26 March 2015

good and bad

Good news: I have my window open. It was 70 degrees today, and it's supposed to be the same tomorrow.

Good news: I don't have to get up until 7 tomorrow morning. (IT'S LIKE A MIRACLE.)

Good news: I have dentist appointment tomorrow, and I can't wait to have clean teeth.

Good news: I gave myself the gift of driving alone today. I jammed out to some embarrassing music. There may have been shameless singing in the car.

Good news: My bike is up and running again.

Good news: I went for a hike on Saturday. It turns out that running the stairs at intervals throughout the day (I'm up to four sets of three, for 12 total ascents) is actually keeping my lung capacity up enough that I can hike. I am impressed.

Bad news: My sinuses are swollen from allergies, which makes my gums swell, and the dentist is going to think I have gum disease.

Bad news: I managed to wedge a splinter of wood deep under my fingernail today. Options: cut off a large amount of fingernail that is still attached to the nail bed to get it out, or let it work its way out and hope it doesn't fester. I am going with option 2. So far.

Bad news: I thought a 15 mile meetup bike ride in the predicted rain was too much on Sunday after hiking on Saturday, so I cancelled. But then it didn't rain, so I went for my own little spin to get used to riding again. Of course I did not wear rain gear, because I wasn't going that far and it wasn't raining. (You can start laughing now.) I ended up soaked to the skin and shivering in the library. When I left after an hour, it was no longer raining, but I was still damp through all my cotton clothes, and I froze to death and now I am dead.

Bad news: sweet potato season seems to be over. This cannot be. What am I supposed to eat for dinner now? I look forward to my sweet potato every evening. 

15 March 2015

all i care about is sleep right now

This time of year, I never do know whether I am getting sick or I'm just allergic to the amazing profusion of flowers that have deigned to join us in the city. It's the right side of my throat. It will not stop with the paining.

I guess I'm about to find out whether this is sick or allergy, because I ran out of elderberry today and I forgot to buy more at the store. 

Either way, I spent just about the entire weekend trying to sleep enough to be well. 

I was so tired on Friday night that I started drifting off in the middle of a conversation with my roommate. We were talking in the hallway, and I opened the door to my room and laid down, mid-sentence, and started to drift off. It might have been a touch rude.

I slept for ten hours that night, and two more on Saturday afternoon, which did not stop me from sleeping 9.5 hours last night, and being ready to go to bed early tonight. 

Early being 9 pm. Yesssssss. This is happening.

Good night.

14 March 2015


Going to the post office seems to be my opportunity to help people. I don't know why. Things just happen there. 

I stopped at the post office a few weeks ago after my carpool dropped me off, to pick up the insane amounts of mail that had collected while I was doing nothing but commute, work, and sleep. As I got back to my car, the guy with the hood up on the Suburban parked next to me asked if I would be willing to give his car a jump.

I started laughing, because I had, not three days earlier, been talking to my dad about whether I need a new battery for my car (short answer: yes. long answer: yes, but I am not willing to spend the money just yet). 

"I'm not sure if my battery is capable of that," I said, but once the engine is going it's fine, of course. We got his Suburban started right up.

Today there was a man desperately asking if he could just buy a couple of stamps from the guy at the PO Box window, because the counter was closed and the machine only takes cards (he had a couple of dollars). He needed the envelope to go out today, he said.

I gave him three forever stamps. (I have a ridiculous number of stamps. Why I have so many stamps is a very good question. The answer is that I kept losing books of them between my computer bag and purse and desk at the place I had an office last year, and then I found them all (I think) and they are now in my purse in excess.)

He tried to give me the money, but I told him to help someone else out someday instead. 

Then I pulled up my hood and walked out into the rain.

On the way to the post office, I had passed a woman lying on a street corner in the pouring rain. She had a flowered pillow under her head, and she lay next to a wheelchair. Two of the downtown patrol people (the quasi-cops) stood next to her. I assume they were waiting for an ambulance or real police.

I sat in my warm car, waiting for the light to change. 

It's strange how people's lives are taking such different paths, right next to each other, I thought.

10 March 2015


Until this week (it's still light when I get home!) it was impossible for me to do anything resembling exercise during the week. 

I feel like I need to keep mentioning: leave home at 6:40 am. Get home by 7 pm. Days. So long.

My carpool and I park a 12-15 min walk from work, which gets us moving a little in the morning and again at the end of the day, but it's not enough. The rest of the day could literally be spent in one spot, except for going to the bathroom and the kitchen. 

That doesn't work for me. Not only am I constitutionally incapable of just sitting for that many hours, but sitting like that kills you slowly. I mean that literally, not psychologically. (Also, when I sit for that many hours, my butt hurts.)

It's been a while since I had such a sedentary job. The work I did for the last four and a half years involved sitting, but I also walked to another building at least once a day, sometimes twice, and often to a further building. I'm not used to sitting for so long, plus there is an hour in the car on either end.

And so, I have developed a strategy. I try, at least five times a day, to run up and down the stairs in my building twice, for a total of ten stair runs per day.

Any other stair climbing does not count toward the ten ascents. If I go downstairs to run an errand and take the stairs back up one floor, that does not count. If I go up two flights to talk to someone, that does not count. It has to be two ascents up all three flights of stairs to count toward the total. 

It's like interval training for the desk worker.

Sometimes it feels a little strange to pass someone on the stairs going down and then run right back past them going up. 

"You are literally running up and down the stairs," someone said to me today. 

Yes, that is what I am doing. Every day. 

I don't always make 10 ascents. Today I only managed eight, because I took a walk to the Bucks of Star over lunch. (I left my chai in my car in Gone West, the horror. I didn't feel awake all morning. It's the ritual and the sugar, not the caffeine. I'm not actually even sure there is any caffeine in the chai powder I use.) 

Yesterday I did twelve ascents. 

In the absence of evening time in which to exercise, this is all that stands between me and heart disease. 

We'll find out whether it's working for fitness when I go for a hike in two weeks. 

08 March 2015


I let myself just sleep in this morning, no alarm, for the first time since I started the 5:30 am weekday wakeup, and it was glorious. I slept until 10:37. I will probably not be able to get to sleep tonight. I feel rested for the first time in 5 weeks, and I needed that so badly. 

I don't care one little bit that I will probably not be able to get to sleep tonight. After all, this is allergy season. And flu season. I will just tell my body, when I go to bed early again, that this is extra sleep to stay healthy. If I can't sleep, I can't sleep. Resting is almost as good, right?

Or so I will tell myself tonight when my body thinks it is 8:30 pm and why are we trying to sleep now again?

04 March 2015


I'm not going to claim that correlation equals causation, but I will say that on Monday, my coworker and I had the same horrible throat pain.

On Monday night, I started taking elderberry syrup.

By Tuesday, he went home sick. 

Wednesday, he stayed home sick. 

Me? I kept taking elderberry syrup, and but for the spring allergies, I feel pretty good.

Like I said, I make no claims of causation here. I'm just pointing out a correlation.

28 February 2015


I managed to go to bed at a normal hour last night (namely, before 11 pm. on a Friday.) and so I actually got a real night of sleep for the first time in a month. 

I still set an alarm. I cannot afford to get off track with my sleeping.

A couple of friends met me downtown, where we went to a boutique sale and ate brunch and ran some errands. 

This afternoon, I was supposed to take a walk, but instead I pulled most of the unused boxes out of my closet. I've been hoarding them in case I have to move again, but that needs to stop. I live here now. 

Also I want my second closet to be something other than a pit of boxes. 

It was strangely emotional to break down the boxes. Some of them have my name and phone number written in my mom's handwriting from when she was here in Gone West 13 months ago, helping me pack up my things to move. Move where, I wasn't sure. Maybe the Mitten, or maybe nowhere. Some of them are still labeled from my Universe City - Gone West move.

Now they are just a stack of cardboard waiting to be put in the recycling bin. (I couldn't put them out there this weekend because the downstairs neighbors are moving, and they filled the bin to overflowing. Our kitchen trash is sitting out ready to be taken down Monday, too.)