Adjusted Reality

“Reality can be beaten with enough imagination.” – Mark Twain

Month: May 2009 Page 1 of 3

SoC: My Closet and Other Nerdy Girly Clothing Stuff

Another day, another ramble.  Where will it go?  Who knows…

I’m feeling pretty cute today.  I have on a purple tank top (my love for purple shirts lately knows no bounds) that’s sorta long, a little past my hips.  Over it, I have a light, zip up black jacket that when zipped, only comes up to about my hips, so the tank top shows up underneath the jacket.  I’ve got my newest thrift store jeans on – size 7s (woo) which I always forget to wear because I think they’re going to be too small.  They’re a little out of style since they’re that medium washed color and everyone is all about the dark jeans lately, but they fit like a champ.  They are my new “hot ass” jeans – which, I’m sure you can infer, make my ass look smokin’.  Rounding out the outfit are some hoops from Target, a purple/grey/black beaded necklace I made myself, and a turquoise bracelet that was a birthday present from a friend.  Oh, and some Tommy Hilfiger black wedgie shoes (bout 4 inchers).

I love when an outfit comes together and I’m walking into work and see myself in the reflective door when I’m coming in from the parking lot and think to myself, “who is that babe walking behind me wearing the same outfit – ohhhh…wait that’s me….”.  The shoes give me the appearance of being tall (why oh why am I not 5’10”) and the combination of the jacket and tank make me look like I actually have a waist.  I don’t.  I haven’t taken measurements in a long time but I’d bet I’m 36 28 28 or something like that.  I am the epitome of an inverted triangle, and it takes a really good ensemble to hide that.  Today, I win!

I also love being thrifty.  The jacket and pants came from Savers, and cost about 5 bucks each.  The tank came from Academy and was 5 as well.  The shoes – well, those were 40 but that was a huge splurge and I’ve worn the crap out of them.  The ones I had on instead and changed out of (because I’ve worn them a few times this week already) cost 2 bucks.  Today sort of makes me want to clean out my closet and throw out everything that doesn’t make me feel this fabulous.

However, I am starting another clothing “experiment” next week.  Let me explain the set up of my closet.  My “shirt rack” has shirts arranged in two categories – hot weather (tees and tanks) and cold weather (long sleeves and sweaters).  Within each category, they are in color order, so each shirt has it’s place.  What I did last year at the beginning of each season was made a rule that I had to wear each shirt at least once before I could wear anything again.  This made me realize I totally overbought during the winter because I had shirts I wore only once.  This warm weather season, I’ve been lazy.  I’ve worn whatever I felt like, which makes me gravitate to the same 10 shirts or so.

Sunday, after all my laundry is put away in it’s place, I am going to count the number of shirts I have.  Each evening, I am going to have Zliten give me a random number, and whatever shirt that ends up being, I have to make an outfit around it.  I’ll make exceptions if I have to dress for an occasion (like I know I’m going to leave work and have to go out or whatnot).  Weekends will probably be just whatever I grab for whatever we are doing, like normal.  After a shirt is worn, it will be taken out of “play”, and cannot be worn again until I get through everything.  If I cannot make an outfit out of it (and it’s not for a good reason like I just wore the only two pairs of pants that go with it and it goes PERFECTLY with this skirt but my legs are like hairy monsters), it goes in the donate pile (which oddly enough, all ends up at my moms).

Why do I go through such lengths?  First of all, it’s kinda fun.  I went through so many years of dreading my closet, and so many days where I just wanted to give up and wear a mumu because nothing looked good.  Now, the fact that I can just rely on a random number generator and put together something cute – this is a little slice of bliss for me.  Second – I have a lot of shirts.  I’m going to say I could probably go about a month and a half without rewearing, and that’s just from my casual, non going out, warm weather shirts.  Oddly enough, I have way fewer pairs of pants – (about 12) and even fewer shorts (3).  Again, I have my favorites, but I definitely cycle through them regularly.  I have a large variety of skirts, but most of those are on the chopping block as well.  Most of them make me look frumpy now – which was ok before when I was hiding obesity, but now if they don’t make me feel fabulous, they gots to go.

Have I said that I love thrifting?  I know, I know, but it’s not just the money spent, it’s that I have very little attachement to these clothes.  I have my favorites, but if something doesn’t work, I have no problems giving away a 4 dollar shirt I had for a few months to make room for the next shopping trip, where I’ll come back with a lot more fun stuff to play with!

Okay, that’s enough – 900+ words on clothing?  Yikes.  Imma gonna take my smokin’ ass, big head, and overstuffed closet and try to get through the rest of the day and have a nice mellow weekend.  What’s in YOUR closet?  Do you play clothing games too or are you more like Zliten, who pretty much grabs for something with his eyes closed most days?  Do you feel fabulous today?  What’s your favorite outfit?  Any cool weekend plans?  Do tell, do tell.  And even if you don’t, have a wonderful weekend, and I’ll see you in June.  Which also happens to be my race month.  Eek, it’s almost upon us…*disappears to freak out*

SoC: Are you what you wanted to be when you grew up?

Another “Stream of Conciousness” Post.  No guarantees whether it will be coherent or worthy, but up here it be goin’!

Sitting at work here, waiting to get the latest data for what I’m working on (which is about a short blog’s worth of time), I was thinking about work.  No, not my specific work to my employer’s dismay, but work and employment in general.

When I was little, I was exposed to a lot of cool things – so I never really had that_one_dream_job a lot of kids have growing up.  I loved my art classes, so I wanted to be an artist.  I loved gymnastics, so I wanted to be an elite gymnast and maybe a coach later.  I loved doing plays, so I wanted to be a famous actress.  I loved my dance classes, so I wanted to be a dancer.  I loved math and logic, so I wanted to be a math teacher.  I thought waitresses had awesome uniforms and thought it was awesome they could carry trays above their heads, so I wanted to be a waitress.  I loved to write, so I wanted to be a novelist.  I loved singing, so I wanted to be a rockstar.  So on, and so forth.

As I got older, some things fell off as dreams while others stayed.  When my body started falling apart and I quit doing gymnastics, I also started coaching kids.  That was the most demanding 20 bucks a week I have ever earned in my life, and I realized I wasn’t that into it.  I would always just want to be DOING and feel resentful that I was just coaching.  I waited tables through college and still to this day thank my lucky stars I have moved on.  Cool uniform and leet tray skills or not – working in a restaurant servicing picky customers and dealing with catty coworkers and asshole managers is not worth the short hours and potentially awesome tips (plus some days, the tips were very un-awesome).

My first year of college I tried exploring the actress, artist, and writer paths.  My major started as education (due to the myriad of awesome teachers I had in my school career, I wanted to follow in their footsteps), and I was looking for a minor.  The first art class I had turned me off completely on art at the college level.  My instructor – who was also the department head – had one rule in his class.  Everything had to be perfect.  One super glue line on the paper sculpture he had us make (required to be only using white paper and geometric shapes)?  Grade: B.  I did not want to deal with that schmuck for 4 years so art went out the window.  I took some creative writing classes and was always the star of the class (I know, what happened, right?) but the sheer amount of old literature classics I would have to dig through to minor made me cry – so there went my english minor.

Theatre however, was fantastic.  The first class was interesting, but the teacher let us know about auditions for the college theatre company.  On a lark, I auditioned, and I was in!  I caught the bug hard and did plays either on stage or worked backstage every single year.  I was able to fulfill a minor with mostly acting classes (and very little technical theatre which I was less interested in), so there I was.  Now, I just had to figure out my major.

I knocked out most of my basic classes the first year and took the first education class the second year.  It was so awful, and I found out what teachers made as starting salaries, and realized I didn’t have the passion for it I thought.  College professor – maybe.  So, the same semester, I took a psychology class and it fascinated me, so I changed my major.  After some great classes, I decided I wanted to stay in and get my PhD and do research (I loved the labwork).  Then, after a horrible process getting my honors thesis done, I decided I never wanted to go to school again and I’d take my chances with the job world after graduation.

My plan was to wait tables for a year then go back to grad school.  Getting a job as a waitress is harder than it looks when you have a degree – everyone thinks you’ll just leave when you get a real job.  The next part is history – got into the gaming industry (which I think I detailed before but if not, it’s a post for another time), and here I am.

I tried to pursue the admin part of the job (operations type things – being on call if something goes wrong at late hours and getting it fixed), I tried to pursue web design and art (those poor people that I kept sending my comics and resumes to when I worked at SOE…), and then finally fell in love with where I ended up – as main bannana on a little game where I could put my varied talents to use.  I was able to use my writing skills, to a lesser extent my art skills, my not-shy-to-get-up-in-public-and-make-an-ass-of-myself skills from theatre, and my logic skills trying to become one with schedule-fu and finding the most efficient and bang-for-the-buck way to do things.  It also piled a billion pounds on me and ate my life, but I can’t even hate it for that.

Now – I’m out of the limelight.   I am one of many on a team that has put out a pretty darn successful game, and instead of running the show – my boss’s boss is the one getting recognized (as he should be, it was his baby).  Some days, it gets me down.  It’s like being the only child that gets all the attention, and then your mom has triplets, and you’re all of a sudden chopped liver.  However, it’s made me realize something very important.  To be the best at something – to even attempt to be truly great at a young age – you must give your life to it.  You have to choose something.  If I would have picked gymnastics, I might have been in the olympics, or at least at a top college and then perhaps a world renoun coach/choreographer.  If I chose being top bannana, I would still be there, working 100 hour weeks, consumed by the game and appeasing it’s followers, up at night wondering how we could add subscibers and solve problems, pursuing raises and title bumps, and eventualy continuing what I was doing on a new game.

I still dream about some of those things, though.  I kinda feel like I had my time to pursue art and failed, but I still get the urge to paint every once in a while.  Beading necklaces sorta fills the artsy fartsy void.  I started this blog to coax out the writing – I still have aspirations about doing a novel some day, and I have never stopped writing (be it paper and pen, content for work, content for my website, or just livejournaling.  I have aspirations about auditioning for plays again – Austin has a great theatre scene and I’m actually pretty well connected through work and contacts I’ve made doing the voice over stuff.  I am really and truly someday going to get a keyboard, a mic, and some sound editing software and give being a rockstar a go, since I never did that.

However, this all takes time.  Right now, I get up around 8 am and I’m not done training/working/eating dinner until close to 830-9pm.  Then I have 2 hours to relax, and I get my stuff ready, go to bed, and do it again.  On the weekends, I have friends, fiance, and family that feel neglected during the week and want to hang out.  There’s laundry and groceries to get and meals to plan.  There is the ever-so-coveted bike ride adventures, ice skating, rock climbing, waterpark going, and other fun stuff.  In the background there is a to do list with stuff that rarely gets done.

So, at the heart of it, my life is so balanced, I don’t have time to excel at anything.  I work essentially middle management in a really fun industry for a successful game making a decent, living wage, but I leave work at work when my 40 hours are up.   I have great friends and family close to me who are always wanting to see me when I have time.  Plus, I make it a priority to keep myself healthy through workouts and food planning/preperation (though most of the cooking and cleaning is done by the fiance, I admit).  I am too busy being happy to be bothered being a rockstar right now.   And – I’m slowly becoming OK with that.

Stream of Conciousness Begins Here (About What Else – Running…)

So I’ve realized that I have been a little hesitant to post here because I’m having issues coming up with *big* *important* *worthy* topics like I want to.  I have a post cooking about willpower.  I have a post cooking about my adventures in breakfast.  I just haven’t had the brain waves needed to put together much of a coherent thought.  I think I’m at the point of training where my brain is being eaten by running, so I just haven’t had much else to share.  So, I’m going to treat this blog as more of a journal for a few weeks – just let loose and get down what’s rattling around in my head.  So here goes!

I just signed up yesterday for the half marathon.  Somehow, it all seems more REAL and by that I mean SCARIER.  Not as if I haven’t been training for it and had it in my sights, but somehow paying that money and putting my name down makes something different.  13.1 miles?  In the Summer?   In San Antonio?  Argh…what was I thinking.  At least I did 9.3 miles in the heat Monday and I survived.

However, I am alreadyinsane and planning to start training in the fall (after a nice long summer break) for one in Austin in Jan or Feb.  I’m thinking one more half and then I might consider a full.  If my body hasn’t completely fallen apart and I haven’t learned to hate running yet, that is.  I thought I’d get really bored and find the long runs tedious, but they’ve been anything but that.  I’ve found that it’s a great balance of time to reflect about things that are going on, and sometimes it’s great to just push myself, clearing my mind, and only concentrate on the act of moving my body forward with all effort I can gather.

Since I’m about 3.5 weeks out, I’m already putting together the plan over the summer for workouts after the race.  I don’t want to quit running altogether, but I’m thinking like 2 runs a week, one short and fast and one medium, and maybe a long run once a month so I don’t completely lose my ability to go far.  I want to up the weight training.  Also – a surprise which will be the main part of the July “experiment”.  I swear, the anticipation of doing something new is sometimes better than actually doing it.

Cuz now, I’m counting down the days.  15.5 more workouts until the race and I’m done running crazy for a while.  2 more long runs, 2 more cross training sessions, 4.5 more 5 mile runs + weights (weights tonight, ran this morning), 2 more tempo runs, 2 more track intervals, and 2 shorter runs (4 miles and 2 miles) the week of the race to taper.  Putting it like that, I just want to start running NOW and keep going so I can check more off the list, but I have also really learned the importance of rest and not overdoing it.

Well, apparently it was all racing on the brain.  Next time, I’m going to talk about something other than running!

Half Marathon Training, Between Week 8 and 9

If you’ve been following me here this shouldn’t be any surprise, but for the rest of you and for my posterity, here is how last week went.

Monday: weights at home and 4.5 mile run

Check and check.  It was the *perfect* weather just around dusk to be out for a run and I got done just as it was getting dark.  I even actually pushed myself pretty hard because I was feeling so good, and it could have almost qualified as a tempo run.

Tuesday: tempo run and yoga

Check and check.  Since I pushed myself the day before, I wasn’t able to get the awesome pace I had the week before, but I definitely still booked it pretty good!

Wednesday: 4.5 mile run and weights at the gym

Sorta-fail and sorta check.  I had – how shall I say – body problems that morning, and was able to get about 3.7 miles before I gave up.  Close enough – right?  Also, we had an event to go to after work at 6 (which meant no time for the gym), but I made the weights up Saturday morning, at least half-assedly.  Instead of heading to the gym, I watched the end of the biggest loser with my ass planted on the couch and finally felt guilty enough that I got out the weights and did my home strength routine.  But hey, it’s better than nothing, right?

Thursday: 50 mins DDR and yoga

Check and check.  Planned this on a different day because of the event the night before (I needed today to be an easy day).

Friday: 10 mile run

Check!  I made it!  Somehow, running a double digit distance felt more epic than just getting further.  I’m just excited because I told myself that if I could do 10 miles, I could do 13 so I would feel good about signing up for the half.  So I get to sign up this week!

Sunday: Bike trail adventure

Epic fail.  But it was the weather’s fault, not ours.  We were so ready to go, and it was raining off and on.  It was the only time we had carved out to do it, so we had to pass.

Total week 8 mileage 22.7 (running):   (plus 1-2 miles of walking)

Week 9 -almost there.  Please?

Monday: 15k pseudo race

Tuesday: 50 mins DDR + yoga

Wednesday: 5 mile run and weights at the gym

Thursday: 9×400 intervals (warmup on the way to the track, run 9 laps under 2:00 pace, jog a lap in between each, cooldown on the way home)

Friday: 5 mile run and weights at home.

Weekend: Maybe a bike ride.  Or maybe not.  I’m not getting my hopes up this time. 🙂

Things I learned last week:

1.  After doing this run, I have decided that long run days either need to be on a weekend, or I need to take half days to recover after.  I was just *dead* after this.  My body was so physically tired until after lunch my brain barely worked.  I can definitely envision being able to do 3 more miles on the end of this if it was race day, but I imagine I will be worthless for a little while after I finish.

2.  My pace degenerates from a solid 10 minute mile or faster to a 1030 or slower sometime between 7 and 9 miles.  I mean that as in when I run 7 miles total, I can keep that 10 minute pace.  When I’m above that, I seem to run quite a bit slower even if it’s only a *little* more.  My super-unattainable goal for the half is under 2 minutes, but I’m not running the long runs anywhere close to that pace.  I think I’ll be happy under 2:15.

3.  Let me reiterate to folks out there – training for a distance running event is not, I repeat NOT a way to lose weight.  I heard the warnings, I laughed it off and thought I could buck the odds, but your body WILL force you to eat back what you lose when you push it so hard, or you’ll feel weak and super injury prone.  Though I’ve been told I look like I’ve lost a little since I started this, I haven’t seen my low weight of 150.2 for at least a month, I”m hangin’ closer to 152-153.   I decided 3 weeks in that I was going to give my body whatever it needed to do this race, but I am really feeling like a piggie lately.

4.  That being said as well – I am really looking forward now to finishing up the training, doing the race, and moving on to something else for a while.  4 runs per week which are now at least 5 miles each is time consuming, tiring, and just a whole lot of miles.  I just keep telling myself that there’s only 3 weeks really to go (and the last week of taper before the race), and I’m almost there.  I had visions of being super excited to get up to the double digit runs and getting used to them and keep running the distance all the time – yeah, no.  I’m already looking forward to putting together a plan for July which is extremely different!  I think I’d like to pick up the training again in the fall and go for a half marathon here in Austin in January/February, but my body is definitely going to need a break.

5.  Week 7 was sorta rough, but this week I had my head back into it.  I’m glad, because if I had another crappy week where I was just tired all the time and had to drag my butt off the couch to work out kicking and screaming every day, I dunno if I would have continued.  Ok, I would have, because I’m stubborn like that, but I would have been miserable.  I’m glad last week came a little easier – on Monday’s run I actually even pushed myself harder than I planned, just because I felt so good.  That’s a sign that things are thumbs up.

This week is getting both a great (already did my long run!) and rough (stayed up way, way too late having way, way too much fun yesterday and now I am EXHAUSTED and not really in the position to take the day off) start, so we shall see which way the wind blows…

Out Living

I remember when I was 16, I spent a large amount of my time sitting in coffee shops, drinking pots full of the stuff, smoking cigarettes, and writing with my friends and musing about life.  I spent many-a-night that way.  Then, I realized – I was so busy writing about life, I wasn’t really out there experiencing it.  And so I went and experienced, and it was good!  I have always written, but it ebbs and flows.  Right now, it’s not flowing, so it’s definitely ebbing.

I guess my point is – things is crazy busy-like this week, and I have a pretty full weekend planned too, so I’m going to be on blog-atus until at least Tuesday.  This week I’ve ran a lot, celebrated birthdays, attended an ambassadorial mission to consume hors derves and makers mark, tried to learn how to be a decent wingman (and failed pretty badly), recorded a lot of peoples making purdy noises into the microphone, and today I just barely have a moment to plant my keister on the couch with my laptop and relax.  And it’s not even the weekend, where I start with my first double digit run (10 miles) before work and then have plans to hit the new bar for happy hour so I can be in their commercial, Saturday is shopping with a girlfriend to save her from other not-so-fun plans, Sunday is an epic trail ride and parental fun time, and Monday is a BBQ and a Yelp elite event at the wine bar with yummy food and wine.  I’m both exhausted and excited just thinking about it!

I don’t normally like to use this blog as a “this is what I did today/this week/etc” type place, but considering I’ve got too much going on to be super introspective, this is what you get this week.  Take it or leave it.  Have a wonderful holiday weekend and get out there and live.  Do something awesome, something you’ve been putting off, or just something fun that you can talk about around the water cooler (does anyone actually do that anymore) on  Tuesday.  The only thing stopping you is you.

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