Sporty Sport Sportin’

I am so relieved because normal temperatures have returned to Sacramento for the week with highs in the nineties and lows in the fifties. I didn’t think I was going to make it last week. Our campus hosted the USA Track & Field Outdoor Championship over the weekend and I don’t know how those athletes survived. On Friday, the temperature of the track registered at 152 degrees. THAT IS INSANE. I spent Friday afternoon at the meet on a balcony overlooking the track while feeling like I was going to die. I was in the shade and chugging water and it felt like THE END. I really don’t know how anyone managed to run in that.

Our view wasn’t great because of these big VIP decks (to the left and right in the pictures), so that was a bit of a bummer. Thankfully, our wonderful photographer, Jessica Vernone was on the field and took some amazing photos of the athletes.

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I stayed until just before sunset then went home because I felt like I was going to vomit from the heat. I just can’t handle it. On Saturday, I went to Orange Theory early that morning, then cleaned up and went to the office for a while. I made it back to the track for the afternoon and evening events, but sat in the grandstands for a better view (and also because I was wearing shorts and a tank top, so didn’t want to run into coworkers on the deck). I got to see both Allyson Felix and Justin Gatlin run which was SO COOL. I had a a special pass that would allow me on the track and it took all of my self-control to not go down there and be a creepy fan.

(image by Jeff Cohen)

Gatlin got first in the 100m and qualified for world championships in London in August, but didn’t compete in the 200m. Felix scratched the 200m finals, but has a wildcard bye in the 400m from winning 2015 world championships. You can see the full list of world championship qualifiers here. It was super cool to watch all of these incredible athletes in person, and I REALLY hope that Sacramento gets the 2020 Olympic Trials (we are a finalist). Our city holds the top two attendance records for for the U.S. Olympic Track & Field Trials (in 2000 and 2004). GIVE IT TO US AGAIN.

Image may contain: 1 person, outdoor(image by Jessica Vernone)

I originally planned to go back on Sunday, but I was sunburned and didn’t know if I could face another day in the blistering sun, so I stayed home and took care of some stuff for work. I did get to watch the first few episodes of GLOW on Netflix and I LOVE IT. It is so fun and a total delight. I would watch a show about Alison Brie watching paint dry, so I’m super biased toward her anyway, but I totally loved it and cackled with glee throughout each episode.

 

We spent a lot of time watching wrestling as kids because the children of my parent’s friends were mostly boys and they were obsessed, so when we were together it was all wrestling all the time (followed by “lets all beat each other up and pretend it’s wrestling”). Watching the series made me SO THANKFUL to live in the age of workout gear that isn’t a thong over spandex shorts.

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I remember girls in my gymnastics classes wearing those and I was horrified (how can you exercise with what is essentially a wedgie!). And I also spent a lot of time noting how much time these girls spent readjusting said wedgie (I have always been a very judgy lady). Also, we were in third and fourth grade and the thought of ten year olds wearing thongs really grosses me out even more as an adult. WHY DOES YOU CHILD NEED A THONG ON IN PUBLIC???

Five Thing Friday

1. Prince Harry’s new interview with Newsweek. I am so glad that he is speaking out about how hard it was for him to deal with the deal of his mother and how it impacted hi mental health. The interview will break your heart, but I think it will mean a lot to people who have lived through similar experiences. And he’s right, I cannot imagine being made to publicly walk behind the casket of a parent in front of millions of people.

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2. Despite it being no one’s business, I am often asked if I ever plan to have kids. I don’t really know. As of today, that answer is no, but it is not a hard no. Frankly, I have no idea what I will decide down the road. If I met someone with whom I wanted to start a family , then yes. Or maybe one day I’ll get a sperm donor. Or on another day I might commit to having foster children. Or maybe all or none of the above. I DON’T KNOW. It’s not a closed door, but I don’t feel strongly about either direction today. I also don’t feel like I owe anyone an explanation. Until I do decide I will be a proud PANK (Professional Aunt, No Kids) as described in this fabulous article about women who are choosing to be child free.

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3. Less than a month!!!!!!!!!!!!!

4. I am making this as soon as I’m done with Whole30 and it no longer feels like he surface of the sun around here.

5. It’s been a busy week, so there’s just five things today. I want to finish with what we should ALL be following closely (and calling, emailing, and messaging our Senators about): “What the Senate Bill Changes about Obamacare.”

The fact that mental health care coverage may not be required is HORRIFYING.

Words for Nerds

I finished three pretty darn enjoyable novels over the past couple of months which is always a treat.

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If We Were Villians: A Novel by M.L. Rio
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I downloaded this without reading what it was about because it was suggested to me my by Amazon. And, in the famous words of Brian Fantana, “60% of the time it works every time.” I’m a sucker for suggestion and an intriguing cover image. An actual synopsis in case you are interested:

On the day Oliver Marks is released from jail, the man who put him there is waiting at the door. Detective Colborne wants to know the truth, and after ten years, Oliver is finally ready to tell it.

Ten years ago: Oliver is one of seven young Shakespearean actors at Dellecher Classical Conservatory, a place of keen ambition and fierce competition. In this secluded world of firelight and leather-bound books, Oliver and his friends play the same roles onstage and off: hero, villain, tyrant, temptress, ingénue, extra. But in their fourth and final year, the balance of power begins to shift, good-natured rivalries turn ugly, and on opening night real violence invades the students’ world of make believe. In the morning, the fourth-years find themselves facing their very own tragedy, and their greatest acting challenge yet: convincing the police, each other, and themselves that they are innocent.

I was initially a bit irked because there is a lot of Shakespearean dialogue from the young actors because they quote him to each other ad nauseam. I was never involved in or had interest in theatre because I would cease to exist if I had to get on a stage in front of others and pretend to be a character. I would just give up living before doing that, so theatre never appealed to me at all. The only Shakespeare I like is if it is in a movie about Queen Elizabeth I or involves a young Leo DiCaprio. Despite my lack of appreciation for this art form, I grew accustomed to their language and enjoyed the mystery. At the end, I am really glad I never pursued theater because good grief that sounds emotionally exhausting. The main characters can be pretty annoying (highly entitled and pretentious), but it kept my interest and the conclusion was satisfying.

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A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles

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Several of you suggested this novel when I last posted about books, so I took your advice and ordered it. I was completely delighted by this novel. I took me about a quarter of the way into it to get the pacing and start to truly appreciate what a gem it is. It was a charming novel and a complete pleasure to read.

With his breakout debut novel, Rules of Civility, Amor Towles established himself as a master of absorbing, sophisticated fiction, bringing late 1930s Manhattan to life with splendid atmosphere and a flawless command of style.

A Gentleman in Moscow immerses us in another elegantly drawn era with the story of Count Alexander Rostov. When, in 1922, he is deemed an unrepentant aristocrat by a Bolshevik tribunal, the count is sentenced to house arrest in the Metropol, a grand hotel across the street from the Kremlin. Rostov, an indomitable man of erudition and wit, has never worked a day in his life, and must now live in an attic room while some of the most tumultuous decades in Russian history are unfolding outside the hotel’s doors. Unexpectedly, his reduced circumstances provide him a doorway into a much larger world of emotional discovery.

Brimming with humor, a glittering cast of characters, and one beautifully rendered scene after another, this singular novel casts a spell as it relates the count’s endeavor to gain a deeper understanding of what it means to be a man of purpose.

Prisoner of Night and Fog by Anne Blankman

Prisoner of Night and Fog (Prisoner of Night and Fog, #1)

Synopsis:

In 1930s Munich, danger lurks behind dark corners, and secrets are buried deep within the city. But Gretchen Müller, who grew up in the National Socialist Party under the wing of her “uncle” Dolf, has been shielded from that side of society ever since her father traded his life for Dolf’s, and Gretchen is his favorite, his pet.

Uncle Dolf is none other than Adolf Hitler. And Gretchen follows his every command.

Until she meets a fearless and handsome young Jewish reporter named Daniel Cohen. Gretchen should despise Daniel, yet she can’t stop herself from listening to his story: that her father, the adored Nazi martyr, was actually murdered by an unknown comrade. She also can’t help the fierce attraction brewing between them, despite everything she’s been taught to believe about Jews.

As Gretchen investigates the very people she’s always considered friends, she must decide where her loyalties lie. Will she choose the safety of her former life as a Nazi darling, or will she dare to dig up the truth—even if it could get her and Daniel killed?

From debut author Anne Blankman comes this harrowing and evocative story about an ordinary girl faced with the extraordinary decision to give up everything she’s ever believed . . . and to trust her own heart instead.

There was little chance I wouldn’t enjoy this story as it takes place during one of the historical periods I most often read about and in a city I love. The story kept my attention, but the main character never felt “real” to me. Her evolution happened too quickly and I felt like a lot of the story felt rushed. I didn’t feel as strongly connected to or invested in the story as I would have liked, but I still enjoyed it overall. It was a fascinating glimpse into a fictionalized account of pre-war Germany (and what it might have been like to be close to Hitler). I had totally forgotten about the suspicious death of Geli Raubal – Hitler’s [likely without consent] lover who was also his niece (ew).

WTF Wednesday

I got super annoyed when I was hiking back to the parking lot on Saturday because almost every group I passed had their phone blasting music. I hate that this is a thing now. It already annoys me in public places and on the street (KEEP YOUR MUSIC TO YOURSELF), but I don’t care to hear Calvin Harris blasting through the great outdoors.

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I was in the post office the other day and some guy was just blaring music while looking at his phone. I had to leave because I felt like I was going to have a nervous breakdown over it. I feel the same way about people who just look at their phone while it is ringing, or choose not to answer it but keep letting it blast their All The Single Ladies ringtone. Stop the noise while you decide if you want to talk to your mom or not you masochist! Or when a phone is vibrating like crazy on a table during a meeting and the person just looks at it. Vibrate is NOT SILENCE.
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I also realize that this is a lot of just overly delicate me issues here, but I find noise (and light) to be so jarring and distracting at times that I don’t feel like I can function. Also, what kind of person just assumes everyone wants a shared music experience with them? Extroverts I bet.

I was reviewing a travel reimbursement request the other day where someone had ordered an egg white omelet that cost $18. EIGHTEEN DOLLARS for something without a yolk! What. Are. You. Thinking.

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When I was training for the Chicago Marathon in 2011, I bought five pairs of Moving Comfort briefs. They never rode up anywhere, they had a mesh panel that providing some cooling, and they were super comfortable. I’ve worn one pair of those briefs every single time I have worked out since I purchased them. After six years of steady and hard labor, they’ve started to fall apart over the past few months. I went online to buy some replacements and learned that not only does Moving Comfort now belong to Brooks, but they no longer make the underwear! And I can’t find it anywhere online. I AM DEVASTATED. There were even my travel underwear of choice because they dried super quick in the event that I had to desperately do some sink laundry. Rest in piece, perfect undies.

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So, now the real question, anyone have any recommendations for workout undies that are breathable, don’t ride up, and dry quickly? Price is no object for the perfect undies!