Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Food. Sort of.

I got some candy from a vending machine today. Life Savers, to be exact. That was due to me being 5 cents short of being able to buy some Twizzlers, and not having time to go anywhere else for a quick snack - my yogurt and OJ for lunch didn't cut it.

It made me wonder when the last time I used a vending machine was... very long time ago. And had Life Savers? Even longer. I made the error of looknig at the ingredients - sugar, sugar, and suger. Makes for tasty intake that really doesn't impact hunger for very long. If only I had that extra nickel!

Luckily, I'm heading out for a more substantive meal this evening.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Adjusting the days

The past few weeks have been a blissful time without any official type of employment to speak of. I spent some time in NYC, then to Chicago, and then had friends up for the weekend. Completely lovely.

Last week I started my new gig, meaning all of the schedule-as-you-go attitude has to shift if I want to continue to do the things I like to do. For the time being, my commute is long (~40 miles each way, which in traffic is 1.5 hours) and is undertaken each weekday. This will be shifting, but not for a few weeks, if not months. The job shift is worth it, but it involves some sacrifice for sure.

First thing is getting to bed. This is hard when your baseball team is heading to the World Series and the games end late. Even when they are breaking my heart, I know I will find myself unable to tear myself away, in case the game shifts in our favor. That's the beauty of the game.

Then there's waking up earlier. My non-scientific obervation to date is that the morning commute has worsened since my last Boston-area job stint. The thought of waking up before 6am hurts me, but for the commuter the choice is to leave at 6 and have a one hour-ish commute, or leave at 6:30 and have a 1.5-2 hour commute. Leave at 7 and it could be worse... So I have been finding my way onto my feet at 5:15 to get ready to start the day. I'll get used to it.

Perhaps more importantly, I want to build running/general exercise into the days. One of the good things about my job's location is the proximity to bike/run/walking paths. In particular, I am basically on top of the Minuteman Trail, which is long and devoid of cars (although there's always the bicycles to dodge). I did a test run last week, and I think it is going to work out well.

At the moment I am in Ann Arbor, the home base for my division at work. I was in a training session today, and will head back tomorrow. Good stuff, even if it makes my head spin. We manged to get out early, giving me some extra time to find my way downtown (have I mentioned lately how much I love my GPS?) and then back to my brother- and sister-in law, with whom I'm staying.

I plotted out a small run (around 4 miles) to check out the local neighborhood. It's hilly and chilly, but it made for a really nice way to unwind from the day. Not to mention move around, after sitting and poking my way through unfamiliar software all day.

Tomorrow I will try to find time to run a new route. It's the best way to see the area!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Chi-town visit

Given the option, I think I'd be pretty happy to not work. Or, perhaps, just travel for a living. Is there a Lonely Planet guide out there waiting to be authored by me?

I write to you from Chicago, having arrived here last night. I love this town. Each time I come, there's more to discover and explore. At the same time, as I gather knowledge, I revisit some of my favorite spots. Case in point: last night P and I headed over to Lou Malnati's for some deep dish pizza. Yes, it's a chain, but who cares. We sat at the bar to watch the Cubs/Dbacks game, and chatted with the bartender, Kirby. A very welcoming start to this visit.

Another reason I love coming to Chicago is that it is a running town. I was particularly excited to go out this morning because I have new running shoes that I purchased only yesterday. My former Nike Zoom+ pair, while lovingly used, was starting to feel like I was running on a few pieces of wet towel squished together. That said, I headed over to my local running store and spent the better part of an hour running up and down the street in various pairs of shoes. The guy working with me was super patient, and I ended up with a pair of Asics. I haven't had a pair of Asics shoes since my high school volleyball days, and the report after my first four miles on them is thumbs up.

While there, I also ended up helping another female customer with some sport bra advice. Poor guys in the store had no clue what to recommend, and had never heard of wearing two bras at once for better support (an unfortunate statement on the sport bra industry that women have resorted to this option). Once I heard she was going down the two bra route, I instantly suggested a couple of options for the bigger chested ladies. I understand her plight...

I'm off to pick up some tickets for an architecture tour from the vantage point of the Chicago River. I have wanted to check this out since my first visit to Chicago, and have never been able to do so. Then off to sneak into the AAFP Expo (the meeting that has drawn P here, and how I am tagging along) and check out the swag options.

Guaranteed to be a good day!