Feel the Burn- Day 1

I’ve been awake since about 3:30 a.m. this morning.

My alarm was set for 4:10, but a thunderstorm awoke me a bit before that. I tried to go back to sleep, but between the storm, my cat sensing I was awake (and therefore could feed him if I would just get my ass out of bed) and beginning his morning game of booping my nose and knocking things over, and a healthy dose of anxiety over a new routine, I basically just squeezed my eyes shut in denial until the alarm went off.

Today I began a 6-week unlimited class trial at Burn Boot Camp in Monona. It’s a flat fee for unlimited 45-minute boot camp class workouts. It’s nice because you can pick from a number of different time slots, and it’s really just 45 minutes and you’re done.

However — since my friend Emily convinced me to do this, and we want to do it together, we have to go to the 5 a.m. class in order to go together at least some days so she has time to get to work. (Unlike me, who rolls into the office 5-10 min late on the reg after 8, she is a physical therapist with patients and gets going at like 7 a.m. or something crazy.)

It wasn’t so bad, really. Today. When I was awake anyway. We’ll see as the weeks go on. But I did enjoy coming home after and having allllll this time to get ready for work, versus my normal rush. Plus, time to stretch, have coffee and a banana and watch the morning news. I could get used to that, I think.

That hair, tho.

The class itself was a little chaotic. It was super crowded, being the first day, and so it was hard to hear or see what we were supposed to be doing at our stations, so I just kind of winged it. I’m REALLY out of shape. Other than swimming laps every now and then, I haven’t been doing SHIT for awhile now. I get winded walking a mile. It’s kind of sad. So while it’d be great to shed some pounds and tone up a bit, my goal here really is just to feel better. To be able to walk and bike and hike and do things without feeling like a tub of lard.

With that, I’m also giving up drinking during the week. It sort of goes hand in hand with the workouts because in order to get a good night’s sleep and be able to get up so early, alcohol is not my friend.

But, I’m still me. I’m not suddenly becoming this workout crazed, non drinking, bedtime at 8 p.m. person. It’s only for 6 weeks! (I keep telling myself.)

The changes I am making are doable, and they are things I can continue after this initial period. Maybe not getting up at 4 a.m., but the whole regular workout routine, earlier to bed earlier to rise, cutting back on alcohol thing.

And, as always, I can make my own rules. While yesterday was a Monday, it was also a holiday, so I thought about drinking. We went to a friend’s house for tacos, and they had REALLY good margs, and I really kind of wanted to try one, but I had driven and I figured, you gotta start somewhere. On the way home, I told myself if I wanted to wind down with a glass of wine, that was OK. It was still the weekend, technically. But, I really didn’t want to, because I knew I wouldn’t sleep as well and I didn’t want to feel any remnants of alcohol at 5 a.m. trying to work out for the first time in way too long.

So, we’ll see how this goes, but I’m optimistic! I feel good today!

I’m sure I’ll be asleep in 3 hours and unable to walk tomorrow, but right now I feel GREAT!

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Too Alyssa to function

Oh man, I am STRUGGLING, y’all.

I don’t think it’s the best time in my cycle, tbh, but still. I tried to go to bed at a decent time last night, but I still woke up feeling tired, wanting nothing more than to just keep sleeping. Instead, it’s MONDAY, so I had to go to WORK, of course, and it’s all just a CHORE. I spent my lunch hour in a sweater under a towel I keep in my office because the AC is freezing and I just wanted to read this trashy book I started yesterday. I also have plans to hang with friends after work, and I totally don’t feel like it (sorry, FRIENDS). I’m sure I’ll enjoy it once I force myself to do it, but I am just feeling like a crabby ‘ol hermit.

It was a good weekend. Good weather, friends, festivals in town, some pool time. But …. I did fall off my bike.

Yes, I was drinking (Why does everyone ask that IMMEDIATELY, I mean, duh!). It was a pretty pathetic scene, actually. Every other street in town is torn to shit right now. Literally. You’ll go to turn on a road you’ve been turning on all summer and suddenly NOPE, JUST KIDDING, ASSHOLE, THAT SHIT IS GONE. FIND AN ALTERNATE ROUTE. Winter and construction — welcome to the Midwest.

The road I fell on has been torn up for months, so it wasn’t a sneak attack by any means. Some friends and I were traveling between festivals, and we’d had a few. As we approached the construction zone, I got off my bike, figuring we’d park them and walk the rest of the way. But we decided to keep going on that road, at least the sidewalk, and park a little closer.

Oh sure, I thought, getting back on my bike — the sidewalk! No problemo —

I totally veered too far to the edge and ended up sliding down a dirt incline into the torn up, dusty ass street — or what’s left of it right now. I landed on my left side. A pathetically thin metal wire, that I GUESS is supposed to help protect you from doing such a thing — but spoiler alert, it doesn’t! — caught on my ear a bit and scraped it up. And I tore up my left elbow. But otherwise, I was fine.

Except I totally wasn’t.

I burst into tears like a 3-year-old that dropped their ice cream cone.

Everyone in the neighborhood.

Behind me, as I fell — because it totally happened in slow motion, yet I was powerless to stop it — I heard Luke utter a very foreboding, very resigned, “ohhhhhh shit.”

Because he knew. He knew this was not going to be good.

And his reaction just set me off more.

The thing is, I am a total baby when it comes to a lot of things, biking included. I’m not really sure why. It’s just one of those things that hasn’t quite come together for me. As a child, my mom’s method for trying to get me to learn was taking me to the school near our house, out in back where there was a grassy hill, and pushing me down it.

It didn’t work out.

I didn’t even want to learn how to ride a bike until my younger brother learned while we were in daycare, and well, I guess that was just too much for me to handle. So I taught myself. But, I’m shaky. I kind of suck at it. My balance is bad. My confidence is worse. I hate the traffic. I hate being too far off the ground, so my bike is set slightly lower than it should be.

Madison is a major bike city. There are bike paths everywhere. There are designated bike lanes on most streets.

Still, I struggle. I did OK for a few years, but last summer, I fell one evening (Yes… I was drinking), and it really set me back, mentally. This summer has been slow going, and then this happened. So who knows.

So anyway, I’m crying. I went into the bar I fell in front of to clean up. My friend Emily came in to help. While trying to sooth me and clean me up, she also was like “OK, but why did you yell at Luke, this isn’t his fault.”

Sigh. I know. But I hate disappointing him. And I know he really wishes I was more comfortable on a bike. That I wanted to bike everywhere, all the time.

But… I don’t. I’m sorry! I’m a fish. Put me in the water, put me on a boat, we’re in business. Maybe I’m secretly a mermaid.

So anyway, when I fell, and I heard his reaction, I just kind of lost it.

I tend to do that. I tend to take a moment that really has no bearing in whatever’s bothering me and use it as an opportunity to UNLOAD. Super mature, I know. Super fair. And what was bothering me was that right before this happened we were talking about bike falls, and I’d mentioned that my fall last summer had set me back, like months.

And he mumbled, but not so that I couldn’t hear, “more like years.”

And it PISSED ME OFF. And then I FELL. It’s all kind of a blur, but I do distinctly remember yelling, “I’m 36 — I don’t need this!”

I’m not totally sure what I even meant, but I think it had something to do with lying in the dusty street. Cuz who the fuck needs that? Not me.

As I related this to Emily, she said, “Well, you can talk to him about that tomorrow, when you’re sober.”

Ya know, like ADULTS do. And then she said no one ever accused me of being athletic so maybe his expectations are somewhat unrealistic.

So anyway, once the dust settled — ha! — I apologized for lashing out and said I’d heard his shitty ( and might I add, inaccurate ) comment, and we laughed about how clumsy I am. And then at some point he said I was just “too Alyssa to function.”

Which made me laugh. JFC, I am too Alyssa to function, you guys. Help! At one point yesterday, I got up from the couch, smacked my knee into one of the ottomans, lifting it up a smidge just so it could come back down onto my foot.

I’M A MESS.

“Too Alyssa to function..” he repeated as I retreated to the bathroom to hide from this latest humiliation. He later told me I just needed to work on my Balance. To that, I say:

Thanks for the advice.

Just kidding, babe, love ya! I’ll see you on the bike path in 3 years.

Cruisin’

I have a confession to make.

On Saturday, July 13, 2019, at the age of 36, I used cruise control in my car for the first time.

I know. Look, the whole basis for this blog is that I’m a reluctant adult. And when it comes to using cruise control I was just…. very reluctant. I’m a baby/wuss about trying a lot of new things. Cruise control was no exception. I just didn’t trust it. I didn’t know exactly how to do it. I tried it once, and didn’t quite do it right, and that freaked me out. I also thought, well what if I have to stop suddenly? I just felt like I didn’t have as much control over things if I used it, and I am ALL ABOUT CONTROL.

But for some reason I can’t even explain, as I was leaving town to drive up to Door County last weekend, a 3-hour+ drive, I just decided to try it.

OH.MY.GOD. What have I have been doing with my road trip life?! For the love of god, WHY didn’t I do this sooner??? I have taken so many road trips, most recently all the way to Memphis and back, where this would have been realllllllly convenient. It is LIFE CHANGING.

I had the best drive of my life. I set it to 76 or so in a 70 (shhh whatever) and as cars passed me I was pretty much like:

Go around fuckers, I’m living my best life!

The only drawback is when traffic gets heavy and you have to stop using it temporarily. THAT sucks. I just want to use it ALL THE TIME, now.

Luke also drove up to Door County, separately. Not because we can’t agree on music, but because he had to leave earlier since I was staying up there a couple of extra days for work. I couldn’t wait to tell him. He has been hounding me for years to use it and I’m just like, leave me alone, I’m fine. NO, I wasn’t fine! I wasn’t fine. I was living a basic af life. WTF.

I especially enjoyed going through Rosendale, Wisconsin. Where I grew up, in little ol’ Peninsula, Ohio, between Akron and Cleveland, the cops were bad because they were BORED. So you could actually get pulled over there for going more than like 2 over the speed limit. It actually happened to a friend of mine, although maybe he was going 10 over. By the golf course. BOLD MOVE.

Anyway, Rosendale actually sells T-shirts that say “Rosendale… Just the ticket!” because it’s no joke. And the whole time you’re on this stretch of road before you get back to a more main highway, the speed limit is 55, and you MUST OBEY. This was much more enjoyable once I was able to set my cruise control and not have to check my speed every 5 seconds. Oh, so relaxing!

It was also particularly enjoyable once I got up to Door County, which is a peninsula dotted with adorable little towns and wineries, with the occasional view of Lake Michigan. I rolled the windows down, popped that cruise on, and enjoyed the shit out of it.

And speaking of, I think I’ve made a pretty decent playlist this summer… and I am going to share it with you. A couple of the songs are throwbacks due to some recent concert or memory that sparked me wanting to listen to a certain song again, but most of them are fairly new. ENJOY!

I can’t wait to go on another road trip now!!!!

Concert crowd

In my last post ( https://alyssagoesadulting.com/2019/07/01/sweet-summertime/), I talked about how this summer was shaping up nicely with some trips and musical events. Not even 48 hours after posting that, I won tickets to see Dave Matthews Band last Friday at Alpine Valley, an outdoor musical venue/amphitheater. The summer of fun continues!

While tailgating for Dave, my boyfriend Luke and I got into a brief discussion about some of the things you see at shows — specifically, some of the different types of people you see. I thought it would be fun to blog about that, because I think we’ve all seen some of these people, we all know some of these people, and hell — at any given time or another, I’ve BEEN some of these people. So, here goes.

#1: The Super Fan

Who am I kidding? These people are cooler than I will ever be.

There are a couple of different types of super fans, and I’m going to get into a different subset of that in #2, but for this one, I’m talking about someone who makes their fandom KNOWN without leaving you to guess. This person is wearing the band T-shirt, possibly flying a band flag at their tailgate spot and blasting the band’s music all during the tailgate. Like, whoa, WE GET IT.

Personally, I don’t love listening to the band before the show starts. Luke and I were very close to a group like this while we were tailgating for Dave, and I was grumbling that I didn’t need to hear the whole setlist beforehand. We also got into the debate about wearing the band’s shirt to their show and agreed to disagree — he thinks it’s fine, I think it’s kind of… lame? I don’t know. I did recently see an article about how there’s nothing to hate on there and it’s free advertising for the band’s merch table. I do see how that could be a good thing.

Sometimes these people can be know-it-alls, too. They think their extreme fandom somehow gives them an in to the inner workings of the band. I once was chatting with a friend of a friend before an MGMT show, and this person was saying they NEVER play “Kids” at live shows. Never.

They fucking played it.

#2: The Die Hard Follower

“Die”-hard, get it? LOL

When I was a kid, the Grateful Dead came to town every summer, and with them came a loyal band of followers known as “Dead Heads.” These hippies would camp out in yards around town and come through in caravans when the band came through.

I was scared to death of them. I didn’t know what “dead head” meant, and it sounded scary as shit. Now, these type of people are my FRIENDS. Who knew?!

Anyway, you get the idea. These people will follow bands across the country, even the world, and the number of shows they have seen can get up into the hundreds. If you’ve got the time and money, I say, good for you!

#3: The Influencer

Yes, I’m guilty, but sighhhhhhhh

Did you even really go to the show if there’s no photo or video to prove it?!

Apparently NOT. Yes, I’m guilty. I like to do a snap or two of some of my favorites, but I do think it’s important to actually be in the moment and enjoy said favorites, so I try to keep it to a minimum. Depending on how much I’ve had to drink.

I have a friend who posts so many snaps at shows, I joke that I don’t even need to go because I get the highlights. But, it can be annoying when someone constantly has their phone up. You (in theory) paid to be here, so enjoy it!

#4: The Talker and The Singer

Belt it out, girl.

These two people are very different sides of the same coin. The first is the worst, while the latter is me.

If you need to chat, at the very least, GTFO out of the front row/front section… really get yourself to the lawn and/or lobby. Shut. It.

But sing your heart out! Isn’t that what the band wants? OK, maybe not during a quiet moment or an instrumental solo. But we’re here to enjoy this music, so why not sing along? I know where I go wrong. It’s when I make 10 snaps of me singing along and you can ONLY hear me and not the band. I hear you… but I probably won’t stop, anyway.

#5: The Requester

Please just stop.

Somewhere in between the talker and the singer, you’ve got the song requester.

UGH, JUST STOP. The band most likely has a chosen set list prior to the show based on a number of factors, including not repeating what they already played last night for the #2s. Barring them asking for requests, which is rare, it’s just obnoxious for you to be shouting out song titles. Part of the magic is you either get a song, or you don’t. So go see them again! Or write them off. Just stop yelling.

#6: The Lucky Freeloader

Hiiiiii.

Back in the day, we had to stand in line, in the rain, UPHILL BOTH WAYS to get concert tickets. Now, we have to hit refresh a bazillion times on our phones and hope we get into the queue before they sell out. Or, we get lucky and win them!

There are a handful of shows I probably would have never seen had I not won, but I’m usually at least a mild fan if I enter to win.

Or you could be like my charmed younger brother. In 2014, Luke and I took a road trip to my college town of Athens, Ohio (technically we were in Nelsonville) for a music festival where we camped and saw a bunch of great bands including The Avett Brothers. My family drove down on Saturday to meet in town for drinks since it was my 31st birthday. My brother knew someone who had an extra VIP pass (of course he did), so he came for the last night (Avett) with no tent, no plan, hung in the VIP area and slept in someone’s car.

Recently, a friend and I got to see Thomas Rhett for free, including VIP tent access, plus she met him. A good rule of thumb we employed liberally that day was that if you get in for free, buy you some DRANKS. I spent more than I care to admit (but SummerFest prices are kind of nuts, too).

#7: Wait… there was a show?

The waves in this pool are super choppy, man.

Sometimes, some of us can get a little carried away in the tailgating stages. Yes, I’m guilty. I barely remember seeing Michael Che at the Comedy Club. That 2-drink minimum can be a real bitch when you’ve had several leading up to the show. It also can be challenging at festivals. Just remember, it’s a marathon, not a sprint. Take your time, and hydrate up! Or don’t, but just try not to stumble into anyone or piss yourself. That’s unbecoming. The buddy system is your friend, literally. Pick someone to remind you to drink water! In my experience, it has a 25% success rate.

And guys, really, this is all in good fun. As long as you’re having fun and not ruining the experience for others, you do you! Now, get off your phone/computer, and go see some live music!

Sweet Summertime

I don’t want to get too far ahead of myself… but I’m kind of having a great summer.

I’ve been taking a lot of long weekends lately, and I think it’s saving my sanity. There has been travel involved in some of them, but it’s still nice to have an extra day here and there. A few weeks ago, I made the executive decision to take this Friday off and I am so pumped for the upcoming Fourth of July holiday now.

Let’s do this thing, America.

Luke and I typically spend the warmer months doing a fair amount of camping and attending various music festivals, but we’re taking a year off from the latter. This is due in large part to the fact that we’re actually taking some vacations! We went to Savannah in March, I went to DC in May, we just got back from a wedding in Memphis and a weekend in Iowa, and next weekend we’re heading up to Door County — our first camping of 2019. His family also is coming up next month to do a Mallards baseball game and a lake cruise.

I also had the opportunity to attend SummerFest last week on opening day to see Thomas Rhett (VIP no less, but that’s a story for another day), which was my first time back at SummerFest since 2014. We saw Billy Joel in the spring at Miller Park, won tickets to Rob Thomas in Madison recently, and I’m kicking around the idea of getting tickets to Hall & Oates in August.

So yeah… I’m kind of having a great time! In between the travel, I’m just enjoying being in the sun when we’re lucky enough to have it, reading, trying to decide what my Drink of the Summer is (sweet tea and whiskey is inching ahead, thanks Memphis!) and being near any body of water.

I know there have been summers that just flew by, that just felt like any other workday of the year but with nicer weather to make me feel cooped up in my office. For whatever reason, this year I’m feelin it. Summer is the best.

That’s it. That’s all I really have to say. I’m always going to have life stuff to blog about, stressful stuff to work through. It’s nice to be able to just take a moment to appreciate the good times.

FUCK IT

I just turned 36, y’all!

This crazy Gemini loves her birthday. It pretty much starts as soon as May does, even though my birthday isn’t until the 31st. The dawn of May is a celebration in itself because it’s the end of a large project we do every year at my job. It’s also typically better weather than the first few months of the year. It just feels more relaxed all around, we get a 3-day weekend with Memorial Day and then my birthday falls right after that. What’s not to love about MAY?!

This year was no exception. May brought the biggest sigh of relief at work yet since in addition to the larger workload, we had an extra trade show during which I had to spend 3 nights in a hotel room with my boss. Yes, you’re reading that correctly — the SAME ROOM. My feelings leading up to it can only be described as a sense of impending doom akin to how the folks at Winterfell must have felt as the White Walkers approached in “The Long Night.” (Ooops — spoiler alert. Winter came, and we couldn’t see a fucking thing.)

But the joke’s on my boss because I snore now, and badly. So we’ll see if that happens again anytime soon! Truth be told, being roomies really wasn’t all that bad. But it’s not ideal.

So, May came and kicked off weeks of sunny days on my porch, lighter workdays, an early birthday spa weekend with friends, a trip to visit my bestie in Washington, D.C., and culminated with shopping and a movie on my actual birthday followed by a bar crawl the next day. Whew! I’m tired just writing that out. I’ll see you guys in August.

During my trip to D.C., two things of note happened, rather simultaneously. The first was that I wore a romper.

This is a big deal. I have hated on rompers for years. To me, it’s a sad way to ruin an otherwise cute dress. I’ve tried on my fair share since they came into fashion, but I was always disgusted and disappointed at the end result. I comforted myself with the knowledge that I wouldn’t have to get butt ass naked just to pee.

But something happened this year. Call it FOMO or call it giving in to seeing too many cute ones in every.single.store. and deciding I’m not basic enough until I’ve given in to yet another semi-ridiculous fashion trend (you will NOT get a fanny pack on me, though), but over one slow lunch hour walking around the mall, I found one that fit me. My reaction was understated.

Me in the dressing room.

And you guys — it had pockets. I can only resist so much.

To celebrate this momentous occasion, I texted my DC crew to let them know we were doing an official romper day while I was there. My friend Katie is partly to blame for this whole thing anyway since she has talked up rompers (peeing naked be damned!) for like a year, my friend Emily had just recently purchased one and Steph… well Steph was just directed to purchase one and being always laid-back, go-with-the-flow Steph, she did.

Previous to this, we’d already planned to do drag brunch at this place called Perry’s. What is a drag brunch, you may be wondering. Well, a drag brunch is simply THE BEST FUCKING DAY OF YOUR LIFE MADE BETTER ONLY BY WEARING A FUCKING ROMPER.

I’ve heard.

“HASHTAG ROMPER BRUNCH — IT’S A THING!”

Seriously though, it was awesome. You get an all-you-can-eat buffet with GOOD food, drinks and then drag queens performing around all the tables. In the middle, they called up anyone who was celebrating a birthday or other milestone, so I went up there as did my friend Katie.

It was then that a beautiful drag queen told me something I’ve been carrying with me since: 36 is the age of “Fuck it!” y’all. FULL VIDEO ABOVE.

When Katie’s turn came, she shared that we were all wearing rompers to which the queen said “Hashtag Romper Brunch — it’s a thing!”

So, guys, it’s a THING. Just so you know.

I’ve carried the joy of that day with me all week. Even through wearing a different romper to the movies on Friday, which I decided was way too much effort. Hashtag, pee like you’re camping (it’s a thing).

I’ve been moving to this “Fuck it” vibe for awhile, if I’m being honest. I’m 36 with no kids. If I want to plan a bar crawl for my birthday — fuck it, I did. It was a blast. When the final stop — karaoke — was too packed for our crew, did I loudly sing off key to songs on the juke box at another bar? Fuck it — I did! (Cough, snapchat.) Did I eat McDonald’s for breakfast this morning? Fuck it — I did!

Thanks for another great year!