So, after the whirlwind of the last couple of months, I finally woke up on Sunday and realized that I feel like I can breathe again.
Less than a week into New House, I came home from work one evening to discover that my closet had imploded. Both cats were hiding under the bed, and I suspect they are still in shock. It seems the entire bar came out of the wall, bringing with it the upper shelf, all of my clothes, and a good chunk of drywall. So, while the rest of my room is beginning to take on an orderly fashion with books put away, desk set up, and even a picture or two on the walls, my closet remains a cavernous hole filled with hangers poking every which way and clothing lumped up in piles.
So the closet situation is going to require some heavy-duty fixin' and DIY'ing. Which means a lot of Googling and YouTube'ing. How did anyone get anything done before the Internets?
At least there's no mold.
All of this has caused me to suddenly be Domestic. The other day, I installed a towel bar. By myself. Using power tools. (That I borrowed from my parents.) I met with the cable and internet providers when they wired the house. I fixed the garbage disposal that had a stuck wheel. I took apart and put back together multiple sets of IKEA furniture. (Meaning I helped my boyfriend identify the various plugs and screws and held particle board in place while he orchestrated the actual decon/con. Semantics.)
And then I ran a half-marathon. Thousands of people running, and just as many lining the streets of Baltimore, cheering and holding out hands for high-fives. The most glorious moment was just before the finish when the route takes you THROUGH Camden Yards, with everyone screaming and photos being taken, bands playing, balloons a'flying. I crossed the finish line in two hours, two minutes. My goal was two hours. After the killer hills, I will take the additional two minutes in stride.
My dad stuck with us for the first 4-5 miles, and then paced back a bit. Catalano and my boyfriend and I stuck together until about the last mile. He finished in just over two hours, and Catalano finished just a minute behind me.
And then I puked. First time for that. I finished the race feeling pretty shaky, and decided that what I needed immediately was lots of fluids and something to eat. I managed to eat part of a bagel and a whole banana, and then we got into the beer line. I kept feeling worse and worse, but trying to convince myself that it would pass and I would feel better. Not even half a beer in, everything came back up. In front of everyone. Nothing like ralphing with friends and family looking on.
The boyfriend kindly convinced me that only real athletes puke, and recounted the number of times he's retched before, during, and after swim practices in college. I later found out that two of my trivia girls also let loose - one at a water stop, and one ON the finish line. Both of those seem far more epic than a Beer Garden Retch, to be honest.
I spent the rest of the afternoon in bed, and it was glorious. When I finally rallied around 7pm, all I wanted in the world was a bison burger. And I had one. With french fries. AND CHEESE. And it was divine.
I spent the next three days limping with insanely sore quadriceps, and didn't really feel better until I got a run in yesterday. This is better than Lee who, upon running his first half marathon a few years ago, went out on a marathon drinking spree and was unable to walk at all the next day. I, at least, had the use of my legs.
So now, I am looking for the next race, the next challenge. I know I'm not prepared - mentally or physically - to take on a full marathon yet, but ultimately I think I'd like to knock one out in the next couple of years. I need to get a few more halfs in first, however, ideally without puking.
In other news, in all of the chaos of work, moving, running, and the thousands of regularly-scheduled programs I have going on in my life anyway, I got a parking ticket. It was my own fault: I was unloading my car one rainy night after an epic Costco run, and parked illegally thinking I'd be out of there before I could get ticketed. No lie, an officer stuck me with a $77 parking ticket in the ten or so minutes it took me to unload my frozen foods.
I have inordinate amounts of rage when it comes to things like parking tickets. It's all entirely relative of course: I don't understand why meter maids aren't doing their jobs when I see someone else parked like an asshole, and I scream victimization when I myself park like an asshole and get a ticket. (Sort of like how I get angry at pedestrians when I'm driving and angry at drivers when I'm walking.) But with my sudden need for STUFF (who knew I was going to need a shower caddy AND hooks for my aprons in the kitchen??), I feel as though I'm hemorrhaging money, and racking up a $77 parking ticket in less than ten minutes feels agonizing.
Because I am naturally a very graceful person who is well able to mask anger and carry myself with aplomb, I of course didn't immediately get shaky lower lip and call the meter maid a name that would make a sailor gasp. I of course didn't do anything so rash and childish as then proceed to wave the ticket in the air and weave an eloquent tapestry of curse words while standing out on the sidewalk. I didn't call into question the intelligence of the assigning officer, and I certainly didn't bring Baltimore City Parking Authority into it.
My boyfriend, from whom I initially attempted to hide my proclivity for violent bursts of outrage upon feelings of victimization by unseen forces (and occasionally inanimate objects that trip me, hide my keys, or otherwise complicate my life), was privy to this obviously mature and logical outburst. He had that look on his face that's a cross between "Should I offer a distraction; say, an ice cream cone?" and "I have never met this person before in my life, Officer."
One thing that has arisen out of the mellowing that has come with my late twenties is that these outbursts are far shorter than they used to be. Within the hour, we were watching documentaries on Discovery Health about phantom pregnancies and weird phobias, and I was quite content.
Until a week later, when it suddenly occurred to me that I ought to check the due date on that parking ticket. Because I presumably owed SOMEBODY, SOMEWHERE some moolah for my egregious parking. While my life is cluttered and busy, I tend to have a photographic memory of where things are located (making it all the more infuriating when something gets moved and I can't find it) and I specifically remembered sticking the parking ticket in the middle of the front seats by the gear shift so that I wouldn't lose it. So that it would be staring me in the face and I would remember to pay it.
Except it wasn't there. It wasn't on the floor, in the seat, tucked carefully into the glove compartment or center console, and wasn't even in my bag or wallet. The thing had gone missing.
I assumed that the city of Baltimore just wanted its money, and I could go to the website, enter in my tag number, and it would spit back at me the amount I owed and tell me again what a horrible crime I had committed for "blocking an unmarked" (UN-FREAKING-MARKED, mind you) "pedestrian walkway." But still, losing things irks me to no end, and I wondered if perhaps in my fit of blind rage I had eaten the ticket or shoved it somewhere unsightly. Because my boyfriend was witness to everything, I casually asked him if he remembered what I'd done with the ticket and said that if I couldn't find it, I could probably just try to track it through my tag number.
"You could," he reasoned, "but it would be a waste of time."
"Why? You sort of have to pay parking tickets, it's kind of the law..."
"Well, maybe it was already paid."
Lemme tell you about modern romance. You can leave the flowers, the chocolates, the love notes, the little gifts, and all those trappings of Hallmark flirtation and give me a man who steals parking tickets out of your car and pays them. This is also the guy who has filled my gas tank, fixed all of my electronics, helped me move twice, doesn't flinch when I spill red wine on his carpet, and doesn't mind touching my disgusting feet with the missing toenail when I am hard up for a foot rub. Swoon.
I did give him Portal Coasters a couple of weeks ago. That has to count for something.
So, settling into New House in New Neighborhood and resting my horribly-aching quads. There is a bit of a lull between now and the holidays where I feel as though I can finally catch my breath a bit, but somehow things never remain that quiet for that long, so I'm just trying to take advantage of the brief glimpse of down time. And figuring out how the hell to fix my closet.