Priorities!

Friday, December 17, 2010
Okay, so I didn't go to class. After contemplating what my teacher could possibly (most likely)intend for the last class in the 6 week series I couldn't really find a reason to justify driving from West Seattle to the U District and paying for parking. I've still got Rosetta, a good workbook and loved ones who are more than happy to help me continue learning so I'm not feeling too guilty.

Instead I spent the evening reorganizing my drawers. This weekend the Madre and I searched far and wide (aka as Southcenter's furniture district) for a lingerie chest to help accommodate Bear's clothing when he comes back for his holiday visit (and beyond.) My tidy Virgo tendencies would not do well dealing with him living out of a suitcase, even if only for a week and a half. Because I had skipped the Jingle Run (why I don't own waterproof running gear in Seattle baffles even me, but it was too effing wet) but I still wanted to hang out with my Mom, I figured this was the perfect day to get out and look.

Um, so, I learned a lingerie chest is a very specific type of furniture that places don't keep a lot of versions of AND they usually run around $300 on the lower end. So, off to ikea we went to purchase the $150 version, which we put together in 3 hours the next day. It's simple but beautiful and I seriously felt a sense of accomplishment after making it through all 27 steps without resorting to drinking or throwing things.

The piece it is replacing was a much smaller 2 drawer chest with a usable surface area. Because I didn't go to class, I finally had a chance to make the adjustments to lighting and decor around the bedroom as well as getting the clothes redistributed. Again, my donation pile grew and also I ended up lugging everything downstairs to take to Goodwill.
With only a number of days now until my boyfriend gets back, I have A LOT OF SHIZ TO DO. I believe shall be coping with a little bit of retail therapy to balance out the grocery shopping, fish tank cleaning, bedding washing, girly grooming, etc. I earned it, and I am making it a priority too.

"ours" vs. "my/mine"

Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Only one week until I get to see my boyfriend. Halle-freakin'-lujah! Not a moment too soon, really.

Also, tonight is my last Beginning Turkish class. Can I get an "Amen?" I've enjoyed the class, but working on noun cases for the past 3 weeks with no forward movement has been incredibly frustrating. I had a pretty good grasp after the first class we worked on them, but I guess she felt the rest of the students were confused enough to warrant an additional 2 sessions (out of 6) on the same stinkin' subject. I think I might go back to Rosetta Stone until I can find an Intermediate class with a little more momentum - I'm not a fan of being forced to pace people who are having trouble grasping pretty simple concepts. Even after discussing my concerns with the teacher, it was clear she did not want to move on to another subject and obviously was not attentive enough to understand how far ahead of the other students a few of us are already moving.

I have a butt-load to take care of around the apartment in the next 7 days, which I am slowly trying to teach myself to refer to as "our" apartment. After 30 years of being an only child and a number of years living on my own (with a few brief failed attempts at cohabitation in my late teens and early 20s,) sometimes I find myself having to consciously focus on the fact that it is now technically "our" apartment and the things in it are essentially "ours" (hands off my Dermalogica, boyfriend.) Once he's actually physically there and helping me with the nitty gritty (like cleaning and finances,) I'm sure it will come much more naturally.

I'm surprisingly not super freaked out about the fact that in a month or so I will no longer be living alone, like, ever again. I know the initial time period where we're crammed into a little one bedroom is going to take adjusting to, but we have our eyes on the prize - a 2 bedroom pet-friendly home with a washer and dryer located somewhere north of the current place. Together. That's the best/most important/coolest part.

Two weeks...

Wednesday, December 8, 2010
...until I see my sweet, adorable Bear again.

In honor of that happy event, I give you some Al Green:

Reaching the threshold and being ok.

Monday, December 6, 2010
I've found out my breaking point when it comes to my boyfriend being away. Well, I suppose we figured it out before but I didn't realize how the cycle of okayness in my head really truly works (or doesn't.)

Last time Bear left, we agreed that if he were to be gone any longer than 2 months on this recent trip we would figure out a way for one of us to visit. I am now positive this is a pretty good rule to follow from this point forward, for the sake of our sanity if nothing else.

The first month, I'm "OK." I can usually keep myself busy and there aren't too many effects on my daily life, though I am bummed about the non-cuddling and may get a little lazy with my cleaning efforts. Once it passes that one month mark, I start to get sad. Now, if the absence is only one month beyond that I can usually keep it together for another week or so until I have to start readying myself for his return. Pass that one month month with no return date to look forward to and I start to get really sad. Like, "put me on medication sad." I wish I were joking.

Maybe it's just the multiple disappointments we've both had to face this year schedule-wise while still trying to move our relationship forward and the stress of being apart so much AND maybe it will be more bearable as the months go by and we can actually spend more time together than apart, but when it was becoming clear he was going to be gone for 12+ weeks instead of the projected 6-8 it was simply too much for me to handle.

He's my best friend, he's the love of my life, he is my rock; being apart is overwhelmingly hard on both of us. I was already incredibly bummed he'd be gone for Christmas, to add another month beyond that was unimaginable for me. I was crushed. Sadly, it doesn't just strain our relationship, it's also really hard on the friendships I've developed with the rest of his band/management, too.

Thankfully, my Bear is keeping his word. I'm not sure exactly how it came about, but as the offer for the January tour dates became more concrete he apparently became more convinced that he need to come home for a visit. Just like that, "how the hell am I going to make it another 2 months??" transitioned to "oh crap, I have less than 3 weeks to get my sh*t together."

So, he'll come back for a visit and brighten my spirits for the holidays then should only be gone another month beyond that for the tour...Afterward he can come home to me and we can find a bigger place of our own. Finally, our hard work this year will start to pay off the way it should. THAT I can handle.

Seattle Jingle Bell Run 2010 is approaching fast.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Every December for the past 4 years I have participated in the Seattle Jingle Bell Run to support The Arthritis Foundation’s mission to prevent, control and cure arthritis.

Beyond the fact that I am personally afflicted and hope for better treatment options for myself, I am also fully aware that it affects more than 46 million Americans, including 300,000 children, costing the U.S economy over $128 billion annually. Yes, indeed - billions of dollars as one of the nation's most common causes of disability.

I've raised a respectable amount of money in the past, but I truly get the most joy out of the ritual it has become. The Madre will come pick my inevitably grumpy ass up and drop me off in downtown Seattle, where I lace on my bells (alone or with friends) and get my cold butt as quickly to the finish line as I can manage so I can go inside somewhere for breakfast and mimosas. I always smile when the carols start, sometimes I get a little teary, but I always have fun.

If you like to run, please consider joining me this year as one of those crazy people who gets up too early in the cold on a Sunday morning (we can celebrate with mimosas!) You can register here: http://www.seattlejinglebellrun.org/

If you don't like to run and aren't slightly insane and maybe have a few bucks to spare for a really great cause, please consider helping me with my fundraising here: http://seattlejinglebellrun.kintera.org/lovepigeon

If neither are possible for you this year, I'd still love to have your support in spirit! It's freakin' chilly out there.

He does what he can.

Monday, November 29, 2010
While I am still sad that Bear's absence is going to be longer than we had hoped, I have to give him credit - he really has done his best on this trip to get as much face time as possible with me on Skype and give me as much attention as he can.

Most evenings after I get home from work we'll talk for a for a while, sometimes on the weekends we'll just leave the camera for hours on as we work on projects separately, occasionally he'll get into bed and just leave his laptop open until the battery dies after he falls asleep.

It's no substitute for having my living, breathing dude snuggled up to me on the couch with our kitties, but it's a lot better than relying on phone calls, emails and letters to stay in touch, of course.

As bummed out as I was last week after finding out about Christmas, there's really nothing he could've done to be a better boyfriend.

On Monday, Seattle was hit with snow. My coworker who lives near me had ridden her bike to work, so I volunteered to give her a ride home. On my way from her apartment to my own (it took an hour to go from work to her place to my place - all in West Seattle,) I quickly realized my cute little Hyundai is not made for inclement weather. There was a near death experience and a major curb check that trashed one of my front rims; by the time I made it home I was sore, tired and a more than a little freaked out. I opened my mail only to find my one year anniversary gift waiting for me - a gift card for a manicure, pedicure and massage at the salon he goes to for his haircuts in Seattle.

Tuesday was a "Snow Day" and the day he told me he wasn't scheduled to come home before December 25th.

Wednesday, I cried a lot. He tried to reassure me a lot.

Thursday (Thanksgiving,) was our anniversary.

Historically, The Madre and I never found much use for the whole big turkey dinner. That didn't change after I got out on my own, but we wanted to spend time together (um, that's the real meaning of the holidays, riiiight?) so she took me to breakfast at one of our local go-to diners and we chatted for a while.

Once I got home I pulled the Christmas tree out of storage, since Bear and I had already decided to put it up "together" before he told me he wouldn't be here for the actual holiday. It's a pre-lit, 3 foot artificial cutie - perfectly sized for my apartment. Most of the ornaments were the ones with sentimental value that I convinced Ma to left me have when I moved out, but Bear did get me a few more at Turkfest and I had some traditional balls to fill up space.

We got on Skype and after the usual catch up for the day and "love yous" and "happy anniversaries," I popped on some holiday music and got down to setting it up. He worked on music and occasionally gave input, even suggesting maybe we just leave it up for the next year to make up for him not being here for Christmas. While I can't imagine that happening, especially since we'll be moving into a bigger place as soon as possible when he returns, the idea cheered me up.

***One of the many many many reasons I love him - even from across the planet he puts a huge smile on my face.***

When I finally finished up, he was definitely ready for bed (I always forget if Turkey is 9 or 10 hours ahead, but the bottom line is - boyfriend stays up really late to be able to see me,) so I left the laptop open and kept working around my place until I was sure he had drifted off to sleep.

Our relationship has been a little unconventional, but I will give him this - Bear is doing everything in his power to keep me happy despite the distance. As sad as I can get sometimes, I know that I am a very lucky girl to have such a devoted guy itching to come home to me.

Color me disappointed (<----understatement of the year.)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Geez, there are so many ways I could catch y'all up here because it's been a while since I last posted, but the only thing I've been able to think about for the past day is that Bear is not coming home in time for Christmas.

Technically, that means this year he'll have been gone for all of my favorite holidays (Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas.) Did I mention that Thanksgiving is our one year anniversary? Yeahhhh. And this is after my birthday in September basically got pre-empted for a show. I'm growing more than weary of this.

For The Madre and I, these days have always been mellow but shared with the ones we love that are closest and most important to us - usually each other and/or our oldest friends. I was really looking forward to sharing that with him this year, since last year at this time we had just started officially dating and kept the holidays quite "light." I knew it was possible he wouldn't be home, but now that he's said it out loud it is a lot more real.

Honestly, I'm crushed. Right now I feel like all my holiday spirit is gone.

P.S. Though I truly appreciate the fact that some of my friends might think that inviting me out will help, please don't - it's not going to.

NaBloPoMo FAIL

Monday, November 15, 2010
You would think that being ill all weekend would make it easy to keep up with my NaBloPoMO challenge, but then you clearly wouldn't understand the distraction powers of the PlayStation 3. Red Dead Redemption, more specifically.

Sunday I was too tired to even make the effort to play video games and resorted to watching as much Deadwood as possible and working on my Turkish homework.

I hate being sick.

Okay, okay - I feel safe(r).

Friday, November 12, 2010
Due to some questionable activity in my neighborhood and the regular failure of my neighbors to heed the "please do not prop the door open, this is a security(sic) building" sign posted on pretty much every door, I was feeling really unsafe being home alone even before Bear left.

While preparing for his departure, we purchased an alarm for my apartment. In the interest of my own personal safety I won't be describing the exact system we chose, but I will say that we tested it out and were quite pleased with the initial results. For my front door there is an option to chime or sound an alarm when the door is opened while the system is armed.

The other morning before work (a little before 8 AM) I apparently neglected to turn off the door alarm before I departed for my car. I had set it up to "chime" and honestly did not expect the ear-piercing screech that it emitted. Startled, but with enough good sense to quickly shut the door, I switched it off and tried again to leave my apartment.

Except, I didn't actually switch it OFF - I flipped it all the way to ALARM. Holy eff.

I'm pretty sure my neighbors probably hate me, but I'd also bet no one on my floor will ever consider trying to break into my apartment either. I definitely feel safer.

My new favorite show ever. EVAR. (Please bring back Breaking Bad already.)

Thursday, November 11, 2010
I have a few associates that I trust implicitly to suggest shows, movies, etc. that I should spend my free time watching.

I haven't had real cable television for a very long while, so I don't typically spend a lot of time watching TV during the week and when I do I prefer that it's a decent quality, right? Don't get me wrong - sometimes I miss the HELL out of "reality programming," but most of it is...just not good for me (or probably you) to watch on a regular basis.

One of these friends recently turned me on to the amazing show that is/was Deadwood.

I am effing obsessed. I watch it all the time, I talk about it to others, it's been mentioned on my Facebook at least 3 times this week...It's my new favorite show ever.
And it was canceled 4 years ago.

I guess it shouldn't be a total surprise I love this show (SO NSFW):

A classic...

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Aren't we more advanced than this?

Tuesday, November 9, 2010
In the age of god-knows-how-many IM platforms AND Skype, I find myself incredibly frustrated when I am forced to correspond with my absent boyfriend via email.

I feel like I may as well be sending a carrier pigeon. *okay, okay, this is a slight exaggeration of the situation
On a similar note, I realized this weekend that due to his travel and phone restrictions Bear would make a pretty dreadful "Emergency Contact." *this is unfortunately not an exaggeration

I love a successful weekend.

Monday, November 8, 2010
Oh yes, there was a pedicure. Lots of ice cream too.

And Deadwood (thanks to a non-The Wire TV series suggestion from my favorite other American+Foreigner couple.)

I went to Hump! and watched amateur porn in a room with hundreds of other people, including the lovely group of my favorite Hill-ites I attended with.

I tried rock climbing with a girlfriend who is apparently part monkey and clearly far less afraid of heights. (see picture for her superhuman feats!)

I Skyped with my boo, I cleaned as much as I could motivate myself to...Pretty much all I could ask for from a weekend on my own.

All I have to do now is make it through Monday.

The streak is over.

Sunday, November 7, 2010
As of approximately 6 weeks ago, I broke my 30 year long "No Parking/Speeding Tickets" streak. Since then I've gotten a parking ticket about every 2 weeks. This is not a good sign.

One of them was clearly my fault, one of them was pretty much Bear's fault and the most recent one was a total shocker as I didn't seen any damn Zone Permit signs in the area and discovered it when I turned on my windshield wipers the next day in my own neighborhood. *shakes fist*

Still, I've lost almost $150 of my hard-earned money to parking tickets since late September and momma can't afford that shiz.

Two entirely different types of classes...

Saturday, November 6, 2010
I really can't imagine my Turkish teacher even saying the words "ass" or "inner diva," but they roll effortlessly off the tongue of the chick who teaches my Art of Seduction & Exotic Dance classes.

One session strains my brain, the other works my body but both push the boundaries of my confidence.

After all the running around I did this week, I didn't get to talk to Bear much on Skype and by Friday I definitely needed a night in to treat myself to a nice bath, some shows, hot tea and take out pizza and ice cream from my local favorites Proletariat and Full Tilt. It's also possible there may be a pedicure in my very near future.

It's definitely going to be a more hectic pace than I am used to during the week, but it will clearly help keep me busy and distracted until my dude can come home. Also, it means I don't have a lot of time on the weekdays to clean, so "Helloooooo again" Domestic Goddess Sundays!

Turkish class first impressions.

Friday, November 5, 2010
Oh, the First-Day-of-School-Jitters, how I did not miss you. At 30 years of age you might have thought I was immune, but you would be wrong.

True, they were almost nothing compared to that once practically terrifying approach to the new elementary school(s), junior high(s) and high school(s), yet my nerves were buzzing all day.

Our Beginning Turkish teacher is doing her PhD at University of Washington, so we have the luxury of using one of the Smart Rooms on campus. Parking and the classroom were easy enough to find and there were only 2 other students in the room when I arrived: one woman probably about my age and another around The Madre's age (mid-50s.) Soon enough another college-age girl arrived, followed by a guy probably a few years older than myself. After we all introduced ourselves and shared our reasons for signing up for the class (the majority of us are in a relationship with a Turkish person,) we got to schoolin'.

The beginning of our session was a bit scattered and we experienced a few hiccups, but by the end of class I was confident that our teacher (albeit a bit kooky) was definitely going to be able help us understand the basics. Of course, one of the first steps is learning the alphabet. Pretty sure I'll be practicing that this upcoming week with anyone willing to listen and watching this video over and over again.:



Next week we should get our workbooks and be able to progress even further. I'm gonna learn to speak Turkish, y'all!

In honor of the Turkish government re-opening online access to Youtube:

Thursday, November 4, 2010
This is for you Bear.



Now if only India's record company would actually let Youtube broadcast the official videos, the GBF and I would be a lot happier.

***Oops. that didn't last very long, did it? TURKEY: YouTube banned, again, over sex-scandal video

Can this even be called nesting?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010
I've noticed a trend: every time my boyfriend leaves for Turkey, I get the overwhelming urge to buy things like art and throw pillows.

Okay, not things like art and throw pillows, we're talking actual art and throw pillows.

I gather up stuff and take it to Goodwill, I clean like the dickens, etc. I think of it as nesting, but it definitely doesn't seem like the typical/standard pre-baby "nesting..." Probably because it's not, I suppose - there's no babies happenin' up in my goods anytime soon (PTL.)

On Friday I finally bought one of my friend Valentina Vitols photograph prints - one that I had my eye on for ages.

Saturday I bought...Wait for it...A throw pillow.

This time I even threw in a new throw for good measure. (Unfortunately, due it it's "bunnysoft" awesomeness my cat Gizmo seems to have adopted it as her long lost mother which means not only will she not leave me alone when I'm cuddling in it she apparently also feels compelled to drool all over the darn thing.)

Continuity counts!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010
I recently realized I am supremely bad at following up on the posts I write. I suppose that an entire month of blogging with a post every day will likely help remedy that, but I swear I will also be making more of a conscious effort.

For instance, I had about 3 blog entries scheduled to post when I realized that some of you might actually be interested in the following:

I did in fact end up staying in on Halloween (sort of.) Bear left me with an updated entertainment set-up, so on Saturday morning the Madre came over to help me take my old 27" tube TV down the 3 flights of stairs to my car and then to Goodwill. I'm pretty sure I heard one of her knees give way on the 2nd flight and I know that I ended up straining some muscles in my arm and back, but we got 'er done and went to lunch at my favorite salad bar. I ran a few more errands, did a bit of shopping, grabbed some sushi takeout and Sapporo, got in my pjs and settled in for the evening to watch Teen Witch and give my poor back a break.

Sunday was intended to be mellow, with a visit to a nearby friend's place to watch the Skeleton Theater. It was really rainy and quite cool that evening, so we warmed ourselves fire-side and chatted as the kiddos came for their treats. When we decided to head over to watch the show I grabbed my phone so I could take photos to send to Bear and realized I had multiple missed calls from various unknown numbers as well as new voicemails. Turns out the Madre had locked herself out of her house and had been frantically trying to get in touch with me so I could use my set of keys to let her in.

I ended up missing the show to go and rescue her, but had a lovely night with my friends nonetheless. I can't say I'll necessarily make staying in on Halloween a trend, but this year it was exactly what I needed.

Oh, I can do *that*!

Monday, November 1, 2010
How did I not know about NaBloPoMo?

"National Blog Posting Month is the epicenter of daily blogging! People who want to set the habit of blogging by doing it every day for a month, including weekends, can come here for moral support, inspiration, and the camaraderie that only marathon blogging can provide."

After failing my NaNoWriMo challenge last year I definitely had no plans to participate this year, especially considering how busy my November will already be with Turkish classes and Sensual Movement classes every week. That's a lotta words. Every day. I barely had time for it last year, this year it would be ridiculous to even try.

Buuuuut this morning I came across another blog mentioning NaBloPoMo - one blog post per day? I can do that.

An appropriate investment.

Saturday, October 30, 2010
At Turkfest a few weeks back I had the opportunity to meet another American/Turkish couple, though in their case she's the Turk and he's the American. He had learned to speak Turkish and mentioned that in his opinion Rosetta Stone was useful for languages such as Spanish and French but not so much for Turkish. I can see what he was getting at - I have no idea why I need to learn the words for "horse" and "elephant" before I learn "hello." Seriously? I'm pretty glad I didn't pay for the program.

Approaching a year of being together, it really feels like a more than appropriate time to put the effort into learning his language since he's been so dutifully learning mine. The day after Turkfest (which was fun and educational) I ventured back to the website for the Turkish American Cultural Association of Washington (TACAWA for shortsies) to look into the classes I know they usually offer. Turns out that the Fall Quarter for Beginning Turkish basically runs for 6 weeks starting the first week of November, with one two hour class every Wednesday.

Bear is going to be gone at least 6 weeks and probably a bit longer, so really, the timing couldn't be more perfect. While he's gone, I'll be gettin' my learnin' on. It's gonna cost me a bit more than Rosetta Stone did, but the ability to communicate with my boo in his native language is pretty much priceless, in my humble opinion.

Soooo, by the time he returns I'll actually be able to speak some Turkish and give him a lap dance. Hokahey!

Gone, but not forgotten...

Thursday, October 28, 2010
As in, my presence on this blog lately and my boyfriend. Thankfully, neither absence is permanent.

Shortly after my most recent post earlier this month, Bear confirmed the date for his return trip to Istanbul (leaving exactly one month before our one year anniversary.) I was basically left with just over 2 weeks to get in all the Fall festivities and snuggle time I could manage. We went go carting, we went to TurkFest, we went to The Farm, we carved a pumpkin (his first jack-o-lantern,) drank a lot of tea and watched the rest of The Wire Season 3 together. It was pretty darn glorious and I was feeling like I was definitely mentally prepared to be away from my guy for a few months.

Oh, I was wrong. (But at least this time I didn't put him through 2 weeks of being all weepy beforehand!)

It's been a rough week. Realizing that not only did my boyfriend leave he took my best friend with him was tough (and eye-opening,) and work has been a little crazy with the impending ownership changes...I was ready for the weekend by Tuesday afternoon and feeling totally unprepared and uninspired for what is usually my favorite holiday EVER - Halloween.

Finally yesterday I got to talk to Bear on the phone, which was a huge help in raising my spirits. We'd only been able to email and that is honestly one of my least favorite ways of communicating (most likely because I am totally impatient.) Last night I got to visit with my favorite homegirls AND my favorite 'mos and tonight I'll probably get to see my dude on Skype, so I'm hoping to be mostly cleared of my funk by this weekend.

Still, I have 2 classes starting next week and a somewhat busy schedule - it probably wouldn't hurt to stay in, right?

Trip to Spokanistan?

Saturday, October 9, 2010
One of my FAVORITEST BANDS EVER, Barcelona, is playing an all-ages show in Spokompton in a few weeks and I am seriously considering going.

I've never seen them live which is mind-boggling since they are a freakin' Seattle band, but they play here so INfrequently I don't have many options. The only concert date they've had locally since I discovered the Absolutes album just happened to be on the evening that we flew to SF for Bear's show, and the next one is actually only a performance at a Symphony Guild event.

The cool part would be that I've got family in that area that could meet up with me, including 2 college-age cousins who I don't get to visit with nearly enough AND it would be a fun first time roadtrip with Bear. We could probably stay with my lovely school-teacher Aunt, but I'm concerned we might overwhelm the bf with family stuff so I've been scoping out hotels for Friday night.

Still, it's quite the trek. On the other hand, I have no idea when they'll play a full show in Seattle again and it's NOT OKAY that I haven't seen them live.

How far would you go to see one of your favorite bands play?

No "winter weight" for me, thanks.

Friday, October 8, 2010
Yes, Fall is here and I am cooking (and therefore eating) up a storm and it's oh-so-easy to come home and hit the couch when it gets darker earlier and earlier, but I am determined not to find myself saddled with a bunch of hibernation weight in the Spring.

I took a few weeks off from running after Iron Girl and managed to maintain my lower weight, but lately I've found myself feeling so "blah" that I knew I had to get out and hit the pavement again - if not for my waist, for my sanity. Thankfully, I'd typically rather run in the rain than than the hot sun, so this is always a productive time of year for increasing my mileage.

On those days where I'm just not feeling up to getting wet, I've stocked up enough DVDs to keep me occupied and have a groupon for Hot Yoga I finally need to use; in November I'm signed up for Pole for the Soul's "Art of Seduction & Exotic Dance" 4 week class, which should also hopefully help keep me toned up.

One DVD in my arsenal that I haven't gotten to try much but I'm looking forward to using frequently this fall is "Element: Ballet Conditioning." The reviews were pretty good and the workout I tried during my 10k training was kinda brutal even with variations and occasional breaks, so I'm extremely curious to see the results of a few months of using it. If So You Think You Can Dance is any indicator, dancers usually seem to have bangin' bodies and I feel it's definitely worth a try.

What about you: is there a routine you follow in the colder months? Do you give in to the holidays and bust your ass in the Spring to try to get your "summer body" back? Or do you go with "just say no to cookies" when the inevitable piles make their way to your office?

Someday I will publish a cookbook.

Thursday, October 7, 2010
This probably isn't a surprise to most of you who know me; the Madre has definitely been hearing me say it for a very long while now. Every weekend, my Facebook is covered with pictures of whatever I may have cooked up for Bear and if requested, I am always happy to pass along the recipe.

In the meantime, to spark creativity when needed, I have become quite partial to a cookbook written by someone else: Kitty Greenwald. Oddly enough, I found her on Esty (my favorite social commerce website.) Kitty is the chef for "Eatsy" lunches at the Brooklyn offices: a regular Wednesday staff meal that is provided by the company for employees. One of her recipes was featured on an e-newsletter I received and from there my attention was drawn to her super cute cookbook titled "Life's Too Short to Chop Onions: 99 Dinners to Make When You'd Rather Be Doing Something Else."

Not that I often wish I were doing something else; clearly I love cooking, but I'm definitely not a fan of hugely involved recipes that take hours or days of work...I was immediately intrigued enough to purchase the book.

So far, I've made the Baked Chicken Meatballs, Red Rice Royale, Brazen Broccoli (adapted with frozen heads to save even more time,) Simply Stewed (made with home grown chard instead of spinach,) One Potato Two Potato Gratin, and used a few of her basic recipes for salmon and asparagus. Every single thing that I've made has gone over like gangbusters, and her suggested menus have been incredibly helpful at pairing items together - I really couldn't be more pleased.

Out of the stack of cookbooks I have in my kitchen at all times, this one definitely gets used the most. The recipes do seem very Mediterranean-based (probably why the bf is such a fan,) but I have been informed that the recipe for "Turkish Oranges" is not so authentic...As in, my Turkish boyfriend had no clue what they were.

Of course one day I hope to be able to call myself a published author of a cookbook, but for now I'll be working my way through Kitty's. What is YOUR favorite cookbook or recipe resource?

Blah.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010
and meh.

Had one of those weekends that vacillated between wonderfully cozy and absolute suck, and I ended up on the other side in a funk, for sure. Even with a haircut scheduled and a light day at work, my Monday wasn't looking too great.

Thankfully, by the time I left Helle at 8 PM (after sticking around for a glass of wine and a long overdue chance to catch up with one of my besties,) I was the proud owner of a new Sour Puss oven mitt/pot holder set, the happy reciever of multiple hugs, and less of a sad-sack.

Of course, we covered the "howsitgoings" and jokingly discussed the fact that it always seems to be Mercury's fault when things are going wonky with our lives or the people and things around us. Today when my friend posted a link to this article covering Mercury's latest antics, I had to smile...until I read the following:

"Communication planet Mercury battles it out when Pluto, the planet that tends to obsess to the point of domination. If you’re feeling at all depressed, unsatisfied, anxious or even wishy-washy about something going on in your life, those thoughts could lead to compulsions, and those compulsions could show their nasty little faces when you’re interacting with those closest to you. Meaning, while you may try to divulge your emotions and frustrations, you could end up causing harm to your relationships by saying too much, being too harsh or acting without enough care and consideration. At the same time, it’s important to be aware that someone else may bring their problems onto you, and in a wrong or ineffective way."

Whoa.
It's fine if you don't believe in astrology, but that hit the nail on the head for me. This week I'm definitely doing a little bit of hiding (mostly just to let the stuff in my own head blow over, but it sure ain't gonna hurt to get my filing done.)

I HEART electricity.

Sunday, September 26, 2010
After dealing with two separate power outages due to fallen trees within one week in different neighborhoods of the city, I have to say I'm not sure I'm ready for what this fall/winter may bring weather-wise for the Pacific Northwest. I'm thinking it's a probably a good idea to maybe double check my flashlights and replenish my supply of batteries, candles and blankets over the next few weeks just in case.

Those of you who were running around in Seattle's 75+ degree weather this Saturday may not be convinced, but the Farmer's Almanac is predicting a "mild & very wet" winter for the Pacific Northwest. I'm pretty glad I started stocking up on rainboots.

Officially Embracing Fall 2010®

Tuesday, September 21, 2010
I am thoroughly convinced and resolute, folks - I don't care if it was sunny and beautiful for a while this weekend, because it was surely followed up with clouds and sprinkles. This is Fall in Seattle.

I spent most of my weekend on the Island and by Sunday morning (ok, let's be real - I woke up at noon) the sound of rain falling from the balcony above the window in Bear's bedroom had become a very familiar noise. I did my usual social media and email catch up via blackberry from the warm comfort of the blankets next to my sleepy boyfriend. Perusing through my daily influx of discount offers from Groupon, LivingSocial, Tippr and the like I found THE PERFECT DEAL for getting into the spirit of Fall (see? I'm so ready I'm even capitalizing it these days.)

For a surprisingly small amount of money, the bf and I have earned access to The Farm at Swan's Trail and it's huge 12-acre corn maze ("it contains over 250 actual roads and 400 places and towns marked by signs...There are 4-1/2 actual miles of highways and country roads within the maze,") putting course, cow train, hay maze, and petting zoo. Oh, and I can't forget to mention the WAGON RIDES and PUMPKIN PATCH, right?

You might think it strange for a grown woman to be so excited over all this and equally cruel to intend to drag my unassuming bf along, but I've got it under good authority that fun can and usually is had by all; the yelp reviews are pretty assuring too.

Whatever, it's all part of the Officially Embracing Fall 2010® campaign. The Official Search For Rainboots continues this evening, followed by a huge helping of homemade spaghetti and garlic bread. Maybe even some hot tea. While wearing a sweater. Yeahhhh.

I hate folding and hanging things up. There I said it.

Friday, September 17, 2010
Is there ONE chore that you absolutely detest? I know, I know, it's easy to dislike plenty of menial household duties, but is there one that you put off until you absolutely have to complete it? Personally, I used to abhor doing the dishes, but now that I have a dishwasher to use as a drying rack and I clean up after I use them it's not so bad.

Me? I love owning and wearing lots of cute clothes (thank goodness I don't have a bigger closet or I'd be in big big trouble) and I like the act of using the washer and dryer, but I really hate putting away my laundry.

Vacuuming, dusting, even washing dishes - I'm cool with that. Folding and ironing and the like - BLARGH-OSITY. The most consistent lingering mess in my apartment has always been and will always be the clean clothes that need to be put in their places.

It took me about 3.5 hours to move my clothes around and situate the freshly washed items the other night. Of course I had put it off for a week so the pile was monstrous between work and work out gear, plus I was editing for fall...It was definitely an undertaking.

As much as I aspire to be a Domestic Goddess, I have my doubts that I will ever come to enjoy this task.

I am an Iron Girl.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010
I did it. Two months of training and 67'19" later (a PR!), I completed another 10k.

Because I'm all about supporting my boo, I went to Bear's show Saturday night. Unfortunately, due to a miscommunication and the ensuing dispute I ended up staying well past my intended 11 PM departure time. Thankfully I didn't drink more than 2 Coronas the entire evening, but basically that put me in bed at 1 AM and asleep around 2 AM when I planned to be out of bed by 6:30 and on my way to Greenlake from West Seattle by 7 AM.

So, yeah, I did the Iron Girl 10k on 4.5 hours of sleep.

The Madre gave up her Sunday morning to give me a ride and support me, wisely bringing a bottle or two of water for the trip and trying to pump me up while I slowly chewed up a Luna bar and some dry puffed corn cakes. I'm never much fun before 9 AM, so I really appreciate that she selflessly agrees to chauffeur my grumpy ass around for my races; I'm even hoping next year we might be able to do the Iron Girl 5k as a Mother/Daughter Team!

Bear was miffed at me from the night before so I didn't get a single word of encouragement from him, which was a total bummer considering how important this run was to me. Thankfully, I knew the Madre was rooting for me at the finish line and got some textual encouragement from Cec mid-run so I managed to keep my head up and power through all 6.2 miles.

Oh, I was so glad for that run to be done. After we trekked back to Ma's car I was seriously too tired to even think about having breakfast and just wanted to get home to shower and change into some pjs so I could lounge the rest of the day away. Around 11 AM I called Bear and woke him up; he cabbed to my place shortly after, smooching me awake from my mini nap when he arrived and thoroughly congratulating me on my accomplishment.

I ordered up some celebratory pizza and wings for delivery, made some hummus and we spent the rest of the day napping and watching The Wire as we munched.

I was pretty sore and slow for the next 36 hours, but after eating fast food again on Monday and taking a few days off from any type of official fitness activity I'm finding myself incredibly antsy to get running again. Even though I don't have a specific distance I need to train for, I would like to get my average pace down below 10 minutes a mile before the Jingle Run - I suppose that as long as there is some goal that I have yet to attain, there will be the motivation to keep going.

Wait, that was it?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Ughhhhh, I am not ready for it to be so consistently gray in Seattle.
I've come to the conclusion that my only option is to consciously make the decision to embrace fall in a big ol' bear hug despite the fact it feels like I barely got to enjoy the summer. Don't get me wrong - I was looking forward to the new season, I just wasn't expecting it so soon.

I truly love fall and it's fashion; give me a great pair of jeans and boots, a fuzzy sweater or a fitted blazer and a cozy scarf and I am a happy happy girl. Essentially my first step will be rotating and assessing my wardrobe; this is technically perfect timing since I have a huge pile of laundry that currently needs to be put away. Then I'm contemplating finally going and buying myself a pair of cute rain boots so I can be ready to go out and play in the cool, wet weather.

Last year I was a bit distracted from my usual fall lovefest; this year I want to go to a corn maze and the pumpkin patch and carve pumpkins and burn candles that smell like the woods...I want to cover my furniture in soft, fluffy throws and pull out my slippers and pajama pants and read in front of the fireplace while I sip hot tea or hot toddies...I want to make soups and fresh breads and go for runs in the rain...

Ok, yeah, now I'm ready.

Whoa...I do feel different.

Friday, September 10, 2010
Though my 30th birthday was on Wednesday and went by without much fuss it wasn't until I woke up this morning that I realized how much my life has actually changed in the past 12 months:

A year ago today I was one day away from meeting Bear and my other dear Turkish friends.

I was a smoker.(!)

I had more piercings and less tattoos.

I was about 10 pounds heavier.

I was "running" about 2 miles at a go, with an average pace of 12'43", now my short runs are 2 miles and my pace averages 10'52".

I owned way more heels than flats.

So, like, things are generally pretty great, but honestly I've been having a difficult time being upbeat for the last half of this week.

My birthday, while nice and mellow, was a bit of a let down and I haven't been able to spend much time with Bear following our return from San Francisco because each weekend since then one or the other of us has had separate plans/obligations.

Now, although it's a special weekend for me (my birthday, 1 year of Bear and after 2+ months of training the Iron Girl 10k is finally here!) it looks like he won't be able to participate in any of it. Also, I bailed on having a birthday party mostly because of the show this weekend and it's looking like I'll essentially end the week having spent about 4 hours of non-sleep time with him. I realize his absence work-related, but it's still hard not to be sad that (again) he won't be able to share in these things that are important to me.

I just keep praying to some higher power that someday, somehow (preferably sooner than later) there won't be this feeling of "not enough" and we'll be able to get sick of spending too much time together. (Me praying to give up more of my "me" time?? No, I have not been body-snatched, lets just chalk that up as another big change this year.)

As for this weekend, I'm doing my best to resist the desire for mopey hibernation as I do have a little picnic planned with a few of my ladies tomorrow afternoon and 6.2 miles to run bright and early Sunday morning; my Madre will be there to see me cross that finish line and I am gonna do it with a smile.

We made it...

Tuesday, August 24, 2010
...to San Francisco and back. The trip was mostly fun and only slightly stressful, though in my opinion we didn't get to see nearly enough of what I would consider the "big" version of Seattle (with less tattoos and more homeless people, it seems.)

The show was cool (I always love to see people singing along and the gussied-up girls trying to get as close to the stage as possible) and there definitely seems to be a younger Turkish crowd there than I've seen so far in Seattle. They even had raki available at the bar - a very nice touch, but I may never drink the stuff again.

All in all, we did get to visit Chinatown, the Fisherman's Wharf and historic piers, Ghiradelli Square, Haight/Ashbury and I brought home some cute little souvenirs for me, the Madre and my best homegirls without making myself broke for the last 2 weeks of the month. The weather was mostly cooperative, I had a great time taking photos of graffiti and I swear I'll visit the Tonga Room when I go back.

The hits keep coming.

Monday, August 16, 2010
So, Bear has a confirmed show on September 11th which = no Alyson's birthday celebration.

I originally wanted to do something memorable for my 30th, instead I'm going to bury my head in the sand and pretend it doesn't exist. I know I could arrange something, but I can't seem to find the enthusiasm to plan an event where I am compromising what I want to work around their show and I wouldn't feel right doing it on that Saturday anyway and leaving them out. If anything, I'll treat myself to a spa day and celebrate with a massage - I could definitely use it these days...

Because now, after a month of psyching myself up for a trip to SF for another show (and RSVPing as a "no" for a once-a-year-event that I was incredibly sad to have to miss as well as missing out on a much awaited and anticipated Barcelona show that is now SOLD OUT), clearing time off from work, dropping $$ getting my "goin' to SF haircut" yesterday and scheduling my entire week around preparing for the departing flight this Friday afternoon, Bear tells me we may not be going.

I basically won't find out until the day before I need to pack whether or not I'll be flying to San Francisco this weekend. As much as I love my boyfriend, this shit is giving me an ulcer and a complex.

Who needs it anyway?

Friday, August 13, 2010
Trying to plan my 30th birthday is driving me so crazy at the moment that I am incredibly tempted to let the day pass just like any other.

Up until the past week I had been almost excited about it's arrival and now I basically hang my head in defeat, moments from crying in frustration. On the day I intended to send out invites for a small gathering the 2nd weekend of September, I had a disagreement with a few close friends that left me reeling and questioning the ultimate future of those friendships.

At that point, I said to myself (and my boyfriend):"Fuck 'em - I'm going to (adult) Disneyland (aka Vegas)." Being the sweet boyfriend that he is, he said "anything you want aşkim," even though in fact it turned out to be likely that I would be getting nothing but a damn headache.

A few days later MM (MaSKott's Manager) tells me that they are working on another show in Seattle for that weekend. Sooo, my birthday gets bumped and I start looking at other travel dates. Then a few days after that I realize that tickets are just plain out of my budget, since I am saving to move in a few months. So, bummed once again, I try to start planning something small in town. Though it's almost a month away, it's a busy travel season and my friends can occasionally be hard to pin down (and I'm a Virgo - it just plain stresses me out to not be able to plan my shiz in advance.)

Still waiting on word about the show, my choices are basically limited to 2 things that aren't really what I originally wanted to do (Saturday picnic in the park - sounds lovely, right? Friends, sandwiches, sun, maybe a little badminton or volley ball?): I can have a dinner party on a Friday after I spend the whole day working then would have to rush to get ready and fight traffic to the Island and pray that it's not a huge hassle for my friends (along with a few other logistical issues,) or do a picnic on Sunday and pray that I have fun but that I'm also in decent enough condition on to work on Monday, which is typically my busiest and most stressful day (and one I cannot take off.) And then there's the precarious "invitation situation..."

At this point, I'd rather do absolutely nothing than worry about it anymore. That means I get to stay 29, right??

*headdesk*

Monday, August 9, 2010
Oh, sweet frustration!

I am one stinkin' mile away from the Green Level at the Nike Running website. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this uber helpful and motivating site (which is, like, all of you, I'm sure) the levels break down as follows:

"Nike+ Levels is a new way to recognize the total distance you’ve achieved since joining Nikerunning.com.
There are six Levels that correspond to total kilometers run:

Yellow (0-49km, 0-30mi)
Orange (50-249km, 31-154mi)
Green (250-999km, 155-620mi)
Blue (1,000-2,499km, 621-1552mi)
Purple (2,500-4,999km, 1553-3106mi)
Black (over 5000km or 3107mi)

As you move from one Level to another, we will recognize your achievements in different ways. Look for your color to follow you through the features in Nikerunning.com, updating your entire profile as you reach new Levels."

So, I can't honestly ever imagine ever making it to the Black Level in this lifetime but I've been pretty darn excited to move into Green, partially because I am not a fan of the color orange.

In the past month of training 3+ times a week I've run my fastest mile (10' 24") and dropped my average pace more than a minute, my booty is finally starting to lift, my calves are getting too big for my skinny jeans (and some knee-high socks) and I've GAINED 5 FREAKIN' POUNDS. Oy. Admittedly, most of this has to be from my increased appetite and the resurgence of an "excessive nocturnal overeating" issue I've dealt with in the past, but it leaves me not feeling as accomplished as I should be feeling. I've hit goals I set and I keep piling on the miles and it would be really nice to see a reduction in inches, not an increase.

Starting today (and lasting at least until my upcoming trip to SF if not indefinitely,) crackers and chips are not welcome in my home (Wheat THINS, my ass!) and I'm taking my cross training days and nutrition more seriously. I can change my body, dammit. I'm not gonna kill myself trying to get skinny, but I can try harder to be in better shape.

At least my 4 mile run tonight will put me into that pretty pretty Green level I have been coveting for the past 55 miles.

#100, let's make it interesting.

Friday, July 30, 2010
Dudes, it's been a busy few weeks! With Bear's show (awesome) and birthday (lovely) on top of training and the usual social activities (with a few bonus girly nights thrown in) I'm a bit worn down. Oh, and did I forget to mention waking up covered in hives on Sunday and having my car burgled on Thursday (och, poor "Reno's ipod," I hardly knew ye...?) Yeah, so...

I am most definitely relieved at this point to see my schedule open up after the weekend and hope to have the next few days to be a bum with my guy (which conceivably includes eating Zippy's Giant Burgers and seeing Toy Story 3....And maybe even going out because we want to.)

As tired as I am today, my morning was brightened by a bit of what I am assuming was drunk Facebooking on the part of one of my friends. Behold the out-of-nowhere drahms:

Sympathy thread HIJACK!

Now, the girl mentioned is NOT friends with me on FB and though she has never done a thing to me personally, this dude is not the only of our close friends who isn't fond of her nor is he the first to be vocal about their personal observations and subsequent questions about the quality of her character.

Frankly, I'm particularly curious about the "greatest blowjobs" part...Well, that and why MY wall was the target of this revelation. Either way, I had a good chuckle to start off my Friday.

This is....

Sunday, July 25, 2010
...what an awesome Sunday looks like at my apartment:


(plus one super awesome orange kitty.)

I'm more nervous than he is.

Friday, July 23, 2010
Of course, to my boyfriend this is just another concert. For me, it's a whole 'nother story.

I have never seen Bear perform in front of an audience any larger than myself and maybe a few of our friends while hanging out at his home, in the studio, whatever. Welllll, I have seen videos but that doesn't really count, right? Though in the videos he looks very very happy and I am most definitely looking forward to seeing that live.

Still, it's going to be a trip for me to experience the Seattle fans (though I hear they are much mellower - surprise, surprise, right?) and see the music I've been listening to on CD for so long performed live and in it's entirety. I'm also super anxious because a number of my friends will be there, in addition to the the Madre.

Thankfully, I believe I have solved the "omg, what do I wear?" dilemma in advance and hopefully will expend some of the extra nervous energy beforehand with brunch and an afternoon ladies gathering...They're bound to be lovely, fun distractions from my current state of antici..................pation.

"Run pigeon run"

Wednesday, July 21, 2010
That's the DM on Twitter I received from Bear last night after he saw my run stats for yesterday (yes, my nickname is "pigeon.")

Since I quit smoking almost 4 months ago (Three months, four weeks, one day, 19 hours, 27 minutes and 22 seconds to be precise) and took up running again a few weeks ago, my pace has improved considerably. Finally I am running consistently below 12 minutes a mile and am getting closer and closer to 11 (okay, for semantics' sake, I am a jogger - whatever)! I have faith that by the time I run the Iron Girl I can safely and easily keep a pace around 10. None of this means much to my boyfriend, nonetheless I really truly appreciate his support.

I'm only preparing to run a 10K this time so my "long runs" are pretty unimpressive, but while Bear was gone I barely ran at all so I feel like I'm starting from scratch in a sense. Now I am quickly back on the bandwagon, running 3 times a week and doing various cross training other days, with only Monday and Friday as "rest" days. I feel great although I have gone up a few pounds from the extra activity...I know I'm moving in the right direction and that weight will drop off soon enough.

As my 30th birthday swiftly approaches, I face it with a big smile and a fitter booty.

Spartacus = WOW.

Monday, July 19, 2010
My poor boyfriend was sick all weekend and since I was nursing him back to health at my place and stuck inside on a rare extremely sunny Seattle weekend I forced him to (re)watch the rest of Spartacus: Blood and Sand with me.

Now, we had started watching together but he had jumped ahead of me in his ample free time during the week and left me in the dust at episode 3, so it's not like I was making him watch a show he didn't enjoy.

My homegirl Cec had been telling me about this show for a while and insisting I watch but I had resisted, thinking that the promise of naked dudes and bloody fights wasn't necessarily up my alley. I was so wrong.

Bear brought home the DVD set with Turkish subtitles and once we ran out of other shows we like to watch together, we finally broke out Spartacus. Here's the disclaimer I didn't see until I was on disc 3 of the first season:

“Spartacus is a historical depiction of ancient Rome’s society and culture.
The intensity of the sensuality, brutality and language is to suggest and
authentic representation of that period.”
Those Romans were dirtydirty, y'all. And jeezus, all the gore - on a few occasions I was glad I had decided to eat before I watched that particular episode. And I honestly have not seen that many weiners and six-packs in my life.

Thank you, Sam Raimi (and you, Cec!)

To vent or not to vent?

Thursday, July 15, 2010
That is today's question.

I treasure my privacy almost as much as I pride myself in my honesty, but at this moment I find myself torn between putting my frustrations out here for sympathy, input, whatever or just eating it and trying to figure it out myself and continuing to stress and fret. I feel like it's always better to talk things through, but the imperative word is "talk" - right now I'm just stewing.

Grr.

Well, whatever. It gives me a good enough reason to chat with the GBF and hang with Dubs tonight before I run some of my stress off.

I eat good.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010
After looking over my budget on Mint.com, I realized that I have not really eaten any fast food so far this month (besides a Jamba Juice all-fruit or two, which are fruit and juice and goodness and -in my opinion- should not count.)

Bear and I have gone out for meals a few times, but I have completely resisted the draw of the awful food at the gas station next door and all the surrounding lunch spots (damn you Matt and your fantastic sausages.) I may have gorged myself at many a bbq, but I have not consumed one single McDonald's french fry!

Not that I am saving any money - eating healthy ain't cheap either. :( When I'm running more often it's that much more imperative that I eat right, so that's just the way it goes.

Either way, I have a clean fridge, balanced-ish and delicious meal plans and enough good food to last me through the week and beyond. Tonight before I went running I threw some of my leftover odds and ends together with a fresh salad and ended up dining on Sauteed Polenta with a Spicy Sausage Puttanesca:
(Cucina Fresca Puttanesca with sliced Aidell's Cajun style Andouille minis over tubed polenta "patties" that I browned on the stove top - easy and fast!)

Just enough...

Sunday, July 11, 2010

After a sweltering and beautiful weekend in Seattle, I ended up with just enough Sunday to tidy up my apartment and relax.

It always rains in Seattle on the 4th of July.

Monday, July 5, 2010
Well, almost always, and it certainly did this year.

And now it's supposed to be the hottest week so far this year, which will be totally not awesome for my running. It doesn't cool down until almost 10 in the evening so I'll have to buck up and run in the heat or start waking up early, which sounds pretty awful. Guh. I took a mini break from running this weekend since my social calendar was pretty packed and I have an extra few weeks to get ready for Iron Girl.

Friday afternoon at work was crappy though I did manage to sneak out a few minutes early, but then I ended up losing my house key somewhere between work and Target and my car (with all spares sitting on my hallway table, of course)...After I broke down into tears of frustration on the phone with the bulding manager I was ready to call it a day and just curl into a ball hiding in my bed, but Bear convinced me that I would be fine with a bit of time and relaxation and we actually did end up going to a friend's show - having a very nice time listening to live music in Pioneer Square. MM and her hubs met up with us and she had gotten me a beautiful nazar (or evil eye) bracelet (she's always looking out for me, that one) that I immediately put on (since I know there has to be a person or two wishing me bad luck at any given time.)

Thanks to her, I'm sure, the rest of my weekend was pretty much a breeze - cooking, bbqs and authentic home-cooked Indian food with old friends and new, and of course fireworks (though we ended the 4th snuggled on my couch trying to watch Hot Tub Time Machine.)

Dear Rob Brezsny, please get out of my head.

Thursday, July 1, 2010
From Rob Brezsny's Free Will Astrology:

Virgo Horoscope for week of July 1, 2010

So how is 2010 going for you so far, Virgo? "Great, Rob, thanks for asking!"
Have you been taking advantage of life's offers to help you move into a dynamic new phase of your relationship life? "Um yes, how'd you know?"
Have you been willing to set aside tired old strategies for seeking intimacy so that you can discover approaches you've never imagined before? "Well, yeah..."
Have you been brave about overcoming the past traumas and hurts that scared you into accepting less than the very best alliances you could seek? "OMG, yes."
I hope you've been pursuing these improvements, because this is the best year in over a decade to accomplish them. "Hey ALRIGHT!"

*SACRED ADVERTISEMENT
Review in painstaking detail the history of your life, honoring every moment as if you were conducting a benevolent Judgment Day. Forgive yourself of every mistake except one.* "ONE?? Oy."

Things I did on my summer vacation (in no specific order):

Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Beat my buddy Will A. on 4square...I knew the opportunity would most likely never arise again since he is a 4square master, so I checked in everywhere.

Got too drunk on a Friday at Neighbors (my first visit in probably 6 years - possibly my last for at least another 6.)

Picked the wrong day to visit Alki and get a sunburn: http://westseattleblog.com/2010/06/heavy-police-presence-on-alki but picked up a super cute dress from Coastal that I later wore at the GBF's Birthday Happy Hour:

Missed a minor anniversary with my boyfriend. We spent the day together and had a wonderful time, but both completely spaced on the significance of the date.

Visited the Seattle Art Museum to check out the Andy Warhol media works (neat! added our photo booth photo to the interactive art display) and Kurt Cobain (yawnnnnn) exhibit. Also got this fantastically awful picture of me and him in the porcelain room (I literally LOL'd loudly for a few minutes after taking this):

Attended Artopia then headed downtown for the Seattle Lust Tour with Valentina and Kristi from Shutter Tours (also respectively of Valentina Vitols Studio and Kristi Lloyd Photography - 2 sweet ladies who can take a damn fine photo.) We followed that with wonderful cocktails at Zig Zag Cafe (home of Murray!) with most of our respective beaus and a couple of gals on the tour from Ann Arbor, MI who had run the 2010 Rock n Roll Half Marathon that morning.

Cooked dinner (salmon, finally got it right!) for 8 people, of which I was the ONLY American-born and non-Turkish speaker.

All that and a whole lot of nothing...'Twas perfection.

Tah daaaaahhhhh!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010
I successfully stay-cayed, y'all! An entire week was spent enjoying not working (except for a few IMs and one phone call) and having my lovely boyfriend camped out at my apartment.

There was continued laziness and lots of Breaking Bad, tons of eating, shopping and touristing, then finally yesterday I tore myself away from Bear and spent my last night of freedom at home giving myself a mani/pedi and watching episodes of Royal Pains (after one morning of TV at Bear's I was seriously missing cable television.)

Today it was back to work for both of us - for me, my 9-5 and getting the ball rolling on many more posts for CultureMob, for him it's back to rehearsal for his upcoming show at Chop Suey (deets here - friends, if you want to buy tickets in advance hit me up to avoid fees) and working on some new projects.

Also, I'm totally effin' giddy to mention that tonight I start my training for the Aflac Iron Girl 10k! Fellow blogger and runner Emily sent me a message about this run on Monday and I was immediately jazzed at the idea of having a reason to hit the sidewalks again. I've been a slackimus maximus with my running all spring and although I haven't fallen to pieces/gotten out of shape, I am anxious to tone up as well as being extremely curious to see how much better my lungs feel now that I've had more than 3 months of smobriety. I need to update my running playlist ASAP (any suggestions? what do you run to?) but otherwise I'm itching to lace up my nikes and git.

*sigh of relief*

Sunday, June 20, 2010
Rubaiyat/36 - RUMI
When I am with you our loving won't let me sleep.
Away from you the tears won't let me sleep.
God, it's amazing to be awake both nights,
But how different these awakenings are!
I am thrilled to report that I made it through the first week after my boyfriend's return alive and well!

As a matter of fact, I've pretty much spent the week in domestic heaven; making breakfast every morning and lunch or dinner every evening, pulling out cookbooks or just throwing shiz together. Except for another sad salmon experience (I've successfully cooked salmon to my liking once ever,) I've been pretty darn pleased with my results. I'm quite sure that through hours of experimentation and trials over the past 4 months I have almost perfected my quesadilla.

It has seemed so easy to pick up where we were (though we have been much more homebody than we usually are,) happily spending most of our nights watching episodes of our favorite TV shows. Bear is still jet-lagged of course and I've gotten very adept at napping once a day - something I don't think I could really ever complain about. There's also been lots of coffees and laughing and kisses.

He trekked home this morning when Cec and I attended another class with Faye the Tattooed Psychic at Helle, so I ended up inadvertently getting a little Domestic Goddess Sunday time to relax, do laundry and figure out some recipes for the week of vacation that starts the day after tomorrow (squee!). I'm currently surrounded by a pile of cookbooks (Life's Too Short to Chop Onions: 99 Dinners to Make When You'd Rather Be Doing Something Else being one of my new favorites,) The Pocket Rumi, and my dayplanner which is beautifully untainted next week.

For those of you keeping track at home,

Monday, June 14, 2010
my boyfriend arrives home today (I've got the flight tracker up; waiting for the plane to enter US airspace - squeeeeeee!)
Also, I've got a whole bunch of vacation scheduled soon and the weather in Seattle is pretty.darn.beautiful lately.

My dear readers, can you guess where this is going? I imagine the next few weeks will be a smidge busy (and/or incredibly lazy) and though I will do my best, I doubt that I will be posting here very often or with much detail until the beginning of July. Picture me having a fantastic time, as per yooj, and please accept my apologies in advance (again). >:/

xoxo & regards,
Al

3 more days

Friday, June 11, 2010


Three (üç) more days until I can wrap my arms around my boyfriend again. I kinda feel like I am going to explode.

Ohmigoodness, what do I wear??

Wednesday, June 9, 2010
It recently occurred to me that while I have put oodles of effort into getting my apartment and everything on my body ready for Bear's return, I have put zero thought into what I am going to wear to see him for the first time in almost 4 months...

Determining factors: I've got to work (at my job in an industrial/dirty-ish office where I wear jeans, t-shirts and baseball caps most of the time and anything nice would cause heart-attacks if not mild sexual harassment) on Monday and will be going directly from there to my hair appointment with Chivahn at Helle, then over to the Island where my beautiful jet-lagged boyfriend will be waiting at his home. Also, the forecast is suggesting the temperatures will be in the 70s so while my office will be really effing cold, outside it will be dress weather. But...a dress seems a bit much when my only intentions are to scoop him up and take him directly back to my apartment to "catch up."

Normally I would be all for picking up a new outfit, but the majority of my funds are tied up right now, I'm pretty busy for the next few days and for once I don't actually feel like shopping.

Although I could use some new shoes...New shoes never hurt. ;)

Weird things that consume (waste) time.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010
After a conversation I had with a friend last night where she told me that at a event recently someone was "talking mad shit" about yours truly (really Yelpers? Guh, move on already,) this morning I was inspired to google "Haterade" and "haterade made of" for the proverbial sh*ts and giggles.

I am now following at least one more blog. I mean, it's called "Whiskey and Haterade" - how could I resist?
If I would've had more time before work I would've watched the haterade-related youtube videos.
Some of the images are pretty entertaining as well.
Jeezus, it sure is easy to waste time on the internet.

What does it mean?

Monday, June 7, 2010
My boyfriend's English is pretty damn good; my Turkish, not so great yet. He's been helping me with the little I have learned, and I do my best to help him become more familiar with informal phrases and slang and words he just doesn't know. Sometimes I have to hit the thesaurus or dictionary.com to find words I can use to explain that I know he already understands.

Yesterday he asked me what "abstract" meant. Um, yeah - YOU try and explain that one.

It's a good thing my boyfriend is coming home soon,

Saturday, June 5, 2010
because at this point in our separation sometimes I don't really feel like I have one.

I know that may sound weird or kind of sh*tty, but for the past 3 months life has pretty much been business as usual, the only difference being I am Skyping with someone on a pretty regular basis (so, it's basically like the times I have sworn off boys except this time I actually still have a boyfriend.) I go out by myself or with my long-term homies, I sleep alone in the middle of the bed, I don't shave my legs, etc. Add to that the fact that Bear is increasingly busy so we haven't been skyping as much and you get me feeling like a kinda boring single girl.

It's a unpleasant feeling.

Seattle Free School on CultureMob Blog

Friday, June 4, 2010



Keeping the hits coming for Seattle's CultureMob Blog!

The plane ticket home has been purchased.

Monday, May 31, 2010
In two weeks my boyfriend will be home. By the time he gets here he will have been gone one week shy of four months - almost one third of an entire year. I don't think I can adequately express how thrilled I am right now. Seriously. This trip did not go as planned in many ways and I am pretty effin' giddy at the prospect of being able to put my hands on him again.

I've scheduled any necessary beauty maintenance appointments (gettin' my girl on), arranged time to finish any leftover projects at home (hello, filing) and have deep cleaned my place like no one's business (how often do you clean your toaster?) Vacation has been scheduled, extra time has been added to pad it and from the 17th to the 29th of June I only have to work one long day. It's gonna be pretty awesome.

Still, I am a little nervous...We have been apart for a while and I have no idea what to expect, but I love him to bits and I just can't wait to see him smile in 3-D.

Look Ma, Imma "paid" writer!

Friday, May 28, 2010
http://culturemob.com/blog/improve-your-spiritual-health-with-faye-the-tattooed-psychic-at-helle

And that's my first article. Nothing major (no really, I'm not making enough to quit my day job or anything,) nothing fancy, but a good enough start for me.

I need a new addiction like I need a hole in the head.

Thursday, May 27, 2010
But of course I got sucked into polyvore trying to find a outfit to coordinate with my new shoes. I understand that it usually works the other way around, but you must understand my love of shoes.


Gah, I could never imagine buying a Valentino bag but I know I can find affordable versions of all the other pieces, not to mention I already own the gun/flower necklace and the shoes. I still feel like it's missing something - what do you think?

Fashion break! Finding style inspiration is easy with polyvore.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010
I have a confession to make:

So far this year I have been a major fashion slouch, falling into an easy pattern of tanks, tee shirts, jeans and flats ALL THE TIME. I have occasionally pulled out the skinny jeans with the sky-high heels and donned a dress on at least one outing, but in general I've been super low maintenance.

As the weather warms and the sun becomes less of a stranger my "I MUST WEAR A DRESS" urges become much stronger, I start digging out my sunglasses and rotate the lighter items into the front of my closet, tossing anything that I don't wear anymore to make room for the inevitable new items. A few weeks ago during a visit from Simla (maskott's manager,) I received a lovely delivery of gifts from Bear's parents, including a pair of these shoes (and a buttload of other adorable clothing to get the season started):

How did they know that clogs are so IN right now??

Honestly though, I have NO idea what to wear them with. With a cut like this on a shoe, I feel you really need to stick with as much bare leg as possible to avoid "shortening" yourself, even with such a high platform.

I turned to polyvore for ideas. They actually do have this exact shoe, but no one has made a "set" with it yet so I searched for "clog" and chose a similar shoe and checked the related looks. Here are a few cute ones I liked:
(it needs a jacket and possibly more rock-ish earrings, but I dig the dress!)

Most of the time the items that I see and like in the sets are way overpriced ($375 for that little striped dress? I don't think so!) but I find inspiration, take a few notes on key details and keep an eye out for a more affordable version.

.Fashion Trends & Styles - Polyvore



. by sasha?sasha featuring Steven by Steve Madden shoes (I pretty much love everything about this except the shorts - easy enough to imagine with a distressed jean miniskirt, which is more my style)

Voila! I am now infused with the Spring/Summer 2010 style spirit (and a little creeped out by the naked bunny above!)

Where do YOU go to satisfy your fashion lusts?