Friday, December 25, 2009
I'm off to San Francisco tomorrow for a trip with my bestest buddies.
But I'll leave you with a promise of new and different bloggie things in 2010 and one more list!!
THE TOP 10 THINGS I LEARNED IN 2009:
1) Steak Tar tare is raw!! Did you know that? Cause I didn't! I thought I was ordering some kind of sesame marinated steak tips. You can imagine my surprise when the plate arrived at the table. I was good, though. Go figure.
2) Good things come to those who wait. After two and a half years of interrupted sleep, the rooster is gone! (Some kind of feud between the adjacent neighbors that involved a call to the board of health. I stayed out of it. I just liked the outcome)
3) It's possible to get seasonal affective disorder in the summer. With the cold, rainy temperatures that plagued New England this year, I was schlepping around in a hooded sweatshirt and an aire of depression all summer. I didn't cheer up until almost September, when the sun came out. Oh well. Next year.
4) The Dalai Lama is funny. When J and I went to see him last May, I don't know what I was expecting; maybe for him to come floating out on a cloud of wisdom and enlightenment. I certainly did not expect him to put a Patriot's cap on his head and do the "ta-da" hand signal. He has a great laugh, too.
5) You can grill bananas! Just chuck em on the grill, skin and all. Maybe add some chocolate chips or mini marshmallows. They're good! Go figure.
6) Spices are wicked expensive! After Isabella and I went to that cooking class last fall, I figured I'd try out some of those yummy, spice-heavy recipes. That resulted in what I now refer to as "the $40.00 side dishes" Looks like I'll have to do a lot more spicy cooking in 2010 to offset the cost!
7) Bars Close at 1:00 on Cape COd. Picture it: the look of utter bewilderment on my face as I realize that I DO NOT have another hour to sober up before getting booted. And then picture me walking up and down Main Street, Hyannis for that hour so that I can drive home. (Main Street, Hyannis is surprisingly busy at 1:00 am)
8) People have really strong feelings about microwave popcorn. Some people think it's a big bag of delicious. Some a big, smelly mess. And some think microwave popcorn is the devil incarnate covered in carcinogous cheese dust. Do not ever argue with one of these people about microwave popcorn. Just agree with everything they say and back away slowly. Then run. Very fast.
9) I'm not the only one on earth who is afraid of turtlenecks. Glamour magazine, January 2010 issue: Sarah Jessica Parker says she has panic attacks if she tries to wear a turtleneck. (That's because the turtleneck is trying to kill you, Sarah. By strangulation. I totally understand)
10) I don't believe in age. Or numbers. Ok. SO maybe I'm quoting Paul Rudd here. As Kunu. In Forgetting Sarah Marshall. But I stand behind this sentiment whole-heartedly. It's brilliant! It may be my new life philosophy. Especially since I'm crossing over into what some consider "wicked old". Luckily, I feel like I'm getting younger!
2010, watch out!
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
I am so sexy I can't stand myself sometimes!
Monday, December 21, 2009
Sunday, December 20, 2009
December 14: 4 mile run on treadmill at 8:47 pace and 30 min of weight training 5 points
December 15: 7 mile interval run at 8:18 average pace. Got the veggie servings! 8 points
December 16: 75 minutes of yoga and veggies. 3 points
December 17: Bike 15 miles 5 points
December 18: Long run 15 miles at 10 min pace 15 points
December 19: 1 hour group exercise class and veggies: 3 points
December 20: Does running up and down a hill dragging kids on sleds count? I'm giving myself 2 points for that!
TOTAL: 41 points!
Saturday, December 19, 2009
It was really fun! I forgot how fun group exercise classes could be, with the right instructor! Plus, I did feel a little better after a good sweat in a warm environment.
I had an appointment to get new tires for my jeep afterward. Except that today was a Saturday and they were predicting the first big snow storm of the season tonite. So what I thought would be a one hour ordeal turned out into 5 hours.
My dad was nice enough to pick me up at the tire place and let me hang out there until my car was done. But all my plans for last minute shopping and sending were shot. Looks like I'll be trying out those new tires tomorrow!
Friday, December 18, 2009
No, I haven't posted because I've been cranky. I don't know why I've been so cranky. It's just that everything seems to be rubbing me the wrong way lately.
Some bloggers build each and every post around a rant on what is rubbing them the wrong way. I try not to do that. In general, that's not how I am. And I try to just deal with it rather than sharing my crankiness with the world. (Although many times if I go off on a rant about how cranky I am, friends say it's funny, not cranky.) So maybe I'd be doing the world a favor.
Today, I changed my mind. Today, I decided that since turning 40, I've earned the right to be an old curmudgeon and piss and moan about everything. (Also, since turning 40, I've changed to old person vocabulary and regularly use words like curmudgeon)
So here's my reason for crankiness today: long runs on cold days.
Today was my 15 mile training run. I'm doing the Myrtle Beach Marathon in February with my friend from South Carolina. Which means the bulk of my long runs take place in December and January. I understand that this is completely my own fault. Most intelligent people understand that lots of long runs in December and January is a bad idea when you live in Massachusetts. I am not like most intelligent people. (As a matter of fact, I am beginning to think that I'm not as intelligent most people)
When you run long distances in cold, windy weather (high of 26 today, always windy along the Cape Cod Canal) the prep work is an event in and of itself. First, you have to dress in layers. Breathable, wicking layers that also repel wind. Although sports catalogs would have you believe that their products can perform all of these tasks perfectly (keep warm, repel wind, wick away sweat), in reality, the performance is somewhat less than perfect. Then, you have to make the decision about your body parts NOT covered by your performance wear. Hat, or no hat. Gloves, or no gloves. Face mask or not. I've had days where I dropped item after item along the running trail on the run out and then picked them up again on the run back. I like to avoid that if possible.
Today, I opted for no hat, no gloves, no face mask. But I did prep all exposed skin. Once I had my layers, my ipod, my sneakers, and a thin layer of vaseline on my face and hands to protect against wind burn, I was good to go.
There's one thing you can't prepare for no matter how you try. Long runs in the cold tend to be very....mucus-y. There's lots of sniffing and wiping and hocking lugies. And I don't even have a cold!
Plus, this is ALMOST the shortest day of the year. So even though I timed my run for the early afternoon, before the sun sets, the shadows get long very early. Which means the temperature drops in the shade. And the aforementioned mucus, well, it freezes. ( I'm so sexy when I run!)
Finally, to top off the whole cranky ordeal is the fact that in warm weather running, you get more and more flexible and warm as you run. But today, around mile 10 as the shadows got long and the temp dropped, I got really tight in the hamstrings and calves! Ah, crap.
When I arrived home from my supposedly invigorating and healthy activity, J met me at the door.
"Hi! How was your run?"
"Oh, shut up."
(It's ok. She thinks its hilarious when I'm cranky. Bitch.)
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
J joking asked me "Is this what you thought your life would be like at 40?" And I joked back "Living above your garage, single, and badly in need of new tires?" But really? I never gave thought as to what my life would be like when I was forty, because I never saw myself as being that old.
I don't feel old, though. I ran 7 miles today at an 8:18 pace, which may not seem fast to some, but is fairly flying to me. And my big joke today was: NOW I CAN OFFICIALLY BE A COUGAR! Does anyone ever really feel old? Or are you always in your early 20s in your head?
When I turned 30, I had a bit of a crisis, thinking: "Oh my gosh! I don't have a PhD, I only speak one language, I haven't run a marathon, I haven't made a million dollars, I don't play an instrument, I haven't met Keanu Reeves....I'm so far behind!"
Now, I don't feel like I'm in crisis mode. I'm like...I'm not fluent but I can do physical therapy in Spanish, I've run a couple marathons and I'm training for my 3rd (and my first half iron man), I'm financially stable, I can strum come chords on the guitar, I don't really want a PhD, and, well, Keanu is out there somewhere. (I can't be a cougar with him, though. He's older than me)
I feel good.
I feel like I'm where I should be. For now.
And I have some lists to go write. Because even though I feel good, I can't possibly turn 40 without making a big list of things to do.
Oh, what a year it's going to be!
Monday, December 14, 2009
But I always get to my recap posts!
HOLIDAY BOOTY BUSTER CHALLENGE WEEK THREE
Monday Dec 7: 3 miles at 9 min pace and lifting (chest and back) 4 points
Tuesday Dec 8: 7 mile interval run at 8:30 pace and lifting (arms and shoulders) 8 points
Wednesday Dec 9: YOGA!! I love yoga. 2 points
Thursday Dec 10: 40 minute bike, 12 miles: 4 points
Friday Dec 11: Ok, here's where I messed up this week. I've been lifting weights since I was 14 years old. I love lifting weights. My weight lifting changed significantly after I started participating in endurance events. But sometimes I just WANT to LIFT!!! And today, I did. Legs. 3 mile run at 9 minute pace and heavy leg lifting. 4 points
which is why on Saturday Dec 12: I did nothing because I was too sore.
and on Sunday December 13: when I was supposed to run 10 miles, I was only able to bike for 30 minutes at a ridiculously show pace. 2 points.
TOTAL: 24 points
Monday, December 7, 2009
Well, after a great week one, week two was a little disappointing. But, December has a way of creeping in and stealing time away. Plus, my weekend class was much longer than expected (if I were smart, I would have read the syllabus before actually getting to the class and discovering it was an 11 hour day on Saturday).
And most importantly, sometimes staying on the phone with a friend while she cries for two hours is more important than working out.
Monday November 30: Ran slow 3 miles (10 minute pace). Lifted weights (chest and back).
Tuesday December 1: 6 miles interval running (8:39 average pace). Lifted weights (shoulders and arms) (7 points)
Wednesday December 2: Went to a birthday party. Only had time for a push-up ladder and planks (1 point)
Thursday December 3: phone crisis! (0 points)
Friday December 4: Long run--13 miles-- along canal (9:42 pace) (13 points)
Saturday December 5: 11 hour class! (0 points)
Sunday December 6: Class again (0 points)
WEEKLY TOTAL: 25 points. (a lot less than 47 last week, but what can you do?)
Next week should be better!
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
I feel like my life is too small. Today was a very small day. I don't feel like I accomplished much. I had a bunch of cancellations; the new evaluations on queue couldn't reschedule for today. So I had some downtime. I hate downtime.
I feel like things are moving backwards when there is downtime. I wished I were at home cleaning.
When I got home, I learned that some people who are on the periphery of my circle (used to be right smack dab in the middle of the circle, but then they circled away). Anyway, these people are having some big changes in their lives. One possibly good; one pretty bad, but expected. Big changes are heading their way.
And me? I'm Even Steven.
I talked to my friend, R, at whose house I'm staying this weekend: she said "Nothing's going on? But your life always seemed so exciting. Why is nothing going on?"
Because I'm Even Steven. I hate being Even Steven. I feel like I'm moving backwards.
My bohemian hair is tangling ferociously: I want to dye it pink. My gypsy tendencies are rearing their insatiable heads: I want to look for a new job. My wandering feet are getting very, very itchy, like my winter skin. I want to run, run, run and never stop.
I'll have to settle for 13 miles on the canal this Friday.
Because Even Steven needs to finish some stuff before the gypsy can be set free.
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Anyway, in spite of saying that December came too fast, writing November goals seems like forever ago. What the heck did I even write?
1) Work out 30 times in 30 days. I'll give myself almost credit. I worked out every day that I wasn't sick in November, which equals 27 in 30 days. (I counted walking all over New York City as a workout)
2) Up the water intake. Again, almost credit. I definitely was drinking more water this month, but it still doesn't feel like a habit.
3) Celebrate Isabella's birthday in New York City. Success! Too successful! hence, the "almost" on goal one.
4) Make a kick-ass side dish for Thanksgiving. Well, I'LL call it a success. I made some spicy cranberry chutney (recipe to follow) and potato-pumpkin rosti which were good. But as I learned years ago (and re-learned this year) people like their old stand-bys and don't like to be adventuresome on Thanksgiving. Oh well. More leftovers for me.
5) Lost 10# by December 15. Ok, this just ain't happening. I have been losing and regaining the same four pounds all year. Right now, on December 1, I am the exact same weight I was on Jan 1. But two pants sizes smaller. I know this about myself. Yet I still continue to fight it. I'm fighting still, though. The number continues to bug me, though the pants size doesn't
6) Buy new running shoes. Done.
7) Turn in my application for advanced clinician at work. Done.
8) Read three books from the bookshelf: Done. Got rid of two, kept one.
9)Get all details of my December trip to Cali finalized. Done
10)Continue to declutter. yeah, yeah, yeah.
ANd now on to December:
1) Holiday Booty Buster! Great motivation to keep up with the working out and marathon training.
2) Get the details of February trip and March trip finalized.
3) Finish on line class and turn in completed form.
4) Finish and submit article to health times.
5) Send out Xmas card and letter!!
6) 6-8 glasses of water per day.
7) Four (4!) books from bookshelf this month
8) Try one more new recipe
9) Have a great Christmas.
10) Have an even better birthday!
Happy December everyone!
Monday, November 30, 2009
"I don't have to do nearly the amount of shopping I thought I did" she told me.
Good for Mom!
As for me, I found myself back in the bathroom this week. Even though I said the bathroom is in maintenance phase, it's been looking a little...sloppy lately.
Nov 24: I have a decorative bowl in the bathroom that I had a bunch of corks in. Last year, I saw a message board made with old corks from wine bottles. I liked it and thought that I would make one. Well, I've been saving wine corks for about 15 months and I have -- four. (It takes between 30 and 40 to make the message board) I'm more of a beer girl. I will never make this corkboard. So I threw out the corks.
Nov 25: Same bowl, I had a few coupons for toiletries. They expire soon and I don't need to buy anything new for a while. Put those in the recycling.
Nov 26: I had a giant bottle of shampoo from Costco that came with a pump handle. When I finished the shampoo, I kept the pump handle for...something. Now it's being recycled.
Nov 27: I went through the things under the sink and pulled everything out of the packaging so it fit better. The packaging went in the recycling.
Nov 28: I have a bag with a bunch of beaded necklaces. Pulled out a couple I will never wear and put them in the donation bag.
Nov 29: Put a couple more magazines in the gym bag to give to the gym.
Nov 30: Dropped the donation bag in the drop box on the way to work today.
One more month left!
Don't get rid of your old cellphone. Keep a backup. Wish I had when my cell phone snapped in half this weekend. You know those free phone offers the cell phone companies have? They go right out the window if you are not at the end of your two year contract! Fortunately, I have a pack rat friend with about 4 old cell phones who was more than willing to give me an old one. Lesson learned.
Don't get rid of your MP3 player, either. If your ipod acts up, you may need something when jogging while your ipod gets serviced!
Sunday, November 29, 2009
I've been participating in the Holiday Booty Buster Challenge from RuntotheFinish and I'm so impressed with what a great idea it is! It's great to have that extra incentive on days when I'm thinking "Oh, maybe I'll just skip the gym tonight". Plus, it gets me thinking about eating more veggies and rethinking my snack items for work (ie: skip the power bar, bring the orange)
Mon Nov 23: Short run, 3 miles on treadmill at 9 minute pace plus 30 minute lifting (chest and back). Did NOT make the 7 servings of fruits and veggies today. (4 points)
Tue Nov 24: Middle distance run, 6 miles. Again on the treadmill, since its dark by the time I get out of work. 30 minutes of weights (shoulders and arms). DID make the 7 servings of fruit and veggies. (8 points)
Wed Nov 25: Twelve miles on exercise bike. No lifting, but DID make the veggies! (5 points)
Thur Nov 26: The gym was open today! Did 30 minutes of weights (legs and abs) and 3 mile run outside at 9 minute pace. Totally got 7 servings of fruit and veggies today! Love Thanksgiving! (6 points)
Friday Nov 27: Twelve mile bike ride plus fruits and veggies. (4 points)
Sat Nov 28: 30 min pilates, 15 mile bike ride, fruit and veggies ( 7 points)
Sun Nov 29: Long run on the canal. 12 miles plus fruits and veggies (13 points)
WEEKLY TOTAL: 47 POINTS!
Goals for next week: fruits and veggies every day. Try to get workout in every day, which will be a challenge, since I am in a class in Connecticut this weekend.
Friday, November 27, 2009
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Jeepgirl's List of Non-Obvious Things I'm Thankful For:
1) Anti-lock brakes
2) Cozy Cotton t-shirts
3) making lists
4) Shift on the fly four wheel drive
5) sunny afternoons
7) riding with the top off and the music cranked
11) the summer I lived in Savannah
13) beach sand between my toes
14) days when there is perfect timing
16) peanut butter
17) tea on Sunday mornings
18) new running sneakers
19) jeans that fit just right
21) balmy summer nights
23) the sound of rain on the roof as I'm falling asleep
26) nights when the moon looks gigantic
28) learning opportunities
29) Ellen De Generes
30) The chance to reach your potential
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
I was thinking...I should do an extra special, super insightful, completely brilliant post.
And then I was thinking...about what?
The truth is, there are a lot of silly little observations running around in my head, but at the moment, nothing super-brilliant.
So I figured that in honor of the 400th post, I would share with you a list of superlatives according to me:
Best Netflix Rental: Last week, I rented "Dr. Horrible's Sing Along Blog". It written during the writer's strike in 2008 and originally distributed via internet as an actual video blog. (You can see it on YouTube or Hulu. Or if you're technically challenged like me, you can just put it on your netflix list) Not only is it brilliant, but Neil Patrick Harris -- one of the funniest people on earth -- can flip from Dr Horrible to his alter ego, Billy, seamlessly and without missing a note. I highly recommend it.
Best Book I Recently Read: Loose Girl, A Memoir of Promiscuity by Kerry Cohen. (Calm down, Geek Hiker, it's not what you think!) It was beautifully written, but heartbreaking. One of the saddest books I ever read, but extremely thought provoking and definitely worth checking out.
Best Nickname: Occasionally, when appropriate, I pin a nickname on one of my patients. (I mean, I don't call somebody's grandmother "Old Bat" or anything like that. Just patients who have the right personality.) Anyway, one patient, who recently had a partial meniscectomy, was giving me shit the other day. From here on out, he will be known as "Half-Meniscus Harry"
Best Current Magazine: People. Johnny Depp as 'sexiest man alive'. I concur. In spades.
Best Current Song: Ok, I admit. I don't like a lot of current music. But I do like the New Moon Soundtrack. (yet another instance where the soundtrack is better than the actual movie)
Most Ridiculous Commercial: Tonight, I saw a WalMart commercial in which a lady says: "With WalMart prices, I can prepare Thanksgiving Dinner for 8 for less than $20!" Oh, really? Now there's one family who will be looking at two turkey pot pies this Thursday.
Happy 400th, everyone!
Monday, November 23, 2009
I was late finishing laundry on Saturday which meant I was a little late to start my run. I had just enough time to shower and quickly dress to get to the movie theater. Except that the steam from the shower set off the smoke detector. So I started waving a towel over my head to clear the air under the smoke detector. And the towel accidentally hit a wooden sign hanging over the bathroom door that says "Imagine". The imagine sign fell off the wall and hit a big spider plant I have between the bathroom and the front entry way. Then the spider plant flipped off its stand and spilled water and potting soil all over the floor. The pot landed on my shoe basket and knocked a few shoes out. The shoes bounced down the stairs and right into my recycling pile, knocking aluminum cans down the rest of the staircase.
I couldn't have orchestrated that chain of events if I had planned it for months in advance.
Apparently, I still have too much stuff in my apartment.
So this week, I got rid of:
Nov 17: I went through the papers on the fridge and put all the expired papers in the recycling.
Nov 18: I went through the medicine drawer in the kitchen and got rid of an expired inhaler.
Nov 19: I put I book I finished into the book donation bag.
Nov 20: Changed the sheets today. I have some scented linen spray I spritz the mattress with when I change the sheets. It smelled...off. Very alcohol-y. Not very scent-y. So it got tossed.
Nov 21: Returned a library book.
Nov 22: I had a pair of sunglasses that got cracked. I figured, "I can fix this." So I did. With a dab of glue. But then the lens popped out. And I thought: "I can fix this." SO I did. And then the earpiece fell off. And I thought: "I could take an eyeglass kit and fix the hinge." But today, I just threw them away. Because, really, I can just buy another pair.
Nov 23: Finished another book and put it aside to give to a friend.
Now....how an I accident proof my life?
Friday, November 20, 2009
Several years ago, I got some books on dream interpretation as gifts. I took to the books with reckless abandon, starting a dream journal, looking them up, and trying to make some kind of sense of my bizarre nocturnal shows.
I came to the conclusion that dream interpretation is complete bunk. One of the books was a little too...Freudian. (I'm pretty damn sure that if I watch Harry Potter and then I have a dream that I am on the Hogwart's Express going through a tunnel, I'm simply recapping the movie.) The other book was just plain strange. Why would that horrible naked dream that everybody has mean that I'm trying to hide something? OR a dream about running in mud mean I have low self esteem? Or a dream about a horse lead back to sex?
I came to the conclusion that dreams are just dreams. Rarely do I wonder about them anymore.
But this week, I had a dream that made me start wondering again.
I dreamed that I got a pet hamster. Or gerbil. Is there a difference between a hamster and a gerbil? Does it really matter? Anyway, he was little and furry and fuzzy and cute. And he had a prehensile tail. Which I'm pretty sure hamsters and gerbils don't have. (That would be an opossum, right?) But he did. He was special that way.
I named him Buddy.
I got Buddy a plastic cage with colored tunnels that he could climb through. I got him a wheel so he could run inside the cage and a ball so he could run outside the cage. I filled the bottom with wood chips and shredded paper. I gave him an empty toiler paper roll so he could hide. And I threw in ripped up pages of the arts and entertainment section in case he wanted to bone up on movie news. And pages from the food section in case he wanted to do some experimenting in the kitchen while I was out.
I was so happy with my gerbil/hamster/opossum thingie! I watched him burrow down in the wood chips a lot. We played some ripping games of hamster ball. It was great fun.
Then one day, I came home from work to find that Buddy had escaped from his cage.
"Crap." I thought. I needed to find him and quick! Hamster/gerbil/opossum thingies always make a dash for the heating ducts. They climb in and die. And when the heat comes on, the whole apartment smells like dead rodent. I could not let this happen to my little Buddy!
I tore the apartment apart searching. Finally, I found Buddy behind the dresser. He had turned into a white albino mouse by this point. How I was sure that this was, in fact, Buddy and not some other random rodent --who knows? But it was a dream, so I just went with it.
I pulled albino Buddy out from behind the dresser by his (still) prehensile tail to put him back into his cage. Buddy ran up my arm, across my neck, down my shirt, and then down my leg to my foot. Buddy then proceeded to scratch and bite the hell out of my leg repeatedly.
"Get it off! Get it off!" I screamed to my friend Shan, who had mysteriously appeared next to me. Even though she lives in Texas. And clearly would not be able to hear me if I screamed for help, much less transport herself into my rodent infested apartment to help me. But it was a dream, so I went with it.
We got Buddy back in his cage. Shortly thereafter, I gave Buddy away for obvious reasons. (Possibly to a friend with a snake) Just kidding. I still loved Buddy even though he viciously attacked my leg and wanted to kill me.
He almost did, too.
Because my foot became really painful and swollen. I was on antibiotics and prednisone and rabies shots. I had IV antibiotics. I soaked my foot in Epsom salts and...bleach. All to no avail.
And I HAD MY FOOT AMPUTATED!!!
It was a horrible dream! I wonder what the dream interpretation books would say about that?
I'm not sure. But I am sure that my real life pet? Is a cat.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
You should, too! Especially if the holidays tend to be way too tempting for you. (I know they are for me)
Monday, November 16, 2009
Nov 10: Started with the catalogs. I pulled out ALL the catalogs and put the expired catalogs in the recycling. Then, I took all the catalogs that I'm ordering Xmas gifts from and placed the orders. So I could put those in the recycling too.
Nov 11: Pulled out any magazine that I was done with and put them aside to give to the gym.
Nov 12: Then, I went through the magazines I kept and ripped out any articles I wanted to read. Put THOSE aside to give to the gym.
Nov 13: Ok, now I was left with a giant pile of pages from magazines. Some I had saved for a web address or to look up a particular person. I pulled out all those and looked everything up. (It's much easier to just keep the web address in my favorites than to keep the entire magazine page) The pages went into recycling.
Nov 14: Then the rest of the magazine pages: they were either filed in specific file folders for different subjects or read and tossed.
Nov 15: They are collecting food at the gym for a food pantry for Thanksgiving. Went through the cabinets today and pulled out a bunch of canned food to donate.
Nov 16: Went through the other two baskets under the coffee table today (thank goodness they didn't take as long as the magazine basket!) Pulled out any unneeded papers and put them in the recycling.
Back to the kitchen next week!
Sunday, November 15, 2009
I've had the following post bouncing around my brain for about a week and it's either write it down or have my head explode. I don't want to call out again next week, so -
Last week, while clearing out the storage area, I came across a handmade scarf. It's really nicely made, all warm and snuggly, something that you'd get from a grandmother or a nice older neighbor who babysat for you when you were little. I got it from a patient's wife.
A few years ago, I was working in a nursing home. One of the patients was always in his room; always in bed, in fact. His wife came in every day and sat next to his bed, reading to him, playing music, and knitting.
One day, she approached me and asked me if there was anything I could do to make her husband more comfortable. I didn't really know. But I went in to see him.
He hadn't been out of bed in almost a year. His knee was contracted so that his heel was almost touching his buttocks. He spent every moment he was awake moaning in pain. I set about seeing if we could make this poor guy more comfortable.
I started out just stretching his leg and then splinting his leg a little bit at a time until we got it out to about 90 degrees. Then I got a wheelchair to get him out of bed.
It took quite a while until he could actually tolerate sitting upright in a chair for any legnth of time. But we eventually got him up to 2 hours per day. Two hours isn't a tremendous amount of time, but it was enough him for his wife to take him outside in the fresh air or for him to listen to school children who came in to perform for the nursing home residents.
We even talked about getting the speech therapist involved to see if he could eat while he was sitting up. (he was getting all of his nutrition by G-tube)
I would love to say that he had a dramatic turnaround like Robert DeNiro in Awakenings. That he woke up and had long conversations with his wife and we got him walking through the garden and then he went home. I can't say that though. That's not what happened.
What happened is that he got sick and ended up back in bed. He stopped tolerating the wheelchair for more than 15 minutes at a time. He eventually got over his illness and we started the whole process over again.
As much as we all want to change the world in one giant, fell swoop, sometimes all we can do is make one very small change and hope that makes a difference to somebody.
I guess it did to his wife. She presented me with a nice homemade scarf to say thanks.
I have held on to the scarf for years, from one residence to another, and all the way across the country. I held on to the scarf because it reminds me of the small difference we can make. It also reminds me of how love can persist no matter what the circumstances. She was in there every day, all day, by her husbands side. She looked out for him and did whatever she could to make him more comfortable and knitted scarves.
Here's the thing, though: I will never wear that scarf. It's nice, it's warm, it's handmade. But it's just not something I'll wear.
And now, it's time to pass that scarf along to somebody who will use it. Passing the scarf along will not make me forget where it came from or what it reminds me of. And in addition, I've now passed along the story as well.
Go do your own little thing to make the world a better place. And don't doubt the power of love. It can thrive in the most difficult of circumstances.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
And what the heck do they put in wine to make it so much more deadly than beer?
Argh! I even had to skip the gym today and blow the whole "work out 30 times in 30 days" goal for fear of dropping dead in front of the cute yoga guy.
Oh, I'm going to bed.
Monday, November 9, 2009
November 3: Gave a sweatshirt that is too big for me to K
November 4: Fleece vest that I no longer wear in the donation bag
November 5: Fleece pullover that I no longer wear in the donation bag
November 6: Two-for today (since I was away on Sat)
Scarf to the donation bag (scarf with a story....stay tuned)
Hat to the donation bag.
November 8: Wallet that I no longer use in the Goodwill bag
November 9: Laundry day...two pair of socks that I just don't like in the donation bag.
That donation bag is filling up! Next up...the living room area.
Sunday, November 8, 2009
Things I learned this weekend:
1) Starting to drink at 10:00 am with the plan of keeping the buzz going all day is just a bad idea.
2) I'm just too old for that.
3) I couldn't even do that when I was 22.
4) It's entirely possible to say somebody's name too much. Isabella and I rode the train from NYC back to her apartment after the aforementioned day of debauchery in the city. Between New York and East Orange, the woman in front of us on the train said "George" approximately 1100 times. ("George, listen to me, George. George, I am not saying that you don't work. But, George, your job just isn't as taxing as most other people's, George. Tell me, George, have you ever had to get down on your hands and knees and scrub the floor, George? ....Well, of course, George, I know that most computer programmers don't scrub the floor, George, but, George, I am just trying to probe a point. Ok, George?"
5) And speaking of names, some names are just wrong for parents to pin on their children. One of my friends was relaying the story of his grandfather, Heiman. Spelled almost like the much sought after football trophy, but pronounced like the sacred membrane. What were his parents thinking?
6) I know murder is a sin and there is no justification for taking another person's life, but in some instances, it's completely understandable. (See #4 and #5) I'm just saying that I would voluntarily testify on George or Heiman's behalf.
7) When it comes to buying Xmas presents, quirky is fun! (Maybe not for the recipient, but certainly for the buyer!)
8) Connecticut gets longer every time I drive through it.
9) Don't bank your plans on the weather forecast.
10) Lucky Charms are STILL magically delicious!
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Well, the past few days have me back in that frame of mind. I'm absolutely sure that water is magic.
All the things I have been trying to overcome -- the fatigue, the headaches, the sinus-y feelings, the muscle cramping in the middle of the night, the inability to lose weight -- they all have been magically cured since I came up with a viable and easy way of drinking more water. (that last sentence makes me sound like I was on the verge of death. I wasn't. I just like to bitch and moan sometimes)
Anyway, I figured that I drink one cup of water between each patient that I see during the day. It makes for a good way to keep track of the amount I have consumed as well as a system to keep drinking. It seems to be working pretty well.
I've also learned that in the afternoon when I was near crazy, needing a snack to get me through the rest of the day, I was actually NOT hungry, I was thirsty. So I've been a lot less hungry and a lot more clear headed at work.
No doubt about it. Water is MAGIC!
Monday, November 2, 2009
And I'm also an amazing de-clutterer!
Last week, I was back in the office area.
October 27: In the desk drawer, I found a pen-again. It's a uniquely shaped pen that you hold differently. It was designed to be more comfortable, I guess. People with Parkinson's disease, for some reason, tend to have an easier time writing with a pen-again than a regular pen. So I took the pen into work and donated it to the Parkinson's group.
October 28: I had a stack of business cards in the desk of people I clearly needed to contact someday. Of course, I have no idea who any of the people on the business cards are anymore. So the cards went into the recycling.
October 29: I went through the three drawers in the file cabinet.
October 30: Any paperwork I no longer needed went into recycling or a shredding pile.
October 31: I also compiled a project pile. Go figure.
November 1: Hanging on the bookshelf was a name badge holder that I have had since I was a student on internship. A head injured patient made it for me. I have been carrying that thing around with me ever since. I could never throw it away, because somebody made it for me. The thing is, it's really trashed. It's completely falling apart. So I took a picture of it, to preserve the memory, and threw the actual name badge holder away. I'll make a scrapbook page of the picture or something. (great. Another project)
Sunday, November 1, 2009
October, with its brief hiatus from goals, was, in a word, perfect. I really needed a month to NOT be fixated on a million things to accomplish. Thanks to Apartment 513 and the "30 days of awesome" idea to make me realize that. I know I didn't POST 30 awesome things in October, you'll just have to take my word for it that I did 30 awesome things.
And it's funny. By the end of October, I started to miss my goals. I feel ready to tackle a whole new set, head on. (I read somewhere once that only 5% of the population regularly sets and reviews goals for themselves. How do they get through life? I'd be hopelessly lost. Don't even get me started on LISTS!)
So, with new found fervor, I have compiled the list of November's Goals:
1) Workout 30 times in 30 days: adding in the increasing mileage for February's marathon and overall strengthening for next year's tri season, it'll be a good month
2) Up the water intake: throughout the end of September and October, I've felt -- worn out. Tired. Hungry. And cold. All the time. And though the hypochondriac in me has been yelling "Hypothyroidism", the more calm, cool, collected part of me said "Well, let's look at what's been going on in your life." And the big, glaring, flashing sign was that my diet coke addiction was getting out of control while my water intake was slacking. Could all these symptoms be from simple dehydration? One week of increased water consumption says yes. I need to keep it up through November.
3) Go down to New York to celebrate Isabella's birthday!
4) Make a kick-ass side dish for Thanksgiving that will blow the family away. (even though I am clueless in the kitchen)
5) I gained 2 pounds in October with the Halloween candy consumption (and the Halloween party alcohol consumption) For an excellent and completely non-crazy reason, I got 61/2 weeks to lose 10#. Starting......NOW!
6) Buy new running shoes
7) Turn in my stuff for the advanced position application I am going for at work.
8) Read 3 books from the bookshelf...and don't buy any more this month! (oh, so hard)
9) Get all the reservations for my December trip finalized.
10) Oh, yeah, that decluttering thing. Jeez! Seems like I've been doing that for a year!
Thursday, October 29, 2009
And I spent the last 29 days bitching about how there are no good scary movies anymore. The Uninvited -- predictable. The Haunting in Connecticut-- possibly the dumbest thing ever made. Push -- Not really a scary movie, kind of a thriller. I dunno. It didn't make a lot of sense. And had far too many holes. And Dakota Fanning's skirt was way too short. (She was 13 for crying out loud!) Can't anybody make a good old fashioned scary movie that has you hanging on the edge of your seat and makes it hard to sleep afterward? Jeez!
Then, three days ago, Poltergeist was on TV. "Oh" I thought, "This was a good scary movie! I think I'll watch it for the 1000th time."
I've been having nightmares about that damn clown for three nights!
I love October.
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Last week I tried a very simple recipe that I naively thought that even I could not mess up. Oh, how wrong I was. But I take comfort in the idea that it wasn't me, it was my toaster oven.
Usually, I ballpark. I'm not only a graduate, but a per diem associate professor of the school of good enough. In toaster oven terms, that means I put as much as will fit on the toaster oven tray. And I eyeball the level of done-ness, usually popping it back inside for a bit.
This did not work for my recipe this week.
(adapted from Food Matters by Mark Bittman)
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons olive oil (I used significantly less. The toaster oven pan is small)
1/2 large onion, thinly sliced ( I used minced onions from the spice cabinet. I'm lazy that way)
1 tablespoon rosemary
1) Put flour and salt in bowl. Slowly stir in 1 1/2 cups water, mashing it all together with a fork.
2) throw a towel over the bowl and go clean the house.
3) When the house is clean, heat the toaster oven to 450. Or 400, since that is as high as the toaster oven goes.
4) Pour the oil in the toaster oven pan. Pop it inside to get warm. When you can smell the oil,
5) Add the minced onion and rosemary
6) Heat that up for a couple minutes
7) Pout the batter in the toaster oven pan and return it to the oven.
8) bake for 40 minutes
9) No, 50 minutes
10) No, 60 minutes
11) An hour and ten minutes
12) An hour and 20
13) Ok, shut off the heat, but keep the pan inside, so it can continue to cook as the toaster oven cools.
Heat up the awesome crock pot soup you made the day before.
Dip the fresh flatbread into the awesome soup and enjoy.
Decide that the next time you make this, you will use a real oven with a wider pan.
Monday, October 26, 2009
Oct 20: I had an old stuff sack from camping by the side of the bed. The liner is pretty much trashed and leaves bits of all over the place any time I put something in or take something out. So I completely trashed it.
After that, I realized that I've already gone through the clothes, the bedside tables, under the bed, the three drawer dresser. The clutter is gone. What is left is ... projects. Things I still want to work on, but will take a bit of time to accomplish. Projects may be my big goal for next year.
On the other hand, I still have plenty of clutter in the office and living room area!
Oct 21: I have a pile of catalogs that I had put aside for Xmas gifts. I went online and ordered everything from those catalogs I needed and put the catalogs in the recycling.
Oct 22: Then I went through the magazines and pulled a few to give to the gym.
Oct 23: The pile of charitable donation requisitions sitting on the coffee table was the next thing to attack. I decide which I was donating to, wrote out a check, and put the rest in the recycling.
Oct 24: Then I went through the pile of financial info I had, filed what needed to be filed, shredded and recycled the rest.
Oct 25: Next were some packets of literature I had on some work related topics. I read through them and decided that I didn't need to keep them at home. I put them in my work bag to share with everyone at work.
Oct 26: Over the weekend, I finished another book. I thought a friend of mine from work would like it. So today I brought that to work, too, to give to a friend.
SO next week, I'll be back decluttering in the office. Clutter be gone, projects await!
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Wednesday's Awesome: I had a couple cancellations at work today which allowed me to tackle the giant pile of stuff on my desk. It's always awesome to leave work feeling a little less behind than you were when you came in. Plus, Wednesday is yoga night. I'm feeling much more flexible! And always sleep better after yoga class.
Thursday's Awesome: The weather was spectacular today! Went for a walk at lunch today and took the sweatshirt off. A nice fall walk in short sleeves is always awesome.
Friday's Awesome: The bad thing about Friday was that on my day off, the wonderful weather turned freezing cold and started to rain. BOO! The awesome thing is that the leaves suddenly changed -- poof! -- and the yellows came out in full force. So while I was driving around doing errands, I got a nice foliage show. Just waiting for the oranges and reds to catch up.
Saturday's Awesome: Halloween Party! Despite the downpour that lasted all day and night, we got a good turnout. The theme of the night seemed to be the ocean, as we had three pirates and two mermaids show up. Myself, I was a jelly-fish! Though a lot of people thought I was either a hippy girl or a rastafarian. I'll post pictures as soon as I upload them from my camera.
Sunday's Awesome: Walking on the beach. Once again, we got splendid weather. So after sleeping in to fight off a hangover, we cleaned the house, ate some lunch, took a hot tub before the end of fall drain-the-hot-tub ceremony, and went to the beach for a walk. I love living near the beach. I'm so lucky that way.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Ah, renaissance faires! I remember going to the renaissance faire when I was younger; we'd have such a good time! We'd run around, looking at all the freaky people, going to see wacky shows, and eating fried dough while drinking pink champagne in princess goblets. I especially loved the fights at the mudpit, Smee and Blog, the singing executioners, and sitting in a sunny patch on a hill, happily buzzed, while cheering at the joust. (we always sat on the evil guy's side) We hadn't gone to the renaissance faire in several years, so we were looking forward to bringing J's little son and 15 year old nephew.
I came to a conclusion that weekend. I am so done with renaissance faires!
Maybe it was because we had a 3 year old and had to skip the more violent shows, like the mud fight and the joust. Maybe it was because we had a 15 year old and the double entendres and innuendos were more embarrassing than funny. Maybe it was because they no longer have friend dough or princess goblets. Maybe it's just that I'm too old.
The King Richard's Faire seemed more like a giant hassle this year than anything else. The 3 year old was alternately bewildered and scared. The 15 year old was texting incessantly. Yeah, we did get a few laughs at the kid-friendly shows we went to. Yeah, the candle guy was there. (always my favorite booth at the faire) And yeah, I got a really cute dragon shaped candle in a martini glass. But overall, it seemed like a distant second to an afternoon at home with a good book.
The clincher came when I had to use the facilities. I left my posse at the stage watching the drumming pirates and eating giant, salty turkey legs. I weaved my way in and out of rides and shows and booths. I finally located the port-o-potty village and walked towards it.
"Good morrow, my fair maiden! Where doth though venture on this fine day?"
I looked up, expecting to see some fair worker entertaining the crowds. Nope. Just some guy who had come to the fair with his buddies. He was all dressed up: peasant shirt, sword, fancy hat with a feather, a cape, and --I don't know what you'd call his pants -- leggings? Knickers? Breeches? Pantaloons? Whatever.
I tried to be festive, I really did. I mean, I KNOW it's a renaissance faire. I know people get dressed up and play characters. I know he was just trying to have fun. But darn it, from the hopeful and expectant look on his face, it became abundantly clear: ol' pantaloons had given me a medieval pick up line! I just couldn't play along.
It was all I could do to keep myself from grabbing him by his woolen cape and shaking him. "Really? Dude? You're like 38 years old! Maybe you should spend a little less time playing Everquest and, I dunno, go to a bar or something!"
As it was, I just said: "To Camelot" (the name of the port-o-potty village) and was on my way.
After the 3 year old had a complete melt down and we dragged our weary selves to the parking lot, I voiced my glum opinion of the Faire to my buddies. They agreed.
Then, on the way home, I had a thought. Maybe we WOULD return to the King Richard's Faire next year. Maybe we'd even dress up!
I think it may be fun to go in Star Trek outfits and spend the day wandering around and looking at one another nervously: "I think we're at the wrong fair!"
Monday, October 19, 2009
Oct 13: Threw out a couple sponges that were looking like they've seen better days.
Oct 14: Went through the papers on the fridge and took out all the outdated stuff. Put them in the recycling bin.
Oct 15: Went through the food cabinets and consolidated everything. Took out some cardboard storage containers and put those in the recycling bin.
Oct 16: Took the clothing bag down to the donation center today.
Oct 17: Took the book bag down to the used book store and exchanged those for some store credit.
Oct 18: Put a pair of socks in a new clothing donation bag!
Oct 19: Went through the cleaning rags under the sink and pulled out some stained rags. I gave them to a friend who works at a vocational school to be used as shop rags.
Onward to the bedroom next week!
Today's Awesome: I'll tell you what. I didn't feel awesome today. I was exhausted. I was trying to eat more healthfully and failed after my cottage cheese that I packed turned out to have turned. (blech) I walked into the waiting area to get a patient and heard a woman say to her husband: "Doesn't she look tired?" Yeah. Thanks. I wanted to just come home and go to bed after work. But I dragged myself to the gym. And felt better. And made my favorite awesome squash and spinach salad with pomegranete seeds for dinner. It turned out to be quite an awesome day.
Sunday, October 18, 2009
On Wednesday, October 14: I went back to the aforementioned yoga class. No cute guy this time, but lots of relaxation. Yoga always makes me feel awesome!
Thursday October 15: My mom's b-day as well as the last day of my work week. Had a pretty productive day, which is always good, called Mom to wish her happy happy, and watched a scary movie (the Uninvited) with J and K. It was mildly entertaining with a decent twist. I could see A twist coming from a mile away, but I didn't know what it would be. So it did keep me guessing. Scary movies in October are awesome.
Friday, October 16: I awoke to the pouring rain and wind blowing through all the smallest of cracks in the apartments. I had a super productive day of laundry, cleaning, errands, and winter-izing. I can honestly say it's one heck of a lot warmer and cozier in here than before. And that's awesome.
Saturday, October 17: My friend, Isabella, went to a wedding with the guy who I think she should marry immediately, if not sooner. We'll call him Hottie. (I'm not sure why I feel so personally invested in whether they hook up or not, but I do) Between Isabella, Hottie, J, and me, we had a giant texting fest. J's husband kept waking up and looking over "What the heck are you two laughing at?" At the end of the night, Isabella drove Hottie home and said "I'm glad J and Jeepgirl came to the wedding with us --in spirit." And Hottie said "Me too. There's nothing better than a night out with my 3 girls." On a night when I didn't even leave the house, I still managed to attend a wedding and hang out with friends. Awesome!
Sunday, October 18: Earlier in the year, I had decided to run a marathon in October. Then, I got overwhelmed and felt like my life was just one never ending to-do list. So I decided to just take it easy and do a marathon in February. What's awesome about that? Well, the marathon was scheduled for today. And it's SNOWING today. I'm so glad I'm not running in the wind and the snow and the cold today. Sometimes being lazy is awesome.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Anyway...this all has to do with last week when I said I was shelving Tuesday's Bad Dates for a while. Wouldn't you know it? I had two chance encounters last week that, while not qualifying as DATES, totally fit the bill. And since Tuesday's Bad Encounters doesn't exactly have the same ring to it, I'm resuscitating the Bad Dates for the next two weeks.
Last Wednesday, I went to yoga after work. I like this yoga class. It's not a particularly HARD class; it's an extraordinarily relaxing class. And since I spend most of my gym time running and lifting and jumping and cycling, I think that one day of unwinding and stretching is important.
Anyway, this relaxing yoga class is generally filled with me and a bunch of people much less flexible and in significantly worse shape than me. It's me, a couple 90 year olds, a 400 pound person, and a person in a neck brace. Sadly, they are all better at yoga than me. Yeah, I'm more flexible, but they are much more centered.
But last Wednesday, there was a new person in class. Somebody under that age of 60. Somebody in shape. Somebody...cute! There was a cute guy in yoga class! Now I'm even less centered than usual.
It's been a LONG time since I felt that urge. You know the one -- the urge to sneak a look at the cute guy across the room. I looked in the mirror not at my reflection, but back to him during the balance poses. I peeked back during the spinal series. Then, when we were moving to cobra, I saw him looking over at me. We made eye contact and he looked away really quick. It was like study hall!
Then, as we transitioned into downward dog, I...I...I...farted. It wasn't overly loud. It wasn't really smelly. But it was -- squeaky. I blasted out a squeaker during downward dog! I stifled a giggle and made that "Oh crap" face that looks like you just bit into a lemon.
The really funny thing is that during triangle pose -- he farted! I'm not sure if it was a sympathy fart or if this class is just way more relaxing than I thought. I wasn't able to stifle it this time and snickered right through the warrior series.
When class was over, he was being a gentleman and holding the door for everyone as they exited. I smirked and him, he smirked at me, and we both went our separate ways.
Monday, October 12, 2009
The other thing on my list this weekend was winterizing: moving the furniture from summer configuration to winter configuration, putting away the tank tops and shorts while pulling out the sweaters, and cleaning out the storage area to put down a rubberized mat.
And, of course, decluttering:
Oct 6: It was a very wet summer here. And the storage area at the bottom of the stairs is unfinished; there is a cement floor. It's been cool and damp there, hence the rubberized mat idea. (It might make things a bit warmer in the winter, too) But as a result of the wet summer and cement floor, I had an unpleasant surprise while cleaning the storage area: two pair of leather shoes were MOLDY!! Gross. They went into the trash.
Oct 7: I also came across three cardboard boxes that were moldy. Trashed them, too.
(incidentally, those discoveries just about doubled the cleaning time as I was disinfecting up a storm, as well as sweeping, organizing, and cutting rubber mat to size)
Oct 8: Pulled out a sweatshirt I don't wear. Put that aside for my friend, S, as she was just commenting last week that she wanted a white hoodie. I'll give that to her tomorrow when I see her.
Oct 9: Finished a book: Losin' It by Valerie Bertinelli. Was a nice little trip down Van Halen lane for me. I put that aside to give to S when I give her the sweatshirt.
Oct 10: While going through the summer clothes, I pulled out 7 items and put them in the donation bag.
Oct 11: Then, while pulling out the winter clothes, pulled 7 items out and put those in the donation bag, as well.
Oct 12: Finally, I went through my work pants. I've been noticing that some of my pants have been bagging around the waist and hanging weird. So I tried on all the pants, pulled out all the weird fitting pairs, and put them aside. J and S get first dibs, anything they don't want are going in the donation bag.
And now...this weekend's AWESOME-NESS:
Oct 9: a nice, long, restful sleep!
Oct 10: A fantastic workout at the gym, followed by a crisp fall bike ride.
Oct 11: Renaissance Fair. Fun, and I think I'm past the point of going to Renaissance Fairs.
Oct 12: Saw my brother, sister in law, and 2 nieces for a visit. Had a great meal of turkey with all the fixin's .
Short work week coming up....awesome!