Beware the Pigeons

Happy Monday! A little recap of the weekend lies ahead.

On Friday, there was nothing more that I wanted to do than sit on my couch and veg. I watched some 30 Rock and just chilled, but was lulled to sleep fairly early.

I even ended up waking before my alarm on Saturday to eat a pancake breakfast and work it out at the gym.

In the afternoon, I went to the Science Center to try and be smarter see the Pixar Exhibit. My first impression was of these beautiful trees that made me feel as though I was transported to a magical world.

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Expectations were high, but then I met up with my cousins and we got lunch. Tables were full, so we ate outside and I can’t tell you how many birds surrounded the seating area. Every so often, as one, they would fly away suddenly. Long story short, on one of these instances, a pigeon clipped my head with its wing.

I got hit in the head by a pigeon.

I don’t know how else to emphasize this. Such an instance has inspired me to blog again because although ridiculous, it is also hilarious. A few minutes later, I was then hit in the head by a balloon that a kid popped. On the way home, I was worried for my noggin, you know, rule of three, but thankfully, all circumstances seemed to end there.

Back to the reason I was at the museum in the first place, the Pixar Exhibit, it was cool, but overcrowded by kids with minimal supervision and limited understanding of any of the science behind it. I give the museum itself an, eh, but that, as my cousin Sebastian pointed out, is probably thanks in large part to the Boston Museum of Science being amazing. Nothing else can quite live up to it.

Because I’m a cool cat, the rest of my Saturday included grocery shopping, meal prepping for the week ahead, lots of Netflix (30 Rock and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend), writing, and reading. I wanted to watch Saturday Night Live, well, live, but I was tired and ending up falling asleep early.

On Sunday, I slept in a bit, enjoyed breakfast, and tried to make a lentil soup that ended up looking more like lentil goop. I’m sure you’ll see evidence of this travesty at some point this week because although it looks disgusting, I’m not above eating it. For the record, it still tastes well enough.

I was quite active, starting with Yoga on the new mat I purchased for 7 dollars. This feels like a steal, so please don’t take that away from me. I ran through my own routine, which oiled me up for the best run I’ve had in awhile.

Speaking of running, while my family suffered another snow storm back home on the east coast, I took to the sunny streets of Los Angeles for a sweaty run. It was in the seventies something and amazing outside.

Maybe I wasn’t the nicest daughter/sister/cousin by sending out this shot, but I couldn’t resist. At least many of them get a snow day today!

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After my run, I fueled up with a piece of peanut butter toast and yogurt with strawberries and lots of water before I decided it was far too nice out to be locked up inside and took my bike out for a spin.

With the beach on my mind, there was only one destination intended, but the ride was not smooth. For whatever reason (there’s a reason), this ride was hard and slow (-er than usual) and I realized, on my eighth mile back from the beach and because another rider called out to me, that my back tire was low. Whoops. Here I was thinking I was out of shape, when really, I’m in excellent shape to ride that long on a flat tire. That’s what I’m telling myself.

Once at the beach, I pulled over to do some writing while taking in this view.

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Had I not been by bike, I would’ve stayed to watch the sunset, but it’s February and the weather has been what it’s been, so I think I’ve got some sunsets in my future (knock on wood).

For the rest of the afternoon, I had some errands to run and things to do, but once I got home, I made myself dinner, threw in the laundry, and prepped for the week ahead, including a new workout plan. Call me a nerd, but there’s something satisfying about a new workout plan.

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As I write this on Sunday night, I’m hoping to wake up earlier than usual and exercise in the morning. It all depends on how I sleep tonight. It would be nice to just go home, eat, write, and sleep in the evenings, but thus far, I’ve been consistent with my post-work exercising. My body’s ideal workout time is late morning, early afternoon, which is prime for very few people’s schedules. Pick your poison I guess!

No matter how your Monday or week goes, at least you won’t get hit in the head by a pigeon. Probably.

sunset in stages

I don’t think I can effectively speak to how beautiful California is. I am constantly amazed by the sights and wonders of this state and I know I’ve only ever seen a small part of it. To cap off my weekend, I went to Griffith Observatory to catch the sunset. Every night should end like this:

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Magnificent.

This weekend was the perfect amount of relaxing and active with as much time spent outside as I possibly could get. This weather is the kind I expected when I moved out here.

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Sights like these make Monday’s arrival just a little sweeter.

Bike Riding and Weird Massages

My weekend once again was the perfect combination of active and relaxing, starting with Friday night.

After work, like a champion, I headed to the gym and ran it out on the treadmill. This week, I wasn’t as tired as last, and I had a solid run before finishing it off with a quick Yoga flow. For dinner, I stir fried up some chicken, veggies, and brown rice.

If you’ve ever wanted to know what bad zucchini tastes like, it is not good. Luckily, I didn’t cut the zucchini into too small bites and I was able to scrape it out of the plate!

Some old Saturday Night Live episodes later and it was time to fall asleep, cus this girl was tired! Working 9-5 is hard, ya’ll.

On Saturday, I met up with a friend-of-a-friend for brunch before going to the gym to knock out a lower body workout. I biked over on the beautiful afternoon, then biked on over to a reflexology massage place for my sore feet. My feet were so swollen on Tuesday of this past week, they didn’t fit properly in my sneakers. This massage was $20 bucks, so I was weary of the quality.

Let’s just run this down for you:

An older man began my experience by massaging my forehead. As we know, I have a large forehead, so a long time was spent on this area. At one point, the gentleman began tickling my outer ears, which I thought was strange, but then he stuck his fingers in my ears, and I learned a new definition of “strange.” It was weird, but I didn’t hate it?

The man was clearly head honcho of this establishment as other workers kept coming over and talking to him, which was unsettling in an otherwise quiet situation. At one point, I thought a woman was trying to tell me to do something, so I opened my eyes and the woman hushed me, apologized, then stuck her hand on my forehead for a long time. I was then blind-folded, which I think was to hide the fact that a new worker took over my footwork, though I will tell you, once you’ve had giant, calloused fingers in your ears, you can decipher the difference of the petite, gentler touch of soft hands.

As mentioned above, my forehead is gaping, so it elevated the blindfold to the point of which I could see clearly. It was good that I distinguished this new individual as female when I was then planked on so that the massager could recenter my hips (or whatever the hell it was she was doing?) After some hand work, I rolled over and got all the sore spots in my shoulders and back worked out.

Listen, it was a weird experience, but it worked. For $20 bucks, I will accept your strange scenario and tip you for it.

It was dinnertime when I finished, so I pedaled over to my “local” taco shop before heading home to read and work on a new project. After some grocery shopping, it was time for bed.

Sunday is a great day to be outside seeking adventures. First up, was hike time. I actually went to the same place I did last week, this time with a meet-up group. The day was cooler, but in no means cool, and overcast, which made it great to be active.

Stopping at home for a few minutes, it was time to take my bike out for its first long journey. 18 miles is no joke. I’ve got a bike path, down the street from me, that leads to the huge Southern California coastal bike path that is remarkable. There are no words to describe the views and the feelings inspired by pedaling down this path.

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My intention was to go to Santa Monica and believe me, I kept waiting to see the enlightening sight of Santa Monica Pier, but as I rolled and rolled, I still couldn’t see it and I almost cried. At a stopover for a water and lunch break, I typed in my GPS location and realized I had ridden in the complete opposite of Santa Monica and had made it to Manhattan Beach. Since Manhattan (New York) is my favorite place in the entire universe (other than home), and I had never been there before, it was fitting.

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On my way back, I prayed for no hills, and had to stop to capture the above picture. I mean, what?

Back at my apartment and nursing my sore quads, it was time to meal prep for the coming week. Soup! It’s not appropriate in the warm, sunny SoCal environment, but back at home in Boston, it’s fall and prime time for soup.

I’ve had these lentils in my cabinets since back home, so it was time to cook ’em. I found the recipe online and added my own touches, such as doubling the recipe and adding zucchini.

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I had enough for four lunches of the week and enjoyed the remnants for dinner, paired with brown rice and a dash of cheese.

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Now I’m all cozy, full, and super sweaty.

It’s Monday, but let’s live like it’s Friday!

Random Blabbling From Downtown Abbey

I went for a run today at Redondo Beach while Brad worked in the building next door. It was so beautiful there. I hadn’t ran for a little over a week at that point so I was aiming for somewhere around two miles, but as I was running I thought why not go for a full five k? And then because I’m OCD and enjoy pushing myself, I went all five miles and then some. Then I took off my shoes and walked along the water and it was just one of those moments that is amazing and inexplicable. Here’s a shot of the backdrop.

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Isn’t it stunning? If I lived there I would take advantage and go at some point everyday. I just want to start and end my day at the beach…in California…I have a lot of reflection to do these next few months as I try to figure out what I want to do with my life and where. Only time will tell.

After he got out of work, we went to Santa Monica, the place I want to live when I’m older and hopefully have money, and went straight to the beach. I listened to my mom and put on sun screen, but I might have sweated it off during my run or something happened because I somehow have even more freckles than I had before. And that is a difficult feat. Oh, and I was wearing sunglasses and you can totally tell because I have big ass rims around my eyes. I didn’t notice right away, but a few minutes ago I just walked by a mirror and stopped short because I looked green. And not in the cool, hey I can play Elphaba in Wicked type green, sickly green. Hopefully it will turn into a tan…???

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We were in the car a lot today because there was bad traffic, but we just put the music on and rolled down all the windows. It was glorious!!

Here’s a pic of me and Brad seeing the lacking Chernobyl Diaries. A little background information wouldn’t hurt. We saw it at Universal Studios so that was cool, but we should have just seen the new Minerva McGonagall…I mean Maggie Smith film. It has a complicated title/I’m too lazy to look it up right now. We were pretty pissed.

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Tomorrow, for my last full day (don’t even get me started how sad I am), we are getting lunch at the Grove, going window shopping and maybe a little real shopping, then going for Sushi, my first time (any healthy suggestions??), and seeing Brad’s friend in Chicago’s opening night. I love musicals and I love the musical Chicago, so I’m stoked! Sometimes I even workout to it. Hey, whatever gets you revved up, right? Then I think after we are going to hang out, eat chocolate, and watch movies. I’m going to be so bummed to leave, but I still have a long, fun day ahead of me tomorrow and it will be epic! Hopefully there will be more celebrity sightings, fingers crossed!

Speaking of Maggie Smith, we have been watching Downton Abbey and are two episodes away from finishing the first season. Not to be confused with what I called Downtown Abbey, which was what I thought it was for way too long. Downton, Downtown aside, and for the record, spellcheck says Downton is incorrect and Downtown is correct so there, the show is awesome and British which is pretty much the same thing. Sorry for the long sentences, wow.

I’ve started planning my summer exercise plan starting when I get back. I want to strength train three days a week; run twice a week, one longer, the other sprints mixed in with jump rope; biking and swimming combo; and I want to start yoga and another exercise class at the y tbd. It’s all about being as active as possible and I’m hoping to play lots of tennis and hiking. My mom and I now have matching visors and rackets, pictures to come! And of course I will take one day off from more intense activities. I just don’t want to be doing the machines all summer because I do them all winter and it’s important to not get bored if I’m going to keep going, and I will!

So while this vacation hasn’t been the best diet wise, I have worked out pretty consistently, including runs and hikes, and I’m ready to kick off the start of the end of my weight loss. Soon I’ll be looking to maintain and that’s exciting. Wish me luck, it’s been quite the journey. It’s worth it though because who else can fight so powerfully for you then you?

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That’s kind of a narcissistic end, so… Go Celtics! Beat the Heat!

Oh! Also, please please please check out the website and then the series Interns from the brilliant mind of my friend Brad who has been so generous and amazing for letting me stay with him! He’s my spirit animal and he’s a great director, videographer, and overall artist working hard to bring quality back to Hollywood.

http://www.internsseries.com/
Thanks!!