Friday, September 20, 2013

My personal curious case of less is more.

Here's something I have noticed about myself.

I've had nearly three weeks off of work now. Three weeks in between jobs. I knew I had two paychecks coming from my last job and my husband has a good job so I could afford to take a little time off. A vacation of sorts. I thought I would enjoy this, resting up, getting up whenever I wanted, doing household chores leisurely, reading anytime I wanted.

I found I did not enjoy it so much.

I found sleeping in made me feel part of the day was wasted, even though I hate getting up early. Not getting up with my husband meant I didn't get to see him until the evening.  Not that we do anything spectacular with the early morning fifteen or twenty minutes we have together. We're both bleary-eyed, drinking coffee and smoking, occasionally talking about what we'll do later on that day or what we'll do together in the evening. After he leaves for work I go out and run or ride my bike or start on the writing I want to do for the day.

So I didn't enjoy sleeping in...but...I couldn't get my ass up out of bed. I slept in but got no benefit from it.

I wonder how that feels. Sleeping weightless.
Those lights would probably bother me.
Sleeping in Space is Easy, But There's No Shower

During this three week vacation I could of course still get up with him if I'd wanted to. I tried to do it.  I'd set my alarm but I'd just shut it off. I guess some part of my subconscious didn't deem it necessary and I couldn't drag myself out of bed as I had when I still had to budget my time and energy for work.

I didn't get household chores done because...and I do not claim any logical sense to this statement...there was always more time to do them. I hate these chores; they are mind-numbing. Tedious. Just fucking boring. For some reason they give me no sense of accomplishment, no over all feeling of order. They're just another boring thing I have to do and if I have plenty of time to do them they can always wait until later. I have books to read, god damnit. There are other worlds with far more interesting things going on in them than having to wash the dishes for the one thousand and eleventh time.

Oh, Allie Brosh. You are so perfect, just the way you are.
picture credit: Hyperbole and a Half

Not that I don't procrastinate with chores when I'm working an outside job too. I do. Just not to the extent I did in the past three weeks.

I was trying to explain this strange break in logic to TheMan last night. After I'd spoken to my new boss and gotten a set schedule for the week...I suddenly found it much easier to come home and start cleaning up. It just wasn't as boring. What. The Hell.

TheMan proposed the idea that perhaps I now feel I have "a purpose" again, over and above that of caring for the house and family.

Purpose...I haz it again?

I respectfully submitted that being a household caretaker is a fine and noble purpose in and of itself.  I don't like the idea that I can't find joy and fulfillment in caring for my family. But apparently I can't.

What is a purpose? The general definition is, "the reason for which something is done or created or for which something exists."  Hm. Okay. While I really do love being a massage therapist and helping people achieve health and renewal, I don't know that it's my purpose in life. I'd much rather my purpose be telling stories for people to read.

Please keep in mind, o dearest reader, this is subjective. This is all about me. I am not making my experience a corollary to any other person's, male or female.

So, if I'd rather my purpose be writing, shouldn't I have been, oh, I don't know...writing?

But I wasn't. Not in the way I'd wanted to. My writing has suffered on vacation. Shouldn't I have gotten MORE writing done? I had plenty of time. I thought my days would be filled with hours of clacking laptop keys. I thought my stories would pour out of my fingers with ease and grace.  But characters stop talking to me. They ceased their silly, knees-bent, running-about, advancing behavior. I got nothing done in those three weeks. I was more creatively productive when I had less time to write. How does that work?

Mr. Productive. I bet he doesn't need an outside job to get his characters to move.
Stephen King: The 'Craft' Of Writing Horror Stories order to create the drive I need to fulfill my personal inner purpose...I, for some reason, also need outer purpose...over and above the insular life of the household.

Huh. I sort of feel I ought to be able to create drive on my own. But I have not been able to. In fact having no job sort of paralyzed me. I wasn't earning any money and felt no need and no desire to leave the house. I hate not contributing to the general household through earnings.

Okay, I'm tired of pondering now. And I have to go do stuff.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Pictorial inspiration for travel and fiction.

I'm thinking of having my dragon people live in mountains like this. Obviously the carvings on their entrances will be kept up better. Check out the faces on the rock in the lower left hand corner of the picture.

Rock cut tombs - Turkey

Myra  is an ancient town in Lycia, where the small town of Kale is situated today in present day Antalya Province of Turkey. It was located on the river Myros , in the fertile alluvial plain between Alaca Dağ, the Massikytos range and the Aegean Sea. - Myra Wikipedia page

"Initiation Well" - Sintra, Portugal
More info about its construction at Abandonedography.

Thinking of something like this for the human religious orders in the book. The orders will be mixed.
Picture Credit: National Geographic
I'm adding the link in the interest of giving credit where it's due,
but if you click the link it will ask you to register to sign in or continue.
Picture Credit: Amazing Facts

Stepped well.  Village of Abhaneri near Jaipur in Rajasthan, India.

Roman Baths - Bath, England
credit: The Roman Baths

Do you have any pictures of inspirational architecture or geography that YOU would like to share? Please do!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

A slightly more motivational post than the last one.

It's raining. It's storming. Somehow this makes me feel better.
“I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.” - Dune, Frank Herbert

What do we say to the little-death? There is only one thing we say to Death.

Game of Thrones
Book credit: George R. R. Martin
Television Series credit: HBO

Couch to 5K - Week 5, Day 3 (mileage workout). This entry is not as encouraging as I'd wish it to be.

Preface: I am having a very hard time right now. Emotionally. I do not want to do anything but stay in bed and read. I don't want to do anything, go anywhere, talk to anyone.  Anytime I have to do these things I feel like screaming in my head. Don't approach me unless it's to bring me another book I haven't read yet.

I keep typing things I want to say and then deleting them because they are too much. I want to be encouraging. If other people, depressed people, find this blog while looking for exercise tips (in the random way I've found some other exercise blogs) I want them to see exercise does help. It does help. Exercise is supposed to fucking help.

Two Miles. I ran it. Slowly.
Let's get this out of the way: I ran two miles with no stopping in thirty-five minutes.  I don't have the patience to type it up the way I usually do, nice and neat. I was supposed to do this workout on either Monday or Tuesday. I waited until today. Monday I was tired. Tuesday I was really fucking tired. I had a flood day on my period and had major cramps and found out I didn't have any tampons or menstrual meds. Fuck you, running.

Wednesday. Nervous, I'm supposed to be hearing back about a job. She said she'd check my references yesterday and text me a tentative schedule. No text yet.

I have to get this damn two mile run done.  So I went out the middle of the pre-run stretches I realize I forgot to put a sports bra on. I have a sports tank on, with a shelf bra, but this is not enough support. Great. Fucking great. Just run. So I run. I'm miserable. Physically I'm fine except for the hard breathing (due to's tolerable for now, just annoying) and the mucous in my throat (same reason, spit and move on) and the ever-present pulling down feeling in my shins. Mentally...I hate this, I hate this, I hate this. I want to go home. I want to go home. I want to go home the whole damn time.

At 1.7 miles (the twenty minute mark) I'm begging to go home and nearly crying. I honestly don't know why I wasn't actually crying. At that point I didn't even care if anyone saw me. I would've felt BETTER if I could cry. But I couldn't get any tears out.

Well, I just would've dehydrated anyway. I really wanted to stop. I had even resolved to stop. "I'm going to stop. I don't have to keep going, you can't make me. Twenty minutes is enough. I can stop if I want. I'm stopping; I'm walking home now."

Please realize, I'm arguing with myself, in my head, at this point.

I didn't stop. I kept running past the corner. "But if I stop, the miles win," I wailed in my head. "The miles win? What the fuck? They're miles! They're not sentient! They don't win! I'm going home at Oak. I don't want to go past Oak, you can't make me. That's twenty-eight minutes, that's enough!"

But I went past Oak. I went past Oak up to Hickory. "You gave birth twice! That was a lot harder! You can do this." "Fuck that shit! It's not like you get a choice in childbirth! The kid comes out! I want to go home!" "Christ, shut up, we're almost there." "I hate you for making me do this."

Onto Cleveland and back down to Oak to home.  I did the whole two long, hateful, fuck you, miles. Thirty-five minutes. Approximately. Somewhere on Hickory I managed to accidentally hit the stop button on the chronograph so I don't have an exact minutes and seconds time, but I know when I started.

Ben Kane, dressed as a Roman, walking Hadrian's wall.
Two miles from the end. This is something I want to do.
Except not dressed as a Roman. Just in regular clothes.
I honestly don't even really know how I did that. Mentally, I mean. Physically I was fine. In fact once I got past Oak I wasn't even physically tired. I can't say I got my endorphins, because I didn't feel good mentally, but I got a second wind. Nothing hurt, no pain in my joints, no pulling in my shins. Just some elevated breathing and spitting.

Christ, I want a fucking cigarette. I don't have any left. I have to go to the gas station if I want some.

I don't want to go out again. I'm having a very bad day. A very bad day.

It's a battle for the ages. My "drop-kick an orphan" desire to have cigarette versus my "whimpering ball of snot" desire to not leave the house again today.

I found this Diet & Exercise Diary that I bought on clearance last year and never started. I'm starting it Monday. I'm filling in the preliminary goal stuff today. I'm not going to bother counting carbs and calories and fat grams, but I do want to track what I eat. Am I getting enough veggies, how did what I ate yesterday affect my workout today, how much caffeine am I taking in, how much that.

There is space for strength training, cardio training, and "incidental" exercise, which I guess means things like when I visit my Twin in DeKalb and we take an impromptu walk around town.

This diary also has places to record sleep and sleep quality, appetite, stress, mood, and energy levels, and injuries or illnesses. I like that. That's probably why I bought it in the first place.

So I'm trying to be happy that I just ran two miles with almost no physical pain. I should be proud. I should be proud and happy. I'm trying. It's not working very well.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Couch to 5K - Week 5, Day 3 (time workout)

Breakfast: Greek yogurt, 1 TB Fig preserves, 1/3 cup walnuts. Water with acai berry flavor EmergenC.

Brisk 5 minute warm up walk
Brief stretching routine
Run twenty minutes
Longer stretching routine

 Kee-rist. I need to cut back on my smoking. I need to actually quit smoking, but I prefer keeping my crutch and cutting back on it use. 
I’m embarrassed to even be posting the fact that I still smoke, but I do. I have a cigarette in stressful times. Unfortunately, there have been a lot of stressful times lately. Instead of screaming and pulling my hair out and collapsing into a whimpering ball of snot, I have a cigarette. I know all about how bad they are; you don’t have to tell me. I know precisely what I’m doing to my body.  I also know there are times when I want that fucking cigarette so goddamn bad I will drop kick an orphan if she’s standing between me and my pack.
I found this when I Googled for an image of "whimpering ball of snot".
Well, that ain't it, but it's very...very...mesmerizing.
picture credit: DRES13
I want one now, thinking about how embarrassed I will be when I post this. I’m posting it anyway; in the extremely remote chance that…I don’t know….maybe my embarrassment helps someone somewhere. Whatever. I want a smoke NOW and I don’t have any. I want to finish this post before I go get some.
Breathing was very difficult today (fucking duh). The two half miles I timed I did in 8:09 and 7:31.
Hey, have I mentioned I ran twenty minutes today? Because I did. I ran twenty minutes.
Yes, breathing was very difficult. As I was running and breathing heavily (and with difficulty) I was noticing all the lumpy hills off the stretch of road I use. The area I run through most frequently is an unfinished subdivision. Long unfinished, when the economy tanked they just stopped building. And the obligatory twenty foot high piles of dirt that bloom at building sites just got left where they were. They’ve worn down some and they’re covered with plant-life.
Not quite this awesome are the mounds on my street...
Kościuszko Mound, Krakow, Poland
I could use those. I could use those for training for the DGMR. I could also go over to the park across the railroad tracks and use the play equipment. I need to take a picture of these hills.
Mutherpussbucket, it was COLD this morning. Okay, I’m exaggerating a bit. Fifty degrees is not that cold, not compared to winter. But it was cold enough to make me put on my navy long knit pants and wear a light jacket.
The damn pants kept slipping down. My navy long knit pants are too loose to run in now. So I got that little victory today.
So I ran all the way up the street and back down again, a distance of approximately 1.7 miles, in 21:39.
I can’t understand this, but I feel sort of scared. I should feel more excited by this achievement, and part of me does. But I have to go to the grocery store today.  I have to go to the big one…I think I’ll go to Schnucks, it’s off on the outskirts of town, not the middle.  And also there’s a reception at someone’s house we need to go attend later today. There’ll be a lot of strangers at the reception. People I don’t know I mean; TheMan knows them.
It'll be like this. Perfectly nice people at an outdoor party.
Picture credit: Some old Dutch master I'm too lazy to look up 'cause he's dead a long time.
It will feel more like this. A nerve-wracking blur of noisy sound and people I don't know.
Picture credit: Fanfnirr?

 Okay, I’m getting really cold sitting here. The overhead fan is on and for reasons I won’t go into I could shut it off but I’d have to remember to turn it back on and I don’t want to have to try and remember. So I’m stopping now, with my grumpy grouchiness. 

Friday, September 13, 2013

Dirty Girl Mud Run - It's gonna be a thing that's happening to me.

Ooh, I'm overdue
Give me some room; I'm comin’ through.
Paid my dues, in the mood,
me and the girls gonna shake the room.
--Dirrty, Chritina Aguilera

So, it’s decided. In May of 2014, I will travel to Indiana and participate in the Dirty Girl Mud Run with my Spirit Sister and brain-sharer, B3.
Okay, so there will be a dearth of micro miniskirts and bikini tops in our particular situation and we won’t be throwin’ any elbows, but you should still ring the alarm ‘cause we WILL get a little unruly!
BUT…In her most recent blog post B3 expressed some nervousness at being able to complete the obstacles in the course.
Oh, yeah! Obstacles, there will be some! I knew they were part of the course, but I was hyper-focused on the “I get to get all muddy and run around with B3! Woot, fun!” It hadn’t occurred to me that I might want to train a bit more so I could complete the obstacles to my satisfaction.

Yeah, baby! Picture credit: DGMR Facebook page
So…how does one prepare for the Dirty Girl Mud Run? How difficult will it be? That is, of course, subjective. Depends on your level of fitness and experience. From the Dirty Girl Mud Run About Page:

Run, walk, climb, crawl—you will experience it all in this adventure race. With adventure obstacle course names like H2OMG and PMS (Pretty Muddy Stuff), you can expect to laugh until your cheeks hurt. But don't worry, if you get to an obstacle that's more than a challenge for you—hey, take one of the adventure races detours. Also expect safety throughout. Expect the fun obstacle course runs competition to go on rain or shine. Expect not to be timed on the adventure runs. Expect some crazy team uniforms. Expect to put your mud run training to the test. Expect to leave with an overwhelming sense of accomplishment.

Let’s start off with this in mind: The Dirty Girl Mud Run is designed for all ages and fitness levels. It’s supposed to get you out there to have fun, get dirty, and raise money for breast and ovarian cancer research. They want as many female persons attending as possible and for them to come back year after year. It's encouraging women to get and stay fit and bringing in those dollars to save the ta-tas and the ovaries. So I’m thinking the obstacles are designed to this purpose: Some challenge, but not completely intimidating, and a lot of fun.
I’m thinking, for B3 and me…it will be a challenge, but totally doable. It ain’t gonna be the Tough Mudder. No electric shocks.

How to train:
Interval training, strength training, and cardio all strongly suggested.

Best information I’ve found so far? You Asked: How Should I Train for a Mud Run? This also has links for the most popular mud runs.
Another good info page: Mud Run Tips
Tribesports has created a training program specifically for the Dirty Girl. That ‘M’ after the 20 on the sprint and the bear crawl means meters, not minutes. Thank the gods…twenty minutes of bear crawling...sheesh. Twenty meters is about 22 yards, though I have no way of measuring either of those.
Interesting training suggestion: Go to the park and play on the monkey bars – My Fitness Pal/Topic: Dirty Girl Mud Run.
Insanely, buoyantly, optimistic advice: Mud Run & Obstacle Course Racing FAQ
Knowing what we're up against! Lots of pictures of the obstacles: I’m officially a “Dirty Girl”.
More photos of obstacles. This lady was in the first wave, that’s why the obstacles look almost empty. Running Wilder: Dirty Girl Mud Run.

 What to wear:
--Anything you feel comfortable racing in [even if it’s a bikini or a costume] and a solid pair of running shoes.

Yo, true story. Picture from the Dirty Girl Mud Run Facebook page.

--“Wear lite clothing that fits to you. (I wore a large shirt and should have worn a smaller shirt because by the time it got wet and muddy it weighed 10 lbs.)”
A Simple Southern Life: How To prepare for Dirty Girl Mud Run

--Don’t bother with the duct tape for your shoes pre-race. Or the showers post race. Tip: Bring your own jugs of water to wash off with afterward.
The Runiverse – How to run a mud run: The beginner’s guide to getting muddy.
[The info on the DGMR page explains they have rinse stations, they are not actual showers.]
Having a loving husband to hold your purse while you get dirty is priceless.
Picture credit: DGMR Facebook page
 What to bring: 
--Cash. Don’t forget cash for libations and local fare, which will be available in (the) Expo Village.
--Change of clothes/towel
--Great attitude! This will be the most fun you have all year.
[I don’t know about THAT. I’m pretty damn fun all by myself.]

Expect the (possibly) unexpected:

Insane traffic around the event and mud in every orifice. No, like....INSANE traffic.

"I expected traffic going to the event but I wasn’t prepared for what we encountered. As we were pulling up to an intersection near the mud run a sheriff started turning everyone around and telling us we couldn’t turn down the main road any longer. When people asked him where we could park, his reply was, “I don’t know but you can’t turn here.” No one really knew what to do so people just started parking on the side of the road. We didn’t know it at the time but as we started walking we figured out that the actual event was 2.5 miles down the road!" --Mud Runner

So...there ya have it. Time to get down to it.


Friday 5: Ill Fits

Friday 5 time! I’m gonna make this a quick one. I need to get to work on a post researching “how to prepare for the Dirty Girl Mud Run.”

What item in your wardrobe do you wish was better-fitting?
I have a pair of jeans I really love, Victoria Secret Blue London Boyfriend jeans. They are button-fly, 100% cotton, and a size 12. I bought them over ten years ago, back before VS started putting spandex in all their jeans. VS still makes the boyfriend jeans but they have spandex. I loathe spandex in jeans, even a measly one or two percent. These old jeans fit well when I bought them and I loved the way they made my butt look. My weight has…fluctuated since then. But I’m getting closer!
What role in a play, musical, or television program would be a terrible fit for you but is still something you wish you could try?
Any musical would be a terrible fit for me because I can’t dance. Oh, I can wiggle my butt with the best of them…but I suppose it’s more correct to say I can’t remember dance step sequences. Also I’m not a great singer. Not hideous, but not great.  And sing and dance at the same time? Fuggedaboutit.  So while I would LOVE to bust some evil moves as Ursula the Sea Witch or get my gospel rock on as one of The Muses in some local Disney musical stage production, it probably ain’t happenin’. Fortunately for me, this is not as yet a thing here. That I know of.
But it's happening somewhere. Broadway! Gods, I love that dress.
Which furnishing in your home clashes most with the others, for whatever reason?
None of our furnishings really match, but I'd say the couch is the thing that clashes the most It used to be owned by the old man who lived next door. It's a sort of blue plaid that supposed to resemble a quilt somewhat. The fabric is very durable and the construction style scream "traditional yet eighties!" It's a very solid couch.
What item in your possession are you using for something other than its intended purpose?
Thinking…thinking…I’m sure there must be something, but I don’t know of anything big. I use lots of things as bookmarks that weren’t made as bookmarks. Receipts, pictures, ribbons, etc. I’m not averse to thinking outside the box for utility of anything…if it works, use it. But I don’t currently keep my pipe tobacco in a Persian slipper on the mantle, if that’s what you’re looking for.

What’s something others expect of you that you are just not comfortable with?
Making small talk with strangers. Making eye contact with strangers. Really, just because I’m walking down the road I gotta wave at you? Why? I don’t get this. I don’t understand why it’s considered “polite” to acknowledge a person’s presence. Yeah, there you are, I see you. Why are you making such a big deal out of this? Why do you feel the need to speak to me? I’m THINKING.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Couch to 5K – Week 5, Day 2 (mileage workout), new pants, and I used to be a kid once.

I started very late today. Meaning just a bit after noon.

Breakfast: Left over Bacon Venison Butternut Squash
Lunch: Yeah…forgot about that until just now. This is probably why I had such a hard time on the second run segment.

Brisk 5 minute warm up walk
Brief stretching routine
Jog ¾ mile; walk ½ mile, Jog ¾ mile
Longer stretching routine
Hydration and eat

I really didn’t want to go out today. I’ve been having bad week. Tuesday and Wednesday were both very, very difficult for me. I stalled and stalled today until noon, not wanting to skip another day, but not wanting to leave the house either. It wasn't that I didn’t want to run today; it was that I didn’t want to leave the house.
The most beautiful pants ever.
And I look fabulous in them.
And then…my Ciara pants came in the mail from Holy Clothing. From Germany! I hadn’t known they were coming from Germany, no wonder it took longer. But it was worth it. They are the most beautiful pants ever, ever, EVER! Ohmigod, my pants are so beautiful and they were in Germany two weeks ago! German people put my pants in an envelope! These pants make me feel really sexy! They’re going to be part of my Red Lady persona for Faire!!!
So what does this have to do with running? Sort of not much, but kind of a lot. Well, when I was trying them on I realized…hey, these fit really well. I wonder if I could’ve ordered the next size down. And may the gods help me; I was actually admiring my own butt in the mirror, because it’s definitely lifted and tightened a little.

All right fine, we’ll leave the house.
So I went out to do my run.  And yeah, that was pretty hard. Very bright, very warm, everything just seemed loud, there were bugs everywhere, jeez another good thing about very early mornings…fewer bugs.
The first run segment went okay, though I was glad to stop for the walk segment. But the second run segment was very difficult. I felt a sense of dread when I started it.  I started jogging but after a couple of minutes I really wanted to walk. Oh, hey...look. This route for the mileage workouts has inclines! I can't really call them hills, they aren't remotely hilly like I'm used to...but they're definitely inclines. I hadn't realized that. See, I'm from Southern Indiana, a place called Floyds Knobs. The dips and swells in this little northern town ain't hills, sugar, not like I grew up walking and biking on. But hey, if you're learning to run over them, they damn sure feel like mountains. I refused to walk though and so I had to drop back down to a shuffle and start going over in my head all the motivational stuff I could think of.
When I turned onto the last street (just about two minutes from the end) I thought, “Dear Gods-Jesus-Christ-thank you, thank you, thank you I’m almost done.” I wanted to cry I was so happy to be almost done.
I didn’t get my endorphins today, goddamnit; I guess my beautiful pants will have to be enough.
So now I’m home and I’ve stretched and I’m happy I did it, even if I was less than thrilled while I was out there.
Saturday is the full twenty minutes run.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Please don't tell the Xenomorph where I'm hiding.

I’m very tired today.

I’m so tired I’m tearing up as I type this, not actually crying just wishing I could. Because I think I would feel better if I could just cry for a few hours.
I’m supposed to go out on my run today. Honestly, I just can’t face it. I am shaky and sore in body and mind and spirit.
I can’t find my jump drive with my resume on it. This simple fact is also making me want to cry.
At least I found my resume on my computer.  I need to get a job. I’m worried about my skills getting rusty.
I miss my friends. I miss my sons. I’m going to see my sons today and I need to buck up and not be miserable. They don’t know how terribly I miss them. Of course they miss me too, I can tell, but they won’t understand how terrible an ache it is until (if ever) they have their own children.
I’m not going on my run today. I’m just not. I’m going tomorrow. I can say this. I can do this. I feel like someone has been jumping up and down on my back and neck. And I do not want to have a nervous breakdown in the middle of the road in this very small town.

This guy? Such an ASSHOLE.
picture credit: Alien - alien design: H.R. Giger, directed by Ridley Scott, owned by 20th Cent. Fox

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

I want another cigarette but my throat is scratchy.

I am not entertaining today. Come back another day, or look up another post. This is for me. To remember it.

I don't want to not post. But I don't have anything to post. Or rather...I do...I just don't want to deal with it right now.

There's a thing I want to talk about because...well, because. But I can't get going on it. I want to stay in my pajamas and pull all the curtains and read and sleep. It's so quiet here right now. 

I have to put clothes on. TheDaughter will be home from school soon. They're letting school out early because of the heat. She has so many friends in the neighborhood and sometimes they come looking for her here at the house. I have to be dressed. I have to act normal. I have to pretend the sunlight doesn't make me sick to my stomach and that I actually want to be awake.

My own sons had only a couple of friends in our immediate neighborhood and none of them ever came looking for the boys at the house. We had a little upstairs apartment, the top half of a house. Most people didn't know it was an apartment. Everyone left me alone. So this...having to talk to people, on a daily basis, with no warning...I am not used to this. I am used to how I did things for the last twenty years.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Couch to 5K – Week 5, Day 2 (time workout) - Why is this so hard today?

Breakfast: Greek yogurt, 1 tablespoon Fig preserves, ¼ cup walnuts

Today’s agenda:

Brisk 5 minute warm up walk
Brief stretching routine
Jog 8 minutes/walk 5 minutes/jog 8 minutes
Longer stretching routine

I’m having my usual trouble getting motivated. I don’t want to run right now. I want to go back to bed. It’s cold and I’m tired and I want to sleep some more.
There are things to do today. More laundry (lots of towels). A pile of dishes leftover from cooking lessons. Get my library card. Dear gods, the library is only open four days a week. They do have downloadable audio and eBooks though, which of course I can download anytime. That’s nice. I might look into using the audio books for my longer runs, when I finally have to break a mile. That’s coming up sooner than I’d like.
Okay. I went and put my running clothes on. They’re a little stinky; I forgot to put them in the laundry. They got covered by clean clothes by mistake.  I have other clothes I could wear, but these are actual exercise clothes. When I have a day like this, where I don’t want to go out AT ALL, NO SIRREE, wearing real exercise clothes helps me focus. If I just put on some knit pants and a t-shirt…hell, I can go back to bed in that outfit easy.
Here’s an odd thing. For me. The amount of time I have to run isn’t bothering me, because this past Saturday I ran three segments of approximately the same time. I know I can do the time and the effort. Why is getting started so hard? Why is getting started STILL so damn hard?

So here I am. Still staring at the screen. Still telling myself I need to get going. Still not doing it. What the hell am I waiting for? The sun will be up, people will be out. I will not like it. 

Post Run:

Well. I hated that.
See, see, SEE what happens when I stall until 8:14 am to leave the house?

Goddamnit, SOMEBODY SPOKE TO ME. One of my new neighbors on the street (new to me) felt the need to introduce himself and ask me about TheMan and TheDaughter while I was on my warm up walk. Dood. Can you not see my exercise clothes? My coral-means-business running shoes? My chronograph? My effing sunglasses? I’m. Doing. Something. Stop talking to me.

See what happens when you don't follow the rules?
picture credit: Ned Flanders belongs to the Fox Network I believe.
Fortunately I was able to get away quickly and politely.
The sun was pretty high too, but not blazing directly in my eyes and hey, I remembered my sunglasses.
I ate properly yesterday. I hydrated. I slept. I ate breakfast this morning.  Why did I have to drag myself through this today? Why did I hate nearly every second of it? Physically it went fine. Mentally I just wanted to be back home the whole time. During the second run segment I wanted to sit down and cry. Not because it was hard physically for me, just because the effort made me feel like crying. Today I did not feel lean and mean.
Oh well. It’s done. Wednesday will be better I’m sure. Yes? Right? Yes, Wednesday will be better, damn it.

I don't normally look like this...

Hello! If you are visiting today and see my header all janky and weird and amateur looking, I apologize. It was just fine yesterday and I haven't made any changes so I don't know why the title of my blog is suddenly stacked.

I promise I haven't stacked my header in an attempt to be different. I'm different enough without having to be completely annoying. I can't figure out why the header is doing that. I'm trying to fix it. Please read on.

Edit: I still can't figure it out. I don't know why my header is suddenly shoved over to the side. I tried taking out the image but that made it worse...WTF? Okay, for now the title will have to be in the description area and small. Until I know what's going on. If ever.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Mac and Cheese and Chocolate chip won't find that here.

Today I’m having difficulty getting started. I have very little focus and just can’t seem to settle on a thing I want to write about. So I went looking for writing prompts.

I found lots and lots and lots of prompts, yet I haven’t found a prompt yet that I want to use today.  There are many interesting prompts, many I might want to do later, but not today.  For today I wanted one that would prompt a shortish blog post. No such luck.
But I did want to share some of the prompting goodness with you. – Good old Writer’s Digest.  I used to have subscription to the magazine.  I especially like the Someone Else Is Living Here Brian A. Klems.
 Your kids love watching CSI, so you buy them a forensic starter’s kit for Christmas. They begin running simple, fake experiments, collecting DNA, and dusting for fingerprints around the house. When you look at all of the powder and prints they pull, you find there are more fingerprints there then just you and your family’s. Whose are they?

Poets&Writers - This link has prompts for poetry, fiction, and creative non-fiction. I especially like Coffee Mug Character Development in the fiction prompts.
Sit down at your writing desk and look around you. Many of the objects nearby have a utilitarian purpose: Your coffee mug holds coffee, for instance. Other objects, however, possess emotional significance: your grandmother’s portrait over the couch, the painted conch shell you use as a paperweight. Perhaps that same coffee mug says, in faded and defeated letters, “World’s Greatest Parent.” In writing, objects in a character’s personal sphere should reflect something about the character’s emotional DNA. Start the exercise by making a list of meaningful objects within your character’s reach—wherever they may be. Then build their world into the scene. A coffee mug should never just be a coffee mug.

Christ, it took me for-fucking-ever to find a picture of a mug that was perfect.
So I guess the prompt author is right.  A coffee mug isn't just a coffee mug.

Timothy McSweeney’s Passwords Are All UniqueThirteen Writing Prompts by Dan Wiencek.  I’m not sure if these are serious or satirical or what, but I like them. Timothy McSweeney’s is a San Francisco-based publishing company and keeper of this humour website. So they could be poking holes in the pompous, self-indulgent earnestness to which writer’s can be prone but hey…if they work…



And, now I have to go teach DB how to make macaroni and cheese and also we’re making special chocolate chip cookies too before we do more driving practice on the way to taking him back to his dad’s.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Couch to 5K – Week 5, Day 1 (mileage workout)

As I posted on Wednesday, September 4th, I’m trying something different with week five.

Breakfast: Greek yogurt and homemade trail mix, water with acai berry flavor EmergenC.

Brisk five minute warm up walk

Brief stretching routine

Jog half mile/walk quarter mile; Jog half mile/walk quarter mile; jog half mile.

Longer stretch routine and hydration

Okay…this was harder. This…THIS is what I remember running feeling like, lo those many years ago when I was nineteen and thinking about joining the army for the language school.

I was tired pre-run today. Despite two rest days and a good breakfast and hydration and enough sleep.  Still tired. It’s just me, something I deal with sometimes. Okay, lots of times. Most of the time. It’s a physical side effect from combination of physical and mental…things.

Do my ellipses bother you? GOOD!

Sorry, not sure where that bitchiness came from.

I was tired in a way which makes me feel weak and scared and I did not want to go out. But I went out anyway. The first half mile I ran in 7:45. Just before the first walk segment the sombrero-clad Random Town Lady made a brief appearance but she turned off my road again before I got near her.  Honestly I prefer it that way.
During the second half mile jog segment it started to rain! So that was fun! Ran that in 8:23.

Third half mile jog segment I didn’t time because by then I’d stuck my chronograph under my shirt to keep the rain off of it. I really liked running in the rain, it was very refreshing. I was really starting to feel like I was doing a workout this segment. Like I was really pushing myself in a good way. Breathing fairly elevated but not gasping, not struggling. Muscles working hard, pushing to get to the end but not feeling weak anymore. Tired, but not weak. Tired from hard work, which is much preferable to tired from feeling weak.  As I was almost home, I had the feeling I might need to throw up, but it passed within a minute and by the time I reached the driveway I felt really, really happy and good.
Not quite this happy, but happy.
Photo credit: Kerim Okten / EPA
Story: Blind runner's despair turns to joy at Paralympics- This is a thing. Check it out.
Then I was home! I did my stretching, took a shower, and DB and I made hash for breakfast.  I taught him the easy way to chop an onion and the secrets to the tastiest hash.

Now we have to get ready for driving practice.  We’re going to drive to the grocery store to buy more ingredients for cooking lessons.