Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Routine (Or Lack Thereof)

I am good at working out. I am also good at making my bed.

I realize that this isn't the case for everyone but, for me, both come automatically. Like taking a shower. Not optional. Just things that you must do. And so I do ‘em.

Except lately.

Did you know: I got an email from my gym that was like “HI, WHERE ARE YOU?” And I thought back and realized that I was receiving an email from my gym because I hadn't been there in a month. A month. A whole month.

(Now I’m thinking about how much I pay for a month at my overpriced gym and I want to cry a little bit.)

Normal summertime workouts are always the easiest for me to skip. Because I am busy with soccer (which is exercise, yes, but I don’t pay my gym membership to get my only exercise playing soccer) and doing after work things that I don’t bother to do in the fall/spring/winter when it isn't light out until 9:00 pm.

But this isn't even a normal summer. I was on vacation for, like, a really long time. (I wish that it was longer.) And then I moved. So to have lost an entire month of gym time and, upon my return to the gym, struggled with a really short run isn't all that shocking but IT SUCKS.

Getting back into a routine is the worst.

And then there’s the knee. What awesome timing, knee. I’m just ready to jump back into a reasonable routine and now this. Cool. It has been a week and is definitely injured. No question. The extent of my injury? Unknown. My physical therapist sister managed to stop being selfish and difficult long enough to look at it on Sunday and said it doesn't seem “too super loose,” so I hope that’s a good sign but I made a doctor’s appointment. ...which isn't until August 14.

I ended up bracing up and trying to play soccer this week because I couldn't stand to miss a game. I managed to get through it without too much trouble or excruciating pain so I probably can’t use my knee as an excuse to for anything other than to take it sort of easy.

Just not too easy. Like not doing anything at all, for example. That needs to stop.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Bad Auntie

I've only been in my condo for two weeks, but my BFF Lucy and I have already settled into a nice little routine. On Thursdays, she picks up her boys from daycare and heads to the beach. I leave work (a little early, shhhh) and meet them at the water. We splash and dig and play for a little while before grabbing dinner.

One week, we had Thai at a restaurant that's right on the lake. This past Thursday, I picked up pizza and we feasted at my condo.

It was lovely and convenient and also, I am a horrible aunt and have basically nothing but a random stuffed animal and a deflated soccer ball for the boys to play with. And not a single plastic cup or paper plate for the little dudes to eat off of.

And did I mention that I don't have a dining room table yet? Because I don't.

It was a grand adventure and I loved every second and every greasy pizza hand print on my door. I thought that I would care or worry more about the kids trashing the place but? They're kids. Spill all you want, guys. Spray my perfume to your heart's content! I promise to stock up on toys by the next time you visit. And wait until you see your special plates with pirate ships on them!

The best part of Thursday night was when Baby A, who is working on potty training, rushed out onto my balcony because he heard the ice cream truck. He was so excited about the ice cream truck that he peed his pants right there. On the balcony. A huge puddle. That then dripped down onto my car.

I promise not to tell all of his girlfriends if he promises not to tell anyone about my miserable toyless existence.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Big Mouth

Mom helped my sister, Meg, with a few things around her house on Thursday night. And then she complained bitterly about helping my sister out with a few things around her house. Basically, Meg does things the way Meg wants to do them (the fast way) and then gets annoyed when my mom insists on doing things another way (the "right" way, according to mother) and then they both want to scream.

Whereas when Mom helps me out with stuff around my house (which she's been doing a lot the last two weeks), I just do exactly what she tells me to do because I don't know/am not motivated to figure out an alternative way.

So, yesterday, my mom told me about her frustrating afternoon with Meg and we laughed about it because it's all just so typical. Meg and my mother: so smart and so stubborn and butting heads.

This morning, I was having coffee with my mom when Meg called. Meg said to me "don't tell, but when Mom helps me out with things around the house, I want to kill myself" while, at the same time, my mom was bitching about Meg. I thought it was funny and I assumed that Mom would also think that it was funny so then I told her anyway. Right when Meg was on the phone.

Mom didn't think it was funny.


It probably didn't help that Meg got all bratty about a bed my parents were giving to me for my guest room (she wanted it, too) and that she refused to help with the floor to my entryway and that she still hasn't made the time to see my condo.

I believe that the word "selfish" was dropped in my mother's subsequent rant.

Not entirely untrue.

And still I feel terribly guilty for ratting her out to my mom and desperate to fix the (relatively minor) rift between them.

Having a sister is complicated.

Thursday, July 17, 2014


One of my all-time greatest fears is blowing out my knee. Knee injuries, specifically ACL tears, are really common in female soccer players and I've played a lot of soccer in the last 25 years.

The fear didn't come from a rational place. My knees have been, for the most part, perfectly fine. My ankles are a mess and my back has always been an issue but my knees have been reliable. I appreciate them for that.

I like my knees and I like that they work. I don't like the idea of surgery. Or not being able to work out. Or a big, bulky, hinged brace. So I'm paranoid.

A year or two ago, I was vocalizing my irrational fear of tearing a ligament in one of my knees and my sister, who is a physical therapist, shushed me. "If you were going to blow out your knee, you would have done it already." That was a comforting piece of information. I was still scared of knee injuries but less paralyzed by the fear. I had always assumed that, because I am a female and because I am a soccer player, it would only be a matter of time; now I could focus my fears on a random misfortune. It could still happen, but it wasn't guaranteed. Not an accident waiting to happen. Just an injury as a result of a bad turn or an unlucky collision or just plain shitty luck.

So guess what happened in my soccer game yesterday?

An unlucky collision and shitty luck.

I don't know what I did, exactly, but I did something. I got my knee tangled up with another girl's knee and I heard a pop and, yeah, I don't think that this is good. I don't know that it's bad. I could just be paranoid. Meg is very nonchalant about the whole thing. "Probably your MCL. You could see a doctor to find out if it's torn. But that doesn't even matter if you're not planning on getting surgery."

It hasn't even been 24 hours. I hope I'm just being wimpy/nervous/hypersensitive. A small injury would be okay. I can deal with that. I can rehab that. But surgery? I can't do surgery. I can't be out that long. I can't do that.

Like I said: wimpy/nervous/hypersensitive.

And giving it some time to determine if making a doctor's appointment is necessary.

Dragging my leg along behind me in the meantime.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

A few from Brazil -- USA/Germany

The best game we attended at the World Cup was USA/Germany. There is absolutely no question. There is something about being an American fan in a foreign country, a huge underdog in a game, all decked out in red, white and blue. It's embracing every ridiculous American stereotype. It's knowing that your team is probably not going to beat Germany and definitely not going to win the World Cup, but being willing to march to the stadium in a downpour anyway.

Meg and I have done the USA games in South Africa (twice!), Chicago and Columbus in 2012 and 2013. But this time around in Brazil is the most fun I've ever had at a sporting event.  

I look forward to topping that in Russia in 2018. ...and maybe at a few other matches in between. Four years is a long time to wait for my next World Cup!

We traveled to the game (and the pregame bar) with a group from our hotel. 

Waiting at the Metro station, acting like idiots. (This is not a picture of C.) 

Apparently nobody sent me the memo that instructed me to wear my tattoo on my right cheek.

Mugging for the camera on the Metro. It was the last part of the day where we were even moderately dry. 

By the time we got to the bar, we were soaking. There was nothing to do but class up the place.
Meg led us in classing it up.

And then, after C and I bought the fifth of Jack Daniels, she led is in classing it up some more. 

We passed around that fifth on our march to the stadium as we got more soaked and more drunk.

We brought a banner for our favorite goalkeeper. 

If you squint, you can see the downpour. Maybe.

Wet rats after the game. Please notice that the bandanna that started on my head migrated to my arm and then bled all over my shirt. One messy example of a very sloppy day as an American soccer fan.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Oh, Liz

There are things that I will miss about living with my cousin Liz but what I won't miss is my front row seat to her relationship disasters.

She is a hot mess.

It enrages me because Liz is brilliant and successful and hilarious and funny and what she wants is such a disservice to the amazing person she is. What Liz wants is to throw herself into a relationship so deeply that she doesn't know where she stops and he begins. She wants to define herself entirely by that relationship.

This is nothing new. It's how Liz has been for years. Forever, probably, though I didn't notice it until she started dating after her divorce.

Because it's nothing new, I shouldn't have been surprised when I got a text message today that basically informed me that our cousins road trip to see Beyoncé and Jay-Z is now a sex weekend for Liz and her guy-of-the-moment and a chance for Meg and I to feel like the third wheel.

She has an extra ticket to the concert because her sister isn't well enough to go. She mentioned bringing our younger cousin Paige on the trip or maybe a friend of hers but she wouldn't commit and I assume it's because she was waiting on this guy.

So today she informed me that she and a "friend from DC" would be staying together at a certain hotel and Meg and I could stay at that hotel or we could stay elsewhere. (Liz had already said she would book our hotel rooms.) She would drive to Chicago with us, maybe, but she would stay the entire weekend. So, apparently the concert was going to be the extent of our shared activities.

...a few hours later, she recanted and suddenly everyone was going to stay in the same hotel: the dude in one room and the three of us in another room. Then she would move to his room once we left and maybe she realized that she was being a dick but, sorry, too late.

I should mention that Liz pulled a very similar stunt on a trip to Chicago for the NHL Winter Classic five years ago. We were all attending the same event, we booked rooms at the same hotel and we never saw her. But, this time around, it worse; we've planned this trip together from the beginning.

It is what it is and it truly isn't something that's worth arguing over, but I'm just a little perturbed that a trip that we planned together months ago has turned into Meg and I getting tossed aside for a booty call.

Monday, July 14, 2014

About a Boy, part 4.

Turns out that C is engaged which, now that I know, makes all the sense in the world. I thought he was shy when what he really was is in a serious relationship. Hindsight, am I right?

This is how much it matters in the context of our story: not at all.

I got my life lesson and I got my memories. That's what I needed. Not him, specifically. Not another guy living in a different time zone.  That wasn't what this was about. And it never was. I didn't need this (interesting) information to realize that.

Time will not be wasted thinking about why the topic of a fiancée was clearly avoided or what he was thinking or why he was acting as he acted. It doesn't matter.

I took what I needed to from that week in Brazil. I'm grateful for it. And now I am closing the door.
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