Saturday, July 31, 2010

Time and goodness

My appreciation of weekend has grown exponentially with my number of days worked.

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

Zen via exhuastion?

Being profoundly exhausted can be an interesting state, I'm finding.

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


I'm alive, but no time, no time, no time!

Must do some blog-time pondering this weekend!

More words, more soon (tired, like I said)....

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Just a blip

Oh, tired. Surviving. Week 2 going well ... I was so excited to actually find a PDF I needed today (OK, with some help). It's the little things in a new place.

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

The Weekender: Not wanting to be over

They go fast, don't they, when the other five days are framed by work? I think I remember this.

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

Not just a workout

Some of what I love about my many workouts is they're not just workouts.

(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

Cycles completing

This post isn't even really going to pretend to be held together.

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

Still here,

still surviving, but with the working and full-timing and commuting and driving and trafficking and getting losting (seriously, every time in to Marblehead, every time ... by the time I nail it, we'll be moving) and not-enough-sleeping and logisticking and working-out-ing and ... yeah ... sesame crepe eating (amazing, get yourself to Trader Joe's & buy some!) ... well, guess I'm a little busy.

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

Day 2: Less head pain

at day's end! Not that I think I've even remotely turned the corner on brain stuffage, oh no. The iceberg hasn't even been fully seen yet. But I'll take less head pain.

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

The Weekender meets the work week

Weekend: Much awesomeness. Including: my first-ever marshmallow fight (stupendous! you must partake if you ever are walking by when one breaks out -- better yet, start your own!), a mini water balloon attack (I had pangs of remorse for attacking an unarmed man, but I was alone in that ... and it turns out, he wasn't unarmed, he had a water bottle!), canoeing and first-ever trying "SUP" (or, as the precise staff dude informed me: "Stand-Up Paddleboard. It's an acronym." Fun stuff! You do feel like a gondolier ... and it's fun sitting down, too. And, there were two park picnics in one weekend!

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):


Sunday, July 18, 2010

Thoughts of the morning

OK, this was Friday's early morning thoughts, but I somehow forgot to post, and then the weekend happened. And kept happening. And now it's Sunday night.

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....

Early morning.
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


Made it to an exhibit at the ICA I've been wanting to see: Dr. Lakra.

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

Whiplash, of the exciting variety

This week is making my head spin!

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]

got ...

a joboffer!

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

What's that saying about mortals being crunchy & tasty with ketchup...?

Was it this toasty and humid last summer? Was it? Really? Maybe it's the lack of SNOW this winter past that just makes it all the hotter. I dunno.

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

The Weekender: Hampshiring

The weekend was all New Hampshire!

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

Hamsters & itchy feet

I did it again with the letting-in-of-humidity! Isn't the definition of insanity doing the same thing and expecting different results?? Altho, that doesn't strike me as a very accurate, clinical definition. I bet my (psychologist) dad would have something to say about that! :)

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

Blame the blanket

I accidentally let the humidity in this morning. Oops. It felt like cooler air out there, and it was for a bit, but I forgot about the blanket that is humidity. Fans all going, still survivable. May be another a/c night.

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

That which shall not be named

First, I thought about molasses. It was just so darn Southern. Moving slowly through the thickened air, the light somehow shifted as well, more diffuse.

Then the thought: Well, molasses is a little extreme. I mean, picture molasses. This isn't quite that.
Maybe syrup?

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.

Boston, summer.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The main ... the two main ... OK, a few tiny updates

The brain, it is spinny; the eyelids, they would like to be closed.

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

My blogging brain ...

is apparently ready for a mini vacation! Good thing it's getting it; it's a camping weekend!

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.