Friday, March 15, 2013

Catching Up

It's been a little bit of a while. I should add that I've had one monster of a cold. This led to about two straight days of sleeping and, obviously, no work. Moreover, I've had to take a few days off from my exercise routine. Bummer. I'm still feeling a bit under the weather but am hoping to get back on track this weekend. I want to catch up with the Les Mills Combat workouts I've missed and also get in some good runs before the race on March 30.

In additional bummer news, I'm beginning to think the Tough Mudder is out. As you may recall, after they changed the date of the Boston race I was signed up for from May to June, I had requested that they transfer me to the New England race in August. Though I made this request in early February, I was told to wait until March 1 to get my reply.

March 1 came and went, and I had still heard nothing confirming my transfer. I ended up looking up the customer service information and sending an e-mail detailing how I'd like my registration transferred. (I would have preferred to call, but they only provide an e-mail address for customer services; no phone number.) After a few days of waiting, I received an e-mail reply stating that they had issued a refund.

What!? That wasn't what I asked for at all. I considered going and just registering for the New England Mudder on my own, but the price had not increase from what I had paid back when I signed up for Boston in January. Honestly, at this point I was super annoyed and emotionally tired from all the back and forth about the event. I still definitely want to do a Tough Mudder, but I might need some time to get "un-annoyed" from the bad customer service.

For now, I'm going to focus on trying out the 5K obstacle course race that I'm signed up for this April. We'll see how it goes and take it from there. I have options out there other than Tough Mudder if I want to try a challenging OCR or, perhaps, in time I'll find that my desire to try the race will beat out my annoyance. To be determined.

On the plus side, and completely off topic, last night, Seth and I had an amazing experience at the Fine Art Center at UMass where we got to see the Joffrey Ballet! They were, in a word, amazing. I'm sorry to say that I was still pretty sick last night and was unable to stay for the entire show. I saw a good 2/3 of it though (which was more than the 0 of it was thinking I might get to see).

Because the show was pretty packed, we had crazy seats up in the top balcony, a two row stretch of chairs directly under the ceiling of the very tall concert hall. Seth, who does not like heights was really quite nervous. These pictures might give you an idea.

Regardless of the seats and being sick, I loved seeing the Joffrey. They performed four numbers: In the Middle, Somewhere Elevated; Lacrymosa; Son of Chamber Symphony; and The Rite of Spring (this last one I didn't get to see). 

I had seen a documentary on Netflix about the Joffrey, so it was very exciting to get to see them in person. I loved getting to see the blend of classical ballet with modern elements, which I feel is the trademark of the Joffrey. 

The first piece, In the Middle, Somewhere Elevated was absolutely mesmerizing. It featured heavy percussion, and the dancers moves were very much inspired by the music. I loved the very classical elements that then were quickly broken with a wild movement. This was an ensemble effort with several featured dancers.  

The second piece, Lacrymosa, was a very short solo male performance performed to Mozart. In contrast with the sharp movements of the first piece, this was much more fluid feeling. 

After a brief intermission, we got to see the final piece of the night for us, Son of Chamber Symphony. This is a completely new work, first performed by the Joffrey while they were at Jacob's Pillow this past summer. I was very excited to get to see something so recently created. The piece started out seeming like it was going to be very much classical ballet -- the curtain opened on a ballerina in a tutu. Soon new elements were thrown in, which added a modern twist. The second movement featured a classic pas de deux. The final movement was more a corps de ballet piece. Throughout, things were almost traditional but then... not. It seemed like a comment on classical ballet with allusions to classical works. 

Everything about the Joffrey was excellent, and I was very sorry to miss getting to see The Rite of Spring, especially since it's such a famous work. 

Last weekend, right before getting sick, I had some time to try another tea drink from Green Tea. This time it was Seth's pick, and he selected a strawberry green tea, which used strawberry daiquiri mix for flavor. 

The recipe called for just mixing the tea with the daiquiri mix for an iced tea, but I wanted a little more of a smoothie effect (albeit with ice, not yogurt) and decided to use the blender.

The result was very tasty and Seth's favorite of our efforts to date. I personally found that the strawberry flavor overpowered the tea a bit too much. I still think the pear, watermelon, and matcha smoothie I made earlier this month was my favorite.

Whew -- I think that catches us up on everything. I plan to relax all evening so I can be 100% recovered from this cold and enjoy my birthday celebrations this weekend. More to come on that. 

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