Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Just finished a run!

Now where is my medal?

The Gym

The gym is my fickle friend. Right now I am sitting on my bed, in my gym clothes, contemplating the long, five minute walk to my gym, and I'm wondering... Will I actually be able to make myself go today... or will the mental work out of trying to convince myself to go be exercise enough... ?

Leaning towards the second one.

I hate exercise. But I love the way I feel AFTER I exercise. It's such a dilemma. 35 endlessly long minutes, feeling like I want to die, or maybe that I am dying and this is what death feels like, and all I get for it afterwards is a seemingly short runner's high and that giddy "I can eat whatever I want" feeling.

AND THEN I EAT WHATEVER I WANT. I mean really, what was the point of going to the gym in the first place?

But yet there was a time, a long, long time ago, before I became a working girl, that I worked out a lot. Like, FIVE DAYS A WEEK a lot. It was a phase that I went through, I guess, I can't explain it. And you know, I was really fit. I like to look back on that time, that brief, golden age, and brag about it to all my friends. Because yeah. Yeah I could run six miles and barely break a sweat. Yeah I got my mile time down to under 7 minutes. Yeah, I was a beast. I. Was. A. Freaking. Beast.

My friends are like, "uhh, no one cares?"

But I have to brag because I think we all know I'll never see those days again. I even knew it at the time. I remember, almost exactly a year ago, going on a long and pleasantly pleasant run, and saying to myself, "Hey Jane? Enjoy this. This is the fittest you will ever be, you lazy, lazy couch potato."

And I was so right about myself. I mean, here I am a year later, couching it up. I couldn't run six miles right now if you paid me $1000. I couldn't run a seven minute mile without collapsing and possibly having a heart attack. It's sad, how far I've fallen. Very, very sad.

And that means I should go, right? To the gym? I should go right now and relive my former glory? I should push myself to the limit? I should feel the burn in my every limb?

I will, I've decided. I will go right now. I'm putting my shoes on. Or, ok, I will be putting my shoes on momentarily. As soon as I finish this post.

Ok. I'm going.


Right now.


are you still there?

Thursday, January 24, 2013


Winter. Is. Here.

I am sure I've mentioned this before, but I used to think winter was my favorite season. Why!?!? you ask, incredulous. I don't know. I must have been out of my mind.

Part of it, I can only imagine, is that winter in the city isn't too terrible most of the time. The coldest days, which are rare, tend to settle around 20 degrees, pretty bad but not unbearable. Snow was also reserved for delightfully special occasions. If we did get some, 98% of the time it didn't stick. It just floated like confetti through the city streets, making everything seem slightly magical, and then melted away in the heat of our drain pipes. I thought I loved snow.

But the very best of all is that winter in the city ends. It is reserved for a three month period between the middle of December and the middle of March, and then, like clockwork, on March 15 you wake up and suddenly you can smell spring coming. In the air. I can't make this up. It smells wet.

Basically what I'm saying is, I didn't really know Winter, with a capital W, until I got to Maine. And then it was ruined for me forever.

First there is the cold. The endless cold. Temperatures in the single digits are pretty typical. There was one winter during which we basically couldn't go outside for the entire month of January. Friends turned against friends. Enemies punched enemies in the face. We ate each other alive.

Then there is the snow.  The endless snow. One year the mountainous snow piles grew to nine feet high and refused to melt. There were entire stairs wells on campus that I completely forgot existed.  Pathways at the school became icy death traps. Driving was a nightmare: first you dig your car out and try not to get hypothermia, then you clean your car off and your hands die from hypothermia, then by the time you actually get in the car to go somewhere you're starting to wonder if anything you could possibly need is worth risking your life on the icy road. Nine time out of ten the answer is...  Probably not. Too bad you already sacrificed your hands.

But the absolute worst thing about winter in Maine is that spring never comes. I would wake up on March 15 feeling all hopeful and expectant only to find that... It was definitely still winter. The same held true all the way into April. My soul became more beaten with each passing day. There were times that I legitimately feared it would be WINTER. FOREVER. APOCALYPSE NOW.

By the end of my first Maine March, winter had become my interminable foe and spring my long awaited savior. Summer was my new favorite season. Even now, two years later, I will take the hottest day over the coldest day ANY day. I'd rather swelter than freeze. In fact, I kind of love sweltering.

Basically my point in writing all this is to let you know that the city is uncharacteristically cold today, hovering around 15 degrees.  As a result I have avoided the outdoors like the plague. In fact, I think I will now retire to my bed which is where I will be hiding until March 15. And YOU BETTER NOT LET ME DOWN THIS TIME, Spring. You better show up right on time.

Or else.

Or else I'll move to Orlando. AND DON'T YOU TEST ME.

Monday, January 21, 2013


I used to think I was an optimistic person. This is largely because my demeanor leans heavily towards "upbeat" and "bubbly." Also because my life is quite calamitous and yet it never diminished my ability to put a smile on my face (aren't I annoyingly cheerful).

Well, it turns out that smile is only skin deep and unemployment brings out ALL my jaded cynicism. This past month has convinced me that I have actually been a pessimist this whole time, but with an ironically sunny disposition.

I'm pretty sure an optimist sees all the potential and possibility of life. Every failure is an opportunity, right? Every time God closes a door he opens a window?

In my head, things work a little differently. Every failure convinces me that I'll probably never ever get another job as long as I live, ever. Every door that closes sends me into a panic thinking that I'll probably die homeless in a box on the street after a thoroughly unsuccessful life.

My friends and family are like, "dude. Chill."

But I can't! Chill! I am going to be homeless! IN A BOX! No one will visit.

I need help. And a meditation cushion. And a recording that I can put on repeat that tells me I'm only 23 and my life is going to be OK.

(But then again, WHAT IF IT ISN'T??)

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Let me level with you for a minute

I left my job. My job left me. It was a mutual decision. I wanted one thing for myself and my boss wanted another thing for his company and the two just weren't lining up anymore. I am being completely honest when I say that it was 100% amicable. I hope my boss and I will still know each other in the years to come.

BUT THAT SAID, the transition from working 40+ hours a week to working... 0 hours a week... has been interesting. I had definitely gotten used to working a lot and being tired all the time and generally having an excuse to not get anything else done. Take my dry cleaning to the cleaners? I HAD TO WORK TODAY. Go grocery shopping? DOES SERIOUSLY NO ONE CARE ABOUT HOW HARD IT IS THAT I HAVE TO WORK ALL DAY? Take a weekend trip to a museum? ARE YOU KIDDING ME? I ONLY GET TWO DAYS A WEEK TO RELAX. (And by "relax" I of course mean "Spend and entire afternoon lying around in my sweat pants like a bum." Sigh).

Well, now it's like everyday is Saturday. This should mean I get a lot accomplished, right? Like, my clothes are always clean and my refrigerator well-stocked. If I'm being honest with myself, it should also mean that I write a whole lot more often on this blog. And yet.... Somehow.... I still end up spending whole days in my sweatpants like a bum.

All the time in the world, and yet nothing ever gets done. It's kind of incredible. And by "incredible," I of course mean that I have lost all sense of purpose.

I think what I need is structure... a schedule.... Right now my schedule looks like this:

1. Get up whenever my body feels like it, which is typically around noon.
2. Eat a leisurely bowl of cereal.
3. Read the news and catch up on my correspondences (my friends always make fun of me when I say that but it's true! That's what I do).
4. What's that? It's dinnertime?
5. ....

Ok, ok. I might be exaggerating a little. I do SOME other things. And STUFF. In fact, if I wrote it all down here it would probably sound like a lot of stuff. Apply for jobs, go on interviews, run, write, sleep.

And yet my day still feels remarkably empty.

I think what I need right now are some good, self-implemented goals. And I think my first goal will be, "Get up around 9am tomorrow and put on some real pants." Everyone has to start somewhere right?

I'll let you know how that goes.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Growing up in NYC

I took growing up in the city for granted. I guess everyone feels the same about his or her hometown -- for the first 18 years (or so, on average) of your life it's where you live. It's all you know. It's regular. It's everyday. It's .... blah.

But this week, for some unknown reason, I have had two people on separate occasions say to me, "I always find it so funny to meet real city kids, kids who spent their childhood in the city. What was it like??" I always laugh awkwardly at this and say something like, "haha, yeah well, you know, to me it is exactly like wherever you're from is to you -- it's just home. I don't know what it would be like to be raised anywhere else."

That being said, as a kid I definitely romanticized country life. I told my parents countless times that I wished I had been raised on a farm in the country instead of in an apartment in the city. I told them that when I grew up, I was going to move out west and have that rural experience I always wanted -- with wide open fields and space as far as the eye could see. My neighbors would live miles away and "town" would be the one general store and a post office. My dad loves to tell me this story now so he can point and laugh and say, "I told you so."

But oh, he told me so. I went to college in a rural town (totally chosen on purpose for it's delightfully quaint rural-ness) and QUICKLY realized how wrong I was about myself. I am a city girl, through and through. The city hath spoiled me forever.

First of all, I don't know why I didn't realize this would be a problem (probably because I grew up in a city) but I didn't have a driver's license my first year in college. I know that suburban and country kids wait for that moment with baited breath, but I watched my sixteenth birthday come and go without any desire to get myself to the DMV. I thought, "What a hassle to get one of those license things," and "... It's not like I'm getting a car."

It was only after I moved to the country for college that I realized the extent of my city freedom. Did I want to the movies with friends? I don't need to wait for my mom to take me or pick me up -- I can take myself whenever I want via taxi or subway or walking.  How about visiting a friend's house? No one has to drive me, I can get myself there. Not to mention that drunk driving was never, ever an issue at my high school. We just didn't drive. Period. (The drinking on the other hand...). 

But, the point is, I had a remarkable amount of independence growing up. Independence that I completely took for granted until I got to college and realized I couldn't go anywhere unless someone else was willing to take me there in their automobile. So, of course, when I came home for the summer after Freshman year, I immediately got a license and a car. I need to be free. And I had finally learned what it means to associate freedom with the ability to drive. 

Another thing: this is probably unique to me, but during my first year in college I would get ridiculous food cravings and not be able to satisfy them. In the city, I had always been able to order Chinese food whenever the feeling struck me. In New York, I can get takeout at 8pm or midnight or at 4am. This was NOT true in Waterville, ME, where not only was there no decent Chinese food anyway, but ALSO the restaurants closed at 9pm. 9pm!? That's when dinner in the city is just getting started. 

Or how about if I suddenly realize I need tissues at 11pm? Thank goodness the corner store three blocks away from my house in NY is open 24 hours. In Maine, I would be completely out of luck. 

One last thing: I didn't know how much this would bother me, but in college I met a lot of people and one of the first questions we'd ask each other was, "oh where are you from?" A LOT of people would say to me, "Boston" and then I'd be like, "oh cool, where in Boston?" And they'd say, "Well, 30 minutes outside of Boston in a suburb called _______." This became a huge pet peeve of mine. If you are not actually from the city do not say you're from the city. Just. No. The kids who actually grew up in the city had a completely different experience from your "30 minutes outside the city" suburban experience. The two should not be grouped together, even if you think you lived "close enough" on a map. 

I don't know why that bothers me so much, but it does. Be proud of where you're from, whether it be the city or the country or the suburbs in between.

The End.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Guess where I went...!

Disney world. Damn straight. I probably shouldn't admit my passionate and abiding love for Disney World to the public, especially now that I am a 23 year old person... But, uhm, I just can't keep it in any longer.

I love you, Disney World.

I try to go at least once a year. Yeah, that's right. I have gone almost exactly once a year since I was six years old. That's 17 times over the course of my life. How sad do I sound right now?

Hang on, let me rephrase that question.

How awesome do I sound right now? Totally awesome.

Here is something to love about Disney, or if not Disney, then Florida in the winter: warmth. Oh, the wonderful, glorious warmth. I am missing it so much right now, as I sit here in frigid New York. I am longing for the sunshine.

I didn't take too many photos of my trip. This is mostly because I already have more photos of Disney World than is socially acceptable. So many photos of Disney. What can I say? It's the most photogenic place on earth. Also the happiest place on earth. And, OK, possibly the most staged place on earth. But that's part of what I love about it.

Here is Mary Poppins. I wish I had her dress. 

Here is a beautiful piece of the new Beauty and the Beast merchandise, making it's grand debut at the new (partially open) Fantasy Land. I think I might have to get this as my wedding china. I hope you can tell when I'm being sarcastic. 

At Belle's new castle, this gargoyle suffers.

Is that Disney World...? OR the African Savanna? I know, it's prettyyy hard to tell.

How did I end up going to Disney World? I'm still not really sure. My sister and I planned this trip very spontaneously. By that I mean that we literally woke up last Thursday morning and said to each other "you know what would be fun.....?" And before we even knew what was happening we were buying plane tickets to Orlando for the following day. Yes, we planned our whole trip ONE day before we left. I am never spontaneous. I plan every minute of my life. The entire following day, when we were in Disney World, I was still completely overwhelmed by my own adventurism. Like, wait... where are we right now?? How did this happen? Did I really....? Yes.


Another weird thing is that people kept giving us their fast passes to all the best rides. The first time this happened we thought it was a fluke. But then it happened again. And again. All in all, we got four free rides -- Ariel's New Adventure, Rockn' Roller Coaster, Space and Thunder Moutains... Can someone please let me know if this has happened to them? Is it just that the people at Disney World are remarkably friendly and my hardened NYC heart can't accept this?

When we got our first fast passes we thought, "Wow, our karma must be pretty good!!" But after the fourth time we were like, "No, no, our karma is definitely not this good." Then we (I) worried that something terrible was going to happen and these tickets were our consolation prize. Then we (I) decided not to worry about it and just enjoy our amazing trip. Because it was turning out to be pretty amazing.

And, so far, nothing terrible has happened. But I've got my eyes open.

Good bye Disney World, see you again next year... 

You can never have too many pictures of a giant, sparkly, plastic castle. Am I right or what??

Thursday, January 3, 2013

New Year's Resolutions!

What do you mean it's already January 3rd? Clearly I am behind the eight ball on everything. And that is why my resolution number 1 is to, um, stop procrastinating so much.

and 2. Exerciese more.
3. Struggle to eat less. This will be immensely difficult given my admitted love of all things carb.
4. Feel good about my body (Is that even possible for a girl?)
5. Meet a girl who really, truly feels good about her body. Discover her secret.
6. Sleep.
7. Figure out what I want to be when I grow up.
8. Find inner peace...
9. Write more.
10. Fear the judgment of others less.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

The Holiday Season

The Christmas season completely snuck up on me this year. This was the first year that I didn't have a true, designated winter break -- a vacation of somewhere between ten days and two weeks to revel in the season. Instead I was forced to condense all my reveling into the weekends and evenings in between... Work.

Wait.... is this what it means to become and adult? Was that a rite of passage? If so, I'm ready to go back in time and become a joyous kid again. Elementary school, anyone?

BUT FEAR NOT! I defied the odds and still managed to enjoy myself. Occasionally.

Here are some of the things I did to celebrate:

1. Sugar cookies. I had a new old friend come over to bake with me. This is, after all, the season of new old friends. Or, in other words, it is the seasons for renewing friendships. As an added bonus, the cookies were delicious, and the batter PARTICULARLY excellent. I may have tested quite a lot of it. For poison.

The problem is: I wanted to make Christmas cookies but I don't actually own any cookie cutters.... I'm not a very "crafty" person... So I say to my friend, "Not to worry! We can use a knife to cut shapes out ourselves and it will be even MORE crafty and original than just simply using a cutter shape! The day is saved." So we rolled out the dough (I DO own a rolling pin, so that's something) and got to work.

THEN it turned out I was absolutely terrible at cutting out shapes. As I say, I lack "crafitness." (read: any artistic talent whatsoever). It didn't help my ego that my friend turned out to be an incredibly skilled cookie artiste, carving Christmas trees and snow men and snow angels with ease. Please see this cookie sheet as evidence:

I really think the two cookies in the bottom right are clear indicators of our skill levels. I drew the snow angel, of course. Not. 

2. City Bakery hot chocolate. Actually, my new old friend introduced this to me as well. Now I'm an addict. I like to refer to it as CBHC for short and drink it at least seven times a week... aka once a day. It is so thick and rich and chocolatey. Not too overwhelmingly sweet, just how I like it. In fact, I have to stop talking about it or I'll need to run across town right now this instant and get my fix (City Bakery is at 18th st. just west of fifth avenue. Go. Go now).   

I wish I had a picture of the hot chocolate to illustrate my love, but alas I can never resist drinking it long enough to take a photograph.

3. I got this tree: 

And I helped drag it home from the tree stand. Living in New York, that's more of a process than you'd think. We don't have a car to throw our tree atop of. Of course, that's why many city tree stands offer delivery...

Also, I wish I could say that I helped decorate this tree.. but I only managed about four ornaments. My mom, the decorator extraordinaire, handled the rest. The result: magnificent. Can you tell?

4. I got these presents:

OK, to be fair not all of these are for me... Some of them are from me...  But the point is: we said we weren't going to go overboard this year and then we failed miserably.

5. I got myself the best present of all. 

An iPhone 5. 

What did you think I was going to say? World peace??

Does water really taste like nothing?

These are the questions that keep me up at night.