Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Weekly Reads: Friendship

Friendship is a book I heard about last summer that I thought would be a good light read. And I was right. When I finally got around to reading it, I really enjoyed it. It opens your eyes to friendships and how they ebb and flow with age and new life experiences.

My rating 3.5 stars.

Summary from goodreads:

A novel about two friends learning the difference between getting older and growing up

Bev Tunney and Amy Schein have been best friends for years; now, at thirty, they’re at a crossroads. Bev is a Midwestern striver still mourning a years-old romantic catastrophe. Amy is an East Coast princess whose luck and charm have too long allowed her to cruise through life. Bev is stuck in circumstances that would have barely passed for bohemian in her mid-twenties: temping, living with roommates, drowning in student-loan debt. Amy is still riding the tailwinds of her early success, but her habit of burning bridges is finally catching up to her. And now Bev is pregnant.

As Bev and Amy are dragged, kicking and screaming, into real adulthood, they have to face the possibility that growing up might mean growing apart.

Friendship, Emily Gould’s debut novel, traces the evolution of a friendship with humor and wry sympathy. Gould examines the relationship between two women who want to help each other but sometimes can’t help themselves; who want to make good decisions but sometimes fall prey to their own worst impulses; whose generous intentions are sometimes overwhelmed by petty concerns.

This is a novel about the way we speak and live today; about the ways we disappoint and betray one another. At once a meditation on the modern meaning of maturity and a timeless portrait of the underexamined bond that exists between friends, this exacting and truthful novel is a revelation.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Weekly Training Recap

Monday I had a holiday from work, so I took advantage of a lunch time yoga sculpt class. It was the hottest sculpt class ever, and I almost melted. But I'm starting to feel stronger, so Yay!

Tuesday I skipped the gym to hang out with Kyle, and Wednesday I had to miss a class because there wasn't enough time to do the class, take Ollie out, and make it to the movie theater for our last Oscar movie. Ahhh.
Thursday night I attended another yoga sculpt class. These classes are harder than mile repeats + tempo runs put together (this is Jeri speak for HARD). But I'm starting to see muscles in places I didn't know muscles existed, so YAY!

I got an email an hour before power vinyasa on Friday that I was into class off the waitlist and I let out an audible whoop! We had a great flow series. When I got home I set about making a super healthy dinner, and then Kyle walked in with Qdoba. Ha. Nomnom.

Sunday morning I went to a really awesome heart opening flow. It was the best way to start the day.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Becoming a Yogi

When I first started going to yoga classes regularly again, for the first time in probably four years, I made it clear to myself and anyone I'd have general chit chat with prior to class starting, that I was a runner who was coming to yoga to better myself as a runner.

Somewhere along the way, that has shifted.

I find myself scouring the yoga studio's class schedule and booking my classes weeks out to ensure I get a spot to my favorites. There's enough variety in classes that there is almost always something that fits my mood and daily level of fatigue. When the weather is nice, I'll look for a ~30 minute spot of time to head out for a run. No distance in mind. No pace locked in. No heart rate data to obsess over. Speaking of data, my garmin refused to charge for months, so often I had no idea how far or how fast I was going.

And it was freeing.

And maybe that's the yogi mindset: freedom, less rigid, jumping off the severely Type A train, with an emphasis on fun and enjoyment. Running to me is fun when I'm doing well at it; it makes all the hard work worthwhile. But dedicating myself to a sport only to get knocked down by injury again and again is not fun, and clearly something I've struggled with.

But I'll be lying if I said that I didn't hope and expect all of the increased strength and flexibility that I am gaining will benefit me as a runner. I have high hopes that when I get back to running consistently, I will be able to continue attending the yoga classes that I l-o-v-e and keep injuries at bay, and maybe, just maybe finally see some breakthrough progress in my running.

And if that doesn't happen, I'll be bummed. But it's not such a bad thing to be a yogi that runs for fun, right?

Friday, February 20, 2015

Oscar Predictions

I convinced a couple of co-workers to join me in purchasing a pass from the theater to attend all of the Oscar Best Picture nominated movies. We synced our watches and our schedules and were all set! Friday kicked off the event with a double feature: Birdman followed by Selma. Saturday we caught Grand Budapest Hotel and then Whiplash. Sunday was Imitation Game and Boyhood. Wednesday we saw Theory of Everything. Kyle and I went to American Sniper a couple of weeks before the movie marathon.

I used to love with Laura (aka the Angry Runner) used to post her Oscar predictions, and while I'm grossly underqualified, I'm going to make my predictions as well. I will go ahead and say that my book award predictions are significantly more accurate than movies.

Best Picture:  Birdman
My personal favorite: Theory of Everything

Leading Actor: Eddie Redmayne Theory of Everything

Supporting Actor: JK Simmons Whiplash

Leading Actress: Felicity Jones Theory of Everything

Supporting Actress: Patricia Arquette Boyhood

Cinematography: Birdman

Directing: Boyhood

Adapted Screenplay: American Sniper

Original Screenplay: Birdman

We're heading to the shorts this weekend, but I won't bore you with my picks for that.

Normally there are a few of the best picture nominees that I have to s-t-r-u-g-g-l-e to get through, but I truly enjoyed all of the nominees this year. Definitely worth a watch!

Who's your pick?

(The above DVDs are affiliate links so if you purchase them, I get a few pennies of the sale.)

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Weekly Reads: The Carnival at Bray

I checked out The Carnival at Bray from my library the Friday before the ALA Printz Award was announced, so I was pretty thrilled to have it in my possession once it was announce as a Printz Honor. I tend to stay away from historical fiction because it's just not my cup of tea, but this book was set in the 90s and for some reason that seems like just yesterday! This book was an amazing read that tugged on my heart strings and reminded me of the struggle of just being a teen and trying to grow up. Throw in family tragedy, and it becomes much much harder.

Great book.

My rating: 4.5 stars

Summary from goodreads:

It's 1993, and Generation X pulses to the beat of Kurt Cobain and the grunge movement. Sixteen-year-old Maggie Lynch is uprooted from big-city Chicago to a windswept town on the Irish Sea. Surviving on care packages of Spin magazine and Twizzlers from her rocker uncle Kevin, she wonders if she'll ever find her place in this new world. When first love and sudden death simultaneously strike, a naive but determined Maggie embarks on a forbidden pilgrimage that will take her to a seedy part of Dublin and on to a life- altering night in Rome to fulfill a dying wish. Through it all, Maggie discovers an untapped inner strength to do the most difficult but rewarding thing of all, live.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Weekly Training Recap

Awesome Monday morning  flow.

Tuesday morning I got up for 5:30am power vinyasa. I felt like absolute crap and was somewhat convinced that I was getting the flu. Blech.
Thursday night I went to yoga sculpt and there were only two people in the class. That made it so much harder. Oh my. We did ten pushups before every chaturanga. Woof. It hurt to text later in the night.

Saturday morning power vinyasa flow. It was good and tough and fueled by free delicious lattes for the gym's 1 year anniversary.
Sunday was a super hard power vinyasa class. So many lunges, so much plank word. Uff da.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Houston Trip Part 3

My last full day in Houston I pulled out my new tights that Jenn spotted on clearance at UO. WIN.
And then we headed off to the Saint Arnold Brewery for a tour and some beer sampling.
Beer selfies are the best kind of selfies.
Other than beer selfies with friends.
These doors are kind of amazing.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Weekly Reads: I'll Give You The Sun

I picked up I'll Give You the Sun because it started to show up on many Mock Printz lists. It took FOREVER to be added to my library, so I wasn't able to read it before my book club's Mock Printz, but when it came in for me on hold the Friday before the awards were announced, I knew I had to finish it before Monday morning at 8am in case it did, indeed, take the top honor.

Long story short, I stayed up until 2am finishing the book, openly weeping with happiness over such a beautiful book, immediately tweeted the author how much I loved it, and knew it had to win the Printz award.

Fast forward 54 hours and some odd minutes, and it was decided.

My rating: 5 stars.

Summary from goodreads:

Jude and her twin brother, Noah, are incredibly close. At thirteen, isolated Noah draws constantly and is falling in love with the charismatic boy next door, while daredevil Jude cliff-dives and wears red-red lipstick and does the talking for both of them. But three years later, Jude and Noah are barely speaking. Something has happened to wreck the twins in different and dramatic ways . . . until Jude meets a cocky, broken, beautiful boy, as well as someone else—an even more unpredictable new force in her life. The early years are Noah's story to tell. The later years are Jude's. What the twins don't realize is that they each have only half the story, and if they could just find their way back to one another, they’d have a chance to remake their world.

This radiant novel from the acclaimed, award-winning author of The Sky Is Everywhere will leave you breathless and teary and laughing—often all at once.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Weekly Training Recap

On Tuesday Emily and I met at the barre for a class heavy on the booty and core work.

Friday was so gorgeous out that Ollie and I got to take a nice long snowy walk together.
Friday night I attended a power vinyasa class with Emily.
Sunday morning I was signed up for a workshop yoga practice that focused on chakras. It inspired me to dive back into my books on chakras later that afternoon.

And the running store had a group run late in the afternoon. So I tagged along for a couple of miles in shorts!