Sunday, August 31, 2008

Fangs for the Memories!

My new choppers! Had them made this morning. Scared?

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Off to Dragon*Con

I'm leaving for Dragon*Con in the morning with a coworker. I'm hoping she will blog with me here as we need to do a staff training when we get back covering what we learn at the conference. Some of what we learn will of course be literature geek stuff. But some will be more interesting to the world at large... like what movie stars were there!

I'll try to post regularly throughout the con, but didn't want to take up space here since many of you who read this won't care. But head over to the other blog over the next five days to see what we see if you are one of the few who are.

Experiment with Mobile Blogging

Well, I sent this picture from my phone then came back in and edited it. The first post was rough because Verizon tacks on an add, but it looks like this might be successful!

Life... In a Nutshell

The past few months have been rather tumultuous for me. I've made some rather large, life-altering decisions and I've been building some new friendships at the same time. This is, of course, exhausting work for introverted little old me, but it does feel good to be taking some risks and putting myself out there. I wasn't blogging so much when I first became a mom, although Chris does have some of my writing from that time archived somewhere. Still, the point is, it wasn't an easy transition for me. I am way more comfortable in my own skin with no responsibility for taking care of the skin (or any other parts) of others. So there were many days in those first few months of Athena's life where I wept in mourning for my old life.

I think all the mid-life crisising and changing going on in my life now is a result of the shift I'm seeing in my children. We are moving into the part of their life where they don't need me to do every little thing for them. Athena finally seems to be getting the whole potty thing (although we aren't done there yet) and even Marcus is showing very promising signs of being trained soon. Athena sometimes helps Young MC put on his shoes and he is trying to dress himself, sometimes quite successfully. Athena even mastered buckling her own seatbelt the other day, which I KNOW she has been able to do, but she has been stubbornly refusing to do it. Suddently, that is all better. And I am seeking to reclaim some of what I was before... the actress, the dancer, the traveler.

I know I should be a little sad that the baby years are over, and I suppose if you insist, I will tell you that I do miss them a little. I look back at the pictures and remember the feeling of that warm, snuggly baby sleeping in my arms. But then I also remember that said baby kept ME from sleeping and I sort of, you know... get over it.

Because of my job and my personality, Chris is the de facto parent in charge. I am capable of parenting, but he gets the bulk of that work because he is more patient than I and because, let's face it, he's here more than I am. My share of the work tends to fall on keeping the household running and making sure there is food on the table. I've been shirking my duties of late because the turmoil in my life (mid-life psychoses, writing performance evaluations, making friends, and dealing with infecting body piercings all factor in here) has been so distracting and exhausting. I spent a good deal of Monday afternoon (which I had off work) just stumbling around the messy, chore-filled house trying to figure out where to start.

So today, I am working another half day. Tomorrow, I am heading to Atlanta for Dragon*Con. I am really hoping that this afternoon I can get a little accomplished at home so I don't feel like such a slug. The infection is treated and only a little irritation is left. My abdomen still has to recover a bit from the antibiotics, but that's not bad. I should have enough stability now to move forward.

I hope...

Friday, August 22, 2008

Hazards of Mid-Life Crises

Well, wouldn't you know it? About two days before I hit the 30 day mark on my piercing, I get the beginning of what would soon become a nasty little infection. Very few piercings result in infection. Unfortunately, belly piercings are more likely than most (although obviously there are piercings in more ... um... hard to clean areas that get infected a lot too). And double-unfortunately, mine has become one of them.

Over the weekend, I started getting some twinges of pain that told me something was wrong, but the piercing has been a little angry ever since I got it, so I figured it was just that. A little redness... no biggie.

By Tuesday, the ooze had begun. This is totally just as gross as it sounds. When I first got pierced, I was told that there would be some oozing initially and to just keep cleaning it. I was pleased to find that I had no oozing at all. I took this as a good sign! Apparently, I was wrong.

So anyway, on Tuesday, I called the piercing place and told them my plight. I described the situation, and they asked me to come in. Needed to see it first hand before making any sort of judgement.

I went in, and they agreed that it was not (yet) an infection, but had potential. Oh yeah, my overachieving white blood cells... gotta love 'em! Anyway, they changed out my nice sparkly jewelry for a plain, longer barbell to accomodate the swelling, gave me instructions for a salt soak (three times a day for ten minutes a pop) and sent me on my way.

I began my soaks, and found the easiest way to do them was in a nice tub of warm water. Wednesday night, when I finished my soak and pulled the drain on the tub, I stood up only to hear a distinct *ting* on the tub floor. I looked down, and there was the barbell, with no closure. The other ball on the bar had apparently immediately gone down the drain. Dammit.

This early into the piercing (up to three months), they suggest that you come in to have them change out the jewelry, so even if I had wanted to do it myself, I really needed to have them do it. Just looking down at the oozy hole was enough to convince me there was no WAY I was going to do it, and so I got dressed, jumped in the car, and headed into town.

When I got there, someone was getting her nipple ring changed out. It was not someone I really wanted to see get a nipple ring changed, but it was interesting nonetheless. Then it was my turn. He cleaned the wound, replaced the barbell with a new ball and sent me on my way. And oh, there was pain and discomfort, my friends.

They told me to come back today so they could look at it and be sure it wasn't becoming an infection. I headed in thinking that I was feeling much better actually, and the salt soaks really seem to be working. This demonstrates how unrealistic I am. He looked at it, took the barbell out, did some squeezing, and declared my piercing officially infected. JOY!

Because he is holistic, he recommended continuing the salt soaks for another 24 hours before resorting to evil antibiotics. I did actually consider this. But that would mean that if the salt soaks did NOT work, I would be going to Urgent Care on a Sunday morning before I had to be at work. Not cool. So I sort of flipped a coin.

I left a message for my doctor's nurse with details of my situation and requested that she call in a prescription for me. If she needed me to come in first, well... I couldn't do that as I was in meetings the rest of the day. I'd opt for Urgent Care on Sunday and go forth with my hippie salt soaks. She called me back quickly and said, "No worries... I'll call it in."

So now I have a Z-Pac. And I'm looking forward to being infection-free within 72 hours. Sure, I feel bad that I cheated a bit. I know antibiotics aren't great for me in the long run. But seriously. Did I mention the ooze? This totally needs to go away. Now.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Bear With Me

Sorry, guys! I'm still here. I've been writing performance evals at work and that has pretty much used up all my writing energy. I'll try to catch you up on the goings on over the next few days.

Not tonight though. My piercing has gotten very angry... almost to the point of infection... and it has me feeling a bit out of sorts. But soon! Once the long salt rinses have had more time to work. :-)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Everybody Cha-Cha!

My friend Jen is considering joining my gym, so Monday night, I brought her along to a class of her choosing. This is the first time I've taken a class in about a year. I love their Hip-Hop class on Thursday nights and intend to restart, but I haven't taken any other classes. Jen also would have chosen Hip-Hop, but she is currently working Thursday nights. So instead, we picked Latin Fusion. Class is Mondays at 7, which is actually a very good time for me to take a class.

We got there super early in anticipation of her being assaulted by a "Member Consultant" to pressure her to join. However, as luck would have it, none were available. So instead, we sat outside the studio for thirty minutes gossiping, which is of course what going to the gym with a friend is all about.

We were both fairly certain the class would kick our butts. Both of us have a dance background, but for me at least, that background is pretty far back. Ten years now. However, as class started, I realized that I did, indeed, have enough basic coordination to do the moves pretty well. We were also fortunate that the class wasn't very crowded. Many of the classes are almost unpleasantly cramped, since the gym is so large, but not this one. So we had some freedom to spread out and, if necessary, accidentally go left when the instructor says to go right.

So about fifteen minutes into the class, she and I were both thinking... this is awesome! Fun! We should find some salsa dancing when we are at DisneyWorld in December! Then about fifteen minutes later, we were like... uh... when did our heart rates get to be about 200? Salsa dancing? What was I thinking? Salsa is for chips!

But at the end of the class, we both agreed it was a great one. I couldn't do a lot of the ab work at the end due to my still-healing piercing (no crunches until mid-October), and I felt a bit fortunate for that as I watched Jen get through the set. Still, I'm sure it will pay off.

My plan now is to continue going every other day, and just incorporate the classes in as the day comes up... so this week Latin Fusion on Monday, next week, Hip-Hop on Thursday. The rest of the time, continue the treadmill and the weights. Again, the weight isn't dropping off as much as I would like, but I see huge improvements, both in my measurements and in my energy level. And really, as long as I look and feel healthy, I really don't care too much about how much I weigh.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Overheard at My House

Chris had hockey the other night... his last game of the season. He was up for Highest Points in the League. And he was playing the team with the other guys who were closest to catching up. But he had a good lead, and all they had to do was keep the top guys from getting lots of points as individuals.

They did manage to do that... but just barely. And they lost terribly. So Chris was feeling a bit dejected, but okay. He finished telling me about the game, then went to take a shower. Upon exiting the shower, we had the following conversation:

Me: Feeling better

Chris: Somewhat. I'm cleaner at least.

Me: True. And you know what they say. Cleanliness is next to...

*dramatic pause*

In Unison (because I have lived with this man long enough to know...): Me.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Here Comes the Hotness

I've been going to the gym every other day for just over a month now. Even though I haven't shed a lot of pounds, my shape has definitely changed for the better. Tonight, I decided to put it to the test.

I went to my closet and pulled "it" out. For some women, it's that pair of perfect jeans that they can only really wear when they are at their favorite weight. For some, it's a slinky black dress. For me... it's the red sparkly shirt.

I bought this shirt in San Francisco in May of 2005. It was on sale at BCBG for $100. I had to have it. I kept walking away from it and coming back to it. I mean... it's red. (gimme) It's sparkly. (gimme) It's a halter shirt. (whoa, nelly! The "ladies" cannot really "do" halters.) So I tried it on. This was about a year after I had Athena and I was still pretty skinny from nursing. I'd put a little back on, but not all of it. I looked awesome. Seriously. So I bought it.

Then I got knocked up. Fortunately, everyone loves a pregnant belly nowadays, and the shirt is stretchy, so I wore it for the Annual Caran Holiday Party. No. I didn't wear it. I rocked it. I totally LOVE this shirt.

Then Young MC came along and the pudge could not do "the shirt" justice. I had to put it away. Tonight, I pulled it out. I told Chris I just wanted to try it... to see how far I had to go. I want to wear it at the next Annual Holiday party (not until January), and maybe on a vacation or two before that if I can pull it off.

I put it on. Chris' eyes bugged out. In a good way. Like, in the "Look at that hot chick from Battlestar Galactica wearing nothing but a thong" kind of way.

It's going to Dragon*Con with me in a few weeks. It's going to Disney with me in October. It's going everywhere with me if there is even the slightest possibility I can dress up. I would wear this shirt every day if I could. I am so freaking happy right now that I have my red shirt back. WOOT!

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Books and Meme

Jumping on the Jessey Bandwagon!

I resisted the STRONG temptation to make comments… especially when technically some works are named twice. (Last time I checked, Hamlet was included in the Complete Works of William Shakespeare.)

1) Look at the list and bold those you have read.
2) Italicize those you intend to read.
3) Underline the books you love.
4) Strike out the books you have no intention of ever reading, or were forced to read at school and hated.
5) Reprint this list in your own blog.

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
4 The Harry Potter Series - JK Rowling
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
6 The Bible
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell

9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
12 Tess of the D'Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy

13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveller's Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll

30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
34 Emma- Jane Austen
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli's Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel
52 Dune - Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones's Diary - Helen Fielding
69 Midnight's Children - Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses - James Joyce
76 The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal - Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession - AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte's Web - EB White
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo

Saturday, August 02, 2008

I Rest My Case

It's not that I don't like housework. I'm just doing what's best for my kids.

Overly Clean Homes May Up Risk of Bowel Disease