Thursday, June 12, 2008

Top Ten List

Hi there! If you haven't checked this page in awhile, this post will be a nice surprise.

Lots of stuff has been going on, which I'll fill you in on later. In the meantime, I'm currently obsessed with this article in Time which I found vis swissmiss.

It's something that I've been thinking a lot about lately. Purging my life of all the crap that I once thought I needed, and making sure I only have the things that I either need or actually add something to my life--whether it be function or happiness.

This part in particular hit me:
"It comes down to the products vs. the promise," says organizational consultant Peter Walsh, who characterizes himself as part contractor, part therapist. "It's not necessarily about the new pots and pans but the idea of the cozy family meals that they will provide. People are finding that their homes are full of stuff, but their lives are littered with unfulfilled promises."

I've read a couple of books lately about consumption and what really matters and realize I'm as guilty as anyone of hoping that if I have 400 thread count sheets or nice shoes it'll make me happy or fulfill me in some way.

Lately I've been trying to focus more on getting rid of stuff and being more about experiences, but it's still a bit of a struggle.

I feel a change a-comin'.

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Monday, October 01, 2007

What are words for....

I was trolling through blogs recently and came across one written by a man who'd recently moved to my fair city.

In the post I read he was celebrating his one year anniversary of arriving in Seattle and looking back at the places he'd been, things he liked, etc. He mentioned some good record stores, some lovely restaurants, and then he commented on the people.

Oh, the good people of Seattle. For years I have heard what passive aggressive people we are, how we are all smiles to new people but then lack the ability to make friends. To a point I agree with this. A friend of mine has two other good friends that for the life of me I cannot get to know simply because I get the feeling I am not welcome in their inner circle. Fine. That's fine. I have friends of my own.

But what got my attention was this gentleman lamented that no one in Seattle can go anywhere without their damn iPod on. This, I felt, was an exaggeration. Everywhere? Really? With the iPod? Hrrrmmmm....

And then last week I began noticing too. People at bus stops, no problem. A woman shopping in the grocery store with the tell-tale white buds in her ears? A little odd. And at last, the woman who got out of her car at the gas station, popped her headphones in, and proceeded to fuel up.

Are we really so antisocial that you can't even risk someone might talk to you at the gas station? I prefer to think that we all desparately want a soundtrack to our lives.


Monday, September 17, 2007

Alone, At Last

Dokken is gone in Taiwan until Wednesday. And I have to admit, as much as I love my husband, I am thrilled to have some time to myself.

Tonight I got home, made myself a tasty little sandwich and ate some crackers (which I did NOT eat over the sink, thank you), took a muscle relaxer for my neck, cruised craiglist a bit, and now here I am.

My plan for the evening is to gorge myself on all the design websites that I love and shop for a bunch of crap I really don't need.

The best part is the TV. Dokken hates, absolutely HATES all the crappy TV I love. Do I want to watch "The 750 Pound Man" on TLC? How about the conjoined twins show? "Mystery Diagnosis" is also on, which I love because I like to try guessing what's wrong with the person before they tell you. Answer: "The 750 Pound Man" won out. We're 5 minutes in and he's already demanding a hamburger from the facility he's been moved to. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Extra chlorine in mine, please

Work has been crazy lately. It sounds like there are going to be quite a few lay-offs coming this fall and everyone seems to be standing in groups of 3 and 4, talking in hushed tones in the hallway.

I can't live like that, I'm more of a "work through the pain" kind of person. So I decided to take the week off and get some things done around the house. And it is AWESOME.

In two days I have managed to:
*buy printer refill cartridges and CDRs at Office Depot
*clean the kitchen and living room
*take bags of clothes and assorted other items to Goodwill
*I finally bought some of those silly quilted zip-up thingys to put my
grandma's china in
*got some pictures framed
*weed the sideyard and planted some nice ferns and heuchera
*mixed some compost in with the soil in the front and sideyard
*cut back two trees on our front porch
*called someone to haul away a cement utility sink in the basement
*posted some stuff on craigslist
*got poked by my acupuncturist
*cooked warm spinach and brussel sprout salad with bacon one night and black bean and soyrizo soup the second night

All without breaking a nail!

I mentioned to Dokken that I was kind of liking this whole homemaker thing and I thought I'd make an excellent trophy wife.

'You'd get bored', was his reply.

Yes, I would get bored. But doesn't he realize that that's when you get a pool boy? Sheesh.


Friday, August 10, 2007

Indoor Plumbing

I like to think it's a truism that there are certain equalizers in society. Things like bowling and karaoke. Seeing a gorgeous (but snooty) girl with a piece of toilet paper stuck to her shoe. Assholes with food stuck in their teeth. We all have our good and bad days, talents and lack thereof.

Along these lines, it's probably fair to say that someday, somewhere, we will all be at work and find that we have to take a poo. My friend thatgirlkelly and I have had numerous talks on this topic, mostly because she is extremely fearful of this activity. Fearful to the point that she will leave our building and go into the neighboring building where she knows there is a room with:

a) a fan to whisk away offending odors as well as any noises
b) only one crapper so she can lock the door and not have to sit next to anyone

A couple of months ago Bust magazine had an entire article devoted to the subject of dropping a deuce at work. The basic thrust of the article was that we all just need to get over ourselves, accept that sooner or later we all do it, and get a move on. Hah? Get it? Bowel movement?


I have a fairly healthy relationship with my movements as The Gobi can tell you. We frequently discussed the size, shape, and consistency of our poos, and he even once called me from work and described with immense glee how he filled an industrial sized bowl with one long poo. Even better? From what I remember it was a no-wiper, which I'm sure you all know is a highly coveted poo.

But still. But still. When I'm at work I usually try to find a secluded bathroom or at least wait until the coast is clear before I go.

I think it's also fair to say that we will all have a co-worker or two who we don't dislike by any means, and yet we can't really say we like them either. They're just not our cup of tea. They were possibly--ok, most likely--a sorority girl in college, don't have a great sense of humor, they talk endlessly about boring, mind-numbing things, and may even have a nasally voice. We'll call her Jen*.

Let's say we walk into the bathroom to do our business, and there is Jen, just washing her hands and apparently finishing up. Perfect timing, yes? We say hi and go in the stall, waiting for her to leave.

We take our time, put down the little paper donut, and generally rattle things around a bit so it's not totally obvious we're just sitting there, waiting for her to go. And she's still talking. Oh my God.

She is telling me about her weekend, her kids, her allergies, and how her contacts are bothering her, and she is standing right. outside. the. door.

So you know what? Bombs away, my friends. Bombs away.

She left in a hurry after that, and I am proud to say I am pretty damn sure that I wasn't the one who was embarassed. Thanks, Bust.

*not her real name. Or maybe it is.


Thursday, June 07, 2007

Vitamin Chi

You know it's a good sign that I'm back on the blogging trail when I can actually remember my blogger name and password. Things are on the upswing, my friends, and let me tell you why.

But first, for those of you who haven't heard my incessant griping over the last couple of years, let me get you up to speed on my neck.

I have a pain in the neck. Literally, figuratively, every '-ly' you can think of. Seriously, it hurts.

It started a couple of years ago, and I went to a chipropractor because I was having trouble turning my head for what had seemed like weeks. That is how I became addicted to crack, har, har. I went to him for several months and it wasn't getting any better so I gave up and just decided to live with it.

Then the headaches came. And then, finally, the tingling in the last two fingers of my right hand. Headaches I can deal with, but the tingling and loss of sensation in my fingers freaked me right out and so I went to my doctor. After twisting my arms around this way and that (which, incidentally, sent a shooting pain up my arm that felt like a toothache) he told me I have thoracic outlet syndrome.

As far as I can tell, it's caused by a bunch of things: poor posture (check), jobs where one or both arms are frequently held above your head (check), long days sitting at a computer, probably with bad posture (check), reacreational activities that involve lots of shoulder movement (drums, check).

I have bad posture. I know and fully embrace my bad posture. And I even know that when I get stressed out it gets worse. I will be sitting at my computer, analyzing data, and realize that I am leaning very far forward in my chair. If stress is a flight or fight response, then my head and neck have obviously chosen flight because they are leading the way out of there.

So my doctor recommended physical therapy. I went to 25 PT sessions which were painful at times but for the most part helped a lot. My headaches went away, the tingling went away, I could do almost all of my exercises without feeling much pain or tension, etc. Also? They put my neck in traction which is both awesome and hilarious at the same time.

And then I decided to go to an acupuncturist. Why? I don't know why. Maybe because I've always been right on the border of belief and suspicion when it comes to Eastern medicine. But a friend's story about how an acupuncturist cured her headaches by making her hand "sweat" made me try it. Also, the guy I go to will actually integrate Western and Eastern medicine and I am comfortable with that. See? On the border.

Anyway, acupuncture is pretty sweet. After feeling the top of my head and looking at my tongue (which amused me), the dude taps a bunch of little needles in, and then turns the lights down and leaves the room so I can just chill out and let the magic happen. And you know what? For the most part I do feel a little bit better afterwards, and I do OK for about a week or two before I go back in.

Now here is the awesome part. Every time I'd gone in he'd put a needle on the tops of my feet. Being the curious scientific sort that I am, I ask about
everything he does and why he's doing it. My friend insists I'm mocking him, but I'm really not. OK, maybe a little. But really, I don't know anything about this stuff, and isn't the patient supposed to be their own advocate? I think so.

But back to the feet. I asked why he always puts a needle in my feet, and was told that this is because my chi is blocked. And for some reason, this bugged me. Like, really bugged me. I was mad at him. Who the hell was he to tell me my chi was blocked? I was mad at my chi. Stupid chi. Who needs chi anyway?

And then, last time I went to see the pokey guy, I didn't get needles put in my feet! You are reading the words of a woman whose chi is flowing like the Yangtze, dude. I am irrationally happy about this, and when he asked if I had changed anything in my life lately I had to think about it. I'm sure he meant something like this or maybe this but in all honesty the only thing I've done lately is I started taking a Vitamin B-12 stress complex thingy every day.

I cracked up, and yelled out, 'it's Vitamin Chi, dude!'. He turned down the lights, told me he'd be back in 10-15 minutes, and let me chill out with my needles, giggling the entire time.


Thursday, May 24, 2007

I Am Not Dead

Holy crap, has it really been this long since I've posted? Ah well, I am at least comforted in the fact that PF fell off the radar at about the same time.

Hello, and welcome back, my friends. It has indeed been a long time since I've rock n' rolled. Since we last talked I have gone to Hawaii on vacation, headed home for my little 96 year old grandfather's funeral, and then gone to Miami Beach for a conference where I had to give a talk.

Miami Beach was...weird. In fact, when I think about it I realize it actually made me pretty cranky. I am a fan of dark, cozy, bordering on seedy little bars and punk clubs and Miami Beach had none of that. What I got was Girls Gone Wild meets Mulholland Drive. Perhaps I am exaggerating. Perhaps. But I swear to God, if I'd come across a midget odds are good he would have flashed his tits at me just as soon as talked in Swedish backwards. South Beach is just that kind of place.

I was drinking in a hotel bar one night with some colleagues when I turned around only to see Norm sitting at the bar. On our way to get dinner, a man handed my friend and I wristbands to get into a local night club. Now, I would rather gnaw my own arm off than go to a place full of half-nekkid girls in Jimmy Choos dancing with their cosmos, so we ended up tossing the wristbands. And there was my fatal, fatal mistake. If I had gone to the club I could've seen Britney Spears in concert.

For reals.

Unfortunately, it wasn't actually the night that she was caught lip synching while her CD skipped (that was the night before), but how badass would it have been to see Britney Spears? Bad. Ass.

Other than that, things are the same ol' same ol'. Spring has mostly sprung here, and I spend a lot of time wandering around my yard as if it were the back 40 and I'm checking the crops. In reality, I just have some herbs, onions, garlic, and strawberries planted, but as that is more than I've ever done in the past I am extremely proud.

The basement is basically (but not completely, ahem) wired which means two things: we can spend a bunch of money putting walls put in, and Dokken gets to go back to the garage for more welding. I am hopeful this will all be complete in time for summer so we can sleep in the basement where it's cool instead of lying in our own sweat at night.

And now look--just like that you are now up to date on my comings and goings. It's been a lot of both lately, and I am very excited to sit around my little house for awhile and do none of either.

I promise the posts will get a lot more interesting from here on out as well.
See you in August.
Just kidding.

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