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Goofy tans and (non)housing plans.


My shorts tan has become uglier than sin.

I wish I had a camera in order to provide a photo that could corroborate this admission.  I’m moving to beautiful Alaska for a year, so I need to invest in a camera sometime soon, for documentation purposes. On the other hand, I’m moving to astronomical-cost-of-living Alaska for a year to subsist on an AmeriCorps stipend, so I need to not spend money on every blessed thing that catches my fancy.

Like cameras.

Or flights to Boston in April.

Add in the race entry fee, lodging expenses if I can't find a friend to stay with, and the whole Boston Marathon thing is starting to look more and more frivolous.

Heck. Live a little, right?

 Maybe I’ll just buy both of those things and deal with any possible consequences later.

But back to the shorts tan. I was out running this morning after having promised myself I’d get in a little speedwork. It didn’t happen. I locked into my customary medium-ish pace and peppered it with some pickups, but to claim that actual speedwork occurred would be a fallacy. Anyway, it was humid again, so my clothes got drenched and when I decided to readjust my shorts, admiring how golden my calves have become, I caught a glimpse of the whitest upper thigh you ever did see. I very nearly screamed.  But not really. (My sports bra tan is equally ghastly, but I don’t see that part of my body very often, so it’s easier to feign ignorance).

Suffice it to say that I currently look multiracial, and not in the usual way. My stomach and upper thighs are stereotypically blinding Irish paleness. My legs and arms and face? Italian. No, Cherokee. Maybe even a light-skinned Kenyan, except slow.

I don’t deserve this hideous tan discrepancy. In the arena of goody-two-shoes healthy habits, my devotion to constant reapplications of 70+ SPF long-wearing supposedly sweat-proof and water-resistant sunscreen is matched only by my devotion to flossing my teeth. (For context: If I find myself staying overnight somewhere without dental floss, I’ve been known to rip a seam out of my clothing as a substitute. There’s a 10 year daily streak at work here that I can’t ruin.)

If it's ultra sweatproof, then why does my sweat look white and why are my eyes raging in pain two miles into each run? Liars.

Why, with my high SPF and frequent reapplication, do I still look like some kind of whacky photo-negative of a mime?

Short of conducting my training either entirely naked or entirely indoors, is there a solution to this semi-vain dilemma? (and can anyone recommend a brand of sunscreen that won’t have me “sweating my eyes on fire?”) I’ll wear a sports-related tan as a badge of honor. Up to a point. And I have morrrrrre than passed that point.

On the other hand, Juneau, Alaska has a reputation for being perpetually overcast and rainy, so perhaps I should savor my silly shorts-tan issue while it still exists.

[Temporary post self-hijack: If by some strange chance, you know anybody who has a room to rent in downtown Juneau, hit me up. I’m getting nervous about finding housing. Last year, I rolled into Atlanta technically homeless only two days before my start date, searched feverishly for a place to make home for the year, and wound up with the most perfect housing situation I could have wished for: awesome roommate, two blocks from the park, half a mile from Trader Joe’s, close to work, safe, with all sorts of household-y benefits. I can’t assume I’ll get that lucky again. After all, this is Juneau: population 30,000. We’re not in Georgia anymore.]

I’m probably going to revisit the “to Boston, or not to Boston?” question a little more in-depth in a few months after I’m settled in Hotlaska with more of an idea about how far I’ll be able to stretch that stipend. In the meantime, I’ll keep looking for an apartment and I’ll keep looking ridiculous in a bathing suit.

Not at the same time though.

10 Comments leave one →
  1. 07/08/2010 22:09

    can’t wait to see pics from alaska. i have a friend who spent last summer there and her pictures are stunning!

  2. 07/08/2010 22:21

    I’m all for buy first, think later. PLUS, i missed registering for boston before it closed last year because I was trying to hold out and be financially responsible. I regretted it like crazy. Come April, you will be very jealous of all those people in beantown.

    • 07/09/2010 18:11

      Gahh. Yeah, I think if I’m not in the direst of dire straits, I should suck it up and plunk down the money. That is, if I even manage to register.

  3. 07/08/2010 22:37

    Holy shit, you’re actually going to Alaska? Ballsy, I like it.

    And I live in Boston. Like candy? You can stay in my van.

    • 07/09/2010 18:14

      Perfect response.

      • 07/09/2010 21:16

        A thank you.

        But on a slightly more serious note, if you do end up coming feel free to crash wit’ me and my paaaaaarents!

  4. 07/09/2010 21:17

    I can’t quick-edit comments? Shucks!

    • 07/09/2010 21:42

      No worries, I phantom-edited this one for you. WOW. I can totally edit your comments! This is wrong. I’m like the Kim Jong-Il of this outfit.

      I miss dyestat.

  5. 07/10/2010 21:56

    alaska! freakin’ cool. definitely need to splurge on a good camera 🙂

    and as far as splurging on boston… duh, just be like the rest of America. we are “entitled” to life above our means right?

    seriously though, it would be cool if you could get it to work out so you could go… hopefully flights will go down??

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