Reasons to get out of bed…

Archive for February, 2012

Still Hate Tofu…

I have been a vegetarian for over 20 years. Don’t worry though, this isn’t about to be a preachy post! I think I have the same reaction as meat eaters when a someone who has been a vegetarian for about a minute and a half starts lecturing about what you should or shouldn’t eat – I just want to eat a giant piece of meat in their face and tell them to buzz off! I don’t, of course… because I hate meat… but I also hate being bossed around by extremists. So that’s not the point of this post, I’m not trying to convert you!

Right. I AM a vegetarian, though, because I don’t like meat, plain and simple. I don’t like the taste and I don’t like the texture, and I welcome you to eat anything you like. If I lived closer to a small farm, I would prefer to buy my meat-eating boyfriend some humanely treated animals that could wander around before they died and didn’t eat hormones or weird foods… but alas I live near the city… so he gets whatever the large-chain grocery store has, which is probably terrible and I prefer not to think about it. But that’s just me, I repeat: you can do what you want!

Anyway, let me move on to the point. My boyfriend and I went on a date on Thursday last week. We’ve been together for nearly 10 years, and I still appreciate a good date night. We went to a place called the Elephant Walk – if you’re ever in the Boston area, I totally recommend checking it out. It’s Cambodian food (with a French flair). I LOVE it! I love spice and flavor and I love that they have a vegetarian section on the menu because not a lot of places around Boston do.

I ordered what sounded to me like a lovely meal (and I’ve had amazing meals there before): veggies and tofu in a lemongrass sauce. (We also had a to-die-for appetizer of pumpkin ravioli in a miso/pear/cream sauce – simply divine!) I always say that I hate tofu and I know it makes me a terrible vegetarian! Out of guilt, I told myself that I would get the tofu this time (instead of asking for the meal without it)! I haven’t tried in 10 -15 years, it was time to try it again. I figured it would be a plate filled with veggies with only a few cubes of tofu, so what’s the harm?

I was WRONG! It was a few slivers of veggies and an ENTIRE mountain of tofu! But that’s ok, I’m a big girl, I like to try new things. Who knows, I might have liked it and been wrong all these years.

Nope! I still hate tofu. In fact, I don’t even understand why people like it. (If you love tofu, I’m a jerk for “yucking your yum.” Sorry!) I know what you might be thinking though. “No, Jen, tofu doesn’t have a flavor, it takes on whatever it’s cooked with, maybe you didn’t like the sauce… or it was bland, try tofu with something more flavorful.” That’s not it, I promise. The sauce was terrific (I enjoyed it with the rice on the side of the dish) and VERY flavorful. I don’t like tofu because it feels like you’re chewing bubble gum. It’s so chewy! You really have to work on it before you can even swallow it.

I just don’t see the appeal. I guess I’ll just remain a bad vegetarian forever.

And I’m ok with it.


Saturday Morning Motivation Poster – Important!

Today, cleaning my house, doing my homework, and seeing friends is important to me. What’s important to you today?

Sneakers Pounding Pavement Again!

I went running outside this past weekend and I’m in the best mood because of it!

I would typically consider myself to be a “trail runner.” Although I should mention that I live in a pretty urban environment… so the closest thing I find to a trail is paved… but it’s near a river and there are some trees! I count it! (and I ignore the apartment buildings and grocery store and bus stop on the other side of me). If I lived somewhere more rural, I’d totally be running on paths through woods, etc. I also refuse to run on the sidewalk down the street (I mean… I do… but only for the 1/4 mile to get to the trail) – there is no way you’ll find me willingly running down the sidewalk on main street (or any of the other busy streets near me). So… because of my obstinance, I’ve been forced to run inside this winter. It’s too dark when I get home from work. And it’s cold and I’m a giant wuss when it comes to cold! Oh, and I’m not a morning person; nope, nope, nope.

But finally, this past weekend felt like spring. When I noticed it, I simply had to strap on my sneakers and head outside. What motivated me was the feeling of missing something great.

A few things I realized when I was out there:

  • I probably should have brought gloves and earmuffs… it wasn’t THAT warm! It was only about 40°F.
  • I never run in cold weather… my lungs didn’t know how to breathe! I was actually wheezing and coughing for HOURS after coming home, but luckily it passed without a problem.
  • I took off a LOT of time this winter! Whoa, out of shape!
  • I have MISSED my trail!

It was a pathetic run overall… as in, I only ran about 1/2 a mile before needing to walk. But that 1/2 a mile was the fastest I have ever run on the trail, so thank you treadmill boredom that made me increase my speeds. So I walked, and ran, and walked, and ran. All in all, it was like when I first started last year… I’m pretty sure it even took me my old speed to complete the 5 mile loop (based on how far I made it through my iPod’s playlist).

Sadly, I limped home… which was a new development. The back of my left knee was screaming, which is weird, because my left knee never hurts (and if it does, the right hurts worse). My hips used to hurt together… and then my ankles… but those strengthened up. My LEFT side has never hurt before my right side. I’ve had surgery on my right leg… so it’s always the weak one. I’m SHOCKED the left knee hurt (and it hurt for DAYS)… over-compensating maybe?

Also, my upper back hurt a little. That’s easy to understand though, those muscles got lazy having the cup holders on a treadmill. My arms haven’t had to carry my iPod nor water bottle in months.

It feels really good to be out there again! I’m so looking forward to spring!


Saturday Morning Motivation – Trust Yourself

I may be feeling a little guilty about quitting… but I need to believe in myself and realize I know what’s best for myself. And it might not be the easy choice to let people down, but it’s better than making myself sick for them.

Does this “poster” motivate you or apply to you, too?

Happy Valentine’s Day

…well… belatedly.

I hate that my phone won’t e-mail out pictures while I’m at work… for some reason it waits until I leave the building. Odd. So that’s why I’m late.

Right, on to Valentine’s Day…

Like many people, I think that Valentine’s Day is a silly Hallmark holiday. However, I do think it’s a nice day to check in with myself. A day to make myself feel happy and loved! A day to remind myself that I’m worth it!

So I wore some heels that make me feel sexy:


Downside: they also make me realize how far away my cube is from the bathroom (really far) and how much water I drink in a day (a lot)! But they sure are HOT and make me feel pretty… oh so pretty.

I wore a heart necklace that makes me giggle:

It’s made from Lego’s! (and it’s new)

And I wore some boyfriend pride:

It’s a scarf in his Scottish tartan: Wallace. To see him in his kilt, click here or here.

I felt pretty rocking all day! I make a pretty great valentine if I do say so myself.

I wasn’t planning on seeing the wonderful boyfriend on V. Day because I had class… and he goes to bed at the same time as is stereotypical for senior citizens… and I was completely ok with that, I knew our love would still be there on the 15th. I like to think I’m pretty good at assessing my own needs, and I knew that I didn’t need a whole hurrah (and I’ve never thought of it as a gift giving holiday). I would have been happy with a post-it note left on the table saying “Don’t forget, I love you and think you’re great.”

So of course I was surprised to come home and find this:

A bouquet of chocolate covered strawberries.

Bah, I look goofy in the back. (but I’m enjoying my treat)

He’s really wonderful and stayed up late just for me (which was the best part). I also have to say, this is a terrific by-product of dating an architect. He found a picture on Edible Arrangements, was appalled by the price for how little they give you, so he built one himself… with 2 pounds of strawberries. (I’m actually a little shocked by how much work he put into making the whole thing stand up)

He’s adorable. Plus, when we first started dating he wooed me with chocolate covered strawberries… so I guess it’s our thing.

Anyway, so that was how I spent my Valentine’s Day! How did you spend yours? Were you a good Valentine to yourself?

Happy Valentine’s Day!


I Fell Down…

I’m sorry for having been away for so long! Before my long absence, I had been talking about how busy, busy, busy I was. Essentially, I was to spend about 21 days in a row out of my house for about 15 hours per day. I made it for almost all of them. I called out sick on the final one. By the end, I was feeling stressed and tired and sick and malnourished.

Another giant downside to being out of my house for so long is that other things don’t get taken care of: laundry, cleaning, grocery shopping, paying bills (unless they are online), prepping for all of these nights out of the house (homework, etc). So I returned to a giant “to do” list – which didn’t help with the stress level.

I have to admit that I failed. I had mentioned that I signed on for another task (directing a musical) and I really thought I would be able to do it. However, I found the musical director to be difficult to work with. I thought he was being bossy and mean; but it was later explained to me that he needed his hand held, like crazy. I found him distracting in my rehearsals and we needed a translator even though we were both speaking English, our communication styles just didn’t seem to mesh. I also didn’t appreciate him yelling at me for things that he forgot to do (I originally volunteered for it, he said he would rather do it, and then I got blamed when it wasn’t done). It wasn’t a pleasant working situation. However, before it sounds like I’m bashing him too much, I feel I should mention that he was great with the kids and the music… it was the details that were a problem.

I feel terrible. I let down the kids. I let down the parents group organizing the show. I hope I didn’t burn too many bridges (as bad news and gossip always travel like wildfire). I have been sleeping better and getting my homework done though…

The straw that broke this camel’s back though was mainly school and my calendar. I was supposed to pick up a form signed by my thesis committee members and drop it off to the registrar. But I forgot, and I missed the deadline. I ended up having to beg the registrar to please, please, please let me register for my thesis so I could graduate on time. My boyfriend had to run around the campus (luckily he works down the street) on his lunch break, pick up the form and drop it off. However, at every step of the way he had to call me and ask me to send an e-mail giving him permission: “yes, student secretary, please give my boyfriend the form on my behalf.” “yes, student secretary, please accept the form from my boyfriend (and not me).” It was absurd. Plus, my loan money had already been turned into a refund check, so my boyfriend is holding the money for my class (as a check), but we couldn’t use any of it (because I had to sign it… and I was 45 minutes outside the city), so I’m charging various parts to different debit accounts and credit cards trying to make it all work (because I had to pay before registering and classes aren’t cheap).

It was STRESSFUL! And I can’t let things like my thesis fall to the wayside because I was focusing on directing a musical “for fun.”

I still feel terrible about it though.

Dreams of Scurvy

Well, I wasn’t able to do it… I was supposed to have 21 days of being overwhelmingly busy, and while I still have 3 left (if you count today), I faltered a bit. I called out sick for work this morning. I originally had a meeting at 9:30 am, but it was canceled yesterday afternoon. I took that as my opening and took the morning off.

On average for these last 3 weeks (including weekends) I’ve been out of my house from 8:30 am – 11 pm. Of course there was some variance, some days I was better and left the house at 8 am… some days worse and left the house at 9 am. And some days were shorter and I’d get home at 10 pm and others were longer and I’d get home at midnight or later.

But I couldn’t keep doing it, I needed some sleep… I also may have been in desperate need of 3 square meals a day. I was missing dinner most (all?) nights. In fact, it has gotten so bad (and I apologize for the detail here, you may want to skip the rest of this) that I have developed two little ulcers in my mouth, not like canker sores, but like when you bite your cheek really hard and it takes a few days to heal. So I have one on my cheek and one on my tongue, although I don’t remember biting either. And my tongue feels (and looks) like it’s covered in little paper cuts. Pretty awesome, I must say.

Last night, I actually had a dream that I was on ship sailing from Europe to America way back when and had scurvy.

Now I don’t actually believe that I have scurvy, but I was craving citrus when I woke up thanks to my seaward dream. I have to say, I was worried that eating grapefruit for breakfast would burn a little, but I was wrong, it was delicious and now I want oranges.

Up until this point I have been living on caffeine and little mantras:

 I may be able to take care of a lot of things, and juggle lots of aspects of my life, but the first ball to always fall is my health. I am terrible at taking care of myself when I’m busy. I’m glad the overwhelming amount of activities will slow down soon.

When you’re feeling overwhelmed and stressed, do you have any mantras you repeat to keep yourself going?

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