Sunday, December 31, 2006

Pondering

Why does pain always make me philosophical? Big pain relapse today,
I must have tried to do too much yesterday. So about all I can do is
sit and think about things. Many streams of thoughts in my head
these last few days.

The world. It seems worse than usual these days. Grim and angry on
so many levels. The hope for the future and mankind isn't there. That
spiritual reaching for something bigger and better than ourselves,
why is it missing? I feel it is missing in myself these days. I always
aspired to something more cosmic, and believed my life would just
keep getting better. Now I'm not so sure. It seems very daily grind,
the spirit is small.

People - it feels more and more like people wont let each other into
their lives. They are barricading themselves in their on little corners,
and don't want others to share in their being. Friendships seem to be
at arms length, and somewhat distracted and distant. I want lots
of people climbing all over my life, full of laughter and energy,
tilting together at windmills, sharing in the daily triumphs and
defeats.

But those around me, who I felt the most bond with, don't let me
in. Like they don't realize that just honestly telling me what it going
on with them is an act of sharing and trust. It sends the message.
"I don't have time for you. I don't want you to be a part of my life."
Who wants to be someone no one has time for? What is so special
about your life, that no one can be part of it?

Caring and passion for life are also dulling quickly. Things used to
matter so much to everyone. Maybe they really don't matter that
much, but putting that much energy and caring into life, causes and
each other is a much more invigorating environment. We seem to
be settling into an apathetic active act of not caring. Does our
armor really need to be that thick? What are we really protecting?

For 2007 I wish that myself and others shakily try to bridge those
gaps between each other and find a new hope. I think the world is
in for a really tough 15-20 year period ahead, before we pull out
into a brighter future. I think ultimately we will do the right things
for mankind, but it seems it always has to get rather bad before the
world can collectively get motivated to change.

Somehow we have to find our small islands of brightness in this.
and what can that hope be, but each other? I feel like all I can
do is whisper into the howling wilderness, "I care."

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Phoenix, indeed.

I managed to go into work for 4 hours today, though I was pretty
wiped when I got home. I'm not totally back yet. Still very weak,
and some pain. I find I have to block out some of the memories
of the operation and the first two days of pain. They make me a
little shaky inside. Best not to remember.

And here I am starting over again. How many little deaths have there
been in my life? The ones that find you climbing again out of some
mental or physical hole that dropped you back to zero or less.

Building up again, and again, and again. I really am the Phoenix.
Aren't we all?

If we didn't have to start over each time, wouldn't we transcend
into something much better? Why this cycle of repetition, of
starting over? How much it holds back humans. But I haven't
found the choice not to do it that way. I wonder if anyone ever
really does? I think some think they do. But I'm not sure that
they are not fooling themselves. And the always question -

Why does it have to be that way?

Friday, December 29, 2006

Thinking of Living...

Things are much better today. The pain is much more manageable
and I got 9 straight hours of sleep last night! Granted I'm still
sleeping in the recliner, I can't put too much pressure on my head
yet. I think I'll sleep better when I can go back to my bed.

I saw the doctor again today and had the stitches out. I was hoping
for the staples, but those don't come out until Tuesday. I still have
12 of them in my head, and they are irritating as heck. But the pain
is easily handled now by ipuprophen.

The new coffee table came today and it is great. Lots of baskets and
hidden storage, so the living room doesn't look so unruly.
That's as exciting as it gets, right now.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Coffee Tables and Pain

The pain was almost bearable today. Good thing, since Medica didn't
approve the pain medicine. So I bought a coffee table.

I need to go back to work soon. Staying home, I see what is wrong
with it, and I try to fix it. Staring at the old, falling apart coffee
table drove me nuts. I've been staring at it for a week, since I've
been unable to do anything. It is better if I don't spend any time at
home. Cheaper, anyways.

I blame it on lack of sleep. I still can't sleep more than 3 hours at a
time, before the pressure and the pain gets me up.
Hopefully I don't buy anything tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Discouragement

One of those days.

I went to the doctor today and he took out about half the staples.
I'm still in a lot of pain, so he tried to help by tracking down a pain
killing lollipop that they give to kids for post-op pain. The pharmacy
did it's best, but Medica kept turning it down, wanting pre
authorization, and when the doctor faxed everything in, they
asked for 24 hours to review it. It didn't matter that I've haven't
slept in days, or was in terrible pain NOW. They told the
pharmacist when he kept insisting this was for post -operation
pain that "They had 800 other claims in front of them, and
couldn't do anything".

Then I got home to the find that dishwasher installer said he couldn't
do the job. The cabinet and counter tops were damaged and falling
apart and were substandard. There was no way to brace it in without
it falling out. I knew the kitchen needed work, but now my great
bargain dishwasher is going to cost $1000 in new cabinets and
counters along with the electrical and water lines run. And he
can't come back to do the real estimate until next Thursday....

So I'm in pain with no relief, the cold is worse today, still have to
do dishes by hand while not feeling well, and I'm going to be another
$1000 poorer. Ugh. Things are definitely not looking up in the short
term.

No photos today. I look just like yesterday only now my entire neck
is a bright greenish-yellow. The body needs a lesson in color.
It produces some of the weirdest and most unpleasant colors!

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

The Blues

I sure hope this turns around soon. I'm pretty depressed,
but I suppose that is normal too. I've been fighting the
pain and the sickness for 5 days now and I've got nothing
left. But I've heard that people often go through a tough
time after having this kind of surgery.

You did something good for yourself, that was supposed to
make you feel better about yourself. Instead, you look
like hell, and feel even worse.
I obviously need some sleep.

Purple and Yellow for all!

The eye bruises are really dark - impressive!
The side photo shows the whole side of my face and neck is
now kind of a yellow purple. My ears are still huge!
I have "boxer" ears. The sport - not the dog!




Tired, hungry, and bored - I must be getting better!

I can't tell if day 5 is better or not! I still have my cold,
though it might be a little less severe. The bruising is
really cranking up. Both sides of my face are yellow bruises,
as is most of my neck. I'm really tired most of the time.

I did manage to get out of the house and go to the store
for a bit to do a little late Christmas shopping. No one
even looked at me weird. I look like a beating victim -
Minnesotans are just too polite! I wanted to frighten a
few people. I was really weak the couple of hours I was
out and had to sleep when I got home.

Sleeping is still not good. I sleep about 2-3 hours at a
time at which point the pressure on the staples and stitches
hurts too much and I have to get up and apply ice packs to
everything and take more ibuprophen. I see the doctor
tomorrow, I don't know if any staples will come out at
that point. They weren't kidding about this recovery may
take about 2 weeks. I think it would be faster if I wasn't
fighting the cold at the same time. Ho-hum. Not much else.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Overall, looking more human....

I'm beginning to look more like myself again. I can't really tell
what the neck will look like, it is still very puffy, about 1/2
again it's normal size. I guess that is one way to fill the skin...
The right side of my face is mostly yellow and purple now and the
ears are just starting to come down in size.


weird eye bruises

The wierdest bruises I have are these purple lines that come straight
out from the corners of my eys. It looks like a purple pencil line.


She Lives!

I think my cold, pain level, swelling and bruising all peaked
at about the same time last night. It was a tough night - and
I finally managed to keep down a Vicaden pain pill this
morning at got some sleep. Mostly the staples are hurting.
I felt around in my hair, and there are something like 20
staples in there! I feel like a large office document...

I'm feeling a bit better today. I can sit up for a couple
hours at a time, and managed to eat more. Chewing is still
a challenge, so I'm still on soft stuff to eat. What a
diet plan! I lost 5 lbs in 5 days. I really don't recommend
getting a cold and surgery at the same time as a diet plan...

I sat out in the sun for 5 minutes today. It felt really
good. I've been living in a cave too long! Well the lab at
work is sort of like a cave... I don't get outside much.

I ran out of my gypsy cold care tea on Christmas, but I
found that ginger tea with honey, lemon, and cayenne pepper
is a really good substitute! For Christmas dinner today,
I had macaroni with cheese and tuna. I put parsley in it
to make it look festive!

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Next year, I'm really getting a pony for Christmas...

I've never actually had a black eye before, and now I have 2
beautiful ones! The neck is just starting to bruise, along
with the sides of my face. And my ears are HUGE. They are so
puffed up, it is hard to imagine wearing earings again.




2 shiners to be proud of!

Woo-hoo! The swelling and bruising is really maxing out.
I HAVE to think of a better story to go with these
pictures. I must have had a titanic battle with evil
superpowers or something! Come on, having neck skin
pulled up, is just not cool!

This is why no one can bribe me with bad pictures of
myself. I post them myself! Someday I'll look at these
and wonder "What was I thinking? Where is my vanity?"

Anyway, I am really, really swollen and bruised, and my
face and ears hurt a lot. Strangely my neck hurts the
least of anything. I finally got to wash my hair, and
immediately fell asleep from the exertion. I can't sit up
for more than an hour at a time, and it is getting really
boring. I can't even stay awake to play video games or read.
I still have my cold, as bad as ever which is really
making this healing thing even harder.

The doctor called me a bit ago to see how I was doing. We
both are going to do a lot more research on pain medications.
I have to find a different solution to the narcotic ones, if
I ever have another operation. I just couldn't bear to go
through that kind of pain again.

I think the doctor is like me, always researching, and looking
for something new. I just wish we had found it before this.

My big plans for Christmas Eve tonight, is to have spaghetti
for dinner. I love spaghetti, and I think I might be able to
chew it. I managed a baked potato for lunch!

Merry Christmas Eve, everybody!

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Yeah, I've Been In A Fight - And I Won!

Day 2 - bandages are off, and the bruising is starting on my
neck and both sides of the cheeks.

Why the heck am I bruised up to my eyeballs? It was my neck
that got worked on? Now if I can think of a good story why I
look like that! (I'm thinking of a story where I was battling
Ninja Lumberjacks...) They haven't let me wash my hair yet
because of the incisions in the hairline. Eeewww! Tomorrow!



Gross Star-Wars Character! - Day 1

Me, this morning, with full head bandages. Cayenne says I look like
some kind of bizzare Star Wars alien. (Yes those things hanging at
my ears are blood drains.) Sorry! I thought it was strange they
make you go out in public with those gross things and kept trying
to tuck them in my coat...



Holy **!!%$, did that ever hurt!

So just because you can document something, doesn't mean you
should! But I am a chronic documentarian so here goes, gross
pictures and all... Things you don't want to know about having your
neck skin pulled up after big weight loss.......

I will never do that kind of operation without at least 'twilight
anethesia'. I just had local which meant lots of novicane type stuff
injected all over my neck and head. That was more pain than I
wanted for about 1/2 hour. The woman before me didn't make it,
and demanded General anethesia. It didn't occur to me that I could.

The operation took over 3 1/2 hours, and was really boring. Not a
lot of pain, but not anything resembling fun. When the novicane
wore off I was in very intense pain for the next 17 hours. I was
taking 1 Vicaden an hour, and it still wouldn't stop the pain. It
made me very, very nauseous. I could only eat oatmeal and liquids
and couldn't keep them down. I didn't sleep at all. It was an agonizing
night, that wouldn't have been too bad for someone who can tolerate
narcotic pain medicine. But I was seriously questioning myself for
putting myself through this much pain.

Went to the doc this morning to have drains removed, and he gave
me anti-nausea medicine. Which I threw up in the car - (I was
prepared with barf-bag), but it didn't make me think much of anti-
nausea meds! However when he removed the pressure bandages,
I could deal with the pain. Today I've just been using ibuprophen
and ice packs. I slept almost the whole day, and can keep liquids down.

At the moment, I'm not sure I should have done this. It bothered me
so much having my sagging skin on my neck, that it seemed that if
there was a problem, it should be corrected! (I'm kind of like that.).
I'll probably change my mind when I heal up, but right now, it was
pretty horrible. AND I still have my stupid cold. You try blowing your
nose with staples and stitches behind your ears!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Go...

I came home early from work today. The cold was dragging me down,
and there was freezing rain and snow happening outside. It is weird
to look out and see white on everything. Only an inch or so, but it is
clinging to all the trees. Amazing we made it to December 21st with
no snow on the ground!

I looked up the sleeping pills the doc gave me, and they are related
to vallium. No wonder I've been so vague! I still worry, but in a very
abstract way. No food or drink after midnight tonight. I wonder why
that always bothers me. I never eat after midnight! It's just that I
can't. Oh how I dislike those limitations. What if I wanted to?

I'm going to be mighty hungry when this is over, though. Surgery
isn't until 10 am, and I'm not done until 1:30 p.m. And I probably
will only be able to have juice and liquids for awhile. Then I'll wish
I ate after midnight. :)

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Ready, set.....

I thought I was going to fight the cold off - it just never settled in.
Until last night. Sore throat and runny nose and much body aches
today. This is going to suck. I don't think it is bad enough to stop
the surgery. It is still a mild cold, as colds go. And maybe the pain
killers for that will make me forget the body aches. I'll have
plenty else to ache. Might as well get it all over with at once!

Checked in with the pre-op nurse at the surgery center today. The
doctor gave me some anti-anxiety sleeping pills that I started taking
last night. I did indeed sleep and they didn't make me groggy, but
I felt so "vague" when I woke up. Like I just couldn't tune in all day.
Weird. But I guess I wasn't anxious....

I started the pills for bruising today, as they want lots of that
in your system before they start. Then it is the anti-swelling meds,
the pain killers and the antibiotics. A medicinal wonderland of drugs.
So I guess I'm as ready as I can be. Hope the cold dies down
tomorrow, and I get all my work done. (Of course there is no way
to get all my work done, it is like cleaning - it is never done!)

Boy, there just is nothing interesting to say about being sick and
having surgery. Except for those first panic stricken moments
before they start, it will be a very boring 3 1/2 hours. What do
you do for that long while they are operating? No one ever has
surgery stories where they were captured by gorillas, or the
doctors had to fight off pirates while operating.....

Monday, December 18, 2006

Getting Ready

Today was a catch up and get ready day. Making sure everything is
taken care of before Thursday night. At work, making sure manuals
are corrected and tests are in order. At home, payed bills, went
through mail, did finances, filled prescriptions for drugs for Friday.
I'm as ready as I am going to be.

3 days to go, and really getting creeped out about the surgery. I
don't know why this one bothers me. I did fine through all the others.
Maybe because I know what I'm in for and I'm just not ready to
stop and heal for 2 to 3 weeks. This should be a busy, party time of
year - not lay down and take lots of pain pills time of year.

My friend from Japan is in town (the one we are going to see in
March), and I haven't managed to see him yet, hopefully tomorrow.
I'm glad Japan is looming on my personal horizon, it gives me an
"after" to the surgery. It is good to have a fun goal beyond that.
If that is all I had to look forward to, well, that would just suck!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

I can't afford myself, when sick!

I took it pretty easy this weekend, trying to fight off the cold. It has
stayed pretty mild, mostly suffering from extreme tiredness.
Unfortunately I wandered into the kitchen, and with Cay and I both
being sick, the dishes were piled everywhere.

I put on my coat and went to the local closeout appliance store and
bought a dishwasher! The old one broke about a year ago, and I
thought, how hard is it to do the dishes? Well, when sick it becomes
a very low priority, so I got tired of dealing with it. It did involve
removing a cabinet to see if it would fit (stupid thing to do, with
our low energy). Since the old one was a portable that never
worked well, it seemed to me it was time to put in a built in one.

The dishwasher will arrive on Thursday, but I'm not sure when the
installer can come out. He has to run the water and electrical to it.
Hopefully before the end of the year, we will be free of the mundane
task of dish washing! I'm all for the machines doing it for me. Now
if I could just find a machine to clean the house.

Not much else. My lovely business cards for my show arrived, and
they are really nice. I just have to remember to hand them out...
Not likely. I can't even remember to take my work business cards
to customer sites, where they really want them so they can
remember who you are.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Crabby Cold

So the one thing I couldn't afford to do this week is get sick before
surgery, so of course I am sick. Cay got a cold last week and I've
been hoping I wouldn't get it. I went in to work today, and felt the
cold descend on me as I felt worse by the hour. Crabbiness!

Hopefully I'll feel better by Friday, everyone who has had the cold
says it is a pretty low grade one. I'd better feel better, not good to
go into surgery already run down! I also can't take any vitamins
or supplements to fight it off. I had to quit all that last Tuesday
so I wouldn't bleed too much. I can't even take aspirin and I have
quite the headache and feel all sore and achey. Bleah.

I went out with the gang from the old job last night, and had a great
time. Only three of them left there, we caught up with the one who
just went on to a new job. I still adore those guys and feel closer to
them than anyone I've ever met at any other job. I hope we all
have wonderful futures. We earned it! :)

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Huh? Where did the week go?

Good heavens! How did it get to be Thursday already? And where
have I been? I've just been working and sleeping, mostly. I didn't
even log onto my computer for days. Just didn't feel like it. I slept
for 10 hours last night and almost feel human today.

This afternoon we had enforced partyment at my bosses house.
It was actually a lot of fun. We really have been working too hard
and they decided we needed a break. We did!

I had my final pre-op appointment with the doctor on Tuesday and
I've been blessed as healthy and ready for surgery next Friday.
Nothing serious - just some more skin pulling-up and removal left
over from having lost over 100 lbs a few years back. But this involves
much cutting. I'm not so cool with the cutting....

It is kind of tough on you and there is lots of bruising and pain.
The recovery takes about 2 weeks. Then I have to start working out
again getting my walking legs back for Japan! Pooh, and I was just
making some headway in that department. Always starting over.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Philosophy 1101

After the last guy I interviewed mentioned Alan Watts, and Cayenne
has been bugging me to listen to Alan Watts lately, I finally listened
to one of his lectures that I had been carrying around on my ipod
for the last month.

He is indeed a most delightful lecturer. While I am not sure I agree
with him, he is definitely worth a listen. I'll have to fit a few more
lectures in. The only time I have to listen to anything is while I am
on the exercise bike or the treadmill, but that is good. If I am
hearing a good show, I exercise longer. (I usually try to catch up
on Cayenne's comedy podcast, but he has been so darned proliferous
over the last 2 years, I am only caught up through last June.)

For the kind of show I do, I really should be reading more philosophy.
The other one I try to read occasionally is William James. He has
excellent ideas, but it is hard to read for extended periods. I would
have liked it better if I could hear his lectures, but then he lived
100 years ago. I suppose I'll just have to read the books.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

The Muse with the red foam nose...

A leisurely morning, and then a foray to a mall. (I hadn't quite done
any Christmas shopping yet, and there were a couple of gifts that
I sorta had to buy and get shipped off to the east coast.) It is getting
kind of late for that.... no point in being proactive :)

It has been rather quiet this weekend. We haven't gotten any
email at all - a really unusual state of affairs. Considering Cayenne
and I get at least 50 emails or so a day, each - one can only assume
our internet server's email is down. But it saves lots of time,
that way. The email on Monday, when they fix the server will
be scary.

David came over and we talked about filming next weekend and
did some sketch writing for the video comedy show. The ideas
are starting to flow again; the muse has refreshed the well after
a 6 month vacation.

I'm trying to picture our muse. Probably has clown shoes and is
completely insane.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

What it is like, not to be at work

I did an interview with a 67 year old man from the east U.S. It was a
lot of fun, he kept me on my toes! He has some wild ideas, and I
ended up throwing out most of my questions, and just tried to follow
where he was going.

Then a friend came over to play with our new Nintendo Wii console.
He was massively impressed with it, and had to try everything.
I whupped his butt at bowling. I really am a killer Wii bowler. So
funny. In real life, I am the "gutter ball queen!"

It was nearly 50 degrees out today, in December! We all kept going
outside to play with the dogs, just to be out there. Spectacular.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Ah, the endless web....

I managed to while away most of the evening, designing and ordering
business cards on the web, for my Uncomfortable Questions podcast.
My, cards have come a long way since I last had them made at
Kinko's print shop for my short lived stained glass business.

It was really fun to pick out multiple colors (red, white, vivid blue and
teal on a black card), and do my own design! (o.k., Cayenne had to
help me with the logo - a microphone with sweat drops) - I'm not
that good an artist. But a little clip art, and his Photoshop touch, and
voila! A show logo!

I only bought 100 cards, in case I really blew it, but I can reorder -
(they save the design) - or re-edit the design or make an entirely
new one. Endless choice and shopping combined. I love the web!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Surgery Musings and Codeine Memories

Another day, another $1.50. O.k., they probably pay me more than
that. At least I hope they do! I've been making very painful headway
with AIX over the last month. It makes Linux look easy. I keep
poking at it while trying to do my real work. I don't suppose anyone
out there knows how to do persistent binding with AIX on a SAN?
No? Good. Neither do I....

Hmmm. What else? I have surgery in 2 weeks, and I try not to think
about it. It is minor but kind of tough-on-you surgery, and I try not
to dwell on the fact that they will be cutting me up while I'm awake.
I've had surgery awake, 3 times, in fact, but that was while I was
heavily sedated on happy drugs and had nerve blocks. This time,
none of that. I find myself thinking of it at night, and getting a
little freaked. I firmly make myself think about something else!

The recovery is supposed to take 2 full weeks, which is why I
scheduled it over our usual Christmas shutdown at work - would
give me 12 days without taking vacation. But of course, now there
is a crisis and they want me back in a week. I'm not even sure that
is possible. Unless they give me very, very good drugs. But all I'm
getting is Tylonol 3 (with codeine) because that is the only narcotic
painkiller I can tolerate without throwing up.

Id rather have codeine straight. When I was sick in Australia, I got
cough syrup laced with codeine and it made me a very happy person.
I didn't care a whit that I was sick. Of course when I was driving,
I calmly noted, "Gee, the highway is turning somersaults and
doing loop-de-loops!". They wouldn't let me drive after that....

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

The Worth of Work

I made some headway at work (finally), and felt pretty good about it.
And that makes me laugh. I work hard, put all my time and a large
part of my life towards it, and I feel like I've done well!

But it really doesn't matter all that much, does it? It is just work.
It isn't love, or friendship, or enlightenment, happiness or health.
And yet it takes priority over all of that.

We will sacrifice our well-being, our time with friends or family,
our own interests in life, for that. But it is only work. It is just
something to do. Why do we do that? Just for money? Or is our
self-worth that tied up in our jobs?

I suppose your self-worth is measured by whatever it is you are
doing at the moment. Even if it is making a mud pie. Or building
a skyscraper. Humans! Go figure.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Winter Blahs

Ok. So winter really hasn't started. This week is the first real signs
of winter around here. It is 7 degrees out, and we had our first
visible dusting of snow this morning. I think we were hoping it
might forget to be winter this year. It certainly forgot to be
November.

Today was lots more of that working stuff, and getting home late.
Why is it that any car I have ever had, never has the heat kick in
until I am pulling up to my house. It doesn't matter if I live 30
minutes or 15 minutes from work, or what car I am driving -
always the same - no heat!

I want a heated snowmobile suit to wear on the cold, dark
drive home....

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Did it!

New show is finally up! Get the Dan Interview at:
www.uncomfortable-questions.com.

He is a delight of Jewish angst :) I loved Dan, and he is local,
so I hope to see him again at one of my parties. He was given
his big break into his career as a record producer of stand-up
comedians by none other than my favorite comedian -
Lewis Black. Lewis has a delivery style that amazes me, if you
haven't seen him - see him!

Disconnected

I haven't written in a couple of days. I was trying to make today's
deadline at work....and didn't make it. I'm not going in today.
I was there for quite a bit yesterday, and now I'm all tired and
burnt out. If I don't take off today, I'll be worthless the rest of
the week. I have some sense of self preservation (though
probably not enough of it).

Obviously I have nothing new to report - just days of working
hard, and that is about it. Last night I did a little shopping looking
for a really warm pair of gloves. My hands have been numb from
the drive home at night and that is only at about 10 degrees.
It will only get colder from here! (I did find gloves - yay!).

Today I WILL edit the next U.Q. show and try to get it posted.
We also talked with David, and it looks like we are finally starting
to think about doing another video show of
Channel Surfing Wipeout. We took 6 months off from filming,
and we needed it. Hopefully the silly, creativity muse has returned!

The newspaper had an article yesterday about Musings on the
Soul. It was awful and lame. I could put together a better discussion
on people's thoughts about what the soul is. Maybe I'll do that for
my show with my audience. I know they could be more interesting!

Thursday, November 30, 2006

But I'm not tired yet....

Bah! Why am I not in bed yet? I have to get up early for my first
pre-op doctor appointment tomorrow. But I just got home from
work not too long ago....

First work deadline is this Sunday. I suppose there will be work
that must be done this weekend. Haven't had to do that in awhile.
Well, I suppose it builds character or something!

I've got a great show to edit - I wanted to put it up Sunday.
Not enough time! If you can buy a vowel on game shows,
can you buy some time? How much would it cost?

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Preparations and Leavings

Hey-ho! I'm feeling a lot better, and plugging along. Work is going
o.k., I'm starting to build up on the treadmill so I'll be able to walk
in Japan (my friends tell me there will be a LOT of walking!). Also
starting to study the Japanese again. I've forgotten all of the verbs.
You sort of need a smattering of those in a sentence....

I just got the news that a very dear friend from my old job is moving
on to brighter horizons. Wow, not much left of the old place. I like it
when everyone finds new places to go, more places for all of us to go
in the future. You pretty much get jobs here by knowing someone
at another company that you used to work with.

Hopefully I'll get the energy to do more editing this weekend on my
show, and get some more interviews scheduled. More motivation
would be nice. Wonder where I can buy some? :)

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

The red wine secret!

I did find the answer for why the red wine was helping with my pain.
The same stuff in it that is good for your heart, is also what led them
to the Cox-2 inhibitor studies - which was a popular drug for
arthritis pain. (the drug though, has mostly been pulled from the
market - had a lot of bad side effects).

So I continued with the glass of wine at night and added in a good
herbal supplement that had grape seed extract, grape skin extract
and red wine extract.

It worked really well! The pain subsided about 75% and I am able to
get around and exercise again. What a relief. It was getting pretty
bad. I don't really match arthritis, so I don't know what is the
problem, but it is some kind of inflammatory condition. Hopefully
I'll be able to keep it at bay this way! So far, it is doing the job.

That's been my life - one continuous health adventure! Oh well,
It has made me pretty savvy about nutrition and alternative
medicines. I don't know how much of a benefit that is, it really
is just about survival and what one has to do to have a decent
quality of life. There had better be a test on this, after I die -
I've spent so much of my life learning how to feel better!

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Can this be Minnesota?

I'm still not feeling good. I've felt awful all weekend. The arm is
getting worse but I'll probably ignore it until after Japan. If it is
a rotator cuff tear, there will be that awful surgery again. Worth
putting off for awhile! The daily pain is a low grade thing, I can
ignore it for now. The asthma is barely at bay, the medicines are
so-so, and the body aches are awful!

I wish it was one thing that was wrong, and I could fix it. But I'm not
really sure why the health has been getting worse the last few
months. Darn. I hope this isn't just getting old. This really isn't
much fun.

It was 52 degrees again today, so I did force myself to go out and do
some shopping, just to get out there and move around. It was so nice
to be out in just a light jacket at the end of November. Driving past
Lake Harriet, the paths were packed with people out enjoying one
last nice weekend.

Which was a good thing, the stores were almost empty. I thought
they would be crowded being the weekend after Thanksgiving. I
bought myself a pink Nintendo DS for the trip to Japan (something
to do on the plane), and a black down vest from Lands End (in
preparation for the cold weather looming next week.
I like shopping. I should be rich! :)

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Money for Sight

Wow. It was 52 degrees out on Nov. 25th! Usually we are buried
under blizzards by now. This is better! :)

Feeling pretty awful today. Completely tired and fried. What good
is sleep when it doesn't make you recover? Why in a week do I feel
great some days and 100 years old on others? I'm the same
person, same body, same everything. Why the wild variation?
I guess as long as the good days are more numerous than the
bad, I'm still doing o.k.

The biggest excitement of today was going in for my eye exam
and getting new glasses. How fun is that? I always have to get the super-high-index-progressive-extra-everything glasses that
always end up costing me about $450, even with my coverage
from work. And these cost me exactly that, no surprise. But what
there is of the frames (they are rimless) are a nice green metal,
but crazy expensive!

I just am not sure why two sticks of metal and a nose piece cost
$325. Oh wait - it had a fancy bend in it - that must be what
cost so much! They hire a master metal-bender craftsman, who
is the only one in the world who can do it just that way ;-)

Friday, November 24, 2006

Web Life

Bah! Working on your day off, is just like work! I put in a full day,
and got some stuff done. Nothing miraculous, like I thought would
happen, not being interrupted all the time to go to meetings :)

My arm has healed up some and the red wine trick is still holding.
Not so much pain, and I was able to exercise last night and tonight.
Better living through chemistry... or at least alcohol!

I got up yesterday thinking about the 2 band members in England
that I had interviewed last spring from 3 Blind Mice. I don't know
why I was thinking of them. I went to their web page to see if their
new CD was out. It wasn't, not until early next year. But I did go to
itunes and buy their last 2 CD's. They really are so good, it is
hard to believe they aren't famous! There were some stellar cuts
on those CD's. Anyways, check them out at www.catsaway.com

It is funny how I keep an eye on all the folks I've interviewed when
I can. I drop into their blogs or check their web pages or podcasts.
They are like a big extended family that I like to know that is
thriving and doing well. The web, and podcasting, is such a strange
place. Many of us have pseudo lives on them, with people we have
never actually met. Nothing in our past has prepared us for this
new kind of life. And yet somehow many of us adapted easily to
it, like it was the most natural thing in the world.

Reminds me of dogs and cars. All my dogs have loved riding in cars,
and to stick their heads out the windows in the breeze. It never
seems to occur to them that this large rushing metal monster should
be alien to them. They just like it, and accept it.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

...but the food isn't bad....

We did our Thanksgiving duty. Cay made a very good lower-carb
meal that was quite good! Turkey, mashed sweet potatoes, and even
stuffing made with low-carb bread, mushrooms and wild rice. My
blood glucose levels stayed well within range. David even brought
some homemade all-wheat bread to try. Those guys can cook! :)

I also found out something great. We had some red wine with
dinner, and all the unusual amounts of pain I've been in for the
last month went away after two glasses! I think I'm going to
start with the glass of wine after dinner thing. I don't know why
it fixed the pain, but it is a welcome relief. I wonder why it worked?

And tomorrow, even though we are supposed to have it off, I'm
going to work. There is a deadline for next Friday that we hope to
make, so many of us are going in. It doesn't seem to matter where
I go in the computer industry, it always comes down to working
on holidays... I guess it just proves we can be bought. They give
us lots of money, and we give up our lives.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Holidays are not the same...

Thanksgiving already? Pondering the holiday seasons. Growing up,
in my estranged family, we pretty much ignored the holidays. No get
togethers, no special meals (Mom couldn't cook anyways, so this was
probably a good thing), no presents, no celebration.

When I went away to college I totally embraced the holidays. I put
up Christmas trees, bought presents for everyone I knew.
In my mid-twenties when I lived in large houses, I really expanded
the celebrations. I gathered up all the people I knew who couldn't
get home for the holidays, or who's parents had died, or didn't have
anything special to do. I had what I called the "Orphans Thanksgiving"
for my friends - sit down dinner for 24 people, and at the "Orphans
Christmas" the tree overflowed with many small presents for all,
and food and drink flowed all day long.

As I got older and the friends moved, died, or started different
lives, there have been less and less people who needed somewhere
to go. Now it is I need somewhere to go! I don't do anything for
the holidays. These days it is just Cayenne, David and I. We make
a small meal and take it easy. It is good that I have that small
family left, but I miss the dozens of people and big party times.

Getting old shouldn't be lonely. If anything I should have made
more friends because I have had more years to do so. Why are
there so many less? It is so backwards from the way it should be.

I don't see anyway to turn it around. People my age all have
families, and somewhere else to go. No one is an orphan anymore.

Except for the three of us. The eternal "3 monkeys" (us three
lived together for years, and we are all born under the Chinese
sign of the Monkey). So hail to the "3 Monkeys Thanksgiving!"

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

...and Tuesdays aren't much different

I can't say that today was any different than yesterday. Lots of work,
long hours, etc., etc. As far ahead as I can see, there is lots more
work and big projects. It isn't a bad thing, job security, I guess. I still
like the place I work, but I would rather not work! :)

But since independent wealth has not chosen me, I guess it is as good
a place to be, as I could want. I do think a lot about the things I think
I should be doing, but don't have the time. I come home so late now,
that there just isn't time for much before bed.

Eat dinner, exercise if I'm really motivated, play a little Final
Fantasy XII, write my blog, go to bed. To think that some people
actually make a difference with their lives. I think I'm just staying
out of everyone's way, at the best. Isn't much of a meaningful life.

Monday, November 20, 2006

A typical Monday

Eeeww. A lovely weekend wiped out in a 10 hour workday. I hurt
all over, my left arm is screwed up, may have ripped a tendon?
(This has been bothering me for a month, but I keep hoping it will
get better, I'm not up for another rotator cuff surgery - it took me
6 months to recover from the last one).

I'm tired as heck, and I didn't achieve anything! I did a lot of things
today but didn't seem to make headway on anything. Ick.
I don't mind working hard if I get something done, or get that
feeling of a job well done.

I think I did a job under done.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Wii hunt +15 hours, or My Glorious Geek Day!

So yesterday, Cay and I started talking about when we were getting
a Nintendo Wii gaming console. We were going to pool our Christmas
money from the various folks and buy one, figuring we'd never get
one at launch. Then we looked it up online, watched the ads, and
realized we had to have one RIGHT NOW!

Since today was the launch date, we came up with our strategy for
snagging one today. We researched one of the less popular Target
stores. They were going to have 42 units this morning. They opened
at 8 am. So we got up at 6 am, and Cay drove off to the store,
getting there at 6:45. People don't line up much in Minnesota, so
we figured that was early enough.

I took up my battle station at home with the cell phone and a
computer to look up options, in case Plan A failed. Well it did -
Cay got there and there were already 42 people in line. So we
sent him off to the Best Buy which opened at 9 am. This would
be 2 hours before open. No go - too many people. So it was off
to Circuit City which opened at 10.

He got there 2 1/2 hours before they opened, and the sign on the
door said they had 19 units. He was number 15 in line! Score!
So the plan was he would stand on line, and I'd bring coffee and
food (no breakfast for us yet!) if they didn't do the vouchers soon.

All the places here came out a couple hours ahead of time and handed
out numbered vouchers to the line, so everyone could go home and
get warm (and not stampede or scare the customers) and come
back at opening. They came out at 8am and he got his voucher.
Good thing, it was 19 degrees out and everyone was freezing.

So at 10 am we went to get the prize! So funny, neither of us have
ever waited in line for anything, I guess everyone should do it once.
Just for the thrill of getting the treasure after working hard for it.
It reminded me of those old treasure hunting jungle movies. Only
done high-tech by a bunch of geeks :)

We set it up and played with the Wii for the next 9 hours. With
some breaks for errands and food. David came over and played too.
Cay, being the artist, created rather good Mii's (look-alikes for
ourselves which get inserted into the sports games.)

I turned out to be really good at the bowling and golf games (neither
which I do in real life). Tennis was fun - we were leaping all over
the living room, trying to hit the ball with the remote. The Wii is
tremendous fun, completely intuitive for non-gamers, and good
exercise. Good job Nintendo, and thanks! I haven't had that much
fun in ages.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Me Time

I suppose I did the therapeutic things today. Nothing!

I ate spaghetti for breakfast, because I wanted to. I took a hot
bath. I read Japanese comics. I skipped an absinthe tasting
party and spent 2 hours in my favorite clothing store and looked
at everything, and bought two fluffy turtleneck sweaters.
I got lost on the way home and just kept going to see where
I would end up.

I just needed to be alone, and do my own thing. I guess it helped.
I'm feeling much more - well, grounded, I guess for the lack of a
better term. Sometimes you just need those kind of days.
My personal recipe for "burnout recovery" :)

Friday, November 17, 2006

The personality of too much work

I notice my vow to blog every day is stuttering a bit. Some nights
I just don't care. I work like a fiend all day, come home, and I don't
even want to log on to the computer. So I don't. For those that know
me, this is pretty uncharacteristic of me!

I think it is weird that one's personality changes depending on the
level of overwork. When I'm bored, I am extremely social and
want to talk to people, see my friends, do some writing and lots
of email, go out a lot more, and do a lot more fun things.

If I'm working too much and trying to do too much, I get less and
less social. I don't want to see anyone, I don't want to write. Do we
really have a limited supply of allowable input, and when we exceed
that, does one start shutting the world out, just for a little quiet
or personal time? It seems like I push people away a lot more
when I have no time left to myself.

I suppose it is a reasonable coping mechanism and everyone needs
their own time. But on the other hand, life is so short; the time to
be with others is so short - it seems vaguely wrong to cut people
out of your life. It's not like there will be another chance. Why is
being alone so important? I don't feel like I gain anything by it.

Then I get mad that my life whittles down to mostly work.
Is that how I want to spend the last years of my life? Shouldn't
I be doing something more important?

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

They pay me to do this...

Ohmygod am I beat! Work just sucked the life out of me today.
I swear it gets harder every day. And some customer/partners
are coming tomorrow and I'll be spending the next 2 days with
them. And going out to dinner with them tomorrow. The things
one has to do for business. O.k., the dinner part isn't so bad....

Otherwise, I really have nothing. So tired! By 6pm I had a
headache so bad, I thought I'd die. And I still stayed at
work for another 2 hours researching the problem I've been
working on for a week. Still no closer. Bleah!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Arriving

Whew! Work has been a challenge. I'm glad to be home....
As I was driving today, I realized something odd.
I have arrived.

In my old blog, I think I explained that I had been pretty shut down
emotionally most of my life. It made me very stable (and boring),
but I never allowed myself to feel anything. When 2 close friends
died in their early 40's, it triggered something in me.

I decided to stop being afraid of my emotions and learn how to be
a complete person. I ripped open the doors and faced them,
determined never to back down, no matter how rough it got.
(It did get pretty rough....)

But after 5 years of allowing every emotion, and living them as
they came, I experienced a lot - love, joy, anger, frustration, and
a lot of depression. And I came out the other side. I'm pretty
stable again, and no longer a mess a raging emotions.

I learned to accept them as they arrive, acknowledge them, deal
with them appropriately, and move on. Sure, I'm not perfect at
it, but I feel like I've reached a new level.

I wonder what's left to conquer? One by one, I've been picking
off my fears in life, beating them, and going on to the next one.
Hopefully only a few more left... And then what do you do?
Die or something? or maybe just go to Japan :)

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Another opening, another show....

Another marathon editing session. Actually this one wasn't so bad.
I spent 8 hours editing today and the new Uncomfortable Questions
is up: The Sheila Interview.

She was a fun and engaging Canadian student of biology. She's 22
years old, and so fresh and full of life. I would like to be 22 again,
looking forward to life and the possibilities ahead. I should talk
to more folks in their young twenties, to remind me not to be so
cynical :) I'm a little jealous of that feeling of looking forward
to all that life has ahead.

I really think there should be reincarnation, so I can feel that
again - and you should be able to remember each lifetime, so
you can make different choices each time. But then again, I
don't recall any God Force asking for my opinion, so it probably
doesn't matter.....

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Japan Ho!

Breathe, 1..2...3... I just booked the plane tickets to Japan!!!!!
I can't believe it. No more waffling, we are going. We have seats
and everything. I got awfully excited when I pressed that "buy"
button. I have to keep remembering to breathe....

We aren't going until the end of March, but it just seems so, so,
um, real! The dreaming is done, now it is actually going to
happen. Wow. I can't be cavalier about this. I'm excited!!

I also had another show interview today, this time in person.
All the ones this year have been via Skype on the internet.
This was a lovely friend-of-a-friend who came to the last big
barbeque bash at the house. He is a record producer who
does the recording for several notable stand up comedians.

He was a fascinating person, and we talked for hours, and
pledged to try to get together socially in the future. What fun.
My show brought me a new friend. Every time I wonder if I
should end the show, I do the next interview and have such
a great time, I remember why I do it. All the interviews are
like that. I guess I just really like people! Now if only I could
automate the arduous editing process....

Friday, November 10, 2006

Long days and lame excuses

I sort of forgot to post yesterday. I came home from a really long day
at work and started playing the Final Fantasy XII video game right
away. And just kept going. It was just the sort of release I needed
after work! But then it was long past my bed time.

I didn't exercise, I didn't read mail, I didn't blog. It was probably
good for me :)

Today was just as tough. I think it is going to stay that way for
the next 3 months. Hmmm. Just like the old days at the last
job. Except they really are nicer to me and more appreciative.
And the developers are great and really care (and work
hard to fix whatever messes I can find for them).

The hard work is definitely interfering with my motivation to
do my show. I'm toying with the idea of doing the next 4 interviews
with the people that people have contacted me already, and then
we'll see what kind of shape I'm in. I may end it at show 50.
Or maybe I'll recover and go on. Or maybe I'll do a different
sort of show. Always an adventure. I never know what I'm
going to do!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Whatever!

I feel like I'm going at 1000 miles an hour again. Work was impossibly
busy, trying to do it all at once. My interviewee for tonight and I
missed connecting up. And now I'm just too darned tired.

I went for a walk, just because it was 65 degrees out, at night,
on November 8th! It hit 72 degrees today. I want it to stay like this!
But they are predicting possibly significant snow late Thursday.
So from 72 to snow in two days. Ugh.

Other than that, I got nothing. Everything else is the pretty much
the same. I lost 5 pounds and got stuck again. I'm tired and not
sleeping well, the asthma medicine isn't really doing anything,
and the elections are over. Maybe it is time to book those tickets
to Japan.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

No Time?

So now work really kicks into high gear. I'm on a project of, er,
timely
essence until the end of January. There goes Christmas!
We usually shut down for X-mas through New Years, but I don't
think it will happen this year. Pooh! I only got to enjoy that break
for 1 year.

Otherwise, there just doesn't seem to be enough time for anything.
I had to get up an hour early just to vote! Getting up early is quite
a sacrifice for me, and I've been doing it a lot lately - for meetings
and on the business trip. If I won the lottery, I think I would just
sleep in for the first 6 months...

I have an interview for the show tomorrow night to fit in somehow.
And it has been 3 weeks since I put up the last show. I seem to be
drifting to a monthly show now - I can't believe I used to do it
weekly. I have to find some time to edit them too, in my spare
time... Weird how your life just fills back up, when you thought
you were being bored.

Monday, November 06, 2006

...and then back to normal....

It was a Monday. Too many meetings and a very frustrating day at
work. I'm really glad it's over. I didn't punch anyone or yell at anyone,
so I guess I did o.k. Things are back to normal.

I think the next time I would drive to Chicago like that would have to
be for God himself, or someone at that level :) Way too much work!
I think I will aspire to be a lazy person. I'm glad I went, but snoozing
on the couch sounds much more attractive at the moment.

I still hurt all over, so I suppose I should go force myself to work out.
I still think it sucks that the only cure for stiffness and pain, is to do
something you really want least to do when feeling like that.

God must be a really contrary cuss!
So maybe I wouldn't drive to Chicago to see him then....

Sunday, November 05, 2006

....really, really uncomfortable.....

O.k., I'm a sissy. I need some sleep!!!
The Chicago trip was an adventure indeed - which means I'm a total
wreck right now. (Adventure = Uncomfortable, remember?)
I have had 1 hour of sleep in the last 32 hours, and still wont get
to bed for a few more hours, yet....

The 4 of us piled in the car at 1 pm yesterday, and drove to Chicago.
Many miles from Chicago the traffic came to a dead halt. After 20
minutes, we got off on a back road and wound our way through
back streets until we got to the right area. I think we were in a
Polish neighborhood. Kind of fun to see more of Chicago. Thank
goodness for the trusty Road Atlas! We found a parking spot after
a lot of looking. By this time it was 9 pm and we were starved.
(There were minor amounts of snacks from gas stations up to
that point of the day.)

Right across from the club was Penny's Noodle House. That looked
great, (we have continuously complained that Minneapolis needs
a good noodle shop). The food was cheap and huge, totally
wonderful, and pretty healthy. The sauces and dressings were
exquisitely Japanese. We adored the place, and want Minneapolis
to get one even more. I don't think I'd ever cook again!

Then off to the Double Door club. The Welsh band Scritti Politti
(click here- for picture of Scritti Politti) went on about 11 pm,
and it was a very enjoyable show. Afterwards Green Gartside was
just standing by the front so the 4 of us walked up to him and he
came over and chatted with us! He is an amazing sweetheart,
accessible, kind, and we talked about the show and his new band
that he put together from people who lived in his town. Our friend
Kim got a picture of her with Green. She was a happy puppy!
We thanked him for the show, and he shook all our hands. What
a fun ending to the show for us!

Then it was stoke up on lots of coffee, and hit the road back home
by 2 am. It was a challenging drive for the three of us driving.
Driving at night is always fatiguing (trying to see in the dark -
though the full moon helped). We kept trading off when each of
us couldn't focus on the road, anymore. (Or started hallucinating,
or started falling asleep!) We stopped at a diner and had really
bad food for breakfast. Ugh. I wished it were the noodle house
again! We finally got home at about 9:30 am this morning.

So, I think every square inch of my body has disowned me at this
point for no sleep, bad food, standing and walking around for hours,
in between sitting in a car for too many hours. It must have been
a great adventure if you qualify it by how much I hurt!!! :)

Friday, November 03, 2006

Crazed road trip time!

I found something harder than Linux. Getting drivers running on AIX
with no instructions whatsoever. Computing by psychic ability! It's
been a long couple of days.... I always go home after a day like that,
wondering why they pay me. I guess for perserverance in the face
of adversity.

So tomorrow, 4 of us are driving to Chicago to see Scritti Politti, an
80's British band that has reformed and only playing a few places in
the United States. Cay and another friend of ours are huge fans of
theirs, and myself and another friend decided to go along for the
adventure.

It is about a 7 hour drive, so we are taking off at 1, having dinner in
Chicago, seeing the concert, and then deciding then if we are up for
driving back, or if we need to crash in a motel and drive back on
Sunday. My dear friend David has offered to stay here overnight
and wrangle the unruly pets.

Wow, the last time I did the "drive to Chicago to see a show and
drive back in a 24 hour period" was 25 years ago. It really seems
like that was just a few years ago. Therefore, I guess it is time for
another crazed road trip. Why not? Sleep is for sissies!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Thursday Things

My interview for tonight postponed until next Wednesday. A quick
reprieve. I was having a hard time getting up the energy to do the
interview, so it worked out fine. I should edit and put up the next
show that I have recorded this weekend, but 4 of us think we are
driving to Chicago this weekend to see a show. Crazy kids!

It is 26 degrees out right now, so I've spent most of the evening
in front of the woodstove that has a warm and happy fire in it.
This is too darned cold for early November. But it is supposed
to warm back up this weekend and next week. When I drove
to work this morning it was bright and sunny out and it was
also snowing! I'm not sure where it was coming from....

So it is now time to get back to neglecting my life, and play
the video game... Some nut at work scheduled a meeting at
8 am (I usually don't get in until 9:30 am) so I have to get
it all in, and still get some sleep. See ya!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Back to the routine

Ho-hum! Back to the routine of work. There was plenty and I did
some.

I'm still recovering from my trip. I slept over 10 hours last night and
was still very stiff and sore. I did notice that I didn't have any
allergies or asthma in Raleigh, but it flared up again when I got
home. :( No, I don't want to move to Raleigh!

The next 3 months at work are going to be a lot of work, and right
now that makes me tired. Or at least it did until my new equipment
showed up and I started merrily setting it up. New equipment to
learn always makes me happy.

Other than that, got Final Fantasy 12 yesterday and started playing
it. Wow, what a gorgeous game. I promise to neglect everything for
the next few weeks while I play it!

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Adventures are never comfortable....

Woo-Hoo! I'm Back! It was definitely a trip.
No one ever mentions that adventures are usually distinctly
uncomfortable. But they make good stories when they are over.

Let's see, we left Sunday at 3 pm, changed planes in Chicago,
and got to Raleigh at about 9 pm. Plane trip went smoothly,
but long. Also the seats in the little Canadian Regional Air Jet
make you very stiff. More leg room, leather seats, but I think
they forgot the padding. We creaked our way to the car rental
and got a very comfortable mini-van for the 5 of us who were
traveling together. And we were starving! None of us had
eaten since 11 am that morning.

Every place we went to for food was already closed - well, it was
Sunday night. The only place open was Hooters! So we went there.
Actually the food was pretty good :) We didn't get checked into
our rooms until about midnight. And then back up at 6 am, to
get to the customer site for a full day of meetings.

All I saw of Raleigh was about 4 miles around the airport. But what
I saw was gorgeous. A million trees and fluffy pines, just starting
into fall colors. The customer site looked more like a state
forest than a tech center. Miles of roads of trees with an office
building buried in them, here and there. The whole Research
Triangle Park area was like that. Our hotel too.

I met lots of people that I had worked with and would be working
with. We all went out for a lavish dinner with the customers
at 6 pm. Seafood, prime rib, and wine were everywhere! It
was quite the dinner! Er, diet? Whoops! Some harrowing moments
where a member of our party had to go to the Emergency room,
and some fretting where I didn't seem to have a seat on the
plane back. Another night of virtually no sleep, and up at what
was 4 am to me, (5 am there) to catch a plane. They finally
gave me a seat! Back to Chicago and quite the dash across 2
terminals to just make final boarding of the plane home.

And though I made it, my luggage didn't make the dash. It was
78 degrees in Raleigh, but about 30 when we got here. My
suitcase and coat were still in Chicago. And we never got
any food because of the early leaving and tight connections.
I did finally eat at about 12:30 after we got in.

So after little sleep, too much food, too little food, and 4 plane
flights, I am safely (and comfortably) home! The airlines
delivered my suitcase and coat to my house at 7 pm tonight.
Going out for lunch and driving home in just a t-shirt in 30
degrees with a stiff cold wind made me most happy about
the return of the coat. Brrrrr!

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Back Soon!

The Halloween party was fun, lots of creative costumes, though I
didn't stay out too late. Asthma and allergies flared up bigtime, and
that always makes me so tired. I was comparing allergy medicine
with people at the party, and it seems that no one has found anything
works very well for them either. You think medical science would
be farther along....

I'm packed, and my plane takes off an a couple of hours, so I should
go get ready for my flight now. I'm not taking my laptop, so I'll write
again when I get back on Tuesday about my adventures in N.C.
Later!

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Random Halloween Costume - I'm a, er, something!

Tired Preparation

One of those days. I slept until 10 am, and was amazingly sore and
stiff all day. So I did more weight lifting that REALLY hurt. I've
been tired and totally off all day. I am having visions of a hot bath
right now but -

I ran around the rest of the day getting ready for my business trip
tomorrow. Had to buy things, do laundry, find the suitcase, pack,
check in for my flight and get out of the middle seat they booked
me in (I did - got a window seat! :) ), don't forget to pack the folder
of presentation material, etc, etc.

I have to change planes in Chicago and take a small plane to Raleigh.
I got a window seat for that leg of the trip too. Yay! I've never been
on a Regional Air Jet, and I hope it is a cool plane. I guess I need to
travel more than once every year, I think it is a big deal!

And now I have to go put some kind of a costume together, I have
to go to a Halloween party in an hour. I thought of going as "me
before coffee", but I think I'll just go as a random Goth chick....

Hot bath first thing tomorrow, then!

Friday, October 27, 2006

The New and Old Jobs in 16 hours

Up at 6 am, meeting to prepare for the business trip at 8 am, lots of
preparation, documents to read and print, things to set up, slides to
make and then the workday is done. Into the car and an hour drive
to meet with the old work gang for a get together and late birthday
celebration for me!

Now the fun really began. Everyone showed up and then some,
even a dear ex co-worker who I haven't seen in over a year!
There were 10 of us who ate and drank and waved our arms and
talked incessantly. I had a wonderful time. I still adore that crowd
and I am happy and touched that they all showed up. They are like
a family to me.

What was it about that place? I have never formed such relationships
like that at any other job. I've never met people at work that
affected my life so much, or that I bonded with so closely. A strange
magic out of a very difficult work environment. Something wonderful
can come out of something bad :)

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Calm before the whirlwind

My last peaceful night for awhile, it's going to be nuts for the next
week. Going out with the old work gang tomorrow, Halloween party
Saturday, then off on the business trip on Sunday, back Tuesday,
then Halloween, and an interview Friday - hey where does the
napping fit in?

At work today, my boss brought in celery sticks with peanut butter,
and Honeycrisp apples to celebrate my birthday. I was rather
touched, that she found a way to deal with me being diabetic and
still bring a treat for the group that I could eat. What a sweetheart!

After 10 hours of sleep, I felt much more recovered today. I even
did the morning weight lifting. The business trip is going to screw
that up a bit, but I am definitely feeling stronger and have less pain.
There are "no-maintenance" batteries for your car, I want a "no-
maintaining" body. (Then again, the batteries only last 5 years....)
o.k., o.k., I'll do the exercise!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Birthday Thoughts

Today was very reflective. Mostly because I couldn't move :)
My weightlifting caught up with me the same time staying out
until 2:30 am and drinking a few beers. I hurt a lot today, and
was a bit hungover. But I did get out for a drive in the sunlight
to get my favorite piece of German chocolate cake at a bakery
in St.Paul. As a diabetic I get one piece of cake a year on my
birthday. (And exercised for 1/2 hour immediately after to get
the blood sugar back down.) It was worth it. Yum! :) :) :)

Finished reading "The Way of The Peaceful Warrior" book today.
It was a fun read, but I find myself with the same problem I have
with all of the new age spirituality type books. I find myself
thinking that there has to be another Way or Path than the one
they all seem to come down to. Deny the mind or ego - let go of
yourself. Deny the desires and the striving. I hate that message.

I love the mind and learning, and I dislike thinking of it as something
"bad". The book softened that message, as it went on and did have
some interesting things to say. The part of how "moderation" was
crap made me laugh. And the part about committing yourself 100%
was pretty good.

Cayenne made a good observation about all of these books where
the student meets the mystical teacher who changes their life.
Where the fuck are our teachers? We've both muddled our own
way through and there really have been no teachers. So are we
not worthy?

But it left me with the same old desire, to find my own Way.
To blaze a new path that doesn't deny desire or the ego. If these are
such a big part of who we are, why are they wrong? Whether from
evolution, or a "God" why would such a mistake have been made?

Maybe I'm wrong, and there is no way to find happiness and still
be yourself. That would suck! But I have been realizing that a big
part of my problem is I'm not living at 100%. Maybe at 50%, on a
good day.... So I think I'll explore that first. How to live to my full
potential and awareness more of the time. How to give of myself
fully, and without reservation. That ought to keep me busy for the
next decade, or so. I'm a really slow student!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

50 is the new 40....Or was that 8 ?

Oozing into another decade

So the day approaches... I'm going out tonight, to celebrate my
birthday of tomorrow. This is a weird one for me. I will be 50
tomorrow. A half a fricken century! How do you conceptually
even deal with that? I feel pretty much like I did when I was 30.
I certainly don't act any differently. I look about the same as I
did at 35. I can't seem to wrap my head around this one.
I don't know HOW to be 50!

So being me, I figure I'll re-define what it means to be that age.
Everyone seems to think that is so old, except people older :)
Until they meet me, and they have a heck of a time treating me like
an old lady. I'm out there partying with them, and I'm pretty silly,
and like all the same things. They all think I'm about 35 until I
tell them, and then they freak out. Sometimes that is fun.
Sometimes it just makes me feel old :(

The younger people I work with and hang out with, say I give them
hope that you don't have to be an old fart at that age. That you really
are allowed to still go out and have fun, that you can look, act, and
think young, that you can like the same things you liked at 20 if you
want to. You don't have to be old and conservative and can be pretty
cool. You can play video games, watch cartoons, go to amusement
parks, dance at punk shows, whatever you like! Great, so I'm a role
model.....for staying the same kind of dork you always were.
Cheers!

Monday, October 23, 2006

Testing the Will

The power of will? Why is it when I absolutely commit to something,
things start to happen? Years can go by where I can't lose weight
no matter how hard I try and then there are those times when I
absolutely believe 100% I will lose weight, and I do. Sometimes
eating exactly the same, it is like the desire is so great that it
happens. Or times when I am searching for something in my life
and I'll randomly pick up just the right book at the bookstore, and
it changes my life. (That has actually only happened twice).

I've been thinking a lot about transforming my body and I picked
up just the right 2 books, and started following them. Today was
startling. I did several things I never thought I would. I worked
out in the morning, following the book "8 Minutes in the Morning".
I hate mornings and never work out then, I'm so stiff and achey.
But I did it, and felt different for the whole day. Then tonight
I took a walk because I wanted to and feel my body move. And
when I got hungry just now, I saw vegetables in the fridge, and
I started salivating. I have never liked vegetables! What is this?

I also got the news at work today that I have to go to Raleigh, NC
on Sunday until Tuesday for a kick off meeting at a customer site.
Cool! I've never been to Raleigh, and it will be fun to see something
new. (Of course it will immediately test my diet and exercise
resolve - business trips are never really good for that. And of
course we are going out to dinner with the customer. Hope they
have good salads in N.C.!)

Sunday, October 22, 2006

The End of Fall

Investigative Living

Mostly burnout day. Slugday? Can we change the name of Sunday?
Most of this weekend was getting David moved. He had left a lot
of stuff in the garage and basement here for about a year. He finally
got a new apartment, (downtown, and really cool!) and some people
came over yesterday to get his stuff.

Today Cayenne and I loaded up the last of it, and went to visit.
His apartment overlooks a brick courtyard with trees. Very lovely.
Cay and I reminisced about how much we had wanted to live in
a downtown apartments when we were younger.

Then it was off to the bookstore. I picked up some interesting new
books which I hope to get read this week. One of them will help in
my attempt to get stronger. It is strength training you do every
morning for 8 minutes, 6 days a week. You do two new power moves
everyday that work completely different muscle groups. I figure
that even I can do 8 minutes a day, (even if it means getting up 10
minutes earlier). I'm good with things in small increments. I figure
if I sneak up on my body, it won't noticed so much that I am making
it work and throw a tantrum.

I usually hate working out in the morning, but the author convinced
me that you get the maximum metabolic burn all day, if you do it
first thing. It will continue to burn extra calories all day! If I can
get that for free, I am so there! His diet plan is about the same as
the one I am doing, so I'm hoping the addition of the daily strength
training will speed up the weight loss. I'll report in on how it goes.

Which reminds me - a fan of my show and blog wrote to me and
commented that my life seemed to be "investigative living". I like
that an awful lot. It does sum me up really well :) :)

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Time to cut a new path

When all paths close before you what do you do?
I have exhausted all my ways to move forward.

At the behest of a friend I even re-researched bariatric surgery.
I swallowed my fear and evaluated the whole thing, in case it
had changed from several years ago, when I last looked at it.
It has not. It truly is not a path I can take.

I really do not qualify in many different ways. The biggest of them
being no insurance or doctor will touch me, unless I am morbidly
obese, which it turns out I am not. (I guess I am merely "fat" :) )
My BMI is way too low. My life is not in danger. There is a good
chance it wouldn't work for me anyways, the calorie deficit over
where I am now, is very small. I already don't eat much of anything.
Strange, at one time I was well qualified for that path, and did not
take it out of stubbornness of wanting to do it "my way" and yes,
fear. But I went ahead and lost and kept off 100 pounds, even
though it took me 5 years.

Now if the easy but terrifying way is closed to me, even though
I am stuck with another 78 pounds I have failed to conquer over
the last 2 years, am I left with only the hardest of ways?
I was being poetic yesterday about becoming a warrior, but it
has become increasingly clear to me today that is my path.

When all paths close, it is time to cut open a new path. There is
only one. I will become a warrior and do the things I didn't think
I could do. I will become strong enough to do what I must. Am
I strong enough? Who knows? One way to find out. If you can't
go over the mountain, then cut a bloody tunnel through it.
I'll see you on the other side.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Old Warriors

I've just not felt very well for the last few weeks. Very tired, and
sleeping but still tired. I'm realizing that the battle is just beginning.
The older you get the harder you have to fight to not feel like crap
all of the time. You have to exercise when you least want to do it.
And eat really healthy, and struggle with all the failing systems.
You have to get really strong when you are feeling weak.

If I thought it was hard before, I've had to come to terms with
how much harder it is going to get. Am I up for the task? How
strange when you get old is when you really have to become a
warrior. What is the battle? The fight for your life, and your
quality of life. Why doesn't anyone prepare you for this?
School doesn't teach you what you really need to know.

How to love, how to be a friend, how to have a successful career,
how to raise happy and confident children, how to deal with the
stresses of life, how to grow old and yet be vibrant and alive.

I had a lot on my mind today, about this and some other things,
and had to take walks to think. I'm letting my poor health get in
the way. I've become more cautious, I go out less because I'm
tired or in pain, I resist traveling (which I love) because of the
difficulty, I take less chances, I'm not as gung ho. Who am I?

I was the woman who would jump off the cliffs of life without
thinking twice. And laugh when I inevitably crashed at the
bottom. And picked myself up and did it again. A friend at work
listened to my tirade about age, and summed it all up nicely.
"You don't want to get frumpy?"

No I don't. I want to be an old warrior.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Vanity

I'm beat! I set up so many different kinds of new equipment today,
and worked on about 90 things simultaneously! I can't believe I
did it all. I was totally wiped by the time I got home. I have nothing
left. I was too tired to exercise or anything.

I still don't get why using your brain too hard, makes your body
tired and sore. It's not like I used it for anything. It was just along
for the ride. It makes me annoyed that the body is so weak!

I'm hungry too. I'm trying to lose 7 pounds by my birthday, just
for some kind of a goal. I've lost 5 1/2, and my pants aren't so
tight anymore. Kind of a nice reinforcement. (I couldn't afford
new pants!) But I go to bed hungry every night. I hope I can
keep this up.....

A friend wrote me about how funny our video show was, and I
realized that until I get more of this weight off, I just don't want
to do it. Vanity over comedy, a sorry choice! David (from the show)
is losing lots of weight too, so hopefully we'll get over our pride and
start filming things again this winter. How ironic that the anti-
depressants we were both on, caused such weight gain, which made
us stop doing the one thing we loved. Ah, life's little trade offs.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Dream worlds

I feel like I'm retreating farther and farther into the dream world.
I like it there.

I come out to work, and exercise, and do the things I must -
and then back I go. I'm not harming anyone, I know the difference
between reality and fantasy. But I choose the latter.
I can fly, there! And nothing hurts.

The real world has let me down too much. I don't have
much reason to stay there.

Maybe something will catch my interest and bring me
back, but for now, I prefer my dreams.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Aging Thoughts

So many thoughts colliding in my head. So many wishes, dreams,
new learning, debates with myself. What I am I doing? What do
I really want? What am I willing to do to get anywhere?

I wish I had the strength and the energy to make things happen.
I am so tired much of the time, and just can't go so far. Don't fail
me now, my body, I'm barely getting started.

How much further will this body carry me before it falters for good?
I need a new ship to sail to the far horizon.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Not

I went out to my car to return a hat to a co-worker at 6:15pm
tonight. I was startled at how "not" out it was, and just stood
there and soaked it in, for awhile. It was not light or dark - sort
of early twilight. It was not raining, but sort of misty. It was not
cold or warm, just sort of limbo temperature. It was the perfect
balance of not anything. Weird moments.

Had the hot tub repaired today. The motor had burned out after
6 enjoyable years. Unfortunately it cost over $500 to get a new
motor and the repairs done. Ouch. Money is really tight right
now, as I'm trying to pay off the hot water heater, the car, and
various old debts, and the winter heating bills will start soon.
Much soul searching and questioning over the way I live
and what I spend money on. I like my life and don't really have
frivolous expenses that I can cut. And I don't want to give up
on going to Japan. I have to find a way to do this!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Show Crash

It was supposedly a gorgeous day out, but I didn't see much of it.
I FINALLY finished editing the show and got it posted! It was an
all day marathon, and just put it up about an hour ago. Get it
at Uncomfortable Questions - The Andrew Interview.

Andrew was a delightful British man living in Texas. I think the
final product was worth the work it took!

Other than that, I took a walk and played with the dogs. And the
day is gone? I think I'm going to have to push the show back to
once every 3 weeks. It just takes so much out of me, and work
is starting to heat up. We are going to be in a big push for the
next 3 months at work, I've been reassigned to that project.
Well, I guess it's something to do in the winter......

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Ow!

Ugh. Still not feeling well. I had a blinding headache all day but I
think I pinned down the cause. I tried one of the new medicines
again today and the headaches of the last few days came back.
It was Allegra-D, one of the more popular allergy medicines.

In spite of the headache, I tried to keep editing the next
interview show, (which should be up by now, darn it!) and
did another Skype interview with Sheila, a young biology student
in Canada. I have another interview scheduled with a local man
next week. I wish I felt better, and could get these shows up
faster. Maybe getting rid of those medicines will help. I haven't
felt good for a few weeks now, and I'm getting annoyed that the
health is getting in the way.

That is usually enough to make me take all the right vitamins,
exercise a lot, and eat extremely healthy until I'm back on track.
Ahhh the rollercoaster of health. How dull to have to put so much
energy into it. There are more interesting things to be doing.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Free Lunch Cures All!

I did go to work today, and I still didn't feel "right" all morning. I
haven't been able to sleep all week, and I'm pretty tired. The
feeling persisted until lunchtime, when a group of us were taken out
to a nice restaurant as a reward for putting the last project out.

I found stuff I could eat and it was exceptionally good! I haven't been
eating much (and it is working - I lost 5 pounds finally, last month),
and this was like real food! Afterwards I felt much better. So I think
that good free lunches must be some kind of new cure-all :)

I also feel better for having stopped taking the new asthma meds.
They didn't seem to help, and my breathing is clearer without them.
Actually it is probably because is has been snowing very lightly
for 3 days, and the cold air cleared out whatever was bothering me.
A friend joked that I should just move to the Arctic - I would
breathe fine, but be rather bored.....

So now I just have to find a way to sleep and hopefully I'll be
back to better.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

To Dream or Die?

I couldn't sleep last night and then noticed I was dizzy when I moved
my head. When the alarm went off, I went into the shower and
noticed I was unsteady. When I got out, I had vertigo so bad I fell
onto the counter. I crawled back into bed and tried to figure it out.
I had vertigo so bad, I couldn't imagine sitting up again. I felt a little
nauseous, but who wouldn't from that feeling? I felt a lot of pressure
in my forehead and behind the eyes. That was it. No other symptoms.

I figured driving was right out, so I managed to call work and leave a
message. Cayenne was worried it was a stroke or heart attack, so I
had him look it up on the web. As I was lying there, unable to get up,
I thought how of my post last night. Would I die before I managed to
find a dream to follow? Was this all there is? Some kind of cruel
justice for one who has looked so hard to make sense of this world.
I guess we are not allowed to know.

But no other symptoms came so I just lay very still until afternoon,
when I managed to finally sit up and eat something. I still don't feel
totally great. I can only assume it was some kind of drug reaction to
the new soup of medications, even though I've been on the newest
ones for a couple of weeks? I don't know. I hate it when your body
starts doing weird shit. If it goes, what will I chase my dreams in?

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Winter Dreams

I saw snow today. I didn't want to see it, its too early, but I couldn't
shut my eyes. I was driving.... But then I spent the rest of the day
in the lab and didn't see the snow flurries all day. Though people
did come in occasionally and report it to me.

It really is too early. Oct 11th is not when it snows in Minnesota.
Maybe Nov 11th. Don't cut fall so short, darn it!

I should be working on the next show, but I think I'll curl up in
front of the woodstove, instead. Sorry Andrew, but your show
wont be up until Saturday. This is not motivational weather.

This show I'm watching also has the theme "follow your dreams,
it's more fun that way..." Dreams. Follow them even if you die,
at least you went following your dream.... But you need a dream
to follow to do that. I don't seem to have any, anymore.

I did once. But the years went by and none of them happened.
They all slipped away and am I too old now. Or too tired.
So now what? Where can you buy a dream, for cheap?

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Workish sorts of things

A good day, today (not a lot of work!). We had an all hands meeting
with our president that was interesting, and a groundbreaking
ceremony at our new building site. We should be there in a year.
The new site is farther from my house by about 10 minutes, but
it will be nice to have a new place. Our current one is getting
really shabby, but it is very comfortable in a strange way.

Then there was a get together for our group at a co-workers house
near the new site. We talked and laughed and drank beer. It was
really fun and nice to just kick back and be ourselves in a "not
at work" sort of way.

Still pondering friendship much of the time. I think I might be wrong
for how it should work in this world. It just doesn't seem to work
that way for most people. But just when I am ready to give up on
people, they almost psychically do the right thing, and I am
forced to rethink things again. Weird. The timing is so immediate
I really am beginning to wonder if there are those who can read
my mind. Naw. Then they would run away. I've got a really
silly mind.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Opposites abound

My body is feeling it's age today. The cold weather is rolling in, and
everything inside of me is creaking. The only way too feel better
when I get like this is to exercise harder, and try to get stronger.
What I really want to do is to wrap up in a blanket in bed.

All the things that are good for us, are the opposite of what we
want to do. If I were God, broccoli would taste like chocolate
cake, and exercise would be more fun than sex.

But lacking godhood, all I can do is go lift weights, and dream
of chocolate cake. And sex :)

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Random items on a Sunday

I started tackling the "Andrew Interview" today - my upcoming
podcast show on Uncomfortable Questions. I have 2 hours recorded,
and I kept putting it off. But I got through the 1st hour today,
and got it down to 30 minutes. It is a fun edit, because the guy was
interesting and has a lovely soft British accent - always pleasant
on the ears. And always makes them sound smart, darn those Brits!
I hope to get the other hour done over the next few days. I think it
is going to be a dynamite show!

The wind changed today, it was blowing up from the south (which
is why it was so warm yesterday). Now it is from the north (which
is why it is 58 today), but my breathing got much better. What
the heck is in the air down south that gives me asthma?? What are
you guys keeping down there in the south? :) :)

The diet is working, finally, but I was right. It is coming off at a
painfully slow rate of a 1 pound a week. So 2 years from now,
barring any plateaus, or actually eating anything, I should look great!
(Of course, I'll be 90 years old, or something like that....)

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Fresh air is good for you?

I spent most of today:
1) trying to breathe. The asthma is awful right now! Something
in the fall air is triggering the breathing problems bigtime. And
fall has always been my favorite time of year. I'm enjoying what
I can of it....

2) catching up on podcast stuff. I did a bit for Big Phil's anniversary
show - and my voice sounds really weird. The new asthma
inhaler causes extreme hoarseness in the voice. I was last on it
7 years ago, and I was hoarse the entire year I was taking it. :(
Hopefully people will get used to my new "sound" on my show.
I also had to catch up on podcast correspondence, there was a
fair bit to get done.

Unfortunately all this meant I didn't even start editing the next
show, which technically should go up tomorrow. (It won't - this
one is even bigger than the last one, about 2 hours of material.)
Maybe I should stop fighting it, and go to once every 3 weeks.
It keeps turning out that way.

I tried to spend some time out in possibly the last nice day of the
year - it was 78, breezy and sunny. Totally wonderful out. But
every time I went out, the breathing got worse. Ick. The weather
forecast says it may snow a little next week. Well, that is
Minnesota for you. 78 degrees to snow in 4 days time.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Skewed View of Friendship?

Friendship is such a massive theme that has run through my life
for the last 3 years. What is a friend? What does it mean to be a
friend? I think about it a lot. I don't know why this has taken on
such a massive importance to me at this point in my life.

In the series I'm hooked on now and can't stop watching - the
major theme is what you will do for your friends. In the show it
is idealized, there is nothing they wont do for each other.

In real life? It isn't like that. I want friends like that, but it is
only a fantasy. Like love, it is another thing in life that just
doesn't live up to what it should be. And yet, I don't see why
not. It could be like that, maybe it should be like that. But I
guess if other people don't see it that way, or don't want it
the same way, it doesn't happen.

I can't be alone on this planet in how I see things, but I never
seem to find those others. I can't be the only one.....
I can't be.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Blood Ivy

Wow! The Ivy covering the house is turning blood-red this year, instead of the usual bright orange. Half the house is now covered in this dark red ivy, and it is rather breathtaking. I took this as I got home, I'll try to get one in the sunlight this weekend.