Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Think Good Thoughts (Project Pretty Week:25 and 26)

(Project pretty is a personal commitment to share my weekly journey of keeping my non-New-Year's-Resolution: staying fit to improve quality of life while inspiring others to do the same. Let's all jump on the endorphin wagon!)

Ureeka, I think there's an end in site!!.....I hope, anyway......
After finally going to on ortho (who happened to be hunkalicious, for any of you single ladies with pending injuries) and getting the diagnosis of a plantar tendon strain with orders to take it easy for two more weeks, then gently ease back into running, I got a little excited and registered for another Half Marathon. The race entails cold weather running, which is my favorite, and a course through some pretty cool Downtown Dallas landmarks, plus I really liked how laid back my day was with the last local half. 
It's been weeks since I've been in the running game, so it looks like I'll be starting over from scratch, but given the fact it isn't until December, I have plenty of time to take it slow and steady, which will be worth it! 
On another note, I've been taking a new medication, Metformin (part of my "operation get fertile"), for a couple of weeks. It effects the insulin levels in my body and it's got me feeling majorly fatigued and extremely nauseated at all hours of the day. But hopefully, it too, will be worth it in the end.  The confusing part is I've totally had to abandon the Paleo ship to keep from going into a hypoglycemic coma, and I'm not sure how taking a medication instead of eating super healthy is really suppose to level things out.......but hey, healthcare is just an ongoing experiment, right? If I still feel like this in another week or two, I'm seriously contemplating throwing in the towel on this experiment. Patrick can only go so long living off of soup for diner, since that's all I cook anymore. Who knows, maybe diving back into running will add as a distraction.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Remember When?

The movie "You've Got Mail" came on and it brought back so many memories. I was 14 years old when it first released. 

  • Dial up internet. Remember how bad it sucked when someone in your house was on the phone so you couldn't be on the internet? I think we all still have that dial-up sound in our minds, don't we? How about the time it took to actually load an entire internet page with pictures on it?
  • Chat Rooms. Before Myspace or Facebook. A screen with completely random people putting themselves out there for the sake of cyber conversation. Oh man, me and my girlfriends spent hours in chat rooms talking to people about our made up lives with fantasy self-descriptions and fake names.
  • Hearing the words "you've got mail" and feeling so special. It was the the new and improved way of writing letters, providing almost instant gratification, and lucky me, our tiny school had just opened a computer lab and taught us our to type, the proper way. I still have know idea how my fingers know which keys to push, because if anyone asked me what letter my right ring finger was resting on at any exact moment, I'd have no idea.......
  • Instant messaging. This changed the whole playing field of communication, becoming popular when I was in my early high school days. Non-Face-to-Face conversations destroyed so many adolescent barriers.

When I was in elementary school, we had a letter mailing system  for everyone to participate in and we wrote our friends in different classroom's letters, properly addressed/stamped them, dropped them in a mail box, and then other kids played postman to deliver them. In intermediate school, I had a pin-pal in New Jersey and she asked me if we rode horses to school. 
Patrick and I used to write each other emails when we first started dating. I would come home late at night from bartending and write to him about something crazy that happened, or share a part of myself, or just say something mindless and silly to let him know I was thinking about him. By the time I woke up the next day, I'd have something waiting for me in return. Texting was on phones with actual buttons that had 3 letters assigned to each number, so it was slow, but it didn't slow us down from saying "hi" throughout the day, or "I like you" if we were feeling brave. I'd just discovered Myspace and I eagerly created an account so I could get on and stalk him, investigate his friends, analyze the songs he picked to be on his profile page, and ogle over his pictures.
Off and on, since I was old enough to know how cool a diary was, I've put a pen to paper to spill my feelings out in a journal, until a little over 2 years ago, when I started this blog. Remember those ancient old heavy outdated encyclopedias?Arguments over factual topics are never very long when Google search comes to the rescue. Now days we aren't even computer bound, we have our smart phones! Emails are shorter and more prompt as a result, texts more personalized; our friends overseas can take us to their kid's soccer games on Skype. My ability to spell adequately without the help of spell check automatically correcting my every typo is quickly circling the proverbial drain. When I got married, we still used paper charting at the hospitals and so I quickly became accustomed to signing my strange new last name by writing it out a million times a day at work. No one ever tells you how weird that will feel, until one day you forget how to sign your maiden name.
I wonder if the art of actually writing will eventually become near extinction. Ever wonder why we had to learn cursive, like as an adult, print wasn't allowed?

In retrospect of how our communication as changed over the years, what stands out the most for you?

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Unconventional Romance: Galveston

Camping on the beach really could have been romantic...........if there was some preparation for how rigid deceptively soft sand actually becomes under a tent floor with only a sleeping bag to aid in cushion.......and if one had the opportunity to pick out a spot in the daylight (but being robbed of that option lead us  to not travel far from the entrance).....and if one didn't find oneself awakened in the middle of the night by bagpipe "music" blaring through the air like fingernails on a chalk board.....and if dune buggies weren't racing back and forth past the tent like they were reincarnated NASCAR racers. 
When everything finally quieted down, I woke up with my hipbone screaming at me from digging into the solid earth for too long and looked up just in time to witness the pink and orange sunrise saturating through the fury of clouds hovering the ocean.
It was gorgeous....a moment I wished I had my camera for, but it was lost amongst all the chaotic last minute packing.
Patrick and I got up and took a morning stroll down the shore's edge in our P.J.'s, kicking the water up as it washed in, like a couple of kids.
We had a glorious morning on the beach in the mild weather and the cool, almost wave-less water, before the Sunday sunbathers started to show up. 
Sunrise is one of those things in life that happens way too fast. 
We packed up to leave as the sun started to burn off the clouds and drove up the coast line, over the San Luis Pass, to Galveston Island. 
It was a dandy breezy drive, with the windows down, the sunroof open, a pleasant view.......until it started to rain. 
I felt like a real hobo when I had to take a spit bath in a gas station bathroom so I could roam the Strand without looking like Pig Pen from Charlie Brown, and the lady who worked there became wrongfully suspicious of my activity and tried to unlock the bathroom while I was still occupying it! 
Patrick so graciously followed me around through all the shops I wanted to see (it's funner when you have someone to show stuff to), where we purchased a couple of unique souvenirs, and then stopped by Pleasure Pier, a Santa Monica Pier copycat. 
Why the heck didn't this thing exist when we used to take family vacations here?!?!?
I don't know if it was the sketchy weather that scared people away, or if it's just slow on Sunday's, but the crowd was definitely skimpier than I expected, which was great. 
We spent a while at the end of the pier, just enjoying the breeze and watching all the birds gracefully soar around while they feasted on their lunch.....
......which wasn't such a difficult task, since they fish were practically sacrificially offering themselves.
By the time I'd convinced Patrick to ride the ferris wheel with me, they'd shut it down for maintenance checks....of course.
I refused to leave the pier without getting on a single ride, and after a lot of begging, pleading, and pressuring, had Patrick harnessed in the tower-swing (called the Texas Star Flyer, the tallest swing ride in Texas, suspended more than 230 feet above sea level, for a great view of the Gulf of Mexico) next to me for a quick thrill. He was convinced this would be the result of his eminent death, with the "thin chains and wimpy bolts". He said his goodbyes, making sure I knew I was to blame if he suffered a heart attack, and our dangling bare feet began to left higher and higher into the air. 
My stomach did a little excited flip and I looked to my left to see my husband squeezing his eyes so tight I'm surprised they didn't permanently fuse together. "We don't typically do stuff like this together. Just so you know, I giggle a lot," I told him. We gained speed, resulting in the outward tilt of our dainty chairs. Further and further we flew into a sideways angle in the sky until we were almost parallel with the horizon. 
"It feels so free! Like we could just shoot off into the ocean!!" I exclaimed. 
"I hope you're happy," he grudgingly responded, eyes still tightly clenched.
Of all the feelings in the world, this is one of my favorites. 
For the rest of the day, he'd randomly revisit his traumatic experience, "We were just so high up there. With tiny chains. And little bolts." 
Exactly. A feeling well worth hearing his pre-during-post whining.
When I spotted a snow cone truck on the beach next to the seawall, our agenda shifted to lower grounds. 
Not only is Pina Colada a safe choice for a messy girl on a hot day (no stains), but it just tasted spectacularly right, being there on the beach and all
Besides, Patrick embarrassingly pointed out to me that the task of brushing my teeth had somehow completely vanished from my hygiene list that day, probably since my moment of cleanliness had been rudely interrupted, and I needed something to masque the seafood omelet I'd consumed earlier. 
One more walk down the beach finished our short weekend vacation before our rainy drive back to our puppies.
And now everything we own is covered in sand.....
"What are the symptoms of West Nile Virus? I feel bad. I think I may have it."
I really don't know how I'm suppose to take a medical question like that seriously when the patient looks like this. 

What's your favorite snow cone flavor? If you had to pick: Sunrise or Sunset?

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Hot Mess Camping Trip: Surfside

I'm not gonna lie; the trip started off a little rough. 
It drives me insane when Patrick lets uncontrollable circumstances rock him so easily, to the point where he is impatient and negative about the tiniest of things (like Friday afternoon traffic through construction, the fast food drive-through not moving fast enough, cars going only 5 miles over the speed limit in the fast lane, the gas pedal making his foot tired, or Pandora not being able to read his mind and play the exact song he wants to hear at the exact moment he wants to hear it {to name a few}).
After about 7 straight hours of his attitude, I finally developed one of my own. There are a lot of things in this world that are even better when multiplied, but there is always an exception to the rule. Two attitudes are definitely not better than one. To top things off, I dropped the floor fan out the back door of the 4runner, bending the blades (interpretation: breaking it), a perfect way to set the mood. But one of the best things about our relationship is our ability to build a bridge and get over it. Quickly. 
Freeport is an industrial city, and although I imagined it to be drab and ugly, driving through it at night actually seemed a little magical in its own way. All the architectured metal intricately twisted to form acres of robots lit with millions of lights ranging in color from oranges to yellows and bright whites all intermingled to form a welded wonderland. 
I haven't been to the gulf in years, and driving through the residential areas resurrected childhood memories of thinking a house on stilts was one of the coolest things since aunt farms. 
I wondered if it would be okay to have a place like that even if I didn't live by the a tree house for adults.
I grew up never questioning a few things about the beach that people not accustomed to parts of the Gulf may find surprising: 
1. Watch out for tar. 
2. It's best to wear a bathing suit lacking light colors.
3. Run fast over tall piles of seaweed or you'll be eaten alive by the mosquitos. 

Friday night we were greeted by seahorse sized west nile spreading bloodsuckers as soon as we got out of the car to set up our tent. Swarms, no less. 
I'm no stranger to camping amongst the humidity thriving coastal insects, but this was infestation on a new playing field. Waking up at dawn and looking up to the roof of one's tent to count about 15 slow hovering predators, despite all efforts to stay protected, is what I call living on the wild side. 
Our DEET spray was enough protection to keep them from dive-bomb-attacking our exposed skin, but we didn't escape completely unscathed. What's up with the citronella resistant spotted hybrid breed growing down in these parts, as if one kind of mosquito inhabiting this earth wasn't too much already?
As soon as we stepped foot on the beach in Surfside, though, nothing else mattered. 
The seagulls singing that familiar tune, the waves crashing into the shore over my bare feet, my toes sinking into the sand that's fascinatingly just as much solid as it is liquid, the musty salt filled air blowing on my face......a happy place, indeed. 
I could lose time just over this sand, sinking into it, squishing it between my fingers to feel the grinding vibrations it makes, watching it constantly recreate. 
Patrick agreed, pushing aside his prejudice. "I'm so glad you brought me here. It's beautiful."
From early morning until late afternoon we indulged in our senses.
Relaxing in the water....
Relaxing in the sun....
Play in the water.....
Play in the sand....
We revisited our campsite that evening to cook dinner, where we started eating with the sunset as a backdrop scenery and watching two cops slowly combing their way through the camping resort, door by door, as free entertainment.  
Being nosy in the prospect of other people getting in trouble is all fun and games until the tables are turned. It's even less fun when the PoPo break the news to you that you have to pack up and leave the campsite you've paid to occupy. At dark. In the middle of dinner!
To the officers who waited out the sun to come enforce the law: 
Thanks a lot for picking us last, by the way, it's really no problem to pack up a whole campsite in the middle of dinner in the freaking dark and find a last minute place to stay. It's especially easy to pop a tent in the middle of the night by the light of a head lamp with 40 mph winds blowing everything away like a kite. And as for not being prepared for a lack of electricity or bathroom or any kind of fresh running water what so needs 'em, right? Who gives a flying squirrel that there's a fire ban and we had to eat our dinner cold after we moved? S'mores? I guess my ass didn't need the addition anyway; I'd only been thinking about how good they'd be for a week. 
We laugh in the face of evil. 
To the "land lord" lady of Austin's Landing RV Park who painted her own face as a liar when she told me she hadn't seen a single mosquito in the breeding grounds that is her camp grounds until the day we arrived: 
I don't like liars, and in no way do I accept your empathy card of, "It's okay, they {the cops} are making me move my RV, take a picture of the empty site, then move it back." I don't believe you had to sleep with one eye open in fear of being ran over in the pitch black night by some drunken driver, because you were scared to drive more than a foot off the beaten path of the beach that you were given crappy directions to (the last thing you'd need in a situation like this is to have to call a wrecker to pull you out of the sand in the morning, trust me). Call me when you have to sleep on the ground instead of your cushy mattress and someone cuts your electricity off in July. Sorry bitch, no box fan for you.  Thanks a lot for advertising on your website that tent camping is available. I guess next time you should also mention that it's illegal. And I'm just spit ballin' it here, but you should probably take care of your mosquito problem before someone gets diagnosed with malaria. 

Hey, at least I got to enjoy a skimpy version of that campfire staple I'd had my heart set on. 

What's your favorite part about the beach?


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