Monthly Archives: October 2009

On goals

Lately, I’ve been feeling rather unmotivated.

I’m coming off of a couple intense months at work, and though I have lots still to do, none of it is critical, deadline-driven work. Which means that for the past two weeks, I’ve been playing it pretty fast and loose. Getting to work late. Leaving on time. Not accomplishing much in the time I’m there. Obviously a mental break I needed, but it’s annoying to know you’re not accomplishing anything…and yet do nothing to correct the situation.

In addition, when I get home, I’ve just been foraging for whatever junk is in the fridge and laying on the couch. I think my body is craving rest, but I also recognize that my gym schedule has all but gone down the toilet and my sleep schedule seems off. Like, up ’til 2 a.m. on a Tuesday, off.

I’ve been thinking I’d like to channel Nilsa and set up some personal improvement challenges for myself. I was reminded of it again today when SLynnRo wrote about NoImYoSeMo. Instead of NaNoWriMo (Nat’l Novel Writing Month for you non-writers out there), she does November Improve Yourself Month.

I love the idea of it, but know that I? Am not one to keep up with goals I set. I blog about this whole lack of motivation or lethargy I feel every so often…and then promptly do nothing about it.

But the thing is, there are glimpses of activity. Like tonight. There was a hearty cardio workout followed by a quiet, homemade, healthy meal. If only I could do that 4 out of the 7 days of the week, I’d be a happy girl.

 

P.S. — Thanks all for the kind words about the whole mother/daughter drama that I wrote about earlier this week. We spoke and seem to have ironed things out. It was really less of an issue of the argument itself, and more an issue of her being hurt and me not recognizing that detail. And like I said, the situation did give me a chance to reflect on my relationship with my parents, and it’s something I’m committed to improving. Maybe that should get added to my challenge list?!

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Filed under family values, Hmm, rambling nature

The view from here

One of my favorite parts of my apartment is this:

My view

It took me several days to capture it in the right light — photography is not my expertise — but I persevered. I’ve been wanting to get the view from my loft on film since I moved in.

While it’s the “less expensive” view in my building, it’s the better view. It’s dynamic and urban. It’s soft light that only adds to the ambiance of a quiet evening at home. In the summer, it was flashes of fireworks on a Tigers game night and sounds of cars and clubs on an average Friday evening. In the winter, I imagine it will be serene and hazy as the snowflakes fall.

It’s no wonder I’m excited for the season’s first snow storm.

This is the Detroit I love.

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Filed under Detroit, glass half full, loft style living, love affair, Uncategorized

I swear I’m not a heartless b*tch

The weekend was…interesting.

Saturday, I had a wedding shower, followed by scheduled family QT. Which promptly morphed into my mother shouting at me over the phone, me shouting back, her shouting some more, and then getting my father in on the shouting at me — just for good measure.

It all started over something small — a miscommunication about the day’s plans. I recognize the part I played in the situation and what I could have done differently. But I also recognize that it was a miscommunication — and that more than just I am at fault. We all had a part to play in the breakdown in communication, which means no one’s at fault and it’s just one of those things you typically put in the “shit happens” bucket.

My mother was apparently having an irrational moment, though, because her response was the opposite of typical. My hunch is that she read more into the issue and thought I was being a heartless bitch and purposefully miscommunicated for my own benefit. Which is ludicrous, not to mention slightly hurtful that she has that opinion of me.

My other hunch is that there’s some sort of issue that’s been brewing for weeks — perhaps months — and it finally bubbled over amidst an otherwise innocent issue. If I think about the past few months there are several things I should have done differently with respect to my relationship with my family. Things you don’t think about when you’re going through the motions of life such as I have been. Things that can be repaired — when communicated about rationally.

Instead there was a quick, but huge, blow-up, which has been followed by almost three days of silence.

I’m not good with confrontation. Sure, I can fight with the best of them. But when it comes to talking things out rationally, I falter. I have to mull it over. I have to practice in my mirror. I have to plan my approach so that I communicate my side accurately and prepare to actively listen to the other side.

All of this takes time. Which is why the fight happened on Saturday and I haven’t talked to her since. I needed Sunday to process and today I had to work late. After all, life is continuing and my life? Is relatively busy these days.

However, I know she’s getting increasingly upset by the hour, which is going to make our conversation tomorrow all the more exciting. Or terrifying.

The thing that really frustrates me is that I know when we do talk, my side is going to get lost. I obviously have done something wrong, and for that, I need to apologize. But I have no idea what that is, and still contend that the issue that seeminly caused the blow-up is not something I did wrong and is just a mask for a bigger issue.

But I’m afraid she’s just not going to listen to that rationalization. That whatever crazy has inhabited her body this week, she’s going to let it overtake her and completely block out any sort of bigger picture conversation I want to attempt.

In taking the extra time before reacting, I’ve at least realized there are several things that I’ve probably done “wrong” the past few months. Not malicious, just neglectful. I’ve seen them less, seen DD’s family more. I’ve neglected to call, and haven’t initiated any other form of conversation in place of that. My work life and social life have been nonstop, and my family life has fallen in priority. Plus, my family and I don’t “plan” time together, so when there are other set plans filling my calendar, I end up neglecting mom and dad. I’ve thought about how I could do things differently, but it will require changing the way my parents and I interact. And I hope they’re willing to try that.

My hope is that we can get past the facade and get to the heart of the issue. That we can both see where we went wrong and make amends.

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Filed under crazy crazy, family values, Hmm, rambling nature, rants, relationships

26.2 (times two)

I? Am exhausted.

Weekend in short:

My long over-due housewarming party. Facials. Pasta dinner. Marathon. Softball. Family Dinner.

Weekend in depth:

While last weekend was DD’s big race, this weekend was the Detroit Marathon. For the second year, my nonprofit participated — this year as a featured charity. I coordinated all of our efforts, including wrangling 25+ runners who ran on our behalf, planning two cheer stations, and managing the expectations of my Miranda Priestly-like boss.

Ed. Note: I’m not joking. She really is a Miranda Priestly clone. She even calls HERSELF that.

All in all, our efforts went exactly as planned. And the boss hid her inner Miranda quite well. (I think she knew that I wasn’t in the mood to deal with it.)

The marathon however, didn’t go as well. Sure, it was a great event. But, here in the D we’re all a little quieter than we typically are after the annual race.

Yesterday, three runners collapsed and died during the event. All within about 16 minutes of one another. They were of all ages — from 26 to 65.

They say death comes in threes, but this? This is more than a little eerie. And sobering. As I stood up in this morning’s staff meeting to thank all of my coworkers who either helped me plan our participation or who ran in the race, I wasn’t quite sure how to address it all. There were so many good things that happened with both our team and the race as a whole, but they were overshadowed by these sudden deaths.

Yet this was just one part of the weekend. Immediately following the race, I had to head to my softball team’s last games of the season. After swinging the bat and running the bases more than I have all season, it was off to DD’s birthday dinner with his family.

Where I promptly fell asleep before playing a game of Catchphrase where my exhaustion was evident in my inability to find words to describe things like “gas”.

All in all, it has been a weekend. Which will most certainly be followed by a week. Tomorrow is DD’s birthday. Wednesday I’ve planned a little surprise gathering for him. And Thursday my aunt and cousin fly into town for a long weekend.

My hopes of a quiet fall are pretty much gone at this point.

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Filed under Detroit, rambling nature, S is for sports

26.2

This past weekend was the Chicago marathon. And though I’m not a Chicagoan, DD and I made the trek from Detroit because he’d signed up to run his first marathon.

Leading up to it, we were a bit worried. He’d been having knee issues that had impeded his training and aggravated his body to the point that he was worried he may not be able to run at all.

Once we got to Chicago, things seemed to change. He got caught up in the excitement of the pre-marathon expo. He connected with his friends who were also running and the worries seemed to wipe away.

Saturday night, we had a big pasta dinner, he iced his knee, and he seemed good to go.

Sunday morning, he woke up and headed out bright and early. I left the hotel shortly after and met up with his friends at the 5K marker. We saw DD and his buddy, happy as can be, running strong early on.

We moved on to mile 12, hoping to see them again. And we waited. And waited. And waited some more. We began to fear we missed them. That they’d increased their pace.

As we began plotting our next spectating move, I got the text.

His knees had given out. He couldn’t run. He’d had to drop out and was boarding the bus to return to the finish line in Grant Park.

Now, I’m not a runner. But there’s something about marathons that has gotten under my skin the past couple years. As I meandered through the Magnificent Mile toward the 5K mark on Sunday morning, I caught glimpses of the elite runners speeding by. For some reason, I always get a little teary eyed watching. Something about people accomplishing their lifelong goals, I’m sure.

That’s why, when I got DD’s text, my heart dropped. This was something he’d been working toward for the better part of the year. And something he’d been thinking about and dreaming of for years.

And he couldn’t get it done. I can’t even imagine how that must feel. He was especially frustrated because he realized he could do it — his endurance was high — but his body just wouldn’t let him. Not this time. And on Sunday, we weren’t sure if his body would ever let him do it.

The rest of the day is a blur. There was a rush to Grant Park and a frantic search through the crowds to find my injured boyfriend. There was his bittersweet glances at all the runners crossing the finishing line as he limped along, just out of reach. There was the Nike market research chick, who saw his Nike shoes and pushed him to answer questions — even after he admitted that he hadn’t finished the race. There was a cab ride with a shady cabbie, more ice for the knee, and a long drive home.

Tonight his buddy, who practices sports medicine, looked at his knee and it looks like the issue is fairly common. And completely treatable. Which means that with a little rehab, and a better training program, DD will be able to run a marathon some day.

I think the next time will be the time. And I think crossing the finish line will be so much sweeter.

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Filed under DD (aka My Man), rambling nature, S is for sports, travel

The journey to the mat

My yoga stride has eluded me ever since I moved and switched studios. It’s the same “chain”, but a different location and different teachers. In my old studio, there was the yoga bully. The man I openly hated, but secretly loved when he cranked up the Snoop Dogg and demanded just one. more. flow.

After five years of practice, the yoga bully gave me Vinyasa. And I loved it.

It had been a long road to it, though.

There was a kidney transplant, followed by months of recovery.

There was a yoga DVD — bought as a recovery gift — that I tried one day to fight the recovery blues.

There were stiff legs, tight muscles, and an off and on relationship with my at-home practice.

There was a bad break-up that took me back to the mat and off to a community college in an attempt to meet some new people. At the time, it had nothing to do with yoga. Really.

There was an addiction to that Saturday afternoon class that made me forget about meeting new people, forget about that boy who’d broken my heart, and made me look forward to something.

There was the discovery of the yoga high.

Then, there were gym classes and my first experience with a real teacher. Real in terms of intensity. Intensity in both physical and mental exertion.

And then finally, three years in, there was a studio. My first studio experience was not pleasant. A friend and I checked it out and the instructor was a complete turn off. A little too serious, a little too intense. The next studio was an improvement, but I still wasn’t sold. It wasn’t until my third try — with the yoga bully — that I finally found my home.

And then I moved. And while I could continue to go to my old studio, it’s a bit more convenient to go to the new one. Which means I must find “home” again.

Over the past couple months, I’ve tried a few instructors, but none have the teaching style that I crave. Until tonight. Sure, there wasn’t rap blasting in the background. But there was sweat. Dripping in puddles around me. There was release. Shown in the migraine that vanished with each stretch.

There was relief. That I’d finally found home again. That I’m not as out of practice as I thought. And that I will regain my stride.

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Filed under glass half full, S is for sports, transplant, Y is for Yoga

This thing called Restaurant Week

A couple weeks ago, this thing called Detroit Restaurant Week happened.

This blog has never claimed to be on the cutting edge of trends…or news, for that matter, so it’s only fitting that the review be past due.

I swear, I thought of you all while dining, I just didn’t get to updating. Semantics, really.

Anywho, Restaurant Week. 17 Fine Dining Restaurants. Three courses for $27. First ever in Detroit.

Apparently Detroit isn’t on the cutting edge of trends, either, since restaurant weeks are popular in other thriving metropoli. Luckily, Paxahau came to our rescue. The local event company is notorious for our annual Electronic Music Festival, and one (namely, me) might wonder how that parlays into a foodie festival.

But, it does because by all accounts, the first Detroit Restaurant Week was a huge success.

Of the 17 restaurants, I’d actually been to most. (What? I have a boyfriend who equally enjoys stuffing his face. It’s why we get along so well.) But, I was still anxious to partake in some of Restaurant Week.

First, I organized a ladies outing to Wolfgang Puck. Six of us made it out for a night on the town, from all over the state. I’d only been to Wolfgang’s for brunch, but was excited to see what dinner held.

While I really wanted the butternut squash ravioli for the first course, I opted for the “healthy” chopped vegetable salad. I don’t know if you could call it healthy with all the feta and dressing, but it was simply fabulous and I (almost) licked the plate.

Next up was the sauteed salmon with fingerling potatoes. Which? Was kind of amazing. The fish was perfectly flaky and the potatoes were perfectly crisp, yet creamy.

Then there was the 12 layer cake. Frankly, I was expecting a slab of cake. Instead, I was treated to 12 little layers of moist chocolatey goodness with even more chocolatey goodness in the accompanying sorbet.

It’s possible I woke up the next morning still full from the night before.

I hadn’t planned on any further outings, but was pleasantly surprised when a friend planned another night out mid-week. Let’s just say I was in the middle of the work week from hell and was excited for a break. Especially when I heard we were going to Iridescence.

My love for Iridescence is well-documented here. If you don’t feel like taking a little time machine trip with your mouse, let’s just say that this was the restaurant where I nearly bathed myself in the crab and white cheddar grits.

Needless to say, I was expecting an equally orgasmic experience. And for half the price!

I was ever-so-slightly disappointed.

Perhaps my wide-eyed foodie naivete has been tarnished. After all, it was over a year ago when I first laid eyes on Iridescence; I’ve been to several equally fabulous places since then. Or maybe it was the prix fixe menu. Or maybe it was the over-booked kitchen. Either way, it lacked the special-ness that IS Iridescence.

Why? Well, let’s look at it course-by-course.

I started with the corn ravioli and roasted shrimp. Which, admittedly, was excellent. Probably the best course.

Next, I chose the salmon. I know, I know, the same as the last place. But, each restaurant basically offered a steak, a chicken, and a fish. And, well, red meat and I are not friends, chicken just seems so boring, and that leaves me with fish.

But, since I had salmon at both restaurants, it gave me something to compare to. And the salmon at Iridescence just didn’t compare. It was slightly overdone and the sauce was just eh. The rice cake side was pretty great, but otherwise, the dish was so-so.

Then there was dessert. The options were roasted pineapples and cinnamon crumbcake ice cream or roquefort cheese with milk chocolate and cherries. I strongly prefer that my desserts come in chocolate, even though some cheeses supposedly make such perfect desserts. But since I do love cheese (and hate pineapples), I went for the cheese.

The first couple bites were creamy, salty and wonderful. But the last 20? Were a bit too much. Too salty. Too rich. Sad. But true.

All in all, I give Iridescence a B and Wolfgang’s an A+. I can only think that Iridescence really isn’t a restaurant fit for mass production. Not that Wolfgang’s is, but Iridescence really is about the little details and the personal attention, and that’s just not something that can be done well within the confines of $27 and a packed reservation book.

Word on the street is that Restaurant Week will be making a return appearance in the spring. Which I’m quite excited about. It’s about time we caught up to Chicago and Boston and D.C. and all the other fabulous cities that let the masses be foodies for a few days.

For me, it was an excellent opportunity to deepen friendships, go all out mid-week, and stimulate the local economy.

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Filed under DD (aka My Man), Detroit, foodie, glass half full, Uncategorized