#trypod

Thursday, March 16, 2017

I'm a big fan of listening to podcasts during pre-dawn trainer workouts, when I'd rather watch the sunrise than stare at a screen. Since March is "Try a Pod" month, I thought I'd share a few of my favorites.

For real horror: You know what's scarier than ghosts, vampires, zombies, haunted lighthouses and being buried alive? Actual real-life contemporary murder. In "My Favorite Murder," the hosts (who are from my homeland of California) recount their favorite true crime stories. One episode talks about the Night Stalker, who was all over the news during my childhood growing up in L.A. Another focuses on Mary Vincent, whose attacker hacked both of her arms off, yet she still managed to survive. The show also talks about child murderers (as in children who are murderers), a murder in a lululemon store (WTF), a woman who faked pregnancy and then tried to kill a truly pregnant woman so she could take the baby out of her and claim it as her own (seriously WTF), and other equally pleasant topics. I can't stop listening. (True story: My parents were visiting recently, and I was on the trainer listening to murder and they literally started praying the rosary.)

Be warned, however: Every time I go running now and see someone out there, I'm 99 percent sure they're going to murder me. It also doesn't help that this just happened in a park I used to run through in Seattle. And my paranoia isn't limited to the trail. One of the creepiest stories in the podcast is about a woman who was swimming laps and a guy stood on the deck and stared at her and she got a bad feeling, so she didn't get out of the pool and just kept swimming and eventually he went away and then later she saw his picture on the news and he was a murderer. Now I think about this all the time. (I do feel like I should sign up for a self-defense class and carry pepper spray. I'm curious -- if you're reading this, do you do anything to protect yourself while running?)

"Phew! Didn't get murdered!"

For shits and giggles: On a completely different note, I also love "My Dad Wrote a Porno," which is basically three friends reading aloud from their dad's horribly written erotic novel. The novel in question is "Belinda Blinked," and it is so unbelievably bad that it's amazing. (The word "cervix" should never, ever be used in a sex scene.)

So you know you're not alone: "Terrible, Thanks for Asking" tackles the awful things that happen to us and how we learn to live with them. Expect tears. But expect hope too. (Also related: "The Hilarious World of Depression." I love that we can have honest, adult conversations about mental illness because it really is a thing and we shouldn't be embarrassed to talk about it.)

For tunes: The Current is my favorite local radio station, and I'm a fan of their "Song of the Day" podcast. It's a great way to find new music.

For politics: The "NPR Politics Podcast" is a good overall view of the shit circus that is our current administration. (Side note: Is anyone else freaking out about the proposed budget? EPA cuts? Elimination of arts funding?) If you're looking for politics with a much more adamantly liberal slant, check out "Pod Save America." And finally, "Civics 101" explains all of the government terms and entities we hear about in the news so we can decipher what's really happening and how things actually work (or should work, or perhaps may not be working at all).

adulting and stuff

Friday, March 10, 2017

Since my last post, I've gotten married, traveled to Costa Rica (where running on a shadeless beach in a very humid 90 degrees is ill-advised), organized my first media event at work, experienced my first art opening, applied for a home loan, advocated for saving the NEA and NEH, witnessed the ugliness the current political climate seems to be unearthing, joined an interfaith women's book club (yes, I am very unsettled by current politics), improved my swim speed (holy shit, right?) and finally washed my car (and of course it snowed the next day).

No wedding photo for you; instead: The car wash!

Naturally, my apartment is an explosion of shoes and dirty spandex and kitty litter crumbs and unopened mail. And my front closet is packed so full of boxes of god-knows-what because whenever anyone comes over, my "cleaning" strategy involves throwing all of my piles in a box and hiding it. And the other night Mouse barfed in the bed, and I was too tired to get up and clean it, so I just kept sleeping. And I never actually finished the reading for the book club. And I haven't cleaned my bathtub even once since I moved into my apartment a year ago. And I need a haircut and a chiropractic adjustment and a pedicure. And there are a bunch of vegetables in the refrigerator that are going to go bad unless I cook them immediately. And I got a power meter but it's still in the box because I haven't had time to sit down and figure out how to install it.

And thus we have the adulting paradox: The more you do adult things, the less you feel like an actual adult.

whole 30 update

Sunday, January 29, 2017

So technically, if you are really into the Whole 30 "tough love" philosophy, I failed.

Because on Day 8, my boss took our team out for Greek food, and my dressing-free grilled chicken salad came with a cup of avgolemeno soup, which had rice in it, and I couldn't resist and ate the rice.

And then on Day 17, I had two friends over for brunch, and even though everything I made was completely Whole 30 compliant (I have come to loathe the word "compliant"), the girls brought over mimosas to toast the fact that I may or may not be getting married soon and it would've been rude to refuse, so I had a very small mimosa.

And then last night, Day 23, a bunch of us took the mister out for a belated birthday celebration, and I had wine and a pupusa (which is made with corn).

So if I were being really, really strict with the Whole 30 rules, I would have had to start over from Day 1 after every single one of these "slips."

Which doesn't seem right to me. Because besides these three instances, I've been spending all of my free time cooking, meal-planning, packing my lunches, trying new recipes and changing what I reach for when I'm hungry. I've broken my chip addiction. Instead, I eat apples, carrots and other whole foods as my snacks. I made plantains for the first time (amazing), learned how to cook with coconut milk and came up with a really awesome way to make killer roasted potatoes. And I've stayed away from gluten, soy and dairy, which are the three things I really wanted to avoid through this diet.

I don't feel like a failure, no matter what the Whole 30 rules say. And I actually really enjoy being in the kitchen.

So I'm going to keep going and not worry about starting over. And I hope the habits I've learned will continue even after I reach Day 30.


(Speaking of recipes and cooking and trying new things, I made deconstructed samosas today. Yum.)
 
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