Friday, November 22, 2013

Whole New Perspectives at Whole Foods

Today was the first day I walked into a Whole Foods Market by myself.  I have been to one in Santa Barbara with Trevor before to get a few odds and ends, but I have always been a Trader Joe's or whatever grocery store is dirt cheap kind of girl.  After hearing jokes about "Whole paycheck" and other little remarks about how expensive Whole Foods is, I came to the conclusion that Whole Foods is a pretentious, snobby place and that it is not for me.  I am not that health-conscious, I am not that trendy, I am not that rich.

Today I walked into a Whole Foods store because now that we live in a "city" and no longer have a car, Whole Foods is the closest grocery store within walking distance.  I just needed to get a couple things.  I walk in feeling slightly out of place and a little insecure that people will judge me for wearing a K-Mart coat and hand me down clothes.

I get inside and, well, it looks like a normal grocery store.  Oh but, hey!  They have free samples!!!!  I friggin' love this place!  A man asks me if I would like a free sample and before I could see what it was I had already said yes and am handed a small black plastic cup...of organic milk (egh).  Now, I was force-fed milk by my mother until I was about the age of 25.  But in the recent past, the idea of drinking milk totally repulses me. Again, I have gotten myself in over my head and I do not want to be that awkward person who hands a free sample back because "eww I don't drink milk, I'm a high and mighty, picky Whole Foods shopper and can turn down free samples if they are not to my absolute liking because I am that much better than everyone..."  Who wants to be that person?  I chug the shot of milk.  It was not that bad.

I continue shopping around and find the free sample station with the bacon-flavored dark chocolate.  Don't mind if I do!  I am starting to get settled into this Whole Food shopping business.

Then something happened that made me feel welcomed and comfortable in a see-you're-not-as-bad-as-these-people kind of way ... Some clumsy customer in the produce section accidentally knocked over an entire stand of green glass bottles of fancy Perrier water.  I watched the poor embarrassed lady standing frozen, confused and surprised, with broken glass and water everywhere.  I started walking towards her to see if I could help, but a frantic Whole Foods employee was already running to her rescue with an industrial sized roll of thick brown paper towels.  As he gets a couple feet from her and is now into the wet mess area, he loses his footing and goes sliding towards the woman while at the same time aggressively although accidentally chucks the roll of paper towels into the lady's face. The super-embarrassed woman is now hysterically crying mixed with forceful whimpering.  The manager escorts her away (if I were him I'd just take her back over to bacon-covered chocolate stand and let her have at it).  Meanwhile the bumbling employee is on his hands and knees now with another co-worker cleaning up the mess while red-faced and convulsing trying not to laugh out loud.

Now, now I kind of like Whole Foods.

As an extra bonus, tonight was garbage night, and on the walk home I picked up this lovely vintage suitcase:

#ainttooproud #dumspterdiver4life 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Out of Step

Since Zumba class was such a disaster, I decided to try something else, something simpler.  I walked into a step aerobics class thinking how hard can this be?  Step aerobics is for fragile old people, right?  Can I walk upstairs? Yes?  Well, then I should be a pro at "step" aerobics.  Right?   Wrong!

Step aerobics, which was taught by the exact same Zumba teacher, mind you (which should have been my first clue), is just like Zumba except mixed with cheerleading and throw in some crack cocaine and oh yea watch out for that 2 foot by 4 foot block of a step that they have you jumping over, and round house kicking the corners of,  and circling around toe tapping, and doing moves over called the "Kevin Costner."  I am serious.  Then at some point all the girls start counting down steps and cheering and they all seem to have done this dance before and the instructor is all "Come on girls are ya with me?!" And the crowd goes wild "YEEEEEEAAAA!!!"....  "Are we having fun yet or what?....."   YEEEAAAAAA!!!"  Basic Left Wooo!  Left Pivot Wooo! L-kick go! Wooo! Now give me your cheeeeeerleader Wooo Wooo! 3 hamstrings!  Woo Wooo Wooo! Let's see your KEVIN COOOOOSTNER!!  WOOOOOO!

Way too much "Woooing."  Way too many move changes and rotations.  Way too many people knowing and doing exactly what they should be doing... And then there is me.  I still have not figured out my left from my right.  I am fumbling around anxiously three steps behind everyone. When she made me do the move called "the cheerleader," I nearly broke down and cried.  I wanted to walk out right then and there.  I felt like such a freakish goon who is not at all excited to be in a room with all these cheerful and coordinated ballerinas.  I would have felt better if one person looked at me and laughed.  Or if they came over and said "It's ok, I looked liked a monkey on my first day of class too.  Don't worry, you'll get better."  This whole pretending not to notice just made me sad... that, and I generally hate being bad at things in public.

So I have decided to stick to normal, solo running, the real step exercise where you only need to know how to walk (and do it fast) in order to participate and excel.  And if anyone ever tries to make me do "the cheerleader" again, I am going to run far far away...

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

On the Road Again

Since my heightened state of anxiety and widespread wedding-planning-panic had prevented me from thoroughly documenting our very exciting summer of 2013 in real time, I will periodically interrupt the chronology of this blog to retrospectively reminisce.  This post chronologically follows the moving day post.

I will now take you back to day one of the road trip, August 17th, 2013.

We started this epic road trip with less than 4 hours of sleep and over 8 hours later than we originally anticipated.  This should come as no surprise to you if you know either one of us.  We are usually last minute and more likely than not, running late.  I often blame Trevor, but sadly when left to my own accord it is the same tardy story.  The convenient thing about road trips is that you can be late.  You are not going to miss a train and have to wait an hour for the next one, or miss a  flight and have to wait an extra day to get re-booked.  You can go at your own delayed pace.  However, when you actually make a few plans for where to stop and who to see, starting 8 hours late throws a a pretty significant monkey wrench into the whole schedule.  Two hours late is no big deal, but 8 hours late is a night and day difference.  Now you we going to hit all the national parks at night and will be driving through North Dakota in broad day light.  This is not the ideal road trip.

We drive as far as we can and make it to Bishop, CA around 1am.  We are completely exhausted.  We stop at the first vacancy.  We go to the vacancy.  Third one... is full.  Fourth... same story.  We drive around to every single hotel in Bishop, CA. The ones we could not physically find, we called.   They all had the same sad rooms available.  This is why it is advisable to plan vacations in advance and stick to said you do not strand yourself in the middle of no where in the middle of the night, tired, hungry, and cranky....  Too bad we never listen to our own advice.

We continue driving to the next town, which 45 miles north through the middle of no where.  Staring out the window half asleep appreciating the light of the full moon over the barren desert night and trying to make the best of things, something in the side view mirror catches my eye.  The car is on fire!  Pull over, Trevor!!!

Fortunately, the car was not really on fire, but the chain that was connecting the trailer to the car had come loose and was dragging on the road sprinkling trails of little fire balls which were zooming out from behind the car.  Oops.  We reattach the chain and check the area for any wildfires that we may have accidentally started.  All clear.  Back on the road.

We make it to Mammoth Lakes and check into our overpriced Shilo hotel room to sleep for about 6 hours.  We decide that we are gong to spend day 2 of the road trip in Yosemite National Park.  We have lived in California for 7 years and have somehow managed to never go there.  Not knowing what we are missing, I am on the fence about going.  We are already a day late, and I hate being late (even though we don't really have any where to be just yet).  Plus I am starting to regret attaching this bulky trailer to our poor old Corolla who is noticeably struggling and we haven't even gotten out of California yet....

We decide to be young and adventurous instead of old and boring.  We get back into our suicide caravan and start climbing the very steep, very windy Tioga Pass.  We are going about 15mph with our RPMs revving up towards the red zone.  The road to the park is very narrow.  Turning around is not an option.  Driving over the edge of the cliff is a very real option.  I am driving, white-knuckled and full of regret.  We should not be doing this. This is stupid.  This car is not going to make it. Trevor tries to reassure me everything is fine.  I try to smile.
This is Tioga Pass.  It is hard to see because it is super narrow.

I keep looking in the side view mirror and see more and more cars lined up behind us.  Trevor keeps telling me to pull over so we can switch drivers.    We pass a couple turn outs on the left side of the road (the side of the road where the cliff is). I wait for a turn out on the right side.  It never comes.  I eventually find a big enough pull out on the left side of the road and go for it.  It is not paved, it is gravel.  Trevor advises me to face the car uphill and park it.  He would later correct himself saying that by "uphill" he meant "downhill."

We get out of the death mobile and take some pictures of the lovely waterfall next to the massive ravine that we are perched atop.

Can you spot the waterfall?

I start to relax ever so slightly.  Trevor gets into the driver seat.  

He turns on the car and presses down on the pedal.  No movement.  He presses further down on the pedal..the tires spin furiously but the car goes no where.  He tries again.  The wheels spin and are kicking up dust and gravel as the car is now moving downward into the grave it is digging itself.  We are stuck, now half a foot down in loose gravel with about 5,000 pounds of goods on top.  If it had not been for the guardian angel in the form of a AAA service guy who showed up at that exact moment, this might have been the moment where we lost all our possessions including our lives because we drove the car and the trailer off the cliff.

Where we almost lost it all...
Luckily, after a few tries of going forward, now reverse, turn your wheel this way, now that way, we are back on the paved road and on our way.  Trevor is in the driver seat.  I am in the passenger seat fully convinced that our decision to go into this park in the first place was a very bad and stupid idea.  To go any further now is just pushing our luck.  New rule:  no more stopping on unpaved roads.  I might have even gone as far to say no more stopping, period!  Let's just get this road trip over with as fast as possible and get rid of this stupid trailer before we die!!!!

Meanwhile, Trevor still has the road-trip-rush and wants to stop at every interesting tree and rock face.  Too bad he has little Miss Debbie Downer as a side kick and I do not want to stop anywhere!

He eventually attempts to overcome my I-don't-want-to-stop, I-don't-care, I-just-want-to-go-home attitude and since he is in control of the wheel he pulls over at the next turn-out at a gloriously beautiful lake.  Did I mention the turn out is not paved?! It is gravel!!!

He happily gets out of the car to go explore, while I mope out of the car and sit on a rock by the lake and try to appreciate the beauty of this place while my heart and brain feel like they are going the explode with the fear that we just got stuck on the side of the road, AGAIN.  I look out on the water.  I try to be happy that we stopped at this fantastic scenery, but I am not.  Here is where I had my first road trip meltdown.
Cry Baby Lake (otherwise known as Tioga Lake)
 Trevor is in the distance jumping around on rocks and taking pictures of me sitting by the shoreline.  He is too far away to realize I am hysterically crying.  Which makes it all the more awkward when he gets close enough to realize there is something wrong with me.  We have a nice little chat and he realizes that I am actually fearful for both our lives and not just in a pissy mood.  We decide to move on and take it easy.  Luckily we have no issue getting back on the paved road and I start to calm down, realizing that not every gravel road leads to sudden death.

We stumble upon the old sequoia grove and decide it would be a good idea to get out of the car for a bit and go for a hike.

I just needed a little walk in the woods...

I just realized this is not Trevor.

Then we drove through the rest of the park, down to the famous El Capitan and Half Dome monoliths and then retraced our steps back out of the park via Tioga Pass.

Sun peaking through the clouds at Mono Lake
The rest of the day was peacefully uneventful, that is if you do not count the super steep now downhill portion of Tioga Pass when we were cruising downhill at 50-60mph in low gear, while the brakes are burning, and we are again at the very edge of a 300 foot cliff and a friggin' deer jumps in front of the car!!  The paralysis of fear that I felt at this exact moment was very similar to the time when I was convinced there was a bear in the bathroom in Montana.

Look!  A deer!  We are going to die!

 I can happily say we survived Day 1...

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Interpretations & Interruptions at the Public Library

Yesterday I was working in the Cambridge Public Library.  I took a break from what I was doing to peruse the craft books section.

The Cambridge Public Library looks like Hogwarts

At the end of the aisle is a big, old dirty bum sitting on the floor reading a book while wearing plastic, rubber gloves.  I wonder to myself why such a dirty old man needs to wear rubber gloves.   Is he really that worried about getting germs at the public library?  Then I further wonder if it was the library  that was worried about getting his germs on their books.  Maybe the staff asked this poor, hygienically-challenged man to wear the gloves if he planned on touching their books?  The second scenario seems more likely to me.  Either way this guy is in pretty gross shape.  Needs a shower...and a change of clothes...and a haircut.

I saddle up in my knitting books and quietly flip through a few of them...too quietly perhaps.  After a few more silent minutes go by the man in the corner rips the loudest, wet-sounding, big ol' dirty, butt-flapping fart you ever heard.  It echoed ghostly through the old stone library walls.  It was so loud I jumped out of my shoes and gasped/shrieked out loud.  The man in the corner who I am assuming did not realize another human was near him responded to my reaction with the second loudest,  wet-sounding, big ol' dirty, butt-flapping fart you ever heard, followed by a grumpy and muffled "jeeeee-zus christ!"

I have not decided whether he meant "jeezus christ, lady that didn't warrant a scream," or "jeezus christ I just pooped my pants."  The second scenario seems more likely to me...

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Toe-Tripping, Lanky-Legged, Misguided Movements

Today I took my first Zumba class.  Zumba is a latin dance-inspired fitness class.  This is what I learned about Zumba:

1.  Zumba instructors are high on speed.

2.  My friend, Meg, would make an excellent Zumba dance instructor.  Meg is not high on speed, just high on life... and dances like a maniac very well.

2.  People who take Zumba are really professional dancers with other day jobs.

3.  If Zumba would like beginners to return for a second class, they should remove all mirrors and have individual rooms so no one else can see them "dancing."

What I learned about myself while "doing" Zumba:

1.  I am a horrific embarrassment to the art of Latin dance.

2.  I have two left feet.  Except for in the instance where the move requires your left foot, then I have two right feet.

3.  I cannot stay in place while Zumba-ing.  The lady said to spin around with your arms out to determine the circle of space which will be required to do this exercise.  I somehow found myself in all corners of the dance floor constantly bumping into my fellow zumba-ettes.

4.  I have no coordination between my arms and legs. I can "do" a move with my legs.  Once you add arms into the equation, my feet lose all control.

5.  I cannot tell left from right.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Photo Contest, Part 4 (no, I am not done yet)

I may be a little delayed and disruptive in posting all of our glorious wedding photos.  For that I apologize.  But I am not done yet.  This is where it gets good.  Today's pictures are compliments of Serena, Treder, cousin Brian, Reni K-D, Renata, and throw in TrulieTrevin for good measure.

Another one of my favorite getting ready granny legs and sassy sisters:

Cocktail hour:
The soon to be next newly weds

Jay and Jojo had a baby, it's a Julie

In August of 2006, Trevor and I consolidated all our collective possessions into one 4'x8' foot uhaul trailer and a 2004 Toyota Corolla's trunk. Despite some serious consideration on my part about whether or not we really needed a box full of old wigs and masks, the costume box made it to grad school in California.  Seven years later we again consolidated all our collective possessions into another 4'x8' foot uhaul trailer and the same 2004 Toyota Corolla's trunk.  The costume box, now tripled in size, has made it back east.  Why not bring it to the wedding?

 The Epic Bridal Party Costume Entrance:

Sand, kegs, and costumes....yes, you could say I have had my dream wedding

Then I cut my dress.  Second best decision of my life (Here's winking at you Trevor ;)

"she turns my rain to rainbows"

Best first dance sequence:

Best last dance shot:

Best 2nd wedding reception dance:
And best high five

People kept asking me what my favorite part of the wedding was.  It was not the food I didn't eat, or the drinks I barely drank, or the music I was not paying attention to...  It was of course having all my favorite people under tent doing all of my favorite things: drinking, laughing, and dancing.  Then when my favorite people lifted me in the air  over and over again while they were laughing and drunk dancing... THAT was my absolute favorite part.

 Best in-the-air shots:

They even got Trevor up in the air:

This is why kids should not be allowed at parties when Julie and Trevor are drinking (but why we encouraged them to come):

They become our toys...  How high can I throw you ?

How fast do you spin?

How many can I carry?

This is another one of my favorite photos capturing why Jay couldn't walk the next day:
Jimmy looks like he's working hardest here

Creepiest table shot:

Creepiest man in corner shot:

Best use of costume shots:

Percy looks too comfortable