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."


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


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?

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.

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.

the CilleyGirl