Friday, November 26, 2010

Cheater, cheater.

I have a confession to make: I am cheating on my blog.

Working for a hospital and diving into healthy living blogs as fostered a desire to write my own healthy-living inspired blog. So several months ago, I did. I still posted sporadically here, but Something Over Coffee was no longer the brand that would represent what I was wanting to say. I'm still working out the kinks and still getting my act together to make my new blog a.) something worth reading and b.) something I can use for leverage at work (I want to blog for the Hospital eventually), but it's a work in progress.

I promise I'll still come back to Something Over Coffee -- I think this would be a great place to write about non-wellness related topics -- like hobbies and craft ideas and books I'm reading and goals I'm setting that aren't related to health.

But if you're interested, I can also be found at WellPurposed.

Hope to see you on both sides of the blogosphere. :)

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Camping.

Alex is taking me camping! I have NO IDEA how that's going to work.
What do I bring?
What do I DO???
HOW DO I CAMP!?!

I'm the daughter of a very indoorsy kind of gal - my mom's idea of 'roughing it' is a hotel lacking room service.

Seriously.

It's a very long, convoluted story about how things this week have gone down, but the most recent "Um, wait . . . what?" moment was just a few moments ago when Alex asked if he could take me camping this weekend.

Uh, of course he can. But I'm sure you can imagine the way my must-plan-everything-in-detail head is just spinning away . . . LOL.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

One year.

One year ago today, I went on a date (sushi dinner and a movie - Julie & Julia) with my best friend, Alex.

The rest, as they say, is history -- the kind that is still being written. Love that boy so much.

See my pretty anniversary flowers? They're gorgeous - peach/coral roses, daisies (my favorite!) and forget-me-nots (appropriate, right?).

Beautiful.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

How to Recover

I'm getting better at being sick. I'm getting better at listening to my body, so I'm getting better at getting better . . . I think.

Wednesday morning I woke up with that telltale tickle-scratch in the back of my throat. Hoping beyond hope I had just slept with my mouth open, I went to work. The remainder of the day, I felt myself get sicker and sicker until I went home with full blown congestion, coughing and just general yuckiness.

Since running and my 30 Day Shred Challenge were both out of the question, I settled for some NyQuil and going to bed early. Thursday I was a little bit worse, and my voice reflected it. Normally my voice is somewhat higher, lighter and when I'm really happy or enthusiastic, can make me sound a bit like a 12 year old. On Thursday, I was starting to sound a bit huskier, raspier and generally sicker-sounding. Not pretty.

Yesterday, it was reeeeally yucky. I'd been medicating with some NyQuil/DayQuil type stuff, but in all honesty, sometimes I really don't like taking that stuff. I do, however, see it's necessity in times like these though, as the cold has settled into my chest. Great.

The best remedy to feeling lousy is rest and fluids, right? Well, that's the current plan.

So today, after I took my phone to get fixed (another story for later), I stopped by Target and picked up orange juice, cream of broccoli soup, some (expectorant) cough syrup, nasal strips, and some sugar free Werther's Originals to suck on (because I HATE cough drops). Oh, and a $6.50 copy of Free Willy on DVD. (Remember this movie?! It was a favorite of mine as a kid. So good!)

I've been camping on the couch watching a House MD marathon and taking in LOTS of fluids. I've also sipped a couple of hot toddies . . . Oh my am I getting good at that.

Robyn's Hot Toddy Recipe:
1 cup of tea (I use a spearmint & peppermint blend tea)
1 Tbsp honey
1 lemon slice
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 oz whiskey

I put the tea bag, lemon, honey and cinnamon in a cup and fill with about 6-7 oz of boiling water. When it's steeped and cooled a bit, I remove the teabag and pour in the whiskey. It doesn't quite conk me out the way I'd been told they do, but I think it's still relaxing and therapeutic in its own way. Honey is a natural cough suppressant, and the tea and whiskey will be warm and sedative.

So here I am . . . sucking down soup, juice, water and a hot toddy here and there. Hopefully I'll be up and running (figuratively and literally) very soon - for now, I'm taking it easy and taking in lots of fluids.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Motivation

Sometimes, you gotta fake it 'till you make it.

Some days, that's exactly how I feel about running. Even though I've logged many miles in the last two years, I still don't know if I feel like a runner. I am, I know I am, but there are days when I don't feel it.

I hope this passes.

In the mean time, I'm runnin' hard, trainin' hard and smiling through it all. After all, attitude is everything and pretty soon the mood will follow suit.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Working on it

A list of things I'm working on . . . because honesty is the best policy.

*Patience
Learning to be more patient with Alex, with my coworkers, and with myself. I often expect quick turnaround from Alex with regard to text messages and phone calls and it can be frustrating if he doesn't return them in that time frame. It's a little much to expect of the poor, technologically-independent boy. Learning to be patient with my coworkers for their little quirks and 'isms' will definitely help me keep my blood pressure down when things are already chaotic and there are more hoops to jump through. Learning to be patient with myself will help me not feel so frustrated and want to give up when I'm trying to run more, lose weight, climb more, etc. It will help me see that I'm still successful even if it's taking a little longer to reach my ultimate goal.

*Productivity
I'm really trying to contribute more to my office than just the bare minimum. Some days it is really hard to remain motivated, but I'm working on that too.

*Having more fun
I generally consider myself to be a funloving person. Sometimes I just need to make that happen in more tangible ways. Climbing is fun, going out for pie is fun, long runs are fun (even if I'm not at the level I once was -- I'll get there!), trails are fun, being outdoors is fun, cooking is fun, getting a beer with friends is fun, video chatting with Alex is fun . . .

Just a short list for now, but a detailed one. Maybe some more later . . . Er, maybe some more (concise) posts later.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Patience is a virtue.

I am not a patient person. I just am not.

I'm the girl in the movie theatre thinking about her to-do list and having a hard time actually enjoying the flick. I'm the one who will check Wikipedia for movie endings so if at any point, I decide there's something better to do than sit and watch a movie, I can leave and feel satisfied in my choice to not stick it out.

I'm the girl who gives up so many projects because I don't have the patience and the resilience to see it through.

I jumped into bed tonight ready to catch up on some magazine reading. I grabbed my latest issue of "Runner's World," but also picked up "Linchpin" from the floor, another magazine and a book by Jeff Galloway. Seriously? I honestly think I'll make it through all of that? Perhaps this is why so many of my books remain unread for so long - I give up before I get going.

I had a hard time tonight on the phone with Alex. He's in Alaska with his family on vacation and I am wishing I could be with him, but I know there are some boundaries to respect and it's not really the time for family-type vacations yet. Or maybe it is . . . I don't really know, but the timing of the trip and such didn't lend itself to me tagging along. And that's when all the thoughts of the "we need to talk" variety start brewing - I start feeling excluded, like he bottles things up, that I'm not really a part of his life . . . blahblahblah.

I could (and should) be looking into a mirror as I'm saying that. It would be the proverbial pot calling the kettle black. I want to trust that Alex will be a leader in the relationship, though I still feel like I'm very Fresno-cultured in the sense that I'm expecting things to move quickly. Our one-year anniversary is coming up next month and it was one year ago this weekend (I visited him for Fourth of July last year) that we both started to see that there were some feelings for each other. In my last relationship, marriage was brought into the discussion EARLY. Partly, I think, because in Fresno (a very conservative area of California) it's not uncommon to see people getting married before they graduate college. Partly, I think, because we were young and in love and when you're young and in love, it's hard not to believe in the potential and beauty of your relationship.

So all of this nonsense, this tizzy is spinning in my head and I'm feeling so anxious, so discontent, so ready to call Alex back and unload on him about "Why aren't we making longterm plans yet?" and "When will we actually go camping like we've been saying we're wanting to do for so long now?" and "Are you actually GOING to teach me how to ski?!"

It's all a bit much.

I calm myself long enough to consciously choose to demonstrate love to him and to wait for an appropriate time to start talking about the future. I recognize that things don't have to move at a lightning fast pace, that it's okay if we're not married in a year . . . it's okay if we're not married in five. Toto, we're not in Fresno anymore. Things will happen as they're meant to, we'll go camping eventually and gosh darnit, I WILL get the boy to teach me how to ski. (Namely because I think he'll really get a kick out of me strapped to 2x4's and the lack of grace with which I'll accomplish this. And man, do I love to hear him laugh.)

As my subconscious mea culpa, I sent him a text telling him that I love him -- in all caps, like I'm in 4th grade. "I LOVE YOU ALEX D_____!"

Not more than a few seconds go by and my phone chirps -- "I love you too, Robyn H___. You are by far the best part of me."

And now I'm all choked up from the sweetness of it and so incredibly grateful to be with such a wonderful guy who puts up with my crazy, calms my nerves, stands beside me and loves me so much . . . even if he doesn't realize he does all of that and more.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Me feeling hot, hot, hot!

As the temperature creeps into the high 90's, I'm immediately understanding of my body's inclination to shed a little weight in the summer. Having spent a few years in Fresno where the temperatures are decidedly oppressive in the summer, heat makes me feel so lethargic, so disinclined to eating . . . ("How hot is Fresno?" you ask. Well, on May 17, 2008, when I graduated college it was 107 degrees outside. Look at the date -- it's mid-May. Summer had barely started.)

Today, I sat down for about an hour with some exciting (to me) cookbooks -- Vegan on the Cheap, Veganomicon, and The 30-Minute Vegan. I went over to Whole Foods and picked up a LOT of produce after some menu-planning. I'm so excited, though!

I'm becoming quite the foodie, I think. I made my own vegetable stock this afternoon -- with tomatoes, parsnips, carrots, celery, onion, garlic and leeks. I opted to make my own because I rarely need very much vegetable stock and buying a carton of it means I should probably commit to using the whole thing within its "best for 7 days after opening" timeline. So now the stock is cooling and after that, I will figure out some way to freeze it.

stock, simmering
Am also enjoying a glass of my new favorite wine. Yum! :)

Opala - vinho verde
I spent an hour in the kitchen -- prepping the veggies for the stock and washing and cutting vegetables for the rest of the week. I'm so looking forward to some tasty dinners this week. I think the best part of summer is the freshness of food. I hate things that are too heavy and tend to have to force myself to eat things like bread and pasta.

So I will be making live cilantro-cucumber soup (served cold), Greek salad w/ tofeta (tofu feta), and French lentil chili this week. I am elated.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

When it all comes down . . .

Somedays, things just suck. It's hard. Life stinks and work makes you crazy.

And sometimes, that's not your fault. (Sometimes it is, but for the sake of argument, sometimes it's not.)

And on those sometimes, it is important to become even more aware of your place, acknowledge your own responsibility, apologize if necessary (but don't apologize if it's not), and move forward.

I'm having one of those "somedays," it would seem. Here's to a happier, less-stressed, more-centered tomorrow.

Monday, June 21, 2010

A list of loves

- Mad Men . . . Almost finished with season three, so I'll be completely caught up for season four starting next month

- Nail polish . . . Haven't worn it in so long, my fingers look so new and novel - like I never noticed them before. Isn't that funny? A little red polish and boom! I'm suddenly acutely aware of my hands.

- Clean laundry . . . I love it. Always. Clean Sheet Day is the best.

- Running . . . It's been so long since I've been really interested in this, but I'm falling in love with the sport all over again. I'm so looking forward to my race in October.

- Working out . . . I've found all sorts of free time now that I'm not campaigning. Time for hitting the gym, though I'm not climbing as much as I could or should. It's something to work on, but in the mean time, I've got plenty on my plate with running and doing more yoga. I'm even starting to like the weights.

- My new trail shoes . . . Since I'll be running a trail marathon in October, it seemed only fitting that I should train on trails, not just roads. I bought some Mizuno Waves and I'm soooooooooooo excited to break them in!!! Probably Tuesday . . . Have a West Wing marathon tomorrow night.

- Books . . . I need to read more. Lately, I've been a bit spend-happy in the bookstores. Nothing too extravagant, but the extra $30 could have been spent a little better. I've been buying cookbooks. Vegan cookbooks. I'm not a vegan, don't expect to be, but I do prefer to eat vegan food when I can. Need to actually COOK the food I lovingly look at in the books, though . . .

- Linchpin, by Seth Godin . . . A personal development book I picked up. I'm really looking forward to using it to help me create a better niche for myself at work. The premise of the book is that it helps inspire you to make yourself invaluable to your organization, no matter your rank. I do well for myself, I love my job and I certainly feel as if they appreciate me, but I know I won't be in this position forever and I would like to leave big shoes to fill should I ever leave. Is that too lofty a goal? I think it's challenging . . . :)

Saturday, June 12, 2010

It is so good.

Sometimes, life is so good, it almost hurts.

I slept in today and spent the morning on the couch, drinking tea and flipping back and forth between MSNBC and CNN, catching up on the current events I have so sorely been neglecting.

I showered, got dressed and hit up Santana Row, one of my favorite places to shop in San Jose -- it is so nice to sit in the outdoor cafe areas and listen to live music (flamenco guitar, anyone?). Indeed, it's a beautiful spot for a warm summer day where I sat with my iced Passion Tea and read.

I hit up Lululemon Athletica and found a new yoga mat and a DVD of yoga designed for folks with tight hips (which I totally have).

I drove to my gym, where I ran, biked and climbed for about an hour (total - not each! I'm not THAT fit . . . yet.) ;) A quick shower at the gym and I was off . . . to Whole Foods! The store is almost a religious experience for me . . . or at least, the produce aisle certainly is.

After picking up some goodies, I found myself on my way back to my apartment, where I cooked up some mustard lemon butter cauliflower and made a salad of fresh heirloom tomatoes, shredded basil and fresh mozzarella. I ate in the cool, evening air on my balcony.

Dessert was plain Greek yogurt with fresh raspberries, some rolled oats and a drizzle of honey. Also had me a glass of Riesling - delightful!

And now I'm drinking in the night air (okay . . . and some more Riesling!) and am so blissful . . . so relaxed . . . so THANKFUL for this. Sometimes life is so good, it almost hurts.

What are you thankful for today?

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Slacker, slacker, slacker!

I am such a bad blogger . . . Well, lately I have been. I've just been so busy . . . So frickin' busy. Work seems to be picking up lately -- I find myself leaving in the evening and realizing that I feel like I've just arrived. That's a good feeling, no doubt, but the campaign has certainly taken up a lot of my energy.

Alas, there will be no more campaigning, though. Jim Cogan came in third place, which means he didn't even make the run-off to possibly get elected in November. We felt pretty blindsided -- the entire campaign, we had been crunching numbers that supported the thought that Jim would likely end up with 23% of the vote for the district, which would almost guarantee him a space in the run-off. On election night, we watched precinct numbers coming in, only to see that after 65 precincts were accounted for, Jim only had 13% of the vote.

That doesn't seem like a whole lot, but given that there were six candidates, it's pretty good. And he did come in third, which isn't bad . . . except it doesn't qualify him for the run-off. Majorly disappointing. I don't doubt that the volunteers were circling the correct spaces, but with limited funding and an apathetic district (less than 12,000 voted in a district of 46,601 registered), it feels like such a huge letdown.

Here are my tips on how to be a good voter:
1. Register -- seems simple, but seriously, you'd be surprised at how many people don't care. If you don't care, don't register and at least be honest about the fact that you don't really care.
2. Read -- read everything. It makes you more informed, it helps make the decision easier. Read the good stuff, read the not-so-good stuff. Every candidate has pro's and con's -- don't assume your guy is flawless.
3. Vote -- again with something seemingly simple, this is a huge deal. I get frustrated hearing how disappointed people are with their leadership, but they don't actively engage in the process. Did you vote for your council member? No? Then stop complaining about the roads and vote for a guy who will take care of that.
It became pretty clear on election night just how apathetic our district is -- I doubt very seriously that all of those people who said they would vote for Jim did, in fact, vote for him. If they had, he would have done much better.
4. Stay informed -- it can be hard to do all of the necessary research for voting, but it's so much easier to stay informed if you make a point to listen to at least a little bit of news every day.
5. Donate -- you don't have to send big bucks to a political campaign, but even a $25 donation makes a difference. It will go toward mailer supplies or at least, for a pizza or some water bottles to keep the volunteers fueled and hydrated while they're making (literally) hundreds of phone calls and knocking on thousands of doors.


I could go on and on and there are probably a bunch of things to write about being a good voter, but those are just my general, hopefully-helpful tips.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Sometimes

Just sometimes . . .

I feel like I'm too willing to help, like I'm especially eager-to-please or that I come across as being a little too available.

This gets me in trouble in the sense that I take on more than I probably should. I've always suffered from bittenoffmorethanIcanchewitis. It's a tragic, chronic condition I'm afraid.

So I'm practicing the art of saying, "No."

It seems so . . . revolutionary. It's a simple word, but man if it doesn't pack a punch sometimes . . . Of course, I am well aware that in certain environments (e.g. work), "No" might not be the best answer to give and generally it's advisable to say "Of course I can help" or "I'd love to lend a hand" or "Yes, I'll show you where the pencils are (again)" as many times as necessary, so my "No" policy will be a bit more lax there.

But my weekends? They are mine. I get to decide how much of my time anyone else gets. If there's one thing squeezing in gym workouts and as much sleep as I can has taught me in the last several weeks (okay, months), it's that it's okay to put myself first sometimes.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

200th Post!

This is my 200th post and I'm happy to say, that the meeting with Alex went very well. I don't mean to sound trite, but it really did.

I left San Jose around 7 on Sunday morning, stopping for coffee before I hit the road, of course. After a couple of hours driving (I must have been serious -- I made the drive in just under two hours when it normally takes about 2:45), I hit Borders, where I would be meeting Alex.

My stomach was practicing its acrobatic routine, I couldn't stop fidgeting. On the ride up to Elk Grove, I'd thought things through and decided on what I wanted to say. Of course, seeing him . . . all those things that were articulate, well-put and sounded good flew right out of my brain.

We sat in Borders and chitchatted for a bit. I stammered and could barely hold eye contact with him -- so nervous! -- as I told him about what I'd been thinking, feeling and experiencing leading up to our big conversation. I apologized for hurting him. I told him that I was wrong for ending things.

I told him about how and why I was feeling like a hypocrite.

I didn't cry, I didn't beg, I just calmly explained that I knew he had no reason to trust me here, but if he was willing to try again, I was willing to try to be a better girlfriend. I told him, that most importantly, I didn't want him to think I came to meet him with an agenda (even though I kinda did). I told him that I understood that he was hurt and that I wasn't in a position to really ask much of anything, but if he wanted to take some time to think about things, that was okay with me.

"I need to know that you are 100% sure," he said. "Because I can't go through that again."

My heart ached hearing the pain in his voice, but I nodded and told him that I was sure.

"I wouldn't have asked to meet you if I really wasn't sure."

He nodded and we got quiet for a few minutes. We were walking around at this point and the conversation turned away from the serious stuff. Some more conversation, joking and just talking -- partly because that's what's natural for us, but I'm sure on some level it was to avoid the elephant in the room.

Finally, we circled back into Borders and perused the literature section. As I stared at Lewis Carroll and Vladimir Nabokov (yeah, that's a spectrum alright), he said, "Okay . . . I don't want to wait. I don't want to sit here and pretend like I'm thinking about it."

My nervous, worrywort self was surprisingly at peace -- looking at him, looking into his eyes, I could tell -- he forgave me, he understood.

"I wouldn't have come here if I didn't think we could work this out," he said.

He grabbed my hand and smiled. I smiled back. And then he leaned in and kissed me. And that feeling? The one I get when he kisses me and I can feel it in the floor?

Yeah, that was still there. :)

(My apologies for such a late update -- this week has been a whirlwind, to say the least.)

Other happy reportings . . .
- Candidate Jim is doing well, I think. The campaign is in full swing as we're getting to crunch time -- election is June 8.
- Our department's vice president paid me a compliment today -- it was simple, but it made my day
- I've been writing!! In the last few weeks, I've written a few press releases and there is talk of more writing. Initially, this was incredibly daunting, but I'm really enjoying it
- The fancy dinner went well . . . can't remember if I posted about that, but my Congressman thinks I'm cool. Awesome. :)

Friday, May 14, 2010

Meet me in Elk Grove.

Alex and I are meeting in Elk Grove to talk on Sunday. Poetically enough, it's the halfway point between our respective places. We've been talking a bit this week and so far it's been good. I've hinted at how I've been feeling and we've both said we were missing each other. It's been good to talk to him.

I'm really hoping things go well on Sunday. I have a lot to say, a lot to explain, and a lot to ask for. I don't know what to expect, but I'm trusting that all things will work out as they should.

I mean, that's the only thing I can hope for, right? I'm trying to keep a more Zen mindframe about this -- I'm a compulsive, stresses-too-easily worry wort who fixates and obsesses over 'the unknown factor.' Right here, the X factor is how the conversation will go, what happens next, what is our relationship going to look like in 72 hours (friends? best friends? boyfriend/girlfriend? all of the above?)

And yet, I'm so surprisingly at peace with the game plan now. Probably more at peace than I have been in two weeks. That's saying something.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Speak.

Alex and I talked briefly last night, long enough to exchange the "Hi. How are you?"s, "I'm doing pretty well"s, and agree to talk at a later time. Before midnight, he sent me a text saying, "I haven't been fine. I miss you. I hope to talk to you tomorrow."

Ouch. I replied that I missed him too. He has class tonight and I'm hoping he'll call me afterwards . . . and trying to decide if I'll call him if he doesn't.

Going for a run now . . . just to clear my head. And because I've been eating a ton of junk lately. (Not mood-influenced, more busy-schedule-influenced.)

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Sooner still.

I can't be at peace. I teeter totter from "I'm okay with this" to "I need to talk to him." I know this time and space is supposed to be good, but a dear friend reminded me that there aren't rules for this thing.

I feel like I would leave in a heartbeat to drive the (almost) 5 hours just to stand on his lawn with a boombox over my head. It's THAT serious.

I feel like a moron, a hypocrite and a horrible person for having hurt him. I wonder if he'll even forgive me, though. :(

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Something's missing.

I can't shake the overwhelming feeling that I might have made the biggest mistake of my life.

I feel like I have lost my best friend. I feel lost. I know it's only been a few days, but I'm praying for some clarity.

I miss him so much and without being able to even talk to him, something is so clearly missing. I question my own reasons for ending things -- I can't believe I ever dared think I was anything less than happy with him. I feel like a hypocrite for expecting some amazing communication from him, but not even giving that in return.

I am trying to believe that this is just my initial, knee-jerk response to the break up, but something deep down is missing and I would give up so much to make it come back.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Over.

Alex and I broke up tonight.

It's been weighing on my heart lately that we weren't really moving in the same direction, that we weren't growing as a couple. I felt like that was just my own doubt slipping in, my own negative chatter in my head. But the longer and harder I looked at things, the more apparent that it became that it was completely true.

And that hurts. The weight of that truth is so oppressively painful. The decision to end things now, while we both still have a chance at walking away more intact than if we broke up later down the road, was so hard. So, so hard. And part of me feels like I have given up.

I'm still questioning whether I made the right decision, even though I know deep down that it couldn't have really worked -- that there were very real factors working against us that were beyond the 'long distance' element, and that they were things that, try as we might, couldn't be helped.

I spent 3 1/2 years in a relationship before this that ended (for me) so seamlessly, painlessly -- but only because we had been falling apart for so long, had been in a bad place for months. Alex did nothing wrong, things were fine, but I still haven't been happy with 'us' for a long time and this still feels like such a shock.

I didn't think we'd split up today, it wasn't on my radar. It just kind of happened. And as painful as it is now, I still feel like this is the calm before the storm.

Friday, April 30, 2010

It takes my pain away.


This public service announcement has been brought to you by Aleve - all day strong, all day long.

My moment of silliness aside, I am a big believer in Aleve as a pain reliever. For some reason, I just don't feel like my body responds well to ibuprofen (Advil), but acetaminophen (Tylenol) and naproxen (Aleve) do a body good, in my book.

The Big Sur Marathon Relay was this past Sunday and my shin has been angry with me since. The first few days, though, I didn't really notice much since it was my hip flexor that really had me concerned. But since that's been appropriately stretched out, healed and whatnot, my shin now thinks it can be the boss of me.

I have lovely new Asics running shoes which I don't get to break in this week . . . until my shin feels better. :( I'm grumpy about this, because of course, I tried on and bought these shoes when it was just my hip flexor bugging me . . . so I haven't run in them at all.

My plan is to be cycling this week, maybe take a spin class or something. I also want to be climbing again -- it's been way too long. But until my shin feels better, no running for me.

Lame.

Now where's my Aleve?

Thursday, April 29, 2010

All this glitz and glamour . . .

Being part of a political campaign - even on a smaller scale like city council - is pretty interesting . . . There are always doors to knock on, phone numbers to call, volunteers to recruit and flyers to pass out. There is also a lot of schmoozing to be doing.

I've been invited to attend the Santa Clara County Democratic Party's 20th Annual Jefferson-Jackson Dinner! It will be held at a fancy hotel in San Jose and I'll be wearing formal attire.

I'm really, really excited. I was invited as a thank you for all of my work with the campaign, which makes me feel pretty honored -- I'm the only volunteer going, I think.

Laura and I have plans to do some serious shopping this weekend -- sadly my beautiful black Jessica McClintock dress doesn't fit. :( Then again, the last time I wore it was high school . . .

Cross your fingers that I find something lovely that isn't too expensive. ;o)

Friday, April 23, 2010

Buzz, buzz, buzz

I'm a buzzing, busy bee lately . . . The SJ City Council campaign is really starting to go well and I'm enjoying the learning process. For some reason, I have always worked well with men between the ages of 55 and 80 -- they think I'm Gidget or something.

Greeting people coming in, I flashed a big smile and gave a friendly, 'Hello!' to a gentleman and his wife that passed me. The man made eye contact and said, "Thank you! Smiles are contagious and you did a good job."

Totally made my night.

Our candidate
did really well -- he started off a bit nervous with his introduction, I think, but in the actual Q&A segment, he rocked it. His name recognition is picking up in District 9 and I hope to see him win in June.

Let's go, Jim! :oD

Monday, April 19, 2010

"I need coffee . . . STAT!"

There are some perks to working for a hospital - one is the rate at which you increase your medical lingo. I have gone from using vague, prosaic words to describe medical maladies to actually know what things like "hypertrophic cardiomyopathy," or "hematoma," or "Moyamoya syndrome" are.

My current favorite jargon choice is "stat." I mean, really . . . does it get any simpler?

After a lazy day yesterday, I don't think I was quite ready to settle in for the night when I went to bed around midnight. I try to be in bed, preferably asleep by 11:00-11:30. That allows me a comfortable amount of sleep so I'm not super tired the next day. Only last night, I guess my body and brain thought, "Hmmm, well, she hasn't done much at all today, so we need to make sure she's productive . . . now." It seemed to take hours to fall asleep. I was still having issues long after 1:00, I'd wager.

Drinking Red Bull on the way in to work this morning and all I can do is wish I could take coffee intravenously (oh yeah, that's a hospital word, baby). ;o) I really wouldn't even mind if it stopped my heart at this point . . . Something tells me that would wake me up for sure.

A lazy close to the weekend

I vegged for most of today. I laid in bed reading my new favorite blog, I lounged on the couch watching Gilmore Girls, I ran a couple of errands . . . but only after I half-heartedly attempted a shower and threw on some loungey, slouchy clothes.

I am getting my thyroid checked soon, I think. The weekends hit me so much harder than I think they should. Saturday was busy with some canvassing, a trip into the city (San Francisco -- when you live in the bay area, regardless of your actual address, "the city" is ALWAYS San Francisco), and then some help with the campaign. It doesn't sound like it should have been as exhausting as it felt. :o/

Spending a lot of time with this campaign means I talk to a lot of guys pretty regularly and I usually end up working with the campaign manager (also a guy). It's all completely fine and there's nothing wrong, but it really makes me miss Alex. We haven't seen each other in a while and the communication has been faltering a bit lately. I'm hoping he and I can reconnect when he's here this coming weekend for my race (running 5 miles as part of a marathon relay) -- this long-distance thing seems to get harder. :o(

I cooked a lot tonight -- red lentil dal, cauliflower with mustard lemon butter sauce, and Brussels sprouts (I cook them in a pan with a drizzle of olive oil, minced garlic and red chili pepper flakes - YUM!). Yum, yum, yum. I love cooking. It is surprisingly therapeutic to me. :o) Cooking such healthy food is a joy, too. Really, I take such pleasure in it.

So with all of the busyness, the tireness and the "eh"-ness of life lately, I'm finding a surprising comfort in cooking something that nourishes me to take on life with more strength and vigor.

Monday, April 12, 2010

I'm alive! I swear!



It's hard to believe it's been so long since I've posted anything . . . I guess I just haven't been inspired to blog lately?

I won't lie, I have been itching to start writing a wellness blog on Wordpress for some time now, but that's kind of a pet project anyway. I can explain more later -- and I promise, I'm not cheating on Blogger.

These last few weeks have been interesting. Not too much happening, but still busy, busy, busy . . . Wow. Last week, I went to a fundraiser for the campaign I'm helping with, which was actually a lot of fun. It turned into a big networking project because I was meeting so many people and swapping many a business card. Awesome. :)

After the fundraiser, one of the other volunteers from the campaign was playing a gig with his band in Los Gatos, so a bunch of us trekked over and hung out at a neat bar called Mountain Charley's which is upstairs above some other shops and had a really neat feel to it. The band was awesome and of course, it was nice to kick back, have a few drinks and get my boogie on with some cool people.

Friday night, Annie came into town and we hit a pub in Sunnyvale. What were we thinking? Sunnyvale is cool, but not as cool as downtown San Jose. Not by a longshot (apologies to any Sunnyvale readers who think their downtown is a big freakin' deal -- I don't share that opinion but maybe someday I will). We danced with a Samuel L. Jackson look-alike who told us we smelled good (seriously) and had a drink or so.

Saturday, Annie and I looked at an apartment (for her, I'm not moving for a LONG time) and went to the beach in Santa Cruz where we learned how to build a bonfire without the assistance of lighter fluid. Annie gets the credit for the building, I get the credit for the moral support and wood-scrounging. We burned old letters from ex-boyfriends. It seemed kind of poetic . . . sort of.

Well, it did until I woke up the next morning and logged into Facebook to find out that the ex whose letters I read and skimmed one last time before tossing into a fire is now engaged. That's right. My fine, how-do-you-do yesterday morning was seeing "Jake R____ is engaged to Leanne H_____." Oh . . . holy . . . crap.

My heart may have actually stopped. It was like a bomb that kept exploding. Needless to say, we opted not to stay indoors and chose to grab coffee and take a long drive. A few friends called to check in on me -- most likely to verify that I hadn't thrown myself off my balcony, which was very much appreciated.

I guess, more than anything, I'm just stunned . . . My ex that I had at one point planned on marrying, the one that I split with less than a year ago, has asked someone else to marry him. It's not that I never expected him to move on (I was genuinely happy for him when he had started dating someone), I just never would have expected the first girlfriend after me would be the one he'd end up proposing to. Shocked, stunned, and yes, even a little upset, but this will wear off, I'm sure.

So that's where we're at . . . And the weather is really reflective of what's going on, I'd say. Rainy, stormy, and "grey" -- if that's a weather pattern.

Anyway, I did manage to put in a guest post over at Meghan's blog, so there was SOME blog productivity happening . . . ;o)

Hope everyone else is faring better -- hopefully I'll have something more articulate next time.

Happy Monday! (If there is such a thing . . .)

Friday, March 26, 2010

Rest and rejuvenation.


{I took this picture on a hike in 2008. Pinnacles National Monument, CA.}

Taking a night off from gym, exercise, doing anything really . . . I think I've eaten some bread . . . some hummus . . . Nothing special, nothing productive, nothing I've labored on. I'm just breathing in and letting the week drain from me.

I might draw a bath, I might read a book . . . maybe. This evening, I soaked up the later sunshine on my balcony. Cozy in my big chair, I semi-sort-of dozed and idly flipped through a book and sipped some Earl Grey (my favorite). I drank in every ounce of still, quiet and serene.

Tomorrow is a mental health day . . . Maybe I'll sleep in late . . . go to yoga . . . climb some walls . . . drink tea and read.

Found a fun book called "Entre Nous" at Anthropologie. Gosh, I love that store. I would furnish my house in fun things from there . . . except my budget doesn't exactly allow for that. LOL. Maybe one day when I'm rich and famous . . .

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

I have gone 'round the bend.

Looking back through my blog, I searched for a post that would have talked about the marathon I ran last April. I didn't write anything. Nothin'. Zilch.

There were several posts leading up to the big day, but none detailing what happened, how it went, what the course was like . . . at all. (Note: There IS a note written on my Facebook, but I'm still shocked that I neglected to post here.)

Well, I'll give myself another shot. Two of them, actually. At some point, yes, I'll post about the marathon last year, but in the not-so-distant-future, I will also have another post about the marathon I'm running in October.

Yesterday, I signed up for Marathon #2 -- which will be prepared for more safely, thoroughly and with much greater peace of mind. On October 30, I will be running the Napa Wine Country Marathon -- 26.2 miles of Callistoga trails.

I am SO excited.

Below is a picture from after the race. Please note that the squinched up, puffy face is from when I crossed the finish line and promptly began bawling at the wave of emotions that hit me. Ha ha ha.


Annie hugging me at the finish line. She put my medal around my neck. All I could sob was, "I did it!"


Okay, NOT a hot photo, but I'm just glad you can't quite see all the tears and snot. Also glad photos don't have odors associated with them because I was smelling a little ripe, to say the least.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

I don't know how I managed, but I put in two HOURS of climbing today . . .

Considering only about half of that was actual climbing (the other half I was on belay), I torched about 800 calories. (No joke.) But oooooohhhhhhhhhh am I going to be sore tomorrow . . .

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Weekend recap


- Visit from Annie
- New hair (don't know what you can tell from the picture, but it's about the same color -- kind of a medium-dark brown)
- Vegan Chinese food in Mountain View
- Drinks at O'Flaherty's Irish Pub (new favorite!)
- Gallavanting around downtown San Jose with a friend from college
- Late-night veggie burgers at Peggy Sue's
- Santana Row farmer's market (1 lb each of baby bok choy, mustard greens, and Swiss chard, plus a bundle of cilantro -- $3.50. Rock on!)
- Nice long drive

Saturday, March 20, 2010

The point of no return (sort of).

I have once again reached the point where one box of hair dye will simply not be sufficient. My hair is barely past my shoulders (by about 2 inches) and it's T-H-I-C-K. So thick, the bottle of hair dye I used just now was sputtering and running out just as I was finishing up the crown of my head.

Whew!!! But by the time I dye again, I'll probably need a second box . . . just so I can be totally thorough.

Dang.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Make me over . . .


There's such a buzzing, positive vibe going around today . . . and I think I caught it.

This week has been a teensy bit trying as I was trying to recharge without actually giving myself time or opportunity to do so. As much as I try to fight it, I AM an introverted person - I communicate better in writing, I can be more withdrawn in some social situations because having lots of people around physically/mentally/emotionally drains me, etc. I'm not shy, not antisocial, I just need my alone time to energize myself.

So this morning at the office, we're busybusybusy . . . but it feels GOOD, surprisingly enough. I feel like I've caught a bug - a positivity/optimism bug and I like it.

I feel more productive and engaged in my workplace. I feel like I'm growing . . . It sounds a little hokey, I'm sure, but when I'm slammed in a positive way, I enjoy feeling like they're keeping me stimulated and on-my-toes.

If I had a million dollars . . .



Just for today, I'm inclined to think on what I would do with a million dollars. There's so much I'd like to do, but what would make it special? I mean, I'd love to pay off my car, buy a house, and all those other lovely things that would set me up so I'm not shelling out several hundred dollars a month in rent and car payments, but what else . . . ?

* Traveling

Kind of a given, but I'd love to tour Morocco, Egypt, India, Australia, France, Switzerland, Germany, England, Italy, Ireland and Spain. I'd die to go to Greece, but I'm saving that as my ideal honeymoon. If the future hubs and I don't go to Greece . . . You know what, scratch that . . . I really hope to marry a man who knows how happy that would make me. (Obviously, I could change my mind, but for now, I'm just dreaming.)

* A library

What I would give to have a whole ROOM of nothing but BOOKS! To put all of my books in one area and keep adding and adding to the collection. Ah, to be supremely wealthy and have something like that! I consider myself very fortunate to have had two parents who both enjoy reading and liked reading to me when I was little. I had a babysitter who was in school to be a teacher at the time who taught me so much -- like how to count to 20 in Japanese when I was two. My first grade teacher probably impacted my love of reading the most -- she sent me home with chapter books while other kids took home little paper books their parents would sign saying Little Johnny had read this aloud to them. I've been a big reader ever since -- heck, I got my degree in reading! (English literature, folks.) To have a room all my own filled with some of the best stories ever penned? My heart races at the thought . . . :oD Maybe someday . . . For now, I'm content to have my outdoor reading space on my balcony.

So that's a short list of what I'd do with a million dollars. There's plenty more I'd like to do (like have a small amount set aside for my wedding someday, save for my kids' college funds, etc.) but those are more pragmatic, future-minded decisions. These are just for fun . . .

What would you do with a million bucks? :o)

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Vetoed.

Conversation between me and my buddy, Adam:

Me - Oooh! Oooh! *raises hand* Campaign suggestion!!! We should have Jim answer everything with "That's what she said."

Adam - Vetoed.





Rats. Guess this is why I'll never really have a career in politics . . . This and my irrepressible sarcasm and inability to take anything too seriously.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The best laid plans . . .


Last night sooooo did not turn out the way that I'd expected -- in fact, it turned out better.

I left work a little worried that I'd be late to the fundraiser because I was wanting to go home and change my pants. As luck would have it, pomegranate lipgloss had dripped on my pants earlier in the day, meaning I had a lovely berry-colored stain on one leg. Fabulous.

In a last minute change of plans, I opted not to go home because the stain was located near the inseam of one leg and I rationalized a.) most people wouldn't be looking at that spot on my pants, and b.) that I could always just keep my legs crossed and no one will notice at all.

The fundraiser started off a little . . . erm, boring. (Sorry, Adam -- I doubt you're reading this, but just in case . . .) Political fundraisers are reputed to be a little dry and this one lived up to that. It got progressively more interesting (one gentleman stopped by claiming to be the most accurate, prolific prophet alive today -- we didn't really know how to take that) and ended with me and Adam -- the campaign manager and possibly my long lost cousin (we have the same last name) -- hanging out afterwards with another friend and some leftover wine.

My mom had sent me a text earlier asking if we could postpone our run, so at that point, I decided to relax and not stress about the agenda for the rest of the evening. I was at the restaurant until almost 11. They had kicked us out of the restaurant to close and we all still sat in the parking lot and chatted for a while longer.

I didn't get to bed quite as early as I'd hoped, but it was a much better night than anticipated. Today, I'm wearing green and sipping birch beer with lunch. (All of my readers and blog buddies on the east coast probably know exactly what I'm talking about, but let me tell you, finding birch beer in California is like trying to find a four-leaf clover (not impossible, but pretty frickin' hard!) I haven't had this stuff since I lived in Pennsylvania! (It's been at least fifteen years!)

Kudos to Mollie Stone's for carrying birch beer and a happy St. Patrick's Day to all! I am celebrating my diluted Irish heritage by eating potato chips. (Hey, potatoes are an Irish staple, no? Okay . . . maybe I'll pick up some soda bread too. Ha ha ha.)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Losing steam


It's only Tuesday and I'm fading quickly.

A whirlwind trip, back in the office, visit from my boyfriend and much busyness tonight helping a city council campaign, running, and trying to do ten other things . . . I'm losing steam . . . fast. I'm also going to run/walk with my mom.

Couple this with a less-than-optimum level of sleep and I just feel very run down . . . on Tuesday.

I have company coming this weekend and I have a race I need to be training for, gym time that I need to squeeze in, other stuff that I'd LIKE to do, but I just don't have the energy for.

I'm trying to take care of myself in the mean time - it would be really bad to get sick now. Trying to eat well, wash hands more frequently and take in lots of fluids since I know I'm a walking target for a cold/flu.

I feel like if I sleep well tonight, I should be okay. I'm crossing my fingers.

Work until 4:45
Leave, get to fundraiser at 5:30 (have to swing by apartment for workout clothes)
Leave, get to house at 8:00
Leave, go home at 9:15-9:30
Shower and bed (hopefully) by 10:00

Somewhere in there should be a shower and phone call to Alex, though I'm sure he'd forgive me if I crapped out tired by the end of it all. Here's hoping I sleep better tonight than I have the last few nights.

Monday, March 15, 2010

The Flight to Vegas (Or: How Robyn Scored a Free Beer)

I love Southwest Airlines - they are friendly, accommodating, timely and best of all, cheap.

I left San Jose on one of the most beautiful days we've had in a while -- warm, sunny, perfect. I packed, I cleaned my apartment (seriously - spotless perfection! was so nice to come home to that!), I met my mom downstairs and she drove me to the airport.

Given the warm weather in San Jose, I chose not to pack my heavy wool coat. I figured my Fresno State Alumni sweatshirt would be A-okay in case of cooler temperatures in Vegas. Walking through the airport security, of course it meant I got a quick pat down from the security officer, but whatever -- I was comfy, warm and good to go.

Southwest has open boarding, meaning I got to sit wherever I wanted. Naturally, I chose the front row, aisle -- all the leg room in the world. (Well, as far as planes go that is.) As I'm settling in, I buckled my seat belt and opened my book.

"Hey! Fresno State!"

I look up and the captain of the plane is staring and pointing at me.

"Yeah?" I said.

"I went to Fresno State! Do you live in Fresno?"

"No," I said, "Not anymore. Just when I was in college. But that's so awesome that you are a Bulldog too!"

"Wow. Small world. Yeah, I went to Fresno State a long time ago. I liked it there."

I smiled and chatted with the captain politely, but he soon ducked into the cockpit to fly the plane -- as all good plane captains should. I saluted him with a friendly, "Go Bulldogs!" a wave and a smile.

About twenty minutes into the air, the flight attendants begin taking soda orders. One approaches me, leans down and says, "The captain would like to buy you a drink. What would you like?"

Oh yes.

"Um, I'll have a beer, thanks," I said.

The beer tasted awesome at 30,000 feet and I was grinning the whole ride. How cool was that??? As I got up to grab my notebook and pen from my purse in the overhead bin, I heard, "Hey! Fresno State!"

I looked back a few rows and a young guy in slacks and a shirt with a neatly trimmed goatee is pointing at me and smiling at my sweatshirt.

"Yeah?"

"I went to Fresno State!!" he said enthusiastically.

Wow. Small . . . freaking . . . world. I guess it's not too shocking -- Fresno and San Jose are three hours apart, but still . . . two Bulldog alumni in one night??? That was a "Whoa!" moment.

I told my fellow Bulldog about our good captain and sat back down to write him a thank you note. I didn't see Captain Jeff (the flight attendant wasn't sure of his last name) after we landed, but that was okay. Leaving the note with the flight attendant, I stepped off the plane and into the Vegas airport.

A good start to the trip . . .

My note:

Captain Jeff, Thank you so much for my drink and more importantly, for flying me safely from San Jose to Las Vegas. :o) As it turns out, a gentleman a few seats behind me is also a Fresno State alum! I guess the Bulldogs were in good company this evening. Thanks again! Take care, safe travels and best of luck to you. Go Dogs!!! :o) Sincerely, Robyn Horn, Class of 2008.

Surfacing















While entering this post, my title bar remembered the word 'surfacing,' which tells me I need a bit more creativity on these posts . . .

Any way . . .

There is much to update on -- the past week has been a bit of a blur with a trip to Vegas, the flight back, a brief check-in at the office and then hosting Alex for the weekend . . . Dang. A lot.

But all in all, things were great and there are many points of joy to update on . . . later. Right now, it's very late, I'm sleepy and need to wash down my NyQuil with an Airborne chaser. (Plane cooties are gross -- I need to be more proactive about traveling germs because coming down with a cold after vacation is lame.)

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Recap: the first 24 hours

Just so you know...

- Bulky sweatshirts will get you a pat down when going through airport security
- Sometimes the same sweatshirt will get you a free drink
- Fremont Street is actually a pretty neat area of Las Vegas
- Champagne brunch buffet creates a strange, constricted feeling in one's waist (can't really figure that one out... Lol)
- Vegas has no open container laws, which is how I got to drink the rest of my champagne as I waddled back from Main Street Station to our hotel without getting arrested

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Viva Las Vegas!

Point of joy yesterday -- bouldering with new friends. That was really great. :o) My hands are all roughed up, my arms are tuckered out and I think I still have chalk in my fingernails.

Bliss. :o) It was really good to be trying, stretching myself.

Today felt good to sleep in . . . I'd told a friend I'd help canvass neighborhoods, but last night I bowed out so I can get everything ready -- for Vegas!!!!


Tonight, I'm getting on a plane to Las Vegas. I'm meeting Joanna in Vegas and we're going to be there until Thursday. Blogging may be a bit more sporadic, but I'm really stoked for a long, long girls' weekend. We found an amazing deal through Priceline -- five nights in a hotel on Fremont Street (part of the more historic part of Las Vegas) and a plane ticket from Illinois (where Joanna is) for $230.


Sweet!!! And we're off!!! :o) I'm packin' my bags and my mom's picking me up in six hours. Awesome.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Legit.


I passed my belay test - I'm certified to belay!!! :oD For anyone reading who might not be familiar with the terms, I'm certified to manage the ropes and basically keep other people from falling to their death while rock climbing.

I'm really excited. (Definitely my point of joy for the day.) You see that red card attached to my harness? Oh yeah . . . That's my belay certification card.

Feels goooooooooood. :o)

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Climbing

This title might be a bit misleading as I didn't actually climb tonight. But watching, seeing people go higher and higher up the 60-foot walls (yeah, that's right 6-0) made me feel a bit more at peace with everything, made me a bit more motivated for how I'll be changing, how my body will be different for the process.

Today I'm joyful about my gym - the comfort I'm beginning to feel in this new setting. I struck up a conversation with a new person there tonight and it felt good not to isolate myself or wait for an acquaintance to be my social crutch for a few minutes. (When did I get so shy??? I didn't used to be like this!!! What happened?!) It's about pushing myself more and more . . . and I'm growing happier and happier about that decision.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Tears and Rain

No, I promise, I'm actually in a pretty good mood - in spite of some general badness from yesterday. Thankfully everything got resolved pretty easily, the big mess up wasn't my fault (thank goodness!) and life went on.

The title of this post is the title of a song I'm really digging lately - "Tears and Rain" by James Blunt.

The dreary weather brings me to listening to David Gray, Cat Stevens, the Beatles (but really, who NEEDS a reason to listen to the Beatles? - right, nobody), Missy Higgins, Amos Lee, and James Blunt.

Today, I am joyful for good tunes, good coffee, my favorite kind of weather and the vase of pussy willows on my counter. I don't know why, but I look forward to those every year. Maybe because you really only ever see them in the spring? Perhaps because I like to pet my plants? Who knows . . . All I can confirm is that they're so stinkin' cute and look adorable in my purple vase on the counter. :o) Photo to come . . .

Monday, March 1, 2010

Lesson learned: don't do yoga on an empty stomach

Went to a vinyasa yoga class tonight at Planet Granite. I think I would have loved it more if I weren't trying to keep my balance from the light-headedness I was experiencing. The class began at 7:30 and I had gone straight to the gym after work (got there around 6:15). I ran, but not to the level I wanted. I moved into the poses, but not with the coordination I was expecting. It took about 30 minutes of classwork to put two and two together: body was tired, energy pretty darn low.

Normally, I don't think I would have let this affect me, but I tried to remember when I had last eaten. My mind did this: "..............." Crickets. I figured if I couldn't remember the last time I'd fueled my body, it had probably been too long. No wonder I felt so funny! I was very hydrated, but starting to get dizzy and felt weak.

The last time I'd eaten anything substantial was 2:00, though I'd snacked on some celery (yeah, I eat it plain because I'm weird and LOVE the flavor of celery) around 4:00.

Lesson learned. Don't go to yoga with a full tummy, but don't expect a good experience without some sort of fuel in your body. Considering my diet today was almost purely produce, it's no surprise that it was burned up pretty quickly.

So now I'm eating dinner and it's after 10:00 at night. I am joyful for food in my tummy (spicy tofu with broccoli).

Other things that brought me joy today:
- yoga, even if I did get dizzy in that warm studio
- breaking a sweat
- rain (I really am a fan of seriously miserable weather)
- a short to-do list
- getting ready to go on vacation (woohoo!)

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Groceries.

Sometimes I think I post about food too much . . . and then I think, "Well, everyone eats food, so why not?"

I have come to love Sundays - they're my produce-shopping days. Grapes, oranges, yams, jalapenos, portabella mushrooms, broccoli, celery, asparagus and a pound of greens (for salads). The biggest problem here is deciding what I'm eating first.

Today I got up early and met a college friend and a few others to go door to door and pass out information about Jim Cogan, a candidate for District 9 City Councilmember in San Jose. For four hours, I knocked on doors, passed out flyers and talked to residents. It was new, different and gave me a greater appreciation for the groundwork that gets put into place for political campaigns.

The things that brought me joy today:
- tasty produce (mmmmm, I love my fruits and veggies!)
- a warm, sunny day that induced driving with the windows down
- the completion of the closet reorganization project
- a cupcake I'm going to have later tonight (a small way to celebrate Alex's birthday, even though we don't get to be together)

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Balsamic sauteed kale . . .

I sauteed some kale with olive oil, garlic, 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar. I threw in some cut up sundried tomatoes and about a 1/2 cup of garbanzo beans. I mixed it all up, let it get nice and warm (the kale starts to wilt) and plopped it in a bowl. I sprinkled with some goat cheese and voila! Deeeeeeeeeelish! :o)



The rough estimates if you would like to make this yourself -- all in all, it took about 15 minutes after everything was prepped.

Balsamic Sauteed Kale w/ Garbanzo Beans, Sundried Tomatoes & Goat Cheese
1 bundle of red kale
3 cloves garlic, minced
about 6 sundried tomatoes, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup garbanzo beans
2 or 3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
salt & pepper to taste

1. Cut out and throw away center ribs from kale and cut leaves into medium size pieces
2. Put in a pan with olive oil and minced garlic, cover and cook over medium heat until leaves start to soften
3. Toss in garbanzo beans and sundried tomatoes, stir. Cover and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
4. Remove from heat and serve. Top with an ounce of goat cheese crumbles and season with salt and pepper to taste.


Soooooooooooooooooooo good! :o)

If you can't beat 'em, join 'em . . . and 25 Days #3

I woke up this morning and sent a coworker a text to let her know that I was officially signing on for pager duty, rolled over and dozed off. I got up a little while later but shortly thereafter, crawled back in bed and snoozed for another 20 minutes or so. Lather, rinse, repeat . . . twice.

In the spirit of compromise, I'm working from bed now . . . Well, I'm not working, but I'm in bed. I brought my computer, my tea and my breakfast with me -- I'm celebrating my low, low cholesterol by eating eggs sunny side up.

Last night, I took the plunge and signed up at Planet Granite. It must have been divine timing that I opted to go home before heading to the gym - as I finished the paperwork, I looked at the schedule of yoga sessions (free to all members) and noted that the Friday night class started at 6:45 - it was 6:39. Woohoo!

I had my butt sufficiently kicked. It was a power yoga class and though I did everything to the best of my ability (I opted out of the headstands), I am now acutely aware of the muscles in my shoulders . . . and my legs . . . and my hips . . . and . . .

But today, I find joy in a lazy day to rest (tomorrow I'm helping a friend canvass neighborhoods for the city council campaign he's managing), my moving, working body, a good book to finish (sorry, San Jose Library - just add the 50 cents to my tab), and a cup of tea . . .

Friday, February 26, 2010

25 Days - Day 2

Happy Friday!!!

Did this week seem especially long to anyone else???? Wow, I must have been dragging. It was busy, but still . . . way too long. I am looking forward to a quiet weekend of cleaning and organizing (that closet project needs to be done already - sheesh!) and reading . . .

I'm looking into a membership at Planet Granite - a rock climbing gym in the area. A few months ago, I was so stoked about getting a free membership to the Arillaga sports complex at Stanford, but I rarely use it. :o( I don't really care for the facility all that much. I think I was a bit disillusioned by the pricetag (uh, free), but now it's becoming apparent that perhaps I should be going somewhere else.

The last couple of days, I've REALLY done well in terms of my eating habits. SparkPeople is an online tool I use to track my calories and nutrition - and I've noticed I've really changed my eating habits by observing what I eat. Example: lunch today is a pineapple teriyaki portabella mushroom "burger" on sourdough, a salad with garbanzo beans and homemade dressing, and a baked yam. So good!! So full of vitamins and good stuff (okay, the teriyaki probably isn't the healthiest of sauces, but it's still tasty when accompanying other good-for-you-foods).

Monday night I binged on mozarella sticks after I got home late. After a few days of some clean eating, this was a major blow to my system - or at least it felt like it was. I made them out of convenience. What also would have been convenient would have been dumping some salad in a bowl and tossing in some dressing - but that's a mental note for next time. Later that night, laying in bed I felt queasy, sick and like I couldn't get enough water. With all of the sugar, salt and fat in my dinner, it's no surprise that I had a junk food hangover the next day.

And since then . . . All is well. I'm eating healthy stuff again. I'm working out (running) again. My system is recovered. I'm still working on taking in more water, but other than that, I'm doing very well. Which brings me to day 2 of the 25 Days of Joy - what brought me joy today was packing my lunch and putting in things that I know will make this machine I operate daily work so much better, smoother.

And tonight I'm going to scope out Planet Granite. :o)

Thursday, February 25, 2010

25 Days

Day 1 (for me) of a 25 Days of Joy series started by Ms. Abbey Feldkamp on her blog. Simple enough - post something that brought you joy today.

Today, I found great joy in buying a cup of coffee. A coffee addict, I usually rely on whatever I make in the mornings or whatever I make at work. Trying to be a bit more frugal and finance-minded, I've all but cut out trips to Starbucks. This morning, I made an exception and purchased a grande bold pick with room for cream. It feels more special, you know?

On the agenda today:
- trying to ID over 75 perfect strangers in photos (seriously)
- get in some cardio (went for a run last night and it felt amazing)
- figure out my climbing (am contemplating membership at Planet Granite)
- eating REALLY good food!!! I'm most excited about this, can you tell? In my lunch box: a salad with chickpeas and homemade dressing, some almonds and dried apricots, red lentil dal [a staple for me - I make it once a week], and a baked yam. Ohhhhh . . . it's going to be a tasty day!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Letter box

When I was a kid, my dad worked for a custom home building company. He basically oversaw the entire development and managed the work that got done for beautiful homes that were designed to their owner's exact specifications.

The company built full-scale models of the homes and had interior decorators come in and make the houses beautiful. All of this was to give the idea of the possibilities that exist for buyers.

After all of the houses in the development had been sold, the model homes were sold to the highest bidder. Before they could be sold, though, all of the furniture, linens and decorations were auctioned off to employees of the company. My parents ended up with a lot of beautiful furniture in the years that my dad worked for this company as the minimum bid was 10% of the retail value -- at one point, they ended up with a beautiful solid oak coffee table and paid $35 for it.

One of the things my dad got for me in this process was a really pretty wooden box. It's painted a cream color and has gold edges with a design of vines and leaves on the top. As I've gotten older, I've appreciated the design a bit less, but I know I can always repaint it. I use it for letters - from my grammy, my friends, loved ones or special occasions.

This weekend, I've been purging my closet and dresser of unnecessary items and clothing. Papers that have no purpose are being recycled, objects I no longer use are going to the Good Will and other odds and ends are finding new uses or new homes. The one thing I didn't really count on was finding old love letters.

When I dated Jake, he did a stint in the Marines and spent three months in boot camp. I received several letters from him then, later on I received letters he had written with his future wife in mind - at that time, we were certainly planning on getting married. But now, now that I'm dating someone else, it feels so strange to even realize that I still have these letters tucked away in some crevice of some box that sits on some shelf in my closet.

I'm a bit torn - the nostalgic part of me would like to hold onto these, for the days when I'd like to remember, but it's been almost a year since I broke up with Jake, it's been six (wonderful) months dating Alex and I can't help but feel that hoarding these might be a bit disrespectful. Of course, there aren't only letters from Jake (I had a couple of admirers in high school, ha ha), but I don't feel any hesitation thinking of throwing them out.

Alex and I have talked about a future together in a very general sense, but I feel confident in the strength of our feelings and commitment we share. I just don't really know what I should do about these letters - the ones I've forgotten, the ones that aren't really relevant now. Part of me would like to keep them for a rainy day, to remember the lessons I've learned and experiences I've had that have gotten me where I am. Part of me thinks that past is gone, it's time to cherish memories and not hold onto paper momentos that might be disrespectful to my currenty sweetheart.

So I pose a question - to anyone reading this - what do you advise doing? Do you save letters from old beaus? Do you hang onto things from serious relationships to remind you of the relationship that you had?

I'm completely ambivalent about this . . . yet I feel like I need to decide something more definitive and I'm open to any advice.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

You can expect . . .

You can expect an interesting day at work when you receive a photo request and the words "brain" and "tapeworm" are used in the same sentence.

**shudders**

Gross.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Doubt




Sometimes, I am prone to some seriously crippling self-doubt. The kind that sabotages my work in how it tricks me out of being as productive as I need to be. The kind that makes me question whether or not I deserve the kind of happiness I've been experiencing lately. The kind that makes me wonder if my friends, boyfriend and what have you will even want to love me in a week, month, year.

I don't know how to reconcile what I know to be true with this darkness that sweeps over me from time to time. Occasionally, I can identify how it stems from something else that's bothering me -- stress about work and stability will make me question whether Alex is loving me just as much today as he did yesterday. (Yes, I know that it MAKES NO SENSE.)

Taking a magnifying glass to the last couple of days, I look at the factors that are causing me to doubt just about everything right now: some slip-ups at work make me feel like I can't hack it, busy schedules and tired bodies mean Alex and I haven't talked as much and I feel a bit neglected, the realization that for living in this area as long as I have, I haven't exactly made many friends (the fault is me not putting myself out there enough), and an upcoming trip has me fretting about saving enough money.

All of these things are so minor, but create a drama that's so unnecessary, so much bigger than it ought to be. I KNOW I'm doing fine at work, I KNOW things are great with Alex, I KNOW I can make friends (just need to go be social - what a concept) and I KNOW I'll have more than enough for all of my needs/wants even with this trip.

So why do I worry still? Why do I doubt myself? Why must I fret?

I like to believe my desire to see the bigger picture in life can sometimes be overwhelming - that the reason I sweat the small stuff is because at times, I don't see the big stuff. I'm literally missing the forest for the trees. But stepping back, and wiping away my nervous, anxiety-fraught tears, my vision's a bit clearer:

Things are fine. Truly just fine.

And as simple as that statement is, it has such a profound effect on me when I really allow myself to absorb its truth.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Tuesday Tops

1. My proximity to Trader Joe's
I had an irresistible craving for salt & vinegar chips today. And for chocolate. And bread. And cheese. (Ladies, let's ponder for a moment what this must mean.) Moving on . . . I live on the same block as a Trader Joe's, which is a happy miracle. I honestly chose my apartment because I liked the complex, the granite countertops and other things about the building and grounds. Happily enough, I'm within a mile of two Starbucks (very important, though sadly neither have a drive through), a Trader Joe's, a Whole Foods, a Chipotle, a Target, a branch of my bank, and several gas stations. Not too bad, right? Needless to say, the fact that I can WALK to Trader Joe's came in pretty handy. ;o)

2. Remember the Milk
I used this site for three days before I upgraded to the pro account. It lets me keep my to-do list at hand (there's an iPhone app that works with the pro account), let's me break down, prioritize and organize complicated tasks, and the tags and keyboard commands to sort each item make my OCD heart so happy.

3. Mint.com
I started my account several months ago but kind of forgot about it. This year, I have a resolution to become more financially savvy, to save more money and to start investing (in what I don't know, but I'll figure that out later). Mint.com allows me to plan my budget, factor in aaaaaalll of my spending, and weighs my assets/loans/etc. The budgeting feature really helps me evaluate and plan for regular expenses like groceries, gas, etc. It links through to my BofA account and analyzes my spending based on the transactions coming through. It's so smart and I don't have to go back and put "Chevron" into my gas budget or "Trader Joe's" into the groceries budget. Plus, it has an iPhone app too, meaning my budget is at my fingertips.

4. Pugliese bread
Trader Joe's sells sourdough pugliese bread which perfectly dense yet chewy and just a little bit crusty. Sooooooooooo good.

5. Gerber daisies
Found them at Trader Joe's. The stems are long, but that will give me plenty to trim as I maintain them. They're so happy and colorful. They look great in my kitchen. :o)

Monday, February 8, 2010

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Books to come back to???

I just created a list titled "Books to come back to" listing, you guessed it, books that I haven't finished but would like to though they're not on my priority list anymore.

I'm currently working on several books from the library, but all are approaching that final renewal category. There are so many books I have in my own library that haven't been finished and (worse still) have never been read that I really feel the pull to make a dent in that stash before I continue to yank books left and right off of the shelves.

In the mean time, I've chosen a few from my library stash (and the one I most recently requested -- it took me two months to get it because there was a wait) to keep trucking along with - one I'm enjoying in spite of it's slower pace, one I love because it's a memoir, and the last is my current read ("Eating Animals," by Jonathan Safran Foer).

Alex tells me I'm not quitting because I have plans to come back to them. I'll stand by that answer . . .

Friday, February 5, 2010

Wear Red Day 2010 (or, How I Learned to Write Myself a Note)

Soooooooooo . . . Today is National Go Red Day, to promote women’s heart health awareness, and our hospital’s clinic is participating and we’ve really been pushing it from our office. Well, Gary took us out for breakfast this morning and we just met him at Hobee’s but guess who showed up NOT wearing red? Yup. I forgot. Completely spaced.

So after catching some good-natured grief from everyone else, I get in my car to drive back and grab my badge (on a red lanyard), my nametag holder that Hayley made me (with some red beads) and looked in the backseat for anything else I could pass off as intentional red. I found . . . my rock climbing shoes. Yes, brick red rock climbing shoes. I’m sporting them with jeans and a navy cardigan and they totally look out of place, but desperate times call for desperate measures, right?

My feet look like this:


I feel so fashionable. LOL. Just more subject matter for that book I end up writing, right?

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Guilty.

I really struggle with guilt. Things I did years ago still bother me, still make me feel like a horrible person. I try to reconcile that I've grown up, that I'm different, and that really, I AM a good person.

But I still feel like I'm just not good enough. Your classic INFP, I have very idealistic expectations of myself and the world. While I'm usually very forgiving of the shortcomings of others, I have a hard time extending this forgiveness to myself. I feel badly, I want to let things go and sometimes I'm very good at it, but every now and then, it is almost crippling how badly I feel about my own shortcomings.

I have a pretty strict code of right and wrong and a guilty conscience that goes with it. I often struggle with the notion that I can be a very good person without being perfect. I expect a lot of myself and I don't always know how to reconcile this.

Last night I was reading a Joyce Meyer book and she briefly discussed learning to accept ourselves as God accepts us - knowing full well that our flaws are present, but loving us in spite of them. God doesn't approve of our sin, our transgressions but he loves us all the same. It seems like such a simple concept, to be able to separate a person from their actions, but for me, it's hard to do with myself.

As I grow, I'm learning that things don't have to be perfect to be satisfying and fulfilling. My job is not perfect - yet there are stretches of time where things fall into place easily, I tap into my creativity and feel a sense of purpose to what I'm doing. My relationship with Alex isn't perfect either - it's wonderful, but there's no such thing as perfect in my book since he and I are both human beings. But it's still great - he makes me laugh, he makes me think, he makes me feel loved and special. My friends sure aren't perfect, but they love me and I love them.

I'm learning to let go of these perfectionistic expectations, but sometimes it's really hard. It's hard to think that I'm giving up on a task without even trying, but then I remember that I'm not giving up on something normal, I'm redefining my already too high standards. There's nothing wrong with having high standards, but sending them through the roof is often asking for failure, which hereby brings on the guilt. Here's to the learning process . . . **lifts coffee mug**

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Snaps, snaps, snaps! :o)

Snaps to me indeed!

Recently, our hospital's monthly newsletter got a major facelift. As the manager of this particular publication, the task was laid before me to learn our new format, including some new Photoshop skills and put everything together in a matter of just a few weeks. My task list looks like this every month:
- schedule photoshoots
- review and assign photos to pieces appropriately
- publish webpages for each story and link to each article snippet
- edit photos for newsletter (both for the individual pages and for the newsletter itself)
- plug everything into our Constant Contact template
- final review with Gary before distribution
- create PDF of newsletter to mail to physicians

All in all, it's not a great deal, but this month was slightly complicated as we tried to get in the Photoshop fun stuff that needed to be done for our photos to work with our gorgeous new layout. Add to this the back-and-forth of one particular piece on which we haggled over wording and it gets more drawn out than it should be. Things came together somewhat seamlessly and in the end, the newsletter looked just gorgeous.

So much so that our Vice President of Public Affairs (my boss's boss) came over to me to congratulate me personally on "a job well done." True, I didn't design it and was only following instructions, but it came together very well and didn't require any frantic phone calls to the designers from under my desk while I remained in the fetal position.

So snaps to me, I guess. :o) I'll take the compliment especially considering who it came from. Below is a screenshot of the top of our new, snazzy newsletter - when it's finalized (i.e. we have this in PDF format and on our webpage), I'll link to the better copy. (But didn't 1185 do a bang up job?! Here is one of our old newsletters -- there really is no comparison.)

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Pasta + kale + carmelized onions + lentils = Yum!



I tried a new recipe tonight -- pasta with kale, carmelized onions and lentils. I kind of winged it with Rachel's recipe -- Rachel has a lot of vegetarian recipes and she's never steered me wrong.

This was good - the onions were sweet and the pasta/lentils combo was really filling. I also really liked the kale - it was my first time trying kale, too. :o)

I think it would taste REALLY good with some tomatoes -- probably of the sundried variety. ;o)

And so commences an evening of "When Harry Met Sally," a glass of wine, laundry folding, and further menu and exercise planning for the week.

Sometimes, this level of domesticity for a 23-year-old is a bit weird, though. Hmm.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Yuuuuuuuum!

Being a vegetarian has it's challenges and it's perks. One of the biggest perks is the increased dependence on your own creativity in the kitchen sometimes.

Recently, everyone in my office took a personality test to see where our character strengths are. My top trait was creativity - which I'm pleased to see.

Last night, I looked in the fridge for something to eat. Sitting on the shelf was a two-pack of tofu. With my tofu and some new finds from Whole Foods, I tapped into that creativity I supposedly have and voila! A hereby nameless, but nevertheless tasty dish:

{in the pan -- please pardon my turmeric-stained spoon}

So here are the ingredients and directions if it looks at all appetizing . . .
1 half-pack of extra firm tofu (about 5 ounces)
1 green onion, chopped
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
about 2 Tbsp olive oil
red pepper flakes (to taste)
cayenne pepper (to taste)
juice of 1/2 lemon
about 2 Tbsp soy sauce
about 2 Tbsp white vinegar
2 ounces (dry) capellini (angel hair)

First, I cubed the tofu and put it in the pan with the olive oil. While I was frying the tofu, I boiled angel hair pasta. In the pan, I threw the chopped green onion and cilantro and seasoned with the red chili pepper flakes and sprinkled with cayenne. I drizzled the vinegar and soy sauce over it then covered and let it simmer for a bit while I strained the pasta. After this, I stirred the pasta into the pan, tossing it with the tofu. I let it fry in the pan with the cover off (to let the noodles crisp just a bit). After a few minutes, I sprinkled with some more soy sauce, vinegar, chili pepper flakes and cayenne. All in all, I think this took maybe 20 minutes.

{all finished - just wishing I photographed food better}

Mmmmm!!! There was some good heat, good flavor and texture to it. I'll definitely be recreating this one.

But what to name it????

Friday, January 29, 2010

It's tricky, tricky, tricky.

(My Run DMC references are over. I promise.)

I don't know why, but I find it difficult to ignore the peevish feelings that arise when my coworkers do things like ask me if I've received email, talk to me from another room, or ask me about whether I've completed a task before I've even gotten to it yet. They tend to crop up in situations where I feel I'm being treated like someone's personal assistant (which I'm not) and for reasons beyond my understanding, my usually cheerful, happy-to-help self is left in quite a state. Can they see the steam coming from ears? Is it seeping out between my teeth as I try to smile and be pleasant? The following is a list of frequently arising work-related pet peeves:

1. Asking me if I've received an email
Generally speaking, my email inbox works quite well. I understand that technology isn't always fool-proof, that there are glitches, but in general if you send me something you can bet that I've received. I may not have had a chance to reply, but I have it and will get to it.

2. Talking to me from another room
Okay, there's really only one person who does this and it's because their office is fairly close to my desk which means I can hear them speaking to me. Of course, they get agitated when they can't see that I have headphones on and can't hear or that I'm ignoring whatever is being said. Maybe that's because if you're dying to tell me something you could a.) send me an email or b.) come up and talk to me.

3. Asking me if something's completed before I've even started
Now, if I were a slacker, this would be totally warranted and absolutely essential to making sure I'm getting the tasks done that need to be completed. However, I'm not a slacker. I'm a pretty hard worker. I also have many projects on my plate. Is it so difficult to understand that I can't publish a web page in under 15 minutes yet? Is it impossible to grasp that your tiny request of making a PDF of a file will be done after I've attended to the urgent project on my plate at the moment? Goodness gracious -- I'll GET to it!



Now, before I convince anyone that my coworkers are horrendously annoying people (they're not - they just have moments), there are two bright beacons of redemption. My boss is always so nice when requesting anything from me. Even when he's stressed, flustered and having a hard time to remember to throw in a "please" or two, he's still polite and knows that he can trust me in finishing what I need to get done in time. I mean, he IS my boss -- and yet he trusts me more than those who do not directly manage me? Interesting.

My coworker Lisa (name has been changed to protect the innocent) is the kindest, most thoughtful person I've ever worked with. She apologizes for interrupting me, she asks me to do something "when [I] have a chance." Just that wording alone makes me more inclined to help her because I think, "Of COURSE! Yeah, I'll take care of that little thing right now while I'm thinking of it."


In all seriousness, do you think Jesus had pet peeves? I mean, I'm positive that he would have dealt with them much better than I ever could and I pray that I will become more like Him in dealing with minor things that irritate me (because they really are minor). But sometimes, that quest to be more like Him demonstrates to me just how far I have to go and reminds me to be humble about my own shortcomings.