Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year's Eve Already?

I swear, the end of the year kinda snuck in and waited in the dark for HOURS until I finally staggered home under way too many bags, wet, and tired from the rain (in Seattle?!? Really?!?) and packing and more packing at work, and man do my shoulders hurt...

THEN JUMPED IN MY FACE as soon as I turned on the lights with streamers and awful noisemakers and looking way too happy to be here again.

I joked at work today that if I make it past 10 PM it may be a miracle. I'm not sayin' it's old age...it's just been a harder than usual week for me. I blame at least 90% of it on the moving. I detest packing and moving in my normal hum drum life...moving offices? While still trying to conduct business? Are you kidding me? AAAAaaaaauuuummmm. What's that Bezzie recommended? Push out the jive, bring in the love....I need a whole lot more love, I think. Come 2010/Monday (and that just looks weird) we'll be situated in the new building and hello my other hated task...unpacking.

But seriously, really? New Year's Eve already? You'd think I'd keep track seeing as it happens at the same time every year.

Maybe if I caffeinate enough I'll be willing to walk to the other side of my apartment building to watch the Space Needle explode with color and lights and such at midnight...but man, that's like 6 hours away! And it is COLD outside! And did I mention the rain?

Yes, along with my borderline OCD tendencies, I am a number one wuss. It's good to know these things about yourself.

Anywho, go party it up for me. My goal is to stay awake long enough to watch the "Harry Potter 1/2 Blood Prince" movie that I TOTALLY missed this year...they are going to take away my fan card if I keep this up, I swear. I might be able to finish my baby brother's hat...or maybe just sit there and pretend to be knitting as I nod off...

May 2010 not be so very exhausting.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Bizarro Girl Strikes Again...

So you know those people who can't be the ones to finish the last piece/bite of anything?

I'm part of the clean plate society, not a problem that one.

It's the ruining of a pristine thing: cutting a pie/cake/etc., or even opening a new box of cereal (until I verify that nope, there are no other boxes of open cereal to consume) or say a bag of super tasty Trader Joe's Hickory Barbecue Potato chips that I bought...not gonna do it...not if I share my kitchen and snacks with someone else who can do it instead, EVEN IF I KNOW there are no other open bags of chips around...

This is not a problem if I live alone...only when I do silly things like share groceries with people. Yep, this means if we split a box of cookies at work, I'll wait for you to open and take the first one...unless you give me permission...no really.

You'd think I weigh 90 lbs. as everyone gets a yummy handful of barbecue potato chips, cookies, pie, anything with way too much sugar, before me...I wish...

No, instead it's just another in my long list of odd things that makes me who I am...

And if I'm at my mom's house? And I'm going to open the Eskimo Pie box? Though it might be the absolute and only ice cream in the house? Of course I ask permission first, even if it's my niece who's asking for the thing and not me.

Thus ends another interlude into my wacky way of being...brought on by the fact that Andy opened up my bag of super yummy Hickory Barbecue Potato Chips...score!

Monday, December 28, 2009

I'm Ba-a-ck...

And so hating life at hours this early in the AM knowing I have to actually go to work today.

And it's the last week of the year an the last week at the current site (the whole kit and caboodle is moving starting FRIDAY) and it's all just hitting me now.

AND OF COURSE I didn't start any office packing before I left for LA, hello? Have we been introduced?

Okay, enough negativity...time to get out there and at least pretend a bit of productivity.

(Yes, maybe I am a bit more Pollyanna than I used to be in high school...I still wear the same amount of black though.)

Saturday, December 19, 2009

On the Ground

In la la LAnd.

Surprising mom? Totally priceless.

I got a hug and a kiss and a smack on the rump for not letting her clean house before I arrived. But dude, totally worth it.

I've helped put up and trim the tree, have wrapped a million presents, and oh yeah, someone remind me never ever ever to go to a mall the weekend before xmas. I have no idea what I was thinking when I volunteered to go pick up "one last thing." It must be the euphoria associated with home-cooked food and family, that's my only excuse.

Okay, little brother is eying the computer like it's his turn or something...kids these days :).

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Real or Imagined?

There is an old "Rhymes with Orange" comic that I may have referred to in one of my ever-growing number of posts...the text is basically:

If you study too much your brain will swell and dislodge itself from it's place, fall down into your throat, and choke you to death...or something.


So here is my theory, having studied brains, learning, and the stuff that happens therein:

If you study a whole lot, (can there be too much?) for a long time, you crowd out things your brain feels might be so trivial that it eventually starts shoving huge swaths of stuff into places you can only access when half awake in the shower. And it might drive you mad trying to figure out if it was a dream or really happened.

A whole lot of my past falls into this category. Granted, adding um, body chemical altering substances (so as to not say booze and smokes if my little brother ever finds my blog, hi!) in the mix really makes it hard to remember feeding L stove top one turkey day...or being in other L's apartment more than just that one time we played RISK...

I feel like I'm going to need other people to help me remember my past if I keep changing careers/learning new ways to make money. (Learning about fiscal closings and GAAP and USAID requirements is a little less trivial than I thought it'd be...silly me.)

But sometimes you don't have the someone in your life anymore to verify...

I can't stop thinking about the time I arranged to pick up my best friend from high school at the airport. We were attending colleges at opposite ends of the country and I was home first. Did I call her mom and volunteer? Did I call her? I don't remember the details anymore.

But at the airport, back when you could go all the way up to the terminal door? Really, kids, you could! There was no TSA and you could take LITERS of water onto a plane and the pilots used to walk around and say "hi" (so they could take a break and maybe stretch and maybe NOT FALL ASLEEP while doing their pilot thing?!?) and if you were under twelve and FLYING ALONE (is that allowed anymore?!?) or super cute, or even just smiled and said "hi," they gave you "wings."

I am so very old. Where was I...

At the terminal...a roundish one...I sat and waited for K's plane to arrive and...here is where I am wondering "live or memorex"...K's mom/dad/both? Appear...just to make sure I showed, then left before K's plane landed.

My 19 year-old self felt utter disappointment that they didn't trust me. (My 35 year-old self smiles at the lengths parents went through in the days before cell phones.) See, I remember the feelings associated with the whole experience...and I'm getting extreme deja vu writing this out...if I did already once, long ago, I blame learning about Use Tax Application.

Well...I gotta finish packing (procrastination, I am it), my flight to El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Angeles del Río de Porciúncula (frankly, much cooler that just plain "LA" in my over-filled mind) is only a few hours away...so unless I can wrest the keyboard from my baby brother's grasp, more radio silence to come...

If I don't make it back on to post: Happy Holidays! Cuz they're all piling up around us whether or not we celebrate any of them.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Unless Blood or Tears are Involved, it Doesn't Count

I'm talkin' 'bout a sewing project of course!

So...I'm done.

I know, I know, my little Janome Jem (truly outrageous - sorry, couldn't help it) has been through thick and thin...some of these instances have even been chronicled here! Therefor it should be no surprise that it's bound to be an adventure whenever I have to take out my little patchwork Jem.

This was to be an easy venture. My dad's xmas gift, which needs to be packed and shipped tomorrow if I'm to fulfill my ruse. Oh, did I not mention this?

Right, it's been a while. And I've been under radio silence because somehow time keeps passing much quicker than I need it to and it's easier to keep quiet about everything to everyone that to make up stories to keep the lie going....

See, for the first time in what seems like decades, I'm going home for xmas. To make it extra crispy special, we're not telling my mom, it's her xmas gift :). Why am I spilling the beans now? Because I leave in 4 days and I needed some rant and understanding time.

I've planned and plotted with my mom every year to try to get the gifts home on time for distribution and general last minute nonsenses (i.e. "I don't know what to get so-and-so, what are "we" getting him/her/them.") It's usually my dad's gift, you see.

This time though! I figured it out! ALL. By. Myself. I was soooo proud.

The man needs an upgrade from the sad towels he uses to warm his legs in the early winter mornings on his drive across LA to get to work. I would find him a cool lap blanket. Yes, I do know the term oxymoron. Yes, I quickly found out that there is no such thing as a "cool" and/or lap-sized anything with the term "blanket" as a part of its name.

See, this year? It's about throws. Big, fluffy, floofy, fancy throws made of cashmere, merino, mink (seriously?), high quality fake furs, and any and all things non machine-washable.

Hence the need for a trip to a big box craft store to pick up some fleece and thread, and time to pull out my wee little Janome Jem (truly outrageous) for some sewing fun!

Cuz sewing is fun! Really! Unless you need to wind a bobbin and notice this:
My bobbin winder's bobbin holder (say that 3xs fast) has had a piece of it snapped off. I found the piece in the bag. My theory is that it happened during the last move... Regardless, I either need to find a way to fix it, or buy a new machine.

What? Why so drastic a remedy? Because I am done.

I never loved this machine the way I did my Singer (see that linked post above), and every, single, time I need to use it lately has involved my laying out cash for bits, pieces or, in this case, pre-spooled bobbins.

Why didn't I just go get one of those "side-winder" thingies? Because I did. Go out. In the freezing pre-snow-feeling Seattle weather (maybe not down here, but it is snowing in Everett as I type), to hunt it down. The one place that had it? The same big box store previously mentioned, for $40. No, you're not reading that wrong. Yes, I know it's only $19 for the pink one on the website, but in the store? It costs more than I'm willing to shell out for something that might not even wind bobbins that fit with my machine. They had a whole list down the side of the box...not a gamble I wanted to take, I'd rather spend that $40 in LA next week.

So instead I went to Quality Sewing & Vacuum in Ballard to see what my options were...fixing that wee piece, is now more than the machine is worth. See, it's $150 just to send it in to be looked at. When I needed it cleaned and checked out for last years stockings? It was cheaper than buying a new one, I had a coupon, so I went for it.

After being told everything is good and yet STILL having to fight with it every step of the way? I kinda came to the realization that this little machine and I may need to part ways. Today? possibly the last straw.

See, I did accomplish my task:
One lap blanket in black fleece and some black/gray flannel that was going to become pajama pants, but as it was mis-measured for me at the same big-named craft store it was sitting in my sewing tub waiting for a project.

I folded it so you could see the two sides, but also so that it hides the fact that it's not quite rectangular. See, along with the usual cursing and letting of blood that my sewing adventure usually gives me...I also fought with the "teeth" that help move the fabric along. Apparently my little Jem was hungry.

I may have mentioned a straw breaking above? Yep...I'm thinking I need to start saving for a new sewing machine. By the time I need to sew again? I may have gathered enough pennies. (Have you all noticed I only bust out the machine a couple times a year? And to prove I'm not the professional sewer, um, this is the machine that I'm thinking of replacing my little guy with, and before you say anything, yes, it's another Janome.)

And for you knitters:
Done!
65 inches after washing. I didn't block it because, well, it's Berocco Comfort and it's not like the college student that gets this will either.

It's to be packed and sent off to OFA tomorrow...yey!

Speaking of packing? I need to get my act together as I leave on Thursday morning and there are a million things on my to do list before I get dropped off at the airport. This is the part of traveling that I really really hate.

Monday, November 30, 2009

58" Long, but Only When Lying Down

My red scarf (yeah, I'm doing one of those as well) is now 58" long, when laid out on the carpet...but only seem to come up to my chin when I'm standing up...(I'm 63.5" tall)

Either I've grown, or um, something changes quite drastically between laying something down and having gravity play with it.

Hmm, I just read what I wrote,and I am 12, as I am giggling with how dirty that all sounds. Is it sad I have to remind myself I am still just speaking about yarn? I must be tired.

Was My Last Post Really That Long Ago?

Hmm, the 22nd...I um, guess it was.

So 'member how I said I was stuffed last week? We had Turkey dinner #2 on Friday, the um, 27th (in lieu of black Friday, more on that some other day). I swear, there must have been a competition between L&L and J&L about how much wonderful food they could make and convince me to eat.

There was a couch with my name on it...and then given a blanket to collapse under...cuz boy-howdy, my system was so devoted to digesting my arms and legs totally froze!

Andy did not make it past the first few minutes post feasting, opting to go to bed instead of watching "the something Riddick" or whatever movie was on. Knowing it would be very very bad of me to lie down so soon after eating (hello heartburn) I watched and inspected my eyelids in turns. We were all stunned into silence, and part of it really was because the movie was soooo gimmicky and terribly cliche...but really, what were we expecting.

My eyelid inspecting won the coin toss in the end and I awoke to the final line of the movie...which, along with most of Vin Diesel's dialogue needed translating...but whatevers, a click of J's magic remote and suddenly we were SUCKED into the stories behind The Facts of Life. No really! And we were all awake and laughing and commenting and my word, what is wrong with Natalie's eyebrows?!?! (If I pick up the outside edges of mine and lift them a la Mr. Spock, I get the same weird skin looking deal going, so I should shut up now...). And Mrs. Garret was still alive! And singing on cruise ships! Oh my youth...

It was a grand way to end the evening.

Another Thanksgiving successfully navigated. Oh, except for the pies I made...

I didn't mention the pies for J&L's did I?

Well, same pies as L&L's. Except I fiddled with the crust after some more comments and recommendations at work...I did something TERRIBLY wrong. I have pictures I can load later. They are quite pretty. Perfect for the bright lights and long hours of food photography. But if you want a slice? Break out a hacksaw for the crust...no really.

I have no idea what went wrong. As of last night I can finally cut into it with a regular non-serrated knife. But on Friday? HA HA HA HA, we had so much fun making fun of my rock hard pretty crust, lemme tell ya.

Remind me not to mess with a good thing.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Early Thanksgiving...

I am officially stuffed.

And there are so many leftovers!

Which I didn't cook!

I love being the "single person" at couples' Thanksgivings...especially early ones like L&L&T's! Now I'm set for sweet potato pie until Turkey Day!

I would upload pictures of the pumpkin pie and the stuffed mushrooms Andy and I contributed, but a) I forgotted to take pictures of the mushrooms, and b) the pie pictures didn't come out AT ALL as my hand hurt too much when I was trying to take them...

Besides, these pictures outdo what mine would have looked like a million to one:
I used this pie crust, and I just gushed about it in Bezzie's comments:
Dude, I shall never fear pie crust again, all I'm sayin'.

About my hand...
So you know how when you stub your toe/have a hang nail/papercut/whatever you seem to find it over and over and over again and hurt and rehurt and rehurt it ad infinitum?

Well, whaddaya know, when you burn your hand as you're taking your bean-filled pre-baked pie crust out of the oven? You will inevitably burn it again with scalding hot water! Then burn it again when you put in the ready-to-be-baked but VERY HEAVY pies into the oven! And yet again when you go to take the tin-foil tents off the edges! And then what felt like a few more hundred times as you're frying the shallots (did you know they are also known as green onions?)! And flying grease on an oven burn? Oh yeah, a new kind of torture, not to mention more burny bits while baking the mushrooms to prepare them for the stuffing!

Or maybe you do if you are me...Regardless, my left hand HURTS, and looks like I set the back of it on fire, or maybe ironed it...or, as I actually did, found that the oven racks are WAY TOO CLOSE TOGETHER! And adjusting them while the oven is set to 400 degrees is a STUPID IDEA. Also, pumpkin pies in pyrex baking dishes are heavier than they look.

I hope next year's me will reread this post before attempting either of the above recipes to avoid looking like I ripped duct tape off the back of my hand. I'm off to go find the neosporin.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Never Ever EVER Mention Your Plans to Save Up for a New Computer In Front of the Old One...

I know this, really I do, an yet I must have swallowed a stuuuuupid pill as I was working on my budget yesterday.

I'm sorry, Mini, but I REALLY miss having a lappy. It's rather hard to hall you into bed to watch some late-night online b-movies (dude, reliving my misspent childhood with all the old b-movies on hulu, seriously).

And during my pox scare? (No spots yet, I have never been so happy to have my sinuses so stuffed and my head pounding so hard...just a sinus/cold thing...so far...) I really could have used some in-bed computer-doctoring instead of dragging my sorry sore body out of it to see what Dr. Intarweb had to say about how my symptoms compared to the dreaded adult-chicken-pox...

So, yeah, my mini has started to act up by locking up or not shutting off applications, or simply refusing to wake up and force a restart. I'm hoping that whatever temporary insanity it has will amend itself with the next Apple Update. They tend to release them at about the same time that my mini starts freaking out...so fingers crossed because my budget has me not purchasing anything costly for at least a COUPLE YEARS, Mini, did you hear that? YearS. Pretty please get better.

Also, no plague here. And yes, definitely planning on becoming Chicken Pox inoculated as soon as I can find out if my insurance will pay for it...otherwise it's another budget item expense. I realized that if I stay on with my present company, we work with so many countries and people that um, well, it does not hurt to have some extra protection when it comes to childhood diseases I never had.

Sadly, my extra day of staying inside waiting for the pox bloom, also made me miss out on reserving space for the Theo Chocolate Tour. Okay, it was more like I spent all day sleeping and therefore did not call the place to reserve any spots seeing as I was unconscious. I obviously needed the sleep, but um, yeah, kinda pissed at myself and disappointed that I'll not be doing the tour this time around. This is where staycationing trumps a real vacation, though. I can always make it a Saturday trip sometime in the distant future, no worries :).

I did venture underground yesterday, and that was rather fun. There was even a, um, "not quite right" person on the tour, at least for a little bit...to me it just added to the Seattle ambiance. To others? They were much happier to see the backside of his floppy coat and dirty sneakers as he took off at a run far far away from our group.

If the predicted weather holds (torrential rain beginning late tonight) I can go to the Zoo today. The only thing stopping me is the fact that being outside mucking it from one damp display to another in temperatures that "feel like" the upper 30s might not make me happy about such a decision. I'll be begging for a sinus/cold relapse that way...I think my best bet would be to go to the Seattle Art Museum today and catch the Michelangelo/Calder exhibits. Which, being a big dork, really call to me more than the cute Long Tailed Macaque. The zoo might be cheaper in winter...but I might have to wait for temps in the 50s for me to enjoy it better.

The Seattle Times just published a "What to do in Rainy Weather" article...which I found rather amusing. As little as I've accomplished this staycation, I'm not disappointed at all. It really does beat being in the office working, after all. I do still have to motivate and get the xmas shopping done. I've scoped out where I want to go...just need to firmly decide on when.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Staycation or Sick Leave...That is the Question

Have I mentioned I've never had the chicken pox?

On Wednesday AM we were let known someone in the building had come down with them. I was told I couldn't even know what floor they were on, but really how likely would it be that I'd been in contact with them? (!?!)

Are you kidding? You are kidding, right? Hello? Accounts Payable just before the closing of the month sees more faces, paper, and interaction with everyone in the building than the public bathroom near the Space Needle! (Okay, maybe I exaggerate.)

Hello yesterday...I stayed in bed pretty much all day:
- Low grade fever.
- No energy.
- And yeah, I'm kinda itching a couple spots where neither my psoriasis nor my pityriasis rosea have ever been...
- BUT, sniffly as all get out.

So, it could be anything! Personally, since I didn't wake up covered in spots today, I'm leaning more toward stress rash + sinus infection from the 40 year old dust that was blasted over us during the confetti cannons at the They Might Be Giants concert + maybe standing in the rain and cold and wind after midnight at my age and not getting enough sleep might make me catch one of the million colds out there right now + IT'S MY VACATION I WILL NOT BE SICK! = Me in a very bad mood.

But I am just back from the outside (!), armed with Aveno Anti-Itchy Baby Bath stuff (I could not find the adult version), just in case.

For some reason I have it in my head that if I succumb to something, it'll be tomorrow, cuz you know, that would be my first day of vacation and all. Not that I made the best time/weather choice as the Pineapple Express is supposed to hit us full force then...

If bad things come in threes, um, universe? What's it gonna be? Or am I being to brazen to ask?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

11-10-09...Countdown Day...

Okay, I'm a big dork, and get a kick out of the silliness of numbers sometimes.

I guess last year's 10-09-08 was more melodic, but um, I remembered today's today, so there.

And we are counting down very important things this time around:
- I'm leaving work early to go get the apartment ready for visitors
- We're going to THEY MIGHT BE GIANTS tonight!!!
- I'm playing Seattle Tourist (tm) ALL, NEXT, WEEK

Yep, staycation here I come.

I can't wait! I've got a list of things I'm going to do, but only one per day, cuz I am also very lazy and what's a vacation that doesn't involve sleeping in and having time to chill?

So far I want to:
- Take the Seattle Underground Tour
- If it's clear, go up the Space Needle
- If it's not pouring, go to the zoo
- If I can convince Andy to come with me, go wine tasting
- Do the Theo's Chocolate Factory Tour

And in the PM/AM rest of the day? Get my xmas shopping done and over with.

Small goals, really.

If you've done the Seattle tourist thing? Or ever wanted to be a tourist in Seattle? What would you want to do? I need alternatives due to that silly WEATHER thing we have here.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

What's that Word that's used When you are Using Someone for Profit?

And can you exploit a dead person?

Bodies, the Exhibit? (I won't link, you'll see why.) I went the the Seattle showing. From an artistic and possibly medical point of view? Very informative.

From a gut-feeling? It made me very sad.

The website spoke in vague generalities, giving you all kinds of factoid information that seemed super informative in that trivial-pursuit kind of way. But once I scraped away all the floral language I understood that all these bodies came from China and that this exhibit was in no way tied or associated with anything medicinal. Looking at the bodies and body parts and the way they'd been posed and the people they'd hired to care for the "exhibits" made it obvious that every bit, from the laser lights to the bone-shaped ice trays at the gift store, was for raking in as much money as possible.

This part may not be true but it's what I imagine taking place:
- People died.
- Their families sold their bodies to this corporation (not science, mind, but a corporation out to make loads of cash).
- The corporation then plasticized the corpses and molded the muscles and tendons into people running and shooting darts and playing football.

And by their sizes and again, my imagination (possibly overactive), I think the fellow swinging the tennis racket, well, I totally got the feeling that he had never even set eyes on one when he was alive.

Because really? I totally understand donating your body to science and your organs to others and all that stuff. I was a pink-dotter when I had a license that had the dots, but what scenario do you imagine occurring to "give" your body over to a company? It's more like sell...and it wouldn't be you doing it but maybe your relatives...that maybe can't afford to bury you...(I did mention my overactive imagination) and that made me really want nothing to do with this exhibit and it's fake nod to the wonders of science and the body.

It's the Holden Caulfield inside of me I suppose...but I hate this kind of fakery. Disneyland, Renaissance Faires, Roadside Attractions, even Casinos are honest with you. The main goal is to part you from your money as they entertain you. You paying to get a learning experience with the kids running around in fake lab coats giving you BS stories about the "attractions?" That was kinda hard to swallow.

The website, and some of the kids in the coats, were happy to tell you about the process used to create what was there. And truthfully? It is amazing that this process exists. We are definitely living in the future and all that noise. I just wish we lived in an honest one.

Now, if you're an artist and don't feel like digging up and dissecting corpses to figure out the skeletal and muscular structures? Go. It's useful and informative. And some of the bodies and especially the circulatory systems? Amazing. Just don't over-think it, the way I did.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Shock the Monkey

So maybe I'm a wee little bit out of the whole "knit this cuz everyone else is knitting it" loop...About three years behind, it would seem:
Monkey Socks for Mom:
Yep, another xmas, another pair of socks. But shhh, don't tell her these are for her, 'kay?

I followed the pattern as written, and when I saw they would actually fit my "thick and wides" I decided to frog the one I'd started a million years ago (back when I was on the Italy trip with my xMIL) which was also size 2s, but I'd "adjusted for size" and they could have easily fit my dad's feet...(where I get my "dainties from") except they are in a shade of pink that I don't think he'd appreciate. See, I'm learning again, certain stitches have WAY MORE STRETCH than others.

And I know you're gonna want to know what yarn I used...and I honestly can't remember...it's one of those 50% cotton/50% wool ones...maybe....maybe nylon/bamboo...fer sure it was on sale. I guess this is what that whole Ravelry Queue thing is useful for...

Anyhow, some knitting.

~~~~
Update on the health stuff:
I've switched my fish oil pill with a flax seed oil pill.
After a week? I can honestly tell you that if you want the omega 3s but not the fishy burp? Take flax seed oil. It may as well be iocaine powder, colorless, tasteless and it must dissolve instantly in my tummy.

Also? I have ankles again. But that might be due to the fact that I've practiced abstinence on the whole fish thing, I'm talkin' even veggie sushi (I don't know how purine rich seaweed might be)...you know, just to be safe...after all, when experimenting on yourself, you need to do it one bit at a time. This getting old thing? Sucks. Avoid it at all costs, I say.

~~~

Cuz I'd never leave you with a song in your head: Shock the Monkey, for reals. And can I just say...I think Peter Gabriel is actually younger in that video that I am currently, and that both makes me feel really old...and that I'm kinda not at all living to my potential...le sigh. (And a bigger shocker? Especially if I can't figure out how to not make it auto-play for you? The next song is him in 2009...oh my, time is a cruel, cruel thing.)

Friday, October 23, 2009

Go Flax Seed Oil!

So I know I said something about knitting and pictures and it's a draft...but I wanted to share this with you all first.

On Facebook a couple days ago I posted something along the lines of:

Dude, my life is so over...purine rich foods (salmon being one of them apparently) are making my inherited gout-like-symptoms, um, bloom. Stupid genes.


See, we made Salmon cakes....and almost immediately after I had dinner I noticed my left ankle was what Andy's cousin affectionately calls a "cankle." You know, when your ankle is so inflamed that you can't tell where the calf ends and the foot begins?

Fun times in TaclessLand, lemee tell ya.

Of course I didn't go to the doctor, hello? What is the internet for? That's how I came up with"purine rich foods." And the fact that I have a world of pain to look forward to in my "golden years..." (sigh)

Only, I didn't think I'd scarfed down all that much Salmon.

Then last night it happened again...and there was NOTHING that I ate that was on the list...except for maybe the pasta...(certain carbs are purine rich you see...). But as my right ankle was getting in on the action? I was getting a wee bit more concerned.

Two things have changed in my life the last few months:
  • My BC pills went generic
  • I switched to the Costco brand fish oil.
Yes, I know taking any kind of hormone is prone to making your life a mess, and as much as I LOVE not writhing in pain for 7 days every month...I'm still thinking of ditching the pills if things don't change for the better...i.e. I get my chubby ankles back. Cuz I never realized how much more attractive my stumpy chubby ankles until they were gone...and Dr. Internet says BC/hormone pills will adversely affect a woman's water retention ability to the big clumpy nothing-fits end of the scale. Oh it is SO fun to be a girl.

Before getting all drastic though, I decided to ask the intarwebs about fish oil causing swollen extremities. I mean, remember, I did decide to experiment on myself using fish oil as an anti-inflammatory for my hip woes, right? Maybe it's a side effect?

Um, no. Or rather, I can't find any correlation.

What I did find out I want to pass on as a kind of PSA though. If you mix vitamin D (which I also take) with certain fish oils you can get bad things happening in your system. Nothing mentioned cankles...but the word "toxic" was thrown around a WHOLE lot. So I read the ingredients of my Nature's Made vs Costco omega 3 oils and...did you know that Nature Made has some fish but also flax seed oil in their Omega 3 oil pills? And the Costco brand is like 100% fish oil?

So maybe, just maybe, mind, I was kinda o-d-ing on the purine richness of the oil + salmon cakes + (cuz I fergotted until just now) sushi the other night + maybe a sushi lunch the day before the night of the sushi dinner... Add that to the fact that (since they don't list what kind of fish they use in their pills) I might have been poisoning myself with the oil + vitamin D...and that might explain a few things...

So I'm altering my experiment on my use of fish oil. I'm switching back to the burpy goodness of Nature Made (the Costco brand did reduce that little aspect of taking fish oil, by the way) and seeing if I can have ankles again.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Time for an Update

Except I didn't upload the picture I wanted to show you.

Let's call this one the wanna be update and tonight I'll be more on the ball and upload my picture and all will be well.

In lieu of entertaining knitting (cuz you know, of course, that's what's in the picture,) I'll recount what I wrote in my wee journal as I rode the bus this morning:

As it's too foggy for me to drive, I thought I'd take the bus. Safety in numbers as well as size, if you look at it that way...of course the bus almost jumping the curb and nearly taking us all out at the same time did not make me feel very confident about my decision.

The driver apologized and as the wheels were still functional we continued on our way...he slipped, we concurred, because of the super wet tram tracks that he was driving on...I did mention the fog? This fact was punctuated several times as we felt the tires skidding all manner of ways as we continued down that same street...oh what fun.

But not nearly as frightening as feeling the same nausea inducing squiggle when we got onto the metal bridge to get me to work. It's one thing to crash and burn into a building, but to crash and fall into the canal? Not really what I had in mind.

It took hours for my stomach to settle.

And it's still grey and wet out, but no rain. Just the constant mist/fog that would make an awesome background to a slasher flick.

Pictures of soft yarny stuff later.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Too Many Things, All at Once, Again...

I feel like a broken record sometimes.

It must be the sine-wave-esque existence of my current employment.

Trying to keep above water...but like I just stated a few minutes ago in an email that has prompted this post...it really is too many things...all at once...again...but this time? With "feeling." If you get my drift.

So I need to learn to thread water a little longer, else I drown. (Such a drama queen some days...)

More laters...

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Almost an FO

This is a hat for L&L's baby girl...almost.

As T can't stand stuff on her head...and it gets kinda nipping in Seattle, she needs a hat. One that can be tied on. Mom agreed, so I'm adding some ear-flaps and a i-cord style cording to fit the bill.

So almost an F.O. It gave me something to do as I watched that new Stargate show. Is it me or does the main doctor-guy strike you as a cross between Baltar and Dr. Smith? Or are all super-smart science-y guys that end up on space-ships in the middle of nowhere like that?

Friday, October 02, 2009

Motorheads don't get Giants...

So the thing about sinus headaches and all the nastinesses I've been living with all week...they vanish as quickly as they go as long as they don't take root anywhere and become an infection.

This is what gave me the gumption to go down to the Showbox SODO after work today to snag some "They Might Be Giants" tickets for their November "Flood" show.

However, I must be some kind of hardcore "Giants" fan at heart seeing as I was patient enough to endure the traffic for the ballpark (hello, Mariner's game...) AS WELL AS all the surly burly guys that were hanging out at the SODO as MOTORHEAD is to play tonight. (And dude, their fans look a lot like them....)

I may as well have been asking for a Strawberry Daquiri at the motorcycle dive bar across the way...Not only did I have to convince the door guy I was not trying to buy any sold tickets to tonight's all-star line-up ("Come on, look at me, do I look like a Motorhead fan?") but I had to convince him to call his surly boss on the radio as the box office girl had gone home early...I mean, hi, the show was sold out, who goes to the box office now-a-days to buy tickets for a different show that's on the same night when you can pay the online ticket people up to an extra $10 to get your ticket! (And then wade through the masses the night of the show to pick up your ticket because they opted not to have the TMBG tickets mailed out to folks, which I thought odd.)

With 5 minutes until the box office closed, I took a big gamble...he looked a whole lot like a number of my students from the Big Island...only adult sized, and I could have sworn I heard "bra'" and not "man" when he patted a fellow down before letting him in...so...I asked him to call his "manager-guy" and his eyebrows shot up and the next thing you know we were speaking in the lilting sing-songy Island talk I loved about Hawai'i.

We were all smiles until his actually manager-guy showed up.

I know I'm at least, AT LEAST 10 years older than the guy that finally came up to sell me my tickets, and I know, I KNOW he was wondering why oh why was this lady wasting his time cuz dude, Motor-head, practicing, right behind THOSE DOORS! Can't you hear them (I could hear nothing else...) And he had to reopen the box office for me? For some obscure band that is older than he is? It's not like it's Moby, or even the Pouges (who are also showing up at the SODO and don't think I wasn't tempted to buy some of those tickets...but they were probably sold out eons ago and more likely more than what I could afford (I just checked, and yes to both). Oh how he suffered.

Is there a merit badge for this kind of thing? For either of us?

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Musty Sweater Woes...

I'm almost ready to write today off as a total loss...

Shall we begin?

The sirens started as soon as night fell...along with the first REAL rain we've had this season. I don't think I had more than a few hours of uninterrupted sleep.

By 3:30 AM I had a pounding sinus headache since, as quickly and harshly the rain poured down, so it vanished....sucking up all the moisture it brought and making my internal barometer pop.

If you take the sudafed/advil cocktail my doc recommended all the way back in Hawai'i-time? You do not sleep. Must make note of that...but it was be awake and nauseous and wanting to die at 3:40 ish AM...or be awake an nauseous and full of sudafed and advil at 3:40 ish AM. Good times, 'round these parts.

When on these painkillers and anti-sinus stuff, I usually eat. Empty stomach = bad times...but at before 4 AM? I didn't...so surprise surprise, I was so not hungry that I forced myself to eat a banana as I was packing my lunch of cheese and crackers and a yummy vanilla yogurt I just recently discovered, oh and the last bit of a WAY TOO EXPENSIVE mango (I couldn't resist...a guilty pleasure I will not give up, sorry)...and I describe this all in detail because I'm thinking about it right now...because as I pulled into work I realized that yes, of course...my lunch is still on the counter because HELLO, no sleep and sudafed and headache that really didn't go all away with the piddly amount of ibuprophen that exists in OTC bottles...and I just about cried.

Except I'm a big girl and whatevers, it'll still be there when I get home...all warm and nasty...sigh.

But that wasn't even the topper of the day...oh noes...not that...the camel's back was still in one piece. What has me ready to pack up and go home? My sweater...

How do I even start? I'm cold. I'm still wearing my scarf, and I am having chills that really mean that I'm starting to come down with something real and big and awful...which I am ignoring just now as I have a pile of work that needs processing before tomorrow....

So to stave off the cold I pulled out my wee little cotton cardi/sweater that I live in during the summer as the office temps do what office temps do...which I packed in my bag yesterday AM knowing I'd probably need it at the 7:30 AM tax briefing I attended in downtown Seattle. But didn't...which stayed in my bag through the horrific downpour as I waited at the bus stop for my trek home...and did not come out once I got home as I needed to hang up what I was wearing and put on lots of things with "wool" or "fleece" in their labels as I was really rather chilled...

So it should not surprise all that much when I pulled it out and if felt kinda damp...and smells kinda musty...and I feel like that character in Sandra Cisnero's short story "Eleven" who has to put on that musty dirty evil-smelling red sweater that is not hers...

Defeated.

At least it's not my birthday, I suppose.

However, I am pulling the wuss card today and going home as soon as I can see desktop. I will be so less than useless once the caffeine and anti-inflammatories and the...um whatever Sudafed does for you, wear out.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Some More Images...

But this time ones you can see:
I went outside to water my dying tomato plants...yes, I have tomato plants! No, not at all worth taking a picture of them as they are all very droopy and the thought of maybe it's too damned cold to grow tomato plants in Seattle might have crossed my mind at one point but yeah, whatevers a girl's gotta try....and the scene before me was occurring at the courthouse across the street.
They're filming a speech...I think. Or maybe protesting a speaker? (One of the signs say's "you lie.") Anyone in the know, know? Cuz I am not so cool.
And this dude, and the ones all around the "scene" are why I'm not going down to ask, or even ponder the fact that I might own a bright red shirt that I can paste white letters that spell "crew" so I could get real close and nosey.

Anywho, that's my big excitement for this Saturday morning.

Not to steal Andy's thunder with the possible loaded guns right outside my building or anything...but shortly before taking the above shots, I helped him get going on his motorcycle-to-northern-cali adventure (tm).

He's twittering his trip and opened up his twitter-thingie so I wouldn't have to create an account in order to see if he's still alive later today. I super appreciate these little things, doncha know.

I totally feel like the mom seeing their kid off on um, well, some super dangerous adventure. But having had a few? (When you are on a 32 foot sailboat down in ol'mejico with an X like mine? There was no avoiding super-dangerous-you-mean-we-didn't-die style adventures.) I think everyone should try something similar at least once. And by super dangerous I mean whatever makes you get out of your comfort zone. Whether it be car camping or finding yourself in a Suzuki Samurai with an ex-con drug dealer in Baja Cali, it makes for some great after-dinner stories... Or as an old friend calls them, "No shit, there I was" tales.

Monday, September 21, 2009

The Image That Has Stayed With Me All Day...

The very very very pregnant bus rider (over nine months...I know because she's a regular bus rider, and a regular bus-phone talker, and yeah, I overheard her say so) listening to the very very very LOUD and always angry, Rage Against the Machine.

Happy Monday.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

It's because I'm not 100%...

Or maybe because the latest evolution/incarnation/version of me wears her heart on her sleeve?

It's the bus again...As a creature of habit, I sit on the left side of the bus in the section of seats that face one another, as close to the driver as I can get. I've always done this, everywhere, every time. In Mexico this was the bestest place to sit (facing forward) right behind the driver because you got to share in his fan on the super hot muggy humid days.

Anyhow, the other day when all the seats on the left were taken, I grudgingly sat on the right side and though it affords you a wonderful view of Seattle Pacific University, you also get a view of all the sailboats off the Ballard Bridge. The first time I saw them I was amazed at how huge the area off the Ballard bridge really is, all those boats....all those people who might be getting ready to set sail, or are visiting, or just came back from an adventure...and it depressed me to no end.

Seeing as I was in the midst of all the broken hip/pain nonsense, my mood was thrashed.

This morning the bus was once again left-side full, so I sat on the right side and focused intently on my sock's toe so I would miss the whole boat show...except instead of driving into the brilliant sunlight and amazing vistas...we drove into the fog.

When on the bridge? You could barely see anything beyond the windows. It was as if we had driven into the set for the latest Stephen King movie.

You've no idea how happy that made me...

Except...now that I'm not drowning in the worry, whines, and utter depression of limping around for the rest of my life and simply fighting off silly little things like sinus infections and the coming swine plague...I'm curious to know if I can stand the view...

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

So Out Of it Today That...

...I went to put my key fob in my "cargo" pocket and couldn't find it...the pocket, not the fob.

It actually took me several minutes of searching and looking at one pant leg and then another and thinking these pants looked a little darker and maybe fell a little lower on my ankle than I thought they did before I realized that I am not wearing the pants I thought I'd put on this morning.

I think we can safely say that it is a very good thing I did not drive in today as I am obviously coming down with something that would have made driving home quite a dangerous thing. Instead we'll see if I can focus enough to disembark at the correct stop, because really, you do not want me processing payments in this state of mind.

This would be one of those times that I really really really wish I could could call a parent to have them take me home. Being an adult sucks so hard sometimes.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Building Thigh Muscles through Bus Riding

So, since we moved to a more bus-friendly zone I've been taking Seattle Metro (RTD for you LA-ers) to work.

Riding the bus is the bomb for such things as catching up on reading, knitting, and leg workouts. Especially if you are reading or knitting during your commute. See, and of course I don't have a picture because I get stared at enough when I pull out my latest project at too-early-to-be-knitting-anything-but-stockingette AM. But there are BIG new signs all over the Metro buses since my last foray into public transport for work:

HOLD ON WHEN THE BUS IS MOVING!

Seriously? I mean, see, I'm not a public transportation novice. I've done my time on RTD, Santa Cruz Metro, the UCSC shuttles, and let us not forget the multiple vehicles (at times the term used super loosely) associated with transporting the public all over Mexico and um, holding on when the bus is moving? Do we really need this sign?

After my first trip home on the #17? Why yes, yes we do. I don't know what transpired since my last regular bus-to-work schedule, but I swear, some drivers are taking cues from the sidewalk jumping UCSC shuttle drivers and the amphetamine driven bus drivers in Mexico. Have you ever wondered what it would be like to ride a horse while trying to do something like shoot a bow and arrow? (This is why stirrups won wars.) Well, if I continue to commute the way I have been, I'll soon have developed my thigh muscles enough to attempt such a feat.

No really.

My current method is to kinda wedge myself in my seat and use my legs to balance myself as I knit (reading in these conditions would make me nauseous) as we get tossed and bumped and jostled. Before anyone says anything, yes, I agree, this is probably none-too-good for my hip. But I find that driving using my damaged leg? Also not good. The extra stress I get that requires me to listen to Nine Inch Nails at full volume so I don't do something rash? Yep, makes taking the bus a miiiiillion times better for me.

My only problem of late is having something small and simple enough to work on while on the real life "Mr. Toad's Wild Ride."
I was working on this red scarf...but it's officially too hard to keep it from touching places on the bus that probably haven't been cleaned since...well...ever.

So I've been working on socks for my mom...which I haven't taken a picture of. Of course. I did want to share the fact that I started them the Friday before Labor Day and by that Tuesday (or was it Wednesday) afternoon bus ride? I was kitchnering the first one. Yes, on the bus...traffic you see. I've slowed down a bit...this last weekend was not really a good knitting weekend, but I'm on the foot of the second sock already. Yes, we're taking almost a full pair of socks in less than two weeks and NO contest or sock madness or devil breathing down my neck or ANYTHING. I KNOW! Odd! But apparently not odd enough for me to take a picture.

Soon, though, maybe of the finished pair.

No, I haven't given up on the sweater or anything, but if I thought keeping the scarf clean and well organized was hard enough? Multiple sleeves? Not gonna happen while building up those thigh muscles. I'm just not that coordinated.

Monday, September 07, 2009

And How are Your Joints Doing?

So a coworker with whom I practice my espagniol and I have made a promise that the next time we meet, we will not sound like little old ladies complaining about their lumbago. Seriously, we're too young to spend our Monday mornings griping about my hip, her knees...when did this happen?!?

Therefor, no more. Although it did give me lots of practice in using "cadera" and "tendon de la um patela." I'll just have to practice those descriptions with my supervisor. Who is even younger. And does not understand this whole thing about adults riding bicycles or anyone doing "sport" not-professionally (i.e. my 6 years of NCAA amateur (non-paying) college fencing level stint in my 20s). But Spanish is Spanish, and lords know, the longer I am away from my family and friends in Mexico, the more my second-language speaking ability suffers. I still understand everything everyone tells me, but switching into thinking in Spanish actually becomes something conscious, and hard to do!

And people wonder why I spend the big bucks on poorly printed low quality mass media books written (or translated, I'm not that picky) into Spanish.

In other news? Well, I have some good news.

My knee is officially off the torn-patella-watch-2009 list. The swelling is almost gone and I have full mobility with no cramping, spasms, tickles or pain--except when going down the stairs, but that's another issue. Although my scar is hurting...the little moon-shaped sliver that is all I have to prove that I even had a bike accident? (Aside from the hip "bump.")

It's not the stabbing pain as described by JKR in the HP books, but the sensation is a little electrical in nature. And I can definitely feel it as it scrapes against denim, if I wear jeans. Which I don't do all that often thanks to work clothes and, well, my hip bump. That lovely lady lump? Yeah, it complains if constricted. So unless I wear my over-sized (yey for the weight loss that has stayed lost) too baggy to look anything less than grandma-ish jeans, I don't even feel the scar.

But the hip...or rather, my leg...I feel like it's floating in and out of where it's supposed to be. If I walk too far, it still swells up. Ice and OTC ibuprofen are my friends. But I've gotten to the point where I don't want anymore profens of any kind in my system. How will I cope with a migraine or even menstrual cramps if my body is so used to having the stuff in its system that I either have to take more (good-bye stomach lining, hello ulcer) or have to get something stronger (so long, liver, nice to know you)...neither of which sound all that appealing.

So...I'm dropping it and experimenting with fish oil instead.

I've been taking my fish oil capsule every morning with my coffee...I know, I am horrible, dare I add that I also only take chewable multi-vitamins (this explains the Flintstones vitamins in the fridge). Recently in one of those BoingBoing links I read that if you take fish oil before bed, it would help you sleep better. So I take another capsule before bed now, when I remember. Now I've been reading about the anti-inflammatory properties of Omega3 fish oils...and reading the dosage suggestions on the bottle...it seems I've been remiss, it actually suggests three a day (one with every meal, which reduces that whole fishy-burp thing, but only a little).

Well...I'm all for better living through chemistry, I will never again turn down a muscle relaxer ("Try four!"*) if the need should be as great as it was a couple weeks ago, but if I can achieve, um, "swell-control" with fish oil? Dude, I am so there.

So if you've read this far, I reward you with a picture of the space needle taking flight, or maybe it was landing...either way, it amused me (you might have to click for big to get a good look):

* Sixteen Candles reference...after having experienced what taking one is like? The entire wedding sequence is ridiculously accurate.

Friday, August 28, 2009

"Broken" Update

I still need to write up the whole story, but just to update the family and friends:

I only had to take a regular dose of over-the-counter ibuprophen yesterday morning, and I may skip that step today. My hip may not be my BFF right now, but it's finally stopped trying to kill me.

My knee? It feels...well, I can't say better as it didn't hurt before...now it kinda just feels tight in an "I've-been-fencing-for-12-hours" kind of way.

All in all, I'm not complaining and can't wait for my last follow-up on Monday when, I hope this will all be in the past and I can enjoy the last few hours of summer.

Monday, August 24, 2009

If I Were Stuck on a Desert Island...

I should begin by stating that I have just gotten home from my OD and that is a tale that needs to be told all by itself. Suffice to say I have popped a muscle relaxer (my first one ever) and am chilling here until my toes unclench (I did mention tale, and all by itself, and maybe when I'm not about to be high on the wee little pill that is supposed to give my body some rest time.)

One of the writing prompts I used to give my students (before LOST, mind) was the "Pretend you are to be banished to a desert Island for the rest of your life, what 10 things would you take with you."

Harsh for 7th graders, I know, but it was a way for me to find out what was really important to them: football, drums, make up, video games (yes, I let them have a solar panel that gave them an hour's worth of TV/videogames/movies if they so chose to bring the boob tube and assorted accessories, I am only so mean), hair dryer, model cars, monopoly...yarn (yeah, I used to tell them what I'd take as well*.)

Anyhow, it was once a difficult thing, just as I would ask the kids what video game they would bring, or which ones? Because would you only take ONE game? How many is enough! I'd ask myself, do I bring enough yarn for a sweater? 10 sweaters? 100 socks? There is a dilemma here! Unless you are me in the non-desert-Island world.

Having been stuck at home and immobile lately, I figured it was a great time to start that sweater I've been meaning to make for the last 20 years. Well, the idea has been there a while, the yarn just came into my possession a bit ago...some on sale some not...12 balls of Karabella 8 fine merino (or something, 8 in Melange color 12 and 4 in not-Melange color olive green--they go awesome together, really. The labels are in the living room and I don't trust myself to walk over there an check just this second). But yeah, I've been working on the first sleeve now for months.

I don't have a pattern, per se. More like I know what I want the sweater to look like and fit like (my raggedly old high school uniform sweater whose existence/location is a great mystery even to me...) and there are a million patterns out there that I'm gleaning various bits and pieces from to recreate it, and I'm thisclose to thinking that it's (the sleeve, mind, just the sleeve) exactly what I want and I won't have to unravel the whole thing and start over! (Again, as I have for the last few months.)

So in the real world I really do only need a couple balls of yarn seeing as I seem to be a process knitter, knitting and unravelling and knitting and unraveling in an infinite loop, never really being done as the closer I get, the more often I rip back over and over and over again....

You'd think this would drive me batty, but it's the complete opposite. Were I to put on my psyche 101 hat, I'd say it has something to do with control over something (the yarn) which I hold, unlike the control (or lack there of) over the pain and misery in my body just now...but such thoughts are starting to interfere with the cyclobensaprine.

I will go now before I type something silly that I won't remember and will get me into tons of trouble later...cuz yeah, my heads starting to feel kinda fuzzy now.

*Always remember your Pipi Longstocking survival training: along with an axe, you will want a book about how to build a raft, just saying

Friday, August 21, 2009

Let's Start with the Limping

I am too lazy and frustrated to look back and see if I mentioned the falling down the stairs at work incident.

But yeah, on a normal, not-rushing, holding on to the damned hand-rail even day, I not only slipped, but TUMBLED (hard) down almost an entire flight of stairs. I slammed both knees, my hip, my back was scraped, my tailbone, my butt...my elbow...what am I leaving out...just, everything got hurt...except my head. I am nothing if not schooled in protecting the noggin, it would seem.

I filled out the accident report and then just waited for the swelling and bruises to come and go. They were doozies, all the colors of the bizzaro rainbow: blood red, jaundice yellow, gangrene green, just-wrong black. I did mention hitting everything hard, right?

What hurt most, aside from my pride, was the fact that I'd just run the course of treatment with my Osteopath and could happily say that my hips were almost (never will actually be) matching again! Nothing hurt when I walked! Life was good! And yet, like some perverse Ken Follet novel (more on that later) or twisted 6 Feet Under episode, everything goes to shit in an instant.

Sorry, no real other way to put it.

I decided to wait until the swelling and bruises died down before I ventured back for another appointment, as the last thing I wanted anyone to do was touch my owies, much less manipulate them.

Three weeks later only the most tenacious of the bruises were there, but I'd say 90% of the swelling was gone, but my hip and knee were starting to bother one another, and me. As an aside? All this time I was doing the treadmill/bike/elliptical for 15-20 minutes + the leg extension torture device every morning.

So off I went to get adjusted.

Except...my butt doctor did not like the look of my once "good" knee. It was still swollen, and in all the wrong ways. He thinks I might have slammed it in just the right way to tear/cut a bit of my patella tendon. Yes, that would be the tendon that keeps you kneecap from shooting up and sitting on your thigh. (Yes, I too got the extreme heebie jeebies when he explained the situation.) I was BANNED from any exercises that involved bending my knee more than say 30 degrees as ANY such exercise might keep it from healing and/or TEAR IT MORE.

No bike, no elliptical, very careful with the leg extender as I kinda need to keep building up my thigh muscle. But walking was fine, dandy, no problem!

But as I found out last Saturday? Maybe a limit of less than 3 miles at a time and NO HILLS.

Yep, see, friends came up and we wandered. There was no forced marching as I was setting the pace and we were all happy not to try to break a sweat because, hello, wandering! All over Belltown and into the Sculpture Park where there was a hemp fest going on. It was free entry, so we decided to check it out.

As another aside: I miss Santa Cruz. They had hemp fests and they were cute and safe and not filled with millions of people...and more to the point? No scary young guys screaming at the top of their lungs, "WHO HAS BROWNIES!" one second and then the very next in a very threatening tone, "WHY ARE YOU LOOKING AT ME LIKE THAT!" Yeah, we left shortly thereafter...

But not before we got stuck in a bottleneck of people that I felt was moments away from becoming one of those panic run-away scenes in the movies. Only the fear was palpable. And some of it was coming from me and my inability to deal with such large crowds of people. (Mental note to self: DO NOT DO THIS AGAIN, EVER.) I think it might have been in that congestion of people where I might have hurt my hip or knee again...you could not see where you were going and were were all clasping onto one another so that we wouldn't get lost in the shuffle/shoving. And there was shoving.

Once free? we made it for home...up these really really steep streets that I kept climbing more and more slowly. Nothing hurt, but it felt like my hip and my knee just didn't want to cooperate anymore.

When we finally got home and sat down and I really looked at my knees? My right one was clearly twice the size of the left one. No pain, mind, but everything was just wrong. And that's when I noticed my right hip seemed to be pushing against the fabric of my shorts. Yep, it too was joining in the swollen game.

Did I mention ice and ibuprophen are my bestest friends in the world?

For the next 5 days (today would be #6) I got into a rhythm of stretching, trying to walk, but failing and going for the limp, and icing at my desk (those cool-paks made for lunch bags are the bomb. Do not sit on them if they are starting to melt though, just saying).

I am now officially tired of it all. Can you tell?

And this is not the worst part, but it hurts me nonetheless, I've gained two pounds since I stopped with most of the exercising, and having dropped 9 of the 20-ish I gained since the first of these bike accidents? It just doesn't make me feel all that great about anything. I know you all know this but I will reiterate, losing weight when you're in your 30s is bloody hard.

Okay, I'll stop now.

Up next: What I'm doing to keep my spirits up.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

I Know I Need to Update...

I know I promised pictures as well...

Let's just say I'm behind on everything. If it wasn't for the fact that I've been overpaying my car payment for the last since-I-started (my next payment is due in April of 2010), I'd probably have angry emails from Toyota to add to the list of things I gotta deal with...

I needed a wee bit of an "I don't care anymore" moment that kinda spread. And dare I say it? It started with some spilled milk...

See, I know there is a story in that as well...I'll try to fill you all in or change the subject around entirely sooner than later. Did I ever mention I'm trying to knit myself a sweater for the first time in 20 years? And there's a slew of stuff that I need to play catch-up on...but not right now.

Right now I have to limp around the apartment getting ready for work...and yes, story behind the limping as well...see, stuff is going on...almost too much stuff.

Much more later, promise.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Feelin' Groovy...

As a kid, on the "coldest" of LA winter days I'd crave ice cream.  My mom thought I was bizzaro-girl...though she said it a little nicer (al revesada).

I've been feeling pretty bad for a while now...I can blame many things, hormones, possible ripped patella tendons (okay, just the one, but isn't that bad enough?), the voices in my head, the weather...hmmm the weather...

This morning it hit me...in the form of light sprinkling raindrops...As much as I love 70 degree weather?  I can not stand it when it's combined with 70% humidity.  Or rather, my lungs don't do well with the humidity, especially when there is no rain to make the air less, um dense.  They've adapted to a myriad of things, from never-before-exposed-to pollen in Santa Cruz to mile-high-dry-oxygen-deprived Kings Beach (Tahoe, bay-bee), but humid air?  There is a reason we had gills millions of years ago...lungs + water?  Not so good for me.

It slows me down, makes me feel like I can't breathe, makes me crabby and short tempered, mostly because I'll not sleep right, and it makes me want to live in air-conditioned hell (which drys out my eyes and skin enough for me to really and truly prefer the heat (al revesada, I tell ya).

But when my knee and hip started aching this morning (like spidey-sense, oh yes, my human barometer super-power), it was like a veil had lifted and the last few days were just a wicked wicked nightmare.  I parked my car and looked out at the spreading sprinkles and actually smiled before 8:30 AM...the smell of too-warm asphalt was almost stifling, but the air was air again once I got onto the sidewalk!  

And then the nostalgia hit me hard...that smell was LA getting it's first rain of the year...the warmth and breeze was Hilo as I'd get ready to ride off to work...the friendly greeting of a co-worker driving off the lot was a Kings Beach library patron recognizing me at the Safeway...it wasn't sad nostalgia though...it really just added to my giddiness this morning.  I haven't felt like this in a while...and it felt so good.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Far too Negative Lately...

I think it might be due to lack of pictures.  (Let me believe this, it helps.)  

This will change soon, promise.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

We're All Selfish, Some More than Others

I'm just thinking "out loud" today.  Okay, maybe venting a wee bit as well.

It's been a very long end-of-last-week/weekend.  Visitors are very exhausting.  Especially when they are older than you and want to "sight-see" but really what that means is that they have a vision of what they want and expect but WON'T SHARE IT with you.

Have I mentioned I don't know the sights and sounds of Seattle all that well?  Okay, let me correct that one...I know specific Seattle stuffs, very well.  But I can't be all things to all people.  I have a more, shall we say, pedestrian-based idea of places to go and things to do.  It might involve driving to a particular spot and walking a bit to get to where the actual destination is, but therein lay the problem these last four days... 

I may have let people down since I couldn't be the tour guide they expected.  See, somehow I was supposed to be all knowing and be able to change my plans to compensate for a certain lack of, let's say, ambulatory ability in one of the visitors.  Ummm visiting Seattle and not being able to walk more than three blocks and not wanting a cane, wheelchair, or crutches and instead wanting everyone else to bend to your will?  Hmmm.

Did I actually say, "Why don't you leave him home and we can go explore," out loud?  Why yes, I may have.  

If your hip hurts and I'm offering you a chance to soak in a hot tub to ease the pain and you refuse and then keep complaining?  I'm not going to like you.  AT ALL.  Then commence to treat me like a stupid child because I'm female and you're convinced I must be blood-related to your GF, who is the ONLY reason you are here in the first place?  Let's call it amazing you survived, old man.

Ahem, who said that? Sybil?

What was it Mark Twain said?  Something about fish and friends?  Well, if you're not even on the "friend" level?  Don't push me.  My patience with adults is infamous.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Irrational Fears, I Haz 'em

(Did you know if you accidentally hit the return key instead of say, the tab key, that your post gets posted likity split? We learn something new everyday.)

So the irrational stuff. Or is it? Or should we just get all pseudo-psychological and blame my upbringing on this one, which I'm having a very hard time putting into words:

If I run out of gasoline, VERY, BAD, THINGS will happen.

No really. The other morning my first errand of the day was to go get gas. Of course my "let's not use up more dead-dinosaurs than we have to" self said I should try to go to a gas station on the way to JC Penny as that was my next intended goal. (more on that later)

This entailed my getting onto the freeway at about 10 AM, you know, AFTER so-called "rush" hour?

Lies. Bitter scarring, lies.

As I was patting myself on the back for correctly navigating my way onto the freeway on-ramp (dude, seriously, did not get lost AT ALL), I was presented with the sea of stopped cars, as far as the horizon, really...and my gas light chose at that exact moment to light up.

No, really.

In the place where the rational thoughts live I knew that the light was on because I was indeed dangerously low on dino-blood, but the incline was the culprit. As soon as we leveled out, the light should go off. I also knew that even if I was really in the orange-light-of-doom level of gas, I had miles, MILES to go before the car would stutter and sputter and transform into 1600 lbs of detritus.

MILES!

Unfortunately, the irrational part of my brain has the power of projection, because these thoughts wholly and completely drowned out everything else:

"OH! MY! GOD! ORANGE LIGHT! ORANGE! LIGHT!"

and took control of my limbs even:
"IS THE AC OFF? TURN OFF THE RADIO! DIM ALL THE LIGHTS! DON'T USE THE GAS PEDAL JUST LET IT ROLL! LET! IT! ROLL!"

No, really. Cuz turning off all the electrical bits will make my engine work that much less so I will have a drop more if needed. The world may never know, because actually, yes, I did need every spare drop of gas before I got to the gas station, but instead of drowning out the thoughts while listening to NPR go on about all the awful things going on in the world, I got to sit back and listen to my crazy-pants thoughts weave all sorts of world-ending scenarios that had me stalling and running out of gas MILES from anywhere...um, in the middle of Seattle.

See, I kept thinking back to when my mom, older brother, and I were driving back from my mom's work and the gas gauge was dangerously sitting at the "E" while we were sitting in non-moving traffic. In the middle of summer. In LA.

The freeways are not just the arteries of the state of California, they are the only known ways of travel for the majority of Angelinos. They will NOT, NEVER, EVER get off the freeway to take the streets because, um, NO IDEA how to get to their destination that way. Or that was the case back in the 80s. Had we been equipped with GPS navigation equipment, I think my mom might have ventured off the freeway, found a station, filled up and tada! We'd have been all good and happy.

But she didn't.

Instead it was (what felt like) hours of her sighing and tapping the steering wheel with her right-hand pointing finger and saying things like, "Andale carritos," and musing about what we'd have to do if we got stuck on the freeway, out of gas, and more tapping of the finger and moving it about conducting some weird symphony (and yes, I do actually do that myself now, hmmm, learned habit maybe?).

And here's the thing, the entire time, needle on empty, no orange light. Not until we got off the freeway and drove up, then down those hills right off my mom's exit.

My mom's "AAAAAAIIIIIEEEE" wail is not something I can reproduce, but I can tell you it only comes out when REALLY BAD THINGS are about to transpire and therefore has seared itself into my brain in connection with serious accidents, deaths, losses of passports/important documents, and the appearance of that damned orange light from hell.

We coasted into her gas station of choice just in time...just as I did, somewhere in the middle of not-University but not-Ravenna, orange light firmly blazing by that point.

Once I finished topping everything off and resetting my trip-meter to 0.0, this weird calm came over me. I knew I was going to have to deal with way more traffic and madness and errands and possible 100 degree weather, but I just didn't care. The orange light was gone and there was gas in the car and I did not have to use plan I was stitching together in my head (Andy + motorcycle + gas can that I did not yet own + where the hell am I and how do I get him here...), and all was right with my world again.

Until the next thing.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Oxymoron of the Moment: Quiet Moring in the City

Do you know that feeling, when you wake up and maybe the most you're hearing are the birds outside but everything else is very much the opening scenes of "Abre los Ojos" or maybe some zombie flick where the absence of noise is the loudest thing you hear?

Moving down to South Lake Union has me missing that time of the morning.

There is always noise.

And seagulls? So not the same as the little birds that peeped out the window in Gas Works. The random car going down the freeway? Is a constant muffled drone here, no matter what time of day, I think it's the tunnel...or the HVAC systems maybe? People are having, um, moments 17 (okay, 16 as we found out there is no 13th floor) stories down and letting the entire neighborhood know.

Somehow I think it'd be quieter if we did live smack downtown just because it would be 99% abandoned after 5PM once everyone started heading home.

It makes me wonder, is this why my parents surrounded themselves with chickens and dogs (now cats) and pheasants and doves and gardens and trees? Their little oasis in the middle of 10 minutes East of downtown LA? It's not quite suburbia...that's further East. It's the last mix of houses and businesses...Given the proximity of the fire station? Not the quietest area in the world either. Which makes my new apartment not something I'm unused to (in the distant past), but um, it is amazing what 15 years of living in various small towns, pueblos, anchorages, and suburbs will influence that whole definition of quiet that I was becoming accustomed to.

I will miss that.

And yet, it is oddly comforting to hear the roaring of the bus at omg-thirty in the AM. At least I know the zombie Apocalypse hasn't begun.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

So Much to Say That I Just Can't Say Anything...

I think I understand the twitter now.

But for me it's like an affliction of Random Wednesday (or whatever day you like for your lists of non sequiturs). I get all these "one liner" thoughts popping into my head, but by the time I can sit down and log in and start typing? Gone. And they like, expect me to work if I'm like, at work, not blog. Can you believe?

Maybe if I did the iPhone thing I'd be twitting. Of course if I did the iPhone thing I'd be able to post my one-liners here too, so there goes the twitter thing.

I have been face-booking though. Again, I can update my "status" a million times a day just like that! Were it not for the "eep-ness" I get about possible typ-os and the lack of editing, I might do that more often...but um, I don't even know how to post a picture there.

I know, not like I've posted anything over here in a million years. Not like I've taking pictures in a million years either.

I'm glad I can blame the summer for the super slothy nature I've taken on the blogging and the posting (and the knitting as well...). It all does slow down a bit. All that sunlight tends to lure me outside...especially right now when I feel like if I'm not doing something that involves outside and fun I should be unpacking. The guilt meter in me is so very ridiculous at times.

So I guess I should go and unpack another box...more random later.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Ten Years Younger...and Ten Years Older

So, I just finished watching Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles (thanks Hulu, because if I'd spent money even to rent it, I'd have felt cheated somehow).

It is amazing what interesting bits of Robo-trivia still lurk in my head. As I filled in the blanks and mondo-missing plot line for Andy, I realized that its only because my X had a box of video tapes in our first apartment which included most, if not all, the shows as he recorded them when the shows first came out. So as little as, yipes, 11 years ago, I watched the whole thing that summer after I graduated from Stanford.

It was about all I could handle after that awesome-yet-brain-crushing Masters program.

Watching the bad animation and even worse story-telling, and my god, could the boobs be any bigger and so, well, molded? Regardless, I totally felt ten years younger.

Which was awesome as it compensated for my feeling at least 10 years older from earlier today...See, I went to the gym today to see if I could still ride a bike. I have not tried to get back on my broken bike since the accident. It was a big step for me. I rode the cycle on the easiest setting for 20 minutes. After doing a 15 minute "cool down" on the treadmill? I realized maybe 15 or even 10 minutes on the bike would have been better. I am actually a wee bit saddle sore. But I can ignore that because people? I rode a bike and my kneecap did not explode into a million pieces!

Okay, not a real bike, and at the lowest setting possible, but hi! No shattered pieces of bone! I feel like this is very important to note, at least for just the joy of knowing if I was coasting on a totally flat, non-hilly, road on like first gear all around, I'd be super, thanks for asking!

Of course when I went to do the last bit of exercise that my OD has been asking me to do? The leg extension weight lifting thingie bopper where you're sitting down on a bench and lift a weight using your ankles and theoretically your thighs by extending your leg up/out? Not only was the sound of my knees like nails are on chalkboard to some people (yes, I was wearing my knee brace, it does not muffle the snap, crackle, or the pop, but I was only able to lift 20 measly lbs for 20 times at a pitiful 25-30 degree angle.

My leg is so weak. I totally felt like a little old lady as I limped back home...Yeah, there was a little limping...

The good news is, though, unless I tumble down another flight of stairs, get run over, or (highly unlikely as I no longer have the means for one) get into another bicycle accident, there is nothing else to do but get stronger from here.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Don't Even Get Me Started

I had Friday off. Had I not slept through it, I might have noticed.

I've been a little ill.

At first it was your run of the mill sinus infection...well, huge throbbing headaches (yes, one after the other building and building until I thought my eyeballs were going to pop out of their sockets from the pressure...fun times.) I woke up long enough to watch the fireworks as recorded by the local news channel on Saturday...

Sudafed used to be my friend...I went home a little early on Monday cuz I just didn't feel right.

I am counting all my blessings that Andy had to borrow my car yesterday to get everything out of storage before they billed for another month. He dropped me off at work and as the hours started to pass on by I realized I was worse Tuesday than I had been on Monday...much worse. So bad that had I driven? I'da been stuck. Andy picked me up after his errand running and I went straight to bed...and woke up with a fever last night...it hit hard and quick.

But I'm all better now, well almost*, so I don't know if it was trying to turn into this week's superflu and failed, or it's hibernating and waiting for better days...

So, um, yeah, still alive, WAY behind on anything and everything...and as per usual, more later, promise.

*Kids, just because the package says you can take up to X doses of Sudafed and Advil in a 24 hour period does not mean it's not going to mess with your system later. I'll leave it at that.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Redefining Tired

I write to you from work (shh...well actually, it's my mandated 15 min. break, so I will post if I please....).

Officially we are out of the lower Walligford/Gas Works Park area.

Unofficially, we rented a storage unit just up the ways from the old apartment so we could decide what, oh dear gods, what, we will do with all the junk that's been collected these past two (maybe several) years. (Hello Goodwill!)

And what, oh what, shall I do with my banana-tired broken bicycle. As Andy was cleaning out some of his life's baggage memorabilia, I realized I've shed many things in the last 17 years. (you know, pretty much the last time I had a stable home)...every so often something gets lost or just needs to go...I'm thinking of the huge purge my X and I had when we were packing to go off to Mexico...I thought myself pretty good at the not being connected to a bunch of things that meant so much I needed to keep them forever and ever.

Yes, I know I was only lying to myself. I cherish certain pieces of jewelry, doo dads, and gee gaws and should not be so shocked that I am having a really hard time parting with my bike. Maybe because there was a fight to keep it? Maybe because it's gone from the Big Island of Hawai'i to Los Angeles to Seattle? It's a pretty big gee gaw, that's for sure.

Because really? It needs to go. It's too heavy for me now, thanks to my still healing sternum, and for at least one year (until the lease is up, you see) I will not be riding my bike. I'm not so crazy that I think I can ride my bike in South Lake Union with all the cars and the busses and the silent but very deadly electric trolley thing!

This is also what they call growing up or something, right?

So I've emailed the one bike shop that I know of that sells Ralieghs and that took a whole lot out of me.

More than moving.

More than hunting around for hours the other day looking for one measly bowl to eat my cereal out of. (Let me not get started on the boxes that now need to become unpacked and their innards put away somewhere...)

Ugh.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

I Won't Need That for a While

Have I mentioned I hate packing?

I don't even pack my bag before a trip until much too late the night before. See, I keep thinking, "I can't pack this, I might need it!"

It's a terrible habit.

The movers come on Saturday. The truth is I really only care about them taking the things I can't carry, like the books, shelves, couch, coffee table, more books, my desk...maybe more books...all of which (except the desk) are all ready to go, right by the door even. If push came to shove, I can carry the pots and pans and bathroom stuff and my sheets and dirty laundry all by myself. Really.

I think this attitude is not helping my situation.

If I wanted to damage my friendships, I'd have a packing party. But just don't let me see what's going in the boxes because I'll stop you and say "NO! I'll need that until the very last minute," as I have been doing to myself and really and truly people would put their hands on their hips and glare and me and walk right out.

See how much I love you? I would never put you through that at all!

Okay, so that is my update. Still alive. Andy and I are still on speaking terms (moving really strains friendships, people). Knitting until I fall asleep at night...or as I watch an old episode of TNG when I really didn't mean to... (Fall asleep that is...so tired.)

So many boxes. And they are showing the apartment again today...No, really we do not care anymore. There are no unmentionables hanging on any doorknobs so they can come in and wade through the sea of boxes that has been my life for two weeks now.