Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The Next Books of Book Club

Book Club is my most favorite.

It all started a few months ago when a friend suggested that we start a book club....and quickly grew to be one of my favorite nights of every month. I love being surrounded by a group of smart, articulate, passionate, feminist, hilarious, outspoken women all in one place. Plus, there's snacks! This is how real friendships are forged, people! Book Club, for the last few months, has been one of my "safe places" where I can go to discuss anything large or difficult weighing on my mind. It's kiiiind of like group therapy :) (But seriously.)

We just got together last week and picked out our books for the next few months -- thought I'd share to see if any of you have read them, or are looking for suggestions! One thing I particularly love about Book Club (other than the excellent people and snacks) is that we read such a variety of literature....fiction, nonfiction, fantasy, history,  scientific, long, short....it runs the gamut! Some months I love the books more than others -- that's a given with all the variety on the table -- but I always love hearing what other people have to say about the books, even if it's not one I personally loved.

Here's what we've got coming up:

(I've already read this one and I'm obsessed. Have you seen the trailer for the upcoming movie? CHILLS. ERRRY. TIME.)

DECEMBERA Christmas Carol
(I've admittedly never read this one!) (But I love the muppet version. Does that count?)



APRILBad Pharma

(So sue me, I couldn't fit all 7 books in the image.) (Sorry, Christmas Carol.)

Friday, September 26, 2014

For the Love/Hate of Running

Last weekend, I participated in my 4th Ragnar Relay.

I say "participated" because, thanks to the groin/hip injury I'm slowwwwly healing from, I had to opt out of actually running this year. But, I still wanted to hang out and support my team, so I went along as the van driver/team mom/holiday cheermeister. Our team theme was The Karate Kids (yes, I chose it), and there's no way I was missing out on an opportunity to wear a headband and quote one of my favorite movies like craaaazy. (We'll just call it Ragnar 3.5 for me.)

Here's the thing: I don't love running. But I looove running events.

I'm not sure if I have ever consistently loved the physical act of running. I do like being in shape, I love being able to play frisbee (my first athletic love) with better ease, I love bonding with other runners, I love the feeling of running farther than I ever have before, I love talking about running strategies/gear/events/etc. (like when I used to blog for The Phoenix Marathon for work -- that was a good time), and...I love Ragnar Relays, amen. (Enough to run them in LEGO and Sesame Street costumes, or in the pouring-like-it's-never-poured-before buckets o' rain.)

But the day-in, day-out training...the drudgery of the miles after work or on Saturday mornings when I'd rather be doing a number of other things....those are the parts I don't like. (Oh, and I don't like the injuries....obviously... :)

We're frenemies, running and I. And after dealing with the latest injury, I was like, "I'm never going to do this again. I'm retiring." 

But after about 0.00005 seconds back at a Ragnar starting line, back in a van for 30 hours with a new group of running friends to bond with overnight.....I was all "Running, let's carve our initials into a tree and elope! xoxoxooxo 4ever"

We have a complicated relationship. The bads are bad, and the goods are good. But it felt great to be out at Ragnar again, even as a bystander, because it reminded me of the ol' crush I just can't seem to kick.

Lately, I've been taking advantage of all the free fitness classes at work and loving it. I've tried out barre, pilates, yoga, cardio sculpt....it feels good to sweat and work my body after a couple months of nada. And, the added core strength can only help with preventing future injuries.

But, you know....I could lace up those running shoes again any day now. We'll see. You know how these things go :)

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Ciao katilda! (Going to Italy!)

So, I've decided to turn 28 in February....in Italy!

I've been trying to plan my next international excursion ever since my Iceland high wore off, and I had my eyes set on Spain for a bit (ask anyone who follows me on Pinterest). But then, one day, there was this great Italy deal online......and within a few days, I'd rounded up a couple friends and booked that sucker!

....AND I AM SooOOOooo EXCITED. I've already started compiling a Google doc of all the things I want do do, sights I want to see, and food I want to eat....and more food I want to eat....and more food....you get the idea. I'll be there for 9 days, in Rome, Florence & Venice. I already know I want to try and hit Pompei and Cinque Terre somewhere in all of that. I also work two desks away from this girl on my new Google team, and she blogged a nice Rome travel guide that I've already included in my Google doc.

Who's been to Italy? I want your favorites!

Things I'm really into: gorgeous buildings, scenic views, libraries (pictures of some Italian ones I've seen on Pinterest already make my eyes watery and we're not even in person yet....this could get bad), food (as mentioned above).....you know, all the good travel stuff.

Tell me where all the delicious/pretty things are! Ready go!

...now excuse me while I go download podcasts to teach me useful Italian phrases to practice on my commute for the next 5 months. #ciaokatilda

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Music: Shakey Graves

If you need a little funky, hand-clapping soul in your life (and who doesn't?)....

Then this is the song for you. My friend Carrie posted about Shakey Graves on Facebook a couple months ago, and I was immediately hooked. In fact, we bought tickets that same day to his show in San Francisco in November. (Stoked!)

Fun fact about this artist (real-life name: Alejandro Rose-Garcia): He dabbles in acting as well. If you've ever watched Friday Night Lights, he appeared as Julie's lifeguard fling, aka The Swede. (Remember him?) (Also, Julie is the worrrrrst.)

Anyway his music shakes up my soul and makes me want to shake my hips accordingly. Never a bad thing. In his own words, it's "simple, jaunty, 50s to 70s country music."

For this song he pairs with a female vocalist, Esme Patterson. I love this video -- they look like they're having a little party on stage. I'm into it. (Maybe he'll let me come on stage in San Francisco and sing with him? C'mon, The Swede! Fingers crossed!)

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Yosemite + Arizona

Note: Yosemite is not in Arizona.

But that water tower is. I **do** know enough about geography to know those little facts. But, I did go to both of those places in the last week so they are sharing a post. Because.....because.

I had a week off between roles at work because of contract stuff and orientation timing, so I first went to the great outdoors with a few friends, and then I went to AZ to see the ol' fam. I hadn't been home in 6 months, and I won't be home again til Christmas (DO YOU KNOW HOW CLOSE CHRISTMAS IS BUT FIRST LET'S THINK ABOUT OCTOBER ALMOST BEING HERE BECAUSE OMGOSH I LOVE ME SOME OCTOBER) (is September like October Eve? I think it is)

....I had an outburst. The point is, here's a few random pics from Yosemite (not pictured: my pained body when I hiked 5 miles up a mountain and regretted it severely because my groin is **still** injured) and a couple photos from AZ, namely: bonding with my nephew, my favorite gas station (it should be your favorite too) (it's more than a gas station. it's a way of life.) (IT'S A WAY OF LIFE. outburst again.) and a picture of the paint-by-number wolf I painted over the weekend.

Note: I am now obsessed with paint-by-numbers. #artistic #andstuff

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

finally goodbye // sweet, blessed, you

you slipped easily into my life
as easily as you slipped into the room
that first time i saw you
when i openly stared
and you glanced back
and my cheeks flushed
eyelids dropped
and my gaze hit the floor
but i couldn't peel my mind away from the view
sweet, blessed, view
of sweet, blessed, you

what it really comes down to
is that, you were foreign territory
on my porch, after the first date
when we let go of the first hug
the way your hand lingered briefly on my shoulder blade
felt totally and completely familiar

and there are a million things i could say
but mostly the only words that seem to make sense,
are the ones that form around the sound of your fingers on guitar strings
and the look on your face when you started a song that you knew i'd love
and the way the look on my face felt when i recognized it
the way i felt my eyes crinkle
and my lips tipped upward, full and happy
and right then, i fell for you
i finally let myself fall for you
so much, irreversibly, in it up to my collar bones
with the head and shoulders whispering they'd soon follow suit
and oh, oh, did they ever
sweet, blessed, did they ever

and mostly
it's just a pervasive, thrumming feeling
that i'd like nothing more than to fit the curve of my body
to the path of your rib cage and the crook of your hip
and let you whisper goodnight stories
while my breaths deepen
and my eyelids get heavy
with the weight of every new, shared piece of you

and then there was the look of you
leaning over my bookcase
thumbing through my pages
tilting your head to read my titles
it felt like you were skimming the corners of my soul

and in that dark street
with my head tipped back to look you in the face
that part where i didn't break eye contact
and neither did you
i wish you could see yourself the way i saw you, right then
you had the ocean in your eyes
and desert sand in the warm lines around them
you looked like home
sweet, blessed, home

and that part where you crossed the room
to give me your blanket
when i hadn't even asked
just to make sure i wasn't cold
and you squeezed my shoulder as you tucked me in
i felt the imprint of your hand on my arm for days
and, technically, then, i wasn't yours
but in a million growing ways, i knew i somehow still was

and i don't think i could have stopped myself if i tried
when the sight of you climbing out of the car
in your simple gray t-shirt
loosed an audible sigh from my lips
and made my breath stop cold in my throat
there's just always something about you that moves me
and gray is my favorite color, you know
i know you know

and that one early morning
with you
and me, my scarf and marshmallow coat
with the icy air and the sun melting up and over the horizon
and the ebbs and flows of the swells in our easy conversation
and our easy silence
our quiet feet creeping along the path
with the faint sounds of lilting music from a nearby window
i don't know, there was just something
about hearing you talk about living your passion
sweet, blessed, passion
that made me want to live it with you too

here's the thing....
you didn't want me
....and that's the whole thing

so i watched that movie
the one you said we'd watch together
and i made plans to visit that place
the one you made me promise i wouldn't explore without you
and i bought tickets to a show
our show
two shows
and i guess that felt sort of spiteful
but also sort of like healing
and i think i needed a little of both

and it'd been days, weeks
months, soon
when you squeezed my shoulder in passing
two days before a brief, unexpected email
almost so casual you'd think nothing had happened
and no time had passed
and i felt the familiar imprint of your simple touch
and i fell into your simple words
for just a second
my gut clenched
and breathing took reminding
and i wanted to pound my fists on the wall
and yell at the universe
to pleaseandthankyou remove your touch from my skin
and relay my unwritten reply
which i'm sorry, but it was
"leave me the hell alone"

it was your birthday.
and i would tell you that i remembered
but i won't.
because mostly, i hate that the day was yours.
i hated that it meant i was thinking about you.
not that i didn't, every other day,
but still.
you had no right to my thoughts.
you had no right to that day.
you had no right.
you have no right.

so then my heart went to someone else, you know.
yours did, so i followed suit.
and you were just a smudge on my mind, for awhile there

but then
but then

my heart was back on the market
and soon, so were you
and i could feel you around the corner
so i dug in my heels
and pushed back with leaden hands

not this hurt again
please not this one again

but then we were face to face
and i wondered, in that moment
if all the things i told myself
about how someone else could be enough
and that you didn't need to be my someone
i wondered
as my smile cracked my face in half
and that old familiar electricity crackled from my skin and eyes

i wondered if, yes, this could be hurt again
or possibly hope again
sweet, blessed, hope,  finally, again

i wondered, i did
i took a step back in your direction
but just briefly

because then
oh, sweet, blessed, then
as quickly as it stole in
it was gone
simply, gone
and i was free
finally, free
like a weight off my chest
and all it took was a little truth
and some open eyes
and a healthy dose of realization
along with the details of the whole story

to finally peel your name from all my scattered thoughts
tear it from the walls, pull it from the backs of drawers
ease it from the cracks, crevices and under-the-beds
and give it away
relax my grip, and give it away

and to finally know that i don't need you
to finally know it
and finally mean it
that i don't want you back
that i finally don't want you back
and never will again

sweet, blessed, never will again