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New York State of Mind

12 Sep

Life update alert!

Remember that fancy schmancy, practically perfect super exciting job I told you about? Well, its so fancy that I need security clearance for it (aka they need to make sure I’m not a crazy person or a criminal). That means that it’s going to take a couple of weeks before I get to start actually working. I spent a while trying to decide what I should do with this time. Continue funemployment [which actually stops being fun when you run out of money]? Try to find a part time job? Join a traveling circus?

It just so happened that all if this coincided with the end of my lease. I had originally decided if I couldn’t find a job by the end of my lease I was going to head back to good ol’ NYC, camp out on my parents’ couch and figure out what to do next. But now, I HAVE a job – just no money and no start date. As much as I really like LA and I’m really excited that I’m going to be working here, I still really wanted to go home for a little. I haven’t been back to NY since March which seems like forever ago.

So that’s what I’m doing! I packed up my apt last week, moved everything into my friend’s garage and myself onto her couch. On Friday, I’m leaving on a jet plane and heading back to the concrete jungle where dreams are made of. How long am I staying? Not quite sure. Some time between a week and Long Beach, depending on when my clearance comes through. While I’m there I’ll be running, reading, eating, sleeping and enjoying actual seasons – we don’t really get “fall” here.

And there you have my very exciting life update! Anyone in NY wanna play while I’m on the East Coast? Any awesome running routes I need to try?

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You Only Live Once, But If You Do It Right, Once Is Enough

1 Jun
I do not want to run today. I certainly do not want to study. I want to lay in bed and cry. My life’s been pretty [read: really] not awesome lately. I’ve had a six month stretch of bad luck and bad things and bad people. It’s not something I talk about often here, but it’s been really, really hard. There are days when it takes everything I have to get out of bed and pretend to be a functioning adult.

I can’t even pretend today. Yesterday, I found out from my Dad that my Aunt Chris was in the hospital, that she was unresponsive and they were moving her to a hospice. This afternoon, he called to let me know she passed away. I didn’t know she was sick and I’m not sure how to react. My Aunt Chris wasn’t really my aunt – I still question the elaborate story my grandmother tells about how she’s related to us. My grandfather’s cousin’s wife is, I believe, what she finally settled on. But she we were all so close it didn’t matter. She was a little younger than my grandmother, her son a little younger than my dad and her grandchildren both older and younger than my sister and I. Her family lived up near Albany and every summer we’d visit at least once.

Aunt Chris was a ridiculous person in the best possible sense of the word. She was Italian (the rest of us are Irish) and loud and an amazing cook. She had an internal compass that told her what was right and wrong, what was fair and what wasn’t. She believed in hard work and she believed hard work should be rewarded. She loved having fun and laughing. Even when she was older, she would sit Indian-style on the floor for hours playing with children. She never stopped going – she was a hairdresser and was working until the beginning of last week. She drank Budweiser out of a can [never Bud Light – If you tried to give her a light beer she’d say “What is this crap?” in her great upstate New York accent. Even before I could read, I knew Aunt Chris got the red can, never the blue one]. When she would visit my grandparents at the beach, she would get up at 5 am, march down to the water and sleep in the sand for hours. No blanket, no chair, 9 times out of 10 no bathing suit. She’d come back to the house as the rest of us were waking up with more energy than a woman 20 years younger [certainly more energy than me]. I never saw her with a hangover. We would run the same 5 mile race every year – well, she would run, the rest of us would walk. She taught me how to play poker and left/right/center and bocce and how to bet on a horse.

But most importantly, she taught me not to care what other people thought. You work hard, you do the right thing. You love the people who love you. You value nice things, but you never let them own you. When we were younger, she’d give us orange juice in Waterford crystal tumblers with breakfast and my grandmother would hold her breath every time we picked up the glass. My cousin dropped one once and it shattered. I remember the whole room gasping and waiting for someone to yell. But Aunt Chris just said, “I’ve got more in the basement, watch your feet.” That was it. Most importantly, you do what you want when you want. You want to lay on the sand with no towel? Lay on the sand with no towel. You want to drink beer and play poker? Drink beer and play poker. You want to run a 5 mile race the day after? Do that too. She lived such an amazing, rich, full life, it’s almost hard to be sad it’s over. Almost.

So starting today, I’m going to be more like my Aunt Chris. I’m going to work hard and do the things I have to do. I’m going to do the things I want to do. And most importantly, I’m not going to do the things I don’t want to do anymore.

I’m going to do flashcards and my outlines and my multiple choice because I have to. I’m going to run my 3 miles because I want to. But on the way home from the library, I’ll stop and grab a 6 pack of those red cans. And give a silent salute to a lady who did it right.

Hodge Podge and Hedge Hogs

24 May
Man, I thought law school was hectic, but apparently being a law school graduate is even worse! And so, in no particular order, here are the random things I’ve been thinking of/dealing with/worrying about lately:

– I am officially a law school graduate! Well, not quite officially. I’m still waiting on 3 grades, but they’re not the 3 grades I was worried about. So, at the risk of tempting fate, I am officially Gidget, J.D.
– My hip hurts when I walk but NOT when I run. Fascinating? Sure. Frustrating? Absolutely.
– Between my emotional upheaval/finals/stress/accidentally buying a graduation dress that was too small, I’ve lost a ton of weight recently [I’m working on a separate post]. Awesome things? Being skinny. Not awesome things? Burning less calories than I used to. It used to be great to see a number on the treadmill display and think, “Now I can eat X.” I now have to run more or eat less. Obnoxious.
– Bar studying sucks. Really, really sucks.
– I’m trying to get into a routine: Class in the morning, run, lunch and then the library till i die. The only problem is I HATE showering at the gym. Not just because it’s slightly gross. The logistics are so unbelievably annoying. I always forget a towel or my flip flops or my shampoo. Then I have to worry about what to do with all of my wet clothes. Gross. But when I come home after the gym I never leave [case in point: I’ve been trying to get to the library for 3 hours now]. Have I mentioned bar studying sucks?
– I painted a fake toenail on my stump of a toe. It only looks moderately awkward.
– I still have no job and no apartment. I should probably get on that.
– I’m excited to start marathon training, but I’m also really nervous about trying to squeeze everything in.
– I’m spending a ton of time in the library and I need to start bringing more snacks. Twice last week I had to leave because by 8:30 I was too hungry to concentrate. I bought apples, hummus, blueberries, almonds and Cliff bars for kids [did you know they make them? They’re smaller than regular cliff bars, which is great because I can never finish those and I feel like they’re a little too calorie heavy for a mid-day snack].

Anyone have any other delicious, healthy snack options? How do you deal with the logistical nightmare of a midday workout?

Insanity Doesn’t Run in My Family, It Practically Gallups

13 May
Just a quick update. I am alive. I am officially done with law school and, barring any unforeseen failures, I am about to become a JD. It’s all very exciting.

My parents came in to town on Wednesday night, the same day I finished exams. I’ve been pretty much going non-stop ever since. My grandma, aunt, uncle and 3 small children are getting in today and my sister and her husband come in tomorrow morning. My apartment is a mess, my car hasn’t been cleaned in months and my sanity is hanging on by a thread.

I was so excited when I went to bed on Wednesday night because I didn’t have to set an alarm. I fell asleep around 1 am … and woke up at 5:30. I could not for the life of me fall back to sleep. I laid in bed watching some super awesome early morning television (did you know that Boy Meets World is still on television?!?! Now you do. You’re welcome). After a few hours of laying in bed feeling annoyed that I couldn’t sleep, I decided to go for a run, since I knew my parents would be jetlagged and I’d have some time to kill. I figured I’d just do a quick 2 miles around my neighborhood. Bad plan. During my 2 shorter runs last week, I noticed a lot of stiffness in my right hamstring. On Saturday, I ran 4 measly miles on the treadmill. During my run I felt great, but about an hour later (as I met my friend at a dog park to chase puppies) my right hip was killing me. Like, limping ow it hurts don’t make me walk the two blocks back to my car, killing me). I went home (well, I went to the library. Then I went home …) iced, rolled, stretched and the pain was completely gone by Monday. I didn’t have a chance to run again until yesterday. My run itself was fine, but after the run, my hip was killing me again! It didn’t help that my dad decided he really wanted to see Venice Beach, so could we please walk from the Venice Pier to the Santa Monica Pier (6 miles round trip) and oh, we actually have to be somewhere this afternoon, so we have to walk really quickly on the way back and wait, you weren’t wearing the right shoes for that? Also, in case anyone was wondering, it’s kind of mortifying walking the Venice boardwalk with your parents.

I don’t know if my whole family is going to make it through this weekend alive. Oh well. Gidget’s Rule #5 – Roll with the punches.

You May Be Right …

10 May
I may be crazy. In keeping with yesterday’s “I am really good at random trivia” theme, today is Billy Joel’s birthday. When I was younger, I loved Billy Joel. L.O.V.E.D. I stole all of his cds from my Mom and used to listen to them pretty exclusively from 6th to 8th grade [no one said I was cool]. I’ve seen him in concert twice and both times were amazing. I will raise a glass of wine in honor of Mr. Joel’s birthday, just like I did for Mr. Truman’s birthday last night [and whatever random famous person I can find tomorrow].

In other news, this weeks is the epitome of hectic. I somehow got suckered into working full time today ad tomorrow [for my unpaid dead end job, in case anyone was keeping score at home]. I have an exam on Wednesday night that I have studied approximately 45 minutes for. My parents on coming into town on Wednesday night. My grandma/aunt/uncle/small children are coming on Friday. My sister and her husband are coming on Saturday. Oh yeah, and I’m graduating from law school on Sunday. Somewhere between now and Wednesday I have to clean my apartment, study for my exam and do about 87 loads of laundry (because apparently you ca’t wear tempo shorts to graduation. Who knew?). I’m also trying desperately not to have a nervous breakdown. I’m hoping to get some running time in, but I’m not holding my breath.

Second Place Is First Loser

9 May
Anyone’s who has ever read this blog or met me in real life knows that I am not the best runner. Let’s not kid ourselves, 9/10 I’m the worst runner. I’m never going to win a race or even my age division (until I’m in the 70+ category – then watch out!). Despite what my lack of hardcore training may suggest, I don’t like this about my running. When I was growing up, “winning” was everything. If you weren’t the best at something or you couldn’t be the best at something in the future, there was no point in doing it. “Second place is just first loser.”

I think because of this, I’ve always been a pretty competitive person and [not to toot my own horn but] I’ve been pretty successful in everything I’ve done. Until now. I’ve been thinking a lot about this since the Boston Marathon. Let’s face it, I’m never going to BQ. For most “casual” runners [i.e. those who do not get paid to run], Boston is the holy grail. That’s what people work for and train for. It’s the great accomplishment of running. And I’m never going to get there. So why run? Why put my body through 1/2 marathons that I have to slog through and come out demoralized? Yes, I like running. Yes, I like what running has done for my weight. But is it time to give up competitive running?

All of this isn’t helping my panic about graduation. I worked my rear end off for 3 years and as hard as I tried, I’m not going to graduate at the top of my class. I’m not going to graduate with a fancy big law job and a 6 figure salary. I’m going to graduate in the middle of my class, from a middle tier law school, with no job and 6 figures worth of student loans. I’ve been asking myself a lot lately, was it worth it? I’m not sure.

I’m not going to give up competitive running just yet, just like I’m not going to give up practicing law (I totally couldn’t afford to NOT be a lawyer right now). I’m focusing instead on what I AM the best at. I’m the best at straightening my hair. Seriously. I’ve got super thick, super curly hair down to the middle of my back and I can straighten it in 15 minutes with no mirror. I’m a pro. I am the best at random trivia – for example, today is not only Mother’s Day, but also Harry Truman’s Birthday and V-E Day. Your fun fact of the day. You’re welcome. I was once the best at flip cup, although I am woefully out of practice. Apparently it’s not acceptable to binge drink and play psuedo-drinking games as an adult. Who knew.

What are you the best at? 

>Decisions, Decisions

13 Apr

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So, I’m thinking of getting a puppy. Well, not a real puppy, necessarily. Probably an older dog that is already house-trained. But regardless, a small furry animal with 4 legs capable of unconditional love.

Pros:
1) I’m lonely and I think this will help cheer me up.
2) I’ve always loved dogs and have wanted one since my family dog passed away a couple of years ago
3) There are so many older dogs in shelters that need good homes.

Cons:
1) It narrows my apartment search pretty significantly, since not all apartments allow animals.
2) Pets are expensive and I have no job.
3) Although I will have a ton of time this summer while studying to be home with a puppy, eventually I’m going to have a job and work 10-12 hours per day. That’s a long time to leave a dog cooped up.

So, interesting conundrum I find myself in. My first thought was that I would just foster a shelter dog for the summer, but I think we all know that I wouldn’t be able to give him/her back.

Does anyone else work long hours and have a pet? Is it doable?