Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween!

Well the weather is right for Halloween. When I left work
the freezing wind was howling across the plains out in
Shakopee. I was flash frozen before I got the 100 feet to
my car. But it is 48 degrees out, it shouldn't be that cold.
It was 70 degrees, just yesterday!

A few kids have shown up for candy, we never get very many.
While we are waiting, we started the first fire of the
season in the woodstove. It is a great psychological boost.
Even though it hasn't warmed up the room yet, just seeing
the fire, makes me feel warm.

The diet was better today, I don't feel like I'm going to
expire immediately from hunger. I have lost 2 1/2 pound in
the last 3 days. So far, it is easier this time, for no
discernible reason.

Tomorrow, nothing too exciting. I'm getting a flu shot at
work. Woo-hoo! It doesn't get funner than that.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

I ate the dog? Again?

Actually, I didn't. But I could have. I was shaking from
hunger when I got home. I was so busy today, that I ate
around 750 calories up until 7:30 pm tonight. It seemed
a luxury to eat another 500 calories all at once!

I hope I can keep this up. Being hungry is no fun, but I
can stand it for awhile, if I am getting the constant
reward of seeming the pounds roll away.

Nobody seems very happy at work, since we moved. I think
the stress of that and layoffs did more damage than I thought.
The workload is still too much, and I keep hoping I will
catch up soon. If I could just finish setting up my lab,
and get everything running smoothly, I have to believe things
will get easier.

Starving and working. That's all I can think about right
now. I hope things get pleasanter!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Restrictions or Reductions?

I started diet number 10 million and 3. If work is going to
keep putting me on planes, I gotta lose some weight. I am just
not comfortable in plane seats, I fill them up too well.

Plus I keep thinking if I get more weight off my bad ankle,
it might last a bit longer. Feh. I have lots of good reasons,
but now I actually have to do it. But nothing has been working.

Now I'm trying just lots of fiber drinks, protein meal replacement
bars, and some fruit and vegetables. We'll see if just not eating
much of anything works. I did do about 1300 calories today, though.
It is easy if I'm really busy, it's the weekends that will be
interesting.

And the 2nd day. The 1st day, your body doesn't notice anything
is wrong. The next couple of days, it throws a major temper
tantrum, trying to make you "knock it off, and eat already!"
I have to keep trying, and believing that maybe this time, it
will be different.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Blazing along

Waaah! 3 of my 4 days off are nearly gone. Time off from work
never lasts long enough. Yesterday was getting lots of little
tasks out of the way. Then off to the Halloween store to pick
up a couple of costume items.

I had to attend a Halloween party last night, and another one
tonight. The party last night was a lot of fun, it was held
by our Brew Master friend, with various brewers from the
Renaissance Festival. There were 2 home brew beers on tap,
and 2 varieties of mead - a dry mead and a blueberry mead.

Needless to say, I've been a bit hung over all day today. The
mead was delicious, and so very, very high in alcohol content.
Unfortunately that wasn't obvious until it was far too late.

An interesting side effect, I haven't sung in a year because
my asthma medicine really made me hoarse. After drinking the
mead, I sang many songs to the karaoke machine that another
of our friends had set up. I sounded exactly the same as I did
a year ago, before losing my voice. I wonder if that is a
little known medical benefit of really good mead?

I did check my email at work, and it looks like I have another
business trip looming in mid November. This time it is back to
Raleigh, North Carolina. It has been a year since I was there,
so I suppose it is time to go again. I wont have time to get
into the foot doctor before then, so walking is going to be a
pain. Its always something. Business trips just are never
comfortable or a whole lot of fun. At least this time, I'm not
going alone, so it wont be so lonely at dinner.

Today we had to bring in all the plants from outside. It is
supposed to hit freezing tonight. It does make the back porch
look festive, all covered in the green and flowering pots.

I have to start getting ready for the Halloween party tonight.
I'm not being very clever, I just found a really cool pair of
"Goth" wings in burgandy and black, so I got some makeup with
fake piercings, and a leather and chain hat. I'm going as an
"urban fairy", whatever the heck that is.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

And a perfect fall sky

Make a wish, at the lake...

I don't feel 51, do I have to be it?

Glorious Birthday!

Wow, what a wonderful day for a birthday!
The weather was perfect. About 60 degrees, sunny, with
the bluest of all fall skies, setting off the colors of the
beautiful fall trees.

The trees used to peak around here about October 10th, but
I'd say they are about 15 days late. They are peaking today.
Usually the leaves are pretty much gone by my birthday.
And since fall is my favorite time of year, its like an
extra present to have the colors today. To say nothing of
the huge full moon of last night.

I started the day by going down to the DMV to renew my drivers
license. Not very exciting, but I've been putting it off
because of the craziness of moving work - there was no good
time to do it. And besides they all wished me a happy birthday.

Then it was off to the Global Marketplace in the old Sears
building. I hadn't been there yet, though it has been open
for awhile. We looked at all the shops and food, and bought
a couple of middle eastern pastries, which is what I was
craving this year, instead of cake. We also tried real
brewed cola, and real Turkish pistachio Delight. (Both
quite yummy!)

Then we drove to Midori's to have Japanese food for lunch.
And at 2:45 pm, the exact time of my birth, we went to Lake
of the Isles, and I threw in a favorite rock and made a wish.
They never come true, but I've been doing that ritual for
most of the last 25 years.

This year I wished for my leg to heal up, and to have health
and mobility, so we can go to England next year. My ankle and
foot are still giving me problems, so I can't walk very much.
(London just doesn't work well, if you can't get around!)

The lake was gorgeous, and we drove around that area for
awhile and picked out houses for sale that we would like to
live in, if we were rich. My real wish is to be filthy rich,
and spend every day like this, shopping, seeing things, and
mostly not working!

For the last 2 hours I've been watching the cacophony
outside. About 20 crows chased a hawk into our big tree,
and they've been yelling at him continuously. I wonder
if eventually they'll all get bored and go home?

For dinner, Cay is going to make one of my favorite curries.
And maybe later, We'll go out for a quick drink at the
karaoke bar we like to hang out in. This is the life!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Mama told me......

I survived the day, and even made amazing headway at work.
Good, because now I have 4 glorious days off. I don't know
where to start!

So tomorrow I'm another year older. I still don't relate to
this aging thing. Only my body seems to be getting older,
my mind is pretty firmly stuck at about 30. I know everyone
says that, ask any older person. But it still is different
when it happens to you.

I think of all the things my elders told me in life, and it
just never mattered to me, at the time. I guess I can't say
no one told me. I just didn't believe it. It doesn't prepare
you for the things that happen, either. It all still surprises
me, like I'm the first person it ever happened to.

So what is the point of a historical perspective if we can't
learn from those who came before? Maybe we don't think it
applies to us, because times are different than for them.
And a lot of it is different. We have to find new pathways,
new ways for us to traverse this life.

But some of it is the same. There just isn't a good way to
predict. So we trudge forward, unprepared for our future.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Waiting for Halloween

Fried (Chicken?)

I find myself wishing more and more that I had chosen to be
a beach bum. I come home exhausted every night, not having
achieved anything I had set out to do that day at work. It
just keeps expanding. I don't know how I'm going to wrestle
it back into the bottle it seems to have escaped from. (I
guess the genie analogy is wrong - it wont grant me 3 wishes).

One more insane day to go, and then I get two days off.
It will all still be there next week....

Lurking. Waiting to pounce!

I think I need a perspective adjustment. Its getting hard
to leave work at work. Having a call early tomorrow morning
so we can get on a call with India probably won't help....

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Survived the weekend with flying colors!

Yesterday was gorgeous, possibly the last incredible day of
fall. It was sunny and 73 degrees out. I had an interview for
the show with a guy from the area. We sat in a park near Lake
of the Isles amidst the fall trees (and way the heck too many
people - that park is usually deserted!) and had a wonderful
interview.

Then, since my ankle is still a mess, I went to the Mall of
America, and bought a new pair of really comfortable shoes with
a support insert for them at The Walking Company. Hopefully
having proper shoes will help a bit. (Makes you wonder what
kind of "improper" shoes I was wearing? Actually just some
clogs, but they didn't hold up my ankle.)

Today I buckled down and edited the last show that I should
have had up by now. This is the experimental show where I
asked the audience a question, and didn't get much response.
I finally bullied a few people into answering the question.
I enjoyed doing this show a lot. It has much variety, and it
was easy to edit!

Anyways, it is up now, at:
www.uncomfortable-questions.com.

Tomorrow, it is back to work. Blug. However I'm taking Thursday
and Friday off, because Thursday is my birthday. I like to take
them off and make it a day where I can goof off, and just do
whatever I feel like. It is my own special day.

Friday, October 19, 2007

TGIF, yo!

Its Friday, its Friday!
Ah, ha, ha, ha, hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahah......

(I'm better now.)

It was a week and then some. I'm hoping that work was
not indicative of what it will be like in the future.

I'm trying to believe it was just the madness of settling
down and restructuring and reshuffling everything after the
layoffs, and the insanity of setting up massive labs after
moving and figuring out the very large new building.
I ended up trying to do everything and just frying my
brain and body and blowing out my ankle.

I hope next week is a little saner.

On with the weekend!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

The yard is a puddle

It is raining. It seems like it is always raining.
The paper said that it has rained 16 out of the last 18 days.
Have I moved to Seattle? I feel soggy, even though I'm inside.

I think a few days of sunshine would perk everyone up. The
days go by in a daze, and I'm really tired all of the time.
(I suppose that could be because I'm trying to cover way too
much at work, instead of the rain....)

The dogs are going a bit crazy because the can't sit outside
in the yard. It is one big mud slick. With the chilly fall
weather, we've been wanting to cut up some wood, and rake up
some of those leaves, but it's going to take some serious sun
to make anything dry enough. So strange that this summer we
were in a drought.

I have to put my show together this weekend. It is a week
late, but the move at work, and working last weekend finished
off any energy I had. I also have an interview with a local
person I have never met on Saturday for the following show.
Always fun to do the show in person!

And now, my warm bed is calling my name....

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Missing

The stories are gone.

Since I was very young, I would tell myself wonderful, wild,
long and elaborate stories. To help myself fall asleep. Whenever
I was bored. When I was daydreaming. When I was driving or walking
along. The stories were always there, and always better than
real life.

I noticed lately that there aren't any more stories. I just
fall asleep. I don't daydream. I wake up and think about
work, and how I'm going to get everything done.

It seems so empty without the stories. Where did they go?
Why did they go? It is too quiet in my head.

The stories were so strong and vivid, I had a theory that if
I told them hard enough, they were a force of their own.
That some of the magic would creep into the real world,
and more interesting things would be created in my life.
Sometimes it did seem that it was true. But now?

Life has been kind of tough and down. Give me back my stories!

I miss them.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Warm

I finally got a really solid night of sleep. And I still
felt awful all day. The trip, being sick, and the move were
a bit much for me over the last 4 weeks. I don't feel like
I'm recovering very well. I'm faced yet again, with
rebuilding my health, lots of exercise, eating very healthy
things, blah, blah, blah.

So I went and bought an electric blanket :)
I haven't had one for years, and I swore I wouldn't go
through another winter without one. I set it up and turned
on the "preheat" setting to warm up your bed. A friendly,
gentle heat started exuding from the blanket. Ha, ha!
Let winter come.

Dazed and in Pain!

Wow, I didn't even remember to write my blog for days!
I worked again today - the 6th straight day of moving stuff
at work. Now we are in the put it all back together stage,
and making progress. A couple more days and some things
should be running again.

This whole week has be a fog of pain, stiffness, and
walking around and standing way the heck too much on a
foot and ankle that keeps swelling up (its the bad
ankle with the tendon replacement.). I just want it to be
done, and get back to some kind of normalcy at work.
Like actually doing some work, instead of all this
physical labor.

My friend Sharon, who I work with, came over last night
and we did the only thing two very tired, aging women
could do in these circumstances. We drank beer and sat
in my hot tub, and talked about the layoffs and our hopes
for our futures.

I am taking tomorrow off - I'll face it all again on Monday.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Sore doesn't even describe it

My lab moved today to the new building. I am hard pressed
to find a part of my body that doesn't hurt right now.

My nose. I don't think my nose hurts. My feet and back,
forget it. I can't get up off the couch. I'm a bit worried
about the foot and ankle I had the tendon graft on. It is
really inflamed, and that is how the first tendon snapped.
I'd like to keep the new one.

But my lab is mostly moved. My desk didn't move today, it
goes on Friday, so I got to sit at my new desk with nothing
in it at all, and no computer. I do like my new cube though.
And the new building is beautiful.

Now I get to start the painful task of setting all the lab
equipment back up. Seems like a waste, I just got it all
taken down. Mostly I just hope I can walk tomorrow!

Monday, October 08, 2007

I am a sore puppy...

The work move went into high gear. I had to un-cable 10 racks
and 2 desks full of equipment. There were hundreds of cables,
entirely enmeshed running into the ceiling racks, jumping over
3 rows. Halfway through the day, I was exhausted and knew I
couldn't possibly get done by tomorrow night.

I sent out the email HELP! call, and had 2 others working on
it with me for the rest of the day. We got most of it done,
just some final touches tomorrow. I stopped sorting the
cables and just stuffed them all in boxes. I'll figure it
out on the other end. I then went and finished packing my
cube for good measure!

I was pretty spent when I got home. Being sick for so long
had left me far weaker than I had expected. A good soak in
the hot tub later, and I'm considering living again. Good
thing, because I have to keep up that level of labor all
week. Tearing down other's test beds, moving on Wednesday,
and starting to set it up and re-cable it all on the other
end.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Hot Creativity!

Quite the artistic hub today at our house. The roommate's band
were recording a CD in the basement. Our record publisher friend
who records stand-up comedians came over, and Cay is going to
do some commercials for his company, that will air on the radio
in New York.

My friend David dropped by, and he and I weren't very creative,
but we did reinvent how weather works. We decided the
Canadian air (we hope will arrive soon - it was 86 degrees and
intensely humid) comes down because the curvature of the Earth
and because we are below Canada, so it sort of falls down.
(So much for science!).

We were just a little overheated. The band members emerged
occasionally from the basement, stripped of shirts and drenched
in sweat. Cay took a couple of hundred of photos of their
session in our very messy basement for their CD. It hopefully
gives it a sort of punk credibility. No recording in clean
suburban basements for them!

It's supposed to be in in the 60's all next week, and we are
rather looking forward to it. I didn't have any cold symptoms
for the first time today, but even a little trip to the
grocery store completely wore me out. Time to start building
my strength back up. Tomorrow.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

This just might work?

I'm coming back to life today, cold is almost gone.
I even got on the ol' exercise bike, but only made it for 10
minutes - I'm really weak from being sick for 2 weeks.
It didn't help that it was also 90 degrees. In October! I was
getting all geared up for autumn.

Since I was feeling better, I decided to do something about
getting not enough responses to my question for the next show
and sent out some emails to some previous guests, with lots
of begging and groveling.

One of them recorded 11 minutes for me, and sent it right away.
Thanks Andrew! Another (who had sent a response), posted
it on a forum where they talk about that stuff, and hopefully
they will send something to me. Thanks Graviton Ring. So
I've set a deadline of next Saturday, and I have my fingers
crossed that I will have a show after all.

Plus I've had 2 more volunteers for a "regular" interview,
and now that I'm feeling better, I'll have to schedule those.

I even spent a couple of hours updating my resume, paying bills,
balancing the checkbook, going through all my mail and email.
I'm back in action!

Friday, October 05, 2007

You call this health?

I'm feeling very restless.

My new idea for my show didn't work. Today was the deadline,
and I only got 2 responses. I wonder what will happen to my
show. Should I keep trying, or should I give it up?

I worry about work, and if it will be stable for awhile, or if
I will have to find another job in the near future? I really,
really don't want that one to end.

I'm worried about my health, and just how long I'm really
going to be able to last. And will I do anything worthwhile
with the time I have left, or will I just let it all slip
away?

I guess all this fretting is a good sign. While I was sick,
I just didn't care. I must be getting back to normal....

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Feel Like Crap

Title says it all. I'm going to bed.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Not There Yet....

Last night, after an exhausting day of packing up the lab
and going to too many meetings, I collapsed pretty early
and slept for a long time. I'm just not over this cold yet,
and tire awfully easily.

I actually look forward to getting back to exercising and
eating right. Hard to imagine - in generally I'm not all
that fond of exercise and eating healthy!

It turns out I did have enough money to replace my pink
Nintendo DS that was stolen on my trip, so I feel a
little better about that. I also found one of the games
that was with it, for not too much money on the web -
so I'm replacing that one. Haven't had the heart to
look for the others. How can you get ahead in finances,
if you have to keep buying the same things over again?

I'm also trying to get the energy up to update my resume.
Just in case. I don't think I'll need it for awhile, but
I've had the wake up call, yet again, that life is not as
stable as I would like. I just can't face it yet, I'll
take a crack at it, this weekend.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Back at it?

I'm trying to come back to life. I'm still pretty sick but
managed to make it through work. I'm cleaning up, tearing
down, and packing 10 racks and 2 desks worth of equipment
for the move next Wednesday. I started already, because I'm
so slow from this cold, I can't keep at it very long.

Some of this stuff hasn't been moved in 6 or more years, and
it is a dusty mess. I have to wear a dust mask while packing,
so it doesn't set off my asthma. I hope all the dirt will
fall off during the move, so the new building will be nice
and clean!

I hate moving my household, and moving work isn't any more
fun. I'll be really glad when we're settled in the new place.

I discovered the video game Eternal Sonata is a blast. It
is the most beautiful game I've ever seen, and educational
to boot. It takes place in a fantasy dream the composer
Chopin has in his dying hours. The story of Chopin's life,
and his music wrap through the game. Plus the battles can
have multiple players, so I get to play too, instead of just
watch, like most Role Playing Games. Makes being sick, almost
enjoyable....