Thursday, September 27, 2012

Almost too much of a good thing

My plans to work out all the time are going swimmingly... pun intended. I'm not in the pool every day, but most days, and I am (almost) satisfied with that. I have gone from only doing 5 laps on my very first day out to 10 laps as of this week. That's halfway to my goal of 20 per day. I'm pretty proud of my progress since I've only actually been back in the pool for a couple of weeks.

I'm still in the exercise room every day after work (except Friday because they aren't open) and am feeling great about it.

I feel energetic and excited and I am starting to see positive changes in my physique.

This morning I woke up bright and early and ready to jump into my suit and do some laps. Then I started counting. Not sheep but hours and I realized that in 3 days I had put in about 8 hours of heavy activity. (I skated last night too. So, I swam in the morning, spent an hour or so in the fitness center, and then skated for 2 hours...) Holy crap. I can see how this can become addicting.

Add that to the fact that I have been trying to eat less, and you can see where I was suddenly concerned about burnout.

Fitness is good, but too much can be, well, too much for a body to handle. So I took the morning off. I'll be back in the fitness center this evening. That will have to be enough for today. I don't want to deplete my resources completely!

So the update is, that as of today, I have been at it for 1 month and I'm still at it and proud of myself.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Conversations in Cubeville

The following conversation happend so recently that my heater hasn't warmed up yet...

Me (as I finished my sammich) : BRRRRR!!!

Bratty: I know, it's freezing in here all of the sudden.

Me: My fingers are like...

Bratty: Icicles

Me: Frozen tubes of ice! (pause) Which is kind of the definition of icicles...

Bratty: Dork.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Color me... Colorful

Today, I run. Maybe. I've been spending enough time at the gym that I think I might run some of it. Color Me Rad. I've been looking forward to it for months. It's going to be awesome.

At this time last year, I was taking a deep breath before I did Tough Mudder. If you're nice, I'll show you my headband.

There is no comparing the two. I expected tough Mudder to be a little bit more difficult than the Pendleton Mud Run which is the race that got me into obsacle races. I did it twice.

They can't be compared. Mudder was ALL TERRAIN and the PMR NEVER made me dive into a construction dumpster full of ice. And Mudder was about 11(+) miles (it would have been more but we got truncated for time) with the PMR at 6.2.

Color Me Rad will be WAY easier!

My cousin is going. Dana never did the PMR because she's been living in Nor Cal for a really long time. But she joined Team Fluffy Ninja Monkey for the Mudder and for someone who was not feeling well, was a trooper. We lost two members of TFNM during the Mudder - One was not at all prepared and was puking by the time we reached the top of Squaw Peak, and the other broke his foot as we started the trek down. Sgt. Sinister tried to keep going but his foot went numb and he couldn't walk on it anymore. Dana and I crossed the finish line together. Which was good because her husband was nearby to take video of me on the second to last obstacle.

Because I was being an idiot, I did not register us under TFNM, but I'm going to make us Tee Shirts anyway. In preparation for her arrival, I asked her if there was anything she wanted to eat while she is here. She replied that she will eat what I eat. The following... well, followed:

"You don’t want to eat what I eat… Except the zucchini bread. It’s delicious. And homemade. Not by me, by my ex's mom who still loves me and Wifey so much that she makes sure we get plenty of zucchini bread. Which makes the ex stabby. Not because he dislikes me, but because the bread is so good, he doesn’t like to share. But I might make cookies tonight. We’ll NEED those for fuel tomorrow. I’ll put them in my fanny pack*. I suspect we will be the envy of all the other run walkers.
I’ll pick up some basics tonight so that we don’t starve. My refrigerator currently consists of fruit (which needs canning) and soy sauce. And beer.

Consequently, Wifey IS doing the Tough Mudder (again) tomorrow. I would do it again, but I injured my shoulder last year and I still have trouble with it. Maybe next year I will think about trying again.

*I don't actually have a fanny pack, I have one of those cash belts you are supposed to carry when you travel to other countries. I tend to stuff it so full that it may as well BE a fanny pack, but I just can't bring myself to use a real one. The shot blocks in my little belt of wonders sustained our entire team during Mudder because I brought WAY more than I would have needed. It has been agreed that after 7+ hours of running and obstacles, we might have passed out without them.

Friday, September 21, 2012


One year ago today, I lost a friend.

I don't mean that she's out there in the woods somewhere, I mean that she is now departed. I posted about it here, but now, a year later, it still hurts. I think about her a lot. I pamper the hell out of the Peace Lily she gave me. It hasn't bloomed in a very long time.

We weren't close. Not really. I feel like I don't have the right to still hurt knowing that she is gone. Maybe it's because I never took a minute to tell her she was special to me.

I don't tend to be good at that.

In honor of her, We should all call that person we've been thinking of. And tell them they mean something. That you love them  if that is the case.

You never know how telling someone that they made a difference in your life might change theirs. And at the very least, you won't wish you had.

Do it. Do it now.

Gina Baby

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Seeing myself.

I talk a lot about different situations in my life. My childhood, which while it could have been better, it could have been worse. A whole lot worse. I talk about the adults who influenced me, how I was raised. I talk (a very little bit) about the men that I date or have dated and how that made me feel.

Sometimes, I know, my stories can come across as a bit negative. I have a lot of ugly stories. Some of them I don't share. With anyone. There are some skeletons that should remain buried in the closet behind my tiaras and evening gowns because while they helped shape who I am, they don't define me.

One of those came climbing out one night recently for reasons I don't understand and well, I'm still embarrassed about it and although I wish I could take it back, I can't. Sharing that story only made me want to bury it deeper so it never comes up again. Especially considering I am no longer dating the man I over shared with. I feel venerable and exposed knowing that he knows things about me that are not public knowledge.

That is not the point of this diatribe.

I share the stories because they helped shape who I am. Sometimes something in my world reminds me of a time, and I need to write it down. While I know that I shouldn't worry about what anyone thinks of me, I also don't want to paint a false picture of myself.

I know I have said that I don't blame my parents for the mistakes that they made. Mistakes get made. We are humans and I get to see the people that they have become and I get to be proud of how they have grown. I hope that when I am in my 50's I can look at myself and be proud of how I have grown from my 20's and 30's as well.

The point is, that despite some pretty ugly situations, I don't see myself as a victim. I am not all "oh woe is me, my childhood wasn't pretty", I don't allow the bad stuff in my past to be an excuse for misbehaving in my present. I know (now) that my parents loved me and really did the best that they could. I don't think I was an easy child to raise, and there's no handbook.

That's all.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Just call me Spiderman. Only I'ma girl.

"To say that the Buffalo truly survived would be only partly accurate"

I was, as a child, a terrible student. Like Peter Parker, I was brilliant, but lazy. Unlike Peter Parker, I was not moonlighting as a superhero, rather, I was, like most children. Lazy. There was playing or reading to be done so IF I did my homework, I took shortcuts. My parents (as you know) were kind of the opposite of helicopter parents. Once I hit a certain age, I was expected to handle my shit so they only really seemed to know what I was up to if someone complained.

They were on a first name basis with my teachers from probably 2nd grade. There were nights when I dreaded the phone ringing and I always knew when it was a teacher. Sometimes I knew it was coming, sometimes I didn't.

It wasn't just homework, schoolwork was BORING and TEDIOUS (that was totally a spelling word when I was a 4th grader.) and I would have rather been reading. The only time I could really get into my classwork (other than reading time) was when we did science experiments. Those didn't feel like work, they felt like playing. Some things never change. While nothing can really excuse the laziness factor, I also know now that I didn't learn well in a traditional school environment. Even though I was in the smart kids classes, it rarely felt like a challenge so much as it felt like more work. With 36 kids in a class, I also didn't get the one on one attention that I needed to fully understand things like long division. Presented differently, I might have gotten it. If I had memorized my multiplication tables (why did I miss this? I was rarely sick), it likely would have been easier. But you sit a child down with 3 mimeographed pages of long division problems, and they don't actually get it and they are too embarrassed to ask questions, well, it's a recipe for incomplete assignments and a close relationship between my parents and teachers.

The first sentence of this rambling post is actually important.

I didn't really like doing news reports. Each week we had to get up in front of our class and give a current event or report on something. This sounds like an easy assignment, but my family didn't get the newspaper, which meant I had to get creative. We WERE allowed to do some sort of science-y demonstration, but another girl in my class had the same "Science Experiments for Kids" book I had so she tended to have that covered. Plus, a lot of the projects were not easily demonstrated. How do you show 35 other kids how to make their own kaleidoscope?

And so you got, the infamous dribble glass report.

I had a book that really sounded legit. I mean, how is a kid supposed to know the difference between nonfiction and creative nonfiction? So one day, I'm looking through the book trying to find something to do for my news report and I came across a chapter in the book on dribble glasses. I was ten, it sounded cool, so I wrote up my report and carefully "drilled" a hole in the bottom of a glass for demonstrative purposes.

I got as far as dribbling water all over the reading rug and the opening announcement of "This is a Dribble Glass" before my teacher pulled me from the front of the room. What I thought was an appropriate and interesting article was apparently NOT okay. I was hurt that I had actually completed an assignment and was excited to share, but that I didn't even get into the meat of the report before I was yanked. The phone rang that evening, loud and clear.

My teacher set me up with a classmate who's reports were always amazing. She was a good friend of mine so I was excited to have a reason to hang out with her. We went to the library and did a research report on American Bison. It had charts and pictures and I had one line I had to memorize. Katie did most of the work, but I was part of it and I think that was the only time I did well in anything other than PE. (I excelled at running back then)

Katie showed me the value of going above and beyond. I don't think I did another current event (at least not that in depth and certainly nothing that stuck with me) and I certainly didn't stop being lazy or getting into trouble at school, but that report will remind me always as an example of how things should be done. My parents always told us that it was not okay to do anything half way, and made sure that our chores were completed correctly, but didn't really show us how that translated out of the home.

I will always be grateful to Katie for helping me out. I've been lucky that way, to have the kind of friends that step up and help. I can only hope that I do the same.

By the way, my teacher made fun of me for months about that dribble glass, never giving me the opportunity to explain that there was more to it (she assumed that holding up the dripping glass was all I had to present). Since she brought it up, my classmates teased me about it too. I haven't forgotten what it feels like to be treated like a fuck up all the time. At the end of my 5th grade year, I was happy to move along to another class and the opportunity to do better. That teacher offered me the opportunity to stay behind a year. She said she felt like I was too immature to continue on to middle school. I chose to move forward. I hope I always do.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Please call Nancy Drew. Or Niecy Nash, whichever you can get

I was an avid reader of Nancy Drew Mysteries when I was a child. Okay, I was an avid reader of anything I could get my hands on. In fact, my mother would take away my books when I was naughty. There was always a pile of them on top of the refrigerator. Unfortunately for her, I'd just get another one. Eventually, when I would get one back, I'd start right in where I left off. It's a terrible thing for a parent to go through. "I can't get my kid to stop reading..."

I would borrow the Nancy Drew books from a friend of our family, Lisa. It was always a treat to go to the home of her and her partner because they were like big kids. Lisa would tell me stories from her childhood and let me borrow books from her childhood library (it breaks my heart to know that all those books likely burned when she lost her house in the 2003 San Diego fires, which means she wasn't able to share them with her daughter). It was always Nancy Drew. I think she had them all.

During the continued search for my missing purse, I have thought about Nancy Drew, and where she would begin. I have looked high and low. I have retraced my steps. I have brought in friends to look while I wasn't home. None of us can fathom what I was thinking in the moments after I picked up my purse on that Sunday morning two weeks ago. I still cannot fathom.

I will keep looking. It's GOT to be somewhere!

Monday, September 17, 2012

I fought the tree. It was a valiant fight

The part in quotes is in quotes because it was actually written quite awhile ago. I didn't want to post it until I had pictures, but I kept forgetting to upload them. Then my internet went wonky (it works but is no longer wifi and I keep forgetting to call the company back) and then I lost my purse. Still. More on that later.

"Yesterday I was feeling ready. Ready to go after the dead tree in my yard. In hindsight I think I was hoping to get the help once offered on it, but  my parents taught me not to expect anyone to do anything for me. To always be able to provide for myself. This attitude has been both a blessing and a curse. I have trouble accepting help, but at the same time, I am not helpless when someone doesn't come through.

So, I waited for the bees to go to bed, and I grabbed my trusty axe and swung.

That tree was hard. The axe bounced right off. A couple of branches fell on my head.

I don't know how long it took me, but I chopped that tree down. (now I don't know what to do with it.)"

Update on the tree:

It's still dead and still in my side yard. I might put on my waffle stompers and stomp it into trash can size pieces. Or just try and stomp the branches off so I can use the chop saw on it. In the meantime, I haven't touched my yard. Today I picked up a certified letter from the post office. Did you know it's illegal in Sparks to have thigh high weeds in your front yard? It is. APPARENTLY, I'm bringing down the local property values. I wonder if my neighbor also got a notice about the couch in her front yard? I have 10 days to fix it, but I'll mow it tonight after the gym. I'd skip the gym but I figure that I may as well go since I'd have to wait for the bees to go to bed anyway. Plus, I consumed a Venti Frappuchino on account of I could. (even though I shouldn't) Don't you buy the most expensive and fattening thing on the menu when you get your free birthday drink from Starbucks? So I need to work that off.

Speaking of the gym, I'm still going. I missed Saturday but between the garage sale-ing and Lazer Tag, I got my 10,000 steps in AND got my heart rate up for 15 minutes. At the rate I'm going, I'm going to have to up my daily goal to 15,000. My swimming is improving, I think, I got 10 laps in today. That's twice as many as I did my first day in the pool a week ago Saturday. I'll be up to 20 in no time at this rate!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Where I'm at

In two days, it will be the first day of my 35th year on this earth. Sometimes I think it's strange to consider that I have made it this far when I almost didn't make it out of the hospital the first time. Heck, I almost didn't bake at all. Those are stories for another day.

Despite a few physical hiccups in the beginning and many, many emotional hiccups in the middle (the end, thankfully, is on a slider.) I'd say that I'm doing pretty damn good. I'm coming out of my most recent rough patch with a few scabs (sometimes they still get picked off) and a couple of scars, but I'm working hard on letting the sores heal and the scars fade. I have no doubt that they will and will focus my attention on finding myself in a less "injury prone" relationship next time. Whenever that may be.

If you are wondering if I ever heard back, I did. I don't know when we will be able to meet up as both our schedules look a little full right now (no details from either party) but at least contact was made and I can have Indiana Jones Marathons again soon.  I think it is likely that the book will close on that chapter of my life (even though it hurts to admit it. I'm not really very good at ends) even if the voice in my head whispers that maybe it won't.

While he gave no inkling of what he has been thinking over the last few months, he says he is well, and I am happy for him. As for me, I admitted to being well, but busy. And to missing him and his entourage. Because it is true. I placed the disclaimer on the comment that I have no agenda, because I don't. I didn't say it because I was hoping to hear that he missed me too, or that he doesn't want to be without me, or any of that other nonsense I read about in books, I said it because I needed to. I felt better for it and I left it at that. Indeed, I felt just a little more whole.

I tend to see my birthday as a time of renewal and beginnings. I think I am in a good phase mentally for that. Open to new possibilities and horizons. Physically, I am at the gym twice a day most days, working on getting my body back in the shape I want to be in. I'm not sure when I started letting it go, but I am reversing that by swimming in the morning and hitting the weight room in the evening after work. Fitness was my birthday present to myself this year and I am hoping that I stick with it. It's been three weeks since I paid for the community center pass, and I started swimming last Saturday. I'm already seeing an improvement in how many laps I can do and I practically have to pry myself off the elliptical each day. The combination of that and my Striiv presents all sorts of record breaking possibility! 10,000 steps is no longer a struggle!!

I'm looking into year 35 with hope and anticipation of good things to come. It's a good feeling.

And now you know.

Friday, September 07, 2012

Bigger Than Expected Bliss List

Last night, I thought I was going to have to skip this. I really did. And I said to myself, "really? there's nothing that made you happy this week? REALLY?"

I knew that couldn't be right, but I was in a bit of a funk last night and so I know it was the funk talking, NOT a lack of good things happening.

So, this morning, I got up a bit earlier than usual. and...

  • Made it to my friends' NEW COFFEE SHOP. Grand opening is soon, but they're open.
  • Got to see all the balloons up for the  Great Reno Balloon Races. I love seeing all the hot air balloons  floating in the early morning light. I can never decide which one is my favorite. The colorful classic balloons or the fun shapes. There's something about seeing Darth Vader's head floating over the Sierras that makes me giggle.
  • Made it to work earlier than usual
  • Giggled with the girls
  • Met with a new Derby Girl and sold her a T Shirt. 
  • I'm feeling happy and energetic. I just know it's going to be a good day!

That's a lot for a Friday morning. But I think I just needed to open my eyes and SEE all the good things. I'm so glad I did.

Thank you Liv Lane for reminding me to watch out for fun things in my world!

Thursday, September 06, 2012

You called it, government

So, I'm filling out this census thing that asks all sorts of questions that I don't feel like looking up the answers to and a few that I think are a little personal and I come across one that says,

Because of a physical, mental, or emotional condition, does this person have serious difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions?

And I had to laugh.

Meanwhile, I did something scary today. I sent a text to the last boy to see if I could retrieve a couple of things from his place. Because today was the first day that the idea of cleaning up that last bit of things seemed bearable. I haven't heard back. I'm trying not to dwell on the why. Trying not to make up reasons because I don't now, nor have I ever really known what was going on in his head. I'm really really trying to put all these bits of me together again and accept that a man who gave me up so easily wasn't as into me as I was into him.

And the voice in my head says, "What if that isn't true?"

So I retreat again and try not to keep being the girl who waits for a man who is never going to call.

This was supposed to be a funny post.

It's a Monty Python Day

There are some days when all things revolve around a certain theme. Like Sunday when there were references to the Goonies all day long. Two different friends in two different states watched it which spawned ME watching it, and the beat goes on. This happens a lot with the Goonies. Because it's awesome. Now I want a Baby Ruth. I'm kidding, I don't actually think I like Baby Ruth, they are a little too sweet. Like my coffee this morning. But the Stevia is covering up the terrible coffee so I am not complaining too loudly.

This morning, I woke up to the sound of NPR discussing sea snails off the coast of Baja, CA and to introduce the segment, they played the Monty Python Gastropod skit from, I believe, The Meaning of Life. Then, Passive Aggressive Notes referenced The Life of Brian. and THEN Liv Lane brought it all back to The Meaning of Life again and I had to say something.

I just hope that this doesn't mean that I will come home to a dead parrot.

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Please treat me like a lady

I've been rolling this around in my head like marbles in a glass jar since last night. Not only am I not sure how to approach it but I am not sure if perhaps it is just me. If maybe I missed something (else) in my upbringing that said that this is normal and that I am not. But I don't think so. I don't think so because it's upsetting and makes me feel icky. And in that case, I can generally say with certainty, that it's not me, I'm just the one who is calling out for change.

By the way, I know exactly where my marbles are. My purse, on the other hand, is still missing.

I'm talking about the way I am treated by men. Not all men, mostly men my age. Some that I have dated, some I am not interested in that way.

I look at myself and ask how I can possibly be inviting this, and I really don't think I do. 

Last night I got into a conversation with a fellow through the game I am allowing to suck my time away on Facebook. Within half an hour we went from "how's life in NYC" to "Maybe I'll cook you breakfast sometime" There was no innuendo. There was no discussion on what we were wearing. Sure, we might have been talking about cooking, but I'm more interested in trying out his recipe for chicken marsala than finding out if he makes good pancakes.

Breakfast. I know what that means. I'm not an idiot. How nice that you want to sleep with me, but really? I've never met this man in my life and you are talking about cooking me breakfast? Then you ask about my "tits and ass"? REALLY? Do I have them?? (I replied that I'm a woman I have them.)

I'd write it off as "this guy is an asshole" but honestly, I have been running into similar things for many years. And it was underlined by another fellow I was talking to last night who is just a friend, but in the process of trying to make me blush; he brought up a couple of things that I didn't think was appropriate in a platonic conversation. I brushed them off, but...

Why in the world would a man make a reference about me riding lawnmowers like I would a man? What does it matter what kind of underwear I wear?

What makes it any one's business what I do beyond closed doors? I try not to talk about my sex life (except in reference to not having one, but even then, not so much), it's no one's business - as far as anyone is concerned, I am neuter unless I choose to tell you otherwise. I think of you the same way unless I am sleeping with you or hoping to.

Is that it then? Do men only talk to me because they are hoping to sleep with me? Was the last boy correct when he said that people only talk to me if they want something? That was not the world I was brought up in. In my family, we talk to everyone. It's hard for me to understand that every person who approaches me wants something from me. And that idea makes me want to retreat into my shell and stay there.

Except that it's not just acquaintances and men on the Internet. (who seem to think that if I am talking to them that I want to sleep with them.) There are a couple of men that I have dated who, in hindsight, treated me more like a bit of meat rather than a partner with boundaries. Like the one who tried to grab a handful of hooha in the middle of a party. And the one who, recently, sent me text letting me know that he had an erotic dream about me. We haven't dated in awhile. He has a girlfriend. I still haven't mentioned that it's over between the last boy and I, so as far as he's concerned, I still have someone in my life. Ok, that's the same guy. But there are other examples with other people where I look back and I think, wow. He didn't respect me at all.

We watch TV shows like Mad Men and marvel at how chauvinistic the men are. We are amazed at the blatant sexual harassment that occurs in the workplace on that TV show, but as soon as we walk out the door of our workplace, suddenly all bets are off.

Perhaps I am wrong. Perhaps this is the manner in which men and women are supposed to interact. Perhaps my dislike of it is what keeps me from being in a lasting relationship.

It just seems to me that men and women should be able to show interest without making the other party feel dirty and used. It seems to me that I should be able to have a conversation with someone without sex entering the conversation. My mind is as dirty as the next one. And in the proper setting, I really let loose sometimes. Not to strangers. Not personal things. More along the lines of "That's what (s)he said" and other one liners that appeal to my inner 12 year old.

I suppose the trouble is, that I am looking for men to behave like gentlemen. And yes, I do think a woman should act like a lady. I try to. And I expect to be treated like one. 

Why do I fear that I am going to continue to be disappointed?

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

No Really. I might be suffering

I'm not certain at what point a person can be considered a candidate for early onset dementia. I'm beginning to think that someone should nominate me.

I am, forgetful. I remember silly things like how scratchy the izod velour pantsuit my mom's boyfriend bought me when I was 4 or so felt. I have trouble, though, with more contemporary issues. I've missed appointments, forgotten to call, burnt dinner.

Actually, I don't burn dinner so often anymore because the dog reminds me that there's something I'm forgetting in the kitchen.

this weekend though, it takes the cake.

I've lost my purse. It's somewhere in my house (I hope). I had it Saturday night. I had it Sunday morning. I lost it before I left to go hang with the girls on Sunday evening. I vaguely remember picking it up with the intent to vacuum. I remember putting it somewhere that made sense at the time as a new place to keep it where I wouldn't forget to grab it in the morning and it would no longer be on the floor next to the door where things tend to gather.

"Put it in a safe place" is absolute code in my family for "it's lost forever". Add that to the fact that I'm a squirrel at heart, and there are weird things stashed everywhere. I found $60 in a deck of cards once. I found my cell phone in the linen closet once. I forgot to feed the bird on many occasions.

I have checked high and low. In every cabinet, on every shelf. I checked my room, the spare room (long shot, I only go in there to prepare it for guests) the bathrooms (both of them) the laundry room and the kitchen. I looked in the liquor cabinet twice.

This is not a tiny clutch. It's a sizable bit of baggage.

I have the nessecities. Bank card, ID, Keys, cell phone. I checked to see if the Mastercard has been used (nope). Since I was home during the time it went missing, if it was stolen, the person would have had to sneak in without alerting myself or the dog, who goes nuts  if you set foot on my driveway.

Just now, I checked the microwave. I would have looked behind the espresso machine but HOLY SHIT there's a giant black widow over there. the size of my thumb. Did I mention that I also have trouble with space perception? Even so. giant black widow.

This morning, I woke up certain that I knew where it was. And relived because I REALLY WANT MY IPOD. It wasn't there.

I have run out of potential hidey-holes. which means I must be going crazy.

Saturday, September 01, 2012

Turn of phrase

I'm thinking that "I'm glad everything came out okay" is not the best phrase to use when talking about my coworker's new granddaughter...

*forehead slap*

I think I need to start designing greeting cards.