Best Friend Forever!!

On my last full day in Berkeley I went for my last (for now) run with A.Jay.  We even wore our BFF running shirts that we got at Sports Basement!

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Brendan came out and took a few action shots for us.  Aje and I are pretty certain we don’t have any pictures together, even though we lived together for a whole year, and we have been friends for four! 

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It was kinda awkward because I wanted to look like I was winning I was trying to look like a good runner.  I think this is the only running pic I have where my feet aren’t on the ground. 

When Brendan and I started driving away from Berkeley I was looking at my pictures, and I literally started fully bawling when I realized I was leaving Aje behind.  I love all my friends, of course, but I think I have changed a lot since I went to college, and A.Jay is really my bff from college!!  I just love her so much, and she knows all my secrets.  I really think Aje and I will stay friends… I hope. 

Yay for best friends that double as running partners!

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Saying goodbye

It has been pretty crazy around here!  After spending the last week touring San Francisco and Big Sur with Brendan’s mom (stay tuned for posts on this excitement in the next day or so), we hurried to pack all of our stuff into the little Civic.  Now we are saying goodbye to Berkeley and heading out on our road trip.  I thought I would just check in while I have a sec to share these cute pics from our night out in Berkeley.   

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Brendan and I finally went to Chez Panisse!  We went to the café level which has a wonderful open kitchen and super awesome food!!

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And now we are saying goodbye to our apartment.  Here we are in front of our first apartment where we lived together. 


A morning runner?

Remember yesterday when I said I wanted to get in a few miles in the morning?  Well… I got up at 5:30am!  What!!!! 

Really, I shouldn’t get all the credit; I wasn’t actually that motivated or pumped about getting up to go running.  First, I made the mistake of having my $2 treat receipt Frappuccino right before bed.  Then Brendan’s mom arrived super late to come stay in our apartment.  I ended up sleeping horribly all night, so I was dying to get out of bed this morning.  At 5am I googled what time the sun would rise and which Berkeley coffee shop would open the earliest.  So I headed to Peet’s for a pre-run hot chocolate, and then I was off for my morning run on the bay. 

I LOVE the morning.  I hate waking up, but once I’m up I am always in love with the way the world feels while the sun is rising.  The people who are up are so friendly; they ALL say good morning to each other.  I walked to the coffee shop in the dark, and it felt like I was being let in on a secret… Berkeley is magical in the morning.  Who would have thought?!   Now, I know I said the same sort of thing about walking to the start line of the SF marathon, so I think it might just be how I feel about being awake for sunrise. 

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The bay was so calm and wonderful at 6:30am.  It was the best run I’ve been on in quite a while, which was especially exciting considering how bad my last run was.

I even saw a guy doing a pretty extreme early morning brick workout.  He was in a full wetsuit coming out of the bay the first time I saw him, and then he was on his bike (still in the wetsuit) later down the path.  CRAZY! 

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I know that I would really love to be a morning runner, I just love sleeping so much!  How can I make myself remember how much I liked this feeling when I am warm under the covers? 

I even surprised myself: my goal of getting in a few easy miles turned into an 8 mile run at sunrise!  I might sound like a broken record now, but it really was just so amazing.  Would it be too ambitious of me to plan on another morning run tomorrow?

Are you a morning, afternoon, or evening runner?  Have you given the other timeslots a fair chance? 

I have almost always gone running in the morning on vacations, and I love it then, but it seems so much harder to wake up before work or school in real life. 


3 months later… graduation pictures!

It has been almost 3 months since I graduated from Cal, but I wanted to share these because I finally got a CD of the pictures from my friend Kym, who was nice enough to act as my personal photographer for the day! 

First, receiving my pretend diploma from the lady I had never seen before…

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A shot of the gorgeous venue, the Greek Theatre!

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After the ceremony Braedon gave me my second Cal colored lei. 

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I might have to exclude these ladies from my wedding invite list if they keep looking so cute!

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Not sure why I let Brendan come in this picture and ruin it…

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I almost don’t have cankles in this picture.  These shoes are winners!

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I like to practice tree pose whenever I can…

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It’s not my mom’s fault she was dressed for another climate.  It really was cold. 

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I’ll have to crop the photo bomber out of this one of me and my baby boy!!

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Hope you enjoyed the pics.  I’ve been busy thinking about my hair and packing for the big move all day today.  The day just got away from me and I never went on the run that I had been planning on.  My plan is to wake up early-ish tomorrow to get in a couple miles.  Hold me to that!!


Best $10 I ever spent… on me!

Today was day 2 of Brendan’s trip to Las Vegas, leaving me in Berkeley with this anxiety provoking need-to-pack apartment.  Yesterday was not a super success.  I ate chips and guacamole for lunner (dinner and lunch) and then had a Frappuccino, and then oatmeal at 1am when I was starving.  Cool.  Besides my awesome food choices, I didn’t study nearly enough and I never went running like I had planned to all day.  Double cool.  But it was fine.  Needless to say, I implemented more of an agenda for today.  Kinda. 

My plan was to go running at like 7am because I love that feeling. LOL.  Don’t make stupid plans like that for a Sunday morning unless you have a friend meeting you.  Well, I made it out the door around 10:30.  Success.  My 8 mile run was less of a success because it sucked. in. every. way.  I walked, I was bored, I couldn’t get comfortable, I had a really hard time accepting that I was having a bad run.  But I was GREAT when I got back because I was so glad I went.  The WORST most dreadful runs ever (not including runs when you have the runs) are always better than no run.  Runs when you come back with dirty shorts are always regrettable.  Just saying. 

At least my run this morning was on the edge of the bay on a beautiful morning. 

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If you don’t think overcast skies are beautiful, keep that to yourself.  DSCN0345

If you don’t like paying between $4 and $7 to cross a bridge, feel free to rant about it below!

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I LOVE this trail.  I love this run.  I love the bay.  I am sorry I ever complained about this place!

After my run I went on a short drive to a Lucky Supermarket because they have Coinstar machines, and I had 3 full-ish piggy banks!! I say full-ish because Brendan’s wasn’t full.  LOL.  This is why I love corporate America: companies like the Gap, Amazon, and Starbucks want your business so bad they will pay your Coinstar fee of 9% (it was 7% last time I used it) if you choose to have your change turn into a gift card instead of cash.  Well, consumerism and I go together perfectly, because I prefer Starbucks cards to cash!!!  Yep! I walked out of there with $60 loaded onto my Starbucks card.  Best morning ever!

After my awesome lunch at a Mexican place I spent the rest of the day doing a lot of studying mixed with blog reading until I texted my mom: I’m SO bored.  She texted me back: Go see a movie.  So I just got up, grabbed a pack of emergency sour patch kids and went to the movies! 

I always think people are a little on the nutter side when they say they just love going to the movies alone.  I don’t even like going to the movies with people that much.  I would rather sit and talk with them in a well-lit room.  Well, that is the problem.  Going by yourself prevents you from sitting in a well-lit room talking to yourself, and it feels completely indulgent.  I’ll paint the picture for you: imagine me curled up in a nice leather movie theater seat with my carbonated diet lemonade soda in one hand and my sour patch kids in the other.  Now add the movie, Crazy Stupid Love, and there I am laughing ridiculously loud and crying uncontrollably (I like to get really into movies!) and soaking in every moment because it feels like the best thing I could have possibly done with $10 tonight. 

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TRY IT.  Tell me what you think.  See that movie.  It is SOOOO good.  I will even see it with you if you insist on going with friends.  I want to see it again right now.  AWESOME idea, mom!!  


No (sham) Poo

Hilary drove here from Santa Clara on Thursday, so we got together for ice cream and chit chat.  I drove her down to 4th street for some Chocolatier Blue ice cream, of course!  When we were shopping around in Anthropologie, Hilary randomly turned to me and asked, “How does my hair look?”  Well, it looked blonde, normal, clean… She confessed to me that she had gone 6 days without washing her hair and then washed it with baking soda.  WTF

The bay area has definitely changed Hilary, but she didn’t strike me as one to fully give up personal hygiene.  It turns out Hilary is trying the “no poo movement” which you can Google for yourself, and you will find hundreds of women documenting their attempts to restore balance to their scalps, so that the glands no longer overcompensate by producing excess oils. They do this to replace all of the natural oils that daily shampooing strips away.  Apparently, if you wean yourself off of shampooing so frequently, you will eventually not need to wash your hair so much because it won’t get greasy as quickly.  AWESOME!

There are a million reasons why you might decide to start doing this:

  • It reduces packaging waste from shampoo bottles
  • Saves money spent on expensive hair care products
  • Saves time spent shampooing every day
  • Reduces the number of chemicals we are pouring down the drain
  • Reduces the number of chemicals we pour over our porous skin
  • MAYBE (please) helps my hair stay curled longer!!

I am a big advocate for reducing waste, saving money, and doing my part to save the environment, so this was already exciting.  But then I thought about all of the times I have heard that dirty hair stays curled longer.  There is no way that I could ever go more than a day without washing my hair because I have the greasiest head EVER.  So here is my attempt to change that… maybe.DSCN0339

Day 3 of NOT washing my hair.  My hair looks darker.  AKA greasy. 

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I curled my hair to try to disguise the nastiness.  Better-ish?!

I had to just stop looking at it in the mirror and go out to the only place where my hair would look noticeably cleaner than everyone else’: the Berkeley Farmer’s Market! 

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Padron= “big daddy” in Spanish, so I thought they must be super spicy, but they aren’t.  My Spanish has failed me. 

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Still, there is nothing more lovely than fresh-cut flowers on a sunny day! 

I haven’t decided if the grease bomb will make it any longer.  After I go running, I plan to rinse and scrub my head in the shower with… water.  I’ll keep you updated on the nastiness.  Brendan is out of town, so I’ll just sleep on his pillow! 


I swear I recycle!!!

The other night Brendan and I had an odd interaction with the cashier at the grocery store.  I won’t go into all the detail of our conversation, but the guy made it pretty clear, through our conversation, that he thought we were conservative uncultured yuppies from the city.  WHAT!?  I tried to defend myself a bit when he questioned my request for a plastic bag, but there was little to say.  Yes, I use plastic bags for my garbage; that is why I asked you for one.  I realize they are made out of oil, yes.  What I wanted to say was… F U for saying anything to me right now.  You don’t know me. 

I was mad, but more than anything I was confused.  I spent the walk home from the grocery store trying to convince Brendan that I am indeed a liberal environmentally conscious consumer.  Brendan responded by agreeing (good boy), but mostly pointing out that not everyone can do everything right… and there is no way we are putting wet food waste in the paper bags! 

I was still thinking about it a few days later when I got coffee with my friend A.Jay.  We were talking about people we knew who were really genuine about who they were and what they cared about, and how refreshing that was because Berkeley is FULL of people that act like they care about everything and do everything possible for every problem… maybe it’s not quite that extreme, but you definitely get the vibe in Berkeley that you should be doing everything.  What, you don’t grow your own food?  You don’t buy everything from the farmer’s market?  You use laundry detergent with chemicals?  Your car uses gas?  and sometimes I’m like, whatever, I know you all drive cars, too…but sometimes it gets to me: I’m not perfect.  I could do better. 

It gets to me because I’m not perfect.  I do think that those are all worthy causes of my attention, time and resources, but I can’t be everything.  Do you have to be a perfect vegetarian to make a difference for the environment?  NO way.  Every time you choose not to buy conventional meat at the store you are voting with your dollars.  That vote counts.  Every. Single. Time.  And it isn’t undone when one day you need to buy something cheaper.  I’m not perfect. 

But I could do better, and I think it is important to have that in mind on a regular basis.  What could I do better to help people?  Right now at this point in my life and with the resources available to me now, the question I think I need to ask myself is: what do I care about right now?  Because I can’t fix everything, and I can’t help everyone, but I can do something.  It doesn’t have to be overwhelming and turn into an all-or-nothing situation.

I am really passionate about:

food justice (and the elimination of urban food deserts)

the slow food fast food movement and the potential it has to make healthy food more accessible and (eventually)cheaper

women’s mental health, especially eating disorder prevention for adolescent girls and health education for underserved youth 

This year I have been pretty selfish (IMO) and I took a lot of time to do yoga, train for a marathon, read magazines, and sleep.  That was perhaps in response to the year before when I coached girls on the run, trained for a marathon, took a full load of classes, and worked for a healthy fast food restaurant as a manager and intern for the owner… wow.  Big difference.  And I miss feeling like what I am doing is meaningful to me.  I want to post this as a little reminder so that I can get involved with things that matter to me when I settle into Boston.  

And THAT is a novel.  Sorry.

What makes your life feel meaningful?  What would you like to do to make more of a difference in society?   Wasn’t that cashier a douche?