Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Quarter-Life Crisis

I am technically a year late for this--well, a year and a half to be precise, but who's counting? NOT ME, obviously. Case in point:

During a conversation with Cap and J a week or so ago, I said, "I mean I'm 26 years old for crying out loud!" Or, something along those lines and I was instantly struck by an icy chord of fear.

"Wait," I said, turning to Cap. "I'm 26, right?"

{This song was my jam about, oh, fifteen years ago! 
And is very fitting for this story. Play it in the background!}

She looked at me like the idiot that I am was.

"Um, yeah," she said.

"How old are you?" I asked accusingly, still not quite believing it.

"25," she said. "You're 26." DUMMY is I'm sure a word she would have liked to add to the end of that statement.

Circa-1970 dress found at the flea market for $15 that I will wear to a fundraiser with Cap on Thursday!

Do you ever do this?

I always think I am 22. ALWAYS.

Sure, I just celebrated my 26th birthday a short 2.5 months ago, but in my mind, I am perpetually 22.

And, when put on the spot about how old I am, I always have to think--like think really hard to remember.

I'm 22. No, that was 2009. This is 2013. That makes me...... ummm....... OH. Twenty-freaking-six. GOD. Now, I'm depressed. Wait, is that right? No, I'm not 26. 1987 subtracted from 2013 is...... DAMN. I am 26.

The gorgeous 1920s cameo W gave me for our fourth anniversary. He done good.

I am sure this is a clinically diagnosable psychological something or other. I am sure there is a medication for it, too.  

Xanax for the emotionally-uptight, touchy-feely-intolerant, one-woman pih-ty pahr-ty, anyone?? Hmm??

I'm not really sure of the significance of the age of 22. I turned 22 three days after graduating college. I married W 2.5 months into being 22. I moved in with W at 22. I had to get a real job at 22--although I really didn't. (My real job as Executive Director of an historical society and museum came at the ripe old age of 23. I know, I thought they were crazy for hiring me, too!)

There's just something about 22, and I'm stuck on it.

But, now, 2.5 months into being 26 and what do I have to show for it?

Some pretty gnarly tan lines from my battles with the spray-on sunscreen and my week at the beach.
A mad case of poison ivy from weeding the garden at work.
A huge, stinky pile of self-loathing for myself and my "work."
A 2 lb. weight loss due to the previously mentioned huge, stinky pile of self-loathing. I'll take it.
Endless day dreams of my perfect job falling from the heavens and flattening me like an unlucky frog victim to a mac truck in the middle of a steamy highway.
(Most likely) in-vain planning of a trip to Greece in May since W and I will most likely not have the time or the money to experience one of our dream vacations for another, oh, five to ten years.
A mild bout of depression about how incredibly stagnant my professional and social life have become in the last two years. Things were looking up, up, up during that first year in WV. Sadly, I've plateaued.

My incredible anniversary dinner: petite filet and prawn. YUM.

Wow. That turned depressing fast.

Enter: Quarter-life Crisis.

What does it mean?

For me, right now, it means:

1. Not saying no.
2. Being spontaneous.
3. Taking risks.
4. Dreaming big.

I hope the 23 year olds I met in Junior League will take another chance on me and call me to drink beer with them at the Pittsburgh farm team baseball games. Because, this gluten-free, 26-year-old, museum professional WILL drink some gluten and WILL heckle some baseball players. Granted, the first time I went with them, I stalked the concessions looking for white wine while they drank dollar beer from cups that fill from the bottom (!!). I KNOW. I would like to go back in time and tell myself to shut the eff up and go put on some gosh darn shorts, woman. Y'all, I wore a white button down polo shirt and coral ankle pants and flats. AND, one of them had to explain SnapChat to me. GOD. WHAT HAVE I BECOME. No wonder they never call anymore.

Its now or never. I've got 11 more months of limbo. AKA: FOURTH YEAR MEDICAL SCHOOL HELL. And, I am just not content to sit here and let it creep insignificantly by as I count down the days to the rest of my life. Who wants to live like that anyways? Always watching the calendar, the clock, your life tick, tock by. Its maddening. And, I've had enough.

So, here's to a dirty house, full days and adventure!

I will keep you posted as I try to quickly climb my way out of this slump.

Cap and I have braved the county pool two Sundays in a row!

Quarter-life crises: Do they really exist? Discuss.


Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Dodging the Dog Lady

Last night I found myself peeking out my window before going outside, scoping out the cross street before rounding the corner, and skipping out on quality outside time in 70 degree weather.

This is not like me.  I normally take the road most traveled, or the one with the most people currently walking so that I can "casually" bump into someone and strike up a useless conversation in hopes of expanding the friend circle from one (Bri) to two (anyone).  So why am I dodging interaction and gorgeous weather you may ask??

My puppy Mose has made a new friend in the neighborhood, and by new friend I mean he's found another dog to take advantage of sexually while barking loud and obnoxiously in our front yard.  Yes, he knows what the ladies like.  This new dog is named Misty.  She's a Jack Russell with a pimp limp and a typical, CODE RED dog owner.  The dog owner does not pick up on the usual social cues such as:  

"Well, we better get going..."

"Mose is being so loud, I should bring him in so we don't wake our neighbors."

"I really need to get dinner started."

"I'm not wearing a bra, so I should probably get out of the street."

But more importantly, she thinks normal conversations include descriptions of dog poops, fleas, ticks, and dog humping.  Now, I understand that I just celebrated my dog's first birthday by cooking him a steak and sweet potatoes #puppiesarepeopletoo, BUT I do know how to appear normal to strangers.  I think.

Yesterday morning, around 7:15 AM our new friend came strolling in front of our house (bra-less herself), and decided to make a pit stop in our front yard so Misty and Mose could have a hump play date.  

I know you're all thinking, 

"This chick just complained for a WHOLE YEAR because she never talked to anyone, and now she's upset about a little CODE RED dog owner?!?!?!"  ( See: Hello Boards. Goodbye Husband. )

It's more than that.  I promise.  

You see, I'm not a morning person.  I love morning time because it comes with my two favorite things... coffee and silence.  I am sincere when say I do not do well with others in the morning.  I think there should be a rule in every household that no one speaks until at least 9:00.  I'm telling you... this world would be a better place!

So, this dog lady.  She's invading my silence.  She's taking away the joy of my ONLY cup of daily coffee, and more importantly she's replacing it with a big hunk of awkward.  After nearly an hour of standing in my front yard using every excuse I could think of to get away from the humping dogs and Code Red, I literally just walked to my front door and waved goodbye.  

So long, manners.  (Sorry, Mom)

To make things worse, J and I were walking the streets yesterday evening and CODE RED came back to the house looking for us while we were gone.  Thankfully, Bri sent a warning text...

I'm so lucky to have a friend/neighbor who understands the severity of this situation.

Upon receiving this text, J and I decided to change our evening stroll route.  Bri updated us again with, "She's heading West on Virginia Street", and we were able to SUCCESSFULLY dodge Code Red.  


J is currently working on a book of excuses for our next two years here in Charleston with Code Red.  He better get busy, I'm ready to enjoy my new swing.

Am I alone in this, or do you dodge your neighbors too?


Monday, July 15, 2013

When Last We Met

I have not forsaken you! Wow, what a busy summer. Everything at my job decided to happen simultaneously in the last three weeks. And, of course, I had to squeeze a week-long vacation to the beach in there. I mean, I just had to.

I've been running, too! Although not to my training schedule. When Cap and I decided to fore go the August race, my brain decided it didn't need to train hardcore for my November race. Damn, brain, always trying to tell me what to do!

I have been running 2-3 times a week, 3-4 miles each time and sometimes on the, EEK, treadmill. I've decided to take the next month easy on the whole running outside thing. Its just too dang hot. If I put too much pressure on myself, I am liable to just not run at all. So, if I need to run on the treadmill, that is what I'm going to do.

My family's adorable beach bungalow.

Its funny, but running on the treadmill is at once easier and harder than running outside. Let's discuss:


Mentally, yes. Why the treadmill is less daunting than running outside I will never understand, but it is.

Physically, yes. I've noticed that I am MUCH better at running on the treadmill now. When I first started running back in January, I would run on the treadmill at 5 to 5.5 speed for anywhere from 2.5-4.5 miles at a time. And, it was HARD. Then, I started running outside and it was HARDER. I have been exclusively running outside since. However, with all of this rain, I thought it might be necessary to run on the treadmill on occasion. My pseudo running coach told me a few months ago that if I had to run on the "dreadmill" as he called it, to run at a 1.5-2 incline. Last week, I ran on the treadmill twice for the first time since March. I ran my 3 miles on Tuesday evening outside like a good little girl. Then, on Wednesday, on the TREADMILL, I ran 4 miles at 5.8 speed (that's a 10:20 mile) on a 1.5 incline. That is crazy compared to my previous treadmill experience. I was absolutely drenched in sweat, and was starting to struggle, but was pumped by how easy it was overall. I went back on Friday and ran 3 miles at 6 speed (10 minute mile) on a 2 incline. It felt good! My outside runs have been dreadful. They have just gotten so boring. I think I need to come up with some new routes.


Mentally, yes. I know I just said it was easier, but it is also harder. I said that, too. Time passes much slower on the treadmill than running outside. HOWEVER, I am much more likely to run on the treadmill than outside on days that I'm feeling lethargic. As I said earlier, its less daunting.

I don't get it.

Physically. Its not harder physically, but I seem to be working harder on the treadmill. I sweat about 20 times more on the treadmill. And, my muscles are so much "warmer" afterward. I am incredibly flexible after running on the treadmill. I know there is a reason for this. It seems that treadmill running is more aerobic and running outside is more about muscles? Does this make sense? I am obviously no physicist or biologist/anatomist but it seems that I move more on the treadmill without engaging as much of my muscles. While running outside, I'm moving slower but using more muscles to propel myself.

Eh. I don't know. I'm terrible at describing the difference, but there is a definite difference.

W joined me at the beach for a few days. It was wonderful!

As for my training, I am technically maintaining my Week 3 status. I could easily run 6 miles if I wanted. My race is on November 9, so that means if I want to keep with my training schedule, I would start at Week 4 on the week of September 8-14. For the meantime, I think I am going to start running 4-5 times a week, 3-5 miles each day. I want to see what that does for my body/weight loss goals until I start back my training.

I will probably start my training back sooner than September 8. I am still terrified of never achieving that elusive 7 mile run! But, who knows! Maybe, I will get the urge to knock out those 7 miles this weekend. We will see!

I won't be coming to you once a week with my running updates until I start back with my training. Hopefully, something interesting will happen in the meantime. I mean, Cap and J now live downstairs. We have family dinners lots. Cap and I scored at an Estate Sale this weekend. Okay, interesting things are happening!

How's your running going? Are you as fickle as me? What do you think about treadmills?


Tuesday, July 2, 2013

A Killer Concoction

So the big move to Charleston has been relatively easy compared to the other horror stories I've experienced in the past (see Back in the Burg).  We actually had a moving truck available, and get this... no feline urine odor in our new place.  However, WV doesn't have rental laws, and this normally means you move in to a pretty dirty apartment that desperately needs to be painted and dowsed in bleach.  The new place is beautiful!  It's a large 1920's house that was converted into apartments in the 60's (according to the information sheet left on our refrigerator).  So, the meager cleaning and painting are small tasks to endure for the charming apartment Bri helped us find.  (It's nice having friends who care about your living quarters as much as you do!)

Anyway... more on the cleaning.

I decided our bathroom needed a little hardcore scrubbing.  I thought to myself, "Self, what kills everything it touches?"


Naturally, I listened to myself and started cleaning with bleach (and a little water).  Midway through the cleaning, I noticed the bleach was still leaving a yellow color behind on the caulking.  So, I thought to myself again, "Self, what is the second strongest chemical that I have in my little OCD cleaning collection?"


I bet if I mix these two bad ass chemicals together I'll create an even bad-ER ass chemical. (This, unfortunately, was my actual thought process)


I put my big girl cleaning gloves back on, pushed my Betty the Riveter sleeves up, put the stopper in the tub, poured a hefty amount of straight bleach, mixed in some ammonia, and started scrubbing.

This, dear readers, is where it gets hard to continue.  Have you ever done something SO embarrassingly stupid that you'd rather it just go unnoticed for the rest of your life so you can keep pretending like you're a smart, educated woman with a good head on her shoulders?  

Great!  So you understand.

I'll break down the series of events (in which I remember) that occurred:

11:06 A.M.  Once the bleach and ammonia were married together in my bathtub, my eyes instantaneously started pouring with water.  

11:09 A.M.   Being that I'm allergic to nearly everything... I convinced myself this was just my individual reaction to these chemicals, and that I should most definitely keep cleaning for the better good of the bathtub.  Think of Betty, Cap!

11:10 A.M.   I kept cleaning.

11:13 A.M.   My throat started to burn when I would breath over the tub, so I began taking big breaths away from the tub, putting my shirt's collar over my mouth, and YES, you guessed it, SCRUBBING MORE!


11:15 A.M   FINALLY,  when I started coughing uncontrollably, became a little light headed, and started to feel like I was going to throw up in the bathtub..... I stopped cleaning.

11:16 A.M.   I ran out of the bathroom, Googled "ammonia poisoning" (At this point, I still didn't realize it was from mixing bleach and ammonia, but rather just from using too much ammonia).  It was here when I read in bold print:


And that was when I realized I'd just started the slow killing process of myself and my innocent bystander puppy.  The crime tape would be wrapped around my apartment bathroom shortly, and the headline would read, "Medical student's wife kills herself and their 11 month old puppy".

Okay, maybe I exaggerate a smidgen.

I called everyone I knew that either had a background in chemistry or OCD cleaning.


I called everyone AGAIN.

Finally, my smart friend answered.


Sweet.  Melted lungs, but a clean bathroom.  Score!  (kidding)


Other than losing my self worth and wishing I would have paid more attention in my chemistry class... I'm okay.  After a frantic Facebook post to warn friends of the "unknown dangers" of mixing chemicals together, I realized a few things:

A.  I'm actually not the only person who has done this.  (though that doesn't help my lungs)

B.  If you mix vinegar and Dawn together, let it sit for 30 mins, and scrub onto yellowed caulking and grout... It actually whitens without melting important organs.

So, hopefully you've learned a valuable lesson through my ignorance. 

You're welcome.


Monday, July 1, 2013

Well hello, 3rd year!

It's official.  I've survived two years in Lewisburg, two years of being a student doctor's wife, four interesting moves, and best of all.... Step 1 of BOARDS!  Life is good.

These past two years have made me realize medical school is an awful lot like how my mature and awesome girlfriends describe giving birth.  In one of my girlfriend's exact words, "Don't let anyone lie to you, Cap.  Giving birth is not beautiful.  It freaking sucks!  But when it's all over, it's worth it."

To celebrate the delivery of third year, J and I went on a mini vacay to my favorite place... home.

Here's some of the fun we had while we were there:
Long drives are fun for the first 10 hours... after that, puppy starts to break my heart.  However, they get you home. Thus, they are still FUN!  

Walked through acres of cotton fields with my sister in search for peace, tranquility, and "Gary the Gator".

Celebrated the marriage of this beautiful bride and her sweet cotton farmer.

Showed the Crigler's the crazy years of marriage they have to look forward to...

Snuck into a Mississippi bar in our bridesmaid gear AKA Risky Business Style.  (I later had to meet up with my grandparents, and my grandfather whispered to me secretly,  "Cap, did you forget your pants?")

Margs and girl talk.

Wore my beautiful perfume button necklace my mother gave me.

Thought about sneaking this back to WV in my suitcase. ;)

Spent the most wonderful night with my beautiful grandmother.  We sang old Doris Day tunes, played Skip Bo, and snuck coffee and chicken and dumplings into the room.  

Going home is always fun, and driving back to WV is normally really really really depressing.  But this time, I had the beautiful thought of moving to Charleston, and the hope of a grand third year to keep me cheered up.  Life here under B and W is already perfect.  I'll post more soon on the move, my new neighbors, and my kitchen's transformation.

Are you making big moves this summer?