You know you are in for a memorable evening when the waitress at the sushi restaurant requests that you move to a bigger table, because you have ordered more sushi than will fit on the table for two that you were originally seated at.
And then she adds, “Nobody has every ordered this much sushi before. We are going to have to serve it on a special platter.”
Aw, yeah. That’s us.
As per the usual with my new running schedule, my long run took me to the park this afternoon. I know that the South has a reputation for being full of people who are out of shape and lazy and hate to exercise, but every time I visit this park on my Sunday afternoon run, it is full of people of all shapes and sizes and ages frolicking with their kids, riding bikes, walking dogs, and generally being sickeningly wholesome and outdoorsy. So take that, popular misconceptions!
The other weekend, Brian and I took a trip to the museum park of the North Carolina Museum of Art. We also took the dog, and the camera!
There were some really interesting sculptures at the park, like this one:
And of course, this one:
It was only after we got home and looked at the pictures that I realized the Freudian implications behind the last two. Freud-larious!
A good time was had by all, but we probably should have thought to bring water.
The dog always knows when I’m feeling low. I was in my dark place the other night, feeling lousy about life and missing New York City. I spent the entire drive home in a cloud of gloom, and Brian instinctively knew to give me a wide berth when I arrived.
Charlie, on the other hand, padded over to me where I sat on the couch, put his front paws in my lap, and looked into my eyes. I hesitated, then put my arms around his neck and felt slightly comforted. Charlie always knows when I need a hug, I thought. It’s nice just sitting here in his warm, doggy glow–
“Charlie!” I said, pushing him away gently as he began to lick my face. “Easy, boy.” We sat in silence for a moment. My thoughts drifted back to the miserable day I’d had, and how I sometimes felt like I didn’t belong in North Carolina. What was I doing here any–
“Charlie!” Now his cold nose was sliming my face. He began licking my chin. His breath was unappealing. But, you know, he was trying. I grabbed his muzzle and pushed it away again. I wished he would sit still for a few minutes! I just wanted to sit in peace, hugging him close, while reveling in my misery–
“CHARLIE!” Once again he had wormed his head out of my grasp and was now licking me across the mouth. I shoved his face to the side and the enthusiastic tongue-bath was instantly transferred to my palm.
“Charlie, I just want to sit here and relax,” I said in frustration, then gave up and started to laugh as he went back to licking my face in earnest. His breath smelled like a rotten corn dog. The fog began to lift, my melancholy dissipated. Things didn’t seem so bad anymore, and I couldn’t remember why I’d been upset. Thank goodness for dogs, sometimes.
Thursday night I had my first Gentle Intermediate Yoga class at the Garner Adult Education center. It was gentle! It was intermediate! It was Yoga! I wore Brian’s pajama pants.
I signed up for the class two weeks ago after I picked up the ‘Garner Adult Education Winter Catalogue’ to throw it away, but leafed through it instead. I’d been looking around online for a weekly yoga class, and I had begun to notice that the going rate per class was about the same price as a movie ticket, except with less popcorn and previews, and more downward dog. After investigating a few yoga studio websites, on which stylized lotus flowers opened and flitted across the screen and tranquil music piped in through my speakers, I’d just about given up.
Saved! By the Garner Adult Education Winter Catalogue!
The last Adult Education class I took was Hula with Laulau when we lived in Honolulu. I believe it was about 8 weeks of classes for about $8. What a steal! As the culmination of our eight weeks of Adult Education Hula Lessons, we got to give a performance in the cafeteria of the local high school during a budget meeting. It was kind of like the bonbon factory conveyer belt scene in I Love Lucy, except we were wearing muumuus. Lau and I considered the experience to be a great success overall.
As yoga time approached on Thursday, however, I found myself feeling a little apprehensive. This time I was going all by myself, and I had no idea what to expect. What if ‘Gentle Intermediate’ yoga involved complicated, difficult moves that would make me fall down and get laughed at? While I have some basic experience with yoga, I am extremely inflexible and not what you’d call ‘graceful’ or ‘aware of my own limitations’. What if everyone else in the class was a lean blonde gazelle who would touch her forehead to her mat when greeting the teacher? What if everyone else’s mat was a nicer color than mine? WHAT IF MY UGLY FEET OFFENDED OTHERS?
I have noticed that the more challenging poses in yoga tend to have names like, ‘Honorable Warrior’, whereas the easier resting poses have more ignoble names. I believe this is to goad unwilling students into pushing themselves to do more difficult poses. I mean, when the instructor says, “Now, if you are ready for it, please go into ‘Powerful Leader Pose’. If you do not feel strong enough for that, just relax into ‘Lazy Cow Pose’,”-really, what are you supposed to do there?
In any event, as soon as I was in the room with ten other barefoot adults all shifting their weight awkwardly and listening to new age music, I relaxed. Sometimes it just takes a minute for that little ‘eh, who cares?’ switch in your brain to turn on-you know, the one that makes you realize that even if your pants split in the middle of class, or the teacher tells you to point your toes and you turn red, it doesn’t matter. I once heard the saying, ‘Your most embarrassing moment is merely someone else’s temporary amusement’. It’s a phrase that’s given me great comfort through the years.
I’ve been home sick these last two days. Like, sick-sick. I don’t get sick a lot, and when I’m not sick I almost envy the sick, because they don’t have to go to work and they get to drink juice and watch tv all day. What I forget to keep in mind is that being sick, after the initially kind of enjoyably self-pitying, ‘Oh, I am so sick, woe is me,’ moment of being sick, pretty much sucks.
Brian had whatever this is before I did (thanks, Brian!) but he managed to overcome it without a visit to the doctor. When I asked him how he did it, he said, “Lots of liquids, and lots of rest…and no candy.” He knows me too well.
Speaking of candy, we just missed the Raleigh Donut Run! Where you eat a dozen krispy kreme donuts and then run 6k! Damn it! Why do all the fun, donut-related activities seem to pass me by? I did enjoy that Raleigh’s newspaper, The News & Observer, filed their story about the donut run under “Food & Fitness” when really, it belonged under neither category.
I had almost forgotten this, until I did it yesterday.
I whine a lot about the weather here in NC (it’s like a toothless northern winter, without the glory or the snow-days) etc etc, but it’s pretty great being able to go for a run in shorts in February.
It was a cool 55 degrees out that kind of felt like Fall, what with all the crunchy dead leaves and the bleak white sky, and I was reminded of the four years I served on the Cross Country team at Bard. Once again I experienced the strange tightness I get in my shoulders when I am about halfway through an outdoor run, coupled with rubbery legs and a feeling of joy and despair having it out in the pit of my stomach. Also, possibly in response to the sharpness of the air, my mouth waters, as if I am running after a plate of Oreos. Anyone else ever have that happen?
Ahh, running outdoors. There is nothing like it. It returns me to my masochistic roots.
I was disappointed that I wouldn’t be able to watch the Inauguration today because I had to work. My plan was to go to the gym around noon so that I could at least watch it on the crappy tvs at the gym (which are always tuned to the Fox network, blech) while I ran on the treadmill or something.
And then! Lo and behold! Nature dropped 4 inches and counting of snow on Raleigh! If this were Boston, I’d be at work right now. But because it’s the beautiful beautiful south, everything is closed down today. My car sits nestled in the snow outside the apartment, and Brian and I sit nestled on the couch, drinking coffee and watching Barack Obama’s historic inauguration. I’m so thankful for days like this one. Somehow, snow days always manage to stretch on forever.
I’m cleaning the house, because I’m hosting my family for Christmas. This is thrilling, and terrifying, like a roller-coaster ride in the dark. With your family.
This weekend I washed the dog, washed the car, washed the couch cover, washed about eight loads of laundry, decorated the tree, made spritz cookie dough, tidied the guest bedroom, swept the floors, and had a minor meltdown.
I knew I needed to slow down a bit this evening, when I went to get a bowl off the top of the highest cabinet in the kitchen. I needed to jump to reach the bowl, and halfway in the air I realized that the bowl likely had two smaller bowls nesting in it that I couldn’t see. I ignored this thought and swiped at the bowl to knock it down . And all three bowls sailed off the shelf and hit me in the head on the way down. I now have quite an egg on my forehead. It’s good to have unexplainable bruises on your face when your family comes to visit you and your boyfriend.
Wish me luck, it’s going to be a Christmas to remember!
Spring 1998: Molly is participating in a student-exchange program, and she is spending three weeks in Narita, Japan with a host family. On her first night in Japan, she finds herself in the bathroom trying to figure out how to flush the toilet. It is an intimidating-looking instrument, with a control panel filled with buttons and flashing lights; all of the labels are in Japanese. Uncertainly, Molly presses a couple of buttons on the control panel and hopes for the best. Suddenly, a tiny white rod appears, extending from the underside of the rim on the back of the toilet bowl. Molly leans in to investigate this device. A jet of water shoots out of a spigot in the rod and hits her point-blank in the face. Spluttering, she cups her hand over the stream and frantically presses more buttons until it stops and the tube retracts.
After drying her face, Molly happens to notice that on the side of the toilet is a normal metal handle for manual flushing.
Winter, 2008: Molly is scraping the ice off of her car windshield on a chilly morning in North Carolina. Realizing that a spray of windshield-wiper fluid might make the job a little easier, she opens the driver’s side door of the car and, still standing beside the car, pushes the lever behind the steering wheel which releases a jet of said fluid, which hits her point blank in the face. Fortunately, Molly is wearing glasses at the time, the lenses of which are now extremely water-resistant.
I can’t wait to see what I manage to spray myself in the face with in 2018. What scares me is that the liquids in question appear to be growing increasingly more toxic with each event. This does not look promising. I should probably invest in Face Insurance. After all, my looks are all I have!