Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 In Review

Work craziness finally ended around 3:00 p.m. today.  Free at last!  It's given me time to catch up on blogs, where I'm seeing a lot of 2012 recaps and 2013 wishes.

I'm happy to say that unlike many bloggers out there -- and even the world in general -- 2012 was a good year for me in a lot of ways.  Going in to 2012 I had lost both of my dogs to old age, and I was going on six years without a raise, offset by increasing responsibility and work load.  Looking back, I'd been on a bad stretch since mid 2007.  By the end of 2011, it sucked.

The only bright spots were the new friends I made through the blogging/running world, particularly Julie, RR, and Kim.  It has been amazing having them in my life the past couple of years.  I love you guys!

In February, I finally got a well-deserved and long overdue raise that was retroactive back to the end of 2011, on top of a healthy year-end bonus.  I promptly scheduled several long weekends away over the next several months, something I hadn't been able to do in a very long time without having a corresponding panic attack over money.  I had two trips to the Oregon Coast and one to the Washington Coast, plus a week housesitting for my mom while they were away in Ireland and a good visit to my grandparents and my dad in Idaho. 

In March, we added a new staffer at the office and things are just so much better there now.  I absolutely love my job but the atmosphere had become extremely toxic for a lot of reasons.  Now not only is the business side of work getting better -- i.e., more organization and structure where it was desperately needed -- but the mood is lighter.  We laugh.  As opposed to just me laughing and then banging my head against the wall.  This next year can only continue to get even better.

In July I moved to a fabulous new apartment that I absolutely love.  It was a new beginning after all of the loss of last year, and it is so much lighter and brighter and larger and quieter than my old place.  The day after I moved in, I added two kittens to the mix.  They brought much needed laughter and love into my life. 

I paid off my car early.  I end the year with money in savings.  Only about $100 at this very minute, but still. 

My running year wasn't as great as I would have hoped.  I had a weird problem with persistent leg and foot cramps for weeks, which finally resolved themselves only to start to develop not one but two stress fractures two months before I was supposed to run the Marine Corps Marathon.  I was able to defer MCM to this year -- where it will take place on my birthday -- and thanks to Superstorm Sandy it turned out to be a good thing that I had to cancel my planned East Coast trip.  But I think all of the running setbacks have reinspired that spark and I am ready to dedicate myself to the ultimate goal of MCM this fall.  I am determined to do it right this year.

In that regard, I've got a few plans taking shape for 2013.  For starters -- and I'll write more about this later -- I'm doing the Whole30 Challenge beginning January 7.  Julie and her son and a few other friends are doing a challenge with us.  Some Whole30, some a Primal challenge.  I'm tired of being sick, tired, and overweight.  The Whole30 is very strict but for me it's an elimination diet to see if I can get some of this systemic inflammation under control.  These allergies seem to get worse by the minute, and so many of the Whole30 testimonials are about the improvement it brought about in their allergies.  I'll be doing some more challenges throughout the year of various kinds, but I haven't put together a list of possibilities yet. 

In doing running right, I'll start building a slow base again in January.  I crazily signed up for a new half marathon in March this year -- the Hop Hop Half.  I may not be ready to give a full effort to a half by that early in the year -- it's also right after Shamrock, where I am doing the 15K again -- but the medal is a giant freaking Easter egg.  How could I pass that up???  I also signed up for the Rock 'n Roll Half again.  I also plan to do the Bald Peak Half again this year in June, although I haven't yet signed up for it; I want to see how I feel in April. 

The last change I've made is to revamp the blog.  I decided to go back to my original concept:  Run.  Or die trying.  In a lot of ways, my first year and a half of beginning running was my best.  I want to have that again, yet do it smarter.  I'd been wanting to change just the layout for a long time, plus the picture is one of mine taken from a run on Marine Drive here in Portland.  Where, coincidentally, the Hop Hop Half is being held.

Here is wishing everyone a very, very happy new year. 

Hugs and kisses and always cheers,
the CilleyGirl

Friday, December 21, 2012

Chuck vs. The Rat

Hello my cilley fwends --

I have been MIA lately in part due to end of year work craziness and in part due to the sad events happening in our country over the past few weeks.  So much to say on the latter issue, but so many have already said it and not all of them were insane.  Yes, I'm looking at you, NRA.  Which may stand for "Not Rational Assholes."

Anyhow.

You may have noticed that Christmas is nearly here and I think we already finished with Chanukkah?  Whether religious or not so much, most of my friends lean towards the Christmas celebration variety so I'll just be generic and talk Christmas.

My biggest work deadline is December 31 and this is my ninth go-round with that.  The work obligations have caused Christmas to become, for me, somewhat inconvenient and now I barely register its passing.  My Christmas for the past few years is me having a rare December day home from the office.  I hopefully sleep in, then make a favorite breakfast -- usually eggs benedict, I know, you're so surprised.  Eventually I remember to open my presents.  If I actually have any.  Some times I don't, other than what we exchanged at work and we usually open them before Christmas.  When I had dogs, I would get them something because they were pretty funny about presents; after one banner year they were convinced that anything that had to be unwrapped was for them.  I call family and close friends.  I watch TV or movies or read a book.  I usually make something special for dinner, and eat it alone, then watch TV or movies or read a book until bed.  I don't stay up late because I have to be back in the office the next day.  Even if that next day is a Sunday. 

Christmas is generally a nice day for me. 

This bugs some people. 

I think it's because many, many people have nice Christmas holiday memories.  Growing up, Christmas was a big deal in their family.  There are traditional dishes, often with that family's twist.  They watch or play football, or watch the Christmas movie that they have to all watch together each year.  Opening presents is fun and there are a lot of laughs.  Every one sits around the dining room table and eats and talks and is happy.

Yeah, that wasn't my house.

Before I was about eight, my grandparents lived nearby and we did the family Christmas thing after opening our own presents at home that morning.  The cousins would play together.  When I was about eight, my grandparents moved far away, one uncle joined a cult and largely disappeared for about 30 years, my aunt got divorced and moved away, my other uncle probably ran for the hills, and my parents got divorced although my mom kept my dad's parents (these particular grandparents).

After the divorce, I got a stepfather and 30+ years of verbal and emotional abuse.  It was fun.  The first few Christmases, I don't know maybe he was trying to be on his best behavior, so they weren't so bad.  But they quickly evolved in to this:

I would either get yelled at for waking them up too early, or, in later years, yelled at for being asleep when they (he) got up.  We would open presents, to a steady stream of "you're lazy, you're undeserving, you're spoiled" and so on.  These are a few of my favorite things!  After presents, he'd make breakfast for us.  Always with home made hash browns.  With onions in them that I can't eat because they make me sick.  Feel that Christmas spirit!  My mom and I would eat breakfast in the breakfast nook together.  He ate off the coffee table on the sofa, just generally being in a piss poor mood and watching the first of our traditional Christmas movies in our rec room.  Which involved lots of blood, death, and ammunition.  Usually Chuck Norris or Stallone in the jungle.   Meanwhile, I'd be off on the other side of the house in the living room, reading whatever book I'd gotten for Christmas that morning.  As we moved towards the afternoon, I would get yelled at for being lazy and to get off my fat ass and go help my mom make dinner.  Occasionally I'd try to point out the irony of whether he had a fat ass too because he was on the sofa watching TV.  It usually didn't go over very well.  My mom and I would usually eat dinner together at the breakfast table.  You can guess where my stepdad was.

The epitome of our family Christmases came when I was in maybe my junior or senior year of high school.   I was in the kitchen, which overlooked our sunken rec room.  That day's Christmas movie was the one where the Viet Cong or whomever get Chuck Norris and hang him by his feet.  They grin fiendishly as they tie a burlap sack over Chuck's head, inside of which is a very large, very live rat.  Apparently the rat is supposed to eat Chuck's face off and kill him, but nobody told the rat because Chuck jerks and writhes and then a big blood stain appears on the side of the bag as Chuck goes still.  They pull the bag off of Chuck's head..... to find that Chuck has killed the rat by biting through its jugular


Because I love you, I am posting it so you can share in the Christmas spirit.
Note where they poke the rat first with a stick to get his little rat temper going!

This is the point at which I start laughing -- maniacally, not fiendishly -- and saying 'MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!' and 'FEEL THE LOVE!!!' over and over.  My mom is laughing too, and my stepdad looks up at us and is all "What?"  And I'm "Seriously?  It's Christmas.  And Chuck Norris just bit the head off a live rat!  What is wrong with you?"  And he's still "Huh?"  So my mom points out that he is always in a bad mood on Christmas, to which he says he's not, and I'm over there going "LIVE FUCKING RAT."  So he turns that off and puts in one of our other traditional Christmas movies.  Which would be the Die Hards or the Lethal Weapons (they take place at Christmas).  And I'm okay with those.  In fact, that's often still what I watch on Christmas.  And I will say he was a little better after that in later Christmases.  Maybe in part because now I'm just not there for them.

Anyhow, the point is that Christmas has never been a big deal for me.  I wish some times I had the big rat-free family gathering and stuff.  A lot of friends do invite me over to spend Christmas with them.  But they've all got their own dramas going on, whether overtly or just under the surface, and if I don't have to deal with my own family drama I'm not going to trade it for theirs.  Because I don't do under the surface and some times that creates tension.  For them.  For me, not so much.

Because you've got to do something pretty spectacular to top Chuck and the rat.

Here's wishing everyone a safe, secure, and very merry Christmas.  I will be at home, doing whatever it is that strikes my fancy.

Or, as I like to call it, Tuesday.

Holiday Cheers,
the CilleyGirl

Monday, December 10, 2012

Mondayzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

I don't know what's crawled up my ass but man, do I have a case of the grumpies today. 

Everything should be hunky dorey.  Thursday I got tired of listening to myself wheeze every time I took a deep breath so I zipped into my PCP and went home with a flu shot, prednisone, and antibiotics.  Sinus infection again, natch.  Feeling instantly better with the meds, albeit tired.  You know how you can just feel that your body is healing? 

Got some sleeping in done on Saturday then put a few hours in at the office, chipping away at the end of year craziness.  Everybody (but our bookkeeper) was in the office on Saturday.  And they were all crabby.  I'd been looking forward to a quiet afternoon of getting some shit done, instead it was like I was hiding in my foxhole. 

Sunday I was up early -- for me, by ten -- and after breakfast headed to the zoo.  I wanted to see who was up and out in the cooler weather and then would stay for Zoolights.  I got there waaaay too early.  I was there by one.  I should've aimed for more like 2:30.  Ended up walking the entire zoo almost three complete rounds.  Four hours of walking.  I figure I logged at least nine miles.  It was nice having the zoo mostly to myself and getting the air and exercise after so many many many weeks of not. 

Was pleasantly tired (and sore!  my calves!) last night but I swear, I woke up every five minutes all night long.  Got up early, didn't feel tired but just felt drained.  And had a wicked case of the grumpies.  I can't even think of what might make it "all better." 

Not even snuggling with my kitties, because girl kitty has a major case of kitty stank ass.  It's got to be the food.  It's a combo of kitty ass and fish.  Like a salmon's ass.  On a cat.  It's not so bad in the abstract -- like, the smell isn't wafting off of her or anything -- but she sits her ass on my shoulder or my chest all the time and then it soaks in.  A little kitty stank ass skidmark, if you will.  And then there is no escaping the kitty stank ass.  It lingers.  I keep having to change my shirts.  It's a total smelly cat situation.   And the boy kitty, he tries to help.  He keeps washing her ass, because even he can tell it's kitty stank ass, but then he sees I'm upset about the ass situation and he comes over to give me kisses.  With the face he just stuck up in his sister's kitty stank ass.

I wonder if they make Charmin Fresh Wipes in kitty size?

Cheers,
the CilleyGirl

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Totally Tuesday

Couple of things I forgot to add yesterday.

First, I am attempting to log my food and such at MyFitnessPal.  I say attempting because I rate keeping a food diary right up there with say bamboo shoots being shoved under my fingernails.  Hate, hate, hate.  But I'm giving it a shot.  I'm on there under CilleyGirl, please friend me!

Except for the two apple turnovers I polished off for dessert last night -- so that they would no longer be around for me to eat -- I did well calorie-wise.  I changed my settings to have something like 1,510 net calories per day.  Before the turnovers, I was at 1,363.  With the turnovers, I was at 2,043.  Which is not bad, but not conducive to losing weight.  I should've just had an apple. 

Second, this was -- and I shit you not -- my horoscope yesterday:

You've got to let go of some weight that is holding you back. It may be actual stuff in your basement that keeps you from moving, or emotional baggage that wants to keep you in the past.


I told you the universe kept echoing me yesterday!  Although for "basement" I should substitute "front porch" because it's this massive gut that is holding me back.  And my arms.  I don't even want to talk about my arms.

I'm off to chug more agua.

Cheers,
the CilleyGirl

Monday, December 3, 2012

Mundanely Monday

Been having one of those days where it seems like everything I'm reading is echoing thoughts I had over/about the weekend.  Like where talking about an orange car and then suddenly everywhere you see orange cars? 

I had an unusually productive weekend, the first in a very, very long time.  At least since I stopped running at the end of August.  That's a long time to be jammed into a rut, I think.  Looking back, the turn came about exactly a week ago.  That was the first night where I didn't get a lot of sleep (that rib thing) but instead of being a big dead lump as a consequence I ended up staying up late the next night (the new Harry Dresden) and still wasn't a big dead lump when I stayed up late (but not quite as late) the next night.  Not counting the minutes every evening until I could go to bed?  Felt very good.

It carried over into the weekend.  Saturday I did massive amounts of car maintenance and put in a couple of hours at work.  Sunday I cleaned house for about five hours and then went to Walmart to people watch shop. 

It felt really good to not only get things done, but to have the energy to get them done.

Over the weekend I had started thinking about how I never did get around to making a plan for myself for 2012, but that I was looking forward to putting together and implementing a plan for 2013.  I was not the only one

I also realized that I need to eat more nutritionally balanced meals.  I've gotten away from grains, dairy, and sugar to a large part and have had very little fruit lately.  I've also had very few vegetables.  When I get lazy, I want just meat.  I was not the only one.  Part of going to WalMart yesterday was to pick up fish, fish, fish, and more fish.  I'm going to get back to eggs/shellfish/chicken/pork with veggies and a little fruit during work hours and then mostly fish with the occasional steak with veggies in the evenings. 

I wish I could say that I had these realizations because I want to be healthy and strong and blah blah blah.  And although that is true in the abstract that's not what triggered me this weekend.  Since I was going to go to WalMart, I thought I should take the opportunity to pick up an inexpensive pair of jeans in a bigger size since they'd been a little snug lately.  But when I checked the tag on my current jeans to see what kind they were, to my utter horror I realized that they were in the bigger size.

In other words, I was busting out of my fat pants. 

And I refuse to go up to the size that shall not be named.  (Okay, it would've been a size 16.)  Or really, to even get any more clothes at all in a bigger size, no matter what it is.  Only down.  Down down down down down.

So instead, I bought fish.  And I cleaned out my freezer so that I would (a) have plenty of room for said fish, and (b) so that I could see all the veggies in there that I already had but was not eating. 

It's all about the planning.

Cheers,
the CilleyGirl

Thursday, November 29, 2012

If It's Thirteen Things, It Must Be Thursday

1.  I had a site visit yesterday at a client's property scheduled for 1:00 p.m. and it ran long.  Meaning by the time I got back to the office I decided not to bother with an actual lunch, instead just getting a cup of tomato soup and then an actual dinner later that evening.  All of that translated into not drinking enough water yesterday.  Today I've been hydrating like crazy.  I had about 64 oz of Nuun plus more water plus a lot of tomato soup.  After lunch today I was feeling like an overfilled water balloon.  Which would be when our secretary kindly came back from her lunch with a big peppermint mocha from Starbucks.  I'm starting to feel like the "just one little mint" guy in Monty Python.

2.  Monday, somehow, I coughed so hard I popped out a rib.  Yes, that is a real thing, I told our secretary.  The weirdness with the rib in the back led to major weirdness with my rib right below my bra band, completely with pain and swelling.  Monday night I got very little sleep because I couldn't get comfortable as a result.  Tuesday it was feeling better but I was up late devouring the latest Harry Dresden novel.  Last night I wasn't up quite as late but I should've gone to bed at least an hour earlier (devouring a different novel).  Tonight I swear to Dog I'm going to bed early. 

3.  Tomato soup counts as a vegetable, right?

4.  The kittens continue to amuse.  And frustrate.  I thought it might be time for a second litter box, since they keep filling the existing real estate so quickly, so I got a new one in there Tuesday.  Girl kitty immediately used it.  And then began digging to China.  She covered her business so thoroughly that it came back around and she was then uncovering it.  I went in there later and there was a carpet of litter three feet long in front of the new box.  Weird.

5.  I've been annoyed by the discussion about the raise taxes on incomes more than $250,000 proposal.  As far as I can tell, those against it fall into three groups.  First, those making more than $250,000 a year.  Fair enough.  Second, those who hope that some day they'll make more than $250,000 a year.  To them I say, don't be an asshat.  The first group could give a shit about you, hold your bitching for when and more importantly if you get there.  In the meantime, get real:  We need revenue to pay for things like roads and schools.  Third -- and a lot of this group includes those from the first and the second -- are those who didn't bother to learn the particulars of the proposal.  Particularly, that it only applies to income in excess of $250,000.  Go a dollar over and it would be taxed at a higher rate.  But everything else would be at the lower rate. 

6.  If you're going to bitch and moan, at least know what you're bitching and moaning about.

7.  To whatever idiots think that dropping rocks on to traffic from overpasses is a good idea:  Come closer.  I've got a rock for you.  I know just where to put it.  Seriously though, why is this a thing?  Do they just not understand cause and effect -- see, if we raise taxes we get more money in schools and maybe they'll learn physics -- or do they just not care?  Are they idiots or are they sociopaths? 

8.  On that note, it seems like way too many people don't get cause and effect.  As a lawyer, in torts you study proximate cause with the wackiest -- yet usually true -- scenarios.  Like a guy forgets to engage his parking brake so his car rolls down the hill, hits a tree, which falls over on to a boat which then rolls down the hill and hits a bridge, breaking it, so that it can't lift when a flood comes and everybody drowns.  Or is on fire.  I forget which.  In the meantime, the boat was improperly secured, the bridge operator was asleep or hit the wrong switch, and so forth.  The question for the class is, who is liable?  But what you leave the class with is a vivid imagination and a firm desire to never forget to engage your parking brake.  Maybe more people need a class like this.

9.  I had a point with all of that but I forget what it was. 

10.  If you send me a list of requested information and I respond that I think you already have most of what you've asked for, could you please check and narrow down your request, don't assume that while I'm waiting for your narrowed list that I am pulling out everything that you asked for and most of which I think you already have.  So don't be all in my face when six business days after I've gotten your narrowed list that I haven't sent you everything on the shorter list.  I get 30 days.  Go learn to count. 

11.  And people think the law is all glamorous and shit.  It's mostly just pricey bitching amongst the overly educated.

12.  I could only manage not quite half of the grande peppermint mocha.  Just much too sweet.

13.  I love how Angus T. Jones has become this generation's Kirk Cameron.  It's a job, boys.  Deal with it or leave it. 

Cheers,
the CilleyGirl

Monday, November 26, 2012

Happy After Thanksgiving!

Hope you all had a fabulous Thanksgiving.  Mine was good... and interesting.

Came home from work on Wednesday to a boil water order: Consume no tap water that hasn't been boiled for a full minute.*  Makes preparing for Thanksgiving fun!  Actually it wasn't all that terribly inconvenient; I was brining Chester and that had to be boiled anyhow.  The trick was that I usually only drink tap water at home in the evenings, and by the time my boiled water cooled down enough to drink I was desperately thirsty.  I chugged 32 ounces in about five seconds.  Just in time for bed. 

Luckily the order was lifted early Thanksgiving morning, before I even got up.  The brining went well, although I learned that I should prepare the brine the day before I plan to use it so that it can cool overnight in the fridge.  I also learned that I should eat breakfast/brunch before I get the turkey into the oven.  It took about 3.5 hours for the turkey, and I was not in the least bit hungry yet when it was done.  Chester turned out nice and moist, with minimal drippings so a fairly lean, organic bird.  I do need to cut Chester thinner for sandwiches; mine today was a tad dry because I cut the meat too thick.

Thursday and Friday I lazed around with the cats.  We all enjoyed that. 

Saturday I heard from somebody I (a) hadn't heard from in two years, rather abruptly had not heard from and (b) never expected to hear from again.  He tempted me to come watch the Apple Cup (our college civil war football game) with him that afternoon.  He apologized for being an asshat two years ago, particularly when he found out what his asshattery had looked like from my side of things.  That part was nice.  He's kind of a girl and he makes me laugh so the afternoon was fun.

To top it all off, the Cougs KICKED HUSKY TAIL.  BOOYAH!!!

Sunday I did surgery on my car.  If ever your car's heater (or AC) stops working on all but the highest setting, you likely have a bad blower motor resistor.  It's about a $50 part, in my car under the passenger side dash and easy to swap out except that access and sight to it is a bitch.   Only two short little screws hold it in, but in my car there was a big piece of fascia (i.e., big ass plastic) blocking my view with only about three inches of clearance to unscrew it.  I had the right size screwdriver but zero leverage when I could get eyes on what I was doing, and almost zero leverage when I did it only by touch.  But as I told my friend Mike, women are used to doing things wholly by touch with only three inches of clearance.  Took about five minutes each way to screw and unscrew the thing in, maybe three seconds to swap out the part.  And voila!  I have heat again at something other than hurricane level. 

I am woman, hear me roar!

Cheers,
the CilleyGirl


*The order didn't come out until Wednesday, although they had a positive E. coli test starting on Sunday.  Did I mention that my stomach had been weirdly upset the first part of last week and I couldn't figure out why?  Hmmm....

Thursday, November 15, 2012

I shall feed him and love him and call him Squish.

Not sure if I have 13 random things in me left to write about today, but let's give it a shot.

1.  My girl kitty is fast becoming known as Squish.  It's for two reasons.  First, when I come home in the evenings she'll usually just woke up from napping and when I pick her up for loves she's all soft, sleepy, and squishy.  Second, compared to her gargantuan brother who is muscled and sleek like a tiger, she's... squishy.  Today they turned seven months and as of yesterday Squish is nine lbs even and Ru is a whopping 10.2 lbs, all of it muscle. 

2.  Blogger let me see my new followers today.  Hi there!  A few familiar faces, several new ones.  I got to add many new blogs to my feed reader this morning. 

3.  Thanks to everyone who cited my Thirteen Things post from shortly after the election.  I tried commenting on the blogs of those who did but I think my iPad was cockblocking me and I'm not sure they went through.  I had no idea I'd touched such a cord in others; I thought I was merely being bitchy. 

4.  Today I woke up feeling better than I have in literally weeks.  Last night I did the saline rinse on my stuff yet runny nose and I was so congested half of it backed up out my throat.  Which got the cats attention:  "Whatcha doin Mom?  Huh Mom whatcha doin??"  And I'm trying not to yak on them.  Although that would be pretty funny.  For me. 

5.  My ankle is still wonky but I may go ahead and do the Oregon Turkeython.  Because everybody gets a medal.  And it's a really nice medal.  Sorry Kim, the Sherwood Give 'n Gobble can't compete with that....

6.  Still have little interest in cooking an actual turkey.  Maybe it will come upon me this weekend.  I am interested in mashed potatoes and gravy.  Mmmm, gravy made with turkey drippings is the best. 

7.   I know a lot people say if you're going to make changes then make them now not on Monday or next month or in the new year.  But December is awful for me in terms of trying to do anything other than eat, work, and sleep.  I put it off as long as I can but eventually I have to stock up on chicken nuggets and frozen pizza because I don't have time for anything that takes more work than that.  It gets a little easier in January so that's my goal, to go all the way back to Day One. 

8.  My spring half will be the Portland Rock 'n Roll.  My A goal is to get in under three hours, my B goal is to get a PR (I was sooo close in the inaugural race).  My C goal is no stress fractures! 

9.  My fall marathon will be MCM.  Hopefully hurricane free!  My A, B, and C goal for that race is to not get swept.  If I do not get swept, that will translate into a marathon PR (which would be the B goal) and a likely finish under six hours (the A goal).  So I think aiming to just not to get swept covers all my bases.

10.  Lest you think that my diet has completely gone to hell in a handbasket, let's just say that I weigh a lot less when I put down the cat.  Yesterday was a mix of great and kind of not great eating.  For lunch -- which I didn't get until after 2:00 p.m. and I had fasted through breakfast -- I had a jumbo prime rib hollandaise sub from Quizno's.  Which has mushrooms on it so shut up.  I had a late (and minimal) dinner of sea scallops sauteed in butter (grass fed), garlic, and lime plus a side of marinated mushrooms.  Today I was determined to eat the salad I've been bringing to work for the past three days, and I did:  romaine with grilled chicken and avocado in a lite honey dijon vinaigrette.  Plus a satsuma.  Breakfast was prawns dipped in sweet chili sauce.  I've consumed roughly my body weight in water today too.  Go me!

11.  I think having regular massages these past several weeks has been really good for me.  I plan to add in an extra massage during the month of December to help combat end of year work craziness. 

12.  I don't want to make light of Sandy's impact on the East Coast, but I have to say I was amused every time Governor Christie was on camera because he wears a jacket that says Chris Christie, and underneath that:  Governor.  I found it amusing because I'm guessing he did not have that specially made for the occasion and I can appreciate a public official who acknowledges that he may not be as important as he thinks he is.  (Or she.)  I know what my governor looks like and maybe a couple of congresspeople between Washington and Oregon but other than that it helps if they all wear name tags.  And it would've been really cool if on the back of his jacket it said GOVERNOR in big letters like FBI or POLICE.  Ooh, or PUBLIC OFFICIAL.  That would be some impressive cojones.

13.  And let's wrap up with today's Karma is a Bitch and I Love Her For It! news story.  I've been on that interchange.  What a dumb ass.

Cheers,
the CilleyGirl

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Things I'd Like to Know

1.  I'd like to know why my ankle hurts.  Are we having too many strenuous lie-downs on the sofa, ankle?  Seriously, what gives? 

2.  I'd like to know why a guy thought he should kill his wife and daughter so that they wouldn't know about his financial problems.  I'm sure they're thanking you for the more pleasant alternative of murder than needing to cut back on the family's pizza and movie nights out.   

3.  I'd like to know why I am so damned tired all the time.  I've had a cold for about a week now, but it seems to be more than that.  I'm too young to feel this old.

4.  I'd like to know why office machines can't all agree on whether the paper should go face up or face down. 

5.  I'd like to know what Pat Robertson was smoking when he came out in favor of David Petreaus.  Apparently "men will be men" and we shouldn't blame him for shtupping outside of marriage.  Never mind that whole adultery commandment thing, right Pat?  I think what Pat really meant to say was "men will be asshats."

6.  I'd like to know what my plans are for Thanksgiving.  It seems like such an effort to think about right now.  Grumpy ankle says a turkey trot is probably not a good idea.  I did buy potatoes though. 

7.  I'd like to know where all the people who swear they're moving out of the country because Obama was re-elected plan to move to.  Canada, with its socialized medicine?  Europe, with its socialized medicine?   I think the last bastion of pure capitalism these days is Russia.  Ooh, maybe they're planning to move to Africa or the Middle East?  You know, where cash is king, religion rules it all, legitimate rape is everywhere, and women are definitely second class citizens.  Get one with an oil or diamond rich economy and you're set. 

8.  I'd like to know what the people signing secession petitions are thinking.  I will say that the Wikipedia entry on secession in the United States makes for fascinating reading.  Particularly the more recent activity that I'm guessing most of us never heard about.  Apparently the Pacific Northwest has wanted to split off for years.  Nobody told me.

9.  I'd like to know why I have Christmas music stuck in my head already.  Not cool, brain.  Not cool.

10.    I'd like to know why the hell I've started watching The Vampire Diaries.  Maybe I've suffered a stroke and don't know it.  That would explain a lot. 

11.  I'd like to know who put the bop in the bop-she-bop-she-bop as well as who put the ram in the rama-lama-ding-dong.

12.  I'd like to know if Donald Trump really thinks his hair looks good.

13.  I'd like to know who my new followers are, since the Blogger dashboard is disinclined to share at the moment.  Thanks and welcome!!

Cheers,
the CilleyGirl

12. 

 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Thirteen Things I Don't Want to Hear, Hear About, or Hear From in 2013

1.  I don't want to hear about Kristen Stewart.

2.  Or Rob Pattinson. 

3.  Or their relationship.  Or questions about whether they're in a relationship.  Or whatever. 

4.  I don't want to hear from Donald Trump.  Unless he shaves his head.   By the way, the Donald didn't think through his calls for revolution very well.  Historically speaking the very rich do not fare well in revolutions.  I invite the Donald to review the history of, say, the guillotine. 

5.  I don't want to hear about the Octomom. 

6.  I don't want to hear, hear about, or hear from anyone who doesn't think rape is a big deal.  Be quiet, you're embarrassing yourself and, really, the entire human race.

7.  I don't want to hear about someone killing their girlfriend/wife/family/kids and then killing themselves.  Do us all a favor, skip step 1.  You only get to make the decision that YOU can't take it anymore or you've had enough or whatever.  You don't get to decide for anyone else. 

8.  And if you're skipping step 2 in that equation, don't.  Add it and implement it.  Immediately.  We'll get along without you.  Really. 

9.  I don't want to hear about how there will be riots in the streets or barring of the subdivision gates or that you're moving to Canada or that you're buying of all the guns while you still can because soon they will be all gone now that whomever has been elected to public office.  No one person rules this country.  Checks and balances:  Look it up.   

10.  I don't want to hear about or hear from anybody who gets their information solely from Fox Fairy Tales.  If your news anchor characterizes someone as an idiot, a moron, whatever -- surprise, you're not watching the news.  Osama bin Laden was not described in the news as a psychopathic asshole.  We all knew that he was.  But to say so in the news is to report your opinion.  Which is not news, it is your opinion

11.  I don't want to hear about the debt ceiling or a fiscal cliff.  I just want the problem solved.  And "solved" does not involve anything other than representing the best interests of the people who elected you.  There's no posturing.  There's no party lines.   Do your damn jobs.

12.   I don't want to hear about going green, being green, discovering green, patronizing green, or anything else about being green.  Be green.  Just do it quietly without looking for fanfare or praise for at least a year.  Don't shove it down our throats.  Or I will show you what being green truly means.  All over your PETA approved shoes. 

13.  I don't want to hear about any more reality shows about rednecks, roadkill, real housewives, fake housewives, wife swapping, extreme makeovers, multiple births, little people (who have a show solely because they are little people; if it's just incidental, bring it on!), teen moms, child beauty stars, people trying to find their soul mate out of a group of people before a camera, or just generally people who are nightmares in one way, shape, or form.  Know what I want a reality show about?  Nothing.  Cancel them all (okay, you can keep The Biggest Loser, but with less screaming and vomit) and let's see if we can raise our collective intellectual standards just a smidge. 

Know what I do want to hear in 2013?  I think you need to stop losing weight; you're looking too skinny!

Cheers,
the CilleyGirl
from high atop her soapbox

Monday, November 5, 2012

How much is enough?

Last week, despite coming off four days of intense sleep and sloth, I was tired.  Tired, tired, tired.  Tired.  I got a boost of energy after getting my new air purifier in place -- my eyes started to feel less like pink sponges of blindness and more like actual eyeballs -- but still.  Tired. 

Friday I went to bed at a reasonable time, around ten I think, and I slept.  I slept until 1:00 p.m. Saturday.  Then I got up.... and relocated to the sofa where I did stay awake but did not do a whole helluva lot more than that.  By Saturday afternoon, I was bored.  Bored, bored, bored, bored, bored.  It was too much nothing, even for me. 

I went to bed a little after midnight (before the time change) and was easily up by 8:30 (after the time change).  I had to do something

So something I did.  First I paid bills, then I voted.  Then I got showered and dressed and drove to the county elections office to drop off my ballot (Oregon is all vote by mail).  Civic duty all done, I drove around the corner (ish) to the Max (commuter train) station where I purchased an all day, all zone pass and waited for a train. 

My goal:  the Oregon Convention Center, where the Title Nine annual blowout sale and the Body Mind Spirit expo was happening.  Didn't know about either of those?  Clearly you are not reading the Oregon Convention Center website.  Which for some reason I was, a few weeks ago. 

The Title Nine sale was just a bunch of long tables with many boxes of clothes, shoes, and accessories.  For fairly dirt freaking cheap, considering their normal prices.  Bras?  $19.  Coats?  Most for $49.  Skorts and skirts?  $19.  Tank tops.  Short sleeve tees.  Long sleeve tees.  Capri pants (non-running, unfortunately). 

Oh, and all for an additional 20% off those prices. 

Sadly, I left empty handed.  I found some really cute running skirts but they were -- believe it or not -- too big.  The undershorts were fine for the most part, the skirt length was great, but the waistband on the skirt was loose.  I could tell that once I started sweating it would be really loose.  Maybe I'll have better luck at next year's sale.

So off I went to the Body Mind Spirit expo.  It's actually sort of a local event, having gotten its start in Ashland, and I've been once before here in Portland but years ago.  It is all very woo-woo.  More hard core woo-woo then I'm into.  I like the jewelry, I like aromatherapy and candles.  I don't like the readings.  I believe in a sixth sense, but readings make me jittery.  

There wasn't much at the expo I was interested in.  Some really nice and expensive jewelry.  Some not quite so nice but still expensive jewelry.  I ended up buying a chunk of Himalayan salt and this:


Which made the entire trip worthwhile.  This gal makes mostly custom pieces and not a lot of the off the rack stuff, so to speak.  In other words, I very much doubt that I'm going to see anybody else wearing a necklace like this ever. 

I capped off my day by a free trip to the Portland Art Museum to see their Greek Body Beautiful exhibit.  Once a month, Bank of America customers get free admission to the museum.  Turns out that Sunday was a free for everybody day.  Lots of people, lots of kids, but outside of the Body Beautiful exhibit not so much.  It was the first time I'd been through the Native American art exhibit which is amazing.  The Jesus room -- what I called the room with many paintings of Madonna and Child and various crucifixion and saint depictions -- kept me in a fit of giggles.  I wish I'd taken pictures.  It wasn't the religious depictions, although apparently there is this saint who converted to Christianity after encountering a stag in the woods, said stag having the crucifixion in between his antlers.  Picture it:  Big deer, foot long Jesus on a cross in beween his horns.  That guy converted to Christianity.  I would've suggested giving up drinking and drugs.  Anyhow, what legitimately cracked me up was that the perspective of a lot of the people in the paintings was skewed.  Like Baby Jesus's head that was about eight inches round but his facial features were maybe an inch and a half wide.  Encephalitis Jesus.   That artist maybe should've written a poem to show his devotion instead.   In another painting, I learned Baby John the Baptist had two lazy eyes.  One was a lot like a parietal eye on a lizard, looking back around his right ear.  The other was aimed towards his left eyebrow or maybe the Madonna.  It was freaky. 

And nowhere was the Baby Jesus hung.  You'd think, being all paintings by male artists, they would've embellished things for the Baby Jesus.  Helped out his rep a little.  But no.  The scariest was Baby Jesus's bris.  There was blood.  Lots of blood.  And what looked like an exacto knife.  In the background was a woman -- not the Madonna -- who is looking directly out of the canvas with this expression like "Hey, not my idea!" 

I had to leave the room so that I could stop laughing before I cried.  So going to hell.

Cheers,
the CilleyGirl

Friday, November 2, 2012

Friday Freestyle

1.  I was in a mediation most of yesterday so I didn't get to do a Thirteen Things Thursday.  This will have to do.

2.  I had an uneventful Halloween.  I didn't dress up but I did bring the boys in to the office for the day.  That's usually what I do for Halloween since when you work in an office of five it's too much of an effort to really dress up.  And even though I moved to an apartment complex where there are kids, still no trick or treaters again this year unless they came before or right at dark when I wasn't yet home.  I'm guessing it will take about six months at least before the small bag of mini Butterfingers I bought is gone. 

Me and the boys.

3.  I finally got my birth certificate which means another trip to the DMV where I finally got to renew my driver's license.  With the worst picture ever.  I am hoping it won't be so bad when I see it smaller and in color on my new license (they switched to centralized processing in Oregon so it takes a week to get the actual license).  I last renewed my license eight years ago, at which time I put down my weight as 190.  I noticed this only after I had completed the form to renew my license, wherein I put down my weight as.... 190.  Which, I'm within six pounds so shut up.  It was depressing.

4.  Saw my acupuncturist, Jeremy, last night.  He had me do a food diary for a week, just listing what I ate.  I got sent home with a new supplemental list that said "EAT MORE VEGETABLES."  Yeah yeah.  When you have little to no appetite as it is, it's tough to get yourself to order or make vegetables, particularly those of which you are not all that fond (broccoli:  I'm looking at you).  But I'll do it.  I picked up a couple of gluten-free cookbooks at the library earlier in the week, just to see what they (the cookbooks) had.  There was some veggie stuff in one that sounded good.  I haven't read the second one yet, which is gluten-free Asian cooking.  Right now my taste buds are most interested in Asian food so hopefully this will be inspiring (and healthy) for me. 

5.  I've been making a mental list of everywhere with a decent salad bar nearby that I can hit for lunch during the week.  Sweet Tomatoes and Whole Foods head the list.  I also found a brining recipe for chicken breasts that I want to try to make grilled chicken for salads so that I can bring them from home (ones that I'll want to eat, that is).  When I do salad as a meal, it's trough sized.  I like to use one of those big silver bowls that, if you were to tell me you were using it to feed your dog I would say that you have a pony.  I'll need to go back to experimenting with my own salad dressings.  Time to add "food processor" back on the Christmas list!

6.  Speaking of Christmas lists, I got myself a present early in the form of an air purifier for my house.  I got smart and found a website that is reviews for allergy-related products.  Like air purifiers.  I didn't think it would make all that much of a difference -- my dad used to have one because he smoked like he was on fire and it didn't seem to do anything -- but less than an hour after plugging it in I noticed my eyes weren't burning and itching (which I thought was from eye strain and had been annoying me for WEEKS) and my breathing was easier.  It is a Whispure and it is a big ass sucker, but I wanted one that cleaned more than a five foot area.  If you really want to know more about it (like the model and cost), message me.  The kittens are using the box it came in as a new playhouse.

I would rather they play with the box than ON MY F*CKING FRIDGE.
If you look close, you can see Rudy is sticking his tongue out at me.

7.  Can't believe it's already daylight savings time this weekend. 

8.  If I have the scratch I might go see Wreck-It Ralph in 3D and get a manicure while I am out and about.  One of those will require contact lenses.

9.  There are also a couple of things at the convention center this weekend I'd like to hit, but again, money.  Title Nine is having their annual blowout sale and there is a Mind/Body/Spirit thing that I've been to before that was interesting.  Eh, maybe. 

10.  I'm wearing my 2011 Portland Marathon finisher's shirt today.  So that I don't feel so much like a slug.

I think ten is plenty, don't you?  Happy weekend!

Cheers,
the CilleyGirl

Monday, October 29, 2012

Let's recap

So. 

As you may recall, this was the week I had planned to be on the east coast. 

I was supposed to fly in to DC on Friday, celebrate my birthday on Saturday.  Yesterday I was supposed to run the Marine Corps Marathon.   Then I was going to see all the things in our nation's capitol, including tour the White House (for which I had to apply for approval six months in advance).  On Thursday I was going to head to Pennsylvania, spend a couple of days with friends there.  On up to New York for a couple more days, then out to New England. 

If you want a visual representation of my itinerary, just follow the path OF THE FREAKING HURRICANE.

Yeah.  Suddenly not so sad that I deferred MCM to next year.

Flights are delayed or cancelled outright.  Federal offices in DC are closed, at least for today.  Mass transit in DC and NYC is shut down.  Amtrak cancelled its service on the east coast.  The Staten Island Ferry isn't running.

As a long distance runner I'm in to challenges.  But this is ridiculous.

Sending good vibes to all of my east coast friends.  Stay safe!

Cheers,
the CilleyGirl

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Clearly Alzheimer's is setting in early...

I was reading a blog post today where the author mentioned what fabulous calf sleeves her friend had.  And suddenly my mind flashed back to where I had bought these fabulous arm sleeves at the Portland Marathon expo the week before last.

And that I had no idea what I'd done with them after that.

I immediately texted one of my expo partners in crime, Kim, to convey my patheticness.  Patheticism?  Anyhow, my sad, sorry ass.  Thankfully, as I was telling her I remembered pulling the jacket I'd bought at the expo out of my bag and then putting the bag on the floor for the kittehs to destroy, I had another flash to just where I may have put those arm sleeves. 

Except that I'm pretty sure that they're not there now.  So the question has become, where did the cats put those arm sleeves?  They love to steal my wrist gaiters too -- only one though.  I don't know why. 

Anyhow, I don't think I ever told the story of the arm sleeves at the expo, because clearly I had completely forgotten even buying them.  And since I have nothing else better to write today....

Back when I went to the Spokane Bloomsday Expo, I had seen a pair of arm sleeves I really wanted at a booth fairly close to the entrance.  But then the expo was sooo crowded, primarily with amateurs (i.e., people who have zero clue about races, race etiquette, etc.) and my mood was increasingly black as a consequence (plus I'd driven six hours to get there) that I completely forgot about going back for those arm sleeves.  When I remembered, I tried and tried to figure out which vendor had had them, but couldn't.  I've looked for them at other expos but still no luck. 

Flash forward to the Portland expo.  I was busy chatting with Kim about various and sundry that I almost didn't even spot them.  There they were!  Same booth -- I remembered the vendor as soon as I saw her sign.  If you like cool sleeves and other accessories, check out Wahine Sport.  And here is the grey dragons fabric my arm sleeves are made out of -- mine stop at the wrist, she told me, so they're not quite the same style as shown here (the gloves) but the fabric is identical.  So cool! 

I still don't even know if they'll fit me.  The woman at the booth (I think the owner) asked me if I wanted to try them on and laughed when I immediately said "Don't care!  My arms are huge, if the XL is too small I don't care!"  If they do fit, I may just order the glove ones too, as I really like my wrist gaiters.

When I can find them.

Cheers,
the CilleyGirl

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Thirteen Things Thursday: The Big Carrot Edition

1.  I've been thinking about motivation for losing weight.  Being present in every moment so that you remember why you really don't want to eat a half pound double hamburger with bacon, cheese, more bacon, and more cheese can be tough even in the best of circumstances.  Throw in things like, oh I don't know, LIFE, and it can be impossible.  So I decided to devise of a list of carrots for myself, to help inspire me to stick to a reasonable and healthy eating plan as well as to slow up my personal spending.

2.  For the first five pounds lost, I get a pedicure.  I desperately need one, and thankfully I see my toes several times in a day to remind me of this fact.  I have three pounds to go before I can deck my toeses out with roses.

Disclaimer:  Not me.

3.  For the next five pounds, I'm going to get a facial.  I have rosacea and a local spa has a fabulous facial geared towards this condition.  I had one maybe two years ago and it was the best facial I think I've ever had. 

4.  At 15 pounds lost, it's dinner at my favorite sushi place.  The goal is to not eat there at all until then.

I don't order quite this much... but it's close.

5.  Twenty pounds gone gets me a hot stone massage from cutie pie Kyle, my masseur.  I'm looking forward to this.

6.  In the middle here I had a hard time thinking of things.  For 25 pounds lost, I'm tentatively going to do a spa day.  One place has a four and a half hour treatment that gets you a Sweet Jasmine Wrap, a one-hour massage, a facial, a rejuvenating eye treatment, a silky smooth lip treatment, a spa meal (last time I had chicken salad), and you get to take one of their cool spa robes home.  That one is kind of pricey though. 

7.  After 30 pounds is a new watch for daily wear.  I have my Garmin of course and I have a nice dress watch, but the Timex Ironman watch I wear every day is looking very sad.  That's not helped by the fact that it's one of my cat's favorite toys.  Last night it got tossed into a sink full of water, and I've found it in my bed, on the bedroom floor, and on the living room floor; I'm waiting for the day it winds up in the litter box.  In my mind's eye I want a silver watch with a dark blue face that isn't digital and shows the date. 

Something like this.  And it's only $25!
 

8.  Thirty-five pounds is tentatively a new iPod and possibly taking my car in so that I can access the iPod jack that is already on my existing car stereo.  I want to play the tunes or audiobooks off the iPod in the car. 

9.  At 40 pounds, it's definitely these ivory earrings I saw in a shop in Sisters over the summer.  They were polar bears hanging from the ear wire, and if memory serves they were made out of fossilized ivory.  I really really really wanted them.  When I lose 40 pounds, I'm going to get them.

10.  At forty-five pounds it's tentatively either a leather jacket or Frye boots.  I've always wanted Frye boots.

My friend had an oh so soft leather jacket a lot like this one that I loved...


11.  Coming towards the end!  For 50 pounds lost, I think it may be time to get that third tattoo...

12.  And last but not least, for reaching my goal of 55 pounds lost a trip to either the Oregon Coast or Victoria, B.C. is in order. 

13.  How do you reward yourself?  I'd love to hear.
 
Cheers,
the CilleyGirl


Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Tuesday is the best day!

I was born on a Tuesday, you know...

Had a great and busy weekend.  The Little Fruit Fly and her Man Friend (who I have now re-dubbed Dr. Suess) came to town to run the Portland Marathon, their very first.  And with a marathon, comes an expo! 

Early Saturday morning we loaded up the car, picked up Kim, and headed downtown to pick up race packets and hopefully free stuff.  Sadly, there wasn't much to be had.  The first guy we stopped at didn't even want to give us an empty plastic bag (no marathon backpacks this year, hmmm).  I guess the Rock 'n Roll expo has ruined me forever for expos.  But we had fun wandering around, chatting, mocking people (and ourselves).  We swung by Red Robin so I could score my free birthday burger and then it was back to the west side to drop off Kim and head south to Corvallis.

Saturday afternoon my Washington State Cougars were playing Fly's Oregon State Beavers, and my boss had generously given me his sweet club seats just a nudge to the right of the 50 yard line.  Regrettably, the game was frequently like the Three Stooges Play Football.  I swear there were three successive interceptions on three successive plays.  My favorite was when we snapped the ball off the running back's ass as he ran by the center to his assignment.  Really?  We actually did way better than we should have. 


Sunday was the marathon!  We all had very little sleep as we hadn't gotten home until 11:00 the night before.  We were out the door by six and headed downtown once again.  Where it seemed that everybody else had realized that Fifth was the way to go.  There wasn't any good place to pull over so I got as close as I could and with the next stoplight they were off.  And so was I.  To go back to bed.  I was back downtown by 12:30 and took up a post in the shade just past the last water stop at mile 26.  I got to cheer on my friend Donna, who had just lost her mom and was running with an angel on her shoulder in memoriam.  I chatted for quite a while with an extremely attractive young man who had finished in about five hours and was waiting for his friend to finish.  He was extremely attractive and very personable and the time went by quickly; we talked for nearly an hour before he decided to head further down the course to look for his friend and stretch his legs.  A few minutes later, Fly and Dr. Suess (I know you're cringing when you read this Kim!) were headed my way.  They crossed the finish line, we picked up bags, got brunch, and went back to my place where they went down for a nap and I sacked out on the couch with my kittens watching Columbo.  As we said our goodbyes later that evening, it was unanimous that we needed to plan a weekend with no running and no races. 

How was your weekend?

Cheers,
the CilleyGirl

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Perhaps if you scooped out my insides like a pumpkin and started from scratch...

Yesterday I had my Nutritional Response Testing (NRT) with my acupuncturist, Jeremy.  You can go here for a pretty good description of what it is.  Basically Jeremy had me hold various things or he brought various things close to me while pushing against my outstretched arm, which I was supposed to match his force (i.e., push against him).  The various things were either little vials of potential irritants or bottles of remedies.  I understand how it works but I didn't look too closely at all the labels lest I taint the testing.  If I even could, I don't know. 

Anyhow, for example, Jeremy said I was indicating problems in my mouth and jaw and testing positive for heavy metals poisoning with titanium.  Now, I have a permanent porcelain and metal bridge in my mouth.  I don't remember exactly what kind of metal, but titanium is a typical component in dental implants.  The mercury in dental fillings could be a problem for somebody else.  It's like that.

In addition to the mouth/heavy metals issue, I was told I have sensitivities to wheat and dairy.  Except for swiss cheese, apparently it's made with a different protein.  Which is good because (a) I'm not sure I could give up all cheese completely and (b) swiss is my preferred daily-wear kind of cheese.  So, yay.  I also tested positive for problems with my bowel, my adrenals, my pancreas, my kidneys, and my liver.  At least my heart is just fine and dandy?

I'm not really getting anywhere trying to fix what's broke with conventional medicine so I went home with four bottles of supplements.  The price was decent, not all that much more than I spend on my regular meds, and three of the four should last six weeks (unless the dosage changes) with the fourth lasting a month.   One is supposed to increase the acidity in my stomach, which in turn should help me digest my food better and decrease my acid reflux.  As in, my stomach is not producing the right kind of acidic balance so it needs a lot of more of it, which in turn can back up the pipes. 

Is all this malarkey or what?  I was introduced to the chiropractic/whole body ideal at a very young age, around 16.  I don't like the "let's throw a pill at it" mentality.  I've posted before about my PCOS, about how it took 12 years (from age 12) to finally get a doctor that listened to me about what was going on and then diagnosed it.  And while I know that losing weight would help in many areas, I've still got that wacky thing going on as I said where I can train for and run a marathon yet not lose any weight, still have high blood pressure, and my triglycerides doubled.  I was having high blood pressure issues even 30 to 40 lbs ago.  Something else is going on.

I have noticed three things so far since starting the supplements last night.  First, my stomach has calmed down.  Often I feel like there is alien baby in there, squirming around and blowing bubbles while occasionally lighting a blowtorch.  Last night and today, my tummy is suspiciously quiet.  Second, my saliva seems different.  It's not something I pay attention to on a regular basis so it's a little hard to describe, but I guess I'd say that normally I have a lot of spit in there.  Now my mouth feels not dry, but just like there is less.  The third thing involves my poo habits and I'll spare you that, but let's just say that maybe alien baby is on its way out and that that is an interesting process.

Anyone else going the homeopathic route?  I see Jeremy again next week and need to ask about what the treatment forecast is, both for the supplements and the acupuncture.  The idea, I think, is to get better, at which point I don't need to do this any more or else maybe I'd just need an oil check and perhaps a tune up every few months.  I'm willing to shell out some money up front for the benefits to come later.  I'd just like to be able to budget for it.

Cheers,
the CilleyGirl

Monday, October 1, 2012

Are you ready for 31 days of awesome?!?!?!

It.  Is.  October.

My favorite month of the year!

I love everything about October.

I love fall.  I love the changing of the leaves from green -- it's so fucking green here -- to yellow and red and orange.  I love that the days start to get cooler.  Not freezing, just cooler.  Those amazing fall days where the sky is that perfect blue and it's just cool enough to maybe need long sleeves during the day.  The smell of wood smoke in the air.  The chance to light a fire to create the wood smoke that smells so good.

I love Halloween.  I love the decorations, both fun and scary.  I love the sentiment behind Halloween.  We should not fear the dead.  We should celebrate them.

And last, but certainly not least, I love that my birthday is in October.

In honor of October, I've started on a get-my-ass-in-gear campaign.  Not my physical ass but my mental one.  I'm sick of being sick.  And draggy.  And foggy.

First up, I went to the chiropractor last week and resolved a lot of the physical triggers that were causing my headaches.  The muscles are still tight, but most of the bones are where they are supposed to be when they are at home.

Next, I finally scheduled an appointment for acupuncture.  My list of complaints was long.  It was sad.  And probably whiny.  I'm doing some nutritional testing through them tomorrow, but right now my acupuncturist -- a cutie pie named Jeremy -- said that I have a confused nervous system.  I was unsuccessful in googling that, but I understand what he means.  Like how I can train for and run a marathon yet not lose any weight, still have sky high blood pressure, and my triglycerides double.  Basically, my body isn't reacting to internal and external triggers like it should.  Like, pollen.  Or what have you.

Acupuncture was interesting.  With the needles, it felt like if you press on your skin with a needle, not like if you poke through.  There were some weird nerve sensations that quickly went away.  Taking them out was actually a little more uncomfortable than putting them in.  So far, I've noticed a huge improvement in my breathing, in that my sinuses don't feel all swollen and puffy like, you know, every other single second of the past few years.  I go back for another session in another week or so.

Then I also got a massage on Saturday and joined my local Massage Envy.  I'm fairly aware of what massages cost, and this at $49.99 (no sales tax in Oregon!) for an hour massage each month is to me a good buy.  Plus additional hour massages are only $39.99.  I had a great massage -- with a cutie pie named Kyle, who was 25 if he was a day -- and I go back in two weeks, then probably monthly thereafter, depending on my finances.  I carry so much of my tension in my shoulders, which in turn causes headaches.  It would be nice to beat that down a bit.

Oh, almost forgot -- Jeremy is an advocate of paleo.  Yay!  I assured him that I most definitely was familiar with paleo.  We talked a lot about wheat sensitivity, etc.  It's baby steps but I am working my way back towards meat/veg/fruit.  I even bought lettuce this week!

Now I just have to eat the damn stuff.

Cheers,
the CilleyGirl


Monday, September 24, 2012

Monday Musings

1.  I am finally having more in-body experiences than out of body experiences.  It's still probably a tumor though.

2.  Did the bridesmaid thing on Saturday.  It was a blast, although maybe too short; it only took us about 90 minutes to decide on dresses for both bride and maids.  I'm not sure if the groom reads my blog so I can't post pics yet.  We all ended up with strapless, which for me is highly amusing but my dress passed the jump test when I wasn't even wearing a bra at all.  I may wear it forever after. 

3.  I did print myself a pic of the dress to post on the fridge or maybe my bathroom mirror for inspiration to get in some upper body work before the wedding.  Which hmm if it's on the fridge I have to remember to take down before the bride and groom come a'visiting Portland Marathon weekend. 

4.  Was searching for something work related in my e-mail and came across one I sent to my boss that says only:  Braaaaaaaaainnnnssssssss.  BRAAAAAAAAAAAAIIIIIIIIIIINNNNNNNNNNNNNNSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS.........

5.  Hee!

6.  I finally met my downstairs neighbor yesterday.  Who turned out to be not the person I thought was my downstairs neighbor.  We chatted for about two minutes and then as we went to go our separate ways, she gave me a hug.  And I can't decide if I found it charming or creepy.  But I do feel more comfortable if at some point in the future I am compelled to mention to her that her children sound like elephants on the stairs. 

7.  Speaking of which, somebody with whom I share a common wall -- may have been next door neighbor, and I've only met her/their cat -- decided midnight was a good time to tap nails into the wall.  At least I hope that's what it was, otherwise somebody was knocking on somebody's front door -- possibly mine, I can't tell from my bedroom -- three taps at a time, for about a half an hour.  I didn't hear any accompanying sounds to the tapping like "Hello?",  "I know you're in there", or "Please call 911, I've been stabbed, I'm bleeding, gurgle..." so I figured if there really was somebody at my door, at that hour they could just leave a note. 

8.  Although I'm not really sure what to make of the note I found on my door this morning.  It was fixed to my door with a ten inch Bowie knife and covered in bloody smears but it said "Sorry we missed you!" with a big smiley face so you know, mixed messages.  I am expecting a package so that must be it.

9.  I get so tired some times.  Case in point:  Person X wants me to draft an e-mail to Person Y asking them to confirm that Scenario C will result from Fact A and Decision B.  So my e-mail to Person Y says "Please confirm that Scenario C will result from Fact A and Decision B."  My question is, was my involvement in this really necessary?   Add to this Person Z, who wants to see the draft before it goes out.  Really?  These are minutes I'm never going to get back, people. 

10.  Of course, if you point all this out to Person X, you're labeled as having a bad attitude.  I call it reality.  ToMAYto, toMAHto.   

Cheers,
the CilleyGirl

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Thirteen Things Thursday: The Decapitation Edition

1.  People don't really need a head, do they?  I'd really like to cut mine off...

2.  I was back at the allergist this morning.  The main reason was to do an updated scratch test, but the first round of antibiotics/prednisone didn't completely knock out my sinus infection so that was a priority.  I've got another round of drugs to start tonight.  On the scratch test, like a good little blogger I took pictures.


3.  This is the start of the test.  They poke your arm with 40 samples of allergens.  Far right column is all trees, next column is grasses, dust mites, dog and cat, and wheat, eggs, and milk, and the control spot with histamine.  Next column is weeds.  Last column is molds.  Yummy!  Then you sit and marinate for about 15 minutes and then...


4.  ....your arm may or may not start to look like this.  I think for everyone there is a slight reaction to the pokes, in fact my arm still has little red dots all over it, but what they are looking for are the big red ones.  The really huge one on the far right is birch.  Good thing I moved across the street from a gigantic stand of birch trees, right?  On the far left you can see two dots where the top one is white, that was a secondary test where I get injected under the skin with histamine (the white dot) and with respiratory bacteria.  More yummy!  I had a reaction to that too, it's still really sore and swollen. 

5.  I learned about how allergy shots work.  Basically, they make a vial out of all the crap that you are allergic to and then inject you with it.  It's in small enough amounts that it doesn't (shouldn't) cause an allergic reaction but it occupies your immune system so that when you are exposed to a known allergen (like birch pollen) your system is too busy to have a histamine response.  Kind of nifty.  Except for the part where they are injecting you with DUST MITES and stuff.

6.  We have a wedding date!  And this Saturday I get to try on bridesmaids dresses.  Yay!  I think we are all hoping that we can find some comfy shoes that also look awesome. 

7.  If you are in the Pacific Northwest and hearing about the Wenatchee complex fire, my parents' ranch is smack in the middle of all of that.  They evacuated and are waiting to hear when they can go back home.  It's been fun.

8.  This sinus infection is putting all sorts of pressure on my ear which in turn has left me crazy dizzy and nauseous on an almost constant basis.  Again I ask, do I really need my head?  Pretty sure the answer is no.

9.  Still working on this crap legal project.  It's even crappier when I just feel like yakking instead.  Lately I am always aware of the location of horking receptacles like trash cans.  Vases.  Purses.  Hats.  Whatever.

10.  Yak yak yak.

11.  Legal research in general isn't so bad and it's somewhat of a nice break from the regular routine.  But this is more of a "nobody's asked this question before" issue which makes the research and arguments all highly conceptual.  And as you know, I have decapitated my head.  Which makes the thinking hard.

12.  Is "decapitated my head" redundant? 

13.  Gah, yet more evacuation notices for the Wenatchee complex fire.  It's spreading like, well, wildfire.  Very appreciative of all of the firefighters who have come to help out.

Cheers,
the CilleyGirl

Monday, September 10, 2012

Meep.

Today is World Suicide Prevention Day. 

Which is good timing as I am in a major depressive episode.

I've been trying to figure out what triggered it.  There are several candidates.

1.  Mourning the loss of MCM this year.  Overall I feel good about the decision to postpone -- it was the right thing to do -- but I still feel like kind of a failure.  Plus I wonder, will next year be different?  I want it to be different.  I always want that.  I don't get there.  I am sad.

2.  I went to see Jim Gaffigan in concert Saturday night.  For some reason, I noticed all the couples.  Couples couples everywhere.  I felt like the only single person in Keller Auditorium Saturday night.  Am I doomed to be alone?  I thought I didn't really care about that.  Do I care?  Do I?  Why do I?  A guy seems like a lot of work. 

3.  My good friend is getting married and I'm lucky to be one of her bridesmaids and I'm happy for them and about the upcoming wedding.  But I feel like a nightmare bridesmaid -- no strapless dresses!  No strapless bras!  No spaghetti straps!  Oh, and I don't wear heels either....  So not only do I feel like a shit friend -- it's all about her*, NOT me -- but then I wonder, is this why I'm single?   I don't dress all cute, I don't wear heels, I don't wear makeup but once in a blue moon.  I'm probably a shit person too.  And again, why do I care?  (About the single part, not about being a crap friend, that part bugs me.  A lot.)

4.  I don't want to do this legal research thing at the office.  Because it's just going to become a big pain in the ass and I'm tired of that drama.  There's something amorphous bothering me about work lately.  I don't know what it is.  I just don't want to be here very much lately. 

5.  I dreamed about my dog Maggie this weekend.  With the kitties, my dogs haven't been in my thoughts much lately and I feel guilty about that.  I miss my dogs very much.

6.  The appetite thing bothers me.  Do I just not care enough to eat?  So then I've been eating grains lately -- because, hey, who cares? -- and now my stomach is all torn up.  I'm eating poison on purpose.  Why don't I care more about that?  I should care. 

I don't know how to end this so I will just say,

Cheers,
the CilleyGirl



*I will suck it up and wear heels for the wedding.  But the bra thing, think of it this way:  Your wedding pictures will be SCARY if my boobs are down to my waist or spilling out over my dress and/or smacking me in the face. 

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Thirteen Things Thursday - The *Le sigh* Edition

1.  Why do migraines show up when the weather is nice and sunny and bright?  Ugh.

2.  I've made the decision to defer my Marine Corps Marathon entry to 2013.  There were several factors going in to this.

3.  First, pretty sure I've reinjured my right leg again.  As in, a developing stress fracture.  I thought it was a deep muscle strain but in retrospect that's what I originally thought the last time.  Right before the (literally) bone-deep screaming pain that kicked in a week or so later.  I'm not quite to that point but I think one more long run would start me down that path.  And I'd rather not.

4.  I could probably cut way back on training and still manage to finish a marathon distance without a total fracture.  But I couldn't do that and make the MCM cutoff.  I would hate to spend all that time and training and money only to get swept. 

5.  And speaking of money, between moving and the new kitties (and their vet bills, times two) I ended up with only about half of the money set aside that I had hoped for for this trip.  It would seriously detract from my enjoyment of the trip if I was constantly stressed about money the entire time.  I just can't eat Taco Bell that many times in a row.  Plus the trip would have wiped out my savings and then some, and I like having some money set aside for unexpected expenses. 

6.  Last but not least, I had also chipped away at the vacation time I'd set aside for this trip by being sick.  Instead of two full weeks like I had originally planned I was down to one.  Not nearly enough time for what I wanted to do and see.   Plus it would have wiped out all my remaining vacation time for 2012.

7.  The plan for 2013 is to do it right this time.  Build the base miles before I start actual marathon training.  Yes, I said that last time too.  But try, try again.  For now I'm going to take four to six weeks off running completely.  Let my leg heal.  Save money and stash vacation time. 

8.  I do think it's kind of nifty that 2013's race will be actually on my birthday.  The symmetry appeals to me.  I may plan next year's trip where I am there for the week before the race, up in New York and New England.  Give me time to acclimate to the time zone.  Then spend the post-race week in D.C. with lots of walking for recovery. 

9.   Now I need to plan what I will be doing for my birthday this year.   Maybe the beach for a couple of days.  I love the stormy season.

10.  I am looking forward to fall officially starting.  Particularly since I have a fireplace in the new place. 

11.  There is also maybe going to be a destination wedding in my near-ish future.  (If I'm special enough.)  Postponing MCM until 2013 leaves a bit of money in the (metaphorical) kitty for that.   As long as it's not in the Bahamas.  West Coast is better.

12.  I will also have a cushion for any sick or mental health days I might need to take through the end of the year. 

13.  I won't know what to do with myself if I don't have to get up for a weekend long run.  Hmm, maybe I'll..... sleep.

Cheers,
the CilleyGirl

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Raise your hand if you remembered it's Tuesday!

I keep forgetting it's not Monday.

I had a nice long holiday weekend.  I slept.  I ran.  I slept again.

When your body is healing, it wants to sleep.  I finally got up shortly before two in the afternoon on Saturday.  Although for an hour or so before that I was awake and half snoozing with the kittens.  In between their escapades.  Their latest fun thing to do is steal my watch.  I ate a little bit -- more on my still-weird appetite below -- and listened to the last hours of my audiobook, watched some Brit crime drama.... and fell back asleep on the couch for nearly two hours.  Heal, heal, heal.

Sunday I had to be up early to log 15 miles.  I headed out to the Fanno Creek trail and did an out and back for seven, then I got to run the last eight with Michelle from This Princess Runs!  We've been threatening to run together for a while now and on Sunday the stars more or less aligned.  (There was a bit of an alarm clock snafu.)   We were matched really well pace-wise, and Michelle got her Princess on while I was definitely a CilleyGirl.  I had to ease up a bit in the last couple miles as it was warming up outside plus I am still having a persistent tightness in my right calf.  Hopefully it's just the muscle being pesky and not a problem of something like a stress fracture where the muscle attaches to the bone.  It's far enough back in the smack dab middle of the meat of the calf muscle that I'm thinking it's just a big knot.  We wrapped up our run with a great breakfast at the chinese place. 

Monday I only slept in until around ten but then got up to do a whole lot of nothing.  Mostly reading as I have some library books due.  I don't even think I took a shower.  The most productive thing I did all day was make some rice spaghetti and meat sauce for my lunch for the next few days.

Which I forgot I put a container of on top of my car this morning and drove away with it still there.  I bet it made a spectacular splash on the street.  Thankfully it was in a plastic container and not a nice dish.  I had pizza instead.

So, my appetite is still all wonky.  Only a few things -- like sushi and pizza -- appeal to me these days.  Then I get full really quickly, only to feel somewhat hungry again about an hour later.  I wonder if part of it is a change in my sense of taste and smell.  Spicy stuff sounds good, like wasabi, as does salty stuff, like BBQ potato chips.  It seems like things taste the same.  But why am I not hungry, or rather why am I just not very interested in food?  I sat yesterday for a couple of hours thinking about what to have for lunch this week.  Nothing came to mind.  Well, except for sushi but my pocketbook can't handle that.  Finally pasta sounded somewhat appealing.  Or London Broil, some sort of flavorful and rare thin sliced beef.   Chinese BBQ pork.  Mostly I've had interest in just meat.  Veggies?  Nope.  Fruit?  Nope.  I swear, I'm going to get scurvy. 

Maybe I need to find a few things that are appealing -- that include veggies and fruit -- and start grazing throughout the day.  I can eat until I'm full, which doesn't take much these days, and have more food waiting for later so that I don't feel like I have to force myself to eat everything on my plate. 

Now I just need to figure out what sounds good.  And then not leave it on top of my car.

Anybody have any suggestions as to what could be causing these issues? 

Cheers,
the CilleyGirl

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Thirteen Things Thursday

1.  Well, I no longer get to whine about how I think I'm sick.  I am now officially sick.  Went to the allergist, nearly inhaled a breathing testing tube by accident, left with samples and a sheaf of prescriptions. 

2.  It's a combo of a sinus infection on top of allergies on top of a cold.  Isn't that fun?  No wonder I feel like roadkill.  I'm looking forward to starting the antibiotics and prednisone tonight.  I know some people are anti-drug but I've been suffering through this for more than two months.  Bring on the pharmaceuticals!

3.  The kittens continue to grow.  For only four and a half months old, Rudy is huge. 

4.  My mom phoned me last night right after I'd kicked the kitties out of my room and gotten into bed.  Once the light was back on and they heard me talking, they started body slamming the door.  For about 20 minutes.  They could have just been wrestling outside my door and smashing into by accident except that within minutes after my alarm going off this morning they started doing it again.  Little whackos.

5.  They love it when I plug the sink and fill it with a few inches of water.  They drink forever.  I need to take a picture; it's kittens of the sinkengeti.  When I was in the shower the day before last, I must have put too much water in the sink because once they drank their fill somebody decided it was time to play.  The whole bottom half of my mirror is one big water spot.  And this morning they discovered the joy of running away with the end of the toilet paper in their mouth. 

6.  Julie and I got together and ran naked yesterday morning.  I think we did about 3.5 miles.  Sadly the sun was not out like it has been so I couldn't fully show off the beauty of Summerlake Park.  But it was still pretty.  Although the park is only a quarter mile from my door, I do a loop up the street and back down through a nearby neighborhood to get there.  The loop is about two miles and I call it the vegetables before the dessert of getting to run through the park. 

7.  I have to run fifteen miles on Sunday.  Hopefully the drugs will have done a good chunk of their magic by then.  Anybody want to do a slow 15 miles with me? 

8.  I'm going to try the Mizunos again for this long run.  At last Sunday's half marathon I developed a hot spot on the bottom of my left foot.  I had to go up to a size ten for these shoes and I think they're maybe a quarter of a size too big.  Maybe I need thicker socks.  So far I've had a lot less ankle pain with the Mizunos.

9.  Realized this morning that it'd been a while since I'd eaten anything resembling fruit in its natural habitat.  Today I got OJ and then a Jamba Juice.  I need to eat some actual fruit but this should stave off scurvy for another couple of weeks.

10.  Still really loving listening to audiobooks when I run.  Right now I'm on Proven Guilty by Jim Butcher.   Love Harry Dresden, and its James Marsters (aka Spike) who does the audiobooks.  A twofer!

11.  Can't believe it's already almost Labor Day weekend.  I wonder if there are any good TV marathons this weekend...  Hmm, not really.  M*A*S*H marathon on Monday, that's about it. 

12.  Which reminds me.  The Cougs kick off their 2012 season tonight!

13.  Got any good plans this weekend?  I'm defrosting ground beef to BBQ burgers.  That's about it for me.

Cheers,
the CilleyGirl

Monday, August 27, 2012

Week 7 Recap of My Quest for a Smaller Chest and Hot Marines: The Eugene Women's Half Edition

Howdy hey my cilley fwends!  How was your Week 7?

Mine was mixed.  I did only two of my scheduled four runs.  Feeling extremely tired, just can't seem to shake it.  Also, the feeling of a head/chest cold.  And as you know, I have a helluva lot of chest.  It really seemed to hit me on Wednesday.  I should've run.  But I didn't.

I did not skip my long run, although I did swap up with next week's long run which suggested doing a half marathon at the end of Week 8.  But Week 8, as you may have noticed, ends with Labor Day weekend.  Where there are no half marathons scheduled.  At least around here.  There was, however, the Eugene Women's Half this past weekend.  As I may have mentioned.

I had hoped to PR as my B goal.  My A goal was for a sub-three.  I didn't have a C goal.

I did not PR.  I should have.

Garmin Connect was down this morning so I only saw my splits briefly this morning.  They were all over the place.

I felt tired and wheezy all weekend.  Race day I was up too early then just started to get sleepy again right when I needed to be up and getting ready.  Still, I felt decent as I waited for the race to start.  The temp was nice and cool, the sky very cloudy.  In short, perfect race weather.  The gun went off and so did I.

To almost instant cramping in my left shin.  Mothafucka.  Did not see that coming.  Particularly since I was in the new Mizunos.  I was also very thirsty right from the go, so dehydration issues crossed my mind.  Managed to crank out a not-horrible time for the first mile, then a horrible time for the second mile.  Old ladies walking were faster than me.

Mile three it finally worked itself out -- and we'd hit the first water station.  I put up a 13:30ish overall mile time, which was a combo of walking and running.  When I was running, until the last couple of miles I was consistently around 12:20.  But I was feeling like I had a small cinder block sitting on my chest.  Wondering if I was running too fast when I was running -- was under a 12 minute mile pace occasionally, then I'd back off -- and still thirsty.  In retrospect, I should have stopped at a water station, drank at least 10 oz and refilled and had an extra Gu.

I alternated between mile times that were exactly where I wanted to be (13:30), a little slower than I wanted to be (around 14:20), and much slower than I wanted to be (over 15:00).  Did a decent overall average for miles three, four and five, then slowed way down in mile six and I don't know why.  Noticed today in looking at my splits from last week's 12 miler that I did the exact same thing there.  I don't think I took a Gu in that mile, I usually fuel during mile seven, so I'm not sure what happened.  I do remember feeling overwhelmingly exhausted, having trouble catching my breath yet combined with a feeling that I was breathing effortlessly -- like I was breathing too shallowly, too quickly.   But maybe I did fuel during mile six since I was so tired.  I can't remember.

Did a couple of goodish miles after that.  Think that I did the second four miles faster than the first four as I finished mile eight in 1:50.  That's pretty good for me lately.  I think that was around five minutes faster than the first four miles.  Got confused with my math at mile nine, thought I only had three miles to go and had visions of smashing three hours, then finally figured out that I still had FOUR miles to go.  Bummer.

Then I bonked after mile ten.  I had to have been on track to meet my A goal because I walked most of the last two miles yet still came in at 3:06:25.  Not a PR, but still eleven seconds faster than Rock 'n Roll in May.  Although Rock 'n Roll was a harder course.  Hmmm.

So.  It was odd to do this race on my own.  I could've really used a race buddy in the end, either to drag me along or to inspire me to drag them along.  It works either way sometimes.  I was feeling so lousy at the end that I did consciously let my PR slip away.  I should've easily done 3:03.  This was the first time I've crossed a finish line and they immediately asked me if I needed medical.  I should have lay down with some ice but was afraid I wouldn't get back up.

The shirt was nice this year, for the ladies it was deep hot pink with a V neck; for the men, candy apple red with a scoop neck.  I'll have to take a pic.  Ditto with the finisher's charm.  It is heavier and slightly bigger than last year's.  Neither look like race swag, but in a good way.

I did eat before the race and took a couple of electrolyte capsules, and thought I was drinking enough but I've been bad about water intake on a regular basis for a while now.  Bad CilleyGirl.  I took a puff beforehand, but I desperately wanted for my inhaler during the race.  I've got to figure out why the six mile slump.  I just looked back at my ten miler and seem to have the same slow down.  Yep, went back to another long run and same thing.  Hmm.  And I need to be just a few seconds faster per mile to beat the MCM cutoff.  Yesterday's race was at an average 14:14 min/mile.