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Runner’s High

Upon further analysis I have realized that I have indeed experienced the proverbial “runner’s high”. It occurred to me today around mile 2. For many people I am sure this is a minuscule drop of a run in the ocean of miles to be completed. However for me (yes I was that chick walking the mile in middle school) the fact that I was alive after running two miles is nothing short of a miracle. Anyway I digress. So my heart was racing, I know this because a) it was beating so hard I could essentially see it beating outside of my chest and b) my heart rate monitor was flashing to indicate that I was nearing my maximum heart rate and I could be soon on the brink of death.

I slowed down a bit to avoid said sudden death. The abrupt change in pace must have caused some type of blood/head rush because that is when the spins kicked in. As the room was spinning I noticed the sandpaper type quality the inside of my mouth had taken on from dehydration. I stopped the tread master, chugged a bottle of water and stumbled over to the stationary bike, but as I did that it hit me! Racing heart, dizziness, disorientation, and dry mouth. Runner’s high? Achieved.

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Peppers Galore!

This may over-date me by a bit, but I have an insatiable love for all things Williams Sonoma. I love perusing row upon row of Technicolor Le Creuset, Copper, and Cast Iron. I love each and every signature sauce and seasoning. I love the country linens, and kitchen soap and lotion sets. And don’t get me started on novelty pans and spatulas. I can imagine each occasion in which I turn the corner to a room filled with eager party guests as I present every heart shaped, Octopus shaped, and cupcake shaped cake perfectly adorned with branded sprinkles and funfetti flakes. I can see the admiration in my guests’ eyes as the first slice is presented to the lucky recipient. In my opinion this is what Williams Sonoma does best. They create a need before creating a product to fill it. And I am happily there waiting to find out what I need before I want it and then purchase it. And then enhance my life with it.

It all started with my jalapeno pepper roaster. This solves the basic problem of how to grill stuffed peppers in an upright position so that they grill evenly and without losing filling. Now I have never tried to grill peppers before, but I clearly remember the day when I realized that I would need to immediately begin. I was sitting on my computer, around noon when I received the Williams Sonoma Newsletter, which featured my future miracle roaster.

As I moved my right hand to delete the e-mail, a little voice inside of me said, “Don’t do it, this newsletter could change your life.” Without a clear understanding of why I clicked open said newsletter and to my delight became face to face with genius. There it was; a simple metal contraption with holes to support 18 jalapeno peppers filled with bubbling cheese and chorizo. Suddenly a slow motion montage unfolds before my very eyes, “I love jalapenos, I love cheese, I love chorizo, and I love grills. How will I ever be able to make grilled, stuffed, jalapenos without this glorious gizmo?” A flow chart diagram connects my three innermost desires in a virtual cartoon thought bubble above my head. A block arrow yields the solution of the jalapeno grill pan as I click purchase and enter my order.

And hence the pepper griller, filled pancake pan, and hand held mini pie griddles were born. And now my barbeques, brunches, and soirees are all the more festive and delicious.

I am Basically a Triathlete

It is a known fact that I am hyperemotional. I have many highs and a few lows. There are times I feel as jubilant as a Sound of Music-esque child, skipping through the scenic Austrian hillsides and then there are days when I am hovering of the bottom of dark abyss of misery. I am an all or nothing kind of gal and mostly I go with the all. This becomes particularly problematic in the world of consumption. Eating is one of life’s greatest pleasures and I could be perfectly content journeying along life’s continuous smorgasbord until I am to be rolled to the juicing room to be squeezed. I often drift off into daydreams in which I have been blessed with one of those nebulous fast metabolisms that I have heard whispers of in the form of folklore legend. But alas I was not, so I have embarked on the journey of becoming equally zealous as I am in my workout routine as I am my consumption.

I have tried spinning and have been an avid cyclist since the remorseful post imbibement rides of College. Typically these workouts were either prefaced or punctuated by one of many trips to the all you can eat buffet, which fortunately through the years have minimized in volume. In addition to my overindulgence/portion control issues I also have a tendency to get mildly overheated in stress inducing situations in temperature and temperament. Hence, I have tried several times to embrace my inner yogi to become a more balanced and cool individual.

But alas, my mind wanders when supposed to be focused on breath, I have horrible balance, and I still can’t touch my toes. I even dabbled in the world of Bikram, enduring tropically inspired workouts and cult followers who believe that if one is not in a severe state of pain, the “yoga isn’t working. “ After I was told that a night’s sleep could be replaced by holding a certain pose for 30 seconds, I bailed on principle alone. Additionally, it came to light that I couldn’t actually eat whatever I wanted while my body worked out the toxins and kept only the nutrients it needed.” As one particular zealot had proclaimed one hazy Sunday. I have always felt there is something more for me in the workout world.

Above all, I have always wanted to be a runner. Runners seem smarter and healthier than any other type of exercise fanatic. They always look so coordinated and focused as they trot around scenic lakes and sculpted paths. They are dedicated, running at all hours, and in all terrains. I imagine that runners enjoy among other things, fresh squeezed juice, the New York Times crossword, and home made granola. I bet they read before bed versus watching hours of Sex And the City, and Frasier re-runs. Most likely they wake up naturally in the morning allowing extra time to make a sensible breakfast of fresh fruit and yogurt. They probably work with a charity that allows them to mentor troubled children and spend Sunday reading to the blind.

Anyway, in need of some serious motivation and perhaps a little discipline I have decided I will need to become a runner. Since I need a goal and a marathon seems too overwhelming, I have determined to devote myself to training for a triathlon. I am two weeks in and I can’t say that I have yet achieved the acme of a runner’s high, but I do feel very happy running through Central Park with my newfound compatriots. I also am not sure if it counts as running when most elderly walkers have passed me on my few outdoor runs, but I do know for a fact that when a raccoon makes a surprise appearance on the reservoir running path, I can go at least 2 miles faster per hour. So if push comes to shove, I am hoping random wildlife can help inspire a quicker pace. We shall see if I begin to wean off late night TV or become more charitable, but for now I will be happy if I can just continue to manage to chug along on the path of life without passing out. Stay tuned.

Welcome back, welcome back, welcome back.

SO it’s been a while, but life has taken my lemons and opted to provide me lemonade. So I have been busy drinking up. I have finally given up on being a miserable cow and opted to be surrounded by all that is good in the world by making the big move to Manhattan. It truly is the city that never sleeps and even though I am typically tucked away into bed by 10 with several hours of Frasier re-runs to lull me to sleep, I have had the blessed opportunities to share a few laughs and oddities since I’ve been here.

When I first arrived, the beauty was overwhelming. Everywhere I went statuesque beauties haunted me. There was always someone more emaciated, more layered, more hidden by gargantuan sunglasses. I simply could not digest the perfection that assaulted me on my daily commute. Shiny men with strategically sculpted hair, tiny pores, and skinny jeans. Tailored women with bags larger than their shriveled frames and dogs tinier than street rats. I am not the jealous type, so playing the part of a fly on the wall of a very exclusive party was thrilling to me. I felt special by association honoring every walk along 5th Avenue and nap in Central Park as the first. I often would comment on how it was impossible for something to be this perfect. How was it that I get to live here- forget Disney- this is the most magical place in the world I would often shout from assorted rooftops.

Then I looked around and realized that really nothing is perfect at all. First I realized how sizzling hot I feel at all times, how much I hate tourists as I am forced to shimmy by their fanny packs and poorly behaved children on a daily basis, and how low my standards of living must be shifted. My once ‘quaint’ apartment is too small, too dark, but mostly infested with pests. Yes, the hell of my life is centered on what has become a very furry situation.

The first mouse had me paralyzed on the couch for a solid 45 minutes crying about the fact that I no longer had control over my life. And not much has changed. After a mouse in the kitchen, a mouse by the TV, a mouse on the counter, a mouse in the garbage, a mouse in the shower, I finally reached an all time low last night. As I sleepily stumbled into the bathroom around midnight I was forced to sprint back to my sleeping chambers before terror paralyzed me, as I spotted a brown fur ball with a gigantic tail perched beneath the bathroom sink.

Panic set in. I broke out into a cold sweat and repeated the word “no” aloud approximately 50 times. I am pretty sure I blacked out for a period of about 5 minutes during this chant. I shivered for several minutes before I mustered up the strength and courage to call my mom and whimper for nearly 20 minutes about how I had no control over my life. She gave me the power to run past the bathroom, confirm the existence of said rodent, and leap onto the coffee table to whimper for another 30 minutes about my need to end my life. My poor mother gave me several options to get out of the sticky and tiring situation of standing on a table for the remainder of the night, which I declined one after the other. After much reasoning I agreed to run past the bathroom back into my bedroom and as I did so I heard what I then determined could only be classified as a rat whimpering, frozen in fear in my bathroom. My mom pointed out that it would be more scared of me than I it, but I still vowed never to go into the bathroom again. I figured I could find away to avoid the bathroom for the rest of my days here. I could move out early, crash on my friends’ couches, shower at work or the gym, it would be fine!

It was a sacrifice I was willing to make until my roommate’s boyfriend came home and I alerted him to the pest issue. A few resigned moments later he asked me if by mouse I meant the hair dryer chord that was dangling out of the cabinet underneath the sink. It took me a few delayed moments to remember that I had in fact left a mouse sized chord dangling from the cabinet not 15 minutes before my rodent sighting.

It was then that it settled in that the mice own me so much that even when they aren’t running the halls and stealing our bath bubbles they sneak their way into my mind in by means of visual hallucination. I felt a little silly after my mistake, especially since I kept my poor mom up way past her bedtime by crying to her on the phone. But also it caused me to wonder- will I ever be able to handle issues such as these on my own? There is only one way to find out- but in the meant time I am getting a giant fuzzy feline to keep the enemy ships at bay.

So the apartment situation has been eye opening, but as I always said when friends would move to NY and complain about rent, “You aren’t paying for the apartment, you are paying to live in this glorious land.” And although I have uncovered a few imperfections, and perhaps the party I am at is really not so exclusive at all, and for every modely type I see, there are equal parts lunatic, isn’t imperfection the most interesting anyway? Besides what in God’s Green earth would I do all day if I couldn’t complain about something? SO I am back. To observe, to complain, to inspire. (Just kidding about the inspire- well you never know, it could happen!) The book is still happening, but the hiatus had gone on far too long!