Friday, August 31, 2012

I'm a woman, not a gangster

Happy friday, all!

I have a confession to make.  Against my better judgment, I reactivated my online dating account, JUST TO SEE.  I've been much less overstressed by work, and I feel like I'm doing a good job of balancing my job, my new fitness plan, and everything else.  I thought it couldn't hurt, so up it went.  Still not my first priority by any means, but I was running out of blog fodder, so... ;-)

So I exchanged a couple of messages with one guy last night, and he seemed really likeable.  Normal, not pushy, not weird, just funny and sincere.  I was kind of pleasantly surprised!  So he sends me a chat request on the site, and we spend a bit talking. 

In the midst of our conversation, he asks me what I would wear if we went on a date.  My weirdo radar went up immediately.  Sure, it sounds fairly harmless, but usually this is a segway into a what are you wearing kind of avenue, and I didn't feel like sharing the cut and color of my underthings to this guy. 

BUT, I humored him.  I told him it depended on what the date was, so he said dinner at a really nice restaurant.  I told him probably a dress and heels in that instance and that I liked to get dressed up for the right occasion.  However, I then went on to say that I also love a hoodie on a fall day. 

I told him this for two reasons:
1) It's true.  I adore hoodies.
2) I wanted to make sure he understood that I'm not a dress up all the time kind of girl.  I don't like to misrepresent.

When I said the hoodie thing he went "Argh" or "Ugh" or something along those lines.  I waited for an explanation, but one didn't come, so I clarified that I wouldn't wear something like that on a dinner date like he'd described obviously. 

He responded with, "No, I wouldn't let you."

Hmm.  Radar pinged like crazy.  I waited. 

"You're a woman.  Not a gangster."

I couldn't believe what I was hearing.  Are you effing kidding me?  "Hoodies don't equal gangster," I told him.  I was not amused.  I then pointed out that most women don't want to wear heels and dresses all the times, and that while I was sorry to shatter the illusion, but that's not terribly comfortable on a daily basis, and not even appropriate for some situations.

We talked briefly after that point, but by then I was mentally done.  First of all, no one LETS me wear anything.  Second of all, I feel really sad for an individual who hears hoodie and thinks gangster. 

Someday I will find a man who likes me just as much in a dress and heels as he does in a hoodie and jeans.  Today is not that day. ;-)

Thursday, August 30, 2012

An Important Discovery

In the two days since my first official session with the personal trainer, I've made a super important discovery worth sharing:

I am the single most out of shape person in the entire universe.

It's true. 
I am not kidding around here, folks.

Last night my legs hurt.  A lot.  We did several leg workouts the night before, so it made sense.  I managed to drag my sorry self to the gym to do 30 minutes on the elliptical at a slow and steady pace.  It sounded like a horrific idea as I was trudging out of my apartment, but it actually felt really good while I was doing it.  Afterwards my legs felt a lot looser and less miserable.

This morning?  Holy hell.  I could barely get out of bed.  My commute into work was awesome, except for the part where it hurt like a mofo.  I am not pleased.

I know I need to keep moving.  I know I need to keep the muscles as loose as I can.  I have this delightful homeopathic Arnica Gel that my acupuncturist recommended, so I will give that a whirl this morning for sure.  Can't exactly come into work smelling like muscle rub, can I? Not so attractive in a work environment.

I have acupuncture tonight.  I am going to beg for "Please make my legs feel less like blocks of doom" needles.  I wonder what she has for that?  I will also likely ask about other homeopathic alternatives to make this transition from out of shape disaster to rock star superwoman a bit smoother.  She is a magic maker, I have faith that she will have something to offer me!

In the meantime, today I will rue each and every time I have to get up to grab something from the printer, or go to the bathroom, or, you know.....MOVE.

Cheers to my efforts.  Cheers to hard work.  Cheers to pushing myself.  And a big effing CHEERS to the day when these workouts do not leave me feeling so, so sore.  ;-)

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

And so it begins...

I made it through the first personal training session!  :-)  I will say this, though- that was the most challenging hour of physical activity ever.  It pushed me to all of my limits and was insanely exhausting.  I did manage to come home and head back out to the grocery store for a few better eating supplies, but after that I was done.

Schedule shifted and my next session is Friday, then another on Sunday.  Tonight I'm flying solo at the gym with a goal of working towards doubling my calories burned during a normal session.  Dream big, baby.  ;-)

I also survived the weigh in and the measurements.  Ouch.  It hurt my soul a little (okay, maybe just my ego!), but again, I have to start somewhere.  Cheers for new beginnings!

I may be boring for a bit.  This is going to consume a lot of my time and energy for the next month!  I really want to buckle down and turn this exercise into a routine, and work on managing my eating habits as well.  Slow and steady wins the race, right? 

Speaking of, it's time for lunch break.  :-)

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Hell Week

These are the things that I know today:

* Today marks the beginning of Hell Week with the personal trainer.  My first real session is tonight at 7pm.  Send strength my way.  ;-)

* Weighed myself last night to get a general idea of the number I'll see tonight at my official starting weigh-in.  It was alarming, and a good ten pounds over my highest previous weight.  Charming.  I guess I have to start somewhere!

* Currently pondering what to procure for my lunch.  Today marks the beginning of my attempt at overall better eating habits, but I got home too late to get to the store, so I have to go out and grab something.  Not easy!

* Went back to my hometown to visit family and friends for a long weekend.  It was good to be back and see everyone, but I was ready to come home to my cats and my apartment by the time my flight was due.  Sadly, the airline wasn't ready for me to go yet, so I got a nice two hour delay, which got me home around 10 instead of 8.  Such is life!

* Quite unexpectedly I ended up with an ArtBoy visit last night.  It was impulsively planned and I have to say, it's strange to have seen him twice in less than two weeks.  It was less weird having him to my apartment this time, and boy loves my cats, which is entertaining.  Wouldn't have pegged him for a cat person, but I guess he's previously had two.  My fat cat adores him and was providing us with much laughter from his attention whore behavior.  The company was nice for a couple of hours, but it was also nice to get unpacked and into my own bed after.

* Work is work.  I'm definitely getting a little bit of payback for taking two days off in terms of the workload on my desk, but I handled most of the rush issues early this morning. 

* I CANNOT WAIT for Labor Day weekend coming up.  I imagine I will not be doing very much at all besides taking care of my sore body, getting to the gym a couple of times, catching up on DVR and relaxing.  Honestly, sounds good to me. 

* I really, really wish this week would hurry up and get over.  I feel like it is going to be so busy and exhausting, between the trainer workouts tonight, Wednesday and Friday, acupuncture Thursday, and the fact that I also need to get out to buy an extra pair of workout pants as well as a grocery store trip.  Apparently those two errands will be happening after my other evening engagements!  I'm also bummed that I have to miss a happy hour friday because of the trainer appt., but I know it will be worth it.

* This is all I know for now.  I'm tired right now, and I'm tired just thinking about what this week will bring, but....I'm excited to get started.  Yawn.  ;-)

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


Met with a personal trainer last night for a free 45-minute introductory session.  I wanted to see if I liked his style and felt like he was someone I could be successful with. 

I'm not going to lie, it was mortifying on many levels because I am so, so out of shape.  I have weak arms.  Terrible endurance.  Overall disappointing strength.  I have zero flexibility.  BUT.  He didn't make me feel bad about it.  He was honest, direct and realistic.  I'm starting at level one, he said.  I knew that much! 

I talked to him about my goals.  I told him how my wardrobe is full of things in three different sizes:  1) my goal size that I've fit into in rare (and brief) periods of time
2) my average size that I've worn for the bulk of my life
3) my bigger size, which is what I wear when I've ebbed towards the higher numbers on the scale (also known as the last couple of years)
I told him that currently I'm straining the capabilities of the largest size.  I told him my goal is to get back into the smaller sizes, and to have my old "fat" pants be "fat" pants again, and not everyday pants.  I told him I want to increase my strength and endurance.  Make fitness a part of my routine.  Work on my eating habits.

My first real session is Tuesday of next week.  I will endure the dreaded initial weigh in and measurements and body fat percentage tests.  It will be grim.  It will be disheartening.  But I will be doing something about it, and that matters.  He said our sessions will focus on toning and "intense cardio".  He said that based on where I'm at now, this will be a shock to my system at first, but that he will never increase intensity unless I'm ready. 

Next week I'm meeting with him three times.  Three times the following week, if I survive.  ;-)  After that I may drop to two a week, but I'll evaluate at that time.  I really need to kickstart this plan into action, and I trust him to ensure that I don't overdo anything.  With the plan of seeing him three times a week in place, I'm supposed to do cardio on my own at least 2x a week, with a goal of burning 500 calories in a session. 

After my intro session last night I went to the gym and did 30 minutes on the elliptical, the same as I had the night before.  This time I paid attention to my calories burned, and I realized my trainer was spot on.  He guessed I was burning about 250 calories in 30 minutes, and I burned about 260.  He told me if I was burning 250 right now, he wanted me to work towards burning 500 instead.  It will be difficult, and it will be an evolutionary process, but it's something to work towards!

I'm sore today.  My arms hurt.  My abs hurt.  My thighs hurt.  However, this is nothing.  I know that the next two weeks are going to be hell.  I'm going to hurt 100x worse than I do right now, and I'm going to curse this trainer, and wonder why I'm torturing myself, but I think it will be worth it.  I am not 18 years old anymore, I don't have a miraculous metabolism, and I need to start taking better care of myself.  I need to finally invest the time and energy into doing better.

In the meantime, until my first real session tuesday, I'm going to keep up with the cardio on my own, try to make better food choices, and work on my pushups.  ;-)  It may be a challenge, especially with going out of town Friday-Monday night, but I'll be reasonable and do what I can. 

Wish me luck.  :-)

Monday, August 20, 2012

Hello stranger

Artboy now resides in the same city I do.  It's a technicality really, as he wasn't far away before.  He just happens to be a little bit closer now and his mailing address is in the same city now, just a few miles away.  Oh dear.

Yes, it was his apartment I was talking about in my last post.  No, I didn't get my farewell.  Yes, I was disappointed, but the feeling was mitigated once I realized it was now basically just an empty shell.  Everything that made it memorable, most pointedly it's resident, was no longer there anymore.  It stung a little less then.

Saturday night  was strange.  I ended up with an Artboy ringing my doorbell.  It was a really odd shift from the norm.  He'd only ever been to my place maybe 2-3 times tops, and that was well over a year ago.  I was surprised he even remembered where I lived. 

Having him in my space was odd.  Going to his apartment always felt so surreal and secretive and mysterious.  That's why I always chose to go there than to have him come to me. It was like I stepped into a separate universe when I crossed his threshold.  But in my apartment, it was different.  He brought food and drink.  We laughed at my cats.  He saw his art on my wall.  It was weird, weird, weird.

I had this brief flashback to the other times he'd been over, when we were actually dating each other.  It felt almost exactly the same.  We interacted like real people.  He laughed while I drunkenly played Fruit Ninja as he watched from the couch.  The room was spinning and I couldn't focus on him the way I wanted to.  We ate gummy bears and I laid with my legs across his lap while he played with my Xbox.  My cute heels lay discarded on the floor the entire time, I never even put them on. We listened to music and he sang along, and I had enough presence of mind to realize that many of the songs that were coming up on my ipod I'd discovered through him. 

He was exhausted, so he wasn't there for more than an hour and a half.  He'd spent friday moving and saturday moving, up until about 8:30 that night.  I was surprised he'd even suggested coming over that night. 

So I'm not dating, but I'm okay with this.  He is the exception to every rule, and nothing that we've done in the last year has fit any definition I know, and that's okay.  It's enough right now, it's what I can handle, it's something, but it's nothing. 

Artboy was harrassing me (good-naturedly) sometime in the last month or two about liking him.  Asking why he was doing so much better than the guys I'd gone on dates with.  I didn't have a good answer, and he teased me, saying I would go on dates with him.  I demurred, and he went on.  "And you would hold my hand." 

I denied it.  Of course I denied it. 

But he was right.  Of course he was right.  I would hold his hand.  Damn.

Such is life.  Such was my saturday night.  I got to curl up with him on my couch on Saturday night.  I got that physical contact and proximity that I miss, and he is familiar and safe, even though all practical signs say he is decidedly unsafe. 


Friday, August 17, 2012

Breaking up is hard to do


You're probably wondering why on earth I'm discussing a breakup when I've not dated anyone in a legitimate sense in over a year. Rest assured, you haven't missed some major piece of the puzzle on this blog...I'm talking about an apartment.  I'm breaking up with an apartment and it's not even mine, but it is still something I'm actually sad about.

I have historically gotten very attached to people, but I get attached to places as well.  Every time I've moved out of a house or townhouse or apartment, I cry about it at some point.  I remember the significant life events that took place either directly in the home or while I was living there, and I get fiercely nostalgic. 

I suppose that's something many people experience, but I've also found that I go through something similiar when people I know or care about move out of places that I've had shared experiences in.  When M and I dated after my divorce, I spent a lot of time at his tiny little house.  On the surface, it was old, small, and in need of some TLC. 

However, I grew to love that house intensely.  It felt like a home when we were in it.  I often packed up my dog and two cats and we would stay there for a few days at a time.  In the warmer months we grilled on the back deck and played ball with my dog in the yard, and sat on the screened in front porch and watched thunderstorms, tangled up together.  In the colder months we sipped hot coffee beneath blankets on the couch and watched TV, we cooked meals together, we took baths in the claw-footed tub and talked about our future.

Then we broke up.  I lost the house that felt like home and the person who made it that way.  Eventually he started dating someone new, as did I, and they basically lived there together and made it their own for awhile.  Later on, he moved out entirely, and my heart hurt a little for it.  I missed that stupid claw footed tub that was better in theory than reality.  I missed the screened in porch and the cozy kitchen and the yard and the privacy of that quiet little street.  But mostly I guess that I missed the memories I'd formed there.  The safety and comfort and familiarity of it all. 

When the last ex and I broke up, I moved out of his condo and cried.  I cried for the crumbling of our relationship, but I also cried because I was losing the place I had finally accepted as my home after initial skepticism.  I missed the huge garden bathtub, and the soothing colors of the bedroom, and the memories of cooking together in the kitchen, and decorating the house as a team, for our future.  I missed sitting on the tiny patio at the little table set we'd bought together, sharing one blanket, my dog curled at our feet.  I even missed the drafty window in the living room behind the couch, and the shiny red washer and dryer we'd bought on Black Friday that year, standing outside in the cold rain for hours, laughing over how silly a thing it was to do. 

I've cried over the townhouse that I moved into with my ex-husband in July of one year, and that he moved out of in December upon our separation.  I lived in a three bedroom, 2 1/2 bath, 3 story townhouse by myself for 7 months, and it was huge and lonely and I simply closed rooms off entirely, wanting to shrink my space down.  Mostly leaving there I cried for all the bad things that happened during my stay, but I did leave with some good memories.  Wrestling around with M on the couch.  Dancing around the living room tipsy with a girlfriend of mine before we went out dancing that night at a club. 

I've cried over the first apartment I got by myself after the divorce, where I started with M in my life and ended with the last ex, but in the middle I formed some really fun, nice friendships with a group of neighbors.  I'd battled giant flying bugs in the dark of night.  I missed the memories of illicitly fooling around with M when given the keys by the landlord to check the place out one more time before leasing it.  I missed the memories of my brothers coming to visit me in the summer.  I missed the laughter and silliness that brewed after the snowpocalypse storms we had that winter, where the ex  and I walked to the nearly empty grocery store to re-up our food supplies, and later that same night grilled hotdogs on the snowy porch.

So there you have it, I've got a history with missing places that are going out of my life, even if they weren't mine.  The one I'm missing today was never even a little bit mine.  I had it for moments in time over the last year and change, but in sum it wouldn't add up to very much.  And yet.

Today is moving day for somebody.  By evening the studio apartment will be empty.  Possession is in place until sunday, but it will be a ghost until then.  I feel the stretching sense of loss in my stomach because I know it is not ever going to be mine again, not even for the brief periods of time it was mine before.

As always, I want want want what I can't can't have. I want to have that last drive in the dark, purpose folded in my pocket like a secret, knowing it's the last time. I want to arrive and see him greet me at the door, kiss me in the elevator, knowing it's the last time. The elevator where we kissed when we were dating and it meant something, and when we weren't and I wanted it to, and the last times, when it was just kissing for kissing's sake.

The kitchen where he'd made me drinks, the freezer where I'd left that pint of ice cream on the first night, and the same one he got ice cream from another time and fed me bites as we'd talked.  The walls hung with his art, surrounding me on all sides. The moody A/C we'd adjusted up and down constantly. The bathroom where I'd caught my breath and then put myself back together just to go out and get happily disassembled again.

The apartment where we became something. The apartment where we were nothing, but something.  Where he'd confused me and twisted me up and inside out.

Mumford & Sons in the beginning. Tender moments of intimacy he's probably forgotten, but I haven't. Laughter from his rapping, his singing, his serenading. Watching him dance like a fool in the tiny kitchen, entertaining me while I lay laughing on the bed. Drunken beer pong. Giggling until I collapsed in a pile on the floor in a pretty dress, sparkling with our electricity.

In that space he let me into his dark parts. He looked hard and long into my eyes and touched my face and it was something unexpected and powerful.  
I held out hope until today. I wanted my goodbye.  I wanted my farewell before it was gone.  I wanted to go in knowing it was the last time and leave knowing it was the last time.  I wanted to appreciate the moments, and to tuck it all in a little place inside of me, along with all the other secrets we had shared.

Time was ticking, and then the ticking stopped.  Game over, and another place becomes history.

Monday, August 13, 2012

I don't want to date you. Or you. Or you.

I disabled my okcupid account today.  I kid you not, every time I get an email notification from that site I feel exasperated and annoyed.  Not a good sign.  99.9% of the people I get messages from are not people I'm interested in, and I'm just SO.OVER.THIS.

I hid my profile on Plenty of Fish because it's the closest thing they have to temporarily disabling an account without fully deleting it.  Now I am unsearchable, and I updated my settings so I won't get email from them anymore either.

I'm tired of people I've turned down from one site tracking me down on the other and contacting me.  I'm REALLY tired of those people challenging me with comments like "Still not dating?" as if discovering another dating profile that's existed for months and months means I lied to them.  Bottom line?  If I don't want you on one site, I don't want  you on another.  Get over it.

I am turning downright grumpy when it comes to anything dating related.  I don't want any of these idiots chasing me around on these stupid sites.  I don't know if I want anyone.  I feel like the longer this goes on the more jaded and frustrated I get.  I just want to be left alone.  I want to hang out with my friends or hang out alone or just do whatever I want and not be bothered with any of it.

I feel like a wall is constructing itself inside of my heart, and it is just getting stronger and bigger and more insurmountable.  I feel like it's not just a matter of being burnt out on online dating, it's becoming a more encompassing issue of feeling burnt out in general towards even the ambiguous idea of relationships.  I just don't feel like there's anyone out there for me right now.  I feel like whatever I do want doesn't exist, or that I'm not ready for it, or that I just won't even want it if it comes up. 

I've never been this jaded person before, and it's alarming and sad to me all at once.  I feel like I am closing myself off more and more to even the idea of getting into another relationship, but maybe that's just how it needs to be for now.  Maybe I just really need this legitimate break from the whole effort of it, and maybe the sharp edges and prickly feelings I have about it will start to go away.


Thursday, August 9, 2012

I still exist!

Holy hell, man.  I've never worked so hard at a job in my life as I have in the last couple of weeks, no exaggeration.  Coming in early.  Working through lunches.  Staying hours late.  Working at home.  Thinking about work when I wake up, when I go to bed, when I'm on the train, when I'm in the car.  I am HAUNTED by work lately.

I eat when I remember, and then I usually choose poorly.  I've been running around my office like a crazy person in heels entirely too much lately, and my feet hate me for it. My brain is tired, and last week I found myself falling asleep at 8:30 one night, and over the weekend I spent Sunday mostly sleeping.  The rest of the time was spent solo, mostly just vegging out at home aside from a couple of quick errands.  I was too tired to do anything else!

This week has been better in terms of my energy when I get home, even though I keep working late.  Last night I did manage to get out for a happy hour to celebrate some work victories, and tomorrow night I'm doing another happy hour for ongoing work victories.  :-)  It's really nice to reap the rewards of so much hard work by rolling out programs that we've been working on since I started this job in December.  I feel pretty awesome when I'm alert enough to remember to do so!

I've not had a single second to think about dating in the last couple of weeks, and that is A-OK.  I made a (probably/likely/definitely) unwise detour back to Artboy recently.  Our situation is no different now than it has been for a long time, but I won't lie...seeing him was just what I needed.  I have slacked WAY off in terms of taking care of myself by eating well and going to the gym with all of the work chaos, and I've not been feeling my best.  Seeing him always, always makes me feel like a million bucks, and that ego boost is a nice thing to get periodically.

I've also found myself randomly really missing Baltimore.  I started to feel like I was chasing him, and I decided I had to stop.  Subsequently, we've not talked in a couple of weeks now, and we won't talk again unless he seeks me out.  I think I miss him because, for all of our overall incompatibility, I was comfortable with him, and he sometimes provided really easy, familiar companionship.  I liked our innocent flirting and cuddling on the couch watching movies.  That remains so appealing to me, so much more than some hard work first dating thing where I have to dress up and go out all the time.  Baltimore was low key and mellow...ironically two of the traits that, because of their intensity in his personality, make us incompatible in the long run.

I don't have the motivation to put the work in for dating right now, so I won't.  I will just miss the easy comfort I had with Baltimore, and I will flirt with 24 year old friends who want to sleep with me, but never will because it's fun to flirt.  I will see Artboy if things unfold that way, be it in a month or six, and in the meantime we will continue to talk on our strange, strange wavelength most days of the week.

I will paint my nails for me.  I will make an effort with my hair some days for me.  I will wear cute work outfits because they make me feel powerful and strong, and I will enjoy and take in the fruits of all of my labor over the last several months, and I will know that I have accomplished something important and difficult and worthwhile, and that I am awesome.