Saturday, September 20, 2014

Seahawks, My Sister's Wedding, and California Updates

Hi!

It's  been a while. I'm writing this from the deck (!!!) of my apartment in Orange County. Currently, Sourabh and I are sleeping on a cheap mattress on the floor because our furniture has not yet arrived from NYC. But our furniture arrives Monday and I start work the Monday after that, so we'll finally be able to get settled!

It's been a whirlwind month. I basically had Labor Day weekend to say goodbye to friends before Sourabh and I flew to Seattle for my sister's wedding.


Seahawks Season Opener

We managed to squeeze in the NFL season opener, Seahawks vs Packers, which was AMAZING. We couldn't afford Super Bowl tickets so it was great to be at the first home game for the Seahawks.

That's Marshawn Lynch (AKA Beast Mode, AKA Skittles). He kept pacing around like a total diva. I love him.

SUPER BOWL CHAMPS!!!

I think I've successfully converted Sourabh into a Seahawks fan... also, yes, my shirt says Legion of Boom. It is awesome.

Priyanka's Wedding

After the game, it was full-on wedding mode through Sunday. My sister and her fiance husband, Jason, put together a really beautiful celebration. It was wonderful to meet more of his family and so great to see many of my relatives that I haven't seen in years!


The newly-minted husband and wife!
(My uncle officiated and gave a really lovely speech.)

Jason was feeling good pre-wedding, Sourabh was skeptical, and I was ... hungry? a ghost?
Adorbs.

Sisters <3

Also adorbs. 

I was told I had to make jokes. I tried. And failed.

My godmother!

Gettin' down.
Sourabh wanted attention. 


It was a beautiful day and I am so happy for Priyanka and Jason! They're such a beautiful, sweet couple. 



California Updates

The day after the wedding, Sourabh flew to Orange County with Mason and my dad and I flew to New York to pick up the cats and oversee the movers. So in two days we flew the length of the country twice. #jetsetting

Shortly after, we got a car! I've loved MINI Coopers for a while and am SO excited about this one. It gets great gas mileage, has some pretty sweet pick-up, and there is no missing it in the parking lot. I'm in love.


Last Thursday, I had a friend from NYC visiting the SoCal area, so we headed to Joshua Tree National Park. It was a weekday and close to sunset, so the park was really empty, and the silence in the stark, empty desert was incredible. I hope to go back soon and get more of a chance to climb the rocks and explore!

The eponymous Joshua Tree.

Mason was not a fan.

Where's Waldo the MINI?


Running (?)

I actually went for a run this morning! It's been a while since I've been getting in any kind of consistent mileage. I ran in Washington and did a good bye tour of Central Park, but I haven't been running regularly other than some cardio at the gym. I'm a person who thrives on having things scheduled, and the lack of a schedule the past two months has been a bit rough for my running. So I'm looking forward to getting settled here and setting up a schedule.

One thing that sucks about not running that much is that you don't make any forward progress and, instead, you tend to get slower. I enjoy an easy run to clear my head, but I also love the whole working-hard-toward-a-goal aspect of running, and I'm eager to get back to focused run training. I'm hoping that by the end of this year I can be back where I was fitness-wise at the time of the 2014 NYC Half, and maybe even make some progress. We'll see!

There are two early 2015 half marathons that I have my eye on (including Surf City, which looks pretty awesome -- it's almost entirely on the Pacific Coast Highway). I want to use the next two months to build up a solid base and then start training. So hopefully this will be back to being a running blog in the near future!


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

California Here we Come

BIG. NEWS.

Sourabh and I are moving....


... to Orange County, CA! Thank you, Phantom Planet, for writing a song that so perfectly encapsulates my move.

This might seem like it comes out of nowhere, but for a while now, California has been in the works for Sourabh and me.  I've missed the West Coast and Sourabh has an awesome firm he'll be working at when he graduates. NYC doesn't have the kind of work Sourabh wants to do as a lawyer and I've honestly grown to dislike the city. I need wide open spaces (<--- yes that's a link to the Dixie Chicks song on YouTube). I miss mountains and hiking and being able to get away from everything in a short drive.

Also, I think we're more attractive in California. Honestly that's why we're leaving.

So when I found a position at a firm that seemed like the perfect fit for what I want in my career, it was too good to pass up. The timing is sooner than expected, but it's just one fewer Thanksgiving I spend away from my family! (I have only been home for two of the past eight Thanksgivings. Sad face.)

Orange County!

Of course, it's not all sunkissed beaches and Insta-filtered happiness.


Changing up my entire life is freaking me out a bit. But I know this is the right direction for both of us, and I am so excited it's happening. And thankfully, I already have a buddy out there in SoCal, forging the NYC/NJ-turned-Californian trail for me!


I hope to blog more with all kinds of Californian adventures, but in the mean time, thanks for hanging out here, and to all the amazing people I have met in NYC ... you have turned a place that I don't always like very much into a city that I will always reflect fondly upon. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I might not miss the city very much but I will certainly miss the people!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Updates on Life and Stuff

Well hello there.

It's been quite a while since I've posted. It seemed like whenever I had some time to write, I wasn't really motivated to put fingers to keyboard, but when I had ideas for things I wanted to write, work was crazy. Which, to be honest, has been a lot of the past few weeks. I had a massive corporate reorganization I was working on that finally closed on July 1, another deal started heating up almost immediately after, and then I rotated groups (as you do as a first year at my firm) and am in capital markets. Whew.

I've kind of loved the craziness, though! Not when it means I have to miss special events, but keeping busy means that I don't have time to miss Sourabh while he's in LA. Between work, fitting in workouts and trying to see friends on the weekends, these 15 weeks apart have been flying by. But they can't end soon enough!

So, what has been distracting me, other than work (and of course, my awesome NYC friends)?

Uplift

I've gotten a wee bit obsessed with Uplift Studios. I always loved it, but since I'm not going out to dinner frequently with Sourabh right now -- I've actually been cooking quick dinners for myself pretty often! -- I feel like I can justify the cost more. Plus, when I take a summer associate to a class, I can get reimbursed! So, Uplift has been my "thing" this summer.

Not Uplift but taken as I walked home from Uplift...
Since my work hours are so unpredictable I tend not to make weeknight plans, and because Sourabh isn't home when I do get back on weekdays, if I don't go to Uplift, I typically see only my work colleagues all day. And I like those people! However... a break from work people can't hurt, right?

Uplift feels like my Cheers bar. You know, "the place where everyone knows your name"? I love walking in to "hi Jen" and chatting with the instructors and front desk managers. Not to mention the classes kick me in the ass every. single. time. For the first five minutes, I always think to myself, "why are you doing this again?" Then I get into it, push myself, and leave sweaty and happy.

I've been really lucky in that, so far, I've been able to work from home from 6:30/7 AM till 9:30 AM then head to work, which makes it possible for me to take a break from work in the evening and take a 7:30 class now and then before diving back in to the fray that is corporate law. Since my favorite Uplift instructors teach in the evenings, this works out perfectly! (In case you're wondering, my personal faves are Liz B, Tara, Chelsea, Michelle and Kat -- I love Shannon as well, but she never teaches when I can go!)


July 4 Weekend

I'm kind of the worst at taking pictures, especially of food, but Sourabh and I had a pretty great spread of fitness and food over the long weekend. We had lunch at ABC Cocina (chipotle chicken tacos were one of the highlights), got Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream from the pop up in Gotham West Market (INSANELY good ice cream, guys, you need to drop everything and go get a scoop), and ate our way through Smorgasburg like Godzilla tearing through San Francisco/Tokyo/every city he destroys. The highlight at Smorgasburg? Definitely the Thai iced tea popsicle. So good!

On the fitness front, Sourabh tried Flywheel for the first time with me and we also took a stand up paddle boarding lesson with Shannon at the Manhattan Kayak Company. Yes, that's Shannon


I loved stand up paddle boarding. I was completely petrified when I first got on the board. It seemed so shaky and I thought I'd never have the courage to get up on my feet. But when I did? The adrenaline rush was invigorating and the focus I had to use to keep myself balanced meant the whole hour was incredibly meditative. Or as meditative as you can be paddle boarding on the Hudson with tourists looking down at you from the U.S.S. Intrepid. Our big goal was not to fall into the Hudson and we succeeded!

I highly recommend Shannon and the Manhattan Kayak Company. A private lesson was $60 per person for the hour and the instruction we received was stellar -- we did SUP again in Orange County this past weekend and were kind of just tossed out on the boards. It worked out fine but I felt much more confident having more instruction and stellar guidance from Shannon.


Visits to California


Sourabh's firm hosts two amazing events during the summer. One is strictly for summer associates and one is for the whole firm. Since significant others are invited, I got to tag along for free! Who can say no to three day weekends on Catalina Island and at a Ritz Carlton in Orange County? So, once in June and once in July, I've taken a Friday off to fly out there. Thankfully work allowed me to get away both times since I was slightly panicky I'd miss out on seeing Sourabh and enjoying the weekends. Ask my office mate, I might have nearly started crying when I got staffed to something that was originally supposed to sign over the July weekend. But, thanks to the Corporate gods that be, nothing ever signs on its original timeline, and I was saved!


During the June weekend on Catalina Island, we went zip lining, hiked up around the cove that the tiny town of Avalon is situated around, drove a golf cart into the hills and around town and played mini golf.


How gorgeous is Catalina???


In Orange County, we went stand up paddle boarding, hiked seven miles in the Laguna Beach hills, took a few moonlit walks on the beach (#soromantic), played tennis (or rather, I tried to swing at a tennis ball -- I have absolutely no tennis ability), and enjoyed all the other firm-coordinated activities.


I hate that I only get a couple days here and there with Sourabh this summer, but his firm's events have made those visits to CA really special and fun. Plus, I've been able to meet the rest of his summer class and other attorneys at his firm, all of whom have been great to get to know.

I may be ever so slightly, just the tiniest bit missing this...


Training for... Things

Haha so about that whole training for a race thing. While I've been working out a lot, consistent race training has not happened in any way shape or form. Generally my mileage has hovered between, oh, 5-10 miles a week. Sometimes less. Considering that I was training for a marathon this time last year, those numbers are shocking, I know.

But I'm actually very happy with the fitness place I'm in right now. I decided that I wanted my summer priority to be on fun workouts, not on dragging myself out of bed to run.


I enjoy running so much more now when it's a spontaneous early AM run with a friend on the High Line or joining in for a few miles with a marathon-training friend. I do want to get back to training (when temperatures/humidity drop...), but for now, I'm really enjoying this relaxed summer.



It's so nice that I can take a bike ride up to the Little Red Lighthouse under the George Washington Bridge with Theodora instead of forcing myself to run long when I don't feel like it. When I do get back to race training, I think I'll be reinvigorated and ready to grind. (I hope!)

And with that, I think I'll close. Or rather, with this collage of Mason trying to get comfortable one morning, because life is hard: