Tuesday, September 25, 2012

What I'm Thinking About While I'm In Here

1. BRRRRR OMG  FREAKING FREEZING oh. ok now it's not so bad.

2. What is 100 divided by .95? How many 100's do I have to do to swim a mile? What do Olympic swimmers think about while they're swimming, and does it have something to do with animals? I think it'd be really crazy if you could say you had won an Olympic medal while thinking about animals. There's probably not a lot of other sports where you could do that. Now I'm thinking about koala bears, so does that mean I'm going to win a medal? Isn't that how the transitive property works? Maybe if you're a Democrat, heh heh.

3. My political humor is really getting good. I should tell Dad that joke. You know, the transitive property one.

4. Mr. Hairy in the lane next to me is slapping the water very forcefully as he swims and it's making me angry. There is pool etiquette, you know. Loud slapping is ON THE LIST.

5. Crap, I have no idea how many laps I've done so far. Let's try to gauge it by how hard I'm breathing. Ok, I've done 500988 billion laps. Damn, girl!

6. If I swallowed a moutful of water every time I swam a lap, would there be a noticeable difference in the water level when I got out of the pool in an hour? Am I curious enough to try it? The pros would be that I'd have a cool science story to share at parties, specifically where there are people who like science. The con would be that I'd swallow lots of chlorine and other people's sweat, and I'd probably ruin my appetite for fish tacos at Rubios after this. I'm officially not curious enough. Gosh, I'm so pragmatic. More people should be pragmatic like me.

7. Should I get rice and nachos or rice and beans at Rubios? Do you think lemonade is close enough to water for me to drink it and still be hydrated? That lady who was working at Rubios last time was funny, but she laughed a little too hard at her own jokes. There's a line, you know?

8. What if I do way too many laps and my arms bulk up like a bodybuilder and people start asking me for help lifting cars off of children and stuff? I'm a person too, ok guys? And stop putting your cars on all these children.

9. That flip turn was like, the worst flip turn in the history of flip turns. I turned way too early and didn't even touch the wall and then I had to swim backwards to hit the wall and then push off. I bet all those punks at swim practice over in lane 8 are laughing their little stupid butts off at how bad that flip turn was. They're like, 'what's up with that chick in Lane 3 with the bright yellow cap? Did you see that flip turn? It's almost like she has no idea how the transitive property works.' Well you know what, punks? I'm going to go home, eat cookies for dinner and watch Adult Swim until it's way past your bedtime, so suck on that. Plus I don't have to sit through Miss Featherbottom's math class tomorrow, SUCKAS!
10. If this chlorine chips my nail polish I'm going to be like, UGH. But then I'll tell everyone at work tomorrow MY NAIL POLISH IS CHIPPED BECAUSE I SWAM SO MANY LAPS YESTERDAY and then I'll be the Queen of Everybody.

11. Do you think that everyone who sees my swim cap, which says "ATHENS" on it in big letters, thinks that I swam in the Athens Olympics? If they do, they're probably confused by my snail-like pace, especially when it comes to backstroke, but maybe they just think I'm hustling them and I'm going to break out in lightening-fast speed one day. I don't know how that would benefit me though unless I had some financial interest in it. Maybe I could talk to all the moms out here when I'm done and bet them I could beat their little punk kid in a race? I'm going to file this idea for later when I haven't swallowed so much water.

12. Is there one specific moment where it goes from "Light" to "Dark" outside? Like, when I put my head down in the water to take a breath, can it change by the time I come up for air? Also, if I keep breathing on the right side, is my neck going to hurt later, and then my mom is going to give me another lecture about not letting stress get to me, but then I have to tell her it's not the stress that's making my neck hurt, it's breathing? I really don't want to have that conversation tonight though because I have a new episode of NCIS on my tivo.

13. If I splash around enough and act like I'm super slow and have trouble swimming in a straight line, maybe Mr. Speedo up there will get the hint and not ask to share lanes with me. (Now I am violating my own pool etiquette rules, and now I have to ponder why I value my own comfort above my principles, and now I feel like I don't deserve Rubios anymore but instead a lengthy conversation with a priest?)

14. I think I should be done soon.

15. It's been an hour and I'm starting to daydream about granola bars, so it's time to wash my hair and take the glorious walk out to my car with freshly showered skin and tired muscles and an open wallet. You know. For the Rubios.

Until Saturday, ya'll, happy swimming.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Anniversary 3

We went to Tucson this weekend to play Rich People for a few days and celebrate the fact that Aaron Michael picked me three years ago. 

We watched movies, ordered room service (OMG THE COOKIES), hung out by the pool and ate at the Westin La Paloma's swanky restaurant. AND we got massages. The view from our room was pretty gorgeous (see bottom right) but I think my view at dinner was even better. (wink wink flirt flirt. Seriously, though. What a hunk.)

We've taken that hand picture every year, starting with our honeymoon when we were sitting in an empty little cafe in Key West and admiring our new jewelry. It's getting fun to build up these memories - we've taken some awesome anniversary trips over these past three years.

Every year I pinch myself and thank God for being so smart. When I married AB 3 years ago I knew I loved him and that he was the bees knees, but there are so many things about him I didn't know then but that are such important attributes in a partner. He works hard, he is responsible, he cares about doing things right, he has integrity when it'd be easy not to... and every time he shows me one of these things I think - how smart am I? I didn't even KNOW how good your scrambled eggs were when I married you! Bonus!

Sometimes it's easy to get overwhelmed by things in my life that make me feel sad or worried or anxious, but it's a cold splash of water to realize that through everything, I have this smiley guy right next to me. He is the absolute best and I love him with my whole, entire heart. Here's to a million more, bud.

Friday, September 21, 2012

A Little Singy Song

I went diving into the black hole of Myspace this week to try to find this song upon the request of my coworker after I told her the over-romanticized version of my college days, surrounded by brick and ivy and coffee-shop songwriting sessions.

I love this song and am so happy these guys asked me to sing on it. It makes my heart feel like it's in Athens, just for a few minutes.

Happy Friday, dudes! Aaron and I are off to Tucson to celebrate our third anniversary by pretending to be rich for a few days at a swanky resort. I'll bring back some pictures and hopefully not a scorpion.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Dear Facebook Friend Pretending to be Uninterested in Politics

I know.

I know that when something becomes "cool" it's actually just becoming "uncool." When something gets talked about a lot, the quickest way to I'm-a-brooding-loner-and-you-want-me land is to act oblivious to it, or at least tell all of us lesser people why you find it boring or unimportant.

I am wondering though if you drive a car. Or if you like being alive and staying alive and not worrying about getting killed by bombs at Target or whatever your version of Target is because Target is a little too mainstream, you know? I am also wondering if you eat food, and when you do, if you choose what food it is that you eat, or if you just close your eyes and chew. Do you go to sleep without holding a knife and with both eyes closed? Do you have family members that you care about? (That one might be iffy but it's ok if you say no to a few of these.) If you got sick enough, do you prefer having a hospital available? If your house were burning down, do you prefer having a fire department available? Do you like the fact that other people are alive? Do you like watching Adult Swim? Do you like playing your guitar? Do you ever drive to another city and visit it and stay in a hotel or at a friend's house and then drive home, on roads? Do you wash your hair? Do you drink orange juice? Do you wear shirts and pants?

Then you have an interest in politics.



Monday, September 17, 2012

Marriage Exhibit B

(Maybe you remember Exhibit A)?

I mean, TOTAL SWOON, right? Aaron thought to himself, what is the quickest way to her heart....and he was not wrong, my friends. He was not wrong. (The fall colors! THE COLORS!)

In other unfocused news, do you know what song gets in my head like, multiple times a week? I seriously mean multiple. I'll wake up out of a dead sleep on like, some mundane Wednesday or something and here I am, humming this song. I haven't even watched this movie in YEARS, though I should remedy that, I'm thinking. Something about this melody. I like Middle Eastern music, I think.

You're welcome. (Can someone who is up on their Serendipity trivia tell me if that's actually Obi Wan in that video? If it is I'm really sad about it but I'm not sure why.)

How was the weekend, friendsies?

Friday, September 14, 2012


I saw Mutemath for the first time at the Alive Music Festival in Ohio back in - oh... I think 2004? You know, back when all I wore was T-shirts and all I was all angsty and stuff. I had no idea who they were and they didn't even have a full album out yet. They were performing on a side stage at like, noon, and maybe 4 people were watching if I may be generous. I remember hearing them play "Control" and saying - oh my. Yes. Yes to this. When they were finished their set, we all kind of looked at each other wide-eyed and wordless. Like, um, did you see that? Did anyone else see that?

I've seen them another few times since then and then I saw them last night again in Tempe - headlining their own tour and performing for a giant crowd. Kind of cool to see that evolution.

My point is that last night's show was possibly one of the best shows I've been to in my life. By the end my feet were killing me and I was sweating my butt off (like any good concert-dancer-with-beer-in-hand should) but I was BEGGING for it to not be over. They have a crazy electricity. They have absolutely MASTERED what they do. The music, the writing, the performing. They have no room to improve. That makes me feel inspired and alive and all that stuff, and I mean it. People still master things. Isn't that great?

Also, the opening band was called Civil Twilight and may be (are clearly attempting to be) this generation's Radiohead? Too soon?
Anyway the guy played his guitar for a while with a bow, and that was ok with me.

I mean, seriously. When was the last time music made you feel this way?

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Today: A Poem

Last night I got a mosquito bite
Well, several, in fact.
I was attacked by a horrible mosquito
Right there on my couch.

So I took some benedryl
Because I've been known to react
Get it? React?
And the benedryl made me very tired.

When I woke up today I was still tired
And Aaron took me to work
I slept during the car ride
And now I'm wearing a hoodie.

I want chicken soup
And a piece of chocolate
Well, two pieces of chocolate
And for everyone to stop asking me for things.

This has been our first edition of Today: A Poem.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Muscle Stretching

There are some things in life that we seem to have collectively decided are morally superior to other things, based on no discernable standard that anyone can actually articulate. You know what I mean? Like, sometimes when I finish reading a book - and I mean, any book; like I could have just read the most mind-numbing, silliest book you've ever heard of - but still I will think to myself, Oh Maria. You have just bettered yourself. You just read another book. You are better. Think of all those people just sitting around! Watching TV shows about wedding dresses! How deliciously pathetic are they! YOU JUST READ A BOOK. YOU DESERVE A MANI-PEDI AND PROBABLY SOME PEANUT BUTTER ON A SPOON.

You know what I mean?

And then Aaron will look at me longingly, and go... oh Ria. I wish I read more, like you.

And I say... I know, my darling. My sweet, xbox-playing darling. But we readers are a specific class of people. Not everyone can get in, Aaron. Not everyone can get in.

I don't really say that, but don't you think it's weird that somewhere along the line both AB and I have learned that for no explicit reason, reading books is morally superior?

I'm not saying books aren't good for learning and for vocabulary and expanding your horizons and all that. But I'm talking morally - like, way down in the very juices of our most unique souls - are we more valuable if we read? Are we worth more, as a person? Are we worth less if we don't?

I've always thought the same thing about exercise. I go to the gym three times a week. I run and spin and do other things that I just hate. And oh, do I think I am wonderful.

I think people might think I work out because I like it. There are things about it I do like - mostly, how I feel afterwards. And if I'm having a good day, energy-wise, I like how I feel during it too. But most of the time, I HATE IT. I HATE EVERY SECOND. Can you believe that?

If I spent 4-5 hours a week doing virtually any other thing that I absolutely HATED, you'd probably call me crazy. "Maria! Why in the world are you watching Keeping up with the Kardashians AGAIN?" You know, that sort of thing.

But you know what I do like about it? How much better than you I feel afterwards.

And you! You think I'm great. You think I'm super disciplined. Because you have the good sense to have a good dinner with your husband and watch NCIS instead of spending a grueling hour trying to avoid throwing up again in front of the men's locker room.

I think I'm great too. Because I read. And I work out.

A few months ago I started praying while I was running, and I started saying, listen. Get me off this. I don't want my only motivation for this to be that I think I'm better than people. Because where does that even come from? Please remove whatever moral importance I've attached to this very a-moral thing and let me be.

I was scared to pray that, because I figured He'd do it, and then I wasn't sure if I'd have any motivation to work out at all.

And then last week my doctor told me I couldn't run or spin for at least three months due to some muscle issues I've been having.

Like, no running or spin. For three months.

So who am I now, and how do I know whom I'm better than?

This is why we need Him, you know?

Sunday, September 9, 2012


Aaron: "What do you WANT?"

Maria: "I need you to treat me like a princess today."

Aaron: "Then I can't even lay my eyes on you, because I'm a peasant. I'm going to play xbox."

Friday, September 7, 2012

Happy Ominous Friday

This sky greeted me yesterday after work and also this morning. In fact, this morning, it was so cold (84 degrees only!) and rainy that I got myself Starbucks and they didn't even ASK if I wanted it iced or hot! (It's HOT coffee weather, ya'llsies!) (Cynics may chalk this up to bad customer service and/or the fact that the Starbucks was inside a Fry's grocery store and the one lady who was working there kind of looked like she had pajama bottoms on but was hoping you didn't notice, but to you I say, be quiet, I'm trying to have a moment, and also this is probably why you don't get invited to any parties.)

Anyway, this sky is happening.

If I were in Ohio, I'd say FRICK THIS, WHY IS IT ALWAYS LIKE THIS and I'd drown my sorrows in hush puppies in my basement or something and dream about where else I wish I lived.

It is such work being me.

*Also, why is there barbed wire in my work parking lot? And why is this picture the first time I noticed it?

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Dear Sad Lady With Red Hair

Dear Sad Lady With Red Hair,

The other day I was walking into the lunch room to read more Boleyn novel nonsense and you stopped me and said you liked my shoes, and then you looked forlornly toward the corner of the room, and you said, oh, I remember when I used to be young and dress cute.

And your voice made me very sad.

I think it made you sad too, because suddenly you frowned and walked away when normally we might have had a bit of a longer exchange of pleasantries.

First of all, I got my shoes at Stein Mart. Granted, they are fabulous, but I didn't raid some secret, black-lit, youth-only warehouse in New York City on Fashion Week or anything like that. If you had happened to go to Stein Mart on that Saturday with me, right after I ate that biscuit sandwich at the breakfast joint over on Scottsdale Road, you may have picked up the same pair, exclaimed "35 bucks!! Is it my birthday?!" and then walked back to your car a new woman, too. (And then texted your husband and said 'sorry in advance but I'm not telling you why.') My point is, these shoes aren't exclusive.

Secondly, I like your hair color. It isn't that weird, dull red that some gingers have, it's that fire-engine red, like Joanie on Mad Men. Joanie on Mad Men, no less! You're in the big leagues, red! Way to go!

Thirdly, I wish you wouldn't go on that crazy no-bread diet. No one likes a no-bread diet. And really, it can't be done. A few weeks after you've reached your "goal" you're going to have one cracker and gain it all back plus 10 pounds and a greater sense of injustice. Life is not meant to be lived in the absence of grilled cheese. If you want to get more fit, take a walk a few times a week and eat more broccoli. Otherwise, enjoy life, ok? Life includes your lunch break.

Fourthly, I bet you have a lot of people who love you. You say hi to me in the morning and it makes me feel better. You know, about it being morning. So add me to that list.

Fifthly, you can borrow my space heater whenever you want.

Please don't be sad. Being older than 25 surely has it's ups. Being 25 has it's downs, anyway. But overall, life is pretty good, right? I mean, major network TV series are about to start again; it's pumpkin-related food season, and we live in a world where this happens sometimes. Smile!


Maria, or that one girl with the shoes.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Camping Photo Essay

On Friday night, despite the threat of bear attacks,West Nile Virus, and/or becoming hippies, the courageous three of us decided it was more important to escape the one hundred million degrees of Phoenix (which have been well documented) and go camping in Prescott. Prescott is about two hours north of us and sits at a 6,000-feet elevation so the temperature when we got there around 7 pm was about 65 degrees and DELICIOUS and I wept for the beauty of it, or I made this face.

During the first night, Jethro woke up in the middle of the night and went absolutely bonkers over something outside the tent. I was convinced it was either a bear or the rapture, but it turned out to be a deer. At least that's what Aaron told me while he looked out with a flashlight and I buried my head in my sleeping bag and wondered who was going to read my journals when the police found them. Although, do police investigate the homes of people who die from bear attacks? I guess I'm not sure why they would, except it would make for great TV, especially if the bear had a vendetta or something. Moving right along.

On Saturday we hiked Thumb Butte. It even rained a little bit and after I yelled "WHO IS THROWING WATER AT ME" I remembered that sometimes when weather happens, rain comes down from the actual sky and makes the ground wet and stuff. Science. 

Then we went into town and the fair was happening again at the Courthouse. I suddenly realized I have never been to Prescott when there is not a fair happening at the Courthouse. What does this mean?


"OMG. OMG. OMG. Take my picture."

Then we saw this, and it's like, what's living if this doesn't happen every now and then, you know?