February 28, 2015

hello, rei

how impressive is it that i got my backpack AND my pink shorts AND my boots in one shot? i spent a good amount of last night at rei, bugging the employees about which water filter they thought was best and the benefits of using a dry compression sack over, say, a grocery bag. i felt kind of silly asking all these fairly basic questions and then telling them i was going to hike across north carolina, but hey, i am. one guy overheard me in the store, he's going to hike the AT starting in a couple weeks, and he had the gall to come up to me and tell me he didn't think most of the MST would be that interesting. well, sir, i don't think YOU'RE that interesting. he's not from here, he doesn't get it. i grew up here, a tar heel born and bred, and i have loved the mountains and the sea and now i'm going to connect the two and see everything in between as well. i left  rei with just a 4 oz bottle of dr. bronner's, a collapsible toothbrush, and a trowel (confession: i have never pooped in the woods and i'm not excited about it) but i'd made a wish list too, walked around the store and beeped things in like i'm getting married, and now it feels like those last few items are more mine, i have named them and claimed them, and they and a few months are all that stands between me and the start of my epic journey. 

February 27, 2015

and more snow

the power was out most of yesterday, and i had to resist the urge to wish all the duke energy workers a merry christmas when i was out walking bix to kaitlin's, praying that the electricity would be back on by the time we got home.  the walk back down our street was a little extra magical because yes - their light is on, and yes - their light is on, and look, they have twinkle lights wrapped around their railing that yes - are on.  and when we walked in the front door, nothing made me happier than to see the little red light on the dvd player lit up.  snow frolicking is a million times better if afterwards you can a) shower and b) curl up in your cozy house with a homemade pizza.  so that is what i did.

February 26, 2015

how can i explain that we took this personally?

man walks into a room
nicole krauss

February 23, 2015

february is the worst

the only good thing about february is that it's the shortest month of the year.
in chapel hill, it's when we get hit hardest with winter: right when we decide we're fed up with cold weather and will it just get warm already, BOOM, there's the snow we'd been waiting for back in december when we all felt cheerful and christmasy.  and for half a second, you say HOORAY IT'S SNOWING but as soon as it turns to ice - which it inevitably does - you remember it's not what you wanted at all.
but i am glad it snowed: i went sledding, threw a couple good snowballs, got a couple quiet workdays in, and didn't bust my butt on the ice once.  my mountain blood kicks in for a little and i am not cold and the world is beautiful and we get to dance in the snowbanks.

February 20, 2015

no-poo update

so.  no-poo.  if my hair were bob-length, i think things would be going beautifully.  that part of my hair dries in these lovely glossy waves.  the part below that, not so much.  it's straw-like and staticky as all get out, which isn't a problem i've evvver had before.  i'd just done the baking soda/acv thing on tuesday, so i didn't want to do it again, but i went to the gym last night and got sweaty and wanted to wash my hair with something and i'd seen eggs and honey as alternate recommendations.  so i tried the egg first and it was not a good experience (eggsperience).  it was slimy and gross and i think my water might be too hot because i'm pretty sure when i rinsed it out, little bits of egg got cooked in my hair, and that's just not a thing i'm going for.  so i did the honey, which was fine??  i diluted it with shower water and my hair/scalp doesn't feel dirty.

this is how i feel: you're supposed to hang in there for at least three months for the transition period.  i started on february 7, and while my hair is definitely transitioning, it's not doing the greasy thing i anticipated, which means that i'm putting heat protectant on my hair and straightening it, which probably isn't helping the coarse, straight, damaged feeling after it dries and before i've done anything to it, not to mention i've got some hardcore split ends going on (sorry, dad).  i'm going to keep going full steam ahead, even though my suave keratin shampoo is calling to me from the corner of the shower, and by the time the three months are over, i'll only be a couple months out from embarking on my epic journey, so why stop then?  not sure if this is a good thing or not, but it's probably related: my hair seems to be drying faster than usual.  and i'm hoping, like lots of bloggers have promised, that it'll grow faster too, because mermaid hair.

so that's what's happening in my hair world.

other news: i'm not snowed in at all anymore, i went to mike's gym last night and my legs feel like wet noodles, it was 7 degrees when i woke up this morning, and (spoiler alert) mindy lahiri is pregnant (!!!)

February 17, 2015

snow puppy

having a dog seems a lot like having a child in a lot of ways, and one of those ways is how excited i am to see him experience things.  the beach!  the river!  snow!!  good news: he loves it.

February 16, 2015

snow and eating, eating and snow

this weekend!  sarah and i drove up friday night (no crashing macaroni grill in our onesies this time, sorry world) aka galentine's day, and danielle had decorated the place with streamers and those triangle flag things and gotten us galentine's presents, because she is the best friend ever and truly knows how to celebrate friendship.

we went skiing/snowboarding (helloooo muscles) and we'd been kind of worried about it being too cold but honest to goodness we could not have had better weather for the slopes.  it was sunny and beautiful and just warm enough that i swapped my underarmor for a long sleeved tshirt and then it real-snowed a little bit and i made it down the mountain several times without breaking anything and didn't spend TOO much time on my butt and was even successful getting off the ski lift over 50% of the time.  and sarah was a champ, and danielle was a pro, and we all had the greatest time and ate great snacks and decided that we each had two or three runs left at the same time.

and then the eating started.
we got hokkaido takeout because obviously and ate it while we watched friends.  let me clarify: we ate it while we binge-watched eleven episodes of friends, the galentine's episode from parks and rec, the anna howard shaw day episode of 30 rock, two more episodes of 30 rock for good measure, and when harry met sally.  it was glorious.  PLUS danielle baked us amazing things (strawberry chocolate chip cookies pictured above) and we made a cheese plate and a grape plate and drank cranberry ginger ale like our lives depended on it.  and outside it was snowing and the wind was blowing like crazy and oh boone, i missed you.  it was the best valentine's day ever.
and then!!  we braved the 6-degree weather to introduce danielle to waffle house and get sarah some coffee (worth it) and looked at yachts on air b&b and packed our stuff up and pointed george weasley the hyundai elantra down the mountain and went on our way.  as self-appointed road trip queens, sarah and i have a lot of traditions.  examples: never listen to david sedaris unless you want to fall asleep, sing all the words you know to girl talk, and always get soda shaq.

soda shaq is this weird beverage made by arizona iced tea and sponsored, bizarrely enough, by shaquille o'neal.  there are four flavors (vanilla, orange, blueberry, and strawberry) and each flavor has a different picture of shaq on it.  soda shaq.  i found it at a 7 eleven one day and never looked back, and when i introduced sarah to it, it was clear that we needed soda shaq every time we took a drive together that lasted more than two hours.  and then, suddenly, 7 eleven stopped carrying soda shaq.  we know because we stopped at three of them on our way back from erika's and then called about five more, and then contacted both 7 eleven and arizona via facebook/email until arizona finally answered and said "check cvs!"  so lo and behold, we went into this dinky cvs in wilkesboro of all places, and there was shaq's face smiling up at us.  and all was right with the world again.
and then i got bix, who had stayed with my dad, and he was SO EXCITED TO SEE ME HIHIHIHIHI so i scooped him up and took him home and we played and played and played and then i got in bed to read and he snuggled up with me and, you know, having a dog is just the best.

February 14, 2015

boone is the place for perfect days. 

February 12, 2015

feelings i have about the reactions towards fifty shades of grey:

sexual violence and domestic abuse are awful and should not be glorified in any way.

all violence and abuse is awful and should not be glorified in any way.

i have never noticed any movie that glorifies violence receiving the kind of criticism that fifty shades has received, and while yes! this is great! we should be having discussions about the glorification of violence in films and how that affects people's acceptance of violence on and off screen! -- is this because it's a movie that focuses on violence and abuse whose target audience is women instead of men?

February 11, 2015

i do not.

last night we were watching bachelor, cause that's what we do on tuesdays, and working out very hard (ahem!) and the added bonus was that because sarah no longer works until 9 on tuesdays she could come too so sarah and aileen and i had a nice little girls night watching chris mack on all the girls and the girls talk crap about each other.

and then a thing happened.  a thing on the bachelor.

britt is this gorgeous little angel-human with killer hair who puts on makeup before she goes to bed, just in cases.  she and chris kissed on the verrrrry first night, and he gave her the first impression rose, and i think she's beautiful but maybe kind of uppity and a tad bit whiny and sort of a diva.  anyway, she and carly were talking because everyone else was on a group date, and carly reveals that britt (DUN DUN DUNNNN) doesn't shower.  not like, never, but not like, often either.

and then my heart said SOUL SISTER!! because the closest thing i have ever found to a spirit animal is this pigeon:
i mean i do shower, of course, but that doesn't mean i have to like it.  or do it evvvvvery day.  and now i like britt 4862130498 times more, even though the rest of the bachelorettes seem fairly disgusted.  dirty hippies (but not too dirty, please and thank you) for the win!

February 9, 2015

trail thoughts

on saturday, swerner and i drove out to elon to go to the friends of the mountains-to-sea trail conference.  it was really cool to be there and see all the support the MST receives (over two hundred people were there!) and the way it's built and the ways it's used.  at one point, they asked everyone who was planning to thru-hike the trail in the next year to stand, and i was one of maybe 10 or so people (!!) to stand and then the people at my table got very interested in me and one guy, the parks director in clayton, offered to let me and bix stay at his house and said he wanted to get an mst thru-hiker in his local paper and that maybe it could be me and he gave me all his contact information so i can call him when i'm nearby and take a hot shower and sleep in a bed and all that stuff.  my first trail angel!  they touched a few times on how people say the trail isn't finished, but it's not that it's not finished, it'll never be finished because trails are constantly changing, even the AT reroutes, it's just that some parts of it are road.  so that was good to hear.  and because it's still a baby trail with a small reputation, not many people hike it each year (only nine did in 2014, and three in 2013, and ten in 2012, and so on).  right now they're at 47 total hikers, meaning i could - i could i could - be number 50.  which would be hella cool: the fiftieth person to hike the mountains to sea trail!  wow!

they had a panel at the end of all those hikers that had completed the MST in 2014, and we could ask them questions, and it was really interesting.  there was a couple who are now sophomores at app, a veteran and someone who had hiked it with her, one section-hiker, a woman probably a couple years older than me who'd hiked it to find all the edible plants, and one guy who went to sort of explore himself and sort out questions he had.  they talked about how beautiful the mountains and the outer banks were, and how kind the people were they met, and the dogs that followed them through tiny eastern towns, and how much their packs weighed, and how many miles they usually walked in a day, and what their favorite parts were, and it was all this exhilarating information, and next year that's going to be me.  except maybe not, if i'm not home for the conference and i'm in, like, argentina or wherever instead.

speaking of the trail, i've decided to go ahead and transition to no-poo in preparation for the weeks i'll go without showering.  i already don't wash my hair too often - probably 2-4 times a week, sometimes more, rarely less - but it's thick and course enough that i can generally get away with it, so i'm hopeful that this will make the transition to going completely shampoo-less easier.  on saturday i washed my hair with baking soda and then conditioned it with diluted apple cider vinegar (that shit stings).  it felt really thick, in a bad way, after the baking soda but better with the apple cider vinegar, which isn't what i would expect.  it's funny to wash your hair with food, it kind of feels like when i was a kid and we would slather mud on our legs at the lake and call it sunscreen.  i did put some heat protectant stuff on it before i straightened my hair, but now it's monday and my hair still feels soft, and if i weren't going to ballet tonight i probably wouldn't wash it.  i figure if i can get to the point where i'm only rinsing it/occasionally using baking soda and apple cider vinegar, my trail hair will be wayyy less gross than if i abruptly stopped using shampoo for weeks on end.

meanwhile, i continue to stress about which water filter and stove i should buy, and how much my pack is going to weigh, and if bixby is going to be manageable, and whether i should bring a long-sleeved shirt, and where i'm going to sleep each night, and how to use a compass, and etc.  i don't really worry about if i'm going to finish it or how hard it's going to be, because i know it's going to be hard and i'm going to be miserable and sore and grumpy and hungry and wet and itchy and sunburned and probably lots of other adjectives i haven't even thought of yet, but i don't have the option of not finishing.  my things are going into storage and i will not be paying rent of any kind, so i don't have a place i can give up to.  the trail is going to be my home for three months, no two ways about it.

yesterday was GORGEOUS GORGEOUS GORGEOUS and stencer and i took advantage of the weather and hiked around the eno all along the river and then up a giant hill and back down the other side of the hill and then more river time.  we climbed trees (ish) and basked in the sun and took pictures of our shadows and saw a million dogs and sang i don't fuck witchuuuuuu a lot and then we chugged gas station lemonades in the car on the way home.  it was the perfect day.  all in all, between the eno and a couple good long walks with bix, i walked about 10 miles yesterday, and even though i was bone tired, it affirmed that yes, i love this, and yes, i can do this.  i need to spend the next few months training, but i am still so excited, more excited than ever even, about my big adventure.

February 6, 2015

elephants and sunshine

i've been a warm-weather person since the day i was born, and these longer days are sending me towards giddiness.  getting home before dark... driving to the dog park before dark... leaving the dog park before dark... you do you, sun!  bring on the vitamin d and the daffodils!  it's supposed to be SIXTY-SEVEN on sunday!

(and then we have mornings like today's when it's twenty degrees and my hands are freezing and my thighs are starting to go numb and it feels like i'll never be warm again, but let's not dwell on that)

anyway, a while back, i followed these girls down someone's driveway to see if their way to campus was faster than my way to campus, and it was, so now i go that way most of the time if i'm not biking, and the thing is, it's really really lovely.  it's all children's-book-ish with a swing straight out of the secret garden, and an old house covered in vines that is not in paris but could definitely house twelve little girls, and an elephant like the one in the india scene in a little princess, and fairy lights, and green grass, and, and, and...

i use the elephant as my personal sundial.  for a while when i walked home, it was still light out but the sun had dipped below the treeline, and the elephant was all in shadows.  as it's stayed light later, more and more of the elephant is lit up, first its back feet, then its belly, now the light hits everything but its face and trunk and tusks and one day the whole elephant will be touched with sunlight and that's when it'll be spring.

February 2, 2015

weekend schmeekend

this weekend was a straight up whirlwind, which is conveniently just how i like it.  noodles/barcade, game of thrones and sammiches, neighbor boys party, work catchup, hiking at duke forest, girls' night, yoga, NAP, childcare, supahbowl.  non-stop action.

barcade was cool, as per usual, and of course sandwiches were delicious but i should probably go back and watch that episode of GoT again because a) i talked too much during it and b) double vodka redbull.  i then proceeded to roll up to the neighbors' party with bixby and a bowl of popcorn... bixby was a big hit so i don't think anyone really minded.

spending four hours alone in the office the next day, barefoot and sweatpantsed, was not so bad in reality.  i got a ton of stuff done and played my music out loud and racked up some overtime.  what sucked was coming back two days later, but still, worth it.

kaitlin had texted me asking about hiking and duh i was down, so we drove out to duke forest and did me and bix's normal loop.  he made a doberman friend whose name i believe was aileen and got completely soaked jumping (actually, it was more like getting himself as close to the water as possible and then awkwardly falling) into the river, which was completely smooth and very greeny-blue.

yoga was a new thing, they have it free at southpoint on sundays which is right up my alley.  i'd never been, and of course i was five minutes late, but they hadn't really started when i got there and they made space for me at the front of the room and i yogaed.  and it was hard, and my arms and thighs are extra sore today.  i followed it up with a doughnut and a run (why i thought either of those were good ideas, i do not know) and a nap (which was a fantastic idea).

and then childcare, so i got a baby-filled hour!  and then superbowl, so i got a puppy-filled four hours!!  jp is petsitting this seven-month bulldog, and he is the roundest little bug of a thing.  so soft, so squishy, so pudgy.  we became best friends briefly and then bixby got super jealous when i went home, so i had to remind him that yes, you're my favorite and he finally stopped sniffing my puppy haired jeans. 

also the patriots won.

and then me and sarah had this moment when we were driving separately in our cars and "i don't fuck with you" came on the radio and we simultaneously texted each other only the numbers 102.5, which is the radio station it was playing on, and it was just this cool little bit of #braintwinz magic.

the end and happy monday.