Friendship

Today featured an opportunity to see Broadway Under the Stars with Ashley and her family, who were visiting. The event featured performances from the stars of Broadway’s Beautiful, Head Over Heels, The Band Visit, Ruben and Clay Christmas Show.

 

Sometimes I get surprised by the realization that I’m living in New York City and this kind of talent is always in my backyard.

It was also great to see Ashley. We book-swapped again and now I’m on to reading Anne of the Island. Reading through the whole Green Gables series has been such food for my soul. While walking to Columbus Circle I saw someone who looked just like Anne, and she was wearing a Nova Scotia sweatshirt!! Coincidence?!

Picked up some after-show croissants near Lincoln Center and headed home. Going out is fun… coming home to hubby is better.

Broken Stairs and Budgets

How do I break up my day, you ask?

Stairs, my friends. Stairs.

IMG_7897
Alas, unlike TRADITIONAL STAIRS, these machines break. For today’s workout, I moved to the rowing machine.

I’ve been on a stairs kick. I like to see how long I can last before total exhaustion, and I like to read while I step (–got that Anne of Green Gables addiction–).  Then I chase it with an upper body session on the assisted pull-up / dip machine.

David and I are having a great debate about Planet Fitness, and fitness more generally. You see, the PF gym is right across the street from us. I would like David to join PF. David would not like to join because he says the chain is prejudiced. A New York Times article from 2006 summarized the issue:

Planet Fitness bills itself as “The Judgment Free Zone.” But in the weeks since Mr. Argibay was booted, a number of members have accused the gym of judging with extreme prejudice, saying the club humiliates members whose physiques are too chiseled and who take their workouts too seriously. And the incident has raised other imponderable questions.

Where do you stand on gym grunting?

Personally, I am happy to keep my grunts at a minimum for a rate of $10/month, $0.05 down, no commitment. (And a $42/annual fee, but that’s in the fine print and who reads the fine print?)

The New York City winter is beginning and that’s my best angle in the will-David-become-a-PF-member debacle.

To David’s credit, he completes a good number of apartment workouts. He keeps a black Patagonia backpack stuffed with cushions and a 45lb kettle bell. He does a variety of exercises with that (squats, presses, etc).

I tell David in a message that:

Signing you up for Planet Fitness is really about me. I am more motivated to have a kickass workout when you’re there.

And that’s true. Besides, you get over the awful purple and yellow branding after a little while. And the place makes for good people watching.

David says I don’t listen to him when we workout together. I explain that it’s because I always saw him in the friend-partner role, not the trainer role.

Ah, relationship fun. But you know what they say: couples who sweat together, stay together.


On a separate note and not entirely unrelated to buying David a gym membership, I want to:

A) Check-in on my finances and budgeting
and,
B) Get better at giving people gifts

Doing A always helps me feel better about doing B, especially when costs money. Any tips for becoming a better gift-giver?

(We are fast-approaching the season of giving.)



Alert! David is writing a guest post tomorrow! Look for it. Who knows? Maybe there will even be some wife-o-meter data…

Dataaaaa & Day Recap

husbo-halfway

Plans:

  • Upload data file at the end of the 100 days
  • Create hyperlinked index of posts from each week

Highlights from the day:

  • Morning phone retrieval mission in the Bronx with the hubby (for Anya)
  • Relaxing late morning – early afternoon (cuddling and cold pizza from Bleecker St.)
  • Novel drafting, squats and late lunch
  • Bike ride along the Harlem River Greenway
  • Picnic, book swap and quality girl-time with Ashley
  • Night ride home
  • Exercise time with David (yoga and weights)
  • Writing sprint with Pauline and Allison

VoteLibraries

Inside look at my political action work with EveryLibrary:

At EveryLibrary, we know that over 90% of public library funding comes from the will of local voters and politicians. That’s why EveryLibrary is launching Vote Libraries 2018 – a national marketing campaign designed to reach more Americans who believe in the power of libraries and encourage them to pledge to vote for libraries and politicians who support libraries. That’s why, prior to the November elections, we’re asking you to take the Pledge to Vote for Libraries:

Sign the pledge to vote YES in support of U.S. libraries!

In dozens of communities, library funding is on the ballot. Across the country, election day choices will set the direction for local, state, and national library funding. Your vote this November matters to the future of library funding. So please join us to celebrate Vote Libraries month this October. Take a stand and help reach other supporters by adding a banner to your profile pictures on social media. Then let people know why you’re supporting libraries this election season using the #votelibraries hashtag. You can download any of 100+ free #votelibraries images from our Flickr account to help encourage people to sign the pledge for libraries.

Vote Libraries 2018 is needed because we have to defend one of our nation’s last strongholds for democracy and learning. As the first and only national organization that fights for libraries at the local level EveryLibrary has a long track record of success. As a national PAC for libraries, we have supported dozens of libraries on Election Days. We fight against campaigns to close or defund school and public libraries. Over the last 6 years we’ve helped 84 libraries on their election days and we have 14 more on the ballot this November. We’ve helped libraries secure over $1.6 billion dollars in stable tax funding so they can continue to provide services to their communities.

This year, we know that libraries will be a crucial part of Election Day in November. We estimate that there will be over 75 libraries in small towns and big cities across the country who are asking voters for support. There are also thousands of local elections for town boards, county commissioners, and city councils who make local decisions about library funding. And, of course, there are hundreds of state and federal elections for political leaders that will be responsible for making decisions about library funding.

You can help us fund this national campaign by making a one time donation of $25-$50 or help us continue this work year round by starting a $1, $3, or $5 monthly donation. Everyone who makes a contribution to this campaign will receive an “I Love My Library” bumper sticker!

A donation of $25-$50 supports national Vote Libraries Month!

Your Friends in the Fight to Support Libraries,

Samantha Mairson, Political Action Intern
Patrick “PC” Sweeney, Political Director
John Chrastka, Executive Director


Meanwhile in the land of marriage, David pulls decent husbometer numbers. He coaches me through drafting an important email. I think back on my day and one moment really sticks out. I reconnected with a friend that I met at Middlebury-Monterrey Language Academy (Spanish camp), in the summer after tenth grade. We got big salads, fancy drinks (mint lemonade!) and chocolate cake at a cafe in Chelsea.

Other quick notes:

  • Wedding photos posted to Facebook
  • Social media scheduling for VoteLibraries (via Hootsuite)
  • Facebook’s ability to reconnect people that would have lost touch
  • Homeless man / philosopher king selling cold water bottles on the uptown 1 train
  • Current read: For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemmingway (…I’m at the part where El Sordo is trapped on the hill by cavalry and the planes are flying overhead).

Unwell

Actual footage of me today? Where has my energy gone?

I choose a wedding photo for this post. As I settle on a photo from the circle dance at our reception, I wonder how all our people are doing.

David plays League of Legends beside me. “Really laid my body on the line that game,” he says, coming out of a defeat.

No big events today. Nice cuddle moments, some small accomplishments, nursing my health. Energy levels are way below average. I’m growing excited for an upcoming yet unplanned trip to California. I’m worried about pest problems in the apartment.

Husbometer is making a rebound today. Some observations:

  • overall data clustering around an average of .6
  • only 2 data points falling below .5

Thinking about data… I would like to take advantage of my Lynda.com access while I’m still a graduate student at Syracuse. There are so many skills still to gain…

Time to do my (100) pre-bed squats. Will this stay a ritual? Here’s the squatting soundtrack (also on theme for today):

 

The Little Red Lighthouse and the Big Gray Bridge

The Little Red Lighthouse

GUYS! Did you know you can have a children’s book read to you on YouTube? Does life get any better? Does it‽

I can’t remember how I first heard about this lighthouse, but I wanted to visit it. I also meant to check out this book from the library.

Today was gorgeous weather. Summer is turning into autumn. The days are crisp.

David moved my car from a Monday to Tuesday parking spot while I waited with our bikes. I was angry to learn that I got a $65 ticket for having an outdated insurance sticker. We had to decode the ticket because it got strangely plastered to my windshield by rain. David led the way to Inwood Park, where we hoped to play lacrosse. I believe we took “the greenway along the Hudson”. We passed a lot of tennis, volleyball and basketball courts.

I’ve been living in the city since the beginning of July so, around 3 months. I’m still learning to find my way around. There’s a lot of little treasures.

En route to the bike path, we cut through a parade that was singing about Christ in Spanish.

Unfortunately, we never made it to our destination. We got turned around at the GW bridge, where the bike-way was closed.

The turnaround, however, caused us to encounter the little red lighthouse!

It was fat and red and jolly And VERY, VERY proud.

I was delighted. It turns out there is an annual festival to celebrate the lighthouse and it was yesterday. Next year, I would like to go.

IMG_7552

IMG_7555
That’s me!

David attempted to find another route to Inwood when we found ourselves in the middle of a Medieval Faire at Fort Tyron Park! It was also my first time at that park. It was beautiful, if crowded. It was fun to see all the costumed people. David hates crowds. He patiently waited along a shaded walkway near the New Leaf restaurant while I fetched food from vendors. For $19, I got two big risotto balls (one mushroom, one pesto), a mexican-greek salad mezcla, and a Gatorade.

The bike ride featured an ideal mix of wind, sunshine, and physicality. City riding requires great attentiveness. We had a dangerous highway moment. I was following David when we ended up on what felt like a freeway on and off ramp. It was crowded with cars.

We came home to our roommate’s mom. I enjoyed her company while making tortilla chips.

David and I watched the Giants play the Saints. We rounded out the night writing thank you cards, nomming pasta with homemade sauce, gaming and blogging.

The day was sprinkled with playtime, for which you’ll note the husbometer is once again climbing.

Atta boy, David.

Husbometer_sexpeak

Gravity and apples.
Gotta be able to have fun together.
Lady Enjoying a Nap by John Brighenti

Werkk

HUSBOMETER

Dates Average of Score Average of Score
Week 1 Week 1 0.62
9/16/2018 0.66 Week 2 0.59
9/17/2018 0.64 Grand Total 0.61
9/18/2018 0.72
9/19/2018 0.61
9/20/2018 0.60
9/21/2018 0.57
9/22/2018 0.56
Week 2
9/23/2018 0.60
9/24/2018 0.58
9/25/2018 0.58
9/26/2018 0.62
Grand Total 0.61

David reads The Screwtape Letters aloud beside me. It’s been a busy day. I want to blog about my work.

Tom arrives with late night gifts. The room explodes with expensive computer components and my weird mood.

The boys chill for a little while. I feed Tom an egg sandwich and he trades work stories about Joe the superintendent.

 

Interesting Development

I would also like to document the phenomenon where you feel unexpected glee at finding a familiar face in the wilds of New York City. While walking home from re-parking the car this morning, I was greeted by the program director for our local community garden.  I held a leftover hydrangea and grass bouquet from the wedding, which I retrieved from the car. I spaced out while passing the empty corner storefront, wondering what might go well there, when Tim said, “Hi”!

“Glad to see you!” I said.

My neighborhood is starting to feel more neighborhood-y.

On an altogether different note, I need to set some intentional perimeters around privacy when it comes to daily blogging. I’ve started to do some research:

A conflict arose today which I want to – but am not yet at liberty to – discuss.

The husbometer is steady.

 

Elephants being loving

Photos and Risotto

9.24.2018 10:47 PM
New York City apartment
[I don’t think the default metadata is working on the blog.]

I’m having more fun with photos tonight than writing. I’ve been digging into the archives. I went looking for photos of Zach.

It’s been an emotional day. Looking back over the whole thing, I have a very clear realization:

Waking up next to David is the best.

I hope I still get feelings like that – moments of appreciation – when we’ve made it deep into the future.

Today had me thinking about deep into the future. Nothing is guaranteed.

On my commute to work (-it was good to be back-), Kristin messaged me. I learned about the sudden death of a friend and former coworker from UConn Outdoors, Zach. Last week he’s congratulating me on my wedding, this week he’s gone.


I also found this photo of my grandparents. I lost my grandma this month last year, and my grandpa in the following spring.

IMG_3210.JPG

Grief is a strange thing. Grief. Is that the right word to describe it?

dsc_0059-2.jpg

On a different note, David got extra communication points on the husbometer today. He came to me about messaging with his former long term girlfriend.

That conversation was preceded by a team-cooked dinner, David cleaning the kitchen, and a boosterino from the internet guy (ethernet speeds now up to 430mbps). We gave the Spectrum guy a beer and a small batch of risotto.

David says there’s two schools of thought when it comes to making risotto:

There’s the people who believe you need to babysit it the whole time, like 45 minutes stirring it. OR – you “just put everything in like rice pilaf”.

(He says there’s two schools of thought, and he’s in the latter… but really, we spent 45 minutes babysitting the risotto.)

Here’s the lazy man’s version of the family recipe:

  1. Pre-slice your vegetables. Because you’re smarter than the cook that wrote this.
  2. Brown the uncooked risotto rice in butter. For a medium-normal sized pan, that’s like 2 tbsp of butter. Take your time with those grains. Low heat and lots of love is where it’s at (where “lots of love” means attentive, well-paced stirring – with intervals of rest for browning).
  3. Is it scrumptiously golden? Ay? Good work. Now it’s time to add your (WARM-ROOM TEMP) white wine ration. We did about half a water bottle’s worth.
  4. Now let that wine evaporate and get some vegetables cooking in another pan. You’ll add those to the finished risotto later. Bonus points if the veggies are from your garden, or your family’s garden. (We gave our veggies a little water to prevent from sticking, and then later added a little oil. Not sure what this method of cooking is called.) Take care of it until the risotto is done.
  5. Hungry yet? Too bad. Let that bad boy cook. Start adding (warm-room temp) broth to the risotto once the wine has evaporated. Keep doing this gradually as it evaporates off or gets absorbed. The rice will start to poof. You will be stirring and adding broth for a little while, so feel free to crank some jams and chill. How much broth will you add? I’m not entirely sure, but David seems to be of the disposition that there is never enough broth for the recipe. So best have a lot on hand. Like at least a carton’s worth.
  6. Eventually you will taste the risotto to see if it’s done. You won’t know what done tastes like, so you will ask your husband. He will ask you if it tastes crunchy and you will respond indecisively and use that as an excuse to try another bite. You will tell him “kinda”. And he will tell you it’s ready and try a bite for himself.

Voila! Ingredients: risotto rice, butter, (room temp) white wine, vegetables, (room temp) veggie broth. Random water and oil, also.


Post edited 9.25.2018 to exclude some parenthetical commentary of the scorched earth tone, paragraph 8.

Fitness

Husbometer continues! The first week of data is complete. David helped me set up the Excel table for the weekly average. We reviewed the data together. He talks about macros, “click z” and CPM calculations. He spins off into marketing land.

“I just had a really good idea,” he says.

He massages my foot. I feel lucky. He tells me about work processes. It doesn’t take long before we’re discussing how the government takes our money. He does a maneuver we call the “vice grip of pleasure”. I negotiate to give him more points in the “little things” category in exchange for more foot massage.

We’re getting back into our routine-rhythm of city life. I went to the gym and did laundry at the same time. I learned the important lessons of…

  • why not to do laundry on Sunday (crowded)
  • why to wrap up blog drafting so I can play with my husband (byeeee)
Week 1 0.62
Week 2 0.60
Overall Average 0.62