Monday, March 31, 2008
Anyway, on with the upate:
1) My big plan for not buying anything for 30 days was pretty much a bust. I had lots of things going on this month: Easter, birthdays for little ones, a continuing ed class where I couldn't bring my own lunch realistically, a friend who came up for a visit. But, like my other 30 day trials, I was a lot more mindful of my purchases. And a lot more conscious of my finances and how I SHOULD be spending money. More on that later.
2) New workout going great. I am looking a lot better, slimmer thru the trunk area. Swimming is getting easier. Running still ok. Biking only inside on exercise bikes, however. Hopefully, it'll get warm soon so I can get some of this exercise done in the great outdoors.
3) Almost done with the Dorothy Parker book. Just a few more chapters. She was one hot ticket. But, like everyone, had her issues, too. Can't wait to see how it ends.
4) Fen Shui...done and done. Trying to keep the place neat and clean.
5) Financial goal is about half done. Continuing into April.
6) Total bust on the museum. Had a good opportunity, too, as Mye was at the Museum of Science on Friday, but I was driving around lost in Somerville with G. Maybe in April.
Lots to catch up on next month. Maybe it'll be warm enough to light a fire under my butt.
Monday, March 24, 2008
On Saturday, I had such great fun going to my neice's 3rd birthday. It was everything a 3rd birthday should be, complete with a Disney princess cake, a dance party extravaganza, and a few dozen melt downs from exhausted, sugared up kids who didn't want to share or play nice. I had to feel a little bad for my neice, since it was her birthday but the real star of the day was her 10 month old brother, who crawled around, smiling his big, dimply smile, and stealing every piece of glittery princess dress up paraphenalia he could get his little hands on.
As usual, I took the prize for the gift that all the adults went absolutely wild for, but the kids couldn't care less about.
My first encounter with this unique talent of mine was 5 years ago, when I was online shopping for a Christmas present for my (then) 3 year old neice. (Not the same one who turned 3 last weekend. That would make no sense. This is her older cousin, one of the only party guests who did not have a temper tantrum. This includes adults) Anyway, I was putting together a big box of circus themed toys, as she was obsessed with Cirque du Soleil at the time. I came across what I considered to be the gem of the entire batch: a lycra tube of sorts that you velco'd yourself inside of to form a human blob. (Much like when you climbed in your sleeping bad head first at slumber parties and walked around, bumping into things.) Only with the spandex version, you could actually see where you were going, and you wouldn't suffocate in there.
When it arrived in the mail (I mailed everything to myself and assembled it in a cool circus-y box) I had several work friends over, for some reason. We all had a rip roaring good time squeezing ourselves into a lycra tube designed for children under the age of 5 and rolling around my living room. When my niece opened the package, both my brothers and sisters-in-law pretty much did the same thing. Even my dad got into the act.
Unfortunately, the KID didn't like it nearly as much as the adults did. As a matter of fact, she was so freaked out by the concept of the lycra-blob-tube that she actually gave it back to me a week later! Oh well.
Fast forward a couple years, and I was at a party for my then-boyfriend's nephew who was turning 2. I got him one of those horses' head on a stick thingees that you ride around the house on. If you pushed a button on the ear, it played the theme to the Lone Ranger. Again, a party where all the adults are running around the house riding a tiny hobby horse and yelling "Hey-ho Silver, AWAY!!!"Again, a youngster who glances at the toy briefly and then tosses it aside, never to touch it again. (Well, at least his parents got to play with it)
You would think I would be used to it by now. But, sadly, I am not. When my neice opened her new DVD's (Free to Be You and Me, Really Rosie, and The Best of the Electric Company) she looked at them with a confused look and gently placed them inside Cindarella's castle. They were immediately scooped up by her uncle who insisted on popping the Electic Company into the DVD player and watching it right there and then.
Oh well. I still have 2 months to pick the perfect present for her brother before he turns 1.
Friday, March 21, 2008
What a weird, weird week. Weird like this VW bug, (which I thought looked kind of like a psychedelic Easter egg) only slightly less fun.
I guess I'm not the only one who is discouraged by the weather. Because for the first 3 days of the week, people were YELLING at me at work. Which is ok, at first. People come to see me because they are in pain and because they are unable to work or play with their kids or their new puppy or do whatever it is that they like to spend their days doing. But after a few treatments, generally, they stop yelling at me. Not so this week. I had people screaming Mon thru Wednesday. By Wednesday evening, I felt like "Hey! I'm trying to help you, jerk!" (On the inside)
Then on Thursday, everything did a complete 180. People came in like "I had 2 pain free days for the first time in about 6 months" People were all happy and joking and excited about going home and celebrating Easter with their kids. So it all ended on a good note.
Now for this weekend, I am excited because I am going to my neice's 3rd birthday party and playing the bunny for the other kids. This is why I came home. Good times.
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
Swimming was great today.
Monday, March 17, 2008
1) Not buying anything....well, not buying ANYTHING is a bit much. First week, was the food thing. This week, I realized I had 2 birthday parties for little ones who would not understand a rain check. And, of course, Easter. So, birthday and Easter presents aside, its ok. One unexpected side effect: once I figured out the whole lunch/snack thing, I 'm actually starting to lose weight again.
2) Joined the pool last week for the new workout. I have to admit, I've been a bit depressed by the weather so my workouts, as a result, have been a bit lackluster. Many days I'm just going through the motions. But at least I'm there.
3) Got the Dorothy Parker book. Well, A Dorothy Parker book. It is fantastic. I guess I had somewhere in the back of my mind thought she was like Susan B Anthony. More like Gertrude Stein or a female Hemmingway. And even more yummy: many of her quotes are painted on the walls of my favorite haunt, the BBC. She's one balsy babe, and at the moment, my idol.
4)This weekend, I totally feng shuied my place. Lots of interesting finds. No wonder my life had been so screwed up.
5) Plugging away on the financial thing, though that is losing steam, a bit, too. Will crank it up a notch this week.
As a little addendum: the whole no TV thing from last month has stuck around a little and I am watching less of it than I had before. I no longer need it for "background noise". And, on Saturday, somebody told me that my being 38 was "kinda hot". Not sure where to put that comment. I do not want to be Stiffler's mom.
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
Sunday, March 9, 2008
Saturday, March 8, 2008
It began last nite when I met some friends out to see that band again. (no free crap since the first CD. That ended rather quickly) Anyway, I was all set to go with my extra special party shirt from the Elton John store in Las Vegas. A lovely shade of green with the glittery phrase "the BITCH is back" emblased across the front. A nice conversation piece. A bit of a joke. And when you are not walking hand in hand with your friend of the opposite sex (as I was the last time I wore it) an apparent open invitation for excitable guys to stare at your chest. Must think about wardrobe choice in more detail next time.
I am floored --FLOORED -- by the number of people who did not get the joke. Seriously. "Why would you call yourself a bitch? You look like a nice person." Is this what the choices are when you reach your late 30's and are not married? Come on, its Elton John! I'm even more floored that NOBODY got my joke following the song "Crazy Bitch", a crowd favorite and I now know, the last song in the second set for this band every time. Sample lyrics from this song: "You're a crazy bitch but you f**k so good I'm on top of it". No lie. The set ends and I tell a table full of people: "You know, I don't think I understand that song, Crazy Bitch. Could somebody please explain its subtle nuances, because I think they are over my head." Nine blank faces stare back at me until somebody mumbles "Um, its about sex." Gee, thanks. I know I'm not Will Ferrell or anything, but I think I could have gotten at least one smile out of that one.
Most of all, I'm pretty sure I need to print up some rules of etiquitte, laminate them into handy reference cards, and hand them out to anyone expressing the slightest bit of interest in me.
Rule #1: On the dance floor, there shall be absolutely no genital to ass contact. I met you 20 minutes ago. I have no idea where your genitals have been. I know where my ass has been...over the toilet, most likely. I know there are at least 2 layers of denim and one layer of super thick white cotton granny panties between said body parts, but that's not enough. I need some actual air in between, as well. Its just common courtesy.
Rule #2: If, at the end of the night, you decide you are interested in me, please do not express your interest by shoving your tongue in my mouth. I like a good slip of the tongue as much as the next person, but again, usually from somebody I have know for more than 24 hours and certainly from somebody whose last name I know. Furthermore, I would hope that the somebody truly understands that the tongue has more nerve endings per square millimeter than any other part of the human body. Translation, it should have a bit more finesse than a floundering fish just pulled from the sea. And a please would be nice.
Rule #3: If you don not get cultural references to the year 1986, instant buzz off.
Rule #4: Thou shall not insult Van Halen in my presence.
Rule #5: Calling me "adorable" gets you no brownie points whatsoever. That's like calling Danny DeVito short. Duh.
I'm pretty sure if I actually did that, nobody would ask about the shirt. And it wouldn't be so much of a joke, but more of an irony.
I finally extricated myself from the groping hands, the too close crotches, the wayward tongues and the explicit lyrics and went to bed about 2 am. Only to remember as I was drifting off to sleep that I had promised to meet my coworker at the wellness expo at 9 am.
To my credit, I made it there early. To everyone else's detriment, I was cranky and snapped at aromatherapists and breast cancer survivors all day. And it briefly entered my mind that a holistic health expo may be a better place to meet guys, until I realized that 99% of the people there are women. And the men are henpecked husbands dragged along by their wives, gay, or of such a sensitive nature that my laminated card would cause a breakdown requiring several sessions of regression therapy.
Thank goodness tonite I'm doing something I know will not disappoint me. Cozy flannel sheets, here I come!
Wednesday, March 5, 2008
Around lunch time, it became abundantly clear that this was not going to happen. I'm tired, I'm sore, its still raining, I hate March almost as much as I hate February. I'm going home and curling up on the sofa with a book.
And then I met my new patient. Very nice lady. Really sweet. Oh, and did I mention that she is 5'3" and 290 pounds? AFTER her leg amputation? Plus, lots of non healing wounds on the intact leg and buttocks, along with wounds inside skin folds on her back. Diabetes, peripheral neuropathy, asthma, and 2 heart attacks. 46 years old. FORTY SIX!!!
And I bet I know how this whole downward spiral began: she said "Oh, I'm tired. I'm going to skip the gym just this once." Ok, probably not. But suffice it to say, I somehow found the energy to haul my sorry ass to the gym. My ass may be disproportionately large, but its nowhere near 290. Nor shall it ever be. Now if I could just stop snacking at night.....
Tuesday, March 4, 2008
I fully realize that most normal people do not wait 8 months between trips to the salon. I think I may have a defect on one of my X chromosones, because I also do not like purses, shoes, or shopping. The only person I know who is worse than me when it comes to haircuts is J, who went 2 and a half years between haircuts. The only reason SHE got her hair cut the last time was because it was a slow day at work and a co-worker who also worked part time as a hairdresser decided to give EVERYONE a haircut. She cut 14 inches off J's hair, bringing it from past her waist to right around bra-strap level. That was right before Thanksgiving. Of course since then, her hair has grown back about 6 inches and will be back to waist level by summer. It would take my hair about 16 months to grow 6 inches. And if I never got my hair cut again, it would never reach my waist. It grows to just past my shoulder blades and then stops. Weird.
I'm saying that as if it were a bad thing. Actually, my hair's refusal to grow quickly or long is a blessing. I have far too many hair follicles than my head size can support. If my hair grows too long, I look like a toddler peeking out from behind heavy brown drapes. Years ago, I went on a trip to Spain with my college roommate. I decided to be saucy and let my hair out from its perpetual ponytail. When the pictures came back, people I was related to were asking "Who is that Italian girl in all of your pictures?" That was ME, you idiot! I'm not Italian, I just have so much hair you can't see my face. In contrast, whenever I chop my hair short, people practically turn cartwheels around me: "Oh, you look so good! I LOVE your hair like that!" I am fully aware of this. I know I should keep my hair short. But I'm very lazy. And sometimes I like to get drunk and braid my hair in lots of tiny little braids with beads on the ends. Hence, the periods of long hair.
So when I went to the salon yesterday, I got all the usual comments from any hair specialist-type person I come into contact with: "Oh, your hair is so SHINY!", "Ooooh, its so thick", "Wow, its been a long time since you cut this." These are all euphamisms for "You are a slob and you do not deserve this hair that you so clearly do not take care of at all." Yeah, I know. Its true. But as I said, I'm lazy. This particular hairdresser decided to do me a favor and cut not one, as I requested, but four inches off. She was actually right. I should have asked for four to begin with. When am I going to learn that I should just walk in and say "Do what you need to do." ?
Now, I am playing "find the gray hairs" on my newly cropped head. They are hard to find because of the sheer number of hairs to play around in, but they ARE there. They seem to cluster in the back of my head, right around ponytail territory. I fear that I look like a crazy skunk head from behind. Not enough to get my hair COLORED, or anything like that, but just enough to induce mild paranoia. Who knows? Maybe in another 8 to 12 months, I will be saying "Do what you need to do. That includes cutting AND coloring."
AH, who am I kidding? Probably not.
Monday, March 3, 2008
On February 16, I ran the Myrtle Beach Marathon with my friend, Gene. It is the second marathon I have done in my life, and the definitely the more fun of the two.
I have always attempted to stay in somewhat decent shape, but I am not what you would call a die-hard runner. I have a friend from work who is a die-hard runner. She competes in Iron Man distance triathalons in the spring and summer, in mountain bike races in the fall, and I think she wrestles polar bears with her bare hands in the winter. One of my college roommates was a die-hard runner. She also competed in Iron Mans. She traveled all over the country and even to Europe to compete. Once she came in second for her age group in England and as punishment for herself, she swam home. My friend, Adam, in Washington is a die-hard runner. At last count, I believe he has completed four hundred thousand marathons. I have completed two. I am not is the same category as these people.
However, I may be considered a regular runner. Or at least I think I will be, from here on out. I was always prettty sporatic when it came to running. I actually inwardly groaned when my friend, Gene, asked if I wanted to run this marathon with him. Its not that I didn't think I could do it; its just that it takes a long time to build yourself up to be ABLE to do it. It's a commitment. But Gene had already completed a marathon of sorts even before he started training: he had lost over 100 pounds and kept it off for 2 years plus. I guess if he could lose 100pounds and train for a marathon, I could train for a marathon without losing 100 pounds.
It turns out, training for a marathon was exactly what I needed at this point in my life. I had been feeling a bit lost in 2007. Where, exactly, my life was going was a big mystery to me. How, exactly, to deal with that, also a mystery. What I learned over the past few months is that you don't necessarily have to have a master plan for life, just a running schedule and lots of warm clothing. The rest will just fall into place.
On the day of the race, I learned a few things, as well. My original plan was to run side by side with Gene for the entirety of the race, and we would cross the finish line together. So we did. For a while. But even if you are on the same road as somebody else, we all have different ways of reaching the finish line. Some bolt ahead, some take it easy, some listen to music the whole way through, some talk, some prefer to stay silent. We all have our own preferred pace, as well. By around mile 16, it was pretty clear that my original plan had to change. Part of being friends with somebody is being able to read when they just can't stand another second of you. (I'm very good at reading that signal. I get it an awful lot. Go figure.) The last 10 miles Gene and I ran together in spirit. We crossed the finish line an hour apart, but together.
So now as I look ahead, I have only the plan for my next race. I know to stay open to signals that the plan needs to change. I also know that in friendship, and in life, the only certainty is that you need to keep running.
Sunday, March 2, 2008
UNDER THE SKY'S GRAY ARCH
SMILING I WATCH THE SHAKEN ELMS BOUGHS
KNOWING ITS THE WINDS OF MARCH
As I look out my window this morning, I can see a bright, impossibly blue sky. The pond across the street looks almost welcoming, instead of cold and gray and dangerous. The wind is whipping the tree branches about; it looks as though they could break off any momen. A few dishwater gray piles of soggy snow cling to the shady corners of the yard. I can see that spring is just around the corner. I can't wait.
March seems like a perfect month for change, a month for preparation of better things to come.
1) In March for 30 days, I will not purchase anything!! Ok, of course, I need to put enough gas in my car to get to work and back. I need to get milk and bread and oranges. But I do not need to buy a Diet Coke every afternoon at work to get me through the day. I do not need to buy lunch in the cafeteria. I do not need to pick up a Cosmo at the supermarket if I am bored. I do not really need much at all. Sometimes I forget how little I actually need and how buying things never has made me happy. In March I aim to remember that.
2) My book is "The Portable Dorothy Parker" Again, a book recommended by an outside source (Bibliotherapy) but hopefully a book that will be a little more uplifting than my last two selections. I have a vague idea of who Dorothy Parker is, but that's it. It should be enlightening.
3) I am going to start a new workout regeime in March. Partially fashioned on my triathalon idea for the summer and the need to start training for that. Partially fashioned after the fact that I have been concentrating so hard on getting the miles up for a marathon that weight training fell by the wayside in January and February. And partially fashioned to address the fact that I am one of the only people on earth who can GAIN weight training for a marathon. WTF???
4) In March, I am going to go to a museum. Not sure which museum, but I got a month to figure it out.
5) I am going to Fung Shui my apartment. I reserve the right, however, to put everything back where it started if this fung shui stuff has me moving the bed to face north when that clearly is at odds with the layout of the non-movable walls. Or if I need to hang wind chimes in such a way that I'm paraniod that they will fall on my head. Just throwing that escape hatch out there.
6) Once and for all, I am going to get my finances in order. This March, all those 401k rollover forms I have been meaning to turn in will go to their rightful owners. I will move stuff from savings to CD to mutual...all that crap. And I am going to get rid of all the special introductory rate credit cards I was suckered into getting and now somehow carry a finance charge on a zero balance. See ya! March is the time to be suckered no more.
Come April, I will be slim, trim, buff, organized, financially sound, cultered, completely balanced in my chi, and I will know who Dorothy Parker is. WOO HOO!!
Saturday, March 1, 2008
Three advils, a sudafed and a throat lozenge were enough to ease me out of bed. I would have been quite happy to stay in my pajamas all day and purge magazines and whatnot. I had some pressing business to attend to, though, and I had to splash around town to complete it. I had to deal with some of the dumbest people on the face of the earth and I can report with relative confidence that they all work at Foot Locker. (again, more on THAT later)
I managed to squeeze myself into a somewhat presentable state for my friend, Brian's birthday dinner before attempting to watch "A Room With a View" with friends. What the hell is up with that movie? I have seen Helena Bonham Carter in other, Burtonesque films and quite frankly I expected a lot more from her than that pile of drivel. The same goes for the rest of those Brits who have all appeared in at least one of the Harry Potter films. Period pieces tend to be a bit slow, I understand, but they should at least have the semblance of a PLOT. I don't find the droll observations on the Edwardian manners, or lack thereof , entertaining enough to continue to watch a movie unless there is some kind of action to move it along. "You have to throw in some twists and stuff" to quote Haley Joel Osmond from the Sixth Sense (which, by the way, had some great twists!!) I mean, if I wanted to ponder boring, I would contemplate my own life.
Which I will do now:
1) 30 days of no TV. Were about 25 days of no TV and 5 days of cheating, more or less. Somewhat easier because of the writer's strike. Somewhat harder becasue of the month of February in New England. But overall, a good experiment with a good lesson learned.
2)Drowning Ruth. Done and done. See Feb 28th.
3) Haircut...appointment made for next Monday
4)Outings...saw a band twice and saw a movie. Fun by both counts, but the social life still very sporatic and forced. Why am I so lame?
5) Marathon completed!!! My biggest accomplishment of the year thus far. Sometimes I rock!
6) No big party in Feb. Must make up for that in March.
7) No crazy Vday. No crazy leap day. I was wearing my friend, J's 2 year old son's viking hat around all afternoon and evening today. Maybe I'll start wearing that out, just to see what'll happen.
8) Lots of leftover soup in the freezer and lots of new recipes for March.
The one thing I can say is, I made it through February, my least favorite month, with a minimum of tears and tantrums and only one sick day from work. Plus, I ran a marathon. I am certainly not the ball of badness and vinegar that I can be in, say, July, but it wasn't half bad. I may even call February a success. But then I may have to start thinking like an optomist again.
March, oh, March. Lets come on like a Lion!!!