Thursday Things

1. Last Friday, my company hosted its annual Employee Appreciation Day, where we get (most of) the day off work to go to an off-site event where management tells us how great we are. A little self-congratulatory, perhaps, but if self-congratulation gets me out of the office at 10:30, free food and drinks, and the ability to go home as early as I desire after the requisite speech-making, I’m all for it. Plus, who doesn’t like to be appreciated?

This year’s event was at River Roast, which is, unsurprisingly, along the Chicago River. The details of Employee Appreciation Day are always kept very hush-hush until the end of the requisite speech-making, so I didn’t really know what to expect. When I got to River Roast, though, I noticed a water taxi stop right outside the restaurant, and thought, “Oh man, what if they take us on the river?”

rivercruise1

Hooray!

To my great surprise and utter delight, everyone had the chance to take a 30-minute river cruise! I was a little concerned it’d be cold, given that it barely topped 60 degrees on Friday (*praise hands emoji*), but it actually wasn’t too bad. There was no guide to give us architectural highlights, so I did my best to fill in some details for my captive audience coworkers sitting next to me when they wondered aloud what we were passing. One of them told me I should be a guide on the architecture river tours when I retire, and man, let me tell you, DREAM JOB (or volunteer position – I don’t know if the guides get paid). Only 39 more years until retirement! Haha.

rivercruise2

2. After Employee Appreciation Day, I came home to discover an unexpected and unwelcome change in my garden. The bathtub, which previously sat in a corner next to the fence, had been moved a few feet over to underneath my flowers, which were raised up to about six feet above the ground to accommodate my monstrosity of a tomato plant.

Now, I knew some change was coming, because when I was out in the courtyard checking on my plants one morning last week, my landlord happened to appear and mentioned that he was going to move my plants. He didn’t give specific details and I didn’t press him for a more thorough explanation of what “move my plants” meant, but I assumed he was going to take the pots I had slightly off the ground and put them somewhere else. This complete rearrangement, needless to say, was not what I had in mind.

Part of the fence behind where my tomato bathtub used to live is bowed in, so I imagine my landlord intends to repair that, hence the new location for the bathtub. I can’t say I’m particularly thrilled with it, particularly since part of the plant is now under the gigantic 2×4 upon which my flowers rest, thus never receiving sunlight, but it’s not my courtyard–it’s not even my bathtub–so I don’t feel like it’s my place to tell my landlord what I think he should do with his property. (I would feel like it was my place to make those sorts of demands if it were related to malfunctioning things inside the house, but a relocated garden isn’t exactly on par with a broken stove, you know?) He broke a few branches off in the process of moving it, which definitely annoyed me, but I had begun to wonder if pruning my plant would help it direct its energy to ripening my tomatoes instead, so I wasn’t too distraught over this.

What did distress me, however, is that he pulled up the rest of my wildflowers AND my oregano!! 😡

oregano

RIP.

I just…why. Why. WHY?! Why do all of my poor herbs keep being brutally murdered at the hands of my overzealous landlord?? CLEARLY not labeling my plants was my fatal (literally!) error in all of this, and trust me, if I plant in that bathtub again next season, I will buy custom neon signs that say, “THIS IS OREGANO! IT IS MEANT FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION AND I PUT IT HERE ON PURPOSE! DO! NOT! PULL! IT! OUT! OF! MY! GARDEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!” Granted, half of my excitement over my prolific oregano came from my grand plans to make homemade tomato sauce using the basil, oregano, and tomatoes from my garden, but since my tomatoes stubbornly refuse to ripen, I suppose THAT was an unrealistic plan, too. 😡 This stupid hobby, man. I need to start finding ways to pass my time whose success does not so heavily rely on things beyond my control.

My basil, at least for now, remains unharmed.

3. I seem to be quite incapable of getting off the injury anxiety train this marathon season, and I’m not a fan.

I had a doctor’s appointment for my right knee scheduled for Monday, but I cancelled it because my knee felt fine all of last week, and I didn’t want a doctor’s appointment to delay the run I had scheduled that day (in typical, runner-in-training fashion). When I went for a run on Monday, I had pain in my left knee that sent me into a downward spiral of hand-wringing and Googling: always a bad combination. I convinced myself I had prepatellar bursitis, but that just opened the door to more questions: how did I end up with a condition most people get from being nuns or tile installers, where they spend a fair amount of time kneeling? Can I still run? Should I still run? Do I need to go to the doctor? Do I have time to go to the doctor? Does the doctor have time to see me? How am I going to fit physical therapy into my schedule? What if my bursitis is somehow septic (your prepatellar bursa can become inflamed because of overuse (i.e.: long-term kneeling) or an acute injury like falling or getting kicked, which is aseptic bursitis, or, it also has the distinction of being one of the few bursae that can become inflamed due to infection) and I end up having to take antibiotics again?

I don’t know what my deal is this year. I was fine in 2013 until I actually did get hurt, and then spent the next month being worried at all times. I was in physical therapy for the duration of the 2014 season, so I didn’t worry quite as much about new injuries, since I knew I’d be seeing my PT later that week. I spent all of 2015 leading up to peak week (or was it the week before peak week) worrying that I was suffering from various lower leg ailments but never to the point where I thought I actually needed medical attention. And then last year, I was completely fine the whole time, at least until I crossed the finish line of Chicago, when I was distinctly not fine, but who cared at that point anyway?

I don’t understand why I’m so, so worried about my training getting derailed this year. I’d chalk it up to the pressure of not being able to defer my entry to next year, but I wasn’t able to defer last year and I made it through with nary a injury-induced panic attack. I guess lately I feel like my baseline anxiety has been higher overall–like if my usual, day-to-day level of anxiousness is 2/10 on a scale of 0 (calm) to 10 (panic attack) I feel like these days I’m at more of a 5/10 or 6/10 baseline–so I imagine that probably predisposes me to some getting more anxious about other things, like running injures. I still wish I could just relax, though :/

Have you ever taken a boat ride on the Chicago River?
Who wants to start a pool as to when my tomatoes will finally turn red?
Right now my money is on “never,” but I suppose that’s because I’m turning into a tomato pessimist haha 😛

 

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4 thoughts on “Thursday Things

  1. Didn’t you say earlier that you only need one more Chi Marathon to qualify for a legacy finisher entry? Maybe that’s why you’re so anxious about getting your training derailed this time around?

  2. I love river tours! I’ve taken a few (usually as part of work outings or one was a college outing). I even did a kayak tour once. The last one I did was a haunted tour and the guide told ghost stories as we went up and down the river at sunset. In October, so it was chilly. I can see these tours passing by my building all day (we’re right on the river so our west-facing windows all get a great view).
    Bummer that your tomatoes still haven’t started to ripen 😦 I think one of my tomato plants is dying. It’s turning yellow. Although it’s the one that’s given me the most tomatoes so far (like … 4-5 red ones). Also my squashlings keep falling off the vine, so I doubt I’ll ever get a squash. My okra plant also never did anything, and so far my dill and cilantro plants (both from my mother, hmmm) have died. I think my arugula is also winding down, but I did get a lot of good salads out of it. This year’s oregano plant is not doing well as previous year’s plants, although it’s still alive. Gardens can be finicky! Even my mom, who has been gardening my whole life (probably longer) still has some plants just not work out for her.

    • Every summer I think that I should go kayaking on the Chicago River, but I still haven’t done it! I don’t know when kayaking season ends on the river, but I’m sure it runs at least through Labor Day, so I’ve still got a couple of weeks to get it in this year, maybe!

      I have great news! One of my tomatoes started turning red yesterday! I was SO surprised when I got home, because it hadn’t made any indication that it was going to turn at all when I looked at it on Wednesday. But it’s definitely blushing now, so HOORAY! That’s disappointing that your one tomato plant looks like it’s dying 😦 I’m glad you got something out of it, but there’s still a long time before the first frost, so it’ll be a bummer if that’s all you get!

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