Category Archives: Exercise

Mini Golf in NYC!

FunDay MonDay! I hope everyone had a fantastic weekend! I spent most of mine studying since my exam is 2 weeks away, but I did have time for some fun along the way.

Friday night, Caron, her hubby, our friend P and I went to see Thor in 3D. The graphics were good, Natalie Portman and some of the dialogue was amusing, but I have to say the story wasn’t really as developed as I would have expected. I wouldn’t want for it to come out on Netflix though, because you would miss out on a 3D viewing. The best part about the movie was the Girl vs Guy fight that broke out a couple rows behind us because of the “kicking of a chair.” It was pretty epic. Luckily they simmered down before I had to go find management to get them to SHUT UP! They were ruining the movie, but what they were yelling at each other was pretty hilarious.

Saturday night Leo and I went out to dinner and then we decided to walk around a bit since we were both pretty full. Leo had seen a mini golf place that was being set up on one of the piers down near Battery Park months ago, so we walked down there to see if it had opened yet. It was open, score! And it was only $5 per person to play 1 round, awesome! Next to the Mini Golf Course was a skate park and beach volleyball courts. We had a pretty nice view of NJ too…

The course was 18 holes, some were short, but overall it was good fun. I even got a hole-in-one. Leo was not amused, although he beat me by 11 points!

Check out this hole on the back nine – you had to hit the ball so that it passed over that teeny tiny bridge! Leo made it since he’s a golf stud. My ball ended up in the water. Luckily it was shallow so I was able to scoop it out.

Here’s a view of Battery Park. Prettyyyy.

Another shot of the course. It was pretty small compared to the ones you see down in Florida, but for NYC it was sufficient!

At least it had a fountain!

Sunday was spent studying and hanging out at Leo’s club. I can’t wait til all this studying is overrrrrrrr. Hope you all had fantastic weekends. Tonight I’m meeting with my sponsor for Big Book Reading Take 2. I feel like I’m really taking care of myself these days, it’s a lot of work though!

Do you like to play mini golf?

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Filed under Exercise, Fun, Recovery, Studying

Normal Weekend with a Hell’s Kitchen Fair!

Hey friends, how was everybody’s weekend? Mine was pretty great – nothing out of the ordinary, just normal. I am always grateful for normal weekends because it reminds me how much life is fun even if I’m not doing anything special like going to a concert or the ballet!

Friday night Caron and I saw Bridesmaids and it was awesome. Definitely one of the best comedies we’ve seen in a while, especially because I was & will be a bridesmaid myself this year. The whole theater was super rowdy, and you always know a movie is good when that happens, lots of critics in NYC. Plus Rotten Tomatoes gave it a 91%!

Saturday morning Leo and I headed up to his club up in the suburbs. I studied while he hit balls at the driving range and then we had lunch and headed over to try out the tennis courts. I brought out my racket from when I was 15 and since you have to wear white clothes only so I bought a child’s tennis skirt at the pro shop since they didn’t have any adult smalls! It fit just fine. Leo and I are both horrendous at tennis, which we discovered in the Bahamas last year. We must work hard to get some mad skills so we don’t embarrass ourselves in the future. Luckily we were the only ones playing this weekend.

Sunday Leo and I dedicated ourselves to studying at my apartment. Leo successfully distracted my felines, Crazy and The Dark One while I took another practice test (real exam is in 3 weeks!). Score is in the range that I would like, but not quite high enough yet. I need to work on my reading comprehension skills and apparently read the algebra questions more carefully. Sigh.

We did, however, take a break in the afternoon to seek out some lunch. There was a fair going on all the way down 9th avenue (as far as I could see), so we walked around a bit before Leo got frustrated with the crowds and wanted Pita Grill for lunch.

Not to mention it was dark, stormy and muggy outside. Also, we didn’t have cash for fun games like these:

The rest of the day we spent watching the end of The 2011 Players Championships on the Golf Channel. Congrats to KJ Choi! Also – I bought the Raw Ice Cream I spoke of last week from Whole Foods and it was so good and tasted like real ice cream! Raw Food Detox has never tasted so good

Tonight is Caron’s Five Year Anniversary Celebration  – I can’t wait!

How was your weekend?

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Filed under Exercise, Food, Fun, Studying

S’Mac and Other Things

Happy Monday friends! My weekend was pretty decent, how was yours??

Friday night I stayed late to finish up some work and then took a third practice exam and I did super well! It turns out I am not a Hopeless Harriet afterall. Then, I caught up on Private Practice and Grey’s and then headed to bed. Um, excuse me Prime Time Medical Dramas, please refrain from creating Musical Episodes. The House and Greys musical bombshells were horrendous this season. The problem is, if I don’t finish watching the episode I can’t find out what happens! Note: I do not read about television shows online or elswhere, that doesn’t seem to be the point of television for me. Ha! Just realized you’re reading about TV right now… ok, I’ll stop.

Saturday I had my last class and then our teacher took us out for a “boozey brunch” to celebrate. I love how I always sit silently smiling as the people I’m with gab on about the best clubs and bars to go to in NYC. I never have anything to add, but that’s ok – it helps me practice listening to my peers instead of interrupting – which I do frequently.

After brunch I came home and watched Away We Go with Jim from the Office. CUTE movie! Plus Alexi Murdoch dominates the soundtrack and that makes my heart sing.

Jim from The Office

Saturday night I met Leo at S’MAC down in the East Village. It’s a restaurant that only serves Mac ‘n Cheese. I was in love. It’s a pretty hole in the wall type place and you have to do some serious table stalking to get a seat. The best part about S’MAC is that you can ask for the gluten free version of any of their dishes. This made my gluten-intolerant boy very happy. We both chose the Buffalo Chicken S’mac and it was delicious. It’s like baked Mac n’ Cheese and Buffalo Chicken Dip all in one bowl. Spiiicy.

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We then proceeded to enjoy the nice weather and walked around for a bit and then ended up at 16 Handles. It’s like Pink Berry but a million times better. You walk in and there are 16 different flavors of low-fat / non-fat soft serve ice cream / frozen yogurt. You can put whatever kinds you want in your bowl and then you get to pile on all the toppings you want yourself! I got a variety of flavors of froyo and piled on mochi, butterfinger and caramel sauce. Mmmm it was awesome. Sorry no pictures – we ate as we wandered back down to Leo’s apartment.

Sunday was filled with studying for both of us and a class at Spring St with the amazing Tanya at Physique (for me).

That brings me to Monday…I just got out of a 6 hour work meeting, so apologies for the late post! Do you want to know the only benefit of my day so far? This:

The deli right near my office sells it and it’s incredibly hard to get anywhere else in NYC! Believe me, I’ve looked. I lived on this stuff my last few years in college and the Vanilla just makes it taste like a zero calorie dessert! I bought two today.

I’m chairing a meeting tonight and am currently without a speaker, so you want to qualify tonight, let me know!!

How was your weekend?

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Filed under Exercise, Food, Fun, Gluten Free, Love, Movies, Physique57, Studying, TV

Why I Don’t Run: Part II

…Continued from Part I

About 18 months ago, my right knee swelled up to the size of a large cantelope. Absolutely no injury occurred. I didn’t even dislocate my kneecap. The doctor at my job (yes we had a nurse’s office – just like grade school!) told me I should go see a orthopedist. I got an MRI, X-rays, the works. He would drain 22 ccs of yellow fluid from my knee every other day. It was incredibly painful. They thought I might have gout but all the tests were negative. No crystals in the knee fluid. 

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I was on really extreme anti-inflammatory meds. You are only supposed to take them after breakfast. The day after Halloween I took the pill and then went down to check my mail quickly before making oatmeal. As I was hobbled back up the one flight stairs to my apartment I got all sweaty and my vision went black. I sat down on the stairs. I was still conscious  but I thought I was dying. My vision slowly started to come back. It was terrifying because I had left my cell phone in my apartment and couldn’t call anyone for help. I didn’t know anyone in my apartment building either so I didn’t try screaming. Finally I could see well enough to drag myself up the stairs with my arms. I got into my apartment and lying on the ground I called my mom begging her to come to NYC to take care of me. She obliged.

Leo had lost his phone the night before but luckily he texted me on his work phone to see how I was doing since I’d skipped his Halloween party on account of my knee. I begged him to call me or to come downtown because I was terrified. He came as fast as he could. He fed me and then carried me to a cab to Lenox Hill Hospital. Such a debacle. They drained my knee again and ran blood tests and sent me home after six hours. They didn’t seem to be very concerned with my near-death experience.

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Every time they drained my knee the fluid kept building up. The freakshow doctor then decided we should do exploratory surgery to find out what was wrong. What? Surgery without a diagnosis?? My sister’s mother-in-law is a nurse practitioner here in the city and told me to say no to the surgery and say goodbye to the freakshow doctor forever. I agreed. Then my Mom came to the rescue for a week!

At that point I could barely walk. When your knee swells up like a balloon it inhibits your quadracep from working.  I couldn’t even take any narcotics for the pain because I’m an addict and I know bad things would happen. Everyone at Maiden Voyage was so supportive, especially when I was on crutches!

My sister’s mother-in-law got me an appointment with her friend who is a stellar Rheumatologist. She asked me a bunch of questions and then looked at me curiously, “Have you had conjunctivitis recently?”

“Um, yeah, about six weeks ago I had an eye infection of some kind. Felt like there were rocks in my eyes. My eye doc gave me some drops and it cleared up,” I said.

“Interesting…I think you might have reactive arthritis.”

The doctor explained that reactive arthritis is an auto immune disorder very similar to rheumatoid arthritis. Basically when I get sick my body will overreact and fight itself instead of fighting the virus or infection. She ran a bunch of tests and sure enough, I had autoimmune. She put me on crutches and prescribed me a bunch of anti-inflammatory meds to get the swelling down. Once my insurance cleared, prescribed Enbrel which is a medication that shuts down my immune system so my body would stop overreacting. Within a month of taking the Enbrel shots once a week, my knee was back to its normal size. Incredible. I saw a physical therapist for a bit since my knee was very weak from not walking for a few months. I still go in for check ups but she’s decreased my dosage of Enbrel and hopefully I will be off it completely soon. Stabbing myself in the stomach with a needle twice a month is not fun. Plus I have to be extra careful about getting sick because my body won’t be able to properly fight it. Another reason I am concerned with my headaches.

So I’m better, but I am still afraid of messing with my knee. For exercise, I walk and I bike (stationary bike, not a real bike, that’s another story). I’m sure if I really wanted to run, I could see a physical therapist and find the right brace and get cleared. Just for today, I am happy to be walking.

Thanks for listening to my two day novel-like story. I thought maybe someday someone else have this issue and want to know what’s wrong with their knee. This was one of the many mysteries WebMD couldn’t help me solve!

In other SATC news: I signed a 2-year lease renewal on my apartment this week! Hooray for staying in one place for more than a year.

Who else wants to complain about their health issues today? Feel free!

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Filed under Exercise, Injury

Why I Don’t Run: Part I

Since I wanted to keep yesterday’s gym post from becoming a novel I decided to defer my knee story to today. Turns out it will now come in two parts! Here’s Part I:

I had issues with my right knee starting in elementary school. I played travel soccer (yeah we had sweet jackets!) when I was younger and I started to do some unknowable damage to my knee when I played. I say unknowable damage because I honestly couldn’t tell you what would happen. All I know is I would take a step, my knee would freak out and then the world would go black and I’d be on the ground in immense pain. Then my knee would swell up for days and I’d  be out of commission. It was really hard to get a diagnosis from an orthopedist since I blacked out everytime it happened. My body’s way of telling me: this is gonna hurt like a betch, so you better go night night.

The doctor in middle school finally determined that I had a plica. It’s a membrane around your knee that is supposed to disolve when you grow up, but sometimes if you are a very active child, it strengthens and acts like a rubber band snapping across bones. YIKES! They decided I should have orthroscopic surgery to remove this plica. Simple outpatient surgey with tiny cameras and tools to cut that puppy out. I got four sweet cross-shaped scars to prove it. The recovery from the surgery was hellish. I was put in this machine that forcibly moves your leg and I had my first contact with pain meds: Tylenol with Codeine. Once I could walk I was put in a big brace and sent to physical therapy.

The surgery seemed to work and I went about my athletic ventures but then some time in high school the same thing happened again with the black outs and knee flip out. Boo. I was not fixed after all. I just learned to deal with it and to not play sports where I would have to move laterally. I also wore a brace or taped up my knee whenever I exercised.

It kept happening in college, maybe every 4-6 months. WHAT THE HECK?? The trainer just said my quads were pretty weak and therefore my ACL was probably loose. I got tons of X-rays, etc. Nothing. So I kept icing and training and strengthening. Then one day I was in the Varsity weight room on the treadmill. I just finished an intense walking session and half stepped off to get the cleaning spray for the machine. BOOM. My knee tweaked. No blackout. I looked down. My knee cap was outside of my knee – like full-on sticking out of its socket. Before stepping down with my full weight I carefully pushed it back into place.

HOLY CRAP THE MYSTERY WAS SOLVED!!

I hobbled to the trainer next door to explain what had just happened. He goes, “Yeah, that’s called subluxing your patella. We’re gonna need to strengthen that knee up so it doesn’t keep happening.” Jesus. I’d never caught my knee mid-freakout before. And now it had a name! I was read once that when you name something it loses all it’s power (Marx, Nietsche?). Take that subluxing patella.

I continued to deal with my knee but after I graduated I wasn’t very active anymore and therefore wasn’t having many patella issues. Then 18 months ago, my knee swelled up to the size of a large cantelope for no reason. To be continued…

Have you ever had injury mysteries?

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Filed under Exercise, Injury

Cheapest Gym in NYC

I did it! I actually went to my gym.

Gyms in NYC are so expensive. I can’t justify spending $178 / month at Equinox when I’m not even convinced I would go. Case in point: I joined the gym at my old job last year (half the price of Equinox) for 6 months and I went maybe 3 times. Those are some expensive workouts! When I started going to Physique in the fall I decided that I loved it and that I should start working out more in general. Physique is great for strength and toning but it doesn’t do much in terms of cardio, especially if you are like me and only go once a week. I went online and researched all the local gym options.

I found a gem (yes, I meant to say gem). I live across the street from a hotel. It turns out that the hotel has a gym that is run as a separate business. The advertised monthly fee was pretty low. As I searched further, the website said I would get a discount because I live in the neighborhood, awesome! So one night after work in November I went over to check it out. It’s your typical hotel gym – a couple treadmills, bikes, lots of weight machines, some free weights, TVs and mirrored walls. I didn’t need anything fancy. The gym’s manager told me that if I paid for a year’s membership up front I would get 50% off the already discounted price. SCORE! A gym in midtown for $20/month? I was sold.

I joined in November…and never went back. The low sunk cost didn’t make me feel awful about not going. Oh, and I’m lazy. Plus I knew going to the gym and power-walking on the treadmill for 60 minutes wasn’t going to be nearly as fun as going to Physique for 57 minutes. Leo finds its very hard to believe that I was an NCAA athlete in college when I talk about my lack of desire to actually workout.

With all this mystery surrounding my headaches, I started to think hard about morphing my daily routine into something healthier. I read somewhere online that exercise can be good for headaches because it gets your blood and oxygen flowing which can help relieve brain pain. Is it true? Maybe not, but I was willing to try anything.

Since Maiden Voyage was cancelled (sadface), I knew I had no excuse not to go to the gym. I got home at 7pm and put on my workout clothes right away. My college coach always told us that half the battle to independent exercise was simply getting your workout clothes on and getting out the door. Great advice! Once I was dressed I headed out the door with my exam book and my iTouch and jogged across the street to the hotel. I signed in, made some joke to the manager about it being my first time in months and found the treadmill.

My right knee has always been weak (I’ll save the knee story for tomorrow), so I don’t run. Physique has been helping me with strengthening my legs though. Maybe someday I will run again!  Regardless of my unrealistic future as a marathon champion, I like to power-walk on an incline. That was my workout of choice last night!

The above is a blurry blackberry picture I took during the cool-down. I walked for 30 minutes at 4.0mph at an incline of 7.0. Technically it said I burned 331 calories, but…I doubt it. After my treadmill fun I found the 5 lbs free weights and did the Physique bicep/tricep warmup. I would love for my arms to be defined so I can look strong in a tank top instead of just skinny and weak.

My workout wasn’t extreme but I was proud of myself for just stepping in the door! I also got 30 minutes of study time in on the treadmill. I can read and walk at the same time, I am SO coordinated! I even sweated. It counts. After my workout, instead of ordering Thai food as usual, I walked to Walgreens to get some Lean Cuisines. Sweet and Sour Chicken, my favorite:

I know it’s not the most nutritious dinner and definitely far from homemade, but its a healthy option for us lazy folks. It’s only 300 calories, so I had some hummus and wheat thins to subsedize after I licked the bowl clean. After dinner I chugged a bottle of water and settled in to catch up on the first episodes of this seasons’ Nurse Jackie and U.S. of Tara. I heart SHO.

Thanks to all the healthy fitness bloggers who motivate me to be a healthier version of myself!

Note: If you want information about my awesomely cheap gym, email me. I decided not to publicize the gym’s name to stay safe.

How do you motivate yourself to exercise?

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Filed under Exercise, Food, Fun, Gym, Headache, Studying

Headache, Headache, GO AWAY!

Happy Monday!

I am sad to report that my weekend was sub-par due to another horrific headache that peaked on Saturday. I had to cancel my Physique class but since it wasn’t 6 hours before the class…I got charged the $30 as if I had attended the class. Physique has such a smart business model, I just wish I hadn’t had to waste a class on account of a debilitating headache. I kept holding out, hoping I would feel better, but I didn’t. Looks like I will be scheduling a CTscan this week to get my head examined. Jokes are welcome here, folks.

I’ve been getting low-to-high grade headaches since mid-fall. These headaches are not cured via Advil, Exedrin Migraine, hydration, caffeine, lack of caffeine, nicotine, lack of nicotine. Nothing works. Not even reading WebMD. Finally, thinking the headaches might be caused by sinus issues, saw an Ear Nose & Throat (ENT) doctor a few months ago. She gave me some decongestion spray and I’ve been doing the NeilMed Sinus rinse everyday too. But she said if these headaches didn’t go away with the use of those products I should get a CTscan. I’ve been putting off the scan because either I think they won’t find anything, I am terrified they will find something or because a lot of the time I feel fine. Last week was a low-to-high grade constant headache lasting 6 days. That’s just not normal. I feel a bit of relief today, but time to go in and get a scan done.

UGH! I did not get sober to be sick.

Needless to say, my weekend was not filled with fun. I did bake Leo a gluten free pumpkin pie that turned out horrifically even after baking for over an hour past the expected cook time. Here’s a picture of the ingredients:

I found the gluten free pie crust at whole foods. I followed the instructions on the Libby’s pumpkin can but after an hour of baking it was still a soupy mess. More sugary than the organic filling I used for a pumpkin pie for New Year’s but it never solidified. Either my oven is a sad mess or I’m an awful pastry chef.

On Sunday we attempted to study for a while before heading out to a really nice dinner in Connecticut at Leo’s club. My veal scallopine was amazing. I should probably apologize to all my health-nut readers for eating veal, but I’m not going to. It was delicious. Plus, it’s the only thing that made me feel good all weekend.

On a more positive note, I am in third place in my basketball pool. Unfortunately, so are two other people… at least I will get back 80% of my original investment!

Have you ever had an unexplained, unrelenting, untreatable headache?

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Filed under Exercise, Food, Gluten Free, Headache

Celebration, Customized Chocolate and Celiacs

Anyone got a case of the Mondays? I think NYC weather does. It was pouring rain as I walked to work this morning and then blizzarding during my 9:30am meeting. How does the temperature just drop 10 degrees in an hour? I am in protest of such flagrant changes.

Rather than focus on Monday, how about that weekend?!?!

Saturday I had class and then celebrated with some friends at Caron’s Bridal Brunch at a Bistro on the east side! It was a nice intimate gathering and the food was delicious! The Maid of Honor and I made customized chocolate bars as secret party favors. I really wish I could show you pictures because the bars turned out fabulous. Anonymity strikes again! Here are a few shots of other wedding bars from the Chocomize website so you can picture it:

Since I can’t include a picture of the ones we made, I’ll describe them instead. We started out with dark chocolate, had Chocomize create an edible image on the chocolate using one of C’s professional engagement photos and then imbedded in the dark chocolate are 23 karat gold flakes. The chocolate was encased in a ivory box (pictured above) and I ordered pre-made stick-on navy blue bows from a DIY wedding invitation site to stick on the front.

The label on the back read something humorous alluding to the gold in the chocolate as well as the gorgeous rock on Caron’s finger. Overall the bars were well-received! I couldn’t believe the MoH and I were able to keep them a secret for so long. I cannot wait for the wedding, it’s going to be beautiful.

Saturday night Leo and I went to a gluten free Italian restaurant on the Upper West Side: Sambuca (W 72nd and CPW). I found it on a google search last week and made us reservations. Leo is a celiac so we try a lot of gluten free restaurants around the city so he can eat things other than plain meat. To be supportive, I will order gluten free as well so that he can eat what I don’t finish. Our favorite gluten free chinese restaurant is Lili’s 57 and we order from there at least once a week! Most restaurants will have a regular menu and a gluten free menu – we have yet to go to a place that only has gluten free.

When I arrived at Sambuca, Leo was at the bar having a Red Bridge (one of the only gluten free beers on the market) and some gluten free bread. He was in heaven. Although he doesn’t particularly like the taste of Red Bridge, he always likes when a bar has it because he feels supported in his battle with celiacs. We’ve found Red Bridge at Madison Square Garden and Yankee Stadium too – you just have to search for the International Pubs. Remember, Leo isn’t an alcoholic like me. His drinking only bothers me if he’s drunk. I don’t mind if he has 1 or 2 drinks in front of me but it took me a few years to get used to this.

We ordered a chicken dish, spinach ravioli, pesto pasta and a caesar salad to share. The pesto dish and chicken dish were very good. The ravioli was not as good – the rice pasta that they used was just a bit too…chewy for me. You always have to discount a dish that’s made gluten free, but I wouldn’t order it again. For dessert we had gluten free chocolate cake and it was to die for! I highly recommend Sambuca for anyone who isn’t eating wheat anymore.

In related news, The Dakota was on right near Sambuca and when I win the lottery I am determined to live here:

After the movie I used my LivingSocial Fandango.com gift certificate ($9 for two tickets instead of face value $28)so we could go see Take Me Home Tonight

We had to go to a theater in the Flat Iron district which we never go to because the movie has been out for a while and not a lot of theaters are hosting it anymore. The movie was pretty hilarious and I give it too thumbs up minus Barry’s blatant use of white powder throughout the bulk of the film. It’s remindes me of a slightly updated version of Can’t Hardly Wait which was Leo’s all-time favorite movie in high school. Plus it stars Topher Grace from That 70’s Show and he’s awesome.

Sunday morning we both studied for our respective financial exams and then he went to hit balls at Chelsea Piers when I went to Physique’s Spring St Studio for my weekly class. I have always taken classes at their midtown studio but since I was in Soho at Leo’s apartment I switched my class to Spring St. The Spring St studio is much bigger than 57th Street and it has more showers! I was impressed. On top of that, Tanya was my instructor (she founded Physique) so I had a great class!

We watched basketball for the rest of the day and Leo made tacos with Fresh Direct groceries for dinner. Overall this weekend was pretty stellar.

What cool Bridal Shower gifts have you given/received?

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Filed under Exercise, Food, Fun, Gluten Free, Movies

Weekend Warrior

Friday night I headed to see the new blockbuster Red Riding Hood with Caron and her fiance. For some reason we didn’t get seats right away. Instead we chose to wait in the snack line for 20 minutes probably because I was getting a FREE SODA! I’m a Movie Watcher Rewards member with movietickets.com so Caron and I no longer pay the $1 fee to buy tickets online. Another benefit to this is that when you reach a certain number of movie tickets purchased you get free stuff. 20 movie tickets later, I got a free soda. Score! We got into the theater relatively late and had to sit in the second row. Oh well. It wasn’t sitting in the second row that bothered us, it was the fact that there was a rude, obnoxious drunk dude sitting right in front of us. He kept a ridiculously loud stream of banter going throughout the movie. I’m not a publicly cruel person but towards the end of the flick I was getting really fed up and I had the following scenario playing through my head:

I yell extremely loudly, “Shut the *beep* up!” at this ridiculous man. He turns around, figures out who yelled at him and stands up looking angry. One of the chicks sitting next to me (who thinks this guy is funny) punches me in the face. Then Caron’s FI punches the dude in the face and a brawl continues until all of us are escorted out of the theater. The scenario then leads to me covering my black eye up with makeup on Monday morning and explaining to everyone at work that I’m not regularly beaten. Oh, and we also miss the end of the movie and get banned from the theater

Due to my detailed imagination, I did not yell at this man. I really really wanted to though. Note: DO NOT BE OBNOXIOUS IN MOVIE THEATERS. No one gives a crap what you think about the movie DURING the movie.

Quick movie review: it was good – just as I suspected: “Twilight focused on werewolves.” 

Saturday I headed off to class, then took my weekly Physique57. Physique was more awesome than usually because before we started a newbie goes to the instructor (Sarah M.), “Aren’t you in the DVDs?” And Sarah M. is in the DVDs, so I felt like I was being taught by a celebrity. Also, I didn’t have to stop as much as usual during the thigh work which was exciting. I’m taking an Intermediate level class next week, so I hope I can keep up!

Saturday night Leo and I planned to cook dinner and then attend two birthday parties for our respective friends together.  I picked up some chicken, salad and frozen fries at Whole Foods (which is SO busy at 5pm on a Saturday, remind me never to go back at that time).

The fries were ok, but sort of lacked flavor. The best part about dinner (and all of our Whole Foods dinners) was the salad. I think it’s a Mediterranean salad but basically it has lettuce, craisins, goat cheese, walnuts and a delicious vinaigrette dressing. I should have taken a picture! Just go check out the pre-made salads section and buy it – YUM. Leo and I just refer to it as The Salad, as if there is only one salad you can buy at WF.

As we enjoyed our healthy dinner, we watched Freakonomics (on live Netflix). Leo had read the book and we both wanted to see the movie. They did a study in the book about how your name (and its popularity in different social classes) can predict what kind of success you’ll have in life. Leo’s real name is in the list of “low income household” names and I frequently joke with him about the irony of this. Also, there is a study in the book (and movie) that shows how legalizing abortion caused crime rates to decline beginning in the 1980s. Basically because the number of unwanted births declined, a lower number of babies grew up in troubled family situations and therefore a lower number of babies grew up to be criminals. Don’t worry, I’m not trying to be political here, but the trends are hard to ignore.

We didn’t end up going to either party Saturday night but it wasn’t just because we were being lazy. We actually got into a heated debate about today’s public school system and the focus on going to college. He argued (from a Bloomberg article) that an electrician (non-college educated) will make more money over a lifetime than a teacher (college educated) and therefore, we should not force kids to go to college if they could be more successful doing something other than going to college. Leo was arguing that we push too hard for kids to graduate high school and go to college when maybe we should be focusing on preparing high school students for the real world in case they don’t go to college, since he argues not all people are meant to attend college. I was arguing that you can’t separate out the kids who will go to college from the ones who just might not cut it – that you have to believe everyone can work hard enough to go if they want to, that everyone is teachable and should be given the same opportunity. His electrician/teacher scenario might be true, but I don’t think the goal of attending college is always about future earnings. I also know that there are higher paying careers for college graduates than teaching. That lead us to another debate in which teachers should get paid more than they currently do (we agreed on that point).

We ended up agreeing to disagree. There were holes in both of are arguments but I think we were able to get through the debate without offending each others opinions. By the time we came to this conclusion it was pretty late and we were both tired and decided to stay in. We tend to get into these heated debates on subjects in which neither of us are experts. Therefore we never have a ton of evidence to support ourselves but we continue to debate the topics and nobody “wins.” Not sure why we do this, but we do.

After a delicious Sunday brunch at Felix we walked around Soho for a bit then came home and watched Varsity Blues. Yay James Van Der Beek! Then he went to hit balls at Chelsea Piers and I elected to stay and take a 2-hour nap because for some reason I was super tired and cranky. Daylight savings much? I want my hour back please!

When I woke up he was back from golfing with gluten-free pizza crusts in hand. His roommate made us pizza dinner and we all watched Slap Shot on Netflix. It’s a hilarious movie circa 1977 about a dysfunctional ice hockey team. Please watch it. And finally, despite lying around most of the day, I was able to pass out the minute my head hit the pillow at 10pm.

Do you ever get into heated debates about subjects you aren’t super familiar with?

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It’s Friggin’ Friday!

So this morning’s post was pretty serious – minus the comic relief someecards I had to put in there so you’d keep reading. In fact, this whole week of blogging has been pretty serious. Oh my goodness this girl has so many problems! Don’t worry friends, I didn’t forget how to have fun or how to write about having fun. Do you want to know what I actually think about on Fridays? THE WEEKEND! It’s so close I can taste it…

This weekend I actually have minimal plans. I know, Clarissa not having plans? That’s just crazy talk. Actually, tonight I am going with Caron and her FI to see Red Riding Hood.

Basically, it’s like the Twilight series but with werewolves. I can hear you getting excited already. You’re already on Fandango buying your tickets. And deciding Milk Duds vs. Sour Patch Kids. Popcorn – buttered or plain?

Seriously though, the movie looks good and I love whatshername. Oh yeah, Amanda Seyfried. Mama Mia!

The rest of the weekend should be pretty regular. Three-hour class (fractions, percents and decimals, oh my!) and Physique on Saturday. Possibly going up to Greenwich on Saturday night with Leo. The other option is a childhood friend’s birthday party on the East Side. I’m not sure I like crossing 5th Avenue and heading into the darkside East Side, but I’ll do it for cake. Sunday I need to do laundry but perhaps a trip to a museum? I also need to take my next practice exam. We shall see.

Did I mention Avril Lavigne’s new album, Goodbye Lullaby has been playing on repeat on the iTouch this week? Remember Sk8er Boi? Love her. Download the songs “What the Hell” and “Smile” if you can today.

Friday Confession: I’ve decided not to look at my Facebook newsfeed anymore. Why is everyone I know getting engaged? Literally six friends shared some version of amazing life-news this week. Makes me want to cry. Oh wait, I already did last night. Does that make me a bad person? Probably. I’m happy for everyone, I promise. I always just desperately want what I don’t have.

On a less self-centered note: My thoughts and prayers go out to all those affected by the Tsunami / Earthquake. 

What are you up to this weekend?

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