Saturday, October 28, 2006

The Update!

The Job
It’s nice to have structure again. Sleeping late and lounging in sunspots and watching CSI reruns while the rest of the world was in meetings was nice, but I don’t do well when I’m not overscheduled.

The company I’m working for specializes in the flavor of direct marketing I’ve always been extremely good at, so I was able to breeze in on the first day and start being productive right away. My first project is with an interesting client, and my team is both talented and enthusiastic, so I have to say I’m pretty happy where I landed.

As an added bonus, the companies I’d interviewed with who dragged their heels have started calling me to schedule followup interviews and to actually make offers, and I get to 1) gently (ever so gently) scold them for being slow and inefficient and 2) bask in the glow of being in demand. I’m happy enough where I am that it would take an awfully compelling compensation package and/or client base to make me uproot for an 11th-hour offer—but I might change jobs if I got an offer from someone with bigger bathrooms. Seriously: Our bathroom is no bigger than what you’d find in a nice private home, except we’ve packed ours with two toilet stalls and a urinal. I dread the day I share that room when I’m feeling a little noisy. The embarrassment will haunt me for decades.

The Condo
The developer of my new place finally got its act together, signed my contract and hooked me up with its designer, with whom the boyfriend and I spent two very gay hours last weekend picking cabinets and countertops and tiles and carpets. First revelation: I have very expensive tastes. Second revelation: Marble countertops in both bathrooms equals five weeks of welfare checks. Third revelation: I deserve marble countertops in my bathrooms.

Picking all that stuff can be a little overwhelming, though, and when it was all done, I’d discovered I’d ended up decorating the whole place in basically the same colors, textures and materials. Which isn’t such a bad thing, I guess. And I can always use paint and knickknacks to give each room its own personality. Thank goodness I’ve invested heavily in knickknacks.

The down side: My September 1 delivery is now somewhere in the nebulous world of December. The boyfriend thinks it might even be in January, but I don’t want to think about that. The friends I’m staying with are gracious and welcoming and their house is beyond lovely (and cozy on cold mornings) and it’s actually been really fun living with roommates for the first time since college. But I miss walking around naked and leaving cereal bowls in the living room and peeing with the door open. And I miss my own knickknacks.

The Marathon
Well, at least it didn’t rain. Last Sunday was cold—not kill-me-now cold, but extremely, uncomfortably cold—and the temperature set the tone for my worst marathon ever. In a nutshell: I finished in 4:53:40, over half an hour slower than last year. I hit my wall around mile 18, instead of mile 22, where I usually start to feel like crap. My knees also blew out around mile 18, and for eight excruciating miles, they hurt worse than Rush Limbaugh’s conscience on Don’t Be A Drug-Addled Divorce Junkie Who Makes Fun Of People With Crippling Diseases Day. But Fearless Leader Matthew was also hurting on the same mileage schedule, and one way or another we spurred each other on and crossed the finish line together. And I technically beat him by one second, which makes me the victorious winner and him a big girlie-man loser.

On the plus side, I ended up really liking the cheap headband, gloves and sweatshirt I bought with the intention of throwing them away once my body warmed up. So I got to keep them—though they’re gonna cut a good $20 out of my marble-countertops-in-the-bathroom budget.

But I have pictures!

Here is most of my team before the race, our knees and dignity still intact and our bodies reasonably warm in the AIDS Marathon tent:

The crowd before the marathon starts is DENSE. Thankfully I was able to bring a photographer and enough hair and makeup people into the throng to take a picture that makes me look both small-nosed and non-chipmunk-cheeked:

Fearless Leader Matthew and I were the picture of happiness and enthusiasm as we crossed the LaSalle bridge somewhere around mile 4. Notice how my spiffy new sweatshirt allowed me to stay warm and yet be unzipped enough to display my marathon bib and number. These are the same useful features I’ll probably look for when I’m shopping for garments to wear when the boyfriend finally puts me in the Home For Aged Bloggers With Shattered Marathon Dreams:

I think this is mile 15. Or maybe it’s mile 17. In any case, I’m showing it here because it makes my quads look really pumped:

Here I am blurrily approaching my mom at mile 16. I do not look even remotely gay:

Just across the finish line. NOT doing well:

Notice how my spiffy new sweatshirt can be zipped AND hooded. I can’t imagine what these fashion designers will think of next:

Fearless Leader Matthew probably would want me to point out that he was wearing some kind of tummy pack filled with drugs and marathon snacks under his running togs. Please do not think he has problems with portion control:

Back in the AIDS Marathon tent. Those medals may be shiny, but they don’t provide a lick of warmth:

I had foolishly agreed to run a tap audition at 4:00 after the marathon. Here I am at 2:00 forced by mutinous knees to descend a staircase backward on my way home to clean up before the audition. Which is further proof that people who run marathons don’t have an ounce of common sense:

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