Training for the Napa to Sonoma half-marathon continues…
This week our training consisted of running a 6K road race in Brockton. It was the same place we had run a couple of weeks ago, so I was familiar with the terrain. Which normally would be a good thing, you know the lay of the land as it were, you know where the big hill is, and you know when to kick into gear near the end. For some reason this works in reverse for me. If I’ve done it before it just psyches me out. I have little voices in my head telling me to quit before I’ve even begun. AND IT’S ONLY 3.75 MILES. What happens when we have to run more? I seriously need to find a way to get out of my own way.
I have tried running with music, with audiobooks, with podcasts, and with nothing but the wind in my ears. Nothing seems to make it stop. In fact, I think the only way I can get that little voice to shut it’s shit-talking mouth is to talk to it. But, funnily enough, talking while running alone gets you mad side-eye from people you pass. But for some reason I prefer talking to myself. Well, I should be more precise, arguing with myself. Maybe it’s because I’ve lived alone for so long, but conversing with myself is something I do all the time. At home, at work, at Foodies while deciding on ground grass-fed beef or bison, (the little voice wants Bison, my voice wants whats cheap) but it just sounds weird when you are running.
Now that you think I’m a total psychopath, please know my doctor says talking to yourself is totally normal. So don’t worry about my brain, it has an entire village of people tending to it. But I digress.
Her name is Ms Moo-lot and she’s made entirely of wine corks. How cool is that? I have a great love for that which falls under the heading of “Roadside Americana” and finding kitch like this in a fancy place like Napa/Sonoma brings me joy.
I finished the 6K a little faster than I had run the course last time, so high five for me! And my entire team was there at the finish line to cheer me on. Team Challenge is full of warriors and I’m so honored to be a part of this amazing group!
I hate running. Hate it with a deep burning passion. Why do I do it? Still trying to figure that one out. It all started in 2010 when I decided to run my first 5K. I ran the Jolly Jaunt through downtown Boston. It was cold and I thought I’d never make it, but I did and it felt great. So, I started training to run a half marathon, I mean why not? I ran one in July of 2011 and crossing the finish line was unreal. I wanted to bottle that feeling and carry it with me. But you can’t and you are left with sore legs and a cool medal. Next step? Might as well run Boston, right? So I did. On the hottest day ever. I crossed the finish line in a brisk 7 hour and 9 minutes. Friends, I have yet to replicate that one.
After running Boston last year, I just lost something. I had to quit at the half marathon and felt terrible about it. I also caught a lot of shit for not finishing. People can be pretty mean on the internet. Fast forward a year – I’m ready to go again.
It’s the 2013 Napa to Sonoma Wine Country Half Marathon Destination Race on July 21st and training has started in earnest. And by earnest I mean training runs on Saturdays, and many week days spent making excuses as to why I’m not running that day. (I blame Netflix for my inability to lace up shoes on workdays.) Last week we hit up DW Field Park which, to quote my coach, is a beautiful spot in an otherwise not so pretty place. It is a hilly three and a quarter mile loop which circles Brockton Reservoir and the day was perfect for it. We start as a group but packs quickly pull away and I’m usually on my own. In my patented run til I can’t breathe, then walk for a bit training plan, I took on these almost 4 miles with gusto. The weather was perfect, the scenery was so beautiful and everyone I passed said hello. This is what I love about running in these types of places… real runners don’t go here. Real runners can be assholes. I do understand it, charity runners like me are slower, don’t know all the etiquette, and take numbers that a qualifier could have. But seriously, running is for everyone, don’t be a dick. But I digress…
Why did I choose this half marathon? First off, I’m running with Team Challenge helping to fight Crohn’s and Colitis – both diseases are horrible, so any little bit I can do to help is great. Secondly, the race is in Napa and there is wine at the finish line. WINE AT THE FINISH LINE. The finish line is at Cuvaison Carneros Winery, which is a sustainable estate that produces distinctive chardonnays and pinot noirs and now I’m drooling. I plan on soaking up all Napa has to offer while I’m there and squeeze that half marathon in between tastings. In fact, I plan on having my post race meal delivered to the amazing tasting room.
Back to reality… I finished up my lap in a little under an hour. Let’s hear it for a 14 minute mile! Next Saturday it’s 6 miles, so I better get my butt in gear with the weekday runs, binge watching will be postponed to the next rainy day. I’ve got a ways to go in this journey, but it’s always the first step that is the hardest. And friends, nothing feels better than keeping a promise to yourself.
Each year a few hundred people come together at The Curley Center on M St Beach for Harpoon Helps Cupid Splash raising funds for Save the Harbor, Save the Bay. Save the Harbor is an amazing organization whose mission is to restore and protect Boston Harbor, Massachusetts Bay, and the marine environment and share them with the public for everyone to enjoy. What is the Cupid Splash? Well, we dress up in silly costumes (in our case it was prom dresses) and run willingly into the harbor with the understanding that once we get out of the water there will be Harpoon beer and burgers from Sullivan’s. JetBlue provided prizes for the best costume and top fundraisers This year to add insult to injury it snowed. SNOWED. Good thing Kennedy’s Crew runs on vodka. Thank you to everyone who supported us and donated to our cause!
This week I bit the proverbial bullet and went to see 50 Shades of Grey. I have been very vocal in my seething hatred of the books, and I figured the movie would be just as bad. Why did I hate the book? Because it was written by someone whose grasp of the English language is that of a high schooler. It was embarrassing to read. Not because I was openly reading smut in public, but because the writing was so bad it made me feel dumber. I got through half the book and threw it across the room as I could not hear our heroine say “oh my” one more fucking time. That said, a screenwriter got a hold of the script so there was hope.
I attended my screening at the SuperLuxe in Chestnut Hill. If I’m going to sit in a dark room watching soft core porn, I want Davio’s to cater it. I took my assigned seat in the back and waited. The theater slowly filled with maybe 25 people. There were those, like me, the single women. We were in the majority. We were strong in number, we the sad ones. There was one mother/daughter pairing, which was just plain odd and one real full-fledged couple. That poor bastard. The lone man. NO WAIT! A guy just came in alone. Clearly there is something very wrong with him. Women are the only ones allowed to watch this kind of movie solo. Right? That sounds sexist but I’m standing by it.
I overhear the waitress talking to the mother/daughter. It’s clear they know each other. Waitress is overheard saying “It’s no love story! He had her hanging from the racks grrrrrlllll!” I. Was. Dying.
The woman next to me was in full recline sending out huge deep exhalations for no apparent reason. I’m worried about her making it through the rough stuff.
The story is as old as time. Boy meets girl. Boy likes girl. Boy asks girl to sign confidentiality and bondage agreement. Boy falls for girl. Girl gets flogged and finds herself. I mean the whole thing happened to me when I studied abroad.
I’m not going to go into elaborate detail, you know you are going to see it so I’ll let you make your own judgements, but here are my highlights.
-If a man buckles me into a helicopter to go on a date, I’ll absolutely give him a safe word.
-I laughed OUT LOUD a few times during the movie where I’m pretty sure I wasn’t supposed to. The first was when he opened the door to his play room I was in hysterics. “like, where do you keep your Playstation?”
-After he took our heroine’s virginity, he played her a concert on his large grand piano. I got half a Purple Passion and a walk home.
-When there is a scene of two people in a tub acting comfortable I call bullshit. Someone always ends up with the spout in their back.
-Laugh out loud moment #2: when they are going over the “contract” line by line and she says… “Anal Fisting .. hard limit.” I was laughing so hard I went into a coughing fit. I’m sorry, but those two words never need to be said aloud in the same sentence. EVER.
-The longer I watch, the more I’m convinced he’s total stalker, less Dom to her Sub. I mean if some dude I was .. whatever you call what they were doing .. showed up in GEORGIA while I was visiting mom, we’d have bigger things to worry about than the above fisting.
She bit her lip 19 times and put things near her mouth at least 6. This is sexy you see.
There is much to be said about the erotic nature of this movie (21 minutes of sex) and the nature of that sex. Many women say they loved this book and wanted their husbands to be more like Christian Grey. I don’t think they do, I don’t think most of the women I know would put up with any of this nonsense. Most women I know have no desire to be submissive. And, I’m sorry, when Target comes out with a line of 50 Shades adult products, the whole concept pretty much looses it’s umph. Did the movie make me tingly in places? Sure. Did the shopping spree I did after the movie take care of it? Yep.
At the end of the movie we are left with a big old cliffhanger. I’m sure the second movie is going to suck worse than this one because I understand they are letting the actual author do the screenplay. Either way, I’ll be there, waiting in the dark. To laugh.
Did you sit through the endless red carpet coverage? I did. I’m pretty sure I lost some IQ points and all I wanted to do was feed Giuliana Rancic a sandwich, but I powered through it. Ryan Seacrest just needs to embrace his vertical challenge and start standing on a phone book because when he interviews people like Taylor Swift or Nicole Kidman, he looks like a 12 year-old. It’s so awkward. Kat McPhee looked like a deer in the headlights when she was interviewed by Seacrest. I mean they KNOW each other right? Why was she so weird? I’m thinking it’s because she forgot to wash her hair.
Ariana Grande was interviewed with her new guy Big Sean and he was her biggest accessory. The level of cuteness was pretty high on the nausea scale, I mean she wanted everyone to know “this is my man and you can’t have him”. Look girl, if you want a man that will take your inevitable breakup and use it to write a marginally interesting song that will be played on radio stations everywhere, then you do you. I look at this and I think about my ex that I brought to my sister’s wedding. He’s in the pictures and I wish he wasn’t. I feel like when Ariana looks back at these pics after the public breakup, she will wish she hadn’t hung all over him like a cheap suit.
I’m not a fashionista by any stretch of the imagination, but here are my picks from the red carpet.
BEST: Taylor Swift, Chrissy Teigan, Jessie J and Gwen Stefani.
WORST: Rihanna (WHAT WAS THAT?) Iggy Azalea’s hair crown, Kim Kardashian’s bedazzled robe and Keith Urban’s ponytail.
New England Patriots will be on stage? What!! I had no idea. I was hoping for a Grammy Gronking, but Edelman and Butler did pretty well with a well-played interception joke.
Kanye West put on his best sweats to Auto-Tune his way through a crappy song. Someone please explain Kanye and his “art” to me, because I don’t get it.
Keith Urban has a ponytail? Stop. Just stop.
I felt the song with Paul McCartney, Kanye and Rihanna was all over the place. Matching black suits? Is it me or did Rihanna show NO skin this evening? Something is wrong in the world somewhere. The song is good, but I just can’t listen to Kanye sing. Mostly because he can’t. And Paul just looks so out of place. And constantly surprised.
The Grammy’s were far too long and peppered with performances that truly sucked (Usher singing Stevie Wonder) and performances that delivered (Madonna, Beyonce and Tom Jones) but it’s the one time where I will sit in front of the TV for hours on end that doesn’t involve Netflix.
Louie Bello is one of those names. “Louie Bello, I know I know that guy!” Well, before long you will all know his name and his music. Louie has been nominated for the Boston Music Awards 2014 for Pop/R&B artist of the year and Best Ongoing Residency, he’s got em lined up every Wednesday night at said residency at Abby Lane, and he wears a fedora like a champ. This full time teacher and family guy will knock you over with his incredible soul and his extraordinary heart. Let’s ride Shotgun with Louie!
Easy Rider ,found me on POF. He was a nice fellow, good smile, single dad, had a job and a motorcycle – all good things. We chatted a few times and decided to meet in real life. We went bowling. It was fun, he was charming, he gave me flowers and a bone for my dog. He gave me a short kiss and we went our separate ways. I knew we didn’t’ have a love connection, but he didn’t. Like a dog with a bone he came after me. And let me tell you, he was one determined man. After a few months of dodging his advances, he finally realized we were just going to be friends – or as he tells people he was “friend-zoned” and all was right with the world.
Fast forward to last week. I was out of work for over a month as I was on strict vocal rest. We had an amazing woman named Angie C fill in for me and upon my return we decided to keep her around for a while. I love her, she’s hilarious. Last Tuesday she asked if I knew this guy. I said “yes that’s Easy Rider”, we have dated. I guess he had found her on Facebook and liked what he saw. She asked me if I would mind if they went out. I honestly didn’t know what to say. There were very specific reasons he was friend-zoned and I felt like I needed to tell her these reasons. But I didn’t. Why didn’t I? Seems like a shitty thing to do, but at the same time she seemed determined to go out with him no matter what so I gave the pair my blessing and sent them off into the world. He promised not to take her where he took me on our date. What a gentleman.
The date happens tomorrow. I’m going to guess the friend-zoning will start the day after.
I realize I might bring some of this on myself, but I seriously walked into the dark side this time.
Salt and I were waiting in my car to go into an appearance and I got a ping on my POF profile. So I read it and it was well written, funny, and seemingly real. The holy trifecta! I showed it to Salt, my best girlfriend, to get his opinion. He had the same thought as me, a normal boy, and we decided to bring it to the program. Like I said, I might have brought this on myself. Here is a brief snippet of what he said…
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Funny things start to happen once you’ve been on the dating sites for a while. You start to get the “out-of-town gentleman caller.” These are guys who say they will “conveniently be in town for business” on such and such a date and wonder if you’d like to get together. At first this sounded like the perfect scenario to me. They were here for a couple days, we’d have a dinner, maybe more, and they go away and never come back. Or, they are married.
The first gentleman caller was going to be in town around the time of the Boston Marathon (which I was running). I told him as such and that I might not be much fun and certainly wouldn’t be very mobile but he said no worries. Well, the date was to be on a Wednesday and as soon as I woke up on Tuesday after the MONDAY marathon I knew I was in no shape to do anything. I messaged him in kind. His response? “Figures.” My response: “dude, really? I just ran a bunch of miles and my legs are killing me.” His retort? “Predictable.” So the next time a man from out of town came along, I was wary. But I figured I’d give it another try.
The first question I asked Cinderella (my name for him, this will become clear in a minute) was “are you married?” His answer was no. I’m pretty sure I brought it up a few more times until I was convinced. He seemed normal enough after our chat so I agreed to a date – a month in advance. He was a planner this one. Maybe this is crazy? I felt I was being proactive, filling up the ol’ calendar, making shit happen in my dating world. We texted and messaged a few times, we even talked on the phone. He seemed like an honest to goodness normal person.
The day of the date arrived – the plan was dinner and a Red Sox game. I had gotten the tickets myself so I wouldn’t feel beholden to him: always be mindful of the money put out vs. what you’re supposed to put out ratio. He arrived to dinner before me and at first site I knew there would be no putting out that night. However, I was going to give this date 100 percent – I would listen, I would talk a bit about myself and see what worked. So I listened to him tell me about his TWO failed marriages and the myriad reasons for their failures. He brought up church and the Big J a lot, which for some reason made my use of the f-word increase exponentially. I didn’t do it on purpose, if you have faith, I support it, but I just couldn’t stop it. It was beyond me.
Next stop, Fenway. Before we go any further it’s important that I tell you I told him before the date began that I get up at 3 a.m. and I would be leaving so as to get home by 9. Period. These are my rules on school nights. Like it or lump it and he agreed. It was an incredible night to be at Fenway, it was the 10th anniversary of the World Series win. I was like a kid at well, a ballgame, and so we didn’t chat much during the festivities. The game started, we got beers, and I started staring at the clock waiting for the witching hour at which I’d turn into a pumpkin.
At 8:30 sharp I said I had to leave. I encouraged him to stay, to enjoy the game, to be sure to have a Fenway Frank. He walked me to the Yawkey Way exit, gave me a hug and asked me if I’d ever come to Maryland. Ugh. Yes, you read that right. I left him at Fenway.
A week after the date, I received a hand-written thank you card. It was awkward and strange and just a little weird. He also said he’d be sending me a gift. A month later I received a box from Amazon including… wait for it… Ray Donovan Season 1 on DVD. Such a romantic guy! Needless to say, I haven’t talked to him since.
Looking forward to sharing my stories and getting your advice…K
My first foray into online dating was a boy I call Nemo. We met on Plenty of Fish, get it? Anyway… I change the names to protect the nice people who deign to go out with me.
Nemo had a great opening message to me. Most people were saying “hi” or “hello” or “what’s up” or my personal favorite “Hello my Queen”. Nemo actually spoke TO me. He said:
• A. You look familiar
• B. Why were you walking down that street in your pictures?
The picture he refers to is one of my profile pics of me walking down 5th St in Southie. Right in front of his childhood home.
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A high school friend was driving me to the airport at the end of my recent visit with her. After having just seen one of THE all time movie tearjerkers ever made, The Fault in Our Stars, she said she was going to have to have a conversation with her daughter about the fact that there “are no Augustus Waters in this world.” For those of you who have missed this literary tome, Augustus Waters is the boy in the story who falls in love with the girl and is romantic beyond that of men of his age. Or any age for that matter. For me, it was Lloyd Dobbler holding a boom box in the rain. We all have that guy – that Prince Charming like character that we have looked for (and maybe found) our whole life. My friend thinks this is wrong and that this kind of expectation will set up her daughter to fail, or to be alone, or to be constantly disappointed. I understand her thought, but I couldn’t disagree more. Why can’t we aim for Augustus, Lloyd, Romeo… whomever?
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Yep, it’s true. After breaking up with my boo 9 mos ago, I’ve decided to jump back into the dating pool. And by jump I mean poke a very cautious toe into the most passive form of dating – the online kind. I tried eHarmony once while on vacation, after the breakup and two bottles of wine. It was a “free weekend” so I thought why not! After an hour of answering inane questions and one more glass of wine, I got this…
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EDITOR AT LARGE
CHIEF FASHION CORRESPONDENT
Anna Paula Goncalves
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