Archive for June, 2013

I have nothing profound to say, you guys. It’s Friday, it’s Summer, life continues to be good. 

I’m working from home today because my cleaning lady is here. I know I’m suppose to cower under the shame of my privilege and all that, but honestly, it’s been like three months since she’s been here and things were getting DIRE. Between first trimester death coma, travel every weekend, and Mike down on base in CO Springs every day, it’s been…well. Let’s just say it’s gotten bad enough to annoy BOTH of us, which is a special kind of dire.

(Does this happen in your house? Each spouse has their trigger of “THIS IS JUST TOO MUCH I CAN’T TAKE IT ANYMORE” but the triggers are extremely distinct and specific to the spouse that until BOTH at are their tipping point things don’t really seem that bad? Like, for me, it’s dust, clean (or lack thereof) sheets, and dirty dishes. Mike is more floors, counters and clutter. And while we’ve done a decent job not living in squalor (we wash the sheets, we use the dishwasher, etc.) we’ve definitely hit our critical mass of both spouses being annoyed at the state of the house, ergo: Adriana, our lovely, lovely cleaning woman.)

But! The InnerTeub house has a special feature, in that we have a 100lb dog that is Very Concerned with Security. So on the one hand, you have this German Shepherd who knows, to the very fiber of his being, that outsiders are Bad And Not To Be Allowed In, but also, he’s German in the way my husband is German, and therefore likes order and cleanliness, so what is a neurotic dog to do when the person doing the cleaning is also an outsider? Which is my way of saying this is why I am working from home today: not because I don’t trust my cleaning woman in the house without me, but because I need to referee between my dog’s dueling natures.

(Moose, for his part, is fine that she is in the house NOW, although he does stick to her side All Day Long supervising, which seems… rude, but there’s no arguing with that dog, sometimes.)

Let’s see. I cannot post something that is literally about my dog and having my house cleaned. It’s Friday, but we haven’t given up completely (….have we?) What else. Oh! Somewhere along the way I remembered that I’m a triathlete and know how to swim, and, not only that, have a lap pool that is literally 800m from my house, is outside, and is rarely used, and have properly shamed myself into swimming again (literally had not swam laps with purpose since I was training for IMCdA, which, shall we recall, was in the summer of 2010. Ahem.) I mean, seriously. Swimming is annoying in that it generally requires one to find a pool, pack stuff for the pool (swimsuit goggles swimcap towel flipflops clothes for post swim etc) and then GO to the pool, which can add a significant amount of time onto the allotted time for workout, and THEN figure out the lay of the land (do you need a lock for locker room? did you BRING a lock for the locker room? is it ok to share lanes? What’s the ask to join a lane etiquette at this pool?) Ugh, it’s all enough to convince oneself to say fuck it and just put on running shoes and head out the front door. But! Even I am not lazy enough to ignore the presence of a pool literally down the street that never requires me to share a lane or deal with a locker room or do anything besides sack up and put on my swimsuit (although, to be fair, with every passing week of pregnancy that is becoming more and more of a thing. I assume it will become breathtakingly obvious when my prepregancy suit has become completely inappropriate, yes, and I will not be That Guy at the pool that everyone is carefully averting their eyes from? We can hope.)  

Anyway: I’ve been enjoying swimming so much that I’ve basically replaced running with laps, and it’s fantastic. Great cardio workout without the stress and soreness I’d been feeling from the impact of running, and removes many of the heat-related concerns I’d had about running in the summer while In A Delicate Condition. Also, and this is a big part of why I keep swimming: it’s one of the only times I feel the baby move, and dude, it’s really cool. I find myself doing lap after lap just to keep that cool fluttery bubbly jabby sensation going; either this baby loves swimming or feels like it’s drowning and is frantically scrambling for a way out. Too soon to tell but let’s hope it’s the former so I can keep swimming away.

So far it seems to be a 1:1 as far as actual workout quality goes – my lap times are within range of what I swam back when I was An Athlete of (my own) Importance (less a few seconds for general out of swimming shapeness), so I’m feeling like i’m both getting athletic benefit AND doing something pregnantly appropriate, which is a rare combination of feelings and I am enjoying it greatly.

Ok. I could probably think of a for more banal topics for discussion, but as we started with: it’s Friday, and I’ll not abuse (any more of) your goodwill. Happy Friday, all. May your weekend be filled with relaxation and summer zen.

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Nostalgia Running

I lived in DC for 12 years, and was a runner for (quick math quick math) 11ish of them. DC is basically 6 square miles, so for 11 years I more or less ran the same paths, the same roads, the same views. It’s my favorite place in the world to run, and the thing both Mike and I agree we miss most about leaving. (Except you, DC friends. We miss you the most, of course, the running routes second. Of course.)


I just read an article by Kristin Armstrong where she talked of nostalgia running, and ooof, it hit my heart.

From Kristin:

I went on a nostalgia run today, unplanned until I realized what I was doing. I ran past the house we used to live in when the kids were small. I ran past their sweet little preschool, remembering when I used to drop off the girls back when all they would wear were frilly costume princess dresses and frog rain boots… I ran my old running route, the one that used to be so familiar to me that I could run it without a watch and be home on time to the minute. I ran the trail where we used to hunt tadpoles, make forts, and slap mosquitoes. I passed the park where I spent endless hours in the gravel and pushing swings. I remembered how I just had to take Luke there one more time as an only child, despite the fact that I was 6cm dilated and really needed to go to the hospital. I ran the hill that used to seem gigantic to me back when I pushed a triple jogger with a bottom full of books, sippy cups, snacks, and a small white Maltese named Boone (we had to put him down last year). The hill was just a tiny incline today, now that I am weightless and my hands are free.

When I think of nostalgia running, I think of DC and how the backdrop of my entire 20s includes the running routes in that city. My running friends from that time period are all parents now, and I’m about to be; time, it seems, has moved on. Reading this post today I find myself, if it is at all possible, nostalgic for the future, for the running routes that have yet to come. I wonder where they’ll take me.

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I think it’s easy – especially for daughters – to write about their moms. Hell, I just deleted 700 words about my mom. But it’s Father’s Day, and that seems as good a time as any to muse about what my dad has taught me. (Ed. note: this is not a comprehensive list. My dad has taught me a lot, but his daughter was not always the best at retaining these lessons)

1. Bridges Freeze Before Roads:

My dad is an engineer. Learning how to drive was first an education in how a car works. When you shift, what exactly was happening with the gears. How the oil worked to keep the engine from exploding. (I remember the explanation for none of these things. I… I am not an engineer.) Every time we would drive over a bridge in the winter, my dad would tell us again why bridges freeze before roads. To this day, I cannot drive over any bridge without thinking about it, and, if with others, piping up and letting them know: bridges freeze before roads because of REASONS.

2. Phil Spector and His Wall of Sound

My dad loves music. He would drive me to school on semi-frequently and we’d spend the 40 minute drive singing along to great stuff. I got an amazing music education on these rides: why you have to appreciate the early, Cream days of Clapton before you can even dive into Timepieces, Linda Ronstadt has some seriously questionable attitudes about men (see also: Stevie Nicks), Statler Brothers and Steely Dan were geniuses, real men sing along to Phantom and Les Mis with no hesitation, and Phil Spector was the first- and best- at creating that famed “Wall of Sound”. Years after I was kid, my brother and I were driving from DC to Maryland shore and he pulled out the Les Mis CDs to sing along to on our car trip. We both knew all the words. Our dad raised us with some great music.

3. Golf is ridiculous

Ok, this one I may have internalized far beyond his actual point, but my dad worked a lot, and I remembering him commenting that golf seemed like a sport for people trying to avoid their families on the weekend. It was probably a throw away comment he doesn’t even remember now, but I could see his point: he didn’t get a lot of time with us, in the grand scheme, so going to play a 6 hour game during the weekend wasn’t really a good plan. But to this day I have a completely adverse reaction to golf. I feel like that’s ok.

4. Speaking of working…

… my favorite way to spend Saturdays used to be to go hang out at my dad’s office while he worked. I had an old briefcase of his that I’d fill with coloring books and books and videos and I’d go entertain myself at the office while he worked. I loved it. I used to ask if we could go in, and if he wasn’t planning to go, I’d ask if he’d consider it. Now when I look back at this I think of a couple of things: a) I’ve been a dork for a lot longer than I realized, and like, damn, Liz, go find a playground and some friends, right? b) self-entertainment for the m-f’ing win. Damn, I was a kid content in my own head, for real. c) I was the only girl kid in my family, but at no point have I ever felt … like a girl, in this respect. I loved going in to the office with my dad. When I hear the wars waging about women in the workplace, and I feel in practice the discrimination, it’s all very real, but it never occurred to me I wouldn’t work. My dad used to say that he didn’t really like working weekends, but he did like being good at his job, and man if that doesn’t resonate me as an adult who works her share of weekends.

5. Stop being a pain

I think I was 17 when my dad told me “I’ll always love you, but I don’t always have to like you.”  That was a really great – and deserved – way to tell me to stop being a such a pain in the ass. Not only does every 17 year old need to hear that they’re not such a special snowflake that their behavior doesn’t matter, but it’s helped me think about how I want my current family to feel about me. I know they love me. I want them to like me. It makes a difference in how I act. And I think that’s important.

6. Family is a choice you make

My dad and his brothers are great at keeping touch. All them used to move around a lot for work, and within six months of every move, each brother had gone to visit the new place. They might not have always gotten along, they aren’t each other’s best friends, but they like each other, and they stayed involved with each other lives. Purposefully. My cousins and I are very close, and I think this is a lot of learned behavior from our dads. In 2006 my cousin Chloe graduated from college, and on a whim a bunch of us drove up and down the east coast to be at her graduation. We took over her dorm and turned her grad party into a family reunion of sorts. It was great. We had a blast. Family can be a choice you make.

I could- and should – write more. There’s a never a good stopping point when trying to express everything a parent has taught you. But for now, I’ll think I’ll fire up some Billy Joel and give my dad a call.

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Full Of Yourself

You know the point that Sarah Palin totally lost me? It was when she said “Oh, gosh, I never WANTED to be a governor, it just kind of happened for me. I was never that ambitious.” 

And with that, I was done. Just what I needed, a female talking head downplaying ambition, downplaying her accomplishments as luck and something that other people made possible for her. God forbid a woman with a national platform got up and said “Yeah, I always wanted to do important things, so I worked really hard, and check it out: I’m a governor, and now a Vice Presidential Candidate. I know, it’s pretty badass.” Because it is pretty badass. And imagine how great it would have been for a generation of both women and men to hear that, and to get the chance to nod along. Instead, we got “Oh, gosh, no, I would never admit to WANTING things.” Just like a good girl should.

I was thinking about this today as I read Hillary Clinton’s twitter bio.

Wife, mom, lawyer, women & kids advocate, FLOAR, FLOTUS, US Senator, SecState, author, dog owner, hair icon, pantsuit aficionado, glass ceiling cracker, TBD…

Well, actually, when I read Hillary Clinton’s twitter bio, I first thought was “I want to be as awesome as her when I grow up”, but then I heard it discussed and then dismissed as “Self-aggrandizing.”

“She thinks a lot of herself”, was said. 


Of my two choices — “Aw shucks, thanks guys for letting me play” or “I play the game, fairly awesomely” — I’m going to go with the second. Because maybe it is self-aggrandizing, but you know what: she’s earned it. Every single thing in that bio is true, and she should be absolutely proud of all of it, up to and including the pantsuit situation.

Because, man. If Hillary R Clinton can’t be proud of what she has accomplished, if Hillary R Clinton can’t get up and brag about having been a US Senator, Secretary of State, accomplished author and legitimate glass ceiling cracker, I just have no idea how the rest of us will ever gain traction. If doing all the above isn’t enough to give license to brag, I guess what they say is true: women really haven’t come that far after all.


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