Perplexing Thoughts

I’ve been doing some really deep thinking lately, pondering some of life’s greatest mysteries. Malaysia Flight 370. KONY 2012. (What ever happened with that, other than the guy who made the video getting busted for doing…ya know…in the middle of the street that time? Did it just end after that colossal PR disaster?) My ever-growing credit card statement. Stuff like that.

I’d like it if you’d let me share some of my thoughts and questions with you today. Maybe you can help me out.

I spent Saturday morning cheering for the runners at the Mini 10K in Central Park. Did I high five you? I probably high fived you. It was my goal to high five EVERYONE. And then wash my hands 100 times.
I spent Saturday morning cheering for the runners at the Mini 10K in Central Park. Did I high five you? I probably high fived you. It was my goal to high five EVERYONE. And then wash my hands 100 times.

The women waiting on the subway platforms in the summer in New York City with blow-dried hair and no upper lip sweat. Who are they? How do they lead such impeccable lives? To get from my apartment to the subway, I have to walk up this tiny hill, and by the time I reach the “summit” (it’s like eight feet of elevation gain across a one-block stretch; it’s so rough) I am sufficiently soaked, namely along my hairline, upper lip, lower back and under-boob. Also, on most summer days I definitely cannot even fathom blow drying my hair. And yet I arrive on the platform for that downtown 6 train and there are all these ladies, in their pencil skirts and their button-down blouses and their no boob sweat. How?

Alec and Hilaria Baldwin. I saw them on my way to work last week. I kind of hate myself for snapper this bigtime creeper photo, but I was excited because WE BASICALLY HAVE MATCHING TRACKSUITS.
Alec and Hilaria Baldwin. I saw them on my way to work last week. I kind of hate myself for snapping this big-time creeper photo, but I was excited because WE BASICALLY HAVE MATCHING TRACKSUITS. Stars, they’re just like us. Alec, you’re just like me!

Women commuting in heels. How do they do it? Are they in secret pain? Are their feet numb? Don’t their heels ever get stuck in the subway grates on the street and then they face-plant and die? Are they magical?

A cockroach made its way up to the 28th floor of my building and into my living room yesterday. How?! (Apparently they can fly, that’s how, and I had all the windows wiiiide open all night prior.) This was my first run-in with a real, live, crawling cockroach and I did not like it one bit. I’m normally fine with bugs, but I saw this little dickwad and had to wake Brian for help. I did a whimpery, “There’s a cockroach in the apartment!” that may have come out less as a whimper and more as a murderous wail. I don’t remember, actually.

I thought I had crushed it underneath a towel (um, Brian’s shower towel…it was the closest thing I could find, I swear), but Brian picked up the towel and away the roach scurried. Eventually he bleached it and crushed it to death. Today we are getting our apartment professionally deep cleaned because the experience was so traumatizing for me. And also because we live very filthy daily lives and what’s underneath the couch is scary.

SURPRIIIIIISE! It's Tyler! Figured you hadn't seen him in a while, so here he is! Have I mentioned that he's getting a little sibling, expected at the end of August? I'm getting another nephew or a niece! I'm petitioning for them to name it Tyler-2. Just seems like it'd be easier.
SURPRIIIIIISE! It’s Tyler! Figured you hadn’t seen him in a while, so here he is! Have I mentioned that he’s getting a little sibling, expected at the end of August? I’m getting another nephew or a niece! I’m petitioning for them to name it Tyler-2. Just seems like it’d be easier.

People who can sleep while wearing earrings. Doesn’t that hurt? I can’t do it. I need all jewelry off. The backs of the earrings dig into my skull and it aches. I salute you people who can sleep in jewelry.

People who can run while wearing jewelry. Does your necklace ever hit you in the face? I’ve never tried it, but I think I would get pelted in the eyeball with the chain. And I would get it sweaty. And it would distract me. I don’t know. So much to think about.

Lauren Fleshman and I do NOT run with jewelry. Buuuuut I think everyone else does. I don't know because the results of my formal survey aren't in yet. But they will be soon probably. The deadline was yesterday. For my survey.
Lauren Fleshman and I do NOT run with jewelry. Buuuuut I think everyone else does. I don’t know because the results of my formal survey aren’t in yet. But they will be soon probably. The deadline was yesterday. For my survey.

So you’ve decided to wear a bunch of bangles to work today. Cute! And now you’re typing away and you’re surviving just fine. Explain yourself. I have so many bangles and I love them and they look nice with some outfits. Then I get to work and I try to type and they clank all over the place, hitting the keyboard and typing their own words and productivity is over. The bangles have ruined my To-Do list, basically. Sometimes I’ll try to shove them up onto the thicker part of my forearm, but eventually they come barreling back down onto the keyboard and the desk. Havoc ensues.

Bedazzled mouse + bangled wrist = bad news! OR IS IT JUST ME???
Bedazzled mouse + bangled wrist = bad news! OR IS IT JUST ME???

Ladies who get manicures and maintain them for longer than eight minutes. You’re a mystery. You’re the real American heroes.

OH LOOK, ANOTHER PHOTO OF ALI PICKING HER BUTT. Why is this my standard now?
OH LOOK, ANOTHER PHOTO OF ALI PICKING HER BUTT. Why is this my standard now?

Dear all my headphones: Is running with me really so bad that you must kill yourselves after nearly every run? Love, Alison. PS Is there any way to get you to not sign that DNR form this time? I’d love for you to come back to me. Think of my sweat as your hydration. Your Nuun. Your life force. PPS I learned what “DNR” means from watching “Grey’s Anatomy.” PPPS RIP Denny.

THERE GOES FELLER. Emily took this during a November Project workout. You'll notice no one else is around or going in my direction. Because I was running for the bathroom. Unsurprising, really.
THERE GOES FELLER. Emily took this during a November Project workout. You’ll notice no one else is around or going in my direction. Because I was running for the bathroom. Unsurprising, really.

Commuters with just one bag. Your minimalism and simplicity astound me. On any given day, I have three bags: one containing my laptop, planner, wallet, sunglasses, fancy pens, etc.; one with sneakers and workout things, should I be planning a post-work sweatfest; and my lunchbox. Everything is heavy and uncomfortable, and my shoulders are always bright-red by the time I get to work. You’d think getting a seat on the subway would help, but it doesn’t, because where am I going to put all my bags?

Kettlebells: Nooope. Too hard. Putting you down. Bye.

If there were a yoga class where you got to make all the sounds that the yoga poses “should” make, would you take it? I so obviously would. I’m trying to convince Bethany that this is an awesome idea, and I post about it on her Facebook wall daily. She tends to “Like” my comment, but I don’t see “Power Beaks” [TM] on the schedule yet… Think about it, though: Eagle pose = eagle noises. Crow pose = crow, obviously. Downward dog = barf bark woof! Airplane = vroom vroom engine noises! Pigeon pose = you shit wherever you want and get in everyone’s way and are disgusting. It’s a good idea. I really need someone to invest in this.

Bethany's the one on the right, NOT letting me be a yoga instructor at her studio. How rude.
Bethany’s the one on the right, NOT letting me be a yoga instructor at her studio. How rude.

Weeknight people who cook. Just tell me how the hell you do it, because I can’t get my act together, and I’ve been trying for like four years. I don’t get home painfully late. I’m not here to tell you how busy I am. I’m no busier than the average working person these days. I’m just lazy, and I don’t food prep or grocery shop or bother getting my act together. And I don’t really know how to cook many things. So OK, I guess we actually solved this mystery. Perplexion over: People who cook dinner every night are just not lazy people.

I pack and assemble my lunch everyday! Doesn't that count for something? It's supposed to be a hummus and cucumber sandwich, but I'm too lazy to actually open up the pita and put the hummus and cucumbers inside, so I just slop it all on top and eat it like a pizza.
I pack and assemble my lunch every day! Doesn’t that count for something? It’s supposed to be a hummus and cucumber sandwich, but I’m too lazy to actually open up the pita and put the hummus and cucumbers inside, so I just slop it all on top and eat it like a pizza.

Finally, two promotional-y things:

  1. Run this 5K next Tuesday at 7 PM in Prospect Park. It’s a prediction race, which means you predict your finish time when you sign up, and then you’re not allowed to run with any sort of timing devices (that includes music). The person who comes closest to his/her predicted finish time is the winner. Hence the title: Anyone Can Win. It’s only $10 and I will be there and we can become real-life friends.
  2. Remember my friend Becky? We were the very best of friends growing up and swore by wearing matching outfits and convincing people we were sisters. I was also the Maid of Honor in her wedding a few years ago. Now, Becky is training to run a half marathon with Team Challenge! She’s doing the whole fundraising thing, so if you feel like supporting a wonderful cause today, head on over to Becky’s page. $13 for 13.1 miles, perhaps?

WHAT’S ON YOUR MIND? Have you been pondering any of life’s big mysteries lately? Let’s talk them out together. Maybe we can solve some of the world’s great problems.



53 Responses

  1. Ok, so I don’t live in NYC, and on most days I drive a car to work. I’m mystified that you can even get all your stuff in 3 bags. I have a whole car full of everything I think I might need for the day: food, gym clothes, horseback riding clothes, other random stuff. I admire the 3 baggers, and I’m pretty sure the 1 baggers have magical powers, or secret porters following them around carrying all their stuff.

  2. Someone will have to fight me to get my pearls before I sleep or my Erica Sara necklace before I run, or, before I anything, really, but I agree with you on the rest. ESPECIALLY COMMUTING IN HEELS. DO THESE PEOPLE HAVE SUPERPOWERS?

    And every once in a while I put on a bangle and pretend I won’t just take it off five min after I get to work.

  3. I had to come out of lurking (forever) to say thank you for making me feel so much better. It’s not just me who has these thoughts….!

  4. I died laughing at so many of these! Love this post. The bangles at work, with the keyboard and the desk and the jangling and the ….how?!?! What is even more puzzling is why I have instant amnesia to this fact at 6:45 am every morning as I get ready for work and pile on my jingle jangle bracelets.

  5. HAHAHAHA. OMG I loved this post so so so much. I think about these things all the time and just yesterday said that I don’t think I can trust people that blow dry their hair in the summer. Something just isn’t right about it. Unless they just have really good hair genes and it’s a 3 minute job? IDK. Stressful!

  6. So glad to hear I’m not the only one with excessive under-boob sweat! The first thing I want to do when I get home is taken off my regular bra and put on a sports bra or just plain tee shirt. It’s gotten worse in recent years because my bombs grew, too! You think NY is bad, try living in Houston in August!!!!

    2. I always had 5000 bags. My purse is also always too heavy. Who are these people who just have little clutches?
    3. What was with the hopping up and down by Hugh Jackman at the Tony opener? Did i miss that in a show this year? or was he just showing off how in shape he was?

  8. My only trick with a regular manicure is that when I get home I put some top coat on the front edge of the nail. It lasts so much longer – just make sure to give it plenty of time to dry again.

    Dinner? When I am really busy the crock pot is my best friend. I normally have about 5-10 minutes in the morning and as long as I remember I have some motivation. Then I get home and the house smells great! Otherwise I am normally too tired and lazy at night.

    Oh and I am not a commuter in the true sense – I live in the Chicago suburbs soooooooo I drive but I can’t make from my car into school without at least two bags and my hands full of stuff…normally the papers I should have graded but didnt…

  9. Calling that cockroach a dickwad literally had me laughing so hard out loud at my desk!
    And I’m so with you on the female commuters with just one bag, perfectly coiffed hair and no beads of sweat anywhere. It’s just not human.
    I saw you at the mini but wasn’t close enough for a high 5 without probably tripping a few women to get to the side and we all know that could have created a stir. =) I recognized you by your famous Ali smile! =)

  10. I found a pair of teardrop earrings that I never take out. I’m horrible at makeup so I had my eyeliner tattoo’d and my eyelashes have extensions. Wahla!! I walk out without makeup 90% of the time. The earrings pull it together. I can run with them too.
    I call it,” the faux look put together” look.

  11. I wonder about the heels also. Not just on women commuting but on women in general. I believe that it must hurt to walk in heels.

    I wear my cross necklace all the time. Yes it bounces around but it never hits me in the face. I would not go anywhere without my cross.

    Interesting take on various perplexing observations of people

  12. the sweatstache is a great look. i rock that daily. don’t hate.

    my big question: what sound does bird of paradise make? i imagine a peaceful, drawn out, going to heaven kind of sound.

    also: that 5k sounds fun! thinking about it…

  13. your posts bring joy to my heart. i just love reading them.
    I wear earrings to bed and it never bothers me. I also run with a necklace on unless i have earphones in as they tangle and do my head in. I also don’t understand how people wear heals outside the office. Never going to happen for me!
    Fab news that you are going to be an Auntie again, i have 8 neices and nephews and i love it.

  14. OMG DENNY. Poufy dress, bathroom floor agaaaain.

    Anyways, yes – jewelry and running is a no-go. To answer your question, the chain DOES hit you (or at least me) and it’s very distracting. I need literally nothing annoying happening when I’m running, which sounds extremely high maintenance when i type it out, but I’m talking jewelry banging, iPod armband flopping type annoyances. 🙂

    Oh! And I’d like to know how i got bit by fire ants for a second time sitting in the same grass as a bunch of other people who the ants apparently just ignored and clambered to chew on me instead. Rude.

  15. FINALLY someone speaks up! I do not understand how some people arrive at work looking perfect, in heels and tight skirts and long-sleeved silk blouses and perfect hair and full makeup, even if it is 90 degrees and/or raining outside. Whereas I cannot even put on tinted moisturizer before my commute lest I arrive at work all streaky.

    But I do cook! Nuking a Gardenburger counts as cooking, right?

  16. My coworker commutes in 5 inch heels EVERY SINGLE DAY. I WILL NEVER EVER UNDERSTAND. I arrive at work looking extremely homeless in comparison.

    I wear loud bracelets to work sometimes too and they end up in a pile next to my mousepad within 7 minutes of arriving to the office. I’m unsure why I keep doing it.

    YAHOOOO to a new niece/nephew!!!

  17. I too wonder about the people not sweating and the bangles people. Do tell if you find the answer.

    True life: I sleep in earrings and run in jewelry.

  18. HAHA this cracked me up – with you 10000% on the jewlery thing, to bed, running, any sort of exercise whatsoever, and bangles while working. nope, can’t do it. drives me nuts. forget upper lip sweat, what about boob sweat? That drives me bonkers, except when working out, then it’s ok, cuz it’s supposed to happen, yes? 😉 TMI perhaps, but we’re all women here, I think, for the most part (sorry, Brian!) 😉

    weeknight cooking for me works because I work from home. otherwise, I have no freaking clue.

  19. OMG, YESSSSSS to all of these things (except the cockroach, that’s a big HALE NO!!!). When I forget to take off my necklace while running with earbuds, it tangles around the chord and SUCKS to get untangled mid-run

  20. With the commuting in heels … not only does it look incredibly uncomfortable, but you are needlessly wearing out your shoes. Or maybe I just buy really cheap shoes and wear them far too long. But yeah, I agree with a majority of these things. I basically don’t blow dry my hair once the temps get above freezing in the AM. I can’t wear bracelets on my mouse-using arm. I painted my nails on Sunday and they’re already so chipped. Etc.

  21. This post was hysterical and definitely brightened my day!
    I feel you on so many of these things – especially running with jewelery! I can run with my fitbit and watch, but that’s all. Even a ring will distract me! I’m also one of those people who wears bangles then regrets it. I always have to take off dangly bracelets when I’m writing or typing. They just get in the way!

  22. I hate blowdrying my hair so it’s always in this awesome frizzy half-curly state. And I can’t even wear my Pandora to work without taking it off to type haha. I cannot compete with those women.

  23. a) The heat from the washer/dryer in my apt funnels directly into my bathroom so I cant even blowdry in the winter without breaking a sweat if someone is drying clothing. In the summer its not even an option!
    b) commuters in heels? I can barely stand in them for more than a few minutes. They are a complete mystery to me.

  24. I’ll be in Jamestown cheering on all the Team Challenge folks – I’ll cheer for Becky too!! Even tho I don’t particularly know her, if she’s in orange – I’ll be screaming 🙂

  25. Why is the plural of “goose” – “geese” but the plural version of “moose” is NOT “meese”??? wtf

  26. This might be my favorite post EVER of yours. Those women you’re describing with no upper lip sweat and no boob sweat in the damn heat of summer completely confound me. I hate them. (and love you even more after reading this.)
    That 5k sounds fun!

  27. Love all of your observations!

    I can’t wear heels ever, which is one reason I became a I would never have to wear heels.

    I used to wear a necklace while running because I was too lazy to take it off. But then it annoyed me how sweaty I got and now I remove it. I also used to wear earrings to bed and now they stab me in the head and it wakes me up. I don’t know how I did it for so long!

  28. 1. One bag only. Book, wallet and keys. Run is done before 8am, so that’s all I need to worry about.
    2. I don’t go home without stopping at the Fairway to pick up dinner supplies to cook. No food to cook? No home.

  29. LOL–This post is great! I have questioned many of the same things. It’s so refreshing to know you’re not the only one wondering 😉

  30. On most days, I wear a tiny little necklace that has a single pearl on it- just a little guy. I forgot to take this off the night before the 2012 Chicago marathon… and consequently slept in it and then ran the whole race in it bc I didn’t noticed it prerace at 5am when I woke up. I wore a half-zip tech shirt thing during the race, so it kept the necklace nice and tight on my neck. Didn’t noticed until my post race shower that I had a sweet chafe line in the shape of a necklace around my neck. I looked pretty bad ass for a few days. JK, I looked like I had been strangled. So basically, I don’t understand running in jewels either.

    Oh and I can only wear a watch and 1 bracelet on my left wrist (I’m right handed) at work. I can’t deal with the mouse and the bangles at the same time on my right wrist.

  31. Even though you have nice handwriting and make lists, we are so much more alike than I’d think. Agree on every single point you made here. I can NEVER sleep or run with any jewelry. Things touching me? NO. No, things should not be touching me. I also can’t run or sleep with makeup on. I FEEL it and that is creepy crawly annoying. I don’t understand how anyone can walk in heels. I can’t bring myself to “meal plan” or buy the right ingredients or cook a meal. Almost all bracelets bother me when using a keyboard. Congrats on the new niece or nephew!!

  32. Honest to God, the main thing I took from this post was “RIP Denny” and now it’s like it’s happening all over again and I’m very upset.

    I would flip shit if I saw Alec Baldwin on the streets of NYC. Perhaps that’s why I could never be a cool New Yorker. I can’ t keep calm. I would instantly start taunting him until he exploded with rage and we both ended up on TMZ.

    And Hilaria confuses me because she just seems to zen to be with Ragey McRagerson. I had to unfollow her yogi ass on Instagram because her pose of the day pisses me off. But I’d definitely go to your yoga noise class. I would excel at that.

    The only thing in my entire life that makes me feel like a semi-functioning adult is my weeknight cooking. (Mainly I just love going to Target and Trader Joe’s and cooking gives me another reason to visit.) Sooo yeah, I’ve totally got my shit together. #dontbejealous

  33. ALL these things! I finally went to the chiropractor and apparently all my bags I commute with were causing crazy misalignment. Oops.
    I do attempt to do some sort of food prep but I wind up eating eggs for dinner at least 3 nights a week.

  34. I was one of those high fivers! As I had tweeted you about… 🙂 Thanks again!

    I laughed at some of these. So true. The upper lip sweat. I don’t get it either. I sweat SO MUCH. I have been waiting for subways in the summer before for meetings and was drenched by the time the train came. I also get that dripping down your back sweat. BLEGH.

    Well it was so great kind of “meeting” you at the 10k! Hopefully one day we can connect in person for real!

  35. umm, yes to so many of these things! I don’t know how women do it. Also, how do people wear white pants? I am somehow dirty before I leave my house.

    I also commute with 3 bags. My gym bag is a backpack and that helps keep everything balanced. As far as running in jewelry, I wear my engagement ring and stud earrings that I can’t even feel. But I think the same thing about necklaces.

  36. I basically think the same about all this except the running with jewelry and cooking on week nights. My necklace is a short chain and doesn’t budge….plus I’m too lazy to unclip it. Cooking? Well I love good food. I like leftovers. I live DIRECTLY next to a grocery store. I have a grill. All these factors combined mean I’d rather cook than eat out more often than not! If you don’t love cooking I would imagine it would be hard to find the motivation!

  37. I wore (small stud) earrings when I ran my full and half PRs so I always race in them when I remember (I forgot to pack a pair for the Mini 10k, sad! Even sadder: I missed an Ali high-five!)

    Also, my weeknight cooking most often consists of George Foreman grilled cheeses or quesadillas; totally counts, right???

    1. YES! The George Foreman! I have one. I need to work that back into the rotation. I was on a solid grilled ham and cheese for a while last year. On a bagel thin. I loved ’em. GOOD CALL.

  38. I agree with so many of these things. I tend to commute with more than 1 bag and I commute in my car! haha. I do sleep with earrings in and 99% of the time I don’t even notice. I wear rings when I run but not when it’s hot or when I’m running longer mileage because my fingers will swell around my rings and that’s PAINFUL

  39. So I can’t for the life of me wear wrist-things while I’m typing at work. Even my gorgeous rose-gold Michael Kors watch ends up on my desk. I can’t do it.

    I do, however, cook almost every night of the week. It’s mostly chicken and veggies or other easy stuff. But it gets done. I meal plan, which just means I have an additional list to my normal 5, but it works and saves me money!

    xo Marie
    Chocolate & Wine

  40. I question ALL OF THESE THINGS. I had to get a new watch because my old one was too keyboard-bangy. And no bracelets are ever allowed at the office.

    To solve the other problems, I never blow-dry my hair or wear heels, and I wear an awesome (read: unbelievably dorky) backpack. Easy.

  41. I commute with AT LEAST 3 bags and everyone thinks I’m nuts!! I always wonder how people are so minimalist! Laptop bag, lunch box, actual purse (because you know I always need 3 different types of mints, an umbrella, and half of a drug store and those things can’t fit anywhere else) and an optional gym bag if I’m not going home first….

  42. I agree with so many of these (esp the bangles, and the commuting in heels).

    I JUST got my act together enough to cook most of my meals….it tooks months of trial & error/self-discipline….I get basically the exact same fresh direct order every week, and spend two hours every sunday prepping my breakfasts, lunches, and dinners. It’s kinda sad to spend so much of the weekend doing lame adult things, but it’s essential for my sanity and my wallet. I tend to bake a ton of chicken breasts at once, make a huge batch of rice, and chop veggies, so all I have to do to make dinner during the week is heat everything up together on the stove with some (store-brought) stir-fry sauce. Totally boring but it’s either that, or order pad thai for the millionth time and get really unhealthy and broke, or experience tons of frustration and hanger if I have to spend longer than 15 minutes cooking dinner.

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about ali

I’m the creator of the Ali on the Run blog and the host of the Ali on the Run Show podcast. I’m also a freelance writer and editor, a race announcer, a runner and marathoner, a mom, and a huge fan of Peanut M&Ms, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (way better than the first one!), and reliving my glory days as a competition dancer in the early 2000s. I’m really happy you’re here.
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