Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Day 25: It's all about Natasha

So it's xmas day and I've decided instead of writing some cliche post about the holidays (see Day 24 if you want that) I'm going to write about my good friend Natasha. In a way, it is kind of fitting because Natasha kind of reminds me of xmas...let me explain.

Natasha is kind of like that present you find under the tree from Santa. Ok not really Santa but someone pretending to be Santa obv. And you stare at this present and think "WTF is in there?" You know what you wanted but the shape and size of that present seems all wrong to be actually any of the things you wanted. And when you do get to open that present, it is so not what you originally wanted and actually turns out to be something awesome anyways. So it all works out in the end. And that is Natasha in a nutshell. And if you are confused by my xmas analogy I'm basically saying you never know what you are going to get with Natasha but it always turns out awesome.

One of my favourite things about Natasha is her stories. Stories she tells me about her day. Stories that if any of us told them would be boring but from her are fucking hilarious. Whether it is her getting chased home by a family of racoons, to her going on a disastrous first date or her vomiting her brains out after xmas dinner. The weirdest, strangest shit always seems to happen to her. Her life is what made me harass her for months to get a twitter account. I felt more of the world should hear about her life, as it is so hilarious.

And even better then hearing her stories is being present when one of the stories are in the making. I have a couple of good memories of Natasha and her adventures. One when we attended her friend's open house. Natasha decided she would try drinking that night (Natasha NEVER drinks) which if I remember correctly may have made her more chatty than usual. The one guy she did have a reasonable conversation with I ended up scaring away-apparently he did not realize we were joking when Natasha said she just met me on the street a couple of hours ago and invited me to this party because I seemed like a "fun" person. I remember the whole night as a comedy of errors, I don't think we had one successful social interaction between the two of us all night. But ironically her brother, the shyest guy in the world (no really he has won that distinction three years in a row!) had a great night and made a couple of new friends at that party. After eating all the food (and Natasha fiinishing the keg) we decided to leave. And that is when Natasha's boot decided to fall apart (randomly). We had a 30 minute walk ahead of us and Natasha was committed to walking! So she took some duct tape and wrapped her boot together and off we went. I also remember us being in hysterics after she received a compliment on her boots from one of the many Victoria hipsters.

I figure part of Natasha's charm is due to the fact that she can be so bloody dramatic. Personally I wholeheartedly appreciate her drama if not solely for the fact that she makes me and my dramatic gestures feel normal. I think her dramatic retelling of a story is what makes her so damn entertaining.  However, as Natasha and I have found, our drama does not go over so well here in Victoria. On more than one occasion we have been referred to as agro - the hipster way of calling us aggressive. Whereas in Ontario, where we both lived I think our dramatic personalities went over better. However, Natasha I think may disagree with my remembrances of Ontario.

Natasha, having been born in Europe, sees Canada a little differently than me. And this is one of the things I like about her the most, that she speaks a type of truth that only an outsider's perspective can give. The sociologist in me loves listening to her tell me her immigrant experiences in the seemingly benign land we call Canada. Her discourse is not tightly wrapped in the nationalist pride language that so many Canadians use. Natasha is a refreshing change from our politically correct culture as she does not shy away from telling it how it is.  She embodies a type of courage that many people could only dream of having. And that is what I admire about her most of all.

Oh and also she is a fucking amazing cook!

Awesome xmas food Natasha made me! Yummy!

Merry X-mas everyone! I hope Santa left you a Natasha of your own this holiday season.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Day 24: Merry Xmas Eve Y'all

Yeah it is day 24 of December. This is an important day because this is the 24th day of writing straight in a row for me. The blog a day competition ends tomorrow and Chris is showing no signs of giving up. I don't know what I expected from him really he did run the Stewart Mountain 10 miler, he so obviously was not going to give up. So it looks like Chris and I may both win this competition...I'm not sure how my competitive self feels about that really but for right now I'm pretty happy about it. So yay.

Another reason this day is important is because it is xmas eve. Yeah, it's kind of a big deal to people, especially those who are still religious enough to celebrate the holiday or just the rest of society that likes to spend gratuitous amounts of money on each other. So merry xmas eve to you if you fit into either of these camps or even if you are like me and don't.

I don't know where I really belong amongst all this holiday cheer anymore. I used to celebrate these holidays by drinking with my friends. Now I seem to watch my friends drink. Which suites me just fine. I like to make time to see my friends around the holidays mostly because everyone has set aside some time to do that, so it makes it easier to see people. But really, without a family, I still haven't really carved out my own xmas tradition. I kind of just go through the motions of xmas right now and highly enjoy watching other people make a big deal out of it. It is one of those holidays I don't mind passively observing for right now.  Whereas before, probably when I was younger and more self-important (yes, I was actually more self-important than I am now!) the mass consumption used to disturb me greatly, now I just don't care that much anymore. After all people are people. They are going to do whatever it is they do. I would rather just accept it and do my own thing anyway, so it's all good.

So as far as I can tell, this is what I have on tap for the next few days:

Xmas Eve - 6:30pm - head over to the Interactive Board Game Cafe and hang out with Chris and his friends (maybe make some new friends...)

Xmas Day - 8am - go to the gym (would have went running but giving my foot a break for a week)
9am - head over to my friend Karla's for breakfast and hang out with her friends
during the day sometime - head to Startbucks in Cook Street Village (because it's open and I like to mingle with the other orphans)
early afternoon - Natasha will come over and we will make a xmas feast

Boxing Day - relax (if possible) and stay away from all running stores because I really do not need another pair of runners!

Hope y'all have a lovely xmas eve and talk at you tomorrow :)

Monday, December 23, 2013

Day 23: My relationship with Music

 “I LOVE that artist but I would NEVER seem them in concert.” Yes, I say shit like that, all the time.

Pretty much everyone would agree that one of the most annoying things about me is how I feel about music. Annoying because my feelings seem to be inconsistent and contradictory and they contain Andrea Logic. Reasoning that only makes sense to me.

I love music. I mean does anyone really hate music? I may hate playing music (as in the piano) but I love listening to it. I love playing my favourite songs on my iTunes but not necessarily at an eardrum-bursting decibel, but as background music. Kind of like a white noise that accompanies my writing.

When I fall in love with a song, and like anything I fall in love with, I get a tad obsessive about it. I will listen to the same song like a hundred times in a row. But I can’t listen to the radio because it’s too repetitive. And I can’t stand the asinine banter between DJs and the ads make me want to do violent things. I hate ads! But most people know that, as that is why I haven’t been able to own a television in over 10 years. And when you get me in a room with a television I become immediately transfixed on the pretty moving pictures. Good luck trying to have a serious conversation with me if there is a tv present.

When I fall in love with an artist everything becomes about them. For example, Amon Tobin and I had a seven-year monogamous relationship. My longest yet! I was introduced to Amon Tobin and that was it, I was immediately smitten. I got all the albums I could get my hands on, even going to music stores and paying stupid prices for CDs. Then I found out he orchestrated the soundtrack for the video game Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory so I went and bought the game and borrowed a friend’s video game console and played the game non-stop. It was a bit weird, and not because it was a video game (love those), it just wasn’t my type of video game. I mean this game required stealth. I’m more of the throw myself into a room full of zombies and try to kill as many as I can before they eat my brains out kind of gal. 

Anyways, the point is, all I could do was listen to Amon Tobin, for years nothing else could penetrate the musical tastes of Andrea. Then I just stopped listening. Maybe because his music got weird, ok, I mean more weird. As in too weird I couldn’t even write to it anymore. Or my tastes changed. As they often do.

My tastes tend to go in unexpected directions. Like all of a sudden I give up meat and go vegetarian. Or I give up drinking and start running. Or ditch Amon Tobin and move on to Ellie Goulding. And now I’m in love with Ellie. And everything is about Ellie. I have a huge girl crush on Ellie. Just LOVE her.

And some things just don't differ over time. I do not like live music. So if Ellie comes to town and you buy me a ticket, I will turn around and sell it. Confused? I know. Mostly it is because I don’t like to be in crowds.  I’m just not big on being part of the herd. And then there is the fact I don’t like people being in my personal space. Or random people touching me, or breathing on me. Germs. Lots and lots of germs. It is weird because I do also follow the 5-second rule.

However I have been known to go watch a live show of my favourite artist if they are playing in a club. Where I’m allowed to move around and not be confined to a chair to sit and stare for 90 minutes. One of my best experiences at a show was watching Tricky at some obscure club in downtown Toronto. Where I was close enough to the stage I could feel his sweat hit my face. Apparently, germs aren’t a problem then either.

So even though I love Ellie right now, I won’t go see any of her shows if they are in a stadium. And to be honest, even if she was to play at a local club I probably would make some lame ass excuse to not go to that either. I guess it comes down to, that I love to enjoy music by myself where I can let my imagination flow uninterrupted. I want my own one-sided relationship with the artist. I don’t want them to dictate what I see of them either in a show, a video or an interview. But hey if Ellie ever wants to go for a run sometime, I’m totally up for that!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Day 22: This, my life

--> Warning: this is a more somber blog post, so if you want something more upbeat, may I recommend the December 14, 2013 entry. That one is quite entertaining and some would say even funny.

Recommended Playlist - Day 22

I’m in a transition period and I have been told not to make any serious decisions right now. So I wait. Wait for something to happen. For anything to happen.

October 29, 2013 – I take medical leave from work – I’m exhausted. I couldn’t seem to get out of bed in the morning anymore. It’s not like I woke up one day and this happened, this struggle has been going on for a while. I’m actually not sure how long this depression has been with me. When I picture the trajectory of my depression in my mind’s eye it resembles an urban sprawl. Like looking at Southern Ontario from space. There is no start and no end. The individual cities have lost their distinction; they just bleed into each other. Connective tissue made of concrete highways.

The depression this time is severe. The pain I feel comes from somewhere so deep inside of me it is impossible to abstract. Pain just verberates from my core and hums in my flesh. The only way to take away the pain seems to end my life. And I fight with that irrational thought until I sleep. Sleep is my break from the pain.   

When I’m awake my only respite is running. When I run I meditate. I get lost in the movement of my stride. The mechanics. An intense focus on the body takes me out of my head and out of the pain. When the run ends, I cry, crumpled on the floor.

I want the pain to end, preferably not by having to end my life, so I reach out again to our fragmented medical establishment. The medication is not working. Well something isn’t working. They switch my meds. For days I feel nauseated, I can’t eat and I can’t sleep. The worst of it all is I can barely run. I have no energy.  This is normal when coming off some types of antidepressants.

For the first bit all I do is focus on eating, sleeping, and running. That is all I can do with what little energy I have left. I sleep a lot after the old drug gets out of my system. I have to order food because constructing a meal feels like being asked to come up with a theory for time travel. Impossible. I don’t even know where to begin.

I start seeing a counselor on a weekly basis to help with the cognitive behavioural therapy portion of the treatment. I start seeing my psychiatrist more regularly to tweak my meds. And my GP to discuss my progress and fill out the required paper work.

Slowly I start to regain my energy enough to be able to make meals again. I keep up my regular running schedule. Five runs a week. Sleep is better but not great.

Six weeks later I head back to work on a part-time basis. I worry I’ve come back too quickly. I worry I’ve overestimated my ability to be back amongst my colleagues and be functional. But I’m fine. Overall I’m happy with my decision. I feel engaged at work again. However, there is an undercurrent of fear. I cannot say with absolute certainty that I will be here tomorrow. I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop.

What’s my story? What happened? I actually don’t know what happened. Just that it did. My anal control freak self can barely stand not having an event to blame this episode on. I want so badly to fix it, to fix me. And that’s when I realize there is nothing to fix. This is me. I have depression. All I can do is my best to mitigate the negative effects and get help when I see the warning signs.

So don’t give me advice, don’t tell me what I could or should be doing. I’m doing everything right. I’ve been down here before. This is not my first time. And it won’t be my last.

If you want to show you care, read and learn about depression. Help people who don’t know how to get help.  Smash the stigma.

Get rid of your preconceived notions of depression. And let’s stop hiding behind our poorly constructed facades of normalcy. And maybe if we stop hiding we don’t have to keep living with this pain. And peace doesn’t have to be what we get when we die but perhaps can be achieved when we reach out to each other, in an accepting and non-judgmental manner.  

Anyways, that’s what I’m kind of hoping for right now…So I wait. Wait for something to happen. For anything to happen.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Day 21: How I spend my time on the shortest day of the year

Well it's the first day of winter. This year it falls on a Saturday. Typically this time of year is full of xmas parties and drinking. Well I don't do the latter but I am committed to being social with my friends and family this year because who knows if I will be around for another. I don't mean to be morbid, I mean to be philosophical! I'm just saying when given the chance to show people what they mean to me, I take it because you just don't know when you will be dead. No one knows, so calm down.

So what have I been getting up to today.

5am - woke up to eat breakfast (I need to eat 3 hours before a run in order to digest my food. Yes, one of the downfalls of having slow digestion.)

7:30am - alarm went off. Check text messages to see if Kim (run buddy for today's run) has cancelled and I can go back to bed. She hasn't so I text her, just in case she is meaning to cancel but hasn't gotten around to sending me a text message yet. She's going. I'm up.

8am - outside waiting to start the run. Trying not to take personally this one guy's opinion of me and what I'm doing wrong regarding my plantar fasciitis. He seems to know who I am (I have no idea who he is) but he doesn't know me well otherwise he would know that I have already over analysed the fuck out of my plantar fasciitis. And I have a coach who is way more qualified than anyone, even me, to make decisions about whether or not I should be running. So really this dude needs to shut the fuck up and read my blog already so he knows what he is dealing with.

9am - 50 minutes into my 90 minute run. Just scored a x-mas dinner invite from Kim! I can almost taste the turkey. :)

9:15am - realize the reason that guy pissed me off earlier was because he reminds me of me! Damn that guy for reminding me of all the things I hate about myself!!!

9:40am - run done, now it is social coffee time. Meet other runners at Dolce Vita Coffee Art on Yates. Eat ALL the gingerbread men provided by Judi! Love Judi!

Is this the proper way to chop mushrooms?
10:15am - head home, have shower and go to bed.

12:30pm - wake up from nap and remember I still need to send my Coach my run journal from the week.

2:20pm - Coach beats me to it, emails me next week's schedule.

3:10pm - just finished a back and forth email exchange with my Coach. I'm pretty sure he is happy to be having some holiday time away from my neurotic ass, and would like me to start overcompensating more for my personality by baking him cupcakes.

3:19pm - Just heard from my friend Natasha, she is on her way over to make food with me. We are going to bring food to Erikk and his girlfriend's open house. The plan is to hang out there for a bit then head over to Bard and Banker to meet up with Chris and his crew. Should be an interesting night.

4:14pm - We are making a mushroom quiche. I tried to help by chopping the mushrooms but Natasha said it was ok...
Look what I (Natasha) made!

4:36pm - Natasha tells me that I was supposed to be paying attention to see if she has been following the recipe... So we may be stopping by the Market on Yates to pick up a quiche for the party.

5:28pm - quiche is done! Time to let it cool and head over to Erikk's!

6:04pm - arrive at Erikk's and he doesn't kick me out! Success :) 
Me and Santa hanging out at the tree!

Me hanging w Erikk and Meaghen! 

6:58pm - made a serious dent in the food 

7:39pm - finished my Xmas poem (my gift to Erikk and Meaghen) 

7:44pm - Meaghen and Erikk read my gift to them 

7:53pm - Meaghan and Erikk kick me out

8:33pm - arrive at Bard & Banker to see Chris and his crew 

8:47pm - Chris and I pose for a photo op; the bloggers throwing their shit down 

8:50pm - Natasha and I inadvertently establish a Xmas tradition - if Natasha doesn't throw up it ain't Xmas !

8:53pm - decide to stop blogging and b social w live humans 
Real humans craving my attention...I should go. 

Until tomorrow, over and out :)

Friday, December 20, 2013

Day 20: The sociologist explains love

Today J and I went out for coffee, where I entertained her with my remembrances of last year on this date.

"This time last year I was falling in love." I say as a statement of fact. It always kind of surprises me when I think of the difference in my demeanor when I compare now to last year.

Last year I had energy, I was bouncing off the walls. I was happy, I was ecstatic. Most of that happiness could be attributed to the fact that I could see again out of my left eye. I had a cataract and I was almost completely blind in my left eye. Then I had cataract surgery and I could see again. And not just see I could finally see at night. Which most importantly meant, I could run at night.

So this time last year, I was outside at night running. I was so happy to end the three month stint I had to do on the treadmill. And while I was on my being-able-to-see-again high, I was falling in love with this guy that I had just met.

It was one of those love at first sight things. We literally saw each other across the room and we were hooked. Or as I sometimes like to say, and we were fucked and not in the fun sexy way. It was a completely chemical attraction and it was completely irrational. And in a very real sense it was fucking delusional. And it had the potential to be the most epic love story ever or a bloody disaster. And I was so excited to find out which way it would all work out. You can probably guess which way this all went. The latter, if you are just now tuning in to this blog.

J says "Oh you will fall in love again."

"Oh I know! And I have, remember DH?"

She frowns slightly. She never met DH but she has heard enough about him that no doubt if she met him she would knee him in the balls. (Ok J is too nice to actually do that, but figuratively speaking she would knee him in the balls and hard!) Now, she wouldn't destroy DH's ball sack because he didn't do anything specifically wrong but mostly in the hopes he would disappear from my life forever and I would finally stop talking about him.

"I don't worry about falling in love, I'm always falling in love! Falling in love is the last thing I need to be doing right now." I state in the overly dramatic fashion I'm known for.

Why don't I want to be falling in love? you ask. Because falling in love is giving up control of oneself. It is putting yourself out there and leaving it up to the gods to decide whether things work out or go to shit. And right now I want as much control over my life as I can possibly have. I need control more than anything right now. And when that need passes, which it will, then I will let love in.

I love and I hate falling in love. I feel both ways because of the loss of control. And I know me saying I love losing control may come as a surprise to you because I am an anal control freak about a lot of stuff. And I am and still am anal about all those other things but when it comes to love, I've just learned to not expect to be in control. (Andrea Truism: It is hard to be in control when other people are involved).

In the beginning, love is a form of madness and there is no control when things are crazy. And the more you try to control it the more frustrated you will be so you got to just give in. It is really that simple.

Oh and my absolute favourite with falling in love is when the brain chemicals start firing off making you think all sorts of crazy love crap about the other person.  The only sense of control you can possibly attain from any of this, is the calm you theoretically would get if you lock yourself away in isolation for a few days after seeing the person. But good luck staying away from them. Especially if you have a tendency towards compulsive addictive behaviours. (Umm yeah, that's me.) To remove myself from a person I'm in love with is like taking a junky's heroin away. Yeah, it is not pretty. I'm not exactly hallucinating dead babies crawling on the ceiling but it feels like I'm hallucinating dead babies crawling on the ceiling.

So over the years, I have learned, that the only way for me to control love is to not fall into it in the first place.

"But Andrea! You can't control who you fall in love with!" you will scream at me. And you will be right, technically. However, you do have control when you don't fall in love because you have closed yourself up. You only lose control when you are open to love. When you build the fortress of solitude around you so strong, believe me, love will not get through. I'm doing it now, but I assure you, it is only a temporary construction. I will tear it down after I work through some (unrelated) issues. Until then I'm closed.

So you can take a number but I just couldn't tell you when I will be getting around to calling those numbers out. Or if I will call them at all, because really right now I'm really enjoying my single life devoid of all my addictive behaviours.

And love is one of my favourite addictions but I'm happy to be rid of it right now. The difference between my love addiction and my others is I wouldn't mind taking up love again, eventually and when I'm ready.

Until then, try to hold back your tears of disappointment in my presence...because it is embarrassing for both of us.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Day 19: blogging on the run

10:16am - downloaded google's blogger app to test run blogging on the go

10:17am - at bubby's kitchen for breakfast w my friend Julia - she took the picture (I swear I have real friends not just friends on twitter )
11:10am - yum! Just finished breakfast. Don't think I've ever had a bad meal at bubby's :) would have taken a picture but ate it too quickly! 

12:05pm - dropped by art world for some sketching supplies - need to sketch those running dresses somewhere! 

12:22pm - hanging out at Macchiato waiting for my friend Nancy and her partner Jim - going to celebrate Xmas w/ some coffee 
Macchiato at the Juliet is one of my favourite cafes - ambiance is European - chic and chilled and the americanos are made to perfection by the baristas. 

12:26pm - the photo function on this app is not the most user friendly and no way that I can see to make captions! 

4:02 pm - still at work 
I have a lot of cleaning up to do!

5:30pm - hanging at serious coffee and doing some serious catching up w my friend Maria :) 

6:35pm - Photo bombing at serious coffee! 

6:43pm - Maria is going to teach me how to knit! 

6:49pm - just realized this is the first year that Xmas music hasn't made me want to scrape my ear drums out w an ice cream scoop - cool - I'm sure somewhere in the world that is considered an indicator of above average 
mental health status 

7:28pm - the scarf is two rows in! 

7:38pm - Prima Strada for dinner! 

I will have one of everything please! 

8:28pm - I could get my pizza any time now! #justsaying 

8:31pm - it's like they read my mind!! 

9:00pm - food coma

Day = success 
Blogger app = acceptable 

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Day 18: Reflections on Day 17 - I haven't learned a damn fucking thing!

Ok yeah it's a bit dramatic of a title. Really it should say "I have more work to do on four key self improvement areas." I just thought the other title dragged on a bit. Anyways, now that we have cleared that up, on to the post!

I've been thinking about yesterday a lot this morning and what I have determined is that yesterday was a clusterfuck. And maybe if you saw me yesterday you are confused and are thinking "everything seemed alright to me, you looked great, what's the problem?"

Ok first things first, I always look great. Me looking great is no indicator of anything other than it confirms that you are alive and in current day reality and that you have not slipped into some hell dimension where I do not exist or a hell where I don't look great (shudder!). You will rarely witness the clusterfuck, unless you were lucky enough to be around for any of my dating history. No mostly the clusterfuck is inside my head. So yesterday when you saw me and thought "Oh there is Andrea, she looks great, therefore everything must be super awesome great in her world", you did not have the pleasure of sitting inside my brain because then you would truly realize what a fucking mess I was.

So this clusterfuck made me take stock of what went wrong yesterday, what do I still need to learn.

1. I need to stop taking on so much!

The idea of yesterday before it happened was daunting. The day was to start off with a meeting with my coach, followed by work, a meeting with my team at work, an after work social event for the holidays with work people, followed by a run leaders meeting. Hello Andrea! 7 weeks ago you were so exhausted you could barely function (read couldn't even get out of bed) why the hell are you doing all this crap in the span of less than 12 hours?!

2. I need to remember I am an introvert!

Yes it's confusing to you because I'm very social. But what you don't see is the toll that socializing takes on me. It exhausts the hell out of me. I don't blame you for not seeing it, hell I'm so good at socializing I forget that I'm an introvert sometimes. Unfortunately, the times I forget are usually when I'm agreeing to do stuff because I don't view the commitment in terms of energy. I only view it in terms of time.

So yesterday happened because I agreed to everything over the span of 2 weeks and only looked at the commitments in terms of time not energy.

3. The things you love are just as draining as the things you loathe!

I love running and no doubt thought I could do two running related things and it wouldn't be a big deal because I love running and would enjoy those moments. WRONG! Meeting with my coach is never a wholly enjoyable experience for me. The lead up to our meeting can be excruciating. And some part of this is always due to me obsessing over what I think he is going to think of me. I generally try not to think of the "what ifs" but see my coach is an exception. Let me explain.

See my coach is in an evaluative position, which always makes me a tad neurotic. Anyone who I have given the power to evaluate me (professors, bosses, and now coaches!) just being in their presence makes me a bit squirrelly. I'm always trying to impress on some level and I crave their praise. I'm nowhere near as bad as I was when I was younger, because I am now aware that I do this. And although they don't necessarily hold the power to crush me as they once did, they do hold the power to lift me up. And all it takes is a simple "that was good, Andrea" and I'm happy for days.   

Well this particular meeting was even more obsessive than usual because I didn't really think through the planning part. So I basically wasted a lot of energy over logistics. And then when I finally realized I should just cancel the meeting it was 30 minutes before the start time. So I guilted myself out of cancelling last minute and then found out it would have been ok to cancel. So basically I felt like everyone's time was wasted yesterday morning. And it wasn't like I kept those thoughts to myself, no I had to neurotically share them with my coach.

The thing is my coach kind of knows I'm neurotic and is ok with that. So I don't really need to obsess over what he may or may not be thinking. So I really need to move on! However, my inability to move on makes me realize it isn't really about my coach, this time it really is about me. Basically I've come to realize that I don't like that I'm like that.

Well wait a minute this is good! That even though it felt like yesterday was history repeating itself, I have actually been able to grab something good out of this.  A realization! I don't like myself! Oh wait, that is kind of an awful thing to realize about oneself....

4. I need to learn to accept myself!

Ok yeah I'm a tad neurotic. Very compulsive and obsessive with some things (haha who am I kidding, it is most things). But at the same time I like to think it is done in a very cute and adorable kind of way. And at times it can be hilarious. There definitely needs to be more focusing on the positive of my craziness.  One of my good friends Erikk said it best to me:

"Andrea you are weird. Embrace your weirdness. Some people will love your weirdness and some will not. The ones that don't, don't matter. Fuck em. Get rid of them."

Ok, I may have paraphrased some of that, as I don't think he swears that much. But the point is correct. You should never care what others think, it basically comes down to what you think of yourself.

And sometimes you need to remind yourself of your awesomeness. Even if the way you remind yourself is by writing it in a blog post.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Day 17: Kicking the shit out of writer's block

Writer's blockthe condition of being unable to think of what to write or how to proceed with writing (thank you Oxford Dictionary!)

As any writer will tell you there is no worse feeling than feeling like you can't write. You aren't inspired and your mind is as blank as the page in front of you. It is a damn frustrating experience, especially when under deadline. And I'm pretty sure this exact experience is what drives many writers to drink.

So I'm having a bit of writer's block. And since I'm taking a break from drinking these days, I guess I have to solve this writer's block problem once and for all.

Before when I would get writer's block I would occupy my time doing something else in the hope it would inspire me to start writing. Well usually this strategy did not result in anything being written but it would result in me having a really clean bathroom! 

Through this blog challenge I think I have finally learned what works to get rid of writer's block. It's true, I have discovered the secret. Actually, I have not discovered the secret as I'm not sure it really was a secret to begin with but perhaps just common sense. And no doubt you have heard some variation of the solution before but maybe found it didn't work for you. But perhaps you are like me and were just doing it wrong. Now before I get carried away here let's go back to the beginning.

This is how you beat writer's block:

Just sit down every day and make time for writing and it will come. Basically forming a writing habit begins with establishing the habit of setting aside time to write.

See you have heard this before! And now you are probably cursing my name because this really doesn't work for you!

Well that is because you are doing it wrong!! Didn't I say that already? So stop your cursing and read on.

The next step is figuring out how you form a habit. If you don't know how you do that then you are basically fucked. But you are a writer so you should be able to figure out how you form a habit.

Some people just need to go through the motions enough times and it becomes a habit. Yes those people are like dogs and if you are a writer I doubt that will work for you. Why? Because writer's brains are not like the brains of fucking dogs. Moving on.

You actually need to think about why you are going through the motions. What motivates you to write? For some the pure enjoyment of writing will work, for others that is how they make a living, so paying the bills works as a motivator but for some that isn't always enough.

So dig a little deeper. Come on you are a writer! You can do it! Think about why you do any of the routine things you do. Just stop and think about why you do anything. You will come up with the answer.

For me, it's the competition. That is what motivates me. That is what will make writing become a habit. It already has with this challenge. I sit down every day and make time to write because the thought of letting Chris win a challenge that I proposed is simply unthinkable. And there I found it, the solution to my writer's block. Yours will be different. But you will find your answer eventually, when it is likely ready to be found. And I assure you that you will not be drunk when this solution presents itself.

Now if you are whining while you read this and saying "Well Andrea, you obviously are not as busy as I am, I can't possibly find the time to write."

And I will reply, then you are simply not a writer. You are just someone who wants to write. A writer writes. Just like a runner runs. There are no excuses. You just make the time.

Look I love running and I am a runner. And guess what, some days I am fucking busy, so busy that the only time I can run is early. And believe me when I say I am not a morning person. But I get up at 5 am on those days and I run. Because I am a runner.

It is the same with the writer. Writers don't ask themselves if they will write today they ask themselves when can they write today.

So there you have it the solution to writer's block. So stop reading my awesome blog and go write some of your own awesomeness :)

Monday, December 16, 2013

Day 16: WTF Homeland?

Six weeks ago I came across the show Homeland. If you have been living under a rock (such as myself) and have never heard of this show, it is basically a political thriller about the CIA. And very popular, so I've been told.

The show just finished its third season (season finale was yesterday) and what a fucking let down. In the show's defense I don't know how it could have gone any other way. Let me explain. Spoiler alert just in case you are wondering.

Season one starts with Brody, a marine who has been a POW the past 8 years returning home to America. Of course as a war hero. Carrie (played amazingly by Claire Daines) is a CIA operative who believes Brody has been turned and goes above and beyond to prove it (as in does a bunch of illegal shit to prove she is right). The only other person worth mentioning in first season is Saul, basically serves as Carrie's mentor. And you have no idea whose side that guy's on. First season was crazy awesome heavy emphasis on the crazy. Actually the crazy stays the whole way through. But I digress...

When I first started the show I just didn't know what to think, is this pro-America bullshit or something critical of that. I've decided over the course of the three seasons it is just apolitical. I think you could make a case either way, but you would be stretching it, the show is very ambiguous that way. So I gave up trying to figure it out and tried to just enjoy the show for what it is, an excellent political thriller.

So the first season you are seriously trying to figure out if Carrie is right, is Brody a terrorist or is Carrie just crazy. Oh and just to make it extra complicated, Brody picked up the Muslim faith while he was overseas (OMG! He is so a terrorist right??!!) and Carrie, well she is just bipolar (OMG!! She is so crazy!!!). And guess what? She is off her meds!! (OMG!! She is totally crazy!!! Brody is so not a terrorist!). Interesting that we tend to think in dichotomies, when really both could be right.

Kudos to the writers of the first season, there was nothing that happened that I could have predicted up until the very end. And I'm just going to say that it is impossible to sit still for that finale episode! You are so full of anxiety over what is happening. It is fucking nuts. It was brilliant really. And it left me pissed off at the end. And I was pissed off for days about it!! Which is great too because if your show can evoke that kind of response out of me, then it is pretty damn good, usually I just don't care.

And speaking of not caring. That was exactly how I felt with the season three finale. Wow, I so didn't care anymore about these characters. One of them dies and I'm like meh, whatever. So anti-climatic. I would have been ok with the humdrum of this episode if it was just tying up lose ends because it was the series finale. But that's not the case, it is coming back for season four! I know why because it is popular and people like it! And apparently when people like something that means producers throw all logic out the window.

Because let's face it. I was impressed they made it into season three with some semblance of believability. Because seriously people, Brody should have been so killed off last season! For reals! But no he lived, which I can only assume was to play a love interest to Carrie. And what a strange and interesting relationship they had, so I guess it was kind of worth keeping him alive awhile longer to see how that played out. I'm still not sure what happened there.

So season three ends with a very pregnant Carrie (carrying Brody's child) and some serious societal pressure for her to keep the baby and still work. Sound familiar moms of the world??!! In fact everyone seemed to be so offended that Carrie might give up the baby for adoption I was laughing. I was like seriously?? This woman lies and plots to kill people for a living but her giving up a baby for adoption that is the offensive part? And I think maybe that is the brilliance of this show.

The show depicts a very ridiculous side of human nature in a very intelligent way.  The show basically shows us the propaganda we believe in order to live with ourselves. Whether we believe killing is alright when it is in the context of national security or the most meaningful thing a woman will ever do is raise a baby of her own-it's all bullshit. We just believe what we do so we can keep living. Although I'm not sure what we are living for is worth saving. And that's why I say WTF.

And yes I will watch season four.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Day 15: Bonus Point Round - the numinous world of Andrea

In typical Andrea fashion, I suggested (impulsively) that one of the blog posts in the blog a day ‘til Xmas challenge should be about the word numinous. The idea came to me via my twitter newsfeed. Someone had posted the word numinous and its definition and I thought “Yeah that word sounds cool we should write about that”. I retweeted to Chris and he agreed. Chris suggested we write about this on the 15th day and that is how we got to here.

So I went back to the original tweet to remind myself what the hell I was supposed to be writing about today.  According to what was tweeted this is the definition of the word.

numinous (adj.) describing an experience that makes you fearful yet fascinated, awed yet attracted-the  powerful, personal feeling of being overwhelmed and inspired.

The more I thought about this definition the more I thought something was off. Fearful yet fascinated? Awed yet attracted? Really? There was too much alliteration in the definition that it could not possibly be the actual definition. And of course the reference for said definition was:  English Origin Latin |

Yeah, so basically this definition is someone’s interpretation of the word. So for comparisons sake I thought maybe I would check out a dictionary and see what it had to say. So I surfed my way over to Oxford as I heard they knew a little something about the definitions of things.

Oxford defines numinous as:

having a strong religious or spiritual quality; indicating or suggesting the presence of a divinity: the strange, numinous beauty of this ancient landmark.

And then I thought I best get a second opinion as who knows what the fuck you are reading these days. So I surfed over to Merriam-Webster because I heard they make dictionaries too.

Merriam-Webster defines numinous as follows: 

supernatural, mysterious;
filled with a sense of the presence of divinity: holy;
appealing to the higher emotions or to the aesthetic sense: spiritual.

So basically, from what I can tell from the two dictionary definitions and other-wordly’s take, is the latter seems to be defining her/his own sense or presence of divinity. For example, if one was to have a divine experience they would feel fearful yet fascinated, awed but attracted.

Having never had this experience I can’t really say whether or not it is accurate. However, I have heard many people describe their experiences with me as such. So actually come to think of it, I have had this experience! Every day when I look in the mirror! So yes, I’ve changed my mind, other-wordly’s take on numinous appears to be absolutely accurate.  

Bonus Point Round Complete :)

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Day 14: December 14th - A history of war, natural disasters, alliances, invasions…Happy Birthday Mum!

Yes, today is my mum’s birthday. So before you get all on my ass about how I should be spending the day with her instead of writing in my blog consider these two points. First, of course I’m going to write in my blog, there is a competition underway and I’m going to win! And second, my mum isn’t even in the same country as me right now so I can’t hang out with her.

My parents embarked on their annual pilgrimage to warmer surroundings at the beginning of December and won’t be back until the sun decides to grace us with its presence again in the spring. And I will have you know that I gave my mum a birthday card before she left and sent her a birthday text message today with birthday cakes, balloons, hearts and smiley face emojicons, so there.

Also I’m mentioning her in my blog and am kind of writing this very post about her birthday so that is kind of the best present anyone could hope for really. So if anything she should be honored to be one of the central figures of this post and you should be ashamed for suggesting I don’t love my mum enough to even acknowledge her on her birthday!

If history truly is the final judge of us, then this is what I think will be said about my mum. She was either a very lucky woman or a very patient woman, after all she did have me to raise. Personally I would say she was lucky, others would say patient (but only if they don’t believe patience is a genetic trait) and others think this is a trick question. Even though this is not actually a question I’m merely just thinking about my mum and subsequently writing such musings down into this post (do I need to direct your attention to the title of this blog again??!!).

Anyways, as I was thinking of my mum and history, the thought process went something like this:
·      It’s mum’s birthday today
·      I wonder why she hasn’t replied to my text message yet
·      Probably because she is out getting drunk somewhere, I mean it is her birthday after all, and don’t normal people get drunk and stuff on their birthdays
·      Yes that’s it, she is too drunk to reply to me right now
·      How many more days do I have to write posts for, it’s December 14…
·      Wow, math feels super overwhelming right now
·      I wonder what other crazy shit happened on this day in history?!

So naturally, I turned to Google and searched December 14. Found the Wikipedia entry (of course!). And guess what? As I suspected a bunch of crazy shit did happen on this day in history.

For example, lots of significant milestones in the history of war happened, such as, the French Invasion of Russia ended. Napoleon had led that effort and he was crazy, some would argue. Also, there seemed to be lots of events that were the consequences of being involved in war, such as Russia getting tossed out of The League of Nations because they invaded Finland.

Yeah I found it interesting too that Russia was mentioned a lot on December 14th throughout history.

However, some other stuff happened that resulted in the deaths of a lot of people but didn’t have to do with Russia. Unless of course you believe in communist conspiracy theories then maybe these next events were caused by Russia: earthquakes, floods, bursting dams, and torrential rains.

I always find it fascinating that the majority of our history centers on death and yet people seem surprised of all the violence that goes on in our society. Seriously though, perhaps the first step to a more peaceful existence would be for us to remember something other than the mass killings of people either through natural or unnatural means. Just saying.

The other interesting thing was as I went through the list of events that happened on December 14th I only remembered two of them. What can I say, I’m not really a history person, as in I suck at remembering dates. So much in fact, I have actually forgotten my birthday. True story.

Anyways, in 2008, this was the day Muntadhar al-Zaidi threw his shoes at then President Bush during a press conference. Remember that? That was awesome. Remember the cute little video game it inspired where every time you threw your shoes at George W and an audio clip of al-Zaidi would play (translated into English apparently he says “This is a farewell kiss from the Iraqi people, you dog”). One of the few events that made me smile during all that bullshit.

The other event I remembered is not so smile worthy. It happened last year. It was the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. Just depressing really, actually would have liked to forget that one. Although, it does kind of back up my point previously that violence begets violence. But I will spare us of any more talk on that in this post after all Michael Moore’s Bowling for Columbine said it best. Also, and most importantly, it’s my mum’s birthday! This post really should contain lighter subject matter.

Just received a text from my mother. Turns out she was not out getting drunk somewhere. She was at the spa. That was my other guess. She is also having a very lovely birthday and I’m sure that has nothing to do with the fact that she is not spending it with me. Or reading this post but just in case she is: Happy Birthday Mum!! Hope your day is free of shoes to the head and tragedy!!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Day 13: The 5 truths I learned on my run today

So this morning around 9am I went for my run.

This was the prescribed workout for today:  

: 20' easy + 5 x 1' at 5:15(ish) pace [1' easy] + 15' easy

I'm just going to say that I was so tired going into this run for a variety of reasons that I didn't feel very optimistic about reaching the 5:15(ish) pace my Coach wanted me to aim for.

Started my run off way too fast.

Truth #1: I still need to work on starting off slow.

My easy pace is supposed to be around 6-6:15 min/km. I clocked my first km at 5:45 and that was even with me stopping to take off my jacket because I was too hot. No shit I was hot I was running at a ridiculous pace to even possibly be considered my easy pace right now. It saddens me a bit to think that last year this time this would have been my easy pace...but I'm going to stay positive knowing that I will get back there eventually.

Truth #2: I can be positive if I remember to put my mind to it.

When I got to the speed portion of this run all I can say is I hope 5:15(ish) can be interpreted as somewhere between 4:45 and 5min because that's what I did. I was kind of surprised that I ran as fast as I did because I felt tired the whole time. And it was a type of tired where I thought my speed would be decreasing over the workout but in fact it actually increased. 

Truth #3: When I'm tired I am not very good at gauging my pace.

Somewhere during the speed portion of this run my plantar fasciitis flared up.  It flared up so bad that after the speed part I decided to walk a bit. I decided to take a stroll through Ross Bay Cemetery. I really like it in there. The smell of pine needles were really pungent today and it almost felt like I was off in the woods somewhere instead of smack dab in the middle of Victoria. It also helped take my focus off the pain in my foot as I focused instead on the beauty of my surroundings.

Truth #4: I'm getting better at being able to be in the moment.

The rest of my run felt alright but man do I produce a lot of mucus! It was a bit less mucus today than previous days and I was moderately successful at spitting some of the mucus out of me; both of which are wins if you are me. If you run with me you know about the mucus. I tell everyone about the mucus.

Truth #5: Neti Pot twice a day actually does help in reducing my mucus.


Thursday, December 12, 2013

Day 12: Rant - how not to gain weight over the holidays

On the 12th day of Advent there was a rant. A rant is defined as: “to speak or declaim extravagantly or violently; talk in a wild or vehement way; rave”. This rant will be about weight gain over the holidays. It will not be offensive to some it will be offensive to many. These types of posts are why I have a disclaimer on this blog.

So for the love of Jebus, if you get offended easily or not so easily and are super sensitive about your weight or the holidays PLEASE skip this post!!!
Photo Credit: Baked Perfection

You have been warned…
Yes it is holiday time, which means an influx of articles on how to not gain weight over the holidays. I don’t know what makes the holidays so special, as in the Christmas holidays. As far as I can tell this over eating and indulgence seems to happen every holiday, even the non-holidays like St. Patty’s day. Actually who am I kidding it’s pretty much an every day thing here in North America.

“But Andrea there are way more sweets around Christmas!” people have whined at me.

And all I can say is you obviously have never worked in an office before because you are constantly dodging sweets at every turn. Someone somewhere in that office building is either having a birthday, getting married, having a baby, getting a new job, retiring, etc., Basically there are no shortage of excuses to make a cake for. In my last area we used to have desserts every Friday and on random days just because they thought if we were high on sugar we wouldn’t mind so much being understaffed and overworked.
Photo Credit: Cupcakes Are My New Love

Hell! I used to bring baked goods to meetings where I wanted something out of people in the hopes they would put less of a fuss up if I ply them with sugar. You know what it works.

Sugar is like crack only legal.

Don’t believe me. Try hanging around someone who is trying to come off sugar. Man they can be assholes!

Still don’t believe me, I challenge you to go off sugar for 2 weeks. Actually I challenge you to go off it for 3 days. Yeah only 3 days. And I bet you can’t do it.

Oh what? You think you can do that? Well before you get all cocky and sure of yourself (like I would if I was reading this-also do remember that you are reading this post because of me being all cocky and sure of myself in the first place) go into your kitchen and read the ingredients on the labels of your food. You will be surprised at how much sugar is added needlessly to things. For example, why would you add sugar to yogurt that already has fruit in it? There is already sugar in fruit!!!! Sorry but that pisses me off.

“Andrea you shouldn’t let things piss you off so much.”

Seriously? I shouldn’t should I?? [caution rant starting]

Well let me tell you why it pisses me off so much. Because all this added sugar makes people fat and fat people get annoying when they start harassing me about my weight. Yes I have a normal weight and you are harassing me because you are fat and lazy. This is what kind of fucked up stupid world we live in, a world that adds sugar to things that already have natural sugar in them!!

Photo Credit: My Baking Addiction
No I’m not done ranting yet…

Why do you harass me about my normal weight? Is it because you can’t wrap your puny little mind around the fact that in order to lose weight you have to actually burn more calories than what you consume? And guess what? You don’t burn a heck of a lot of calories when the only exercise you do is walk the three minutes from your car to the office where there you proceed to sit on your fat ass all day and eat cake to celebrate some bullshit like daylight savings time. Yay let’s celebrate that extra hour by eating more sugar and getting fatter!!  

I swear fat makes people stupid because these same people see me coming back from the gym or a run practically every day. And I’m not one of those lame ass people who say they are going to work out and then you find them texting on the treadmill the whole time. Yeah no I actually work out, for reals. Hill sprints!!! I do fucking hill sprints people!!! And these people cannot understand how I’m not fat like them. I must be sick or something or better yet maybe I have an eating disorder. Yeah I have an eating disorder it’s called I don’t eat the same crap like you do. So telling me I can afford to eat cake every time you do because I’m skinny is bullshit. I look this way because I don’t eat that crap every fucking day!!! And I run 5 fucking days a week!! Every week of the year! There are no holidays from running!!

Photo Credit: For The Love of Cake
And don’t say to me you don’t want to deprive yourself of things, so you will never give up sugar. Because then you aren’t really living. Well you keep up your lifestyle you won’t be living very long. Look, you don’t have to give sugar up just don’t eat it every bloody day!! It’s not like I don’t eat sugar occasionally because I do, just put me in a room with cupcakes…yummy cupcakes and you will see what I mean. The thing is I don’t eat it every day!!

So stop blaming the holidays for your weight gain. Blame yourself. Because the holidays aren’t to blame, you are. After all Christmas Day does not bake cupcakes, you do. So stop the whining and take personal responsibility for yourself. And no more yogurt with sugar added to it!!!

Ok, rant complete.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Day 11: What happens when I make dinner

 The time is 8:26pm and I am just getting around to making dinner. I’m going to make one of my favourite meals, which also serves as good run fuel: a black bean red lentil quinoa dish.

I’m not sure if I’m in a calorie deprived state anymore as I filled up on cupcakes after my run – tempo followed by 30 second hill sprints times 12. The run was awful in an awesome kind of way. Mostly because I was seriously calorie deprived going into it and the run was at 5:30pm. After the run I ended up at a local run store's customer appreciation night. 50% off clothing meant I left with a new Moving Comfort Jacket and a belly full of cupcakes. Now back to making dinner.

Tasty black bean red lentil quinoa dish!
Forgot to do dishes the night before so I’m going to do that first. Only because I need two pots and one of them is dirty and instead of just cleaning the one pot I feel the need to clean everything. Can you say OCD? Actually before I wash the dishes I can get the quinoa started.

Quinoa is on the stove waiting to boil. I’m going to make 2 cups of cooked quinoa (1 cup dried, 2cups water, bring to a boil and simmer for approximately 12-14 minutes).

 I should warn you, just in case you haven’t figured it out yet, I am seriously going to take you through the whole process of me cooking dinner tonight. Some of you may suggest that I am struggling to come up with content for my blog posts, so if you have any content ideas please suggest it already!! We can’t let Chris win!!

Personally I think this post is pretty awesome as it gives great insight into what I do on a typical night. Just in case you were wondering. Or were somehow under the delusion that my life is a life full of debauchery. I assure you those days of cocaine and naked hot tub orgies are over. That is so Andrea version 1.0. 

Now to wash dishes! The thought of washing dishes always seems so daunting despite the fact that whenever I wash dishes it takes less than 5 minutes of my time.  

8:35pm - Why hasn’t someone come up with a pot that whistles at you when it starts boiling? You know like a kettle. Then I can stop checking the pot every 30 seconds to see if it has started boiling yet!

8:38pm – finally the quinoa has started boiling!

8:40pm – dishes done!

Now to start on the rest of the meal. Fuck I’m starving I need to snack on something and it can’t be cupcakes, even though I brought a bunch home with me just for that purpose. I think I will settle on carrots and almonds.

I like to sauté garlic, mushrooms and red peppers (high in vitamin C) in 2 tablespoons of coconut oil first. The beauty of this dish is you can use whatever vegetables you want.

The runner’s diet should be mostly an anti-inflammatory diet. So this dish is mostly centered on that. Check out the website Eat 2 Run for more details.

8:52pm – quinoa is pretty much done and now I’m cooking up the rest. Thinking about the hill sprints today. They kind of flared up my plantar fasciitis, which is why I should be following more of an anti-inflammatory diet to help reduce those flare-ups. Can you guess what is not in the diet?? You guessed it, cupcakes! And neither are gingerbread people.

Awesome powdered ginger!
After I sauté the vegetables I will add in some turmeric, ginger and cayenne spices. I don’t really measure this but I would say probably a teaspoon or 2 of each. It really depends on you and your tastes.

For ginger I go for the powdered stuff and forget about the fresh stuff. I can never get through the ginger fast enough when it’s fresh.

Next I will add Kale! If you run or just want to be healthy add Kale to everything you possibly can. Since I’ve started having it every day I haven’t gotten sick. Kale consumption and good health are likely just strongly correlated, so don’t confuse with causation. Also people who eat kale are likely healthier in every other aspect of their life. Wow! This sociology shit just doesn’t die does it!

9:03pm – the time of night I would have liked to have been eating at. For quicker results I recommend not writing a blog post concurrently with cooking.

I think it's starting to boil!
9:10pm – added the lentils. Normally I would use ¾ cup but there was only a bit left in the bag so I added that too. Added the purple potatoes as well (6 small ones – cut into small pieces). You save time by boiling the potatoes in with the lentils instead of cooking them separately. Add a bunch of water so it covers everything in the pot and wait for it to boil. Once it starts boiling it will take about 10-20 minutes to cook. I like to set the timer at this point because I will forget about the food. And yes, if I were elderly I would likely be diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment.

At some point when it is close to being done I will add in the black beans (probably only half the can). And then just let the flavours meld together for about 5 minutes.

9:15pm – Chris tweets his blog post on twitter! Damn that Chris, now I really have to publish this crap!

9:17pm – tweet back at Chris “Egad! The #writing is going but I don’t know if I would say it’s going well…Damn you for not quitting!!”

9:18pm – still not boiling yet

Cocky gingerbread snowman!
9:19pm – turned element up to high instead of below medium where it was previously at – FYI If you want things to boil faster turn up the heat. Just saying.

9:20pm – Some of the gingerbread peoples got out of their bag. I should punish them by biting off their heads!

9:21pm – turns out it is a gingerbread snowman… “Off with his head!!”

9:22pm – ate the rest of the gingerbread snowman

9:24pm – food is starting to boil – turning up the heat really did help! Now that it’s boiling I turn the heat down to medium and let it boil there for about 10 minutes and then I will check on it again. You may need to add more water or wait another 5 minutes at check in.

Headless gingerbread snowman!
9:31pm – thinking about my run coach and wondering if our meeting next week will go well. I’m hesitating on finalizing the time. I think I’m just nervous because he will be evaluating my stride to see if there has been any improvement since he first started working with me.

9:33pm – checked food, turned heat down. It looks almost done. I will test it by eating one of the potatoes. I figure it takes the lentils approximately the same amount of time to cook as the potatoes. I base this on previous cooking adventures. Or I pretend to at least.

9:34pm – not bad. But wait!! I almost forgot to add the black beans!

9:38pm – decided to add the whole can. Why not? I’m hungry and I need all the protein I can get. I’m going to give it 5 more minutes.

The real reason I make so much food is for leftovers. I love cooking but not all the bloody time! This should yield me about 4 fair sized meals.   

9:42pm – smells so good!!! While I wait, I do some stretches. My hip flexors are sore! Damn hill sprints!

9:45pm – food is ready to eat! I wouldn’t recommend eating this late at night especially if you have to run early the next day. However, it is a rest day for me tomorrow, so it’s all good.

Bon Appétit!!