Archive for December, 2010

New Year’s Resolution Action Plan

It’s that time of year again, I suppose. I generally do some odd, half-hearted attempts at New Year’s resolutions. I do love a goal, a project, a challenge, most of the forms resolutions take, but each year I seem to struggle.

Realistically, I manage my money and weight at a pretty regular equilibrium, neither putting myself in any shocking danger nor keeping any virtuous habits for long. I am much happier maintaining this equilibrium than abusing myself for imperfections real or perceived and I am not going to commit to a year of such self-abuse no matter what it is called.

Also, I feel like my life changes too much each year to make any sort of year-long plan. Certainly since the beginning of college, I have found myself at the end of each year someplace completely different from where I started, and it looks like this year is going to do the same thing. Maybe one day, when I’m older, this will slow down. Maybe?

Anyway, I’ve come up with a new New Year’s resolution plan for this year that I think is going to achieve unprecedented heights of fabulousness – twelve resolutions. I’m going to pick a mini goal or project for each month in 2011, and end the year a holistic well-rounded spectacular new woman. (Maybe?)

This way I can do some fun ones and some serious ones, be flexible and keep doing things that are important to me. I’m not planning them out in advance, except that I think I’m going to do something really easy in January, a gimme so I can lay a foundation for success. I think that kind of gentle cheat will be the overriding theme of my twelve resolutions project – but that’s okay, we’re only here for fun.

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Last Night I Took These Hilarious Pictures

I love how the flash makes it look like she’s being chased by a police helicopter.

That is all for today – thanks for your patronage and Merry Christmas.

Weekend Adventures: Bike Rides, Shopping, Arrests, Cup Holder!

The winter doldrums finally broke and let me have a great weekend. My girlfriend and I went out on Friday and Saturday nights, spent all day Saturday and Sunday riding around having adventures, watched football, danced, ate every delicious thing. Adventures included, but were not limited to:

I finished mad Christmas shopping at Eastern Market and downtown. Besides being super productive, I got to see all sorts of things – like the cupcake truck!

Usually I regard random cupcake truck sightings as a sign from the universe that I am loved and deserve a cupcake – but I was full from lunch and opted to take a picture instead.

I also took a picture of some stranger’s super-sweet cruiser bike.

That decal on the top post says "Pabst Blue Ribbon." I love you and your bike, unknown hipster kid.

I had some surprisingly awesome customer service experiences. Usually when shopping in December I think of mall-related misery. When I entered the Ace Hardware on 5th street, the greeter asked me what I was looking for and, after directing me upstairs, muttered, "Coming upstairs for zip ties," into the radio at her neck. I was buoyed through the store on a current of charming employees saying, "Zip ties? Right this way!" It was a miracle. The little things make me happy, y’all.

I tried the new Harris Teeter on M street, too. It is full of shiny produce and free samples and tempting hot food bars. And it has sweet ample bike parking.

The lady and I went out and danced like fiends. A friend’s birthday party started at a salsa club. To be honest I know about one one-thousandth of a percent about how to salsa dance, but a few rum and diets and a lot of energy more than made up for the lack. We moved to Chief Ike’s, where the hip hop is a little more my style, and then had a transcendent experience at Amsterdam Falafel. We hailed a cab at a shocking hour and had the unique delight of watching some people get arrested outside of Tom Tom’s from inside the cab’s warm confines. It was, all in all, one of the most fun nights out I’ve had in a hot minute.

But all of these adventures pale in comparison to the epic purchase I made. That’s right, as promised, I bought Farrah a cup holder! I find I spontaneously add an exclamation point every time I type the words cup holder! That, my friends, is how excited I am about it.

My first hint of the magic was in some of the photos on Simply Bike. As it got colder I started to crave a warm bev to help me along. By the end of this weekend, my obsession had reached a fever pitch. (Seriously, I wouldn’t shut up about it.)

It took a few tries, but I finally found one available from my friends at BicycleSPACE. It is everything I dreamed it would be and more – I got into work this morning on an exhilarating caffeine and exercise buzz, chirping "Good morning!" at everyone in a very un-Monday fashion.

Like I said – the little things.

Snow!

Snow! I spent most of yesterday taking and editing photos of it for work, and it was thrilling. I felt like a little girl at play. Two harmless, beautiful inches helped to exorcise some of the trauma from last winter’s blizzards – it was just lovely.

And I think it shook me out of my funk a little. I’m feeling inspired to have this charming, photo-ready winter. My next purchase is definitely going to be a cup holder for my bicycle (how about one of these, y/n?) to hold hot coffee and tea while I ride around looking glamorous in my teal coat. The problem is that it is just a little bit more work to be alive in the winter. I think the solution is to, if nothing else, make it look effortless.

Sugar, December, Yoga

Strike up the New Year’s Resolutions yall, because I have hit my limit. I managed a couple weeks of bike-inspired eating right, and then the deluge of holiday alcohol and sweets swept me right under. I had a little bite-size cookie this afternoon and it was the exactly wrong teaspoon of sugar, the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back.

Which is all to say – I feel sick. And perhaps also – green salaaaaaaad.

Why does this happen every year? The time changes and it’s dark when I leave work in the afternoon, and then it’s a four-month uphill battle to be anything except sluggish and moody, buzzing and crashing my way to Spring.

I am telling you I will not stand for it! This is my year, the year I fell in love and got a raise and had civil interactions with my family, so it can be the year I get some exercise and eat some vegetables and go out to do things and am not hungover every daylight hour of every Saturday and Sunday. These are simple aspirations, even if everything seems difficult in 30 degree weather.

Here’s my tiny next right thing, so you can hold me to it – for the next seven days in a row, I’m going to do ten minutes of yoga each morning and afternoon. Even if I just stretch the achy bike muscles, even if I just lie there in savasana – ten minutes, twice a day, seven days. Next stop, the moon.

It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like…

For some people, the miserable weather on Sunday was extra miserable…

…but we stayed nice and cozy…

…and got our decorate on.

On Being Tired, & A Few More Thoughts On Winter Biking

Writing? Oh, but I am le tired. After I first started working, I told my mother I couldn’t figure out anything except that everyone with 9-to-5s at desks must be achy and tired all the time – I believe my mother just rolled her eyes. I may be too spoiled to ever take on a mortgage and children like her, conquered as I am by a little overtime and – quel dommage – social and holiday gatherings with family and friends. Yoga helps with the aches, but I still get le tired.

Yesterday morning, after nearly crying with exhaustion as I biked into a headwind to take on a twelve-hour workday, I sat at my desk and drank an extra cup of coffee (or two) slowly, just pretending to look at emails. The little break made all the difference – I felt the extra caffeine hit me and three days of grumpiness just lifted away.

All the alcohol around at holiday type things is starting to get to me, and I’m booked up with parties all the weekends between now and New Year’s. I spent last winter either drunk or hungover and ended up, you’ll be surprised to hear, pretty depressed. Now it’s been cold for two weeks and already all I want to do is crack bottle after bottle of wine and wait for April.

I haven’t quite given up yet. But, this is a life rule, instead of trying to do all the things all at once I just look for the next right thing. Which right now is to write a little, even if it’s just about how I’m tired and don’t want to write.

It has also still been to ride my bike around, even though everyone is just being shocked about what superheroes the lady and I are. Note that link is to an article about biking in Chicago, which is a whole nother kettle of fish. Early next week it’s supposed to be windy with a high of 28, and I may or may not be tough enough – but our 30s and 40s so far have been fine. I keep saying, it’s genuinely not bad and certainly better than waiting at a bus stop.

Last night I stayed at work late for an event, and nobody wanted to let me leave on the bike. My mother, who came for the party, went into lecture mode, my boss offered to try to strap the bike to her car, and one of the security guards told me to be safe at least three times as I was unlocking. "You take care of my Melissa, now," he urged.

And then it was lovely. The wind from the morning had died down and rush hour was over, so I flew across town on quiet, brightly lit streets. I made it home just in time for Modern Family with enough of a second wind from the exercise to watch it without falling asleep. I wished I could have brought all the naysayers along – just to say, see? It’s beautiful! Try it once, and I guarantee you will at least like it better than the bus.

Oh, dear reader, did you really make it all the way to the end of this? You’re a better human than I. Have a laugh. Go look at the celebriducks.