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I don’t do downward dog.

June 4, 2011

There is nothing like doing P90X Yoga in your underwear to make you realize two things:

1. I am so out of shape.  Thank you work schedule and crazy summer heat.

2. I miss running.

I’ve always wished I were one of those girls who wake up at 4 am, with the cute little yoga pants and Gaiam yoga mat, doing perfect warrior poses and downward dogs without breaking a sweat to the sight of the rising sun, radiating zen and happiness and amazing balance.

But I’m not.  And honestly, I kind of hate yoga.

I know that’s like hating puppies and daisies and banana pudding…but I can’t help it.  I can’t touch my toes, I have absolutely no balance when I’m standing on two feet (much less one), and I have a tendency to fall asleep on my yoga mat.

So after I’d tipped over into another human pretzel mess, I made a decision.

I’ve decided to start running in the morning.  Before work.  As in at 5 in the morning.

I miss running down the trail behind my house, listening to nothing but sound of my own breath and the pounding of my Mizunos on the pavement.  But after a long day of work and with 90+ degree weather, I keep giving up on my daily runs.  And now I’m stuck doing attempting yoga and twisting my body in ways it was never meant to twist.

I’m putting this on my blog because this is a one week trial and by telling everyone about it, I’ll actually stick to it.  I want to see how this early morning run will effect my mood and energy throughout the day and if I can make the morning schedule work.  While definitely nervous, I’m excited to see what this week will be like.

So here’s my official announcement: HEY WORLD, I’M GOING TO RUN IN THE MORNING!

 

Wait, what workout?

May 19, 2011

Dear Janie,

You have just spent the past hour debating whether to work out or not.

Don’t.  I’m going to give it to you straight and simple: you are tired.

It’s okay to go to bed right now…even though its only 8:00.

It’s okay to not work out for the second day in a row because yesterday you chose to go shopping instead and today you chose to get a much needed haircut.  Your hair looks awesome.  It was worth skipping your workout.

It’s okay that you indulged in your boss’s birthday snacks at the office.  The Boston Creme Cake was heavenly, the beef chili cheese dip was delicious, and those peanut butter bars were perfect.  Stop trying to make excuses.

It’s okay that this weekend is graduation and your legs might not be super tight and toned underneath your dress.  That’s why they made those black gowns so flowy.

I know you want to look like one of those women on the cover of Women’s Health or inside Glamour’s fashion spread.  You want to “Get Your Beach Body Now” and “Slim down in 20 Minutes” and “Cut those Carbs!”  You want to be that girl who blogs about the raw carrot lunch she ate or the 6 miles she ran in 45 minutes.  Don’t worry, you can be that girl tomorrow.

Tonight, listen to your body.  It wants to sleep.  Wrap yourself in your blanket, turn off your light, and hug those curves that probably won’t ever disappear.  Remember what your aunt used to do when she felt unsatisfied with her body?  She would look down at her thighs and say, “It’s okay that you’re chubby.  Thank you for being strong and healthy.  Without you I wouldn’t be able to dance or run or jump or climb mountains.”

Tomorrow you can hit that treadmill and pump that iron and crunch those abs til your little heart’s content.  Until then, get some sleep, love those jiggly bits, and savor in the fact that raw carrots will never be a meal for you.

Good night.

Love,

Me

One Man’s Trash is Another Man’s…Gift to His Girlfriend

May 8, 2011

Austin got me a present today.

And I can honestly say, I hope I never get another present like this ever again.

So for the past year, I’ve been keeping my intimates and tank tops in a cardboard box on the floor of my closet for three reasons:

1. I let my sister take the plastic storage container I was using only because my parents promised to get me a nice wooden dresser for my clothes.

2. My parents didn’t get me one.

3. I’m too lazy/cheap to buy myself one.

When I first moved into my apartment, I told myself that I would get one tomorrow…then it was next weekend…and then next month.  Before I knew it, January was here and I figured, well hell, I’ve already done it for six months, what’s another six months?

Therefore, I am a 22-year old college graduate who rifles through her Victoria’s Secrets in a cardboard box like some crazy lacy undies collecting hobo.

Yeah, I’m just that classy.

Which brings me to today.  Every week, this scraggly looking old man drives his old pick-up truck to the dumpster beside my apartment building to collect stuff.  I have nothing against hoarders or dumpster divers or freegans (people who choose to eat out of dumpsters…no, seriously) so I really don’t mind him being there, but I’ve always been curious about what this guy takes and why.  I mean, who is this guy?

Anyway, Austin was helping me throw away some trash when he stopped suddenly and yelled for me, “Janie, look what I found!”

He pulls out an old-school stereo and says, “Why would you throw this away?  It’s perfectly fine!”

I laugh and tell him to put it back.  He puts the stereo back in the dumpster and then says, “Wow, there’s so much cool stuff in here.  Why do people throw this stuff away?”

And then he pulls out a three-drawer plastic storage container and yells to me, “Look at this…this would be like 30 dollars at Target!”

Jokingly, I yell back, “I could put my undies in that!”

my present from my oh-so-thoughtful boyfriend

He sets it on the ground and start looking at the drawers.  “You know,” he says, “we should take this.”

At which I proceeded to give him my “Are you serious” death stare.

But before I could intervene, he already had it hugged to his chest and was walking toward my apartment with this proud look on his face like he found the lost treasure of Eldorado.  I ran after him and watched him gingerly set it on my kitchen floor and Clorox-wipe every inch of it.

He couldn’t be serious.  I was not going to keep it, much less keep my delicates in there.  I would much rather keep my delicates in a clean cardboard box than some plastic container from a dumpster. I mean, who knows what used to be in it?  Some crack addict probably kept his stash in those drawers and I definitely do not want crack on clothing that touch my private regions.

“What are you doing?” I asked him.

“It’s for your undies,” he replied, still concentrating on the Clorox-ing.

“Austin, I am not keeping my undies in something that you found in the dumpster.  It’s gross and weird and…”

Then he gave me The Look.  You know, the look where he’s so full of pure happiness and pride with what he’s done that you immediately don’t have the heart to tell him whatever you originally were going to say.

I sigh.  “Alright.  I’ll keep it. Let’s put it in my closet.”

He giddily takes it to my room and puts it where the cardboard box used to be.  Of course, it’s a perfect fit.

I turn to him, with a reluctant smile on my face, “Austin, do not expect me to say this to you ever again.  But thank you, for the present you got me from out of the dumpster.  It’s very nice.”

So now I no longer keep my intimates in a cardboard box.  Now I keep them in a plastic storage container from a dumpster.

I have the best boyfriend in the whole world.

Tour, Tapas, and Too Much Beer

May 2, 2011

Hmm..how to explain my week-long hiatus from blogging…

The Nutshell Version

A little of this…

FOOD: Veggie Pizza and Lettuce/Spinach Salad with grapes, cranberries, cucumbers, pears, and tomatoes

A little of that…

FRIENDS: Cheering on my friend Lauren at her Senior Day Race for Rowing. Congrats!

And oh yeah…a lot of this…

DRINKS: Just a preview of Saturday's Pub Crawl

The Walnut-shell Version

Two Saturdays ago (has it been that long?), my friend Sweta, Austin, my sister, and I piled into my car to cheer on my friend Lauren at her Senior Day Race for Rowing.  We’re all so proud of her for finishing up four years of early morning workouts, spending weekends on buses to faraway races, and a lot of KU gear.  Sweta and I made the awesome poster (in the above photo), but didn’t realize that she probably wouldn’t be able to see it from the middle of the lake….oops!

Lauren and all her fans!

Afterward we headed to her house for some delicious brats, chips, and marshmallow brownies.  Her party officially kicked off graduation season.  Three weeks and counting!

This past Friday, I left work early to take Austin on his super secret date: A Tour of Boulevard Brewery and dinner at La Bodega!

Yumm...beer

The tour was a nice glimpse into the hidden world of brewing beer.  We learned all about hops and yeast and how the employees enjoy a free beer everyday…and now I’m determined to work in a brewery.

Don't I look the brewer's part?

After the tour, we were each given four tokens to trade in for little sample glasses of beer.  They even had a name-less test beer for us to try!  Austin tried stealing my tokens but luckily I caught him sneaking them into his pocket.  Sneaky!

Aren't they pretty?

Afterwards, we enjoyed a delicious dinner of Spanish Tapas at La Bodega, an amazing restaurant right in the heart of Kansas City.  It was Happy Hour so we enjoyed six different plates of tapas, four glasses of sangria, and two glasses of Spanish Coffee (Bacardi 151, coffee, Kahlua, whipped cream, with a rim of caramelized sugar/cinnamon).  I wish I had pictures of everything we ate but it was all so delicious, our picture-taking moved too slowly compared to food-eating.

It was the perfect way to ease us into:  Lawrence Pub Crawl!

Crawlin' for Charity

5 bars + 4 hours + 24 friends + too many beers = a lot of fun!

We had two teams of 12 girls and 12 guys, properly named: “Drink ’til He’s Cute” and “Brew’s Your Daddy?”  Each person’s $25 contribution for the crawl was donated to the Red Cross and the Humane Society.  What a great excuse to spend a beautiful afternoon with friends!

And yes, I have omitted out several hilarious, yet incredibly embarrassing details about the crawl.  While I want to be honest and open on this blog, these particular funny moments are for my 23 teammates to enjoy.  Let’s just say I definitely sprinted that crawl instead of crawled it like I probably should’ve.

Disclaimer:

1. I promise, I am not an alcoholic.
2. I am not drinking until graduation.

As long as you don’t get crabs…

April 22, 2011

And yes, I am referring to both the food and the STD.

Yesterday I received this text message from Austin:

“So the entire staff at work is going to the strip club buffet tomorrow at noon.  Requesting permission to go.”

…..yeah. I know.

A strip club buffet.

I didn’t even know those existed.  An all-you-can-eat buffet, in a strip club.  But now that I start thinking about it, I suppose that you could work up an appetite sticking dollar bills in the g-string of scantily-clad dancing girls.

Honestly, I think it’d be less embarrassing if my boyfriend were going to a strip club for the strippers.  Instead, he’s going there for the food.

Maybe I should get him this shirt...

What do they even serve at a strip club buffet?

According to a Google review of the place (yes, I looked it up):

“The Flamingo Club is a local club that offers reasonably priced drinks and attractive entertainment. Drinks ran from $3-$5+ and they have a good selection of beers and alcohols. Each day of the week has a unique drink special. They serve lunch and the food is worth the money. Don’t expect anything fancy. The $8 buffet on Fridays was worth $8 + you get entertainment.”

Which begs the questions: Do you think there’s a wide selection?  Is there a salad bar?  Would they require that you use a new plate each time?  Do you think the strippers prepare the food?

Wouldn’t that be something to put on a resume?  Previous employment: Exotic Dancer/Professional Chef.

Now I don’t like buffets to begin with.  Something about the idea of sharing hour-old food with complete strangers who might or might not have washed their hands after using the bathroom that makes me a bit squeamish.  And there’s just nothing appetizing about wrinkly vegetables and congealed sauce and fake bake chicken…plus, there’s always the risk of stuffing myself stupid.

Okay, so the real reason I hate buffets is because I have no self-control.

But seriously, why would you want to share food with strangers that not only don’t wash their hands after the bathroom, but maybe after, uh, groping a few bare butt cheeks?

Gross.

Anyway…if this whole situation couldn’t get any more stranger, he’s going today of all days.  On Good Friday.  I’m sure this isn’t what Catholics were thinking of when they wanted you to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus.  Now I’m not a religious person, but still…isn’t this like going to the casinos on Christmas…or something?

And you’re not going to believe this.  According to the website, today’s buffet is a special Easter Buffet.

Do you think they’ll be serving Easter ham and jellybeans?

Take a seat, it’s gonna be a bumpy ride…I hope!

April 19, 2011

I’ve been at my new job for almost a month now.  A month.

In this month I have gotten used to waking up early, packing my lunchbox, and wearing khakis every. single. day.  I’m getting accustomed to going to meetings, responding to emails asap, and making post-its my new favorite accessory.  I’m getting comfortable.

And if I’ve learned anything growing up, it’s that comfortable is easy and without worries…but that’s not necessarily a good thing.

I had a comfortable childhood.  I had a comfortable time in high school.  I even had a comfortable time in college.  And while I am deeply thankful  that I never had to suffer much hardship or difficulty, it is when I was uncomfortable that I felt myself grow, reach for bigger dreams, and want more.

When I moved into my own apartment.  When I experienced my first heartbreak.  When I met a teacher that actually made me work for my grade.  When I studied abroad in Germany and learned to be alone with myself.  When I spent two summers without Austin and learned the meaning of commitment and love.  When I pushed myself through my first race.  When I didn’t get the job(s).

It’s these moments that shook the solid ground I stood on, made me lose my breath, tripped me and forced me to get up with skinned knees, crazy-eyed and determined to kick some major ass.

And now I’ve gone from kicking ass to planting my ass on the couch after work and watching Dancing with the Stars with my dad.  And I don’t even like that show.

You might say, “Janie, don’t be so hard on yourself.  You haven’t even been at your new job for a month.  Take a break from all this dream-career searching and learning and relax.”

And I do relax, and I know that watching Dancing With the Stars is not a designation of your dreams dying, but I am scared.  I am scared that I will get comfortable and one month will turn into one year, and one year will turn into one decade, and one decade will turn into one million years.  (You never know, ok?)

Austin sent me this article on The Secret of Sustainable Passion and I’m so glad that he did.  The article is an amazing reminder that the key to success is not just passion, but commitment.  It is commitment that gets you through those moments where passion seems to falter, waiver, or disappear with being comfortable.

It reminded me that if I want to go back to graduate school.  If I want to pursue environmental planning.  If I want to become a half-marathon runner and have a vegetable garden and be fluent in Chinese and get a dog with Austin, then I’m going to have to stay committed to those dreams.

I can’t let the temptation of knowing what tomorrow will bring, coasting through my life, and Kirstie Alley shimmying in sequins stop me.

Caffeine, Facebook, and Other Drugs

April 17, 2011

I am feeling so college right now and it’s awesome.

feeling college

\fee-ling kol-ij\ , verb;

1. drinking iced honey lattes and eating oatmeal muffins while in a coffee shop in Downtown Lawrence

2. wearing scarves with skinny jeans and black flats and not wearing work pants or polos

3. watching others write essays and study for tests furiously while listening to Latin/folk/indie guitar music

After a week of feeling really, really old, I finally feel like I’m back to my old college self.

Though I didn’t stay up late drinking gin and tonics while bar hopping with my friends then nursing our nauseous selves with 3 am Taco Bell (one step at a time people!), I did stay up past midnight, have a margarita with dinner, and wear tight pants.

I know, impressive, right?

And now it’s Sunday and tomorrow’s Monday (Rebecca Black anyone?) and I’m ignoring the fact that I have to go to work tomorrow.

Work?  What work? Lalalalala…I can’t hear you…

Besides, I have a stalker to tend to.

Up until today, he hasn’t bothered me too much.  It is kind of weird that he knows all my friends and he always knows what I’m up to and he has lots of pictures of me, but I usually can ignore him when I need to.

Today though, he crossed the line.  The minute I got to the coffee shop, he showed up and started offering crazy advice.  I took a picture for you guys to see how creepy this guy is:

Really Facebook?!  Honey, the movie?!  REALLY?

5 seconds, no, not even 5 seconds after I posted my status, Facebook felt the need to refresh itself so that it could recommend Honey, the movie, to me.

Because it’s not like the fact that it knows my search history, middle school acquaintances, and obsession with online coupons is creepy enough.  It has to watch me while I update my status too.

Big Brother?  psh.  Eagle eye?  whatever.  Facebook?  freaks me the f*** out.

And yet, I CAN’T GIVE IT UP.

Have. to. like. comment.

And the government is worried about marijuana being the gateway drug.