Archive for August, 2007

live for the first time this year

Tomorrow (Friday) should be interesting. My band, RUTH, will be performing at the Avid company party and it’s our first gig of the year. We never did perform all that often, no more than once a month in Boston, but it’s definitely been way WAY too long and it’s all because of the cancer.

It’s also the first time my parents will see me perform with the band. They flew in tonight on their way to NYC for a sociological conference - oh, Dad, you’re so not retired. They’ll be staying until Sunday afternoon.

We had a great evening. Todd helped me out by picking them up at the airport so that I could take my spin class. I didn’t want to miss it considering I’ll be “on the bag” till next Thursday and I’m so glad I got to go - thank you, Todd!! Did another double and it felt great. A friend from class, Deborah, offered me a ride home so I took it, deciding it’d be better to shower at home. (This was my first ride in a Prius, btw, and it was super cool. I so want a hybrid if I get a car. It’s smooth, it’s efficient, it’s quiet; I swear I thought the car shut down when we stopped at a light.)

As I stood on the porch talking to my landlord, Rebecca, I mentioned that Todd should be arriving with my parents any minute. I looked up the street and there they were riding down Highland, so I was able to greet them, stinky and sweaty though I was.

We had supper at my favorite local restaurant, Out of the Blue. Dad was able to partake in fresh oysters, which is a real rarity in Nashville, as you can imagine. Then we drove up to Haverhill so we could be close to Tewksbury (where Avid is and where we’ll be playing Friday) and so my parents could see the house.

I was relieved that not only did the quilt I ordered for guests arrive on time for my parents’ visit, but I liked it (third try lucky). Plus, my Dad found the guest room’s IKEA sofabed more comfortable than the futon in the livingroom so they had their own room. It’s always nice as a guest to have your very own room.

exotic farm animals and the great outdoors

I often feel that I am an incredibly late bloomer. Either that or I’m a slow learner or stupid or the worst procrastinator ever. Perhaps a little from every category listed above. It may be that I’m indecisive and would like to do and know so much and am at a complete loss to choose the one thing to focus on. It doesn’t help that I’ve the attention span of a six year old.

This late bloomer thing is a topic I’d like to discuss at some point in the near future, but for now I’m bringing it up because I am exceedingly late to this active lifestyle thing and so am also late to the realize how much I love it. There are two things in my life right now that I can rely on to make me happy unquestionably and they are music and exercise. Especially exercise outside.

Saturday Todd bought me an early birthday present of a road bike. What’s funny is that last year he got me a bicycle, too. I adore that bike, but I can’t continually transport my bike up to Haverhill and back, plus my other bike is a hybrid and I was interested in getting a road cycle.

We tested it out on Sunday on Kenoza Road in Haverhill. Rode into New Hampshire but didn’t realize it till I gmap-pedometer’d the route out when we got back. I am so loving riding up north; it’s so nice to be able to ride past so much lush farmland and parks for miles and miles without stopping. I had them put clip pedals on my bike, but my bike shoes are at the gym, so the riding was surely less efficient than it will be once I bring the shoes up. (yes, it’s getting a little annoying having to get 2 of so many things, but in this case, it’s worth it) I just can’t beLIEVE how light this bike is. The tires are incredibly thin and I felt at times like a strong breeze would knock me over sideways, but I kept my cadence up as much as possible. I didn’t want to leave Todd too far behind.

After mapping the route we figured out we’d ridden just over 10 miles. Not bad. We showered and headed to Kimball Farms where Todd’s friend Michelle was having a birthday party.

Evidently this is a popular place for families. There was a small animal pen with goats, roosters and friendly chickens, one of which sat on a post for hours and let people pet it. There was also homemade ice cream (not once in the 3 hours or so we were there did the line let up for it), mini golf, bumper boats and a real golf driving range. A very new world to me and a welcome one. We met some musician friends of Michelle’s and talked with them for over an hour. One couple lives essentially up the street from Todd so we’re hoping to meet up with them again soon.

All in all a great weekend. Not as active as I’d have preferred what with Saturday having such schizophrenic weather, but I shouldn’t complain since I got to ride 19 miles.

Monday I awoke feeling busted, seriously yuck. I got up and showered and still felt blech (a very technical medical term, please consult your physician’s reference for an exact definition), so I called in. But around 11:30 I started feeling pretty good again. Forecast called for thunderstorms, but I could tell even if we got them it’d be awhile yet, so I didn’t hesitate. I threw on my bike shorts and grabbed my wallet and phone and got my baby out of the basement and went for a ride.

Man, was it beautiful out. A little overcast and cool with some wind blowing from the west. I headed up towards Tufts where I sometimes like to start my ride instead of taking the trail behind Davis to the Minuteman. Pushed up the hills, one huge one in particular that’s my favorite, and flew back down and headed the back way to Arlington. Figured I’d try to make it out to Concord and turn around. On the way I encountered an animal I didn’t expect. A woman was walking a llama. !!! I stopped and said, “I have to ask, what’s up with this?” She said the llama was from Wilson Farms or someplace and she was taking it for its walk. Effing made my day.

Arrived at Concord feeling good and since it wasn’t raining I kept riding. There’d been some light spitting, but not enough to turn around. No, the big fat drops didn’t come out till I hit the one mile to Bedford mark. I thought it would continue and knew I had a long way to go to get back without a jacket or anything, so it was then I turned around only to have the rain stop as abruptly as it had started less than a mile later. Oh well. I still ended up riding 24 miles and it was great. I did some leg muscle work whilst watching another Sopranos episode and showered. I even considered going to spin class later and what stopped me was the idea of having to take a 3rd shower that day. That and pure exhaustion. The good kind.

keep on movin’

Well, shit, I didn’t check in last week. Here’s how it played out.

Tuesday after a long day at work I took the T to Harvard and walked the rest of the way home. Only about 2 miles, but that’s better than nothing, especially for a girl wearing her chemo in that black backpack.

Wednesday I got unhooked. I knew it was going to be the last nice (not too hot, not too humid) day of the week, so this time I walked from work to Harvard Square. Alternating my route from time to time is a good idea, this time I opted for the Esplanade to Smoot Bridge and up Mass. Ave. For the Central Square portion I took Green Street because it’s a nice neighborhood, not a congested nasty commercial area. Quiet, tree-lined and empty. Nice.

Thursday I was kinda tired and wasn’t sure I’d make it to spin that night after work. You know sometimes you have to force yourself to do things. Someone at work once asked me how I always make it to the gym (or whatever) and I told her I don’t look at it like it’s a choice. In order to get it done I have it set in my head that it’s like a job - I can’t not go.

Not only did I make it to hour ride, but I stayed and did the 45 minute spin afterwards. GIANT pat on my own back, my first double spin since January. YES! I felt awesome. It was completely unplanned; the first hour wasn’t easy and I was cherry tomato red and sweating buckets as usual. Even before I looked at my friend Joanne on the bike next to me as we were cooling down and doing a little stretching I knew I was staying, but then I looked over at her and she was staying, too. We congratulated each other and I got up to get more water. My legs were a little shaky, but I knew I could work through it. I’m so glad I did.

After such an active week Friday was a good day to rest. On Fridays my firm provides bagels, fruit and Dunkin Donuts or Munchkins. Once a week I give myself a “treat day” on which I can eat the bad things I won’t let myself eat the rest of the week. With that in mind and the Munchkins on the counter I declared Friday my treat day. I had a bagel (I hollow them out, though, and Jay at work calls it “canoeing” which I found quite clever), a few Munchkins and way too many strawberries and melon slices.

That night I joined a few of my favorite attorneys at work for drinks and pomme frites - more treats. Susan and I shared a small appetizer with scallops and voila, supper! David, ever the generous (second only to Susan), took care of the bill.

Took the train to Haverhill and after watching one episode of WNTW we just hung out talking. Then we listened to our very first band demo - first time in years. Quite the trip down memory lane, I must say. We reminisced about the fantastically talented musicians we had on the recording and how we watched them in awe as they played. Got nostalgic about the whole thing, in fact. I barely knew Matt and Todd when we started playing music together and we talked about our first impressions and how I had to write verses to songs I didn’t write to begin with and follow the theme or story. Interesting. I was impressed with myself in retrospect.

We stayed up till 2AM. When I stay up that late, especially after a long day, hell, a long week, it’s always because of music. It has a pull that’s undeniable.