Sunday, December 31, 2017

“Inspired” by the Grestest Showman

We all know that I love a good movie musical.  (And yet, I still haven’t seen La La Land.....)

And because I have that BA in History, I actually looked up P.T. Barnum.  And all I can say is wow.. the movie is very, very loosely based on the real person.  But then, how many musicals based on real people got everything accurate?

P.T. Barnum was a racist who built an empire on lying, cheating and exploiting people.  This is pretty clear by any account of his life.

I think my best guess is that this movie is more fan fiction than a biography.  The movie takes four or five plot points from the guy’s life and synthasizes them into a rather pleasant and coherent plot.

The movies changes this story of a man who built a fortune on the backs of the others into a story of a many that teams up with society’s rejects to built a family.  The soundtrack even has two songs that might become the anthem of the weird and different (This Is Me, and From Now On). This movie shows the “circus freaks” as people who possess talent that the circus uses to entertain (instead of  simply putting them on display).

At times, songs transcend the show that they are in to become anthems in their own right.  This song is simply amazing.  And I like it here... no sets or costumes...

(I've shared this all over the place.  The energy in that room was electric.)

In my opinion, the movie shines in the music and choreography category.  I think the choreography is the tightest and move amazing that I’ve seen in ages.

In this age of taking a movie and turning it into a musical, I don’t think this can happen in this case.  The movie is so reliant on CG fades and fake animals to tell it’s story that anything else would come off as weird.

In that way, it’s almost appropriate.  The movie musical about the master of deception had almost nothing to do with his life, involved a lot of computer graphics and slicks songs and choreography.

It also takes a story of oppression and turns it into an uplifting story about family.

And in sprite of everything, I loved it!

Sunday, December 24, 2017

There’s no place like home for the holidays

Christmas time is my FAVORITE time of the year.  It always has been, and it will always be.

But this year has been distinctly weird.

It all started at the beginning of December.  After a rather trying 2017 we decided to go to Disne World for my birthday.  Disney full of Christmas decorations and holiday parties.  (There’s a post coming about it.  I just need to write it up!)

When we got back I somehow got it stuck in my head that Christmas had already passed.

Fast forward to right now.  Work has been closed since Wednesday afternoon.  I’ve been on vacation for 5 days, and it’s just now Christmas Eve.  And we’re not traveling for the holiday this year.  This is our year to stay home.

We have a nice small tree with a few things under it.  After Disney World we decided that Disney was our presents to each other.  It’s not that presents make the holiday, but our tree does look a bit bare.  At least the pets have some things in their stockings!  I can’t wait for Misty to see her toys!

Tomorrow is Christmas Eve.  Then comes Christmas Day, and a day of cleaning and getting ready for the next day.  My mom flies in on the 26th.  For me, that has been the beginning of the Christmas season.  Ironically, it starts the day after.

There were tears yesterday.  And after a bit of teenage hooligan mischief, I don’t want to leave the house.

Hopefully a trip to Christmas Town after the holiday will kick these blues.

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Friday, November 17, 2017

Just to be clear, this was never OK.

Harvey Weinstein happenedDonald Trump was caught on a hot microphone admitting to it.  Bill Clinton did it in the Oval Office.  Kevin Spacey did it as well.  Roy Moore likes them young.  Apparently it's been happening in the Capitol for years

This country, and perhaps the world, has had issues with sexual misconduct, sexual assault and misogyny for years.  Let's be honest: this has always been a problem.

Let's just look at statistics about rape:

And this is just rape, not the inappropriate touching, or the catcalling, or the comments about how women are only good at cooking, cleaning and baby making.

 Now high profile people are being publicly accused of inappropriate behavior.  From the reports that are surfacing, many of these people have been doing these things for decades, and everyone knew.

Why is this news?

Because people are actually believing the women.  For years women have had to covertly warn others about the behavior of men.  For decades and centuries women have been told that "boys will be boys" and that simply the way men act.  For years women have had to take it because the aggressor generally was in a position of power.  For years male patrons of conventions have groped female cosplayers, acting like they weren't even people.

The behavior of Al Franken saddens me as much as the behavior of Bill Clinton did all those years ago.  The allegations of Roy Moore sickens me.  What Kevin Spacey did is not only unacceptable, but it also sets back LGBT concerns.

I married a man that teased me all the time.  His mentality was that he made fun of me because he cared.  It was YEARS before *I* realized that I didn't have to take it.  It took time for me to learn that the way I was being treated wasn't OK.  Why did it take so long?  Because that was the way MANY men treated their partners.

As much as I hate seeing all of these men, ones that I admire, and ones that I don't being accused of awful things.... this has got to stop.

Can we all agree to 1.) believe the victims, 2.) expect men, especially men with positions of power to treat all people with respect, and 3.) just say that this behavior is never OK, no matter who to parties that are involved are?

Maybe our daughters and granddaughters won't have to listen to how their President like to "grab them by the pussy."

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Deep Thoughts about November

Today is November 2nd.  Somehow September and October passed me by without me noticing.

Two major things are happening this month (both of which have been on my mind of late): Me jumping back on the exercise wagon, and Thanksgiving.

1.) Exercise.
I've not wanted to work out in a month.  Actually, that's not true.  I've been enjoying the cooler mornings, so I've been running.  And on days that I don't run, the pup and I walk.  But that's not enough for me.  Monday I'm starting a combination of Focus T25 and Couch to 5K.
I find Shaun T rather motivating.  And I'm hoping the extra cardio will help with my endurance.  And the Couch to 5K is in there because I'm shooting for the 2019 Disney Wine and Dine.
I seem to be a person that needs a goal.  And here's one heck of a goal.  Hopefully having something to work towards will help.

But I've been working on my portion size and letting the exercise slip.  And my pants are growing snug.  That is unacceptable to me.  Hell, I might even thrown in a weekly OrangeTheory workout to the mix after we get back from our vacation.

(after visiting the House of Mouse I'll need it!)
This is me like all the time now!  it's a month away!
Anyone else jumping back on the fitness bandwagon?

The other thing I've been thinking about is Thanksgiving.

I have a friend that is, rightly so, spreading awareness that the Thanksgiving story is bullshit.  
Not everyone knows this, but I don't think that anyone is very surprised.

So my friend is boycotting Thanksgiving.  As is her right.  Good for her!

Am I?  Well....
  • I'm not having a Thanksgiving day dinner.  We're doing it that weekend.  I always have Turkey day with the BFF.  But it's not like we're "celebrating" anything.  It's more of a case that people have big dinners at this time, so we are too.  (We usually repeat this dinner around Easter)
  • I've never done the whole posting what I'm thankful for on Facebook thing.
  • There's MASSIVE food sales in November, in perpetration for Turkey Day.  If what I want to eat is on sale... who am I to day no?
  • I do watch the Parade, but that's mainly to watch the Broadway Performances.
  • I'm planning on doing a huge bunch of batch cooking on the first day of the break, so I don't have to invest much energy in cooking for the rest of the weekend.  I do the same thing for Christmas!

Am I celebrating Thanksgiving?  Yeah.. kinda.  But what I KNOW I'm celebrating is a 5 day weekend.  The 5 Day Weekend will include a nice dinner with my BFF and her family.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

World Mental Heath Day

I find it a bit fitting that this is World Mental Health Day.  I just went into a Facebook group that is associated with a Real Life group that I'm involved with and deleted most of the post that I've made.  Why?  For a few minutes I got it in my head that no one wanted me around, so I was removing my presence from them.

Did anything happen to bring this on?  Not a damn thing.

But all day I've been fighting the desire to go home and never leave the house again.  A little voice in the back of my mind tells me that no one really wants me around.  That voice insists that I'll never lose weight, that I'm fat and ugly so why bothering exercise.  That voice, luckily has never instructed me to end it all.

What brought this on?  There's a better than average chance that it's hormonal.  In a few days I'll wake up and life will have meaning again.  Until then it'll be a struggle not to cancel every plan that I've ever made.  Not to leave every organization that I'm in.  Not to hide under my bed for foreseeable future. 

I'm not writing this for reassurance.  I'm not writing this to seek sympathy.  I'm writing this to highlight my own mental health difficulties that I'm having on this, World Mental Health Day.

I'm a lucky one.  These periodic struggles with anxiety and depression are, as I said, periodic.  It's not something that I deal with every day.  Which makes me one of the lucky ones.

But right now I'm going to stop myself from resigning from all the organizations I belong to.  I'm going to delete the half formed texts to friends that cancel our plans.

Instead I'm going to have a bit of chocolate, and get back to work.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Sick Leave

My current troubles started last Sunday.  We were shopping and I had to grad a display to keep from falling over.  I was dizzy.  Over the week the dizzy/vertigo spells got more and more frequent.  They also got more intense.

Wednesday night I was walking the dog and the whole world started to spin.  It continued to do so for almost five minutes after I sat down on the couch.

On top of the dizziness, I was tired and my head hurt.

Thursday, the dizziness stopped, replaced by a headache and a general crappy feeling.  I was short and snippy at work (I apologize, y’all).  I had work to do, but I’d find myself staring at nothing.

In other words, I was sick.

I stayed home on Friday.  I decided to use my sick leave.  And I feel guilty for doing it.  Like because I’m not dead, I should be at work.

I am given both annual leave and sick leave.  I am allowed to use them both.  Why should I feel guilty?

It’s because Americans are actively dissuaded from not going to work.  It’s an awful workplace culture and it helps no one.

So I took my day off.  I rested and hydrated.  I cuddled my puppy and petted my kitties.

And I did not feel guilty.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

The Shows Went On!

Anyone that knows me knows that I hate haunted houses and scary movies.  I hate being startled and scared.  Can’t stand it.

But I simply LOVE Busch Garden’s Howl-o-Scream.  

Strange, isn’t it?  Not really.  I go to the park to soak in the lovely decorations.  To be outside when the park isn’t as hot (today withstanding).  And I LOVE the shows!

Seriously.  Summer has a few shows that I like, and a few that I could miss.  Same with Christmas Town.  But I love ALL the shows that How-o-Scream has to offer!

Today we did a sort of pub crawl, except it was going from one show to the other until we've seen them all!

And I have some thoughts!

The first show we saw was Fiends.  Fiends is rather adult.  It's got a Frankenstein meets Rocky Horror plot.  It also has naughty nurses.
from youtube
It's full of songs you know.  It's fun.  My favorite performers from last year are back. (I'm actually surprised the show is back.  Rumor was last year was the end of the run)  The show is campy and fun and I love it.  Last year I was astounded at the diversity in casting of the dancers.  This year, it's good, but not wonderful.

And someday I'll lose enough weight to fit into one of those nurse's uniforms! 

We then went to Night Beats (ReVamped).  This show is in the Festhaus, and that has got to be the worst place to perform!  The room is big and echo-y and people are going in and out with food!
from a previous year, also from BG's Audition site
They redid the show this year, removing what little plot that there was.  I could tell there was a bit of a storyline, but without ANY dialogue, it was hard to follow.  I also could NOT tell the two lead actresses apart!  But this show is one for all ages.  There's singing and dancing and it's a light, fun show.  With vampires!

One change that I did like was the costuming!  The old show had the poor dancers changing between every song.  And the costumes that they did use weren't awesome.  Now they have basic costumes with skirts and shrugs that they can change.  I also loved the overall design of the show!

Then we trekked to the front of the park to see Monster Stomp: on Ripper Row.  This show was my FAVORITE last year.  The female lead was sensational!  I saw the show every time we visited the park last year.
from BG's website
This year I was a tad let down.

That woman that I so loved wasn't back.  Her replacement was good, but she wasn't the powerhouse that I was looking forward to.

The thing that really ruined things for me was the sound mixing.  For years Busch Gardens would mix their shows with the backing track so loud that the singers couldn't be understood.  Funny enough, that changed when they got a new head of entertainment.  Today the mix in Monster Stomp was bad.  SO very bad.  I get that they have live percussion, but I'd like to understand the performers.  The guy that plays Jack the Ripper was from Britmania earlier in the summer and I would have liked to hear him sing!

Today was opening day for the season.  I've decided that I'm going to go back in a few weeks when it's cooler.  We'll see if my thoughts change.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Dust to Dust

A few years ago I got allergy tested.  It was a necessary, and expensive thing that had to be done after I went through 2 inhalers in a month.  It was bad.

It turns out I'm super allergic to dust mites.  So how do you deal with it?
  • keep the humidity below 50%
  • Wash bedding frequently
  • Keeping the house dusted and clean
  • Vacuuming often.
I've been keeping up with the first two.  The other two are a bit of a challenge!

I've been waking up every morning with swollen itchy eyes and a drippy, itchy nose.  Hell, the inside of my face itches!

Every. Morning.

Seriously.  This should be against the Geneva Convention.

I could take Benadryl before bed every night.  That's good and all, but I'm a hung over zombie for half the next day.
Yesterday afternoon, I decided to do something about it!

I was going to wage a battle against dust!!
And because I'm not supposed to be vacuuming, I had the Spousal Equivalent help!

I cleared the bedroom floor.  He vacuumed, while I cleaned off the coffee tabled and dusted the electronics.  I then put laundry away and washed all the blankets and throws.

We're not done, but it's a start.  He still has laundry to put away.  The knick knacks need to be dusted, and I need to get a broom out to dispatch any dust bunnies... but it's getting better.

I even woke up this morning and my eyes weren't burning.

Now if I could just find a new massage therapist to help me with my messed up neck!  Mine seems to have disappeared!

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Inhumans (here that be spoilers)

(Note, I wrote this on Saturday)

Not having much to do today, we decided to experience the first two episodes of The Inhumans, which was presented in glorious IMAX.

The reviews for the show weren't good, so I wasn't expecting much.

And I left not really knowing how I feel.

Honestly, it left me thinking of the first season of Agents of Sheild.  Like there's promise.  I just hope that it lives up to it.

Here are my thoughts, as always, in bullet points:

  • I don't know who did the set design for Atalan, but it's impressive!!
  • The Terigen Crystal ceremony:  there was no cocoon!  Do the rules change on the moon?
  • Is Tristan really dead?  He only lasted like 5 minutes!
  • Maximums = Ramsay Bolton wth a but less psychosis.  Honestly, he plays it well.
  • Medusa's hair wasn't as bad as I thought it would be.  Though, it didn't last long.  (side note:  ordinary clippers took care of the magic hair?)
  • I LOVE Karnak!  The way they present his powers is really cool!!  But why did it misfire on earth?
  • I actually like the guy they cast as Black Bolt.  I can see his sense of humor!
  • But why not use ASL?  And don't give me the city on the moon excuse.  They speak English for crying out loud!
  • Scott Buck did this show.  And he's responsible for Iron Fist.  Maybe without him we could get some good writing?
And most importantly:  There NEEDS to be a Lockjaw plushie!!!  And I NEED one!!

If you want someone with better thoughts than me, I agree with her SO much!

Monday, August 28, 2017

Know when to fold 'em

EDITED TO ADD:  this was written last night

I had all sorts of plans for today.  I wen out to run.  I had thoughts of Busch Gardens.

But for some unexpected reason, today was a high anxiety day.

I picked up the smaller of my two kittens, rubbed my face against her soft fur and started to cry.  For some reason this tiny ball of fluff reduced me to a blubbering mass.

I then knocked my Nalgene off the end table.  Actually it was my butt that knocked it off.

Water everywhere.  Thankfully with the help of a carpet cleaner, I managed to suck it up.  But that dind't stop the tirade.  I'm a useless big-assed waste of space that can't manage to keep water on the table.

I don't know what brought it on.  All I know is that today I feel fragile and small, but also fat and clumsy.

It's actually very frustrating.  I know these thoughts and feelings are fleeting and temporary.  I know that tomorrow I'll most likely be fine.  (I also know that as of Tuesday life is going to get SUPER busy!  Classes start soon!)

The good news is that my house is a whole lot cleaner than it has been in ages.  That's one less stress on me today.  So I'm off to knock out the remaining undone chores so those stresses are gone.

And we'll see how I feel tomorrow.

Friday, August 25, 2017

When did I get old?

Last night I thought it was a good idea to visit the Williamsburg Winery for their running club.

I ran (Well, walked and ran) a 5K, then had a glass of wine and some food.  By the time I got home, I was so tired I was loopy.  But holy heck, did I sleep well!

I woke up this morning sore and hung over (half a glass of wine, y'all.  Wow....).  I also had that sense of dread.


Because the Freshmen moved in today!!

I got to work at 8 on the nose, and was greeted with a gaggle of people standing IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROAD and talking.  I'm hungry, uncaffinated and headachy.  And I was not amused!
I know!  I know!  The point of college is students!  But still, it's chaos when they move in.

I'm still tired and sore.  The traffic outside is still awful.  

I'm still in shock that I've been here over six years.

That's longer than I was a teacher for.

This is the first year that I'm doing something different as the school year starts.  This is the first year that I'm solely responsible for the grad program.

I'm a bit anxious about it.

But mostly I'm tired!

Happy Friday everyone!

Friday, August 18, 2017

Checking in on these goals things

Nine days ago I made a plan.    How is it going?  I broke the last post into a handy checklist!

Losing weight.  
  • Measurements : Still haven't done it.  But I did take my "before" picture:
(Only kidding.  It's on the list for this weekend)
  • Lose 2 pounds a month: See above

More cardio stamina.  
  • Run using Map My Run:  Nasty weather severely cut my run time.  If there's no rain, I'm hoping to do it tomorrow!
  • Weight Training:  DONE!
  • 10,000 Steps with the FitBit:  If I can remember to wear it I've been hitting a solid 8000 steps a day.  Getting there!

Portion control.  
  • Measuring portions, and not overeating:  I've been better, but not where I want to be.  last night, for example.  Not a great night.  
  • Drink more water:  I've done well on this one!!

Depression and Anxiety.  
  • PMS coping strategy:  I know when it's coming.  I can also recognize it for what it is.  SO it's getting better
  • Getting more sleep:  I'm doing well here
  • Not getting overwhelmed at home by doing 2 tasks a day:  This is new, but the house is a mess and I need to not have it stressing me out!  I've set this weekend's tasks.

Not succumbing to a "lost weekend."  
  • Work out on Saturdays- Yeah... didn't do it.  Cardio tomorrow, though!
  • Don't overeat all weekend:  I spent all weekend avoiding the news from Charlottesville by eating.  I know...  But this weekend is going to be better!
So now I'm off to make pizza and a salad.  I'm going to have a small glass of wine.  Then we've got some Netflix to watch!

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Goals and motivation

After watching a video in my challenge group just now, I sat down and wrote the following Facebook post:

I was out running today and realized something.  I'm really into the running these days!  The mornings are cooler, and I get the share the workout with my furry running buddy!  I'm trying to do a weight based workout on my off days.  For the first time in ages, I'm excited to run. 

Thanks to the running I now have a real, tangible goal.  One that I can measure.
I run a 16 minute mile (don't laugh, I know it's slow).  I'm shooting for a consistent 13 minute mile by October.  I know the weight training that I'm not into right now will help with that.  

I looked at it, and realized that this isn't a Facebook post.  It's a blog post!

I only really have one goal right now:  to get healthier.  We all know that I had some nasty test results of late.  I looked back at my blog post that I wrote and I don't think the goals I made are enough.  I mean, they were ok.  But they weren't enough.

So I went back to my notes from Professional Developments of the past and decided to make a more concrete plan.  I need a Smarter Goal!

Benchmarks of being healthy:

  1. Losing weight.  
    1. I can measure this by keeping my measurements.  
    2. If I try to lost a simple 2 pounds a month, By taking weight and body measurements I can track my progress.
  2. More cardio stamina.  
    1. I'm working for the 13 minute mile.  That means that Map my Run is going to be getting more use.  
    2. It also means that I need to keep up with the weight training.  it'll help me with that.  
    3. Getting up off my butt at work might also be a good start.  I have a FitBit.  I NEED to shoot for the 10,000 steps and reach that goal at least 4 out of 7 days in the week.  (Knowing that some days you're rather stuck to your desk.)
  3. Portion control.  
    1. The diet has been pretty good of late.  (Yay me!!)  Now I need to measure the bejesus out of my food.  This one has an immediate result.  I feel nasty when I overeat.  I'd like to spend zero days feeling bloated and awful!  
    2. Water is my friend.  It'll help with that "I need to eat more" feeling.  I have a Nalgene, I should fill it up 3 times in a day.
  4. Depression and Anxiety.  
    1. A lot of this is hormonal.  I got put back on birth control and things are a bit out of wack.  I know when the nasty PMS is coming.  I need to be prepared with strategies of coping.  (PMS is this weekend and next week.  I'm warning you now!).  
    2. I need to get sleep, but not too much.  Not being able to get out of bed in the morning is an anxiety symptom.  Getting up by 5:45am will help there.
  5. Not succumbing to a "lost weekend."  
    1. Of late, many of my weekends are like this.  I need to work out AT LEAST on Saturdays.  
    2. I need to start with a healthy breakfast.  If we want to splurge on pizza, I can have A SINGLE slice, not 4.  

Today is August 9th.  I'll check back over Labor Day weekend and we'll see where I am.

Spoilers and Anxiety

Side note:  This post won't contain a single spoiler.

After years of seeing spoiler alerts, I came to realize that I must be weird because I actually like spoilers.

I know!  It's so weird!  Why would you want to know what happens in a movie or TV episode?

Because of anxiety!

My Spousal Equivalent has spent many a night watching me pace between the kitchen and the living room as the tense or social awkward scene plays out.  By the end of season finale season, my kitchen end up super clean!  I have spent large parts of movies, practically in Spousal Equivalent's lap, trying not to jump out of my skin.

I actively search out episode recaps when we watch a show on the DVR.  Heck, when the Game of Thrones episode leaked... and there were a few scenes on YouTube... heck yes I watched!

and I saw this stuff:
yes, I watched the episode the next day.

And I enjoyed it even more, because I wasn't super surprised by anything.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

I tried OrangeTheory, and now I can't move

First off, I've never been sponsored by anyone.  No one paid me for this.  In fact, you too can get a free workout!

I've been eyeing this place ever since they opened a studio near me.  I researched their workout.

And then I lost my nerve and didn't pursue it.

But I recently decided that my butt needed some kicking, so I signed up for my free class.  What was the worst that can happen?

I then had nightmares of falling off the treadmill, like in those YouTube videos.  (Spoiler alert, It didn't happen!)

Bright and early on Saturday morning, I went in for my class.
also from
The workout is all based around getting your heart rate into a zone, so the first thing that happens, is that they give you a heart rate monitor.  (If you join, you have to buy your own).  I got trained on how to use the equipment, and then the class started.

The class is an hour.  You either start on the rowing machine, or the treadmill.  I started on the rowing machine.  It's 600 meters on that, then over to the weight area to do some exercises (Think Insanity-like exercises, but with the occational TRX strap thrown in... and weights) .  Then back to the rowers.  Back and forth for half an hour.

Now, here's the thing.  You go at your own pace.  And my pace was SLOW.  So I pushed myself.  (BIG mistake!  I'm STILL paying for it!)  

Once on the treadmill, I decided to power walk.  I walked, I walked fast, and instead of playing with my speed, I played with my intensity.  We had a half hour of this too.

(Side note:  Someday I want a big enough house to have a treadmill.  I could have done that half hour easier if I was watching a show)

And this is how I did.  I KILLED it.  I was exhausted, and in need of food, a shower and a nap afterwards.
Well, Yesterday, I woke up determined, I went to bed satisfied, and then I woke up SORE!!!

I overdid it in in the tricep moves on the TRX band.  My thighs are feeling it too.

My thoughts:

The Pros:

  • Going in and working out with other people is motivating.
  • No one in there bothers you.  You do your thing, they do theirs.
  • It's a total body workout, that really focuses on the cardio (which I need)
  • It can be customized to your own fitness level, you're not actually expected to keep up with the big kids.
The Cons:
  • The price.  It's like $60 or $70 for 4 classes a month (Which is the MOST that I'd do).  A friend did the math and said it was around $15 ish a class... which in a yoga studio is pretty average.
  • After you join, you need to drop money on a heart monitor.
  • I'm already paying for Beachbody on Demand ($99 a year). 
Am I going to join?  Probably, if I can juggle the finances to make it work.  (I'm trying to convince the Spousal Equivalent that he needs to try it!)  I KNOW I'd do the lowest package.  I see this as a Saturday or Sunday morning activity.  I'd use the rest of the week for my Beachbody videos.

Sound interesting?  The first class is free.  But don't be me.  Don't overdo it.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

It's a jungle out there!

The last we heard from me, I was going to get back into the diet and exercise.

And, I'm getting better.  I sat down and made a detailed meal plan for the week.  I shopped for that plan (Sadly, there was birthday cake involved).

I've been struggling with exercise lately.  Why?

1.) It's stupidly hot outside.  It's been in the 90's for a week and later this week it should be in the low 100's.

Yes.  100's.

Any errands I want to do involving walking?  Heck no!  Running in the morning?  It's difficult.

and 2.) I'm being lazy.  I keep hitting that snooze in the morning when I should be up.  I get the workout done, but it's rushed and I tend to pause in the middle a lot.  And as for running, it's already stupidly humid by the time I DO get outside.

This morning after I ran, I got back and set all of my alarms back a half hour.  If I promise myself that AFTER the workout I can take a small break to catch up on the morning's events, maybe it will help.

I've set myself some goals:

1.) Actually get up with my alarms.
2.) During my workout, give 110%
3.) Watch my post-work eating.
4.) Take my weight and measurements

The fourth one is the scariest.  It's the one that tells me just how badly I'm doing at this weight loss thing.

But it's the one that I need the most.

And now I'm off to continue following my meal plan... time to go home and make dinner!

Monday, July 3, 2017

*Insert Rocky Theme Music Here*

Immediately after my guests left and I made a new plan for getting back to the whole diet and exercise thing 2 things happened:

1.) I caught some sort of plague
2.) I had REALLY nasty test results come in, accompanied by chastisement from the doctor.

As we all know, 2017 has been a rather craptastic year for me.  I've not been super diligent with the diet and exercise.  And now the doctor is threatening putting me on cholesterol meds.  And I REALLY don't want that.  Why?  Because A.) I can actually fix that problem on my own (and I'm motivated to now!) and B.) Statins raise blood sugar, and my ENTIRE family has issues with diabetes.
But sadly this whole "kicking my own butt" plan had to be put on hold.

I don't get sick very often.  Allergies, I get those a-plenty.  But I rarely get the flu or anything like that.  But man, when I get a headcold, I get it good.  it always sets up shop in my lungs, causing me to spend weeks coughing up phlegm.  In the past I've gone to the doctor for steroids.  Well, after those test results, I decided that I didn't want to.
It's like this guy moved into my chest!
This time I treated myself with rest, fluids and Mucinex.

And while my chest is a bit rumbly still, I'm feeling so much better!  I was actually thinking of trying my chance with the doctor, but decided against it.

So the other issue that I'm facing is the lowering my own cholesterol.  That I can do!

1.) Exercise:  I'm still getting over this plague, which leaves me without energy.  So I'm starting slow.  Instead of running, I'm going to power walk.  I'm (supposed) to be doing a weight-based program right now.  I'll go back to that, but use lighter weights until I feel 100% again.

2.) Diet:  I'm home today on vacation.  I'm going to take some time to make a shopping list and meal plan.  I'm also going to look into the DASH diet and other diets that are supposed to be good for your heart to see what foods I should be sure to include.

I'm going to add some more things in here that has nothing to do with test results: my environment and myself

3.) Taking care of my environment:  I need to make a better effort to keep my house tidy, clean and organized.  It'll help my mental health and my allergies!  Pick at least 1 thing a day to clean.  I can do at least 1 thing!

4.) Taking care of me: I need to make this more of a priority.  I need to take time to connect with friends to reduce my feeling of isolation.  I need to make sure that I do that yoga that I mean to do.  I need to make sure to schedule my chiropractor appointments and to stretch.  I need to make sure to get up off the computer once an hour and walk.

But right now: breakfast.  I walked the neighborhood, had a rather brisk shower and I'm feeling rather good.  Breakfast and meds will help me keep in that direction.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Be Careful What you Wish For, part 2

Remember how I wanted a few days off and my car broke?

Well, this week I was thinking of taking Friday off.  It's a long weekend and the end of the fiscal year and all..  I mean, I did take 2 days off when my family visited... but a long weekend would be nice...

Then I came down with some sort of plague.  It started with a sore throat.  I chalked this up to allergies.

Then my lungs decided to be mucus machines.  Then the mucus factory got a satellite office in my sinuses.

Now I have a hot and cold running fever, cough so hard I nearly gag and my voice is completely gone.

I wanted one day off.  I'm on day number 3.  Since there is not all that much to do around the office, I'm really not sweating it.  (Though right now sweating is all that I'm doing...)

I think the big take away from this is that I'm not superman.  I have sick time.  I have vacation time.  And I'm entitled to use it.  We've now hired someone so I'm not alone in the office.  She's covering the phones.

I don't know when this whole "you are entitled to leave but we don't expect you to take any" bullshit started.  I'm just thankful that when I told people that I was ill they just wished me well.  No guilt.

Thankfully I no longer feel like warmed over death.  I just need to get over the worst of the coughing, and that's better done at home than at the office.  Tomorrow I'll go back to work (and leave early for a dental appointment).

And next week we get back to work.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Planning a Disney vacation takes lots of... planning...

We're going to Disney for my birthday this year.  As anyone that has ever gone to Disney can tell you, it requires lots of 2 things:  planning and luck.

When you reach the magical 180 days before your trip, you can make dining reservations.  I read reviews and menus.  I watched videos.  I listened to podcasts.  And I made my decision:

Ohana for my birthday dinner,

and Garden Grill for a breakfast.
Here is my trials with getting a reservation:

Website:  Nope, not yet.

Website:  You're getting warmer...

Website:  How about this Ohana dinner, for 3:50pm NOT on your birthday.  and that's the best I can do.
Me: *grumbles*  *books*

Website:  Oh, I'm sorry, the Garden Grill is booked for breakfast for your ENTIRE trip.  Better luck next year!

I pout.  I sigh.  And I get over it because something may open up later on.

Me: *tries to see if something has magically opened up*
Website:  *is broken*

I go to work and put this out of my mind.  At lunch, I decide to do a search of ALL the places that might be available for breakfast on my birthday

Website:  How about Ohana?
me:  *squeaks like a dog toy*  *books it before I can think about it too hard*

Yes, I have a breakfast one day and then a dinner at the same place the next day.  The great thing about reservations is that I can cancel them.  In the end, I might want to cancel ALL of my reservations.

But I have 175 days to figure that out.

In other news: I'm terrified of making Fast Passes!

Thursday, June 8, 2017

It's been 6 days and 7 hours since my car broke

Last Thursday, my car was towed away...

then fixed... but not quite...

then fixed again... but not quite..

and a part was ordered...

Currently, my car is at the dealership.  It's fixed, but after all I went through, they want to make doubly sure that it's fixed.  So if all goes as planned, I get my car back this afternoon.

Now don't get me wrong.  it's not like I've been stranded by the side of the road this entire time!  I've been depending on other people for rides to and from work.

What did happen for this entire week, was that I was completely off my game.  I've been sleeping in.  I haven't been working out.  Why?

I was off of my routine, and feeling lost.  I convinced myself that I needed to be ready early, and with Misty on a leash and ready to go into her kennel.  How do I do that?  By not going out to run.  Eventually not going out to run became not working out at all.

Am I proud of this?  No.

Not at all.

Tomorrow it's supposed to be cool and dry.  And I should have a car back.  I plan on running, taking the pup to the vet, and getting a haircut after!

Well, all of this after I made our Advanced Dining Reservations for our Disney trip!

Thank goodness it's boot camp next week!  I need my ass kicked!

Monday, June 5, 2017

Be careful what you wish for

For a while now, I've been looking at taking a few days off from work.

I got that wish, just not in a way that I wanted!

Thursday I got to my car to go home.  And ended up having to call a tow truck.  Acceleration wasn't working, and the car was idling badly.  The engine wouldn't even rev.  A two truck was called.  I got it to the shop.  And I ended up with a nice day off.

And I had a great day off!  I gave myself a facial. I made bread.  I took a nap.

The dealership called.  It was an air intake issue,  A $200 fix.  I went to pick up the car.  The guy that drove it up for me proclaimed "did you know that the accelerator doesn't work?"  Seriously??? That's why the car was there in the first place.

The last time I had an engine problem, I had to get a new car.  The fix was more than the car was worth.

Instead of panicking, I made a plan.  I went onto the website for my student loan to see if there is a lower payment option.  There is.  I went online to the Carmax website and got pre-qualified for a loan.  I went online and found some cars that I'm interested in.  But we can file this under "Things I didn't really need right now."

I spent all weekend with this ball of dread in my tummy.  I spent days trying to identify it.

Part of me almost wants the car to be beyond repair.  I'm terrified of paying all this money to have to break down again and again.  I already went down this road and the car didn't even leave the dealership.  I'm terrified of being broken down on the side of the road.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Is is possible to hide from reality?

In the last few weeks, the media has been a veritable shit show of awful.  From the President being awful around the world, to white guys being awful at home.

I've wanted to hide under the bed and ignore the awful stuff until it went away.

But I realized something today.  Hiding from reality... ignoring change in society and the world....  what's is what got us into this mess in the first place.

let's look at what has happened in the last few weeks:

It's the last one that made me think the most.  There's a few issues involved in this.  (What follows are my opinions!)

  1. Even though the President and his government won't admit it, White Nationalistic male terrorists are a bigger threat than Islamic terrorists.  With few notable exceptions (9/11 and the Boston Marathon Bombing), many of the biggest acts of terrorism in the states have been committed by white guys.  The reason why it is being ignored?  Because these white guys mainly kill brown people.  
  2. The guy that did the stabbing in Portland?  He's a Bernie supporter.  It makes him hard to paint into that above narrative.  (although he has reportedly been involved in white nationalistic causes in the past)
  3. Did you guys notice the FLOOD of people praising these victims, and not saying much about the harassed women that started the mess?  We're praising the heroism of the people that helped to stop the attacks.  And rightly so.  But can we address the bigotry that was the root cause of this?  
  4. It's that bigotry (be it overt or internal) that breeds radicalization.  Both in the right-wing white guy sense, and the Islamic Extremist sense.

I think the root of many of these problems goes back to the idea that people like things the way they were.  White guys like being on the top of the heap.  Even some of the most liberal people around may harbor a bit of prejudice when they want things to go back to the way they used to be.  And we all know that ignoring the problem doesn't make it better.  Hiding from reality won't work much anymore.
Mr. Woolery is thinking back to a time when a good chunk of everyone in the US was Christian.  (Or at least everyone who Mr. Woolery considers to matter)  He looks back on that mythical time of Pilgrims and Patriots and has Hamilton-esque dreams of the founding of this country.  (Except in his dreams, all the Hamilton actors are white)  I'm sorry Mr. Woolery, but Mr. Kruse is right.  This country wasn't founded on Christian Principles.

I think that we need to make sure that people know things like that.  We need to make sure that history is understood, before it repeats itself.

My question to White America is:  why didn't more people speak up as those women were being harassed on that train?  Why don't more people try to shut down hate speech and ethnic, racial and religious slurs that we hear every day?  Are we afraid of also being stabbed?  Are we so used to minding our own business (like our parents told us to) that we don't speak up?

I think there's been a protest just about every month since the President took office.  Sadly, I think both sides of the issue are becoming bolder, more outspoken.

I'm absolutely terrified by what I see on the news every day.  A Handmaiden's Tale is so terrifyingly close to reality that I won't watch it.  But what can we do?

Well, we do what we can.  If it it is just correcting people when they are factually incorrect or speaking up as bravery will allow.

Friday, May 19, 2017

No man is an island

I think we can agree that I've not had the best 2017 so far.  And yesterday I had a pretty bad day.

Actually, my bad day started at 4:30, right before I got ready to go home.  The fact that many of my job tasks (things not part of the current job description, but have to be done until we hire someone) still are a mystery to me really got me down.  I hit an extreme point of frustration at not knowing how to do this job that has been thrust upon me.

So in that awful black mood, I headed home and burst into tears.  I was frustrated at my job.  I was feeling lonely and forgotten.  I cried and screamed.

Then I realized something.

My new gyno put me on Medroxyprogesterone for a week to jump start my cycle.  After the cycle is jumpstarted, I then get to go on birth control.  (I know.... my tubes are tied.. but apparently when you don't have a period and you should be having one.. you could get cancer.  I seriously don't want cancer!)

I looked it up last night.  Medroxyprogesterone is a fertility drug.  It's basically PMS is a bottle.

Oh yay!!

So like a kidney stone, this too shall pass.

And then I saw this on Facebook:
All I can say is yes.  100% yes.  As I sat sobbing on the kitchen floor, I vowed to never speak to my friends again.  In my hormonal stupor I was convinced that they didn't need a shit-show like me in their lives and they were better off without me.  Just like Oliver Queen does every few episodes on Arrow, I thought everyone would be safer without me around.

Say that it's not true all you want, but in that moment of existential crisis it was true to me.  (Even Oliver got that message this week.. from Malcolm Merlyn of all people!)

No man is an island.  You need meaningful relationships in your life.  And your friends want you around, the depression (or hormonal miasma) is lying to you.

This is to the friends:  if you haven't heard or seen someone in ages, send them a message.  They might be too scared of rejection to initiate contact.