Life of Late ~ 9.15.17

In all honesty I think this should sometimes be called “Sh*t Kaitlin Says.” For example there are times when what I say I think is smart, witty, and sometimes downright hilarious. Even if I am the only one who thinks this, smashing success. Just kidding. Sort of.  {FYI today is a bit of a sassy and sarcastic post so take it all with a grain of salt.}

Then there are times when it’s like “whoa please tell me you didn’t just say that?”  Last week at Questival? I really don’t think much of what came out of my mouth should be digested or recalled – nothing terrible but more or less “insert face palm emoji” and remind myself to filter.  What I really need to do is have a tattoo on my arm with the line from Hamilton where Burr advices Hamilton to “talk less, smile more”.

You could consider this like a “last night conversation hangover”. Similar to the reflection you have after maybe making some questionable decisions after a night of no sleep or a few fun drinks. Not that I’ve ever been there…I mean deciding to jump in the Santa Clara fountain multiple times senior year? Not sure why that seemed so amazing at the time. Maybe just Miss goody two shoes living on the edge.

So I apologize for what I said with little to no sleep.

Maybe it’s a fear of silence? But then that’s not entirely true because when you find a friend that can just sit with you in silence or walk somewhere without feeling the need to bring up every piece of small talk – that’s brilliant.

Anyways, last weekend I participated in an “Amazing Race” spinoff sort of deal called Questival.  This was created and hosted by Cotopaxi, a company that creates innovative outdoors equipment and experiences.  It also has a llama as its logo so that was a hook, line, and sinker for yours truly.  (note: no clue where I picked up this obsession with llamas and alpacas).  Meghan and I joined a team from November Project Los Angeles where she is a bi-monthly participant 😉 (her words not mine but you’re welcome Meghan).  I on the other hand am hoping to go a bit more frequently, of course pending my exhaustion from Tuesday night speed work.  And it seems I’ve moved off topic again.  Back to Questival!

Our team was a group of folks who may or may not have met one another.  I had only had met 2 of the other NP_LAX folks previously (including that morning) so it was similar to this last season’s Amazing Race where teammates were brand-spanking new to one another.

The kickoff “party” was held at the Los Angeles Historic State Park, an expansive new field with some lawn games (i.e. corn hole and mega Connect 4), food trucks, swag truck (where of course I got sidetracked at), and our included Cotopaxi swagpacks or backpacks.  Unfortunately there was false advertisement that Miguel the llama would be present but when I found out this was NOT an actual llama and instead just a costumed person, my disappointment lessened. Once we were at the venue we could start checking off pre-event challenges but had to wait until 7:30 until we could submit the main challenges.   When the clock turned 7:30, we were off and running like a pack of llamas.

On Friday teams took pictures by the Broad, grabbed dinner at Philippe’s, went through Olvera Street and I did a mini rendition of Guy Fieri’s Diners, Drive-Ins & Dive’s.  We split up for a bit to divide and conquer only to find out that EVERY SINGLE video must have the totem (flag) in it.  So, when the guys got back around 12:30, we re-filmed a few of the outstanding challenges that we had practiced.  Around 1:15/1:30a we called it quits and tried to rack up a few hours of sleep.  When our alarms went off at 4:30 I don’t think we were entirely ready to go (again, let’s re-review, I apologize for what may have been said while I was exhausted).

That morning we hiked in Griffith Park, attempted to see the sunrise but failed since it was foggy, Jonathan ate a beetle and we picked up a few bags of trash.  Crysti and I biked 8ish speedy miles along the LA River Trail and the guys made a few goofy videos at a local diner.  I think the best part of this team was that each of us carried a different skillset and were willing to jump in with a variety of tasks.  Eating a beetle?  Yeah, I would so NOT would have volunteered for that one.   We took a picture on the Hollywood walk of stars and wrapped up the event at the park underneath the Hollywood(land) sign by 7pm.  There really wasn’t an afterparty present and most folks were either ready for bed or to go out and hit the town.  You can probably guess which route I went.

Highlights from the day included Meghan walking around in an Olaf costume, dancing along the Venice boardwalk, tai chi on a nearby wall, and Nick eating a head of cauliflower while wearing a dino costume and getting the absolute best stares from Griffith Observatory tourists.  We also got to run through the Batman cave and spend some time in Venice Beach.  Towards the end of the day we visited the LACMA and I attempted to help complete the challenge “give a stranger flowers” by picking flowers off of a bush.  In retrospect that was not the best plan and it backfired twice.  Jonathan came it to save the day and made a new friend from Japan.

 

There were two other November Project teams running around town but it was our team that maintained our place in the top 10 throughout the entire 24 hours!  In the end we got 6th, which was a very valiant effort for a team that didn’t know one another and forgot the totem in a few too many videos.  I definitely think our team laughed more.

Would I do it again?  Oh most definitely.  In fact, I might make my own little version to help check off the murals and hikes that we didn’t get to the first time around!  Until then, carpe diem my friends.

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“Life is short.  Break the rules, forgive quickly…laugh uncontrollably and never regret anything that made you smile.” Mark Twain

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What’s Good LA?

Hello, it’s me.  A girl trying to call herself a blogger who is also now back to her base in California and not sure what to do about a weekly post.  That’s not entirely true as I always seem to have ideas bouncing around – I even have oodles of ideas for throwback NYC posts.  I simply just don’t know when to dedicate the time to write.  It might help if I didn’t scroll on my phone at night and instead drafted up a post or two but alas, I’m only human and still breaking into a routine.

It’s only been two weeks but I’m still smiling from the love that I received my last couple of weeks in NYC.  I saw my favorite people, ran my favorite routes, ate some fun foods, and just left on good terms, which is important to me.  A lot of people asked whether I would miss New York and if I was sad to be leaving.  Well, yes I was sad to leave but I was excited to create a new life, find myself in a new role and new job, and explore the west coast.  We cross paths with people and live in places that have a profound impact on our lives but nothing lasts forever.

^^ Going to miss all of these gals + more people unpictured.  Beyond grateful for the surprise picnic or surprise guests because let’s be honest, I’m very difficult to surprise.  Somehow I’m just naturally curious and figure things out.  But I did not know that friends like Ali would show up and it meant the world to me, especially since she hasn’t been feeling super hot 😦 . Also make note of her parting gift – a stuffed animal llama who together we named Ellie Fwelling.

So what’s been going on over the last couple of weeks? Driving, driving, running, and driving 😉 I really have no room to complain because that’s LA and I agreed to this situation. Plus, it’s sort of fun to create new routines and I’ve seen so much more of the landscape by taking side roads to and from the office.

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People love to talk about their commute.  I’ve just gravitated from the subway lingo to the freeways.  For example I used to take the L to the Q to NP and then A to the L home from work. Now I just use freeways and because I’m a Southern California gal, I put THE in front of every freeway name.  My commutes have varied every single day, twice a day but so far I’ve taken the 2 to the 110 to the 5 to the 10 and I’ve taken the side streets to the 110 to the 2.  Most mornings range around 70-90 minutes (sweet spot on 80-85) and unless I’m staying late (which may be the case), evening commutes are about the same.  Wednesday was skewed since I drove 20-30 minutes to November Project and then 15 to the gym and 45 to work.  The worst part of that one was that I couldn’t find an accessible coffee shop on my side of the street.  Every time I passed a Starbucks or Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, there was either no parking space or it was on the other side of the street.

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^^ Long run views along the coast in Santa Barbara.  I’m blessed to have family that live in such beautiful places and now that I’m back with access to a car, you’ll find me living it up by the water or the mountains.

Podcasts – Do you ever find yourself annoyed by some voices early in the morning?  See, I have a not so “sunshine and butterflies” attitude at times 😉 Anyways, I finally discovered Mike&Mike while living in NYC.  They host from 6a-9a EST and it was perfect for walking to the gym or even the occasional solo morning run.  Well, now I discovered that their podcast is available that same day and because it’s in podcast form, it has WAY fewer ads (condensing an hour show into 36 minutes).  Winning.

I’m going to be so sad when it ends in a couple of months 😦 . It seriously makes my morning commute enjoyable and I like to think I’m gaining retaining sports knowledge.

I did test out the TODAY SHOW on SiriusXM but unfortunately for them, they will not gain a loyal member since I cannot stand the reception cutting in and out every other sentence.   So, any suggested podcasts?  I’ve gotten “The Daily” and been recommended Headspace.  I have yet to actually download/purchase those but any tips would be greatly appreciated.  Something interesting and potentially educational?  Or just entertaining.

Social Media – I used to be WAY better about responding to people via text message.  It really only has been a week or so but I’m finding that it’s a work in progress.  Anyone who has messaged me and I haven’t responded in my timely fashion, my apologies.  I’m doing my best to commute close to 2-3 hours and that means no texting.

^^ Labor Day Weekend adventures on Mount Baldy.  I’m debating a full post (<< something I say a lot) but if you want the short and sweet version, it was a great hike but actually taking the right path would have been helpful.  It took us 5 moving hours to cover 9ish miles and we definitely got lost.  The picture on the right?  We were totally not supposed to be scaling down that but had already committed.  Yolo?

Blogging – I’ve gotten a few questions about blogging in the last week or so.  I’m not sure where I stand.  I love Instagram and I really don’t want to be on my computer outside of work hours.  It’s bad enough I still sit in front of a screen for 8 or so hours and then sit in the car for upwards of 3 hours a day.  But, I do have some fun thoughts for posts and maybe when I get my personal computer back on wifi (<< another problem) I’ll throw some up there.

This weekend I signed up for a 24 hour adventure race called Questival, brought to you by Cotopaxi, an adventure gear brand with the appropriate moto “Gear For Good”.  Even better and quite possibly how I became attracted to the brand in the first place is that their logo is a LLAMA!!!  Now don’t ask me why I’m obsessed with llamas because I have no clue.  They are just so darn funny and I’m sorry if we as a society mix up alpacas with llamas.  The entire animal group is a hoot.  (Shout out to everyone who has sent me funny llama pictures and clothing ideas with the llama logo. Special shoutout to Ali who gifted me Ellie Fwuelling).

But back to this festival thing.  It looks extremely cool – you and up to 5 other teammates adventure around your city completing challenges that could include anything adventurous to philanthropic.  My only hesitation is the sleep aspect since I 1) don’t function well on little sleep and 2) know little sleep will affect me beyond Saturday and instead into the next week.  Time to live a little and suck it up and have some fun (but of course be safe!  Cotopaxi will not send out any notifications between 1a-5a but I think my sister and I will be a little generous with those hours…say 11:30p-6a?)

Other than that, I’m getting into the swing of running, making my way at the November Project LAX Tribe, and hanging onto my sister’s running club.  I’m serious when I say hanging on because a large majority of those folks are speeeedy.  Maybe if I hang on long enough, I can PR 😉

Alright, that’s all for now but I hope to put together some posts about NYC, some of my favorite food spots as well as odds and ends from California.

“Do what you love and love what you do”

Where I Have Been

Oh hey there.  Looks like it’s been a hot minute since I’ve dropped in and I swore I would never be that person to just “check in” buuuuuut here I am.  Where have I been?  Location wise it’s stayed the same – New York/East Coast.  There was an itty bitty trip to California last weekend – my first in 6 months – but more on that later.  The point is that I haven’t been very present on the blog and I’m trying to work out what that means for me.  My job is one of the many million in the world that requires me at a desk underneath fluorescent lights.  While it’s a good environment, it means that I don’t always have the drive to come home and plop down to sit in front of another screen.  I know that I don’t have to apologize for not posting but it was really making me feel guilty.  So, this is me posting to tell myself it’s ok not to post all the time.  🙂

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Happy Centennial to the National Parks Service!

Hip hip hooray because it’s the National Parks Service BIRTHDAY!  Whether you realize it or not, national parks come in all shapes and sizes and today is the day that this grand organization turns a whooping 100 years old.  Growing up I was fortunate enough to spend time in the great outdoors from Mammoth Lakes to Yosemite and even Crystal Cove in Laguna Beach, all of which I greatly miss while living back east.

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Whirlwind Weekend in California

With a hop, skip, and a jump, I’m en route back to the good old New York City.  I spent a quick weekend at home, arriving late Friday.  It had been 4.5 months since I was last home but with only 72 hours to spare (if that) I couldn’t really make many plans.  That was fine by me and I instead focused on spending my time with the family and Mr. Bodie.  I did happen to squeeze in a quick coffee date with one of my best girlfriends from home since she too was in town!  She was prepping to go see Beyonce at the Rose Bowl and so we caught up over some Starbucks (obviously it’s my goal to stay hyper-caffeinated).

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^^ don’t we make a good duo?

Anyways, on Saturday afternoon, my sister Meghan graduated top of her class, from Claremont McKenna College.  We had the whole family drive in from their respective locations to celebrate and sat through a few endless speeches (as most graduations do have) 😉 I did enjoy listening to their commencement speaker – David Remnick, editor of the New Yorker.  He had some interesting things to say – somewhat political at times, but I felt that his speech could have been more concise.  Meghan and I later attended the Scripps College commencement where we listened to Madeleine Albright, who I thought did a much better job of getting her words of wisdom across.  Some of the key takeaways were:

  • Truth can be a blunt instrument, which can be helpful as well as dangerous
  • If we aren’t learning, we aren’t living >> there is a great divide between people who are willing to listen versus people who think they know it all
  • Instead of choosing to listen to people you agree with, or spend time with people who are similar to you, try to listen to those you don’t agree with or help expand your horizons >> it’s imperative to continue to learn
  • Make this new life an adventure

Good points right?

Later that evening it was family celebration time at Arroyo Chop House.  Oh.my.goodness.  Quite possibly the best family dinner out that we have had in some time.  Meghan and I were both greeted with little orchid arrangements (so I was totally in a wonderful mood and yes I took both home to hang dry in my room) for her graduation and my birthday.   We then proceeded to snack on their freshly made sourdough (noms) and put our orders in for dinner.  

My dad is a man with a classic order – caesar salad, steak (or split steak + fish) combo – medium, pommes frites and green beans, with a chocolate souffle for dessert.  The man has good taste but Meghan and I decided to go rogue and also order a truffle mac and cheese (which I proceeded to finish) and brussels sprouts w/ bacon. Our options for dessert were between the chocolate souffle and grand mariner.  We went with the former, but then my aunt told me she usually has the table order both.  Ah, now that is a clutch idea for the future!  Anyone care to take me on a date there? 😉

On Sunday morning, Meghan and I set out for my last long run before this weekend’s Brooklyn Half Marathon.  She was kind enough to keep my pace and we had a good time chatting our way down to the Rose Bowl.  The uphill terrain was not nearly as nice (actually struggle city), but landed us with a solid 9.2 miles for the morning.  As corny or weird as it sounds, my favorite feeling is post-run or post-workout where (sure things are a bit achey or sore) you feel invincible, strong, and accomplished. 

Looking forward to Brooklyn, this is one race where I really don’t have a time-goal in mind.  My training hasn’t been consistent and I’m just doing my best to stay healthy prior to NYC Marathon training.  Not going to lie, with less than 6 months to go (about 2 months until training begins), the nerves are starting to kick in.  Buuuuut we’ll keep that for another time.

The rest of the afternoon was spent fixing up the house, sewing up corn-hole bags (call me Martha Stewart), and prepping for the party.  We had most of the family out along with a number of Meghan’s cross country peeps.  All of her friends range in age and even across a couple of the other Claremont schools, so it’s always an eclectic bunch 🙂

IMG_7218^^ Catering by Los Gringos Locos for the win (guac by yours truly)

My favorite parts of the weekend had to be walking with my mom and dog, running with my sister around the Rose Bowl (but not enjoying the uphill on Killer Hill), and getting ready for the graduation party.  I would have liked to play golf with my Dad but time didn’t allow and so I’ll put that off for when I’m hopefully home during the holidays.  To say that leaving home was easy would be a lie.  No matter how many times I make the trip, the last day is always the toughest.  I don’t like goodbyes (it’s always always always see you later) and the day ends up being so damn long.  Trust me, I’m living it up in New York and love it but whenever I’m home, I start to question what I’m doing.  Should I be adventuring more, should I be in Southern California, should I be in a completely different type of job.  Adulting is tough.

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After a nice long chat with my mom, I put things in perspective.  My journey is unfolding just as it needs to.  Things work out in strange ways and with enough perseverance and drive, we make our life as we please.  For now, keep calm and carry on. 

“Everything will change when your desire to move on exceeds your desire to hold on” – Alan H Cohen

Life of Late ~ 1.8. 16

Welcome back to the grind!  Who is already sick of winter? Well, I guess it’s tough luck and we have to suck it up and be #weatherproof.  My chilly arrival into JFK on Tuesday morning was not exactly ideal.  Hm, -6F?  Please send me on a plane to Hawaii where I can braid hair, be a dolphin trainer, and somehow start and organization business.  #lifegoals.

But really, speaking of life goals, what are some of your dream jobs?  I’ve been brainstorming and there are so many elements of roles that I would love to do but can’t exactly pinpoint which role or company would be “the dream”.  So until then, we keep calm and carry on.

IMG_4319 ^^ Thought I would recap a little bit since I left you with just a recap of 2015.  NYE was uneventful to say the least – watching college football at home (aka a blowout) and then battling for the remote to watch CNN’s ball drop at 9pm (working on a east coast new year’s time).  Then it was into bed so Meghan and I could wake up and make it to NP_LAX >> the BEST way to start of a new year.

Of course Meghan was crushing it as she ran along with one of the former co-leaders Orrin and another speedy girl (I say speedy because she runs a 3:03 marathon…yep) and I don’t think the girl was all too pleased that Meghan could keep up.

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^^ Brunching on New Year’s Day.  A bunch of NP folks were headed to breakfast but Madre and Bodie were waiting back at home to watch the Rose Parade and we couldn’t bail last minute.  So, it was gourmet waffles made by the Megnan and photo by yours truly.  Yes, this might have been filtered but it looks good and tasted even better, so there.

IMG_4335^^ How about that Pasadena Spanish architecture??

I met up with a friend for a yoga class at the Valley Hunt Club and after 90 minutes of semi-torture (I really haven’t been stretching and it showed during class), we continued our outing at Corner Bakery, sitting and catching up for almost two hours!  It’s the absolute best feeling when you may not see friends for awhile but when you meet up, it’s like nothing ever changed.

Young and Rungry ~ “TOL – Body shaming, diets, and you do you” ~ Truth.  Even adore the part of the title >> “You do you”

Well + Good ~ “10 Foods for Happiness” ~ Because who doesn’t want to be happy? (slowly learning to like beets…)

Medium ~ “Stop Rushing Life” ~ Read again and again and again.

AdAge ~ “Super Bowl Top 50 Ad Countdown” ~ With February 7th right around the corner, AdAge took a look at some of the top creatives that have aired.  Boy, there are some brilliant minds out there!

Greatist ~ “Expectation Hangover” ~ Because I sometimes feel like every day has to be the best day ever and I always have to love everything that I do and that I have my dream job.  Spoiler, that’s setting yourself up for disappointment.  Instead, take things in stride and enjoy little accomplishments as well as the big ones.

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^^ One last meal before the Whole30 begins…emphasis on as much cheese as possible.  This was a lovely sister trip to Lemonade at the Americana in Glendale before we saw the movie Sisters.  I’d say it was funny but not exactly worth $15.  They definitely used all the funny scenes in the previews.  What we should have done was go and see Star Wars again.

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^^ Oh hey! It’s me!  A bunch of us went to intervals in the park prior to the holidays and we managed to make the NYRR homepage.  Anyone care for an autograph? 😉  But really in terms of running, I have a few races this year and while I’d love to set personal records, I am instead throwing out a goal to stay healthy, not get injured, and successfully finish the New York Marathon this November.  Running with my friends at November Project and intervals in Central Park or the track should help with speed, but hopefully this Whole30 trial will provide some assistance and insight into recovery as well.

Well, that’s all for now.  Look like it’s going to be a low key weekend with running (run cheer the NYRR 10K), yoga, food exploration, and Sunday’s warm rain (in the 60’s woohoo!).  Food prep is also a big priority since eating out in the cafeteria (despite being discounted) isn’t exactly budget friendly.

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(photo creds to Brian H. from NP)

What’s on tap for your weekend?  Do you usually relax or try to fill up your schedule?