Sunday, May 15, 2011

Don't Cramp My Style

This is a post for all the single ladies (Hi, Stacey! ;-)). Days like today, I can fully appreciate the freedom and independence of being a single woman. Not only do boys have cooties, one would totally cramp my style.

This is actually a series of several blogs that have been running through my head. If only Blogger could just read my mind, I would update this thing faster than you could keep up with!


The first instillation of this blog was mentally composed last Saturday. It's entitled, "How to Get Fat and Happy on $6 a day" (take that, Rachael Ray!)

*Attend monthly apartment breakfast. Mingle with fellow residents and enjoy variety of breakfast foods. Stash pockets full of creamer, sugar packets, and Donettes (just kidding. I'm still trying to impress these people. I wouldn't do that ... yet.) Finally meet neighbor, who turns out to be slightly eccentric. Endure aforementioned neighbor trying to set you up with every individual with testerone in room. Casually distance yourself from neighbor, join conversation of fellow, single female residents. Get bold enough to exchange phone numbers with one, which feels strangely like asking a guy out on a date ("Am I coming on too strong?!"). Make new friend, 2 points! Cost: Free! [Side note -- this new friend and I went to see "Something Borrowed" last night, which I'd highly recommend!]

*Bask in sunshine and explore new neighborhood (in which you decide you will live in vicariously, hoping they don't check local addresses when accepting Facebook Friend Requests or check ID upon entrance to community events). Visit bakery and get free sample of bread and use coupon for free loaf of bread for joining bakery's online newsletter. Pay full price for muffin and cookie (One's for a friend ... Seriously!). $3 total. A bargain and carbohydrates (whole grain, no less!) = wonderfulness.

*"Splurge" on $3 iced latte at nearby coffee shop. Sit in coffee shop and study driver's manual for new MN license, which provides hours of "entertainment."

*Continue roaming around neighborhood, window shopping, and not spending another dime.

*Attend your *real* neighborhood's Spring Awakening block party. Sample chocolates in fancy jewelry shop (don't let all of the women hanging off their S.O.'s arms, drooling over diamonds get to you. If it does, go to another display and eat another chocolate). Next door, sample endless varieties of olive oils and vinegars, making little comments like, "Oh yes, I'll definitely have to come back and buy some gifts here!" to avoid moocher-status.

The ironic conclusion to this blog was going to be spending $10.50 for a MATINEE showing of "Water for Elephants." ($10.50... can you believe it?!). However, the advantage of being so behind in your blogging is that I can now add the inspiring epilogue: Notice audio dubbing is slightly off during movie and note weird "bursts" of sound in audio. Send e-mail to theater explaining your experience... score 3 free movie passes for providing them with "much appreciated" feedback. Squeaky Wheel WIIIIIIIIINS!

*Sunday: Attend surrogate family's Mother's Day brunch. Stuff your face. Laugh. Feel family-ish. Cost: Free!

*Attend professional play for $2 (job perk at Courage Center! Don't have to ask me twice). Realize irony of paying $2 for ticket and $6 for parking ramp. Try not to dwell on that and enjoy the fact that you had a "night on the town" for 8 buckaroos, a fine wrap-up to a thrifty weekend!


The Old Me, The New Me

The Old Me:
…Heard a clap of thunder and identified her nearest tornado shelter.

…Hallucinated tornado sirens when weather seemed severe.

…Figured she would die at Methodist Hospital, trapped on the 7th floor, when there was a tornado watch.

The new me:

…Hears a tornado warning for St. Louis Park… continues shopping at Trader Joe’s.

…Thinks Trader Joes would be a wonderful place to endure a tornado as they announce on the intercom that shoppers are welcome to stay in the building as long as needed.

…Wonders if she huddled with the employees at the back of the store if they would charge her for her frozen chicken breasts if they thawed out while she waited out the storm. …and would they feed us lots of samples and figure they might as well dispose of all the perishable foods?!

…Gets upset when she wonders if this inclement weather will interfere with her much anticipated pit stop for a DQ Blizzard.

…Completes her Trader Joes transaction, wondering if she should run back and get a pint of ice cream as a back-up supply. … Heaven forbid she ended up back in her apartment with NO ice cream because of some stupid storm.

…Waits inside Trader Joe’s lobby until golf-ball sized hail stops.

…Decides that being swept up in a tornado with a chocolate-y Blizzard would be so worth it. … Resists the urge to upgrade to an extra large, just in case it would be the last Blizzard.

Minnesota has so much more to offer than Jell-o salads and hot dishes!

Part III:

And finally, here's the true "Don't Cramp My Style" post.

I had the most lovely day today, fully embracing my independence. My day started with a free, 1 hour session of yoga in the park in the new neighborhood I "adopted" after discovering last weekend. The yoga instructor was excellent, the weather was coolish but sunny and MUCH improved from yesterday's cold and rain. It was a wonderful feeling to have the sun beating down on me as I did Sun Salutations!

The neighborhood was having a "festival" today, so afterwards I just walked around, exploring the festivities, smiling at all the cute kids and their families (and trying not to look too creepy smiling at the kids). I stumbled upon a library used book sale, where I found 2 novels and a "Fix it and Forget it" cookbook for $3!

After that, I went on a long, long walk through the neighborhoods, down to the beautiful Lake Harriet, and then to another little shopping district where I browsed through the Food Co-Op. I walked back down to the festival where I got a free 5 minute chair massage.

Next, I went to a local, homemade ice cream shop and treated myself to an indulgent, ultra-chocolate scoop of ice cream, which, of course, I got to eat outside in the sun/cool breeze.

I literally walked around the neighborhood with a smile on my face. It is such a beautiful day and it was so much fun exploring the neighborhood. This morning the yoga instructor made a comment about feeling the uneven-ness of the ground beneath our yoga mats and embracing this uneven-ness. She talked about how we are so used to expecting perfection of ourselves and in our lives, but that this "uneven-ness" (imperfection) in our own lives is what makes us appreciative and compassionate. I have been feeling very inadequate when it comes to work, which has caused me a lot of stress, anxiety, and frustration, so this really hit home for me. It's hard not knowing everything (or much of anything!), and it's hard accepting that that is okay. My goal in the coming weeks is to embrace my "uneven-ness" and focus on the positive aspects of experiencing those imperfections.

So there's my philosophical ending to this suuuuper long post. I am now going to walk BACK to Trader Joes (even though I was there an hour ago) because I forgot the lemon for my Banana Cake, whch I'm bringing to work tomorrow. Then maybe I'll go sit and read by the pool. Ahhhhh, weekends! :-)