Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Ahhh, the buzz!

So, today is the day we close on the house.  I actually took today off, but to my surprise, there is actually nothing to be done today.  My sweetie and I went to the escrow company's office last week and signed all the paperwork, so there is nothing to sign today.  In fact, since possession doesn't happen until 9:00 pm tonight, we aren't even going to get the keys until tomorrow morning.  A little anticlimactic, I guess.

But, since I have a free day and nothing to do, I decided to get back into the swing of things and sign up for Pilates classes.  Since I moved to Seattle, I have taken only one Pilates lesson, and I fully intended to keep it up, but then I got the job, and I went on my honeymoon, and life happened.  Plus, Pilates is expensive, and it's even more expensive here than it was in New York, so I felt a little guilty about spending so much money on something just for me.  (BTW, if anyone ever tempts you to move to Seattle by saying the cost of living is lower than NYC, don't believe them.  It's complete BS.  By all means, come, for the space and the nature and the slower pace of life, but don't expect it will be cheaper)  So, after six months of taking Pilates classes two or three times a week, I have spent four months doing nothing.  But a few things conspired to finally make me do it:

1)  My watch.  I have a very nice watch, given to me by my dad on my college graduation.  It is supposed to wind itself from the movement of my wrist, and in NYC I never gave it a second thought.  In Seattle, it stops every night, and often needs to be reset as it slows down during the day.  This is annoying.  It is also scary: I move so little that my watch cannot stay wound.  Which led me to:

2)  The realization that I really do not walk anywhere any more.  I walked all over in NYC; I walked to and from work, I walked to the grocery store, I walked to restaurants, I walked to go shopping.  I thought I was a fairly lazy person, but simply by living in NYC, I walked.  Here: I walk about 25 seconds to my car in the morning.  I get to office and walk another 25 seconds to my desk.  Occasionally during the day I walk five seconds to and from the bathroom.  At lunchtime I walk for about 15-20 minutes, just to be out of the office.  That's it.  I've gone from walking at least an hour every day to walking 20 minutes if I force myself.  If I'm busy and don't take my lunchtime walk, we're talking two minutes of walking, if that.  No wonder suburbanites are obese.

3)  How physically trashed I was after working the graduation parties.  Yes, I was tired from lack of sleep, but I was also physically sore all over.  After the first 13-hour marathon, I could barely walk, my legs hurt so much.  After another week of these parties, my back hurt, my knees hurt, and my shoulders hurt (so much that even just wearing a bra was exhausting).  I just do not have any endurance any more.

4)  The realization that I have become reluctant to walk.  I was always lazy, but now I am extra lazy.  My sweetie wanted to go for a nice walk along the Burke-Gilman trail on Sunday and he had to bribe me with shopping first.  Once we did it, I enjoyed it very much, but he really did have to make me.  I didn't like that.

5)  My resistance to the walk on Sunday made me realize that I feel restless, but trapped.  The house, the job, everything, is making me just a bit anxious.  I want to do something, but there's nothing, really, to do.  I'm kind of in a holding pattern right now (though that will change when we finally close on the house!), and when I am stressed, I get very sluggish.  I want to hide in unconsciousness.  I sleep a lot, and I hate to make any effort to move.  But what I really need is to focus on something else and relax a bit.  Pilates is great for that.  When I was freaking out over the wedding and the move, Pilates was the one thing that calmed me.  For the hour of the class, and even a couple hours afterwards, I could forget about things and just take it easy.  That's worth a lot to me.

So, today, I took a private lesson.  And, having learned from my previous failure to follow up, I immediately signed up for a group class session this weekend and made an appointment for another private lesson next week.  And, let me tell you, I loved it.  I focused on nothing the whole hour but what I was doing with my body (one of my instructors in NYC referred to Pilates as "the thinking man's exercise" because you really think about what every muscle is doing and when; there's no running on automatic in Pilates!), and when I was done, I felt that buzz, that energizing lift that I had forgotten about.  I am sooooo happy I did this!

Honestly, Pilates is not aerobic, so I don't know that this will solve #1 or #2, but I think it will totally help me with #3, #4 and #5.  And just getting in the mindset of exercise will help a lot, I know.  

Plus, I really want my abs back!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

I feel old

I am wiped.  I just finished my first busy season at my new job.

The company I work for organizes safe and sober high school graduation parties.  June is the busiest time of year; more accurately, three weeks in June is our busiest time of year. On our busiest nights we have a dozen parties just on one night.  These parties run from 11:00 pm until 5:30 am: the idea is to keep the kids busy all night so that they can't be out partying themselves.  Statistics show that more teens are killed drunk driving on their graduation nights than on any other night of the year.

Needless to say, during "grad season" everyone in the office is completely trashed from lack of sleep.

I worked several of these parties this season.  They're pretty cool, very elaborate parties.  It is the first time I have spent significant amounts of time with teenagers since I was a teenager myself.  That's a long, long time ago.  Here are some things I've come away with:

I am so old: I looked around at these kids and realized that I am old enough to be their mom.  And I wouldn't have had to be a teenage mom to do it, either.

I am so old: my first party was an unusually long one, about 13 hours, and after being on my feet for 13 hours, my legs were killing me.  I was limping around the next day like an old lady.  Which I am.

I am so old: my legs recovered after that first party, but by the end of the season, after several parties of being on my feet, my knees are hurting.  So is my back, and my shoulders (which already hurt, but hurt even more now).

I am so old: spending several hours in video arcade (I should say, a noisy video arcade) is not my idea of fun.  And I never saw anyone playing the Ms. Pacman machine!

I am so old: what the heck is with the dancing these days?  All the kids are pressed up in a big clump, humping each other.  I'm told this is "freak dancing."  At one party there was a pretty big floor and a lot of kids, but half the floor was empty because the kids were all pressed together in one corner.  Weird.

I am so old: I had never heard of Soulja Boy or his Superman Dance, until I saw/heard it at every single party.

I am so old: I heard a fair bit of Michael Jackson at these parties, mostly Billie Jean and Thriller.  I guess this year is the 25th anniversary of the Thriller album, which is the only explanation I could come up with for why these kids were dancing to songs older than they are.  Older by a lot.

I am so old: this week I saw Dance Dance Revolution for the first time.  But hey, at least I'd heard of it!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


As promised, a squee:

This is the front of the house. Isn't it cute? It is, I must admit, a lot like the house I grew up in, at least from the outside, which I didn't fully realize until my dad pointed it out.

Note the sidewalk out front. This is a long-standing joke between my sweetie and me, because I grew up in a neighborhood with sidewalks, and he didn't. Whenever we are walking somewhere, I am always yelling at him to quit walking in the street. This block is one of only about three blocks in the area with sidewalks; when we turned onto the block and saw the sidewalks, I was so happy my sweetie started laughing.

Inside, the house is different from the one I grew up in. The part I love best is this main room, the combined living/dining room, which is just huge and full of light. The hardwood floors are new and just gleam.

The master bedroom is on one end of the house, and two other bedrooms are on the other end. There is also a bedroom in the fully finished basement.

The kitchen, which could use a little work. Mostly I'd love to run a gas line to the house so I could have a gas stove!

And, the crowning glory: the backyard. My sweetie and I really wanted a yard for our (someday) kids, but yards are hard to come by in Seattle. Lots are small and frequently the house takes up the whole yard. This house has a big lot, almost a quarter acre, and a large expanse of yard, with lots of beautiful mature trees (too bad the rhododendrons aren't in bloom in this pic: they're beautiful). The best part is that the lot goes all the way to the street in back, so there is no house behind us. My dad made us laugh by referring to the lot as "only 1/4 acre" and "such a small lot." He has, after all, lived in the suburbs for decades. Trust us: this is a huge lot for being in Seattle proper.

Don't get me wrong: the house will need work. It's from 1952, and needs updated plumbing and electrical. It's still on oil heat, and the windows are original, if in very good condition for being over 50 years old. My sweetie has fantasies of ripping out the bathrooms and remodeling them before we move in. I've pointed out that a full-scale bathroom remodel is perhaps not the ideal first project for a couple of people who have never owned a house before. Still, we've moved past terror at the expense to Big Dreams about our house.

We close in two weeks. Squeeee!!!!!

(All pictures from the listing agent, Lake & Company)

Friday, June 06, 2008

Wait, what's going on?

So, I've been feeling lately like I've become an adult, and I don't like it.

I've been working hard at this new job.  I often feel at sea.  Sometimes I like it, sometimes I hate it.  Sometimes I wish I could lie around at home and do nothing.  It is not yet a habit, the way my job in New York had become.  It's work.  Sometimes it's fun, and I expect (hope) it will become even more fun as I get my feet under me, but right now, it's work.

My sweetie and I spent a huge amount of money in Italy, and so we are trying to be good.  It's hard to be good.  We were used to a carefree, high-living, high spending life in New York.  I mean, we were never huge spenders, but we didn't worry about money.  Now, we worry about money.  A friend of mine recently sent me the menu of an extremely fancy meal he recently ate, and my major reactions were: I used to have meals like that and I can't afford meals like that.  If my sweetie and I blow $60 on dinner for two we feel guilty.

Then, this weekend, we bought a house.  This is wildly exciting, and I will do an excited, squeeing post later (with pictures), but this has turned our worry about money into full-fledged panic.  Don't worry--we can afford the house, but....it's a lot of money!  And, though I owned a condo in New York, owning a house is a whole different animal.  There's the sewer line, and the yard, and the roof, and the pipes, and the electrical systems to worry about.  There's the water heater, and the furnace.  Every one of these things either needs work or needs to be monitored until such time as it will need work.  And that means even more money!

So, now I have a job that is work (and pays less than I'd like), I worry about gas prices and the cost of groceries, we're about to assume a mortgage and a house, and we're thinking kids, maybe in the next year or so.  Heck, we bought the house because of its yard and its sidewalks and the fact that it's around the corner from one of Seattle's top-rated elementary schools, so we've just committed a heck of a lot of money to the just the idea of kids.

I miss my carefree single days!  I got married and life became, well, difficult.  I know it's what I want, I love my sweetie, I'm excited to be doing all these new things, but....but geez, I think I wasn't ready to grow up just yet.....