30 November 2006

No, I'm not a drug addict. Really.

I wish that I could post every single day, but it is just beyond my abilities to log into blogger every day and write something. My working life, which we never discuss here, is full of problems and very busy, so when I go home at the end of the day I don't want to log on to the computer. Add to that fact that the 'puters are doing some strange things in my house. One shuts itself off, mid-surf, for no discernible reason. Another is far too S-L-O-W. And the laptop, which can be used all through the house due to our wonderful wireless, freezes when the fan comes on and you have to turn it off and start allll over. I'm not allowed to use the "new" laptop, due to my tendency to install Firefox on any computer that I plan to use for Internet access. So I haven't been posting daily.

What I really want to talk about today is the progress that I'm making (or rather the lack thereof) with my sleep troubles, my weight loss, and the black hole of despair that I am threatening to fall into when my youngest sister moves away in a week, leaving me alone of my siblings here in Oh-hi-ia. One sister lives in Brooklyn, and the moving one is going to St. Louis. I'm not happy about it, to say the least. I'm happy FOR them, because they're both happy, but miserable for my own self, not because they live in big, bad cities and I don't (well, okay, that is part of it) but mostly because it is hard to have dinner with someone or blow off an afternoon's work to sit in a cafe with your sister when she lives more than 500 miles away.

They've both lived far, far away before; one in California for about a year, and the other has previously lived in NYC, also for about a year. It sucked. Big, hairy goat balls it sucked. I was still working for the big ol' bank, hating every moment of my job, living in a really crappy apartment, and the only bright spot in my life was my DH, who is great about telling me to just go visit them and stop bitching about it. His support is something I couldn't do without.

Anyway, I felt like I was falling into an giant pit that summer, that the world was randomly opening up and swallowing me whole for days at a time. Or that I was drowning, only periodically able to surface to gasp for breath. Yeah, my sisters and I are close. I don't think that either of them reads my blog, so I am not too worried about embarrassing either of them. When they live nearby, we do our grocery shopping together, we have dinner often, we sit in cafes and discuss all sorts of celebrity gossip, a favorite pastime. When they live far away, I talk to them only periodically, in far too short conversations that mostly revolve around who is going to come visit whom.

I'm trying really really hard to not focus on that, and instead focus on getting to the gym, hanging with my Martini Girls, write some fiction, and getting the things done that need done before Christmas. Let's not talk about that, it will make me feel all neurotic again, no, the presents aren't purchased, aren't wrapped, the house isn't decorated, (inside OR out) the baking isn't done, plans for New Year's Eve are not finalized.....arrrgh.

I've been going to the gym every single weekday, getting there when they open the doors at 05.30 in the morning, and spending at least 35 minutes doing cardio. I try to get some weightlifting in after that, but as I need to be at my office by 07.30 most days, that limits somewhat the things that I can do. I've been going to the gym every single week day for more than a month...somewhere, perhaps more like 6 weeks, and getting more exercise than I have in years and years and YEARS, and I've lost a grand total of 6 pounds. Yeah. Six lousy pounds. Man, that's really annoying. I don't know what I'm doing wrong. I drink a TON of water every day, I'm working really hard to improve my eating habits, and trying to get the sleep that my body needs, and guess what? I've lost six fucking pounds. I've scheduled a session with a personal trainer at my gym next week to see if she can help me to design a program that is going to get me some results, but I only have plans of spending time with a trainer about once every six months. It is expensive. But I'm hopeful that she will be able to give me some insights.

In my 20s, I worked out with a male trainer, who was baaaaaaad news. Not because he was not good at what he did, but because he was hot and I was very tempted. He was married, and I got engaged not long after we started working out together, so both of us were not available, but I think he would have ignored his marriage vows in a second. Fortunately, I never let him know that I thought he was really cute. I ran into him about 2 years after I was married, in a grocery store, and he was with a woman who wasn't his wife. I stopped and said hello, and he told me in excruciating detail all about his divorce proceedings, which were in the middle stages. Yeah, I so knew that was gonna happen, he was such a flirt. I am really happy to have been assigned a female trainer by the gym this time.

Then the drugs part. I've been taking the Ambien almost every night, and getting about 6 solid hours of sleep. Rarely is that an uninterrupted six hours. Last night it was, but only because I didn't climb into bed much before 11 pm, which is really really late for me. I didn't take the Ambien with me over Thanksgiving weekend, when we visited Rocky Gap for the holiday, and I managed to sleep without it, but it wasn't "good" sleep. I do chalk that up to the fact that they assigned us a queen sized bed and we're used to a massive king more than the fact that I was trying to sleep without the drugs. I'm really worried about developing a dependency on the sleeping pills, but not worried enough to not take them on the nights when I have to work the next day. When I don't take them, I end up worrying all night long about things that I can't really fix or change at work.

I'm also a bit worried about all the meds Dr. Hottie prescribed for my asthma. I usually remember to take the Singulair pill every day, but using the Advair inhaler four times a day seems excessive to me and is difficult for me to remember to do. I don't know why. And while my attacks are down, way down, I credit the pill more than the inhaler with that success, because I am more consistent with the pill. One thing that all allergy meds have in common is the runny nose side effect. I despise that, but am willing to put up with it if it means fewer asthma attacks.

Mostly I'm not crazy about having 4 prescriptions to manage at 31 years old. While I have yet to use the rescue inhaler he prescribed for me, the fact remains that I have 3 scripts for allergy/asthma, and one for sleeping. It makes me sad that I need a pill to sleep. Last night, I read until shortly before 11 pm and wasn't sleepy at all until the meds kicked in. I wonder when I would have fallen asleep without help? What, short of quitting my job, and curling up in the fetal position, do I need to do to get back to a "normal" schedule?

What do you do to get a good nights' sleep?

21 November 2006

Not Funny

Seems that if I wrote a post about what makes me laugh, I ought to also write a post about things that annoy me, just in the interests of equal time and whatnot. So here's a short list.

People driving on the freeway who hang out in the left lane with their left turn signal on. Where the hell are you going? Either turn off the turn signal, or get the hell off the highway.

Rudeness. In general. I don't like rude people. Someone who is nice to you, but is not nice to the waiter, is not a nice person.

Office politics. I don't work for that big ol' bank any longer because I had had it up to HERE with the office politics. I like politics when we're talking elected officials. I hate politics when we're talking about playing the game to get ahead at work. I'm not good at it, and I'm very suspicious of those who are.

Apathy. I have no patience with those who are apathetic about, well, anything, really. Pick a side. Helen Keller had a great quote about apathy; she said, "Science may have found a cure for most evils; but it has found no remedy for the worst of them all -- the apathy of human beings." So true.

Bad grammar; I hold my parents responsible for this one. They took great pains to ensure that my sisters and I spoke proper (albiet American-accented) English. So as an adult, I now have a very difficult time not correcting other adults when they make miserable grammatical errors in everyday conversation. I'm a rotten speller, but dammit, I know proper comma usage!

And finally, the last one is a bit tough to define. People who have a sense of entitlement, "the world OWES me because (insert ridiculous reason here). Ties in to, but is not the same thing as, "it isn't MY fault" syndrome. Dude, when you make a mistake, own up to it.

14 November 2006

Make me laugh

I was doing some catch-up reading last night, reading some blogs that I have not been able to check for a while (hello, Marianne, Scary, Misty, Julia) and laughing out loud at some of their entries. Which had me spinning off in another direction of thought.

Once upon a time, between the ages of 13 and maybe 20, whilst hanging with friends, I would laugh so hard my stomach would hurt. When my sister and I would spend time with friends who were brother and sister in a town maybe 45 minutes away from home, we’d often get the giggles so severely that we couldn’t stop. That rolling, belly laugh, gasping for breath seems so distant now. I had a bit of a taste of it when I was visiting my sister in New York two weeks ago, which made parting from her all that much more difficult. I’d forgotten, somehow, in the months that she’s lived in NYC how much fun she is, and how much I miss her on a daily basis. You push that sort of thing to the back of your mind so that you don’t dwell on it, you know.

Anyway, back to making me laugh. Everyone’s entries that I was reading had a cute turn of phrase, something too funny that made me laugh out loud and made my DH make faces at me as he was doing some serious reading of insurance policies. Scary used the phrase “chunder monkey”, which I’m not even sure what that means and it makes me laugh. (uh, yeah. Urban Dictionary says “someone who vomits a lot.” Shoulda known, with Scary.) And then there was Julia, suggesting that everyone who disagreed with her to, “eat my fuck.” Ha! And hahahahahaha! God, I thought that was funny.

Dooce has a tag “how to charm me” but this is more along the lines of “how to make me chuckle”. I think for simplicity’s sake, however, I’ll just tag it “funny”.

What makes you laugh?

13 November 2006

O Tannenbaum

Yes, ladies and gents, the holiday season is upon us. I was first clued in to this fact before Halloween, actually, when I went to a local Sam's club and discovered them playing Christmas music. "Egad!" I said to the door lady, she who makes sure you're allowed in Sam's, "IT ISN'T EVEN HALLOWEEN YET!" "Yes", she said, "I know. I'm sorry."

But signs of the holiday have been creeping up on me since then. Christmas commercials on the telly. Holiday decorations appearing on homes. Articles in the local rag newspaper about "holiday how-tos". And then today I crossed the border into Pennsylvania and went to IKEA in Pittsburgh, which is all decked out in the finest holiday beauty.

My mother and I went together, and I picked up some presents for the holiday. Had a good time, but I'm starting to feel that panic about not enough time to get everything done, and Thanksgiving is two weeks away, so that's really silly. I've got time. To bake, make the bath salts and hand lotion that I make for my girl-friends every year, purchase presents for everyone on my list, wrap all the presents, ARRRRGGGGGHHHHH!!!!! Someone lock me up before Christmas, please.

10 November 2006


All this week, that's what I've been yelling since Election day. Every bit of news is good, good, good! Here in Oh-hia-ia, the scary Republican Ken Blackwell was NOT elected govenor, Issue 4 failed, Issue 5 passed, the new Attorney General is a Dem, and the Dems got control over the House and the Senate. AND! AND! AND!! The new House speaker will probably be Nancy Pelosi, the first woman EVER! I'm so happy about all of it. Gives me hope for the future.

I’ve of course been listening to NPR during the entire election season, and their barely disguised glee is funny, too. They do tend to the liberal end of the spectrum, probably why I’m such a fan. I spent another 6 or so hours in the car yesterday, and the 3 stations that I could pick up during the drive were what kept me sane. WCBE, WCPN, WKSU all helped me make it through what is possibly one of the most dull drives on earth, from northern Ohio to central Ohio and back again. Most of the leaves are down, and winter is soon upon us, so the scenery was nothin’ to look at either. In fact, it SNOWED part of the way. Eurgh.

The other great news I have to share is that I spent last weekend in NYC visiting my sister and watching the NYC marathon, which a few dear friends from Sweden ran; I posted some of the pics on Flickr. If you know me IRL, put a comment in the box if you’d like to see the pics and I’ll send you a link so you can see all the beautiful women all over NYC. Hjärtligt gratulearar till ni 3 som sprang! Ni vet vem ni är.