Sunday, May 31, 2009

June Goals

May is drawing to a close and June is creeping in. Summer is here and I am filled with optimism and hope! Ok, maybe not 100% of the time, but at least part of the time. What better way to meet the summer than hopeful, right? And hopeful is how I am as I write June's goals. But first...May's recap.

May Goals:

Partial credit seems to be my theme for the past two months. I was about 50% successful with the May goals, just like April.

1) Lose 4# for racing weight: Ok, this is more than a fail. This was a move in the wrong direction. Somehow, I ended up 2 pounds heavier at the end of the month, though with looser pants. Maybe its because I have that tendency to put on weight when I exercise more. Or maybe it was a subconscious protest to the horrible message that "The Biggest Loser" seems to be sending out --so different than the show used to be in its first two seasons. Seriously? Now it seems to be advocating eating disorders and weight loss at any cost, including health and mental well being. But I digress. June needs to bring about the food journal once again, along side the exercise log. Sigh.

2) Decluttering: OK, the decluttering is moving right along. This month, my enthusiasm waned somewhat, but I stilled chugged along. I may not be turning cartwheels, but I'm liking how much more streamlined the love loft is looking. (say that 5 times fast)

3) 5 books from the bookshelf: Success! I have been meaning to share some of those books in posts, but never got around to it. Need to be better with that!

4) Run 100 miles this month: another fail. After my knee injury at the beginning of the month, I stuck to biking, swimming, and elliptical for 2 weeks. But that didn't seem to hurt my race performance, because --

5) Complete Half Marathon with PR: total success!! Yay!

6) 3 projects from the project box: half credit here. 2 done. More on that project box, later.

7) Do the switch from winter to summer clothes: Done and done. Took about 4 times as long as I thought it would.

8) Go See a Band with Friends: Success: Outdoor, free concert, nonetheless!

9) 6 more snail mail letters to friends: just in under the wire, completed last night!

10) Swim in the ocean twice: half credit. Swam once.

June Goals:

1) Start of the Triathlon Season!! First Sprint with PR: Ambitious, but I'm hoping to knock 15 minutes off my time from last year. (I have a better bike and some tri shorts to cut down transition times)

2) Do that food journal and drop those 2# I put on last month: I know I get more muscular when I train, but it's still more weight to carry around for however many miles the races are.

3) Another 5 books from the bookshelf

4) One mile swim in the pond, 50 mile ride on the bike, 15 mile run on the canal (not all on the same day)

5) Going to St Louis with Isabella this month -- see at least one blues band, go gambling, go on a riverboat, and get nice and drunk!

6) Continue decluttering

7) Go to niece's recitals and karate tournaments That IS, after all, the #1 reason I moved back here.

8) Finish going through cassette tape programs I have from all those years ago

9) Complete work correspondence course

10) Have a girl's movie nite with J and S

Saturday, May 30, 2009

summer soundtrack

This week, MamaKat posted a prompt asking what is your "life anthem". I gotta be honest, lately I am brain dead by Wed night and pondering something like my life anthem is just way too much to expect.

But today, I got a big taste of what was, well maybe not my life ANTHEM, but definitely my life SOUNDTRACK circa 1992-1993. Today, I went to EarthFest, a free concert in Boston's Hatch Shell. The lineup included The Lemonheads, Seven Mary Three and Soul Asylum. (It also included Shawn Mullins, but due to delays in public transportation, I didn't get there until he was leaving the stage) As I sat on the ground, soaking up the sun, I was transported back in time.

Suddenly, I was running around Boston in ripped jeans and a flannel shirt, listening to grunge rock and drinking (shudder) sloe gin fizzes. (I am quite happy to report that my taste in clothing and beverages has improved considerably since that time. The music I still like)

Suddenly, I felt like I had JUST graduated from college. I was optimistic, ridiculously naive, and filled with a confidence that everything I wanted in life would just magically fall into place. And though the ME that was sitting on the grass today has had a few experiences that contradict that confident belief, singing along with my old life soundtrack made me feel a little bit more like the ME of 1992.

I even jumped up and joined the mosh pit for a while, confident that I wouldn't get flattened.

Oh, it's gonna be a great summer.

The magic appeal of showers

Several weeks ago, I began something called "Adventures in Grooming". Then, like any kind of personal grooming task that takes time out of my precious day, I promptly abandoned it and went about my merry way. That's just me.

But since I am also the kind of person for whom once something is undertaken and abandoned, it will nag at me like a tiny mosquito, I have decided to jump right back in. Prompted, at least in part, because of a conversation I witnessed two weeks ago.

Two weeks ago, I was babysitting for my nieces. I arrived a bit early while my brother was still getting ready to go out. His wife said "Phew! You need to take a shower!" to which he reported "I know. I am. It's my third shower of the day." HIS THIRD SHOWER OF THE DAY. Then, my 10 year old niece came dancing in from outside and her mother told her that she needed to take a shower before going to bed. "Ok" she said. She turned to me and said "That will be my second shower of the day." HER SECOND SHOWER OF THE DAY AT AGE TEN. That is a family of four. They take --what -- 27 showers per day?

I'm not sure if any other country in the world is as obsessed with showers as we are in America. While I am a big fan of showering, I do feel that we take far too many of them. And we perceive showers as having far more power than they actual do.

For instance, there's the I-need-a-shower-to-wake-up-in-the-morning-shower. If somebody likes taking a shower in the morning, it makes them feel good, makes them smile more at their co-workers, then by all means, that somebody should take one. But they should stop using the word NEED. If their shower were to suddenly stop working I'm pretty confident that they'd wake up nonetheless. If it were difficult, they'd grab some coffee or other caffeinated beverage and bop off to work, grumbling all the way.

I know this to be true. I don't shower in the morning. I shower at night, after the gym, and go to bed with wet hair, waking up on a still damp pillow and shaking dreams of wrestling with SpongeBob out of my head. This may be directly related to my unsuccessful fight to end my caffeine addiction. But I can assure you, I do make it work every day morning shower-free.

Don't get me wrong -- the morning showers don't bother me per se. But I know many people who, like me, to to the gym after work and shower before bed. Only to get up in the morning and take another shower in the morning. Exactly WHAT are these people doing at night that makes them awake so grime covered and dirty that they need another shower before venturing out of the house? Or then, there are those who take it one step further: shower in the morning, shower after work, and shower after exercising. Maybe they need to see an endocrinologist instead.

I mean, I completely understand that sometimes we take showers for reasons other than getting clean. Just yesterday when I was simultaneously assaulted by allergies and a cold, I used the magical properties of shower to loosen the deep rattling in my chest so that I could --you know-breathe. And after a couple long training runs in 26 degree weather, the shower was less for rinsing sweat away and more for returning feeling to my hands and feet. (I was kind of like Luke Skywalker after Han Solo rescued him from that abominable snowman thing in The Empire Strikes Back and they put him in a big plastic water tank with an aqua-lung so as to rise his core body temperature? You know -- like that.) That wasn't the best shower of my life, though.

The best shower of my life was after a 15 day backpacking trip with Outward Bound. It was great. (The backpacking, not the shower. Though that was great, too)Fifteen days of backpacking around the desert in Utah. When I returned to the hotel after that great adventure, I basically dragged my red-dust covered ass into the bathroom and showered until the water ran clear. It was like being reborn!

I have friends who say: "I couldn't do that. I HAVE to have a shower EVERY day." I was backpacking around the desert! There was no water. "Oh, I'd FIND water!" they'd reply. I did find water. We used the water we found to fill our canteens so we could drink. "Oh, I'd FIND a way to shower." Really? Rolling around in a tiny, muddy, puddle? That sounds fantastic. "Oh, I'd do something." Give it up, man. There is no showering on backpacking trips in the desert. But there is the one wonderful shower at the end.

When I worked on the spinal cord unit, I had a patient tell me about the weird experience of taking his first shower after breaking his neck. "It was so weird...I couldn't feel the water below my shoulders. It took me a while to figure out that it also felt really good. So I just stayed in the shower for a long long time" He stayed there until one of the nurses came in and said "Hey! Stop hogging all the hot water! Leave some for everyone else."

I think that's great advice for us all.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Tree Hugger

I don't understand it.
I love trees. Love, love, love, love, love, LOVE trees!
I love the strong majestic branches of southern live oaks, dripping with spanish moss. I love the impossibly tall douglas firs and sequoias of the west coast. I love fun loving, sway in the breeze palm fronds, the precise symmetry of maple leaves, the bright colors of cherry blossoms in Washington DC. I even love the spindly scrub pines of Cape Cod; they aren't the tallest or strongest of the trees, but they mesh with the unique charm of this sandy peninsula.
I am what you call a Tree Hugger. I have pictures sprinkled through my photo albums of me hugging a wide variety of trees throughout the country. I even have a bumper magnet on my jeep that reads "Trees are for Hugging."
So WHY are the trees trying to kill me with their pollen?
It's just not fair!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Bad Dates Texas Style, part 2

Ok, so before I so rudely interrupted myself last week, I was telling the story of Shan and my ill fated trip to The Longhorn in Texas.

Shan and I had just joined the "private club" and went to the closest bar to get beers. (MMMM Good, good beer!) We decided to do a lap before committing to a location. We wove our way around the dance floor, the second bar, the pool tables and the dart boards before deciding that the second bar was the most promising location. Perfect timing, too, as we were just draining our beers.

When we went to get more drinks, we were approached by two guys in their early 20's. They looked like typical east Texas guys: boots, plaid button up shirts, Wranglers with Skoal tobacco in the back left pocket, crew cuts. The blonde guy spoke first.

"Hey," he drawled, "my name is Scrotum."

Shan and I stared back, flabbergasted.

"Your NAME" Shan replied, "is SCROTUM??"

"Gee," I snickered, "That's subtle."

"Let me get this straight," Shan continued, "you are trying to convince us that your MOTHER named you SCROTUM. Why would she hate you so much when you were just born?"

Scrotum's friend stepped in. "No, not really. That was....a joke. Yeah, he's always making jokes. His name is really Kyle. I'm Lyle" (their names really didn't rhyme, but it's funnier that way)

"Ok. Nice to meet you." Shan and I turned to do another lap before committing to another location.

Lyle stopped us before we left. "Hey, could we ask you a question?"

"Um, sure."

Kyle (aka: Scrotum) took over: "Are you two..." he gestured between the two of us with his beer. He leaned in. "LESBIANS?" he finished in a stage-whisper.

Lyle stood behind Kyle, looking like a labrador retriever waiting for us to throw the tennis ball. "Do you know what lesbians are?"

I burst into laughter, spewing Kyle and Lyle with a mouthful of beer.

"Well, that's really two questions, isn't it?" replied Shan. "To answer -- (1) yes, we both are familiar with the term lesbian. We lived in big cities before moving here. We've seen many lesbians in our travels. I'm friends with a few..."

"As am I!" I interjected.

"...but no, neither one of us is, in fact, a lesbian, to answer your second question. Will that be all, gentleman? Good." She grabbed my arm and pulled me away before Kyle or Lyle could ask any more inane questions.

Then we just decided to keep doing laps for the rest of the night, laughing and waving at our friends every time we passed the second bar. During one of the laps, Lyle had a moment of bravado.

"Hey!" he said. "You girls want to get out of this lame place? We have a fishing cabin about 20 minutes away. We could go there and party!"

I fielded this one: "Thanks for the offer, but no. That sounds like a very, very bad idea."

Kyle reeled forward. "WHORES!" he shouted. Lyle spun him around and lead him back to the pool tables.

The smart thing to do at this point would have been to leave. Immediately. But I had finished three beers and Shan had downed four. Neither of us were in any condition to drive. We needed to stay long enough to sober up. As it turns out, that was enough time for things to get much, much worse.

to be continued....

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Decluttering and depollinating

Summer has officially started: everything is covered in a yellowy-green dusty pollen and I found a tick in my hair today. BOO!

And since today is Monday, even though its Tuesday, its time comment on the decluttering. (Which, incidentally, has taken a back seat to de-pollinating) Focusing on the living room this week:

May 18: I had finished a book and put it in the donation bag.

May 19: After going through the storage area in my parent's house, I have a bag of hats in the living room. (I know...a bag of hats is not normal. I never claimed to be) But I pulled a hat out that I will never wear and put that in a different donation bag.

May 20: I went through one of the baskets under the coffee table and threw away a bumper sticker I had received for making a donation to some cause. I will never put this bumper sticker on my car. I will, however, put it in the trash. Today.

May 21: Went through the magazine basket and pulled out three to bring to the gym.

May 22: I had a pile of continuing education brochures I received in the mail. I put them in my work bag to post on the cont. ed bulletin board.

May 23: I moved some notebooks from the coffee table to more appropriate place -- the bedside table, which now is roomier after taking care of the bedroom last week. And then, since moving things seems like CHEATING, I took a box of chocolates I had received as a gift and brought them to a birthday party as a little treat.

May 24: I went through the video tape/ DVD basket and took out an exercise video for a charity sale somebody at work is organizing.

The living room, in its new configuration, looks neat and tidy. On to the office area next week!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day Weekend

Yay! Memorial Day Weekend! I haven't been posting, but that's because I've been busy doing summery stuff! Even though today is Monday, this week, Monday is Sunday, Tuesday is Monday, Wednesday is Tuesday, and so on. Just so today, I can gush about how wonderful life is (I'm in that kind of mood).

I got just about everything done that I wanted to accomplish this weekend with two glaring exceptions: (1) I did not take the hard top off the jeep. (seriously - what is wrong with me) and (2) I did not make it up to the Arts Festival in Marshfield. Which is a bummer, 'cause I was told Steve Tyler made an appearance there, and that's always exciting. I've seen him a few times around and he is even stranger looking in real life than he is on TV or in pictures. I'm not sure how this is even possible, but it's true. (Interestingly, I once, saw Liv Tyler in Whole Foods and she is even more gorgeous in real life than on film, but she has the exact same features of her reptilian dad) But, whatever.

I DID get the apartment reconfigured from winter furniture placement to summer furniture placement. (Winter is for maximum heat while sleeping, summer is for maximum breeze and ligh blockage so I don't wake up at the crack of dawn --literally-- every day)

I went to my friends' kids' birthday party and not only jumped in the inflatable jumpy-thing, but played on the twirly see-saw thing. Therefore establishing myself as completely immature for the summer. (Always important for maximum summer fun)

I ran the Run to Remember half marathon yesterday, thereby officially starting the summer race season for me. (and by RACE, I mean something to finish, not something to win) My goal was for a PR in this race, though, and I did accomplish that. The gun time was 2:09:30; the chip time will be posted sometime this week, but its probably around 2:07. I'm pleasantly surprised, as I did not get much running in this month after my ill-fated work-related knee injury. I did a lot of biking and eliptical work, but running just hurt, so minimal running. However, I did fine in the race. Better than fine. (I know 9:45 min mile is nothing to get all excited about, but it is a personal best for me, sadly enough) Strange, I'm a physical therapist and I am forever telling my patients to lay off the running for a couple weeks after an injury, assuring them that they will not lose ground as they heal. But when I take my own advice, I'm FLOORED that it actually works. Go figure.

I went on the first annual Memorial Day Paddle and Picnic. (We came up with that name after the picnic aspect of the event where wine was served) A day of kayaking around Tully Lake with friends in perfect weather. So I got another Memorial Day weekend tradition. (though I have to tell you, sitting in a kayak all day isn't exactly the best thing to do the day after a half marathon)

Summer is here, race season has begun, and I have three short months to sandwich as much fun in as possible.

Happy summer everyone!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

the state of and in the future

The local high schools are having MCAS exams this week and this afternoon, we had 6 high school juniors in the therapy gym. Since I am the queen of multi-tasking, I decided that I would read them some study questions while they did their therapy.

I am happy to report that I would pass 11th grade biology without a problem.

I am equally sad to report that not one of the kids knew the difference between mitosis and meiosis.

What kind of madness is this? At this rate, there will be nobody left to cryogenically freeze me after I'm dead!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Tuesday's Bad Dates: ironic

We interrupt Tuesday's Bad Dates to ponder the following:

When I was in my 20's, whenever I went out to a bar or a club, there was never a shortage of men in their 40's who were intent on trying to pick me up. This fact is made even creepier by the fact that when I was 26, I looked like a 19 year old with a fake ID. I'm pretty sure at least half these creeps had 19 year old daughters running around town with fake ID's of their own.

Flash forward 13 years everything has changed. Now whenever I go out to a bar or club, I am accosted by 24 and 25 year olds who are intent on picking me up!

WTF????? Am I being punished for some crime I inadvertently committed?

Oh, the agony and the irony that is my life!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Books, books, everywhere

I once saw Cyndi Lauper on a talk show and she was discussing the scene in "Harold and Maude" when Maude opens a big armour in her living room and it is filled with instruments: a mandolin, a trombone, a dulcimer, a guitar. "From that moment, I always wanted to have a closet like that" she said. "Filled with every instrument imaginable so that I could open it and just pull out instruments and just start handing them out.

I always kind of felt like that about books. I remember walking along a street with a friend of mine and we could see inside the windows of a house that had floor to ceiling bookshelves on either side of the fireplace. We talked about how we wanted rooms like that someday, filled with Thoreau and Emerson, Shakespeare and Hemmingway, Bill Bryson and Dave Barry. I wanted to live in a place where I was surrounded by books.

This week, I looked around my apartment and found that my wish had come true. I have stacks of books everywhere, like an absentminded professor. And it's cluttering up my mind.

So while I focused on the bedroom this week, I tried to corral some of those book piles.

May 11: While I was putting winter things into a storage trunk, I pulled some scrapbooks out of the bottom of the storage trunk. For some reason, I thought that would be a good place for them. Now, I have moved them to, the Project Box, where they belong.

May 12: I moved 3 books from the bottom shelf of the bedside table to the bookshelf. There's more room there, since I started the "3 book a month" thing.

May 13: From the drawer of the bedside table, I pulled a book that somebody had given me to read 2 years ago. It's been in the drawer ever since. I will never read it. I put it in the donation box.

May 14: In the drawer of the other bedside table, I found a cassette tape of "sounds of nature" that I used to play going to sleep when I lived in a more urban environment. Remember casette tapes? No? Ok, I guess I'm the only old one. Put that in the donation box. (I heard old people like to go to thrift stores)

May 15: Laundry day! One pair of socks to the donation bag.

May 16: And a Tshirt to the donation bag.

May 17: Moved 3 more books from the top of the bedside table to the bookshelf.

And because on 3 of the days I moved rather than got rid of stuff...just so it wouldn't feel like cheating...I visited the storage area of my parents house and pulled out: 3 books for donation, an old college directory that got tossed, and 2 old ceramic boxes that I had when I was little. I gave those to my neices when I babysat them on Saturday night.

Anyway... let that be a lesson to all you bloggie careful what you wish for! You just may end up decluttering it someday.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

mad at Zack Braff

With the precarious economy, the possibility of a H1N1 pandemic, trains crashing in Boston, and wildfires burning out of control in California, I figured it was time to dedicate a blog post to something really important! Like Scrubs.

What the heck in going on with my beloved Scrubs? Once upon a time, it was the one show I could truly count on. Well, not to stick to one time slot or one day or even one network, but at least to consistently make me laugh. No matter what the rest of my week was like, for one half hour per week (be it 9:00 on Thursday or 8:30 on Tuesday or 8:00 on Wednesday) I would laugh out loud at both the obvious and subtle humor, the physical slapstick, and the smart, tight writing.

Then came this season. Not only did the jokes fall flat most of the time, but they completely did away with subtle, overdoing the "janitor has no name", "sweaty Teddy" and "guy-love" aspects. Plus...PLUS... they started phasing in an entirely new cast while phasing out the old one. Did they think we would not notice? Just because they have 1) a neurotic, insecure blonde, 2) a black surgeon, 3) a narcissist, 4) a cute dark-haired, dark-skinned girl, and 5) a dorky guy who is simultaneously chinless and double chinned, that doesn't mean the old cast is disposable! C'mon, there is no guy-love between the members of the new cast! (just because they over did it doesn't mean I want them get RID of guy love!)

I blame Zack Braff. He's leaving the show to go produce some radio show and write, direct, and star in a bunch of movies from New York. Like some kind of gelled-up neo-Woody Allen. I'm so mad at him! Who does he think he is, going off to pursue his own dreams when he should be dedicating his life to entertaining me for one half hour per week?

I have SERIOUSLY re-considered my celebrity crush on Mr. Zack Braff. As a matter of fact: I may actually pretend-break up with him and end our pretend-relationship. That'll show him! As a matter of fact FACT: I may actually just blow him off when I bump into him in real life, some summer day when I am strolling down the street in New York. (That's the way it's going to happen. It's a long, involved story that involves my friend, Isabella posing as the bait and me jumping in as the switch. It's too complicated to divulge all the details, but trust me: it's totally plausible. Downright probable, in fact.)

Anyway, when that happens, and he is completely smitten, I may actually just look at him and say "Meh. Whatever." Forget the cute, nerdy, socially awkward vibe that I dig so much: "Meh. Whatever." THAT'LL SHOW HIM!

In the meantime, I have to find other ways of entertaining myself. Like, maybe, going outside and interacting with actual people. *shudder*

Stupid Zack Braff!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

helpful advice

Helpful advice from my sister-in-law:

If what you REALLY want for a present is a new coffee maker, simply agree to let the 10 and 7 year olds to make you breakfast in bed with NO HELP.

By 7:30 am, there will be absolutely no question as to whether you are getting that coffee maker.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


So thus far, I've outlined my bad dating experiences in Massachusetts and Florida. I have lived in 9 states in my "adult" life. Does that mean my bad dating experiences have gone cross country with me? You betcha!

In the late 90's, I found myself living for a short while in a really small town in east Texas. I was working a 15 week assignment in a nursing home where I befriended Shan, a speech therapist who was also on temporary assignment. We hit it off immediately and by the end of my first week there, we were making plans to go out and hit the town together.

Let me reiterate: I found myself in a really small town in east Texas. "Hitting the town" proved to be a major disappointment. Not only was the town ridiculously small, but it was also located in what is know as a "dry county". I'm not sure if this is a uniquely southern phenomenon, or if other parts of the country are equally as daft. The general gist is: no alcohol sold anywhere in the county. That is absolute madness! I could even buy a beer in Salt Lake City when I went to the Olympics! That first week found Shan and I driving the 27 miles to the county line to buy some Parrot Bay that we drank while watching TBS.

The next week at work, somebody tipped us off to the dry county loophole: alcohol couldn't be sold in any PUBLIC establishment in the county. The law says nothing about PRIVATE clubs. So...all you had to do was join one of the "private clubs" located --well, not in this town, but in some of the surrounding towns. The next weekend, Shan and I joined the private Applebee's club and the private Outback Steakhouse club in the next town. But we still had not found what we were looking for: a bar where we could grab a beer, hear a band, maybe dance or shoot pool all while looking like our super cute selves.

Finally, week three on the job, somebody told us of two "private social clubs" that sounded like what we wanted: The Lone Star and The Longhorn. (In Texas? You don't say!) We decided that the next weekend, we would really hit the town.

Friday night, cute, tan, cleaned up and sporting the sundresses, we set out to find The Lone Star. It turned out to be nothing more than a long hallway of a place with a bar along one wall. There were a total of 4 people inside. It looked like the weekly meeting for Serial Killers of the South. We lasted exactly 8 seconds.

The Longhorn looked significantly more promising. It had it all: dancefloor, pool tables, 2 bars, a DJ, and at least 50 people in cowboy hats, boots, and Wrangler jeans. We signed up for membership, got our cards and ventured into the club.

As you can probably guess, it all went downhill from there.

to be continued...

Sunday, May 10, 2009

decluttering to deter ants

On to round three of the full apartment declutter project! A couple weeks ago, I had said that the kitchen was just about where I wanted it to be. And I thought it was. Until spring sprung and I had to contend with a small (or large, physically LARGE) ant problem. Suddenly, what seemed like totally fine became not good enough, as in -- ants could hide in there! So where I thought things would be difficult this time around, it couldn't have been easier finding more crap to get rid of !

May 4: Ok, under the sink was where I stored all the old bags from before I carried canvas sacks everywhere with me. I use the bags for trash. But under the sink is where the ants are entering the Love Loft! So I gathered a whole bunch of the plastic bags and brought them to the grocery store for recycling.

May 5: Then I moved out all the paper bags out to the gift wrapping box. I have a whole bunch of birthdays and mothers days and such coming up and the paper bags made super cute gift wrap. (see above)

May 6: Now that I had addressed the area that the ants were coming in, I had to address the food. The ants had already invaded a bag of Banana Nut Cherios and some pretzels, so I threw those away and moved everything else into airtight containers or zip lock bags.

May 7: Went through all the coupons I had clipped to the fridge and threw away all the expired ones.

May 8: Same with the reciepts I had kept for gifts from a while back

May 9: Also under the sink, I had some foam stuff that I used for cushioning when I mailed stuff out to friends across the country. I noticed this day that the ants seemed to like it a bit too much. So that got thrown away, too.

May 10: And last but not least, I went through the stack of take out menus I have in the drawer and weeded out the restaurants that had gone under or restaurants I WILL NEVER order from. They went into recycling.

Incidently, does anyone know of a green solution to ant problems? I tried the baking soda, the chili powder, the lavender oil. None seem to help. They seem to be attracted most to water (even more than Banana Nut Cheerios) so I'm trying to keep the sink totally dry all the time. No small feat.

Bloggie Award

Yay! I love bloggie awards! This one is from Tutu Girl. I just love the way she thinks. (and I'm not just saying that because she bestowed this prestigious award on me)

So the rules of this meme are: name 7 things that you love.


1) Browsing the bargain section of the bookstore. It's here that I find the gems that I otherwise would never have thought to consider. Sometimes, I hit the jackpot, sometimes I just dig up mud. But the scavenger hunt always keeps me coming back

2) New socks, fresh from the package. They never feel as soft and cozy as that first time you put them on your happy, happy feet.

3) Riding with the top off the jeep on a warm, sunny day. That's why I got it, after all.

4) Walking on the beach, shin deep in the water, with the waves washing over in a big, bubbly rush.

5) Remembering the smell of the Isle of Skye in Scotland: Scottish heather, peat fires, and the ocean all mixed together. I've never smelled anything as wonderful, before or since.

6) Garden fresh tomatoes in the summer.

7) A cup of tea first thing in the morning when the day is full of possibility.
Next, I'm supposed to send this along to 7 other blogs that I love. However, I am just going to send out an open invitation to anyone looking for blogging fodder. Spring is here, and I suspect you all are outside enjoying the nice weather. (at least I hope so)
Happy week!!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Broken Things

Broken bottles, broken plates,
Broken switches, broken gates,
Broken dishes, broken parts,
Streets are filled with broken hearts.
Broken words never meant to be spoken,
Everything is broken. -----BOB DYLAN

I haven't written anything for a few days because my computer has been freezing up at random moments and losing everything. I've been ignoring the problem, hoping it's not originating in my computer, but in the service provider or in the server or simultaneously in every website I happen to visit on a particular day.

Technology was always M's department. Health and wellness were mine. He'd set up the internet service; I'd help him choose a gym. He'd run cable and wire around the perimeter of my tiny apartment like an intricate freeway held together with zip ties and plastic clips. I'd devise pre-hiking conditioning programs so that we could hit the trails in full stride come spring. He'd perform monthly maintenance on my computer, de-fraging and de-bugging and de-spy-waring. I'd work out the trigger points in his low back. We were like two symbiotic pieces in a larger relationship puzzle.

And then we weren't .

After two and a half years of reflection, I'm not sure if finding somebody who has strengths that match your weaknesses is way to go.

When I started at my current job, I was astounded by the sheer number staff members who were divorced or were going through a divorce. "Perfect," I thought as my relationship with M crumbled around me. "I'll fit right in with this pool of broken people."

Now, I see more clearly that it isn't divorce that makes us feel broken. I listened as a happily married co-worker described how she had spent the entire weekend, paralyzed by fear about starting a Kodak-gallery account. Fear that a child molester would hack into her account, follow her IP address to her physical address, hop on a plane, stake out her house, and sneak into her home at night to steal her kids because he saw them online and thought they were cuter than any other kids he had ever seen. At the same time, she was paralyzed by the thought that her hard drive could crash and she'd lose all the baby pictures of her kids. Or another friend who would no longer let her 8 year old daughter play with a playmate whose parents were getting divorced, for fear that their unhappiness would rub off on her and she'd carry it home to their house, like the swine flu virus. We all feel powerless when faced things don't have control over. We all feel broken and incomplete in small ways.

One of my in-the-middle-of-divorce-co-workers started dating somebody else shortly after her husband moved out. Giant bouquets of flowers were delivered to work on Valentine's day; she floated around the hallways like she was walking on air. For about 28 seconds, I was insanely jealous. "What the hell is wrong with me? How can other people instantly fall into relationships from guys banging down their doors while I'm still alone?" Then I snapped out of it.

Her new love interest was, after all, her next door neighbor. He was also newly divorced, missing his kids terribly and wanting to be a dad--not just on the weekends. She was barely hanging on, trying to work full time and raise two kids, alone for the first time in her life, and wishing she had a little help. So it made sense for them. They formed a symbiotic union of their own -- they fulfilled each others' needs and the sum was significantly less broken than the individual parts.

I'm happy for them both. However, after that first 28 seconds of envy was over, I could only feel tremendous gratitude that she is not me. And vice versa.

I somehow hope that we are more than that... puzzle pieces to fill each other's empty spaces. I would like to think that relationships can be based on more than solutions to our perceived problems; more than ways to keep from feeling incomplete and small. Above all, I hope that relationships are not the very things that keep us from moving beyond our comfort zones -- from opening our minds to new ideas or associating with those who are different from us or opening an online photo sharing account.

I certainly don't have the answers. But I'm keeping and open mind and looking at all the possibilities. And this weekend, in my own flawed and possibly ineffective way, I'll be performing computer maintenance on my own.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Tuesday's bad dates...the milkshake man

Ok, so first this...the winner of the bad date package is Diane! (Of course, if Diane thinks that all my bad date karma is swirling around the materials and the package may mess things up with "the republican", I can always just donate them. I won't be offended. *sniff* sniff*)

And now this...

Today, I am borrowing a story from my friend, Isabella, who has her fair share of bad date stories, as well.

Several years ago, Isabella was set up on a blind date by a mutual friend of ours, Star. Star had a friend, we'll call him Jay, who was a member of her running club. Jay looked very promising. In addition to belonging to a running club, Jay had a great job, owned his own place, liked to go skiing and biking, and coached basketball for a youth league. He lived in Boston, like Isabella did at the time, but was originally from New Jersey, as she was. Sounds good, right?

So Jay and Isabella exchanged phone calls, picked a date, and picked a nice restaurant --not a super fancy restaurant, but not a chain restaurant, either. Just a nice, middle of the road restaurant. On the night of the date, Isabella showed up first and sat down in the waiting area. Jay had said he was going to come by after a run. A few minutes later, Jay showed up... in running clothes. Not the running clothes he had exercised in; he had gone for a run, showered and then got ready for a date in a nice restaurant by putting on more exercise clothes. (I'm not much of a fashionista, but even I know the difference between an active date and a nice dinner date.) And Isabella? IS a fashionista.

Poor Jay. He already has points against him. There was a bit of a wait for their table, so Isabella and Jay decided to go to the bar to have a drink or two before dinner. Isabella ordered a drink and Jay thought for a while and said: "Could you make me a chocolate milkshake?" In a bar. Before dinner.

Picture it: Jay and Isabella sitting together in the restaurant's bar, she in her super-cute date outfit having a white wine, he in his running clothes drinking a chocolate milkshake. Then Jay started to talk to her about his new water bottle. Jay just purchased this water bottle and he loved it! It had a special compartment that had a gel packet you could put in the freezer. (So his water stayed cold.) He took this water bottle with him everywhere. Isabella said: "I have a similar bottle. Only I carry vodka in mine." Poor Jay. He though she was serious. He spent the next few minutes trying to convince her to get help for her alcohol problem.

The hostess finally came in and told them their table was ready. So they found their table, studied the menus, and made their decisions. The waitress showed up and they ordered their entree and Jay ordered...another milkshake.

After their food (and Jay's milkshake) arrived, they started talking about other types of food they likes. Jay mentioned that he tried to eat healthy. He then went on to explain how all of Isabella's favorite foods were unhealthy and how, in fact, her choice of entree that night was unhealthy. He gave her several tips on how she could try to be a little healthier. How come she wasn't more like Star? Weren't they good friends?

Poor Jay. He'd really blown it with Isabella. He'd done just about everything he could possibly do to turn her off. Or had he? After dinner, Isabella ordered a cup of coffee and Jay more milkshake to top off the night.

Monday, May 4, 2009

the end of round two


No sooner do I make goals to lose 4# and run 100 miles in a month than life, with its twisted sense of humor, throws a curve ball at me.

Yesterday I woke up with my eyes literally swollen almost shut and my sinuses feeling like they were stuffed with wet cotton. I've never had bad allergies before, so why now? I convinced a friend to go buy me some Benadryl and after my 5 hour medicine induced nappy, was much better, though groggy. Translation? My 11 mile run did not happen.

And then today, a patient lost his balance in front of me and I managed to catch him and lower him to the ground gently. But I caught him at an angle and my knee rapidly twisted from the impact. Translation? My 5 mile run did not happen. Fortunately, I don't think there's any significant damage. I felt better after 30 minutes on the stationary bike and some ice. Maybe tomorrow.

In happier news, the purging continues without a hitch. This week, I was back to the storage containers.

April 27: From the winter sports basket (which got disappointingly little use this year) I pulled out a fleece pull over for the donation bag.

April 28: From the luggage container, I pulled out an odd sized duffel bag (which does not work as a carry on). This I decided to repurpose from luggage to winter clothes storage.

April 29: From the tools-n-such container, I pulled out a few mini bungee cords and gave them away to K for his workshop. He'll get a lot more use out of them than me.

April 30: Going through some boxes, I noticed that I had been saving the I'm going to rewrap the contents in the same paper. That may have worked in a desert state like California, but here in Mass, it gets damp. The newspaper was starting to smell musty. NOT GOOD. I threw away any and all newspaper from storage containers and boxes.

May 1: Today I started the switcheroo from winter to summer clothes. (I always forget that it's a multi-step process and start out thinking that I'll get everything completed in 2 hours or so. Forgetting the --take the wool coat and sweaters to the dry cleaners before packing away, wash the jackets before packing away etc. Anyway, In the summer stuff I came across some capri pants that inexplicably remind me of M. Donation bag! (It's weird how clothes remind me of certain times in my life or certain people. I'm decluttering on many levels!)

May 2: Winter flannel PJ bottoms that I haven't worn in 3 years or so....donation bag!

May 3: Big, giant, out of style sweater that I'll never wear again...donation bag!

And that's it for round two through the love loft. Next week, I'm starting on round three, back in the kitchen again.

Friday, May 1, 2009

May Goals

Happy May Day! Its always a lucky day when the first day of the month falls on a Friday, which is my day off. SO I can get everything paying the rent, changing the contacts, changing the sponges, updating the goals, checking the batteries in the smoke detectors, and all the rest. Of course, my friend, S was over watching the little one for J today, and it was rainy, rainy, rainy. So I may have sat around and watched movies all day with S instead of doing all my beginning of the month stuff.


April Goal Round Up:

1) Eating Plan: We're going to go a bout half and half on that one. I've been trying to eat more organic, drink more water, eat CLEANER. Of course, Easter was in April, with all that Easter candy. SO, I may have gotten side tracked a bit. But I do like the clean eating and want to take it up a notch next month. Baby steps, baby steps.

2) De Cluttering is still going strong.

3) 3 books from the bookshelf: Done and done!

4) Working out and Yoga: Again, I'm going with half credit. I'm plugging away. I got at least one yoga workout in a week, two on two of the weeks, and I have a home program that I did once. One of the workouts was a two hour yoga thing on Sunday at 6am. 1 hour of yoga followed by one hour of meditation. They are going to continue that the first Sunday of every month and I plan on continuing, too. June thru September, it goes to on the beach at sunrise. How cool is that?

5) Post every day for the month: Partial credit again. It got nice mid month and I had to go outside!

6) Guitar playing: some, but not as much as I should

7) House detox: I'm working on that one. Declutter, detox the house, detox the body, and yoga. Plus the Dalai Lama tomorrow. I may levitate instead of walk by the end of the year!

8) Easter Egg Hunt with the family: More like 6 Easter egg hunts. In 45 degree weather. Those kids are made of teflon!

9) 6 old fashioned snail mail letters to friends: Done just under the wire.

10) 2 projects from the project box: yay! finally making some progress there!

On to May.

I'm so happy May is here! It was really a hard, long, icy winter. I'm looking forward to nice weather and being outside.

1) Lose 4 pound for racing weight: I have been focusing much more on WHAT I've been eating rather than how much I eat and how much I weigh. Which is good. Except that racing begins in May. So I need to slim down so I don't keel over in the course.

2) Continue with the decluttering: Strangely, this is the only project that I haven't lost steam on. I get more and more inspired the more I get rid of. I'm hanging onto the hope that as I get rid of more stuff, I'm making room in my life for something good. Nothing earth-shattering has moved in, yet, but I certainly can find my keys a lot more easily. SO that's something.

3) Books on the bookshelf: Moving onto the spirituality books this month. I'm gettin ambitious, too. Instead of the usualy three, I'm tyring for 5 this month!

4) Run 100 mile this month (I totally stole this from Gazelle)

5) Complete a half marathon with PR

6) 3 projects from the project box

7) Do the switch from winter to summer clothes

8) Go out to see a band with friends

9) 6 more snail mail letters to friends I will MAKE people embrace the low-tech ways of communicating once again, damn it!

10) Swim in the ocean twice

And a bunch of work projects, as well. Just as long as I remember that having fun is important, as well.