Food and Exercise

I’m here to talk about food. Food and exercise. This afternoon I pulled on my running shoes and went for a jog. The whole time, I was thinking about how much I hate jogging—I can’t breathe, I immediately get a stitch in my side, my ankle hurts, my knees ache. I was also trying to remind myself that I feel really good when I get enough exercise. Generally, the crankier I am, the likelier it is that I haven’t been outside or climbing in the gym in a while. Make no mistake—I HATE the idea of exercise. I love to ride my bike—especially mountain biking—but it’s exhausting. I love to climb in the gym, but I hate postponing dinner to head over there after a long day at work. I love to ice climb, but I hate being cold. I love caving, but I hate worrying about how scared I’ll be. I love running about with friends, but I hate the idea of spending an afternoon playing soccer. I love swimming, but I hate suiting up and sliding into cold water. I hate jogging. Yes, I just hate it. But the easiest exercise to get in the middle of day is pulling on stretchy clothes, pocketing my iPod, and lacing up my really cool Adidas (bought when I was laboring through triathlons a few summers ago). Then heading out to the bike path near work and going ten minutes in one direction until—thank goodness!—my watch beeps and I can turn back. Luckily, I inherited some of my dad’s desire for a regular schedule, which has made it easier to get in the habit of exercising. In college and grad school it was Abs of Steel, every other day, for years. I still do exercise videos that Dad taped from the TV back in the 80s—Denise Austin and Basic Training: The Workout with Ada Janklowitcz. I also did Buns of Steel for a while, until I realized that building muscle in your rear means building your rear.

Anyway, I hate jogging. And I hate the idea that I get a bunch of exercise and then I have to do it again! I should immediately look like a movie star. It’s all well and good to be healthy (as always, The Magic Mountain comes to mind), but I’m already fairly healthy. If I’m going to kill myself huffing and puffing up the path, I want to be gorgeous at the end of it, immediately!

I also exercise because I LOVE FOOD. I love it as much as I hate jogging (maybe more). Dinner is a beautiful reward for a workday. Breakfast soothes the pain of having to be awake. Lunch is probably my least favorite, but at work it gives me time to read for fun and enjoy some leftovers. I’ve always loved to eat, but I have no appetite. I’m never hungry. I think I have a terribly slow metabolism and I eat because it’s finally time, hooray! So I simply must exercise. I’ve struck a happy balance with my body. I eat more than I should, but I don’t worry about what I’m eating, and I live comfortably with the results.

I’ve recently discovered that I love to cook, and I’m also learning that I like to garden. I love to eat vegetables that taste like they’re supposed to, and that have to have the dirt washed off before I can eat them. I’d love to learn to can and learn how to freeze things in useable quantities—so I could pull out carrots in the middle of winter for a soup or a stew. (Advice welcome.) Since I’m talking about cooking, I’ll mention that we’re having a dinner party tomorrow. Dave suggested that I make either Indian food or stir-fry, but I decided on blue cheese rigatoni and spinach salad, with pineapple upside-down cake for dessert. If it turns out well, I’ll post the recipes.

Two Haircuts and A Little Bump

Dave and I both got haircuts this weekend. His was the standard Great Clips $14-with-a-$2-tip haircut. He seems to have quite a bit of skin behind his ears this time–his haircuts are always variable. Well, the arms of his glasses fit right into the space, so that’s all right.

Dave's handiwork
Dave's handiwork

You all know how I feel about haircuts–terrible. Even though I occasionally think “time to get rid of all this hair,” as soon as I get it trimmed, I feel trembly and awful for a while. Then I think “it’s not hurting anyone, so I guess I’ll just keep it for a while longer.” My mom always cuts my hair, but I haven’t seen her in ages, alas. The ends were getting so raggedy, I asked Dave if he would do it. He said yes two months ago, but we hadn’t gotten around to it until this morning. I got out of the shower and laid out the towel (to catch the clippings), the scissors, and the comb. Dave eschewed the towel. He also eschewed Mom’s gentle habit of cutting an inch or so off and showing it to me, then going further with my blessing. He simply snipped seven and a half inches straight off the bottom. I thought I might faint, but the ends look great and my head feels lighter. One step at a time.

bent wheel

This afternoon Dave had a band concert, so he took the car ahead of time and I got on my bike to head over to the music hall (it’s only a mile and a quarter away). Two blocks from my destination, I saw a car behaving kind of strangely over to my left. It seemed like a woman who wasn’t sure if she should be going or not. I didn’t have a stop sign, so I slowed down but kept going. Then the truck sitting at the stop sign over to my right turned right into me! I wound up on the road with my bike on top of me. I wasn’t hurt–just a scratch on the shoulder and a little bruise on the chin. The poor guy felt horrible and he immediately admitted that it was his fault. Well, it was! He was watching the woman at the opposite stop sign and not looking before he turned. Luckily, we were both going slowly. Unluckily, my front wheel is mildly tacoed and my front brakes are ruined. I’m glad Dave knows what to buy and how to fix bikes. I was pretty startled and mildly shaken up, but I made it to the concert on time after walking my bike the final two blocks. The band sounded good and it was fun to hear some Christmas music. It’s in the sixties today and all of last week’s snow has melted, so Christmas seems farther away than it did a few days ago. We’ll probably get a tree this year, since we’re staying in town. Stay tuned!

Happy Birthday, Dave!

Well, since we have a blog, I thought I’d take a moment to wish Dave a happy birthday. We’re headed out to dinner with good friends tonight, possibly followed by ice skating. (That counts as living it up for we oldsters.) I forgot to bring the camera, alas, so our revelry will be anonymous. It’s hard to believe that centennial baby Dave is thirty-two—after all, I’ve known him since we were eighteen—but it must be harder for his mom and dad to believe it. I hope it’s a fun day for the birthday boy!

Food, Mouse Update, and a General Hooray!

Hooray! We finally have a comment on our blog! Ten gold stars to “Bob,” who likes the new paint job.

I thought you might be interested to hear that I was wrong about the mice being gone for the season. On Tuesday morning, Dave and I thought the bedroom smelled kind of funny, but we had to leave for work. On Tuesday night, I got home from book club and Dave announced: “The bedroom smells like DEATH. You have to go find the death.” Well, I found it—another mouse, curled up on a piece of paper I’m sure I was saving for something. Dave “handled” it while I took a bath—it was his turn. At least I didn’t find it with my bare foot—I’m sure some of you remember that horrible story!

I had an unbelievably delicious avocado for breakfast this morning. I usually only buy them if they’re 10 for $10 at King Soopers, but yesterday they were $.98! No brown spots, just creamy deliciousness. I feel very guilty about eating fresh fruit that has to be grown in a warm climate in December, but the perils of globalization are often its joys.

Mice Aren’t Always Nice

We occasionally get a mouse in the house, usually in the fall when they’re trying to get in out of the cold. This year I was talking to N on the phone in one of our bi-weekly calls when I saw a little dark shape darting past the garbage can. We put out the humane mousetrap, but days went by and no mouse appeared. One day we came home and found the poor little guy expired on the floor in front of the sliding glass door—oh, the irony! I always feel really sad when they die. Why couldn’t he have gone into the trap, so I could’ve taken him outside and let him go? A few weeks later I was looking for something I thought I’d brought home from work when I left R&L. I went out to the garage to rifle through the boxes and smelled something funny just as I saw another dark little shape darting by. Oh, dear. Yep; it turns out that I had left a bunch of snack food in the boxes and the mice had taken up residence. One poor little guy had died in there and was liquefied to the bottom of the box. Everything was chewed up—gross—or peed on—even grosser. I had to wash all my pens and pencils, which made kind of a strange sight in the drying rack. Everything smelled like ammonia and/or had nibble marks. Some of the paper was shredded into a little nest. Once everything was all clean, and the dead mouse disposed of, there was still the problem of the mouse I’d seen dart away. I put some stale bread into the humane trap—it’s not necessary, but I knew he’d be hungry after a while, since I’d thrown away the smorgesboard. I checked the trap every day, but our cute little mice seem to have a death wish. When we got back from a weekend trip to Portland, there he was. He’d eaten all the bread and then died. I felt awful, as always, and chucked him over the back fence. We’re probably mouse-free until next year.