Wednesday, August 29

Life, It's Busy

Last weekend Erik and I took a trip to NYC to visit three of his sisters that live in Queens. We had been to NYC 2 times prior and his sisters were bugging us to visit again, the only problem was that Thursday I came down with some sort of virus that left me miserable.

Apparently the whole, sore throat, body aches, running nose and high fever is going around town and I was lucky enough to catch it. After a fever of 102.5 Thursday night I was able to bring it back down so that I could go to work on Friday because Friday night I had big plans. Matt Nathanson was playing at the NYS fair and since I live about 10 minutes from it I had to go. It was the fifth time I've seen him live and this time I went with my mom and met my old roommate and her sister there.

At least Hannah brought a picture to prove we were actually there. Luckily I was able to have a continuous flow of Morton in my system to keep my fever at the sweat-wicking material sometimes comes in handy outside of a workout.

 I've actually started inviting Hannah to all the concerts I go to just so I can quality pictures.
When the concert was over I dropped my mom off with my dad and then headed down to Erik's. I arrived around midnight and was starting to actually look forward to the city trip. I had pretty laid back plans for the city: visit the Intrepid museum (Erik had been wanting to go for a while), visit a bakery or two, see the Guggenheim and walk the Highline at night.
Of course things never really go according to plan and I am still trying to work on being able to just go with the flow of the given situation. Truth be told I failed at this miserably. The Intrepid left us both unimpressed and since it ate up alot of time we ended up ditching our Manhattan plans for a late brunch (3PM is NOT brunch). Followed by a unimpressive brunch where the only vegetarian option was eggs and a spinach filled croissant I was starting to get alittle annoyed.
Erik and I called it a early night after a torturous dinner (think wet salad and a unripe avocado with just oil as the dressing) I mentioned that I wouldn't mind leaving the city earlier than planned.
Luckily I woke up the next morning in a better mood and after breakfast and a trip to IKEA I was actually enjoying the trip. Before we left Erik and I had our first Thai experience with two of his sisters that was quite enjoyable and we were just happy we were able to salvage the weekend.
Monday I had Tysabri scheduled so I ducked out of work early and headed over to Rochester. Tysabri was actually pretty eventful since the couple that sat next to me (the woman was getting infused and her boyfriend tagged along) got into a heated argument after the boyfriend found a text from another guy on her phone. I started getting nervous when the guy started pacing the room (it was just me in there with them) and started saying "just because we are in the hospital doesn't mean I won't f- you up." Yeah, that was grand. Luckily when my nurse noticed what was going on she pretended that my infusion was over and moved me to another room and I think security was brought in to assess the sitution.
After Tyrabri I had a MRI (I get 2 a year on Tysabri) but since it was in the same hospital they left in my IV. I also added a second hospital bracelet in addition to my infusion one and as I walked around the hospital I was asked various times if I was lost or as one security guard said "I would think you were escaping but you just look so aren't escaping...right?"
I was able to meet up with my best friend afterwards for dinner and some shopping which was a added bonus since I don't get to see her all that often. By the time I got home it was well beyond 11 and I crashed pretty hard. My cold/virus has been sticking around so I am hoping with a few days of more low-key activity is will clear out of my system.
I know this post is getting long but there is just one more pretty exciting piece of news in my life...I signed my first apartment lease last night! More on that to come soon!

Tuesday, August 21

A Day At The Races

Sunday was Erik's first mountain biking race. He had been training hard and was looking forward to having a really good race. He was riding up a category for this race (Cat 2 - single speed) because that was the only open single speed category aside from Cat 1/Pro level. The Cat 3's took to the course first, with about a hour separating the races. Cat 3's were completing 1 - 8.5 mile lap and Cat 2's were completing 2. It had rained the night before and the course was a bit wet, but mostly we heard that it was a fast ride. It was mostly single track with fire roads connecting sections and really the only room for spectators was near the start/finish. I had walked a bit of the course but the mix of bugs and lack of seating that didn't involve sharing space with ants was limited so I spent most of my time near the entrance to the woods.
Beginning of the race.

The race was a bit confusing from a spectator point of view because I had assumed all single speeds would be grouped together for the start but actually they were grouped with another age group of geared bikes. When I saw Erik leading a group of riders with derailors I thought maybe he was in the wrong group - but I guess they just grouped certain categories together. 

During the time in between laps I kind of wished I had brought something to sit on and maybe a book because my only entertainment was a kid who had rode the previous race and spent about 30 minutes after puking. 

I wandered a bit down the trail and was able to snap this shot of Erik at the beginning of his second lap.

By this time he was in 3rd place and looking strong. The other riders were just ahead of him and I knew if he road hard he would be able to catch them.
Erik finishing the race- I know my photography skills are killer.
After he crossed the finish line he continued down the fire road and then made his way back up to the finish line. He was riding side-by-side with another rider and since I was able to keep track of the single speed bikes finishing I knew he was in 4th place. I walked towards Erik's direction and he was just standing to the side looking a bit dazed. I asked him how the race was and I noticed he was bleeding from the side of his face, knees and forearm so I figured he took a tumble. Our conversation then continues like this:

Erik: Where am I?
Steph: um...what?
Erik: Where are we?
Steph: Why are you asking that?
Erik: What are we doing here?
Steph: You just raced...
Erik: I need water, do you have water?
Steph: said you had plenty in your CamelBak for before and after the race so we didn't bring any.
Erik: (He then dumps water over his head which he NEVER does from his CamelBak)
Steph: What happened?
Erik: I need to sit, where are the chairs?
Steph: We didn't bring chairs...lets sit in the grass.
Erik: Where are we?

So at this point in my head I am freaking out and I call my mom who is a RN because I know obviously he must have hit his head. The whole time he keeps asking where we are, what we are doing here and who are all the people around us. I tell my mom what is going on and she agrees that he definitely needs a Cat scan and medical attention. There was a group of emergency personal near us so I figured I would have them check him out quickly and then I would drive him to the nearest hospital. They continue to quiz Erik who knows nothing, he barely knows who he is or what day it is while I get directions to the hospital. They had wanted to take him themselves but Erik was fighting it and I knew if I took him personally he would go. We were able to get a ride down to my car and we headed to the ER (about 10 minutes away). During this time I started quizzing Erik on everything and anything  I could think we got here, what we did yesterday, what he does for work, the names of his siblings, coworkers, friends. At this point he was barely remembering a thing and it was one of the most frightening moments ever. He seemed so calm and like himself yet he couldn't tell you anything.

When we arrived at the ER we filled out a sheet that told the triage nurse your reason for being there. All that Erik writes is that he has "some memory loss" so I advise  him to put "head injury" and we were quickly seen and he was taken into the trauma area where he was put in a neck collar as a precaution. The whole drive over he kept trying to stretch his neck and crack it and I would yell at him each time to stop until he got checked out. 

Post neck brace removal - happy as a clam - just has no idea what happened.
Luckily everyone at the ER was great and he was quickly assessed. After a CT scan of his head, face, and neck and a 3 hour mandatory waiting period he was released. During the 3 hour wait his memory started coming back and the answers he didn't know in the car ride he could quickly answer again. 

He still doesn't remember the race or anything up to the ER but it could be worse, alot worse. 

I guess this is my PSA...always wear your helmet folks...seriously. I couldn't image what would have been the outcome if he hadn't been wearing one.

Monday, August 13

That Time I Hiked A Mountain

This past weekend Erik and I disconnected from the world of technology and work and headed north to the Adirondacks.

Erik was excited for a Jeep show taking place on the way up in Saratoga Springs and I was excited for the wine and fancy cheese in the cooler that had been packed for Saturday night. After just over two hours of driving we reached the Jeep Show, or what was supposed to be a Jeep Show. Actually, we pulled into a Jeep dealership and awkwardly drove around a bit confused. Erik headed inside in hopes that maybe we had the wrong address and maybe this was the address of a sponsor but in actuality the show was Sunday and it was most certainly Saturday. 

So with that we headed up to our campsite early to check in and head for a swim. Our campsite lacked the Adirondack feeling since it was situated directly in front of a swamp. It was barely the afternoon and the mosquito's were out and biting. There was thunder rumbling in the distance and after a long walk to the beach we realized that there were no lifeguards. Thunder = closed beach (surprise, surprise). This is the second camping experience I've had and both times we have had less than stellar neighbors. I referred to our neighbors as tent city (really 4 large tents for 2 couples and 3 small children - two toddlers and a infant. Plus they had a tent for dining, lounging and chopping wood and everything was covered with tarps too). The best part about these neighbors besides their tent city was the fact that they enjoyed playing their music so loudly for everyone to enjoy. My personal favorite was the explicit rap mixed with heavy metal, especially a song whose lyrics consisted almost solely of "die b***h, die." 

We eventually constructed campfire flat bread pizzas for dinner and s'mores and then decided to head out for a walk around the campground to work off some dinner because we were in the beginning stages of a food comatose. About a mile into our walk the distant thunder quickly turned into a complete downpour. We ran back to our tent but by the time we arrived we were completely soaked and ended up just standing in the rain to avoid getting the jeep and our tent soaked too.

You are probably wondering were the photographic evidence of this all is - the camera was in the tent and the inside of the tent got wet...and so did the camera. 

While the majority of our stuff got rather wet thanks to someone (definitely not me) leaving the tent somewhat open we were able to scrounge up some dry clothes for the night. At least we had wine and cheese to make up for the day.

Sunday morning we were up early, to dry off our hiking shoes and clothes because they were soaked, and headed out to a hike we had planned the week before (Crane Mountain). 

After drying off over a vent in the Jeep we had a working camera again!
Fun fact - I have never hiked a mountain before this.

After driving up a steep road we made our way to the start point and started our hike. The path quickly changed from dirt and rocks to full on big rocks. 
This was fun...after I got over the initial I'm going to die panic
Oh and Erik likes to climb rocks but since he had the camera tucked in his bag during his climbs we had to stage his shot elsewhere.

We made sure to stop along the way and follow some of the "herd" paths that lead to some pretty cool views too.
It's hard to get a picture with your faces and the scenery
Finally after climbing a rather large ladder (yeah, not frightening at all) we reached the top of the mountain and were greeted with a very large crowd of people. I guess I never pictured reaching the top of a mountain and seeing a large group of people there too. So instead of awkwardly standing with the crowd we made our way to a quiet ledge overlooking the view and had lunch in the peace and quiet. That was probably one of my favorite lunch spots ever. 

Luckily after lunch the crowds disappeared and we were able to snag a picture from the top.

Downpour - no hairdryer = amazing hair day
And then a man with a baby on his back took this picture because apparently people feel bad for you after watching you try to get the perfect shot, you know trying to get one with a nice ratio of face to scenery view. (We actually didn't even realize he was there watching or else we would have asked). 

Hiking pants are so very flattering.
I was pretty happy with the hike until I realized there was no gondola ride down or anything.
I don't see the rescue plane..."Erik where is plane??"
Fact: I cried on the way down but in all fairness it's because I fell...I would show you the bruise but it's somewhere that is definitely not blog appropriate.

But yeah, the hike down did trashed my legs. I was quite excited when we finally reached the Jeep again but that excitement quickly faded when Erik realized our front brake line had a hole which meant no front brakes. It was a very long drive home.

So the thing about old standard jeeps is that the brake lines are not connected and do not share the same brake fluid reserve which is great because you can limp home on just your back set super cautiously of course. Plus the no cell phone service did not and being on a mountain side did not allow for any calls to AAA. It's times like these I'm glad Erik knows things about cars because I was in a full we are most definitely going to die OMG mode.

Thursday, August 9

Confessions Of An Overworked Employee

I haven't worn a completely clean outfit to work in just about over a week. Laundry has taken a backseat and the pile of clothes on my floor more than sufficient enough proof of this. Thank goodness it's totally acceptable to wear jeans to work on a daily basis. Are you judging me? Don't worry I at least have clean undies.

I think about putting a out of office message up and hiding under my desk at least 5 times a day.

I have contemplated building a door on my cube. Do you have a cubicle...don't you just wish sometimes you had a door?

I dream about work and by dream I mean I usually have nightmares that I forgot to meet some absurd deadline and wake up in a sweat. Does that at least count as a workout?

My workouts have become a time where I almost completely zone out. The past two days I have found myself on my bike riding around one circular street (.9 miles in length) for about 20 minutes before I realized what I was doing. Every lap got a little bit faster but I'm sure the people outside their houses watching thought I had issues.

I will text my best friend simply to say "I quit" multiple times a day. For some reason it makes me feel better that if I choose to I could just quit...but lets be real...9 times out of 10 I really like my job. Currently though not so much.

My bladder hurts by the end of the day because even though I know I need to pee I will hold it for hours because I'm always in the middle of something. Totally not TMI or weird or anything...

I've thought about this post every day since's now Thursday and no, I didn't have to just look at my calendar to figure out what day it really was.

Monday, August 6

The Chronicles of Renting

Over the past two weeks I've made numerous phone calls and sent more than a normal amount of emails. Both these things had one recurring theme - renting an apartment.

Now since paying off my student loans I've kinda decided that the whole living at home when I'm 24 thing has gotten a bit old. Don't get me wrong though, I've kinda really loved living at home the past two years and I've grown accustomed to coming home and having people to vent to. However, I've kind of hit that point where I'm really craving my own space and realistically it's more than  time to move on and start the next chapter of things.

This apartment search has been everything but rainbows and fact it's been pretty awful. While my budget would allow me to afford some pretty nice digs, the thrifty side of me won't allow it. I can't justify paying half my salary in rent when in reality I can get a modest apartment and actually save money for more exciting things (i.e. travel, bikes and fun). Honestly my idea of apartment searching was me sifting through some ads, highlighting the ones that caught my eye and then making a appointment to see them. I envisioned myself being able to view numerous places before picking one. The truth is even though I've made the calls and emails and the follow-up (I swear I'm not stalking) calls, I've received 0 calls back and 1 email. The one email was actually the apartment I was most excited to see and when I got the response last week of "I'm actually not sure if I'll be renting it out again at this time" I kind of felt defeated. I mean, why list a apartment if you don't want to rent.

I was actually convinced and still am that I am not getting called back because I sound young. To prove this I enlisted Erik in a demonstration proving this. I called 5 apartments and left messages with each. Erik called those same 5 apartments and left the same/very similar message with all five as well. I received 0 calls back while Erik received 4.

Last night I found myself a tad bit upset with the current prospects but this morning I decided that maybe I need to increase my search from the two small towns I had my eye on. These two towns I originally choose because it was out of the "city" and I could bike from my apartment and not be afraid for my life. I know you know what I am talking about, those parts of town where you always make sure your doors are locked and you kind of avoid eye contact...yeah biking there doesn't sound fun. Since I am more than willing to have a longer commute to get a area I can bike around I started looking at places 30 miles away this morning. As I was writing down contact info to make some lunch time calls I noticed my phone was ringing (it's on silent at work) and I decided to answer the mystery number. Low and behold it was that apartment I mentioned above from the email, sure enough it's move in ready and she wants to know if I am still interested.

I have an appointment tonight at 7.

It's always funny how when you reach the point of frustration that things will eventually reach a breaking point and then eventually things just seem right again.