Tuesday, December 31, 2013

This is how the world ends. Not with a bang, but with a *snorfle*.

A happily unstressful end to the New Year here at CilleyGirl central.  That's not to say there was not year-end craziness at the work; we were just as busy as normal but a lot of things all came together to make this one of the easiest year-end deadlines I've managed.

Although right now there is an uptick in crazy in the office and I may have to get violent.

Okay, I'm back.  I had to beat a few people with a stick but we've closed the books on another successful year.  And I have the big stinky bonus check in the bank to show for it.

Anyhow.  Big changes coming for me.  A week from today I go in for sinus surgery.  I had a CT scan done earlier this month and turns out I have not only a deviated septum which the ENT thinks may just be the source of all the pain and pressure plus infection on the left side, I also have a big bone spur in my nose.  Which, okay.  So he'll remodel the inside of my nose to straight it out and make the sinus on the left a little wider to improve air flow (ideally preventing future infections) and take out any inflamed/infected tissue stuff while he's in there.  Like I'm a pumpkin.  I've been on prednisone for about two weeks (so that I could survive until the surgery) and today I started the pre-op antibiotics.

And hopefully that will be the last round of drugs I need for a long time.  Everyone is predicting this will be life changing for me, and I agree.  I'm already wishing I'd had it done years ago.  Once I can breathe again, I can get back to becoming healthy again.  One of my 2014 goals is to do one race a month.  This Saturday is the New Yearathon, put on by Uberthons, the same folks who handed out that awesome Halloween race medal I got this year.  The New Yearathon medal -all of their medals really - is just as nifty.  In February I'll do the Fanconi Anemia 5k, which was the first race I ever did when I started running in 2009.  March will see me taking on my fifth consecutive Shamrock 15k; they're promising the medal situation will not be a repeat of last year's clusterfuck.  I haven't decided on an April race yet - if you don't like Race for the Roses, which I don't, then the pickings are slim for Portland in April.  May however will be my third Portland Rock 'n Roll and where I'm hoping to finally get my half PR.

For other goals, I will continue to work on my physical health, such as going back to acupuncture, finding a new chiropractor, and consulting with a naturopath to determine if I had food allergies or sensitivities such as to wheat.  Without your health, you have nothing.

Happy new year to you all, and thanks for sticking with me through a lackluster year.  I'm looking forward to 2014!

The CilleyGirl

Friday, November 22, 2013

Yet another post in which the only news is that I am still alive.

Exciting, I know!

Okay, I'll try to come up with something.  Let's see.... I had a birthday last month, and in a conversation today realized that I am now more than twice the legal age for buying alcohol.  It's a weird way to look at it.

I did the Halloweenathon 5K, which had some awesome bling.  Did I already write about that?  I ended up with negative splits -- I walked the first half of the race then tried to run the second half, so something like an 18 minute mile, then a 16 minute mile, then a 14 minute mile -- and a deep understanding of just how out of shape I've gotten.

And you could bludgeon somebody to death with this medal if you have to.  It's about four inches high if that gives you perspective.

I didn't make my cats wear their costumes on Halloween but I did download the additional pics of when I did dress them up.  Love this one of Ru, pole dancing in his spider costume.

My friend S treated us to a quick overnight at the Kah-Nee-Ta resort over in Warm Springs, and brought the dogs.   We got ourselves a short massage and a soak in the hot springs jetted tubs, the latter of which really left us feeling like limp noodles.

This is Kip the Wonder Dog.  If you look close, you'll realize there is only one paw on the front end.

We had beautiful, dry weather.

That's been pretty much it as I'm heading into the busy season at work.  Meaning I'll really not be posting!

Hope everyone is having a lovely fall.  I'm working on being more interesting :)

the CilleyGirl

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Better living through chemistry, Chapter 1,072

Today I started half of the megadoses of sinus infection fighting drugs.  And if you've ever wondered what a big freaking dose of prednisone looks like, it looks like the dose I took this morning.  Before, at most I had to take two pills in one dose.  Now I have four.  I was happy that this was the first day since -- well, since the last time I took prednisone -- that I haven't felt like my head was going to explode, but apparently prednisone can be used to treat migraines and tension headaches.  Still a yay all around, right?

As a side note, never read the side effects for any drug you are taking -- that you are going to keep taking -- in any depth.  Apparently I am at a high risk to turn into a large blob of sugary jelly over the next 30 days.

The pharmacy could not fill my prescription for the antibiotics; they didn't have enough on hand to complete the prescription.  I'm not sure if that means that they put me on some really serious antibiotic, or just an uncommon one.  I mean, you'd hope your pharmacy has on hand plenty of the antibiotics needed to combat stuff like anthrax and MRSA.  If I'm just on one that fights boogers, that's okay that they didn't have enough in stock, particularly if they needed more room for the anthrax/MRSA ones.  It's all about the trade off.

Anybody have any experience with taking a steroid or antibiotic long term?  Was it just a barrel of laughs?

the CilleyGirl

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Moses supposes his toes are roses

I am signed up for a Hallowe'en themed 5K at the end of the month.  I signed up for this race because of (a) the awesome medal (a glow in the dark coffin that opens) and (b) it's the day before my birthday.  I had thought to do the Couch25K plan for this, then I collapsed in a puddle of my own nasal goo.  As in, sinus infection!  Or probably more accurately, the same sinus infection I've had for about five years now that gets partly better but never all the way but I've developed such a high threshold when it comes to my sinuses that I don't really comprehend that I'm still sick until I can barely get out of bed and/or stay awake all day.

Yay me!

Took the five days of prednisone and the ten days of antibiotics.  Felt amazing for the first five days, which you might notice coincides with stopping the prednisone.  Felt so-so through the end of the antibiotics, then gradually not so great in the few days since.  But, I've finally bitten the bullet (very metallic taste, don't recommend biting bullets) and committed to fixing this sinus shit once and for all.  This morning I had an appointment with an ENT -- that's Ear, Nose and Throat -- where I had (I think) a nasal endoscopy.  I'm not sure, because I think I just had the look-see part of it; apparently it can also be used to do things in there more than look around.  It looks like a flexible tiny telescoping telescope.  Which is basically what it is.

Good news is I don't have gigantic gnomes living in my sinuses.  Or even tiny gnomes.  No polyps either, just a massive amount of swelling and some puddles of infection. There is a small physical thing which normally wouldn't be an issue but with the swelling it's cutting off airflow.  Science is fun!  I also learned that you have to wait about 45 minutes after having your nasal passages and throat anesthetized because, choking.

The long and the short of it (mostly the long) is that they're going to culture the goo from my head and then put me on a month-long course of targeted antibiotics.  Targeted, as in antibiotics for whatever particular bugs are teeming in my goo.  Most common is strep.  Also possible is MRSA.  So that should be fun!  To go with the antibiotics I'll have a 30 day course of prednisone too.

Hopefully I will be feeling much better by the 5K and be able to run part of it.  And, continue to torture my cat:

He actually kind of liked being dressed up like a purple furry spider.

He didn't like the hood -- every time I pulled it up he'd tip his head back -- and it's kind of heavy and hot for him, but otherwise he was in it for about ten minutes before I took pity on him.  I think he'll wear one without a hood just fine (mwuhahahahahahaha).  Josie on the other hand (or paw, ba dump bump!) is still keeping her distance.

the CilleyGirl

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

I may not know where I'm going, but I sure know where I've been

I had no idea it's been nearly a month since I last posted.  It's been a mix of busy and hermitage.  But there are pictures!

Two weekends ago I went up to central Washington where my mom and I had rented a cabin for a couple of nights.  It was a great cabin with two bedrooms and lots of wood.  I forgot to take pictures of the inside, but this was our view:

  The fancy cabins are duplexes.  Unfortunately, we were next to a family of like a zillion.  Many opportunities to mock the crazy people in this family.  My favorite was the teenage daughter, who apparently wanted to go off and spend time with her (kind of creepy looking) boyfriend:  "Don't you know how happy I am?  Are you mad at me?  Don't you know how much I love you?"  Over and over.  It was weird.  I promptly adopted the phrase "Don't you know how much I love you" to say to my mom over and over again.  

We got lots of reading done, rented a paddle boat and tooled around the lake until our legs got tired, and then drove towards "town" to stop off at Dry Falls.  Which looks like this:

There used to be a gigantic water fall in the back where that big depression is.  A long long long time ago.

This was the area we were staying at from up above:

Over the Labor Day weekend, I decided to be somewhat social so I headed out to the Oregon State Fair.


It was the next to the last day for the fair, but sadly that did not stop the hordes of humanity from descending.  It did, however, mean that some of the animals were gone.  It was really creepy going through a big horse barn with nobody else around.

This was one of maybe six horses I saw in the entire place.

Made me want to have a beer.

There were lots of pigs still, so I took lots of pics of them for my mom, who loves pigs.

I have no idea why many of the pigs were numbered.  Oh, and guess what the name of one of the 4-H clubs was?

It just seems mean, doesn't it?

I got the obligatory butt shot to text to RR:

Saw a frankenllama:

And there were diving dogs!

I managed to not kill any of the humanity at the fair.  I capped it off by taking myself to a movie (The World's End, really good although I'm not sure I liked the very very end) and then for a pizza.  I like to treat myself well.

the CilleyGirl

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Ten Things Thursday: The Blood and Cupcake Edition

1.  It had been an off week for me.  After a weekend of doing very little but resting since I had a persistent and annoying headache, I woke up Monday morning feeling like someone had smacked the left side of my face with a board and then shoved a metal spike into my temple for good measure.  In other words, a migraine.  The light sensitivity was so bad that the lights from the phone when I called in to work just about killed me.  I was back in the office Tuesday but feeling sluggish and still headachy.

2.  The likely culprit is aspartame.  I had started drinking diet coke again about two weeks ago.  I've had a persistent and annoying headache for about two weeks now.  Stupid of me to go back to that stuff.  The reason I did?  Even stupider:  I'd been low on cash -- the Pepsi Throwback with the real sugar is pricey -- and had a coupon for two 12 packs of diet soda.  Bought the diet soda, forgot to use the coupon, drank it and got headaches for my trouble.

3.  On top of it, yesterday my allergies decided to kick in on high.  This morning, after oversleeping because, sluggish, I had just gotten out of the shower, when I cleared my sinuses (aka blew my nose but "cleared my sinuses" sounds classier, eh?) they clearly had been bleeding.  Then I'm starting to get ready when my nose starts bleeding.  All over the cat.  FYI, blood comes off of cat fur very easily.  That's kind of disturbing.

4.  Long story short, I was very, very late to work.  My co-worker had brought me a mocha.  Then I sit down and go to get some hand lotion from the other side of my desk -- there's a cupcake behind the kleenex box!  What the hell?  I ask the co-worker who brought me coffee if she brought me a cupcake.  It wasn't her.  I ask our secretary, who is answering me like "did I bring you a cupcake?"  I'm baffled.  She pokes her head in my door, all "wow, who would do that?" and then asks "is that your stereo?"  I start to answer yes, look over and it -- and there's another cupcake!  Then I turn around, there's another cupcake on my table!  A half turn, and I spot another cupcake!

There were six of these hidden around my office,
and it's not even my birthday!

5.  So I'm having a much better day now.  The best part is, our secretary has only been with us about five weeks now.  I'm glad she's fitting in with us so well.  We're such a busy, high-stress office that we need to blow off steam frequently.  Yesterday we redressed Skelly our office skeleton and moved him to the conference room.  I was telling my mom about this last night and she asked why we had a life size skeleton in our office.  I was like, why wouldn't we?  My co-worker, who officially owns Skelly, agreed.

Bring on the paperwork!

6.  Even since I went to Bend last month I'd been doing very well limiting my gluten intake.  Tuesday night I had a massage and by the time it was done, after eight, I was starving and well, Five Guys Burgers and Fries is right across the parking lot.  I got a burger and fries.  Next day (yesterday) my tummy reminded me why gluten is a bad thing for me.  Not too bad, but enough.  So of course last night I had some chicken strips, again not too bad, but then I eat an entire pint of strawberry cheesecake ice cream.  Very unhappy tummy today.

7.  How unhappy you ask?  I'm glad you did because now I get to reference shit weasels.  Ever read or see Stephen King's Dreamcatcher?   It's what they call the alien that grows inside a host and then exits the body, rather dramatically, through the bum.  In the book the scene that reveals this isn't so bad.  In the movie, holy shit, no pun intended.  That's kind of how I feel today, like I'm starring in the sequel Dreamcatcher:  Revenge of the Shit Weasel.  I plan to remember this feeling, to draw upon it the next time I think gluten and a whole lot of dairy are a good idea.

8.  Now you're going to have shit weasels on the brain.  Better than out the bum, I guess.

9.  I had an idea from a blog I follow.  This person has done everything right (as I would define it) and lost weight and looks absolutely amazing, but has one vice.  It's not a bad vice, but it's a frequent vice, a consumable.  I've started mentally substituting "twinkies" for this vice every time it's mentioned and I wonder if this person would think differently about that vice if they did the same, particularly since more than a certain amount of this vice often leads to other not-so-great choices in the food department.  As in, one or two twinkies a week is probably okay but more than five at one time and they could eat the buffet.   Anyhow, I'm not telling the story to shame this person, just to explain how I've started thinking that way about gluten, not with twinkies but more like Drano.  "A burger with Drano would be okay, just this once, right?"  And how can you say "sure, Drano just this once would be fine!"?

10.  Did that make any sense?  (And if the blogger happens somehow to be reading this, please don't be angry with me.)  I just find it interesting that this person would never eat twinkies, but that their vice adds up and maybe starts equating to twinkies and that's maybe something they've never thought about.  I had this vice myself for a very long time and I understand why someone would want to keep it.  For some people, their vice really is twinkies, but that's easy to spot as a potential problem when you want to be healthy and lose weight.  Mine these days is cupcakes.  Which, by the way, I made everyone in the office take one.

the CilleyGirl

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

(Mostly) Wordless Wednesday

This is Lilly.  She says "phbbt" to head collars.

This is Kip the wonder dog.  If you look closely, you'll notice only three legs.  Yep, Kip's a tripawd.  I love Kip and he loves me.

Don't you wish you lived here too?

the CilleyGirl

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Random Thoughts for a Wednesday

1.  Having to extend your vacation unexpectedly can sometimes be a good thing.  Like,  "We've been selected to receive a free additional night's stay and I don't have to work tomorrow anyway, yay!"   Not so fun when it's "I almost couldn't get my car to go back into gear as I hurtled down a mountain pass in the dark at 65 mph and nobody is open on a weekend anymore for car repairs except for (luckily) the Aamco transmission service center (convenient since I needed a new master cylinder for my clutch as it was cracked and all the fluid had leaked out on my drive to Bend) but they can't get the part until maybe Tuesday) and I was supposed to go home on Monday, fuck me!"  Enforced idleness sucks rocks.

2.  So as you may have guessed, my three day relaxing weekend in Bend with friends turned into a somewhat stressful four day weekend in Bend with friends as I waited for news on my car.  But they had it done by noon on Tuesday at just over half of the original estimate, meaning I really should get my cats into the vet soon for their annual checkups.

3.  Welcome to the world, Prince George Alexander Louis.  I wanted to be on record to say, I bet they'll call him Alex.

4.  Despite the car drama, it was a good weekend.  My friend S had done the Whole30 with me earlier this year and discovered that life is better without wheat.  I ended up eating mostly gluten-free this weekend, at first inadvertently and then intentionally.  My stomach was much happier and a lot of the bloat started going away.  I'm working hard to continue with it.

5.  We also did some of their tour of homes, went on a lovely short hike, and floated the Deschutes River.  I'm a bit sunburned but mainly in the spots where I missed with the sunscreen.  I have some odd tan lines right now.  Happily we did the hike, with its great views of Mt. Bachelor and mumble mumble mumble before the latest fire down there took hold.  It was extremely hazy in Bend yesterday and it's not so great here in PDX either.

6.  Did I mention I've been reading Mark Sisson's 21 day Primal Challenge book?  While I will be going back to paleo/primal, I don't think I'm going to do the specific challenge.  "Go outside and do 20 jumping jacks then sprint for 30 seconds!"  "Fuck you!"  In other words, it's too much like personal training for my tastes, and you all know how I feel about personal training.  But I can do the eating and start moving again.  It felt great to be out hiking Monday night, although I need to carry my asthma inhaler with me for any exercise now.

7.  I'm going to hell (if there is one, that is).  Just read an article about a woman, the Guiness record holder for number of shoe-related items, was found dead in her pool, and her half-her-age boyfriend is suspected of her murder.  My first question of "Was her pool shoe-shaped too?" was not addressed in the article.  Details, people!

8.  Pretty sure Anthony Weiner needs therapy.  Is this man compelled to send texts of his junk?

9.  I've been craving Chinese food and that's a tough order when you (a) don't like a lot of vegetables in Chinese food and (b) really really really like all the fried/sugary sauce dishes.  Last night I discovered that Happy Family helps with all of that.  I picked out the celery and zucchini and had plenty left over with the mushrooms, water chestnuts, and carrots plus the protein of scallops, shrimp, chicken, and beef.  Probably not entirely gluten free (and I did have a few bites of rice and some sweet 'n sour sauce with a few slices of BBQ pork) but it's a helluva lot better than what I usually have.

And speaking of food, I hope lunch shows up soon...

the CilleyGirl

Friday, July 19, 2013

Working for a living

I think they've been working me way too hard at the office...

Are you excited to end another week?  Me too!  I am off to Bend to visit friends and their dogs for a couple of days and am looking forward to having Monday off.  As you may have guessed, things are not slow at the office.  This is actually my new office mate, Slim.  I don't think my boss has noticed him sitting across from my desk yet.

Plodding along with other stuff.  My body seems to think it has an abundance of sodium at the moment.  My fingers are extremely swollen and stiff.  I've been drinking fluids but so far no relief.  It's probably congestive heart failure or something like that.

After throwing away much too much food lately, I decided to try something a little different.  As a preface, remember the scene in Lethal Weapon II where Mel Gibson follows Patsy Kensit (the little blonde secretary from the South African embassy) to the market and they have a conversation where she says that she shops every day because she never knows what she'll be hungry for one day to the next.  I can relate.  I used to be able to plan and shop for meals for at least a week and then stick to that pretty well.  Not anymore.  I find myself going to the store a lot but instead of buying just for the short term I still shop like I'm going to follow through on planning ahead.  And I end up tossing a lot.  I swear I should just bring bananas into the house and immediately throw them in the garbage.

So my plan now is to think ahead no more than three days at a time.  This was my first week doing that and it actually turned out fairly well.  Last Friday I had made a big meatloaf and then on Saturday made a big potato salad.  Sunday evening I had enough leftover for dinner that night plus three lunches plus a bowl of potato salad leftover to have with another entree.  Monday and Tuesday I had the lunches.  One of those nights I had the rest of the potato salad plus some protein, a turkey burger patty I think.  Tuesday I wasn't hungry in the evening so I had turkey burger again and some fruit.  Wednesday I was in Salem on business and so had lunch out with my boss on the way back to Portland.  Wednesday evening on a whim I stopped at the store and picked up breakfast fixings for dinner and had that Wednesday and Thursday evening.  Yesterday I felt like sushi so I had that for lunch.  And now today I brought the last of the originally planned lunches which, had I stuck to the plan, would've been eaten before now.  Nothing tossed out, a little flexibility but not so much that I (a) spent a ton of money (maybe $25 between sushi lunch and two breakfast-for-dinners) and (b) ended up tossing stuff out.  I do though need to take a pint of strawberries, some romaine, and a cucumber with me to my friends to eat this weekend.  But still, not bad *and* I didn't eat a bunch of fast food either.

How often do you shop for groceries?  Like grocery shopping or hate it?  Do you go with a plan or where the whim takes you?

Have a fabulous weekend everyone!

the CilleyGirl

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Schilling for the kitties

I have very little to report on my own life so I thought I would take a moment to let you know about a cause that is near and dear to my heart -- helping shelter kitties!

I follow a blog out of the Tacoma area, the Itty Bitty Kitty Committee, by a woman who along with her husband and trusty grown cat Charlene Butterbean foster kittens for the Tacoma Humane Society.  Her pictures and stories are amazing and provide for some serious cuteness overload, lots of laughs, and not a few tears.

Each year in conjunction with Tacoma Humane's Dog-a-Thon, the IBKC does its own FUNdraiser for the cats.  In past years they have blown past their expectations and raised squillions and squillions of dollars for the shelter.  For me, not only have all of my pets as an adult been the product of animal rescue, but my last cat, Sammi, was fostered by and then adopted from this particular shelter when I lived in Tacoma.  I have been lucky enough to be able to donate to this cause since its inception.

If you have pets in your hearts, please check out the IBKC and if you have money in your wallet please consider making a donation.  This year's goal is $100 squillion dollars and they are more than halfway there.  Today every penny raised will not only go to the spay and neuter programs but will also be matched by a generous anonymous donor up to $3,000.

Jo as a foster for Redmond Humane.  So tiny!

We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming.

the CilleyGirl

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

It's aliiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiivvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvveeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!

At least I think so.

If you've been following me for a while, you know that I have two crazy-busy times at work:  December and June.  As you might guess, I've been in the June crazy-busy for a while now.  Three weeks of six days in the office.  Really looking forward to this weekend when I will finally have more than one day off in a row.

On top of that, I had several client site inspections, we interviewed for and hired a new staffer to replace one that is leaving, and -- the most fun of all -- I had this weird thing going on for over a week where I was almost constantly nauseous.  I have a new appreciation for what morning sickness must be like and I didn't even have to be pregnant to get it.  That week SUCKED.  Or maybe it BLEW.  For about three days at the end of it I had to force myself to drink fluids because I got super dehydrated after even water made me sick and wasn't that a blast. 

Now we have a heat wave here in Portlandia.  It has been getting up to 92 degrees inside my apartment and not much below 80 degrees inside at night.  In the winter it's great that my apartment holds in the heat, but right now, not so much.  I think I have heat rash, which is just a grown up version of diaper rash. 

No gigantic plans for the holiday weekend, although I do have plans.  A long-time friend whom I have never actually met in person is on the west coast for vacation with her mom; we're having dinner Friday night.  I think I might use the occasion to make my own inaugural trip to Voodoo Donuts.  I know!  I've had their donuts but never actually been there.  Saturday I'm going to the Huey Lewis & the News show at the Zoo so if it's not too hot I'll do the zoo first (lesser flamingoes!) and concert second.  In between, I think I'll sleep.

the CilleyGirl

Monday, June 10, 2013

Whodaho? Idaho!

I am back from the wilds of Idaho.

Quick trip this past weekend to visit my dad and grandparents.  My grandmother turns 82 this week, it's Father's Day this weekend, plus my grandpa has early-onset Alzheimer's (on top of Parkinson's) so a trifecta of visit reasons.  I try to get out there at least once a year, particularly since they're all pretty much house-bound these days; my grandpa can't be left alone for any length of time in case he falls and he doesn't like having people babysit him plus my dad has Periphal Vascular Disease so he can't get around much any more either. 

On the bright side -- for me, at least -- is that only one the PVD is inheritable.  My grandpa is my grandma's second marriage and not my dad's dad, and so far we don't seem to have Alzheimer's or Parkinson's on our side.  On the not so bright side, my grandma had a ventricular aneurysm and my uncle (her son, my dad's brother) also had PVD.  Long story short, my health has been on my mind this weekend.

I didn't eat much all weekend (and as a consequence was down about two pounds in our Biggest Loser weigh-in today).  They're very much the Standard American Diet.  This is an actual conversation I had with my grandma on Saturday:

Grandma:  I left out the cereal for you for breakfast, and there are bananas on the counter.

Me:  Oh thanks but I can't really eat cereal anymore.  It's the grains, particularly the gluten, they just tear up my stomach and it's already been a little upset the past day.

Grandma:  Well, there's toast if you don't want cereal. 

Me:  Hmm.  Not really all that hungry yet, thanks.

Grandma:  Or waffles, there's waffles in the freezer from when Jordan and Ryan (my cousins) were here.

Me:  I'm good, thanks.  Maybe in a bit.

Not making any of that up.  And yes, as you all know I do eat grains even though I should limit them to tiny miniscule amounts.  But I do better when it's with a lot of protein, like a burger or a sandwich, and not by itself, and definitely not for every single meal.  Consequently, didn't eat much.  Luckily I'd gotten some beef jerky on the drive down so that I wasn't starving.

Also not starving?  My dad's dog Otis, who is part puggle and part I-beam. 

It's tough to really tell from these pictures but Otis is a wide-body.  Like two feet around.  He's not really fat though, he's solid, and he can move.  But he looks like Violet Beauregard's dog.

In other news, I got my first StrideBox today and it is awesome!  (like a hot dog!)  Here's what I got:

  • Two packets of Skratch Labs Exercise Hydration Mix, lemons/limes flavor.
  • A packet of Pocket Fuel, Banana Blueberry flavor.  I bought a couple of these in a different flavor about a year ago for long long run fuel but never got around to trying them.  Still think it's a cool concept though.
  • An Electro Delytes Energy and Electrolyte Citrus Bar.  Sounds good.
  • A PowerICE Frozen, Refreshing Ice Bar with Electrolytes.  This sounds really good. 
  • Blue Steel Sports Anti-Chafe Cream with Tea Tree Oil. 
  • A packet of Lock Laces.  I've always wanted to try these.
  • A Due North Foot Rubz Massage Ball.  The trick will be not letting the cats hide it.

Really glad I signed up with StrideBox.  I love that their motto is Just Keep Running.  Which is similar to mine, Just Keep Swimming.  And of course, Polka Will Never Die.  I still have Kona Kase and Bulu Box coming soon. 

So, now that I'm home I will be cleaning up my diet.  The cupboard is fairly clean at home, I got rid of a lot of things with the last postal carrier's food drive (including two boxes of brownie mix that I didn't need to eyeball any longer).  After my bout with making chicken stock, I really want to make some bone broth.  I've been doing research into what kind of bones, how do it, etc.  You'd think it would be easy but not necessarily.  It's funny, most of the recipes almost skip the first few steps, like they assume you already know how to get to step 4.  But from my first experience trying to make bone broth, where I just threw some raw marrow bones in a pot and cooked the shit out of them, clearly I need those first few steps.  I'm thinking I need to have a chat with the butcher too to get the "right" bones.  If anyone has bone broth recipes/suggestions/links, please please please leave them in the comments.  My tummy thanks you!

the CilleyGirl

Sunday, June 2, 2013

An Unexpected Visitor; A Tough Decision Is Made

Hello everyone!

It's been a weird week.  I felt like I made a big dent in my sleep deficit last weekend with the holiday and all, then slept poorly all week.  Some of it was from a couple of late nights but most were from hitting that point of exhaustion where you end up too wired to sleep.

One of the late nights was from the latest in the Broadway Across Portland series:  Rock of Ages!  What a blast.  If you get the chance to see it, do.  Particularly if you are like me and was in high school in the '80s.  Extremely cheesy and fairly raunchy, it was a fabulous show.  Even though it seems like I'm always feeling off physically whenever a show rolls around, I am so glad I became a season subscriber.  For the upcoming arts season my calendar is pretty full between season tickets for the opera, ballet, and the Broadway series.  Plus there are a few other theatre companies in town that have shows I'd like to catch. 

Friday started early because of a work thing and I was already running on fumes since despite going to bed by around nine the prior evening I could not sleep.  I had some time to burn off at the office so I left a little before four and that night took an extra hit of sleep meds.  Finally got a good night's sleep and even woke up by nine -- very early for me on a weekend.  Part of why I was up so early was the Kitty Crazies; after an hour of being the launching pad and/or wrestling arena as I tried to sleep I gave up and got up and let them go out on the deck to get the rest of their ya yas out.  Was surfing the net and just generally lounging around when girl kitty came in, all spooked.  Like, I couldn't even get her to make eye contact spooked.  It was clear it was something from outside. 

I followed her into the den and picked her up to soothe her, just generally humoring her because what could be so scary from the wetlands?  A really big duck?  I'm cuddling her as I head towards the window and saying just that, "What's the matter kitty, did the big bad birds -- holy crap!"

We had a visitor.

This?  Is a big fucking turtle.

I knew of course that there were lots of birds and frogs in the wetlands and I've even seen one of the resident beavers, but it never occurred to me that there were turtles.  Particularly big ass turtles. 

It's a big fucking turtle mommy!

Pretty sure it's a snapping turtle, which are not native to Oregon.  I've posted my sighting to the Oregon Turtles website.  I think it may have laid eggs down there. 

This looks like a good spot to deposit a family...

It'd be cool if they contacted me.

What is everybody looking at?

So, in other news, I've made a tough decision.  I've decided not to run MCM this year.  There is just no way I could go from zero to under a 14 minute mile marathon in five months, even if I was motivated to try.  And that's the crux of it, the lack of motivation.  I feel like I'm making my way back to it, very very slowly, definitely not fast enough to not get swept even if I did decide to just go for broke and try it. 

I've got a list of what I need to do to run MCM in 2015 and ideally I'll follow that list.  I really want to run this race. 

the CilleyGirl

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Thirteen Things Thursday: The Nipple Edition

1.  One of the phrases I never thought I'd have to say is "Get off my nipples!"  But I say it a lot at home these days.  Girl kitty practically inverted my nipple last night as she walked across me.  I swear, they have nipple radar.  It's not even the claws, it's just that they are big kitties.  I need to start wearing a cup or something, but for boobs.

2.  Been back reading a lot of woo-woo books these days.  Just finished Heather Graham's Bone Island trilogy (although haven't read the prequel with Bartholomew yet) and one of her Krewe books, plus I'm listening to one of Kay Hooper's Bishop/Special Crimes Unit books in my car.  Of the two I'd recommend the Bishop books over the Krewe books, mainly because I find the main romantic relationship in the Krewe books to be somewhat formulaic, but both series are really good.  I'm also catching up on the latest three Nightside books by Simon R. Green, which are just bizarre but a lot of fun.  Definitely read that series in order.

3.  I am sloooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooowly moving back towards a paleo diet.  Like a turtle in peanut almond butter slow, but still.  I've put a hold in at the library for The Paleo Coach, which is written by a local man.  Has anyone read it?

4.  Do you think we would take the Pussy Riot situation a lot more seriously if they weren't, you know, named Pussy Riot?  I find it very distracting.  Maybe it's something completely different in Russian?

5.  I've been somewhat obsessively weighing myself the past several days because my weight just kept going up.  To the point where I thought I had developed some sort of medical condition.  It started going back down today.  Maybe the kittens were standing behind me putting their paws on the scale just to mess with me or something.

6.  I was thinking about going to see The Hangover III this weekend but the reviews are kinda lousy.  Maybe I should wait until it comes out on cable (or RR buys it and brings it to my house!).

7.  Any Sookie fans out there?  I just posted a note for Charlaine Harris about how much I have enjoyed the series and that in my opinion the ending was really the only possible one -- and anyone who has read the entire series should know that.  Did you like the ending?  I do have to say, I am looking forward to the wrap-up book that is coming out this fall, that is supposed to say how everything ended up for everyone in the Sookieverse.

8.  And speaking even more about books, I love that my library system lends e-books.  Hopefully I can get my book budget back under control; it's gone a little crazy with the instant gratification of Kindle.  I do still read paper books too; in fact, was thrilled to spot a new release on the library shelve this week that I've been constantly talking myself out of buying.  I try not to spend more than $7.99 for an e-book unless it's one of about five authors, and that book didn't qualify but I still really wanted to read it.  Now I can -- for free!

9.  I was also absolutely thrilled this week to pay nothing for my birth control pills.   This benefit, thanks to the Affordable Care Act aka Obamacare, had kicked in for a lot of women I know but my plan had to go through its annual renewal this year before I saw it.  Saves me $180 a year.  Clearly, affordable health care is the devil -- ask your Republican congressperson to vote to repeal this actual, not-going-anywhere law, for the 38th time.  Or don't; maybe ask them instead to get off their damn asses and do some actual work for a change?  Voting 37 times to repeal the ACA.  This is your tax dollars at work, people.  Be informed!!

10.  Ah, spring time in the Pacific Northwest.  Which means weather like today -- pouring rain and grey skies.  There used to be this great series of radio commercials where a teacher asked her class to define the difference between something like a cloudburst and a gully washer.  Something that if you grew up here you know exactly what the differences are.  Kind of like partially sunny versus partially cloudy.  Also, everybody in Portland figured that it would rain right now because (a) it's almost Memorial Day weekend and (b) Rose Festival starts up soon.  Guaranteed liquid sunshine!

11.  Not sure if I would want to be climbing Mt. Everest at age 80.  I wouldn't climb it at all actually, acrophobic and all that, but even if I wasn't afraid of heights I don't think I'd try Everest at that age.  I'd love to be able, at that age, to climb Everest.  I just wouldn't do it.

12.  Hmm, a Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage is opening this summer near me.  Anyone ever been to one of these stores?  Curious about selection and prices...

13.  I may need sushi to make it all better.  Because, it does.

the CilleyGirl

Monday, May 20, 2013

And coming in first place in the John Wayne Impression Contest, It's the CilleyGirl!

I have to say, I really do not recommend just deciding to run a half marathon after two months of nearly complete inactivity.  Because it leaves you with tight hip flexors and quads and a sore achilles and a helluva impression of John Wayne. 

"Well hey there Pilgrim..."

Yes, I lurch just a tad to the right at the moment.  I foresee a foam roller and maybe a hot tub and some tequila in my future. 

So, Portland Rock 'n Roll Half! 

Saturday was the expo with my friend Fly and her newlywed hubby.  Sadly, less vendors this year and way less in the way of samples and schwag.  Remember last year when we picked that place clean?

Last year's haul.

Nothing like that this year, nothing at all, unless they handed it all out on Friday.  This year, out of what I had last year I got the lei, the Rock 'n Roll bumper 13.1 sticker, a sample of Perform, a peanut butter Gu (came with the swag bag), and a Boston bracelet.  I could've gotten the Cascadia cereal, a couple of Larabars (two please!  only two!), and a pair of sunglasses.  That's it!  The swag for this year was a lot smaller.  I got a mini Stridebox since I had just signed up a couple of days earlier, which had the best stuff out of everything else I got (which wasn't much).  In terms of gear, I got this year's official jacket plus one of the official race tech tees which I ended up wearing for the race. 

I like this view, gravity is much kinder to me at this angle.
As for the race, did I mention you really shouldn't wing a half marathon? 
I didn't have any race goals until I was standing in my corral waiting for the race to start.  I decided my A goal would be to PR, because really, go big or go home, right?  My B goal was 3:15 or better.  My C goal was just to finish without dying.
I made my C goal:  3:20:20.  Yes, turtles in peanut butter run faster.  Bite me.
I had gotten a temp tattoo pace band from Jamba Juice at the expo for a three hour finish.  Again, go big or go home.  And for the first three miles I was right on target, even including a two minute bathroom break at three tenths of a mile into the race (I went at 7:45, official race start was 8:00 but by the time my corral started I had to pee again).  But at mile 4 we started going up and, well, let me demonstrate why I slowed down so dramatically.

Sorry, Blogger hates me and won't make this any bigger :P
I think by the end I was well into 16 or maybe 18 minute miles.  I developed a hot spot on the ball of my left foot which really started to hurt when I was walking.  It would stop hurting when I ran, but then my left calf would start cramping.  Lady or the tiger running!  So I would walk until I couldn't stand it any more and then run until I couldn't stand it any more, lather, rinse, repeat.  I did run all the downhill no matter what though; I feel obligated to.  Almost nobody else did by that point, which was weird:  It's gravity, people!
But I did finish.  See?

Can you see my massively puffy hands and arms?  Yep, forgot to take any electrolyte tabs before the race and to carry any with me, and the Gatorade on the course was -- as always -- much too strong.  Flashbacks of the 2011 Portland Marathon, I stopped at one sip.  I was carrying 10 oz of Powerade with me, otherwise I hit every water stop and often had two cups at each.  I really missed the electrolytes; somewhere around mile eight I could barely bend my pinky and ring fingers on my left hand.  Right after this picture I plunged my hands into one of the ice tubs where they had the Gatorade (in bottles, much better!). 

In other news, today was our second weigh in for the office Biggest Loser challenge.  We all owed a dollar to the kitty today.  I was up FOUR POUNDS from last Monday.  This, the day after a half marathon, and a weekend where I ate a lot lighter than normal.  Maybe I didn't get enough calories and my body is hoarding everything?  I still feel a few quarters low on fluids.  But still, CHUBB.  Look, here is last year's finisher's photo from a 3:06:36 finish:

Probably about ten pounds lighter here at least and in a helluva lot better shape...

I haven't even posted the worst photo from yesterday's race.  I'm saving that for a later, self-flagellating post. 

Despite everything I still feel a lot better than I should, all things considered, which to me means that I was definitely not giving it my all when I am in shape.  My 5K split from last year was 43:50, this year just a few seconds slower at 44:06 (and with a two minute potty break).  At 10K, last year 1:29:01, this year 1:30:32.  A full minute's pace slower overall this year.  I've got to work on (a) getting in shape and (b) pushing myself more when I am. 

Did you race this weekend?  How did it go?

the CilleyGirl

Friday, May 17, 2013

Because sometimes you just gotta say, "Why yes, I'll have that pink tequila that comes in a bottle shaped like a giant penis."

Isn't it beautiful?  Yes, the bottle is actually slightly lopsided.  This is Asombroso 100% agave tequila, La Rosa Respodo.  Three months Bordeaux barrel rested.  I have no idea what that means either.  Hand bottled in a limited edition bottle, no. 9,406.  It was just sitting there on a shelf by itself in the liquor store, a little dusty but I just HAD TO HAVE IT. 

My precious!

Taste testing starts around 4:30 in the conference room.  Be there or be thirsty!

the CilleyGirl

edited to give you a link to a MUCH better picture of the penis bottle

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Huh? What? Snork? Oh.

Some of you may have noticed that I have no idea what day it is.

I say "may" because nobody has commented on yesterday's post.  Hint, hint.  Which technically should be today's post.  So maybe you're going to comment today, is that it?

Comment whore alert!!

Seriously though, I've been a day off all damn week.  I think even on Monday I thought it was Tuesday.  I'll readily admit to being confused as to what year we're in -- this has to do with my job where I'm often working on a different year's assessments, to the point where I often have to ask myself "Are we in 2013 yet?"  And I also tend to lose track of the date, which is why I have calendars everywhere and a watch that tells me the date and time.  It even tells me the day of the week, which I do need occasionally because damn it, some days it just feels like a Friday.  But my delusions typically do not last this long.  Thursday, Thursday, Thursday, Thursday. 

There, all better now.

I have discovered a new addiction:  Subscription boxes.  Are you familiar with these things?  You pay a monthly fee and people send you various things in a box.  There's themes and everything.  Beauty, babies, food, pets, fitness.  It's the last one that's got me. 

I used to subscribe to KlutchClub, which is a health and fitness box.  I liked it okay, but with the exception of the Yurbuds which made it all worth it, most of the stuff didn't really blow up my skirt.  A lot of it was vegan and gluten-free which, great!  but that tended to translate into "vegan and gluten-free and chock full o' chemicals as a result."  I prefer actual food, thankyouverymuch. 

Today I decided to go looking for subscription boxes.  I knew about Kona Kase from my friend Kim, but wondered what else was out there.  Plenty, as I mentioned above.  I narrowed it down to four:  Kona Kase, Bulu Box, StrideBox, and Runnerbox.  (I could link all of those but it's not like I'd get paid for it and you all know how to Google so knock yourselves out.)  I decided to go with StrideBox and the Bulu Box weight-loss edition, the latter of which I'm thinking I'll end up doing for a couple of months and then cancel as I'm wary of weight loss supplements but am still curious about what they offer. 

I had just finished subscribing to those two, thinking I'd see what they had to offer and then maybe sign up with Kona Kase later, when I'm reading Kim's blog mere minutes later and she's there pushing Kona Kase.  A  Kona Kase Krack Kusher!  (no, that's not getting old)  Long story short, I harrassed thanked Kim for the Kona Kase discount kode and signed up for yet another box.  I had thought I might as well go sign up for the Runnerbox too, but turns out that they charge for shipping -- none of these others do -- so they're not getting my business.  At least not for now. 

I should be getting all kinds of goodies in June.  Hopefully I will like and use them all.  If not, I'm thinking us local runners should get together and have a swap party of whatever we don't like out of boxes.  And all that sounds way dirtier than I ever would've thought. 

There should also be tequila.

the CilleyGirl

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Thirteen Things Thursday

1.  Y'all are just lucky I don't think Thirty Things Thursday is a good idea!

2.  Thanks for all the recent comments!  Amazing how once you stop posting about how crappy you feel all the time, etc., that people are interested to read the stuff that's not about that :)

3.  Speaking of crappy...  I continue to crawl out of the hole I had found myself in.  One of the insidious things about depression is you just don't realize you're in it until you're IN IT.  And often not until you're coming out the other side.  Depression is much better, mostly just a whisper.  Sinuses are good, asthma is under control.  And I finally made an appointment to see a new chiropractor, who hopefully will snap, crackle, and pop me out of this weeks-long headache I've had.  Something feels not quite right at the very base of my skull where the spiny things start.  Plus there's the source of the gigantic knots that my cute massage guy Kyle always finds in my shoulders.   And my low back.  Didn't I say I was feeling better?  I really am, I swear!

4.  Once this pesky persistent headache goes away, it will give me the oomph I need to cut back on my soda habit.  I haven't been horrible, almost always only two a day, but I'm drinking Diet Coke again and that doesn't do good things to my system.  If I can get back to just Pepsi Throwback -- minimal chemicals and real sugar, not HFCS -- then I only seem to want one a day, if that.  I think it's the real sugar that maybe makes it more satisfying?  I don't know.  But it's much easier to drink a case of Diet Coke than even two or three Pepsi Throwbacks.  Not that I want to drink a case... last time I did that there was a fifth of Captain Morgan's Spiced Rum and the Muppet Christmas Carol involved and I woke up at 3:00 a.m. drunk and wired.

5.  Some of the headache could also be from grains.  I've slowly been consuming more and more over the past two months -- ever since I got so sick back in March.  Today my tummy is pointing out just why I don't eat a lot of that stuff typically.  Just this week I've had pasta salad, tortellini with scallops, bacon and mushrooms, burgers, and bagels.  Ugh.

6.  My grandfather isn't doing so well -- early onset Alzheimer's, starting definitely to set in where it's just a matter of time before he will have to go into care -- so I'll be making a high-speed run to Idaho in a few weeks.  I'll have to text Kim to see if she'll be at the airport on those days; we have a tequila bar to check out!

7.  And.... I've completely lost all my motivation for today.  Good thing I'm leaving early for the chiropractor's!

8.  Yep, still no motivation.

9.  I'm having this urge to run a marathon.  Which is good, because I'm running one in five months and two weeks.

10.  The fun thing about going to visit my grandparents is that it's chock full of the Standard American Diet.  Cereal for breakfast.  Toast too if you're lucky.  Sandwich for lunch?  Sure!  And don't forget buttered white Wonder bread with dinner, it really makes the meal.  I tend not to eat much at Grandma's.  Even before I learned that grains were the devil, I was never really a cereal person.  Always a bacon and eggs person.  And I like a good deli sandwich -- I love a great deli sandwich -- but not so much with the sandwiches at home or for school lunch.  It could have something to do with the sandwich-making materials we had at home:  mayo, white Wonder bread, plastic orange cheese, plastic lunch meat.  When I discovered fresh sliced rare roast beef at the deli counter?  Love at first sniff!

11.  That's not to say that Grandma has a horrible diet, just a typical American food pyramid diet.  There's a meat, there's always veggies.  Always leftover veggies too; my grandparents were both born shortly after 1930 and have that Great Depression mentality about waste.  I expect we'll have a frozen pizza or lasagna one night, probably rotisserie chicken the next.  My dad will probably want me to take him big grocery shopping at WalMart, and we'll pick up Burger King on the way back.  I think Grandpa is too sick to go for Chinese food like they (and I too) like to do when I visit.  His Alzheimer's has progressed slowly, it's been at least five years since he was diagnosed but it still seems too soon.  He hasn't had problems remembering people all that much so far, just the mechanics of life, like how to work the microwave or trying to change the channel on the TV with the telephone and vice versa.  I hate this disease.  He's only just 82.

12.  Have I mentioned how happy I am to be going to the chiropractor today?  I think my back knows I'm going because it's busting out all the aches and pains as the day goes on.

13.  In the next few days my coworker and I are starting a 30 day ab challenge.  We're going to do the ab work here in the office.  We may be a while each day.

the CilleyGirl

Monday, May 13, 2013

Things You Learn When Adding to Your Blogroll

I've been looking for new blogs to follow and as I search I'm learning a few things.  Such as:

1.  Everybody has a cute name.  I have yet to see a weight loss or fitness blogger named Ethel or Herman.  I think there may be an unexplored niche here...

2.  I really do not like blogs that are recipe after recipe filled with food porn pictures that aren't also food blogs.  On a weight loss journey and you want to share a recipe you like?  Post a picture, okay maybe two, and then the recipe.  We're just fine without more.  Photos of salt pouring midstream are boring.  And really, other than a commercial food blogger, who has time to do those kinds of posts?  Plus all the food porn makes us hungry.  I'm looking for inspiration, not an appetite stimulant!

3.  As I've mentioned, I do not like the uberly commercial blogs where everything or every other thing is a giveaway.  To me, they lose their authenticity, their voice.  It's hard to have a connection with the blogger when it seems they're telling you a story, only to have it segue into product placement.  "And speaking of nasty toenail fungus that my brother's cousin's uncle once had, Fungaway is a fabulous product!"  Giveaways are great, but don't become one big advertisement.

4.  I do like bloggers who understand that this is all one day at a time for most of us.  Maybe even one second at a time, if we're being honest.  People losing weight who just one day that switch flips for them and they never slip up, ever?  There is one well-known blogger who took charge of himself one day, but apparently never had a setback.  In a year.  Really?  I have loads of admiration for him, but he never quite rang true for me.  This shit is HARD.  Everybody is going to slip up, at least once.  The trick to being successful -- I suspect -- is to pick yourself back up and start all over again. 

5.  Sorry to those who have their blogs laid out this way, but I hate hate hate the ones where there is the post headline with a little blurb then beneath it two columns of headlines with little blurbs.  Why are you making me click?  Why must you hide behind the blurbs?  Why can I not type "blurb" correctly the first time around?

6.  I do like bloggers who are big, as in size.  I can relate.  While I truly admire those who have successfully completed their weight loss journeys, too many of those also morph into the commercial route and, again, lose their authentic voice.  But I found myself searching the 'net, saying "Where are the hefty girls?"  (and boys, I'm not discriminating)   These are the people who inspire me.  If you start a weight loss blog because you have to lose those stubborn 15 pounds, fuck you.  I will kill and eat you.

7.  There are way too many puns about weight loss and healthy living, and they are all somebody's blog title somewhere.  Some are extremely clever and some are.... repetitive. 

After all this, I did find a few great new blogs to read.  I really need some inspiration.  The depression is better though, for which I am very thankful.  Slept about twelve hours or so Friday night but was up later Saturday night and up earlier Sunday morning, got about a "normal" eight hours or so, and I even had the energy to cook and reorganize my garage.  It's been a LONG time since I've felt like that much activity.

We had our first week weigh-in for my office's Biggest Loser challenge.  There are four of us:  one is out of town, the other two gals lost weight, and I . . . gained 1.8 lbs.  I knew it was coming.  Not that I've been eating horrible or anything, in fact I ate rather lightly all weekend although more carbs than I usually have.  But I feel compelled to point out that (a) we're doing our weigh-ins fully clothed, including shoes; (b) I was wearing way heavier clothes today than from a week ago, given that it's about 20 degrees cooler here today; and (c) I start my period this week.  Normally my "official" weight that I do at home is stark nekkid and as empty as I can be.  Oh well.  Next week I'll be back down!

the CilleyGirl

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Thirteen Things Thursday

1.  A brief rant here:  What in the hell makes men think they can treat women like that?  Kidnap your own personal sex slave?  It's beyond wrong, it should be inconceivable -- but apparently not.  And shit like elected officials talking about "legitimate" rape and thinking they have the right to legislate what we do with our own bodies that forms the foundation for evil men like Ariel Castro.  There is a story going on right now in this area about comments a Willamette University frat posted in a  Facebook group.  Other college campuses where reports of rape and sexual assault are deliberately suppressed.  The military.  Stand up for your rights, ladies.  We cannot allow ourselves to be treated like second class citizens -- or worse. 

2.  Girl kitty discovered last night the joy of licking the spout on the Keurig coffee maker.  She is obsessed with this Cafe Caramel coffee I have.  She stole a full K-cup and did her best to eat it.  She will stick her head into my mug if I'm not watching for her.  Now she can get it straight from the source.  Note to self:  Clean coffee maker!

3.  In my Monday post describing my snot situation, I forgot the most important news:  I started a Biggest Loser challenge at the office.  I read about how one blogger's office was doing it and thought it sounded like great motivation -- because it involves money.  How we are doing it is every one participating puts in $20.  We weigh in weekly for ten weeks.  If you gain weight in a week, you put another $1 in the pot.  If you lose weight, nothing.  Person with the greatest percentage of weight loss at the end wins the pot.  And probably buys everybody donuts. 

4.  Slightly bummed (but not surprised) by my starting weight, and then yesterday my clothes were just so snug.  I was grumpy.  Today I realized that Aunt Flo comes to town soon.  So now not so grumpy.  And eating a big cinnamon roll.  Somehow those two things are related, I swear.

5.  Started and finished the new Sookie Stackhouse book last night, which is the final book in the series.  I've read that a lot of people are unhappy with the ending -- won't spoil it for you -- but I think it's the only way it could have ended.  At least an ending that made Sookie happy.  There is another book coming out this fall that is supposed to tell what happened to every one (still living and/or not undead) in the Sookieverse.  I'm looking forward to that. 

6.  My all-time favorite series is Donna Andrews' Meg Langslow series.  I have to admit that if Ms. Andrews ever decides to bring Meg's story to a close we may be looking at Misery - The Sequel.  Seriously though, if you want a well-written, well-plotted mystery, go read her Murder With Peacocks.

7.  On my bucket list is to take a cruise, although I keep reading things that make me think maybe it's not such a good idea.  I am bolstered though by the fact that all of these cruise-ship incidents seem to take place over there  ----> and not in say the cruises to Alaska. 

8.  Did I mention earlier that I made clam chowder last weekend?  It was a lot easier than I thought it would be, and it turned out great.  Not low-cal by any means, but great.  Really good with cheesy garlic toast too.  Which I shouldn't be having.

9.  Sharks.  shudder

10.  Anyone have any good weight loss blogs they want to give a shout out to?  I culled out my reader list the other day, taking out people who haven't updated in months, and now I'm short on motivational stories.  I don't like the overly commercial ones, I prefer peeps like me who are currently overweight but unlike me are actually losing and running and stuff.  Leave me your faves in the comments.

11.  By the way, I didn't eat all of that cinnamon roll.  It was huge and extremely sweet.  I may have the rest tomorrow, else into the trash it goes. 

12.  Allie Brosh is back!  If you've never read her blog, Hyperbole and a Half, it is fabulous.  Go read it now.  Really.  I'll wait.  Are you back?  Isn't it fabulous?  Her post on depression -- I lived that.  For years.  Had a whole year of feeling nothing followed by several years of hating everything interspersed with the desire to do nothing because what is the point?  I'm living with the latter to a lesser degree right now.  It started just before Vegas and is still in full swing.  I would say I hate depression but it seems like too much effort.  I'm spending some time with good friends this weekend and I hope that tips me back the other way, into the land of normal people.

13.  A new tequila bar just opened up at the Portland Airport.  They say it is the largest tequila bar in any U.S. airport.  I'm feeling the need to take a trip...

the CilleyGirl

Monday, May 6, 2013

Monday Musings

I used that title because I can't do another post with "I'm alive!" as the header.  Even though I am.  Alive that is.

Lots going on and it's all trying to kill me, these extracurricular activities.  I've downloaded all my wedding/reception photos but haven't launched them into the Cloud yet so none to post here.  Or to send to the bride.  Eventually I will.  Right now it's too hot to use a laptop.  Makes your lap all sweaty and stuff.

I'm back on a massive dose of antibiotics as well as a daily double dose of nasal steroid spray.  Because why swallow your steroids when you can just snort them directly into your bloodstream?  And yes, injecting your steroids would also go directly into your bloodstream but these aren't those kind of steroids.  These are supposed to make your sinuses smaller.  Not your muscles bigger.  Although I guess those kind of steroids also make your balls shrink so maybe I don't fully understand the whole steroid thing.  Luckily I do not have actual balls, merely metaphysical ones. 

And they're HUGE.

Anyhow.  Sinuses better but me not so much.  Damn antibiotics make me tired as anything.  Plus I may be having a depressive thing.  I took an extra happy pill today to see if that helped.  Eh, maybe 50-50.  Right now I think the heat is sucking any of the energy I have left after taking the antibiotics.  Yes Kim, I am bitching about the heat already.  Some of us don't have air conditioning in our houses so neener.  And, invite me over ;)

Rock 'n Roll Half is in what, two weeks?  Hahahahahahahahahaha.  Yes, I am still doing it.  Should be fun!  Booked my MCM hotel last week, scored a decent deal at $129 a night.  Thinking about booking it for the whole week -- that was their regular rate and it comes with a kitchenette -- just in case my friend's couch ends up not being available.  Now I just have to start training again...

the CilleyGirl

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Normally I'd say I'm still alive but it's a little iffy at the moment...

My last post here was April 2 where I had just missed out on the Hop Hop Half and was mostly over the plague I caught right after Shamrock.  I was finally getting back into the swing of things and looking forward to the Fruit Fly's April 14 Vegas wedding where I was to be a bridesmaid.  Had only a touch of a cough when I boarded the plane on Friday for Vegas....

... and promptly got knocked on my ass by first a massive allergy attack brought on by the dry air/smoke/whatever the hell those scents are they pump into the casinos and then by a series of asthma attacks.  Yes, seems I have developed full blown asthma. 

Remember how at Shamrock I had an asthma attack during the race?  About a year or so after I started running I was diagnosed with exercise-induced asthma.  It's pretty much just what it sounds like, physical activity triggers asthma.  It tends to be particularly triggered by exercise during cold weather.  I've had an inhaler since I was diagnosed and if it were cold out I would take a hit or two prior to running and be fine.  A few months ago my allergist suggested I add Singulair in there as well, which is an asthma med in a pill form that works not to immediately treat the symptoms of an asthma attack but rather help prevent them from happening in the first place.  It's often used when the sufferer also has allergies; I was prescribed Singulair after my last scratch test. 

Also remember how when I got sick last month I was coughing so hard I would vomit?  And also how I said the cough suppressant meds stopped working on day two of being sick?  Apparently that's a sign it's not really a cough cough, but asthma.  While in Vegas, hacking up my lungs and -- bonus!! -- constantly wetting my pants, not like a little leakage but like I might as well have been on the toilet peeing, I came across this article -- I have everything she talks about in there.  Until I read that I had been thinking that my cough was merely a result of post-nasal drip as a consequence of allergies.  Of course I hadn't brought my asthma inhaler with me to Vegas because I hadn't been planning on running.  Dancing down the aisle, yes; running, no.  It also wasn't going to be anything resembling cold in Vegas either.

So, long story short:  The wedding was absolutely beautiful and a lot of fun.  We danced down the aisle to our places.  The minister said some amazing things.  I started to cough in the middle of it all; thankfully the bride was too busy to notice!  (And the mother of the bride knew that I was worried about coughing during the ceremony and told me that if I had to cough to just let it rip -- I love her!!)  And two of the people I care about most in the world are now married. 

Unfortunately, outside of the actual wedding I had a pretty miserable time of it in Vegas because of the whole coughing and peeing thing.  I finally had to buy some major maxi pads so that I could quit washing out my clothes every evening.  I went through so many cough drops -- which didn't really work, because ASTHMA -- I burnt my tongue and couldn't taste my food.  I went to see Cirque du Soleil's KA and had three massive coughing fits and probably peed through to the seat.  I went back to my hotel room to change into post-wedding festivity clothes and had coughing fits where I couldn't manage to draw in the breath to cough (which is incredibly scary when you're all by yourself in another city, I almost decided to go to the ER) so I couldn't celebrate with my friends.  I've promised RR that I will dance my ass off at the wedding reception next weekend to make up for it. 

I should add that of course there were some fabulous memories despite my lungs.  I learned how to lap dance (hello kitty!) and pole dance.  I learned you shouldn't do either of those barefoot or you will get a gigantic blister on your pinky toe.  I had an amazing lobster dinner while I people-watched in the Caesar's Forum Shops.  Our dance down the aisle, which unbeknownst to anyone I had choreographed my little part complete with props.  The ceremony -- if I ever get married, I totally want that minister.  RR's dress was gorgeous and she was gorgeous in it.  My view of the strip from my hotel room.  KA

I checked out of my hotel room on Monday right around noon.  I had about two hours to kill before my airport shuttle so I found a nice comfy chair outside a little food court area where I could read a book and watch TV.  I checked my facebook feed and started seeing people asking about Boston, then the report broke into ESPN on the TV about the bombing.  Unbelievable.  My heart goes out to those involved.  I can just imagine how massive security will now be at MCM this October.  I'm too sick to run for Boston today with everyone else, but I'm with them in spirit.

I'll get some Vegas pics up in the next few days.  I go to the doctor tomorrow to beg for something like Cipro.  Did I mention I have a major sinus infection underneath all of this?

the CilleyGirl

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

When last we left our heroine...

... she had just run the clusterfuck that was the 2013 Shamrock Run.  Yay!

I got word yesterday that medals are in the mail, hopefully mine will be here today.  They're changing up a few things next year that hopefully will make things run more smoothly.  Because I will be running the 2014 Shamrock.  If you run and you live in Portland, you almost have to do it.   C'mon RR, you know you'll be doing it too!

Anyhow, I pulled 15K out of my ass and was feeling a lot better post-race than I probably deserved.  Race was Sunday, Monday I felt like I'd ran 9.3 miles but nothing unusual except a twinge in my right Achilles that had me worried for that weekend's Hop Hop Half.  By Tuesday though the twinge was nearly gone which would have been fabulous if I hadn't woken up with the fucking plague.

Yep, I caught that particularly nasty crud that has been going around for months.  And that shit lingers.  I dragged myself through work that Tuesday but was out Wednesday and Thursday wishing I were dead.  Friday I had to come in and the ten hour day I put in triggered a relapse.  No Hop Hop Half for me :(  Seriously seriously seriously fucking BUMMED to miss that race.  Well, to miss the medal.  I did get to fondle RR's medal and nearly pulled her into my lap to bring it closer.  My precious!  RR, please leave that medal to me in your will upon your death, pretty please with tots on top?

Anyhow.  Spent the weekend being a lump on the couch and missing Hop Hop.  Monday I bailed on work again because did I mention this shit lingers?  Had to be back in on Tuesday and long story short (too late!) it wasn't until Friday that I was finally feeling better.  Summer briefly visited Portlandia this past weekend with temps in the low 70s; I spent my weekend as a slightly more animated lump on the couch with many less interludes of unconsciousness or of wetting my pants/throwing up because I was coughing so hard.  Now I'm mostly better but there's POLLEN everywhere.  But I will be running again soon.   Rock 'n Roll Half is just not all that far away.

Hope everyone is doing well and plague-free!

the CilleyGirl

Monday, March 18, 2013

The 2013 Shamrock 15K Race Recap: Oxygen Optional

Well, I made my C goal: I finished the damn race. 

Sadly did not make my B goal of beating my worst time for this race, which had been 2:17:02.  I wasn't all that far off though -- official finish time 2:18:50. 

The day turned out to beautiful, non-Shamrock weather but oh so much craziness with this race.  I made RR awfully nervous by my slow amble to the start.  Happily she did not throw up -- well, not then at least -- and we split up as RR and 2Fish wanted to start farther up the pack.  I think I ended up in the second to last wave start for the 15K. 

Avg Pace
Summary 2:18:48.4 9.43 14:43
1 13:02.5 1.00 13:03
2 13:34.6 1.00 13:35
3 15:20.8 1.00 15:21
4 16:11.1 1.00 16:11
5 16:38.2 1.00 16:38
6 16:19.5 1.00 16:20
7 14:02.8 1.00 14:03
8 14:14.2 1.00 14:14
9 13:42.3 1.00 13:42
10 5:42.4 0.43 13:11

The first two miles were fast for me.  Particularly the first one because within minutes after starting I had to cough which triggered my gag reflex so there I am, not even a half mile into the race, doing that almost vomiting thing on the curb.  And to make it more fun, for some reason I was being closely followed by two police cars for the longest time.  I think they were on their way past the turnaround point on Naito but they were freaking me out. 

Anyhow.  Around 2.5 miles in, I remembered that I have exercised induced asthma.  That is particularly triggered by cold weather.  And it was around 35 degrees that morning.  Yes, asthma attack and I had completely spaced taking any asthma meds before the race or bringing my inhaler with me.  For the next seven miles, I managed maybe four deep breaths.  The rest of the time I tried not to hyperventilate.  That was at the base of Broadway where the uphill starts.  We finally get to go downhill during mile seven where I was able to make up some time but having such problems breathing that I was hard-pressed to run for any length of time.  Yet I still did a lot better than I should have for zero training and conditioning.

At the finish line, all was FUBAR.  Seems the volunteers didn't get the message that only the 15K runners get the medals, so they ran out about 1:50 into the race.  You know, when the bulk of the people are finishing.  The volunteers started handing out medals to all of the racers, or else they were taking them out of the unattended boxes of medals.  People were seriously pissed.  They ran out of beer about an hour later and nearly started a riot. 

I'm feeling decent today, like I ran 9.3 miles yesterday but not really any worse than that.  Did I learn anything from this experience?  Other than "take my asthma medication" I guess I didn't because..... Sunday is the Hop Hop Half Marathon.  Should be fun!

the CilleyGirl