Thursday, November 29, 2007

The fastest way to lose 10 pounds...

Get an aggressive chest infection that knocks you on your ass for a week. I have been in my bed completely miserable for three days. I'm on antibiotics for the first time since I was 19, and I can count the amount of times in my life on fingers. The coughing up blood has subsided (I know you folks want to know this stuff) and the pain in my right ribs is clearing too. I honestly prefer the hot running sweats over the unbearable three hour bouts of chills that I endured dressed in double sweats two hats and two heavy quilts. Honestly. I've had to sleep on my left side only for four days, and my poor ear is in agony. It thinks it's abusive behavior to put all the responsibility of supporting my head on its cartilage - No bones! No muscle! It told me so. Often.

Husband has been a wonder, he's taken two days off work to run the house, work from home and keep the kids routines running. He's just wonderful, I love him so much. (Except he keeps bringing me my favourite cookies, and I can't really eat them, but isn't he sweet?)

Now I think I need to get an appointment with the Dr to find out why my immunity is so low. I may be away for a few more days. Sporting an amazing array of wild, sweaty bed head.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Sleeping on my feet again...

I'm. So. Tired. Only in the morning though. I'm wide awake all night. I was working last night, felt awful as I've caught Shorty's cold and it's gone right into my chest, which is rare, I never get chesty coughs. Not since I've stopped smoking, anyway. So feeling rough, I had a cup of decaf tea before bedtime, and then went to bed exhausted at 12:45 (I work until midnight) and couldn't fall off too sleep until 2am. Alarm off at 6:30. I just want to cry. Like Sylvana, caffeine is going to be only thing to get me through the next couple months.

I've finished shopping for Husband's Christmas - hail to Amazon! I got him two things off his wish list...he has six of them. Six wishlists. A toys one, a technical book one, a leisure book one, a DVD one and a CD one....and another one for something else. Oh, games. I got him a book and the pre-agreed gift of a iPod shuffle. I love my Nano, oh dear lord I love it so. I feel a bit guilty not returning the favour of a splendid Nano, but he says he'd be really happy with the shuffle as he can use it at work and it's discreet and it's good for the gym...all the excellent reasons for owning a shuffle. We are such Apple whores. The kids' Christmas will be sorted out with a trip to TRU - which is thus-far undeciphered code for Toys R'Us. Sassy wants a Roboquad (already bought) and a couple Ben 10 figures and a game for the Wii, but she can't decide which game. Shorty wants Peppa Pig things so we'll get her the camper van set or maybe the house, and a George with Dinosaur, and pretty dress for herself.

Just finished the Josie Dew two-book travel log of her bicycle tour of Japan. I really enjoyed them, the first one more. I found some of the Amazon reviews scandalous, where she's accused of being racist. I didn't detect any hint of that from reading her books. She shows a genuine love and admiration for Japanese people, but nods to their oddness. More like bows to their oddness, and they bow back her oddness as a woman traveling alone by bike. Anyways, she's not heavy in the visual descriptions of places except when her inner eco-warrior kicks in, but more seeking and explaining the people of the land. I had many moments of laughing out loud, interrupting my Husband to retell a passage from the book and lots of "Wow, how weird and exciting!" moments. Josie Dew, like myself, doesn't like folks who po-poo life. Folks who complain and aren't willing to have-a-go at anything, lay-abouts and ennui ridden black holes of doom. she meets a few of these. Most of them foreigners, who voluntarily have moved to Japan, but hate it's foreignness. If you aren't willing to embrace (or at least understand) the way of the local, then you don't belong in the village. The only hints of "racism" I might agree with, is how many foreigners in Japan hate Japan because it's not like the West. Well duh. Really. Josie uses these people as examples of intolerance. Not her personal intolerance, except of their ignorance.

Lastly, I've talked myself into hosting Christmas lunch at my (small!) house this year. I'll be serving a lunch for eight. I only intended on Grandma and our nephew coming, but the in-laws were invited and have accepted too. So I'll be cacking it a bit until I can get a plan underway that, like last year, will go down with military precision. Last year went well. This one will too. So....what are you serving up for Christmas lunch?

Friday, November 23, 2007

trauma...

smarties
I'm in a wee bit of shock. I shouldn't be. It's guilty shock. I shouldn't notice such things, worse is if I do notice things and I keep them to myself. See, we were watching Electric company, the kids and I, and there was a skit with bill Cosby. I love Bill Cosby. Anyways, it was about "n" words and (well, not the bad "n" word, I mean like not, nut, nip that kind of thing) there was a lady in a giant box of cereal would pull letters out for Bill. The whole time I'm watching this, I'm eye-stuck to Bill's package. I mean, he was wearing - although fashionable for his day - sterilization pants. His knob-end was touching his right hipbone. It Was! No Male camel toe here, it was a tube of smarties down his trousers.

No wonder he had five kids.

Monday, November 19, 2007

So the beat goes on...

Days are dragging on. time is slipping by. I've not got much going on and I'm depressed by that and also relived because I'm not sure I have the energy or inclination to do much. I'm still on the verge of a cold, but I keep taking vitamin C and drinking water so it's not taken hold. the tingle in the back of the throat and I drown it. I hope I can fight it off without succumbing.

Unfortunately, Shorty has it. She's been coughing and has reduced appetite and increased cuddle needs. Her asthma has kicked in and she's needing her inhaler every few hours. I've kept her from school today.

I've got a bit of the autumn blues. It's going around, you can hear it on lots of blogs. I know from, well paying attention to myself over the years, that I get a bit depressed from around September and it continues until about February. When I re-awake in the spring. I can tell I must come from an ancient tribe of pre-humans that must have hibernated. My body rebels every autumn and demands more sleep, more food and definite peace. Not easy to find in a house with children.

Trying to get the energy to get back to the gym is proving really hard. Spirit willing Body exhausted. I know exercise will give me more energy but, I'm just too tired to care. I keep trying to come up with compromises, reduced time, different routines, different classes...new music? Sleep, just give me sleep. I think for the next week, I'm going to try and go to bed - that means no book and lights out - by 9pm (except on work nights) and see if that helps. I also, must cut the caffeine. I have no problem with decaff versions of my favourite drinks, so I'll just have them instead. But the current habit is to chemically pep the exhausted limbs into movement. Not ideal.

On the plus, I'm really mellow. I'm not sure I've ever been so laid back. I have a "It's not worth the bother" attitude towards things. Not in a bad way, of course. My house is still clean, I bathe, the family is fed and the kids get love and attention. I'm just not stressing. Which is nice, if a bit weird. And this is all without medication. Not bad at all.

I'm still having the morbid thoughts, they've been pretty heavy lately to be honest. I'm forever telling my head to shut up. Just shut up. All this disappearing and murdered children in the news lately doesn't help. Falling bridges. The unknown around the corner. Inability to predict the future. Seriously, it's not worth the bother. Just shut up.

Yoga is helping me in many ways. I'm falling in love with it. Pregnancy caused my tendons to tighten up painfully in both of my hips, but the right one is worse. That's because Sassyface was a lopsided pregnancy. She lumped over onto the right side and cut the blood flow to my leg which causes it to swell to almost double the size. I had oedema on that leg too - pretty gross but also neat to press a thumb against my shin and it'd leave a deep imprint. So that hip hasn't been the same since. Always too tight. But the yoga has helped me stretch it out so it's not causing me pain anymore. Although the stretching fucking hurts, it's getting better. I have a lot more mobility in that hip. Stretching on my shoulders is proving painful too, and I hope to see the benefits soon. I want to be able to do the bridge again.

I'm currently reading The Wind-Up Bird Chronicles by Haruki Murakami. It's a great read so far. Where other books annoy me when the characters waffle, this book is nothing but completely entertaining waffle. It's waffle that fits. It's surreal to find such a thing. It's a hard read though as the font is quite small, and I often think I've read a lot, and then notice I haven't.

Work tonight. Very tired. Will endure.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Half Full Is Too Much?

I've been eating semolina for breakfast this week. Weird stuff this semolina. You put a little bit in a bowl, add hot water and it greedily sucks the water up and grows to fill half a large bowl. I'm completely stymied over how to properly portion this stuff. I think I've been over-eating it. It doesn't seem to upset my digestion like other wheat things do, such as wholegrain breads or crackers. Doesn't seem to be gluteney and sticky. It becomes more jelly-like when cold. Anyways, I'm having fun playing with my food.

This issue over portions is becoming an obsession with me: what is a portion of something. It's hard to say. One cup of this, a fist size of that, mls, grams, ozs? I discovered, much to my embarrassment and horror that I've been overeating rice for ages. It says almost everywhere half a cup of rice is a portion. They left out the important word: cooked. Half a cup of COOKED rice is a portion. Why can't the portion information people get easy shit like that straight for dumb, greedy folks like me who just want to eat? Some places say to eat all the fruit and veg you want. Never say that to someone like me. You really need to be concise and direct with folks like me. Eat as many fruits and vegetables as your stomach capacity can comfortably handle. Otherwise...all day grazing of peas and carrots and hummus filled lettuce leaves will see me gain weight.

Today I bunked the gym due to fatigue. Again. Yesterday I forced myself to the gym through the fatigue and it was awful. So this isn't my body being lazy, there's something going on. I'm fighting a bug or something and it's making me really tired. I even went to bed early last night. I still have all my walking to do today, so it's not like I'm idle, and then to work tonight.

I still took Shorty to the creche and read and did some homework in the lobby of the sport center, but I got so tired I was yawning and my eyes were closing. I went out and walked down to the local garage to grab a coffee and a snack (They have a cafe there) I got a large black coffee and (naughty, I know) a chocolate croissant. I got the croissant as I was hungry, and it was the smallest thing there. I say smallest, but it was the biggest damned croissant I've ever seen. It was longer than the full length of my hand and as wide. It got me thinking, no fucking wonder I'm messed up over portion sizes when this kind of thing is being present to me. Am I to assume this is a portion for one? No way!

The sandwiches would've have fed my family of four. They were huge sarnies, I can't even imagine what the bread was baked in as the slices were about six inches square. All of the food seemed monstrously out of proportion as a meal for one person. And they were promoting meal deals! Buy one sandwich meal (huge sarnie, large soda and crisps) and get another half price. Scary stuff.

you go to the movie theatre and the portion sizes are huge - the big bucket of popcorn, the big bag of M&Ms the double fill your bladder drinks. Madness. I want to see a movie, not listen to a dozens of people crinkle wrappers, chew and slurp in the dark. Plus after all those big drinks, they have to get up halfway through the movie to pee and end up missing the flick! the whole point of being there is to see a movie not wait in queue to pee.

Anyways, the thing that started to set me off on this annoyance is I saw an advert last night for Marks and Spencer food over Christmas with LuLu wandering about the shops talking about the Big Meal. I just know, don't you know, they don't eat a big meal. Those celebrity types don't have big meals, ever. They know portion sizes. It's been ingrained into them since Drama school, but they must know that the more we eat and the fatter we get and they stay slim and pick...oh it starts to make me bitter. Cannibals will pass me up, I'm so bitter.

I was watching a show about a woman who was miserable, fat and struggling to overcome her eating troubles. She'd had a gastric band put in a few years ago, lost weight. But she'd never changed how much she ate and the behavior of over-eating so she manages to re-stretch her stomach to a larger size. That takes some determined eating to manage. Why was she never told a new diet was how she was supposed to live with this smaller stomach? Why didn't she get counseling to learn to manage her detrimental behaviors? Did she try and learn about portions and like me, has been four portions of rice? Did she assume, like a lot of us that companies would, of course - sell us a portion for one? Did you know a bagel is two portions? Yeah - half a bagel is one portion. Why don't they sell single portioned bagels?

So anyways, this portioning stuff is weird. Portion of meat = Deck of cards? Weird. One cup of broccoli - but what about the airspaces? Why not a weighted portion instead? One liter of water or three per day? I may need more as I sweat a lot (Two hours in the gym, folks.) How do I know if I'm low in salt? How do I know if it's too much sugar? What if after my 5-6 carrot sticks, I'm still hungry? And I mean actual growling stomach hunger not cravings.

Is it any wonder people just give up and eat mindlessly? the thing is, I'm beginning to become paranoid that those companies out there want us to overeat all that stuff. They want us to, of course so we'll buy more. Eat more, get giant stomachs that need filled up. So what if it's killing us? We are being encouraged to force feed ourselves - to death. For profit. Do you ever wonder what a Foie Gras goose feels like - eat a super-sized anything, then you'll know. The only thing is, the goose doesn't have a choice. You do. I do too.

I found this great website that talks more about reducing waste and paying attention to portions. It also talks about controlling the impulse to overbuy food, "Buy one get one free!" "Three for the price of two!" and so on. It's called Love Food Hate Waste Scotland. It makes sense about hitting the wallet, reducing the amount of wasted food each house tosses out - and I hate wasting food. I bought that! I cooked that! I don't want to throw it away.

anyways, It's a mad mad mad mad world.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

We're gonna turn it on...

We're gonna give you the power! Oh yes, I did. I bought it. I bought the Electric Company Boxset!
EClogo

What a blast from the past! These shows are fantastic. My first exposure to Spiderman, learning to read (No wonder I was a word wizz from a young age.) and it's just plain funny. The kids have been enjoying them so far, but I think me more than them. They're a bit tripped out by it. The accents are so strange to them, as only Mommy has said things like that before and I'm sure they've just thought I was weird, not NorthEast. As if they have any clue what NorthEast is.

That's about it. Nothing more.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

SBD: I, Lucifer by Glen Duncan

I went to get this book out from the library after reading Doug's post about his literature choices for his 12 year old homeschooled son. (I can't find the post to link to...oh wait here it is.) and I figured, if it's good enough for a twelve year old, I should be ok with it.

The story is about Lucifer, who gets on last chance at redemption and gets to live as a human for one month, with all the pleasures and joys and senses that we humans possess. He certainly does enjoy senses, does Satan.

The disappointing side is the body God's chosen to put Lucifer in is that of Declan Gunn, a fairly depressed (Actually suicidal, as he was about to slash his wrists in the bathtub when the possession took place) not successful enough writer whose broken hearted and dull and annoyingly average. Don't despair! I've always said it's confidence that's most attractive in a man, and Lucifer has plenty of that.

Now the thing about this book is, is it's told first person, by Lucifer, as it's his story told by him, through Gunn's body (Bragging bastard talks of typing 400 words per minute) and; he does prattle on a bit. Actually a lot. I began skimming almost immediately. Waffle, prattle on and on....yawn. Can you believe that?? Lucifer - yawn. They just shouldn't go together really should they. The plot would work itself back in occasionally and pull me from my skimming snooze through. About how Lucifer was going to make a success of this month (money, women, men, drugs, drink and smoke are all ticked off his to do list) and get his story out there; books movies everything. He can still read minds (Which is something I thought the Devil couldn't do. I thought God could read minds but Satan couldn't...oh well. Here, he can.)

There were many pages I just skipped. I didn't really care about the retelling of the crucifixion with Pilate and his wife. I also skipped the witch burning of a pregnant woman who was innocent (They were all innocent, let's be honest), Eden was interesting (Where he makes a very good argument that God created temptation, not him. That apple tree: All God. Lucifer was just an enabler.) but really I just kept wanting him to come back into the now. Granted, Lucifer apologizes a lot for his rambles; which did leave me feeling I was visiting an elderly distant relative in a nursing home. Someone I hoped would be interesting, but just wasn't. How unfair.

Equally annoying was how a hundred pages in, I got the feeling the author wanted this to be about him. Like he wanted to be the one who played host to Satan's vacation. The constant talk about Gunn started to get a bit weird (The issues about penis size were become a recurring theme that carry through the whole book. Never mentions his inches, but get the clear picture of frustrated averageness.) Until I noticed, Declan Gunn was an anagram of Glen Duncan. Oh, how utterly egocentric and weird. That's not confidence, that's just...wrong.

The other archangels all make cameos and the kind of angelic history is neat. Lucifer is very sarcastic, and seems a bit poncey. I found myself hearing him as Richard E. Grant a la Withnail and I. with his my loves and darlings. Condescending and tedious. I don't think even he realized he was transparent and dull at times. And when he did notice, he didn't care, onward the prattle went. Obsession with smelling and tasting things. The weird recurrence of dog shit as stimulus. The constant reference to vadge. One bit I did find amusing and very well written as Lucifer's experience with acid. A hallucinating super-being trapped in a man's body, that's a trip and half.

I didn't hate the book, but I was a bit meh by it. The views of how he just couldn't cope with having to pay constant love and homage to God, how he was curious and that wasn't acceptable. How he really just talked himself down to rebellion on a teenage level. Petulant and bratty with delusions of grandeur. How does one make the second most powerful being in the universe look like they have delusions of grandeur?There were times I did think he'd be an interesting person to have lunch with, but then he'll delicately remind everyone that he'd also delight in watching us all have our skins flayed from our flesh. Don't forget who's talking , after all.

I don't want to come across that I didn't like this book, I really did. A rarity to be sure. I laughed out loud at couple points. The writing was easy to read (Except when Lucifer was in the thrall of his past) and intelligent. I imagine it has to be a challenge to portray the Devil in all his very Fallen Angel ways. Trying to mix in the myths and religious stories, trying to create someone who you could almost like and even trust but somehow know if you let your guard down they'd turn on you. I've known cats like that, "Pet me, pet me, oh that's wonderful; purr purr, I so love you, I mean it. More please, I must lie down, stretch and: Did you just touch my belly? You touched my BELLY?! Well take this *Bearhugbite**swat**swipe*" and you watch them lick your blood off their claws and then look at you with those fill my bowl now, eyes. On this, Gunn...no Glenn, er Duncan! Gets it all right. Shame he let Lucifer waffle so long.

I still cannot get past the anagram thing.

***Don't you just hate weird coincidences? While walking back from dropping Shorty off at school I listened to this song, "The Day Before you came", an ABBA original, with the timely name edit (Marilyn French for Declan Gunn). Come home to find out The Real Tuesday Weld are big fans of I, Lucifer. Actually, the band members are close friends with Glenn Duncan and here you can listen to musical podcasts narrated by him.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

The way of the snail...

Everything is in slow motion it seems. Except the weather which is definitely making it's wintery voice heard. And felt. Darned chilly today, I even wore a hat. I hate hats. they flatten out my curls and give me awful hat-hair.

Am I doing NaNoWriMo? Maybe. I could be, it would explain my kind of quiet over the past few days. I could also be wallowing in gelatinous pile of wobbly misery over the fact I have a bit too much...wobble. BUT, nah, writing a short story in 30 days sounds like much more fun that pouting over cake aversion.

Mother, Daughter and the foreign pen-pal. That's what the story is about. The mother is a hyperactive anxiety ridden control freak, the daughter is a laid back teenage genius the pen-pal is a red herring...or is she?! and maybe her hot uncle who happens to live in the same city will come around for a visit too...I just don't know yet. That's kind of the whole point, right?? But if I get told one more damned time "Do you have to pound the shit out of the keyboard all the time?" I'll just go crazy.

Oh, you know, I've not checked my google-mail for ages! That's rather bad of me... Whew! No major misses, just a reply to Doug, and a cutie sweet set of pictures from Maja.

So in other news, my job is annoying me, my manager is seriously annoying me, and because I don't actually need the job I've been having a great time winding her up. If she wasn't such a scatterbrain, disorganized wreck of a manager (although, at the heart a very nice person) it would be a different story. But she is all of those things. A pillowcase who tries to be a iron block. A creampuff who tries to be a 16oz sirloin. A twinkleshine fairy trying to be a despot. But lately she's being snappish, bossy (In a not very nice way I don't care is she's the boss) and counter productive.

Last week she was talking to the Italian Stallion who was hired a week ahead of me. (A point I comment on often as we were in a group interview together and he was hired ahead of me, and has been a frigging nightmare ever since. I am an Angel, of course.) They were discussing his shares options as he'd qualified for them because of his length of time with the company. She then came over to me and began talking to me about the benefits but then stopped, "Oh but you won't qualify as you've not been here long enough. Sorry." she said with a sweet smile. I looked at her and then said,

"Simone's been here a week longer than I have, and he qualifies?"

"Yes."

"Why is that?"

"It's how the dates worked out."

"And you've been here telling me about all these benefits I'll not be able to take advantage of because...?"

"I...uhm...thought you should be informed of our benefits."

"Oh. Right. Not rubbing my nose in the fact that you hired him a week ahead of me and I'm out of luck as a result of poor timing, then."

"It's just unfortunate."

"On so many levels." I said and went back to work.

Now I wasn't too bothered about this as I already knew the whole spiel from mailings sent to me from the company's finance office. Her ignorance of my position, her delivery of the information and airy-fairy goofiness annoyed me. There's been more, mostly around her inability to ever have the correct information. And she's a goof. And not in a good goofy way. I'm a good goofy, she's a menace.

Last week I noticed we still had a ton of the exact same product and it was taking a lot of storage space. The product wasn't on promotion and there wasn't any reason for us to have cases and cases of it. I mentioned this to her and got a haughty reply, "Why didn't you tell us about this weeks ago when we asked all the departments to inform us of excess stock so we could clear it from the warehouse?" I told her it was the first I'd heard of any reporting excess stocks, but I'm doing so now. She rolled her eyes, sighed and stomped off saying she'd put it in her report, making it very apparent that I was not in her favour. I later found out this request was only made to night staff (as in the 10pm-6am shift) and not my midnight shift. Then I mentioned it to my co-worker, Avril, who does night shifts and she went red in the face mad because she DID report those items and our manager forgot! So I get the shit, again, for something she's not really thought about.

OH, yeah. She calls me Fiona, too.

At the moment I'm making a mental catalog of the incidents, so when and if I get pulled up I can rail them off. the fact that in the 12 months I've worked there and never once had a performance review, should also work in my favour as I'm supposed to have had them quarterly.

Write more, Lyvvie. Just write more.

Friday, November 02, 2007

It's been a slow week...

I've not been as busy as normal this week. I've taken time off the gym to let the bruise heal. But don't think I've done nothing, I've been doing yoga at home to keep supple and I'm convinced it's helped speed along the healing process. It's amazing how fast the body can heal itself from an injury. On Wednesday we all went to the Turkish Baths, which has three swimming pools, a steam room, sauna and freezing plunge pool. It's a waterlover's heaven. We spent over two hours pampering ourselves into limp noodles. Beats trick or treating any day.

Walking has been very important for me this week, thank goodness there's been no rain. Well, not much rain and not really on me. I've had niggling worries about blood clots and think lots of walking will be a good idea. I read a book once when I was a teenager, a horror story called Carrion, and I have no clue who wrote it and It's not come up on a google search so it may be long-lost and forgotten, except for me. But it was about this magician who find some magic spell that brings the dead back to life, only they're not quite the nice people they were before. they're rather grumpy and short tempered re-animated corpses (But thankfully not brain eating zombies!) Oh, and their bodies are still dead so they end up decaying and unhappy about their smell and gooeyness, so they seek out the magician to kill him. One of the dead-brought-back-to-life ladies had died from a bruise on her leg that didn't seem to heal, and turned out to be blood clot. That's stuck with me forever and I'm not always worrisome over big bruises. (OH wait! I found it with Carrion, horror novel, out of print)

I've been practicing more Japanese, and the kids now only want to watch their movies in Japanese. I'm quite shocked by that, but they really enjoy it, and I encourage it. I swear between the incoherentness, they say "Schenectady" a lot and I wonder if it's a subliminal way of encouraging New York tourism.

Still reading "A Ride in the Neon Sun" by Josie Dew and really enjoying it. Apparently she has a part two book as well that I'll have to fine. That one she travels to Hong Kong for a bit and then back to Japan for more.

Can't believe it's already 11 am. where's the morning gone?!

Look, a Rainbow!
Rainbows!