Sunday, December 26, 2010

Happy Boxing Day

I hope all of you celebrating yesterday had a very merry Christmas.  Thanksgiving is my favorite, but this year's Christmas was pretty sweet too.  Santa brought me a dress-maker mannequin, meaning it's about to be like Project Runway errday at my apartment.

This year, my Mom decided to try out a new tradition, and bought materials for ginger-bread house making.  It was a contest of course, because in my family everything is, and at first I was thoroughly put out because it meant I would be competing against my architect-major sister in a house building contest, and my Mom wouldn't let me hire her to build my house instead of building it myself.  My Dad opted out of building and declared himself judge.  So, armed with half an hour, tubs of frosting, and a limited supply of graham crackers, we got to work.

My Mom, based her design on our actual house, complete with a pretzel fence and everything.

I decided to go for a more dramatic approach, and built my ginger bread house inspired by St. Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna.

See?  Spitting image basically.

The real Christmas miracle here was that the roof actually stayed up like that.

My sister, the Future Architect, got all modern and Frank Lloyd Wright on us.

Then I asked my Dad to take a picture of all of us since he copped out from his judging responsibilities and named the contest a 3-way tie.  He instead got a candid shot of us all clearly hard at work during the construction of the houses.

My Mom told me to clear the table before taking a picture, but I told her this was more authentic.  Then she moved my beer out of the picture.

The proud builders with their master pieces.

Today, in case you haven't heard, the NorthEast is besieged with blizzard like conditions, so boxing day has been celebrated with a fire, snacks and movies.  I'm making my parent's rent Inception on On-Demand, but first my Mom is insisting that we watch the weather channel so that we can make fun of the meteorologists freaking out over...wait for it... 6 INCHES OF SNOW GOD HELP US!!!!!

Happy Holidays. (even if it is what terrorists say).

Friday, December 17, 2010

Gym Rat

I have a new happy place you guys.  And it's the last place I ever thought I would like.  I am loving.... the gym.

Here's the thing, I am not a gym person.  Haven't been in one since college when it was free. I don't do Zumba, I don't use fancy exercise machines, I don't own cute matching work out clothes, and I certainly don't wear makeup while I exercise (unless I'm working out after work and the makeup is just left on from that morning.)

I scoffed at the people who sat in traffic to go sit on stationary bikes, and run in place like hamsters on a wheel.  I would lace up my running shoes, or walk down the street to the yoga studio, and relish in the fact that I was burning 30% more calories by exercising outside, and would feel superior.

And as a runner, I hate loathe utterly despise the treadmill.  I don't know what it is about that machine, but it makes even 3 miles excruciating.  And I can't do much more than that, even if you can watch tv.

BUT.  This winter decided to serve up the coldest December Pittsburgh has ever had since I've been here.  (And if this is December I shudder when I think about January, and start to weep at the thought of February.)

Anyways, all of this is to say that it has been too cold to run.  I can and will go out as long as it's at least 30 degrees.  That just requires some bundling up.  Runny Buddy and I went a couple weekends ago and it was 25, which was cold but manageable.  Lower than 25 though, and well, I just cannot.

So when the forecast on Sunday looked like this:

and it has been a week and a half since I had last run, and was starting to feel the craziness that inevitably happens when I don't run, I gave in, stopped fighting mother nature, and joined a gym.

When it comes down to running on a treadmill vs. not running at all?  The treadmill wins.

It's great.  I can wear shorts and go running.  I can go to yoga there for less money then I was paying previously, I can take a bus right from work.  I can go late, or early, and the lack of sunlight doesn't matter.  Also???? There's a sauna!  A SAUNA YOU GUYS!  It's 15 degrees outside and I can go hang out in a sauna any time I want!

As part of my membership I got a free work out with a trainer.  I went in all smug thinking I just ran a marathon, I'm in good shape.  Bring it on Trainer!

Ugh.  Not that good of shape.

Trainer: "Do you do any strength training?"
Me: "I do yoga, and I have free weights at home."
Trainer: "Do you use them?"
Me: sigh. "no."
Trainer: "ok, we're just going to do some strength work that will focus on your hip flexors/core/and upper body since those are traditionally really weak in runners."

Half an hour later I was sweaty, hurting, and exhausted.  3 days later, I'm still sore.

So, strength training. Fine.  I'll do it.

Anyways, I've already been 3 times this week, and I'm going back tonight.  Yay gym!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Grammer check

Kelsey : sup
Precisely: nothing... had to send a fax.
Kelsey : I hate faxes
            : or faxen?
            : fax-ing!
Precisely: haha its not english

Sunday, December 12, 2010

2012... I Knew I liked Pittsburgh for a Reason

So is everyone familiar with the 2012 Phenomenon?  If not, here's a link to the Wikipedia article on it.

Basically, December 21, 2012 (12-21-12) is the end of a 5, 125 year long cycle in the Mayan calendar, and as such, all kinds of craziness is supposed to occur on this date.

Some say this is when the world will end, which, I'd kind of like a few more years if possible.  I've got some stuff to do.  Others predict that this date will be the start of a huge cultural shift that will essentially change life as we know it.  Either way, something big is allegedly happening on this date.

Now, the ancient Mayans also believed that the world was supported on the back of a giant sea turtle, so of course I take everything they say with a grain of salt, but there is a part of this 2012 Prediction that I will happily buy into.

Apparently, there is a place on earth that will be the Power Point or Point of Light during this cultural shift, or a place that is spared from Natural disaster.  This place is said to be at the convergence of 3 rivers.  Sound familiar?  That's right, Pittsburgh!

The point, has been a sacred sight forever, hosting holy rituals performed by native americans, and believing to be a portal into other worlds.  Pittsburgh's 3 rivers, plus the 4th underground "hidden" river, as well as the Allegheny Mountains makes for a place of great energy.

"If you live in Pittsburgh, you are here for an important reason: to witness, nurture, and transmit the pure incoming light of this universal portal. Being aware of the legacy of our ancient landscape is crucial in the evolution of consciousness of this planet and our species at this time.”

So there you go, we're rated the Most Livable City in America, AND we have a universal portal.  I don't believe in miracles, I believe in Pittsburgh!