Posts from the ‘humorous adventures’ Category

A horse is a horse, of course…

Don’t laugh.

Okay, I know that I am so hilarious that me saying that is the equivalent of telling my dog to not be excited when I come home. But really, I mean it.

I’ve decided that if I manage to run the half-marathon I am going to reward myself.  Now this does not mean if I show up, start

Bret Michaels

and eventually finish.  This means: I run it, I’m happy with it. I don’t break any part of my body, or hurt anything, faint, vomit, poop myself or publicly humiliate myself in any way, shape or form. I manage to not piss off the man-friend so much that he leaves me there. AND that I get to take my picture again with the Rocky statue.  City-Mouse, we may need to make that a yearly tradition. Not that I’ve ever seen even a single Rocky movie.

This particular course has bands along the way, and Bret Micheal’s will be performing at the end, so it will also mean that I have to enjoy that too.

My reward:

 

Stetson Alexa Rae Red Boots

 

I think it’s perfectly logical.  I fell in love with these last weekend.  It still makes me sad that I don’t own them.  Grant you, they are sold out of my size on Zappos.com, but if i try hard and don’t care what I pay, I’ll find them. Really.  I could be running along Route 209 in Hurley and see a horse that clearly needs to be tamed, and I don’t own the proper footwear for such a task.  Honestly, I think it’s a safety hazard. Really.  What am I going to do if that happens?  OR if I suddenly decide I have rhythm[1], and need to take a line dancing class?  I seriously need to fill out this section of my shoe wardrobe.

Besides.

They are really pretty.  And I love the detail of the stitching, the precise shape of the toe, and the rich, demanding color of the leather itself. And I absolutely adore the shading on the sole of the boot (Is that called a sole?).  I know that I will walk all over them (there’s a lot of restraint in not making a Nancy Sinatra reference), but the shading will be there for the first few wearings, and I’ll know it.  It’ll make me smile to know that I even love the sole of these boots.

I love them. So I have to earn them.  Or if they aren’t around then, another pair that suits my needs.  Or slightly unhealthy shopping habits. Obsessions.  No, maybe needs.  There is that horse scenario.  Grant you, to tame a horse encountered on a run, I would first need to go home and change out of my running sneaks, and into the boots.  But the horse will wait.

 

[1] This is less likely than needing to tame a horse

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In the Summer, in the City…

There is a cat living outside my house who may just be the most annoying thing to happen to me since puberty. 

My landlord let it live in her part of the house for two days last weekend while a very bizarre woodchuck trapping endeavor took place. While at first the cat cried and hissed for hours trying to escape from the house, it suddenly realized it had food, water, a window and air conditioning.  The crying was replaced with purring and 10 hour naps.  Then a desire for snuggles.  Put back on the streets once the woodchuck escapade was completed, she’s been trying to get back in to the world of ever-flowing cat food and air conditioning ever since.  She seems convinced that both apartments in this house will provide these things, and has been serenading me with song every night since.  I didn’t ever like that cat singing the commercial’s song, and I don’t like this cat keeping me up at night. Even as cute as she is.

A particularly funny arrangement at the house I rent in Kingston is that the man-friend and I refer to it as our “city-home”, using his house in the Catskill’s as our weekend “country home“. This is ridiculous for several reasons, starting with; this is NOT a city house.  It’s a beautiful Victorian with an English Garden and is seemingly hidden in a pocket location in the city of Kingston.  It is minutes from anything I could possibly need (and yes, this includes both a grocery store and a beach) but is tucked away in a quiet place.  But for the location being convenient to EVERYTHING (the polar opposite of the “Country House” location) it gets dubbed the ‘city house’ by us.

Now, the landlord, who is the only other person living in the two family Victorian, views this as her and her husband’s Country House.  She lives on the Upper West Side of Manhatten.  This is an appropriate statement, and an important lesson in perspective.

Important to note: The trapper was not Bill Murray, which is further proof that I cannot have everything that I want in life.

While this is her country home and my city home, we both recently agreed on one thing:  The woodchuck that was living under the house, destroying the foundation and eating the garden had to go. So, a trapper was hired and the saga began.  This trapper informed her that he could not release the woodchuck anywhere and consequently, the only option was a kill trap.  My landlord is an animal LOVER (see first paragraph) and was not happy, but had no choice.  Thus, all the friendly animals in the neighborhood were gathered up and brought inside the house, and so began the two days of us tripping over animals, popping corn and sitting at her window staring at the trap, waiting to see the woodchuck meet its fate.   No, we don’t have cable TV. Why do you ask?

Soon after the trap had been laid, and once I’d had my fill of watching nothing happen (just like a baseball game or a golf game), I left to go to the country house for the weekend. When I came back, I had the porch kitty crying for the better life she had while the woodchuck was avoiding (unsuccessfully) his own fate.

That’s what life is like, here in the city…

From Sake Bombs to Matzoh Balls, and Everything in Between…

So much to blog and so little time.  Okay, top 5 memories from the last three weeks:

1) Sake bomb introduction.  “Hello there pitcher of beer and sake wine decanter.”  The best invention (and the host of the evening ) might be the all you can eat Sushi restaurant in Tribeca called Ashiya Sushi. I won’t lie, the sushi is good, but not wonderful, but don’t go there for the Sushi.  The secret is, this is one of the few all-you-can-eat sushi joints that BEER AND SAKE is INCLUDED. Take my lead and go with 20 of your closest friends and chase each piece of Sushi with a Sake Bomb!  For those who don’t know the recipe for a sake bomb, it is FANTASTIC.  You take a sake glass and fill’er up. Then, you fill a pint glass to 3/4 full.  Then, you carefully arrange the sake glass on a “bridge” of your chopsticks, which you lay on top of the glass.  Then, you smack the table, the sake cup falls into the Pint Glass, and you drink the whole thing.  Obviously, you need to be with the right group of people for this place AND you need to plan to be drunk, ’cause if you aren’t drunk, you’ll be the only one.  THAT is never fun. And, for another reco, follow up this experience by booking a private karaoke room at Duet 35  for you and your friends.  Both of these plans made for a very fun Asian-themed drunk-fest!

2) Went for 3 really good, longer training runs.  They were the first 5+ mile runs I had done since my knee started acting up, and they went quite well.  There’s nothing like a spring day long run with beautiful scenery to back it up. This makes me smile.

3) My bike came!  And she’s super pretty.  I cannot wait to hit the roads with Molly!  The man-friend put her together (with a little help from Kingston Cyclery) and now I am ready to hit the road!  While awaiting her arrival, I have been doing brick workouts at my gym using the treadmill and the exercise bike.  I gotta say, if you have never done that, it’s a fabulous experience in balance and determination the first few times you give that a go.  (A brick workout is a bike-ride following a run.) You have to balance your desire to step off the bike and go shower with your desire to NEVER MOVE YOUR LEGS AGAIN! They will feel like bricks, and you’ll contemplate spending the rest of your life standing still.  The first time I experienced this, I FORGOT that what I had just done was a brick workout. I was just biking following a run on the treadmill to help my knee issues.  I hoped off the bike following a three mile run and an 8 mile ride and…fell.  And laughed.  There’s always laughter.  I then remembered what this was (from hearing stories from others) and stretched.  Eventually I was able to walk again. It’s a good kind of pain though, and I am happy that I am now ready to take the act of biking out of the gym.  Open road, here I come!!  And I mean that quite likely literally too, so I bought a first aid kit and tools.

4) High-Fay-ave!  Have you seen the movie Borat?  I can’t lie, I am more than a little bit of a prankster.  On a whim one night, while laying in bed, I decided to tell the man-friend that Linus (my overly anxious chihuahua)  gives high fives. “But only if you request it of him using the accent from Borat.”  I demonstrated a few times, and then forgot.  It’s a little ridiculous to think that my dog responds to any word at all, let alone throwing in a language barrier. The truth is, Linus does give high fives, but only when he lies on his back, paws in the air, and you put your hand up for him, already kinda near his paw, and he has to only stretch a few inches.  I think it’s more of a protection mechanism.  It’s certainly nothing I have taught him, but I think it’s cute, so I’ve encouraged.  But you don’t have to say a word, and you certainly don’t need to use a Kazakstan-ian accent.  What language do they speak there anyway?!?  Regardless, I had forgotten about it until a few days later I hear the man-friend in the other room say to the doglet, “HIGH-Fayve” with an outstretched hand.  Tears fell.  Belly laughter.  Days worth of smiles for me.  It was great.

5) The Passover Sedar.  I went to two of them this year (which beats the previous years zero) and found that sometimes religion can be enjoyable.  I have nothing funny to say about this.  Just truth.

My apologies for the lack of recent blogging.  I’ve been traveling for work, and just downright exhausted.  But don’t worry, the bike is bound to cause ridiculousness (have I mentioned I’ve never ridden a bike with varying speeds??) , and I can’t wait to tell you all about it.

The Birthday Hangover.

Birthday hangovers are a special breed of hangover.

Basically, it is the mission of your friends in the bar to give you a hangover on your birthday.  You thank them for shots.  You think it’s nice of them when they steal your empty glass and fill it with more poison.  There is a lot of smiling. Everything is wonderful.  More empty glasses get filled.  You stop noticing when they disappear and return.

Quite honestly, I have to come out and say something. I have the best friends in the entire world.  You should be so jealous and irritated by this sentence that you make it your life’s mission to find friends who are as good to you as my friends are to me. I’d like for you to do that. But even as wonderful as they are….they still gave me this hangover.

You know you have a hangover when:

You NEED a bagel.  And you are minutes away from Sunshine Bagels in Kingston, NY and know you can have the best bagel in the world very soon.  All you have to do is get in your car. You start fantasizing about cream cheese and lox. You salivate. Yet, it takes you 20 minutes from the time you get out of bed to brush your teeth and put your hair in a pony tail.  You are walking very slowly. You put on sweat clothes and a scarf, cause it’s like A degree outside. (Yes, as in “1” degree.) You put on your coat and then realize, “I’m not going to make it to the car without puking.”  You remove your jacket and other loose clothing.  You go back to the bathroom and do the deed.  Then you have to brush your teeth and hair again. An hour has past and you are no closer to the bagel.  You wonder if your manfriend’s sister is awake and would want a bagel badly enough to bring one to you.  You realize you are being a bitch, and put your sweat clothes and jacket back on.  This time you make it to the car. Dizzily.

In the car ride to the bagel, you notice the lack of heat in all of New York State has caused snot crystals to form in your nose.  You think about using a tissue to rid yourself of them.  You decide it’s just easier to learn to find the good in them and coexist.

You walk into the bagel store and order your sandwich.  You smell the coffee and realize you’d forgotten that coffee exists until this moment. You turn to your boyfriend and say, “Oohhhh.  I forgot about coffee.” He laughs at you, and offers to take care of the rest of the ordering, and lets you find seats.  You find a seat near a family of four (two teenage boys) and stare blankly out the window.  You look over and realize two teenage boys are pointing at you and laughing.  You wonder if it’s your inability to move your head properly or the ice-snot crystals that they are mocking.  You realize that you don’t care.

The man-friend brings you coffee and a bagel.  You take the smallest sip of coffee and then realize consumption is difficult. It takes half an hour to eat half a bagel.  You decide you don’t have the fortitude to go on, and wrap up the other half to go.

The man-friend turns to you and announces he wants to go to……Walmart. You don’t cry. You want to argue, but, seriously, you just spent 2 hours trying to eat a bagel, and you failed at that mission. He deserves to run an errand.

The bagel kicks in, and suddenly you can move your head left and right without being sea-sick.  Life is good again. And even better when you realize it’s Sunday, and the remainder of the day can be spent on the couch.

I can’t help but think back to the previous day’s complements from friends.  “You look fantastic!  We are having so much fun. This bar is awesome, good choice! I’m so happy you were born!”

I guess every point needs a counterpoint, in the way that every yoga pose has a counterpose for balance. If the sacrifice for having the best birthday night ever is this hangover…I’m okay with it. I’ll just move my “downward dog” to the couch for the rest of the afternoon.  It’s quite tragic.

The day I learned to Ski

I have apparently been doing things wrong my whole life.  I like flat, dry walking surfaces. I always thought you were supposed to avoid snow covered sidewalks and walking on slippery patches of ice.

Clearly, they’ve made an industry of doing exactly what I fear most in life, sliding down a mountain in the snow.  They even make expensive, fashionable shoes for it.

Well, maybe not fashionable.  But they are expensive.

It’s been a few weeks since I took my first skiing lesson and I have talked to a lot of folks about it.  The general consensus is that it’s much harder to learn skiing as an adult than when you are a child.  As an adult, fear plays a significant role. I’m not saying it’s impossible to learn, just saying that it’s irrational.

The definition of rational is as follows “using reason or logic in thinking out a problem.[1]”  I remember logic.  Quite fondly actually.  It was the only section of 11th grade math that I understood. So:

A = a very tall mountain covered in snow with a comfy, cozy, warm building featuring a wonderful bar, a fire place and yummy food at the very bottom of the mountain.

B= a pair of thin wooden planks with a sadomasochistic-like pair of clips which attaches a pair of perfectly well tractioned boots to the sticks, turning them into mini death traps.

C= An instructor who takes away my poles.  Meanly. He believes in tough love.  I believe in holding poles.  We had irreconcilable differences.

Logic should have warned me that the only one of the above I should have interest in is A.

The day started so nicely.  The man-friend and I met up with his friends and drove out to the mountains. We laughed and made jokes along the way. His friend had a nasty fall at the end of the season last year, and we were rehashing the incident.  The man-friend pointed out that he could be the poster boy for not drinking and skiing.  I said I thought that was preposterous. They all stopped what they were saying and looked at me. “You cannot drink and ski. Drinking and Skiing don’t mix.”  Their intensity frightened me a little.  They meant business.  Apparently, I was to listen.

We stopped at a shop where I rented the death traps and my much loved poles. We then drove the remaining distance to the cozy, warm building at the bottom of the mountain and carried our gear to the lodge.  They were giddy with excitement for their first trip out on the snows this year and I was…..stuck.  I had put on the ski boots and could not move my feet. Even as a runner, my leg muscles struggled to negotiate the extra 5 lbs on my feet. I slowly made my way to the end of the (short) table.  This was already not going well.  I piled on the rest of my cold weather garb and looked at the man-friend, who in a  very supporting fashion was waiting with me,  to walk me to my very first ski class.  He called it chivalry.  I called it him thinking I would skip the lesson and go hit the bar.  It’s about 50/50 as to which one of us would have been right if he’d left.

I shuffled out to the mountain. I’d say it was probably 700 feet. It took me about 10 mins.  I handed the instructor my ticket to the class.  The man friend gave me a quick kiss and ran off to his mountain adventure.  I gulped and looked around at the other members of my class.  There were about 10.  2 children under 5.  3 adults from an Asian background. 2 girls in their teens, and 2 older men in their late 60’s.  The instructor was named Guillermo, and spoke with a heavy, but easily understandable accent. He taught us how to walk.  Feet turned out up a hill, feet turned in down a hill.  We walked up and down.  This wasn’t that hard.  I even dug it a little.  I was feeling good.

“So, let’s strap a ski to your right foot,” if I had known him better, I would say he said it with a smirk.

I gulped. I hesitated.  I walked over to my ski’s. I stared them down.  I looked up and everyone already had their foot in the ski.  I gingerly complied.  And then fell on my ass.  And then fell again while trying to get up.  I did get up the third time and even managed a smile. This was a tough crowd.  No one laughed.  I gulped.

We began walking in a circle, taking turns turning our feet in or out depending on if we were climbing or descending the bottom of the hill.

Oh!  I forgot to describe the hill.  It was not steep.  It held a very slight incline at the bottom, which was where we were learning to walk and then there was a “Magic Carpet”. I I would compare the magic carpet to a people-mover at an airport. When you decided you were game to try skiing down a little hill, you could walk over to the carpet and your ski’s would catch and it would bring you up to the top of the hill, which was maybe a 10ft elevation.

But back to the circle.  Here we were, 10 seemingly rational human beings walking in a circle with one very well traction-ed foot and one designed to make us slide on snow and ice. When I was told to trade in my final traction-ed foot for a slippery one, I should have just said no.  But I had always wanted to ski, and I knew the man-friend was really hoping that my lesson would be successful. I gulped one more time and clipped in the remaining death trap.  I even managed not to fall this time.  The instructor then asked us to walk a bit up the hill.

Do you remember those Nordic track ski machines?  I basically invented one right there on the mountain.  I was the equivalent of a mouse in a wheel, moving quickly and getting no where.  The instructor tapped me on the shoulder, “Try walking sideways up the mountain.  You might make progress.”  I sighed.  Heavily. And did the sideways walk, the whole time realizing I was gonna have to get back down somehow.

Which I did.  Slowly, and carefully with my feet turned in the whole time.  I think I finally found something I do slower than running. The instructor came over.  He walked me over to the magic carpet and made me get on. He walked up to the top and met me there.   He took away my poles and stood in front of me.  For a split second I thought of the man-friend’s Uncle who told me that he would teach me to ski by putting me between his legs and skiing down the mountain. I had told him at the time that I thought that would be inappropriate, but really, clearly I had known nothing about the horrors of skiing until today. The instructor asked me to put out my hands so he could hold them, and he skied backwards in front of me telling me that he would not let me fall, but that I should continue to ski to him.  About half way down, I fell.  Backwards, away from the instructor.  He looked stunned, as though no one had ever done that before.  I tried to get up a few times and he worked his way up to help me.  The fall had not hurt much, so I let him pull me back up.  He told me that I should work my way down to the bottom and I looked at him as though he instructed me to climb Mount Everest.  “But….you took my poles,” I managed to whisper, with the fear of a three year old asking you to not turn off all the lights. He laughed, and smiled at me and walked up the hill to give me back my poles.  I slowly worked my way down the rest of the hill.  I then realized I was running out of hill, and didn’t know that I could stop. I turned into a fainting goat and fell again.  This lesson was getting slightly embarrassing.

I didn’t know the definition of embarrassing until a few moments later when I walked gingerly back to the magic carpet. Like I said, it’s very similar to an elevated people-mover (maybe 2ft tops above the ground) which most of you should be familiar with.  The elderly use it constantly.  Kids grasped it’s concept almost right away.  I fucking fell off of it immediately. In the most not-graceful, skis flying, landing right on my shoulder and stabbing myself with the butt end of the pole kind of way. My instructor looked like an equal combination of shocked and bewildered.  But he came right over to see if I was okay (which I was) and to help me untangle myself.  When I got up, I noticed that they had shut off the magic carpet and there was a line of about 20 people both watching my spectacle, and eagerly awaiting the return of the power to the helpful device.  My instructor offered to hold my hand while I got back on the carpet.  I looked at him bewildered.  “Oh, no, let these people go first, please!” It wasn’t even a request, I was not going to get back on that machine immediately.  I watched a few people hop on.  I looked at the comfy, cozy building with food, fire and beer.  I looked up at the GIANT mountain, with trails weaving all about it.  All of the trails, which varied greatly in elevation, difficultly and popularity all had one thing in common. They lead to the warm building.  Which gave me an idea.  I could get there by simply never leaving it in the first place.

I snapped off my skis.  The instructor turned to look at me.  “Thank you,” I said, “But I think I am good.”  He started to argue, but then saw my determination.  I walked in the well traction-ed boots to the top of the tiny hill and left my ski’s at the ski rack.  I then, in a very calculated fashion remembered the three boys who were out enjoying the steep terrain.  The man-friend was going to want to see what I learned.  When I told him I walked away from the lesson, he may try to teach me more, thinking he was being helpful.  They may want to try and take me to a bunny hill.  I panicked, until I remembered an important fact.

Drinking and Skiing don’t mix.

I looked left then right, hoping that they were no where to be seen, which they weren’t.  I looked at my watch and saw it was 11am.  I sprinted to the bar, where I very breathlessly requested a shot of Jameson and a bottle of beer.  I quickly downed the shot, and chased with the entire beer bottle. I then sent out the important text message to the 3, “FYI—I am at the bar,” where I was happily able to stay for the rest of the day without arguments.

Skiing is fun.


[1] According to Thefreedictionary.com