Friday, October 15, 2010

This post is probably going to be too much information, but oh well.

I am in the middle of trying to ride my exercise bike for 1000 miles in pursuit of a better butt. I have one friend (female) who says I have a pretty darn good butt to begin with, but I think we all know my stance that it is larger than I would like it to be. It is a decent shape at the moment - more curvy than blob-ish - but in my opinion, it could still use some work. My cycling friend says it takes 1000 miles to get a cyclist butt, so I'm going to try riding 1000 miles in the hopes of getting said cyclist butt.

I am about 92 miles in. Not as far as I had hoped to be by now, but I have motivation problems from time to time. Though in my own defense, how many of you have ridden almost 100 miles on your bikes in the last month? Probably more than I want to think about, but in my mind, you are all sedentary so my little bit of effort puts me in the "above average" category. I need that to keep going, even if it's not true.

But the really irritating part about it is that the seat of my exercise bike is not horribly comfortable. As in, if I ride two days in a row, I can feel it. That spot right where the butt joins the leg, kind of on the inside of the leg, right in a spot where you don't want to have to think about it and you certainly can't go up to your friends and point to it and say, "It hurts right here." But it hurts. Right there. Almost like I need to develop callouses or something. Which is irritating because I'd like to be able to ride two days and take a day off and ride two days and so on, but if there is pain involved, I tend to not ride. Crazy me. And I don't really want to develop callouses there. Callouses there would automatically remove me from the "better butt" category.

Anyway. That's what is irritating me today. It hurts. Right there.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

I have a gray hair and I love it. I was a bit mesmerized by it on my way in to work this morning. It comes from somewhere behind my left ear and if you weren't looking for it, you probably wouldn't find it. But it is there. All by itself. I was trying to see if the texture of my gray hair was significantly different from the texture of my non-gray hairs, but it's kind of hard to tell with such a small sample size. See, I have (as my mother puts it) one of the all time great heads of hair. I really do. It is crazy soft and catches sunlight really nicely and I have a lot of it and it holds a curl well and I have this idea in my head that when I go gray, I will go silver like my great aunts and how beautiful will that be! My super soft, silky hair in a sparkling silver color. But I know that when hair goes gray, it can change in texture and become more coarse, which could get in the way of my dreams of being an absolutely stunning older lady, so I was trying to test the texture, but I can't tell quite yet. In any case, I have a gray hair and I love it. I almost wish the rest of my hair would turn so I could see what it looks like. If I don't like it, I can always put color back in. But trying to get the color out so it is silver isn't something my stylist can do. Trust me. I've asked.

And it's also rainy today, but in that comfy "I should be at home curled up in a chair with cocoa and my cat and a good book" kind of a way. On Saturday, for probably the first time, as I was clearing my breakfast dishes, I felt like my new apartment is my home. And today with the rain, I am fantasizing about being in my home, all snuggly and warm.

And I'm also wearing one of my favorite outfits today, so there's something else to feel good about.

For a Wednesday, today isn't starting out too badly.

Friday, October 08, 2010

I cut my wrist yesterday.

NOT WHAT YOU ARE THINKING! I promise, it was totally innocent and completely accidental.

I got home after picking up my car and went to go in through the back door, only to remember that I had latched the hook and eye latch on my back screen door. Apparently, the guy who lived there before me used to do this a lot, too, because he cut a hole in the screen just big enough to reach through and undo the latch. The latch was a little stuck, though, and when I finally pushed up with enough force to undo it, the screen scratched up my wrist. Not knowing what kind of whatever might be on the screen, I went inside and washed the scrape a lot and then put Neosporin and a band-aid on it to try to keep it from getting infected. I re-bandaged it (with more Neosporin) this morning after my shower. And now I feel a little silly walking around with a bandage on my wrist, covering up a nice, long scratch. This was not a cry for help, people. This was me being too lazy to go outside, walk around the building, and go in the front door.

I am a little concerned about what was on the screen, though, 'cuz the scratch kind of hurts.

On the up side, I got my car back and the driver's side door opens and closes like anything. Hooray! I can go back to my usual blissful ignorance about how my car works and just drive it for a while. Grocery store, here I come!

Thursday, October 07, 2010

So I moved into a new apartment just over a month ago and for the most part, I love it. Last night, I stood in the middle of my kitchen and twirled around with my arms stretched out just because I can. But anyway.

My car is in the shop getting new hinges put on the driver's side door so hopefully it won't fall off again. Why it takes three days to do this repair, I'm not exactly sure, but it does, so I am without a car for three days (starting yesterday - I should hopefully get it back tomorrow). Which means I have to take the train to work.

In my old apartment, I was about a block away from the train station. Super crazy convenient, but still far enough away that "train noise" wasn't a big part of my life. In my new place, I am about a half mile away from the train station. Still pretty convenient, and my new train station is farther along the line than my old station, so basically, I had no idea how long it was going to take me to get to work on the train yesterday morning. I got up a little early and hurried out the door by 6:54am. I just barely missed the 7:03 train and jumped on the 7:08 train instead. Got off at my stop around 7:30, walked into the office by 7:42. The same time I normally get in when I drive. Nobody at work would have known I had taken the train if I hadn't told them (which I don't think I did 'cuz it's really not important). And this morning, I was in the same basic pattern, but I left my house at 6:58, got the 7:07 train, and walked into my office at 7:44am. Train schedules in Chicago are not exact.

I have a coworker who takes the train every day - he does not own a car. And just about every day, he comes in somewhere between 9:10 and 9:25am. His day is supposed to start at 9. (He knows when he wakes up in the morning how long it will take him to get to work (approximately), yet he is late four out of five days a week.) My day is supposed to start at 8. We're both supposed to stay until 5.

Does this strike anyone else as lopsided?

It strikes me as lopsided. So I started leaving around 4:45. If I walk into the office at 7:45, I think I'm within my rights to leave at 4:45 - that's nine hours I spent at work. The funny thing is, when I started leaving nine hours after I showed up, my coworker started showing up later and later. And one day, I stayed until just after 5 because I had a lot to do, which means I got to see him leave at 4:56. He got in at 9:25 that morning and left at 4:56pm. That's about seven and a half hours, compared to my nine plus.

Please note that I have nothing against this coworker as a person. He is a very nice person. The only reason this is even an issue for me is we have very similar job titles, which would seem to merit similar treatment in the workplace, but very obviously does not in this particular case. And I also bring this up as a sort of tip for employers - if you have two employees with similar job titles and/or descriptions who are treated in a significantly different manner from one another, you are, essentially, telling the one employee that his or her time or work obligations are not as important as the other person's. And to continue to let it happen, even when made aware of the situation, reinforces the one employee's belief that you really just don't care.

Just a tip.
I've been grumpy and feeling lost and I'm kind of tired of it, so I'm trying a few things to give myself the old kick in the pants (so to speak) and get my butt motivated to, well, improve my butt.

You'll notice that I've changed the layout of this blog. I think it was time to brighten it up and make it...happier. The dark thing with dots was a dark thing with dots. Now I have dandelions and it looks like nature, but without being pretentious about nature. At least that's what struck me about this template. It looks like fun nature. So that's one thing.

I signed back up for the nutrition and fitness tracker I used last year to lose about 14 pounds. I've put just about all of the weight back on (though it came back on differently than I lost it, so my old "fat clothes" don't fit right either and I'm kind of annoyed that none of my clothes are flattering on me at the moment) and that has made me grumpy. I do love to eat cupcakes. And I don't want to spend the rest of my life obsessing about whether or not it's okay to eat 13 grapes instead of my usual 12. But I know I'm overeating and I know it's not all healthy stuff and I know that puts me in a mood. So since I'm ready to get out of the mood, I'm going to try to do something about it again. Eat healthier. More exercise. A better butt in 2011.

I want to blog more. I am realizing that I kind of miss this. It's a good creative exercise for me. I think I got a little scared of it because there were a few posts that I wrote that offended people. I understand that. Those posts were, however, written in a very dark place out of a need to get that out of me (or maybe as a cry for help) and the fact that people got offended by my unhappiness is a little upsetting. Makes me not want to share. But this really is my blog. My place to say the things on my mind. If you find it offensive, you don't have to read it. I need to write it, though, and I need to be able to express myself here without fear of pissing someone off. I know the pissing off will happen, but I need to write anyway, if that makes sense.

Which brings me to "The Social Network" and "Catfish." I saw both of them in the same day, back to back. I was a little surprised at how much I related to this portrayal of Mark Zuckerberg. It was kind of one of those "dork does something to try to stop being a dork, but despite his success, he's still essentially the same person and therefore, still a dork" things. Like when I was little and I would go to other girls' birthday parties, I would see the guests fight over who got to sit next to the birthday girl and whose present she should open first and blah blah blah blah. They all made a fuss. At my birthday parties, my friends did not fuss over who got to sit next to me or whose present I should open first. They just didn't. I don't know if it was my friends or if it was me. I remember thinking every year that I should invite an odd number of people to my birthday parties so that including me, there would be an even number of people there, hopefully ensuring that I would have someone to talk to. It's sad that an eight year old would think that way, but I did. And I feel like I have done many things to put myself out there and become more sociable and more approachable than I was when I was eight, but I don't know that I will ever be the sort of person who gets fussed over. So I kind of felt for Zuckerberg in that respect.

But the big thing I took away from these two movies is that a person's online persona can be anything and you often have to be careful what sort of relationships you start with the people you meet on the web. And I started to wonder about my own online persona. I don't think I have tried to present myself as anything other than what I am, but it is possible that I am seen as something different. When I write these posts, I write them in my voice. When you read them, you read them in your voice. Something I intended as sarcastic and funny might be read as bitter and harsh. Such is the nature of online communication. But it does make me want to cut some people some slack. People who I know largely through their online communications. What I know of them is what was running through their heads for five minutes on a random Tuesday. I don't know what the rest of their Tuesday was like because I wasn't there. I don't know how much editing went into the post or if was totally stream of consciousness. Just because I read someone's blog does not mean I know what is going on with them in their life. Just like you, my dear readers, I love that you come here and read my brain droppings, but they are selective tidbits. I hate to say it, but you don't know the whole story. I love it that you read - please continue to do so. But reading my blog doesn't mean you know what's going on in my life.

That sounds mean. I don't mean to be mean. It was just something I was thinking about after watching those two movies.

But anyway, back to getting healthy.

I am going to get back on my exercise bike.
I am going to go on my adventure that I've been meaning to go on for a week and a half now.
I am going to cook more.
I am going to eat better.
I am going to say one nice thing about me to me every day.
I am going to do one thing every day to try to further my artistic career.
I am going to do my best to not let the little things get to me.

And in the immediate future, I'm going to get some more tea.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

So I have some thoughts on suffering, largely because I read an article about the failed Times Square bomber who was sentenced to life and he said that he was defending himself in the name of the suffering of his people, or some such thing. Which made me wonder if there is a people on this planet who have not suffered. At all. Over anything.

Jews have suffered. Muslims have suffered. Africans have suffered. Europeans have suffered. Asians have suffered. Native Americans have suffered. Central Americans have suffered. Pagans have suffered. Christians have suffered. Women have suffered. Men have suffered. Children have suffered. South Americans have suffered. Hell, the Mayans and Incas suffered so much they don't exist anymore.

I know I'm being kind of blase about this, and I don't mean to compare the suffering of one people to the suffering of another. All I'm saying is that pretty much everyone has suffered because of something. So is it really fair to go blow up a city block because your people suffered? Guess what? I will bet you dollars to donuts that if he had been successful in blowing up Times Square, he would have killed a half-dozen Muslim people, at least. Because New York is a very diverse city. So the way he decides to get retribution for his people who have suffered is to kill them? His own people? Who suffered? Yes, others would die, too, but really? Who makes that leap of logic? It is also possible that walking through Times Square that morning would have been a lawyer who was fighting for the right to build a community center with a room in which Muslims could pray two blocks away from ground zero (or some such similar situation, because the community center thing wasn't on the table yet when he did his attempted bombing, I don't think, but there are always human rights groups lawyers running around, right?). So in addition to killing his own people to get retribution for the suffering of his own people, he would be killing his friends.



Is this the best you can come up with?

I understand pain, believe me, I do. Maybe not the same pain as that guy (who was living a very nice life in Connecticut before he went and trained with the Taliban who paid him nice sums of money and provided him with the tools he would need to carry out his plots), or as the Islamic nation, or as the homeless guy I walked past at lunch. But there has been pain in my life. Trust me on that. But never once have I wanted to kill my family or friends because of it. Never once has that pain made me think, "you know what, I've suffered so I think I need to go make other people suffer, too." I don't understand that. I just plain don't understand that line of thinking. In fact, when I'm having those self-pitying days or those curled-up-in-a-ball-sobbing-uncontrollably-wishing-it-would-all-just-be-over days where I might start to feel destructive, I stop and think about how my actions might hurt someone else, who is maybe already having a bad day, and how they really don't deserve that and maybe I should call them to see if they are having a bad day and if they are, I should lend a sympathetic ear but then I don't 'cuz I wouldn't be a very good conversationalist right now and then I feel guilty for not being a better friend and I decide to eat ice cream. Not to blow up a city block.

How about instead of "can't we all just get along," we say, "can't we all recognize the fact that humans have a rather sordid history and while I don't necessarily agree with your ideology, and you probably don't agree with mine, you, personally, seem like a very nice person and you have never held me captive in a bamboo pen and poked stinging nettles into my eyes, so let's just call it a day, huh?"

A little harder to put on a rally sign, but I think you get the point.