A little bit of yoga. Ideally I’d go to a class, but if not, I’d like to do at least a short workout at home. In particular, I wish I had more time to practice the poses that are harder for me - crow, headstands, handstands, arm balances of all kinds. I think you only really get better if you’re doing yoga consistently, and I’m not.
Read the paper. (While drinking good coffee - I’ve got the coffee thing down at least.)
Pack a lunch I’m actually excited to eat.
Make an after-work snack that’s healthy but satisfies my out of control hunger at that time of day. (Yesterday I bought buffalo wing/blue cheese Combos on my walk home from the train.)
Always have fancy cucumber, strawberry, or lemon water waiting in the fridge.
Have a cocktail on the balcony.
Really wash my face - cleanser, toner, lotion, the whole works.
Read before bed - more than two pages before I pass out.
Get eight hours of sleep.
- I’ve scrubbed the floor with soap and vinegar after two in-house “accidents.” I’ve also collected my dog’s urine (Kevin did the hard work) and had the other kind of, uh, waste on my freaking hand. I’ve spent roughly $300 on vet bills in two weeks.
- My work life is so crazy focused these days. I get to campus and get my stuff done and then get home. I’m starting to think I’d be a kickass working parent.
- I went to a conference in San Francisco the other weekend and it was so good - so, so good. I wasn’t a wimp, for once, and I thoroughly enjoyed the city and the friends I stayed with during my off hours. If a university out that way happened to have a year-long postdoc available when I graduate I wouldn’t say no. (Year-long. I would come back to Chicago. I’ll always come back.)
- We’re fine, but Kevin and I have been fighting/snipping at each other a lot about this dog. We had a heart to heart about it over patio beers tonight and things are better.
- Today when I got really stressed and annoyed because I was trying to work from home and Molly wouldn’t stop pawing at me and I wasn’t sure it meant she had to go out and if I didn’t take her she’d pee on the rug or if she was just being a pain in the ass I thought, “Screw it. I’m going to grab a beer (it was a two-beer night), open the screen door, sit my back against the cabinet below the sink, and play a game of roll ball fetch with my dog.”
- Spring. Oh my goodness, I almost forget to look around and notice how beautiful it is. Let’s enjoy it, Chicago because you know 90 and humid is right around the corner.
Someday, someday I promise you, I’ll post something other than pictures of my dog.
I just wanted to hop on here, though, and say I had a great weekend. We (Kevin, my sisters, and me) ran the Indianapolis Mini Marathon and it went great. My training had been a little rough because of adopting Molly and some minor health hiccups (like throwing up on myself during a thyroid uptake scan…awesome…did not feel like running that day), so I was nervous, but we averaged a 9:45 pace! This is by far a PR for me, so I’m very excited, very proud, and inspired to keep getting faster.
After that we attended a wedding and ate, drank, and danced our faces off. I was absolutely exhausted by the end of the night.
AND, icing on the cake, my wonderful parents watched the dog all weekend and she did great. (Until this afternoon, that is, when she went to the bathroom in my grandparents’ house.) It’s really comforting to know that she had a first weekend away from us and can hang with my parents’ dog with no major incidents. I give her a B+ for behavior.
That’s all! I need to spend the rest of the night getting caught up on all the emails and school projects I’ve neglected. We are a household full of tired, happy creatures tonight.
- I have one suggestion for what to do if you visit Chicago in April. Adopt a dog and spend all your time walking her.
I’m joking, but April really is a fantastic time to take long walks around the city, as long as it’s not raining. You can meander the elaborate flowers planted between the Lincoln Park Zoo and the Conservatory. There are pretty European-style gardens in Grant Park. Or - my personal favorite - you can pick a nice neighborhood, grab an iced coffee, and gape at rich peoples’ postcard-sized, meticulously landscaped lawns. Sometimes for fun Kevin and I just walk up and down State and/or Dearborn between Division and North.
- You know what I might do in April? I might make the ninety minute drive to southwest Michigan and go to Redamak’s, Brewster’s, or The Stray Dog (all in New Buffalo). And then I’d take a walk out to Lake Michigan. And then I’d get ice cream from Oink’s. This is a series of activities I’ll probably suggest in the summer, too, but I think it’s really neat to watch vacation towns wake up from the winter. April’s when that begins to happen.
- I had a perfect Sunday the other day, and I think you should replicate it. We took our bikes (you can rent some) all the way down to the Museum of Science & Industry. This is a hike – it took us at least an hour each way from Lakeview, and unless you’re staying on the south side it’ll take you awhile too - but the trail is interesting and always changing. We had brunch down in Hyde Park – although a picnic might be even more fun, as would giving yourself a little extra time to wander the neighborhood - and then spent a couple of hours in the museum. I was fascinated by the U-Boat, and I’d for sure recommend the extra tour. The weather/storms exhibit was really cool too. This makes for a great Chicago day – plenty of sunshine and people-watching on the trail, some delicious food, and a good dose of culture. You’ll fall asleep that night feeling like you’re living life right.
- Find some friends and play Frisbee with them. Just because you’re happy it’s spring.
- Open up the windows. Wherever you are, hotel, friend’s house, whatever, if they’re openable open them. Is there anything better than fresh air blowing through your house after a winter all closed in?
- In high school I had a cross country runner friend who made a point to go “ice” his feet in one of the small lakes in our town after long runs in the spring. I suggest to you to go on a hard run yourself, or a very long walk, and then wade into Lake Michigan. This works best when the water’s still really cold and the air’s getting warm - now. April/early May. It’s THE BEST cure for sore muscles I’ve found.
- Take in a night on a restaurant’s patio. I’m not even going to make a specific suggestion for a place, because this will probably be a bit impromptu. In April, as the weather gets nicer, restaurants will set out their outdoor furniture some nights and won’t on other evenings. If you’re here when it’s over 60 degrees after dark, take a stroll around a quiet neighborhood (downtown is okay for this, but Lincoln Park, Lakeview, Lincoln Square, Logan Square, Andersonville are all better…sorry I’m so north side centric) and stop for pizza, sandwiches, or French food. Whatever looks good.
- All of the things I’ve described so far have involved good weather, and April just does NOT dependably provide that. This year, for example, at least half the month involved rain and sub 40 degree temperatures. What to do on an ugly day? The answer is – I don’t know. After six months of inside weather, I run out of the will to try hard in April. I find I just put my head down, do my work, and hope the sun comes out soon. (Or I escape to somewhere warm for a long weekend.) I will say, however, that if you come to Chicago this time of year you should use it as an excuse to buy cute rain boots (but make sure they’re functional…wet socks are the worst) and a sturdy umbrella. If you happen to do said shopping on Michigan Avenue, skip all the chain restaurants and go to Local Root. We were told about this place when we were in Costa Rica, where the chef trained for a couple of years. There’s a little coffee shop, and both dinner and lunch are great. Hands down, by far my favorite Streeterville restaurant.
That’s all I’ve got! Time to pay attention to this animal that’s moved into my house. I think she’s ready for a walk.