Friday, July 31, 2015

Weekends and Things

Happy Friday, everyone!

It's been a(nother) busy week......

Last Friday Cam and I went to a concert at the House of Blues in Chicago. I'd selected the band (much to his chagrin - we have totally different tastes in music), but he agreed to accompany me to see Awolnation play. If you haven't heard of them, they're a sort of alt-rock-pop band, with a bit of screamo mixed in. I'm not a fan of the screamo stuff, but they have enough of the rest to tickle my fancy (and obviously to get me to buy tickets).

To get to it - the show was good. We saw one of the two openers - it was K-Flay, who sounded so good that I thought she was lip syncing for a while there. The songs she sang were way better than the one they play all the time on the radio (then again, that's how it usually goes). Then AN played all the songs I wanted to hear - Sail, Kill Your Heroes, Hollow Moon - pretty much everything that wasn't screamo was a song I knew. They also had a really good light show to accompany it all, and the lead singer had some great stage presence. He is also an absolute pro at crowd surfing, which I'd never seen in person before. He launched himself off the stage into the crowd a few times (while singing!) which I found impressive. So overall...the show was good, the music was good.

The crowd? Not so good. The House of Blues in Chicago is a smalllll venue. And it was packed to bursting. It was hot and sweaty and we got bumped into and shoved a million times by increasingly rude people. It was such a weird mix of screamo-head bash people and people who were so preppy that they were bordering on/crossing into major douche category. And then there was this girl in front of me who recorded a video of literally (and I do actually mean on her iPhone:

I'm really not that into public shaming, but this girl deserves to be shamed for breaking like 10,000 concert etiquette rules.
Seriously, what is the fucking point of even going to a live show if you are going to watch the entire thing through a four inch screen? Moreover, it was rude, distracting, and at times actually got in the way of other people's view (yeah, including mine).

So good, crowd -1 million in likability points (and I'll be honest, I gave the HoB some pretty terrible feedback concerning how crowded it was in the survey they sent me). And that's what I don't dig about live music. You can see the best show ever, but if you're surrounded by jerks it will sully the experience.

Moral of the story? Be a considerate concert goer.

Anyways...moving on!

It has been hot hot hot around these parts! I'm actually writing this post as I wait for the temperature to drop a bit before I head out for a 10k. I'm doing my second virtual race today, which I'm actually really looking forward to! So look out tomorrow for a post about this virtual's one you'll want to see (especially if you're a Harry Potter fan).

But as far as running goes, the heat has been seriously killing my motivation lately, mostly because it makes me feel more tired than I already am. On Monday I was going to go for a quick two-miler, but it was so hot, and I had conflicting plans (barbeque with friends!) to get ready for, so I decided to pass up my run. I got out there on Wednesday though, and suffered through three totally brutal ones.

I know it's because of the heat (and 60% humidity), but my pace was crawling through the second and third miles, and I was just totally exhausted when I finished. And it's not like my pace was slow and I was taking it easy - my heart rate was over 160 bpm almost the entire time, and even got close to 180 bpm by the end. For reference, my heart rate usually hovers around 156 bpm during my runs:

It's hard to read, but that says that when I was running an 11:43 mile my HR was 178, and my overall average HR was 164!

A minute more per mile than usual!!!!!!!!
I kept telling's not me. It's not my skill or my ability. It's this heat. I've also realized that I picked the wrong summer to train for my first half, and that it will just be brutal probably all the way up until race day.

But what doesn't kill us makes us stronger, right?




I did get a nice little reward after that run though. I have a very good friend from college who happens to have the nicest parents ever. They've kind of adopted me as a daughter. I really can't say enough about how great they are...words just don't do it. As such, whenever my Papa Bender is in town we try to meet up for dinner. This time around we chose a restaurant near my work called Westwood Tavern. I'll keep this short and sweet, but I ordered a "Braised Short Rib Foot Long Grilled Cheese" and this is what I got:

An actual foot long grilled cheese. And it came with fries.

I didn't finish it all, if you're wondering. I only made it about halfway through it all before I was stuffed to popping. But it was very good...could have used a bit more pork, but overall I was happy with the decision.

Thursday was a bit boring, so we'll just skip to today.

Today has been a weird sort of blur, mostly because one of my favorite coworkers retired. The day felt like it dragged...and yet work was over in an instant. I can't explain it.

You see, I started at my job a little over a year ago so I've only known Linda for that long..but she's always been supportive and beyond helpful, and I'm really bummed that she won't be around anymore. As it happens, Linda is the entire reason I ended up in the department I'm in. When I was hired I had actually applied and interviewed for two jobs at my company. My hiring manager told Linda (who was present for my interview) that she wanted me for a different position and was going to wait for me to apply for it, but Linda told her I would get an offer for the other position because I was their "type". She was right - I was offered my current position, and then a week later was offered the other position. I'm positive I would not have had as good of an experience if I'd accepted the other I feel like Linda was on my side from the start. Like she really saw something in me. And she has always built me up, even when I've struggled with new tasks. She made my first year a joy, and I don't think I'll ever forget her. My morning coffee run won't be the same without her (because we've been doing that for a year as well) :(

But she really deserves retirement. She's one of those few genuinely happy and nice people you come across in your life who truly wants other people to be happy. I arranged her retirement gift - like the gift from money pooled together from random people who wanted to contribute - and all week people were stopping by my desk to give me money and sign the card. And there wasn't a blank space inside or on the back by the time I stuffed it in the envelope with the message, "Good luck for a great retirement, and even better travels. We will all miss you."

'Cause it's true. And I think she'll be beyond happy with retirement, because you know what's really, really awesome? What her retirement will be? Of course you don't - but I'll tell you. She and her husband bought an RV a few years ago and are going to travel around the country.

I sincerely hope that we'll be able to meet up at some point during her travels. I told her about how beautiful Idaho is, and if we can stay in touch and plan it right, I don't see why a weekend camping trip out there is out of reach.

So it was a pretty emotional day. Actually, it's been an emotional week, all the while trying to blank out the recurring reminder that she won't be there on Monday. I felt like I had tons of work which helped me move through the day, but at the end there was still an elephant sitting in the room - having to say goodbye. And after I hugged her and thanked her and when she told me, "It'll all be okay, I'll see you again!" I just looked and her and said, "But you won't be here at the end of every day to tell me to, 'Have fun and be good!'!!"

And then I cried. Because she really did say that to me every day. And I'm going to miss it.

Because a million people walk into your life and you interact with them and then many just walk out again. But it's the few dozen people who make a real impact on you who make human interaction worth it, and Linda has been one of my few dozen.

And now that I'm all full of feels, I'm going to wrap this up. Time to go get that 10k under my belt so I can relax for the evening. It is currently 80* with a "real feel" of 81 and 29% humidity! Much better than it was earlier. And when I get back, I get to pull a medal out of this package, and I am very excited to see what it looks like! I got it over a week ago and have managed not too look (I peeked just to make sure it was the medal, then put it back), so I can't wait!

You read right! The HOGWARTS RUNNING CLUB Department of Mysteries 10k!

Wish me luck!


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