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!