after getting into a routine that looks like this:
i decided to live it up this past weekend by eating dairy and not working out.
and i feel... bad.
bad bad bad.
which is good because that means physically, on the whole, i'm feeling... better?
yep, the green monster and farmers market are my friends.
i've been working out at the rec center while b goes to swim team and i've found that i (with the help of lady gaga and britney) can pack a good little workout into 45 minutes. i feel so much better than i did a month ago, have an easier time waking up (this is a long running problem for me) and am more physically and emotionally resilient when my body feels healthy, which is great considering the stress my emotions are under.
this is all obvious, right?
well it's hot like the fires of hades right now and that kind of weather puts me in a bad mood or, as the lovely meg put it, turns me into a terrible person. when i'm terrible i'm far less likely to take the time to be nice to myself and a catch 22 situation is born. so here are the little things i'm doing to keep my head in the right place:
mini yoga sessions whenever i need them
kale/spinach/fruit/flaxseed/ice "green monster"
arugula just, like, all the time
little prayers of thanks
meditation on my goals
i've also taken to making my own dressing (usually evoo, ginger, tamari, whatever fresh herb i have on hand, raw honey and sometimes even a little flaxseed meal whipped up in the food processor) to pour over my salad and steamed veggies, and some variation on the super healthy cookie crumble found at the bottom of this post. (meg is getting a lot of love in this post. maybe because her blog so often inspires me to be healthy.) both are delicious and make me feel like i'm pigging out.
i grew up on boxed mac n cheese, canned vegetables, ramen noodles and water only if it was added to a sugary drink mix - the diet of a latchkey kid. but i was also a dancer and learned to be very in tune with my body, especially as a teenager. my physical and emotional (spiritual?) beings have always been deeply connected, and i'm still walking the long, confusing path toward properly aligning them. it's never really been a goal for me as much as a journey that began when i became vegetarian at age 10.
i still eat handfuls of my son's popcorn at the movies just because it's there and have homer simpson-esque daydreams about the vegetarian poutine i devoured in toronto, but i try in the day-to-day to spend time picking out and preparing healthy food and taking care of myself.
i may be the last person in my generation to embrace the e-reader (it will never happen) and i may mourn the death of the handwritten letter, but i do worship at the alter of steve jobs for making my life more organized.
I was in the worst mood yesterday (oh, you couldn't tell?), mostly mad that I'd missed chances to see friends who are leaving town and moving. I felt so isolated as I was slaving away over my thesis and now I'm back here with nothing much to do but still find that I'm always missing my friends. Wah wah, right? I threw a pity party and then realized how stupid it was and am over it.
Bright side: I had a great time bonding with B all weekend, even if he was sick for much of it. We got out of the house a bit to explore Anthropologie (he says he hated it but he was just as into sorting through all the little door knobs and handles as I was), Barnes and Noble and Central Market. It's so hot here, sometimes you just have to go into air conditioned places and browse. We watched lots of movies, cooked meals together and hung out. These days that we're getting to spend together are so precious to me.
I'm resolving to not let my lack of money dictate my mood so much. I'm better than that. I'm resolving to take care of my body and mind a little better, sleep more. So let it be written, so let it be done.
I was going to see a Cubism exhibit at the Modern.
I was going to eat raw.
I was going to see one of my best friends and help him move.
I was going to go to the Modern Dance Film Festival and finally see a film I've been dying to see for a year.
I was going to cap the week off with a vegan meal at Spiral Diner, my favorite restaurant.
I was going to spend time with my friends James and Amy.
I spent my week never catching up on work.
I haven't seen Taso other than at Harry Potter, much less any of my other friends.
I spent my weekend taking care of a stomach-sick boy.
I cleaned up throw up for hours on end.
I haven't slept in three days.
I am not in the best of spirits. I have this picture of the life I would like, you see. It's not very complicated but it involves being able to follow through with plans and have friends. There is a little more sleep, a lot more leaving the house, a space of my own and a modest living with which to pay bills and afford gas. I am pretty sure if I had these I would be better equipped to handle things like stomach bugs that keep my son up all weekend. I feel like I'm constantly apologizing anymore. "I'm sorry I can't get away, I can't hang out, this or that came up and I have to cancel. Sorry I'm distracted/stressed out/grumpy..."
So, okay. It's a new week and I'm going to recommit myself to not sucking, even though sometimes life sucks.
Despite having no real interest of his own in Harry Potter, Taso not only caught up on all six previous movies just for my sake (and B's) but he also camped out ALL DAY while I worked in order to get us the best possible spots to a double feature of Deathly Hallows Part 1 and, of course, Part 2. He brought his computer to the movie theater and worked on his comp exam (the thing that will get him a Masters from NYU) while fangirls dressed up as wizards geeked out around him.
He's a good man, you guys.
We got lucky finding a theater that had Part 1 and 2 together in 2D (3D is such rubbish) and we did end up with perfect seats. I'd already seen Part 1 but it was fun to see how they fit together. Part 2 was a fan's movie through and through, with all the iconic moments of the last book celebrated and gratuitous shots of the main characters and Hogwarts. It was gut wrenching and wonderful and I cried more than a grown woman should ever cry in a children's movie. It's truly one of my favorite stories (not movies, mind you, stories) - sad, beautiful and far more complicated than it lets on.
Also, I LOVE this Jezebel article about the female characters in Harry Potter. JK Rowling is an awesome lady.
Came, saw, loved. Old fashioned movie making in the best possible way. So full of joy! Will be in my Top 10, no doubt.
2. Tree of Life
No one responded to my Tree of Life post, but I do hope people see it. I think it will prove to be a very important film, and that there is something very personal for everyone to be found in it. I had a discussion about it with my friends James and Amy the other day, and was happy to find that they were as moved (and impressed) as I was but in different ways. Do let me know if you see it and what your thoughts are.
3. Conan O'Brien Can't Stop
Holy crap this documentary wore me out. I don't know how he does it, honestly. I know he makes millions and all that, but if I had to talk to that many people I would probably go into shock and never leave my house again. Taso aptly renamed it Conan O'Brien: Professional Mingler. Still, it loses some points in my book for making me like Conan less than I did going in. By the end I was kind of tired of hearing him complain when that lifestyle is so obviously his choice.
4. Cars 2
Bleh. Pixar's first real miss in my opinion. Taso and B liked it... I felt like it dragged on for 5,000 hours and made no sense, but I'm sure it will make lots of money. Everyone in our theater thought Mater was hilarious. *super dramatized eye roll*
Maya Rudolph and Kristin Wiig join Tina Fey and Amy Poehler in my "who I want to be when I grow up" club, and I think Maya Rudolph, in particular, is a great actress. I almost wish there had been less romantic comedy and just focused on the friend story, because it was so good on its own. Obviously I also love seeing so many funny ladies in leading roles.
6. Dogtooth, Lanthimos (2009)
This is my Netflix recommendation for the summer. Yes, it's old news but it's on Netflix Instant now and is an excellent change of pace from the big budget productions you'll see at the theater. It's totally messed up, and I'm still not sure if it was funny or dramatic, but it will stick with you. I loved it.
Still to see:
Bad Teacher Hanna (I was so excited to see this for months before it was released but, sadly, it opened in the midst of thesis hell and I missed its run in theaters. I'll have to find the Blu-ray when it comes out.) X-Men: First Class
I just can't make myself sit through Transformers 3. I love going to popcorn movies in the summer and like my share of terrible movies, but this series is just too disheartening for me. I'm genuinely not interested in anything else that's out right now. I'm actually not even very interested in the X-Men movies anymore, but I grew up such a fan of the comics/cartoons and feel a bit obligated.
What have you seen? It's so hot in Texas that I want to live in the movie theater, so please share your recommendations. And finally, let's not forget...
My first thought, as we settled into two corner seats in the back row of the theater (because there were no other choices), was how happy it makes me to see so many people turn out for a Woody Allen movie on a Thursday night in Dallas. If I'm being honest, Midnight in Paris is a movie so up my alley that there's no way for me to not be biased, but I did go into it not knowing anything about the plot and being underwhelmed with Woody Allen's recent work -- so maybe that leveled the playing field a bit.
As a little reading around this blog will tell you, I'm something of an old soul. I love music, movies and fashion from a time long before mine (1939 to be exact). In college I studied British Lit: Wordsworth through Yeats and I've read far more classics than modern literature. I got a Masters degree in preserving old films and was roommates with someone who, I'm pretty sure, actually thinks she was born at the turn of the 20th century. I think we all have a little bit of that longing for an idealized time before our own (maybe most people on a more rational level) and, apparently, Woody Allen would agree with me. The message in Midnight in Paris is so simple and straightforward that it seems a little silly at first, but that's what's so beautiful about it. It uses a fun premise and simple love story to lay out universal truths, and never tries to excuse the fact that we're watching a modern Hollywood writer drive off in a streetcar with F. Scott Fitzgerald or give Luis Buñuel the idea for The Exterminating Angel (I like imagining that he makes it much later in his career because he finally figures out why they can't leave the dinner).
From the very first shot and line of dialogue I was reminded of what a fantastic writer Woody Allen is. The dialogue is perfect, the story is engagingly paced and the actors are used for their strengths. Rachel McAdams is so good at giving warmth and depth to awful, one-dimensional characters, and Owen Wilson's Gil reminded me of a grownup Dignan (from Bottle Rocket, his best character ever in my opinion). The gratuitous shots of Paris (I spent the first five minutes of the film swooning myself to death) and Marion Cotillard's face never got old. Instead they helped us see Paris the way Gil does -- romantic, alluring, beautiful, almost too perfect.
I know it's a very American movie (most of the modern characters don't even like being in France and those who do see it through an idealized American perspective), but it made me feel like there's no shame in romanticizing the city a bit. In conclusion, I want to go to Paris right now. And I want a time machine. Swinny, any progress in that department yet? Oh, and I want to go to the Woody Allen school of dialogue writing.
Who else has seen/been swept off their feet by this lovely movie?
Dallas pizza just can't compare with New York. It just can't. We sampled some of the best tonight but, after experiencing Brooklyn pizza, I am forever ruined. Regardless, I still polished off a pie and thoroughly enjoyed conversation with my favorite conversation partner. His skateboard street cred was in full effect and I successfully wore my white Betsey Johnson skirt (of 25th birthday fame) for the first time. We were quite the pair. Afterward we saw Midnight in Paris, which was just absolutely wonderful. I'll give it its own post, because you don't just haphazardly toss a Woody Allen masterpiece in with your Instagram pictures and date night stories, do you?
Of all the fun we had tonight, I think I liked the drive downtown best. I'm more than a little uncomfortable being back in this city, so we brainstormed and talked about the future. It's such a relief to spend my days with someone who doesn't pressure me or argue, who knows me and reads me well, and listens to what I have to say. It wasn't always this way and I don't take it for granted. I felt beautiful tonight, pretty and confident, full of hope and optimism -- the way I felt on our first date nearly four years ago. The way you should feel on a date!
I had a quiet, contemplative morning yesterday. I spent a lot of time thinking about how we end up in the lives and roles that we do. How I ended up a white women in the United States with the freedom to choose religion, have a family or not, pursue whims and dreams, work hard at one thing or another of my choosing, have a political voice... I owe the comfort and promise of my life to many people who came before my time who believed in freedom and equality, and sacrificed their lives for progress. I know in my heart that being born into this country (that I admittedly so often dream of leaving for a more remote lifestyle abroad) has been a huge blessing. I felt very humbled to have so much freedom. I remember learning about how humans organize themselves in poli-sci in college, about the nature of man and how we construct governments. While I am often discouraged by things like Sarah Palin and that same sex marriage isn't recognized in the state I now live in, I do feel very lucky to live in a country in which women can run for president, gay people have a voice and change is possible. That was a humbling thought, and it made me feel a bit more grateful to be celebrating with people I love around me.
We went to two pool parties this year, one with family - lots of kids, baseball in the yard - and one with friends - aging skateboarders, explosives. B and I were the awkward vegetarians at the barbecue, as per usual, but we had a great time. He hasn't gone to sleep as easily as he did last night in a long time.
Put a bunch of skateboarders together, give them a lighter, beer and some cheap fireworks and you get: exploding hacky sack, setting an entire pack of sparklers on fire and jumping into the pool with it, holes burned into t-shirts, etc.
We played dice and listened to fireworks go off around us (Taso and I got to see a big fireworks show the night before - see below), then went home to tuck B in bed and curl up on the couch watching House Hunters International because we were too exhausted for Battlestar Gallactica. I was happy for the simple life we have, that we don't drink but still have fun at parties, that we have the raddest friends and family, that we are just as happy watching HGTV on the couch as anything else. I hope you all had a happy 4th of July too!