Monday, October 31, 2011


"This is the time...when the veil between the worlds is its thinnest..."

"The Mexicans call it 'Dia de Los Muertos'...they visit the graves of their ancestors, the children crack hard candies shaped like skulls between their teeth and clutch marigolds in their fists...running to sprinkle the petals over the graves....."

(Paraphrased thoughts from Starhawk's Spiral Dance and Kingsolver's Animal Dreams)

I'm truly a solitary witch. Much as I dig the idea of the spiral dance and get comfort from drumming around the fire with my friends, I am definitely a solitary. I'm at work today, but inside my head, I'm so looking forward to tonight, to lighting candles, working with salt and water, sitting very very very still and listening to the earth as I ground and trance. I'm surprised at how it speaks to me today.

I'm quite the lapsed pagan.....if fair-weather Catholicism means catching the Christmas and Easter services and skipping the regular Sunday sermons, then lapsed paganism must be waking up on Halloween and realizing how desperately you need to practice again. How your very soul is aching to hold a wand in your hands, call the quarters and your guardians, ask their help in celebrating this beautiful turning of the Wheel, and if they have any spare time, could they help you get your head screwed on straighter too?

It's the Celtic New Year. I'll spend time tonight thinking, and I'll write some resolutions. I'll read from my books about the rituals of Samhain ("sow-in"), and incorporate parts into my own ritual. I'll punish my pancreas today with my sugar intake, and start fresh with my lifestyle changes on Tuesday.

Mostly, I'll enjoy gratitude for the life I have. It ain't perfect, but it works.
Images from here and here.

Thursday, October 27, 2011


I'm glad the weekend is coming. My brain is here (above) and my wheels are turning.

Image from here.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

And your crybaby, whiny-assed problem would be what now?

I'm a little tired of myself.

I've been reading other women's blogs and come to a conclusion: there's some seriously funny women out there. I used to be one of them.

I have my moments (I will nod regally still, when referred to as the Queen of the One-Liners by my local friends), but they damn sure rarely show up here (the one-liners, that is...pretty sure my 6½ friends show up here on occasion). I can only guess that the funny blogs I've happened upon are all written by stay-at-home moms (who haven't a care in the world, since they don't "work"). Yes, I totally know that doesn't exist, that SAHMs are as busy or busier than I am in an average day (and I don't have a job cleaning up poop or puke in an average day, like they do, so I really need to stop bitching...).....but there's gotta be a reason they have the time/energy/sanity/coherence to exercise wit. Like they have husbands who have jobs making "real money" and children that are delightful and well-behaved, or at the least, the mothers are all on Xanax and keep a bottle of Bailey's in the toilet tank for emergencies when they need to hole up for a moment's peace.

Disclaimer: Blog author ate healthy food for a solid week and a half before indulging in sugar with a side of sugar...this post could be the result of a sugar high. Maybe. Just sayin'...

Hmmm...speaking of Bailey's......

OK, I'm back.....damn, that tastes like Christmastime.....where was I?

I guess it's because I spend my day working with words. Mundane words. Seriously repetitive, redundant, poorly written, grammatically questionable and correct-spelling-optional, mundane words, selling products and services that for the most part, people don't need. I give myself fully to that, because I have to, because my DH has physical issues that put me in the familial driver's seat, being Superwoman, bringin' home that bacon.....

(such that it is, and on a bad week, it ain't much dough...but I am so silly-assed-in-love that I gave up resenting the sitch ages ago)...

And then there's very little left at the end of the day to give elsewhere, to myself, my writing, my/our dreams (yes, the "my/our" is deliberate...I'm incredibly lucky to have a husband who'll pretty much follow me like a puppy dog within reason...reason being the Carolinas, that is). I get home and my body's still going in 10 different directions (because a) I just sat on my arse for 8 hours, 2) in spite of my size, I have the metabolism of a long-distance runner, and c) we are a family of sharks, the Lyons', always gotta be DOING SOMETHING), but my brain goes into a brown stare. I want to knit/read/plan all at once, but my brain's oatmeal, going cold.

And that makes me nutty.

While I do recognize that I have a chemical imbalance, that sometimes the lithium deficiency literally keeps me from focusing on things...there's a fine line between recognizing that as an excuse, and using it as one. And that's where I'm falling lately...wondering how much the latter is used over the former. Which blows, and reeks of self-flaggellation, which I said I'd try to limit here, but if you're still reading this, then you already know how reliable I am about promises like that, so we'll just move on.....

Yes, that cartoon's completely irrelevant to today's rambling...just made me laugh out loud...

So anyway, what was my point?


Right, gonna work on my creativity in the coming weeks...stay tuned. I know y'all are waiting on tenterhooks, so I'd recommend settling in with a box of wine and the remote...I'll get back to ya.

Most images obviously snitched from here. Office park funny snitched from here. Last one snitched from here. All with thanks....needed help bringing the funny tonight.

Taking Stock

Grandfather Mountain in NC has a FB account, and they've been recording the fall color this month. I adore these shots, mostly by Helen Moss Davis.

It's annoying, how all the energy and great ideas and planning occurs in the back of my brain when I'm at work and can't do anything about it. Just took 5 minutes to write appointments down in my calendar and feel a little more settled, but still.....

I'm going through one of my phases, the "what's stopping you from living the life you want" phase. It's coupled with other voices, spouting stuff like "if you want to live more simply, why is your home still filled to the brim with crap?" and "if you want to live a different life so badly, how come you can't take the time on the evenings and weekends to work toward that, to budget and plan, so you can get your credit in order and quit frickin' whining about living somewhere you absolutely hate?".

Yea, they're long-winded little bastards, these internal voices...highly critical too.

Outside: supposed to hit 80 today, but it's overcast, which means muggy. Terrific.

Inside: warm

Wearing: a shirt that makes me feel huge, pants that are too warm, shoes that don't fit orthotics well and need to be disposed of.....whinewhinewhine.....

Reading: Crazy Sexy and The Dragon Reborn.

Creating: Plain vanilla sock (Yarn Harlot), wishing I had a good idea for a Halloween costume...

Going: n/a

Dad J's hanging in there. We can't afford to visit, even with the OT, so I'm grateful for the holding pattern.

I'm having trouble sitting still lately, can't just relax and veg in front of the tube in the evenings...I have to be doing something else too. This bugs me, so I may force a little meditation this week. Or turn the tube off and focus on just one thing, be it planning or reading or knitting. My brain could use some focus.

Monday, October 24, 2011

So far, so good...

All I can say is, thank the gods that I like the little gems shown above, because I'd never make it as a vegetarian otherwise. Without beans, I'm pretty sure my craving for protein would have me driving to the nearest Five Guys within a week of this regimen.

I managed to have a really relaxing day yesterday. Woke up craving peanut butter, so fixed myself a PB&banana on whole wheat for breakfast. Almond butter's just too expensive to invest in right now, so I switched to Smucker's, because they claim to have a whopping 1 ingredient in their peanut butter: peanuts.

From 12 to 3, I switched on the OWN network and enjoyed Crazy Sexy Cancer. I'm definitely hooked on Kris Carr....though I've got a ways to go before I'm downing cucumber/celery juice for breakfast or buying a wheatgrass kit. For the first hour, I peeled and cored a bag of Macoun apples to go in the crockpot for applesauce. Next time, I'll use my rotary peeler and then core the apples, but for a project in front of the TV, hand-peeling proved quite the centering task. I also set 2 pans of beans to soak, and made myself a green smoothie for lunch. Def like the greens at Native Sun better than Whole Foods. Whole Foods may have more variety in places, but the shipping kills their freshness. Glad the prices are comparable, cuz Native Sun is closer to home.

We took the recycling to the center mid-afternoon, then settled in for the night. I made myself a big salad and munched a couple of rice cakes when the hunger snuck back in close to bedtime. The applesauce came out great! Has pretty much ruined me against what's sold in the supermarket, and I'm totally itching to learn to can now. May invest in that starter kit by Ball, next paycheck; cuz I gotta make me some more of that applesauce! Cooked up a pan of northern beans plain for on top of salads this week, and made the Yummy Pintos from Heather's website for over brown rice...the latter is going to be dinner tonight with some steamed broccoli on the side.

My bloodwork (cardiologist) showed improvement in key areas. Losing weight and lowering the LDL number are on the agenda. Pretty sure my new regimen will do that on its own, but I'll hit the Interweb for ideas on specific foods to target to get that sucker down. Other goals include starting the caffeine wean later this week and continuing to wean off dairy. Almost there.

Image from here.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Weekend planning

The weather turned, night before last. Dropped down into the 40s and we've had the windows open ever since (well, not sure about's mid-70s out there, so Les probably closed up for a piece...). We're supposed to keep this weather easily the next couple of days, 40s at night, low 70s during the day. I'll take it.

I can feel my thoughts turning inward. Usually this means I'm turtling, not in the greatest place emotionally. Instead, this time, it's about listening deeply, listening to my body and what it tells me. This week's doctor's appointment (podiatrist) was illuminating, and the two I have next week (cardiologist and GP) I expect will be the same. I think I had a hypoglycemic incident right before dinner last night, and it has me thinking about just how pre-diabetic I am...and how I never want the "pre-" to be lopped off that word when describing my health. It's about how this body really needs me to go hard-core vegan, no dairy, no critters, and drop the caffeine. Why the caffeine? Because I enjoy it with white sugar and cow juice, that's why.

How ridiculous that we don't listen to our bodies until it's almost too late.....I can't even look at Halloween candy now, and last night wasn't that bad, just a noticeable blood sugar drop. But my brain got the message, and I'm going into this weekend with a clear head, wheels turning...

A clear head...I remember one of my New Year's resolutions for 2011 was snitched from Jenna. I wanted to be able to start and end each day "with a clear head and able to touch my toes." As we slip quietly toward All Hallows and the Celtic New Year, I realize I haven't done very well on that score. Rather than self-flaggelate, I'll just turn over the leaf. Just because something didn't happen yesterday doesn't mean it can't happen today. The key is making it happen each day, and not berating yourself when you slip. And a slip doesn't mean start over tomorrow, it means start over right afterward. It's the only way I'm going to make any progress on losing weight and getting healthy.

Tomorrow I have a pinch of OT and a trip to the Y planned. I have recipes in mind that will make next week's eating easier and tastier. I don't have a handle yet on food prep/planning under this regimen, and it's vital to our bank account that I do get a handle on it. Can't be eating Chipotle every day...the gas I burn getting there negates the good the food does for the environment, and we can't afford it anyway. So Saturday afternoon and Sunday will be spent in the kitchen, finding my vegan legs. I think Husby will join me on some of these endeavors, for different reasons; he has a sensitive system and crummy teeth, so healthy food of the soup/stew variety may be right up his alley. I'm so grateful to be finding my way here once again.

Have a great weekend, y'all!

Image from here.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Taking Stock

Outside: if it decides what it's gonna do, I'll let you know...mostly cloudy, wants to rain, holding off...temps dropping @ night starting tomorrow! I won't believe it til I'm breathing in that cold air.

Inside: noisy tech support agents annoy me.

Wearing: jeans, Docs, green shirt

Reading: Kind Diet, Crazy Sexy Diet in stops and starts...

Creating: nice idea, but not this week. Def hoping to experiment with recipes this weekend though...

Going: OT and doc least the doc visits are preventive for the most part. I'm grateful.

Dunno...that OT continues, because the bills are kicking us these days. That Dad J.'s health remains on the upswing. That I continue to lean toward healthier eating. That I get my fat arse back to the Y. That my Lil Sis has an amazing birthday next week (even if the scintillating presence of her Big Sis is absent...winkwink). That I can come up with something nifty to wear on Halloween at work. That I get knitting more. Amazing the many things that come into my head once I start thinking this way...that I can find my guitar instruction books. That I can get back to meditating.

Image from here.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Tuesday rally

Good afternoon and welcome to another session of Melanie's Getting Healthy...this morning we watched as Melanie thanked her boss for his kindness in bringing the Krispy Kremes to work, but did not partake in one of the delectable, sugar-drenched calorie we watch as she downs her 2nd bottle of water for the day while munching on hummus with carrots and multigrain chips. The chips are a treat, because Rome wasn't built in a day and she's too damn hormonal to go cold turkey on the processed foods just yet.....

I hope to head back to the Y tomorrow morning. The podiatrist diagnosed significant arthritis in my right foot, showed me on the X-ray, the distinct lack o' cartilege...yay. I hate my brain sometimes...I have been thinking bone spurs or a stress fracture for months now, but as soon as I was in his office, reading his literature, my brain went....y'know, it's probably arthritis. Dumbass.

He gave me a Rx gel sample (that's crazy expensive normally, so naturally it's working wonders), and I'm back in my custom orthotics, which are working better than the blankety-blank Dr. Scholl's, of course...I get so pissed at myself when I forget things that would improve my health/quality of life, etc. The only thing wrong with my custom orthotics is the top is coming away from the bottom, so wearing 'em barefoot rubs annoyingly, but we're going into winter, so I can certainly live with 'em (and socks) until the flexible spending kicks back in, in the new year. Oh darn, a reason to knit more socks...winkwink. He also gave me a Rx for New Balance that should give me 10% off at their outlet here in town. Gotta look at the finances and start saving for that, cuz the sneaks I've been using are dead and then some...

Recognizing that for my physical and emotional health, it would behoove me to save money and buy decent shoes...that's a toughie. I try to spend as little as possible in the shoe/clothing department. Interestingly, I don't think good shoe prices have gone up much (Birks are still a little over/under $100, same with Danskos...), while garbage shoes have definitely increased. Was trolling Walmart recently and laughing at what they wanted me to spend $35 on....pure crap that was glued together by some Indonesian kid. So why not shop carefully and buy stuff that will actually last AND keep my feet healthy...gods, but I'm a twit about my own health sometimes.

Can't believe how the pain has decreased, just from a little gel and the orthotics. Lesson learned. Self-flaggelation ceased on the subject for now.

Bought Crazy Sexy and Kind and rereading 'em rather voraciously... they are my current gurus and lifestyle bibles. Letting the knowledge sink into the ole brainpan and open me up like a flower....

Image snitched from here.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Sunday ponderances

Is that even a word? Gotta look it up...

ooo, fancy word even! One of those words that goes beyond the Merriam-Webster free trial ; )

So yesterday was a back from OT and couldn't muster any motivation. Tried to nap and failed, thought about knitting, didn't happen...

I think back to that amazing week, the one where I ate mostly plant life and felt like a million and a half bucks. I think about my current moodiness, how it's tied to my hormones and what goes into my body. I think about the shame that's tied to the cardiologist appointment I have in a week. I think about the things growing in my female plumbing. I think about Crazy Sexy and Kris Carr. I think about how I've been eating since I got paid on Friday. I think about how out of control I've been feeling about my body, how I've been afraid of exercising because of my right foot, yet I can tell the rest of my body has been aching for the activity. I think about how I really have reached a point where I can't eat certain things anymore, because the reactions that occur may as well be allergies, for the ways my body responds.

I was all set to grab Zaxby's on Friday at lunch, but my brain turned the car toward Chipotle because I couldn't stand the horrible lassitude, the complete evacuation of energy that would have occurred if I'd eaten that crap. Didn't stop me from grabbing it for dinner though. Guess it's OK to treat myself like crap if I don't have anything planned afterward. What unbelievable bullshit.

Today's being planned in my head and on paper. I'm cleaning out the fridge and doing the dishes before I go shopping. I'm checking out recipes online and making a list. I'm hitting Whole Foods, Walmart, and Publix probably, shopping for the best prices and the best produce. I'm prodding Husby for ideas on the evening meals, because I'm straying from normal and he probably won't want to go with me on some days. Ironic when you consider he ate healthier than me coming into the relationship...but he's a meat and veggies guy, while I'm going cold turkey again, vegetarian.

Gotta get moving...

Friday, October 14, 2011

The comfort of money

There are bills to pay this weekend, and there's projecting to do. Told Les I'm not paying or buying anything until after work Saturday, after I've had a chance to budget; so we don't piss this beautiful almost-surplus away. It's a hard thing to do, lemme tell ya, the being responsible thing. Even after 2 solid weeks of eating crap with a side of crap because we couldn't afford serious essentials, like fresh veggies or meat, there's still that little voice in my head, whispering "don't you wanna buy that scarf you saw at Walmart?"

Not if that's $7.99 that could go toward something more important, like my Omega 3 supplement. Or an almond milk stash, so I can wean off dairy again. Or even some hair color so I can stop referring to myself as "tinsel top"...

Isn't this the way adults are supposed to act? I didn't learn this in school, and we've never had kids; and when you're only responsible for yourselves, the levels of hedonism can get rather high, the drive for instant gratifications...

Never even frickin' mind that the holidays are coming up do you adjust your holiday spending when one side of the family is quite materialistic? I need to step up the quality of the handmades this year, if they're going to pass for "real" presents. And how much should I be worrying about that, what others think vs. how I feel they're real presents because of the effort and intention that goes into them? If they don't see them as real presents, isn't that their burden? Still makes you feel like you came up short though...

One thing I absolutely want to do this year is have the holidays feel like the holidays, instead of some damn burden. When you're pagan, it's hard enough finding the meaning in all the bastardized stolen rituals of the season, but when you have very little dough and two families to travel between, it's very easy to just put your head down and slog through it..."hi, we're here, merry christmas, see ya..." I've done that the past 2 or 3 Christmases; we haven't put up our own tree in years. But the holidays are so much more than having gifts underneath the tree. I'm going to work on that this year...

Anyhoo, 4 hours of OT tomorrow and then relax time...thinking, puttering, cleaning, planning. Been trolling the photos of Grandfather Mountain in NC on FB for my autumn fix, and it's motivating me about the move, about reassessing what-all is going to be required to pull it off. It's a tall order, but no less doable.

Image from here.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Whiny week

So Lil Sis left work early and I have no one to talk to : (

Granted, I shouldn't be blogging when my earphones are on...cuz there's always that danger of a manager sneaking up and surprising you while you're goofing off. They're on though, because it's about the only way I can concentrate on work, now that Tech Support, bless their fuzzy little, Red Bull-addicted hearts, is back on our side of the building. This motley group of mostly guys really needs to grasp the concept of "inside phone voice" the meantime, I'm listening to music more.

But the stupidity has been running high today, so I bring you this vent:

Dear Copywriters/Designers,

The following errors are getting really old and must cease and desist, or you're going to force me to start drinking coffee in the afternoons as well as the mornings, and accompanying it with a shot of something that's likely not approved for consumption during work hours....

1. Stop linking the words "Call" or "Visit"...unless you've figured out how to Skype our sites or teleport the readers. This is especially annoying when you link the word "Visit" and there is NO LOCATION page.

2. Repetitive and redundant text...I like to flesh out my text as much as the next writer, but the laziness of  "...our inventory includes several makes and models, including...." is just silly. Also, companies are not "efficiently organized", they're just organized; prices are affordable or competitive, not both; and something can't be both "unique and one-of-a-kind". I'm beyond tired of shrinking your sentences to half their size and then having to adjust design, just because you can't grasp the concept of succinctness.

"Our expert team comes to your home to check the level of insulation as well as to check to ensure we are able to install additional insulation if necessary." Seriously? I need a white board for all the things wrong with that sentence...

3. We changed our headline format 2 weeks ago. You are not exempt from this change.

4. Punctuation is more than a suggestion. So is proofreading. They're job requirements, not nice ideas.

5. Something that is a nice idea: confirming correct spelling of things like brand names, cities, words...oh, wait, i mispoke; that's a job requirement too!

6. Passive text ... just stop friggin' doing it.

7. If you (copywriters) are trying to break some record for the most dangling modifiers found in a given day, you are succeeding admirably. Please do not mistake this statement for praise.

8.  Prepositions are not interchangeable. It's also butt-ugly when they are at the end of a sentence.

On second thought, forget everything I just said...I'll never be without a job as long as there are writers and designers out there like you. Keep up the mediocre work.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Taking Stock

You'll be happy to know that Lil Sis is back in my time zone and online, so the rambling posts should cease. The management apologizes for any confusion. We return you now to your regularly scheduled, completely scintillating account of Melanie's life. I'm well aware of how privileged you feel. Bow down before Zod.

Outside: Mostly cloudy, 80. Evening temps promising to drop on weekend. Praying we can open up the house.

Inside: They moved Unbilling and are replacing them with......Tech Support, who's just as noisy! Oh joy!

Wearing: jeans, Docs, brace, big green shirt. Moved up podiatrist appointment, because I don't like how injured the right ankle area feels. The foot issue is causing strain in my lower Achilles.

Reading: Yoga Journal. The Great Hunt. Moosewood Restaurant Cooking for Health.

Creating: it's an off week...but there's a glimmer in the back of my head that indicates that brainstorming for holiday presents will begin soon. I remember last year thinking how excellent it would be to make lip balm for everyone on my list. Can't believe it's frickin' October already.

Going: nowhere, except my various doctor's appointments. It's a puttering month here.

I'm learning about my body this week. How it's gotten used to exercise and doesn't appreciate the time off at all. How very much we need to eat healthier. How your body compensates when a part of it is faulty. How very good and important that "become your own naturopath" idea is for me. How jazzed I get when the renewal of hobbies present themselves (in this case, restringing the guitar so I can actually play the silly thing). How good sleep for me means a bed with cooperative bedclothes (i toss, turn, and dream weird stuff when the bedclothes are stretched out and cockeyed). How often I have to remind myself that my habits need to change if I'm going to keep things from growing inside of me that I don't want there. How often I have to remind myself to treat my body well. It's the only one I have.

Image from here.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Yup, Lil Sis still in Dallas...

...and I have the attention span of carpet lint.

Waffle Tuesday @ work today, where a dear colleague wanted to make waffles for everyone cuz she's revelling in the coolness that is wedding gifts. So she cooked up waffles at intervals (sigh...yummy!) until the grumpy Mcgrumpersons that run the joint put the kibosh on it, because it was a potential fire code violation, cooking at one's desk. I say they should be thankful we weren't cooking with gas, but I doubt they'd get my humor...

There are definite signs that they're moving the Collections department elsewhere. While I doubt it means a move for me personally, I'm delighted to be possibly free of those noisy forward-facing customer service drones...they are the reason the iPod goes on in the afternoons. Well, that and my shrieking boredom and need to focus so I can actually earn a little dough here...

Wearing my cheap-assed-evil-big-box-wannabe-Uggs, which make me look dumpy to the Nth power, but are currently the only shoes in my repertoire that are comfortable. Not. cool. Even the Docs yesterday were rubbing against the damn bone spur or whateverthehellitis on my right foot, causing traveling pain on entire lower leg. It's screwing up my gait, putting pressure on both knees, and the damn podiatrist appt isn't until next Wednesday, which is fine cuz I can't afford to go before then anyway. I'm quite annoyed with my body this week.

The good news is it's opening my eyes once again to the changes that need to be made. The bad news is the aches I'm experiencing aren't going away when I'm immobile, aka sitting on my butt all day at work. Usually my knees or ankle only bother me when I'm walking or doing a lot of moving around. I do NOT want to become a person who takes more than the morning ibuprofen for my arthritis and other fat-ass-induced ailments. This better be an injury or something that can be fixed, because the alternatives rolling through my head are not acceptable.

While I'm bitching, there's also the little matter of whether or not I'm even going to earn incentive for last week's work efforts. I didn't make it at face value in my SPH (sites per hour), but it was only about 1/4 my fault. Off Monday, Tuesday spent all day on a different project, and corralled into copywriting Wednesday through Friday with zero relief. I asked for consideration, but I know I won't hear anything until I'm looking at my damn pay statement on Thursday online. With those 3 aforementioned doctors appointments, no decent food in the house, and a firm desire to take care of some little past-dues like my drivers license renewal from ehem, last month....I say again, Not. Cool.

Geez, but I'm a whiny white girl.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Stuff rolling around in my head on a Monday...

AKA stuff I'd post on Facebook if it didn't slow my work computer to a crawl and inhibit that, ehem, work thing.....

You'd think as an editor at a website design company, I'd have access to beaucoup computer speed and fancy-schmancy programs...yea, not so much...we've only had Flash on our individual systems for about a year now, for gosh sakes! Call it hysterical corporate frugality. But hey, what do I know, maybe waiting so long for Flash was the one thing that enabled us to have good enough credit to put ourselves $550 million in debt when they bought NetSol.

They did give me 2 screens/monitors a coupla weeks back. I guess I'm a test case. It's apparently all the rage at Google; people are found to work faster with more screen. Hasn't sped me up at all, but I'm totally digging it. Though the inability to speed up my work could possibly, maybe be connected to my desire to engage in other activities while I edit sites. Like Facebook. And blogging. Maybe.

In my defense, after you've edited your third website of the day about carpet cleaning, the task does become about as exciting as dog snot and I require other means of entertaining my brain.

Then again, I haven't owned a dog yet in my life, so maybe I'm over-reaching there. For all I know, it manifests in fluorescent colors and is in fact quite interesting.

This kind of crap goes thru my head on a daily basis. I normally spew it out via IM to my Lil Sis, who, gods bless her, has a corporate job that entertains her about as much as mine does. But she's on a plane to Dallas right now, I think; so you guys get me this morning.

I'd like to thank my company for putting their brand on a 6-cup travel mug a couple of years back and making me the caffeine addict I am today.

Child care centers REALLY shouldn't put their full addresses on their websites. In a possibly related note, I think I watch a little too much Law & Order: SVU.

Wrote a site last week for a cleaning company that brought the workers out in French maid outfits upon request. Target audience: older business men. I wanted a shower after writing that one.

I have 2 doctors' appointments coming up this month, Les has 1...all specialists. That's $60 a pop. I keep thinking of putting off one of mine (cuz $180 just for drs appts kind of blows), but I know it's because I'm ashamed that I haven't made progress (cardiologist) I'm going to suck it up and go. They offered to work with me (moneywise) the first time I postponed and rescheduled, so I really don't have an excuse. I did start rereading Crazy Sexy Diet, and I'm drinking water today instead of sugar water (Coke or sweet tea, my preferred methods of hydration in the afternoon) today if it kills me. When I think of the "stuff" I have going on in my body right now, I realize I'm not nearly different enough from Kris Carr to be behaving this way still, seesawing on diet, not exercising regularly, eating garbage with a side of garbage. And that's scary....especially when I let myself realize that I only have 1 month until my next ultrasound on that subject. REALLY hope that in spite of the money getting spent on bills and doctor's appointments this check, that I can purchase Crazy Sexy and Alicia Silverstone's Kind Diet. They are both real gold mines when you're thinking of going vegetarian.

The cat's much better, thanks to a steroid shot and flea treatment. We're trying to keep a cleaner apartment, but damn, it's hard when you've lived there as long as we have. Don't even wanna think what's growing in that wasn't even new when we moved in.

Didn't get to Y today, but did catch up on sleep, which was MUCH needed. Think the damn flu shot plus OT kicked my arse this weekend. Doing laundry tonight, though, and that's a workout in itself. Swear to god, the first purchase I make when we move is a washer/dryer set!

K, I've tormented y'all with ramble enough for now ; )

Sunday, October 09, 2011

This week...

1. I'm getting back to slightly healthier eating. Have been in a serious rut.

2. I'm getting back to the Y...Monday, Wednesday, Friday hopefully.

3. I'm creating a budget for the next month.

4. I'm tackling the bedroom closet, because I need to switch out some spring/summer for fall/winter and it's becoming a disaster area in there anyway.

5. I'm grabbing OT where I can and watching closely for the level of personal lunacy it creates.

6. I'm thinking hard about living "brown collar" in spite of our current situation.

7. I'm dreaming of making applesauce and roasted pumpkin puree from scratch next weekend.

8. I'm restringing the guitar (I learned how! thank you, Michie!) and starting my instruction books over.

9. I'm rereading Crazy Sexy Diet, not just talking about rereading it. Also seeing if any of the fridge veggies are salvagable and making juice.

10. I'm going to continue being kind to myself.

Friday, October 07, 2011

Maybe it's cuz I was born in the '60s...

Well, '69, which is as close as my folks got to Woodstock...they weren't part of the Peace/Love generation.

Maybe it's because when I was 9 years old, my dad introduced us to Richard Pryor, Live in Concert, with a short lecture beforehand about how the words my little brother and I were about to hear were funny and naughty, but not the type of words you spoke in the general public. Dad had great examples for that stuff: "if I'm out in the garage and hit my thumb with a hammer, it's OK for me to yell sonofabitch!, but in line at the grocery store, you keep it to yourself..." I'm paraphrasing, but you get the idea...

There are some real blog gems out there, women who may or may not be SAHMs who lace their blogs with enough funny stories and wry humor to draw readers beyond my 6½ loyal subjects. The Bloggess is one of those ladies; she's delightfully dirty at times and downright funny. And just popular enough to get solicitations from PR groups, trying to get her to endorse stuff. Like she even gives a crap about that stuff...she's just online to make people laugh, educate them about nookie, and spin random yarns. Her personality reminds me a bit of Pioneer Woman, that realness, except Bloggess's language gets racier.

Indulge in some click-throughs...I recommend reading the Bloggess' rendition of events first, and then The One in Heels...she's another one I'll start trolling now...another obviously bright and intelligent woman. I shouldn't be surprised that there are so many of us out there (tongue inserted in cheek).

My point in this ramble is that I was raised to use "those words" with discretion; there are places where it's OK to use them and places where it's not. Unless it's an extraordinarily loose office environment, I can't imagine an atmosphere where it's OK to let the F-bomb fly. Granted, I work in a fairly strait-laced corporate setting, but's just unprofessional to let your language get or verbal, it shouldn't matter. Guess I just don't understand modern offices.

As a P.S., that dear friend I mentioned last post was diagnosed with a seizure disorder. Her life has turned upside-down while she deals with this news, and I'm thinking of her often, sending positive healing energy her way. Any that you can send as well is greatly appreciated.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Taking Stock

There's nothing quite like the hopeful feeling of a good rally.

I'm driving to work this morning, radio off, sorting through things in my head...thinking about my health, how I wish I could visit a naturopath, but there aren't any reputable ones here in town (sorry, calling yourself a naturopath because you offer massage and sell Goji juice doesn't count) I've backslid (as usual) lately, back to eating red meat, haven't been to the Y yet this week, not sure I could go if I wanted to, because I'm currently nursing a pulled muscle in my lower left leg and have bone spurs and ankle issues in my right foot....I look and feel like House when I walk these last night, my mood was in the absolute basement thanks to eating McD's for lunch, and how there was such a direct correlation between my depression and what I ate, that I really need to start taking note of that with more than just a passing "oh, whaddaya know, the two could be related" lackadaisical attitude...also that the "stuff" that's growing in my lower female plumbing could certainly be creating hormonal issues that as an already-lithium-deficient-off-her-meds, I absolutely need to recognize, and act on I keep making excuses for not going to the podiatrist, because even though the right foot pain has gotten bad of late, I was hoping to hold off on that expenditure until after the new year when the flexible spending ramps back when it comes to your own health, putting stuff off shouldn't even be an option, regardless of money...and this little voice in my head said something rather clearly that I think may become my personal mantra:

Become your own naturopath.

I kind of love this idea. Made that appointment with a new podiatrist. Gonna slap on my braces where needed and get back to the Y, even if it means just bike work. Gonna eat better. Gonna breathe in the slightest differences in the air and enjoy the humidity drops when they happen. Gonna treat myself better.

Outside: too damn warm for my liking, but could be worse...

Inside: slammed...they have me writing and there's promises of OT. I'll take it.

Wearing: Docs with orthotics for the foreseeable slacks, blue T, overshirt...mala beads...

Reading: The Great Hunt still...Hobby Farms Home (that cover pic is EEEvil)...rereading Crazy Sexy Diet...

Creating: Cozy, 8 rows at a time...

Going: drumming @ friends' house Saturday night with Husby...otherwise, conserving the ole gasolinera...

Good news from Camp Cancer! Dad J.'s chemo meds have been decreased by half, because he's doing so well. He's not "in remission" yet, but all indications are that he is headed in that direction. Keep those prayers coming!

Also on the prayer circuit this week: a local friend who suffered seizures and a head injury and is recovering. Gotta love when that crap happens at the age of 40 with no history of epilepsy and clear CT is so damn precious.

Image from here.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Autumn Love

I like to think it's a healthy obsession...

But I may be going a bit 'round the bend on the subject.

All images snitched from here.

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Spark to flame

One of the reasons I stalk people on the Internet: I don't like to lose touch with anyone. What if 15 years from now, I have an AHA moment about something and want to share it because it concerns that person?

Or in this case, almost 30 years...

It's a touch ironic that I was writing just this week about how music can hurt. Must have been having a bad day at work, and I've been listening to my iPod in the afternoons lately to make the work day go by faster. But there are certain songs that are still dangerous on that sucker...liable to sneak tears out and stab my soul when I least expect them to. Have I mentioned in the last 4 years that the gods had no business taking Dad early and leaving me with these feelings? I have? Yea, OK, moving on...

In elementary, junior high, and high school, I played extremely mediocre trumpet in the school bands. I shouldn't say extremely mediocre...the year everything clicked for me grade-wise, 11th grade (because I had zero social life/friends, so what else was there to do but better myself personally through grades and music), was also my best music year...I inexplicably nailed my midterm exam (which was a seriously foreign situation for me, involving going into an empty practice room with a mic and doing scales, exercises, and sightreading into a tape machine for the teacher to go over later) and ended up 1st trumpet 3rd chair in a decent-sized trumpet line the rest of the year. I was in symphonic band and marching, and we marched at Disney that year. And I was reminded in an old journal entry recently of a solo I pulled off at one of my senior year concerts. Those feelings of accomplishment, when you remember them years later, it's like it was yesterday. Good stuff.

As a band geek, you remember every teacher, but if one's special, they stick with you. That person was "Chief" for me. In our hilariously rural setting in backwoods CT, this teacher taught individual instrumental music at the 3 area elementary schools and band and theory at the junior/senior high school. The guy was a little busy...and he had a short temper at times, but it was obvious he cared big-time for all of us. I remember him methodically trying to beat Intro to Theory into my head before school more than once, because it wasn't getting past the brick wall in my head during class. It never did fully sink in, the relationships between minors and majors and what makes them that. But band was almost always fun, lots of laughs and good music as the end result.

This is a long one...I apologize...but there are roundabouts here to get to the meat of the story.

I remember being in his office once for individual trumpet practice, and the conversation turned to Ray Charles. All I remember is me saying I didn't care for his music, and Chief's reaction was incredulous. I couldn't have been more than 13 or 14, and I pray he dismissed my negativity at the time for the ignorance of youth. It was that, and so much more.

So I have a crush on Hugh Laurie...

Yea, sorry, I told you this was a long one...

Been watching House since its inception, and I'm quite whipped. Hey, when you're married, it's still nice to have a little fantasy on the side. When House finishes off a show with some introspective piano playing or guitar, it's a gift...I'm also drawn to his acting, blue eyes, and streak of depression. Guy's the total package, and quite yummy. ANYWAY...

He fulfilled a life dream of recording a blues album this year. It went on the list in the back of my head under "things I'll purchase eventually when we have money for more than bread and milk" it wasn't a priority these days.

This past Friday, PBS's Great Performances was an hour-long special about Hugh Laurie's album, with a side story of him traveling from Texas to New Orleans to get a taste of the backwoods where American blues originated, percolated...where its heart is. There were several songs played from the album, in various settings, and excellent close-ups of the instruments and musicians that made you feel like you were sitting in the room where they were playing. Close enough to feel the beat of the standing bass and bring shivers to your back as a metal bar works the strings of a lap steel guitar...

I watched it on the good TV, first with delight at the little things ("this album has helped him blossom at 52...he seems so much more comfortable with himself than when he's talking about, poor guy's losing his hair big time..."). Then once the music really started, it drew me in like I was hooked to a fishing line. Listening to Allen Toussaint's musicians bring incredibly soft and controlled music out of the trumpet, trombone, and alto and bari saxes...I know the level of control and practice required to nail that, as it's something I always struggled with, making a trumpet sound like anything more than a brassy noisemaker. I was in awe, positively struck dumb by the music, from Laurie's gorgeous piano playing to the minor twangs of the guitars and violin, to the soft beats of the brushes on the toms and snare drums, to the guest singers who crooned those old tunes with such style...

It's as though I've never heard the blues before Friday, and I can't wait to hear more, learn more, try and learn to play some (on trumpet, guitar, or other instruments), find ways to bring that music more into my life. Don't ever let yourself be turned off by the name "blues"...this ain't depressive music by a long shot. I think of symphonic music as meticulous in its writing, but the word that came to me as I watched these blues musicians play was "deliberate". Every note has a meaning, and when the beat speeds up or slooooooows way down, every single musician is in time with his neighbor, nailing the essence of the song...

Yesterday with that music still resonating in my head and heart, I bought the whole album on iTunes. Milk and bread are overrated, and at $9.99 for 16! songs, it ain't a hardship. Thankfully, Hugh's liner notes are on his website, because he names some seriously obscure blues artists on there whom I wish to research. And puttering around the house last night, late, trying to make myself sleepy, I was suddenly reminded of Chief and my dissing of Ray Charles, and I instantly wished Chief was on FB or something, so I could send him a note with just 4 words: I GET IT NOW!!!

So maybe, just maybe, this will help me bring music back into my life without so much sadness attached. The blues are an art form, and I'm so glad I watched that show because listening to the album this morning in its entireity, I was envisioning the players working their instruments, creating that music. How their concentrated looks stem from being inside the song and have little to do with the notes on a page. I know that place. I want back in.

Image from here.