My name is Sally and I’m addicted to Survivor. It started when I was training for my half marathon and always did my long runs on Wednesday nights at the gym. Watching their crazy challenges inspired me to keep running because my workout wasn’t nearly as strenuous as what those contestants were going through. (Ironic, no, because I was training this race as a cancer survivor?)
The 29th season, “Blood vs. Water” starts tonight. To prepare/fill the immunity idol-shaped hole in my heart during the off season, I’ve been watching lots of old episodes. As I did so, I’ve realized that I would be TERRIBLE at Survivor. Here are the top ten reasons why I should never go on Survivor:
- I hate snakes. I can’t even look when they’re on the screen, and they’re a required accessory for every Survivor island.
- I get really grumpy when I’m cold.
- I’m a leader and since I’m a woman, people would probably label me “bossy” and vote me out quickly.
- I have the world’s WORST poker face. Don’t ever play poker with me. Or do, but make sure we’re not on the same team. I wouldn’t be able to lie to anyone. (This alone immediately disqualifies me from being on Big Brother.)
- Did I mention how much I hate snakes?
- I also hate spiders. And scorpions (but does anyone like them?).
- I would immediately get a headache from all that sun (and I believe sunglasses are banned for cinematic reasons).
- I would burn to a crisp on day 1, and never stop worrying about it.
- I am the worst at slide puzzles. If my life depended on it, I would probably keep working on it until I died with it still unfinished.
- I would quit the game over a jar of peanut butter. I’m in love with peanut butter here, where there are unlimited quantities to be had. Put me on an island and I’ll sell you my buff in return for a spoonful.
I also have my talents. I know the basics of building a shelter, I’m a good swimmer, I can start a fire (though I’d need to learn how to use flint). But I think those other items will keep me from sending Jeff Probst my application. Instead, I’m content to have civilized adventures and see how this drama unfolds from my couch.
Do you think you could win the title of Sole Survivor?
It’s worth becoming a zombie for rather than give it up.
That’s the gist I got from this poem by Tim Pratt that was read at my friend/coworker Theresa’s wedding this weekend as she married her nerdy partner in crime, Matt. It’s the first time I’ve been to a wedding where zombies were referenced and court rulings were read as part of the ceremony (Goodrich vs. Dept of Public Health, specifically) and it was magically dorky.
The entire celebration was great – the sunny courtyard at the Liberty Hotel (formerly the Charles Street Jail), the delicious oysters and Italian-inspired dishes (hello veal!), the energetic dancing skills of young nieces and nephews, and the friendly folks all around who were glad to be there to share in the live music, the endless amounts of chocolate, and the overall love that filled the room. Not to mention the fact that there were 4 Sallys in the room – an all-time high for me, and a joy to dance “Mustang Sally” alongside.
Congrats, Matt and Theresa! I hope you never have to find out what you’d actually do if you were lost in the multiverse, but even in that eventuality, I know you two will be great together.
Read Tim Pratt’s poem “Scientific Romance Redux” here (I didn’t want to copy it and thus risk it being shared without proper credit!).
Cross one more grand item off the list: I have succeeded, along with class president Jimmy and some enthusiastic classmates, in throwing a blast of a 10 year high school reunion.
My goals for this reunion were simple, and we accomplished them all:
- DO NOT go into debt. We had leftover class money to spend if we needed to, but I’d heard that the organizers for the prior year had paid a pretty penny for their party, and I wanted to avoid having the people who spent the time planning the celebrations from paying the cost, as well. Conclusion: we ended up 90 cents short of breaking even, including decorations and promotions.
- DO make sure people outside our usual network hear about reunion and have enough notice to attend. Conclusion: we got a sign up a local marquee, shared the event with hundreds of people on Facebook, and a good mix of people attended (about 36 total)!
- DO set ourselves up to have a lot of fun, and not stress out. Once we realized that it was going to be a small party, Jim and I decided that if it was us and the DJ (a classmate), we would have the time of our lives, and the rest wouldn’t matter. We decided not to put a ton of extra work into things like decorations, and just enjoy ourselves before and during the party. Conclusion: setup was finished in 10 minutes and we all had a blast.
In short, it was a huge success. It had everything a high school reunion should – gossip about who wanted to go to the semi-formal dance with whom, shots of Fireball at extremely low NH prices, old yearbooks, a 2000’s-tastic playlist, amazingly friendly chats with people I haven’t talked to in years (and now want to be best friends with again!). The DJ, our classmate Tim, really killed the night with some key choices – “Time after time” at my request, “Stairway to Heaven” so we could slow dance as though it was our last chance of the night, “A little help from our friends” to remind us where we came from, and then “My heart will go on” to really set back the clock. Later, as the general public filtered in, we danced to “Summer Lovin” and “Footloose” in an homage to our high school productions. People stayed until the end, then took the afterparty to the one bar in our actual hometown and kept the party alive until well after midnight (for the uninitiated, midnight in NH is like 4 AM in NYC).
The whole experience left me incredibly grateful for my great childhood, my loving community, my smart and kind classmates. For every person not there, I imagined the wonderful adventures they were up to instead, and all the amazing places we’re going together and apart. But they know who they are and that they better be there next time (AHEM AHEM). Until then, I’ll pack my band uniform away, hold my friends close, and remember all the good times behind and ahead.
Onward to the next adventure! Check out the other items on my five year plan here >>
It’s 8:44 AM and I have fourteen tabs and three word docs open on my computer. I don’t even officially start work for another 16 minutes, and I’m already overwhelmed.
One of the many perks of my job is being able to work with ridiculously smart people. One of them shared this video with the NYC office while I was visiting, and I think it might literally change my life.
“Singletasking is the new multitasking” – a video from the Atlantic
The premise – you get more done with better results when you finish one thing at a time, close the door, and then move on to the next thing. Even just one day a week – Tabless Thursday – can make a difference in changing how you complete projects and how you feel about life. I personally find a hard time doing this even outside of work – I’d rather leave things open than say “I won’t make it to that party” or “I’m not sure there’s a spark here.” My dream is that trying this for one day to start might give me some peace at work – and then also transfer over into the rest of life.
So if you can’t find me online today, assume that it’s because I’m off doing one thing at a time. If you try it too, let me know how you do! One fewer tab at a time, we can break away from the tendency to multitask every minute of our lives.
This month marks the fifth year since Katie and I signed our first lease in Boston. And what a five years it has been. As Katie said, over her birthday breakfast of homemade waffles topped with chocolate and bananas (28 is gonna be GREAT!) – “It used to be that time flew when you were having fun… now it goes by so quickly no matter what!” And yet, we’ve packed a lot of adventures into those years:
- Lived in 2 apartments
- Played on 7 sports teams (still gunning for the championship, though)
- Had only 2 jobs
- Tried – and succeeded, and failed at, and had lots of adventures on – 5 different dating websites
- Still owned ZERO cars (or cats, for that matter, since I typed that accidentally like 5 times)
- Run hundreds of miles along the Charles, Comm Ave, the bike path, and more
- Voted in 4+ elections
- Eaten at restaurants and hunted down top-notch mojitos in all quarters of the city
- Made dozens of awesome friends
- Hung out on movie sets, watched plays on the Common, cheered at the Head of the Charles Regatta, gorged myself at chocolate fundraisers, met political celebrities, trampolined until I had a headache, explored abandoned forts and collected seaglass on the Boston Harbor Islands, celebrated marathon runners, sledded at Fenway Park, and more
I don’t know if I’ll still be here in another 5 years – maybe I’ll give into the temptation to live in Europe, full-time. Maybe I’ll buy a cute house to fix up in New Hampshire or Maine. Maybe I’ll be prepping to take on the Presidency in DC. Who knows! But I do know that there are more adventures to be had in this city, and I plan on living it up, one delicious summer day at a time. Thanks for everything, Boston – looking forward to round 2!
Right now, runners are lining up on the Boston Common, waiting to get onto buses that will take them to the start line in Hopkinton, MA. They’re filling the local Dunkin Donuts, snarling morning traffic, and stretching in the sunlight that promises that today will be a great day for running.
It’s hard to imagine that a year ago today, we had just survived one of the weirdest, probably worst weeks in Boston history. First the bombing at the finish line, then the manhunt that kept us huddled in our houses, trying to leave the streets free for police officers. And yet, we stayed strong. We left shoes and roses at the crime scenes. We paid tribute to the fallen. And we kept running.
On Saturday, my mom and I ran the first Boston Athletic Association (BAA) event of the year, the BAA 5k. The race usually has 5,000 people in it – this year it had closer to 10k. We were still at the start line when they started frantically clearing people out of the way because the winner was about to come in (we left the start 11 minutes after the initial start – he came in at 13:26). It was a powerful show of the depth and heart of the running community, to have so many people out so early in the morning to jog together.
As we ran down Boylston, I had flashbacks to a place I’d never even been – to what it must have been like for the thousands of people who were on this street last year, leaving their hearts on the pavement and seeing the finish line at the end of the road, only to have their moment of victory shattered. It was scary to go across the finish line, even on a sunny Saturday. I can only imagine what it will feel like today.
I am so proud of our city for how we’ve come together in this last year. So excited for my friends who are finally going to get to finish that final mile. And so grateful to be a part of a community that isn’t afraid to keep running with our heads held high, no matter what obstacles enter our path. I’ll be there at Kenmore, cheering you on!
Read my blog post on last year’s Marathon Monday.
Just because the year’s over doesn’t mean we’re safe from the earworms that defined our year – those dudes at the thrift shop, that chick on the wrecking ball, the techno beats that wake us up and get us rocking. Having a Spotify account this year made me so much more hip as I could listen to these songs as they came out. What will 2014 hold? Dare I predict… a lot of Beyonce?