calling to offer me the job! IN-SANE. After spending so many months unemployed in NYC, I just expected the same thing this time around. I have to say I’m pretty ecstatic to have employment on the horizon. I don’t officially start until mid-June though, so I will be able to enjoy my free time knowing I will have money coming in soon. Yay!

In celebration, I decided to get all domestic again. My mom had passed on this huge box of brownie mixes to us when we left on our road trip. I had made one batch that was good, but this time I wanted to make it with a twist.

I used to bags of the mix to make the brownies extra thick and then near the end of baking, I threw on a ton of marshmallows. I spent the baking time watching Justin Timberlake’s finale episode of SNL. That dude knows how to make fun of himself, I have to say. After I took the brownies out, I tried to spread the marshmallows. That did not work out so well. Also, attempting to cut the brownies proves to be a sticky and complicated situation, not appropriate for public consumption. But whatever, they’re delicious.

On a parting note, you should all watch this video of Daniel Radcliffe being interviewed to see if he’s a “real” New Yorker. This same MTV After Hours interviewer had the whole cast of Harry Potter doing American accents once, it was hilarious. Anyway, my lovely friend Mary alerted me to this video. Dan knows how to non-stalk-stalk like a pro! I would so be his friend. Watch it here. You’re welcome.