Thursday Things

1. Three cheers for not having to go to work tomorrow! I wasn’t entirely sure whether I’d get Friday off for the Fourth, but it turns out my office will be closed, and I am oh-so happy. I have a feeling it’s going to be a really low key weekend for me…and by “low key” I mean “lonely.” Well, maybe not “lonely” so much as “alone.” I don’t feel like organizing anything, so unless someone actively tries to organize something with me, I’m probably not going to do anything. (I realize this sounds like a passive cry for someone to be like, “Oh my gosh, Bethany, you should come do this with me and these other people!” That’s really not what I’m going for here, to be clear.) Although I may finally get around to ordering patio furniture for my deck and porch, because if I want to make my dreams of having breakfast on my porch come true, I should probably have something other than a concrete floor to sit on.

2. Last Saturday, I went out with my best friend and a bunch of his other friends, since it was his last weekend in town until September (*cue sobbing*). I had an ENORMOUS writeup on this experience all blogged out, and then WordPress ate my Thursday Things draft, so now the exhaustive recap of the night is gone. BOO. Instead, you get the highlight reel.

Major Life Moment #1: The cat no longer hates me.

cat

My best friend’s roommate got this cat…I don’t even know. Sometime in early 2014. Like all cats, it started as a wonderful, delightful kitten, and then, tragically, grew up into a cat. This, in my opinion, is the major downfall of kittens. Unlike puppies, who grow up into loving dogs, kittens grow up into aloof cats, which is so unfortunate. Anyway, I’ve felt judged and disdained by this cat for probably the past 10 to 12 months, but on Saturday when I was hanging out at my friend’s before we went out, the cat, of his own choosing, willingly got up from the ottoman upon which he was perched and came over to sit with me. I legitimately could not believe it.

Major Life Moment #2: I stayed up for 24 hours.

I suppose, if you want to get really technical about it, I took a half-nap for 20 minutes on Saturday evening. BUT I don’t think that counts, because I never fell fully asleep. I got up at 4:45 Saturday morning due to my long run and went to bed at about 5:15 Sunday morning. No stimulants were involved in the making of this accomplishment (and only one beer for me all night, because I feel so much better about my life and my life’s choices when I’m sober than when I’m drinking. The fear of a hangover is always more than enough to keep me from drinking in any manner than could be called “excessive.”).

Major Life Moment #3: I made it to sunrise.

When I was at my best friend’s before we went out, we were talking about the plan for the night, and the more we talked, the more it became clear that we’d be out for awhile. I half-jokingly suggested we try to make it until sunrise, which has been not-all-that-serious goal of mine since about this time last year, when I stayed out quite late with my best friend on the Fourth of July. I didn’t actually mean it when I said it on Saturday, but by the time we got back to my best friend’s place, the sky had definitely started to brighten in the east, and by the time I went home, it felt weird taking a cab because it was light enough outside to no longer seem like nighttime. Cross that item off the bucket list.

3. I have a somewhat unconventional office situation. My boss owns two companies, entirely unrelated to each other, but since he owns both, employees for both companies work in the same, open office. Because of this, I know everyone who works for the other company in the sense that I see them and hear their conversations every day, but I have extremely limited interaction with those who work for the other company. They occasionally say hello or good morning, but that is the beginning and end of my relationship with anyone who works for that company. (Though they do provide ample fodder for my Twitter feed, as these are the people most prone to making absurd claims or doing absurd things. They also are the ones most likely to prompt me to put in headphones while working :P And, to their credit, they are also the most consistent suppliers of office treats, so I can’t complain about them too much.)

A fair number of people who work for the other company are advanced in years, and over the weekend, the wife of one of those people died. It wasn’t unexpected at all. She’s been in poor health since I started working here three years ago (three years ago today!), and has been in and out of the hospital for the better part of the last year and a half. Of course, once everyone learned that she had died, the topic of the funeral came up. It was a foregone conclusion that everyone who works for the other company would go to the funeral. It’s a small business, and all of them work closely together. What those who work for my company would do, though, was a little stickier. My boss and another coworker who’s sort of “second in command” when it comes to company ownership would go, as they are directly involved with the other company, but what would the rest of us who work in this office but not for that company do? I talked to one of my coworkers on Tuesday and he told me he planned to not go, which was a relief for me, as that meant I felt I didn’t need to go either. There was a small part of me that felt obligated to go, but a much larger part of me that felt quite uncomfortable going to the funeral of a woman who was married to a man I have literally spoken to twice in any capacity (including “hello”) over the past three years. After work on Tuesday, however, my coworker sent me a Facebook message saying the more he thought about it, the more he thought we should go. So we went.

Now, the VAST majority of people who work for the other company are Jewish, including the man whose wife died. Prior to Wednesday, I had only been to two funerals in my entire life: my great-grandma’s when I was 11 and my grandpa’s when I was 17. No one in my family is Jewish, nor have I ever been particularly close to anyone Jewish, and though working in this particular office has educated me on a fair number of Jewish customs and traditions, I was 100% clueless as to what to expect at a Jewish funeral. The last thing I wanted was to show up dressed inappropriately according to tradition, so I did what any good Millenial with an iPhone would do: I turned to Siri.

sirifuneral

ARE YOU KIDDING ME.

To make matters even worse, the first time I asked her this, she said, “Definitely the leather pants!” WHAT?!?!?!?! To test Siri’s anti-Semitism, I asked her simply, “What should I wear to a funeral?” and she said, “I’d go with something greenish,” proving that Siri isn’t prejudiced, but just wildly insensitive jerkface. It boggles my mind that this kind of bug exists with Siri. Don’t get me wrong: I never thought that Siri would have an actual answer for me. I did, however, absolutely think someone, anyone, at Apple would have thought to build Siri to respond to this sort of question with a web search, not a snarky, horribly inappropriate suggestion.

I am happy to report, however, that when I specifically asked Siri to “search the web for what to wear to a Jewish funeral,” she was much more helpful. I’m also happy to report, should anyone else find themselves in my shoes, that regular funeral attire is appropriate for a Jewish funeral (I, personally, was just worried about whether or not, as a woman, it would be acceptable for me to wear pants. I learned that it was, unless I were going to a very traditional funeral, but then as I was digging through my closet to find my long-ignored black pants, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that at some point in my life, I thought it’d be wise to buy a professional black shirt and miraculously had not thrown it away. I wore that, because it made me feel more comfortable than pants.)

What are you doing for the Fourth?
Any weird/terrible Siri stories?

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Chicago Marathon Training Week 3

Sunday, June 21: Yoga.
I had no idea that it was International Yoga Day until way after I finished doing yoga, but I’m still more than happy to pretend like I scheduled this on purpose :P I did the 45 minute Advanced Yoga from the NTC app (not because I’m so advanced, but because it’s the only yoga practice they have on the app that lasts more than 15 minutes). I definitely can’t do everything, but I’ve found it to be a good way to both stretch and work on strength.

Monday, June 22: Strength/HIIT.
Monday was INSANELY humid, and I was very happy I had scheduled a strength/HIIT workout for that day instead of a run. I followed The Heartbreaker workout on the NTC app (Get Strong: Advanced, in case you use the app and want to find that workout), which is a 30 minute workout featuring a five minute warmup, five circuits of squats + arm curls, froggers (kind of like burpees, but without jumping up), single leg deadlifts, crossover lunges with bicep curls, and v-ups, and a five minute stretching cooldown. I really like this workout, though I honestly should probably bump up my weights, since my five pound dumbbells don’t challenge me at all with these moves.

Tuesday, June 23: Dance.
We started a new session on Tuesday, but the combo my hip hop teacher taught on Tuesday was one he taught us a few months ago as well, so it was more review for me than anything. However, he seemed very enthusiastic about how quickly everyone else picked things up, which makes me hopeful that we’ll have some tough choreography this session. The first class of breakdance each session basically involves my friends and I doing whatever we want to do while my teacher works on foundational moves with the new kids, so I practiced posing on my other hand and worked a little on my headstands and coffee grinders.

Wednesday, June 24: 4 miles in 41:39 for a 10:24 pace.
It really wasn’t *unbearably* hot and humid on this run (though I certainly would not label it “comfortable” either), but my anxiety was not cooperating on Wednesday, so I wanted to take things very, very easy and focus on my breathing more than anything in an attempt to calm down. It worked fairly well, I think, at least in the sense that I felt a lot better as the night wore on. I’ve often used running to keep my anxiety at bay, but I’ve rarely actually had anxiety strike right before I was about to go out for a run. This run definitely became more of a mental exercise than a physical exercise as a result.

Thursday, June 25: 3 miles in 29:01 for a 9:39 pace (one mile warmup, four .25-mile intervals [.25 hard, .25 recover])
My first interval workout of marathon training! Fortunately the weather cooperated, making this slightly less miserable than it could have been. I don’t know if this is really the “right” way to run intervals, but it’s the only way I’ve done it in the past, so I’ll stick with this for now. If it feels ineffective, too easy, too challenging, or otherwise not worth it, I’ll adjust accordingly.

Friday, June 26: Rest.

Saturday, June 27: 5.3 miles in 55:23 for a 10:26 pace.
Yay shortest run of marathon training! This Saturday’s weather reminded me a lot of last Saturday’s in that it was quite chilly at the beginning but got much warmer much faster than I anticipated. Our site coordinator said, “Welcome to CARA’s winter marathon training program,” at the beginning of the run, which is not the first time he’s cracked that joke on a cold summer morning, but I still find it hilarious. The run itself was fine, but the highlight, as it always is on five mile week, was our post-run brunch.

kanela

We went to Kanela at Clark and Belmont, per custom, and since one particular member of a running group who has a bit of a healthy eating reputation amongst us was not there, a fair number of us took that as license to order whatever we damn well pleased. For me, that looked like coco crisp chocolate pancakes.

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Three enormous chocolate chip pancakes drizzled with chocolate and white chocolate syrups, topped with some rice krispie/chocolate syrup combination, with a side of whipped cream topped with sprinkles. Obviously running all of five miles justified destroying this.

finishedpancakes

It did almost defeat me, to be fair, but after taking a moment to regroup, I conquered my breakfast like. a. champ. and didn’t even feel sick afterwards. Sorry not sorry.

I’m still struggling a bit on the PT front, and this week did NOT do well with logging eight hours of sleep each night, either. In fact, I don’t know if I got eight hours of sleep any night this past week. With my best friend out of town for two months and a self-imposed moratorium on online dating for the next few weeks (I’ve gone out with way too many boys on way too many nights on way too many first dates that didn’t turn into second dates over the last three weeks, and going out after work is NOT a good way to make sure you’re home in time to go to bed early. It’s been fun, sometimes [also very not-fun sometimes], but it’s also been physically and emotionally exhausting, and I need a break), I should have substantially less of a social life, which hopefully will make sleepytime easier to come by. In regards to PT, I recently downloaded a timing app to my computer, which interrupts me with a “GET UP” message every 58 minutes. When this happens, I get up, as instructed, and have been using my “up time” to try to do at least something PT-related, usually single leg squats or leg raises to get my hips working. It’s not everything, but I figure/hope that something is better than nothing.

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Thursday Things

1. Goodness gracious, do I owe you all an update my random life happenings! Last week was INSANE and I barely had time to sleep (see: Wednesday rest day), never mind blog.

2. Do you ever have those moments where you know you’re making a possibly questionable life choice and decide to go through with it anyway because YOLO? I don’t like describing it that way, but I feel like I’ve been making a lot of “You only live once” sort of decisions lately, and…I don’t hate it. I guess I’ve lately been struck by my youth, freedom, etc. and am all about taking advantage of it. Exhibit A: Spring Awakening.

samf1

I haven’t exactly kept my love for EDM a secret on this blog, and I’ve wanted to go to Spring Awakening pretty much since I knew it was a thing. My best friend really wanted me to go to Spring Awakening with him this year all three days, but I was busy Ragnar-ing on Friday and Saturday, so obviously those were out. I expected to be unconscious for most of Sunday as well and as such repeatedly told him I couldn’t go…but then he got an extra pass from someone he works for and offered me his…so…yeah. He’s also going to be out of town for two months starting next week (let’s not talk about it, lest I devolve into another crying episode. I’m having a much harder time dealing with this than I expected.), so I’m willing to eschew basically any/all responsibilities, wise decisions, etc., in the name of spending time with him.

OH MAN, you guys. I had a (sober…I always feel like that’s a necessary qualifier for these sorts of things) BLAST at Spring Awakening. I basically followed my friend around the whole time, and we caught bits and pieces of so many acts in the four hours I was there. I got to dance, which always makes me happy, but I also found it really easy to chill out, too. I don’t mind the crowds at Lolla, but I really liked how un-crowded Spring Awakening felt. The fest takes place at Soldier Field and you could get up into the seats, which provided some unreal views:

samf2

It also gave you a place to just sit and listen if you wanted, and I loved that. Honestly, I think my favorite part of the night was sitting on the 200 level, listening to Tiesto, and thinking, “I cannot believe that this is my life.” When I moved to Chicago three (omg) years ago, these were the sorts of living-fully moments that I wanted: that sort of moment is why I moved to Chicago. Even though I wasn’t into EDM at all when I moved here, I wanted to come to this city to take advantage of being young here and enjoying everything the city has to offer — to make my 20s count, if you will. Being at Spring Awakening with a person I love to pieces listening to a world-renowned DJ in this amazing venue felt like I was doing just that, and man, was that an unbelievably wonderful feeling.

3. The Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup last Monday! I often feel like a bit of a poser Hawks fan, given that I’ve never actually been to a game (and, fine, don’t go out of my way to watch regular season games on TV, either), but the Hawks are the one team in Chicago I would say I truly care about, compared to the Cubs and Bulls, about which I am incredibly apathetic, and the Sox, who I don’t like, and the Bears, who I LOATHE. (To be fair, I loathe the NFL and the culture of professional football in general.) Regardless, they won the Cup, and I was thrilled.

So thrilled that I “worked from home” (I did work from home…just not until after noon) on Thursday so I could go to the parade. I posted up at Washington and Desplaines, far away from the insanity further down the parade route, and had a great view as a result.

blackhawksparade2015

Though you can’t *really* tell based on the whole sunglasses situation, I would like to point out that Jonathan Toews ( <3 ) is obviously looking directly at me in this photo, AS HE SHOULD.

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(His head only looks weird because I took the picture at a terrible time and the HVAC stuff on the roof of the building behind him just so happened to line up perfectly with his hat. Haha.)

Notice that even as the bus moves, he continues to be transfixed by my beauty. This does not surprise me. I mean, if I had to pick between me and the blonde bombshell model girlfriend sitting next to him, I think the choice is pretty clear (the choice is me, duh). Toews, you can find me on OkCupid ;) I’ll respond to your message even if you only say “hey.” *insert kissy emoji here*

toews2

The governor was also apparently on this bus, which I did not realize until yesterday, when I was going through my pictures and looking at the names of everyone on each bus. Oops.

govrauner

I also lost it when I saw Patrick Kane, because I’m cliche and predictable.

kane

To be fair, I think I said (primarily to myself), “Oh my gosh, that’s *fill in the name*” every single time any bus went by. I was oh-so starstruck, and I have exactly zero regrets about going.

stanleycup

4. Allow me to not-at-all-humbly brag about my dinner on Saturday.

salmoninparchment

Ohhhh, you so FANCY!

When the infamous ex-boyfriend dumped me, one of my friends from college came over with a care package, which included, among other things, a magazine full of recipes, including one for salmon and veggies that you steam in parchment packets. Historically, I’ve shied away from cooking fish in any capacity because I’ve always worried I’d screw it up, but I was really in the mood for fish on Saturday, so here we were. It turned out great and I felt ridiculously healthy for eating salmon, veggies, and brown rice (unpictured). Arguably one of the better things to come out of that breakup ;)

5. Ryn Weaver’s album came out last Tuesday, and I am OMGOBSESSED. I’m not usually one to listen to albums over and over and over again for days on end, but I have not been able to stop listening to The Fool. I’m a sucker for good lyrics, and this girl’s lyrics are INSANE. Particular highlights:

“I won’t be lonely, even when I’m all alone and calling your name and counting the days” (Here is Home)

“If it takes two, I’m betting on you to hold me tight when tides are high” (Here is Home/Runaway)

“Soulmates aren’t just lovers, you know” (Traveling Song) THIS. LINE. GAH.

Anyway. I think the album’s fantastic, and though taste in music is a totally subjective thing, I’d recommend it to anyone.

6. Last but not at all least, I would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge that today is my blog’s fourth birthday and my third Chicago anniversary. To think that I’ve been kept at this whole Accidental Intentions thing that long and to think that I’ve been in Chicago three full years as of today boggles my mind. I know none of you have been around these parts since the beginning beginning (unless I have some incredibly loyal lurkers), but lots of you have been around for awhile, and I do very much appreciate it. This space, clearly, isn’t something that I use to earn money, fame, etc. I’m still using the same layout, same header, same photo as I used when I put this baby up on the Internet four years ago today to document my training for my first 5K. A lot has changed in my life since then, and I’m glad I’ve had some people who have come along (and stuck around) for that journey. The Internet has been a special place for me ever since I was 13 and discovered how freeing it could be to express myself through writing, and to have a tiny, insignificant space where I can do that for the small number of people interested has led to some amazing connections with some wonderful people, and I truly treasure those relationships, digital as they may be. And as much as this blog has impacted my life, the changes I’ve undergone as a result of blogging pale so, so much in comparison to the changes I’ve undergone as a result of becoming a Chicagoan. When I stepped out of my parents’s van three years ago, I could not have possibly fathomed the experiences I’d have here — the connections I’d make, the people I’d meet, the things I would do. Living here has changed my life dramatically–I’d argue for the better–and never once in the the past three years have I regretted moving here. I feel so fortunate to live in a place like this, and though the splendor of Lake Michigan fades, the novelty of being able to go to Michigan Ave. whenever I please wears off (wears off very fast, in fact :P), the availability of art, entertainment, culture, food, and sports stops seeming incredible, I still believe moving here was one of the best decisions of my entire life.

Have you ever been to a championship parade? This was my first one! When Detroit won various championships when I was in school (NBA, NHL), I always wanted to go, but Detroit was pretty far away.
Any current music recommendations? I’m also happy to recommend Halsey to you, based on the two songs of hers I’ve heard. I’m actually probably going to skip Of Monsters and Men at Lolla to see her instead.

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