Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Putting my money where my ass is

Lest you all think I'm a big ol' whiner (well, bigger than I normally am), I checked my year to date stats to see just how much time I've put in this year.

Year to date, I've put in nearly six weeks of overtime.  That's 40 hour weeks.  And that's through yesterday; I worked another 2.5 hours of overtime today.

More than 50 of those hours are since the week of Thanksgiving.  Shame I won't have this week's hours on my December paycheck; that would be a sweet bunch of overtime pay!

Once the year is done I think I'll go back and see how those hours break down between pre-marathon and post-marathon.  I'm pretty sure I put 2/3rds of them in since June.  No wonder I'm always too tired to run!

My boss is taking a tropical vacation right after our deadline.  My co-worker told him to think of us as he sits on a beach in the sun sipping mai tais.  I told him to think of me, back home with the company credit card, as he sits on a beach in the sun sipping mai tais. 

Pretty sure I'll be getting a bonus check this year.  If only to placate me while he's gone and I've got the company credit card.

Here's to a happy new year to everyone.  I'll catch up with you some time after January 3, once I've woken up from the three day bed bender I'm planning to indulge in.

the CilleyGirl

Monday, December 20, 2010

Gonna make you squirm!

Howdy hey everyone.  Because I just have to say it, I'll say it:  I'm still alive!  I'm feeling much better since my last few posts.  A lot fewer headaches, somewhat better sleep although that's starting to change again.  Grrrr.

So.  I had a fun time last week.  My doctor discovered a polyp on my girlie parts and since it wasn't there last year she wanted to schedule a follow up to remove it.  "It'll be nothing, no problem!" she says.  Mmm hmm. 

I'm in the stirrups (muwahahahaha to all the guys who have now changed the page) for literally 30 minutes while she's still looking.  Turns out it wasn't a pull-it-off-and-that's-it polyp.  She wasn't quite sure what it was.  But it took 30 minutes to set me up like a Christmas turkey to take a look and then we got to the snippity snippity of my insides roughly behind my navel.  Uncomfortable!!!   Although I'd like to know why they don't give you the topical anesthetic while they're poking around in there.  The snippity part wasn't so bad, comparatively.

As with most things with me, it's somewhere in the range of nothing to cancer.  We have to wait for the lab results, then it's either leave it alone, go to an OB-GYN to remove it fully in a more formal informal procedure, or I guess an oncologist.  Because I get these kind of results all the time (I'm either going blind or just fine, per my eye doctor), I'm not concerned at all.  Seriously, no joke.  No point in being worried until you have something to worry about.  Plus it's like the size of a pin that we're talking about.  How bad could it be?

But in the meantime, I felt like I'd done a zillion crunches for about two days after the procedure.  I'm guessing it was less from the actual snippity snip and more from me clenching my abs while she was "still looking."   Maybe I've stumbled upon some new ab exercise?  I think I'd rather be paunchy, thank you very much. 

I should be doing a January 1 run, although I need to survive work through Christmas day before making my final decision.  Right now I'm so tired and grumpy I don't think I want to run again EVER.  sigh  But I will.   Soon I'll figure out some longer races that I'll be doing in 2011, pretty sure that's going to include a full marathon again.  I'd like to finish in under six hours this time.  I believe that if I train seriously for it, this is a totally achievable goal for me.  I've already done really well increasing my walking speed, which has always slowed me down in races (no pun intended).

I'll try to check in some time next week, for at least something brief.  I'm working December 13 through the 24th, then off Christmas Day, then working December 26 straight through to January 3.  Then I plan to check myself into a hospital for one of those voluntary comas. 

They do offer those, right?

the CilleyGirl

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Portion size is important

I call this video "Om nom nom nom nom."

the CilleyGirl

Monday, December 13, 2010

I can't come in to work today. I have the dumb.

My headline was going to be "Hello, I have a brain tumor" but I really don't and I probably shouldn't even joke about those things lest all sorts of calamity befall me.

I kind of wish I have one, though.  It would explain so much.  It would solve so much. 

I have a headache ALL THE TIME and I don't know why.

Okay, I know some of the why.  I have sinus issues and I probably need the surgery to fix it.  That's kind of like a brain tumor, right?  Sinus infections can actually kill you -- I had a friend in high school who had lost a brother that way. 

This probably explains why I'm avoiding getting that CT scan.  I probably do have a brain tumor.

I'm also working too much and sleeping mostly not at all.  Usually with the sleep I have problems falling asleep but once I'm out I'm out.  Not lately, though; I feel as thought I'm only dozing and I wake up constantly.  The only thing that works to keep me out is an Ambien with two Tylenol PM, but that's more like unconsciousness rather than a good night's sleep. 

I didn't do the half marathon yesterday.  I couldn't sleep, but my dog could.  So much that she peed in the bed two or three times.  Every time she moved I was paranoid she was peeing again and I'd start checking the bed again.  At one point I was trying to move her and I hyperextended my knee against the cedar chest, which also did something weird to the hip that hasn't been bothering me lately.  About five minutes before I was supposed to be getting up for the half marathon my stomach starting doing its best starfish impression and I felt the first twinges of a migraine coming up.  I realized then that I haven't been looking forward to this half for quite a while and when running is no longer fun then what is the point?  So shortly before 7:00 a.m. I took an Ambien and slept for eight hours. 

I'm sad I missed out on the cool finisher's medal, but not that I didn't go do the run.  Running had become a chore and that's not why I run.

I will almost certain be working every day between January 3rd and now except for Christmas day.  It's too depressing to think about so I won't.  I'll just do it.  But in the meantime, have some eye candy on me:

Aka, my yummy latest obsession!

the CilleyGirl

Thursday, December 9, 2010

I'm singing in the brain... just singing in the brain

All my thoughts on health, weight, running, food, etc., are either really dark and dank or else they are giddy and crazy.  So instead of boring you with all that, I thought I would bore you with this.

I was driving home from work last night and Rush's Tom Sawyer came on the radio.   I was laughing about how I will always associate that song -- really, any Rush songs -- with my high school crush D who was (and is) a huge Rush fan.  That got me thinking about other music that is linked with other people.

Climax Blues Band's I Love You always makes me think of my childhood sweetheart, L. 

Anything by Rush is for my high school crush, D.  Particularly Red Barchetta and Tom Sawyer, although Tom Sawyer now also makes me think of the TV show Chuck

Anything by Styx reminds me of a guy friend who was my first.  So does Pink Floyd's The Wall, because they were running that movie on Mtv that particular night.

Anything Depeche Mode and I think about my high school boyfriend. He's a cool, edgy, depressed kind of a guy.  A lot like Depeche Mode, really. 

Cheap Trick's The Flame was playing when my college boyfriend first asked me to dance.  Pink Floyd's Comfortably Numb reminds me of the zillion times we broke up during college.  Poison's Every Rose Has Its Thorn brings back the moment I first started to realize that love really isn't all you need to make a relationship work.  And last but not least, Garth Brooks' Friends in Low Places is the song that my college boyfriend still threatens to sing at my wedding, should I ever get married. 

I hate the band Mr. Big because of my last boyfriend, the putz.  Too bad for Mr. Big, I kind of liked them before that. 

What songs take you back?

the CilleyGirl

Monday, December 6, 2010

I am a hipster

Howdy hey all.  I was going to start out with "Hi!  I'm alive!" but that's pretty much how all my posts for the rest of the year would start so I scratched that.  Just assume that if I post something that I am alive.  Or there's a zombie epidemic.  Either way.

Still limping my way through half-marathon training, and for extra added excitement now I'm limping for reals!  I did a ten mile run yesterday and at about mile four remembered that I had forgotten that last week at mile four my hip started to bother me.  I am a hipster.  A limping hipster.  A limping scrimping hipster.  Strumpet.

I have no idea either.

Anyhow.  I have a very tight left hip flexor, which when you first go to type that with cold fingers turns into "tight lip."  Must stretch more.  Hips and fingers.  And this may be a consequence (of the hip thing), but my right calf is tight too.  Luckily not really sore, just tight.  Let me tell you, it is not fun icing various parts of your body when it is so cold out!  Tonight I think I'll lay on the heating pad as I ice my hip flexor.  Perhaps I'll spontaneously combust!!!

Let's see, where was I?  Oh yes, the run.  My ten-miler was better than it seemed.  For the first five miles, I was running into a strong headwind.  I felt like one of those mimes.  I almost got clocked in the head by a pheasant, which was weird but it did solve the problem I had been pondering about how one would spot a dead body off the side of the trail.  I couldn't find where the pheasant went after it landed, and realized that would be exactly how you would stumble across a dead body buried back in the brush. 

Upon checking my Garmin later, I also learned that that portion of the trail is uphill.  Not a huge uphill, but enough that running it with a strong headwind really is a bitch.  I made up some serious time on the five miles back.  My goal for next Sunday's half is still three hours.  Not sure if I'll make it, but that is the goal.  I've also changed my mind about what I'll wear next week; I felt fine with an icy headwind, but once it stopped I was absolutely roasting in my fleece pullover.  So far it's supposed to be low 40s and rainy on Sunday; I'm going to go with two tech tees, one long-sleeved and once short.  That should keep me plenty warm with about the same level of rain-shedding ability.

Ooh look, zombies!

the CilleyGirl

Sunday, November 28, 2010

An all-around weird run

I've been sucky about doing my weekly runs but have been trying to stick to my long run schedule.  Today had an eight-miler on tap. 

I really didn't feel like going, but it wasn't raining and I needed the miles in prep for the half.  So I got dressed and looked up a route and off I went.

I decided to go out to Marine Drive to run along the Columbia River. 

I hadn't been out there since early in my marathon training this year, probably around March.  This trail is part of the 40-Mile Loop.  Today I started out at Broughton Beach, then ran down to the I-205 bridge and back.

It ended up being absolutely beautiful out there.  It's windy, what with being on the water, but the sun came out and the temp wasn't too bad.

Of course, on the other side it's not so scenic.  The part with the Portland airport and its towers is okay, but then you get to the beautiful vista of long-term airport parking against the stunning backdrop of a big-ass Ikea sign. 

I didn't take any pictures of that.  I did take pictures of the birds, including a heron that was in the middle of eating its lunch.  Which was a mouse or a rat.  Since I run without my glasses or my contacts, I didn't know that thing in his mouth was a small creature.  So cool!!!

Luckily the scenery was absolutely beautiful because the run itself sucked.  My decongestant hadn't kicked in for at least the first mile so I had a hard time breathing.  I felt excessively bouncy the whole time, like the Michelin Man going for a jog.  I lost my Nike+ chip somewhere.... I know I put it in the bag with all my running gadgets but couldn't find it anywhere when I got to the trailhead.  Hopefully it's somewhere in my car.  Then, once my breathing evened out my legs started to feel like lead and my hip began aching.  Oh, and my toe was rubbing in my shoe.

On the bouncy part, I discovered when I got home that I'd worn the wrong bra.  Apparently when you've hung your black sports bra next to your black non-sports bra, you really need to pay attention to which one you're putting on.  In the middle of my run, I had the underwire up in the middle of one of my breasts so I had to stop and get the girls back in place.  My bra was wet and cold the whole run, the straps were digging in, the aforementioned slippage issues, plus being a few days out from my TOM any bouncing hurt. 

I can't believe I didn't notice.  They are so absolutely different it's not even funny.

Well, at least it was beautiful out.

the CilleyGirl

Monday, November 22, 2010

Frozen runners and turkey day toss ups

Howdy hey everybody!  I hope that your weekend was fine, frisky and festive.  Or some combination thereof.  Mine was freezing.  Brrrrrr -- I'm still cold!  For some insane reason -- my upcoming half marathon being prominent in there -- I decided that not only would I do my long run on Sunday, but that I would do it outside.  Where it was, and remained, 36 degrees. 

It was just like this.  Except I was on a sidewalk next to a street.  Both were wet.  There were a lot more trees, both evergree and deciduous, and a lot of wet leaves on the ground.  There was no stream or pool of water.  I wasn't wearing a red jacket, shorts, or hiking boots.  I wasn't carrying whatever that it is. 

But otherwise, just like this.

I decided to run outside because (a) I already felt like crap and (b) the half marathon will be outside and in most likely crap weather.  More (b) than (a) here, I'll admit.  I haven't run in the cold cold in maybe ten months so I wanted to practice with cold weather gear.  I wore a short-sleeved, very snug (stupid cinnamon rolls) Pearl Izumi tech tee underneath an REI brand long sleeved fleece-ish running top.  You know, it's fleece on the inside, a wicking water repellant material on the outside, half-zip with the thumbholes.  Also running capris and of course shoes and a ballcap a lululemon headband to keep my ears warm.  I wear the headband over my ballcap, which helps keep my ears warm and my hat on in the event of wind.  I look really dumb but it works. 

I've been browsing running tights today because while I was warm yesterday while I was running, after about a minute back in the car my legs let me know long and loud that their top layer of skin was frozen.  I love the spandex running capris over anything other running pants I have, so it's time to at least get ones that are full length and hopefully slightly warmer.  Not a lot warmer -- I have a pair of Mizuno pants that roast my chestnuts every time -- but just a little bit warmer.

I did 6.5 miles that overall was one big hump.  More or less uphill then down down down, then turnaround and back up up and up and up then a little down and done.  I did a lot better than I thought I'd do, considering it was 36 degrees out and I hadn't run in two weeks and it was hills. 

Now, on to Thanksgiving twaddle.

My best friend locally, with whom I normally do Thanksgiving, just moved to Bend.  Her parents are coming for Thanksgiving to see the new house and I'd go down there too except they haven't set up the house enough for more than one set of guests at a time.  So, I'm going solo for Thanksgiving which is fine by me.  I just can't decide if I'm in the mood for a Thanksgiving dinner this week.  I thought I'd do the pros and cons to help me decide before I head out to the store after work.

PROS:  It's traditional.  I like turkey.  I really really like turkey, mashed potatos, gravy, and yeasty rolls.  Pumpkin pie is good, pumpkin cheesecake even better.

CONS:  Except for the turkey, none of that is paleo.  And it's kind of pricey.  Figure all that would cost at least $30.  For just me.  Plus a couple of hours of prep and then a couple more to cook it all.   Later, I'll have to clean up everything.  I have a small kitchen so it gets dirty fast, plus most birds are much too big to fit into my tiny apartment oven.  And I'd have to make the dessert the night before.

OTHER CONSIDERATIONS:  I'm running the Turkey Trot in the morning and then plan to meander through the zoo, hopefully with Jules.  That means I probably won't get home until close to noon, I'll need to shower, etc.  And I'll be starving when I get home.  I was thinking I'd do my special eggs benedict for brunch as a post-race treat.  That will leave me fairly unhungry until well into the evening.

SO WHY NOT:  Make brunch the main meal that day.  If I was thinking about eating all those Thanksgiving non-paleo calories anyway, why not spend them on something I am in the mood for and that only takes 20 minutes to make.  Then I'll just have something light like soup and fruit for dinner. 

Yeah, I think I'm going to buck the trend and skip a traditional Thanksgiving dinner this week.  I can always do a turkey with all my favorite trimmings at some point in the future (maybe Christmas?) when I am in the mood for turkey.

What are you all doing for Thanksgiving? 

the CilleyGirl

Saturday, November 20, 2010

I ate a rutabaga

You may recall that one of my 2010 goals was to try five new vegetables.  To date, I've tried kale, brussel sprouts, and cauliflower.  I think squash is in there too; I believe I was trying butternut squash earlier this year rather than at the end of last year. 

This week, I ate a rutabaga.

This is a rutabaga:

This is also a rutabaga.  In fact, it's the same rutabaga.

With any food-like substance, the question rapidly becomes:  How do I eat it?

Like this?

I realized after taking that photo how dirty it might turn out.  I was not disappointed.

With any food-like substance, I also must check if the dog will eat it.

Come over here!  Check out this rutabaga!

It's good!  (maybe)  You'll like it!  I promise!

Although it looks like she is repulsed by the rutabaga, it's actually the flash on my camera that she hates.  Every time I called her, she was eager to check it (the rutabaga) out.  She would move away by the time they flash did its three-ticky-then-flash thing.  Ultimately, though, she said no.  To the rutabaga.  Well, and the camera.  In its raw state, that is.  The rutabaga.  Not the camera.  More on that below.
How do you cook a rutabaga?  Well, many ways.  Most of them, unfortunately for moi these days, involved copious amounts of cheese.  So while I was tempted to make a rutabaga au gratin, in good conscience I could not.

Instead, I made rutabaga fries. 

They're very simple.  First, you peel the rutabaga.  The recipe said to use a paring knife, but a regular old peeler worked just fine for me.  Next you cut into fry-shaped pieces.  The recipe's pieces sounded kind of big; it said don't cut them small or they will cook too fast and mush up. 

I comprised. 

Next, toss with a little bit of olive oil and season to taste.  Salt and pepper would be fine.  The recipe suggested paprika, which I learned I was out of.  I just stuck with a salt-free seasoning that has pretty much the kitchen sink in it (except for salt). 
See how pretty?

No, I am not a professional food photographer.  Why do you ask?

Then, you cook the rutabaga.  Into a mumble mumble degree oven they went.  I think it was 400 degrees.  With my annoying small apartment-size oven, which likes to set things on fire, it ended up being around 475.  If I had been doing this on the fly, I would go with 400-425 degrees like I do for any other oven fries.  As for time, the recipe said only 12 minutes.  It lied.  I ended up doing the fries for 17 minutes for the smaller, thinner pieces, and about 25 minutes for the bigger ones.  Some pieces still ended up a little more firm than I would have liked.

Here they are in all their glory:

How did I like them?  On the whole, they didn't suck.  But they didn't tickle my nether regions in a happy kind of a way with a feather either.  They taste like a cross between broccoli stalks and cauliflower.  Mostly they taste like broccoli stalks, but have that cauliflower scent.  If you like broccoli stalks, you'll like rutabaga.  I don't particularly like broccoli stalks -- I don't particularly like broccoli, for that matter -- and I really don't like the scent of cauliflower.   But I'll eat these.  They would have been much better with ketchup or some other sort of dipping sauce, or with cheese.  And really, what isn't better with cheese?

To her eternal sadness, I didn't let the dog have any just because it was the only side dish I made that night and I was hungry.  She would have liked them.  She likes broccoli and cauliflower a lot more than I do.  She likes most things better than I do.

Except for the flash on the camera.

I'm off to hunt and gather up a pizza.  Rutabaga-free.

the CilleyGirl

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The best I can do

Work insanity is well underway here in CilleyLand.  I've been thinking about how I want to discuss things with my doctor next week, about wanting to try to ameliorate the issue with diet and exercise but with the caveat that it will have to start after the end of the year because of work.  Because I just can't simply adhere to a sensible eating pattern during all of the craziness.

Yet, is that true?  I realized this morning that I can not look upon this as an excuse to eat whatever the hell I want to.  Sure, there are times like yesterday when I didn't get to eat and I was so exhausted I just wanted what sounded good regardless of whether it was good for me.  But there are also times like today where (knock on wood) things are mostly normal.  I need to do the best that I can do when I can, and if there are times when I can't then I can't. 

Now if I could just stop my co-workers from buying all kinds of sweet goodies, I'd be in business.

the CilleyGirl

Saturday, November 13, 2010

The numbers

Got my blood work numbers today in the mail.  Here's what came up:

Overall cholesterol (ha!  I started to type "chocolate") is good at 169 -- range is 125-200.

But triglycerides are high at 299 -- range is 30-150.  Oops.

My HDL (good cholesterol) is 39 -- just below the range of 40-75.

And my LDL (bad cholesterol -- damn, keep typing "chocolate") is okay at 70 -- range is less than 130.

On top of that, my blood sugar is at 110 -- range is 60-99.  I think it was 110 last year as well, it's been creeping up over 100 for a few years now.

Definitely want to try to get the opportunity to bring these numbers in line with diet.  I really don't want to add another med to the mix.

In other news, the Cougars had an AWESOME game today.  We beat OSU 31 to 14.  Yay Cougs!!!!

the CilleyGirl

Friday, November 12, 2010

Do your triglycerides hang low, do they wobble to and fro....

I guess "triglycerides" doesn't really work for that song, does it?  But now you'll have it stuck in your head all day -- MUWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!


Got a call yesterday (Thursday) in response to the blood work I'd just had done on Wednesday.  My triglycerides are too high, they wanted me to come in for an appointment to discuss medication, etc.  While it is never fun to get a call like that (particularly the "let's add a new med" part), we did discover that the clinic had lost my appointment scheduled for next week -- which was why I was getting the blood work done.  Long story short, I now have an appointment for the day after Thanksgiving. 

And now I'm consulting Dr. Internet to see what it all means to have high triglycerides.

My doc and I had been watching them for a while now.  I haven't seen my current blood work numbers yet, but over the past few years I've had decent cholesterol numbers but high triglycerides and a blood sugar level that has been slowly creeping up.   I'm not going to get into what I could now have, but rather I am looking at what causes high triglycerides and how to bring them down.  Ideally, without more meds.  Overall, it seems that the main causes of high triglyceries are (1) being a sugar fiend, (2) being a big drinker, or (3) undiagnosed diabetes. 

On the sugar front, I don't really eat candy.  I've got a dish of dark chocolate Hershey kisses sitting in my living room that have been there for more than a year now.  I forget they're there.  About once a month -- as you might expect -- I might crave chocolate.  Otherwise I'm usually all tucked in bed before I remember I was thinking about having a piece of chocolate after dinner.  I don't do cakes or brownies or cookies at home.  Treats are mostly a work thing and except in times of great stress (second half of June and second half of December) I rarely indulge.  Although I do confess I had a chocolate croissant for breakfast.  I also followed it up with a banana and a lot of water.

Maybe I have hidden sources of sugar in my diet? I don't eat much refined foods, like pre-packaged stuff. I do a lot from scratch.  I haven't been eating many grains for a few months now.  My main sources of HFCS would have to be bottled salad dressings (and I look for those without HFCS) and condiments.  I drink diet soda, yes, and this time of year I can end up drinking a lot; am I faking out my system with aspartame?

As for being a booze hound, I also don't drink much alcohol.  I do 99% of my drinking at the office.  What can I say, we like our office cocktail hour.  Depending on the time of year -- i.e., our stress levels -- I have maybe a flute of champagne every couple of weeks. 

So that leaves diabetes.  Hmm.  I'll save that for later.

Thankfully, because I really really really suck as a vegetarian, Dr. Internet says that triglycerides are not affected by the fat in your diet.  When I'm being a good little paleo girl, I'm eating about half meat and half fruits and veggies.   But, as we all know, any excess calories would be converted into fat; Dr. Internet says usually to triglycerides.  I am well aware of my capacity to eat too much. 

Guess I've got an increased urge in urgency on these lifestyle changes I haven't been implementing lately.

the CilleyGirl

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Anybody know what time it is?

Although for the first time in literally years, I remembered when I first woke up that the clocks had changed.  Usually I forget (and I don't change them the night before) then it takes me until the evening to realize it's not what time I think it is.

So, a busy Saturday (ran three miles, got the car's oil changed and radiator flushed, renewed my car tabs, went in to work, got a migraine) followed by a lazy Sunday (couch, couch, couch, grocery shopping, couch couch couch).  Except for the migraine, a pretty good weekend. 

I realized tonight that it sucks to be a good cook sometimes because then it's too easy to eat too much.  I made this amazing honey mustard sauce for my chicken and my oven roasted potatos and ended up eating all of the potatos.  And these were oven roasted potatos made from a HUGE potato-zilla.  This potato was about ten inches long and about six inches around.  This potato would be a major star in the porno world.

Boy, was that sauce good.  I need smaller potatos.

My Saturday run was ugggggggly.  It was around 54 degrees and in between rain storms, so cold and damp.  Immediately triggered my exercise asthma, which is why I went outside to run in the first place -- to get used to having it triggered.  I need to not be all panicky after it happens; I'm afraid to give it my all in a run lest it be triggered again and even worse.  Given that the upcoming Holiday Half half marathon will be in the cold and damp, I need to get past this. 

But I did get the miles done.  Then I got a migraine.  Which is something else I need to get past.  Only when I've been training regularly do I not get bad headaches after a run.  I hate being incapacitated by those damn things.

Back on to the training plan this week!  The schedule is across the room so I can't post it here yet, I'll do it later.

Here's to having a great week for us all!

the CilleyGirl

Friday, November 5, 2010

A day for being a bitch kitty.

I've been feeling a bit disappointed lately as I make my way through blog world. 

On one hand, I am disappointed that I haven't been doing much while others are easily* having great success.  They're eating less and moving more and it is showing in decreased weight and increased health.  The true disappointment here is that I can do it.  I know I can.  But for a myriad of reasons and excuses and rationalizations I'm not.  In other words, I'm disappointed in myself.   Gripe gripe, whine whine, get off your ass CilleyGirl and do something about it. 

On the other hand, I am disappointed that for some it has been easy*, because they've gone a different route.  The medical route.   They're getting injections or a lap band or gastric bypass or on meal replacement therapy.  And while I can try to appreciate what they've gone through to make this decision, more ultimately I feel like they're cheating.  They've gone for the quick fix when what should be keeping all of us going is that there is no quick fix. 

Yet apparently there is.

I believe that with a few exceptions, weight loss is an organic process.  Eat less, eat healthy, move more.  Fairly simple process, very hard -- some days maybe impossible -- to put into practice.  So it decimates my already shaky motivation to realize that I too could lose weight in just a few months not if I work hard but if I got injections and ate only 500 calories per day/had my stomach banded or bypassed/was given meal replacement shakes for a year.  I do not take away any motivation from these people.   I get pissed off.  

Granted, I'm being generic here.  I'm sure there are those who were 100 lbs or more overweight and despite doing everything exactly right for years and years they could not lose the weight and so X, Y, or Z was the only option left to them.  Or are there?  If we're talking you tried for decades and no joy, I'm with you on your decision.  If you're 19 and talking about how you've done everything to lose the weight?  If you've given it sort of your best shot over a few a months and still it's not working?  I call bullshit.  

I've read several people lately where after losing a lot of weight they've gone to a medical methodology to lose the rest.  The common theme seems to be that they're doing it not because nothing else will work, but because the organic process of weight loss is taking too long.  If you've lost the first 80 lbs over two years, good for you.  That's amazing.   It should take you about another year to lose the last 40 lbs.  If it doesn't, why doesn't it?  Have they truly done everything they could to lose the rest, or are they just like fuck, I'm done, I did all the work to lose the weight and I didn't so now just make it happen?

By now, many of you are probably pissed off at me, or at least saying bitch then just don't read those people.   You're right.  And I haven't even gotten into my issues about sponsored bloggers -- the people who get all sorts of free stuff and run a zillion giveaways and have trillions of followers not because they're funny or they've got a great message but because the shit is free.  Okay, lots of them are funny and have a great message but dammit I want my free stuff too.

Anyhow.  My point -- and I do have one -- is that if you're someone like me who picks yourself up out of the dirt every day to try yet again to take one more step forward only to fall flat on your dimpled, chubby ass, you are not alone.  If you think you can't eat one more piece of broccoli without heading out on a rampage to find a weed whacker and a Green Giant grow operation, you are not alone.  If a medical weight loss therapy is all that is left to you, you are not alone.  People have to make their own choices on how to do this.  Some work, some don't.  Some I agree with, some I don't.  But you have to do what works for you.   Who gives a shit what anyone else thinks?  More importantly, who gives a shit about what I think? 

Just me.  So I won't be going the medical route.  I may not keeping reading those who are.  Or maybe I will.

After all, they look fabulous.  There is motivation in that!

the CilleyGirl

*Now, I know it's not easy.  But when you're up bitching on your soapbox, you might as well go all the way with an exaggerated perspective.  Mea culpa.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


I have insomnia.

It sucks.

I've tried sleep aids.

They're not working.

I just want to sleep.

But I have to work.

Then go home.

And walk my dogs.

Because it's 70 degrees out and beautiful and I've been a bad doggy mommy lately.

Because I have insomnia.  And I can't sleep.

I might as well get some exercise.

the CilleySleepyGirl

Saturday, October 30, 2010

A day at the zoo

Friday came clear and sunny and I headed off to the zoo.  I had planned to get up early enough to go see the Annual Squishing of the Squash but I slept in late and missed it.  I did get to see the carnage left afterwards; looks like a good time was had by all.  Except for maybe the pumpkin.

I took the big fancy digital SLR with me.  I favor the big zoom lens, making it heavy and bulky, so I don't often take it out unless my main object is taking pictures.  The zoo is one of my favorite places to do this.

These are all straight out of the camera shots and I was shooting on auto so some are a bit overexposed. 

I pretty much know the zoo layout by heart.  I usually go towards the steller cove exhibit to start, but this time I decided to start with the northwest exhibits.  Bears, elk, cougar, eagles, salmon, wolves.

This was my favorite part of the whole day, and my favorite shot.  Across from the wolf and elk enclosure -- which makes me laugh that they are next to each other, separated only by a chain link fence -- there is some construction going on with big heavy earth moving equipment.  The wolf didn't seem to like the noise; you could hear him singing from a ways away.  I expressed my sympathies, he let me take a few shots and then he let me sing with him.

What makes me laugh more than the elk and wolf enclosures being separated by a chain link fence is that in the middle of the northwest exhibit -- you know, with the wolves, cougar, and bears -- is the petting zoo.

Don't you think he looks a little nervous?

The penguins were just relocated on Wednesday to the polar bears' winter pool.  No, the polar bears weren't also there.  Bummer.  You know, for taking pictures of them.

One cool thing about being there on a fall Friday afternoon -- other than how few people were there -- was that you got a different look at many of the animals.  The penguins were sunning themselves.  Several keepers were out doing various things; one guy was inputting data on his laptop on the chimpanzees and telling us which ones were which, their histories, and so on.  The lorikeet attendant pointed out a couple of babies and then she was holding one on its back in her arms and playing with it like it were a kitten.  (Sadly, there were almost no lorikeets out, one of my favorite exhibits -- I didn't realize the zoo closed at 4:00 and they all headed inside around 3:45 for their dinner.)

The Malaysian sun bear was begging for his dinner.  You can't tell from this picture, but they have a leopard patterned ruff on their chests and really long claws.  I call them the Zsa Zsa Gabor bears.

Not bad for being taken through thick plexiglass.

The elephants were all ready for their dinner too.

Except for baby Samudra, who still wanted to play and kept biting the other elephants in the butt.

One thing I most wanted to see on this trip to the zoo was the new Savannah exhibit.  The last time I was at the zoo was for the Turkey Trot, and the exhibit hadn't opened yet. 

All of the shots in the Savannah exhibit are taken through plexiglass.  I got this second shot when she spotted me.  Through the glass.  I wonder how long it took her to stop thinking "snack!" when she saw people on the observation deck. 

If she's stopped thinking it.

Sadly, the sun was shining through the plexiglass in front of where the male was sleeping on top of a big rock so none of those shots turned out the way I would have liked.  Although it does give it a certain dreamy quality, no?  Where he's indulging in all the snacks on the other side of the glass.  And I'm not entirely certain he couldn't have jumped from his rock over that plexiglass if he really wanted to. 

I got this one when she spotted me through the glass too.  I too was thinking "snack!" when she turned and came right for me. 

This was right after a man with kids referred to me as "the photographer." 

I always get that when I'm shooting with this camera.

It really was a beautiful day.  By closing time, everyone was snoozing in the sun.

Regardless of whether it was artificial or not.

One of the Stevie Wonder sea lions.  (Both the zoo's sea lions are blind.)

And then it was time to say "good bye!"

Remember to support your local zoo!

the CilleyGirl

P.S.  Hi Geralynne!!  Thanks for reading!