Saturday, October 30, 2004

The meeting with Scotty the Contractor yesterday went well.
HE will do the work himself.
It will be done in time for Thanksgiving.
He noticed the poly.
He noticed the putty around the glass.
He noticed the holes.
He noticed the wood on the granite island.

Woody the N0n-detailed Detail Guy is near sighted.
And refuses to wear his glasses!!! GAH!!!
Actually, let's make that blind.
With poor judgment.
He is not allow in my house anymore.
Scotty the Contractor said HE (Scotty - not Woody) will fix everything.
Music to my ears.

We are watching the Red Sox Parade on the HDTV.
Three blocks away, people 15 deep are lining the parade route.
In some places, it's 20 deep.
Some have been camping out since 10pm last night to get a front row view.
TEN PEE EMM! LAST NIGHT!
In the cold.
And rain.
RAIN!
Ever sleep in the wet sleeping bag?
Uh-huh...
They are insane.
And we are warm and dry.
And we have a real bathroom.
Very important detail.

We have some friends maneuvering through the madding crowd.
We've got burgers and FENWAY FRANKS (!!!), chips and salsa, and beer, waiting for them if they want to stop by and get out of the chaos afterwards.
Or if they need to use a real bathroom. :o))
And if they decide to go home directly, that's okay too.
We understand the madness and are here to support them. :o)

Friday, October 29, 2004

Just when you think you're over...they suck you back in!
We are meeting with Scottie the Contractor. In addition to all the OTHER BULLSHIT, Woody the Non-Detailed Detail Guy, POLY'D OVER the new cabinets that he put the glass in! Did he think that the cabinets weren't FINISHED ALREADY??? And now the two sets of doors are SHINIER and BRIGHTER than the other cabinets and you can see the DAMN BRUSH STROKES!!!! GAH!!!!!

And I want all the drawer fronts re-ordered anew - I can still see the damn holes.
I want those cabinet doors to by UN-POLY'D.
I want them back the way they were BEFORE they got shiny.
I don't care HOW he does it - but that is what I want.
And the front of the island is a mess.
Abby said something.
Gina said something.
In fact, it's been bothering me and I haven't said anything.
NO MORE! I've been complaining for a few days now.
I am going to complain to Scotty this morning.

I will feel better at after 10am.
Hmmm... I had BETTER feel better after 10am....

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Did I mention that I am on my way to Dallas on business? I think I did. I am going to attend a meeting. Then I will sleep (and watch Game 7) and fly back home in the morning. This is almost as short a trip as the time many years ago, when I started my “traveling for work” career, when I went to Dallas, arrived at the Four Seasons and checked in, went to dinner at Mi Piacci, and then flew home the next morning due to an impending ice storm. That was sort of like all the tales you hear about being flown to Paris for lunch by some rich suitor who owns his own plane. Only in this case, it was for business, I flew with my boss, and it was on American Airlines. Coach seat. I had not racked up enough mileage to fly first class yet.

When I was younger I thought I would be a writer. I read voraciously. Ten books at once. Literally, TEN BOOKS AT ONCE. I went to the library EVERY weekend and checked out about 15-20 books at a time – thank goodness there was no limit. I didn't read them all in one week but at any given time, I would overlap anywhere from 4-5 books at a time. I know it sounds really nuts but it worked and I was never late returning a book. Anyway, I imagined myself following in the footsteps all those writers when I got older. It didn’t matter whether I was famous or rich. It only mattered that I would write the Great American Novel one day. Never mind that I wasn’t American. Not really – not even first generation - but an IMMIGRANT – even though I immigrated when I was really young.

My Great American Novel would be fiction, of course. And it would be about some young disenfranchised woman who fought her roots to fulfill her dreams. Those dreams varied from achieving contentment through an ordinary life, to revenge on those who rejected her before she was rich and famous – revenge by living well and having much sucess in life. During my bleaker periods of life, I imagined it would be a story about that same woman who had everything, lost the whole point of pursuing dreams and achieving them, to lose her success through short-sightedness, only to realize on her deathbed that she had lost all that she had fought to gain. Yes, it’s all over the place. Sort of how my mind works – disjointed and all over the place.

When I was younger, I was so involved in my future as a writer that I would fall asleep every single night to The Story. I would act out the narrations and speak out loud the various character voices until I fell asleep. The next night, I would rewind just a bit, and pick up where I left off. This would continue until The Story was complete – written in my mind, read out loud, acted out – sort of like a Movie of the Week in fast forward. I would do this every single night. Sometimes the stories would last a week. Others would last almost a year. It depended on whether it was a vignette, a novel, or an epic. And if it was an epic, I might have a couple of them going at once. You would think that I would write them down. I didn’t. Except for the one story I wrote in 9th grade that won the class award. The English teacher, who didn’t like me much, looked at me differently after that. My classmates, the Gifted and Talented, who read my 50-page story looked at me as if I had a talent, rather than a loner who never quite fit in, only melted into the background, and who wasn’t quite Gifted and Talented enough.

Needless to say, I didn’t become a writer. I don’t think I could have ever become one. There is too much detail to pick through and I don’t have that kind of patience. Instead, I went into technology because I "hated" people, only to end up managing them!

So, where is all this leading? At the airport, I picked up a book by one of my favorite authors, Amy Tan. I have all four of her books – not counting the two children’s books. If I had been a writer, she is the kind of writer I would have liked to have been. She is Chinese and the moment I picked up The Joy Luck Club, I knew she was writing about my life. I don’t mean writing about what happened in my life to the exact detail, or even in parallel, but in such a way that the similarities from two very different cultures clash, a reflection of the intangible way in which every Asian culture is the same. She managed to put down on paper the voices in my head when I hear my dead mother’s speaking to me – actually, it’s the way I translate it because I always hear her talking to me in Korean - the way I talk when I imitate Asian aunties speaking. The same tone and intonation I use when I speak with someone who only knows broken English, or who speaks with an Asian accent, however slight. I laugh out loud at contradictions that only an Asian mother can speak, with a straight face and all seriousness, that probably only an Asian (and most specifically, an Asian daughter) can feel and understand. I used to read passages out loud to HWINLIML, who didn’t find it amusing at all. He told me that I was the only one who found it funny. But I would insist that he keep listening, thinking that if I read enough of it out loud to him, that he would agree that it was funny. But it never worked. I then consoled myself, that he doesn’t understand because he isn’t Asian. It was hard trying to share experiences with a disinterested party who always blamed my “skewed view” of the world. (Of course, now my Hunny Bunny lets me read out loud all I want and seems to appreciate my warped view of the things.)

I was amazed that I had found this author who could speak for me. It’s hard to explain. She knew my voice and my heart. She was able to express “something” that would release long hidden thoughts from deep in my mind – not the actions as she told them but something about the essence of what she was saying. These thoughts released me and I found myself crying over her books – not at what she had written but over the memories that she evoked – mostly sadness about my mother and wonder about the heritage that I didn't really know. I wondered if I was wrong about my mother and whether, unbeknownst to me, all Asian mothers are the same. She hit a chord deep inside.

Amy Tan writes a great deal about mothers. It would be too ambitious of me (or obnoxious?) or presume why… but for me, her writings give me pause to consider my own mother. I saw similarities in her “story mothers” and mine. This led me to wonder if all Asian mothers are the same – all the chest pounding, guilt rendering diatribes, the contradictions, and the annoying habit of never really getting to the point. For the first time, I wondered about the past that shaped my mother, and realized that I knew nothing of her, or what had shaped her. As I recall, I didn’t know much about her in THIS life much less the life she had before she was married. In fact, I don’t recall much about her at all even today. I don’t even remember how old she was when she died. And I am ashamed to say that I know nothing about my family history in general.

I now believe that the secret to my “burdens” lies in understanding my mother. By releasing the thoughts and emotions that I have kept hidden, I might find release in this life. The truth of the wisdom I seek by trying to understand world religions might come from this release. And in the end, I might find nirvana, after all. Wouldn’t it be ironic, but probably no surprise, that the very thing that I spurn might lead me to enlightenment, truth, knowledge? So many thoughts, so many emotions and passions, so much to understand and grasp – but can I hold on to the elusive? Can I give voice to the demons that roil behind that closed door? I hear them knocking…

The plane is getting ready to land. Dallas will be hot – in the 90’s. I haven’t been there in over three years. I wonder how much of it has changed.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

9:51pm. Same day.
Happiness is... Having your "Nephew", the Cornell Kid, come home for Thanksgiving dinner. I love a big family holiday. The apple pie got him.

Happiness is... having a wonderful cute hunny bunny laying by your side, watching the baseball game, having him totally captive right next to your side so that you can hug him and kiss him, and have him be... well... totally captive. I love World Series season. :o))

Surprise is... being able to pack for your trip to Dallas and finding you can get everything into a laptop case. I've never done that before. I love new experiences. Sometimes.

9:06am. I must figure out how to get pictures up on this blog. I think pictures would break things up rather nicely.

It's rainy in Boston all the way down to Smithfield, RI. I know that because I drove it today. Not too many stupid people going my way this morning - although there were a few. Most of the stupid people were going in the other direction. I know this because the traffic in the other direction was incredibly long - almost as if there were an accident or something. But no. It was just the rain. People should have a driver's license, and then another one - a Driving in the Rain license. Two different things. Just because people can drive a car in fair weather doesn't mean they are qualified to drive in the rain. Think of that. Think how many less cars there would be on the road. Think of how many less accidents there would be. Oh, how sweet! Think of how empty the roads would be!!! It would be a pleasure driving in the rain for a change.

------------
5:37pm. Blast and damn! I go down to the fitness center and all of the ellipticals are TAKEN! GAH!!!! I got delayed by my boss. Fifteen lousy minutes and the machines are all taken! I knew that was going to happen. The treadmills were available but given that it's a low-impact day and I am just starting back and I have a bad pinching in my upper trapezius area, I am calling it a damn rest day.

Just as well. I have to go home and pack for my trip to Dallas tomorrow.

And it looks like I have to dig out the ole apple pie recipe for Thanksgiving! :o)

Monday, October 18, 2004

House Note. I can't talk about it any more. The last little piddlin' little eentsy beentsy details are driving me CRAZY! And it's does NOT HELP that the detail guy is NEAR-SIGHTED and CAN'T SEE the damn detail! GAH!!!! Not only that, the wood along the front of the island is a mess! The end of the island has little wood, pieces that don't match the other wood detail we are putting up, the baseboard along the side of the cabinets have to be stained but he put up PRE-PAINTED wood - do you THINK that pre-painted would will take STAIN? I DON"T THINK SOOOO... Not to mention that above that piece, is another unfinished moulding that COULD be stained but why STAIN it when the base below it is PAINTED. WHITE?? Blah blah blah... yadda yadda yadda. I could go on for days about this but I become insane. So I can't go on...

The good news is that the half shelves have been put into the large cabinets. They look good. THANK GOD they look good. At least I can put the dishes away in the cabinet this weekend. I was waiting for this so that I could unpack the regular every day dishes.

Running Note. 3.5 miles today. Ran after work. Did weights at lunch. I love it. I worked in RI today. The gym is two floors down. The whole process door-to-door took about 45 minutes. And I had time to eat lunch. I love being able to run after work, too. I shower, run up to the office for some last minute things and then leave. Yahoo!

Talked to my friend Joanne in NYC today. Lots to chat about and so little time. She was going out with some friends from work. Can't wait to see her when we are there in November. There are a group of people I can't wait to see. It's been a while since I saw most of them - the last time being the wedding! And it's a change to introduce Jo to my friends so that she has other people besides work people to do things with. Although... no one in the group shops like Joanne does. Egads! I told her that she needs to talk to Joseph so that he can see that my desire to add yearly to my Louis Vuitton collection is mild compared to her penchant for designer jackets!! She has too many jackets. I told her to let up on the jackets! Sheesh.

So far, Thursday night we are going to Blondies for wings and beer.
Then a facial must be scheduled at some point.
Daniel's dinner on Saturday night.
And then we will meet Debbie's friend Carolina - can't wait - fun fun fun.
Dinner after the marathon on Sunday night with Mike, Mike, and Mary and whomever else.
Lunch or something with Joanne on one of the days.
And maybe I can drag her to wings and beer or something so she can meet Debbie.
She Must Meet Debbie!
And I have to pop into the expo - not sure why but it's something I always do so I don't question why.
Egads! I must do a November in NYC Social Calendar!!!


Sunday, October 17, 2004

Unpacking Note. Finished the shoes. Thank goodness. The summer shoes ended up in one see through plastic container which is now being stored in the basement. Thank goodness. I think I won't be as lucky with my winter shoes come spring. I might have to get rid of a few pairs. I also have a feeling I might have nother box of shoes at storage.


5:13pm. Same Day. So, just finished unpacking most of the books. Moving onto making dinner, then onto shoes - winter shoes for summer shoes - I might have to create another bag for charity. Sigh...

We have started to open our scotch collection. The end of the granite island (rather, penninsula) is a perfect place for it. We also have a variety of sherries - amontillado is my favorite - and some cognac, tawny port, vodka made from grapes (delicious), and various other liquors. But mostly it's scotch. Talisker, Lagavullin 16, Laphroig 16, Macallan 18, Oban, Springbank 21, the Michele Couvreur, etc etc etc. I told Joseph he could open any one except for the Arberg. For now, anyway. One must always have a vast array of scotch in all it's glorious flavors because one never knows the kindamood one will be in. And amidst the golden liquid treasure sits the Charbay. Unfiltered. Uncut. Unopened. A gift from Amanda Panda... I think we might open it on our first anniversary. Most people cut their wedding cake - the top little layer, that they've saved for a year. A. Year. How good is year old cake?? We didn't have cake. We had pecan pie. So, we will open up our bottle of Charbay. Maybe. Depends on if we will open up something else instead. But for now, the Charbay brings with it good memories, good friends, good times, and lots o' love...

The question is, where oh where do we put the OTHER bottles of scotch? I think we have another couple cases of various and sundry... can't list it all - too many to count.

House Note. Another trip to storage and another huge cartload. Books, more books, clothes, more clothes, and lots o' alcohol. Storage is looking a lot more empty. If we can get rid of the two beds that would be a huge improvement! Now that house is filled with books and clothes and alcohol. Time to unpack!

Running Note. My hands are frozen. I should have worn gloves. ARG!!! The damn WIND! Okay. So the windy season is definitely upon us. And there was a sizeable headwind. But the way back I had one gust of tailwind and the rest was neglible. Then more headwind as I headed up Berkeley street. Not too bad because my time was pretty good considering. I am traveling this week. Twice to RI and then two days - going to Dallas for an overnight trip and an afternoon meeting. Yes. I am going to Dallas TEXAS for ONE MEETING. TWO HOURS. Well... there are going to be about 10 people, I think. 3 of us from Boston and the rest from Texas. Then back home on Friday. I am going to work from Home on Friday and no one had better tell me otherwise. Sheesh.

Okay. So my bones didn't know what they were talking about yesterday. Or maybe what I was feeling was sympathy pains. For the Sox. I feel so bad for them. But as Joseph says, they are ridiculous.... WHY oh WHY did they want to play the Yankees in the playoffs? Why all the trash talk? Why oh why oh why? 19 runs scored again the Sox. I am totally speechless.


Saturday, October 16, 2004

Let me say for the record, Boston is gonna win this.
Game three. They will win. As much of a Yankee fan as I am, I feel it in my bones. And when bones talk, I know it's gonna be close. The last time my bones talked, we had a bad winter, a wet summer, and I moved out of Quincy. Ahem. So...If the Yankees win, it will be only with a lot of hard work on an "off-day", of sorts. In other words, it will be close.

So marrying a sports fanatic has opened up a new world.
Right now, we are watching the third game of the Yankees vs. Red Sox - on mute - and listening to the Kona Ironman Triathlon on streaming video on Joseph's laptop. In under nine hours, the winner has just crossed the finish and Hideki Matsui is at bat. He had better not shame his ancestors! Of course, that doesn't take into account the home run he hit in the first inning. But every inning is a new inning, and chances of shaming your ancestors start anew. It's tough being Asian. Especially the kindaAsian that has a lot of dead ancestors who are a bunchabusy-bodies and have outrageous expectations. Of course, I like to shout this out to Matsui every chance I get. I mean, he is Japanese after all, and I SHOULD give him a hard time - my being KOREAN and all. Ahem. I figure he owes me....

Running Note. It's a rest day. Actually I would have probably run if we had not gone to the Eat 'n Run at Tom and Beth's (they belong to our running club). I detest running with a group, partly because of the pressure to run outside of my comfort zone - which means FAST. Turns out they did 6 miles in 1:20. ONE:TWENTY! That means ONE HOUR AND TWENTY MINUTES. HELLO! Did you like WALK or something???? I mean, even I COULD HAVE DONE THAT!!!! It must have killed Joseph. Now, if you want to talk about someone having to walk, HE probably had to CRAWL!

House Note. So we went to storage and got a bunchastuff. We got some winter stuff for me, and cookbooks. We did find the recipe file, thank goodness, so it will be a good Thanksgiving for all! Hopefully. The first recipe on top is the cranberry chutney. I had forgotten all about the chutney. And I make ONE MEAN MUTHAH CHUTNEY! :o) I will have to make a bunch and give it to Joseph's family. We also moved the big bookshelf from the front sitting room to the living room. We took it out the front door and brought it downstairs through the front window. Don't ask. Too hard to explain.

It's wonderful being married to someone who is handy. We also brought back our wedding gifts. The Debusk that I had made special for him - a boy in a field with a sun and a cloud and a tree, in a Yankee baseball shirt, with a baseball mitt and a baseball, and a doggie with it's smiling face and a tongue hanging out of it. It's ONE OF A KIND!!! And the marathon picture - called Boston Marathon - that Leah had painted on newspaper collage. They are now hanging on our wall in the living area of the first floor. I marvel at how he makes such short work out of thses types of tasks. Before, HWINLML (He Who is No Longer In My Life) would have made a week long project out of it. And even then, it would have come out CROOKED! And of course, I would have pointed it out and he would have gotten mad at me for pointing it out - of course it would have been obvious and no one likes to have the obvious pointed out to them - unless of course you don't notice the obvious. Ahem. Anyway, the whole production of measuring, leveling and hanging took like 10 minutes. TEN MINUTES. That is, if you discount the time in between to watch the game as Boston started leading in the second and yelling at the TV. Of course, I am at fault for popping the little air poppy packing that the painting was wrapped in because, well, we all know that THAT was what caused Boston to take the lead. Albiet briefly. Sheesh!

Tomorrow, we will go back to storage and bring back books for our book shelf. And the rest of my winter clothes. Which means bringing back three boxes of fleece tops. THREE BOXES. And I am not talking about small boxes but those moving boxes that we use at work. These are BIG. I will have a lot of charitable deductions next April. And I have to start rotating my clothes for the winter. I hate doing that. I used to have a closet that held all four season so I didn't have to do this. It's one of the things I am adjusting to since moving into the city.

Car Note. Joseph bought a new car. A BMW 525i. Black. 5-speed. Fully loaded. It's also a 1992 and had only 79K miles on it. One owner who just loved this car, I could tell when I met him. He almost coddled the car. I thought he was going to KISS the damn thing! Joseph took it to our mechanic and he said we were getting a new car. It's in great shape and totally underpriced. German engineering. Gotta love it. It's a beauty of a car, heavy, the engine purrs and you think you're driving 50 mph when the car is going 70. He drove it one day, took it into Steve the Mechanic the next day and that afternoon (Friday) he picked me up from work in it. All bought and paid. Only in the South End could a transaction like this take place. The seller took it home - right up the street from us - and totally cleaned out the inside and when Joseph asked about it, he was going to take it to the car wash. Joseph was like, Uh, no. You don't have to do that.

So now we are a three-car family. And this is yet another reason why our friend and financial planner, Abby, says we are the poorest rich people she knows. Sigh... I want to introduce her to Louis Vuitton... he makes a great handbag....

Friday, October 15, 2004

10:14am. I had to get up early today. I've figure out that if I wake up - and stay awake - when I first get up, I am less tired in the morning than when I lay in bed pretending to be sleeping or dozing a little. This means getting up when the radio comes on at 5:55 am. I usually listen to the weather, after which Joseph turns it off. Then we lay there for another 5 minutes until his watch alarm comes on. Or until the Dingle Doggie starts WHINING - it's like fingernails on a chalkboard but thankfully, I am becoming immune to it. He gets up to walk the Doggie and I lay there for another 30 minutes until he gets back. I am usually successful at dozing for those 30 additional minutes but I am so tired. This was always surprising to me since I usually end up getting 8 hours of sleep! Today I got up after 7 hours of sleep, with the first alarm, and I am surprisingly untired. I do remember that there was a time when I would get up at around 7 hours because I had read somewhere that in longevity studies, the people who got around 7 hours sleep - not 6 and not 8, but exactly 7 - ended up with longer life spans. With the kindagenes I have in my family for early death, I'll take any advantage that comes along, any way I can get it. And 7 hours sleep is an easy one.

This morning, I had a taping. Our company owns a studio - we produce our own simulcasts, and videos, etc., to be taped all over the world at various company offices. This is only one of the many things that they do. So, there were fourteen of us in this studio with 8 of the senior executives, we in the audience asked questions and they answered. We spent 2 hours there, 45 minutes on questions, and the final release will be only 18 minutes. Before the taping, the CIO comes into the gathering place where we, the audience, is waiting and tells me that I had better not ask any hard questions and that he knew he's given me a hard time in the past but I had better now use this for payback. LOL! I must be really pick-on-able because all those guys always pick on me. Of course my boss's boss thinks I'm a nut for whatever reason. There is this one guy who always tries to make me go to the wrong rooms for a meeting. And there is another who apologizes for all the work HE is generating for my group. Of course, that's true but how do you tell an SVP, "YES! YOU ARE MAKING ME GO OVER-BUDGET!!!" You don't. And I especially like him, so it's okay. In fact, I like all of them. They all have funny and interesting little personalities. And not a one of them is similar!

Workout Note. In addition to the elliptical and full body weights, I have started to incorporate abdominal exercises into my daily workout routine. I basically use one of those crunch bars that help you roll up by keeping your head and neck in alignment. I do these sets very slowly. I can honestly say that I have felt abdominal muscles where I never thought I had them. And the residual aching from these exercises are a constant reminder that I am working them. In fact, I can't remember the last time I've had total body residual aching like this before. It must have been more than 10 years ago when I first start lifting weights with a personal trainer. I did this for three years until I blew out my hip doing leg presses using almost 400 lbs of weight. As a result of a combination of that and running - I ended up with hip bursitis so bad that I had to get cortisone shots, quit all activity for a few months, and underwent therapy for almost 6 months. In fact, I didn't know how bad the low-grade chronic pain was until I went to the doctor who FINALLY diagnosed it correctly and I burst into tears when he said he could fix me! This was after going to doctors for a year, most of the idiots telling me that I am getting old or I had to quit running or they were really uppity and arrogant. Who says that post graduate or professional degrees make you smart?? Anyway, this guy cured me. And after he cured me and I didn't feel the pain, I was so happy I was dancing around in his office! He must have thought I was a nut! I am very aware of how the total body aching can segue almost overnight into injury. I hope I learned my lesson. I am stretching more than ever and exercising moderation in my efforts. We will see where all this takes us.

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3:49pm. So, tell me. How much cracking can a neck crack, when you crack a neck? Went to the ART guy. Things are definitely loosening up. Crack the neck again. Crrrrrk....crrrrrkkkk! The sound is very unnerving to say the least. More work on the muscles. The places he worked is actually feeling better.

It's almost time to go for a run. Can I say that I DO NOT FEEL LIKE IT??? ARG!!!!!

And WHERE does the day go???
I have spent so much time today dilly dallying and pro-crastinating and now that it's time to go run, I am working like the DOG that I AM! ARG!!!!!

It's all so damn unfair! grrrr.....

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Well... it's been a few days without blogging and since the demise of the flab gab. It's comforting to know that I don't miss it at all. Having to keep up with it was like a monkey on my back. Some people like keeping minute details about what they eat. I don't. I found that out pretty quickly. I don't mind jotting things down but not a minute by minute accounting. And even the jotting lasts only a couple of hours.

Not drinking wine during the week is going well. I did have a little half glass with dinner last night and I regretted it afterwards. So tonight, just some barley tea with dinner. Which my Hunny Bunny cooked since I was home late - I worked in RI today and then worked out at the company health club. I got home and dinner was on the table. It can't get much better than that!!

It's been two weeks since I've consistently been working out. I am alternating running with the elliptical and trying to do weights at least twice a week. So far so good. The elliptical is an interesting piece of equipment. It brings to mind the OLD Health Riders. You are suspended in air by the elliptical-type foot pedals. It also has arms that simulate cross-country skiing action. But the legs just go back and forth. I never did understand how this worked. But then I don't think they make them any more so that's about how WELL they worked.

The elliptical does the same thing only your legs are going back and forth in a circular motion. I guess it's a cross between biking and fast walking. Regardless, I know that I am using different muscles than when I run. And that's very good. It also gives me an opportunity to get rid of the constant foot impact. Which is even better.

On the days that I do the elliptical, I do full body weights. I started out with a lackadaisical attitude thinking I'd just take a few 5-lb weights and throw them around, just to maintain the muscles. One set of 12 reps of each major body part - except a 5 exercises for the legs. Now, I am at the point where I am lifting 10-40 pounds and each week I am adding 5-10 pounds! I am also starting to get more into Darden's method of lifting heavier weights very slowly - again using only one set. But instead of the 8-10 reps, I am doing 12 reps. And now I am thinking that I need to go back to a split routine, where you split up your body parts over 4 days and train each part twice a week - but you would, of course, to multiple exercises per body part. The beauty of Darden's method is that if you are in the gym longer than 30-40 minutes (closer to 30), then you are either doing too much or not doing it right. I'll hold the full body routine until end of October. In November, I'll go to the split routine.

My company is wonderful. In the remote offices they have partnered with Fitcorp Health Club to build out a corporate health club. In RI and NH, we have one right in our building, a couple floors down. I tried out the RI one today. And now I am wondering why I didn't do it earlier! I mean, we moved at the beginning of August and I've been traveling there every week since then!

Running Note. 2.75 miles on the elliptical. Full body weights. Tomorrow, I am hoping to get in a short run.

House Note. Nothing new. We need to unpack. And I MUST find my recipe file box with all of the Thanksgiving day recipes in it!!!!

Editor's note. It's late. I have an early morning taping I have to go to so I need to go to bed. Therefore I will stop here abruptly.... and to all a good night!

Monday, October 11, 2004

ARG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I can't stand it when I THINK I saved my damn blog and it's not there when I get back to it!!! GAH!!!!

I deleted My Flab Gab. I just couldn't keep up with it. Too much minutiae to deal with. I am not someone who can write down every little thing. Because most every little thing seems just so damn little to really worry about. Sometimes if you add up all the little things it becomes a big thing. Like the weight issue. If you add up every little ounce, it can become a huge amount. But I am resolved. Since I don't like to worry about everything little thing that goes in mouth, I am not going to. And that is that.

I will say though, that I am giving up alcohol during the week. Joseph and I thought about it this weekend and he figured out that I probably drink an additional 400-600 calories daily on wine alone! DAILY! And I do know that I am apt to have an extra bite or two to chase down that extra bit of wine - as opposed to having a little extra wine to chase down the food... as I noted in my previous blogs, the food part isn't a big deal to me. But wine. Now that is a different story.

So, I am on this self-imposed wagon. Hopefully I can steer the stupid thing and not fall off. The goal is to be totally "clean" during the week and have a glass or two on the weekends. And tonight, we went to Picco Pizza and Joe had wine and I did not. I am happy about this - although at the time, I was less than pleased.

House Note. So, Scottie the Contractor is stupposed to be around this week. He is hoping to get everything done this week. Right. He told Joseph to leave a list for him of things that need doing. So I did. HAH!!! Right on the kitchen table. All four pages. Yup. They are little 4x6 sheets and there are four of them. There are 17 items on the sheets. A couple of items refer to stickie notes I've taped to things in the kitchen. I'd say there are about 20 stickie notes with little notes and arrows pointing to things that they are referring to. And I don't think he'll be done by the end of this week. And that is all that I know. I could be wrong. I frequently am....

Running Note. So, I go to the gym on schedule after work today. And because of the stupid *&^%$ HOLIDAY they are closing at 6pm. SIX PEE EMM! I looked at the clock and it was 5:15pm. FIVE FIFTEEN PEE EMM!!! GAH!!!!! So I had another damn rest day!

ART Note. I went to the ART (Active Release Therapy) guy and he said he could fix my shoulder. I'll report in. My first appointment is tomorrow afternoon. I got an assessment and he says he definitely feels the scar tissue up and down my trapezius and my neck. I have a feeling that I am going to have to get a stupid monitor for my desk! They are SO DAMN BIG!!! Right now I just use a laptop. But the screen makes my head tilt forward and that might be straining my neck. Strangely enough, it's one side only. Which makes me think that the right shoulder accident (horseback riding a few years ago) leads to my neck muscle issue which exacerbates my shoulder problem which makes my neck worse which makes my... you get the idea. At some point, you don't what causing which problem first or worst! After my neck and shoulder, he will then move onto my hip area. Good.

Hunny Bunny Note. It's been a while since I've done this but, I'd like to point out more thoughtful things my Hunny Bunny does for me. This morning, I got up and got ready for work. Now, he works for a regular bank that follows normal holidays. I do not. Therefore, I had to work and he did not. Instead of just taking things easy, etc., he waits for me to almost be ready to leave and he announces he is driving me to work. :o)) How sweet is that? Now, granted, he did need to go to storage, and it was only a tiny bit of detour but he didn't have to do it that early - he could have waited and gone later. Turns out Stupid Storage was closed because of the Stupid Holiday but that's beside the point.

I also have these pants that I've been meaning to iron for about a month. ONE. MONTH. And I always look at it and say, I have to iron my stupid pants. So this morning while I was getting ready for work, I laid them on my pillow and said, I have to iron my stupid pants. And I am saying it out loud because that might just get my butt in gear and get me to do it! I get home tonight and what do I see? My pants on a hanger, all ironed. He had ironed them for me. TWO PAIRS! I HATE ironing!!!! He is so SWEET!!!

And he put up the light in the hallway. It looks so awesome!! HAPPINESS!!!

And he always tries to meet me at the train station when I come home from work. He meets me with the Dingle Doggie, who runs up and almost knocks me down like she hasn't seen in years and I am the last human on earth! Sheesh. :o)

Yes, fall is in the air, and life is very good in the South End of Boston.

Thursday, October 07, 2004

8:29am. It's another crisp day in New England - at least in Boston. And with the strengthening sun, I imagine that the day will soften up a bit with the ensuing warmth.

So, our friend D, just sent out a message about a the usual dinner on the Saturday night before the NYCM (New York City Marathon) . It's a dinner of Penguins and Deads. To make a long story short, it's from 4pm-6pm. For Dinner. Four. Pee. Emm. Who eats dinner at 4pm? It's like a late lunch or a heavy snack. And then I'll get hungry and have to eat again at 9pm. Either that or go to sleep. And WHO THE HELL GOES TO SLEEP AT 9PM IN NYC???

So, I pinged Debbie and asked if she was planning on setting something up for our little group. The problem is that there are some local Deads that want to meet up with us. We don't have to meet up on Saturday and can do it on Friday night so it's not a big deal if Debbie thinks the group is getting too big. I hope she sets up another dinner at Carmines or something. SO MUCH NICER than a BIG GROUP OF PEOPLE where you don't KNOW anyone hardly, and where YOU HAVE TO EAT AT FOUR PEE EMM! Sheesh.

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3:53 am. So it seems that we might be going to the Big Dinner at FOUR PEE EMM, after all. early dinner, then a jazz clubs for drinks and maybe some light noshing to go along with it. The most exciting of all is that we may be in NYC early enough in the week to join our NYC friends at the annual pre-race Wings and Beer event! SO EXCITED!!! YAHOO!!!!

Right now, I am TRYING to figure out how I manage to finagle a Flu Shot. GAH!!! There is a damn shortage and I am trying like crazy to find out how I can get one. I think I might have found a place but not sure if I will be able to make it there. I. Must. Get. A. Flu. Shot. Or I will have to work from home all winter to avoid the distasteful, dirty, disease-ridden public who cough and hack all over the place and don't have enough sense to stay at home when they are sick sick sick!!! GAH!!!

Running Note. Went for a nice 3.2 miler. It was slower than usual but that's to be expected. I was a bit disappointed because I thought that based on what Joseph said, the Elliptical would have been enough training. Of course that was BEFORE I took into consideration that I've done the Elliptical only TWICE and that for three weeks BEFORE those two times, I did NOTHING. Whatever! It felt good to be out and about. The sesame bones felt just fine.

Hmmm... I am also wondering if the new Brooks Adrenalines are making me slower. Of COURSE, I will find any exuse for my slowness other than the actual reason that I have become de-conditioned as a result of my inactivity and inertia. But's that's just being too damn reasonable.
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4:00pm. So, it turns out that Luke and Caroline (Joe's nephew and niece - about 5 and 7 years old) are going to be in a triathlon at their local YMCA at the end of the month. O.M.G. I cannot think of anything more hilarious than this is going to be! LOLOL! Joe is thinking about getting a video camera just for the occasion! And with all the little kids, it should definitely be funny! Found out that it's a 1 mile bike, 1/2 mile run, and a 25 feet swim. Now, is it just me??? Or does this seem like an ambitious distance? ONE MILE BIKE? I know people who can't go around the BLOCK! 1/2 mile run?? I DEFINITELY know adults who can't WALK a 1/2 mile much less RUN it! Jeez. Future ironmen perhaps?? Regardless, I have it on my calendar. This is going to be falling-down-hysterically-funny! :o))

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

I've been living without a watch since I left mine in the locker at the gym on Monday night. It's been an interesting experience. The knowledge that I am not wearing a watch has caused a vague sense of unease within my body somewhere - not sure where exactly where, but I am aware of a low-grade "buzzing" in my brain which is like an alarm that has a short circuit in it. It's not enough to make me jump out of my seat, not enough to make me unable to concentrate or go about life, and certainly not enough to run out the door, go back to the gym, in a frantic dash to get my watch back on my wrist. BUT it is enough for me to come back to the thought that I am watchless again and again throughout the day.

I've also confimed once again that habits do indeed die hard. When writing out a check, I looked at my wrist for the date. I wear a Timex Ironman 100 Lap watch - one of the tried and true cornerstones on a runner's list of necessary equipment - much like shoes and coolmax. It is the precursor to the fancy watches that have flooded the market from NIKE and POLAR and a few others. I also look at my wrist intermittently - just to see what time it is. Not that I NEED to know what time it is, just because I want to know - and without really realizing that I want to know - my subconscious has a need to know.

With all the glancing at the wrist, etc., I would probably be insane if I didn't have a clock on my laptop which I constantly look at. And now in my office I have two clocks on the wall - one for Boston time, and one for India time. On my Outlook Calendar, I also have the two times side by side for scheduling meetings or for those times when I feel a unreasonable need to call India at 3pm our time, 1:30AM the next day their time...

I will be going to the gym tonight - to retrieve my watch. Of course, I am going to work out also, but I am not sure the commitment to make it to the gym to work out is as hard as it is to go and retrieve my watch. And when I do, I will not dash to the locker and rip it out of my running shoes where I know I stored it. Instead, I will nonchalantly open the locker door, casually take it out of my shoe, and elegantly wrap it around my wrist.

Then I will proceed to weep with happiness.

House Note. Nothing. Nothing nothing nothing. But I am wondering if something will happen ever again.

Running Note. Let me mention once again how much my legs ache from the Elliptical Monday night. Tonight I went to the gym again. Ellipticals again - 2.5 miles again. And weights. Again. Felt good. :o))

Dinner Note. Last night, we went to dinner with out friend Abby. We tried out Laurel Bar and Grill. I had the Shrimp and Artichoke Ravioli with sundried tomatoes and prociutto. Excellent! And also tried out the Delaforce 20-year tawny port. Wonderful!! And that after two glasses of Bigfire Pinot Noir from Oregon. All Pinot Noirs from Oregon at good - regardless of price point, it seems. I am starting to come to the conclusion that I might need to cut back on the wine every night. Something to think about...

Lunch Note. Went to Kingfish today with the management team. A belated going away lunch. A couple of good people. One of them is a friend and totally hysterical. I will miss him visiting me and asking, "Can we talk???" LOL! They both are in different departments. The first one got his whole team moved. The friend was tapped on the shoulder by another manager in another business unit. So it's not like he's GONE or anything but he IS in another building. Which is kinda like being gone, but not really. I might IM him sometime when I have a chance to come up for air! (Yes, we have company IM. Gotta love it.)

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Well, look at that... it's Tuesday. My. How time flies....

I looked out the window and it looked to be a nice day.
I step outside and fall has made her arrival loudly and clearly.
The cold front is sweeping through, temperature is cool, and the air is crisp. Not quite to the crackly crisp stage, yet but crisp nonetheless... and the Weather People are talking about the first frost.
Of course, this only means that it will get warmer later this week, just to prove them wrong.
I mean, why break a streak when you don't have to?
Even if it's a streak of being wrong?
I hope it's a crisp to crackly crisp winter this year - not sure I can take another winter with 9 months of snow followed by 3 months of rainy season, like we had last time. Sheesh.

So, we have another couple of visiting staff from India. Seems that meeting the Big Boss (which is me, in this case) is a big deal. I always get some kinda gift from them. Last time it was a bronze statue of one of the gods. This time it's a beautiful shawl or scarf of some kind. It's very Asian. Not the gift, even though it is. I mean the gift-giving thing. If course, since I am Asian, I understand it, but it always strikes me because it is so "un-American." I kinda like having staff visit me from India, LOL!

Running Note. Well, not exactly running... Yesterday, I met my goal of going to the gym. I worked out on the Elliptical machine. What a very strange feeling. Kinda running, but not really. Kinda stair stepping, but not really. Kinda gliding, but not really. And this morning, the top of my calves hurt like I haven't felt in so long I can't remember when they hurt that way! Usually, it's my mid-calf or my lower-calf or my soleus that hurts from running. But the Elliptical definitely uses some different muscles. Obviously. Maybe I shouldn't have tried doing 2.5 miles on the stupid thing to start off with after sitting around doing nothing for a MONTH. Ahem. Afterwards I hit the weights. I felt really good. Today was a rest day. Tomorrow, I am going in for another Elliptical/weights session after work. That will be TWICE! Which is a lot better than I usually do. In a month. Ahem. Then Joseph told me that when the runners are BU are sidelined with injuries they train on the Elliptical until they are healed and they don't lose training! That so COOL! Yahoo!

Thursday I hope to get out and run a little bit.

I am also thinking that I might have to travel to Smithfield more than once a week. My boss seems to like me around. Today he walked by, stuck his head in and gave me a big smile. Made me feel like he actually missed me. LOL!

House Note. Nothing new since I got home from CA last week.

Still wondering if I should start posting pictures. Sounds like a lot of work. Too much work for a lazy ass like me. :o)) Not to mention I have to figure out HOW to do this. Someone tried to explain it to me and I ended up getting a damn headache!!! ARG!!!! This technology stuff is hard to grasp.

Speaking of technology. I might have to go to Dallas for a meeting in a couple of weeks. One night. BLAST and DAMN!

Sunday, October 03, 2004

11:46am. Well. It's done. Actually, it was done about 10:44:49. Give or take a second or two. The holy grail of marathons - the sub 3-hour - is done.

More later.
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8:30pm. What can I say? Joseph ran the Maine Marathon today. After months of hard work, 65-mile weeks (on average), he did it. He broke 3 hours. 2:59:49. For 26.2 miles. TWENTY-SIZE POINT TWO MILES. That's about a 6:50 pace the whole way.

So let's start with the 65-mile weeks. Do you know how much running that is? He ran twice a day most of the time. That means he woke up in the mornings and ran. Then he got home from work and ran. He ran through heat, humidity, rain, wind... Think about 65 miles in general. That's further than Boston to Providence RI. It's further than Boston to Nashua. And in order to do that in decent time, you have to run pretty fast.

Next let's go to 2:59:49. That's about a 6:50 pace. Do you know how fast that is? And it's not for just a mile or two or even a 5k (that's 3.1 miles for those who can't convert to metrics). It's for 26 miles and then another 2/10th's of a mile. I mean, think about that... to run 26 miles and then have someone tell you that it's not good enough and that you have to go about 2/10's of a mile... That's an incredible amount of time to run that fast.

I've run marathons, but never that fast. I can't fathom what that might be like.

The Doggie and I supported Joseph in his quest. We saw him at mile 6, mile 10, mile 12, mile 15, then at mile 26.2 - the finish. At one point, I waited for him about 1/10 of a mile from the finish. I couldn't stand it. So I stood in the middle of the road, with my eyes closed, channeling all the spirits I could, breathing deeply and imagining myself inhaling all the oxygen in the world and then breathing it out and sending it his way. Yes yes yes...I know... I breathe out CO2 but I was imagining O2. OKAY?? Sheesh. I was breathing so deeply, I got dizzy and about fell over before I realized I was hyperventilating! GAH!!!!

And then I saw his form bouncing along route 88, around the bend in the road that runs along the bay, and I knew he was going to make it. I was jumping up and down like a kid, the Doggie at my feet catching the excitement. Josephe ran past us. The Doggie gave chase, and I almost died. Yes. Try running in Tevas, a back pack on your back, and a bottle of doggie water in one hand and the doggie leash in the other... not too easy, you know. And this after doing this same thing at mile 6, mile 10, mile 12, and mile 15 - dumb dingle doggie! But the crowds sure thought it was funny!!

I can't begin to express how thrilled I am for Joseph. I am so proud. And he's walking better than he typically does after a hard race.

Oh, and he serenaded me the whole way back home, too.
It was a perfect day and a perfect weekend.

Saturday, October 02, 2004

Okay. So today we drove to Portland, ME.
We are staying at a nice hotel, which I highly recommend the next time you are staying in the area. Especially if you traveling with four-legged friends. You might think that a pet-friendly hotel is sort of run down and gone to the dogs, but this is a very nice place! I am duly impressed.

Tried out the local brews today - a nice Lake Trout Stout at the local brew pub. Joseph tried the red ale. We tired ourselves out by driving the marathon course - all 26.2 miles of it, checked into the hotel, sat around for a while and then went to dinner at a local fancy eatery where I had my most perfect meal: boiled lobster and corn on the cob. I LOVE boiled lobster and this time, it was sweeter than I've had all year - and I've had some pretty good lobster this year!

Running Note. Didn't run today. Got up and unpacked from the trip last week, to repack for the trip to Portland. Left around 10am and been running around ever since. Which I think doesn't really count but it's better than sitting around ever since.

House Note. The house is coming along just great. Got home to find the cabinet doors were on, the rail pulls were put on the cabinets, and that work has started on the breakfast bar area under the granite - hard to explain if I can't show you. Of course, I immediately thought that two sets of cabinets doors had their rail pulls up too high, which Joseph disagreed with me on. Of course, I was focusing on function and he was focusing on aesthetics... And of course, it is perfectly functional with the way it is and it's just that I am just too SHORT!

Of course, I immediately set about not being happy and making generally disagreeable noises without regard to the fact that I had gotten in late and had woken up Doggie and Joseph (who is running a marathon tomorrow, so last night's sleep was the most important), and generally being tired and cranky (as tired and cranky as I felt after traveling cross country on little sleep, no exercise, too much work, and not enough good food). Sigh... sometimes the bitch in us demands to come out and after I was through ranting and raving, all I could think about was how Joseph had this wonderful surprise for me and in my wretchedness, I chose to ignore the big picture and his big surprise and all his hard effort. ARG!! I sounded just like YOU KNOW WHO!!! Anyway, I did tell him that, and he did agree with me that I DID sound like You Know Who, which didn't make me feel too good. But it is what it is...

Well... now after all that trouble and railing and ranting, I've decided to leave the rail pulls just the way they are. For a while, anyway. and "a while" could be a long time. Or not. We'll see.

Sundry Ramblings. Joseph is sitting next to me on the bed with headphones on and listening to some CD's while I am watching Crime Lab or something. This is so indicative of our personalities. He is music, I am talk radio. He is sports, I am documentaries. But we always find a way to sit together, always in the same room, side by side, doing similar things but not always identical.

Driving up to Portland today, Joseph was playing his latest purchase - some massive index of Dave Matthews CD's in a box. All I know is that it was at some gorge in the outdoors somewhere out west. And he loves this CD. He loves Dave Matthews. And I don't get it. He looked at me today after one of the songs and said, "you don't like music, do you?" And I had to think about that for a minute.
I said, No it's not that I don't like music. I like music. But it's music.
He said, Don't you feel it in your body?
I said, No, not really. To me it's just music. Unless I am dancing to it. (Of course, to me - Talking Head Radio woman - the words are more important than the music sometimes.)
He said, I have music in my spirit.
I said, I only feel it in terms of dance. The only time I can feel it is when I was dancing classical ballet many years ago.

I have the most awesome privilege of living with a man who makes music in every moment of his waking day. He will dance around the room, or play the air drums (is there such a thing or can there only be air guitar?), and he sings. He sings every time he listens to music. And that is almost all of his waking moment when he is NOT listening to sports. :o) So, it's about a 50-50 split between sports and music.

Joseph sings at dinner, he sings in the car no matter where we are going, and while we walk along together. He sings to songs on the radio, on the CD player, to commercials. He sings to songs in his head that only he can hear; songs that play to the music in his spirit. And he sings to me. Every day. Sometimes he dances me around the room, holding my hand, smiling and making me laugh. And I realized as we drove to Portland today, as he sang to me in the car... I live in his Serenade. And that is even more of an awesome privilege than the awesome privilege of living with him.

Friday, October 01, 2004

10:46am/7:46am. So, I ate in last night (Chinese food to go) - too tired, too hungry, lots 'o too's. AND I wanted to watch the presidential debate. What a bomb that was. It wasn't as nearly interesting as I thought it would be. BOTH of them were too well-behaved for my liking. Sheesh.

So, I got up this morning at 5:00/8:00 with all intentions of running. I am one-step closer to HELL because at 5:30/8:30 I got a call from finance at work in Boston. Needless to say, NO RUNNING! Lots of mix ups and I thought they were talking about THIS YEAR'S budget, but I found out they were talking about NEXT year's budget after I had rang the alarm bell with HALF THE STAFF!!! ARG!!!!!!!!!!!!! Anyway... heart attack subsided and we are all set.

Needless to say, NO RUN! GAH!!!!

I have an 8:30/11:30 meeting but I am going to skip it. I think. All packed and ready to go. I do have an 11:00/2:00 meeting before heading to the airport at 12:00/3:00 for a 2:00/5:00 flight home to arrive at 10:59! Sheesh. Cannot wait to get home so that I only have to keep track of ONE DAMN TIMEZONE!!!! HFFFF!!!

There is so much work to be done. But then just when they think they have been sucked into their vortex, my hands clench around that Door to Reality and I shake myself awake. If I didn't do this, they would be GLAD to have me running around working myself to death, trying to fix all the cross-company issues that other people like me want me to help them work on, not to mention more administrivia and managing up (additional because of the new work), and my boss's stuff that he has to get to his boss and it's just endless and I would be DEAD DEAD DEAD from STRESS STRESS STRESS so no one is well-off at that point and the work wouldn't get done and life would go on as before and no one is worse off for the stuff not getting fixed! In other words, I have to remember that it's all small stuff in the vast cosmos of life! Ya know???

I should have gone running this morning. Damn!