Sunday, March 29, 2009

A Trial Run

I admit it; I can be impatient. I tend to be over-eager. I don’t like to wait around. And when there’s too much build up to something, it’s often a disappointment. So I’d rather just get it over with.

I say this to explain my rationale for deciding that the best way to practice for a half marathon would be to run a half marathon. Which is what I did. Today. Earlier this morning. In 2 hours and 14 seconds (damn those 14 seconds!). It was pretty cool though. The whole experience was completely surreal. Thousands of people moving in waves through the streets of Atlanta. And I was one of them.

I didn’t want to make a big deal of it. I mean, this isn’t the big event I’ve been working toward. This was just a trial run…literally. So when Roger asked if I wanted him there cheering on the sidelines or waiting for me at the finish line I said no – and I meant it. Why should my obsession interfere with his Sunday? I would however, need a lift downtown and he’d need to pick me up somewhere near the finish line, though far enough away that he wouldn’t have to deal with traffic and road closures.

In retrospect, I can see that this was not a good plan. I won’t bore you with the details, but I got completely turned around after the race and basically wandered in circles for an hour before finally flagging down a taxi to take me to the spot where Roger would pick me up. When I got in the car, still shivering in my sweaty clothes, medal around my neck, I immediately burst into tears – much to my husband’s horror and confusion. It was mostly exhaustion, I guess, and partly pitifulness. I so wanted to be mad at Roger for not being there at the finish line, waiting with a fleece and a bagel, ready to whisk me to the nearby car. But it was my fault he wasn’t there. I’m the one who told him – more than once I might add – that his presence was completely unnecessary. So when I couldn’t yell at Roger... I burst into tears instead. Apparently, when you can’t scream, sob. And I did. But only for a few minutes. Soon enough, I was happily ordering coffee and a bagel at Einstein’s.

Needless to say, Roger’s not in trouble. And I’m fine. But you can bet my husband will be waiting at the finish line in Nashville

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Robyn and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

I went to sleep with gum in my mouth and now there’s gum in my hair…

Okay, so my morning wasn't quite as dramatic as Alexander's*, but it was pretty bad. I woke up feeling kinda cranky and not really wanting to work out – but come on - who really wants to work out when the alarm goes off at 5:30? Not me. But I get up anyway because I am, after all, training for a half-marathon.

Now, if you don’t usually get up at 5:30, you might not know that it’s very dark that time of day. In fact, for most sane people, it’s way too dark to go running outside. But I hate running on the treadmill, so I strap on my reflective gear and hit the sidewalks. It’s a little scary, I admit it. Especially since two weeks ago a runner was stabbed not too far from where I live. Yeah, that’s more than a little scary. It;s no problem though because I recently discovered a random can of pepper spray in a box in our apartment. So yeah, I look pretty cool – running down Peachtree St. wearing fluorescent orange and clutching pepper spray. And the irony does not escape me that I ran around Joburg for two years and never felt the need to carry a weapon but here I am back in Atlanta – packing pepper spray.

So I’ve been running with the pepper spray ever since the story broke about the stabbed runner, but for some reason, it occurs to me (on this Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day) that this old can of pepper spray might not even work. So I decide to test it as I’m running. My arm down by my side, I gently tap the button with my thumb and hear it spray behind me. Okay…cool.

I continue my run without much fanfare. I’m in the final stretch, running down the hill towards the apartment, when all of a sudden - I'm hugging the pavement. There I am - sprawled out across the sidewalk, certain I’m dying. Well, if not dying, at least a few broken bones. Oh, and I’m sure my face is permanently disfigured. I feel the sobs rising up in my chest. How long before Roger comes looking for me? Or will a random stranger find me lying here? Should I scream out into the darkness and hope someone hears? But wait…no…maybe I can…yes, I manage to slowly pick myself up off the pavement. The sobs are still coming but the tears are strangely absent. Funny that. And my legs seem to be working just fine. My hands float up to touch my face. It feels remarkably in tact. It suddenly occurs to me that I am the adult equivalent of a two year old who falls over and becomes hysterical at the mere shock of having fallen…and they’re not actually hurt at all. Oops.

Upon this embarrassing realization, I begin to put one foot in front of the other until I’m jogging again. It’s only a few hundred yards until I’m back at the apartment. I look myself over and apart from a tiny strawberry on my elbow, I’m fine (though I still take an Aleve just to validate the trauma). I get into the shower and start washing my face. I’m scrubbing rather vehemently when I start to experience a burning sensation in my right eye. In a matter of seconds, the whole right side of my face is on fire. What the hell? Oh yeah. The pepper spray. The "test." Well, mission accomplished. My weapon works just fine.

It’s not even seven o’clock when I step out of the shower, but I’m already officially having a Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day. Roger appears in the bathroom door, his eyes still bleary with sleep. I spill out the details of my morning drama and he immediately jumps to the conclusion that I should go to the ER and be checked for walk and die syndrome. I assure him that I did not hit my head, and any residual headache is probably a symptom of the pepper spray. He’s skeptical but I manage to convince him that we can skip the trip to the ER …

So at this rate my version of Robyn and the Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day could be a novella, and I won’t put you through that torture. Especially when the rest of the day, while not great, wasn’t particularly exciting. (Not that pepper spray and a close encounter with the pavement is particularly exciting either). It's just that people keep asking how my “training” is going, and I usually just say “Okay” or "Good," but I guess this answer is a bit more truthful. Some mornings, running is the very last thing I want to do. In fact, some days I’d probably be better off staying in bed. But I don’t. Because I’m training for something bigger than a half-marathon…I’m training for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society…I’m training for Lynn. And that makes it not quite so Terrible and Horrible after all.

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*If you've never read Alexander and the Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day you should. And even if you have, you should read it again.

Saturday, March 21, 2009


So, I don't mean to brag, but seriously...she's pretty much perfect, huh?

And her parents are pretty perfect too...And while I promise not to turn this into a wanna-be "Mommy Blog" (especially seeing as I'm not a mommy), I have to take this opportunity to tell you that my niece is the Coolest Baby Ever. Not only is she adorable (as proven by the photos), but the kid already has a sense of humor. Say what you will about her funny faces being the result of gas, but she's constantly cracking me up. Just look at how unimpressed she was with this crazy bow on her sweet head! Poor Avery...
And she can sleep through anything! In fact, she seems to be most content when there's loud music playing and lots of movement. Not that I'm surprised, Avery probably attended more rock concerts in utero than I have in my whole life. (Her parents are cool like that!) Check out this picture of my 3 week old niece hanging out in a trendy neighborhood music store.Yep, she's a pretty cool baby. But don't worry, we won't let Avery be too cool. See, while her parents are teaching her about all things interesting and artsy, her aunt will be teaching her about all things cheesy and embarassing. I'll be the one to make sure she's exposed to all three High School Musicals and Miley Cyrus and Annie and American Idol. Yes, I think between her hip parents and her dorky aunt and uncle (sorry Baby, you know it's true!), I think Miss Avery Jayne will be just fine.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Breaking up is hard to do.

Whoever said you can’t go home again was wrong. Roger and I are living proof. I couldn’t have asked for an easier transition back into life in Atlanta. In fact, sometimes – most of the time – it feels almost like I never left. Almost.

I say "almost" because, well, obviously not everything is the same. I’ve certainly changed a little over the last two years, and it would be unfair for me to think that the people I left behind wouldn’t have changed some too. But that’s okay. Life would be really boring if we all remained exactly the same.

However, there are a few people in my life where I’m struggling to deal with the changes. Actually, I’m starting to think maybe they’ve stayed the same, and I’m the only one who’s changed. I don’t know anymore. But I keep trying to make the relationship work and it’s only leaving me frustrated. You see, all they ever talk about is mindless, stupid, trivial crap! I keep telling myself that surely it wasn’t always this way…or did I really used to enjoy this useless drivel? I mean sure, I like to dish about the latest Hollywood gossip as much as the next girl, but do we really need to dissect why some guys will only sleep with “big boned” women or spend days trying to come up with a more grown-up term for the word “boyfriend”? And then there was the conversation about how to “break the news” to your husband that you’re making more money than him. Really? I mean, never mind that it’s 2009, but in this economy is anybody actually still worried about that kind of crap? Puh-lease.

Dammit. I sound like some kind of intellectual snob who's up on her high horse again, don’t I? And that’s not how I want to come across. It’s not that I think I’m smarter or better than them – I don’t. They seem like really cool people, which is probably why millions of Atlantans – including me – consider Bert, Jenn, Melissa and Jeff their personal friends. They keep our minds off our miserable commutes with their constant chatter. Melissa tells us the five things we need to know that day. Jenn reveals the Entertainment Buzz. Jeff riles things up with his off-the-wall statements. And Bert comes up with interesting topics and invites callers to comment. Only lately, the topics seem designed to suck the intelligence right out of my head. Why Bert, why? It’s not that I expect hard-hitting news or serious commentary on the “issues,” but you gotta give me something more than idiots on the voice disguiser complaining about their sister-in-law who insists on breastfeeding in public.

Hey, I know that if I’m looking for an intellectual discussion I should probably just tune into NPR. And if I want some good tunes I should flip over to Dave FM. It’s just that I hate to say goodbye to the Bert Show. It’s like ending a friendship. And whether or not they’ve changed or I’ve changed or we’ve both changed…I guess it’s kind of irrelevant. It doesn’t change the fact that the relationship is ending. But in typical Robyn form, I just can’t seem to rip off the band aid and give us a clean break. No, I have to whine and analyze and give them a second chance, and then a third and a fourth. But I’ve drawn it out long enough now. At least, my husband seems to think so. In typical Roger form, he has decided to “fix” the problem by installing satellite radio in my car. (Thanks, baby!)

So, goodbye Bert Show. Breaking up is hard to do, but maybe we can still be friends…at least for the Entertainment Buzz.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Avery Jayne

"Avery Jayne was born Tuesday, February 24th at 4:06 AM. 7 lbs 9 oz and 20 inches long. She was delivered after 22 hours of labor to the strains of Yo La Tengo's You Can Have It All."

That was the text message I received early Tuesday morning from my brother-in-law...the poor guy spent most of those 22 hours of labor comforting his rockstar wife with one hand and texting his annoying sister-in-law with the other.

And while I could be totally annoying and spend the next thousand words telling you how brave and amazing my sister was and gushing about my perfect niece, I won't. I'll just let you admire the photo and see for yourself that Avery Jayne is the most beautiful baby ever. Obviously.

Sadly, I still have to wait two weeks to officially introduce myself and hold her in my arms, but I'm coming, Avery! Just you wait...