all the cool kids do front squats, eat hot dogs, and sing Disney songs on their birthdays

My birthday is the best birthday ever. No, seriously. Not just because it’s MY birthday either. July 3rd is a consistently fabulous day every year. First off, it’s in the summer, so no matter how bad the weather is (and it’s usually pretty good) I am so much better off than those poor souls born in, say, February. There is nothing redeeming about any day in February, as far as I’m concerned. Secondly, when your birthday is on July 3rd, you always have the day after your birthday off from work or school, BUT the Fourth of July is not one of those annoying and overshadowing holidays that make everyone else forget that it’s your birthday and should, therefore, be all about YOU. This is more like just having the coolest birthday buddy ever. The third reason it’s the best: there are usually fireworks on your birthday, and even if you don’t manage to go see some until the day after, you will remain thoroughly convinced throughout your entire life that the fireworks are being set off purely to celebrate your special day. This Independence Day rigmarole is entirely coincidental.

SO, my birthday was pretty fantastic, despite the fact that I had a cold/horrible allergies that day. These are some things that I did on my birthday (in no particular order):

1. Ate red, white, and blue cupcakes at work. Accidentally turned my mouth blue. Contrary to what the color scheme may lead you to believe, the cupcakes were brought in by a friend for MY birthday and had nothing to do with America.

2. Ate hotdogs wrapped in bacon. L had a little party for me over at her house (our house is not really big enough for parties), and made her husband grill a delicious variety of foods for us.

3. Ate red-velvet cake topped with oreos that Kate baked especially for me. Discovered that Kate is MUCH better at cake decorating than L and I were when we baked Kate’s birthday cake.

4. Did things other than eat food, I promise.

5. Got the unintentional birthday present of a crossfit WOD that I absolutely adored. Killed it, and had the fleeting glory of having the highest score on the board out of the entire day’s worth of scores. For fifteen minutes. Until L did it and squeaked out two more reps than I did. I was cheering for her our loud, but in my head I was shrieking, Nooooooo!

6. Sang karaoke with crossfit friends and L’s parents. The only songs I know the words well enough to do this with originate from either Disney or Broadway. Let it go, let it go, I am one with the wind and sky …

7. Got into a bit of a karaoke war with L’s husband who was not a fan of Disney OR Broadway (for some reason) and wanted to sing to rap songs that I had never heard of and was completely uninterested in.

8. Did part of a Shakespearian monologue for everyone. Not entirely sure why.

9. Wore a headband that made me look like I had multi-colored antennae for the entire evening. Got a horrible headache as a result, but it was totally worth it.

10. Could not leave the party and go to bed at 10 like I usually would have, because it was MY birthday party.

11. Ate second helpings of cake and hotdogs. Perked back up after that and did not go to bed until after midnight, which was technically not my birthday anymore anyway, and was also impressively late for me to be staying up at all. Because I behave like an old woman.

winning that napping workout again

It’s funny, I used write about races all the time. And races are the easiest thing in the world to blog about. They make for hilarious posts napping picbecause I am guaranteed to always do something embarrassing while I’m running, and because they are easy to understand. I don’t have to explain the premise of a race (every reader understands that the goal is to run from point A to point B as fast as you can), which leaves me free to ramble on about the things that I really want to talk about. There are even mile markers to make my stories progress in a (marginally) linear fashion.

But lately, I’ve replaced racing with crossfit competitions. Still fun, but there’s just too much extra explaining involved to actually WRITE about them. Possibly, the root of the problem here lies in the laziness of the author rather than the complexity of the subject matter.

And on that note, I should get a prize for the athlete-able-to-fall-asleep-most-easily-at-a-crossfit-competition, which, considering the noise and energy level at these things, is quite an accomplishment.

Since I can’t really sleep when I’m away from home, I generally don’t hold up all that great at these out-of-town competitions. But when my dear crossfit pal from back home in PA texted me because a friend of hers needed another woman for his team, I agreed straightaway. Partly because M is one of those people I simply cannot say no to, and partly because the attention whore in me suspected this might provide some sort of opportunity for showing off.

Then I found out there was swimming involved. Hello swimming ability of an injured kangaroo. Sorry attention-whore, you just bought yourself an opportunity for extreme embarrassment instead.

My teammates were surprisingly chill about the swim (along with mostly everything else), and I somehow managed to string together seven 95lb snatches later on, so the day still qualified as an overall success. Except that, by one in the afternoon, my ass was dragging like nobody’s business. So I fell back to my usual standby of laying on the floor and falling asleep.

I did wake up briefly for the third wod of the day. Instead of actually warming up properly, I sort of gormlessly stood around staring at a deadlift bar and trying to will 185lbs off the ground with my mental powers.

“Are you okay?” M had to check up on me, “You’re looking a bit … forlorn.”

“Oh don’t worry, I’m just not awake.” I suppose this could have been something to worry about ten seconds before I was supposed to work out, but past experience with the magic of adrenaline assured me that everything would be alright. And it was. I spent 8 minutes throwing weight around like a total champ, and 30 minutes later I was passed out on the floor again.

I now have a reputation with two separate boxes as the girl who falls asleep everywhere and at inappropriate times.

don’t forget to scrub your knees and restock the shampoo every once in a while

Hey there WordPress. I haven’t seen much of you lately. My bad. I’m back now, and I’ve had a good reason for not having time to write. And I promise I will explain what I’ve been up to next time. But in this post, I have something much more important to discuss: Why I hate taking showers.

It happens every day: I walk in the door covered in gym-floor dirt and dripping with sweat, I flop down on the couch next to roomie, and start whining about the horrible chore standing between me and the rest of my night.  “Auughh, I don’t feel like showering.”

“Yeah, you say that a lot. I can’t really help you with that.”

Why? Why do I have such a trouble with this normal thing that other people apparently even ENJOY doing? Little freaks. But really, when I apply my brain, I can come up with several, only slightly questionable, reasons why showers are just about the worst thing ever.

1. You have to get wet. I know you’re wondering where I’m going with this, but hear me out. See, getting wet means you can’t just sort of halfway shower and then take a break to do other things. I may not feel like doing the dishes, but I can talk myself into doing them by telling myself that I’ll just wash a couple and then do something else. There are no breaks allowed in a shower. Such. Work.

2. You cannot eat in the shower. Well I guess you could, but it’s not really practical. Roomie and Kate (it’s confusing now that I have two roommates, but we’re just sticking with the original naming scheme here) can verify that I do indeed spend most of the few hours between arriving home from crossfit and going to bed shoving food into my face. So a whole entire FIFTEEN MINUTES spent without a snack is a comparative century.  

3. Showers are boring. You cannot see the TV from the shower. There is nobody to talk to in the shower. (And no, I’m not looking for offers from my male friends to fix this problem for me.) I cannot even sing in the shower when somebody else is home because it’s totally audible from the living room, and nobody except me really wants to hear me sing. This is the one chore that cannot be improved by the presence of an ipod and a pair of headphones. It’s SO boring.

4. Showers require too much preparation. I’m not a planner; I’m a doer! I like to think that anyway. But this means that I spend a good five minutes before every shower walking up and down the stairs between my room and the bathroom to get the towel I forgot, or the pair of underwear I dropped, or the razor that I carried out of the bathroom last night for entirely unknown reasons. And God forbid that some essential soap or lotion runs out mid-shower. This is when you find yourself developing your powers of improvisation: “I can totally use conditioner to shave my armpits, right? It’s white like shaving cream.”

5. It’s easier than you think to mess up the showering process. There are just too many steps to keep track of. I assume that this is less of a problem for men, but I cannot count the number of times I found myself standing gormlessly in the shower holding a bottle of shampoo and wondering if I just washed my hair or if I was just about TO START washing my hair. Or the number of times I notice AFTER getting dried off that only one leg seems to have gotten shaved.  

I think, based on my quick once-over reading of this post, that I may have a mild but undiagnosed case of ADHD. And yes, I still stand by my moderately confusing statements that showers are both too boring and too complicated. I have the worst case first world problems. The. Worst. 

injury, sunburn, and I clearly need to be bubble wrapped for my own protection

I currently have a tissue stuffed down the front of my pants to protect my poor sunburned stomach from the scathingly scratchy waistband of my burlap dress pants. The pants may look like cotton and nylon, but I can assure you that they are definitely made of burlap. Or possibly bailing twine. Normally, I would not have had time to get properly sunburned without a trip to the beach or some such excuse to lay around and completely ignore sunscreen, but after recovering from being deathly ill all winter, I’ve managed to manufacture new reasons to lay around by the pool and be a lazy bum.

A couple of weeks ago, I decided to liven up the wod at Crossfit by falling off a 20-inch box with a 95lb barbell on top of me. These tactics met with smashing success in the attention whoring department because every person in the gym had to stop working out so they could come over and see whether I had broken my neck. It transpired that I had not (also a great success), and that I was now permitted to complain at least eight times as much as usual because my neck hurt, and my back hurt, and my ankle hurt. Sadly, I had to chill out on the self pity when Coach broke his ankle three days later and couldn’t compete in Regionals that weekend.

Well, I just stopped complaining to Coach, actually. Everyone else was still fair game.

My neck and ankle are pretty much back to normal, but my back still feels like somebody took a sledge hammer (or a 95lb barbell) to it whenever I try to lift any real weights. Since I’m exercising about half as much as usual but refuse to stop eating like a house, I’ve decided my best tactic is definitely to just cover up the resulting pudge with a beautiful tan. Or a scalding sunburn that will shortly turn into a beautiful tan . . . if I put enough aloe on it. The tissue in my pants will be worth it in the end.  At least I was actually IN the sun when I got burned. Kate was at the pool this weekend too, but she sat her red-haired self in the shade and fretted about whether or not she was wearing enough spf 50. 50!?! I was wearing spf 8 that I had stolen from Roomie and feeling proud of myself for it. Based on this test group, I’m willing to guess that one’s IQ has some sort of direct correlation with the number on the sunscreen one chooses to wear. I don’t care. I WILL be golden brown.

P.S. Don’t worry, I’ve made an appointment to see a doctor about my back this week. My track record of having problems that doctors can actually fix is not good, but I have not given up hope that there is some sort of quick fix for this. Random thought! Do you think they call a doctor’s customers patients because you must be patient for medicine to work? If so, I’m a lousy customer. 

realizing that I work in a loony bin and also that I fit right in

My work mom left yesterday. Probably not forever, but for the foreseeable future, since she has to fly overseas to manage a long-term project . I sent this email to a buddy (I would call him my work husband, but he is just not work husband material), which I realize sounds somewhat strange in the context of office email:

Mom’s gone. Now I’m depressed : (

On the bright side, I’m slightly bolstered by the escalation of a war that I am waging with the coworker who is saved in my phone as JohnnyG, an eccentric British guy about the same age as my dad. Being the uber professional that I am, I like to pick things up off his desk and thrown them casually onto the floor as I walk by. Or rifle through the pages in books of code he has lying open. One time, I ripped the head partially off of a strange looking little foam soldier he has sitting on his desk. That was an accident though, and I just put it back in a hurry and pretended I hadn’t done anything. JohnnyG didn’t notice the damage until a week later, at which point he blamed it on Josh.

The man totally deserves harassment though, since he called me a dickweed one time. And, since I told him that it was not acceptable to say such things to ladies (we are applying the term lady very loosely here), he now informs me at least twice a week that I am a ‘toad’ and a ‘pest.’ And he called work Mom ‘dip shit’ yesterday! Unacceptable. JohnnyG is the definition of NO-FILTER. Strangely, he and I are actually pretty good friends. I think.

At any rate, he used to sort of take the abuse of me throwing his things with little-to-no resistance (I may have gotten a few pen stab marks on my forearms, but it was a small sacrifice to make for some excellent entertainment), but yesterday, I got a tissue box chucked in the direction of my head.

War is on.

The second or third time I watched the tissue box sail past my nose and skitter across my keyboard, I had to hide it in a secure location because it was in real danger of spilling my mug of tea. But I have kindly left out a number of objects that seem like they would be slightly less alarming when hurled in my general direction.

I need to think of a way to escalate the confrontation now. Throwing his things on the floor will no longer suffice. Hiding stuff perhaps? Or maybe the opposite? Putting all of his drawer things on the desk when he’s not looking? Rearranging the letters on his keyboard? I’m not naturally devious enough to be good at this. But I am apparently a great Pest and a Toad, so I should be able to come up with something.

very busy doing nothing

I went for a walk without feeling like I was going to die today. It was a big win, since I spent most of the last two days laying about like a slug while hacking up a lung and bits of greenish yellow gunk. That last bit was medically significant information that you all needed to know. In order to distract myself from the depressing fact that I have literally been sick for more than half the time since Christmas, (I know I’m prone to hyperbole, but in this case, that tendency is trumped by my refusal to misuse the word literally) I’m compiling a list of valuable things I have learned or discovered:

  1. Benedict Cumberbatch is very hot and I have a big crush on him.
  2. I also have a crush on Martin Freeman; he is such a cutie.
  3. I will never get sick on watching reruns of Sherlock; I am obsessed.
  4. You can actually communicate a surprising amount with pointing and vigorous nodding. Though this is only socially acceptable when you’ve lost your voice.
  5. Laying outside on the deck is warmer than sitting in a chair like a grown up.
  6. Afrin is addictive because it works. Like magic.
  7. Cereal can be shockingly versatile when you can’t manage to prepare real food. There’s the breakfast cereal, the dinner cereal, the snack cereal … it’s amazing.
  8. HGTV is THE BOMB. Though I pretty much already knew that.
  9. I should not visit the doctor when I’m sick because I never get anything out of it, but I still have to pay. It should be more like it is with lawyers; I pay them if they fix me.
  10. I can still count to ten. 

guess who didn’t have to ask for help getting out of her own undergarments

Stuck in my sports bra. Yup, that was me yesterday morning when I was trying to get changed into my work clothes at the gym. I don’t understand. I have worn this bra a million times before, but, unknown to me, it had suddenly shrunk to about one tenth its original size yesterday.

I got my elbow wedged sort of strangely part way under the side before it started to make ominous seam ripping noises. Freeze. Move a little, the scary noise starts again. Freeze. This process continued for a little while before I paused, arm strangely clamped to my body with hand sticking out like a useless fingered flipper, and wondered if I should leave the bathroom and ask for help.

It’s not as bad as it sounds. Nobody particular had been inspired to get up and work out with us at 6:30 that day, so only two other people were there at the moment. Both women. Both good friends of mine. I tried to picture the scene, Hey ladies, you’ve probably never heard this from another woman before, but would someone please take my clothes off? It wouldn’t actually be THAT embarrassing, not by my usual standards anyway. But I was really wedged in now and wasn’t entirely sure that outside help would do the situation any good. Plus, I would have had to somehow get my pants back on before leaving the bathroom . . .  my friends were not THAT good of friends.

I briefly contemplated plan B, giving up and putting work clothes on overtop of my sweaty sports bra, but quickly disregarded this idea in favor of the faster and easier plan C – just yanking the bra off regardless of any ripping noises and consequential damage.

Success. I got it off in one piece. Amazingly, the bra was still in one piece too. But I’m now afraid to wear it again. Not only because I am worried about hidden structural damage from all that yanking, but also because there is no way to know when if the dang thing is going to suddenly shrink up and take a strangle hold on me again after I’ve already gotten it on. I’m not sure what to do.

On an unrelated note, I am dying of allergies that I did not know I had before this year. All of the usual remedies have done NOTHING. Help! What does one do when this happens?

On another note that is also not related to the post OR to the first unrelated note, did you know that calories consumed on a day when you had to go to the dentist don’t count? It’s an official rule that I just made up. You can thank me later.