Tuesday, April 22, 2014

I WAS RUNNING, AND THEN NOT SO MUCH.

    Whelp....my dreams of becoming an Olympic marathon runner have been crushed, y'all. CRUSHED!  Ok, yeah,stop laughing. My actual, real-life dreams were way more modest than that. :)  Actually, all I really wanted to do was get to a place physically where I could run.  Not even long distance running or competitive running, but, you know...just running for exercise and funzies. 

Both a nutritionist and a nurse told me that I had to change my workout pattern, since my regular workout was no longer doing anything, so I took their advice and started using the treadmill.  At first I was just walking, but I started turning up the speed and I found out that I actually liked running!  I know, I'm just as shocked as you are.  Actually, it was sort of a love/hate feeling with it because I've never really ran before, unless someone was making me, of course.  But, it was not as bad as I thought it would be and I found that when I was done walking/running, I felt more accomplished.  I *gasp!* liked to run.  I knew I'd have to work up some tolerance and stamina before I could do any real running, and so I was just doing short periods of jogging in between walking to build up to it.

Unfortunately, it wasn't too long before my left knee started to hurt.  Not just an ache, but actually, really hurt.  Even on the days I didn't go to the gym, I could only just hobble around. I thought maybe I'd pulled something (but can you really pull your knee?) or that maybe it was just the regular pains of starting to do something that I wasn't used to.  I iced it, I elevated it, I sang "Eye of the Tiger" to it, but nothing seemed to help.  It just hurt all the freaking time.  I kept on trying to run, but it got so bad that I couldn't even run or walk evenly anymore.  I had to hold on to the rail to keep from tripping over myself.   I finally took some advice from friends (who are far more athletic than I'll ever be) and I started doing some research on running.  Was I doing it wrong?  Apparently, you actually can run the wrong way.  Who knew?  Everything I read, though, said that I was doing the right stuff.  The only thing I was doing wrong was continuing to run on a knee that hurt.

I was on the verge of trying to find a place that specialized in running shoes (I've been told on good authority that these places exist) to see if my shoes were wrong, when time came for a physical with my doctor.  I told him what was going on, and asked what I should do.  He started flexing my knee and got this kind of  "Eeesh" look on his face.  He said I shouldn't run anymore!  He said walking was fine, but I guess anything high impact is a no-go.  He said I probably had arthritis and something else that I can't remember (in my head it sounds like decrepit, but that's not it.  It starts with a "C" and it sounds like decrepit, though.)  He told me to put my hand on my knee and move my leg, and I did and felt little crunchy movements in there, and I wasn't even putting weight on it, so...gross.  Anyways, no more running for me. 

You know, that really sucks!  I've never actually found an exercise thing that I liked until now and I've been told not to do it anymore. 

I'm riddled with old. Get off my lawn. 

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

MORE RANDOM ACTS OF BLOGGING

1) Today I had to go have blood drawn as another step towards saving money on our insurance.  The blood draw went fine and I didn't scream or faint, even though they used a needle the size of a boba straw. (That may be a slight exaggeration, but still...)  The lady who did the work taped my arm, and per usual, told me to leave it on for about 10 minutes.  Usually I wind up taking the tape off before the 10 minutes are up, if for no other reason than I don't like people looking at the bandage and wondering what sort of medical test I just had done.  I've never had a problem with it before, so when I stopped for coffee on my way in to work and the tape began pulling loose, I didn't think anything of just taking the whole thing off and throwing it away. It had been close to 10 minutes by that time, I thought.  However, today I must have been having a clotting issue, because while I was walking away from the garbage to pick up my drink, my arm started bleeding!  Gross much?  Ugh, I was embarrassed.  No one wants to see your blood while they're enjoying their breakfast!  Well, I wouldn't think so, anyways.  I had to grab a napkin and hold it against my arm until it stopped.  Now I have learned a valuable lesson: I'd rather have people looking at my bandage and wondering about my medical issues than looking at a bleeding appendage and wondering if I'm going to give them Hep C while they're eating. 

Sorry, people at Starbucks! No Hepatitis here, I promise, just bad judgement!

2) I've realized something about myself in the past month or so, but I'm not sure if it's really an unusual thing or if everyone feels this way.  Bear with me because it's a little hard to explain.

One of my Facebook friends sent me a message with a picture attached and said something like "Saw this and it made me think of you."  This guy IS someone I consider a friend, although we haven't seen each other in person in a long time, but I immediately felt odd that he was telling me that he saw something that made him think of me.  Now, it wasn't an odd, creepy-stalker-this-man-is-freaking-me-out feeling, it was more of a why-would-he-think-of-me? feeling.  It wasn't the first time I've felt like that.  I had to actually sit back and think of why hearing that made me feel so strange, and I finally came to the conclusion that it was because I genuinely never thought that anyone, with exception of my family, ever thought of me at all.  Like, I cease to exist to people unless I somehow initiate contact between us.  I'm also usually surprised when I get unsolicited contact from other people.  That probably puts me on the Autism scale somewhere, but it's the truth!  I hope you don't take that as me just being pitiful, but I've almost always felt like that.  I think that's why I always have such a hard time inviting people to do things with me, calling, texting or even sending an e-mail, because I'm afraid that I'm bothering them by reintroducing myself into their everyday lives!  I've even realized that's why I'm sometimes very surprised when I get gifts and cards, even on my birthday.  I know, I know, it's weird.  I've apparently convinced myself I'm a Silence (if you get that, you're cool). 

Honestly, though, is that how other people feel? 

3) I am wearing an orange and blue dress today, and have already gotten a comment about how they are Auburn colors. Sigh.  I...I just like the colors together.  It's not that hard!


Thursday, March 13, 2014

RANDOM ACTS OF BLOGGING

1) I'm feeling restless today.  I don't want to be at work, but I have no idea what I would possibly do if I weren't here, so I'm not sure why I'm feeling this way.  I've been feeling weird, jittery and slightly bad tempered since I woke up this morning.  I thought it was caffeine related, but then remembered I didn't have any caffeine, so unless Butler is dosing me with Excedrin at night, I have no idea. I wouldn't put it past him.  Maybe it means bad weather or some bad news (I hope not) coming.   The same principle of how horses freak out before a storm. Because I'm part horse, I guess?  I don't know! I don't like the feeling, though.  It's crawly. 

2) Speaking of Butler and crawly things, I found a tick on him last night!  Yuck!  I thought he was on medication to deal with ticks, but apparently we had been misinformed about that.  I suppose we're lucky that he isn't covered in them, since he spends his days wallering around in the grass, but that one tick was enough for me to feel itchy the rest of the day.  I went to the vet first thing this morning and got something for them.  I can't stand the thought of the little critters being on him or on us!  When I was a kid, our house got infested with them somehow (I remember seeing them on the curtains and crawling up from the carpet) and ever since then they've given me the wiggins something awful.  As God as my witness I will shave the dog and have him shrink wrapped before I let him get all ticky!  Bleh.  Even writing about this has made me itchy.

*IN FRENCH SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS NARRARATOR VOICE*
Two. Days. Later.

3) I recently got a Fitbit Force!  It's a really neato little gadget that you wear around your wrist that acts as a watch, a pedometer, an alarm clock and sleep analyzer, and it connects to an online program to help you keep track of all manner of health stuff, like water consumption and calorie intake.  Basically it's a shaming device unless you are really active, which I am not.  I wanted it for two reasons: A) I'm hoping that by seeing how very little I usually do in a day, I will be motivated to move my carcass around a little bit more and hopefully restart whatever healthy lifestyle changes I need to make. B) It also connects to a program online that Steve's company is a part of called Vitality, which (I think) keeps track of the ways that you are exercising and making good health decisions so that you can get discounts on insurance.  Barring those things, I'm sure the NSA can use it to track me down in case they decide I'm a threat due to the sheer amount of yarn I buy.  There's a joke about afghans/Afghans in that, but I'm not feeling very clever today.

Anyways, one of the things I really like is that you can set a goal of how many steps you want to take in a day.  If you meet that goal, the bracelet/watch thing buzzes and it does a little digital light show in celebration.  You also get a big green smiley face on your Fitbit dashboard. If it could just dispense a small pellet of chocolate once you reach your goal, it would be perfect.  Inversely, one of the things I'm kind of iffy about is that the pedometer doesn't seem to be totally accurate.  While I'm walking, it seems to be doing the job correctly, but there have been times when I've been in the car and noticed that it is advancing my step number.  I'm not 100% sure why it does that, but I'm assuming it's the way I've moved, or maybe vibrations or something. Who knows?

Last night I'd been sitting in the living room crocheting when I decided to check the app that the Fitbit syncs to and see how far away from my goal I was.  I was surprised to see I was only about 800 steps away from my goal, because I'd been crocheting for a long time.  I just guessed that I must have done a lot of walking during the day, so I got up to walk around the house for a few minutes to see if I could get closer to the goal.  I walked around for a while before I got bored (my house is not big, nor is it interesting to walk through) and I decided to sit down again and continue my crochet project. I checked my Fitbit again and saw that I was only about 400 steps away from my goal and figured I could do that before bed without a problem.  I settled back and began crocheting again, and after a while my Fitbit buzzed.  I looked down and saw that it was doing the "Hooray! You made your goal!" thing.  Apparently, the Fitbit had been counting my crochet stitches as steps!  I hadn't walked that much at all, I'd just been doing something with repetitive motion that triggered the pedometer!  I also found out that I crocheted about 1.7 miles.  If only that burned calories...


Monday, February 17, 2014

BIRTHENTINE'S DAY!

I had a lovely birthday, thanks for asking!  It was very low key, but nice.  My mom and my sister took me out to lunch in Athens at a place called Wildwood Deli.  It's a tiny, tiny, tiny place off of the square. Like, only 2 tables inside kind of tiny!  The food was delicious, though, so if you're ever rolling through Athens, I very much recommend it.  Honestly, all I had was a ham sandwich, but it was the best dang ham sandwich I've ever eaten!  Then we walked around and browsed in some of the shops for a while and then went home!  I had a lot of fun spending time with them!

In the usual stripe of my birthday, there was a snag in the evening, but it was a small one.  Steve came home early and told me he wanted to take me out to dinner, which I thought was very sweet, but since my birthday is on Valentine's Day* AND it had fallen on a Friday, I knew it would be a mess out there trying to find a place to go.  We decided on a place (a place we've been before and liked) and even though it was one of the nicer places around, we got a table right away since we got there so early.  I wish I could say we had a lovely dinner, but we didn't.  In fact, we didn't even stay for dinner!  Don't worry, we didn't get into a fight or anything, and I'm even willing to say it was all my fault that we ended up leaving before the waiter even came over! OK, when we were seated, they gave me a rose and placed two pieces of paper and a menu on the table.  Steve picked up the menu and opened it, but said "This is only wine. Where is the food?"  That's when I looked down and saw that the pieces of paper they'd laid down were the menus for the evening.  Apparently, it was a set menu and it was $100 a plate.  Say what?  NOPE.  Look, I'm not adverse to expensive restaurants and I'm not adverse to having money spent on me, but I couldn't in good conscience let Steve spend that kind of money on a dinner we'd just stumbled upon with no notice! Had we planned it, sure, but we just got a table by chance!  I think it was just sticker shock.  To Steve's credit, he was willing to pay for it, but I didn't want him to.  We didn't really know what to do, but I just gathered everything up and took it back up to the hostess and told her we were leaving.  She looked a little shocked, and we probably looked cheap as hell, but we left.  Ugh, it was a bit embarrassing. I felt bad for messing up dinner, but by then everyone was out and we knew anywhere else would be crowded, so we just got barbecue and went home.  Honestly, I think I liked that better anyway!

Don't worry, I'll let Steve buy me expensive food soon, but I at least want some warning first! :)

I was remembered by lots of friends and family, so that made my birthday wonderful no matter what we had for dinner! I love my friends and family so much for thinking of me. They're good people.

*As far as Valentine's Day itself goes, I'm growing more and more indifferent about it.  I mean, I like the sentiment behind it, but I hate the drama! But I love the chocolate, too, so I don't know what to think about it as a whole, so therefore I call indifference.  I will tell you that the backlash against it all is getting on my nerves.  You know, celebrate it, don't celebrate it, I don't care.  However, I get really tired of the people who are so above it all.  They are the ones who talk about how stupid it is and how they don't need a special day to blah, blah, blah.  Of course it's stupid, it's a made up holiday, but geez. Lighten up, Francis. Have some red foil Hershey kisses and chill the hell out about it!

Thursday, February 06, 2014

OOPS

I'm a terrible person.

I mean, I'm not a terrible person on purpose (at least not normally) but I did something recently that makes me feel like a terrible person.

I think I may have mentioned this before, but one of the members of our church is a severely autistic man.  Since I don't know know enough about autism and it's different forms, I don't know how to explain his issues, but he's very childlike and he has the amazing ability to know what day a certain date fell on, and he can remember birthdays and dates with freaky accuracy.  In fact, that's kind of his jam.  When he meets you for the first time, he'll ask your birthday and even if he sees you once every three years, he'll remember when it is.

OK, so one of the things I do in my job is update and print the bulletins (you know, the little programs that tell you the order of service and when the next potluck will be.)  We have a new one every week, so I have to change the date on the outside each time.  I've put the wrong day on them a time or two, which is great fun when everyone and their mom let's you know you've screwed it up, but I'm human and it happens.  At any rate, I'm usually pretty faithful to remember to change the month and day, if for no other reason than I don't want 10 old ladies and 40 engineers telling me the date on the front is wrong!

/Exposition

When the year changed over, I forgot to change the year on the front of the bulletin.  It's an honest mistake, since I'm usually so focused on getting the month and day right AND since it's the thing I change least often, but still, every date in the bulletin still said 2013 up until about the third week in January. I'm guessing it's not something other people look at very often, either, since it took that long for someone to point it out to me. However, by the time they said something, I'd already printed the bulletins for that week and couldn't justify wasting the paper just for a date misprint, so I fixed the digital file so that the year would be right for the next week on.  Well, apparently that week was the one where someone must have pointed out the mistake to the poor autistic man, because as soon as he could, he came over and said "It's 2014, right? Not 2013?"  He looked really concerned and so I said "You're right, it's 2014, I messed it up."  At that point, I didn't feel bad, just dumb, but then he said "It's not my fault is it? It's not my fault?"  I told him that it was all my fault, and he walked away.

Look, I know I didn't do this on purpose and I know that I don't need to feel bad about forgetting to change the date. Intellectually, I know this.  But here is this man, who apparently thinks that he controls the correct flow of time by remembering the date, and because I accidentally forgot to change a number, I threw a cog in his universe. I temporarily disturbed his personal space-time continuum to the point where he thought it was his fault that the date was wrong and I feel awful about it.  Seriously, it's been two weeks and it still nags at me!

This is probably a dumb thing to worry about, but geez.  I've never been responsible for throwing someone's world into chaos before.  Maybe this is going to be my super villain origin story.  Ugh, what if I become this man's personal nemesis?

Great, now I feel terrible AND drunk with power.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

RANDOM ACTS OF BLOGGING

1)  Did everyone have a wonderful holiday season? I did!  It was very busy, but I enjoyed it a great deal.  I did have to work a bit the week of Christmas, but that was OK.  There are things I do for church services that have to be done before the next Sunday, so I was very busy on the Monday before!  Bulletins aren't going to print themselves, am I right? :)  It was actually Steve's birthday, but he'd made plans to have dinner with a buddy of his.  Boo.  Oh well, what could I do? I had stuff to do anyways.  That was the night I baked Steve's birthday cake and made cookies*!  My mother had asked me to decorate some cookies to bring to her house on Christmas day, and I was determined to do it right. I bought a recipe and some tutorial videos online from a professional cookie lady (seriously, she's amazing) and got to work.  I will say this: making cookies her way was a pain in my ass.  You had to make the dough, then chill it for an hour.  Then you roll it out, and then chill it for a half hour.  Then you cut the cookies out, freeze them for 15 minutes, bake them, then you have to leave them alone until they were completely cooled.  I know that all of that was so that the shapes you cut out didn't spread out all over the cookie sheet when they baked, but dang.  Also, the cookies smelled really weird to me.  The recipe was for Vanilla Orange Spice cookies, and they had coriander in them, which I'd never used before, so they kind of smelled the way I think sausage smells.  They tasted OK, but they just smelled weird.  Oh well.  That was all I could do for the cookies that night. 

Tuesday, I worked for a couple of hours, and then I went home to get ready for our Christmas Eve dinner.  I also worked on the cookies again, which made a huge mess.  I've decorated cookies before, of course, but this was a whole new ballgame.  I got sugar, icing, and food dye all over me, in my hair, ugh...just everywhere!  However, for my first try, the cookies turned out pretty well, I think!  Mr. Lee was supposed to come over that night, so Steve and I finished cleaning the house and got everything ready.  Well, we almost had everything ready.  It had apparently been so long since we'd had anyone over for dinner that I'd forgotten how to set the table and completely forgot to get drinks! Steve and I don't drink soda or tea much anymore, but Mr. Lee does, and so I ended up making tea (one K cup at a time) to fill up a gallon pitcher.  That was really tedious!  Anyways, we ate, talked, and exchanged gifts.  Butler was very glad to see Mr. Lee, and he fell asleep with his head on Mr. Lee's shoes.  It was cute. :)  Since he (Mr. Lee, not Butler) was going to be joining us at my mom's the next day, he went home fairly early, and I cleaned up because for the first time ever, after years of being invited, I was going Waffling!  Waffling is kind of like wassailing, but with more butter and bacon. Hee!  Actually,  what it really means is that I met Kenny and Lauren at a local Waffle House to usher in Christmas Day!  They were going to be going to church late that evening, luckily near my neighborhood, and so we got to meet and hang out for a while!  I literally hadn't seen either of them in years, so I was thrilled to get to spend some time with them!  Not as much time as I would have liked, but they did have a long drive back and it was late. I thought it would be rude to shackle them to the car.  I can't speak for them, but I had a great time! :)

Wednesday was a lovely day altogether.  As usual, we spent Christmas day at my mom's house.  We ate and opened gifts, but the best part was just sitting around, talking and laughing.  I love my family!  My nephews, Logan and Seth, took me outside to show me how to shoot!  I realized that although I'd been around hunters and guns all of my life, I've never shot a real gun.  BB guns and pellet guns, yes, but bullet guns, no.  It was fun, but I don't think I'd ever want to kill anything.  I'm a terrible shot, though.  I also need to remember not to swing the gun around while I'm talking.  I think I need a course in gun safety!  I did manage to hit the edge of the paper that the target was drawn on, though, so it wasn't a complete fail.  I also walked through the woods a ways with them while they shot at stuff.  I liked it.  We stayed over at mom's for a long time, and then we left (taking a great deal of food with us, of course) and went over to Mr. Lee's house to open stockings and watch a movie with him.  Of course, I promptly fell asleep.  I'm such a party animal.  We finally went home and ended the day watching the Doctor Who Christmas Special.

Friday we actually got to spend time with Josh and Anthony!  I was so glad to see them!  Josh, of course, lives in Denver and Anthony has been working so much that we hadn't even talked to him in a long time - much less seen him.  While Josh was in town, we all got together and had dinner and hung out for a while!  It was like old times! Well, almost. A lot of our friends have scattered to the winds and I wish they could have been there, too. I also wish Geoff, Josh's husband, could have been there, but he had to work.  Boo.  But, having those two guys there was still great!

It was a really very wonderful, few days and I'm blessed beyond what I deserve to have these people in my life!

*After I wrote that, I remembered I did the cookie baking on Sunday and started decorating them on Monday.  Not an important detail, but one I wanted to mention. I also didn't want to go back and rewrite all of that.  Anyone who thinks I should have can suck it.

2)  Unfortunately, the happy times couldn't last for long.  Sunday afternoon, after lunch, I started feeling icky.  I thought it was just whatever I had eaten not settling well, but I drank some soda water and took a pill and soldiered on.  I was fine until that night after dinner, when I realized that whatever was wrong with me was not what I had for lunch.  I'll spare you the details (you're welcome) but suffice it to say that at one point, I actually thought I might die.  I'm saying that with no hyperbole at all, I literally didn't think I could feel the way I felt and still live to see morning.  When the best I felt was when I was lying on the bathroom floor, shivering and praying, it wasn't a stretch.   I couldn't even get up enough strength to entertain the idea of going to the emergency room.  It was miserable.  By morning, I was feeling, not so much better exactly, but the idea that death was fast approaching had faded.  I was exhausted, sore, nauseous, and dehydrated.  All I could do was lie still, like a slug surrounded by salt.  Steve brought me some Gatorade, which I managed to sip about a tablespoon at a time without getting sick again.  Pretty much other than that, I slept.

A friend of mind had been similarly sick a few weeks before, and because he didn't take the time to slowly reintroduce regular food into his diet, he ended up in the hospital.  I didn't want that to happen to me, so for three days, all I ate was broth, rice, lentils, and bread. It was all I could stand to think about eating.  I was an accidental vegetarian for almost a week because thinking about eating meat made me sick to my stomach. In fact, even though I feel a thousand percent better now, I still can't stand the thought of eating chicken or pork, and the only meat I've been able to eat without feeling ill is ground beef.  I mean, I do like hamburgers and all, but it's a little ridiculous.  As with all other things, it will pass.  At least I hope so.

I wound up having to go into work for an hour that Tuesday because I forgot that everyone needed to get paid. Since I'm the only one of our office staff that can sign checks, I had Steve drive me to work (I was too weak to do it myself) and I took care of that. I know I was still feeling bad because I went without makeup. I don't do that. Ever.  Also, one of my coworkers said (and I paraphrase because I can't remember his exact words) "This was really bad. We need to do something about this.  I mean, what would have happened if you'd wound up in the hospital or something? How would we get paid?" He wasn't trying to be funny.  If I'd had the energy, I would have given him the finger.  :)

3) Also, it got cold.  SO FREAKING COLD, you guys!  Actually, it wasn't the cold that bothered me.  I mean, I am lucky that I live in a technologically advanced enough society that I both work and live in climate controlled environments.  No, it bothered me that the cold did stuff to my environments!  It froze the pipes at our church. It froze them so solidly that we had no bathrooms that we could use consistently.  You could only use each stall once, and then there was no water in the tanks.  I'd forgotten how uncomfortable it was not to have reliable bathrooms.  You can't drink anything for fear that the urge would arise, and if you did give in and use one of the swiftly dwindling supply of toilets, you couldn't wash your hands. I know Purell is supposed to kill 99% of germs on contact, but it doesn't sterilize your state of mind about not being able to wash your hands!

I came home from work to see water running down my driveway.  When I opened the garage, I saw a pipe in the wall squirting all over the place.  On the bright side, it wasn't ruptured, but ice had forced a connecter-thing off of a pipe, and it was just spraying merry hell all over the place.  Steve was on travel, and I have no idea how to do anything plumbing related, so I called Mr. Lee to come and fix it.  I didn't even know how to turn off the water, so I Googled that (Thank God for the Internet) and had to dig through wet leaves and tangled grass to open the meter thing in the front yard.  I hadn't been able to find the T-shaped thing that turns off the water, but my neighbor came running with hers and turned it off for me!  (Thank God for neighbors!)  Poor Mr. Lee had to haul his cookies across town and then to two different hardware stores to find the right parts to cap the pipe.  It had stripped when the ice forced it off, so we couldn't just reconnect it.  (Thank God for Mr. Lee!)  I felt so bad that he had to come over and fix it.  I should know more about how to fix things.  :(

Also, Butler was being weird.  I had to keep him indoors during the day, which he hates, so every night before bed I'd let him out one last time to do whatever business he needed to do. The dang dog would run off and then just sit there and stare at me.  He wouldn't come back inside unless I ran out and chased him in!  He's 12! He sleeps all the time and has arthritic hips, but I still had to chase him. I guess he was determined that he was only going to go inside on HIS terms.  He's lucky I didn't shave him as a punishment!

Monday, December 16, 2013

QUICKIE

It's very frustrating when I have this really funny story about something that happened to me at a gay bar in Denver, but when I try and tell people about it, they can't get past the fact that I was in a gay bar in Denver.