Lately I have been messaging back and forth on Facebook with one of the Turkish musicians I met through my Bass Player friend a few weeks ago and somehow ended up volunteering to learn a song on my guitar by the time he returns from Istanbul. At the same time that I am kicking myself for suggesting such an idea, I find myself fired up by the challenge and motivation it presents. Not to mention I love my guitar and it's about damn time.
See her over there? I call her Madeleine. She's kind of sexy but in a classy sort of way, and for those of you who like details - she's an acoustic-electric Yamaha Compass Series XP in the violin sunburst finish. When I bought her I needed a smaller sized guitar to fit my frame, and I wanted something that was of decent quality, but knew I shouldn't bother with buying something super expensive as a beginner. Now I feel like she and I could be together forever, you know? Okay, this is just getting weirder by the moment.
What I was getting at is that I started practicing after work the other night, checking out tabs and trying to find a song that I like to sing along with but isn't too old or booooring. It took me a little while to refresh my memory as to "top" and "bottom" strings and then I started working out the notes with my little, so non-nimble fingers. I'm sure there's a proper way to place your fingers for the specific notes, but right now I have to do it any way I can make it work. I started around 5 PM and by the time I knew it 8 PM had rolled around and I had a few of the notes worked out and was trying to get better with the transitions through first four/five notes of the verse. My fingertips were bruised and sore when I finally called it quits for a run.
I actually took a week or so off from running while I was sick with THE FREAKIN' PLAGUE that is sweeping through Seattle, so it felt awesome to finally get out on the pavement again until about 2 minutes into my run when I caught my toe on the sidewalk and biffed it. I fell onto my "bad" knee and knew I had scraped it up but decided it wasn't bad enough to stop the session. Even more awesome - there were people walking towards me on the sidewalk, so despite the minor embarrassment I quickly got back on my feet and got back into my pace. When I got home I found this:
Which two days later looks like this:
I had to cover up the scrape with a band aid yesterday, since it kept rubbing on my pants and stinging like all-get-out, but the whole kneecap is bruised and there's no getting around that. Oddly enough, my normal knee pain doesn't seem as bad, so maybe I broke up some of the tissue that was causing the problem in the first place...Who knows?
I do know that no bruised fingers or bloody knees are going to keep this girl down, so tonight I'm back at it. No rest for the wicked, right?
I sleep in, spend a little extra time snuggling with Gizmo and Wilson who are inevitably flanking me in the form of warm furry balls when I wake up, put on some comfy pjs and set to cleaning my apartment. I'll usually queue up episodes of Mad Men and Dexter from my laptop to my TV and occasionally throw in a new release or an old favorite to have something interesting I can be distracted by as I pick up around my place.
I may walk/drive to the shopping center down the street for coffee or groceries or stuff for the house, I may run or do yoga, but when the sun goes down I start the relaxatin'.
I make sure my bed is made up, turn down the lights in my apartment then in my nice clean bathroom, light some fantastic smelling candles, brew up a cup of Yogi Bedtime tea or pour a glass of champagne, roll one up, bring in my laptop with Mad Men queued up, set up my bath pillow and run a hot bubble bath. After I am all set up, I proceed to enjoy the remainder of my weekend.
When I am ready to start easing myself out of the warm coziness I grab my favorite soap to get myself spic and span, then I get out of the tub and into my super fluffy robe. I head for my vanity, where I schmear my face with beauty products, ditch my robe to get some lotion on my skin (especially important after a hot bath AND in the fall/winter) then I take the laptop to my bed and slip in between the luscious sheets for a bit of mindless Facebooking and maybe a little bit of reading.
God, I love my life.
Perfect wardrobe editing music.
Just a few days ago, the phone rang about 15 minutes before the place I work was going to close for the day. Since I was essentially the last person there, I was the only one available to answer the phone and boy, did I ever get lucky that day! (/sarcasm)
I work in a rather industrial area and we rent monthly parking spaces to truck drivers who need a place to leave their trucks overnight. As far as I know, none of our customers sleep in their trucks, but even though I sometime stop at the gas station next door during non-work hours I've never bothered to actually check. The gentleman who called me apparently wasn't aware that as far as I know those trucks are vacant in the evenings and the possibility of the situation he presented to me actually occurring is highly unlikely in this specific area.
Here is how the phone call went after I answered the phone:
Polite sounding "Truck Driver": I was in my truck last night and I noticed a really cute young lady with a very nice butt wandering around the parking lot. It turns out that she was actually a young boy, but she was going from truck to truck giving favors. If she didn't charge anything for her services, was it illegal?
Me: Huh. Well, I suppose it's not illegal if she was doing it for free, though it is kind of disgusting.
Truck Driver: Hey, I didn't mind, I just wanted to check.
Me: Okay, I guess truck drivers need love too? Let me check with our VP to see how he would like to handle this.
(he holds, but I get no answer at the VP's extension)
Alright, I obviously can't do anything about the situation that occurred last night but if she wasn't asking for money, then I can't specifically say what she was doing was against the law, though it is private property and it could be considered trespassing or loitering.
Truck Driver: I really didn't mind, she stopped my my truck and it actually was a boy with a really nice ass, but she was pretty cute and I took her up on her offer.
Me: Okay, well...(he interrupts me)
Truck Driver: Honestly, I've never sucked a dick like that before, but she was really cute and had a nice, big, 7 inch cock.
Me: Hang on, let me get my VP. (when I put him on hold to ask my boss to handle it, the caller hung up)
Why, I NEVER...The VP is pretty sure that it was one of our competitors harrassing us to get a good laugh since we've never really had an issue with "lot lizards" due to the fact that the drivers that park in our spots typically leave their cars there during the day and drive home after they park the big rigs. Either way, it was the most interesting conclusion to my day in the 3 1/2 years I've worked here. I can't imagine it will happen again, but next time I'm prepared to perv right back at them to really blow their minds. My goal is to get them to hang up first.
Earlier in the week, I had made plans with my favorite bass player/good friend to get together and hang out on Friday. Nothing specific, just "hey let's meet up and we'll figure out something to do" since both of us are pretty social and mostly stay on top of interesting stuff that may be going on in Seattle. As the day approached, he asked me if I would be okay with at some point meeting up with the manager/members of this band in the Belltown neighborhood so he could propose a show to them that he's coordinating in December. Apparently the same night City Hostel was having an open house and since one of my artist friends had painted a room there I was totally agreeable to starting our evening off in that 'hood. In the meantime, another mutual friend invited us to meet up with him in Ballard and I invited my gorgeous single bff to meet up with us as well, since the U-District (where she lives) isn't too far from the 'Lard.
Bass Player and I ran a little late so we missed the open house (I mean, shit, it ended at 9PM and who even goes out that early?), but we waited at Shorty's (one of the only places I can handle in a neighborhood typically filled with bleached blondes, mini skirts, gel and popped collars on the weekends) having hot dogs and boozy smoothies until we decided to give up on the Turks for the moment and head to our Northern destination. We met up with our friends at a dive bar for a drink and shortly after that found out the Turks were just down the street from us at King's Hardware (a less divey, more popular bar) and we all decided to wander that way.
They are some of my new favorite people, y'all. Fun, good-looking, interesting AND nice...I've got me a big ol' crush on their keyboard player now. Time flew by and before I even realized it, they were turning the lights on and kicking everyone out of King's. If you know me, you know I haven't stayed out until past closing time at a bar OR a party for a verrrrry long time, but I actually still had energy to spare. Thank goodness for that, because by that time one of our friends was WASTED and we took on the task of getting his abnormally tall, extremely uncoordinated ass home. We kept asking him where he lived, but at that point he was apparently too drunk to tell us - so getting him to his doorstep was quite an adventure. Gorgeous single bff and I didn't even get to my place until well after 3 AM, but we spent some time giggling about the evening and crashed out soon enough.
I went out in flats and a t-shirt (more my work attire than going out attire), went to neighborhoods I typically avoid as much as possible, uncharacteristically stayed out until the wee hours of the morning and every time I think of that night, I break out in a smile. I may have been almost ruined energy-wise for the rest of the weekend but I still managed to squeeze in a barbeque and movie night pre-funk at the GBF's on Saturday then cleaned my place and started up a new Sunday ritual to finish out the weekend.
So, here's how it works: you put the loose tea in the strainer/infuser, put it into the tumbler, pour hot water to about the halfway point of the strainer, cover and let it brew. Then you take out the strainer and dump it, pop in the sipper top and you're good to go. I have a feeling those last two steps might be quite difficult if you were actually "on the go" and the holes seem to be a little large to keep out many types of leaves, but for my purposes it works perfectly AND it keeps my tea warmer for much longer than a regular cup/mug.
Really, it's a great gift for tea lovers and from what I can find online they are very reasonably priced as well, ranging from $10-$20. I think you should be able to find them at sporting goods stores and here on Amazon. Happy brewing, y'all!
Not to say I haven't been a happy person; I love a lot of aspects of my life - I have great friends and family, a job working with a number of people who make me laugh and learn on a daily basis, and a nice comfortable place to call home. It's more than many people can say they have right now and I know I'm blessed and therefore have a deep appreciation for what I've got.
Many people would tackle one thing at a time, but I'm confident I can put my energy into a fresh approach towards a few key aspects of my life, starting with my health and budget.As I mentioned before, I am intent on losing at least 8 pounds before Halloween. The overall goal is to be healthier when I turn 30 than I was at 20, but one has to start somewhere. I picked up the shorts for my costume yesterday and I think even if I lose 5 pounds I'll be in fine enough shape to pull it off without any embarrassment or being too self-conscious. That aside, people who lose weight successfully and keep it off know that changing your lifestyle is imperative to staying in shape. Thankfully, I have ample time to jog a few miles at least 3 days a week and the benefits to my body and my mental well-being are immediately obvious when I stick to it. But that's not enough - I need more (and my knee pain agrees).
When I trained for the Half Marathon, the training schedule had cross-training built in, which unfortunately the Couch to 5K program does not, and the difference has been obvious. I *need* the stretching that Yoga provides and the core strength that Pilates builds. At this point I can barely afford to take actual classes, so that's where another change in my life comes in: I need to better manage my budget.
I guess that may not be the right way to say it - I need to use my expendable income in a more useful manner. I've been blowing too much on yummy and horrible food from the deli next door to my work or fast food when I am being lazy and not only is it not helping my waistline, it's a total waste of money. So I signed up for Mint.com (B was the one who told me about the site, but I had no clue how it would be useful to me since I already have the budget for my bills/rent/necessities laid out months in advance) and I can track and restrict how much I allow myself to spend on certain unnecessary things like fast food/restaurants/cigarettes. That way I can spend my money on things that enhance my life, like EXPERIENCES. Why did it take so freakin' long to figure this out? *shakes head* It all ties back into my aspirations for improved health, since I typically eat better when I cook for myself.
And that brings me to "Me," I imagine. I've been feeling different. Inspired. Focused. A deep desire for improvement on my own. Alone. I know from my past that I can't do the things I need to do for myself if I am worried about dating/men, etc. My home is cleaner, my motivation is higher, my relationships with people who mean the most to me are more satisfying when I am single, and I am loving it far too much to consider giving it up for anyone else. I don't necessarily feel "new," but I most assuredly feel "improved" and I am going to hold on tightly to everything that has recently been propelling me towards being a more exceptional human being.
I made my 100 mile "milestone" last week and got back on schedule for my training this week, which feels amazing (except for my knees, which is why I'm pretty darn intent on starting Bikram/Hot Yoga A to the SAP), especially since I'm down to a 12:30 pace and moving in the right direction.
2) Guitar practice...I think this is going to have to take a back seat to everything else at the moment. I'm going to be pretty busy, so I'm not sure how regularly I'm going to be able to pick 'er up.
3) My birthday: I welcomed twentyfine with open arms. I hadn't planned on doing much of anything, but B sent me a cheesecake AND a chocolate cake and I obviously couldn't eat them both myself. I texted a few of my close friends and invited them over for cake, which turned into cake and wine (that's how we do) and good times at my casa. I had a lovely day and really enjoyed how mellow it was compared to a few of the parties from previous years.
Which leads us to the content of my next post - The New and Improved Alyson. I've been feeling really focused in the past few weeks and am taking my life in a fresh direction that I'm overwhelmingly excited for. I'll tell you more about it very soon.
Actually, there is one other thing - DO NOT PAY RETAIL for these brushes! Though it obviously does the job it is intended to (pretty much - I can't vouch for it's allergen reduction), there is no way I can justify paying $25-$50 for a glorified comb. They come in Small, Medium, Large, Cat and Equine sizes, ranging from 1.75 inches to 5 inches wide (the cat and small versions seem to differ only in color). I managed to find the medium sized FURminator® (2.75 inch edge) on ebay for a much more reasonable price and find that it suits my needs with 2 larger cats perfectly. I can't necessarily say I've seen a reduction in shedding, but the bottom line is that all the fur that was pulled off definitely isn't going on my furniture and *that* is a good thing.
Do your research at their web-site: http://www.furminator.com/ and then check ebay for a better deal.
After my frustration the other day, I convinced a cute EMT friend of mine who happens to also know how to play the guitar to come over and see if he could help me with my form and a bit of music theory and surprisingly enough he managed to answer all my questions and show me how to use tabs. I still need to get more strength in my fingers, so I'll definitely be sticking with the exercises for a while. Unfortunately, I was kind of wiped after his visit and never made it out for my run.
Yesterday I got slammed by all the typical "I got paid and need to buy stuff" errands and after dragging 9 bags full of groceries up 3 flights of stairs I decided I deserved a break and would push my run to the morning...Yeahhhhh, so couldn't get to sleep until after midnight and there was no way I was going to cut even further into my 7 precious hours, so I've got training today and tomorrow, but I'll finally be reaching 100 miles!
Time for serious business, y'all - I've got 8 pounds to lose by Halloween and I am fiercely determined. No more excuses!
And speaking of strengthening:
99.61 miles. Not even four-tenths of a mile until I hit 100 total since I began running in January. I'm so close I can feel it.
I woke up too early this morning after a pretty heinous nightmare; a vivid one like those that I typically experience when I get back on the nicotine patches regularly (which I have). Add to that a long session on the People You Will See In Hell website right before bed and you've got yourself some really effed up dreams. I won't name names since I actually like these folks, but let's just say I was given the task of disposing of the bodies. Yes, "bodies," plural.
At 6 AM, after barely 6 hours of sleep (I need 8 hours, people. I don't call it "beauty sleep," I call it "preventing me from going postal sleep.") I was already mentally rearranging my training schedule for the week. Since I had postponed my run on Sunday, that would leave me running 2 days in a row and I'm not sure my energy levels or knee can handle it today and I could space them out through the rest of the week, no problems. BUT, jeez, I only have 4/10 of a mile until I hit 100 and it's hard to just "sit" on that number.
I think I'll coffee up and reconsider.