Monday, September 14, 2009

boot camp #1

I should have known when they made us sign a waiver. 

Well, I didn't cry. I came close, twice. And I thought I was going to throw up a couple of times (it's still a possibility). But I made it through my first boot camp!  Boy was it intense. There was an awful lot of yelling and more than a few commands I didn't understand. The first half we alternated between "On your face! (yes sir!)" and "On your feet! (yes sir!)". After completing each set of exercises, we had to yell "Marine Corps!" Believe me, this is the opposite of advertising after your fifth round of push-ups. Not loud enough?  On your face! Another 10!

For the second, truly tortuous half we headed up to the outdoor tennis court & track. After a couple of laps jogging (easily my favorite part, with a nice sunset view of the city), we assembled into two lines for sadistic sprints (that's right, Augie Doggie). I don't think I've ever run so much in my life. The sergeant was never pleased with our speed, so we had to go back and touch the wall from half court again and again, alternating occasionally with deep squats, push-ups, leg lifts, and plank positions. Besides the push-ups, which I can't yet do properly, I only half-assed one exercise, and I guess the look on my stricken, throbbing face was enough to keep the soldiers' jeers at bay.

It was encouraging to see all shapes, sizes, and ages represented, and to see my own incredulous pain and suffering mirrored on the faces of those around me. Made me proud to be an American. Semper Fi, bitches.

I can't believe I have to do it all over again on Wednesday. 

boot camp

I'm going to do something brave today, something I hope I don't regret: I signed up for a 10-week "boot camp" at my gym. For two nights a week, starting tonight, I will be trained in the art of basic fitness by no less than an experienced Marine. No, this is not my idea of a fun time, and I'm definitely nervous that I will hate it and reasonably sure that I will cry. But I need some discipline in my exercise routine, and I'm desperate to get in shape.

Writing a post about it is just one more way to make sure I don't wimp out. Here's to 10 weeks of improving my stamina, strength, and sticktoitiveness!

Sunday, August 2, 2009


Once in awhile, if you're lucky, you stumble across something that inspires wordless, childlike awe.

This jaw-dropper was parked at an unassuming gas station on our way back from a family celebration. I couldn't help but grin at the other customers, for we had shared something wonderfully unique on this gray Sunday afternoon.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

that toddlin' town

This past weekend I went up to Chicago to attend the Pitchfork Music Festival--both firsts for me. The weather was a bit cool and the crowd was too cool for school. I had a terrific time hanging out and watching shows with my friends. Sadly, they wouldn't let cameras with detachable lenses into the festival, so I left my precious Canon at home and forged ahead with a crappy point-and-shoot. Though these pictures hardly do it justice, I fell head over heels for Chi city, and if I have anything to say about it, I'll be back again and again.

Some of the highlights:

deep dish pizza at Gino's after
sampling the Rye-PA at Clybourn Brewpub

The Lincoln Park Conservatory & Zoo

watching a passing Segway tour

Chicago dogs with their radioactive relish

riding the L through the Loop

The National

winning a pair of shoes for coming up with a whole bunch of anagrams

Saturday, July 4, 2009

eternal return

Well, it's been a long while since I posted anything. I sort of lost track of what I was trying to do. I'd like to ease back into things with some photos from my recent trip to Sweden. We've shown the vacation photos to our families and friends, but here are some little moments that were just for me, the little details that are so delightful to notice while traveling.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

blooms and the promise of blooms

Today's high: 74 degrees. The first thing i did this sunny morning was to open up the door and take a deep breath. . . the smell of the warming earth in springtime is intoxicating. then i peeked around and found some little friends, shyly but exquisitely soaking up the day.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

spring thing

today was the deadline for submitting J's residency rankings. now the holding of breath for three long weeks till we know! and i can feel some serious spring fever setting in.

it's a time for new buds. . .

. . . and best buds.