Sunday, June 17, 2012

Fantastic Weekend #1

Ok, finally getting around to blogging about the FANTASTIC weekend I had last week :)

This one had been in the plans for a while: my sister and her husband (still kinda weird to refer to him as that) came down for the weekend, and our good friends Heather and Doug came up from Norfolk to join on Saturday afternoon for a Lobster Fest.  The Lobster Fest wasn't just some random idea: our families have been going to Maine together each summer for literally as long as Katie and I have been alive, and we'd always have lobster while we were there.  It became something of a tradition, and as we all grew older and stopped going we really started to miss it, so now each summer we all gather together at somebody's house and have lobster.

But whether it was tradition or whether it was random, it was still a blast.  Heather is one of the funniest and most random people I know, and when she, my sister, and I get together it's always hilarious.  This time was no exception: besides the obligatory "bye bye lobster smoochie smoochie" picture, her approach to eating lobster is best described as "boisterous" :P

Anyway, we had a great time and a great afternoon, and after dinner we all made our way down to Bev's for icecream.  Just an all-around great time.

As fun as lobster was, though, the rest of the weekend was pretty freakin awesome too.  My sister (who has become a bit of a runner over the past year) found a small and short race that weekend in Richmond, and nagged and nagged and nagged until I finally signed us both up.

Now, you have to keep in mind that while I've definitely made some great fitness strides this year, I'm still nowhere near the place where I just go sign up for runs for the heck of it.  Plus Saturdays are when I sleep in, which I CAN do just for the heck of it.  So as I dragged myself out of bed at 6AM on Saturday morning, the biggest thing going through my head was whether my revenge would be swift and deep, or long and drawn-out.  But actually (and my sister is going to be insufferably smug about all this) it really wasn't all that bad.  I mean, I was sweaty, out of breath, and was lapped several times by people pushing strollers ... but I finished in 34 minutes, and ran for 25 of those 34 minutes.  That may sound small, but for me it's huge, and the sense of accomplishment and satisfaction that I got from it may just (and I stress may) convince me to do this more often.  Time will tell.  In the meantime, though, definitely keeping on the cardio schedule.

The other thing about the weekend was the experiment in veganism that it required.  Not for the lobster, obviously, but a good bit of time and mental energy was spent figuring out just what we were going to eat for the rest of the weekend.  I don't have anything against vegans, but I'm definitely not one and have no plans to become one, and I'm really not a fan of vegan food that pretends to be something else.  Vegan food that's designed to be vegan food can be quite good, but in my experience vegan food that tries to mimic something un-vegan usually fairs pretty badly.

So attending to that was an adventure, although all-in-all it wasn't too bad.  The vegan gyro that I tried at a Fan restaurant was actually pretty good, and the vegan lobster cakes (made with something called a lobster mushroom) I'll definitely be trying again.  So both those meals weren't too bad, and for the other meals, Brandon and I just drug her to places where she could get potatoes or something.

Anyway, like I said, it was just an all-around fantastic weekend with my sister and her posse :)  Best pics of the weekend are in the post, rest are on my facebook page.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Friday Evening Cat Blogging

So, at the risk of my sister disowning me, I'm going to blog about something else before blogging about the weekend I spent with her.

Ever since I started to put a cushion on my desk chair, it's been one of Lucy's favorite places to perch.  And this would be fine, except that when I want to use computer I have to move her, and you all know the penalties for moving a comfortable cat.


A few weeks ago, though, I had an epiphany!  It wasn't the chair she was interested in, it was the cushion!  So, if I wanted to sit down, I could simply move the cushion, cat and all, off the chair!  Voila!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Mondays, and what you make of Them

Oy.  Today was a case study in extremes ... lots of bad, but also lots of good that made up for the bad.

My Monday actually began on Sunday evening, when I had to choose between cleaning and laundry from the weekend and spending the evening at my favorite bar catching up on work.  Because my sister, her husband, our good friend Heather and her husband Doug were all visiting this weekend, I really had a LOT to do housework wise, and I knew it'd bother me if I let it go for a day.  (and I WILL blog about them being down this weekend, just not until after I vent)  On the other hand, I had a crap-ton of work to get done, and that would bother everyone if I didn't do it, so I opted for the bar route and did actually get a lot of work done.

Then my Monday began.

9:15PM - I simultaneously remember that a) I promised to be at the office at 6AM Monday morning to help work through some major process changes and b) that I promised to bring a pasta salad to the dept potluck that day, which I didn't make.

9:20PM - Leave Xtra's, go grocery shopping at Kroger for pasta salad ingredients.

9:45PM - Make greek-style orzo pasta salad, make kitchen even messier than what it was from the weekend.

10:30PM - Finally get to bed, with the house a wreck and very little in the manner of clean clothes for the next day.

2:00AM - Fitful sleep, not really all that restful.  Haunted by recurring dreams of sorting mail for Magneto's Mutant Brotherhood.

6:45AM - Wake up late the next morning about an hour later than I wanted to, completely missing my goal of getting to office at 6AM.  Fret about it.

7:00AM - Leave apartment determined to make the best of the morning, which entails stopping at Panera Bread to pick up breakfast for the team, plus forcing myself to the gym for 30 minutes of cardio before work.  To ensure I actually do go, I decide not to shower before leaving home.

7:20AM - Get to Panera and order bagels.  Seriously question whether not showering was a good idea.

7:35AM - Finally get to office about 2 hours later than I wanted.  Deliver breakfast and tell team they're doing a great job.  Actually add value by updating an Excel macro for them.  Take crock pot that was left over from prior week's agent potluck (I made pulled pork bbq for them)

7:50AM - Leave one office to go to gym at second office.  Realize that when I picked up the crockpot I got grease all over my white shirt.

8:00AM - Arrive at Target to buy new shirt.  Realize that I forgot my glasses at previous office.  Harumph rather loudly.  Continue to question my decision not to shower before leaving home.

8:20AM - Finally arrive at gym, determined to get in 30 minutes of cardio before the work day, then shower.  Realize that my team set up a 8:30 meeting to talk about new staffing needs.  Decide to wait in the car for 10 minutes and then take the meeting from there, and probably not get in my cardio like I hoped.

8:35AM - Meeting facilitator finally joins, saying that the meeting will be rescheduled for later in the day when everyone can make it.  Harumph again about just wasting 15 minutes.

8:40AM - Tell myself that, by God, I WILL have my 30 minutes of cardio before work.  And ... I DO!!  :)

9:45AM - After cardio and a much needed shower, finally get to my desk and start the day.

And actually, after that horrible start, the day did get much better.  I managed to steer a lot of the firedrills into more workable chunks of work, I had some good laughs with my coworkers, and managed to make a significant dent in my inbox.

After work was even better.  I got in another 50 minutes of cardio after work (I'm determined to get back on track for weight loss), I started my laundry, I cleaned the house, and I cooked some food out of the farm ingredients that were nearing the end of their shelf-life.  (More on those soon, too)

So really, not a bad Monday after all.  Right now I'm sipping a glass of moscati left over from the weekend and waiting for the whites to finish drying (my colors are already dried, folded, and put away), so I can plow through those and get to bed.  And I do want to go to bed ... about 15 minutes ago, in the middle of washing dishes, the day caught up with me and now the only word to describe how I'm feeling is exhausted.

So, with that, I'm going to go downstairs and get the whites from the dryer, and sign off for the night.  TTFN folks, weekend recap and food pictures will go up on Tuesday.

-Nik

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Randoms

Ok, time for some quick bloggy updates:

1) Weightt loss has plateaued lately, I think a combination of not quite as much exercising and not being quite as careful with food.  Trying to kick the exercising back up a notch, and have actually gotten myself to the gym BEFORE work twice in the past 2 weeks, which is more than the past 6 years combined.  Kinda pleased with myself on that.

2) I do love the weekly farm box that I get from Dominion, but it's definitely a chore to get through it all in any given week.  I mean, just what exactly does one do with 5 lbs of cabbage?  Tonight I had strawberries and steamed broccoli for dinner.  Yippee.

3) Major housework takes a long-ass time to get started.  My backyard deck needs to be completely rebuilt, and I started the process 6 weeks ago.  It's still several weeks away (and also a lot more expensive than I thought, blech).