Monday, October 31, 2005

Time gets shorter...

…as time goes on…

Years are shorter…
Days are shorter...
and I am not talking about daylight savings or that winter is casting its long shadow over the daylight hours.
The days just seem to have less time.
The weekends are short, too.

I asked Joseph yesterday if it was Saturday.
He said, It's Sunday.

I knew I was in trouble then.
What I really want are 3-day weekends.
If I were president, I'd get rid of daylight savings and make Mondays a weekend day.

The good news is that I've rotated my whole closet for the winter.
Just in time for the turnabout in the weather - it's gonna be close to the 70's this week.

I. Just. Cannot. Win.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Another little surprise...

...from my Hunny Bunny...

Chairs.
Six of them.
I was sitting downstairs watching the last episode in the first season of Six Feet Under.
Great great series. Especially on DVD. No commercials...

And I hear thumping and bumping...
Ran upstairs to find 6 chairs for the dining area.
For our dinner guests tomorrow night.
They work for Joseph and they are coming over for dinner.

Of course, now that I think about it, when MY team came over, the old ratty folding chairs with the tape on the feet didn't seem to be am issue.

Hmph.

Another new reader...

...visited today...

Hi David M!

Good running to you!

Random Thought: Losing

I am at my lowest weight week in a very long time.
By "very long", I mean something like… hmmm… a year?
That's a long time.

Slow and steady, calculating my caloric intake and measuring against my caloric output, starting to run again, and stepping up walking with my handy dandy pedometer all seems to be making a big difference. It seems like it's taking forever, but Joseph and I calculated that I've only been doing this since the end of August/beginning of September, which means I've lost about 6 pounds in about… oh… hmm…9 weeks. And that is not too shabby.

It's hard to run...

…with someone who is faster than you are and maintain your pace…

Went for a nice easy run this morning with Joseph.
He was trying out his on-the-med-almost-broken-foot…

Beautiful morning and I felt I was going a little fast, but he kept saying I wasn't.
Turns out I ran a 9:13 pace for an easy run, after which he told me that I should be running sub-9's for my easy runs.

Uh… ok… whatever you say, boss…
Sub-9's?? Easy?? Right.

On the other hand, he might be on to something.

He also gave me my new training schedule for Disney in January.
Alllllrighteeeeee…

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

What is it about dentists...

…that gives me the damn creeps???

So, I go to the dentist this morning to get my crown fitted and to get some bonding done.
I had gotten the bonding done about two months ago but because of the numbing, etc., he missed a spot.
So he had to do it all over again. Which is fine.

Four weeks ago, I had to get a crown refitted.
The original crown (done by another dentist) wasn't seated right.
So, food got under there and bacterial grew and there was a lot of decay but it had not touched the root or nerve yet. This was to keep ahead of it - get rid of the decay and get a new crown that fit right.

After the procedure, he mentioned there wasn't a lot of tooth to work with and he had to get close to the nerve and at some point in the near future, I will probably need a root canal.

So, four weeks, later, the pain has abated by about 50% but there is still pain…and it's holding steady. As in, not getting any much better. I've been living on Tylenol and Advil. If I don't take it, I get the headache, the neck ache, and my whole left side of my head and next and shoulders seize up in a big ball of spasm. I've been okay living on painkillers - as a runner, this is typical, anyway...

So, there I sit in the dentist chair this morning and the bonding goes without a hitch.
Then, he puts the new crown away and says… I am giving you a prescription for penicillin… and …you will need to see Dr. Bodkin about a root canal…and…just as we feared, it was too close to the nerve.

ARG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I am going back on the 8th to meet with the Root Canal Doctor - I mentioned I liked my last root canal doctor who is at another place because she was so totally awesomely wonderful and they said I could go there but it complicates matters a bit, blah blah blah.

And there is that little bit about my flexible spending account - I've run out this year.. but they are gonna hold the claim and submit it in January and give me a bill and receipt in January so I can get reimbursed for my out-of-pocket share. Thank goodness! I might have to go back and increase my deductions for next year even beyond that additional $400 for the year I've increased it by already. Sheesh.

And then I know I have to go back for a night guard for my teeth grinding and that will cost some money too. But it can wait until next year.

It's ironic that I've got a mouth full of fillings and crowns because of my strong hard teeth.
And to think… I've never had a cavity in my life. Never. Not even braces!

What an ordeal!

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Sunrise Note...

It is now 3:18pm and I am not drowsy.
Not one iota.
Not even tired.
Although I am tired of working.
But I don't think that counts.

Rising gently seems to be working.
So far...

Waking up gently...

…is a wonderful experience…

Last night I programmed the new Sunrise Alarm clock for a 5:05 wake up.
Over the course of 30 minutes, it lights up from dim to full brightness.
At 5:05 am, it reached the peak of "dawn's early light" and my eyes popped open and I woke up refreshed.
It also woke Joseph up.
We tried the sleep feature and it went through the whole process again in 9 minutes.
No glaring blaring screeching alarm - I turned that feature off - to dull the sensibilities!

The real test will be this afternoon.
In the past, I've been dragging and sleepy by about 2pm.
That continued for a few hours until I got home and a glass of wine revived me.
If I don't fall asleep at my desk this afternoon, then the experience is a tremendous success and this alarm clock might be one of the best things I've bought in a long time…along with the pillow I got at the Relax the Back store the other day.

I think that for tomorrow, we might set the alarm for 5:15am instead of 5:05.

I LOVE THIS CLOCK!

There's nothing like a little traction...

…to make the pain go away…

So, the other day, at the Relax the Back store, I tried out this inversion table.
The guy said, 5 minutes a day.
In fact, someone he knows who had back pain for about…oh… 17 years… has been using this for 5 minutes twice a day.
No back pain.
None.

Two days later, this morning, I get up out of bed and my back pain is at 50% of what it used to be.
Now, it could be that my new pillow is helping. The neck pain is gone and we all know that neck pain and back pain are definitely tied together. I am hoping that the new bed will cure the remaining 50% of the pain that left. And the inversion table, when I get it, will relieve the pressure on my spine and I might just gain a few inches of height in the process.

Now. If I could just make the pain in my tooth go away. It's been one month since the dentist appointment for a new crown and the damn thing still hurts. I've been living on Tylenol and Advil for four weeks. Tomorrow I go back for the final procedures - the permanent crown. I am gonna mention it. I bet he got too close to the nerve. Which means a possible root canal. I'd rather that than constant tooth pain.

Monday, October 24, 2005

If you make your bed...

…you have to lie in it…

But you have to get up in the morning.
And if you're lucky, your back doesn't hurt.

Can't tell you the last time I got out of bed in the morning without pain.
The pain all came to a head about two months ago.
Then Kelly the Miracle Man showed up and things haven't been the same.

…Actually, they have been the same…as about three years ago before he moved to New Orleans for good.
As in permanently. Anyway, that's a story for another day.

This weekend, we went to the Relax the Back store.
I've been wanting to get a back rest so I can sit up in bed comfortably.
I sit up in bed daily. Every evening and every morning. Joseph brings me coffee in bed every morning, and I prop myself up against my pillows and it's not very effective. So for about three or four months now, I've been wanting to get a back rest. I thought about going to Linens 'n Things where I had about $60 worth of gift certificates. But then I remembered the Relax the Back store in Brookline. I run by it almost every time I have a long run. And each time, I think to myself that "I must come back another time to go 'eye shopping.'" That's a direct Korean equivalent translation for "window shopping." Anyway…

So this weekend, Joseph and I made a trip to the Relax the Back store.
OMG! O Happy Day! I hit the jackpot. There were massage chairs (with a full complement of people sitting in them trying them out). And there were backrests and boppy chairs (called Swoopers - I call them "boppy chairs" because you can bop up and down and swivel all around in them) and massage accoutrements, and gel-like desk chairs, and desks and pillows and computer bags, and computer desks, and BEDS!

Thermarest Tempur-pedic Beds. There were 5 different types. Joseph and I tried them all - a couple of times each. At least.

About an hour later, we walked out with two different pillows, a back rest, a receipt for the Eurobed (the firmest) queen size Thermarest bed, and a promise that the delivery people would call me soon to arrange for delivery. That and we walked out $3300.00 poorer. But as 'Mand Panda said... how much is your back worth?? Of course, the 12-month finance free credit card makes the pain a little less. Instant approval, instant credit. For 0% interest, we can give up the American Express miles!

We are going back to get those boppy chairs and a computer desk. Oh happy day!

I am beginning to think that there are no two people who can spend so much money in so little time…except for us…

Can't wait for that bed to be delivered. WHY didn't they call today? Must try to be patient!!!

On another note… Joseph mentioned that JFK Jr. might have been assassinated in an accident that doesn't look like an assassination. Really… wow.

Sunrise...

…Sunset….

Got my new Sunrise Alarm Clock today for the winter months. It's actually a dawn and sunset simlator. I had seen these about 5 or 7 years ago and it's always been in the back of my mind. Now that winter is coming on - yet again for the 5th or 7th time...I decided I NEED to have one of these. No matter how many hours of sleep I get, if I get up when it's dark, I can’t wake up. I manage to hang on through the winter months, just barely, getting more and more tired as the winter drags on.

In the summer, I used to sleep with the window open. My bedroom at the time had a "greenhouse window" that started as a part of the ceiling and then sloped down and then became the wall. It did not have any blinds or shades. In the summer, I would go to bed at almost any hour and still wake up at 5am with the sunrise. And never felt tired! Even if I had only had 4 hours of sleep!

In the winter, in that same room, I could get up with the sunrise but it would get later and later as the winter wore on. But I was still kinda okay.

Now without that the current bedroom doesn't have that window, it's harder and harder to get out of bed in the morning. Wouldn't be an issue if I was a sloth, but I have to run in the mornings…

Can't wait to try it out. The directions are a bit complicated. Hope I can set it up tonight. Might take me a while. What with those complicated directions and all…

Milford tastes like paper...

…it reminds me of the rare books stacks at the library…

Milford, as in the scotch.

Well.
It seemed like a good way to start a blog.
Joseph is cooking dinner tonight.

Complete with a beautiful fall bouquet of flowers!

So happy.
So relaxing.

Zee sent us a something today.
Her father's latest CD,

a 5 dollar bill for the breakfast from way back when,
and a nice note card with a picture of the Portland skyline,
which was wonderful.
Sorta reminded me of the Boston skyline on a clear day… sort of surreal. LOL!

I gotta get myself there one day.
And run with Zee

I do recall needing an Oregon marathon, after all.
Speaking of running…
it's been great.
I sound like Tony the Tiger…
Grrrrr-eat!

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Random Note: My hand...

…has a bruise the size of a quarter…

In the middle, there is a small dot.
That is where the needle went into the vein yesterday when I got my blood drawn.

I am thinking that I might have to do this only twice a year as opposed to quarterly.

Still hurts like a mutha'...

Random Thought: My Hair

…is growing back…

with a flourish…
it's thick and full…
and curls when it gets wet, thanks to my Dad who gave me that particular "peculiarity for a Korean"…

Happiness!

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Needles hurt...

…when they get stuck in your hand…

Went in for my quarterly blood draw today.
It's a fasting blood test.
No coffee, no food… and worse, the lab doesn't open until 9am.
I get up around 5:15am.
That's like… an interminable amount of time without coffee.

So I get to the lab and they thought they had the vein.
But they hit non-blood-tissue - nothing. Air. Pain. Suction without issue
They drew blood from a vein in my hand instead.
And that hurt like a mutha!
And now my little vein is puffy from the blood seepage and it's all swollen and it still HURTS!
At least my whole hand isn't black and blue like it was when I got the IV after the marathon a few years ago - another long story for another day...

I am thinking that I need to at least drink some water before my blood test.
All night without water is dehydrating.
And someone good drew my blood - second choice because the first choice wasn't there this morning.
Or maybe I will only go in when the first choice is there.

On another note… I am down another .2 pounds from my lowest weight - which was about 2 weeks ago.
That is another 3.2 pounds from yesterday morning's weigh in.
Can't explain it and I am certainly not complaining!
I can actually fit into a pair of pants that I couldn't fit into since last year!
And it's a little loose on me! YAHOO!

Saturday, October 15, 2005

It's raining out...

...like a screaming banshee...

Joseph is getting a massage upstairs from the Miracle Man (more on that later) and I am sitting here looking out the window, with a strange need to go out and run. In the rain. In the Wind. And all that stuff that usually made me not want to go outside...

Interesting turn of events.

Friday, October 14, 2005

I am sooooo glad....

...that I don't really like chicken....

On a related note, I did get my flu shot the other day.
Nice and early.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Three green tomatoes...

...fry up real good...

Last night we had those three green tomatoes we bought at the Topsfield Fair for dinner.
I sliced them up and fried them - dipped in egg, dredged in a mixture of flour, corn meal, salt, pepper, cayenne pepper - then pan-fried in a cast iron pan.

We had it with tuna sashimi and some brown rice. And crab cakes as an appetizer.

They were delicious! I've never had them before. I've always wanted to try them but I never could find the green tomatoes. And because they are green, they are tangy. But the frying seems to bring out their underlying sweetness. They were wonderful!

As for the cast iron pan, I LOVE MY PAN! We bought it a while back when we were up in Vermont this summer, and it's been sitting on top of the stove - it's rather big so I don't really have a place for it other than the top of the stove. After using the pan, I told Joseph I would like a couple more. In graduated sizes, of course.

I might have to do up some fried fish or fried chicken just to use this pan again! They would go well with the beets we bought at the Fair.

Well... I am a blogging fool...
Gotta go.
U2 concert tonight.

Exercise, nutrition and all that stuff...

I've been doing pretty well with the running.
The weight lifting has stopped altogether.
I had some issues with a couple of the projects and I needed to attend meetings personally to get them back on track. And when I tried to pull out after the first couple of meeting, either the project manager or my India manager asked me to continue attending, because people listened when I was there (rather, I bullishly interrupted everyone and told them how they were gonna do things), and how people actually agreed on things (if they didn't, I would make decisions and tell them what it was), and certain people who needed to be nervous got nervous because I was there (something about VP in the title...) and a bunchaother blah blah blah's... and since my weight workout took place at the same wee hour of the morning as these meetings, something had to give. C'est le vie... I intend to get back to it, though.

I've been running pretty regularly. I ramped up for a couple of months and then Reach the Beach came along. I was going to drive but Michele couldn't so I had to take her place and she drove instead. It ended up with me running anchor - the last leg. AGH!!!! But I had a great run and it jump-started my training, which is good since I am running the Disney Marathon in January.

Then there is the endless quest to lose weight. I've gained 10-12 pounds since I moved into this house. So now, I've taken to weighing myself every day and I log it. I am tracking it closely. And although I feel like a big blob, at my highest point to my lowest point, I've already lost 6 pounds. But the highest point was an anomoly. So if you track my realistic high point to my lowest weight, I've lost about 4 pounds. This is excellent considering I only started really trying to lose weight since the beginning of September - about 4 weeks. And I can see a pattern. For example, two days after my long run, I am up about 2 pounds. Then I lose it all and then some. On Sunday after my 10-mile long run, I also found out that I lose about 2 pounds of water via seat during a 10 mile run even though I take sips of water every 5 minutes.

I am using the principle of "calories in must be less than calories out." I track my food intake in my Fitday software. At first it was a real pain because the foods they have listed aren't really what I eat. But I have added recipes and I save the labels of everything I eat and since starting this self-improvement project, I've got myself a pretty good database of foods!

And in an effort to adhere to the principle of "calories in/out", I've been walking more. In fact, I am walking to work and from work almost every chance that I get. In the mornings, I mentally prepare for the day. It's a slow transition from home to office; it prevents all that brain jolting when one dives into work. On the way home, it helps me unwind and detox from the day. I look around and see the people and look into store fronts and all manner of things. By the time I get home, I am a much nicer person. And my poor Hunny Bunny could use more of that. I try to log about 5 miles a day. It was hard at first but now, I am really into it and as a result, I am finding lots of opportunities for walking! And walking uses slightly different muscles than running does. But I need to do some side-to-side muscle workouts - it's all about elasticity, flexibility and stability.

I am also stretching more intensely. Doing some ballet stretches and I am incorporating the Ball. I have a whole routine to develop. I love to stretch. My arabesque is looking more like an arabesque and my back is becoming more flexible. I might still be able to take those ballet classes yet!

Now I have 8-10 pounds to lose. Much better than the 12-14 I started with. Winter is coming and I am enjoying the nice fall days in my running and walking routines. Wonder what will happen when the snow hits?

On another note: Chicago is beating Boston 13 to 2. Makes me almost feel sorry for Boston. Almost. Not quite.

It feels good...

...to be back...
Yahoo!

I've got a couple of comments from old friends and new friends who feel like old friends because I read their blogs...

And I am almost caught up with blog reading except for three people. I've updated my list a bit - removed some, added some...

And Paul has a bulletin board?
Electronic or a cork board?
I have one out of cork.
It's BIG.
4x6 or something like that.
I love it.
It's right above my desk at the office and covers my wall.
I had the facilities guy hang it up really low, about 8 inches from the top of my desk.
And everything I've posted is on the bottom half of the board - seeing as how I tend to put things up while I am sitting down. If I were to put things up on the top half of the board, why... I'd have to actually stand! Imagine.

I have one thing on the top half of the board.
It's a brass shield with two swords that sort of go through the shield in a criss-crossing pattern.
It was a gift from my manager in Bangalore. As in India.
I guess the royal families had these and they are special because when one of my project leads, who is Indian but here in the U.S. of A, saw it, he let out a short gasp, smiled and told me it's very nice.

Anyway... Paul can feel free to post about the flip flops on his bulletin board.

It feels good to be back!

Now, I must get myself a library card... Must. Remember. This. Weekend.

Random thought: Flipflops...

What is it about flipflops in the work place?
No.
They are NOT work attire.
I don't care how many spangles and beads are on the straps.
No. No. No.

And most people do not have feet pretty enough or nice enough to bare all.
Get a damn pedicure!

On another note...
I must get myself a library card.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

I've never seen a real pig...

...but I saw one today...

We went to the Topsfield Fair.
It's a country fair.
I haven't been to a fair since I was in...oh... seventh grade?
And back then, I lived in the city.
The fair was held on the outskirts of the city but I lived inside it.
So, I ended up only going to the part that I discovered today is called the Midway.
I have read that name in books before - in a Ray Bradbury book - but never really knew that it's the part where the rides are.
When I was younger, that was the only part of the fair I went to.

Anyway, today, we walked through the Midway from the parking lot and ended up eating (very important after running 10 miles and in major calorie deficit), and then we walked to where the animals were.

We started out walking through the rabbit building. Lots o' rabbits. Big ones, little ones, fluffy ones, black, white, gray, tawny, and all manner of color combinations. One of them even had curly hair that was fluffy and looked like mohair. The kind that flies off and gets in your eyes, right after you just put in your contact lens. And you could buy these bunnies. And after you buy the bunnies, you can then get the cage and food and liners and all that get up - all yours for the one-time lower price of...drum roll...$75.00...

We saw cows and clydesdales and some draft horses pulling tons o' bricks in the Arena. I felt bad for them until Joseph pointed out how jumpy and eager they were to be pulling - they were hopping and lurching so much it was hard to get the tow-thingie onto the pallet thingie that held the tons o' bricks. And then they pulled those bricks quite a ways... If I did that and lurched that way, my muscles would have popped.

We skipped the poultry section. Did not want to get some bird disease, what with all the avian flu going around. And we saw House last night where a patient had handled birds and got all septic and they had to chop off one of his hands. Yikes. I got a little worried about those birds.

We also saw BEES. Yes. Honey bees. They make the most perfect food in the universe. Totally sterile until you take out the honey comb. But the honey itself is still sterile. And you can even use it on wounds and such. I love Honey and it brought back memories of my dad. But that's another story.

And then we went through the vegetables and fruits and saw a 1335 pound pumpkin. So, what do you do with a 1335 pound pumpkin? Joseph thinks you sell it to a pie maker. But I am a bit dubious on that one.

We saw beautiful flowers. Dhalias in particular. There were hundreds of different kinds of Dahlias. And they were beautiful.

So, we left with 3 green tomatoes, freshly made Grade A Amber maple syrup from the sugar house exhibition, two dill pickles, a big bag of kettle corn, some fresh beets, a dozen apple cider doughnuts (minus the one we ate right there), some wonderful beef jerky that you can order online... we are gonna have some good eatin' this week.

Oh, and the pigs... I saw pigs. Not the small cute pink kind. The big grayish wit polka dots gigantic kind with 12 babies. Two of them with a set of babies each. The babies were so cute. The mothers were really scary looking. And so... I learned today what my bacon looks like when it's alive.... Not sure how I feel about that.

And all this was a surprise. I had told Joseph that I hadn't been to a fair here and the last fair I had been to was too long ago to remember. And so, he surprised me... it was a wonderful surprise - to get away for an afternoon before the mayhem of the work weeks starts tomorrow. It made me feel a little more alive.

And it feels good to be blogging again!

Exercise Note.
Running - 10 miles up and down Beacon Street. It was a fast run and I almost pooped out in the last mile or so - until some random guy saw me coming, read my shirt and said, "one more mile." That's what my shirt said. And then he walked away, chuckling to himself. It was a very good run.
Walking - 2.19 miles

No blog...

...in three weeks....

give or take.

I've been so busy that I can't find time to eat or pee.
Not sure how I am gonna catch up three weeks worth of notes.
I'm pretty sure I will take me that long just to catch up on reading.

Sigh...
such. is. life.