There’s this guy I’ve been working with over the last few months. We started on some new programs together, and met in person a lot at first. But, as we settled into getting to know each others’ dynamics, we moved more and more to phone calls.
This is not a bad thing. This means I don’t have to drive in as much. SCORE!
So, surprise of all surprises – manly man has a pug.
I find this hilarious, for some reason.
So, we were spending a lot of time on the phone, right? And I mean, a LOT of time. Hours and hours going through documents and writing up powerpoint slides, etc. Of course, when you’re on the phone, you get to know their sounds and mannerisms that way as well.
There is always this noise. I couldn’t place it. It sounded like an old school typewriter, always consistent and kind of unrelenting. Distracting, even. But, it just faded into the background to me as I got used to being on the phone all the dang time.
click clack, click clack.
It dawned on me today.. it’s his dog. Livin’ large. Tap tap tapping on the floor. So what, dude, are you playing fetch? LOL! I don’t know how it snapped that it was the pup, maybe that it was accompanied with barks today. But really, this dog’s tapping sounds starkly different than mine. Mine sound a lot more sporadic. Maybe this dog is on a treadmill?
…when they’re busy. I woke up feeling completely not rested in the slightest, but when it comes down to it – I like busy weekends far better than not busy weekends.
Friday started us off with some DEEEELICIOUS happy hour times at PintHouse Pizza. I met a group of friends that I used to hang out with ALL.THE.TIME, but that has apparently kind of disconnected recently. It’s funny, too – one of them told me they thought I was the glue, because a lot of the normal hanging out stopped when K and I went to NC. Awee. The pizza place was good, I’d definitely go again. Very family friendly. In fact, some of my non-family friendly friends (who were not at HH) turned their noses up when they heard about how friendly it was! Makes me laugh. To each their own, I suppose.
Pinthouse Pizza, Austin Tx
Saturday was the Karaoke 5k, and a friend’s wedding. I came in as fourth woman at the 5k, and if I had known that the field was that close, I’d have started up front and been more competitive. OH WELL! Now I know. Run an untimed party run, and I can be at the front. Woohoo!
Here’s what I wore to the wedding:
Sunday… I watched Twilight with a fabulous group of ladies that I like to call, “Book Club.” The Twi-hard who coordinated threw a Twilight themed party at her house, and then we all went to the iPIC (which I had never been to), had some drinks, and watched it. Y’all, it was the best Twlight movie of them all. I know, not that difficult to pull off – but they did the ending well.
I still think the real life Kristen-Robert relationship was a farce for the movie release. I’LL SAY IT AGAIN!!
Ah yes… the familiar whirrrrrrr of espresso machines, the ambient noise in the background, and the hum of people talking around me. For some dang reason, I’m really productive in this environment. I think it’s because I have the feeling that I could be multitasking, but I’m not multitasking.
I finally had a chunk of time available to where I could head down to my old stomping grounds and check out the Bouldin Creek Coffee Shop – and I think this may be my “fussy favorite.” Fussy, because:
1) Parking is touch and go. It has a small lot, and while you can park in the neighborhood – I know as a former resident of the hood, that it sucks to have random people in your yard. So I would rather drive on if I can’t get a spot in a public spot.
2) You actually have to get seated! What what?
Otherwise, the coffee is delish, the ambience is top notch, and this place has a TON of character. Oh, and their coffee AND chocolate is fair trade.Oh, and the food that was served to the people right next to me smells REALLY yummy.
So, a few months back I posted about reaaaaally wanting to try out SUP Yoga.. and I got my chance! A couple of weeks ago, I popped on into Black Swan Yoga’s Paddle Yoga class, and had a blast! I unfortunately was feeling a bit under the weather (and had a 100 degree fever I found later).
It was a lot of fun, and I’ll absolutely do it again. I don’t think I got all I could have out of it – it was a windy day, AND I felt like poo – and I want to try it again for sure. One thing that really stuck with me? I *really* wanted to complete a headstand on a paddleboard.
Now, this is complicated by the fact that I’m not good at headstands on dry land. You’d think that’s an “oops,” but I actually found later that I had an easier time doing a headstand on a paddleboard – because you fall into the water! Its a softer landing!
Getting into Position
Last weekend, I went out paddleboarding with a group of friends and was determined to try again. Results?
My form is awful, but I hit it! I definitely will be going out again and doing it! Its a ton of fun! I liked being in a class better than putzing around with my friends for the yoga part – but putzing around with my friends really was fun. I even got my hubby to try out SUP, and he really enjoyed it. By the end of the day, we were searching craigslist for paddleboards.
Paddleboarding in front of the Austin Skyline
Now.. who wants to come with me for the next round?
…and I’m *JUST* getting done with work. And OMG do I ever have summer hours fever! It is a GORGEOUS day out there, and my wonderful husband is outside (i’m inside, working from home) putting together a key component of our water harvesting system.
Yep. Water harvesting. I’m trying to decide if I want to take up blogging the process we’ve gone through getting it put together, but I’m afraid I’d miss too many details. We’ll see.
Alas – its 4pm, and I want to BE OUTSIDE. And Jennifer posted a picture of the lake earlier that has me itching to jump in the water! Which brings me (in a roundabout way) to my topic today. Bikini season is upon is. And I am not prepared.
Why not?? Well, between moving, moving to TEXAS where the food is yummy, and spraining my ankle, my exercise regimen has been lax. I’m not doing terribly, I suppose, and by Sunday will have 5 out of 7 days working out.. but its mostly running and cycling. No swimming, No yoga. Wop wop.
I spied this series on FitSugar – the Yoga Sequence Bikini Workout – and noted, YAY! These are ALL my favorite poses! It has me itching.. just itching.. to get back into a yoga studio to supplement my triathlon habit. I just need to work out a schedule for it! Part of it will be finding a class I want to commit to. I’ve got a list of classes I can try, and as soon as I find “the one” … lets hope the bikini part will follow.:)
Here’s something interesting about being one of the only one of my close friends or family members who has not had children: you hear ALLLLLLL about how children change you, and ALLLLLL about how childbirth changes your body in every way – sometimes temporarily, sometimes not – all the way down to your shoe size. So yeah, I know that if that ever happens, to not be shocked even if my favorite ballet flats don’t fit me anymore.
What you DON’T hear about, however, is how your body changes even when you don’t have children. And, uh, here on the cusp of my 32nd year.. things are a-changin’. I mentioned one of them a few posts back, and I’ve noticed a couple of other things that seem to be happening all at once.
I’ve been wondering if that’s just a normal course of life, but didn’t really have anyone to chat to about it. I mean, all of my besties that I see and chatter with on a regular basis have babies. No offense to you guys, since it’s just a part of life, but y’all would more than likely just laugh my little changes off and give me the “wait til you have kids…” line. And I’m SO not Googling that one.
Enter an alcohol fueled discussion on Saturday night – two friends and I were chit chatting at a party about.. well.. I don’t even remember how the discussion started, but of course – the fact that the three of us didn’t have kids came up. The other two ladies I was chatting with are in their 40′s, and one said with the absolute vindication that she’d NEVER have babies. And then, the light-bulb went off over my head.
Me: “Ok.. you ladies haven’t had kids.. maybe you can answer this for me. Did your bodies, like, CHANGE in your early 30′s?”
T&N practically in unison: “YEAH GIRL!”
N: “and it changes AGAIN in your early 40′s!”
T: “Your metabolism, your distribution of fats.. it ALL changes. I used to have an ass, and now I’m all chest.”
Me: “HOLY SHIT! I never knew. Seriously, I feel like I’m going through a 2nd puberty.”
M,N,T: ::Random talk about changing bra sizes… WTF::
N: “That’s why I laugh at 22 year olds getting boob jobs… they have NO IDEA whats coming!”
Indeed. I now consider myself delightfully enlightened.
Oh, the Texas Independence Relay. Sigh. I’ve been doing this run for four years. For four years, I’ve taken out a weekend in March/April to run across Texas with a team of 12 people. I’ve made fantastic friends out of it, had a wonderful time, and surprised myself with the endurance that I can muster. I’ve been running with a team called The Running Chupacabras - (which is a viscous goat-sucking creature out of American folklore in both North and South America), that consists of many people rotating in and out – and two or three of us being the constants carrying the name.
The 2009 Running Chupacabras
I remember back in 2009, I didn’t know what to expect. I was nervous and fearful. Our entire team was green at relays, and I was intimidated by the awesomeness of the runners on my team (and on other teams!). We had Ironmen, runners, and mostly military folk on the team (brought by our team captain, Mandi) … and then there was me and Joe. Haha. I had JUST started running 5ks and 10ks at that point, and wasn’t sure I could handle it, but I did. I actually had FUN! There was a lot of fun hijinks, practical jokes, and we took FOREVER to finish. I’m not sure why, not all of us were slow (except for maybe 3 of us). But it was like we were in a time warp, and we took maybe 32 hours. The course was fun, and I found running in the middle of the night was awesome.
Then came 2010. I was excited for 2010! We had a lot of team members returning, we knew what to expect, and I was all amped up to be part of the team again. We did a lot better than the year before – and again, it wasn’t without comedy and drama – and I could actually describe this year as “Fun.” We had a pretty even pace between the vans, we had our captain Mandi’s dad’s house to go to for a shower and ZZZ’s, and we had 8 returning members. We got in a lot sooner on our overall time, and felt like we were ROCKIN! We tagged the hell out of vans, and truly had a great time. I want to say that this was the most fun year of them all, and again, it kept me coming back. And as you can tell from the picture, it was COLD. We didn’t prepare for the cold and were all bundled up in each other’s stuff. We rocked out to music, ate food that wasn’t awesome for us, and gave each other hell. It was awesome.
2011 rolled around, and we again had many returning members – 7 this time. Though, it was a different 7 than last year. Two of our members left the state (as did I, but I flew into town just to do the relay), but two of our new members returned. We had a couple of drops and a couple of random additions, but ended up with 12. This was also a fun year, though at least one person (not the same person – it alternated between everyone, including myself) had a stick up their ass in our van at all times. Even with that, there was always time for the camaraderie and even a beer or two. We had a random Relay Runner join our team, and he was a great addition. We also had two serious, ultra distance runners join our team, and they were a GODSEND. We were hauling balls this year, and actually got in pretty fast.
And now we have 2012! This year was different all around. The team was different, and the course was very different. The course was harder for sure. It was a month later, and therefore a month HOTTER. We baked. We only had 3 veterans of this team return – myself, Joe and Shellie. I could see the writing on the wall a few months back when people started dropping for various reasons – they weren’t running as much, they just weren’t into it, or mostly, were injured. So, we got a lot of new members from other teams, some last minute trade ups, and actually for the first time exhausted our list of alternates.
We ended up running with 11 members this year. I was worried about it, but we have enough hard core distance runners in our group who easily made up for it. It turned out WAY better than I thought! It was still a good experience, it was still something very memorable, and its still something to be proud of to have accomplished. But, for some reason – maybe its because the vans didn’t know each other as well, maybe because we’re older, or maybe just because we didn’t have as many loud’n'crazy people in our van – it didn’t seem as “Fun” as before. It seemed more like were were working, or “on it” at all times. I won’t say it wasn’t a good time – I will say that we had a good time with each other. We all got along, we chatted like old friends the entire time, and WE GOT IT DONE. I might just have somewhat of a bad taste in my mouth because I actually got injured along the way.
My friends Jenn and Amanda did this with me as well, as well as my fellow Trizoner Heather – and they all were in this as their first relay. It was actually kind of interesting to sit in our van, and realize that HOLY SHIT, I’m the only person here who has done this thing! Hah! I was actually kind of showing them how its done while we’re doing it (that’swhatshesaid), and I’m glad I set expectations well.
This is something you have to demonstrate lots of stamina and flexibility for – and the entire van did great with it. We got tired, no joke, but we hammered through it. I was impressed that the only meltdown was mine (injury induced). I had told them that someone ALWAYS get injured – and boy, was that a dumb remark! This time, it was me!
My left ankle looked like a cankle. And this was before I took my shoe off (and before it looked REALLY bad).
We had packed up lots of food, and the moms in the van thankfully had first aid kits with them – which really came in handy. I rolled my ankle twice while we were out there. The first time was during my favorite run, the night run – while slipping on some gravel. It wasn’t terrible, and just sore.. but the next day, I rolled it again pretty severely. As in, I couldn’t just get up and keep going like the night before. I felt something pop or snap, and sat on my ass crying for a few minutes while they came back to get me. The runners passing me by kind of also left a bad taste – I think about 10 people passed me, and only 1 asked if I was OK. I know we get all cut throat by the end and all, but REALLY??
Thankfully, the others on the team took it up and made it happen. Our one guy in the van and Jenn took on extra mileage to get us to the end, and Joe took up mileage in the other van as well. We made it through this year in about 28 hours, which is really good. We had thoughts on it for next year as well. Though, at this point.. I have to ask myself, will I do it next year? At first, I said HELL NO. I said “I’m done.”
Then our OG captain Mandi had to go and post about the five year Chupacabra anniversary on Facebook. Sigh. I got the wild hair in my head that I HAD to be there! Then I go hobble over the fridge to get an ice pack and think again. The pain fades, y’all.. this is why we come back, again and again.
I leave you with this. Its a stunningly accurate video on how to train for the TIR:
So I got my car back this past Monday. It was in the shop for 13 full days getting those carpets dried out! It rained a few times during that time, so that sure slowed it down – but it was well worth it.
My car no longer smells like mold! I can breathe again!
So I also therefore had the S60 for around 13 days. I thought it’d be hard going back to my slower engine, but it wasn’t too bad. My car definitely feels heavier (its in fact lighter by 200 pounds) since the engine doesn’t pick up as fast, but I still maintain that my older Volvo feels like its better built than the newer one. We probably won’t buy an S60.
We did however, go test drive a couple of other cars on a whim last week – a Volkswagon CC and an Infiniti G37.
First off – the G37 wins by a LONG SHOT.
Kyle was all excited about testing out the VW CC – though right upon standing next to it, I think its a huge boat. I personally need a smaller car (and would have been more interested in say, a Passat). He had fun driving it in sport mode, but in regular mode it had LOTS of turbo drag. I wasn’t a fan of the CC because of that, the size, the dorky two toned interior (which he also loved), and just how close it felt to the road. I know lots of drivers love that close-to-the-road feeling, because it feels like you are driving .. but I am not one of those people.
So we went down the road a little bit to the Infiniti shop, where we drooled over this (also huge) M56S, but went on our merry way to try out the G. And we were both REALLY impressed. Kyle is more of a performance drive lover, and I’m more of a fan of almost the exact opposite, superficial features – and this car satisfied both of our wants. Shocker of shockers.
Kyle and I were sitting there while we were in the car with the salesman, asking, “Why have we never tried Infiniti before?” We’ll end up with one (and probably a 2011 model) at some point, but I’m not sure when. I’m currently looking for any cons to the car, other than the price.. and of course, there’s also looking for exactly what we want. Color, mileage, interior color, warranty.. there are all kinds of details to work though!
Well, I took her in for an oil change a week ago, and asked for an estimate on getting the item fixed and the car cleaned. That’s going to total up to an $800 repair, yo. Seriously! Why is that? Well, they’re doing some small things with line and sealing the leak, but on top of that they have to remove all of the seats, the carpet, pull up all of the foam under said carpet (which was what smelled like mold), pressure wash all of it, and let it dry. And they’ve had the car for a full week and its still going to take a couple of days.
However.. and this is why I might buy another Volvo.. the customer service is fantastic. They provided me with a loaner car to drive while they work on the car. So I’ve had a 2012 Volvo S60 T5 to drive for a full week (I requested it). I can’t say I mind too much – I’m getting the chance to have an extended test drive on a car I might purchase! And, its FREE!
Say what you will about Volvo being bought from Ford by the Chinese company Geely – one thing that has not been disrupted so far is their stellar customer service. Have a question? I’ve got a point of contact who calls me back within 10 minutes. Need a car? Sure. And today, when I wanted to get my yoga mat from the back of my car, the service adviser met me, took me back to check on my car, and get everything I needed from it. And, wow. This is extensive work. The seats were off, the carpets and the dense floorboard foam hanging out in the sun. It kind of hurt my heart to see my poor car in pieces, but it’ll be good to have done that when we sell it.
So far, the S60 is really nice to drive. Its lower end – no leather, no sunroof, etc – but its still a good base of what I’d get. The one thing I will say is that this car is fast. It is WAY faster than mine (by about 80 horsepower PLUS a turbocharged engine), and has a smoother ride. So far, I like it. I do however, have my reservations and am picking out several other vehicles to test drive. Ok, here’s another – its a good size, too. Its visibility is very similar to my S40′s, with the additional perk of being able to automatically turn down the rear seat headrests (cool!) – but its larger. Tall people like my hubby have more room to breathe.
Lets talk about the cons of the S60:
- Changing gears, if you’re doing it slowly, creates an engine vibration. I’m not sure if its just this particular car (it IS a loaner – and people are rough on loaners), or all of them. If you’re accelerating fast and utilizing the fast engine, you don’t notice – but if you grandma drive like I do, you know that vibration is going to turn into an annoying noise five years down the line.
- The side view mirrors. You can’t adjust them unless the car is stopped. When you have two people driving the same car, and figure out you need to adjust them, you actually have to wait until the car is stopped to change it. Its a safety feature gone overboard!
- It doesn’t feel as solid for some reason. I think its because its the base model – we test drove a T6 in Raleigh last year, and it felt way more solid than this particular car is. I’ll test drive some others to be sure.
That’s about it. I’ll probably post here about car shopping experiences next!