Yuppie

I have officially become a Yuppie. I had this realization on a Wednesday while wearing spandex surrounded by other spandex-clad young women and being instructed to make sure our cores were engaged during a pseudo-plié in a ballet-inspired exercise class. The gym where the class was taking place is called MINT, (“MINT condition yourself,”) and it has complementary mint-infused water in the exercise spaces and tampons and razors in the women’s locker room. I can’t speak for anyone else in the class, but I myself had eaten homemade quinoa-chard salad for lunch. The day before I had met up with a friend for happy hour after work, and we drank white wine while while nibbling mushroom-spinach flatbread (not to be confused with pizza).

I’ve known for a while that I was heading towards Yuppiedom. I’m under age 40, have an office job, live alone, and have no pets because I’m never home except on weekends. But it hasn’t been until recently when I started taking group exercise classes that my Yuppieness really started hit home, and I’m not sure how I feel about it.

For so long I resisted joining a gym or paying any money whatsoever to exercise. Instead, I’ve been jogging about three times a week, plus occasionally following along a strength-building routine on a (free) phone app. Why would I pay fifteen bucks for an hour of someone telling me to do pushups or crunchies when I could do it by myself and buy very fancy fish tacos for lunch instead and have something leftover?!

But ClassPass caught me at long last. I may be one of the last young woman urban millennials to not have signed up for ClassPass. ClassPass is a system where you can take cheap exercise classes at gyms or studios, with the condition that you can only go to the same place twice a month, and if you cancel too close to the class time they charge you. The intro rate through a friend for five classes was $25. I finally caved. Thus, Barre class. And Yoga, as well as Pilates, and even “Yogalates.” Unfortunately, but predictably, I loved it, and am now fully on the Pilates bandwagon. It’s so good!

Now, excuse me while I go eat some Doritos and Cookies and Cream ice cream….

p.s. Apologies for no posts in a long while – between my newfound Pilates obsession, work, a wonderful weeklong visit by my sister-in-law, and KITTENS (not mine, unfortunately,) my life has continued to be crazy. Things should be quieting down in…June? Maybe?

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Another Doozy

I had a doozy of a week. Last weekend, if you recall, my mother was in town helping me with move-in activities. (No kitchen has ever been so organized, I assure you!) While it was great having her in-town, we were definitely going at our organizational and miscellaneous shopping activities nonstop. Then, Monday morning, my supervisor stopped into my office to let me know that my colleague had come down with the flu, and requested that I to go to New York City in her place to attend a conference. So, that very day I race home, pack up my things, and hop on the train. After an exciting and very busy two days, I return home Wednesday night. Thursday I’m in the office, and then Friday I take a day of vacation so that I can hop on a bus and spend a long weekend in…New York City!

It was loads of fun. We ate many delicious things (Fabulous dumplings! Amazing bagels! Exceptional ice cream!) and saw many wonderful things (The Strand Bookstore! MOMA! A standup comedy show! Art galleries!) but I am glad to be home. My fingers are crossed for a nice, quiet week.

 

Squeezing In

Last weekend after spending half a day trekking out the ‘burbs to pick up the bar stools, I declared myself done with all remotely labor-intensive home-related projects for the time being. After all, I have a bed, a couch, chairs, and a rug. I figured the rest would fall into place eventually.

It turns out that the future is now.

On Thursday night my mother arrived in town, a physically small yet spiritually vast bundle of energy. After dinner at a good BBQ place across the street, we stopped into the hardware store and emerged with a glorious potted palm taller than me. Once we arrived home with the palm, all of the furniture in my main room had to be dramatically rearranged to accommodate the tree. Before I left for work the next morning, my mother waved one of two shopping lists in front of my face that she had drafted after I went to bed the night before.

When I came home yesterday, more furniture had been moved and the lists were lengthened. Last night I woke up at 1 am (to be fair, that’s only 10 pm PST,) to find all the contents of my kitchen cabinets out on the counter, and my mother scrubbing out the insides of my cabinets.

My mom is having a blast.  I am in awe and need coffee.

All this considered, I figure that this may be the only chance I have to squeeze in writing a blog post.

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Looking Ahead

This week I am more excited to think about what is coming up rather than what has already happened. It was a long week for various reasons, and I was tired often and rather out of sorts. (This, despite the excellent highlight of finally getting a REAL BED and two REAL PILLOWS!) I am eager for a new week and a fresh start.

List of Things I Am Looking Forward To Starting At This Very Moment

  • Buying a couch: It won’t come for 6-8 weeks, but still beyond exciting!
  • Framing my art: I bought a print ages ago, but it’s still rolled up in a tube rather than on my wall.
  • Picking up my bar stools from the store: It will be so nice to sit on something other than my little futon.
  • Assessing organizational needs, buying things to address these organizational needs, and organizing: The stuff piles in my place are driving me absolutely crazy, but it’s hard to put things away when there’s nothing to put them in. This is my top priority tomorrow.
  • Making Brisket with Apricots + Prunes: While I don’t cook meat often, I have been in a domestic mood lately and feel like cooking something savory that will take all day long. My grand plan is to cook the brisket while I’m on tomorrow’s organizational and cleaning streak.
  • Visitors: My mom is coming for a visit! I am so excited! My sister-in-law is coming for a visit! I am so excited! While I have to accept that my place will still be far from done by the time they get here (gahhhhhh) I am looking forward to their company and having some emotional support with home improvement projects.
  • Visiting: I am visiting New York City at the end of the month for a weekend getaway. I can’t wait to eat everything and see see all the art, as well as escape my home improvement projects.

(p.s. I’m also looking forward to having internet, but let’s not go there.)

At least I’m more moved-in than I was…

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Done with Moving?

On Sunday I came home from California, on Monday I went to work and finished packing and cleaning, and on Tuesday a man with a pickup truck helped me move all my worldly belongings from my sad dark studio to my cheery light-filled one bedroom co-op. We were done by noon.

Standing in that room, surrounded by boxes and plastic trash bags, (er, I ran out of boxes,) I was ready to keel over from hunger and felt quite overwhelmed. Since the place hadn’t been inhabited in ages, a think layer of dust was on everything except the new gleaming wooden floors. Thank goodness for my friend, who in my hour of need, came over during lunchtime to provide emotional support and make me a sandwich, as well as wipe out all my kitchen cupboards. My other first step was cleaning out the bathroom. I sort of wish I had taken a picture of the toilet so that I could convey just how nasty it was, but some things are best left to the imagination.

To be honest, I still feel overwhelmed when I think about how much needs to happen with my new place. I still have no internet, (the connection was covered over with drywall!) no bed, no chairs, and no curtains. My fridge is practically empty. Only yesterday did I put up a shower curtain. At some point I should reorganize my closets in a manner which makes sense.

And yet, I am very happy. I love my new home. I still think the apartment’s layout, with a tiny bathroom and bedroom but a large central space with lots of closets, is great. Yes, only from certain vantage points in the bedroom can I see trees, but my rooms are so bright that houseplants will thrive. I can’t wait to fill my new place with friends and memories. You are all invited.

Stuff.

Oops. The last time I posted was January 30th, and today is February 20th. So much for writing more often, as I always promise I will do. This time my excuse is that for the first two weekends of February I was busy packing up all my worldly belongings in preparation for my move on the 28th, and on Friday night I arrived in California, where I will be until Sunday morning.

Packing is such a disturbing, exhausting, satisfying process. Each time I pack up for a move, I wonder how I’ve managed to acquire so much stuff. I remember arriving in DC with two checked bags, and now I have seven large boxes! For someone who had long aspired to the life of a nomad and living out of a backpack, I don’t really see this as a good thing. I’m glad that I’m only moving to a one bedroom apartment, which will help place a reasonable limit on the amount of items I can possibly acquire. I can only imagine what it would be like to try and move a whole house filled up with dreck.

In fact, by far my favorite part of packing is getting rid of things. For me, packing feels like the best, more thorough spring cleaning imaginable. I love filling up bags for Goodwill, tossing bags of trash and recycling into dumpsters, and leaving furniture outside of my apartment building for my fellow furniture scavengers.

This time I am particularly thrilled to get rid of almost all my furniture. Farewell, ugly old bookshelf from a former roommate! Goodbye, cheapest wobbly IKEA table! Go to the devil, evil uncomfortable IKEA bed and mattress! The only pieces of furniture that I’m bringing with me are two lamps (found on the street), my tiny futon couch and dresser drawers (Craigslist), and my nicer IKEA shelving (new!). Now that I am officially definitely not leaving DC any time soon,  I am thrilled to start over and get furniture I actually like, instead of things bought out of urgent desperation or cheapness.

This means, of course, that for all I say that I love the minimalist lifestyle and aspire to fitting my life into a rugsack, I am currently engaged in the process of buying or considering buying very large, expensive things over the next few months, including:

  1. A queen sized bed with a real honest to god non-IKEA mattress – hallelujah!
  2. A nice couch whose cushions don’t slowly and aggravatingly slide off as you sit on it, unlike my current baby futon
  3. A coffee table – so adult, right?
  4. Two area rugs – one for my bedroom and one for the large main room
  5. Window hangings – since I have no blinds but I do have neighbors
  6. Bar stools – because I will have my kitchen island and not much space, I’m skipping a table for the foreseeable future

Toss in some queen-sized sheets and a mountain of plants, (I will have natural light! So much natural light! Good riddance, you dark studio apartment cave,) and I will be home sweet home!

That is, once everything is painted. Maybe.

Join the ACLU!

I know it’s been ages since I last posted, but I’ve been extraordinarily busy on all fronts. Last weekend (was it really only last week?) I had friends in town and went to the Woman’s March here in our fine capitol. I’ve also been out dancing a fair amount, work has been busy enough to warrant bleeding over into this weekend, and I have, um, experienced a dramatic uptick in my social life. What’s more, I am buying a flat! It’s a tiny little 600 square-foot shoe box of a one bedroom co-op, and it will be mine, all mine! I am thrilled. I will be even more thrilled once I “close” on it, the new floors are installed, the electrical work is complete, the broken garbage disposal is replaced,  and I get around to repainting pretty much everything. The time-consuming joys of home ownership are already revealing themselves to me.

I am acutely aware of how while I am so happy for so many reasons, the world is going to shit. A megalomaniac narcissist is screwing with our democracy and making decisions that are detrimental to the wellbeing of my country and the world at large. Anyway, all of this is to say that yesterday I finally put my money where my mouth is and joined the ACLU. I suggest that you join, too! It feels awesome. Donate to the ACLU here.

Once you’ve given money to the ACLU, you can do as I did, and relish the knowledge that you are supporting the front line that is actively protecting the free world against evil, and make roasted mushrooms on toast.

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Grow a Pair! Power to the Pussy! You Do You-terus!