Friday, April 18, 2014

I Believe We'll Be Okay

You all know this is going to be a Friday post, wrapping up the week and looking ahead to the weekend. I don't need to fill this space with some introductory blabber to prepare you, do I? Let's get right to it, I'm on deadline...

{as always, thanks to Cait for this #TGIF format}

The low of my week was learning the hard way that I really do need to take rest days more often than I thought. I was under some delusion that I could run five days straight — which I could when I was only going 1-2 miles at a time! — but I can't with the mileage I'm able {yay!} to do now. I've gotta embrace a good rest every three days.

This just felt like a good place to put this.

The high of my week was learning about today's surprise half day at work on Wednesday! We weren't expecting it, but because of the holiday, the bosses are letting us skadoodle at 1 today. Usually when we get a "surprise" half day before a holiday, we're informed by the boss walking into the offices around 2 p.m. with a "you guys can leave if you want." I'll be spending my afternoon at the DMV, but at least I don't have to do it tomorrow, so, yay.

Oh and high of the week #2: Finding this guy I had forgotten I'd saved on Reddit. CUE ALL THE AWWS.

He just wants to say hi and love you forever!
A link I loved this week was this brilliance from Nicole. Even if I weren't aspiring to be a marathoner on her level, I'd still be crazy about this blog. Though she's talking specifically about her training for the Boston Marathon {go girl!} in this post, I find that a lot of these are applicable to anyone in the running game. Especially #26 :)

My plans for the weekend include a bunch of errands, a run with my new running buddy and one with my big bro, FINALLY watching Frozen with my favorite gals {while sipping frozen cocktails, because of course #frozenparty}, and gathering with the family for the annual Ammirato Easter, egg hunt included.

To help me gear up for the next few fab days, I'm gonna #backthatazzup to this feel-good tune:


What are your plans for the weekend? Do you celebrate Easter? Can you beat the lunacy of a group of 20-29-year-old cousins darting through the yard hunting for Easter eggs filled with Jelly Beans that no one wants? :)


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

I'm It! || TMI Tag 2

If you stopped by yesterday, you probably won't be totally surprised by today's lack of a "real" post. Good thing the talented and gorgeous Emily tagged me in this TMI post recently, and I've still got plenty of answers left to share. Here are some more little things about little ol' me. {Here's Part 1 in case you missed it.}

Oh and, since I'mma be doing some confessing in the answers below, I thought this would be the perfect Wednesday to link up with the super awesome Kathy for Humpday Confessions.



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16: Favorite Quote?

You're crazy if you think I'm able to pick just one — I've filled countless journals over the years with quotes I want to remember. Here's one I strive to live by though:


17: Favorite actor?

I'm partial to the likes of Hugh Laurie, Jason Segal, and Christian Bale. And Jason Bateman.

18: Favorite color?

Red.

19: Loud music or soft?

Loud almost always, but soft when I'm writing or editing.

20: Where do you go when you're sad?

Like my gal Emily, I like to drive. Find some clear roads {as best I can here in North Jersey}, find the right tunes, and eventually clarity finds me. In a perfect world, that drive lands me on a quiet Jersey Shore beach at night. Perfect place to find my center.

21: How long does it take you to shower?

Base: 3 minutes.
Hair washing day: Add 2
Deep conditioning day: Add 4
Shaving day: Add 6
#girlproblems

22: How long does it take you to get ready in the morning?

I can be out the door in 20 minutes, but I like to take my time. I'll spend 4 hours getting ready if you give me all Saturday afternoon. That's when wine, blogging, looking at my butt in the mirror and checking Twitter and Instagram become key parts of the getting ready routine.

23: Ever been in a physical fight?

Yep. I'm a bad bitch, guys.

24: Turn on?

Make me laugh so hard my nose wiggles, care a lot about something, and it wouldn't hurt if you were a tattooed runner too. Also... shoulders.

25: Turn off?

I'll sound very high maintenance if I list out all the things I'm thinking as a response to this, so I'll just hope that "negativity" will be sufficient to generally capture the essence.

26: The reason I joined Youtube began blogging?

The first thousand times {going back to like, 2007, I do believe} were because I wanted to broaden my horizons beyond my hometown. Share my writing. Keep a readable log of my life. {My journals were so cringeworthy I couldn't even stand to review them.} Then I switched to purely blogging my creative writing, and I used the old alyssagoesbang as a sort of writing exercise room. And then I quit and rebooted it, which is what you're looking at now, and I talked a bit about why I did that here.

If I'm being very honest about why I'm doing what I'm doing right now in terms of blogging, it's simply because I love the sense of community and I had missed it. I have some lovely relationships with people I met through our blogs in the past, and coming out of the blogosphere put an end to the ability to reach out and connect with people who I wouldn't otherwise have met. Geography, schmeography. It's 2014. One of the coolest things about being alive and mature today is the ability to form connections with people all over the place. I've already done so with a handful of great people, and AGB2.0 has only existed for less than 2 months!

And if I'm being super duper honest, I will say that no, I don't strive to be blog famous. I probably won't ever make any moves to leverage this blog as an income stream. However, I am a writer, and even though I have a day job, that doesn't mean I'm not always looking for new working connections, freelance opportunities, the like. A lot of my prior work {before I started this job, where most of my work is licensed or in print only} was held online by a company that is now defunct, thus many of my writing samples are gone. You can't be a writer today without having writing to be found online. So let's say this blog is also acting sort of as my calling card. Theoretically.

That'll teach you to ever ask me a question again, huh? That's what I call an "Alyssa-length answer."

27: Fears?

Spiders, birds — although I have been getting better at managing this one — being buried alive/drowning {shudders}, and wasting opportunities.

28: Last thing that made you cry?

Okay, here's some real talk. Last Saturday I was cleaning my windows and I broke one when I pulled it into the room to clean the outside side and it wouldn't go back on its track correctly. I got it fixed, finally, after much Googling and swearing and hitting things with hammers, but I definitely cried somewhere in there. It was just so frustrating, took way longer than it should have, and I was JUST TRYING TO KEEP A CLEAN HOME, DAMMIT.

29: Last time you said you loved someone?

To my friends last night as we were leaving pub trivia {#TriviaTuesdayTradition}.

30: Meaning behind your YouTube blog name?

Oh man. All sorts of real talk happening today. Okay, when alyssagoesbang was first adopted as my Twitter handle way back in the way back, like 2008 way back, I think it had been taken from a song lyric. At this point, I honestly couldn't tell you.

And then when I launched the OLD alyssagoesbang blog, in 2010 or 11{?? I should really have kept better track :(} the reason I gave was that I wrote and posted my creative writing on it because I had these ideas just piling up in my mind and my fingertips and absolutely no place to put them, so I started the blog so I'd have a place to empty out my ideas so my head wouldn't explode and if I did explode, alyssa would go bang. Like explosion sounds. Except that was really stupid because explosions sound more like boom than bang.

I was honestly trying to find a justification for a name I picked simply for the fact that it could have been suggestive if I wanted people to think it was, in fact, suggestive. These days, it's not so suggestive. It's just my name on the Internet, and I'm too lazy to change it on all my social media sites.

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Sigh. I shouldn't be allowed to have a blog.

At least I make up for my faults with double doses of the Gos'. Y'all are welcome.
Arite, what do you have to confess this week? Spill your secrets or answer one of the questions I did!


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Choosing Optimism

Sometimes, I have to try really hard to be an optimist.

On some days — days full of sunshine, warm smiles from strangers, face-up pennies, and green lights — it's easier than easy. The world just seems and feels open to you, like a gift just for you, like it's telling you it's on your side. Conversations are effortless, the bumble bees keep a wide berth, you get your ice-to-coffee ratio just right. I love those days.

Then there are other days, where it seems like every doubt you've ever had about yourself, your life, your plan, your skills, your journey, crop up just to remind you that they're there, always waiting, just waiting to catch you in the briefest moment of darkness and threaten to consume you. They're waiting for you to be sidetracked for just one second. Waiting for you to let your guard down and remember that thing, that guy, that conversation, that nagging feeling that brings you to places of bleak uncertainty, fear, doubt.

I'm having a mix of these days right about now. Everything is lining up right, life is good, the plan is on track. But there are things in the back of my mind that, due to their nature of chaos and that they're unresolved, threaten to unravel me every now and then. I'll be sitting at my desk, working away, or scrolling through to see what my friends have to tweet or 'gram today, and BAM. Like a ton of bricks I'm hit with a reminder of something I try so carefully to keep banished to the dreary, nearly inaccessible depths of my mind.

But we can't unknow things we know. We can't unhear things we hear, unsee what we see, unfeel what we feel. So no matter how diligent we are in keeping those negative thoughts, those painful triggers, those threatening reminders in the back of our minds, you never know what song lyric, fleeting image, casual turn of phrase will slam into you like a sledgehammer, just because it can, and just because there's nothing you can do to stop it.

In those moments, on those days, being an optimist is hard. It's hard to think that a day will come that this all-consuming thing won't consume you anymore. That this person or place or feeling you miss or want so much will one day just be a thing that exists, and not a thing that matters to you anymore. It can be impossible to imagine a time where the greatest things on your mind today will one day be distant memories or, in many cases, gone from your memory altogether.

And then you remember that optimism is a choice. And that barring extremes, happiness is too.

And that eventually, no matter how long the winter, how high the snow, how fast the winds, spring will inevitably spring again.

///

Here's a haiku I wrote a couple of months ago. It somehow feels even more fitting now than it did when I first penned it back in January.

a bloom finds fresh air
beneath the blistering wind
winter springs new life

I'll be back tomorrow with something more blogworthy. Until then, have a sweet Tuesday.



Monday, April 14, 2014

I Take Dumb Photos

After beautiful weekends like the one we just had in NJ, Mondays are usually extra tough. I've just had two warm, sunny days, spent outside, with family and friends, welcoming spring and just feeling happy and free.

But today I'm still feeling happy and free, even though I'm typing this from my desk chair with a calendar full of deadlines right in front of me. We have the windows open, my officemate and I are in floral shirts, and we're having an office lunch of sushi to {belatedly} celebrate my birthday. As Mondays go, this one is pretty sweet.

Before I go attend to those deadlines, let's rap for a sec about this amazing list of blog post ideas Kay shared with us. I'm going right for number one and showing you some of the recent shots* I've taken with my trusty iPhone camera. Let's have some fun.

When M and I went to the Devils game last Monday, this is what the ladies room looked like — and yet there was still no wait. I guess only at an NHL game is 3 working ladies room stalls sufficient. The sight made us chuckle, which made us take pictures, which makes us really lame.

My officemate K and I have been really, really pumped for today's sushi lunch since we heard the news on Friday. She drew me a picture to celebrate.

And then I took a step back after taking the sushi picture picture and again chuckled to myself at the sight of our office. This is really the best representation of our typical workday: K and I looking at each others foreheads, drawing each other pictures & passing notes, and Bloglovin open on my computer. #breaktime

Remember that time I had a vegetable garden on my legs because sometimes running sucks? Those are peas on my left and broccoli on my right. #runnerproblems #whatsfordinner

8:27 p.m. 76 degrees. 8:27 p.m. 76 degrees. Life is finally worth living again. Hashtag dramatic.

*Kay asked that we not delete any shots, but I decided to skip the photos of other non-blog-aware friends' faces and ones that have already been shared on my Instagram. Gotta keep things fresh for y'all, ya know? 

Hope your Mondays are sweet and sunny. How was your weekend?


Friday, April 11, 2014

Favorite Things

So, remember how yesterday I said that 3:24 p.m. today me was going to hate rest-of-the-week me for procrastinating so bad? Well, turns out, it's 9 a.m. me who's ready to strangle past me, so we're gonna make this Friday wind-down a quickie. Because who doesn't love a quickie on Friday mornings?

Spreading the love around a little bit and linking up with Lauren Elizabeth today to talk about my five favorite things from this week:

1. On Monday I went to my first ever hockey game, and I told you all about it here. It was beyond fun, a great new experience, and I got to spend some time with one of my oldest friends who I don't get to see much of anymore. Success!


2. I had one of the most successful runs of my short running career this week. I didn't get my best ever time or run my longest ever distance, though I did come really close to both of those things. What was so great about this run, though, was that I almost didn't go. I had just come back from the chiropractor after a loooong day and was feeling lazy as hell. But I went, and I was feeling tired, and my knee was acting up, so I told myself that once I got to a certain mile mark I could stop and take a rest. And then I passed that mile mark and kept on running. I felt amazing. And then I DOUBLED that mile mark. And then I felt even better. And then I was in front of my apartment and could have kept going for another mile or two... but it was getting dark and I wasn't in reflective neon and I didn't want to kill myself, so I called it a night. A great night.

Anyone else love nighttime runs? 
3. I learned this week that THIS IS HAPPENING. And if you read this post way back when, you can probably figure out how freaky-outy I am over this BEST. NEWS. EVER.


4. I finally got 5 minutes to sit and breathe one night this week, and I used it to have some sweet prickly snuggs with my little man. 'Nuff said :)

Awk hog
5. The absolute highlight of the week, though, is that I FINALLY booked a long overdue {like, 4 years overdue} trip to see L, one of my best friends, in North Carolina! I've had NC on the mind since, I dunno, when I started fantasizing about moving there after I saw A Walk to Remember for some reason. Yet I've never been, and I've never been to L's new home to see her, and finally this shall all change in 21 days and I am simply overjoyed that I finally just bit the bullet, bought the plane ticket, and told L that I'll be seeing her soon. 21 DAYS!

Remember that time we laid across the NJ/PA border so we could be in 2 places at once?
{Hmm. Second reference to AWTR in this post. God I miss you, Shane West.}
Also, we need to take more pictures together because this is from maybe 2012 & one of the most
recent ones I have. Oh, the graininess. Oh, the poor phone pic quality. Sorry guys.


Coming up this weekend some friends and I are hitting a comedy club, I'll be getting some good running in to celebrate the springy weather and help reach #118forBoston, and heading down to my mom's on Sunday to get some laundry done spend some quality time with my mom and stepdad.


And now in true Friday fashion, I'm linking up with Whitney so we can all groove into the weekend on a high note. Gonna #backthatazzup to this one:
because just the other day I found myself looping it because, as I was debating with myself, is a running playlist really a running playlist if it doesn't consist almost entirely of songs with "run/running" in the title?


Enjoy, babes. I'll see ya's in a couple. Hope you have delightful weekends — what do you have planned?