Monday, March 25, 2013

Weekend Wanderings: Spring Break

This was the last weekend of spring break, and while I'm excited to get back to class and teaching, having a break was absolutely wonderful and I'm really going to miss it.  I was able to go out to lunch and happy hour with friends I haven't seen in a long time, and catch up a bit on exercising, which was out of whack post-back-trouble.  Also, it's the end of our fiscal year at work, and my whole team was out of the office, so I was really glad to be able to focus on holding down the fort while they were away this week.  Of course, I don't want to push too quickly through to graduation - I want a break, sure, but I love every minute of my life right now, and I know I'll be sad to see it change in June.

Roger and I spent most of Saturday hanging out at home, since he wasn't feeling very well, but we did take a walk out to Morningside Park and fed the ducks for a little while, which was much more fun than I would have imagined.  Later that night, Rob came over and we all made bagels (recipe to come!), which was fantastic, but took longer than we expected, so we stopped at Bier for a quick drink and truffle fries.

On Sunday, I woke up at the crack of 8:30 (ha, ha) to go on my long run. This week was a great chance for me to get back on the running saddle (erm, mixed metaphors).  Since I didn't have anything to do in the evenings, I got back into evening yoga at our gym, and started running before the classes.  I'm starting half-marathon training (to run a nine-miler with real strength in July), so Tuesday and Thursday mornings are going to start a bit earlier now, but it was nice to ease into it with some evening runs.  Yesterday was my first long run, and while I was exhausted by the end, I was also so glad to be getting back into it.  After a quick shower, I headed over to Amanda's for a poetry-workaday with some friends from school.  We ate brunch pretty quickly and then spent the rest of the afternoon writing before sharing our work.  It was definitely a great way to kick off the return to school, and I wrote a long poem about a dream I had (sigh, I know), so that was productive.  The evening capped off with dinner at the opening of a friend's show.

So, goodbye, spring break!  Goodbye, free time!  You were lovely, but now it's time to get back to work.  See you again in June!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Shameless Self Promotion: Guest Posting at Better in Real Life

I'm so thrilled to be guest-posting at Better in Real Life while Lauren adjusts to her new life as a mother.  She asked us to write about our most vivid childhood memories.  Since I'm trying to get back into travel writing a bit more (a post on Boston to come shortly!), I decided to write about Rhode Island, where we vacationed every summer when I was a child. 

Lauren is one of the first friends I made on the internet.  She's funny, generous, and sent me the nicest email ever when I was freaking out about grad school two years ago.  I'm so pleased to be featured on her blog today.  Hop on over to her site to read the whole post!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013



I'm a bit of a board game nerd and have been ever since I thought they were called "bored" games and desperately wanted Clue Jr. because I knew I could play it by myself.  (Jill was too young to play "bored" games at that point.)  It's rare for me to find a game I really don't like, and I find even the bad ones to be a lot of fun.

My favorite game, however, is a new acquisition called Timeline, which combines my love of games with my love of human achievement.  I first read about it on Amy Karol's blog this fall, and when I received a deck for Christmas, I fell in love.  Roger just got me the diversity pack for my birthday, and while we haven't played it yet, the game's been a big hit around here.  It's a pretty simple premise: you put your cards in order by date.  On the front, you'll find an invention or discovery, illustrated the way it would have appeared at first.  On the back, they list the date.  You place your card down on the spectrum, and then flip it over to see if you've gotten it correct.  Whoever runs out of cards first wins.  It's a lot more challenging than it sounds, and it's such a lot of fun.

If you're looking for a new game to try, I'd highly recommend it.  (Next on my list to try: Pandemic, Burning Wheel.)

Monday, March 4, 2013

Back Pains

My uniform for the past two days.

I think I may have gotten a small comeuppance for complaining about my staycation last week.  Yesterday morning, during spin class, I tweaked my back out something bad, and spent the rest of the day limping between the couch and the bathroom.  I've only done this once before, in October 2009, and this time it isn't quite as bad as it was then.  I also don't have to go to work this week like I did then, so I'm counting myself lucky, although it's pointless to use sick days instead of vacation days this week as Roger suggested, because all my time turns over on March 31, and I know I won't have a chance to take off more days after this week anyway.

There aren't many upsides to feeling this crappy, particularly during a week when I was going to be up-and-at-'em, but it has forced me to take things a bit slower, which isn't a bad thing, I suppose.  I'm just hoping to be in better shape soon, since I'm teaching and in class tomorrow and Wednesday, and I have a four hour bus ride on Thursday.  At this point, sitting really isn't an option (standing, walking, and laying down feel best), so I'm really hoping to be better by then, otherwise I may not go to Boston. 

It's also gotten me more in touch with my body, which is something I remember very well from the 2009 incident.  It was then that I learned what "lift with your knees" meant, and though I've been careful to do so ever since, it's good to have a reminder.  I have a feeling I'm going to be taking things very slowly at yoga next week.  I may also try out swimming instead, since I haven't been in ages and it might be nice to have no pressure on my body at all.

Have you ever thrown your back out?  Did anything particularly help?  So far, I've found the icepack to be the most effective, but I've also been taking short walks around the apartment and dropping ibuprofen like it's hot.  Right after the class when I tweaked it, I took a hot shower, and right now I'm waiting for the heating pad Roger bought me this morning to warm up.  I've heard that ice stops helping about 24 hours after you get hurt (that's where I am right now), and that you should alternate with warmth because the ice stiffens up the muscles and can make it take longer to heal.  And, as soon as I'm feeling like I'd be able to get out of the tub, I'm going to try this detox bath, just because it sounds nice.