money and food related problems

For some reason, I am perpetually shocked when I receive my credit card bill(s) in the mail every month. How exactly did they reach that ridiculous amount? Of course, upon perusal of the bill, I can usually satisfactorily answer that question, which means I don’t get to blame this particular incident on the gremlins. Too bad.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not a spendthirfty person (except in the irresistible atmosphere of a bulk food store—a weakness I evidently inherited from my mother), but I don’t make a heck of a lot of money, and I live in kind of an expensive area, so rent is pretty hefty. And I do crossfit. Enough said on that count. At least I don’t ride horses any more, now that I’m pretending to be an adult and all. With bills.  

AND, at the moment, I’m between freelance jobs. Meaning I don’t have any. Meaning I spend all the time I would usually be working on them, just LOOKING for them. You can probably guess that this process doesn’t pay nearly as well. I must be getting desperate, because I just applied for one that requires something along the lines of 25 articles per week. Granted, I can bang out a 300-word article pretty quickly, but, seriously, 25 of them? That’s okay. You have to apply to about 20 jobs to hear back from one, so really I’m just filling my application quota. Because that makes total sense.

At any rate, I’ve devised a plan on how to spend less money. I am writing down in my little calendar/day planner thing how much money I spend every day. On everything. I’m not entirely clear on WHY I think this is going to help, but I’m sure it will. So far I have spent money four of the past five days (bad sign), but it has mostly all been on food (good sign), and that has mostly been grocery store-type food, not the eating out type (even better sign).

Instead of worrying about the amount of money I’ve spent in the past week though, I am now slightly more worried about the alarming frequency with which I make trips to the grocery store, or the farm stand, or (the entirely irresistible) Costco. I clearly have a problem; I’m just not sure if it’s a money problem or a food problem. Probably it’s both.

Sorry, this was a really boring post. I was only writing to keep myself entertained while I iced my shoulder. But I’m getting cold now, so I think I’ll be done with that and go to bed. 

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the world is out to get my shins and some other stuff happens too

So I’ve been having a brain block when it comes to ideas for posts this week, thus my general lack of posts. The problem isn’t that nothing has happened this week (I mean, nothing has, but since I usually write about eating, or CrossFit, or my underwear, that’s no excuse). The main problem is that the big, embarrassing, entertaining story I really want to tell you (all two of you, loyal readers) is something I’m not allowed to talk about due to certain security clearance regulations at work.

In fact, I proceeded to tell this story to everyone I saw this week anyway—before I realized I wasn’t supposed to—and I’m still alive and so far not fired, but I think publishing it on the world wide interweb might be pushing my luck. Just a little. But every time I sat down to write something, that story popped into my head, and I couldn’t think of anything else to write about.

I still can’t. But the rules of writing say I have to write anyway. If you write anyway, you’ll find out you have something to say. Or whatever.

Besides, stuff totally happened this week.

For instance, I decided to attack a 20” box with my shins while I was at CrossFit. The box won, obviously. But I did get a super cool bruise for my trouble. I’m not entirely sure the shin damage was worth it though, as this is the week I’ve started getting up early to run. I caved in and decided to pay $40 to join Roomie’s gym until April, so I don’t have to run in the dark. But now I’ve developed the most excruciating shin splints. It’s like a seven thousand red ants are drilling their way through my shins with broken light sabers. Seriously, much worse than I have EVER had before. I couldn’t even run three miles yesterday.

I listened to the I’ll Make a Man out of You song from Mulan about 6 times during my run, trying to bully myself into running anyway, despite the crippling pain in my legs. “If Mulan could become a soldier and climb that telephone pole and make a really hot cartoon guy fall in love with her, surely you can run more than three miles even with your shin splints.”

Or not.

I’ve been slightly more successful at other stuff this week though. I sort of figured out how toes to bar is supposed to work … more or less. I painted a fun picture on my purchased-from-Goodwill end table (I would put a picture on here if I my camera worked) and, apparently, painted part of my computer keyboard yellow while I was at it. I went to bed at 9:30 on Saturday night like the biggest dork you ever saw, and it was AWESOME. I went The Melting Pot for dinner with Sis and Roomie on Friday night and ate at least half a pot of cheese all by myself. And I rode two horses today and then managed to weedle an invite to go foxhunting next weekend.

So at least my week ends on a high point. Horses rock.

football-inspired brilliance on my part

I have come up with the solution for my relationship problems. Are you ready for this? It’s totally brilliant. I don’t think you’re ready for this level of brilliance, but I’m going to tell you anyway:

 I need to marry a football player.

See how perfect that would be?

This isn’t because I think football players are universally hot, although a few of them (ahem, peytonmanning, torreysmith) are fun to ogle. In fact, I mostly think they’re quite average looking aside from the fact that many of them are a bit on the big and scary side. But then, so am I (average looking, that is—I strive never to fall into the big-and-scary category if I can help it).

No, the thing that would be perfect about a football player is that he wouldn’t be around half the time, right? I’m not entirely sure about how it works, but it seems like their schedules involve negligible amounts of time off and lots of time on the road. Thus, I would never get sick of being around my football player, because he would be around so infrequently. (And I’d probably get free tickets to a lot of games too!).

My main problem with relationships is that I almost always get irrationally annoyed by anyone whose presence I must tolerate for extended periods of time (aka, any guy I have ever dated or even awkwardly sort of dated but not officially).

Also, I’m horrifyingly non-romantic, and I can’t help thinking that football players just don’t seem like the lovey dovey type.

ALSO, I always knew they make lots of money, but I’ve recently found out just how much money football players make, and it is (to be very exact) a crap ton. If I were married to a football player, I could afford to ride horses again. Not that I would ever marry someone just so I could ride horses. Probably.

There is, of course, the obvious drawback that playing football is an exceptionally dangerous profession, but I’m not the worrying type. Plus I’ve had four concussions, broken both arms and some ribs, dislocated my shoulder upwards of a dozen times, and received multiple broken toes—so who am I to judge somebody for participating in dangerous sports? At least they MAKE money doing it.

So, somebody just needs to set me up with an NFL player, ‘kay? Please and thank you.

Anyway, I obviously have football on my mind right now because I’ve been rather interested in the outcome of the playoff games these past few weeks, and, just in case you’ve been living in a hole (or maybe just not within 20 minutes of Baltimore City*), I need to register my extreme excitement that MY BOYS ARE FREAKING GOING TO THE FREAKING SUPER BOWL!!!

I’m going to make nachos for the occasion. I don’t care how non-paleo they are. This level of excitement warrants the most genuine football food I can possibly muster.

On another note, I made coconut-milk ice cream for the game yesterday, and it was fantastic. You should try it. I put dark chocolate chips and blueberries on top of mine. 

 

*Though I am not a bandwagoner, and I was a Ravens fan even when I lived in PA, just to be clear.

this is the post in which I remember how to do links … and talk a lot about my underwear

Guess what y’all? Josh is going to run the marathon with me! Woohoo! I am a master persuader. Actually, I think he just liked the idea of doing it and probably would have signed up on his own, but I’ll take some credit anyway. Because I want to. Oh yeah, and we picked our race: the Baltimore Marathon, which is totally non-scary because it’s not until OCTOBER. I predict that it will start to look scary sometime around June and become positively terrifying by August. But now it just looks like a giant smiley face happily whispering to me that I should fork over $90.

Neither Josh nor I have actually signed up yet because Josh wants to wait until he gets his tax refund in February, and I just paid an inordinate amount of money to enter a Tough Mudder with my crossfit buddies; I don’t want to overtax my poor bank account with TWO races in one month.

Speaking of crossfit, I think the gremlins in my apartment are stealing my underwear.

I know what you’re thinking – wait just a moment, and you will see the connection.

So there are these gremlins in my apartment that sneakily move things into places where I never think to look for them and go behind me turning the oven back on after I’m sure I’ve remembered to turn it off and make new dirty dishes appear in the sink when I thought I did them all before. Roomie isn’t plagued with them; they’re my special gremlins.

Another element in this story is the fact that I got awesome spandex for Christmas. I don’t wear spandex shorts like the other girls at the gym because they show off wayyyyy too much of my pale, chubby thighs, but I LOVE my spandex leggings. So now that I own more than one-and-a-half pairs of leggings, I have to wear non-underwear-line-showing underwear more often. I don’t wear thongs because it’s like having a freaking wedgie ALL day. I applaud anybody who can put up with this, but I can’t. That’s okay though, because I have some magical underwear that is somehow designed so that it doesn’t show underwear lines—I don’t know how this works, but it does. Magic! Or science! In my book, they’re practically the same thing because I don’t understand either one.

Anyway, now you all know way more about my underwear than anyone is probably comfortable with. Sorry about that. I should have put a better disclaimer in the title.

Usually I can easily get from one laundry day to another (which can often be quite a stretch of time) without running out of my magical underwear, but this past week, I only made it a few days. I swear the gremlins must be stealing my underwear. There is absolutely NO OTHER EXPLANATION. I might need to buy more magic underwear, or maybe just stop wearing any underwear at all when I work out. I’ve totally done this before. With alarming frequency.  

Wow, all this talk about magic underwear makes me feel like a super hero with magic powers. I’m Magic Underwear Lady. My costume seems pretty self-evident. I just need an appropriate super power. Does the ability to do a 34” box jump count? It’s practically like flying.

food

I wish I had a smart phone, or that my camera worked so I could add pictures on here, but my camera’s been on the fritz since I flooded my purse a couple months ago. Today, I would have taken a picture of the bag I bring to work every day. It looks like it should have papers and notebooks and possibly a laptop in it, but really it’s just full of food. So. much. food.

Story of my life. Seriously, I brought a ridiculous amount of food to the office today because, yesterday, I didn’t bring enough and then had to go to crossfit hungry (not a plan I recommend, by the way, as you will get about 2/3 of the way through the WOD and then pretty much DIE). I brought extra on purpose so I could leave some there as a backup for the next time my empty stomach attacks me at 4pm. But then I ate ALL OF IT.

You don’t understand the gravity of the situation yet. This is the amount of food I ate at work today (bear in mind that I had already eaten two breakfasts before work and then ate dinner and probably dessert when I got home): half a cucumber and half a carrot dipped in balsamic vinegar, about half a chicken breast worth of rotisserie chicken also dipped in balsamic, two oranges, a meal’s worth of Chinese food leftovers, and THREE boiled eggs. That’s like more than a whole breakfast’s worth of eggs, and I ate them as a snack.

One of my work friends brought a sandwich and an apple. That’s it. That’s what a normal person brings to work for the day. Damn. I’m going to weigh about 900 pounds when my metabolism slows down, but I can’t help it; I’m ALWAYS hungry.

At least I’m back on the healthy eating wagon after the debauchery of last week. My trouble last week was that I just can’t resist free food. It doesn’t even matter if I actually WANT the food. I eat it because it’s free. I know, it’s a problem. And it’s weird.

Know what else is weird? Eating almond butter out of the jar like it’s ice cream. But it’s super delicious, so who cares?

my daily mad dash

There’s this hectic process that I scramble through at the end of every work day during my attempt to get from work, which technically ends at five, to the five o clock WOD at crossfit.

Here’s how to be in two places at once:

Sneak out of work at least 15 minutes early via the emergency exit. Of course, half the office still sees you leaving early, and, what’s worse, they know you’re being sneaky about it because of your abnormal exit choice.

Make all possible haste in your drive from work to the box. If you’re truly accomplished you may eventually get a ticket in the mail with a photo of you running a red light and an order to pay $75. This is a mark of your dedication; be proud of it. Try not to swear too much as you write the check.

When you get to the box, make a beeline for the bathroom (which is, of course, at the furthest possible point from the door) to change clothes. If Larissa has beaten you to it and is already changing in there, don’t hesitate to use the boys’ bathroom. But remember to lock the door, because the boys apparently don’t like to knock.

Now, the fastest possible way to change involves stripping off ALL of your clothes at once and throwing them in a heap on the floor. I always like to take a moment here to stop and reflect, standing (almost) completely naked in the freezing cold bathroom at the gym. It’s always nice to pause at rather unusual moments and remind yourself, I love my life.

If you have to pee, now is a great time to do it, because you’ll save time NOT having to deal with your pants. Then you dump ALL of your gym clothes in another pile on the floor, so you don’t have to root through your bag to find the bottom layers. Now you’re still naked but have TWO rumpled piles of clothes on the floor in front of you. Get dressed in a hectic fashion, pray that you didn’t grab the sports bra that takes five minutes to fasten properly, and then shove the pile of work clothes unceremoniously into your bag. Try and scan the room on your way out to make sure you haven’t left any bras or socks lying around (inevitably, you WILL leave something at some point and feel mortified when you only realize this much later).

Mission accomplished! Sneak out and put your shoes on while reading the white board and pretending nobody’s noticed you’re five minutes late.

Do it again the next day. 

my office: the arctic war zone

Despite the balmy, almost-snow-free Maryland winter we’re having, I’m freezing. All the time. Now I don’t mean the shocking, biting, freezes-the-inside-of-your-nose-in-two-breaths kind of freezing. I’ve done that before, and this current kind is much worse. I’m just ALWAYS cold unless I’m in bed or the shower. It’s like my body doesn’t generate enough heat to maintain a comfortable temperature when the outside air is anything less than 75 degrees.  

At work today, somebody referred to the part of the building that I work in as the Annex. Of course, all of us who work in “the Annex” (which is actually a pretty accurate name for our space) immediately took offense for some reason and spent a wonderfully productive half hour NOT getting any work done because we were busy brainstorming superior names for our space.

My favorite: the freezer.

Seriously. I WOULD work in the part of the building where the heat a) doesn’t work effectively or b) doesn’t work at all. We’ve been having a raging battle (well as raging as an office battle can get) with the guys who control the building temp for several weeks, if not longer:

 We inform them that it is cold, and they come check the thermostat. The thermostat says 70, so there is, apparently, no problem. We all wear jackets and scarves to work the next day; they turn the thermostat up to 72. One of our number brings in a pool thermometer which says it is 66 degrees; the mechanical guys counter with some swanky looking thermal sensor that says it’s warmer than 66. We point out that even if it IS warmer (which it’s not, trust me) we’re all obviously still cold. They say they’ll talk to somebody about it. And on it goes.

Until I showed up at 7:30 one morning and it was (drumroll) 52 degrees. That’s practically arctic! Perhaps, I supposed, they had given up on us entirely and figured, if they had to listen to us whine anyway, they may as well save some money on the heat. That day was quite traumatic. I drank six cups of tea to try and stay warm. Do you have any idea how many bathroom trips six cups of tea can necessitate for a person with a pea-sized bladder? Too. freaking. many. All of my coworkers think I have some sort of medical condition now, I’m sure.

Anyway, the powers that be finally turned the heat up to 74 yesterday, which meant it was probably about 69. I was actually warm for once!

Then it broke again this morning. I just need to cave in and start wearing wool socks and long underwear under my office clothes.