Friday, December 31, 2010
Wonderland Marble. A little out-of-business ... marble shop? A whiteish (once white), old, small, one-level building, with a small parking lot, and a chainlink fence surrounding the whole thing, weeds growing along the edges.
What made me love it, what made me look for it almost every drive, and feel regretful if I forgot, was the statue in the front corner of the parking lot, behind the chainlink fence. I only got a few quick glimpses of it on each drive home because of where it was positioned. I always wanted more; I thought about trying to pull over and park somewhere, but never did. I couldn't see the statue on the drive in; it was just past an intersection on Route 1A, a busy 4-laner, right where you were picking up speed for one of its straight stretches.
I feel stupid saying it, but I'm not positive what the statue was. It was white, or once white, like the building. I think it was one of those sad-faced Madonna types, looking downward. Or it could've been an angel. But I think it wasn't. It was something female, noble looking, looking downward. I loved it. The closed, faded, run-down-ness of the building, once a presumably thriving business, with only a marble figure left to bear witness to the glory days. And had she always been there? Alongside the busy highway, a silent, effective advertising for the business? Or was she placed there as the business closed? A final farewell, a desire to not let her gather dust in a forgotten building, with no eyes to see her?
Somehow, I loved all of it. The name Wonderland Marble itself -- incredibly straightforward as a business name, like Boston Hardware, yet completely poetic because of the very words. "Wonderland" as a name of a town, or is it an area?, never ceases to cause a sense of, well, wonder in me, all the more so since I've never seen anything in Wonderland to cause any wonder ... except for our marble statue.
And I loved this beautiful, graceful statue, up against a chainlink fence and weeds, alongside the rushing highway and unseeing eyes, backed up against the now-closed Greyhound racing track, across the street from the Wonderland T station, filled with streaming commuters each morning, and the Wonderland Ballroom, another relic from another time.
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Sunday, November 14, 2010
Things I want to talk about:
Wonderland Marble -- oh, really, this one. Really.
The heartbreak of my newspaper cancellation -- and a sweet saving grace
My new feud w/ the Brookline parking people ... accusing me of something I didn't do and then not believing me...! ! ! The indignation!
So, apparently I now post previews, and we all hold our collective breath for the posts to follow....
Monday, October 25, 2010
Overcast sky, the river more than just silent, empty -- devoid. But still reverberating under the silent air are the weekend's sounds: rowers' cries, panting breaths, clashing oars, cox'ns calls, announcer's amplified words, spectators' screams. You can feel it in the air still, not fully dissipated.
Shells of white tents, empty of bodies, chairs, merchandise, food and drink, line the river. The bright-blue-and-white Head of the Charles banner still hangs from Cambridge Boat Club, but the finish line banner is gone.
I have the river almost to myself, an unsurprising fact I discovered a few years back, and now it is a bit of a tradition for me to row the course on my own, feeling the energy of the weekend draining as the river reclaims itself in silence and calm water.
On the way back, I see the beautiful blue heron who graces our river. Long-legged, dignified, shadows of blue and grey. I stop when I see him, let Pepper drift, realize we are the only souls on the river. Well, us and the ghosts of the Charles....
Sunday, October 17, 2010
More trees are looking gorgeous in their fiery fall finery (how could I resist that sequence?), we've had frost warnings, the building's radiators are most definitely on, gazing at a week's forecast, I'm now seeing highs in the 50s ... and I'm starting to freak about Pepper's miles (ah-gain). Yes, it's definitely fall.
Next weekend, Head of the Charles, yi. No racing for me this year, and I'm all right w/ that. I'll be on the course all weekend, soaking it up, screaming for Riverside at every blue-and-white stripey blade that goes by. Good times.
Happy Fall, y'all (it rhymes!).
Saturday, October 16, 2010
First link is still photos from my gym's FGB. Mercifully, I am barely featured! But they give a nice slice of the intensity.
If you want more, and more live action, here's a link to videos that gyms around the world made of their FGBs:
The fundraising went amazingly, to which I credit all you fantastic folks! My goal was $250; y'all stepped way the hell up and donated $740. ! ! Money well spent for some great causes. Thank you all so much, donators and not alike, for all your support, always.
Oh yeah, and I did the harder version (v glad I did) ... and my grand total was 199. Which made me laugh. Really? I didn't have one more rep in me?? Course, you don't know your score til after, but a good reminder/fuel for next time....
Sunday, October 10, 2010
No tears spilling over how much I miss daily posting. Goes without being said.
What's new is fall. Here, most definitely. Trees are beginning to turn, one gorgeous red-leafed spotting so far, but just the one. Crispness underlies the air, even in the warm sun. Last night, a frost warning, lows in the high 30s. Also, the great fall marker: Head of the Charles season -- the banners are up at the bridges, making it official.
This morning was the second "Head of the Kevin," my club's awesome pre-HOCR race series, featuring a complex scoring system in which everyone races for points against the time standard for their event at HOCR. The Heads of the Kevin (named after their founder, who still runs them) are always grand fun, everyone gets really into it and smack talks all over our email list, there's a big breakfast spread after each one ... it's all generally excellent.
This one was particularly great for me as I got to race in it -- our masters 8 needed a sub, so in I went. Heading out my front door at 5:50, the stars were bright overhead, which made me smile. I do miss the consistent early team-rowing mornings, if not the sleep deprivation. No racing for me since last HOCR, so I was a little worried about, you know, dying, but it was fun! I mean, really painful fun in which you're gasping for breath and knowing you can't keep going except you do ... fun!
Every year, HOCR season plays out a little differently for me, and I never know in advance just how it's going to be. This year, it's not looking highly likely I'll race. It's possible, if I make weight, that I could race in a lightweight 4+. If. I've never made weight while lifting, and since I sure wasn't about to stop CrossFit, and the boat is iffy/not clear how it'll come together/definitely a "jump in and go" kind of thing ... I'm giving it a shot, but can't say I'm in the weight-loss business full heart and soul. Which I may need to be. But, I'm trying. That's all I can ask for. We start practices tomorrow, which means no sweep rowing for a year then BOOM! Go! Daily practices! Early in the o'dark mornings! Should be interesting.
Sunday, September 26, 2010
HOW I MISS YOU!!
And how I fear that's the only thing I'll manage to write, whenever I can scrimp a minute, hunched over my computer, already past my hour to get a full night's sleep, which is no way to start a week (and I don't want to hear it from any medical residents!). Not sure what to do with the feeling that my best may not be good enough. Obviously, it is, and it's (shocker) all I can do. And yet....
On a happier note, I will say Fight Gone Bad on Saturday was AWESOME! Much greatness. A workout to nearly kill you, then many hours of screaming and cheering for others going through the same pain. And great to remember those we're doing it for -- all those who are fighting much harder battles than that one....
Sunday, September 19, 2010
The update from the last post is that this fundraising business, which is quite hard for me, has gone beyond-wonderous-imaginings wonderful. I am so fortunate to have so many compassionate and splendid beings in my orbit. I definitely surpassed my goal of $250, am now up to $470. So wonderful.
Suce is purring next to me on the couch, I have candlelight and Deep Forest playing, and some tasty tofettes , now devoured. Yep, it's past bedtime; you didn't expect anything different.
One more update update -- Friday was my inaugural work from home day! It went quite well, altho I was fairly anxious about it -- worried I wouldn't be able to access what I needed to get my large pile of work done. But, work it did, so that will be continued, pretty great.
All my other bouncing thoughts will have to be funneled through the week, however I can manage....
Monday, September 6, 2010
I'm doing a fundraiser to, well, raise funds for 3 really good causes. And I hate asking people for money!
So, in my case, the hard thing is fundraising, not the fundraiser itself, although it's a killer workout. My goal is to raise $250, so if most folks I know gave even a few dollars (and, let me be clear -- zero shame in that, I'd be psyched), it would add up quick. Sure, it would take more than 200 folks pitching in $1 (I'm pitching in here, too!), but at $5 each, it would take 45 folks -- doable! Or, the wild spenders at $10 each, only 22.5 of those, or so. So, I'm just going to put it out here, and figure out how to non-obnoxiously proceed.
A CrossFit workout called Fight Gone Bad. You spend one minute at each of five stations, resulting in a a five-minute round, after which a one-minute break is allowed before repeating. This event calls for three rounds. The clock does not reset or stop between exercises. On call of "rotate," the athletes must move to the next station immediately. One point is given for each rep, except on the rower, where each calorie is one point.
The stations are:
- Wall-ball, 10 ft target (Reps)
- Sumo deadlift high-pull (Reps)
- Box jump (Reps)
- Push-press (Reps)
- Row (Calories)
The four divisions are:
- Class A: Standard Men = 75lb push-press and sumo deadlift high pull, 20lb wall- ball and 20 inch box jump
- Class B: Modified Men/Standard Women = 55lb push-press and sumo deadlift high pull, 14lb wall-ball and 20 inch box Jump
- Class C: Intermediate = 35lb push-press and sumo deadlift high pull, 8lb wall-ball and 20 inch box Jump (step ups are okay)
- Class D: Beginner/Kids = 15lb push-press and sumo deadlift high pull, 4lb wall-ball (can be lowered to 8 foot target) and 10 inch box jumps
Lance Armstrong Foundation identifies and acts on the issues faced by cancer survivors in order to comprehensively improve quality of life for members of the global cancer community.
Wounded Warrior Project believes the greatest casualty is being forgotten. WWP provides unique, direct programs and services to meet the needs of severely injured service members.
CrossFit Foundation provides support and assistance to the CrossFit community, the men and women of the military, law enforcement and first responder communities and their families in times of need.
The donation place:
Y'all know I'm a writer and an editor, naturally. So, to buy the kitty food these days, I'm doing marketing writing and promotions for a healthcare company.
My specific group mainly targets high-level hospital executives with a variety of informational products -- a magazine, a news website, newsletters and e-letters, live seminars/events and webcasts, stuff like that. The volume of products and promotions the company puts out is impressive, so I'm mostly spending my time scurrying around to write copy for the new stuff and get email and direct mail promotions and banners and web pages out the door for existing stuff, so that involves a little writing, some editing, lots of checking, proofing, and mostly, just systems and codes and things that make my head spin.
The actual work work of it is pretty clearcut and cool. The systems around all that ... ay yi yi. But, incrementally, I'm learning.
I do still hold the freelance dream, would love to return to that and be able to support myself, and I think it's doable, I just don't quite know how yet. But I'm keeping a little, little going on the side, so that feels like something.
And now the deep, dark mystery is solved, and you can sleep at night.
Sunday, September 5, 2010
I had dreams and goals and aims of productivity today. I did. And I made same little rivulet inroads, just not quite what I had planned. But I have tomorrow! Nothing like a deadline, is there?
Four days off has been sheer, pure heaven. Time to just be, and to live. Kicking the cold, bonding with the furballs. I belatedly discovered Willa started a hunger strike :( so I've been bribing her to eat again with tuna. Oh, gatos.
Part of what waylaid my productivity today was starting Run by Ann Patchett. Loving it. Been so long since I read a good book I could just fall into. And in fact, that's what's tugging me away, this very moment....
Thursday, September 2, 2010
I am taking tomorrow OFF. Off.
Which means I have a four-day weekend. Four days. I hardly know what to do with myself. Except, I know exactly what to do with myself -- get my life/act together! All that crap that's been sitting around, hanging on me, gathering dust in my brain, creating bad lurking consequences. Time to get that stuff done. And kick this cold. Day 3, sore throat is impressive, no matter how much tea and water I drink.
So, this is me, Labor Day weekend.
And today, I found out my boss is leaving the company. Hm. Surprises to come.
This weekend, there will be an exciting post on precisely what is is I do all day, since I somehow seemingly haven't told y'all! Thought I had....
Now, for some more Cold Care P.M. tea.
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Drinking hot "throat coat" tea on a night still so hot I just turned on the bedroom unit a/c and my feet are puffy and red from heat.
Also forgot Aug 31 is National Student Move Day, which made the drive home and through the surrounding student neighborhoods of Allston/Brighton extra fun.
On the brighter side, I've somehow managed to force myself to do some crap I've been putting off, to my high annoyance, including finally finding an Internet company I could get through to and presumably give my money to, which was the barrier blocking me starting to telecommute a few days. Dumb, I know, but sometimes we humans....
Now, to sleep for 100 days and nights, if not 100 years.
Sunday, August 29, 2010
Another night, later than I want to be awake, and another time of my saying that.
Another moment of feeling all that is undone and all that is pressing and all that is needed -- versus what I have done, can do, have the capacity to do.
In other words, another Sunday night.
Saturday, August 28, 2010
SO much fun!
A 5k run that went up & down a mountain (at one point, scrambling on my hands & feet was the fastest way up) with 12 obstacles interspersed, including wall & cargo net climbs, mud pits (one with barbed wire stretched above to ensure crawling), a water cannon, bushwacking, jumping over a fire, spear throw, gladiators who tried to block you....
Thought I might have a few fun war wounds, but just some scratches. Apparently heats after mine had to deal with angry bees. Not sorry to miss that.
Friday, August 27, 2010
Not that I'm going to spend the whole post moping. It'll just be a theme. The "no time" business, it gets old. Which is why everyone talks about time management all the time. And yet....
Lots of mixed emotions here. Also, I feel the week's dreams hovering, but not really materializing. Maybe when my sleep gets short, it thins the barrier between waking and sleeping worlds. Maybe.
It's been a hard week. Didn't make it to a single workout I'd intended, and that's saying a lot for me. I made a few impromptu ones happen. And I'm trying to be content with that. It's something, just not what I ant, not want I want my life to be like.
Tomorrow is my crazy Spartan Race, so that'll be a ton of fun; I'll plunk down a report here, fear not. And yes, the work stories, they're past due; it's just usually the last thing I want or have energy to do after getting home, I guess. I dunno. Life, sometimes it's like this.
Monday, August 16, 2010
Out one window it looks to be dusk. The other, still late afternoon.
A Monday draws to a close. I'm grateful for a calm day, even as it looks like it'll heat back up to crazy. But crazy is relative, highly relative.
Mostly, I'm still working to find overarching peace and contentment in a busy working life, and a pretty simple life outside that. It's generally seeming to work, although there are dips. Last week I was just exhausted. So I switched to my "no less than 7 hours' sleep" rule, even if it meant missing a workout or something else. :( Looking to get back to a few early mornings, good workouts, a few down nights.
And that's kind of life! Exciting, no?
Sunday, August 15, 2010
Performances with kids are often sweet, cute, well-intentioned, good growth opportunities, important to support.... But with this performance, three professional opera singers were also involved, and the kids were good, so it was all those things you want to support, but also a fantastic performance.
Titled Bohemian Faces, the performance, loosely based on La Boheme, was held in a space renovated to build community and cultural opportunities in the heart of Roxbury. The cast was made up of 14- to 20-year-olds of varying ethnicities, and the three professional singers were black. In addition to being a great performance with powerful singing, you could feel what it might mean to the audience, perhaps seeing and hearing opera live for the first time, and almost certainly, witnessing for the first time amazing classical performers with voices that blew you away ... and who looked like them.
One of the things I loved so much was not only how good it was artistically, but that it concretely, specifically made our world better, simply for its happening. And who knows what it might ultimately yield, for the kids, for the singers, for the audience, for the community?
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Made it through four weeks of work, so seems like it'll be survivable. Busy, lots of volume and deadlines, but once I actually know how to do things, hopefully I'll get more efficient. I like the variety of projects I get to work on, and it'll yield good experience.
I've only talked about work in generalities, so I need to do some coloring between the lines. Just not when my bed and I are eager for our reunion -- it's been so long, you know -- a whole day.
On the commuting front, it's looking to be about 10 hours a week in the car, more or less. And I find it's funny how the drive seems to transpire in one of two ways: 1) I notice details in the landscape, both things I've already seen that I enjoy or catch my eye, but also things my eyes will suddenly alight upon for the first time, and sometimes they're quite large things, so I'm left wondering if this thing suddenly sprouted overnight, or if it's been there all along and I've never seen it -- but how could that be possible? I know the answer is the latter, but that's a little freaky, how unobservant we can be to our surroundings. Or, 2) I'm driving in that semi-mindless/zone-y space, where I'm paying attention to my driving, but not really noticing scenery details. I like the first way better, guess it just depends on how sunk into my mind I am. This week I was just tired, tired, so there wasn't a lot of scenery-noticing going on.
Sunday, August 8, 2010
That was your weekend! So be it. It was a good one.
Let's see, there was a good workout, not too crazy (and I think I'm wrapping up my week's worth of admiration of all my lovely bruises all over my legs -- particularly lovely, the purple slash bruises on the thighs -- from last weekend's boot camp).
There was some house tidying that managed to take two days -- not exciting, but very key for calm living and non-exploding. There was a sitting in the nearby park and hearing of many stories making up what will be Mr Sam's fabulous wundebar kids' musical next Friday.
There was a driving to Maine. Maine! Visiting a SD friend, enjoying the lovely Maine coast, particularly enjoyable while eating a large chocolate oreo-something ice cream in a cone on the walk back. Particularly while three of us were bent over laughing uncontrollably in the street over ... never mind, you really did have to be there. Let's just say the topic involved getting stuck in a sports bra. Ladies, you know the likes of what we were talking about. And then I fell off the curb. For real. But I was OK. Apart from jarring my already-sore wrist.
Then there was the driving back home and getting low on gas and starting to freak I was going to run out in some dark deserted part of who-knows-where. And then Mobil loomed like a beautiful beacon. Oh, beacons! Part of the lovely Maine seacoast, this amazing lighthouse. So now I really wanna live in a lighthouse. Really. Anyone see any lighthouse caretaker job apps, you send them right to me.
Somewhere in there there was also an interviewing of a fairly amazing college kid for the magazine profile I'm writing (freelancing! yay, freelancing! but oh, guilt freelancing -- my wonderful veterans' project article that is written and not getting pitched, no bueno. how 'bout I correct that this weekend? yes, let's do that. oh, gulp. there's also my precious barely birthed website I haven't gone near. oh. I don't know. time & priorities. brutal.)
Then there was a running of large painful hills, OK, mostly just the one, but it was vast, at the beautiful Blue Hills. My IT band decided one ascent was enough. The others did a second, followed by apparently brutal, steep grassy-slope ascents. But I'll build! More next time! Dammit! But, it was lovely. I also discovered a new pond I will try swimming in. !
Then there was a nice bagel-eating breakfast catchup with a good friend. Unfortunately, I was run-grubby, but was OK til the end when a shower became imperative. Then, shower-kitty-home time (not kitties in the shower, me in the shower). Then, another lovely afternoon catchup chat with another dear friend, spanning grand topics, big & small, then there was finally writing the profile. Yay! It's 60 words too long, and past my bedtime; do I let the magazine editor finish cutting? Hm, maybe.
And there's Monday, ready to poke her cold nose in my warm back. S'OK, not Monday's fault, just her nature. Gonna be a crazy week, several meetings that will immerse me in the copywriting/marketing process, and I'll start getting some direct feedback. Yi. Onward & upward, such is life....
Saturday, August 7, 2010
But, some semi-sweaty yoga proved, if not rejuvenating, then at least good for a shift, followed by the eating o' veggie burger on the porch -- wave of heat & humidity broke again! -- and then some winding down to bed.
Side note: I'm finally, finally reading The DaVinci Code (altho I'd long thought perhaps I'd be the world's sole holdout) as my evening "stupid read" while stretching my back and turning my brain off. My main take is that it's just pretty badly, clunkily written. Is this a surprise? No, not really. I know it was never held up as a work of literature, but ... I guess I thought it'd be more compelling. But, getting to sleep in til 6-something and spend some minutes reading a book in bed was pretty close to heavenly this morning.
Now, a little house wrangling, a crazy workout, an interview (freelancing, it does live!), a swapping of week's stories, then a trek to Portsmouth. Apparently, even on weekends I can't give up my hourly drives!
Thursday, August 5, 2010
It's nearly Friday.
Past my bedtime.
Etta Baker & Cora Philips are singing Broken Hearted Blues (lovely).
The gatos are ready for bed. Well, really, they're ready for me to quit my job and stay home on the couch with them already, but they'd soon be really sad when their foodbowls went empty.
The obvious statement of the week: Fitting blogging in is hard! And I do so love it. Some days, it simply won't fit. If I have days with some downtime (no p.m. workouts), that's when it'll fit. So you know it's a hard week if no blogging words have popped up!
I have work & commute thoughts floating around, but the one vital thing I've gotta get better at before keeling over is getting enough sleep. Soooooo....
Monday, August 2, 2010
It was lovely and relaxy and loungey and just oozey good stuff like that. Like a hammock!
And then, there was this nicely intense workout on Sunday, well, following Saturday's -- a workout in the park complete with a tire pull and normal stuff like walking lunges w/ a weightplate overhead and pushups and double-under jumproping and burpees and stuff. But Sunday, Sunday was a free prep for the upcoming Spartan race, so it was a bunch of us broken into three groups based on a run test (I was in the middle, sigh), rotating our way through various activities.
Most of the bruises came from what they simply called, Landing Dock, or just Dock. It consisted of, yep, a landing dock. That you had to get yourself up onto. Ahhhh, now the bruising makes sense, right? The instructor showed us a graceful jump from the ground, landing with both feet on the dock, some, I dunno, 3 or 4 feet up? But I perfected the run-jump-heave-land-on-knees maneuver. Bruises, yep.
I got better. But still needed knee landing. The funnest part was this mini obstacle course that was really pretty easy, so you could tear through it, including a few tunnel crawls (few more shin bruises) and at the end, a very small hurdle that you kinda had to tuck & roll over. After shying away the first time, sorta awkwardly trying the 2nd, I then realized you had to momentum your way into it, so you just bounced on your back and landed back on your feet. So, mini artificial-turf-burn on the back from that.
Yeah, it was really fun. The sun was out, but with the heat wave broken, least it wasn't 90s and humid, but I still felt pretty sun-sapped for the run portions.
So, there's your weekend report -- hammocks and bruises. Fun!
Today, the ocean, she was wild. Gorgeous. Wind-whipped blue chop, moored boats rock and rolling, a spray of white as waves crashed against the wall.
Driving in, the sky had these amazing clouds, giving off depth and shadow with pink light seeping around and under.
Good moments. Just trying to live fully and collect them every day.
Tonight, after a quick visit to the nearby park (the kids had all the swings, sigh), while walking home, I overheard a dad with a thick, great Indian accent, shepherding his kids home, saying, "Now, until dinner is done, we can not go visiting any dogs." Greatness.
Saturday, July 31, 2010
Really, they're simply lovely. Time to be in bed with kitties. Time to read in bed. In the morning. Time to put the house in order, time to lounge. Time for a slow shower. In my own shower. Time to eat from my refrigerator. Time to not worry how long the morning workout's taking, because the day is mine for living.
These are good moments in time.
Not sure what factor gets the greatest credit, but I'm sure enjoying just enjoying. All very mellow, happy, easy.
And, and, our heat wave finally broke! I think it lasted for a few months, I'm not sure, it just became the new reality. But yesterday morning, waking up to cool air was amazing. Today, all my fans are off, my windows open. Stunning. It's comfortable out. Crazy.
In short, life is good. Appreciation is good. Living in the moment of good, ditto.
Friday, July 30, 2010
Lately, it's been triggering these very Zen-y states where I can wander around and be in awe and appreciation of the world around, noticing the changing lighting toward evening, all the wonderful brick buildings, all the little quirks that make this place what it is. It's kind of like wandering around in a mellow, dazed, smiley, childlike state. Not such a bad thing.
Of course, I can also feel myself on the brink of a cold ... how many times do we (OK, I) need to learn the basic life lessons? Multiple nights of less than seven hours' sleep.... And yet, what would I have given up from the week? Nothing. There's the challenge.
I have raptures to go into from my early morning at Walden, but those will have to wait a little longer.
A wonderful mellow weekend awaits, with a few intense, fun workouts. There will be reading. There will be gato time. There may be a little shopping. And there you go....
Thursday, July 29, 2010
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Between this working business, trying to fit in my workouts, making time to kiss the gatos who seem bewildered about what's going on :( ... it's a more than full-time life! Talk about boiling things down to their essences, huh? Hello, new life. Nice to meet you.
Also, unrelatedly, I love a place that has workouts called things like "Fight Gone Bad." Love it. It did go bad fast, but then, you knew it was gonna.
It's all I got in me right now....
Sunday, July 25, 2010
Work week No. 2 is a little more daunting than week 1 where you can just be blissfully ignorant. Week 2, you start to get a sense of all the trains, buses and pedi-cabs whizzing around you, but you don't know enough to be effective directing traffic, jumping aboard or most anywhere. Ugh. May be a tricky month. But once all the processes and how-to's are under control, then life will settle and it'll be interesting to see what that life looks like.
Played fully and well today, so that was grand. In addition to outdoor playing, there was a little shopping -- have a whole new casual work wardrobe to build, you know.... The jury is still out on the new dress that might look too much like a maternity dress. It is very comfy (hush). At least it's not pink. And it has funky polka dots on it. Polka dots are awesome. So, we'll see. Oh! Speaking of not-pink, I managed to find the cool orange (just a wee Day Glo, but OK) workout top and returned the little-baby-girl bubblegum pink one ... yay! I just don't think I could've worked out in that ... unless it involved something in a mud pit, that would've been OK.
Now, I need my bed. Hoping for a calm, sane week, for me and for you all....
Saturday, July 24, 2010
(of course, part of what I absolutely love about them is that they are awesome, kickass workouts)
I'm drawn to the sports and activities I am because there's usually a mental and technique component to go along with the physical, and my brain loves nothing more than to be engaged. (Yes, all the more reason for me to visit a meditation class and all the more reason I'm pretty sure I will simply combust on the spot if I do.) I'm also drawn to things that scare me, a little, within reason -- you won't find me going anywhere near skydiving or bungee jumping, and I'm 100% fine with that. But things that scare me kinda sorta, things I'm not sure I can do or I'm pretty sure I can't ... doing those things yields an unbelievable feeling. Stretching, growing, living life lessons in the act of a movement, ever-pushing limits ... love it.
That's the rosy glowy side. When you're doing things that fall into the bucket above, especially when you're doing the things that test your greatest fears and weaknesses, whatever they may be (rowing in bad-chop basin water, doing box jumps when you can almost see and feel yourself falling and cracking body parts, or just movements you lack strength in, where every one is a struggle and you've got 15 or 30 to do ...) ... I guess when you're really testing or pushing yourself in ways that aren't fun or exciting, they're just hard and scary and sucky and frustrating ... and I don't actually know where I'm going with this sentence. What a letdown, right?
I guess it's that in doing those things, perhaps that's where you can learn or grow the most. When you're humbled, when you feel lame & stupid, when you actually want to quit, when your body starts to weaken before your eyes ... yeah. That's kind of how my morning workout went. Not all of that, exactly, but it was so much harder and more devastating than I expected it to feel. It's possible I cried at one point only I couldn't actually tell because I was so sweaty and red-faced and heaving for breath.
I don't know, I don't have a grand conclusion, even though I'd like to. I think it's just seeing that that's where I can learn the most. I can look around me and see how others handle it. I can listen to my coach who says, "Don't feel bad, don't feel sorry for yourself, just do it." (Ignore the stupid Nike echo there, it was real.) I can think about how what makes or breaks those situations is my attitude and my will and my determination and my belief. I guess that's the grand echoing point.
See, it's not just any workout that can give you all that. You see why I'm hooked?
Friday, July 23, 2010
The end of a workweek again, it's no time for holding anything together. Nor for pretending.
I made it through an almost full-time office workweek. I didn't think at all about flinging myself off a bridge. Not to say it was easy, but it was OK. Interesting. Learning, using lots o my brain again. Remembered the unfun of stress, def something to keep under control. Discovered some beautiful coastline and enjoyed every minute of driving by it. Someday, I may even figure out my way around Marblehead.
But, cycles, completing, that's the point (the loose one). First workweek over, that's one cycle.
After my ... second interview? I happened by a cute little cafe, The Atomic Cafe, used their bathroom to make a desperate change out of suit, heels and nylons (on a 90-plus-degree day), got some heavenly iced tea, a tasty sandwich and managed to only eye delicious-looking cookies (cookies!). But I had no cash on me, only a credit card, and the way it went down, I had no chance to leave a tip. I felt bad. So I promised-in-my-head (the serious, solemn promises) that if I got the job, I would come back and leave a tip involving dollar bills. I remembered my promise earlier this week as I was trying to get home and to a workout, and decided keeping the promise within the first week was what counted.
On my way home today, later than planned, realizing that the debate in my head about which workout to make it to was solely theoretical because I wasn't going to make it home for either, I suddenly remembered the cafe promise. And decided now was the time. There was a flicker of nervousness as I wondered what the chances were of finding it again if I couldn't find my way to the same building each day, then I shrugged off the worry; I still had to try. And pretty much drove straight there.
With wise guidance from the staff, I chose the peanut-butter-cup cookie over the M&M cookie and had my second amazing cookie experience of the past few months. You have to suspend disbelief here, just as you had to when I said this the first time a few months ago, but I had that experience of sinking my teeth into delicious, edible, smooth sand. Cookie sand. Wonderful.
And another cycle was complete.
Drove home in lovely rain, tho kinda pour-y at times. It somehow made it very easy to just be in the moment, each moment of the drive home, without resenting or frustration or anything, just living my life as I was driving home. And I had a little lightbulb that that's some kind of an attitude key to really accepting my new office lifestyle and the commute and anything that might come with it -- it's not something that's interfering with my life, it is my life.
And I arrived home. Another cycle complete.
I started out for a walk only to have the rain come pouring down, and since my current raincoat is, well, pretty crappy (I need a shiny yellow slicker! with ventilation!) I turned back. Read some more, grazed some more. Then really needed some outsiding.
Headed out again, lovely rainy dusky light. Headed for the park right near me. I love that park. Love seeing it through all the seasons. The soft green giant willows sweeping down. All the greens, rain-glistening grass, soft green willows, all the varied greens of surrounding trees and bushes. I walked the little loop (no swinging today), and as that cycle was completing, the rain came beating down again.
And so I headed home. Another cycle complete.
And here it is 9. My bed awaits, along with some rejuvenating cycles there.
Sweet cycles, yourselves....
Thursday, July 22, 2010
May need to do some shift of blog scheduling, maybe day or two off is during the week, not weekend now. We shall see.
Tomorrow, week 1 in the office ends. Today, the stress started, lots coming at me quickly. It'll be OK, just might be a hectic, brain- & speed-taxing month....
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Worst part of the commute seems to be on either end, esp my end. The drive up is pretty zippy and nice -- I come along the coast for the last part, and it always makes me happy to see the ocean. One day soon after work, I'm gonna stop and go wading, work clothes and all.
No, the traffic is definitely worst on my end, esp coming home. And for whatever reason, I can't seem to make it straight through Marblehead to my new workplace. No. I must always get lost and turned around first. Probably about the time I get it, we'll be moving -- hello new building in Danvers come fall.
So, all highly new yet, but so far so good....
Monday, July 19, 2010
Today, first day o work. Pretty exhausting, as I was expecting, but good. They seem like v nice people. And my new boss seems like a total sweetheart! Feels like a place where I can make a contribution ... that will even be appreciated ... wow. Too shocking to really wrap my head around.
Lastly, there's an exciting weather update! Check this out (and ignore the flagrant lack of hyphenation):
AT 836 PM EDT... NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DOPPLER RADAR CONTINUED TO INDICATE A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM CAPABLE OF PRODUCING GOLF BALL SIZE HAIL... AND DAMAGING WINDS IN EXCESS OF 60 MPH. THIS STORM WAS LOCATED NEAR HUDSON... OR 9 MILES NORTHWEST OF FRAMINGHAM... MOVING SOUTHEAST AT 25 MPH.
Sunday, July 18, 2010
Ah, Sunday night. The old full-time-worker's nemesis. Here's sincerely hoping it's different this time around.
Monday morning, 9 a.m., new job begins. And the universe tilts again. A new adventure, a new world, a new reality. Don't worry, you'll get the full scoop.
Now, back to those Friday morn thoughts....
All is quiet. Except for that one bird who really has something pressing to say. Repeatedly.
Buddha Bar station is playing something piano, quiet, mellow.
Hard to believe I'm starting work Monday. Back in an office, huh. I'm anticipating being fairly exhausted the first few weeks until I adjust back -- just being around people for the majority of the time when you haven't is exhausting. At least for me. Thus proving my belief that I am an I and not an E as Meyers-Briggs indicated. To be fair, it was a very close call, and what tipped me over was I was off the charts on expressive. But then you all already know that, don't you?
Anyway. Anyway. I'm already missing the gato couch time, nothing like working with two adorable furry beings on either side of you. Maybe they'll become better friends if they mainly have each other to hang out with. Maybe. Sucio has a new scratch on his head, and I'm pretty sure it wasn't from the couch. Of course, I've also seen him back the WillaMonster into a corner, playfully or not, I'm not sure, but it makes me feel better to know he's not 100% quaking marshmallow victim. But I do already miss them. I feel that way about them, my home and Boston when I have to leave for a trip. Guess it's a sign I'm in a pretty good place for me.
Going to have to do some serious schedule mulling these next few days -- have to set up my little routines to keep myself in food supply during the day (no small feat) plus fit all my activities in -- that one will def be trickier. But, it's good. It's time.
Thursday, July 15, 2010
He's a Mexican tattoo artist who paints/draws tattoos from all kinds of international and urban cultures on starlets in old pinup posters, among others.
Kind of hard to explain but pretty wild, pretty darn cool. Like a glimpse into another world, a fascinating new mind. Which is kind of art at its best, right?
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
No, there isn't yet a solution to the pink workout top (dangit), but I haven't given up hope for other colors yet!
The big news ... is ... that ... I ...
[am trying to drive you crazy!]
[no, no, that would be mean, haha]
I did! It's crazy. Crazy how where you think you're going isn't where you wind up; how directions can shift, yet the basic path remains intact; how life sometimes takes you by surprise....
I surely wasn't looking for anything full-time, and I'm not giving up on the freelancing dream (in fact, I just got a new client, with another meeting next week, funny how that works), but what I feel like I'm doing is buying myself some time and space so the dream doesn't get ground up in the dirt ... under a bridge ... that I'd be living under if more-bigger income didn't start quite soon.
The salary is ... less than expected, and I'd adjusted those expectations down already. But, as several people have lovingly pointed out ... it's a lot more than I'm getting now, and it's a different economy and ... it's a job. In the realm I want, communications, in the industry I want, healthcare, giving me new experience, new learning, new people. So, good stuff.
But also a change and you know, those change demons.... I'm already starting to prep the gatos that they're gonna be each other's prime hangout buddies during the day now ... which makes me sad. I mean, they mostly sleep during the day, but I won't be here to SEE their adorable sleeping (it really is adorable). And ... I'll be out of the home, in a building, for set hours, doing set work. Yep, it's a job. It's a change. That I'm ready for, yet still a change.
It's been 8 1/2 months of a really good existence that I'm sorry in many ways to see end, but I trust it's an ever better existence coming my way in the immediate and long-term future.
And, the gatos will be grateful for continued food in their bowls.
So, it's barely seeping in, but the anxiety of the early part of the week helped me see a lot I like/am looking forward to about the job. And the reality of it will hit just in time for reality to be real. Funny how that works....
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
OK, I up & had a brainflash and realized last summer didn't feel so hot because I was working in air conditioning ... ohhhhh....
Also, I'm a little afraid to say this out loud, except I can't see how rationally that would matter and it's not a rational thing to say anyway but ... I'm starting to have a fear I'm cursed. Or that the gods are mocking me. Either would be bad.
The shards of proof:
- the perfect workout top I found a few months ago in all colors of the rainbow and when I went back for one more? the only color in my size? the v shade of pink I most despise! also, there was a cool orange one in a size above and below mine. see? mocking!
- my website ... that feels more like a curse. it really doesn't seem so hard. just make the partial Spanish go away. but apparently that was hard. so then the programmer, in an effort to help, picked out and installed a new template for me! um, yay? but ... that's ... not ... the one ... I picked...?
- then there is the meeting of intriguing new people, only to have them vanish like so many wisps of smoke. and the non-intriguing people? well, they apparently can't get enough of me. see? mocking!
- then, most seriously, there's the job prospect that I'm getting increasingly nervous about. no, I can't really blame that on the gods. but, let's look at the progression, there's at least a hint of mockery in there: last thing I wanted was something full-time, then I stumbled across it with its seductive telecommute come-on, I apply, oops, that one's not available but how 'bout this one?? um, well, what's...? 2-day telecommute, well, guess that could ... Interview No. 1, good. Interview No. 2, good. writing test ... total unknown. no reference check over the past week and I'm supposed to hear this week? uh-oh....
Monday, July 12, 2010
Saturday brought rain, progressing to downpour at points, which was so lovely. Perfect excuse to stay in and read (trashy reads a must -- I started The Da Vinci Code [yep, never managed to read], while, quite appropriately, my friend never did manage to work her way into her chaos theory book ... she'll protest how much she likes it & all, and it's true, and yet....), start a puzzle that had us all obSESSed (am trying to find a picture to share -- international manhole covers, so cool!), drink some tea/coffee, and then a little more ... it was really nice.
One of the highlights was the trip's instigator brought his 80-something Italian mother, and she was a kick. Told us stories about bygone times and people and was able to name any (current) movie star with the vaguest of descriptions -- highly satisfying for those forgotten names just on the tip of your tongue. And she made us dinner every night, adorable.
Pepper enjoyed the water of New Hampshire, but she only got a small taste. The Marine Patrol stopped me and nicely informed me I needed a life jacket in my boat. Oops.
Today brings that re-entry, feeling all the stranger and more ... displaced? for not quite knowing how my world may shift this week. I may get a job offer, which I'm quite inclined to accept, or I may not. Even though it's yet an unknown, not something to be counted on, I'm feeling the shift in my outlook about what I'll be doing next, and it makes me feel uncertain about what to do for the now. Keep plugging on freelancing? Well, yes, that's smart ... just not easy to do at the moment. (Website update: experiencing technical issues, not my doing or solving, thus waiting....) Apply to part-time stuff still? I dunno.... Start looking/applying for full-time ... uh...? My back-up plan if this job doesn't happen is to reach out to agencies more seriously, not just for part-time possibilities. Oh, all confusing. Makes my brain swirly. Mostly, want to know if I'll have a job offer....
It's the recording volunteering tonight ... let's have a group prayer, y'all -- please, please pleasepleaseplease please NOT the fire code of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Please? Bible reading was better than that!
Friday, July 9, 2010
Today it's off to "New Hampster," as my friend says. Should be a relaxing few days in a cabin with friends, doing some rowing around the lake, hopefully some swimming, too (the humidity, she's plunked her butt firmly down in the rocking chair & is getting all cozy & content, not goin' no-where ... not that I at all object, summer humidity is part of the Boston charm -- and I say that with zero sarcasm -- just part of the differentness from where I grew up).
Ooh, bottom of my foot is itchy -- money coming my way! Not to inadvertently return to the subject in the first paragraph and look like a crazy person again....
All right, time to gather, finish packing, make my home presentable & get out the door.
Happy, happy weekending, y'all!
Thursday, July 8, 2010
So, it's a funny thing, that whole feast or famine thing, isn't it? May and June, pretty quiet on work fronts, yep. Now, I'm waiting to hear on outcome of second interview (it'll hinge on what they thought of my writing test and I just don't have a read on that), and suddenly two freelance maybes pop up. Ha.
To continue with those updates, website is not forgotten, waiting to see outcome of little technical glitch ... part of the site is currently in Spanish ... I know, funny, right? And the fix isn't quite as easy as it should be. Once that's done, I can finish with the linking and perfecting (for now) and ... um ... unleash it on the world? Right, right. Unleash, baby! Perhaps updated business cards will be the first step....
This was a far less than thrilling post, I must say ... blame the blanket. The gatos do. When I have a few more momentitos, I hafta tell you about my first attempts (there were 34ish successes, with help, a few more than that for total attempts) at a kick up to a handstand against the wall (to evolve to be a handstand pushup) ... scary! exciting! sorta fun! sore now!
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
Then the thought: Well, molasses is a little extreme. I mean, picture molasses. This isn't quite that.
Personalitied, like you don't necessarily expect air to be.
Yesterday, stepping outside at 6-something (that's a.m.), into a wall of it.
Rowers, drenched from river exertions. Uni's dripping onto the locker room floor. Not from washing.
And it built from there.
One degree from a record tie, nailed 3 full digits.
Today, people outside Trader Joe's, blinking, almost stupid in the face of it.
Me among them.
Slightly stunned in their shorts and loose dresses, short haircuts.
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
The big highlight is, well, the two big highlights are:
1) We did not get eaten by bears while camping (there is some photo evidence of this, but given the screeching terribleness of the photo of me, no one shall be seeing that, outside of the campers, who have been exhorted to burn said photo [can you burn digital photos?] but there is probably another suitable one I can find. Of us not being eaten by bears.)
2) Interview numero dos today. Feel it went well, but the question mark is the writing test that I'm dying of curiosity to hear what they think about. May not know that til next week.
There was also firework awesomeness sandwiched in there, but I'm mostly asleep right now.
The fresh-breaking news update is that I just managed to install and turn on my portable a/c unit! ! ! Some of you know how huge this feat is for me.... Yes, we're in the midst of quite the swelter.
Friday, July 2, 2010
And the fireworks! I used to forget how cool fireworks are, but now I don't. Now I know.
I'll of course give you exciting updates at weekend's end if we get nearly eaten by bears or something.
And to be clear, I'm hoping that's not the update.
My brain and really, all of my self, is churning around with the job possibility. Second interview next week. I hafta say, there's a lot that's appealing, that's relieving, about the possibility of it. Well, and more than the possibility, the actuality of it (if it comes to be an actuality). There was an initial sad-burst, but that hasn't come back. It's just that, in so many ways, I'm ready. For something. This isn't what I had envisioned, but I'm definitely seeing possibilities....
And for a step back in time to what yesterday's post might've been, the yesterday-floating-thought had something to do with -- what do you do/what does it mean when things don't fall apart.
The tangible piece of this was rowing. Bad water in the basin. Yeah, again, shocker, right? And drills. And with the drills, I've noticed before that generally (not always), I either don't fall apart or fall apart less in bad water when we're doing drills. This isn't true for most, but I think it's because it generally (depending on the drill) tends to lessen the thing that freaks me most about basin water (the oar grab). It's an interesting thing.
So, we're doing drills, I do OK. Then. Then. Then. The devil on Coach Jeff's shoulder apparently takes over his brain and decides it is a good idea to have us attempt square-blade rowing. In the basin. In chop. OK, so it wasn't in the worst part of the basin, but still. The angel on his other shoulder relented and said if it needed to be 1/4 square, then OK.
I was not at all sure this was possible. But I began. And ... it was sorta OK. I wasn't even bringing up the rear, or even second-to-rear, which is rare in bad basin water. Of course, there is a slight possibility I was only 1/4 squaring in my head, but I am pretty certain the blade came out square, and that was the point. Of the drill. For me, there's probbably no drill I need more than square blade rowing. ayyyyyyyyy.
Anyway, to complete the thought ... the not falling apart in conditions that often result in that. Hm. Not something I'll assume is now the norm or that I've figured out/fixed something (premature assumption) ... but it is nice for a change.
The life parallel ... that part's still eluding me. Maybe the bears will tell me.
Happy, happy, happy fireworking, y'all!
Here's to Independence ... for real.
Wednesday, June 30, 2010
It began with Monday's crazy noon workout in the swelter. It was warmer out than I'd realized when poking myself out the door. But, with crazyrace in Aug (remember the slogan: You May Die ... how I love that), figure I needed a little heat training....
Anyway, I didn't die. Case you were wondering. What I DID do, however, was park right in front of a sign that said something quaint like "street cleaning 2nd & 4th Mon, 12 p.m. -[something]." It also said something about towing. None of this did I notice. To my and GreyC's eventual dismay. Yep.
So, along with the swelter, tomato face (OK all skin tomato, I think), still-pouring sweat & chalk coating (for pullups, my hands, they sweat. a lot. & I was clearly the loser in the chalk battle.) ... I needed to deal with finding & recovering my car. And a job phone call an hour and a half later.
Bottom line, it all happened, but not without some ferrying around and major emotional support. You know the (trite? is it trite now?) Beatles' line about getting by with a little help from my friends? Never has this been so true. In the midst of the hot headache the day turned out to be, I was repeatedly overcome with gratitude for friends who were my support posts every step of the way. It would've been 1,000 times worse without them, especially without you, my coconut-milk-ice-cream-on-porch dear friend, in particular.
There were more details about not having the debit card I was sure I'd left in my car to pay for it all (see friend gratitude, above), the bad scraping noise in the middle of Mass Ave bridge, me stopping then rethinking leaping out to check on the bridge, so inching across the bridge. Then the awesome Shell Station mechanic on Magazine who concocted a quick fix and a more stable fix the next morning ... ahhhh.
It was a day, y'all.
There was also a job interview set up for the next day (now yesterday, c'mon, keep up!).
Interview was in the lovely Marblehead, and my head's spinning from that, so that's to get its own entry, perhaps tomorrow. Interview was followed by a lovely time in nearby lovely Salem (it's a contest, how many times can I fit "lovely" in one lovely paragraph??) with a lovely new friend. Five. Do I win? Oops, I meant six.
Monday, June 28, 2010
House's long closed up, fans going, gatos passed out on bed. I see an air-conditioned library in my immediate future. But first, I think my crazy self is resolved to go through with a noon workout. Huh. I have no words, no explanation. I dunno. Heat insanity?
So, even tho heat has overtaken The Weekender, there isn't actually any giant actionpacked earthaltering update you're missing. Shocking, I know. Usually my weekends alter the orbit of the earth and the universe's plans. Did get to see my favorite Chicagoans on a last pass-thru the city before they headed out this morn, so that was lovely. Sucio tried to be brave for them ... and somewhat succeeded. He's also gained another nickname: Stay Puff. Puffy? Suce-Puff? Yielding a full formal name of Comandante Sucio "Puffy" Montoya? He's gonna be a rap-star kitty, just watch.
Just poked myself outside, and it's not actually as terrible a swelter as I thought. There is a bit of a breeze. So now I have high hopes of not dying in the noon workout.
All right, there's The Weekender, over & out.
Sunday, June 27, 2010
But yes, all that I viewed on my row yesterday. I was feeling fairly beat from the week, so no coached session/race pieces for me, just some paddling upstream, flat water, ahhhhhhhhhhh.
The feeding swan really freaked me at first. Rowing along, glancing behind me, I saw a bundle of floating white that I thought was maybe a discarded pillow (it was a fleeting thought!), then figured it was a white plastic trash bag. As I got closer, I realized it was a swan's body, but to my horror, only its body. I stopped rowing, beginning to freak about someone strangling or beheading a swan (although there was no gore or mangling), then was just sad about a dead swan's floating body. Then it raised it head from somewhere deep below the water and looked at me. Waves of relief. So that's how they hunt/feed.
The sunning turtle, cute little guy on a rock, right before the ... um ... brain still waking up ... Arsenal! The Arsenal bridge.
Willa sends y'all a meow. Sucio would but ... it's Scary.
The bug, I noticed atop Pepper maybe 3/4 of the way to my turnaround point, not sure if he was there from the launching. And he was there at least a lot of the way back. Forgot to look for him back at the dock.
Speaking of dock. There was an 8 launching when I got back, and I walked alongside it to get to my boat bay, and I marveled at how long it was ... these are big boats! Nine people sitting with room for stretched-out legs. Funny how unaccustomed I'm getting to big boats. Do miss them. Just not a big boat time in my life, I guess.
Anyway, other wildlife, there were also flocks? herds? somethings of floating ducks. Didn't see the cool ... crane? heron? OK, I am NOT a wildlife exert, but he's a cool blue-grey bird with long legs. Didn't see him.
Love that river.
Friday, June 25, 2010
It happened again! By day's end, as my brain was full & turning to much, I forgot my beautiful little blog! So sad. But you must admit, it happens rarely, right?
OK. So the really exciting thing about yesterday? (Wow, every word had a typo after I typed that sentence ... you know I was excited.)
I became Queen of the Wall Sit! Yes! The prize that eluded me last week. Very exciting. And, it followed my crowning as Queen of the Front-Raise Hold (it's not quite as catchy a title).
It went down at the end of former-Marine-(with the missing toes, remember that story?)-led Newton boxing class (not to be confused with the Original Allston class or the North Station Mixed-Martial-Arts-studio-inside-gym classes, both led by the original, the awesome, technique-king, punk-rock instructor).
Got all that? What was I saying?
Oh, how it went down. So, yeah. We now do King/Queen of [blank] challenge at the end of each class. After winning the front raise title, I was still stomping around and pouting about losing the wall sit one last week, demanding a rematch, and my key competitor heard and fell prey to my smack talk, so we had a wall-sit-off (as the instructor and most others in the class left, shaking their heads), and I won!
That was totally the day's highlight.
I was also frustrated by continuing phone/e-tag with the maybe-position HR person, now put off to Monday. grrr. argh.
And got a maybe glimmer from a maybe small-scale client with a website project, yay!
And there was the lovely & wonderful acupuncture. Apparently, my pattern is a chi deficiency. (Of course, maybe I just burn through it as soon as I generate it! :) Given my growing, um, income focus, my usual points were all much touchier/stronger than usual. Pretty fascinating stuff.
This morning, I took a step closer to learning/doing handstand pushups. Whoo-hoo!
Oh yeah, and the website.... Well. Not gonna say lots about this yet, but ... there is yes with the progressing somewhat. As in, there are pages and there are words on the pages. Not finished words! Not quite right words! But words. Who knew such a thing would make me want to throw up. Steps, steps. The words will be more finessed next week....
OK, I gots an ever-growing to-do list that needs gittin' to. And a certain someone who'll be askin' about it at day's end (blows a kiss)....
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Early Walden, amazing as ever. Body remembering how to swim.
More with the job searching and sifting, as ever.
And, a job callback! ! This is good. The full-time one (that's f-t to you, Miss Sam) but with early schedule/telecommuting. Altho they mentioned a different job in the message. Hmmmmmmmmm. We shall see, hopefully shortly.
Also: running (then shuffling, then striding, then ... moving forward however possible) 400m x 3 carrying a 35-lb weightplate. This was unique. Quite hard. Cars were actually stopping to watch us. Pushups were interspersed. Yeah!
Next up, hopefully a job phone call, then skeedaddling out to this thing. You know, one of those things that's maybe sorta networking but with a point/purpose, entrepreneur stuff, some interesting speakers. If I can stay awake....
Maybe thunderstorms tomorrow morn ... please, no electrocution on the water!
And that's today.
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
OK, you know what? A crazy leftover-from-weekend breakfast photo will have to be enough for today. Lots of little things cooking away, or trying to, and we all know I'm not much of a chef, so ... I seem to be full up. Plus, I'll be driving for Walden in 8 hours, yowza!
Monday, June 21, 2010
Those crazy surgeons
Friday offered a little change of pace, always a nice thing. Headed down to the lovely & lush Connecticut (it still surprises me how much green stuff you see from freeways here).
Why? For the annual "fancy-schmancy" surgical resident graduation dinner. Not its official name, but you get the point. I didn't quiz SurgeonSam (Pepper's mom) quite enough about the dress code, so I looked a little more like the wives of the higher-up surgeons -- a little more long and black and funeral -- than most of the women in colorful cocktail dresses, but it mattered precisely not at all.
The event featured a lovely locale, right along the water. No, I don't know which water. There were cocktails in the pretty steamy sun. Then there was dinner and speeches, some quite entertaining, some unheard because of the far more pressing tales of children's antfarms from the not-sober surgeon seated next to me. But I did get credit from her for knowing the things in the salad were hearts of palm. And we read a brief but fascinating hearts-of-palm history on her iPhone. Did you know Costa Rica is the biggest ... hm, think it was producer of them? Anyway, then it was on with the music and the dance floor. I had to take a detour to the lovely, quiet outdoors for a bit first, check out the adjacent water, get a mosquito bite, then joined in. Surgeons, some of them can truly get down, who knew?
The visiting! With the eating!
Then it was back-homing to see the lovely visiting Chicagoans. Oh wait, there was a ridiculous breakfast first. I even have a picture, let's see if I can get it on here....
Anyway, so much talking and laughing and catching up and raspberry eating and crepe eating and Christina's ice cream eating (Tazo chocolate! sundae!) and good all around.
Regattas & rain
Sunday brought my club's annual regatta, Cromwell Cup (twitter feed), so very early volunteering with setup for me, then I managed a dash to Walden for first swim of the season (divine, tho water still a little chilly), some yoga, followed by blessed downtime, then back to the boathouse for foodstand help, ice procuring and a short but impressive thunder- and lightning-infused downpour. Our regatta director called it with beautiful timing, got everyone off the water and indoors, and the sky opened. Watched the sheeting downpour from the upstairs porch, while one by one, others scooted inside. Then the skies cleared, racing continued, and I was done. It was off for more chatting, wandering and delicious eating with the Chicagoans, then happy collapsing into bed.
Today, back to the real world, ahhhhhhh.... You can decide all the undertones there.
Thursday, June 17, 2010
So, sigh. I applied for a full-time position today. I know, I know! I know. It bums me out, but -- but. After the first 3 months, it's telecommute. And, for the first 3 months, it's a 6:30-3 schedule. Which I kinda dig, except, except ... it's gonna fuck up coached rowing :(((((( and noon boxing :(((((((((. Which would be a huge bummer.
And for anyone mayhap rolling your eyes right now -- just substitute those words for "quality of life" or "sanity." But, in a variant on the erg-test saying "you can do anything for 2 minutes" ... I can do anything for 3 months, right?
And, and, I'll stop acting like the offer's at my feet and oh dear, what will I do ... until the offer appears at my feet.
Anyway. Now is the time of the continued much focus toward income, which is quite appropriate. No under-bridge-living looming yet; I'll let you know if an address change is coming.
It's also just time for some things to happen; I'm antsy.
And the website ... is making me want to take up shooting as a hobby. But I'm striving to get something up tomorrow, as planned. The words are mostly ready but who knew "easy! it's so easy! wordpress is easy!" templates would be 1) so hard to find a decent one (there are, BTW, something like 12,000 of them ... or was it 1,200? doesn't matter) and 2) so not-quite easy.
So, you can tell I'm not super cheery & sunshiny here (much like our weather, which is just FINE by me), but I maintain that's OK, too. So it goes sometimes.
Sometimes, it's a slog. Sometimes you're trudging. Me, I'm trudging right now. I'm OK with that.
And ... say it with me: BEAT LA!
p.s. In boxing class tonight? We had a King/Queen of Wall Sit contest ... and I LOST! Damnit. Hate losing. Hate being mortal, really....
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
It would've been something profound and life-altering, right?
It rained again today.
Pretty sure that wasn't it, yet it is a factual statement. Luckily, I've wised up to Boston's June ways, so I now carry an umbrella when I make my library and cafe tours.
OK, I got nothin' here. But, in place of these doldrums, my editor friend just told me about her new blog, focused on the pains of commuting and workplace culture after working from home for so long, so check it!
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Some kind of a vague, bad (terrifying) dream of something that went from pleasant or pleasurable to hunting, grasping had me gasping awake at 12:30 a.m., opening blinds for a little more (street)light and wishing it were morning.
But the morning row ... was actually good. It's been awhile! Hard workout, didn't hit the uppermost rating (a 30), but saw flickers and mostly ... just felt like I could actually row!
More resumes today and reaching out to folks who know folks at application spots. So, good. I'll take (happily) the moments where I feel calm and like it's all just gonna work out.
And a nice afternoon, a great new cafe find, some unexpected free cookies, warm late sun ... and hopefully a Celtics win tonight! Fun to wake up and dash for the paper to see morning's headline....
Monday, June 14, 2010
There was rain.
There was humidity.
There was a brief boathouse porch BBQ.
There was kind of a lot of eating, including nutella-stuffed french toast (not at the BBQ, moving on, people, moving on).
There was a visit from the favorite surgeon-in-the making (Pepper's mommy!) who did some hand-destroying rowing.
There was a damp Pride parade with some half-or-more naked people. And some perfectly ordinary people.
There was eating of the delicious unfinishable Cheescake-place salad.
There was highly random painting of one hand's nails while killing time in Sephora awaiting table for said salad (alas, camera is in car, perhaps a picture tomorrow).
There was a politician's breakfast in Revere (wow), which entailed some fried potato and mini-muffin eating on my part.
There was continued resume working.
There was a trying of a new Harv Square restaurant, tasty beer, tasty sliver of a pizza.
Lastly, there was a plugging-onward Monday in which I almost forgot to finish The Weekender!
Thursday, June 10, 2010
Miraculously -- OK, with the help of a promise to pick up a friend who's temporarily carless -- I made it to rowing this morning. Not precisely prime motivation when the alarm rings through your exhausted surety it's the middle of the night, and you hear rain dripping down, feel the chill from the open window, and your body confirms it really needs more sleep. Yet, dredge up I did, and had a great row (we went upstream ... the basin & I are still in therapy, working thru our "issues" ... but let the record show I'm doing way more of the work because it's, you know, a basin). Aftermath was wet & chill. A tea day.
Now I've got a cozy gato next to me, fuzzy socks and a fleece sweathshirt, but I seem to have a small episode of the voices freaking out in my head. So that may mean it's time to leave the house, head down, get some work done -- there's a sudden university theme to the interesting part-time communications positions I'm applying to. Still a tea day.
Given that it's a tea day and all, and the nonfun voices in my head were chattering (oh, what? like you don't have those voices, too), I headed for a more full-immersion tea experience ... no, not a tea bath, altho that does sound lovely. No, the nearby Starbucks.
And while, yeah, teadrinking, and working on resume submittal, I realized something interesting. Naturally, I don't know quite what-all this is yet, but it's around some glimmer of understanding about the legions of folks mostly tapping away, some reading, most on their own (two groupings) who come here to work or study -- to do something productive, yet in a cafe environment. I like cafes, so I've always sorta gotten it, but from the now of being a solo-from-homer, suddenly it clicks there's something really nice about being in a place where you're going to work, there isn't really anything else to do, but you're around people -- you're in an odd bit of a community of sorts -- something many of us are wanting/lacking.
It's not sterile or too quiet, but there aren't really any other serious distractions -- lots of minor ones in the people watching, but you can only do so much of that. It's not the place for quiet, uninterrupted work of course, but a little music, humanity, hubbub can do wonders for the solo spirit.
It's a tea day.
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
Well, let's be clear, I've "discovered" this library before/already. But this is the first time I've headed here to work.
It's been long enough now in this new wonderful lifestyle of work-from-home, plus with nice weather, I start to get antsy to get out of my space for at least a little chunk of each day, and while I love cafes, there's the creeping guilt if you sit too long, there's the buying something as the fair price of taking up space ... thus, the finally-heading-out to explore my local libraries as alternate workspaces.
So far, so good. Except, the table is a little high for ergonomic correctness. We'll see what I can devise. Perhaps bring a pillow with me? Hm, perhaps not. Also, I think you aren't allowed/supposed to drink water inside the library. Suddenly, I'm overpoweringly thirsty. Blame the damn salty kale crisps at lunch.
The lights are a little fluorescent-y, but they're high up and are in little UFO light fixtures, so that's something. The molding around the ceiling is insane, amazing. And I'm in the room with big windows, lots of natural light. And a view of the courthouse across the street and the big main thoroughfare. Anything with sirens goes by, I'm all over it....
Oh, there's also the historical old dead white guy nicely peering at me across the bookshelves from his gold gilt frame. Let's call him John. I mean, odds are, right?
Now, if I just weren't so thirsty....
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
It greatly distressed & worried me. Generally, I tend to/like to think I'm not all *that* soft-hearted, but something about hurt & suffering, esp an animal, ack. But I simultaneously get the anxiety/frustration & annoyance surge of not wanting my day, my time disturbed ... and what the hell can I do anyway.
The little guy could fly some, but not far or high. I only saw him because his buddy jay was screeching up a storm, and I got cold (my house is a fine icebox) and got up to get a sweater and was walking back to the couch (my current work station, haven't been able to work in oficina for a week or more ... hmm), when I thought, what the hell, let's check out the racket, and glanced out the bedroom window.
I saw the orange neighbor cat lying on the driveway on his stomach and nearby was the blue jay, standing there. I instantly knew something was wrong w the scenario and ran outside. I scared the orange cat away, but the blue jay just stood there for a while.
I stood there watching him, not knowing what to do, but figuring I could at least keep the neighbor cat from hunting and eating him. After several minutes, it's like he woke up, tho his eyes had been open and his head turning a little, but he suddenly started cheeping and hopping around. Seemed like he was looking for/talking to his buddy, who was still screaming from the tree.
He hopped a little and kept trying to fly up onto the metal guardrail thing in the parking lot, but couldn't make it. It was really sad. Finally he did. And sat there for maybe an hour. Seemed like a better place than the ground, tho still within cat's reach.
I kept peering out to check on him, while trying to steadfastly work on my website. Then I saw he was back on the ground, hopping, flying a little, but getting nowhere good. Then he went hopping toward my garage spot and wound up under my car. Great.
That's the last I saw of him, but he didn't stay there. I really, really hope he made it somewhere safe, and that he makes it.
His little life and death struggle seems a lot more dramatic and important than any of my minor struggles today.
Oh, and while in Starbucks, I discovered a friendly local musician, check him out: Ryan LaPerle. Nice sound.
Monday, June 7, 2010
Anyway, this is the gatos being adorable. Doing very good impersonations of being friends. But not to worry, Sucio shows a scratch above his eye today. sigh
Sunday, June 6, 2010
Also brought some gatherings of friends and families for graduations and weddings (ceremony stuff, it abounds).
Also, with the kind, kind assistance of a dearly beloved, I have a website completion plan. Under which I shall try hard not to kick him. Because, in the end, anything would be his fault, right? Right. So, two Fridays, it should be live. That was either a groan or a retch you just heard. You decide. So yeah, feel free to ask ... I think....
And, crossed the first 100-mile mark with Pepper last week. Yay! 400 to go before the freeze....
And now, the yes-I-will/no-I-won't debate for coconut chocolate peanut butter ice cream just swung toward the go! go now! side....
Saturday, June 5, 2010
The rain is pitter-pattering down, I have my first cup o tea, some sweet cherries and Willa intently watching me from my side. Oh, turns out she dislikes my choice of laptop for my lap -- it could be a Willatop, you know!
Last night, another great thunder-with-the-lightening-and-the-pouring-rain storm. Yay! Have I mentioned liking those? And New England weather? No?
Yesterday was graduation day for a dear friend. We got a little time to muse over the importance of these public ceremonies and rituals to mark big passages -- graduations, funerals, weddings. I'm often not deeply excited about attending them beforehand, then once there or soon after, remember/realize our need for them and their key role. Speaking of communal events, I think want I want to go to is a barn raising. How come we don't do those anymore? Or, or ... a quilting bee! Never mind that I would likely stab myself and bleed out all over the quilt, I think it could be fun. Maybe. Maybe that interspersed with the barn raising, that sounds like a good combo. Anyway. Where was I? Ritual. Ceremony. Marking significant occasions. Important stuff.
Thursday, June 3, 2010
Hi! How's it goin'? I realize that's a pretty big question, given that you're the universe and all, so you can consider it rhetorical.
So, this morning, that was a pretty dear-god-bad, I'd-cry-if-it-would-help-and-maybe-I-slightly-did row, huh? Water conditions such that I'm still simultaneously trying to forget/put words on them/experiencing the surreal state they triggered.
You might counter that I've rowed in worse. I guess that might be true. Didn't particularly feel like it.
You might also have noticed that I had a harder time with it than others in the group. Yeah, I noticed that, too. I'm not sure what's up with that, if it's something super special about me, like a super-hero gene, or just that they have more experience or tougher wills or lower hands in crap water -- I can't quite say.
But, as I was doing my best impression of rowing this morning, contemplating why I'd chosen this sport, if the basin might just swallow me in its sloshing grey waters, and if perhaps I was only really meant to be a fair-water rower, I sensed there might be some giant 3-D every-sense-engaged! life message you were giving me. This would've been right about Mass Ave bridge on the way back when the water hadn't improved a smidgen, and right about there, I kinda thought -- you know, it's really great of the universe to pour all this character building into me, I probably have more character than anyone, except people going through true hardships, and I just felt very flattered that you would give me so much.
So, you know, thanks for all that! Big thanks!
You've probably also noticed things are a little uncertain (scary) and unknown as of yet about this income situation of mine (May was real quiet, you know), and that's where I felt there might be some good connecting-threads-of-my-life-together message going on there, so that's, you know, cool and all.
The thing is.
The thing is -- I'm feeling pretty set on all the mental toughness just now. Perhaps you could take some crap water and scary rowing to some other deserving soul now? I'll keep working away on the income deal (but any help, of the non-mental-toughness variety, would be great), I figure that's pretty clearly mine to solve, but perhaps in the meantime you could ease conditions or fix something in me that falls apart at them? That would be swell!
And, to be fully respectful, I get that you could could unleash a hell of a lot worse than any of this scary, I really get that. I'm really grateful you haven't. I mean, there are people fighting terrible illness, war, poverty, famine, violence -- so much that's genuine terrible. So I try to keep it all in scale - bad /terrible water? scary/miserable row? even if it feels it might eat me? pah!
But, maybe here's the thing -- I love this sport so much. It's in my blood and I want it to ever be. I want to rise to the occasion, I want to get better, I want to not fall apart just because it's hard and scary and some part of me somehow thinks I might die or something. I want to ever get better and tougher and stronger and faster and all that.
I'm just not quite so sure it's working as-is, and I'm not sure what to do about it. Perhaps keep slogging, perhaps take steps back as needed. Not sure. But, I just wanted you to know I was paying attention, I was thinking about all this, I was caring about it all, I was wanting betterment ... and I was just thinking I just might be all set with the mental-toughness lessons right at the moment, you know?
Anyway, thanks for listening. I know you're busy what with being the universe and all, so I'll let you get back to that. I'll just hold the trust and faith, keep going and see what develops.
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
No particularly entertaining stories, weather's being, well, San Diego-ishly nice. No crazy workouts (as of yet). Work stuff ... yeah ... that's what's on my mind, not so sure I really want to talk about it. Let's just say ... the next 6 weeks will be interesting.
Tied in in some remote way that I can't see yet is that I just finished Stephen King's Dark Tower series. Started reading them many years ago, what feels like, well, what was a different life ago. But I remained hooked. And I'm sorta fascinated by what he did with the last two books: He wrote himself in as a character. I was shocked. Not sure what I thought of it. Guess I'm still not sure, except it feels right. These books were like ... maybe not his life's work, but maybe. And it perhaps took his near-death from getting hit by a car a few years back to show or remind him of that. So he finished them.
And that piece in turn ties in with the amazing Mr. Pressfield who I'm currently pretty infatuated with. Except I say that in jest, because it goes deeper than infatuation. I think it's that I'm hooked on his truthtelling. He's talking about doing our life's work as well. About cutting the crap and excuses, not that he's not sympathetic, and doing it.
It all dovetails, but I'm still shuffling the puzzle pieces around on the coffee table (yes, the metaphorical one, someday I'll get a real one) as of yet. So that's me, today.
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
Hope your Memorial Day was good, hope you were able to do a little memorializing of those many folks who so deserve it. I did a little unique memorializing of a fallen soldier I don't know through his favorite workout, now named in his honor: Murph. It went something like this: 1-mile run, 100 pull-ups, 200 push-ups, 300 squats, 1-mile run. Yes, I did it. Yes, I still hurt. I should point out we were able to break up the middle exercises into any sequence we wanted, which I'm pretty sure was key to completing it. And, there are these giant rubber-band things that make a pull-up possible (well, for me ... one of these days, man, one of these days). Not to mention those modified drop-to-your-knees push-ups that I had to incorporate in. Given who the workout was for, I wasn't about to do any complaining....
This afternoon -- grey, warm, humid, exciting! -- storm watch continues. Thunder's already reverberated loudly, twice. I'm never gonna live somewhere that doesn't have summer storms, hear me?
Oh! Guess what?? Check this out (!) (the all-caps, it's the all-caps! and the red danger!danger! heading! I get exclaimy -- I know, like I'm not already? -- in orange):
Severe Thunderstorm Warning for Middlesex County, MA
until 3:30 pm EDT, Tue., Jun. 1, 2010
Issued by The National Weather Service
2:48 pm EDT, Tue., Jun. 1, 2010
THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN TAUNTON HAS ISSUED A
* SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING FOR... SOUTHEASTERN WORCESTER COUNTY IN CENTRAL MASSACHUSETTS... THIS INCLUDES THE CITIES OF... WORCESTER... MILFORD... SOUTH CENTRAL MIDDLESEX COUNTY IN EASTERN MASSACHUSETTS... WEST CENTRAL NORFOLK COUNTY IN EASTERN MASSACHUSETTS...
* UNTIL 330 PM EDT
* AT 246 PM EDT... NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DOPPLER RADAR INDICATED A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM. THIS STORM WAS LOCATED NEAR LEICESTER... OR NEAR WORCESTER... Love how they're not quite sure which. AND WAS MOVING SOUTHEAST AT 40 MPH. Dang! That's fast!
* SOME LOCATIONS IN THE WARNING INCLUDE... AUBURN... SUTTON... MILLBURY... GRAFTON... WESTBOROUGH... NORTHBRIDGE... WHITINSVILLE... UPTON... HOPKINTON... UXBRIDGE... HOPEDALE... MENDON... MILLVILLE... HOLLISTON AND BELLINGHAM.
SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS PRODUCE DAMAGING WINDS AND LARGE HAIL... AS WELL AS DEADLY LIGHTNING AND TORRENTIAL RAIN. GET TO SAFE SHELTER NOW... Tell me this isn't exciting! INSIDE A STURDY BUILDING OR IN A VEHICLE. DO NOT SEEK SHELTER UNDER TREES. IF YOU CAN HEAR THUNDER... YOU ARE CLOSE ENOUGH TO BE STRUCK BY LIGHTNING. OK, that IS scary! DRIVERS SHOULD BE ALERT FOR PONDING (this is a cool new verb, use it today) OF WATER AND AVOID FLOODED ROADS (yeah, don't go driving through flooded roads!).
Signing off, with two bundles of black-and-white plus orangey-beige-and-white fur next to me, butt to butt, asleep on the couch....