Sunday, July 24, 2011

It's Official! I'm out of shape.

Mousey, as he has now been named in the apartment (I know, we shouldn't have named him. This was not my doing), is still out and about, being far too smart to take the traps we've laid out for him. I've taken to clapping and loudly announcing my presence in the kitchen so he knows to hide. This does in fact mean I look certifiably insane every time I go to get a drink/make dinner/throw something out. -clap clap- "I'M COMING IN MOUSE, HIDE YOURSELF!" -clap clap-

Back in March, there was a Groupon in Roanoke that offered zip lining and wall climbing for $20 out in New Castle (a happening town with a gas station and a Subway). Both OfficeMate and I purchased this Groupon, and it's actually been the only one we've purchased as of since. Roanoke's new to the Groupon scene, and most of the offers are for spas or mail-order food. But hey, $20 for wall climbing and a zip line is a damn good deal, so we went ahead and nabbed it.

First off, when you're banking on your iphone to get you to a location where there is little to no cell reception, you're going to get lost. Especially when your phone tells you to make a left and drive two miles, when in reality you're supposed to go RIGHT and drive two miles. Awesome.

When we finally reached the place, it was packed full of people camping, canoeing, biking, and every other outdoorsy pasttime imaginable. Besides just arriving late, we then spent about half an hour walking around trying to find a main office and employees. That being said, once we found the office and the employees, the zip lining was good fun and the climbing wall was awesome. I struggled twice, though. Yes, we only did two activities and I struggled during both. To get to the top of the zip line, there was a pretty decently steep hike. Being unprepared, neither of us had come with water nor had we eaten anything all day, and the employee was BOOKING it to the top of the hill. I should come with a warning: Not as in shape as I appear. Then, THEN, the climbing wall. I climbed up the first half like a champ, and then I paused. Not only did I not know where to go next because all the rock-like things were too small, I was also horribly out of breath. I somehow made it to the top of the wall and thought about victoriously raising my arms Rocky-style, but opted against it.

We left and high-tailed it to a gas station for some granola bars and gatorade. I was hurting. Not only was a starving and dehydrated, I HURT. I hurt the next morning. I hurt the next afternoon. Then I hurt two mornings later and knew I was just pathetic. I've been doing yoga to try to fix this. Most likely it will be to no avail and I'll give up in a week. Damn you, exercise, my lifelong nemesis.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Rats, a mouse!

My freshman year of college, a mouse was found in my dorm room. From what the girls on my hall and I were able to deduce, he fed on the other half of the suite, but slept in mine. Being college females, we naturally fell in love with a cute, small rodent, and did the unforgivable - we named him. The resident mouse was loving labeled "Roger" and we set out a humane trap to catch him. Someone bought a cage from which he escaped, and then we miraculously caught him again because Roger wasn't the brightest. He was set free in a field. In November. Roger probably died that very night.

Today I was sitting on the living room floor eating sourdough pretzel bites out of the bag like the fat kid I am, when I noticed something scurry past my right side. I jumped and assumed the worst - that it was a cockroach. Well, lucky me, it kept scurrying. It scurried towards the kitchen enough for me to get quite the view of my new third roommate - we have a mouse. I swear, this apartment. Our windows shatter, our roof leaks, there was a mushroom growing in the window ledge of the bathroom the other day, I kid you not, and now this. Now, a rodent.
It was when I sat the bastard in the kitchen sitting happily on my bathmat that I tell myself is acceptable to use as a kitchen mat by the sink that I lost it. Here he was, intruding on my space uninvited, IN MY KITCHEN? I think not, friend. You will not enjoy the same ending as Roger; I have no intention of being humane in my capturing of you. You are eating my food that I pay for WITHOUT food stamps. You are not paying rent, so you may not stay here. Get. Out. I don't care that I used to be the crazy hamster lady in middle school, I now lack the same soft spot for rodents. You're not a stray basset hound in my kitchen, you're a mouse.

OfficeMate (who is no longer my office mate. Tragedy!) said he liked to think of our new friend as Remy from Ratatouille. Until the mouse begins to cook me four-course gourmet meals, I don't want him here.

I called the landlord.
"Hi, I have a mouse in my apartment?"
"Oh lucky you!"
"Yes, well, he's not paying rent, so I was wondering what the proper protocol was for his eviction."

They're coming tomorrow with traps and will spray around the perimeter of the building. Goodbye, sir. You are not welcome. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200.

Sunday, July 10, 2011


After college, I endured a period in my life known as "unemployment." In order to deal with the day to day mind-numbing quality of it all, a good friend of mine informed me that she referred to that period of her life as "funemployment." And it stuck. I spent approximately four months shooting out resumes and cover letters. I interviewed with no idea of what was expected of me. College does not prepare you properly for that aspect of the real world. Sure, it teaches you critical thinking and vastly improved my writing, but interviewing? There was no class on that. There was no class on patience or the best way to spend your days watching every single match in the World Cup on Univision, becoming accustomed to State Farm commercials in Spanish and refusing to watch any of the matches in English. I found the best way involved Maccy, the dog, and a bag of chips. Funemployment is lonely.

When I got this position in Roanoke, I was thrilled. Beyond thrilled - I was getting my foot in the door of nonprofits, I was going to learn the ins and outs of fund development, I had an excuse to live somewhere completely new. It was perfect.

However, now that funemployment part ii looms overhead and another move is in my fairly near future, I'm becoming sentimental. I knew this year had an expiration date. I had no intention of doing a second year in Roanoke, but now it's all starting to hit me. I have to move soon - I have to find a new apartment, a new grocery store, a new hair girl*, a new routine, a new KITCHEN. Ah, the tragedy!

This time last year I was itching for change. Now, a year later, and I'm nervous about it all. OfficeMate and Britannica will no longer be nearby. I won't live in an apartment with well-meaning rednecks who will protect me with their shotguns. I know I'll be fine, but I know my nerves are getting the best of me.

*When I went to get my hair cut last week, I told my hair girl that I was moving and it made me so sad because I love what she does. I feel like I'm breaking up with her, it's tragic. She suggested I fly down every 6-8 weeks from wherever I end up, but I don't think I'm ready for that kind of financial commitment. WHO TELLS THEIR HAIR GIRL THEY'RE SAD THEY HAVE TO LEAVE THEM? She must be relieved I'm leaving.

(image credit to the ever-fantastic Natalie Dee)

Sunday, July 3, 2011

My First Sunburn (and other 4th of July Pasttimes)

No, not my first sunburn ever, but my first sunburn in nine or ten years. I generally pride myself on being able to throw on some SPF 15 or 25, and being good for the rest of day. That's generally a good enough coating for my semi-latina skin to develop a nice, sun-kissed glow.

So today when I left to go tubing, I did just that. I slathered on some oil-free 15 (some 100 on my face - we don't want wrinkles, ladies!) and figured I'd be good to go for the day. A group of five ladies and myself hopped on our tubes and started our fourish hour trek down the river in Natural Bridge.* While everyone else constantly reapplied their SPF 50, I said no thanks and silently thanked my latin genes for keeping me from burning.

About hour three, I began to feel hot. By hour four, I noticed my thighs were looking a little red. By the time we got out of the water, I knew my legs were goners. By the time we got back to Granny's and I changed out of my swimsuit, I knew that a sunburn this bad had not happened since 2002 in Venezuela. Congratulations, Natural Bridge, your sunlight did in one day what the Canary Islands sun could not do in an entire week back in 2009. When I got back home, I slathered on the aloe vera, cranked up my little AC unit and just stood on a stool in front of it. I don't know what else to do. I'm considering a bag of frozen peas for each leg and maybe I'll just sleep in the freezer tonight. True story, I took two precautionary advil. So if you happen to see someone around that looks like me, but a lobster, that's just me, looking like a lobster.... for the first time in almost a decade. I am shamed.

In other news...
My wonderful parents (plus the pooch) came down on Thursday so that The Car Whisperer (Hi, Dad!) could take a look at Mr. Merlot. My father, by some miracle, was able to fix the car without even having to replace the starter (although, he had one ready just in case). However, this was not before he mentioned the car might have permanent electrical damage which caused me to burst into tears over the thought of having to spend that much money on a car again (I'm looking at YOU, living stipend!). All for naught, though! For now, Mr. Merlot is fine and up and running. Knock on wood.

We spent Friday hiking and grabbing some grub. Saturday was spent at the Farmer's Market ($1 eggplant, I kid you not!) and then the lake with OfficeMate and his parents. Today's venture to Natural Bridge has completed my outdoorsyness for a few days, at least until this burn turns into a tan or peels off. Yeah, yeah enjoy that lovely visual.

For now, though, I'll just nurse this burn and continue to motivate my skin. "You lasted so long without a burn, you've got this! Just turn it into a tan and I'll be sure to reapply from now on! We had such a good system going, why did you turn on me? Water under the bridge! Just heal! I'll keep giving you aloe vera and advil!"

Happy Fourth of July! I'm two of the colors on the American Flag! All three, if you count how blue my heart is after this sunburn.

*The tubing was lovely and relaxing. I enjoyed being able to lay out in the sunlight, let the current take my tube and I, and just absorb the (damn sunlight) lovely views of the surrounding mountains. No photos available because I love my camera and iPhone.