Small victories. (+ October coming up, + other stories.)

At CVS there was a situation underway involving an inebriated gentleman who had a grievance of some sort. I waited in line and heard him ranting loudly from the opposite end of the store, and I held my shit together, I’ll have you know. (Drunk humans rattle my PTSD.) In case you’re wondering, it wasn’t the murder CVS down the street. It was the next-closest CVS, a bit further down and around the corner.

Small victories.

I can’t believe it’s already September 20, guys. The entire month of August swept out before I knew it. It went so quickly that I kept track of nothing, documented nothing, didn’t even look at my planner (!!!), and basically lived more “in the moment” than I usually do. It was an anomalous state of being for me, a mode that I naturally slipped into due to circumstances, so I didn’t think about it one way or the other. I wasn’t bothered by it. It just was. I didn’t even keep a running list of August Favorites!

I’m exhilarated and getting back to my life now. I’ve returned to my planner, enjoying looking at that which lies ahead; e.g. the entire month of October. I can’t wait to keep cozy and get spooked. I’m going to kick off the month with a 500th re-watching of the original Halloween. I want to set that movie’s theme song as my ringtone, as well.

 

 

Speaking of ringtones, my new cell phone is rad. It’s the Google Pixel 4a, and I finally unboxed it last night, setting it up and transferring my data before an activation mishap (user error, not phone error) led me into limbo and I lost cell phone service on both my old and new phones. The idea of not being able to connect with anyone on the phone stirred up my anxiety. The scary, foolish reality is that we without land-land phones are subject to isolation in the event of a service outage.

At what point did we become vulnerable in such a way? Being a Gen-X’er, I can wonder that.

My peers and I survived a decade of adulthood before the internet happened, and it would be another few years before cell phones; I think I was 32 years old when I got my first cell. I’ve lived more than half of my life without a cell phone, so the idea of getting nervous without cell phone access is unnerving in and of itself.

We’re a small generation, Generation X, but a lot of shit happened in our lifetimes, didn’t it? And it still is. I was in my late 20’s when the internet crept up, exploded, and took over everyday life. I remember pre-digital times very well.

Anyway, I survived the phone-less night (small victories!), and this morning I went to Verizon after my workout. It was pleasant. I was the only customer there when I went in. The Verizon dude was cool and chill and fast and I left with both of my phones squared away. (The old one now being send-back ready.)

I’ve accepted that Thursday blog posts simply don’t mesh with my new schedule; I’m not fighting it anymore. My workout regime is integral to my mental well-being, so it’s non-negotiable. I may have mentioned this before, the fact that it’s the addition of Tuesday/Thursday evening workouts. I started Body Pump during the Time of No Day Job, so I always did the morning classes. The only place for Pump in my Tuesday/Thursday schedule now is evenings, and I’m okay with that.

Also something I may have mentioned: I’m enjoying sitting down with you guys on the weekends, whether it’s on Friday or Saturday nights, or on Sunday mornings. It feels like “us” time.

Hope you’re having a great one!

 

 

Apropos of nothing, + Geronimo

Today I left work exactly at 4pm because I was thinking that Fed Ex would bring my new phone between then and 8pm since the tracking update last night said tomorrow by 8pm, and in my experience, packages almost always arrive toward the end of the delivery window, but when I got home I found my front door festooned with the little Fed Ex door tag thing saying “Sorry, sucker. we were here. You weren’t,” or something like that. (They got here at the ungodly hour of 12:45pm, about 30 minutes after I left to go back to work after lunch.) I could check the box and sign to have them drop the package off without signature next time they come (tomorrow) if I’m not here again, thus acknowledging that Fed Ex wouldn’t be responsible for any misadventures that may occur to the package, or I could go down to the shipping station to pick up the package myself between 6-7:30pm. I chose option 2 and it was 7pm when I got home so I jumped into some gym clothes to do my hour-long workout immediately. It was Body Pump #109 (far from my favorite, I remembered after it started), and then it was already late, which is why it’s after midnight once again as I write this. I won’t be able to open the package until tomorrow, but it’s safe here in the house, and that’s the important part.

At least but far from the least, I had time to see Geronimo’s sweet and scaly little face and scritch it on the sides and beneath his chin, and also on the sides of his neck. I took a pic, of course.

 

This is his thrilled face. I know all of his faces.

 

The End. Those of you asking how I like my new phone, there’s my reason for not knowing yet.

p.s. how is tomorrow already Wednesday? Have a good one!

 

 

Well if it isn’t (wasn’t) Tuesday.

All day today I thought it was Monday until twenty minutes ago when I remembered Body Combat and how it’s tomorrow, and the other Wednesday thing, which is the recycling that has to be out on the curb early in the morning, and just as I was turning over the Wednesday things, it occurred to me that if tomorrow is Wednesday, then today is Tuesday, and now I’m blathering about this in my blog because I didn’t identify today as Tuesday until, like, now. (Tuesday being blog day and all.)

And now it’s not Tuesday anymore. It’s midnight and 13 minutes, so Tuesday is ancient history, and that’s why I’m falling asleep, and about that, WTF. I fail at sleep almost every night.

I guess I’m still rusty with my “new” schedule, and apparently I’m way out of practice when it comes to three-day weekends. Sunday felt like Saturday. I put on full-face makeup and went to get my picture taken for a document, and I also took a selfie at home because I haven’t worn makeup on my face in months, so I thought, might as well. I only wear eye makeup to work. There’s no point in wearing makeup that’s going to be hidden under a mask all day. My skin likes to be naked under a mask, anyhow.

 

Taken on Sunday, not on Saturday. [06 Sept. 2020]

At least the recycling bin is more empty than full, so I won’t have to worry about it in the morning. My only responsibility tomorrow will be to come home from work and kick my own ass in cardio kickboxing. I can handle that.

 

 

On three-day weekends, procrastination, and negatives into positives.

I’m snuggly in a soft, plush robe. It’s quiet and dark and I’m clean from the shower and I’m delighting in the cozy comfort and the beautiful fragrances of the Body Shop products I used in the shower and afterward. I’m thinking about how it’s Labor Day weekend, and of how I’m kind of disappointed that I won’t be able to go to work on Monday, and of how weird it is to have a job and workplace that I enjoy enough to even have that thought enter into my head, because it’s never happened before in all my years in the workforce.

And of how this three-day weekend will put an end to a certain avenue of procrastination, because it leaves me no excuse. I have time now. There’s really no way out of it if I want to avoid beating myself up later: I have to take Weekend Day Three as an opportunity to get my shit together. By that, I mean that I have to open the mail.

Yes, my friends. The mail continues to be the household obligation that sharpens the blades of my procrastination fan more than any other. I realize how ridiculous this is. It’s the one thing that I can’t seem to change. Remember when I wrote a post about hating to do the dishes? I felt so foolish after writing it that I’ve been doing the dishes without complaint ever since. Worked like a charm! Well, I’ve also written about this mental block I have about opening the mail, but it didn’t do the same trick as it did with the dishes. I still avoid opening the damn mail, regardless of how foolish it makes me feel.

It’s inexplicable. It’s just the thing that gets me, and I have to change it for good. I’ve tried! My intentions to open the mail every day have been strong, but so far, I’ve only managed to stick with it for a week before the pile-up begins anew. Once it starts piling up, it’s all over. The more I look at unopened mail, the harder it is to get myself to open it.

Anyway, it’s Saturday, and I treated myself to one of my favorite deli food items of all time: the bomb-ass tofu spring rolls with spicy peanut sauce from Whole Foods.

 

Whole Foods deli tofu spring rolls with spicy peanut sauce

 

Today was an adventurous day of minuses that turned into pluses:

The person who was supposed to come to fix the fence this morning was a no-show.
+ I used the waiting time to accomplish something else that had to get done, and I felt super accomplished after I did it.

I went out to purchase something and ended up on a wild goose chase all over tarnation, ultimately failing in my mission.
+ While I was out, I found myself near the Chandler Whole Foods and went in to purchase some items that I needed, along with the luxury of the above-mentioned spring rolls.
+ Also, not finding the thing led me to ordering it online, and in doing that, I unwittingly lowered my monthly phone bill by a few bucks! It was a new phone that I was after. No retailer around here seems to carry it. Online, I found it on back-order, so it won’t even be shipped until mid-month. Popular phone, the Google Pixel 4A, and for good reason. (I also know someone who has a Pixel and absolutely loves it.) For me, it’s an upgrade to an inexpensive and better phone – at a trade-in price, no less – that somehow resulted in lowering my phone bill that was already low.

Nenette threw up.
+ On the hard floor in the hallway, not in a carpeted room.

The pain in my left thumb joints was extra-excruciating this morning.
+ This led me to call in for a veterans’ phone triage nurse, who enlightened me to the fact that I can start on the road to a cortisone injection at a nearby urgent care where my V.A. healthcare will cover the cost. I won’t have to take time off from work to get the x-rays!

I love my life, and I love sitting here with you guys late on Saturday nights. Thank you for being here.

 

 

Rain at last!

We had our first real storm of the monsoon season on Thursday night! Meaning we had RAIN. It happened well after dark, so I couldn’t behold Geronimo, but it made me happy to know that he was out there in full marching mode.

The following morning I discovered that the large, heavy front patio doormat was gone. Who would take a doormat? I puzzled over it as my eyes scanned the yard, and then I spotted the doormat. It was plastered against the side of the date palm tree, which is over six feet away from the door. It was the first time I had a storm come along and lift a substantial doormat and fling it against a tree, so I figure it was a decent storm. It was a strange thing to have to peel a doormat off of a tree.

Also that next morning, I found Geronimo hurrying around his backyard domain, looking as energetic as I’ve ever seen him. A summer rain-watered desert tortoise is a happy tortoise, indeed.

Nenette wasn’t as pleased with the weather event. Already nervous from the increasingly noisy wind, she darted under the couch at the first flash of lightning, and that was the last I saw of her for a good few hours.

What else? A section of the fence separating our yard from the neighbors’ broke and fell during the storm. I investigated the damage and found the fence boards lying over the verbena (or lantana?), nails up. At least there’s no danger of Geronimo climbing over them. I have to figure out what to do about the situation, though.

 

First monsoon storm of 2020 – Thursday, August 20

 

Whether verbena or lantana, this is a hardy plant.

 

That was it for storm damage. Pretty mild. I swept the back patio this morning, and that was the extent of the effort I had to make in the aftermath. It was an effort that I was glad to make! We finally got our rain.

 

 

Message in a bottle. (Missed Connections Exquisite Corpse, 8)

I’m a Missed Connections skeptic. I don’t believe that people recognize themselves when they read Missed Connections, and I’d bet that the writers know their messages won’t be found by their intended recipients. A Missed Connections posting seems to be more like a message in a bottle, doesn’t it? The writer throws it out there and hopes that anyone finds it and reads it. It seems like a lonely kind of thing to do.

Woman in the Porche with a nail in the tire from Vegas

I love how the writer tells us so much here. We have a woman in a car, and we know what kind of car it is. There’s something wrong with the car, and we know what. We don’t know whether the nail in the tire is from Vegas, or if the woman herself is from Vegas (dangling participle problems), but regardless, Vegas is involved and named as a location. That’s a lot of info in just twelve words.

For those of you unfamiliar with my Exquisite Corpse series, here’s my standard explanation:

To create these poems, I skim through the list of Missed Connections entries on Craigslist and pick out the subject lines that I find intriguing in some way, and then I arrange them into a shape that pleases me.

Credit goes to those strangers who unwittingly dropped wonderful bits of poetry in Missed Connections.

 

Missed Connections Exquisite Corpse, 8

I’m tired
Goodwill cashier and vinyl lover
Dark hair woman with skeleton mask
Cute woman in the hazmat suit
Cute guy who walks around the park
Hotel pool
Pain Clinic

You changed the creamer for me
You waved at me at our apartment complex
Exchanged glances while you jogged
You were getting gas on 3rd St and Thomas at 1130pm
Let’s go fast

Woman in the Porche with a nail in the tire from Vegas
I Saw You
Dancing in Gold Canyon

 

 

 

Making plans, getting back on track.

The weekend starts tomorrow, as do a lot of things. I’m sorry for my vagueness here. What I can say for now is that events have turned. Shenanigans are afoot. I have all manner of personal and house-related work to see to.

But first, I’m taking this weekend to decompress, I’ve decided.

Throughout the upcoming week and into the next weekend is when I’ll clean and purge the house, and that’s going to feel good. I have some new routines to establish, and I’m looking forward to doing that, too.

Most importantly: I’m stepping back into my creative cycle, where I’ll pick up the poem series I left to collect dust too long ago. I’m anticipating sending out my novel again when the new season opens – that would be mid/late September – and I want to start thinking, again, of my next novel. There’s so much that I want to write, so many worlds I want to visit.

I’m feeling energized thinking about my task list. I know it won’t be like a few weeks ago when I tried out every pen in my multi-colored felt-tip pen set so I could toss the ones that’ve dried out, and it felt like a big accomplishment. No. I see many days ahead filled with big accomplishments from doing actual big things.

Speaking of shenanegans and apropos of nothing, a new group of bros moved into the university-owned former frat house next door, and they’re having a huge party tonight. At 7:30pm, the sidewalks on our street and around the corners were already lined with cars. People were walking toward the house with cases of beer. Because it seems that COVID doesn’t exist anymore, have you heard?

The university is actually re-opening, at least partially, with students moving into dorms and everything, and the house next door is packed with party-goers who probably aren’t wearing the masks they had on when they went in.

I fear that this isn’t going to end well for some of them.

I’m not grumbling, mind you. This is not a “get off my lawn” situation I’m feeling. It’s a “worried for the human race” kind of thing. Like Pluto, COVID is no longer a planet as far as some individuals are concerned.

Have a wonderful weekend, friends.

 

 

Mini minimalism update + mini UNminimalist haul.

Well, since you asked how it’s going… minimalism is hard.

I’ve been able to keep categories of things minimal, but others have been more challenging, and I’m constantly heaping things up in a garbage bag destined for the Goodwill. I manage to hover in a degree of minimalism in some areas, I struggle in others, and I donate a lot throughout. For me, it’s about the maintenance of the effort along with a desire to inch forward into sparser territory.

It’s never been my goal to live in a white/neutral space with five possessions. Of all the rooms in my house, my office comes the closest to my minimalism ideal as far as interiors go. Have I mentioned that I painted my desk wall black? I love it so much that I’m planning to paint an accent wall in the living room the same shade. The black wall gives me a fulfilling sense of emptiness and peace. It frees my mind, inspires creativity.

My recent interior focus, though, has been my laundry room. It needed attention after years spent in disarray; with the washing machine finally repaired, I fixed an eye on it. Why not create a space that I can enjoy? Several things from the house made their way out there, some of which I had in my office… old things, thrifted things.

I do have some recent acquisitions that are new, though. This is my latest minimalism fail: there’s a shop on Etsy that sells additional items on their website, and there, I found some items for sale at ridiculous clearance prices. I liked them. I got them. They go with the laundry room’s boho vibe. Yes, there’s furniture in the laundry room… a large ottoman, a bookcase, a wicker and metal dining room chair, and a small glass vanity table. The latter serves as a roof for Salem’s winter bed.

Anyway, I have pics. I know you want to see them. (Heheh.) I took these in my office against the aforementioned black wall, even though none of these items belong in here. I’ve got the throw pillow with its new cover out in the laundry room along with the origami star ornaments, and three of the green glass tumblers are in the kitchen cabinet. The fourth one is in my bathroom.

Check it out!

Jewel tones for your dark boho mood:

 

Adah Mandala throw pillow cover, heather light green tumblers, purple 3-piece origami star ornament set (from Just Artifacts)

 

Heather light green tumblers

 

Purple 3-piece origami star ornament set

 

Purple 3-piece origami star ornament set

 

Adah Mandala throw pillow cover

 

As always, these pics are 100% untouched-up, not only due to my laziness when it comes to learning how to do cool stuff to pics, but also because I wanted the colors to represent themselves.

Links:

Adah Mandala throw pillow cover
Purple 3-piece origami star ornament set
Heather light green tumblers

I just love these colors. I love purple and green together.

Have a wonderful Wednesday, friends.

 

 

Ahem.

Tonight’s deal is the same deal as last week Thursday’s… that is to say that I’ll post my “real” Thursday post tomorrow, Friday night.

Still not sure whether this will become a trend for the long-term, but for now, we’re going with it.

Meanwhile, have this pic of Nenette chillin like a villain in the dim light of the livin room:

 

Too sleepy to care that there’s a camera (phone) pointed at her face

 

Thanks for hanging with me, friends!

 

 

I don’t take naps.

Saturday afternoon was odd. Sleepiness crept up out of nowhere and pushed my eyelids down, as one would do to a corpse, and I fought it violently but it was much stronger and it won easily. It held me still and breathing through a twilight doze for two hours. The conscious part of my mind protested on a loop, what is happening, I never get sleepy like this, I never take naps, I can’t take naps… I startled awake at one point as I suddenly thought the virus! …of how some people who survive the virus describe extreme fatigue as a symptom, though I really just felt intensely sleepy. In my mind, there’s a difference: fatigue, I think, is felt in the body, while the sleepiness of that afternoon felt to be outside of my body. I spent the remainder of my doze immobile in a semi-panic, but then I got up and felt awake and strangely new.

On Sunday morning I woke up to a hazy day that made me want to stay home, and so I did. I cleaned the kitchen and the living room, baked a new pan of breakfast cookie bars for the week, shamelessly placed a grocery order for delivery, organized the upcoming week’s meds and supps in their respective pill holders, did a couple of light loads of laundry, opened the mail and recycled and filed and shredded. I went to Amazon Prime to rent a spooky movie long on my list, Lake Mungo… and then, in the evening, I went to Netflix to watch the pilot of Shameless while eating dinner, and it left me in a good mood.

It was funny that I started Shameless on Sunday night, because on Monday morning at work, I overheard people talking about it – I’m pretty sure that was what they were talking about, because I heard the name “Fiona” – and I thought, Spoiler Alert! Maybe!

But there were no spoilers.

May your week be spoiler-free and off to a good start.

 

 

My week was great, but Wednesday was a train wreck.

You guys, I don’t know, Friday posts just might become the new Thursday posts here in TALC. Friday fits better with my new schedule. I don’t work out on Friday evenings, and I don’t have to get up early for work the next day. It’s Friday night and I’m sitting here writing this without any time-related stress. It’s nice. I’m digging it.

We’ll see.

Back to what I was writing, though. I was telling you about Wednesday.

Sirens blared and warbled down the street as I got ready for work on Wednesday morning, which wasn’t unusual. They didn’t stop, though. It was one emergency vehicle after the other for what seemed like a long time, and they sounded pretty close. Not a garden-variety shooting, I remember thinking.

Turns out that the Union Pacific train that crosses over our lake (Tempe Town Lake) on our old UP railroad bridge derailed and went up in flames while a section of the burning bridge collapsed and fiery wreckage spilled into the water, an apocalyptic disaster that ended up in the international news.

2020, just stop, please, will you. FFS.

This happened less than a mile from home. The endless sirens were indeed loud.

It’s sad; this is sad for Tempe and for Phoenix Metro, in general. That Union Pacific rail bridge was as historic and iconic as our mill. On our walks, we’d go to the lake and its bridges and through the areas around it. I took pics along the way as we went on our “pandemic walks” back in April:

 

Walking along Rio Salado on April 6, 2020. The old brown bridge in the foreground is the UP railroad bridge that collapsed.

 

RIP, old bridge. I’m glad I took these pics of you.

 

The railroad bridge is the one in the background in this pic as we walked under from the opposite direction.

 

Here’s what the site looked like on Wednesday:

 

[Pic from the web the day of the disaster, Wednesday, 29 July 2020]

 

I took my pics at the spot on the right where the derailed train landed, behind that bush where the newer, geometric-design bridge visually intersects with the old UP railroad bridge.

 

Walking along Rio Salado on April 6, 2020. The old brown bridge in the foreground is the railroad bridge that collapsed.

 

So I drove to work that morning under a dark haze without knowing what it was, just thinking that today might be the day we’re finally going to get our first storm of monsoon season. I didn’t learn the reason for the dark sky until a co-worker told me about the disaster a few hours later.

Tempe is still busy with clean-up. The FBI is investigating. Union Pacific is saying they’ll rebuild our bridge. We’ll see what happens.

Thankfully, no one was seriously injured on the scene of the accident.

There were the chemical leaks, though. The train’s damaged cargo included 500 gallons of cyclohexanone, and it spilled in the disaster. There were also chemicals from burning rubber, and maybe more from who knows what. I don’t doubt for a minute that there were airborne particles of these chemicals hanging in our atmosphere that day, and of course my mind goes immediately to the possibilities.

Such as, the sequel to this story could be a Kafka-esque nightmare in which we local residents mutate into supervillains or zombies due to the toxic plume of smoke that rose above our section of town in the disaster. 2020 being what it’s been, I actually wouldn’t be surprised if NW Tempe becomes the epicenter of the zombie apocalypse.

As if the challenges presented by the virus aren’t massive and daunting enough.

It’s good that we’re all wearing masks outside of our houses. They might protect us from more than just the virus.

We’re on the eve of August and we’re well into monsoon season, but we still haven’t had our first storm. Too bad it wasn’t pouring rain on Wednesday morning.

Happy WEEKEND eve, my friends.

 

 

 

Blog fail tonight.

Ahem.

Hey, friends. It’s after midnight and I’m passing out while sitting here trying to see the screen through extremely dry eyes that I can barely keep open, so please look for Thursday’s post on Friday (today, if you’re in the States). Thanks for understanding!

I didn’t come empty-handed, though. I’ll leave you with this pic of a cartoony tree that’s on the street side of the wall bordering my workplace’s parking lot. It amuses me. It makes me think of Dr. Seuss:

 

I call this the Dr. Seuss tree.

 

Tomorrow night, then.

Happy Friday, all!

 

 

 

Ancient LJ meme. (Throw-back Thursday post!)

Signed into LiveJournal (LJ) over the weekend on a whim and ran into this popular old meme, and I figured it would be cool to share it so we can all appreciate the simple ways in which we were entertained in the nineties and the aughts. These answers are my answers of today, though. I wish I had my answers from back then. Nothing like a self-centered little questionnaire to get to know people!

THREE NAMES YOU GO BY:
1.) Kristi
2.) Kris
3.) ?

THREE SCREEN NAMES YOU HAVE HAD:
1.) kittyconcrete
2.) kkryogenic
3.) kgar

THREE PHYSICAL THINGS YOU LIKE ABOUT YOURSELF:
1.) hairless legs
2.) no periods
3.) eyelashes

THREE PARTS OF YOUR HERITAGE:
1.) Japanese
2.) English
3.) Welsh – ?

THREE THINGS THAT SCARE YOU:
1.) COVID
2.) roaches (phobia fear, not ordinary fear)
3.) drunk people

THREE OF YOUR EVERYDAY ESSENTIALS:
1.) sunscreen
2.) lip balm
3.) music

THREE THINGS YOU ARE WEARING RIGHT NOW:
1.) short black and white flannel shorts
2.) oversize khaki green t-shirt
3.) white ankle socks

THREE OF YOUR FAVORITE BANDS OR MUSICAL ARTISTS:
1.) ::wumpscut::
2). Sirus
3.) Front Line Assembly/Einsturzende Neubauten (couldn’t pick just one)

THREE OF YOUR FAVORITE SONGS:
1.) No Mercy
2.) Autonomous
3.) Golgotha

LAST THREE SONGS YOU’VE LISTENED TO:
1.) Neologic Spasm
2.) Basilisk
3.) Feurio!

LAST THREE MOVIES YOU WENT AND SAW:
1.) I don’t remember what I last WENT to see in the Before Time.
2.)
3.)

THREE THINGS YOU WANT IN A RELATIONSHIP:
1.) security
2.) stability
3.) harmony

TWO TRUTHS AND A LIE:
1.) I’ve jumped out of airplanes
2.) I was arrested for trafficking drugs over an international border
3.) I’m an Orion starseed

(you figure out which is which)

THREE THINGS ABOUT THE PREFERRED SEX THAT APPEAL TO YOU:
1a.) (“the preferred sex” – ! Not all memes age well.)
1.) In everyone: humility
2.) and intellectual curiosity
3.) and graciousness and compassion (okay, that was four)

THREE OF YOUR FAVORITE HOBBIES:
1.) working out
2.) listening to music
3.) watching horror movies

THREE THINGS YOU WANT TO DO REALLY BADLY RIGHT NOW:
1.) sleep
2.) clean my house
3.) see my parents

THREE CAREERS YOU’RE CONSIDERING/YOU’VE CONSIDERED:
1.) FBI agent (past)
2.) lawyer (past)
3.) musician and/or writer (always)

THREE PLACES YOU WANT TO GO ON VACATION:
1.) Murmansk, Russia
2.) New Zealand
3.) Germany (I always want to go back)

THREE KIDS NAMES YOU LIKE:
1.) Presley
2.) Faith
3.) Sam

THREE THINGS YOU WANT TO DO BEFORE YOU DIE:
1.) publish my novel
2.) write another novel
3.) find a way to fulfill an old promise

THREE WAYS THAT YOU ARE STEREOTYPICALLY A BOY:
1a.) (OMG this meme)
1.) I’m not interested in rom-coms or “arts & crafts” (I do love art in a general sense, though)
2.) I swear a lot
3.) I wear a lot of band shirts

THREE WAYS THAT YOU ARE STEREOTYPICALLY A CHICK:
1.) I love skincare products, rich and fragrant creams and oils and shower gels and perfumes and etc.
2.) I love lip products, from balms to lip colors in lipsticks and stains and glosses
3.) I sleep with a stuffed animal. He’s a black cat named Binxy.

Binxy isn’t just an adorable plush stuffed animal, though. He has a zip compartment on his back, because he was actually made to be a purse. Inside, I keep a small flashlight and my Smith & Wesson M&P spring-loaded tactical/survival pocket knife. Binxy is a special stuffed animal. He stays in my arms all night.

THREE PEOPLE THAT I WOULD LIKE TO SEE TAKE THIS QUIZ NOW:
Haha! This question at the end of almost every meme used to drive me nuts.

 

 

Every weird feeling is (…)

Maybe it’s paranoia, but I’ve been feeling vaguely strange in my body lately, and I can’t help but wonder. I still have the residual cough from the pneumonia I had in January, so that’s accounted for, but there are other little things, such as I now experience intermittent, unusual discomfort around the lower part of my rib cage on my left side. The pneumonia was in my lower left lung lobe. Has it come back? I don’t have a fever, but I didn’t have one when I was sick in January, either. I tend to not get fevers. You don’t need to have a fever to have COVID. That’s the thing.

I’m sure it’s all normal and fine. There’s probably some kind of workout stress going on in that area. I should stop reading COVID articles that announce new symptoms. After the last one I read, it’s clear that any symptom can indicate the virus.

I also have a dull, achy, burning UTI-ish feeling, probably because my bladder is stressed on account of the fact that I don’t empty it as soon as I need to during the day. I’m not used to holding it. I should stop doing that… TMI, but now you know. (Because, of course, you had to know that I’ll be running to the restroom 3x/hour from now on.)

In other news, I had a moment last night and today I hurried out of work after my eight hours and went to get my hair cut, because what am I going to do, not get my hair cut professionally until 2021 or longer?

It hit me all of a sudden. It had to be done!

I wanted short hair again, and it’s short, but not as short as I’d like. I should’ve asked her to go a little more. I like having short hair; it’s especially great now that I’m washing my hair every night. Short hair is faster and easier to wash and dry. I’ll probably wear it pinned back, as I did when I went to the gym with short hair. Nondescript. Unobtrusive. Comfortable. It’ll be out of my way, and I won’t have to think about it.

I’ll take a selfie tomorrow or the next day for Thursday’s post!

Having short hair again makes me want to wear my chokers and collars, but I feel like there’s some kind of line as far as how alternative I can get away with being at work… in my head, anyway.

I’m still so stoked about getting to dress in jeans and t-shirts as opposed to “business casual.” I wouldn’t wear every t-shirt I own, though. I’ve identified the ones I wouldn’t be comfortable wearing to work:

  • the ones with the word “vegan” on them, or that in some other way celebrate a plant-based life
  • the ones with Marilyn Manson on them, for instance
  • the ones with anything even vaguely political on them
  • around Halloween I’ll want to wear my Halloween horror movie shirt, because only then will I feel justified in wearing a shirt with Michael Meyers’ ghostly white mask and two big slashy daggers crossed in the front.

so there’s that.

(I really have minimalized my t-shirt collection, by the way. The thing is that I tend to get a new one when I donate one. I have kind of a problem.)

I’m also liking posting here at this time of night. It’s not ideal for me to be up this late, but I feel more like I’m talking to you, personally. It’s quiet. I’m not feeling pressured by time. Admittedly, I’m later tonight than I would be had I refrained from getting my hair cut after work.

It really is my intention to be better on social media, to engage more, or at all, for that matter. There are wonderful recent comments on my posts linking to this blog, and I haven’t replied yet because I simply haven’t been on those platforms for any length of time. There’s no excuse. I’m still aiming to create new routines, and I will, and social media will be a part of it to an extent.

 

 

 

 

New times.

So.

I posted here at nine minutes to midnight on Tuesday, and now it’s Thursday and it’s 11pm. I believe that my blog-posting time will be changing to these later hours, like, officially.

This is because my weekday evening agenda now includes working out and washing my hair. Two things changed when I got my full-time job: my Tuesday/Thursday morning workouts became Tuesday/Thursday evening workouts, and also, I’m washing my hair every night now. It takes time.

The virus is the reason for both changes. I went back to work full-time because Callaghan was laid off due to a virus-shutdown-related “reduction in force” at his job, and I wash my hair every weekday night now because I’m out at work all day in the midst of a raging pandemic. As far as I’m concerned, the virus comes home with me when I get off work. It’s on my clothes and it’s in my hair, and both need to be washed.

Both of the changes make me happy, though. I never would’ve stumbled into my awesome job in the Before Time. I never would’ve quit the gym to work out at home exclusively. The only thing amiss in this picture is the time that I post in this space. I’m fixing that by changing the time. Thank you for understanding!

I do not want this 11pm-midnight business to continue, though. I should be in bed by now. I aim to post here by 10pm, certainly no later than 10:30pm.

Long-time readers, do you remember years ago when I used to post in the early mornings before going to work? Do you know how I did it?

Yeah, neither do I.

 

too late baby

 

I just took the above selfie. My hair is drying. I’m washed out by the light. I’m super tired, but I’m feeling blessed.

Happy Friday Eve, my friends.

 

 

Can we just cancel winter this year? (I’m afraid.)

Life is such a small experience now, physically reduced to the necessary walls around us. I’m ecstatic to be going to work again, but also afraid. Work’s walls are necessary walls, and there are numerous people within them, and each one of us is a potential carrier and spreader of the virus. Everything possible is being done. There’s nothing else we can do but hope that we’re all taking care when we’re out in the world.

I’m afraid of the winter. It gets cold in the desert, and I heard that it gets very cold at work. What if I won’t be able to function? My tolerance to cold is low, low, low.

Cold antagonizes autoimmunity. It’s beastly to autoimmune thyroiditis (Hashimoto’s disease), secondary Reynaud’s, Sjögren’s Syndrome, all of the autoimmune everything that I have.

I love my job, and I don’t want to have to leave it because I can’t handle the cold.

I’m hoping that I’ll acclimate. My spoiled ass hasn’t had to function in the cold in decades. I worked in the cold when I was in the Army and stationed in Germany. You did just fine, I remind myself. I didn’t have autoimmune diseases back then, that I know of, anyway, but I’m going to go with the assumption that I did so that I can mentally prepare for this winter.

Because any reassurances and pep talks will have to come from me, from my memories of my experiences. I did it before. I can do it again. In the snowy German winter I spent eight-hour days working outside, doing everything from running wire to building temporary sidewalks out of pallets during field exercises. I remember the challenge of not slipping on the ice that coated the pallets. I remember huddling with others over coffee when we’d go in to warm up. We all griped about the cold, but we got back out there once our fingers thawed out. We had no choice. I disliked it, but I survived it.

I don’t want to dislike and survive my job in the winter. I want to keep loving it there.

This whole rambling train of thought about the cold is a tangent. I didn’t plan to talk about the winter. What I wanted to say, actually, is NOTE TO SELF remember to ask people at work whether cold and flu viruses tend to “go around” there, as they do in office work settings. I just want to know.

I’m afraid of the virus. I’m afraid of the winter. I’m afraid of how the virus and the winter are going to intersect. COVID is relentless and robust, and the “second wave” hasn’t even hit yet. I’m afraid that the winter will strengthen it further, and that we’ll become even more vulnerable with our defenses down in the low temperatures.

Think positively.

 

 

Nenette’s triggers.

If I were to tell you that I accidentally threw a water glass into my bathroom sink the other night, you might want to know how, exactly, someone throws a glass into the sink by accident.

I only meant to toss the water that was in the glass into the sink. The glass was doomed because I’d just done my nighttime skin-care routine, so my fingers were slick with the residue of three different rich, moisturizing products. The glass slipped from my fingers and followed the trajectory of my wrist-flick toward the sink. It flew and crashed very loudly.

I couldn’t address the matter of a sink full of broken glass until the next day, because I would use a plastic bag for the disposal of said glass, and my cat is afraid of plastic bags. Nenette had been sitting on the dresser right at my elbow when the glass landed in the sink. It was her water glass, the one that stays on my dresser, and she was waiting for me to replenish it.

 

Nenette and her doomed water glass.

 

(She has a water glass on my bedroom dresser, on the small bookshelf in my office, and on the coffee table in the living room.)

That’s right… you would think that a glass crash-landing into a sink would scare her, but it would be the aftermath that would propel her out of the room in terror. The sound of the PLASTIC BAG. Since it was only a glass shattering to smithereens not six feet away from her, she just sat calmly and regarded me with patience as she waited for a fresh glass of water.

As a furbaby mom, I have to be on top of Nenette’s triggers. I cleaned up the broken glass the next day when she wasn’t in the room.

Nenette is mainly afraid of:

  • The sound of plastic bags
  • The sound of aluminum foil
  • Electrical storms
  • Loud voices
  • People who don’t live here

She’s not a fan of vacuum cleaners, but she can tolerate them until they get too close. She’s curious about Hank the Roomba, but when he heads in her direction, she’s out.

Now you might be waiting for me to get to the point of this post, but there really isn’t one. I just wanted to share that I accidentally threw a glass into a sink, and my cat wasn’t impressed.

Happy Friday Eve, my friends!

 

 

Blessings. (AZ Monsoon 2020!)

Things I’m looking forward to:

–My next workout

–Going to work tomorrow

–The next horror movie I watch

–Falling asleep to the sound of Nenette purring

–Dust storms, electrical storms, and Geronimo out in the storms.

Because here in the Land of AZ, we’re edging into monsoon season. The air’s gradually, increasingly damp with it. Geronimo’s at the ready for his first stormy march of the season, as am I. A desert tortoise in a summer storm is a happy tortoise! The moisture seems to make him even more nimble than tortoises are given credit to be. Geronimo be nimble, Geronimo be quick. And he is, especially when the rain comes down in the summer.

Mid-July anticipation feels extra delicious this year. The pandemic can’t shut down monsoon season. The virus can’t ruin a storm. This is one show that won’t be cancelled. The power of our desert weather system is immalleable in the face of 2020’s beastly scourge!

Nature prevails.

 

Shadowy plants through a nighttime bathroom window [05 July 2020]

That is all.

 

 

Retrograde chaos has us where it wants us. (And it’s a good place, actually.)

Six planets are in retrograde right now. This means something different for everyone. If you’re finding yourself dealing with inconveniences of a technical flavor these days, you can probably blame the planets.

On my end, we’re talking typical issues with glitchiness as I’m minding my own business trying to be a human on this planet. Being a human on this planet is especially tricky when I’m being pranked by the universe, I find. I often have to war with technology and electricity in the most placid of planetary times, so times like these just make things more interesting.

At the moment, the washing machine still won’t spin. (The technician is coming tomorrow.) The electricity went out momentarily yesterday, and we had to wrangle with the microwave oven to get it to reset its clock. On Saturday, the laptop I use to stream my workouts blipped out of nowhere to display a blue screen with sad faces running across the top.

 

The universe has a sense of humor.

 

Getting online is less enticing than ever, as it is. Working a manual job in an analog environment is just refreshing. I’m not eager to get online when I get home. Instead, I reach for books… real ones.

I did utilize personal technology today, though: I downloaded and activated a step-counting app on my phone this morning before I started work and left it in my back pocket, as I always do. I was just curious!

The morning unfolded at an average pace. As I may have mentioned, my job is very active, and there’s no sitting down involved.

The afternoon passed with less walking around than usual, though, due to a time-consuming project that I had to do while standing in one place.

Still, at the end of the workday, my step counter said that I’d walked 13,538 steps and 5.56 miles. On an average day, it would be more. This might explain why I feel invigorated rather than tired when I get home from my 100% physical job. The day ends on an endorphin high?! I come home eager to work out.

Or maybe I’m not tired because I’m not fatiguing my eyes staring at a computer screen all day.

I’m serious when I say that I never want to work in an office again.

Actually, all of this planetary retrograde activity has been eye-opening for me. It feels like a good time for realization, reevaluation, and reassessment. Maybe you feel like that, too.

 

 

 

Please to let this slide. (The Grunge.)

Hello, my friends. I’m taking this blog post to Tuesday, at which point I’ll have sorted out my new schedule. I need this weekend to start preparing for this space, well, over the weekend!

Last weekend, my plans for today’s post were derailed by our broken-down washing machine. I spent most of my “free” time taking everything out of the laundry room and cleaning the space for the benefit of the washing machine technician (more for the benefit of my pride), and let me tell you.

Maybe not. If you live in the desert and have an outdoor laundry room, I don’t have to tell you. If you know, you know. If you don’t know: we have dust here.

Also, I’m not good at cleaning the laundry room, which is to say that I never do. When you have an outdoor laundry room in the desert and you never clean it, you end up writing in your blog that you don’t have a real blog post because you were finally forced to clean the laundry room due to a washing machine, and it turns out that the cleaning of a severely neglected outdoor desert laundry room engulfs the weekend most glamorously.

See, if I’d cleaned the laundry room on a regular basis (or at all), I wouldn’t have to replace an actual blog post with an admission that I never clean the laundry room, and that’s why we’re here. NOW YOU KNOW TOO MUCH.

This is not an excuse. Life will always happen; I just wasn’t prepared in the first place. My plans weren’t derailed by the washing machine. They were derailed by me not cleaning the laundry room, like, ever.

But I’m slowly fitting the pieces of my new life into a new shape. I will figure it out. I’m suddenly reconciling a 40-hour work week with five days of workouts and all of the regular things that need to get done.

I wish I could at least share with you the glorious news that my laundry room is now clean, but alas. It was in such a state that I couldn’t get it as clean as it could be. That will have happen after the washing machine technician does his work on Wednesday.

If my life was a horror movie, it would be called The Grunge.

 

 

 

Ch- ch- ch- CHANGES. (Involving active-duty Army flashbacks… in a good way.)

Get this! I started A JOB on Wednesday (yesterday), as in, I leave the house in the morning and return in the late afternoon. I’m not working from home.

This came as a surprise to me, too, though I’d been hoping for it… I really wanted this position at my new company (which shall not be named). What I mean, I guess, is that it happened suddenly. I did a phone interview on Monday, went for a drug/alcohol test a few hours later, got the call with the clean result and job offer on Tuesday, and started work on Wednesday. Today was my second day.

I totally deviated from my administrative norm with this one. This job is different than anything I’d done in my entire life, though it does remind me of my military service in many ways.

Without going into specifics, I’ll share the aspects of the job that remind me of my active-duty Army days (peacetime/garrison): 1. I don’t have a commute; 2. I wear a standard daily uniform (my usual: jeans, t-shirts, and combat boots); 3. I’m nowhere near a computer all day; 4. I’m nowhere near a desk all day (I’m on my feet and constantly on the move); 5. They sent me for a piss test. 6. I feel like I’m volunteering, but I’m getting paid for it; 7. I still work out every day, the only difference being that I do my PT after work instead of before; 8. I’m not working for the man; and 9). the way my manager runs the place very much reminds me of Army active duty. He’s like an NCO. I wouldn’t be surprised if he’d served.

I love this job.

The only downside is that I’m away from my Nenette all day. We both especially miss our morning bonding time. Nenette is my daughter, my official feline companion animal (as designated by the V.A. for my PTSD). I miss her. I miss her, I miss her, I miss her, I miss her, I miss her. I also miss Geronimo, though he’s been nowhere to be seen all week. [!!!-???]

 

Today: at home, post-workout, post-work. [11 June 2020]

 

So that’s the news, my friends. My mission now is to settle into a routine that allows for housecleaning and such. I had domestic projects on my agenda, and suddenly, I have no time in which to do them. I’ll carve out some time one way or the other.

Happy Friday Eve!

 

 

 

 

15 questions: book trivia! (Reading for pleasure.)

Today, I’m finally posting that survey/quiz/meme about books. I love reading these when people do them; they offer some insight into the person giving the answers. You might dig this if you’re into reading for pleasure, or if you’re just curious about Yours Truly.

Have at it!

1). Favorite novel: He, She and It, by Marge Piercy

2). Favorite work of non-fiction: War is a Force That Gives Us Meaning, by Chris Hedges

3). Most recent novel read: The Girls, by Emma Cline (excellent and chilling historical fiction ostensibly about the Manson murders)

4). Favorite underrated horror novel: Rose Madder, by Stephen King

5). Novel I’d want to see as a movie: The Secret History, by Donna Tartt. (I wish they’d made that one into a film rather than The Goldfinch, though the latter is also a brilliant novel that I enjoyed.)

6). Favorite fictional hero: Jack Reacher (creation of author Lee Child)

7). Favorite fictional hero novel of all time: Gone Tomorrow, by Lee Child (Jack Reacher novel)

8). Favorite work of creative non-fiction: Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, by John Berendt

9). Favorite vampire novel: Dark Dance, by Tanith Lee

10). Favorite comfort/guilty pleasure re-read: Dark Dance, by Tanith Lee

11). Favorite fictional mythological world: Harry Potter (author J.K. Rowling)

12). Favorite fiction genres: horror, crime, mystery, historical fiction

13). Favorite non-fiction genres: biography; music; astrology; philosophy

14). Favorite foreign author: Amélie Nothomb (Belgian)

15). Literary tribute name you would give your dog/cat: If I were to adopt three male cats, I would name them Edgar, Allen, and Poe.

Along these lines, I’ve got an office preview pic for you. Why yes, I overhauled my office again. I wasn’t planning on doing a whole redecorating job… it just kind of happened. More on this later!

 

Office update 2020 (preview)

 

The End.

 

 

Gum-grafting surgery is over. It went well. (ALSO, Body Combat 82 is EVERYTHING.)

Coming at you from the glorious place that is AFTER my LAST gum-grafting surgery! It’s over, and I’m so glad. I’m feeling good, even. [::knocks wood::]

The highlight of the week, though, was yesterday afternoon’s Body Combat workout that I did as a phone meet-up with my friend. We did #82, which is officially my favorite Combat release of all time. I love everything about that release, including its tracklist and how the music goes perfectly with the workout segments. I’ve never loved a Body Combat release in its entirety from beginning to end. I’ve never had a “favorite” release, like I have in Body Pump. (Body Pump #101 is my favorite, if you must know.)

I was still wearing the makeup I’d put on in the morning before going to get my teeth cleaned.

It was a coincidence that my dental cleaning was the day before my oral surgery, and it was also a coincidence that makeup day fell on Body Combat day. The only time I’ve ever worn makeup to the gym was for Combat, because my Combat classes were evening classes, when I already had makeup on. No one in Body Pump (morning classes only, for me) has ever seen me there in makeup… except for that one time on Halloween, when we dressed up.

After Combat, I stuck my face in front of the phone for a selfie (aka video clip from which I snapped a screenshot, haha, sorry again for the graininess). My post-Combat face is always the same: satisfied, sweaty, and smeared with makeup.

 

Post-Combat. [13 May 2020]

 

I put the phone in front of my face again this afternoon, shortly after my surgery. I talked into the camera and posted it to my insta story. I’m mostly incoherent.

 

 

Those last words before I signed off were “I’m out of it,” as if that wasn’t obvious.

I’m so thankful that I don’t feel nearly as bad this time as I did after the November surgery. I have high hopes for a faster recovery!

On that note, I hope you’re all doing well. Happy Friday Eve!

 

 

 

Gratitude, love, strength.

I was just reflecting on how deeply I appreciate all of you who read what I post in this space, and how much you all mean to me. No matter what we may think or say, we are a collection of hearts on this earth. Heart energy is love, and love is never a more magnificent force than when it’s recognized as strength. There are millions and millions of us on earth with love and strength to share. We can get through anything together! Keeping each other safe by staying home as much as possible is the most powerful way we can express our love right now, and I’m feeling it. It’s overwhelming in the best of ways.

 

Nenette loves her sparkly toys, but she loves you more.

 

 

Happy Friday Eve, my dear friends.

 

 

The End.

Ropes and Cardio? No. (Spring 2020 Fitness Updates, Part 2: COVID-19 edition.)

This was supposed to be my “Spring 2020 Fitness Updates, Part 2: Ropes & Cardio edition” post, wherein I’d review my cardio workout experience from my first Ropes class to the fifth, which would’ve been yesterday’s class. I was going to take a post-workout selfie and everything!

Only I didn’t go to the class or to the gym at all yesterday. After feeling conflicted going to Saturday’s Pump class, I decided at the last minute that staying away from the gym was the obviously correct thing to do for the greater good in these times of COVID-19.

Plan B, then, was to write about how I’ve decided to stay away from the gym indefinitely, and what I was going to do for fitness instead.

Only when I woke up this morning, my decision was no longer a decision, because my gym (thankfully) announced that it was closing all of its locations from today until at least March 31st.

So this fitness update is just to say that I’ll be working out at home for the next few weeks/indefinitely. I re-subscribed to Les Mills On Demand so I can continue with Body Pump out in the garage. The weather is perfect, and we have all the dumbbells!

For the cardio half of my fitness equation? WELL, having Les Mills On Demand means that I can do Body Combat workouts again. I’m going to BODY COMBAT for the first time in almost a year, and I’m stoked.

There are always silver linings, even to the dark clouds of the viral apocalypse.

I’m so glad that my gym closed in the interest of slowing the COVID-19 spread.

I have to admit that I’ve been confused listening to the folks who remark that COVID-19 is “like the flu,” and that it’s not even as bad as the flu because “more people die from the flu and people don’t freak out or care about that.” This basic lack of understanding of what’s going on is scary. Hasn’t everyone noticed that the borders between countries in continental Europe have been slammed shut, and Italy is locked down completely? COVID-19 cannot be underestimated.

This virus is not “like the flu.” COVID-19’s mortality rate is higher than the flu’s, and it’s more contagious than the flu. COVID-19 is new, so there’s no vaccine for it, no immunity to it. It’s a fast-moving unknown, is what it is, and people are dying. Until we understand it, we can’t be too careful. I’d rather “overreact” to this thing now than live life as if nothing is happening and then look back with regret. Let’s learn from the Italians, who learned it the hard way.

The only way to avoid being a part of the problem is to minimize our footprints by removing ourselves from the mix. The only way to “flatten the curve” of COVID-19’s trajectory – necessary for biochemists to catch up with the virus so they can create a vaccine – is to practice social-distancing to the utmost possible.

Think of it this way, since everyone loves a twist on an idiom in a run-on sentence: There’s a kitchen full of cooks who are merrily cooking away, laughing and talking and gesticulating and unknowingly flinging around microscopic particles of flour and droplets of vinegar and whatnot, and in the midst of all this activity, there’s a devious, deadly bug that the exterminators can’t catch because it’s also microscopic, and it’s able to jump around quickly and stealthily from cook to cook, and not only that, but it’s a shape-shifting bug that can change its appearance, so the exterminators have to re-learn it every time they think they have it before they can resume the hunt. We need to get the cooks out of the kitchen so the exterminators can catch the bug that’s contaminating everyone and everything in there, you know?

 

I went to Target on Saturday.

 

I’m happy to get back into the garage. Next time I post a fitness update, it’ll be a garage gym post!

 

 

 

Meme I stole from a friend, because frivolity.

I don’t usually mention current events in this space, but these are some particularly sinister times. It’s hard to know what else to think about, much less write about.

Some of us are higher-risk than others, but COVID-19 doesn’t discriminate. We have healthy, young, world-class athletes diagnosed with it now (R.I.P. 2020 NBA season), so no one under the age of 60 should allow their age to lull them into complacency. No one should wave off the virus because “most cases are mild.” It’s great that most cases are mild, but that’s not the point. A mildly infected person could infect someone else, and that person may not be as lucky. An infected individual feeling “okay” is yet a hazard to others.

COVID-19 is a runaway virus that no one’s caught up with yet, and that’s the damn thing of it. Until we get ahead of it, it’s a disaster, and no words can sugar-coat it.

“But it’s such a cute little disaster!” Nah.

I don’t even know, man.

Anyway, here’s a silly meme I stole from a friend on another site. Learn some frivolous trivia about Yours Truly, if you’re so inclined:

1. What was the last food you ate?
I’m eating crunchy, toasted chickpeas with sea salt as we speak.

2. Do you sleep w socks?
Yes! Always! I wouldn’t want to jump into combat boots with bare feet.

3. Worst physical pain you’ve ever been in?
Waking up from major abdominal surgery feeling everything. I thought I was going to die. Two days of hell crawled by before the official medical conclusion was reached, which is that I “don’t have the receptors for morphine.” Red-heads are notoriously difficult to anesthetize, apparently. [::shakes fist at ginger biological father and his genes::]

4. Favorite places you have been?
Besides Arizona:
Stuttgart (Germany)
London (England)
Casablanca (Morocco)

5. How late did you stay up last night?
Until around 1:45am.

6. If you could move somewhere else, where would it be?
Nowhere. I don’t want to move ever again. My whole heart is rooted here in Arizona, now more than ever! This is where I belong.

7. Which of your Facebook friends lives closest to you?
Caroline!

8. When was the last time you cried?
Whatever day it was that I watched The Pharmacist. That Netflix docuseries got to me.

9. Who took your profile pic?
I did. Most pics of me are selfies.

10. Two of your favorite movies?
Those of you who know me well or who’ve been here awhile probably know that Tombstone (1993) and The Big Lebowski (1998) are my two favorite movies, so I’ll throw in two more favorites:
Tank Girl (1995)
Candyman (1992)

The 90’s is my favorite movie decade. Most of my favorite movies are from the 90’s.

11. What’s your favorite season?
Spring! And fall. The equinoxes.

12. If you could have any career, what would it be?
Writing poetry and novels.

13. What was the last book you read?
Lee Child’s Blue Moon. It’s a Jack Reacher novel… Lee Child’s last, at that.

14. If you could talk to ANYONE right now, who would it be?
Tochinoshin, my favorite Sumo wrestler. His native tongues are the two languages spoken in Georgia, Georgian and Abkhazian, so we’d have to speak through a translator.

15. Are you a good influence?
I’ve been told that I am, mostly by Callaghan. Does that count?

16. Does pineapple belong on a pizza?
Hawaiian pizza exists, therefore pineapple belongs on a pizza. Do I like it? Yes, though I never ask for pineapple on my pizza.

17. You have the remote, what show are you watching right now?
Black-ish. It’s the show that makes us laugh the most, and now is a good time for that.

18. Last concert you attended?
Def Leppard. 2014. Ak-Chin pavilion. Amazing show.

19. Favorite type of cuisine?
Don’t make me choose! I love Thai (green curry!), Italian (pasta with garlic and olive oil!), Mexican (street tacos with black beans, rice, pico de gallo, and guac!), and Mom’s fried tofu. “Mom” is a cuisine, isn’t it? If it’s not, then it should be.

 

Spring 2020 Fitness Updates, Part 1. (Weight-training/Les Mills Body Pump edition!)

Before I share my fitness updates, I want to note here that the March Grand Sumo Tournament in Osaka, Japan will start this Sunday, as planned… but without spectators. The arena will be closed. This development makes sense under the threat of the coronavirus, of course, but it’ll be strange to watch an audience-less Sumo tournament. There will be no fans cheering and yelling and applauding and throwing their seat cushions into the air with delight when a rank-and-filer beats a Yokozuna and groaning when the judges make a controversial decision.

Honestly, as the Sumo Association deliberated on what to do considering the coronavirus, I was hoping that they’d go with the option of canceling the tournament altogether. Wouldn’t it be cool if the wrestlers could actually heal and recover from their injuries for once? I mean, without fear of penalty? This reminds me that I want to write a post about why Sumo is more dangerous than MMA.

For now, though, fitness updates!

It’s difficult, but I’m sticking to my plan to continue lifting super light weights in Body Pump. At this point, the urge to lift my normal weights is like a deep itch I’m refusing to scratch, but at the same time, I’m marveling at the benefits of my self-restraint.

For instance, I’ve never been able to drop so low in my squats and maintain that exact depth throughout all the bottom-halves and pulses. I’ve never actually held my elbow up as high as it should be doing triceps kick-backs, or kept it as high during kick-back pulses, or lowered the weight no further down than my hip. I’ve never used my legs so mindfully doing clean-and-presses. I’ve never focused so intently on keeping my elbows pinned to the sides of my rib cage doing biceps curls. And so on. Lifting light weights frees my mind, and with my mind fully engaged in the workout, my form is now as perfect as I can possibly make it.

I’m happy to have found that lifting light weights in Body Pump translates to achievement of sustained good form with maximized mind/body connection and full range of motion.

It’s because of this that I still experience post-workout soreness in my muscles in the 48 hours after a workout, and I’m enjoying results in the form of increased strength and muscle definition. It’s true that you don’t need to lift a lot of weight in order to see results from Les Mills Body Pump! Instructors who proclaim this aren’t saying it just to say it.

That being said, I do plan to increase my weight-load to some extent after I recover from my April surgery and return to the gym in May… not across the board, though. I’ll probably mix light and heavy weights. Now that I know what it is to have good form with full range of motion, I’ll be able to easily recognize when a weight increase takes away from that, and I’ll drop the weight back down.

I was going to talk about my Ropes and Cardio class in this post, too, but I’ve already blathered on long enough about Body Pump. Look for “Spring Fitness Updates, Part Two” in the near-ish future!

 

 

[23 February 2020]

 

Happy Friday Eve!

 

 

 

It’s about time! (Gym updates! First of 2020.)

I’ve been on a mission to get back into a fitness routine. It’s happening. Here are the changes:

1). No more Monday morning Body Pump. I’m doing a class called “Ropes and Cardio” on Mondays, instead. I did it for the first time this week, and it kicked my ass, which is going to happen when your ass hasn’t done cardio in almost a year and you’ve never picked up a battle rope in your life. This class is insane. I love it. I’ll go into further detail in an actual class review, maybe, after another two-three classes.

2). Now that I’m solidly back in Body Pump, I could pick up my regular weights again, but I’m sticking with the super light weights I used the first day I got back a week ago Saturday. Why? Because it’s different, and because I’m fascinated by the fact that I feel a slight post-workout burn in my muscles even after using the ridiculously light weights. It’s a new year, and this is my new gym thing, apparently. Do not increase my weights! Talk about a plot twist.

3). I’m walking two-six miles on whatever non-gym day fits my week (and not on a treadmill). I’m using the Accupedo app on my phone instead of a fitbit or other some such. Accupedo shows me everything I need to know. I tell it when I’m starting my walk, and it tracks my pace, steps, miles, calories burned, date, place, time, active time, and total time, and it shows a graph of my workout and also a map of where I walked! It takes from Google maps. It’s kind of creepy, but I’m kind of really digging it.

I’m happy with this new schedule and plan starting out the new year. It feels good doing cardio twice a week and light weights twice a week, as opposed to most of last year’s three heavier-weight Body Pump classes with no cardio.

I’m seriously jonsing for Body Combat, though. If I can find a way back into a Combat class….

Eight splendiferous weeks of workouts lie before me, and then I’ll be out for a month again. I’m having my second gum-grafting surgery (bottom row this time) on April 13. That surgery will be more invasive than the last one, I’ve been told. I’ll have a stent in my mouth post-op and likely even more bruises on my face, and, yeah, no one will be seeing me for a while. Once I’ve recovered from that, though, it’s going to be hard to keep me away from the gym.

For those who requested it, today’s selfie was taken yesterday in my car after my Body Pump workout.

 

My hair is amused.

 

Happy Friday Eve!

 

Favorites of 2019! (Late, but I’m a month behind on the new year.)

Hi, this is me outdoing myself on being late. I’m finally getting around to posting the “Favorites of My Favorite Little Things in 2019” list I’d planned on doing since December. Since 2020 just began for me when I made it back to the gym at the beginning of February, I’m finally here with the list!

The biggest part of the list is the products section, because I discovered quite a few holy grail, ride-or-die products in 2019. You’ll find that at the bottom of the list; I’m presenting these favorites in the same order I always do in my “favorites” lists: movies, series, food, products.

If you’re interested, take a look at my favorite “little things” of 2019!

Top three favorite theater movies: 
Parasite (October)
Joker (October)
Ford v. Ferrari (November)

In total, I saw nine movies in theaters in 2019. My top three favorites were the three I went to see in the fall.

Midsommar’s  artistic merits deem it top-three worthy, but Midsommar being Midsommar, its excellence made it unbearable for me. A cheesier, less deftly handled production may have made it more watchable. As it is, even the trailer still sends me into a panic. Why do I keep going back to watch the trailer?! There are scenes in the trailer that don’t even appear in the movie! Also, the trailer gives nothing away; one is in no way prepared for Midsommar’s atrocities after watching the trailer. I think it’s the music, the sound of the string instruments in the trailer that freak me out. Why am I rambling on about Midsommar when it’s not on my list? Ugh.

Moving on…

Favorite of the few movies I watched at home:
Train to Busan (Netflix). It’s now my favorite zombie film.

Favorite streaming T.V. series:
From Netflix: You, Dead to Me, Love, Death + Robots, After Life, After Life, and La Casa De Papel
From Hulu: Reprisal
From Amazon Prime Video: Fleabag and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

Favorite athletic event:
The May 2019 Grand Sumo Tournament (Natsu Basho) Grand Sumo Highlights. This was the tournament in which Tochinoshin, my favorite wrestler, earned back his Ozeki rank.

 

World-class sumo wrestler Tochinoshin (Levan Gorgadze of Georgia)

 

Favorite miscellaneous project to watch:
Rihanna’s Savage X Fenty Show (Amazon Prime Video)

Favorite processed food discoveries:
Birch Benders Plant Protein Pancake and Waffle Mix
Crunchy/toasted chickpeas with sea salt
Vega Protein Nutrition Shakes (especially the chocolate one)

Favorite skincare/cosmetic product discoveries*:
Earth Science Creamy Fruit Oil Cleanser A-D-E
Acure brightening facial scrub
Nourish Organic Lightweight Moisturizing Face Lotion
Schmidt’s Bergamot and Lime Natural Deodorant**
e.l.f. Radiant Gel Lip Stains
e.l.f. 16HR Camo Concealer
NYX Bare With Me Tinted Skin Veil
Jason Powersmile Anti-Cavity and Whitening Gel

*All vegan and cruelty-free

**I’d put a different deodorant as a favorite on December’s list, and it was my new favorite… until I developed an allergic reaction to it. I had to toss it. I picked up another of the Schmidt’s, and I’m glad to be using it again. It works fine, and I love its bergamot and lime scent! I probably won’t deviate from it again.

Favorite random little thing:
Bat birthday card (by Brace)

 

Bat birthday card by Brace

 

I don’t know what it is about this card. No one gave it to me. I came across it and I had to have it in my life and so I got it and it still makes me inexplicably happy. The front reads, “It’s when you can’t hear the bats, that’s when the bats are coming.” The inside reads, “Other than that, I have no birthday advice.”

On that note, I’ll bid you a happy rest of your day or night. I hope 2020 is off to a great start for you!