Wednesday

13 November 2019


There are people outside making far too much noise, but I don't really care, and you need to get up and open a car for me because I am wicked hungry and I'm not going to help write if I don't get some food in me.

Tuesday

12 November 2019

Before the teardown...ignore the stuff by the fence, it was moved so that it's out of the way during the build
The tearing down of this patio cover was suppose to start on Friday, but the contractor called today and said they could do it tomorrow, and we'll be home anyway, so why not? If they get it down tomorrow, they can start building the new one on Thursday, and be done on Friday.

I'll be glad to get it done, it's needed to be done since the day we bought this house--it's an illegal structure as it is; the people who lived here before us tried to get a permit for it but failed the inspection twice, and just stopped trying. It was so poorly constructed that we had to separate it from the VA inspection before we bought the house, otherwise we weren't getting the loan.

Originally it was covered with plywood and thin shingles, and it was flat, so water pooled on it and warped the plywood, and 80% of the shingles were missing. The Spouse Thingy took the plywood down and covered it with suncloth, reasoning that we would replace the entire structure in a year ot two.

Yeah...we've been here almost 11 years.

Initially when the contractor called I was a little miffed at starting early because I changed plans to be home over the week--I am missing the 3 Day--but then I realized they won't be done until at least Friday anyway, and I still needed to be home because one of us has a real job and works on Friday.

Once the new one is up, we can start working on the rest of the back yard. It's kinda white-trash (though a lot less than it used to be) and we'd like to get it to where we actually want to use it. We might even do the grown up thing and get nice patio furniture and a fire pit. We both want a hot tub, though that'll mean putting down a concrete pad and who knows what that will cost.

Hell, I'd concrete the entire yard if I didn't think it would be $$$$$.Less grass = less water to maintain it. Less mowing. More space to play. And no grass for those damned bees are whatever they are that live in underground hives, lying in wait to make my allergic asterisk miserable.

Fingers cross the giant window doesn't get broken...

Monday

11 November 2019

We're finally sliding into both the best and the suckiest time of year.

It's the best because the temps have cooled down and I can go for a ride any time of day without worrying about it being too hot. And this is Northern California--it's not going to get too cold. Worst thing that might happen is rain or super stiff wind, both of which I can deal with.

The suckiest part, tho...it gets dark so freaking early. Sure, a lot of people ride in the dark, but I'm guessing most of those people aren't night blind. I can safely squeak it out to 5:30 right now, but in a few weeks I'll need to be done and home by about 4:30 no matter what I'm doing.

Still going to try to focus on the not-hot part, even though we're a little warmer than typical for this time of year. We went for a 45 minute ride this afternoon, ending it at the pizza place; tomorrow we'll hit the gym. Tomorrow night I'll whine about my noodle-legs, because that's what I do.

Good news is that I have some really good Havarti cheese to go with my whine.

No, really...I'm not a cheese person but we picked this stuff up at Costco and it's amazing. Crunchy, too. I don't think I've ever had cheese with crunchy bits in it, but I like it.

I'll try not to contemplate having had pizza and then more cheese...its probably not a wise move for someone with lactose intolerance.

I really should have considered that before indulging, eh?

Sunday

10 November 2019

It's early November but my brain is already pondering Christmas decorations. Do we want to decorate outside? Our house is tucked into a court where few people can see it, so it seems like a lot of effort for the 3 other houses around us. And a lot of electricity given that in those 3 houses, there are maybe 7 people.

Inside...no brainer. There will be a Whovimas tree and a Christmas tree, and make no mistake, those are two different things. But if you want to lump them together as Holiday Trees, fine. That's the beauty of things: I call them what I want, you call them what you want, and no one is hurt or gets bent by it.

But if you do get bent by the idea that someone has a holiday tree and not a Christmas tree, or if you bristle at someone wishing you "happy holidays?" You have an issue: it really is you, not someone else.

I'm already not looking forward to what has become the annual online-bitch-fest. "It's Christmas, dammit, say 'Merry Christmas!'"

No, it's not.

It's Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Three Kings Day, Winter Solstice, Festivus, New Year's Eve, New Years, and a bunch of others.

Christians don't own the holiday season. Celebrate it how you want, dedicate it to whatever it means to you...and understand that someone offering you a "Happy Holiday" is being nice, being considerate, wishing you well, and any response other than thank you, you too is mean-spirited and kinda paints you as a bit of a dick.

It's the weight of intention, peoples; if you respond to someone else's "Happy holidays" with a snotty  "Merry Christmas," there's nothing Christlike about it, and you're telling the world you're a raging jerk with no room for what other people believe.

What would Jesus do?

If you really are a Christian, you don't really need the answer...

#OffMySoapboxForNow

Saturday

9 November 2019

I did not hit the pool to swim yesterday. I wasn't as sore as I thought I would be, but my left shoulder--as opposed to the right, which is the problematic one--let me know swimming wouldn't have been my brightest idea. And at this stage of just getting back to it, I'm not willing to push it.

So I pulled a bike out of the garage and decided to ride the long way to Starbucks. Five miles there, five miles back; it's a decent ride given how small this town is. The weather was just about perfect, too, which made me think not swimming was a stellar idea, and I enjoyed every turn of the crank.

If not for wanting to get some work done, I probably would have repeated the circuit and gone back to Starbucks...mostly because I seem to need a destination. But I went home after getting a little work done at Starbucks and cranked out enough to get me up to 23000 words for NaNoWriMo, and I contemplated doing some housework.

Contemplated.

Max jumped in my lap, and the book we're reading was right there, so...yeah. The house still looks like a disaster, but Max was happy and that's what matters, right?

Speaking of Max... I was poking around last night and ran across this picture from earlier in the year.


This was taken after I'd been away for the better part of a week, watching Butters and Lady. He glued himself to me, and looked at me like he'd been sure I was never coming back. I suppose in his mind, that was true. After all, when I'm gone it's usually only for a day or two, so when four and then five rolled around, well, I was probably gone for good.

This cat loves me. Like, unnaturally so. My lap is his favorite place, and he'll smooch me any chance he gets.

Don't tell him I told you this. He has a reputation to maintain.

Now, we've been thinking about going somewhere In January. Spouse Thingy took a weekend off because we'd planned on running in the Hot Chocolate in San Francisco, but neither of us has been able to get our pace down so it seems pointless. Also, I forgot to get a hotel room. That opened up the chance to go to Disneyland, or somewhere else, provided someone could feed the cats.

But I look at this picture, and I'm not sure it's a good idea. He's so old, he's super needy now, but mostly I worry about his feelings. One night, maybe. But I worry if I'm gone much more than that, he'll break.

So maybe day trips instead.

At 18.5 years, he deserves the consideration.

And there's a lot we can do near here. Cheaper things.

And holy hell, I looked at the cost of a night at the Disneyland Hotel and it's over $450 a night now. WTF. Even the off site hotels have gone up.

FOUR HUNDRED FIFTY A NIGHT.

Dood.

No.

Friday

8 November 2019

Oy.

It's a little after midnight, and I think I can safely say I'm probably going to roll out of bed tomorrow like someone who's been on a 2 day Fireball bender, without the headache (I hope.)

I got up from my comfy chair when Max leaped off my lap to inform me it was Snack O'clock and it was not optional on my part, and when I took half a step I realized that all four of my limbs are nothing but noodley appendages. Another half step and my body whispered Beeyotch, you are too old for this chit.

Fortunately, I keep my phone by my bed at night--habit for when the Spouse Thingy works so he can get hold of me in case of an emergency--so if I can only manage to get halfway out of bed, my legs melted and splaying in separate directions, I can call for help.

Or maybe just post to Facebook so y'all can mock me.

I would totally mock me.

Thursday

7 November 2019

Yesterday while running errands, we stopped at the gym and re-joined. The timing was fortuitous; they're running a former-members special, offering all of November for free, with no upfront membership fee. That probably saved us $200-225, given that we were already set on this gym anyway.

We'd decided on re-joining about a month ago, but one thing or another came up and we just never made it over there. I was also dragging my asterisk because the 3 Day was coming up and I always dye my hair for it, but hair dye and swimming don't go well together. I figured I would just cut it super short after the walk, then let if grow until March for St. Baldrick's.

Okay, so we committed to it again. I've missed swimming and finally feel like my shoulder can handle it again. I headed over there this morning with the idea that I would only swim for half an hour, no matter how many laps it turned out to be. No ego in the water for now; when I had to stop because of my shoulder, I was doing a mile and a half, roughly, in a little over an hour. So I'm slow compared to other swimmers, but that was pretty freaking fast for me.

I'm not racing. And I'm not going to do what I did before and get from zero to a mile too quickly.

So I got around 900 meters, a smidge over half a mile, my half hour was up, and even though I felt like I had more in me, I got out of the pool and headed for the locker room.

Now this is where I admit I should have checked the pool schedule before leaving the house. There was an aqua aerobics class going on when I got there (there are 3 pools...they were not in the lap swim pool) and I noted the dozen or so little old ladies bobbing around before I slid into the lone open lane in the lap swim pool.

I have no idea when they finished. When I got out of the water there were still a couple people in the other pool, but I didn't clue into the fact that they might have just finished, so all those older women were probably in the locker room.

They were.

I showered, and when I was done there was a line waiting for the swimsuit spinner, and every changing room was occupied. I didn't kind waiting in line to spin the water out of my suit, and I don't really have a problem changing by my locker. I mean, I prefer to use the changing room because when your skin is a little damp, getting into a sports bra is not always a graceful sort of activity, and I prefer to strangle myself with the straps in private.

I could have waited, but, eh...I'm not that modest. So I started digging my clothes out of the locker and someone sat on the bench near me so she could put on her shoes and wait for a friend who was changing in one of the aforementioned rooms.

It was at this moment I remembered that older women--I'm talking later 70s and up--don't really give a shit about anything. Even in the locker room. They don't care if you're bare-assed naked, trying to dry off, and they don't care if you're wrestling with a sports bra, trying to get it on with still-damp skin, while not bouncing so much that your still-ample gut flops around like a dead fish.

They just don't care, and if they're interested in your tattoos, they will forking stare. Then they'll lean closer to get a better look at the details, and start asking questions about them.

To my credit, when she asked about the tattoo on my calf, I did not turn and let my flab slap her upside the face. I just answered her, relieved that I'd finally gotten the damn bra on. She scooted a little closer and asked about my Max tattoo, and then the Disney tattoos, and really seemed to like them, which I normally wouldn't mind, but...lady, I'm in a bra and underwear, I want to put on my shirt and jeans, and I can feel your breath on my arm.

To her credit, she didn't touch. A lot of people do, especially since my tattoos are mostly on my forearms. Still, she got super close and was witness to my bra-struggle, so we might be engaged now.

I am totally checking the schedule before I go tomorrow...

Wednesday

6 November 2019

I spent the weekend at the Boy's house to pet-sit while he and his wife went to Disneyland. I figured it was a good time to get my diet back on track and to get a bunch of work done.

Yeah, that didn't work.

I got there and there was candy on the counter with a note saying EAT THIS. To my credit, I only ate a couple of Tootsie Rolls because I haven't had one in years, and I was pretty sure I'd take a bite and hate it. The problem is that I did not hate it. I loved it. And now I want a giant bag of Tootsie Rolls because OF COURSE I DO.

And then there was chocolate milk in the fridge. The Boy said he would make sure there was a carton, because at the time I'd also planned on getting a lot of walking done as some last minute training, and chocolate milk is excellent recovery food. The only walking I got done was when I took Butters out, and a little bit walking around Barnes & Noble trying to ignore the sounds of 1000 books calling to me. 

Oh, and there's a Five Guys near the B&N. So I convinced myself a burger was a fine idea.

I did not get on the scale when I got home.

My work plans fells apart when I started reading N.K. Jeminsin's Inheritance Trilogy. I should have accepted that once I started it I would fall into it, because the same thing happened when I started her Broken Earth series. I read the entire first book and more than half of the second, and I was only there for two days.

To my credit, I did get a little work done. I'm a good 13,000 words deep into NaNoWriMo. They're not good words, but they're words.

So I did not get my diet back on track and I did not get much work done, but I had fun with dogs and cats and spent more time reading in a single block than I have in a couple of years.

So all in all, a good weekend.

By the end of today we should be gym members again, so maybe I'll get some traction in that direction.

If I do, great. If I don't, fine. Because if I don't...there were more Tootsie Rolls and I'm chewing my way through a damn good end of the trilogy.

Tuesday

5 November 2019

I set a goal to hit 2000 miles this year because I was seriously disappointed in myself for not hitting last year's 1500 mile goal. I didn't even hit 1300 miles.

Granted, two or three years ago 1200 would have thrilled me, but now that's just kind of eh. I know I can do 1200 in a year now, so it's not goal-worthy. When I first started tracking, it absolutely was and I don't want to detract from that.

I don't think I'm going to fall short this year. I have under 160 miles left, and I have nearly two months left. If I get my ass in gear, I can hit it by the end of the month. Between walking and riding, it's very doable. Add in that I want to pound out the 60 miles I owe for the 3 Day...if nothing else, I should come close.

Man, if I could slide into December needing under 100 miles to goal? That would be spiffy.

Oh, and ignore the whole "races" thing in the image. It's just the way I keep track of my miles; I use Yes.Fit...I am motivated by shiny things, so it works for me. But I don't think of those as races, just mini-goals.

Whatever gets me off my asterisk and out the door...

Sunday

3 November 2019






You'd think they hated each other and were trying to kill each other, but the reality is that they were bathing each other, and now I am ded from the kyoot.

Saturday

2 November 2019

Most of the things in this picture were gifts.


We bought the Tahoe Pier picture at the art gallery the Spouse Thingy displays in; same with the centerpiece, a tree of life hand-wired by an artist he also works with at the hospital. A friend painted the picture in the upper right; my father-in-law made the massive clock, and it's one of the few things I would miss if something happened to the house.

That doesn't mean I don't treasure them all, because I do. That's why they're in this room, where I can easily see them.


The mantle is narrow, maybe two inches. But everything on it is special, things made by friends or their kids, things loved ones hoped I would enjoy. The little kitties and books were actually part of a game, but I wanted them here. There's a cork bear made by the daughter of a 3 Day team mate and it always makes me smile. Ornaments and a bookmark made by another friend's daughter.

They're all tiny things that in someone else's house I might overlook.

Except maybe Spock dancing with a Dalek. I think I would notice that anywhere.

In another month, some of those things will be moved to the other side if the room so that we can decorate for Christmas, but they'll still be where I can see them.

We moved the furniture back into this room because of Max, so that he would have use of the fireplace--he won't lounge in front of it unless someone is in here--but I'm glad we did. I couldn't see these things from the other room, and honestly, I missed it all.

Just one of those "huh" kind of things that sometimes cross my mind.

It really is the little things...

Friday

1 November 2019

Apparently this is also Blogvember, or NaBloPoMo, or WRITE A DAMN POST EVERYDAY month. I couldn't find any decent images to celebrate this, so you get the cat tax instead.

We're gonna do WHAT this month?
I can pound out enough words to get to 50K by the end of the month when writing fiction. But can I add a blog post every day to that?

We'll see.

This weekend will be dedicated to two things: getting my diet back on track, and writing. Since I'll be at my son's house watching his four furry kids, one of those will be easier than the other. Which one remains to be seen.

Max will have the Spouse Thingy opening cans for him and I'll feed him before I leave--I'll give him a full can and he'll get more just a few hours later when Mike wakes up--so I doubt he'll really that I'm gone. He sleeps most of the time as it is, and if he gets up and doesn't find me in the house, he'll probably nibble on some dry food and then go back to bed.

Buddah won't care one bit.

On the upside for Lady and Butters...the original plan was for me to be out a lot, racking up the last training miles for the 3 Day, but since that's been shoved back a year, they won't be alone at all, really (I doubt Monkey and Arya care, as long as someone opens a can in the morning.)

What I didn't expect was that I'm actually feeling guilty about not needing to get some last-minute training in. I'm feeling guilty overall about not going to the 3 Day. And I imagine that in two weeks, I'm going to feel guilt along with disappointment, because I'm not there playing with my friends.

I will survive.

Tonight, being the last night before I start getting picky about my food again, I'm going to indulge in some hot chocolate and I'm going to read instead of work, and then wish I had indulged in my impulse to make brownies. Or cake. Or even muffins.

Good thing I don't have the stuff to make any of those...

...but I do have a forkton of Halloween candy left over. 36 full sized bars, 5 trick-or-treaters.

No.

No, I will not eat all of that.

Swearsies.

Thursday

31 October 2019

It's that time of year again...NaNoWriMo. In about six hours from now (Pacific Time) the 30 day crunch to get 50,000 words of fiction virtually penned onto virtual paper begins for hundreds of thousands of writers across the world.

But you can't write a novel in a month!

Well...you can. It won't be a good one, but if you stick to it, by the end of November you'll have the bones of what could be a good one. It won't be a long one; 50K is barely into novel range. A long novel isn't the point of NaNoWriMo.

The point is cultivating the habits that will help you become a productive writer, and along the way maybe you'll get good. Maybe you'll discover something in you that needs to get out, and though you might stumble at the start, by the end you'll find the footing that lets you finish strong. What might suck in the beginning will, by the end, be really good.

You'll never know if you don't play.

No one else ever needs to see what you've written, if you don't want. But if you've ever had an inkling that there's a writer in you itching to come out, now's the time.

Go to NaNoWriMo.org and sign up. You only need to crank out 1667 words a day to reach 50,000 in 30 days. It's not really all that much. I swear.

I use November to pump out whatever has been simmering in my head. This year, there are several Wick shorts that flow one into another, and I intend on working on those. I'm pet sitting this weekend, so I'll get a really good start as long as Lady and Monkey and Arya don't spend a lot of time jumping on my keyboard (Butters is a gentleman; he won't bother me when I'm working.)

And related to nothing about writing...this weekend is a good time to get my freaking diet back on track. With the Spouse Thingy's week off, the diet train pretty much derailed.

And dammit, now I want pizza. Even though I had pizza yesterday.

Wednesday

30 October 2019

A few months ago, knowing the patio cover that we said we were replacing 10 years ago but never got around to, we contracted to get it replaced. It's got mold, it was un-permitted to begin with, there's no top to it so we just have sun cloth thrown over it, and frankly, I'm surprised it survived the major wind storms of this week.

We put money down, waited, put more money down when the materials were ordered, waited, put more money down when the stuff shipped apparently being dragged across the country by an overworked dog sled team, and were told it was just a matter of freeing up a crew. That was a week ago.

We took this to mean, "Um, yeah, by the end of the year, for sure."

No, they meant that the first available crew, they would be here to knock down the old structure and build the new one. A couple of days ago we got the start date.

The weekend of the 3 Day walk.

The Spouse Thingy has to work. He just took time off for a wedding and can't get more time until January. If we push back the date, we'd be looking at 4 more months to wait plus paying storage fees for the materials, and frankly, the existing cover isn't going to last that long. We have a rather large window that overlooks the patio, and if it goes, there's a 50-50 chance it's going into that window.

That leaves me.

So...instead of walking, I'll be at home trying to keep cats calm while there are PEOPLE in the yard making a craptastic amount of noise, and dealing with the contractor's crew.

All is not in vein. In vain? In vain.

I had hoped to transfer the funds raised to my teammates, but there is no transferring of funds, so the 3 Day peoples are deferring me to next year.

All of you who donated--you're still getting Major Effort from me.

Once the dust is settled, the cover done, and the Spouse Thingy has two days to be my support crew, I'm going to ride the 60 miles. The difference is, I'll do it over 2 days instead of 3.

I feel like I owe the miles this year, even though I can walk them next year.

I'm not happy about this turn, especially since I got so freaking excited when my doc proclaimed me Not Stupid and waved her fairy Doc Wand and said I could go. I'm a little extra not happy because during the Spouse Thingy's week off, we did basically nothing to protect my back and to keep me from re-injuring it, and to keep me away from crowds and cooties, and had planned on that until the 3 Day.

If we'd known even a few days sooner, we could have risked a little more and had some fun.

On the up side, at least this time it isn't because I'm sick.

So...I will honor the miles, I will carry all of the names with me that I do every walk, and maybe next year I can muster up the energy for two walks...the 3 Day is already funded.

I'm sorry to have to do this, but... yeah, we're $10K into this patio cover and have already been waiting so long to get this crew here.

In other news, patio covers are not cheap.

Monday

28 October 2019

Okay, I still miss Ibuprofen, but my back is already starting to feel a lot better...which means tomorrow or the next day we're going to wrestle that monster TV into the back of the truck and take it to our storage unit.

It also meant that I felt like getting out and stretching my legs, mostly to see if my lower back would play nice. We headed for Old Sacramento (or the Waterfront, whatever the fork they're calling it now...it's Old Sac to me) to take some things to the art gallery, and then walk around Downtown Commons. There are easy, predictable distances I can walk there, and if I start to hurt, it's never too far to get back to the car.

The only back pain I felt, aside from a few twinges, were mostly upper back, and that was from muscle fatigue. I've spent the last couple days doing pretty much nothing, and my back was letting me know it.

So tomorrow...we're heading back to the gym, where there's a pool, and hoping that the membership fees haven't jumped too much since the last time we were members.

Apropos to nothing, or maybe not quite nothing, we've already registered for and reserved a condo for next year's charity event. In 2020, instead of a Komen walk, we're heading for the other side of the country to walk in the Pledge for Pink. The registration fee is a lot higher, but there are no fundraising minimums, which means I won't be bothering people too much next year.

I'm also set for St. Baldrick's in March--year seven!--and I think those are the only two big events I'll schedule.

Sunday

26 October 2019

This TV is fricking huge.

So of course, this week we moved it from one room to another, along with a bunch of furniture and exercise equipment, essentially swapping two rooms because this one has the fireplace and Max won't lay in front of it if I'm not in the room... so, yeah, we rearranged for the benefit of the cat.

Previously this room had a treadmill and rower, and another fricking big TV. We moved that one, too. It resided on top of a bookcase, the top of which was at my chin height. That require getting it off without dropping it, moving it to the next room, moving allllll the damned books and then the cases, after which we had to wrestle that TV back to the top.

And then realized we really didn't want it there. So down it came, and we took it to the garage, where we set it on the floor...

...at which point my back said, "Bye, Felicia" and a wayward disk somewhere around L4 and L5 attempted to make as escape.

After that, after hobbling back into the house, I managed to stub my foot on the very metal base of the rower, and I'm about 50% sure I broke a toe.

So today yesterday I moved as little as possible, with a cat pinning me into my chair, because that's what he does when he has the chance.

I'm pretty sure he thinks he's helping, but when your back hurts and you need to get up to pee, 12.5 pounds of cat is kind of a nuisance.

But now it's 2 am, my back hurts like a mofo, I can't sleep, and the wind is blowing so damned hard it sounds like what I imagine camping in a wind tunnel would be like.

My point?

There is none. I just can't sleep so I'm whining about it.

Also, I miss Motrin.

20 October 2019

I sat in Starbucks today--I know, what a surprise--distracted from the work in front of me by two things.

1--people kept passing my table with Frappucinos in hand, and after the fifth one, I really wanted a Frappucino. I resisted the urge because they tend to give me screaming brain freeze and the calories aren't worth it. If I still want one this week, after a decent workout, then I'll cave. Chances are I won't want one by then, but I'm allowing for the possibility.

2--people near me were talking politics. It wasn't the content of their conversation that piqued my interest or even the political bent, it was the way they were discussing current events.

Rethuglicans.

It only took the one word for me to know which side of the line they're on, and while I agreed with nearly every point they made, I bristled at the colloquialism.

Rethuglicans. Libtards. tRump. Drumf. Democraps.

Look, I get it. People on every side are frustrated and lashing out. But if you're using these terms, you're infantilizing the issues and detracting from the point. There is no rational discussion when slinging insults at the people with whom you're trying to reach. It doesn't matter if they're slinging it right back; if you want people to listen, to hear you, then speak like an adult and leave the invectives on the playground.

You won't change anyone's mind if they feel attacked.

I will nope right out of a conversation with people I agree with when the childish slings and arrows come out. I will nope right out if someone can't separate the party from the people; there's a vast difference between the Republican Party and registered Republicans. The same can be said for Democrats. I will nope right out of it if the implication is that anyone registered to the opposing party is an idiot.

That doesn't mean I understand them. I cannot fathom why anyone would still support the abject amorality, anti-intellectualism, and party-over-country individuals that have a chokehold on the U.S. I honestly don't think our government structure will survive if this continues. But that doesn't mean I'll grab onto the current social-media terminology when discussing the issues.

Don't get me wrong. As much as I try not to, when someone presents themselves as a Trump supporter, I judge them hard. But if I hear the word rethuglican fall from your mouth, yeah, I judge that, too.

We're heading into what could be the most important election ever; certainly in our lifetimes. Maybe we should stop, take a breath, and treat is as such instead of a playground pissing contest.

Friday

18 October 2019

It should come as no surprise to anyone that I own these as a pair of shorts. Until 2 days ago, I hadn't realized that they were available as pants.

By Monday night, they will be mine. I was not passing up the chance to order these and have them in time for the 3 Day. They're gold pants so they're lightweight and should be comfortable enough even if it gets a little warm in San Diego while we're walking, and I'll sure as heck appreciate having them in the morning when it's What-the-Fork chilly degrees outside.

Now, hot pink would pair well with these pants, but everyone is going to be in pink and I can't be like everyone. Last time I wore neon orange and it worked well; any time the Spouse Thingy and I got separated (like, at lunch or pit stops) it was super easy for him to find me. He won't be there this time, but Michelle will be in a sweep van and keeping an eye out for me, so something blinding would be good.

Not, like, to blind her, but to make it easier to pick me out of the masses at a distance.

So, why not screaming neon yellow?

I ordered a couple of these from Custom Ink last night, with a guarantee to get them way before the walk. Today I got a couple of emails from the company, one to confirm my order, another with a proof, and a third with a request.

Basically... "Yeah, hi, we noticed that the shirt you created and ordered seems to be for a charity event. Please reply with a link to your fundraising page so that we can make a donation."

I figured the offer was cool and didn't expect anything more than $5. But within an hour, they'd replied back that a donation had been made, and apologozed that it wasn't more.

$20.

Now, I get it. This is good PR and built into the prices they charge. But I would have ordered the shirts anyway because I want them for them walk, and this was totally unexpected.

Twenty bucks is twenty bucks, and now puts me at just under $300 to go.

I'm getting excited now, because that's totally within reach.

Also...

This popped up on Facebook memories a couple weeks ago, and I lamented (tongue in cheek) that I had actually traveled across the country wearing it.

I had a notion--before finding the rainbow pants--that I could at least wear the pants again. It would amuse me, if no one else.

So I went digging for them, because it's not the kind of thing I would throw out or donate. It took awhile, because I've store a bunch of stuff and things are not exactly orderly in my closet right now, but I found them at the bottom of a stack of event t-shirts.

And I tried them on.


There's a wee bit of room there now.


If I let go, they wind up around my ankles.

So they're not going with me, and I think I'm keeping them around just as a reminder of where I've been and where I don't want to go again.

This was good for my ego, I admit it. I've been in Plateau Hell, having not lost any weight since March and only 4 pounds since January, and it's been doing a mental number on me. I can't really cut my calories any further--I'm at 1200, 1300 tops every day--and I just don't have the time to burn more (15-20 miles a day 3-4 times a week is enough, though I'm adding swimming back to the mix next week.) It felt damn good to put them on and have them not fit so badly that even a belt isn't going to help.

I think I'll like the golf pants even more.

Just under 4 weeks to go.

There's still time to donate, and it's tax deductible!

11 October 2019

< hops on the soapbox >

I’m sitting in Starbucks, as I frequently do; I came here with the intent to work, to finish a short story and read through another for typos so that I can upload it to The Wick Chronicles soon. It’s not super busy here, but there are quite a few people around me, and people tend to sit here and talk, no matter how enmeshed in my work I happen to be.

Usually, tuning them out is not a problem. It’s when they start on something that captures my attention that my work generally suffers, because I’m unintentionally listening rather than writing.

Today’s word that pulled me from outer space back to earth: stupid.

“I don’t know why you do shit like that. It’s stupid.”

I mentally rewound the things I’d been hearing but not paying much attention to, and then listened to the rest. No, it’s not polite, I should endeavor to not eavesdrop, but my inner twelve-year-old wanted to know what this no-longer-excited young adult did that could be deemed as stupid.

He’d been excited. He was animated when he spoke, and basically shut down when informed that his interest, what he’d participated in, was “stupid.”

And now I’m ticked off.

His stupid shit? He’d waited in line to be one of the first to get the newest iPhone. He tried to explain why he did it, but it fell of dismissive ears. “You could have pre-ordered it and gotten it the day it came out. Or you could have waited a few days and not been out all night in a line with the other idiots.”

I really wanted to tell that poor kid that it wasn’t stupid. I’d almost made up my mind to speak up if his companion went to the restroom, and almost made up my mind to say something even if he didn’t, but I waited too long. They left right after that, and I’ve been stewing ever since.

Look. Your passions don’t have to make sense to other people. If it makes you happy to wait in line all night to get the newest phone, then wait all night. Revel in it. Just because I wouldn’t do it doesn’t mean I don’t get it. I do. It’s not about being the first to get the phone—of course you could have ordered it and gotten it on day one. It’s about the excitement of the people you’re with, the party atmosphere. It’s about meeting new people and connecting with old friends. For you, it’s fun, and that’s the only reason you need.

If you want to stand in a line all night for the newest book in your favorite series with a hundred other people who share your passion, do it. Dress up, play games, have a wicked good time.

If you want to stand in a line all night to be the first to see a new Star Wars movie, dressed like a Storm Trooper, do it.

Embrace your passions and don’t apologize for them.

And if you’re on the other side of the table, the person who thinks those things are stupid…don’t do them. It’s that simple. Don’t do them, and refrain from criticizing the people who do. If your friend is jazzed about spending a day or two in a line to get concert tickets to see someone he absolutely loves, don’t mock him. Be happy for him. Be thrilled. He’s going to have a great time with a bunch of other people, maybe make some new friends, and then he gets to see his favorite performer.

If your friend likes reading books in a genre you don’t but he can’t help but tell you about it, don’t tell him to shut up. Ask questions. Find out what it’s about and why it’s so important to him. No one is forcing the books on you, but your friend is attempting to share something with you. Something that matters to him.

If you have a friend who posts pictures of their lunch, their dinner, their car, their motorcycle, their kids, their finally-clean-after-a-depressive-bout house, don’t mock them. You have choices here: scroll past without saying anything, click “like” and move on, or come to an understanding that this excites them. Be happy that someone you care about enjoys his delicious food, his car, his bike, loves his kids, and broke through something that finally allowed them to create some order in their lives.

If you’re not religious—even rabidly anti-religion—and have a friend who posts a sincere thanks to God for his day, don’t shit all over it. Why not be happy that he has something in his life that brings him comfort? If you don’t like it, scroll past it. If they’re not proselytizing or rabidly shoving it in your face, just move on.

I admit, this is all something I struggle with online and IRL. I have rolled my eyes at the 1000th picture of a dog doing the same damned thing every time its picture gets taken, because frankly, that dog kind of creeps me out, but I move on. I’m sure people roll their eyes at all the photos of my cats. At my bikes. At my pink-things endeavors. I cannot fathom why someone takes a selfie every single day and posts it, or why someone takes selfies while on vacation yet never includes the thing they’re on vacation to see. Like, dude, it’s right behind you, let us see it. I don’t get a lot of it.

I don’t ask the right questions, if I even think to ask questions. Face it, I am socially dense a lot of the time; people ask me questions and I answer, but it doesn’t occur to me to keep it going and ask questions of my own. And that doesn’t matter who you are. I am not great at conversation anymore. It is what it is.

But what I hope I never do, what I will hate myself for if I do it, is to tell someone else that the thing that excites them is stupid.

You love movies? Fantastic. Tell me more about the one you just saw that really grabbed you.

You love trashy novels? Awesome. (I might ask why, but I won’t mean it sarcastically. I hope.)

You love cooking and want to share a picture of your latest culinary masterpiece? Spiffy. And fork you, now I’m hungry. Show me again.

You quilt and want me to follow your blog where you show your work? Hell yes. That’s amazing. I adore your talent.

You went on vacation to Far-Away-Place-I’ll-Never-Go? SHOW ME THE PICTURES. I will be genuinely interested.

There’s no requirement in life that says you have to understand the things that make other people happy. As long as they’re not harming anyone else, why not skip over the WTF factor and get right to the Well Why Not factor?

Just…stop shitting all over other peoples’ passions. Be happy that someone you care about has passions. That should be indulged, not condemned.

<  /off the soapbox  >

Monday

7 October 2019

All righty.

Fundraising resumed.

I am apparently intelligent enough to go to San Diego, walk, and determine when I should stop walking and jump on the sweep van. And since DKM will be in one of the sweep vans, even if it's full, I can probably strap myself to the roof and ride to the next pit stop.

So...I need to start walking a little bit more.

I need to sort out my hydration for the walk.

I need to get 319 tiny bottles of Fireball to take with me...for pain control.

I need to get some neon pink hair dye, because it's not a 3 Day if my hair isn't pink.

I need to raise $815 more.

Oy.

Saturday

28 September 2019

This is my new obsession...closing all the activity rings on my watch. There's one for burning a certain number of exercise calories, one for exercise minutes, and one for...standing up.

Yeah, I dunno about that one. It wants me to get up 12 times a day and walk for a grand total of one minute. I mean, I get why, but the reminder always comes when I'm eyeballs deep into something, usually work, and I get all twitchy if I don't do it.

Getting the exercise calories burned has been no issue. One 45 minute bike ride, and I'm there.

But the frustrating one is the exercise minutes. That 45 minute bike ride only gets me 15-16 exercise minutes. Today I mowed the lawn (twice, because it was long enough that it looked stupid until I redid it) in a one hour time frame, and it credited me with 6 whole minutes.

The only thing that seems to give me minute-for-minute is getting on an indoor cycle. Last night and tonight I hopped on my Flex bike for 30 minutes, and racked up 30 minutes for the effort...which was, honestly, less effort than a regular bike ride or even mowing the lawn.

But I closed those damned rings.

Okay, I have not closed the Stand ring yet today. One more time and I'll have nailed that sucker.

I was on the fence for a long time about getting this watch, but I have to admit, it has definitely been motivating. I'm a get-a-streak-going kind of person (1633 days on MyFitnessPal, woohoo!) and I can see myself trying to build on one. One week will lead to one month which will lead to two, then six, then FORKIT I'M GOING FOR A YEAR.

Yeah, I dunno about that, but it'll sure as hell be in the back of my head.

And yay for roomy baskets.

I stopped at the UPS store, expecting two smallish padded envelopes, but there was a surprise box.

This is why I wanted a grocery-hauler type bike. It's heavy and slow, but it's fun and I can shop without having to drive.

Which is good, because the check engine light in my car is on, and I'm not driving it until it gets checked out.

I'm a weenie.





I don't remember where I stumbled upon this image--probably Reddit--but I saved it and shared it because it's so freaking true.

You know when riding became my joy?

When I stopped thinking of it as a workout. As exercise that I had to do in order to eat the food that I really enjoyed. I found something that was FUN, and it's something I can do without a lot of pain, and why the hell should it be anything other than play?

Remember being a kid and going outside to play, which often meant riding your bike?

That's what it should be.

I refuse to feel guilty for my weekly OMG PIZZA cravings. I refuse to use what should be fun as a punishment for indulging in it.


Find the thing you really like and just go outside and play. Or go inside and play. Sure, watch what you eat and drink, make sure you move every day, but dammit, PLAY.

Except dodgeball. Only sick farks like dodgeball ;)



Thursday

26 September 2019

Okay. I got all excited about doing the 3 Day this year, but now I am not as excited, because there's a good chance I won't be able to go. And we can thank my farked up body for it.

As expected, I got the maybe-you-shouldn't-participate email. Last time, my doc shrugged it off and said I was smart enough to figure it out, and since the Spouse Thingy was walking with me, it was fine.

This time...aside from the fact that he's not walking with me this year, because Things came up and he couldn't ask for that time off, my medical situation has changed. Participating in the walk no longer entails just managing diabetes insipidus and all the electrolyte issues that go with it when you're sweating like a mofo and probably not drinking as much as is ideal, and it no longer just entails dealing with chronic pain.

It now deals with managing those things alongside stage 3 kidney disease.

Walking 60 miles, even when parsed over three days, requires sucking down a lot of sodium, a lot of water, and trying to balance them. I don't always get it right (Atlanta 2011, anyone? Or San Diego 2014? And maybe even 2015, but they kinda blur together now.) Nearly everything offered is necessarily salt-laden, and they push sports drinks--half of what you drink is, ideally water but the other half is Gatorade--and pounding all that down and not getting my hydration right is a recipe for disaster.

Whatever is going on with my kidneys isn't making things easier.

I'm sure there will be SOME painkillers there...
I can no longer take NSAIDS. When you have chronic pain, those are damn near necessary on a 3 Day.

I'm still waiting to hear back from my doc. The 3 Day is like, "Well, you might want to rethink it, but we won't ban you." Which I appreciate; they're looking out for their own liability, and it's a subtle way of telling me that if I participate, it's my own damned fault if something happens. But I'm gonna be honest: if my endocrinologist says no, even though she can't stop me, I won't go.

I'd like to keep my kidneys.

So I'm suspending my fundraising until I know, and hopefully I'll know soon. But I needed to put this out there, since quite a few of you have already donated.

If I don't walk, I will ride.

You'll still get 60 miles out of me, but it'll be on the bike, where I can control the environment, and it'll be on a couple of days where the Spouse Thingy can function as my sweep. He can follow, enforce breaks, enforce food, and keep me from doing something stupid.

If my doc says yes, I'll wind up doing a last-minute fundraising push. And she might say yes with caveats: limited miles, limited number of hours at a time, and I'll do what she says.

This cause matters to me, but staying healthy matters more.

But cross your fingers for yes.

Wednesday

28 August 2019

The Spouse Thingy took some time off work so that we could do a bunch of stuff for my birthday week, and while we didn't do a few things we had really wanted to (thanks to my insomnia) we actually did a lot.

Most fun, day before my birthday we hit the mall in Roseville with Michelle and just wandered around, bought me a bunch of t-shirts and an awesome backpack, and then had lunch at the Cheesecake Factory. I do not eat cheesecake, but the Spouse Thingy does, and it was really good.

On my birthday I picked this up. Like the blue bike, it's a Townie, but it's got bigger wheels and is a 27 speed. The little Townie is fun--like loads of fun--but I needed a little bit more. It'll go into storage for a while, and I'll ride the wheels off this.

Because why not?

We also hit up the Crocker art museum...used to not be my favorite place, but they had a ton of new things and we spend 3 hours wandering around, when we usually stay for just an hour or two.

There was lots of walking around, which is good because I need to launch into training for the 3 Day. I was iffy on going, but this might be the last year, and it's Beth's 20th walk, so I really want to go. I've done a lot of bike riding but need to get on my feet a bit.

Yeah, I won't be surprised if the 3 Day just goes away. Supposedly there will be 4 walks next year, but part of me thinks they might cancel it before then. I hope not, because I dig walking it and really dig San Diego.

Not sure what weird things I'll do for donations, but y'all know I'll do almost anything.

I need to get moving just to fix the damage done this week. Let's just say all dieting was suspended and there's been a lot of cake. And pizza. And drinking.

Yep, it was a fun birthday week.

Remind me about that when I scream after getting on the scale tomorrow morning.


Monday

19 August 2019

I'm getting behind... 4.5 months to do 600 more miles.

I really want to nail the 2000 for the year.

Oy.