Mixtape Marathon

"In vacant or in pensive mood..." I am: Bekah; 24; Law Student / Favorite Things: Carbs (so there!), Johnny Damon, Smiling at babies, Grilled cheese, Comfortable silence / Favorite Supreme Court Justice: Brennan / Favorite Wilson: Owen by an inch / Today's Special: Song: Elliott Smith, "Bled White"; Quote: "You know, there's like a butt-load of gangs at this school. This one gang kept wanting me to join because I'm pretty good with a bowstaff." Please love me: mmbekah@yahoo.com

February 2003 March 2003 April 2003 May 2003 June 2003 July 2003 August 2003 September 2003 October 2003 November 2003 December 2003 January 2004 February 2004 March 2004 April 2004 May 2004 June 2004 July 2004 August 2004 September 2004 October 2004 November 2004 December 2004 January 2005 September 2005
Thursday, July 29, 2004

In order to better equip myself for all the running I'm doing, I went to Target to get some tank tops and sports bras, etc. (A frightening aside: my list actually included "hair bands" and "wifebeaters," which may be considered mutually exclusive in some respects, and shouldn't really be things one voluntarily attempts to procure). J was with me, and as we entered the underwear section I could see him start to freak out. I was looking at some bras and made him hold my basket. A few seconds later I heard, "Um...Bekah...please don't make me hold these unmentionables...please..." Soon the sheepishness ended, though, giving way to J throwing granny panties at my head and being generally obnoxious. Nice illustration of the progression of male coping mechanisms for public encounters with lingerie. Boys are silly.

Running Log

So after a few weeks of running, I'm feeling just as dedicated as ever. My mileage will never be up to 40 miles a week again, but I'm shooting to reach 30-35. I even got one of those cheap arm band radios, which I know makes me look like a douchebag, but I don't care. I've had bad experiences with tripping and throwing walkmen into bushes from whence they never return. The only thing holding me back now is a little bit of a toenail issue. (Caution: the following account may be considered "disgusting" or "vomit-inducing" by the average person; continue at the risk of being grossed out). One of my toenails is really loose, and I have a recurring blister directly underneath it. Now, I know that's gross, but at the same time I think it's kind of cool. It's not black or anything yet, and it makes my toe feel funny. I'll keep you updated on my general foot health as more events unfold.

My main running gripe (aside from the heat which is just unbearable, did I mention that?), is that I haven't found a good, big loop to run around here. I often end up running in the park, which has a loop that's just under 2 miles and increases to 3 if you run the extension by the river. It's a nice run, but I don't like having to do the same thing twice. Also, this park is right next to a zoo, so there's a good half mile where all you smell is rotting animal poop (a stench which, hovering oppressively in the humid air, is enough to make you lose your breakfast). The other day I ran past the animal poop as fast as I could, only to notice another odor of the poop variety as soon as I got to the main area of the park. See, lots of mommies and daddies like to take babies to the park. And while there's nothing I find more adorable than a cute daddy running with a little baby in a stroller, I do wish these mommies and daddies would change junior's diapers every once in a while, because goddamn, that dirty diaper stink is almost more pungent and primal than giraffe dung. Add the baby poo smell to the stinky dog crap that gets tracked all over the road, and you've got a real symphony of feces on your hands. So, who wants to go for a run this afternoon?

Monday, July 26, 2004
Adventures in Santa Barbara!

I visited my college girlfriends in Santa Barbara last week, and despite the latent skepticism about California I’ve irrationally harbored all my life, I determined that it’s actually not objectionable to me in any significant way. Quite the contrary: it is almost utopian.  There are craggy mountains and cliff-lined beaches.  There is a cool breeze instead of stagnant, hot, moist, dripping, oven-air. The days are warm and sunny, but the mornings and evenings are jacket weather (in July!).  The highways are scenic.  The food is delicious (and calorie free!).  The people are affluent.  Ah yes, the people…there’s the rub.  The people I personally spent time with—my friends and my friend’s family—were lovely and wonderful.  The people who made up the dappled contours of the greater Santa Barbara area, however, were a bit more questionable.  Oh, the Botox and the collagen and the Von Deutch tanks…the ill-fitting capris and the brittle bleached hair…the hairy chests and the bling bling…it was all pretty horrifying.  The people-scenery wasn’t nearly as clean and kempt as I expected.  I thought everyone in California was beautiful and perfect and classily accessorized.  Good to know that even though that may be what they’re going for, those Californians still have their share of dumpy asses and mall hair.  But nobody’s perfect.

Running Routine Resurrected!

You know those people who dwell on their glory days? Like the uncle in Napoleon Dynamite (such a good movie by the way; more on that later) who lives in his 1982 football prime?  Well, I think it could be said that I am a little bit obnoxious about my running glory days during my senior year of college. That perfect year when I ran 40-45 miles a week, rain or shine, sickness or health, deadline or no deadline.  That perfect year that came to an abrupt halt when law school began and violently ripped my life away from me.  I know my friends still get a little annoyed when I mention the glory days.  I talk about “that year when I used to run everyday” or “the time when I would do a 12 mile run every weekend” or whatever.  I’m sure they just think, “Uh, ok Bekah, you ran a lot before. Who cares?” 

Well, in acknowledgement of how pathetic my attempts to live in the past have been, I’ve decided to make the past the present. Or something. Meaning that I’m going to run NOW in real life, not in 2002 in my mind.  The whole law school thing isn’t really an obstacle now because it doesn’t scare me anymore.  The whole stifling heat and humidity thing is an obstacle, but I’m going to work through it.  Besides, by the time the cool weather rolls around (um, December? Maybe?) I’ll be so used to the heat that my winter runs will be a breeze.  So there you have it.  No more talking about the glory days for me.  I’m getting my glory now! But sorry, there won’t be any thrilling rendition of “Eye of the Tiger.” Just lots of running.  So, yeah, exciting stuff for you.

More Still to Come! 

Wednesday, July 21, 2004
Curb Your Enthusiasm

Me: I was thinking that tonight after work I could go to the grocery and then I could cook dinner for us.
J: [no response]
Me: Or I could just poop in a hat and give it to you. Whatever you want.

Coming Soon(ish):
Adventures in Santa Barbara!
Running Routine Resurrected!
Novel Ideas!
Job Search Revelations!
Music/Movie Reviews!
Overuse of Exclamation Points vs. Overuse of Quotation Marks on the "Supreme Irritation and Annoyance Scale"!

Monday, July 12, 2004
Putting Greens and White Trash

After a heated, hyperbolic argument that resulted in our being pretty pissed at each other for a while (am I allowed to write that? I guess I'll find out...), J and I reconciled last night by heading to the suburbs for a few friendly rounds of Putt-Putt. I hadn't played for a long time, and it showed. My sister and I used to play all the time in the summers. At the conclusion of an emotional 18-holes, we'd climb back up to the mountain house, one of us gleefully holding the score card, the other silent, red-faced and frustrated, both of us ready for our quest for the best Jelly Belly combination recipe to recommence. In a few days, we'd forget any ill-feelings caused by the last game and go back for more.

Putt-Putt is actually a pretty good judge of character. There are people who throw the club if the game isn't going their way. There are those who curse and stomp. There are those who are a little too proud of their putting skills. And there are those, like me, who remain optimistic and egomaniacal in the face of serious suckage ("This is just the warm-up round--I'm going to demolish you next time"). I did not do very well. Though I did get a hole in one once. J kept telling me that I was "lipping out" so much because I was hitting the ball too hard. My aim was good; I just couldn't tone the swing down enough to succeed on such a flattened out putting green. I'm just too intense a person for such a muted, low-key game. Or I guess it's possible that J may possibly be slightly better than I am, at least in the conventional sense.

The best part of Putt-Putt wasn't actually playing. The best part was, as is so often the case, the people-watching. A group of teenagers in front of us were so bored of the game it was ludicrous that they were even there. The girl, carrying a huge plastic purse the whole time, held the putter like it was a dead animal. Her swing was of the obnoxiously apathetic one-handed variety; she drug and prodded the ball around the green about twelve or thirteen times before each hard-won victory. When the ball finally went in the hole, she would sigh, pick it up, and drag her feet to the nearest bench to count the minutes until she had to putt again. The guys she was with were equally moronic, but their voices weren't quite as irritating so they didn't offend me so much.

The best sight was a little boy having a temper tantrum. The kid's face was flushed, and his hair was stuck to his forehead with perspiration. He was doing that stressed-out kid hyperventilation number--he'd worked himself up so much that he had to take breaths in forced, painful gulps. The kid was sitting on the ground, freaking out about his dad and sister "cheating." Then, without warning, he screamed at his dad, "You're meaner than the DEVIL!" It was awesome. I feel bad though, because I don't think his parents read to him enough, and as a result he's probably going to have to start taking a cocktail of ritalin and horse sedatives to fix his inappropriate behavior quickly and efficiently.

So yeah, Putt-Putt was fun. I've also been reading the most recent McSweeney's Quarterly Concern, the comics edition, which is simply wonderful. I recommend purchasing a copy, because it is only $24 and I've never seen a more meticulously crafted and beautifully organized book. I've also been doing some watercolors and watching The Sopranos and The Office. And I've been going to work and visiting with old friends who were in town for the weekend. If anyone has suggestions for other activities to occupy my summer, I'm all ears. And don't say writing more on the blog, because it's better not to force these things, and I'm just going a little slow for a few months to regain my blogging energy. I promise, once I'm rested, things will go back to normal.

Sunday, July 04, 2004
Movin' On Up...and Up...and Up...

Yesterday we moved J into his incredible new apartment. Open and airy living space, great lighting and windows, gorgeous and high latticed ceilings, huge island in the kitchen, beautiful bathroom, separate laundry room, etc. It's one of four apartments in an old mansion with a wrought iron gate in front and a pool in the back and quaint patios and decks on every floor. At night it kind of looks like a haunted house, but in a good way. The landlord is retired and is spending all of his time restoring and renovating the house and grounds. So cool.

When we went to look at the apartment for the first time, I was absolutely floored at the perfect condition everything was in and how new all of the appliances and fixtures were. Whenever the landlord would turn around to show something else, I would grab J's arm and stare at him with looks of utter disbelief at what we were seeing. J had to fill out an application, and when it was accepted, I'm ashamed to say that I actually got a little mad at J for being so lucky. I was happy for him, but I was jealous too. I did a lot of pouting. When we came back to visit again, I wandered around the apartment in a daze, caressing the countertops and staring up at the ceiling as if hearing a heavenly choir.

Unfortunately, the new apartment has one drawback that we didn't really think too much about until yesterday. This beautiful, incredible, spacious apartment is at the very tip top of the mansion. In order to get to it, one has to climb four flights of stairs. Four. Flights. Of stairs. The first time we visited, I said things like, "Oh, look how high up we are! It's so beautiful up here!" and "You're so secluded--you'll never have to worry about flooding or street noise!" After moving yesterday, it's a miracle that I even tolerate the apartment at all.

J doesn't have that much stuff. And still, moving was a serious bitch. It was about 1200 degrees, it was blindingly sunny, and climbing those stairs felt a little bit like ascending a volcano while holding loads and loads of crap. Our faces were like shiny, boiled tomatoes. Our limbs were wobbly and glazed with sweat. We were looking good. It was not pleasant.

But now that everything is moved in, the bad feelings are kind of fading and the good ones are starting to creep back. Like when you're a camp counselor and you go through all the bureaucratic stuff and all of the crying children and adolescent angst, and by the end of the summer you're just done with it all, but then over the weeks and months that follow, you start to forget all of the negative things about camp and only remember your friends and that one heart to heart you had with a troubled camper on the swingset when you really think you got through to her and helped improve her life and you're suddenly ready to go back. That kind of thing. J has to unpack still, but the worst is over now. The beauty of the apartment is starting to shine through again. All of the trouble we went to was worth it. Especially because of the free wireless internet that we get to borrow from the people downstairs. Sweet.

Note: I was going to put "borrow" in quotes, but then I figured the point would be made without them. I'm a little sensitive about quotes now; I wouldn't want to overuse them.