Plants First, Fish Next

The original intent of this journal was to chronicle the trials and tribulations of the struggling twenty-something, as I searched for love and happiness in the small city-burb of ManchVegas, NH. Now, I'm thirty-something, I've found love in many forms, happiness in even more, and now the struggle is just... well... life. And finding time to do the million and one things I want to do- including writing.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Holiday Season

Brother Mine and I were raised as Hallmark Christians. We were never baptized (until we were older - that's how we "rebelled,"), never went to church unless someone was getting married or died. But we did celebrate Christmas and Easter in the finest Hallmark fashion - presents, food, brightly colored mascots, etc.

Things, as they often do, got more complicated when my parents divorced, and even more so when my mom moved my brother and me to NH. We had our Christmas as a family, then my mom's Family Christmas (Memere, her5 siblings, all my cousins, and eventually my cousin's kids), then my Dad's family Christmas (similar to my mom's - those French Canadians really know how to breed).

As an adult it became a little easier to balance all the commitments. I could drive myself to different locations, and ultimately began to choose one family for certain holidays so I could stay and enjoy the company. Mr. Fixit came into our lives, bringing his lovely children and grandchildren, and one more Christmas celebration (2nd Christmas). Friends are home to visit (Smarty Pants, Deej, the recently engaged Golden Girl, and Brother Mine, just to name a few), and of course I want to spend quality time with all of them. And my friends that ARE my family: Face and Mop, Fleur, Seacoast, and the aforementioned visitors, just to name a few. These are the people who have been with me through thick and thin, good times and bad, and CHOSE to love me unconditionally. And of course I want to spend time with my sweetie, My Runner, and all the new friends I've met and grown to enjoy through him.

As much as I love seeing everyone, spending time with family and friends, sharing a laugh, some food, libations, it feels very stressful this season. I'll look at my calendar and how full the next week is, and I can feel my blood pressure rise. And then I think of my family, chosen and unchosen, and how lucky I am to be surrounded by people I love. If I beleived in blessings, I suppose you could say that when I count them, I am rich.

Happy Holidays. I hope this season reminds you that love is an important gift, and sharing time and experiences together is part of what makes us happy, healthy, whole human beings.

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Wednesday, December 23, 2009


The epilogue of my relationship with The Boy hopefully finally ended this morning at 7:30am in the lobby of my apartment building.

Lemme 'splain. ::Breath:: No, there is too much, lemme sum up.

A few weeks ago The Boy demanded his Christmas stuff. I told him I would get to it when I pulled the stuff up from the basement and decorated. He gave me a deadline. I bristled and decided not to be so helpful. He made snide remarks. I blocked his emails at work and home. Much time passed (and the "deadline"), I hadn't gotten around to decorating and wasn't sure I would, and he finally texted me again.

This last text came while I was spending some quality time with Face in between other commitments. I looked at it, scoffed, rolled my eyes, and put my phone down, obviously prompting Face to ask me what the text was. "The Boy again. Tough titties, asshat, shoulda taken care of your shit when you moved out. I'm not his storage unit."

Normally this is Face's cue to join in. It's one of my favorite games - Who Do We Both Despise? To my surprise, she gave me stern face. "So, when are you gonna do it?" she says, a hint of mom voice in her tone.

"Wha? Um... maybe when I get my christmas decorations out next year?" I quip (yeah, I'm witty, I know it.) Maybe she still didn't get that this is when the mocking starts. Ready, set, MOCK!

"Why don't you just get it done?" she presses.

"Because it's not my problem! I'm busy and have better things to do than fix his mistakes. That's not my job anymore." I'm getting angry, Face sees it, we both drop the topic and move on.

But I couldn't shake what she said or how she said it. WTF? Why was this all of a sudden my responsibility? Why is it now so important that I make this douche bag happy? Hadn't I tried to do that for, oh, four years with little-to-no success and at the detriment of my own happiness?

But the thing is, *I* didn't get it. Face was trying to get me to FINISH it.

Face and Smarty came over last night for some Christmas cheer and quality girl time. We made dinner, had some wine, put on a Christmas movie, played games, drank 'nog. Then, when I was all toasty and happy, they exchanged a look, then both turned to me. Those of you that know these girls know this is a BAD SIGN. When this happens, run as fast and as far as you can.

"Why don't we go downstairs and get your Christmas stuff?"
"Yeah, we'll walk you through the scary basement, it'll be good." (My basement is super scary - hollowed out dirt basement of an old Catholic School. I swear that's where the ghost-nuns nest.)

I may have feebly argued, but I knew in the end they would win. That's the problem (and the delight) of being three friends - it's always two against one. I'm still feeling giddy from the rum-spiked 'nog as we head downstairs. Smarty takes the lead, turning on lights and bravely warding off the Catholic School Children of the Corn. Face sang Christmas carols to ward off/placate the Nun Ghosts.

As we get to the storage unit my mood goes from giddy to surly. The boxes are stuck between other boxes and the HUGE air conditioner is in the way with my bike on top. I'm already doing more work than I ever wanted to for The Boy (at this point in my brain he is called FUCK FACE), and now the stupid boxes are being uncooperative. As the girls offer to help I lash out at them (sorry, girls, love you!) and yank the box so hard it rips. Deeeeeep breath, pull out the other box, and head upstairs.

I'm still surly; I kick one box all the way down the hallway to the elevator. It's so loud and annoying that one of my neighbors pokes his head out of his door to see who's knocking. God I'm a dick. I apologize, see myself from the outside, and pickup the box planning on behaving myself.

The girls help me go through everything. All my childhood ornaments are easy to decipher, and his stuff that is religious or related to his daughter or completely tacky get tossed into his pile immediately. Then there's the "maybe's" - the stuff I bought for "us" when we were together, the stuff I'm not sure if it was given to me or if it was his. Ultimately, he left the task in my hands so I kept what I liked and thought was mine and put the rest in his pile, aka a garbage bag with "DOM" on it.

I let him know it would be in the lobby in the morning for him to pick up (he had wanted me to ship it or arrange for someone else to pick it up, both WAY too much bother at this point). He made another nasty comment, but I didn't engage in conversation. In the morning I made sure I left early, as he said he would be there around the time I usually leave for work. I had contemplated leaving it in the lobby all night, but the girls wisely pointed out that if anything happened to his stuff it would just leave a window open for him to harass me again.

At 7:30 on the dot I got a text from him. Then another at 7:33. Both condescending, but hopefully the very last communication I will ever need to have with him.

And with that, Goodbye, The Boy. It was.... nothing if not educational.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Nerd Herd Season 5 Playoff Game

Last night was the playoff games for NHSSC hockey. Nerd Herd was 2nd seed in the league - pretty impressive considering not two seasons ago we were happy to have ANY wins.

The previous game saw a change in officiants. Not only was "Skip," the ref for most of the season, not there, but we had TWO refs, one of which was an old highschool/hockey buddy of Mop's. The calls were very different from Skip's, whose style is akin to "Penalty! by... um... eenie-meenie-miney-moe...." It was a fun game with a lot of play, and after winning we were psyched and ready to take on playoffs.

My spirits personally fell when I saw Skip was officiating again. I mean, he seems like a nice enough guy, but he really doesn't know hockey well, and he doesn't know how to control the game. He's not confident in his calls. The worst is that our team dynamic sinks dramatically every time we feel like we get a BS call. I play on this team for fun, not to get pissed. I can't say I blame my teammates - I'm rarely a victim of a bad call. But I knew our play would suffer for the bad attitude.

Still - pre-game milling was good. Team seemed in high spirits as we watched the first playoff game finish up between Seed 1 team and Seed 4 team. It was a tight game (with traditionally bad calls by Skip), but both teams were battling hard. My Runner and I did our pre-game laps around the track; I was trying to work out a little nag in my left calf that's been hanging in there since last Friday.

(Recap penned by El Capitan at the end of the post, for those of you who are stat-minded)

We start the game out feeling great. Herd's really cheerful (and CHEERING!). My Runner gets the first goal in our first shift. It was great. Unfortunately the other team brings it back and scores two on us. We get some weird whistles - calls that don't make much sense, but their warnings, so ok. Moral starts to drop a bit. I miss some passes, and an opportunity to shoot.

I'm getting frustrated at myself. I'm not really contributing to the offense. I'll crash the net and not be able to get open, or get open and miss the pass, or get the ball stolen 'cause I'm not looking. I'm covering other players when they're in our zone, and I'm able to slow down or steal the ball sometimes, but overall I've become a defensive player. Not really what a winger should be. Not in a playoffs game.

I keep coming off the rink mad. This isn't really like me. Sure I know when I'm playing better and when I'm worse, but usually I can keep my head in the game. This time I had to leave the rink, take deep breaths, not sob. My Runner, bless him, keeps coming to check on me. The nicer he is the harder it is to pull my self together. I do my best to ask him to go away without being a douche - difficult to articulate when you know you'll sob if you open your mouth. He seems to get it. I breath deep a few times, wipe my face, and get back in to support my team.

When I take a high stick penalty (and I hate this because I know as my stick is coming up to my wast to catch the ball that I'm gonna get called, but I can't stop it), I'm furious with myself. The team is down by one, now *I'm* making them play three-on-four. My stupidity has caused us to be down a man at a playoffs game. As soon as the whistle blew I knew it was my penalty, I spun around and practically ran off the rink. It took everything I had not to hurl my stick in frustration but a) that would get me kicked out of the game and b) my lovely teammates were all in the way - no need to cause more harm.

This time the sobs won't stay down. Again My Runner comes to check on me. Again I send him packing; he exacts a kiss before he goes. I know I need to calm down. I have at least one more shift on the rink and I have to play fully. I'm mad at my penalty and mad that I can't get my head in the game and mostly I'm mad that I'm so freakin' mad! This game is supposed to be fun and I've preached it AT THIS VERY MATCH that we need to calm down and play our game. Way to listen to my own advice.

The rest of the game passes as I hold it all in and do my best to be present for the team. We don't win, the team is upset, and the bad calls (which robbed us of possibly two goals) has pissed of Cap'n Mop to a level I have rarely seen. However, MiniMcL's boyfriend is there from CT with his kickass camera - that means team photo time! Everyone shakes it off, congratulates each other on a great season, and smiles are (hopefully) genuine.

Unfortunately, my crankiness extends to the after-party (the waiter being a total 'tard didn't help either). I feel awful about my behavior that night... Lovely MiniMcL singing her love for me and all I could say was, "please stop." I couldn't explain that I didn't want to burst into tears at Margaritas. Face and Smarty looking at me with concern, then *getting* that that was the problem, instantly turned things around to cheer me up. I love those girls.

Despite my own personal horribleness, it's been a great Nerd Herd season. I love my team, its awesomeness and its faults. I love playing hockey. I want to work to be better. If the team can't work together to get practices organized, I've got to find a way to practice on my own. I think that's the only way I'm ever going to be satisfied (or at least have a chance of satisfaction) with my game.

The Nerd Herd entered the NHSSCHL playoffs riding a wave of confidence
following the most successful season in franchise history. They met a
familiar foe in the opening round, the Road Runners.

The game opened with a fired up Nerd herd squad taking advantage of an
odd man rush. Phil "Cowboy" Turbe sent Mike "Cap'n Mop" Grages running
free up the boards, and he centered it to Josh "The Cat" Robert, who
collected it and fired it home for an early 1-0 lead. Unperturbed by
the fast start of the Nerd Herd, the Roadrunners fired back, scoring 2
goals before the end of the first period to take a 2-1 lead into the
second. The Nerd Herd battled back, appearing to score the tying goal,
but it was waived off, as the referee had "intended to blow" the whistle
before the goal was scored.

The second period began with the Roadrunners expanding their lead to 3-1
before the Nerd Herd could answer back. Phil again fed the ball down
the boards to Matt "TTT" Tetrault, who was able to find Jon "Turbo"
Turcotte who took advantage and narrowed the gap to 3-2. The Herd
continued the charge as Keith "Classy" Chasse got the ball deep in the
zone, Mop collected it and found Josh for his second of the game,
knotting the score at 3. The Roadrunners again surged back, scoring two
more quick goals before Josh finished off his hattrick. Katie "Killer"
McLaughlin chipped the puck down deep to Mop, and he found Josh in the
slot. Josh rifled it home and again brought the Nerd Herd to within 1
at 5-4 at the end of the second period. The Nerd Herd again thought
they tied the game, but The officials waived it off, saying the ball hit
the post. Video review seemed to support the Nerd Herd side, but it was
not counted.

Unfortunately, that was as close as the Nerd Herd got. The Roadrunners
scored to open the lead to 6-4, and then capitalized on another
powerplay to close out scoring at 7-4. Despite their frantic efforts,
the Nerd Herd couldn't get on the board in the third period.

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Monday, December 21, 2009

And so they meet

"So, how did Friday go?"

The question asked by no fewer than three people on Saturday. Of course, you all read this blog, so you know that I was nervous about it.

It went well. My parents were "late," but still on time. Dinner was super yummy. Conversation was good - not too many uncomfortable moments. Mom and Mr. Fixit seemed to enjoy themselves, and My Runner did too. I mean, it wasn't a grand gala, but for a first dinner it was good. And now that's done and every subsequent hanging out time can be easier.

As Mr. Fixit said, "All that matters to us is that you're happy." Thanks. I am. :-)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

So Long and Thanks for All the Fish!

Dolphin Challenge, here I come.

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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Beaver Brook 5K - Report

.... and the alarm went off soooooooo early......

I looked at my phone and see a text from Pocket - she's not coming. She's worried about injury running on snowy trails, which is understandable since at this moment she doesn't have health insurance. But I'm bummed. "What's up?" My Runner asks as I sigh. "Pocket's out." My Runner, who was waffling on racing since he missed his kittehs, picks up the torch and comes with. I assure him that he doesn't have to, that I'm a big girl and can run on my own, but he ignores my protest. I'm glad - I always prefer company.

It was chilly, but not freezing. We drove down winding roads to the Beaver Brook Reserve in Hollis, passing farms and farmhouses covered in a blanket of snow, sales on Christmas Trees, ribbons of blue woodsmoke drifting up from chimneys, and apple orchards dormant for winter. Sky was a perfect blue with few puffy clouds, the snow was sparkling in the sun. We arrive at the trailhead park, and I grab our numbers, shirts, and goodie bags. The race director and volunteers are friendly and fun. Race Director is up front about goodie bags - he's cleaning his garage. That explains the mix of energy drinks, energy "chews," lube samples, and meat seasoning all in one bucket. The group reminds me of my dad's running group - the focus is fun, socialization, and sharing the sport we love.

My Runner is up-beat, making me laugh, but I am still bumming. I'm tired. We trot up and down the trail a bit, and I decide today is not the day for the added challenge of snow-shoes. A good choice in the end, I think. The run itself was challenging enough.

There were runners of all sorts, mostly there for fun, which was great. A group of girls who could have been in high school or college (I've recently realized I'm too old to tell now), older couples, families with kids and dogs, and a few real "racers." Once we got to the starting line I was beginning to feel better. Looking around at everyone else who had decided to brave the snow made me feel like some sort of wonderful misfit. My Runner gave me a pre-race goodluck kiss, always an ego booster, and we were off.

The start of the trail wasn't too bad. Enough runners and snow-shoers had trotted it that it was packed. About 1/4 mi in, though, it got a little more powdery. This would be my challenge for the rest of the run. Running in powder is much like running in sand, except when I run in sand I've always been barefoot and not racing. Using stabilizer muscles rarely used, unexpected slips, etc. "Light on your feet," My Runner says, trying to help me out. I'm not totally sure what he means, but I reach into my "dance" training and move my center of gravity up from my hips to my chest and hope that helps. I can feel my footfalls changing, but I'm still sliding all over.

"Take shorter steps," he advises. "Don't fight the snow, just go with it." All great advice, but it was hard for me to put it all into action. I couldn't not fight the snow, even with shorter and lighter steps. I was working just as hard to fight off frustration as I was to stay on my feet. Finally I realized I wasn't enjoying what I came out here for - the fun of being outside in the woods on a beautiful winter's day. I couldn't raise my eyes too much off the ground - I slipped worse when I did that - but I adjusted my gaze up a little, keeping my eyes scanning for hazards and trail conditions ahead while still being able to look at and enjoy my surroundings.

It's a pretty area, and I was settling into a stride, and finally starting to enjoy myself. We turned onto another trail and My Runner and I were able to run side-by-side. He's got a big smile on his face and words of encouragement. I'm feeling really good, and starting to overtake some runners. We reach the turnaround - halfway. "Save some gas for the end," he warns, rightly so, since the trail has been all downhill on the way in and will be all uphill on the way out.

Still, I feel like I'm being somewhat conservative. I'm "reeling them in," as My Runner puts it: slowly catching up with folks in front of me and passing them. Move too slow and they get away, move to fast and your line breaks. I'm feeling tired, but good, and I have confidence in finishing.

Then we hit the last, oh, 3/4 mile. Powder. Uphill. ugh. I'm still slipping all over the place, which is frustrating. Slipping while climbing was worse. The more frustrated I get, the tighter my chest gets, the harder time I have breathing. We finish a particularly lengthy climb and I just half to walk. I can feel my breakfast yearning to come back up. I'm so mad at myself for walking I'm catching sobs in my throat, which is NOT helping me recover my breathing. My Runner, who was in front of me setting pace, continues with encouragement. "You can do it! Focus on your breathing. You've got this, we're almost there!"

I shook off the self-loathing and started shuffling my feet. Short steps. Wasn't moving fast, but was running. Focused 4 feet ahead of me, which luckily for me was My Runner's very shapely butt. Anything that keeps ya goin'. :-)

The finish line was in site - at the top of the hill of powder. "Here we go, we're at the end, finish strong!" "Yep, ok." heh... finishing on my feet was about as strong as I could manage. But finish on my feet I did. Crossing the finish line, all I wanted to do was double over - my breakfast still hadn't decided it wasn't coming up. My Runner was all smiles, hugs, kisses. I loved that he was so proud and happy, but I really didn't want to puke on him. He grabbed me some water and hot cocoa, and waited for me to collect myself.

"Twenty-seven thirty-six, hon." What? Really? I didn't even notice there was a clock at the end. 4.5K in 27 minutes and change in the snow. Suddenly I didn't mind feeling like crap - I worked hard, and I made good time. (at posting time official results are not up. boo.)

I think back on the run and I remember the challenge, sure, but in a positive light. I remember the snow-smiley face someone had put on a tree that made me laugh. I remember the guy running with a beagle that so wanted to hang out with My Runner that he slowed the guy down, and the man with the beautiful Newfie watching and encouraging runners. The way the snow started flying when the snow-shoers started the race. I went from feeling like crap to feeling awesome, the sense of accomplishment and shared experience buoyed my spirit.

Before the end of this month I have to decide how dedicated I am. I'm registering for an 8K in VA Beach, and I have to decide if I'm going to try for the half-marathon the next day. I have a training program, I know my body is physically capable of completing a 13 mile run once conditioned. I'm just ... nervous. I've done two 5K's, and now I'm gonna train for a half-marathon? I'm worried I'm over extending myself. But maybe the challenge is what I need to get me there.

I still have two weeks to decide.

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Monday, December 14, 2009

Winter Wonderland

What a fantastic weekend. I got to enjoy all the things I love: family, friends, outdoors, and theatre.

Friday night was supposed to be a "get stuff done" night, but my last three hours at work were one atrocity after another. I really needed a "relax and have fun" night. Face is a perfect companion for relaxing and having fun. I wanted to grab a few accessories to brighten up my outfit for her holiday party, and she was looking for a few last-minute odds n' ends for her annual shindig. One would think that going to stores and the mall during Christmas season would not be a relaxing evening, but anytime spent with Face is fun time. Finished off the evening at home with a bath and a glass of wine. Ahhhh...

Saturday My Runner was picking me up early (ok, 9:30am, but that's early for a Saturday) to hike Pawtuckaway with Sherpa and his Fiancee. I was really looking forward to the hike. I like Sherpa and Future Mrs. Sherpa (FMS), and it's been a while since we've all just hung out and talked. It was cold, but I was prepared (and had purchased Gaiters the night before - woohoo!) and stayed toasty.

We met the Sherpas in the parking lot, exchanged hellos and hugs, suited up, and were off. Sherpa was leading, and I know I should have been paying attention to the trails and where we were, but I was having so much fun breaking through the snow and catching up with FMS that I really just followed and enjoyed the surroundings. It's been years since I've been on a winter hike - the last one I really remember is when I was in Venture Class in high school. The sun kept us warm, the trees kept the wind off our backs, and the company kept our spirits high.

The sky was clear as we reached the lookout tower, but the wind was blowing icy cold. We all ventured (with varying degrees of trepidation) up the narrow staircase of the lookout tower to enjoy the view. Sherpa pointed out landmarks: Uncanoonuc Mts., North and Middle Mts., and Pawtuckaway Lake, among others. The view was great, the rolling land laid out with a blanket of snow and ice, the sun reflecting off the water like a mirror. As beautiful as the view was, the wind drove us back into the woods. We hiked for a total of 3.5 hrs, on snowy and icy trails with an occasional break on a dirt road.

Back at the parking lot we said a fond farewell to the Sherpas and piled our stinky sweaty bodies in the truck. Two quick errands - meeting up with the buyer of My Runner's bike stand and grabbing taco stuff for lunch - and we were back at home.

I get so busy sometimes I forget how great it is to just bum around the house. Cooking lunch, eating, playing around on the computer, napping - just being with My Runner is fun.

We had a busy evening scheduled too. My show was in Nashua at 8pm, and we were leaving after my portion of the evening (around 8:30) to head to Mop and Face's Christmas party. The show went really well. It was an evening of short plays by playwrights that Yellow Taxi Productions has worked with in the past. The show I directed was the first up, taking place in the lobby of the Hunt Memorial Building in Nashua. One of my favorite things about Yellow Taxi is how they think outside the box when it comes to presenting shows. The show, by Brian Dykstra, is titled "Service/Order" and the plot revolves around a set of stairs that is out of service. We used the stairs located in the lobby - essentially Site Specific theatre. We also didn't make a formal announcement that the show was starting, nor did we have set seating (we did have chairs for our older patrons, of course). This resulted in a show where audience members were sometimes standing right between two characters that were having a conversation! I had done my best to prepare my actors for the surprises of the audience, and they did very well. I was proud of them, and happy with my work.

"Service/Order" completed, My Runner and I were off to our party. This was especially exciting to me because until a few days ago I didn't think My Runner would be coming with me. He wasn't really interested when I first invited him. I really didn't want him to go if he wasn't going to have a good time, and I certainly am not the kind of person to "make decisions" for other people, but I just couldn't understand why he was so against it. Still, I talked with him one more time about it, then let the matter drop. I'm a big girl and I don't *need* a date to have fun at a party, nor do I have an issue going places by myself. He knew how I felt and I knew (I thought) how he felt and that was that. I'm not really sure what changed his mind, but I was happy that he was with me. My friends are pretty awesome and fun and I knew he would end up having a good time.

I think I can chalk it up to this: he's in a different place now, I'm in a different place now, and WE'RE in a different place now. And that's all the detail I'll go into for the moment. :-)

Face and Mop's Christmas Party is an annual tradition. Face is the consummate hostess, refilling drinks and the punch bowl generously, putting thought into every detail down to napkin rings and wine glass markers, yet always circulating about the party chatting with her guests and spreading good cheer. The Annual Christmas Party is a great time to reconnect with folks we don't get to see often. I chatted, My Runner (after hiding in the basement with Chewie the cat for a few minutes... the party WAS loud) chatted, we were together, we were separate, we drank and ate and had a grand ol' time.

Me and Smarty, making her best "I hate you but I love you" face

Schmoop moment: I love watching him at parties. He's a really great conversationalist and slips into meeting new people with ease. He always actively listens, and is able to talk to just about anyone (including a "very happy" Smarty Pants, much to my delight - how I'd like to have been a fly on the wall of THAT conversation...). Yeah, he's pretty great. End schmoop moment.

It was a long day, and I had a race in the morning, so we cut out relatively early around midnight. I was happy to hear My Runner had a nice time (and I didn't even say "I told you so," see how good I am?) and happier when we got to my house and snuggled up in bed. I was the epitome of content as I drifted off to sleep in his arms.

.... and the alarm went off soooooooo early......

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Friday, December 11, 2009

Beaver Brook 5K

Shortly after the fun I had at Feaster 5 I received an email with other race listings in my area. Most were in MA, but one in NH caught my eye: the Beaver Brook 5K in Hollis, NH. I knew of the Beaver Brook Trails, even have them in a guidebook, but I've never been.

I liked the idea of a trail race - roads are nice and all but trees are prettier. The fact that the registration fee was less than a dinner out and it was at 10am instead of 8:30 didn't hurt either. I sent the info to Pocket, and we signed up yesterday.

Last night I received the following email from the race director:
Snow has covered the trails at Beaver Brook!!!
We will now hold a snowshoe race in conjunction with the trail race.
We will have at least 30 pairs of snowshoes to loan if you want to race on snowshoes!
Or you can Snow Run the race. We will give prizes to both runners and shoers.

Snowshoes? oooOOOooo.... My Runner has been waxing poetic about snowshoe racing, and I've been wanting to at least try snowshoeing since last year (when we had so much snow it would have been the easiest way to travel). NOW I could try it for FREE!

I immediately sent the email to My Runner and Pocket. I wanted feedback from My Runner - did I need different shoes/gear? Is this a good/horrible idea? I ended up getting him interested in signing up. Yay! I wasn't sure if Pocket would go for it - she's never been snowshoeing either. But she expressed interest, so we're on!

My Runner warns that it's going to make the race feel 5x longer, which I sort of expect. But I'm treating this as a fun run: it's a chance for me to check out local trails, experience the outside, try snowshoes (or at least snow-running), meet some local folks, and hang out with friends.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Meet the Parents

Using my Google Calendar and Facebook, I figured out that My Runner and I have been dating for a little over four months now. While he's technically met my parents (twice), they've never really MET. Next week, Mom and Mr. Fixit are coming over to my apartment, My Runner is cooking dinner, and we're all gonna have fun. Right? RIGHT??

I'm mostly not worried. The first "meeting" went really quite well, and he made a good impression. During my Calamity Jane week when we first started dating (I swear I'll post the origin story soon - I'm working on it), My Runner dropped me off at my parent's house to pick up a loaner car while Mr. Fixit worked on mine. I introduced everyone, Mr. Fixit and My Runner exchanged a few words about what he'd already done with the car, and then he took off. As soon as he was out of the driveway, Mr. Fixit leaned over to me and said, "Good first impression. And that's the most important one."

Lemme give you an impression of Mr. Fixit, if you're not already familiar with him. He's a man's man. He grew up on a farm in Pennsylvania, he was in Vietnam, he's a mechanic, he hunts and ice-fishes, owns a boat, a Harley, and a pickup, and he almost single-handedly built the following on my Mom's property: a shed, a car port, a garage, and an 8' extension of the entire house. He's handy, needless to say, and very independent. He's friendly and quick with a smile, but doesn't suffer fools and can smell a rat a mile away. And he almost never likes the guy I'm with. So, when Mr. Fixit approves, I knew I had something special.

I turned to my Mom. "What did you think?" I mean, I'm glad Mr. Fixit liked him - that would make life easier. But Mom is, well, MOM. Her opinion is important to me. "Well, he's very cute." Thanks, Mom, noticed that one. "But don't you think it's too soon? I don't want to see you get hurt."

::sigh:: yeah. It probably was technically too soon. After all, The Boy had only been out of the house for a month. And My Runner wasn't long out of his previous relationship either. But I felt like my relationship with The Boy had ended long before it actually ended. My Runner and I were open and honest about where we both were emotionally. We were just taking it one day at a time, not rushing into anything. Explaining this to Mom did not make that worried look leave her face, though. I knew I'd have to get them together - once she knew him and decided to like him (or not) she could be as worried (or not) as she wanted.

SO. Here we are, four months later, and finally we're all finding the time in our schedules to sit down and have a meal together. I'm nervous, sure. What will we talk about? Will I accidentally go overboard with liquid libation and say something stupid? Will Mom? Or Mr. Fixit? What if the plans fall through? What if Brother Mine ends up being in Manchester that night and joins us too - will that be better? Worse?

Wow... I'm a little more nervous than I thought. But I know My Runner. He's charming and open and friendly. He's offered to cook for the evening, which is generous and a smart move (gives him something to do other than be interrogated by my family, plus he's a great cook). I am a product of my environment, and Mom and Mr. Fixit are very much like me. If My Runner enjoys my company, he'll likely enjoy theirs.

Even knowing the likelihood of disaster is small, my stomach tightens a little when I see "Dinner w/ Parents" on my calendar. It's important to me that Mom and Mr. Fixit enjoy My Runner's company, and vice-versa. And knowing that I have little-to-no control over the situation is making me anxious. Any words or thoughts you want to share would be helpful at this time. :-)

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Sunday, December 06, 2009

Too Young for a Midlife Crisis?

Ok, maybe not a "crisis," but certainly a huge but quiet shift in my life.

I've decided to take a break from theatre. Not a mini-break, not a "let's be friends" break, but a clean and hard "break me off a piece of that" kind of break. (guillotine swoosh) No more theatre.
I haven't been doing much of it lately anyways, and when I do it always feels like more of a chore than I want it to. I feel like it's taking away from other parts of my life. I like the results, I like being a part of it, but I don't want to make it a priority anymore, and I'd rather not half-ass my chosen art form.

This was a really difficult decision for me to come to. I'd been feeling mopey about my theatre projects for a while, though every now and then some new life and energy would get injected. Theatre is how I define myself... or how I did. I think that's the hardest part - now I'm not sure what defines me.

I'm not sure how long this break will last, but I can guess it would be a while. I've been accepting jobs from YTP when they're offered because I do always like SOME aspect of working with that company (namely: spending time with Pocket) but now Pockets moving to bigger and better things and YTP is closing its doors. Nothing is compelling me to be a part of this art form right now, and the prospect of having more time to spend on my personal projects, with friends and family, training, and playing hockey fills me with joy.

That being said - if you're in the area please come see what my be my last project for a long while. YTP is producing an evening of short plays from playwrights we love - Lowell Williams (playwright in residence), Brian Dykstra (I'm directing his show - it's pretty awesome and I'm glad I love the script), and Neil LaBute. The shows are 12/12 at 8pm and 12/13 at 6pm. If you're interested and want more info, let me know.

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