Wednesday, January 31, 2007

A little of this and that

Launching into my next project, without pause from the last one.
Whew! I need a nap. Luckily these two weeks are lots of boring
upgrading and set up. I guess I can nap while doing that.
It is really nice to have some less exciting times at work.

Getting a little stronger every day. I exercise a little longer
or a little harder each passing day. I can't believe I'm keeping
up with the every day thing. I've never been very good about
that. Still not getting thinner though :(

Not much else. Getting ready to hunker down for the Arctic air
heading our way, starting tomorrow night. The next 5 days are
supposed to be some of the coldest Minnesota has had in the
last 3 years. Where is the firewood?!

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Whatever...

The doc took care of the plastic bits sticking out through my
skin, and for the first time in over 5 weeks, nothing hurts.
So I weight lifted and now that hurts!

I feel so calm these days. Or is it fatalistic? Nothing gets
me terrifically excited or upset. I just keep going "thataway"
and see what happens. I don't know if that is good or bad,
the right thing to do, or giving up? Whatever it is, it is
rather peaceful.

Life may not have turned out the way I wanted, but it isn't
too bad, so I guess it will have to do. I don't feel like I
can change things all that much, or make it a whole lot
different. So I try to enjoy what I can. And ignore the rest.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Dream Contact?

Gasp, pant, huff! I just did 20 minutes on the treadmill and
exercise bike. I'm getting back to normal, but it was quite
a push to do even that much. It is going to be a long 2 months.
(I'm not terrifically fond of exercise - but I'm going to
try to do some every day). Boy, Japan better be worth it.
Anything that will get me off of my lazy butt, must be
something!

I was thinking about a conversation in the DeAnne interview.
We started talking about dreams. She thought they might be a
way we communicate in a way that we don't while we are awake,
because we are so guarded.

I have noticed over the last 10 years or so, I've had some
dreams where someone I know checks up on me in my dream.
It is different people, but usually a person I have a
friendship with, of some kind.

Sometimes they are just off to the side, in the dream,
observing whatever is going on in my dream. They talk
to me and are supportive, and there is a super vivid
feeling of comfort and warmth. I know in the dream that
they are there to make sure I am o.k.

I wake up from these special dreams, completely convinced
that I had a dream communication with that person, that we
connected on a different level in the dream world. I don't
have them often, but when I do, the good feelings stay with
me for days. I guess it is the phenomenon that led me to
include the question "What are dreams?" in my interview show.

I wonder if anyone else has those kind of dreams?

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Spiritual Gravity

Well, that was a creative day! I edited and posted an entire
show for Uncomfortable Questions. It is at:
Interview with DeAnne.

She is a sheer delight, a 41 year old woman who is blind.
When I asked "What is hope?", she said it was what makes it
all go, like a kind of spiritual gravity.
I really loved that answer. Catch the show, if you can.
Her final advice is not to be missed!

Then David, Cayenne and I did a lot more filming for
Channel Surfing Wipeout. I hope we have enough
for a new show. We even did one of my favorite sketches that
we wrote over a year ago, a completely irreverent take on
David being possessed by demons :) And another one where we
got to finally use some great stage blood that we picked up
a long time ago at a costume shop. All done our way, of course,
which is always pretty strange!

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Eh?

Good heavens! I managed to putter away the whole day again.
Slept in nice and late, did more finances, bill paying,
balanced the checkbook, researched lots more stuff on Japan,
looked up random interesting related things on the web,
did 15 minutes on the exercise bike and 10 minutes of weights
and somehow most of the day has fled by!

Not soul fulfilling stuff. But one heck of a way to kill a day!
I'll top it off with watching anime. Might as well go for a
total fluff day, I've done so well, so far.

There is always tomorrow for all that achieving stuff.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Plastic Protrusions

After over 9 hours of sleep last night, (and more exercise),
today I felt good for the first time since the surgery.
I got lots done, and nothing (much) hurt. Except for the
2 little pieces of plastic sticking out of my head...

They aren't supposed to be doing that, mind you. I think
2 of the thin plastic sutures that were in there from
before got misplaced in the surgery and are now sticking
through the skin by my neck and ear. I'll get that fixed
when I go back in on Tuesday. I made the mistake of tugging
on one of them before I figured out what it was. Yeouch!

Another lovely weekend off. Except I have to edit the next
show. And it is going to be cold. And there is more filming
to do. I guess I don't know what weekend off means.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Cold Credit

I've just finished 46 Japanese "Survival Phrases" podcasts.
I'm starting to have smatterings of Japanese appearing in my
dreams and everyday thoughts. Of course it's very simple 4 word
sentences, very simple stuff, but kind of neat. I won't
remember a word when I get there, except things like "toilet"?
"Food"? "Credit Card"? I'll be a baby talking moron (but one
with a credit card! :) :) )

I'm dreading the really cold weather the forecasts are
threatening us with starting Sunday. It's been a mild winter,
but that still doesn't help when it is fricken cold out.

Other than that, I worked, I came home. Won't win any excitement
awards...

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Lifeline

Whew! I just managed 18 minutes of exercise. I was going to say
I'm still as weak as a kitten, but all the kittens I've had
weren't weak. They usually were hanging from the ceiling and
teleporting all over the place! Anyways, it is obvious I'm going
to have to work out diligently every day, to build my strength
back up in time for the trip.

It is weird to have to start over yet again from nothing, just
to do what came so easily to me only 5 weeks ago. 1/2 hour of
working out was nothing. My life has been an amazingly long
string of starting over.

I once noticed that my lifeline on my hand stops about halfway
to my wrist, and then picks up again 1/4 of an inch over and
then does it again, and is flanked by several broken and parallel
lines. I decided then that I would live for a long time, but
there would be some real physical challenges or sicknesses.
It was a silly superstition, but my life has borne that out
pretty well. I'll probably make it, but it wont be easy.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

It doesn't surprise me

I noticed a quiz on David's blog about which dog type you
are. I couldn't resist. I've always felt I've had a lot of
dog energies, (thus the wolf tattooed on my chest) and I've
always thought of myself as a Black Lab. Big, silly, friendly,
goof, always ready to have an adventure and ready to play.
So I took the quiz, and gosh, no surprise!





What Common Breed of Dog Are You?

Monday, January 22, 2007

Afterthoughts

I was getting ready this morning and it suddenly struck me.
One of the jokes we filmed yesterday just wasn't funny!
We'll probably have to rewrite it. Why don't those realizations
hit while we're filming. Grrr. No wonder it takes so long.
Now we just have to find 2 Barbie sized record players....

Sometimes the lack of the right prop, can kill a good joke.
If anyone ever tracked the strange things the 3 Monkey's troupe
buys, we'd give their marketing department a seizure. Thank
goodness for David's large and strange doll collection. :)
My favorite item of his, is a Barbie lawn chair. Why are
little replicas of real life things so neat and intriguing?

What is the human fascination with the miniature?

Sunday, January 21, 2007

The Stars are Back

I worked out for 14 minutes today! I am feeling much better, and
am able to work on getting strong for Japan. What a relief.

David came over today, and we are filming again. We got about
half of a Channel Surfing Wipeout web show filmed. We plan on
getting the rest of it next Sunday. Of course there is a small
matter of editing and putting it together. But maybe in a couple
of weeks? We haven't put anything up since last July. It was
a very long hiatus.

That's pretty much it. But since it is all good, that is enough!

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Heading UP!

I must be feeling better, I got on a roll of getting the
annoying little stuff done. I looked up a lot of things for
my trip to Japan, went through all my mail, gathered up
all the paperwork so I can make the appointment with my
tax guy, (and to find the papers I tackled the huge bin of
stuff to file from the last 2 years), and I answered most
of my email.

And I still had enough energy left to exercise for 8 whole
minutes. Then I was done. Been watching DVD's since then,
resting. Best yet, I had coffee today! Well it was 3/4
decaffeinated, but hey, 1/4 real, live coffee. I was happy.

It used to take a lot more than that to make me happy.
When you get the stuffing knocked out of you like this last
month has been for me, the very, very tiny victories are
sweet. Kind of resets your perspective. I always figured
it would take winning the lottery, having hundreds of dear
friends, and having an exciting, meaningful life, to make
me happy. But it comes down to a half a cup of real coffee...

Friday, January 19, 2007

itunes fame

I figured out where the extra audience for my Uncomfortable
Questions
podcast was coming from. I made #11 on the
itunes music store, in the Philosophy catagory under
Society and Culture!

Granted that is a very distinct catagory (big fish in a small
pond sort of thing). But cool anyways! Itunes really does
seem to be the driving force in getting noticed in podcasting.
If you get near the top of one of their lists, you get a
lot more hits on your show. Now I just have to make them
want to stay. I think I'll start working on the edit for the
next show..... Ah. Minor fame is so motivating :) :)

Friday already?

I haven't had the kind of job where Friday meant anything for
about 25 years. I always liked my work, and often as not
worked some on weekends. But today I was really happy it was
Friday. I have been so exhausted putting in workdays that
the idea of sleeping late and doing nothing for 2 days sounds
wonderful! O.K., so I'm not totally back to healthy yet....

Nothing much new. Work. Sleep. Wish I could drink coffee.
Do it again. Not much of a life!

My podcast shows are getting a lot of new downloads the last
few days and I don't know why. Many people are going back and
downloading all 48 shows! Wow. I wonder what triggered that?
I must have gotten mentioned somewhere. I hope they like what
they hear and continue to listen. It makes me feel pretty
wonderful when more and more people seem to want to hear
the show. More gratifying that real work, eh?

Thursday, January 18, 2007

*Almost* normal day

Today was my first glimpse that I could get back to
feeling better. The heart rate was fine, the asthma didn't
bother me. I even walked on the treadmill when I got home!
O.K. it was only 7 minutes of exercise, and I'm really,
really weak, but it is a start. I still get a little
tired at work and can only put in a normal workday.

Its been 4 weeks, tomorrow, since the surgery. So ignore
them when they say you'll be better in 2 weeks. Well if
you are going to have a cold and try to put in too many
hours at work, it will take you a month to even attempt
to start to build back up to normal.

I'm still off the coffee. I felt less confused today, but
not terrifically motivated. Coffee. Motivation in a cup.
No wonder we all run on the stuff and there is a coffee
shop on every corner. It fits our American overzealous
life style.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Fog in my brain

Still trying to get better. No coffee for 2 days trying to
get the heartbeat more regular. I feel like I'm swimming
in a Jello fog. No coffee is brutal. I felt better for most
of the day, but not so good again when I got home. Not
well enough to work out, anyhow. Frustrationimus!

All I can do is hope, and keep going.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Winter ambles in

Brrrr. It was -6 last night and a high of 10 degrees today.
Now that's the Minnesota I know. I'm feeling stronger today,
except my heart kept skipping beats which is a darned weird
feeling.

So to my best medical advisor - the web! It seem it is a
benign and common condition caused by a million things.
Since I already cut the coffee out (hard!) and wasn't
really stressed, the next most likely thing it might be is
an electrolyte imbalance. Can be caused by surgery (and
a million other things...)

I took Potassium, Magnesium and an electrolyte drink. I
did feel better and even did some strengthening exercises
for about 5 minutes. I also have to wrap a scarf around my
face when I go outside - the freezing, cold air hitting my
lungs seems to set it off also. Damn! I feel so fragile.
I've always been tough as nails, and could survive any
abuse to this body. I don't want to be less tough as I
get old!

Anyways, it is 1 degree out, so the only recourse is to
head for my warm bed...

Monday, January 15, 2007

Cold Mondays

Monday, snow, slooooow traffic, really cold, tired.
Not much to recommend it for a day, eh?

After a few better days, today felt like backsliding. I'm
sleeping ok, but still pretty weak, with little energy. I
need to do more strengthening, but having a bit of a problem
with the 'ol asthma, and my heartbeat seems kind of irregular.
Sitting on the couch sounds good....

The weirdest thing about eating all that good and healthy
Japanese food last night, was that right after it, my scars
all started itching like crazy. They still do. I think it
kicked off some major healing. Why is healing so darned
uncomfortable? Healing should make you feel really good.

I forgot to mention on Jan. 11th. Another of my heroes died.
Robert Anton Wilson. What a guy! I've read a lot of his books.
He wrote some crazy, fun, and deep stuff. He was probably the
person I would have liked to meet most. I can't exactly call
him a philosopher, but perhaps a questioner?
I suppose I would relate to that, as Manly Geek once told me
that my purpose in life was to be a Question Mark.

I suppose it is, but Mr. Wilson did it much better than I, and
was a lot more entertaining in his writings. I will miss him.

His last entry on his blogspot journal, 5 days before he died
touched me, and sort of summed him up. I include it below.
I'm not sure I could comment on life and death better:

"Do Not Go Gently Into That Good Night"

"Various medical authorities swarm in and out of here predicting
I have between two days and two months to live. I think they are
guessing. I remain cheerful and unimpressed. I look forward
without dogmatic optimism but without dread. I love you all
and I deeply implore you to keep the lasagna flying.

Please pardon my levity, I don't see how to take death seriously.
It seems absurd.

RAW"

So it is just like me to getting around to mourning him 4 days
after the fact. Can't rush into these things...

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Too Good














I had so much fun today, I don't even mind that we seem to be
having some kind of winter storm out there. I got an award
thing last month, that was dinner for up to $200. I finally
felt up for it today, so the 3 Monkeys (Cayenne, David and I)
went out for dinner and attempted to spend it! We went to
this really fine Japanese restaurant and had everything we
wanted to try.

The food was excellent, and we are pikers. By the time we had
eaten and drunk everything we felt like having, we only spent
$145. We could have made it if we drank more, but the exquisite
Saki (at $12.95 a glass!) totally satisfied, and we didn't need
more. We weren't stuffed, we were just happily done. I left a
big tip and decided to give up at $175.

What a fun thing that was to do! By the time we left it had
started snowing quite a bit, so we drove home (making happy,
contented noises all the way), and then I took some photos of
the mighty dinner team! We started clowning around and were
laughing so hard there were tears coming out of my eyes.
I volunteer to be forced to eat fine food with my silly friends
on someone else's money - anytime!

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Good From Bad

Last night was rough again. Back to the recliner and difficult
sleep. Why do I have good days of healing up, followed
immediately by such rotten ones? Do I push too hard on the good
days? Am I expecting too much, too soon? It's been over 3
weeks. Somehow I got it in my head that it would only be bad
for 2 weeks. I suppose because they say most people go back to
work in 10-14 days. I thought that was just because of the
bruises. I really didn't think it was that big of a deal.

But today was better, especially because I had not one, but
two great interviews for my show! I interviewed DeAnne from
Oregon and she was wonderful. She is blind, and I was wondering
if it would change her views on life. But it didn't come up
much. She was lots of fun and I related to her instantly.
She reminded me of me, quite a lot. (Of course I thought she
was great!)

Then her partner Charlie was there, and next thing I know I
was interviewing him. He is a psychologist, and we went off on
subjects all over the place because of that. Three hours just
zipped by, and I had two new wonderful friends!

Their friend Chad, I think his name was, was one of my listeners,
and had gotten DeAnne interested in doing an interview for me.
Thanks so much Chad! You gave me a great experience today, to
say nothing of my next two shows. That makes show #49 and 50.

Man, 50 shows, at 45 minutes to an hour each. Even I'm getting
impressed with the body of work that is turning out to be. And I
have a couple of volunteers for February too. The show seems
to want to keep going, so I guess I'll keep following it and see what
it wants to do. If nothing else, who gets to have deep, meaningful
conversations with 50 new people, over a year and a half?

What an amazing thing it turned out to be, and I started it because
I was very depressed and couldn't seem to struggle back to doing
the right things to heal up. Bad things in your life can spur you on
to do great things. I would like to think I could still create great
things, without the pain, but I wonder.

Friday, January 12, 2007

3 weeks post-surgery

I psychically knew Phil was going to ask for photos of me now,
so I snapped one of me in my natural habitat, in my cubicle.
Probably a mistake. People look ghastly under fluorescent
lighting. Where the heck is my color correction program?
Eh, I'm too lazy. So here's me now. And yes, it is 2 degrees
here, so I'm bundled up. It was cold, even in the labs.
So you can't even see the new neck!

The bruises are almost gone, there are still two faint ones
under my eyes, but they aren't really noticeable. I still get
tired really easily, but I hope in a few more days, that will
fade too. I'm still numb in places, and very tender to the
touch, and still have mild vertigo from the pressure on the
ears, I think? We'll see what another week will bring.


Thursday, January 11, 2007

Feeling MUCH better!

Whew. Today was much better. I haven't had a good day since last
Thursday and Friday, when I think I did way the heck too much
and set my healing back another week.

I slept in bed for 9 1/2 hours last night. That helped a ton. I managed
to work out with very, very light weights last night to get my strength
back on track. To do that, I actually had to eat! I think the problem
the last week was my borderline anemia, becoming not so borderline.

Lots of meat (don't read that, Phil!) and iron tablets later, I'm back to
healing up. I think I went back to dieting too soon. Losing weight,
nicely, but the body had nothing to build nerves and capillaries with!

I put in a good day at work, I'm feeling human again, and I'm really
hoping this feeling better stuff becomes a habit! That was a rather
unpleasant 3 weeks.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Just Stuff

Today was another struggle. Felt awful when I got up, not getting
good sleep. Did a short day at work. But I started feeling better this
evening and I'm hoping it lasts. All that good food and vitamins has
to do something.

I've been listening to the Japanesepod101 podcast "Survival Phrases"
lessons every day on the drive to and from work, in preparation for
the Japan trip. I'm realizing just how much I don't know! I've been
through 25 of the lessons, and when they talk at normal speed, I'm
lost - even with the simple stuff.

I think I can ask for a bathroom, and order some food. That's about
it. But what else matters? I'm used to being perpetually lost (I have
no sense of direction, whatsoever) so that shouldn't be a problem.
I'll just be lost in Japan. It will feel like home.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Splug!

Wow, I haven't been doing very well the last couple of days. Vertigo,
nausea, unable to sleep, very much exhaustion. My boss even told me
to take care of myself and not work so hard - she needs me for the
long run. I think that I really am not recovered from the surgery,
no matter what I think.

The vertigo is either a bad drug reaction, I tried the allergy
medicine again, or the pressure of sleeping on the healing scars.
I went back to sleeping in the recliner last night, and did much
better. I miss my bed.... :(

I've tried supper nutritional supplements, and only eating very
good food. I just don't think my body has enough whatever it is
to heal up. I don't eat much red meat, and I suppose growing new
nerves and blood vessels while recovering from the cold was too
challenging for it. I've added in more iron, too.

Other surprise news, another one left the old job, under mysterious
circumstances. What a disaster that whole thing turned out to be.
I'm just glad I am now long gone from it. I left over 1 and a half
years ago. And it still seems like just yesterday. Someday I'll be
able to think about it without cringing.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Yawn

I sure hope this is just post surgery, but I can't seem to wake up!
(Life is just a bad dream.....). I crashed hard and early last night,
but I'm still completely exhausted. This has to improve. I'm
eating right, and taking lots of vitamins. I can't quite exercise,
the scars are still, um, oozing a bit - probably not time yet.

I did finally get the next Uncomfortable Questions show edit done
and posted. Get it - Gravitation Ring Interview. It's a wild one,
he was really presenting some difficult ideas to even put into words.
Whether you agree or not, it sure gets you thinking about what it is
you do think!

David came over today and we absolutely, for sure are going to film
next weekend. Neither of us was quite healed up enough to do any
today, but we did write up a bunch of new material.
I hope I feel a lot better by then. I just want to sleep.....

Friday, January 05, 2007

Nattering on Nothing

Day 14, post surgery, seems to be the day. It is my first day without
pain. I even worked until 8pm to get caught up on things. I'm still
a bit tired out from that, but mucho relieved to not have pain!

Other than that, I have to work some more tomorrow, and have
GOT to get the edit done on my next show. My audience is
increasing again, and I want to get them something new. I've got
a wonderfully unusual one that I'm working on.

We also would like to start filming again, but now poor David has
hurt his knee so badly, he has to get an MRI done. Between the two
of us, keeping our bodies in filming shape seems difficult. Bah to
getting old! I counted my scars (I was really bored while layed up
last week) and I think I'm up to 11. I'm going to make sure this
body has been really lived in, before it goes to the junkyard.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Whirlwind

Whoa, tired! I've been on the go for 14 hours between work, getting
my new glasses, and picking out a cabinet and counter tops for the
new dishwasher install. It is only day 13 after surgery, and two days
ago I couldn't even stay awake for more than four hours at a time.

My cold is finally starting to go away. The pain is much better, but
I still have bouts with it. People are amazing creatures. You can be
cut up, stapled, and be back to full bore in thirteen days. Weird.
Our bodies abilities to heal amazes me. We can be so fragile, yet
incredibly resilient.

But I am at the end of energy now and falling asleep while I type this.
I suppose I should take the hint, and go the heck to bed!

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Too slowly, things get better

I did it! I put in a 9 1/2 hour day at work today, and didn't die.
I was pretty tired but I made it. It doesn't hurt that I finally
could sleep in bed again and got a full night of sleep. Funny what
the lack of staples will do for you. Ah, the little victories.

So that's it. I worked, got home late, and and writing this.
Not much of a day. The bruises are fading, the cold is still there,
the pain comes and goes, I can stay up for a full day now.
Don't you hate gradual improvement? I like things a lot
bigger and flashier. I want to know things are changing!

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

My head is free!

The staples and stitches ALL came out today!!!
There was this tremendous relief from pressure in my head.
Bodies are so weird when there is something in them, that
doesn't belong there. They get crabby and pushy, "Get this
stuff out of me!!!"

With luck, I will now be able to sleep. I think I've only
gotten a full 8 hours of sleep twice since the surgery.
I just couldn't get comfortable and when I lay down the
pressure on the staples was really tough.

I made it through part of a day at work today, and I'm
feeling much better. That staving exhaustion that made me
feel so bad yesterday is gone. I should be able to do a full day
tomorrow. (Which is good because work wants full days and
then some until the end of the month...) My cold was better
today too. I hope to reach feeling human within the week.

I even started editing the next U.Q. podcast show, and
have to start scheduling the next couple of interviews. It is
odd that getting back to normal seems such a good thing.
(I usually think "normal" is a dirty word)

Monday, January 01, 2007

Day 11 - not much better

I can't see that the bruises under my eyes have improved all
that much in the last 6 days.
(And I look about like I feel. Awful!)
I really didn't care to even comb my hair before taking
photos. I'll know I'm better when my vanity reinstates itself...