Monday, June 30, 2014

Endorphins and Stupid Pet Tricks

Exercise is finally beginning to feel good again.  I was doing so well, but then I quit and lost whatever strength/flexibility I'd built up, and pretty soon I was back to feeling like crap.  Which is always a crap place to start.  But I did start.  I've finally managed to learn something from the huge heaping pile of failed attempts, and it's this - doing something small consistently is better than doing nothing while you plan something big.  The last few weeks have been a monotonous, heel-slamming, jaw-grinding trudge, and I could SWEAR someone was setting the timer back every time I blinked, but finally on Sunday, I broke through the "oh, fuck this" barrier and made it into Endorphin Land.  Feet no hurt!  Exhilarated!  Leg muscles awake.  Hip muscles awake.  Arm muscles holding up weights totally awake.  Happy-puppy-at-the-park sensations flowing through limbs.  I spontaneously kicked the speed up a few notches and broke into a slow jog.  Which was the universe's cue to jerk my leash.

Turns out the belt on the treadmill is just loose enough that if your foot hits it at the wrong angle, it slides FORWARD a fraction of an inch - just enough to throw off your balance and create a panicky, disoriented, "we're falling!" sensation that absolutely feels like you're about to be swept under the treadmill and spun around repeatedly like a cartoon steamroller victim.  Your arms flail.  Your mostly deaf, kinda blind, borderline paraplegic dog, who has been watching you perplexed the whole time - she's going for a walk without me, and yet she's still here - notes your distress and begins barking frantically to alert other dogs in the area who might be able to help.  Asshole the Wonder-Cat wanders in to to see what all the ruckus is.  He sees Handmaiden #2 tilting precariously atop the whirring Dog Frustrator.  She looks terrified.  It gives him a ghost of a tingle where his nuts used to be.  He weighs the enjoyment of watching her fall against the enjoyment of rubbing his own agility in Dog's face, and somewhere, in his sinister, sadistic, selectively functional cat brain, it clicks that jumping ONTO the belt might kill two non-cats with one stone.  He sashays casually up onto the side-rail and balances there, then plants a paw on the movey part.  Immediately, he regrets his choice, despite the pleasantly crestfallen face on Dog and the shriek of confirmation from above.  He does not like this ride.  At all.  The human's foot is nearby, so he pounces on it as a handy safety buoy, all claws out. 

You drop the handweights and grab the handrails until you can safely pull the "all systems STOP" magnetic key off its panel and bring this runaway fitness train safely to a halt.  And the whole time, all you can think of is the first night you tried out your Wii Balance Board, and had to take your silly little balance assessment to get started.  It seemed so simple.  Insulting, even.  Beneath you.   You'd stood there while Dancy the Talking Wii Square did its calculations, and confidently thought, "Well, I balanced the shit outta THAT.   Maybe I suck at situps and jogging, but I'm a goddam Samurai WARRIOR at not moving.  If that's a feat of strength, I should probably start  figuring out what to wear when I secretly brief the President."  And then the Wii square came back all full of high-pitched condescension and Special Olympics high-fives, and said, "Awwww.... do you fall down a lot?"

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Sherwood's Little Eskimo: Random Ice Nuggets from the Void of Trite Angst

I can't be bothered to arrange these in any kind of cohesive theme tonight, but it's too much to tweet.

Sometimes, I read NorthierThanThou's tweets about Alaska, and I'm all, "I should totally go to Alaska.  Like, super-north, polar, so-fucking-cold-your-period-comes-in-cubes Alaska.  I bet it's never too warm to fall asleep.  I bet you never have to take a cool shower just to REACH sleeping temperature in your stuffy room.  And so few people.  More reindeer than people, I bet.  I mean, sure, some of them would be stupid (people, not reindeer), just like here, but even if it's proportionately the same, in Alaska, there'd be much more space between me and them. Just space...solitude....peace and quiet...and bears.  I'd love Alaska."  And then I'll feel a flash of Heather Duke come over me, and all I can think is, "We'll all miss... Sherwood's little Eskimo." and I shake it off quickly, before I get an urge to start underlining passages in Moby Dick.

University Hospitals Dermatology called me today to schedule an appointment to "have that mole looked at."  Kinda freaked me out... not because of fear and mortality and that little-kid voice we ALL have inside us now, saying "It's probably a tumor" (thank you SO much, Kindergarten Cop).  Mostly, it freaked me out because I never even called them.  I mentioned it in passing during my check-up, and she referred me, and they called.  I have never experienced actual follow-up, before, and somehow, the prospect of being handled with competence and professionalism is daunting.  Shit, these people have their act together.  They might actually get around to finding something.  I was just going to swab it with peroxide, which is how I treat everything, including hangovers and flat tires.  It didn't even concern me that much, but it DOES seem to be getting more... prominent, and I'm pale, I've sunburned a lot in my life, and it's the only mole I have, and I thought it was a freckle but it's not flat anymore and YEAH, okay it concerns me.  Still... not like I made the appointment just for that.  "Mole" was way down my "It's no big deal, BUT..." list, somewhere after "my eyelashes seem awfully loud when I blink" and "the needle fairies prick me all over when I think about birds."  To be honest, if I was expecting any random healthcare solicitations, it would have been from a psychiatrist.

Eventually, I WILL get back on the ball with Cannonball Read, I swear.  Slowly making my way through Travis McGee, and enjoying it, but by the time I get home now, it's just too easy to stare dumbly into the middle distance (like every tired, bored, vaguely dissatisfied middle-aged beige person I've ever met).  When I do read, it's stuff that is too boring to ask anyone to contend with in a review... it's so lifeless I'm almost ashamed to even admit to reading it, like it should be shoved under my mattress. Software programs.  Employment Law.  Government regulatory opinion letters.  Yes, it's true.  I have become the sort of person who awaits her new issue of Banality Digest.  That is my life now: Section C, Paragraph 4, Clause 2, Subclause 2(c).4.  Ugh.  Some days, I don't feel too bad about it, but other days, I think I should have done WHATEVER it took to stay out on the road, up to and including "public access reality show" or "gelatin mule."  (I shit you not, start-up reality show WAS an offer, and the only reason I said no is, I figured, if someone on CraigsList invites you to get on a houseboat with a bunch of people, and you go, and you die, you can't really blame anyone but yourself.)

I'm not ungrateful.  It's lovely being able to pay bills again.  And truly, it's nice to have a job where I'm actually considered a professional at something besides making someone else look good (nothing against the someone elses).  Every once in a while, I actually feel like I helped someone, and that's nice, too.  It's just... okay, guess I AM a little ungrateful.  Working sucks.  Beige sucks.  Policy manuals suck.  Stay a child for as long as you possibly can.

Monday, February 3, 2014


Okay, to be fair.... it's not like anyone is making my bed, bringing me a breakfast tray or getting Don Budge to give me tennis lessons (which is a shame, because right now I think I could beat him).  It would actually be pretty creepy - and legally actionable - if my boss came in to draw my bath (for both of us, I suspect).  And it's not like I've ever had to scrub the floors, or room in a tomb.

STILL... someone else is ordering lunch, and stocking paper clips, and routing calls, and sorting mail, and changing toner.  And when you're so used to doing that and suddenly you don't have to... it makes a girl feel positively redheaded about the whole thing.

Dionne and Me Are Gonna Be Psychic Friends.... I Totally Saw the Future!!

Don't let me get all braggy, but..

From earlier blog post: If fate has the sense of humor I'm hoping it does, now is the time when I will land a decent job and immediately devote 95% of my waking hours to being amazing at it.  Which means the other 5% is going to be crazy busy between reading and tutoring, NEITHER of which I will give up (I've already slept enough to get me through my mid-40's; I'm good for a while - just keep the Crystal Light Energy cheap).

Did I or did I not call it?  ;)

I'll be back soon!  Just gettin' a rhythm...  it's been a long damn time since I've spent this much of my day productively.

Monday, January 20, 2014

So Ends The Year of Living Langourously...

...well, not EXACTLY languorously.  Between job-searching and fruitless interviews, there was a lot of buzz-killy "I am such a piece of #$##$^, never ever going to get hired again in this economy, behold the walking scared-straight story for little underachieving schoolchildren, what the hell am I going to DO next month when the car payment is due again" drama.  Without family, I'd have sunk a lot lower a lot sooner, and grateful as I am, the whole being-a-worthless-drain-on-them is a depressing guilt trip of its own.  But yeah... judging from the amount of dust on my "good" clothes - interview ensemble excluded - I'd say languorous, at least from a laundry perspective.  But no more.  Time to wash the lucky sweater, get my bathroom back in shape for express-lane use, and organize the "good(er)" bag, because... someone's going back to work tomorrow.

(albeit with less Aqua-Net than this)

Friday, January 17, 2014

The flats worked!

I imagine the conversation in HR went something like this: "Smith!  Hire that woman immediately.  She'll spot imminent danger to our shoulder blade area, and alert us."