A little over a year ago DH realized that despite our best attempts to remain immature forever, we were alas, getting older. We decided that rather than grow old gracefully we wanted to go kicking and screaming so we have made a concerted effort to become healthier. We already ate fairly decently, and given that we both think kale tastes like a weed, we knew that to make a change what we needed to do was exercise.
I’ve never been an athletic person. My parents who gave me several good things (an ability to cook, a love of reading, sense of humour) did not provide me with a single athletic gene. I was the person you knew in high school who forged notes to get out of gym class. When forged notes did not work, I was the one who was constantly hit in the face with a ball, who fell, who twisted something, and generally would always be chosen last when making teams. I do not like the gym. Or sweating. It is not a case of not “finding just the right activity.” I have tried all most all sporty things. The truth is that my idea of a good activity is reading on the sofa followed by a nap. When I’m feeling really wild and crazy I like to knit. If reading burned calories I would make super models look like hippos. Alas, it does not.
So I started running. That’s a lie. I started walking and then slowly added in periods of running. People around me told me that there would be some kind of runner’s high. I have come to accept the truth- they lie. It’s been close to a year now and the only high I have is when the treadmill beeps indicating that I can stop.
I share an office with a lovely woman. T is incredibly bright, a great critical thinker, funny, kind. She is also an amazing athlete. Some days she talks about how when she doesn’t get to run she really misses it. I can honestly say this has never happened to me. Nada. Not once. She also looks great when she runs. I haven’t looked in a mirror, but I’m pretty sure I look hideous. At the very least I feel hideous and I’m never smiling.
My good friend J became athletic later in life. She used to be a couch potato like me. She told me once that she was intending to run for about an hour- but she was having so much fun that she just kept going. She “didn’t even realize how much time had passed.” This has never happened to me. Much more common is that I think surely the time must be over only to realize that time has slowed to crawl and that I still have forever to go.
On the upside I’ve lost some weight and my cardio is way better. So I’ll live longer. Or it will just seem like longer. I’m not sure which it will be yet.
I have weird dreams. Always have. Maybe it’s my creative nature. Or some kind of sign that all is not right in my head, but as long as I can remember my dreams are vivid and odd. Here is a prime example from last night.
In my dream there are a rogue group of vegetarians who are consumed with the idea of making everyone swear off meat eating.*
In order to get people to swear off meat they decide they must convince the younger generation so they are stealing stuffed toys from small children and then cooking and serving them to the kids to cause trauma. Picture here tiny Molly being served the head of her stuffed bunny Beatrix in an orange sauce, or wee Tommy finding the side of his stuffed pig Oliver served up crispy on a side of eggs. This is causing mass panic.**
For reasons that are unclear in the dream, the police and authorities seem to be unable to address this violent stuffy massacre so DH and I decide that we alone must right this wrong. ***
The dream then had a montage of various crime fighting/ninja like scenes where DH defending small innocent plush toys from being made into sausage, fondue or a roast.
Then I woke up. I have zero idea what type of interpretation a psychologist would put on this dream other than I might be in need of heavy psychotropic medication.
I told DH about the dream. He summed it up as: “you’re weird.” then again what would he knows- he rarely remembers dreaming at all. His are probably so weird that his brain won’t even let him remember them in the morning.
How about you- do you remember your dreams?
* Let it be said I know many vegetarians and while enthusiastic about their lifestyle they have never tried for world domination or to my knowledge even thought about it.
** I think you do want to get people to swear off meat this is not the way to go about it. Rather than getting young kids to embrace a healthy plant based food source it seems to me this would make them potential serial killers.
*** Given that DH and I have trouble motivating ourselves to do beyond the basic home chores (Back yard overgrown garden I am looking at you) I find it implausible that we would take up a life of crime fighting as it would break into our regular routine of knitting, reading and making robots.
I’ve been lucky enough to be editing the new book by Laura Bradbury the past couple of weeks. If you haven’t read her books about her adventures in France you are truly missing out. Laura does food porn better than almost anyone I know. The way the woman describes cheese results in me drooling onto my keyboard and then going to the kitchen to rustle up a snack. (I’m still not sure I’m convinced on trying the snails- but I will give her this- she has me considering it.
It’s more than the food- Laura paints a picture of France that makes you itchy to dig out your passport and see if Expedia has any deals on flights. It made me reflect on the interaction between reading and travel. I’ve always been a huge reader and long before I ever got out of the town I grew up in I traveled inside my mind thanks to a number of writers.
Once I was able to travel I found that I developed a habit of seeking out not just travel guides or non-fiction history books, but also novels set in the location I was planning to visit. There was something about seeing my destination through someone else’s eyes long before I stepped off any plane.
A friend recently told me that she burst into tears while reading The Fault in Our Stars, not because of the plot line of teens with cancer falling in love and dying, but because the descriptions of Amsterdam made her heart ache with a desire to return.
My recent trip to Italy has provided me with a setting for a new book. I want to slip as many details of what I saw and experienced so that anyone who reads it can taste the tomatoes and feel the warm stone steps in their own mind.
Laura’s books have inspired me to start planning my own trip to France. We’ve set up a bank account and will start to squirrel away a little each month so we can try the bread, cheese and wine for ourselves. In the meantime I plan to read a lot more.
Do you have a book that reminds you of a favorite destination or has inspired you to want to take a trip to see it for yourself?
I have decided that Amy Poehler and I should be best friends. I base this on the fact that I just finished her book YES PLEASE and realize that we have millions of things in common. Or at least four including:
It may be harder for Amy to figure out why she would like to be friends with me. However, she notes that she is quite short and given that I am tall, I would promise as one of her friends to always get things down from tall shelves and never pick her up. In my experience short people hate when you pick them up- or make jokes about working in a chocolate factory, or living in Oz. They can be touchy about those things and as her good friend I would never deliberately upset her. That’s just the kind of good friend that I can be.
Then there is the fact that Amy Poehler is real life friends with another one of my imaginary celebrity besties- Tina Fey. It seems only natural that we would all hang out. I’d even help them come up with jokes for random award shows.
I should point out that I am not a celebrity stalker by nature. I don’t want to be friends with just any star. For example, while I think Angelina Jolie is an amazing actress and her work with the UN is impressive, I don’t picture us having much in common. Once we covered how things in Nepal sure do suck, the conversation would likely trail off into awkward silence. However, I am pretty sure Amy would make me laugh until bourbon came out my nose. Amy should feel free to call me anytime. Especially if she has something up on a high shelf.
How about you- any celebrities you would want to befriend?