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Playin' Wit Mah Mental Blox


Went to the gym last night, did a little more than I did Saturday and it felt ok. Slowly getting back into it. In a way, it was good to have the enforced time off from any sort of exercise after the appendectomy. Since there was really no choice in being inactive, there was no mental battle between "I should exercise/I don't want to exercise." The lack of that battle meant I could actually pay attention to what it felt like...and after a week of inactivity, I was getting antsy. I actually WANTED to go do something physically taxing. Dunno how long this particular revelation will last, but I'll be greatful for it while it does.


Made link removed for dinner last night using tomatoes and basil from my garden. It was quite tasty, although I will cut back on the crushed pepper flakes next time. Not a fan of spicy-hot and even the small amount of pepper flakes in this was a bit more than I'd ideally like. It's definitely a dish where you only want to make as much as you're likely to consume in one meal, though. I don't think the leftovers would hold up real well. For starters, the bacon wouldn't stay nice and crispy with leftovers of this...and the crispiness of the bacon is part of the appeal in the finished dish.


I still have 3 ripe tomatoes, though....and a lot of green ones still on the vines in the garden. As enjoyable as the Tomato and Bacon Pasta was, I don't think I want it for dinner two nights in a row.


For as slow and crappy as Monday was, the week is actually going fairly quickly. That's good...but I still wouldn't turn down a multi-million dollar lottery win. Step one toward that? Actually buy a ticket. I think I may be going wrong by neglecting to do that.....

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....And How Did This Get To Be MY Job....?


So, a few weeks ago, there was a bit of a shake-up at one of the stations here (not mine). And my boss is seeing this as an opportunity for him to get a sorta-kinda promotion. As the corporate programming guy is filling in the gap, my boss offered to help with the re-structuring of the other station (not mine). So part of that is rebuilding the format clocks and music scheduling software (not for my station). We've done a similar project on my station a couple of times and I have helped him with this.


So, he's asked me to help with the re-structuring of the other station (not mine). We had an "Office Space" moment yesterday where he was asking me to come in on my day off to work on this little project. ("Yeah...I'm gonna need you to come in on Saturday.....") Then he made a comment about me not wanting to do "extra"....and he understood why and it was fine. What????


A few weeks ago, we got the rah-rah, "things are tough right now," "we need to pull together and give more" speech. I was less than enthused. I have heard similar things before (back when I was still young and naive and believed them) and they resulted in me doing what used to be 4 or 5 full time jobs (for the pay of about 1.5 of those jobs) and ending up on my bathroom floor, puking, crying and screaming about how incompetent I was and getting a two week mandatory medical "vacation."


I am not going there again. I do not trust ANY employer to see to that I do not go there again. It is my responsibility to draw that line and if they don't like where I draw it, they can ask me to leave. I am not going to have a job that takes over my life so much (without the accompanying compensation and with no regard for having any sort of healthy balance in my life) that I have a repeat of The Crash of 2003. For what I am being paid, I am being paid for a PORTION of my time....not my whole life. If you want extra from me, you need to compensate me for going beyond.


We have reached an agreement about the re-structuring project for the station (not mine) that I'm ok with with. The whole incident just makes me wonder, though...does drawing that line make the employer respect you more (i.e. Oh, she won't let us walk all over her. We'd better treat her well) or does it just make you look like a pain in the rear and lazy? I mean, I used to say yes to various projects and additional responsibilities. I used to be understanding when I got the "there's no money in the budget to pay you more/get you the proper tools to do this/hire a part-timer" song and dance. I never felt that understanding was appreciated and it was never really rewarded down the road, either. It was taken for granted and, eventually, expected. And it resulted in me in a broken heap on my bathroom floor when they asked for too much.


By the time we got done negotiating the price of my assistance on the re-structuring the station (not mine) project, I was getting myself to look at the positives of this. Fortunately, I work for a guy who is not a credit-hog. He will make sure to let the higher-ups know I helped him with this project, thus earning me a few brownie points with the corporate programming people (not a bad thing, really). For working 3 hours on a day off, I will get a full day off to be named later at my discretion.


But I still wonder about where the balance is. Where is that point where you're doing enough to be considered "valuable" but not allowing yourself to be abused/worked to death? Does that point shift over time or with your level of compensation?

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Back To Normal?


The three-week vacation is over. My husband goes back to work today. Over the weekend he said he was actually looking forward to it and admitted that he has become kind of a slug...hanging out at home, not doing much, and playing a lot of Warcrack. The scenes in the South Park episode "Make Love, Not Warcraft" where the 4 boys turn into Jabba-The-Hutt-like lumps in front of their computers came to mind.


Last week I went to Monday night yoga and went to the gym three times (Saturday, Tuesday and Friday). The next 6 week session of Thursday night yoga doesn't start until September 13. Anyway, my husband said he wanted to go with me to the gym all three times and he went exactly zero times.


A few months ago, that would've also meant I didn't go...but not anymore. I had decided (before that whole appendix thing came up) that I was not going to allow that to happen anymore. It just ended up with me not exercising because he didn't want to go and getting pissed off about it. So, I had decided when he did that, I was going to take care of myself and just go without him. I think I did it once before I got sick.


My plan (before I got sick) was 3 gym trips a week (cardio/weights) and 2 or 3 yoga classes a week (Monday/Thursday and there's also a Saturday class I was looking at, depending on how finances work out)...and while he's welcome to join (he did go to two Monday night yoga classes with me when he was off), I wasn't going to let his (non)participation make a difference in what I did. So, now that I am healed from the surgery, I am getting back on track to that plan.


While I am not making any drastic changes to my eating habits, I am making an effort to do better. Less fast food, more vegetables. Cut down the mindless snacking. Little stuff like that. No counting calories or weigh-ins or focus on losing weight. That will just mess me up.


I touched on this here before, talking about how he leaves the junky food out and I keep asking him to put it away when he's done with it. And he does...until he forgets and leaves it out. Because I've gotten more aware of what I'm eating, I've gotten more aware of what he's eating. I find myself in a really odd (in that "The Universe is laughing at me for being so haughty before" way) situation.


Y'know all those threads complaining about "my gf/bf needs to lose weight"? I'm kinda in the same boat now. It's not about his weight, though. I don't care if he loses (or gains) an ounce. What is concerning me is the lack of vegetables (that aren't fried potatoes of some sort) and fruits in his regular diet. What is concerning me is the non-stop snacking on chips, ice cream, cookies. What is concerning me is the amount of fast food meals he'll consume left to his own devices (claiming he "can't cook"). The entire three weeks he was off, I'd hazard a guess there were more days he went out and got lunch from some fast food place than just making a sandwhich at home.


On the one hand, I really feel it's not my place to say anything about that at all. Having gotten all preachy to other people about not having the right to tell anyone else what food they can/cannot consume and so forth. In some portions of my head, the minute I open my mouth to say anything about his food choices to him, I become a HUGE hypocrite. On the other hand, I have learned enough about nutrition, exercise, and keeping healthy to know that he's taking a course of action that is likely to cause him problems later in life. That being poor dietary habits combined with a sedentary lifestyle.


Last night, he was sitting there playing Warcrack, dunking Nilla Wafers into a tub of ready-to-eat cheesecake filling. I tried the cheesecake filling months ago. Didn't like it. I make better cheesecake. He, on the other hand, loves the stuff. Anyway, he was using the cheesecake filling as a dip for the cookies. I picked up the tub of filling to read the nutrition label and he said, "Don't tell me. I don't want to know," and went on eating. I decided to go vacuum the cat hair off the area rug in the front room before I said anything.


I should know from my own experiences that telling someone they "shouldn't" eat something is very likely to cause the most intense cravings for exactly what they "shouldn't" eat. I should know from my own experiences that the only way any meaningful change happens is when someone decides to change from within...not when it's suggested/enforced from without. I should know from my own experiences that even bringing up these topics is akin to walking into a minefield, not knowing where the explosives are. I should know from my own experiences that having someone (particularly an SO) point out where you are going wrong can get old and naggy real fast.


Even knowing all that, it's sometimes hard to keep quiet. Thus far I have...mostly by reminding myself that I have enough to handle just managing "eating" and "exercise" for myself. I don't have enough time or energy to take it on for someone else.

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Coming home to a empty (except for cats) house and being able to use the computer if/when I want to. Being able to actually sit and do nothing for a while upon arriving home from work instead of having to hit the ground running figuring out dinner options and other crap. Maybe I'm weird, but coming home to an empty house never bothered me. It was, in fact, a nice change after having to deal with other people all day. I have missed it.


Went to yoga last night. My sides are sore...in a good kinda way.


Got the bulk of the medical bills in the mail yesterday. The surgeon's bill, the ER doc's bill, the hospital's (new & adjusted & correct bill for the portion of the deductible that the insurance company says is theirs) bill. In total, about $3100 of the $4000 I'm responsible for. Wrote checks, transfered money to the checking account to cover them. Waiting for the other $900 in bills to show up.


...and then, all of a sudden, it was the end of August. I remember there was a time when time used to c-r-a-w-l by. In high school the school break in the summertime seemed endless. The days just dragged on and on without much to break them up. Now I blink and the entire month is gone.


But we're coming up to one of the times of year I really like. Late summer when it's still nice and kinda warm, but you can feel the season changing. It's still all green outside, but the time of things dying in a blaze of color is coming. My yoga instructor was actually talking about this stuff in class last night...about doyo

Doyo is the last 18 days of each season (in this case, the season is summer.) It is, in other words, 18 days just before the first day of fall.


Saturday is September 1.

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I'm Leaving It All To The Dog


Leona Helmsley really LOVED her pet....link removed. In a way, though, I can see the logic. Our pets love us unconditionally, they don't care about our money (or lack of it) or status or what we do. A few years ago there was a TV commercial...I think it was for the US Humane Society. It showed an older, non-descript man walking into a house and then showed scenes of him putting on make-up, a wig, and women's clothing. Shots of the man's dog greeting him at the door, wagging his tail, following the man around were interchanged with the shots of the man cross-dressing. No dialog. Just music. When the man was fully done up as a woman, looking in the mirror, smiling at himself with his dog next to him, wagging his tail, the screen fades to black with words along these lines: That's the great thing about pets...they really don't care. I thought it was hilarious.


Tried out a new recipe last night. link removed. Added a couple slices of tomato under the cheese/mushroom/shallot topping on my piece, along with a side of green peas and it was very good. My husband picked at his piece (with no tomato), said it was "alright," then decided a frozen pizza (pepperoni) would be a better dinner option. I keep my thoughts to myself, but I wonder what the lack of anything even resembling a vegetable and the aversion to regular exercise is going to do to him long term.


I'm 11 years older than he is. Even given men's shorter life spans, barring any accidents, I should kick it first, but sometimes I'm afraid that won't be the way it happens. My gene pool doesn't include much in the way of heart disease or diabetes. One grandmother lived into her 90's even though she was very, very large. The other grandmother was also close to 90 when she died. One grandfather was killed in a war. The other was a long-term smoker with a 3-pack-a-day habit. So, there's no telling what their lifespans would've been like without a war or smoking. Both my parents are into their 70's and still plodding along. (Yeah, I don't talk to them, but my college ex still keeps in touch with them and gives me updates. He brings up reconciliation on a regular basis and I tell him he's entitled to his opinion and I'm entitled to ignore it...but I digress) My husband's gene pool on the other hand is full of heart issues and some diabetes.


I dunno. I can sorta/kinda understand his lack of concern. I mean, I didn't really give it much thought in my 30's. But there's something about turning 40 where it started to dawn on me, "Wow. The ride's likely reaching the halfway point. Maybe it's time to re-evaluate." That, and noticing how other people around me are aging. I don't want to hit 50 or 60 looking/feeling old, having a lot of health issues, and having difficulty getting around.


So far, I've been pretty lucky, gotten a pretty good hand dealt to me genetically, and done enough right things enough of the time that I don't look or feel my age. I don't have some of the conditions/issues that other people I know who are around my age have. I'd like to keep it that way, and I suspect one of the best ways to do that is to care a little more about what I'm eating and keep moving. I cannot make the focus weight loss (in the interest of maintaining my mental health)...and I cannot make these decisions from a place of fear (I have to do this or I'm gonna DIE!).


I'm starting to think that this is the real reason I fell off the ED recovery wagon 2 years ago. To go on the journey I have since then to be able to get to the place I'm at now. It's a little early to know this for sure, but I suspect the appendectomy (and it's forced inactivity) was one of the last (?) pieces of the puzzle. That part that showed me I actually DO like moving around on a regular basis (as long as it doesn't have YOU HAVE TO DO THIS TO LOSE WEIGHT or YOU HAVE TO DO THIS SO YOU DON'T KEEL OVER DEAD TOMORROW superimposed all over it).


There are some issues you work at for a long time, and then all of a sudden have the big revelation. And there are some where the revelation happens slowly and in small pieces. I can't really tell which one this is, but mental blocks are shifting and the way I'm looking at stuff is shifting, so I know something's changing.


Further proof my work here in this life is not done.

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Another Crisis


So, early yesterday morning, I'm sitting online when all of a sudden I get this stabbing pain in the middle of my upper abdomen. It shoots right through me and shows no signs of letting up. After a couple hours with no change, and lots of mental freaking out (oh, crap...now what?), I decide I should probably go get it checked out. I wake up my husband and we're off to the hospital.


Long story short, after an ultrasound, I was told I have gallstones and was having an attack. They gave me some stuff for the pain and nausea and it eased off on its own after that. If it hadn't, I woulda been lookin' at emergency surgery #2 this year. As it is, I've been advised to have the thing removed eventually. On the other hand, I could also go for weeks/months/years/the rest of my life without having another attack, too. About half the people with gallstones never have a single attack or symptom.


The ER trip killed the first half of the day. By the time we got home it was almost 2pm. For some reason they were extremely crowded. I slept for much of the afternoon. When I got up, I read the information the hospital had given me about gallstones and looked up additional information online. It's probably a little surprising that I hadn't had a problem yet. I have so many of the risk factors it's not funny: my mother started having gallbladder issues when she was just a few years older than me, so there is the genetic predisposition, I'm also overweight, I've also dieted in such a way that I lost weight very quickly, I'm female and over 40, and on and on. There are, of course, suggestions for weight loss and dietary changes to help manage the condition. And that just freaked me out.


I attempted to talk to my husband about it...about the part where it would be difficult enough to make the suggested dietary/lifestyle changes (low fat, low cholesterol, avoid dairy products, lose weight), while not expecting him to and not finding his dietary habits a source of annoyance/distraction/frustration and that I am completely freaked out about it. Who wouldn't? Who would WANT to be in a situation where you're told "oh, you really have to cut back or eliminate because it's going to hurt you, but you have to be around someone who's going to eat any damn time they want, with no consequences and right in front of you."


When I attempted to discuss this with him in an effort to sort it out for myself and not be so piss-scared about what's happening to me, I got my head bit off. Seemingly out of nowhere, I got an angry, "Oh, so you're going to be pissed off at me for something that's not my fault?!" along with a slammed car door and storming off to the opposite end of the house once we got inside.


I sat on the couch (by myself) and cried (by myself) and came to the conclusion that I'm going to have to deal with this by myself. I thought about going to talk to my dietitican, but we are already ass-deep in medical bills. Because of him changing jobs (again) we had new insurance starting September 1. This is the short-term plan I bought to get us through the end of the year when I can go back on my employer's plan. New insurance=new deductible. Only $1000 this time, and I haven't had a chance to look at how much is covered after that. But on top of the medical expenses we've already had this year, it's a bit of a stretch to be going to the dietitian at $80 a throw (and not covered at all).


He cooled off some after a couple hours, but it really doesn't seem like I can talk to him about this at all. Another situation where I miss that whole "he was combination SO and Therapist" thing about my ex-college bf. I really coulda used some of that last night. Heck, who am I kidding, I could use some of that now....


I have dealt with worse myself, though...and if I have to again, I will. Because I can. I will write it all out, like I always I have. I will remind myself how tough and strong and resiliant I am. I will remind myself how I have managed to navigate through every last single situation that's been presented to me. I will play my Queen CDs to comfort myself, because they have been with me through it all and I have such a connection with that music...it's like...Mother (pieces of so many of their songs are playing in my head right now). I will remind myself that I have a belief system/faith that has seen me through the worst of times. I will walk through this with or without your help, because I don't have any other viable choice.

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I'm A Time Bomb, Baby, Yeah Yeah!




So, it has occurred to me that the gallstones have probably been forming and been there for years not causing a huge problem. I mean, they don't just show up overnight, y'know? To my knowledge, I haven't had an attack prior to Sunday. However, I have to wonder if I've had some mild attacks and just not realized it.


We had a really, really long discussion yesterday about all this stuff. We're good. I swear, this relationship is like a Weeble link removed ...we wobble, but we never fully fall down. To quote Martha, "It's a good thing." (an aside, I saw on the TV at the gym that she has a TV show again.......)


Anyway, I was pondering these things -- the gallstones lying in wait, the migraines that give no warning before making me miserable -- and I realized between my head and my guts...I am a time bomb. It's just a matter of time before one or the other blows.


Then I thought of that Ramones song...and felt better.

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The Big D


So lately...since all these health-crisis things have come up...I find myself thinking about death. Specifically, my death. Questions no one can really answer. Stuff like: How much longer do I have anyway? What's going to bring it about? Is it going to be sudden and unexpected or long, drawn-out and painful? (Uh, if anyone in a position of Supreme Power is reading this, I'd kinda prefer a minimum of "drawn-out and painful," thanks.)


I think going in your sleep is good. An older guy where I used to work went that way. Went to have a nap and when the wife went to wake him for dinner, he was gone. My frugal self finds that much more palatable than, say, a catastrophic fatal illness where you rack up a bunch of bills before you go....or some sort of accident where they make all manner of attempts to save you but fail, leaving a trail of medical bills (and possibly a lawsuit) behind. I wouldn't want to be remembered as "that employee who had a heart attack at work and died" or "that chick who keeled over during yoga and had to be taken away in an ambulance and died at the hospital."


Then I find myself imagining the whole thing going on without me. Because it would. Because it doesn't matter who you are, the world will go on without you...just as it has for hundreds of years. Do I get to see any of that? Or, not having a physical body anymore, will I just not be interested in the goings-on here?


I think there is something beyond this life. I even have a few thoughts about what that something is. But it's all speculation, really. No way to know for sure.


Then I think of the things I'd be leaving behind: Warcrack and chocolate and the people I know and love and my cats and being on the radio and listening to Queen and Big Country and my house and cooking and horses and all those things that make me think this life is so incredibly sweet. Or would all those things still be available? Or would there be better things? Or would there be nothing? Or would I be in such a different form that I wouldn't care about those things anymore?


I guess I have more curiosity about death than fear, really. But what else would you expect from a semi-reformed Drama Queen who just wants to know what happens next?

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Happy Birthday, Patrick...I wish you well.


I have evidence that I have gotten my brownie points for helping out with the re-structuring project on the other station (not mine.) Corporate programming people took the time to thank me for my assistance. Like I said, I knew my boss wasn't a credit-hog. Still, it was nice to have the acknowledgement. For all the whining I've done, it really isn't a bad place to work. It's actually one of the best options available at this point in the history of the business.


Sometimes it just smacks me upside the head how lucky I really am. No major psychological issues, job I mostly like, house I really like, relationship that's healthier and happier than many, no big drama (except for when I catch the Maury show....oh, and here....). Even with the spate of health issues this year, on the whole, I think I'm fairly healthy and feel good more often than not.


I'm always a little taken aback when presented with evidence that not everyone else's life is like this...and they don't feel this way about their lives. I have to wonder, though, if they changed their attitude about their life, wouldn't their life change, too? I look back at my journal, at the thoughts I held 15-20-25 years ago and how my life was. And I can see the progression of the thoughts changing followed by the outside circumstances of my life changing.


And I wonder if that would work for other people or if I'm somehow magically blessed and special and it only works for me? I think it's gotta work for more people than me. Otherwise, there wouldn't be books written about it, and all the other sources where I got those kinds of ideas from. Yet, there are people who react as if I'm some sort of Pollyanna-ish, simplistic fool for buying into those ideas and basing a belief system on them.


"It doesn't work like that. Life is hard and then you die." they say...or something along those lines. They point to all manner of things and circumstances in their lives to illustrate their point. All the while I'm thinking to myself, "Well, that's only because you're looking at it that way. Looked at differently, that 'disaster' becomes a 'blessing.'"


From an emergency appendectomy, I got the insight that has (temporarily?) ended a several-years' long, on-going war in my head. Some people (with a similarly sedentary job to mine) would just now be getting back to work after surgery...and convincing themselves they still don't feel good. For me, at this point, if it wasn't for the surgical scar, I'd have a hard time believing that even happened.


Yup. Today, I'm just incredibly happy that I'm me.

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"You're One Of Those People....."


She said to me as we were talking about a recent shake-up (read: firing) at one of the stations, "...who just belong on the radio and belong in this business, y'know? You sound great on the air and your production skills are great...I've neve played a spot that you produced that had a problem...the levels are always right there, the reads are good...." The person saying this has been in the business for about 15 or so years.


It's those kinds of comments that come at odd times and when I'm not looking for them that mean more to me than the kind of mindless, daily butt-kissing some of my former ego-maniac co-workers needed.


Spent most of yesterday feeling crappy. Just this constant burning sensation in my guy. Not pain, really...just...burning. Eventually, I went out and got a bottle of Maalox because that's what they gave me in the hospital for the gallbladder attack. Actually it was Maalox mixed with something called viscuous lidocane (a numbing agent) and muscle relaxer with the somewhat misleading name of a "G.I. Cocktail." While I don't have any numbing agent at home, I guess I coulda had one of the leftover Percocets from my surgery. Y'know, just so I could say I had a Percocet with a Maalox chaser...but I wasn't in that much pain.


It occurred to me that the reason I seem to be having these problems on the weekend is because those are the days where nearly all of the meals and meal planning is shared between me and my husband. Weekdays, I'm up before he is and I make my own breakfast and pack my own lunch and I'm usually responsible for figuring out what to thaw out and fix for dinner since he doesn't cook. (When I try to get his input on what to have for dinner before I leave for work in the morning, I nearly always get, "I don't know," as an answer. Well, crap, I don't freakin' know either, but something has to come out of the freezer before I leave for the day!)


But on the weekend, there's more, "where do you want to go/what do you want to eat" types of discussions. I love the boy dearly, but his diet is horrendous....consisting of a lot of "fried" and "pizza" with his main source of vegetables being some type of fried potato or tomato sauce on pizza. And I wind up eating a good amount of that crap over the weekend, because that's what he wants and those are the types of restaurants he wants to go to. So, I don't think it's any coincidence I end up feeling sick by the time Saturday night or Sunday rolls around. Especially since I'm fine during the week.


"I cannot do this anymore," I said to him yesterday (as I downed yet another shot of Maalox) in regard to eating a lot of greasy crap and eating it late at night, "it's making me sick." He acts sympathetic, says he understands....then puts Pizza Rolls in the oven for dinner, after having run out to the store to pick up a bag of potato chips to snack on later. AAAAAARRRRRGGGGHHHHH!


As I left to get the Maalox (New! Wild Berry Flavor!), I said, "I probably have stomach cancer or something and I'll be dead in 24 months." He tells me I'm fine and not to say that.

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Nothin' Says "Tacky" Quite Like.....


...a truck I saw this morning on the way to work. Big, red pick-up truck...had mud flaps with the busty chick silhouette on them link removed, had some sort of big, metal, sporty-fin thing on the roof of the cab, more busty-chick metal adornments along the sides and...for the cherry on the top...a mural of Jesus and two cherubs on the back window of the cab.


Huh? What, exactly, would you call the decorating theme here? Jesus along with Mary Magdeline and her friends? "I'm a Christian who loves women with large breasts, tiny waists and ample hips?"


I regret traffic was such that I was unable to get a look at the driver of this rolling tribute to tack. Sometimes I see things that make me want to ask the owner of the offensive item, "What in the blue hell were you thinking?" I tell myself what I always tell myself when I see people displaying questionable taste, "Well...I guess they think that's cool." But I'm left feeling like I need to scrub my retinas to remove the image from my brain.

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So It's Come To This


We are planning on buying a second computer.


I am of mixed emotions about this. However, I agreed to the plan with the stipulation that it (and all the other crap we need to get to set it up -- desk, chair, network, cables, etc) be paid for in cash. No credit card. We have successfully shared a computer since we first moved in together in 2002. But we cannot seem to accomplish this anymore.




In a word, Warcrack. In a few more words, what he wants to do within the game. He's gotten into "end game content," and found a guild that's he likes and is actively doing these things. Meaning things that take 10-25 people and upwards of 4-6 hours solid at a time. I don't have that kind of patience, attention span or time. Even on days where I "play all day", it's done in about 2 hour increments with breaks to do other stuff. More than 2 hours solid, and I start getting sleepy. I just can't sit there for that long at a stretch. There's too much other stuff to do...a house that needs to be cleaned, a yard that needs to be attended to, laundry that has to be done, yoga classes to go to, a body that needs to go move around for a while on a regular basis......


I can't say as I'm terribly thrilled at this. (It's not howlingly obvious, huh? One night a week, ok. Two nights a week, well...ok. Last night I was informed the group wants to go to three nights a week. That means I actually have to log him in since they start about the same time he gets off work. Then I have to babysit his character until he gets home. That means I have to adjust what I'm doing to make sure I'm home to log him in before the group invites go out. Once he gets home, he's in the door and in front of the computer until well after I go to bed.


This is why we're getting another computer. And I can't help but think it's kinda stupid that it's come to this, but it has.

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Thoughts Atop The Elliptical


So there I was at the gym last night, slogging away at my 30 minutes of cardio on the elliptical, listening to the second disc of the Bruce Springsteen "Tracks" box set, when I had another one of those thoughts that shouldn't be spoken aloud because it's too mean, too sarcastic, too likely to cause a huge fight and really serves no useful purpose, but yet needs to be expressed or else it will come out at the completely wrong time. And it went something like this: We all make our choices. I'm choosing to go to the gym 3 times a week and you're chosing to go raiding with the guild on Warcrack 3 times a week. This might indicate a bit of a difference in priorities.


Yeah, just a little.


I was actually talking to one of my co-workers about the situation this morning. He plays Warcrack and his live-in partner does not. We compared notes, and learned that we're rather similar in how we approach our Warcrack time. We both tend to play mostly when our SO is not home or is home and asleep, and log off either shortly before or shortly after they arrive home. He's more likely to do time-consuming, group activities than I am, but he says he will not get involved with those types of things if he knows his partner will be home before he can finish. He was a sympathetic ear, and that was what I needed this morning, as I was second-guessing myself wondering if I was reverting to being shrewish or if I was being unreasonable.


My co-worker also agreed with another thought I had. Which was this: A second computer will not solve the real problem and may, in fact, worsen it. Because the real problem is not so much not being able to access the computer. The real problem is the sheer amount of time he's spending on that and not on other things. (Like, oh, maintaining the living space or maintaining the relationship, perhaps....)


Yeah, just minor things like that......


I was actually feeling pretty good mulling this all over when I was at the gym last night. I think I was (finally) experiencing that "exercise makes you feel good" thing I've heard so many people talk about. Because there really was something good and almost therapeutic about pedaling the elliptical and lifting weights and doing my yoga stretches at the end of the workout. I had been sorely tempted to NOT go to the gym after getting home later than usual, rushing to get dinner cooking (a stew/goulash that needed an hour or two to simmer), finding the dishwasher (still....) unloaded, having to water the garden and generally feeling kinda rushed and frazzled with the knowledge that if I wanted to do anything online it was going to have to be done before he got home. I thought about skipping the gym and just doing the stuff around the house and getting online. And it was reallllllllllly tempting. But I thought about it, and I thought, "No, go to the gym. If you don't go, you'll be pissed off about it later."


So I went. About halfway through my workout I knew I had made the right decision. And I still managed to get dinner cooked, the dishwasher unloaded & re-loaded, the garden watered, dinner eaten and even a bit of time online (in addition to the gym) before he got home. (Oh, and have his character logged in and ready to go on the raid Not bad for a 4 hour time frame.


This is why people who cannot/will not multi-task just baffle me. How do you get anything done if you can't/don't multi-task? How can you do anything efficiently?


That's one of the bizzaro contradictory things I really like about myself. I have two equally strong...but diametrically opposing...urges: 1. The desire to get things done/done right and 2. Laziness. These two things intersect and get expressed in being very efficient...by finding the quickest and easiest way to accomplish the task at hand so I can go back to doing nothing and/or ruminating.


Speaking of doing nothing.........I believe the time has come to do just that.

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Tolerance? What's That?


So, Friday, on the way to work, I started feeling all light-headed and weird and spacey. At one point I was driving right toward a very bright sun, and the light was like little knives coming through my eyes, stabbing my brain. When I got to work a few minutes later, it was clear to me that I was going to develop a migraine. I had also woke up bloaty and crampy and bleeding.


It was then I made an Executive Decision. I decided I was not going to drug myself just so I could work through this. Screw it. I voicetracked (recorded) my show and went home. And, yeah, I have stayed and worked through worse migraines, worse cramps, and just feeling worse. But, y'know, it never really got me anything in the long run. So, Friday, I said, "Screw it, they're lucky I'm taking the time to do the show before I leave." I was heading home less than an hour after arriving.


So, I sorta/kinda got another 3 day weekend. 2 days of which I was by myself for most of the day since my husband was working. That was nice. Having the house and computer to myself and having it quiet. Yeah, I played a lot of uninterrupted Warcrack and I slept a lot. It's always been one of the Great Ironies of My Life...I get so sleepy and tired during my period, but the cramps make it difficult to sleep. Wonderful, huh?


As migraines go, Friday's was actually pretty mild. Didn't have to take a Zomig and it passed on its own (with some assistance from about 8 ibrupofen and a couple Excederin Migraine) in a couple hours. I've worked through worse. But Friday I decided it was more important to NOT work through it, go home, and take the time for myself. I'm glad I did. Because, really, no one would've cared one bit had I busted my ass and worked through it.


Checked in here a couple times over the weekend, and found a lot of posts annoying me. Eh, that happens sometimes. I'm sure my physical condition (crampy, bloaty) didn't help increase my normal somewhat low level of tolerance. Although, I must say that I have noticed the last few months there's been a pretty steep uptick in my irritability in the week/week and a half before my period. I've never been a PMS-y kinda gal (except for when I've been on progesterone to induce a period), so this change is a cause for concern. I really don't like the idea that I'm spending about 1/4 of my time being annoyed by things that wouldn't normally bother me. I mean, the whole tirade about his WoW habits and the stupidity of getting a second computer were, in part, brought on by the hormonal irritability. I still think it's ridiculous, but without the additional hormones, it's not nearly as irritating as I was finding it last week.


This weekend I did not have any stomach/gastrointestinal issues, though. I credit that to being vigilent about what food I was eating and not just sort of blindly going along with his food choices. Good Lord, I have to be responsible for myself on the weekend, too. Who made up these rules anyway? And why, even when I've figured out if I eat or do , I feel crappy and when I don't eat or do I don't feel crappy...why do I still sometimes choose to eat or do what makes me feel crappy?


Eh, sometimes you have to bash your head to a bloody pulp before it dawns on you that in a competition between your skull and a brick wall, the brick wall is always going to win.

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One Other Thing That Happened This Weekend


About 3 years ago, I bought a pair of moccasin boots, like these: link removed. It was kind of stupid that I bought them, really. I thought they looked cool, but when I tried them on, it was a struggle to get them over my calf. They fit like a second skin and I couldn't tie the laces unless I skipped the lace-holes at the very top. Even at that, there wasn't a lot of slack left to tie them. Basically, my leg was too fat. But I bought them anyway. (Denial is not cheap.)


So, for some reason this weekend, I saw them in the closet and thought I'd try them on. They slipped on easily and there was plenty of extra lacing to tie them the way they're supposed to be tied...all the way at the top.


Huh. Go figure.

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So, I was channel surfing while eating breakfast and stumbled accross this on the country music video channel. Can't say I'm much of a country fan, but I do have a liking for novelty records. This strikes me as being primarily a novelty record that happens to sound country:




I don't remember who said it to me, but years ago, they told me, "The funniest stuff in the world is true." Why, yes...yes, it is.


Yoga last night. It was good. Although, I don't understand why the achy is in my shoulders when we did hip stretching poses. My wiring's funny, I guess. Doesn't really matter. Massage Therapist is tomorrow. "Sore" seems to make that more worthwhile.


So, it'll be 6 years ago at the end of this month when I first met my husband. I haven't been single for 6 years. That feels kinda weird to think that. It sounds like a long time, yet it's passed by in a blink. I mean, when I sit here and think about all the stuff that's happened since I met him, it's like...damn, that's a lot of crap. But it's all gone by so fast. Another year or so and this will be the longest running relationship I've been in. That feels kinda weird, too.


Sometimes, I get glimpses into other people's lives and brains and it scares me. The thoughts and attitudes they hold...but would never say to your face. The thoughts and attitudes they hold that are causing them nothing but problems. I get these glimpses, and I think, "Well, crap, you wanna know why you're miserable or your life's not right? Look at your thoughts because the answer's right there."


I feel like an anomaly sometimes. Fairly content with my life (in both it's current and former incarnations), reasonably happy/healthy relationship, no on-going heavy angst or major struggles. When stuff comes up, I may pee and moan and complain for a short while, but it's limited duration and then I figure out a different way to look at it that doesn't make me want to complain.


I've long had the opinion that the world would be a lot happier if we were all more like me......

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Mission Accomplished


So yesterday, I had a full show remote at the fair. My goals were to eat a deep-fried cheese on a stick and watch a few harness races. I succeeded on both counts, even though I was stuck with a promotion person who wanted to make comments on the relative evilness of the fried cheese and I had no ticket or pass to get into the grandstand when I first arrived at the fair.


I ignored the promotion person, ate my fried cheese, enjoyed it immensely, and felt pretty damn good about it on all levels. Later, I clucked sympathetically when the promotion person's healthy lunch was causing them some stomach issues. During the course of the day, without having to ask, a press pass for the grandstand ended up in my possession. Why? Because everything always works out for me.


Got home with enough time to hose off, change clothes and go to yoga at a leisurely pace. Felt a little sunburned accross my cheeks and nose, but I was outside all day, after all. Somewhere in there I also managed to get a radio show done, too. So, all in all, a good day.


Today, my plans include going to the gym sometime after work.


I wrote a couple of posts lately that got me thinking about the alcoholic. Wonder what he's doing now? Did he ever get his #$*& together? I haven't seen or heard from him in nearly 9 years now. (is that right? 9 years????) Something like that. I wonder how much longer that relationship would've gone on if he had addressed his addiction issues before things got stupid with us.


Then I remember how he'd always tell me I "thought too much." It was doomed from the start, wasn't it? Ummmmmmmmmmmmmmmm, yeah. Given how much time I've devoted to navel contemplation just measured by the amount written in my journals alone, it was doomed. Much as I might like to think his alcoholism was the only problem, it really wasn't. It was a HUGE problem, to be sure. But it wasn't the only problem.


So, wherever he is and whatever he's doing, I wish him well. Hope for his own sake he got on the wagon and got his #*&^ together. But I wouldn't be at all surprised if he hasn't.

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He Was THAT Kind Of Guy....


The kind of guy that made you wonder why he didn't have a girlfriend. You talked to him for a while, and he was easy to talk to...was funny, appeared to be interested in what you had to say and seemed nice. No one would mistake him for a male model, but he wasn't repulsive. Fairly average on the looks scale, with maybe an exceptional or very nice feature or two.


He'd start hanging around, paying attention to you. You had good converstations. As time wore on, they got more philosophical and into more personal topics. You listened to his tales of woe about his experiences with women. He listened to your tales of woe about your experiences with men. You talked about life and the future and sex and relationships and everything.


And, still, you wondered why on earth someone like him didn't have a girlfriend.


Then, one night, probably when you were kinda down about something, he Made His Move. And he crossed the line. Maybe it was just making out, maybe you ended up having sex. And you thought that this could be the start of something good. After all, you felt you knew him pretty well, and he seemed to understand you. You'd spent a lot of time talking about Important Things and getting to know each other. That was the way you were supposed to go about creating a healthy relationship, wasn't it?


After that, he treated you like you didn't exist. No more conversations, no more seeking you out. It left you wondering what the heck happened. And maybe, a little while later, when you were starting to wonder if it ever happened at all...you are rudely and embarrassingly reminded that it did happen...by someone who wasn't even present at the time, because he didn't feel the need to keep private business private.


It was then you realized why he didn't have a girlfriend...because he was really a jerk putting on a decent guy disguise. It was also then you realized that you fell for it hook, line and sinker. D'oh!


So, when I was younger, it happened. The above description is sort of a composite of two people. I dreamt about one of them last night. In all-too-vivid-detail....and I felt pretty icky when I woke myself up from it.

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There's Someone In My Head, But It's Not Me


I have reason to believe I may have had a mild-ish panic attack on Saturday. Have been feeling sort of detached and other-worldy since. And stupid busy the last few days on top of it. Admidst the busyness was my annual check up at the gyno. She said I checked out fine. Nice to hear a health care provider telling me there's nothing wrong with me for a change.


So this week, people I work with are all in bad moods and/or freaking out. Ratings and budgets and other BS I have no control over. I can't seem to find it in me to get angry or worked up about any of it and I can't see any point to living in fear that we'll all be fired tomorrow. It's weird. Almost like I'm watching it on TV or watching it happen to someone else.


I spend a lot of time trying to figure out how quickly we can get another computer. It's too frustrating/annoying trying to work around his gaming anymore. I'm fed up with it and tired of it. This is a new problem, so I haven't figured it out yet. Up until, oh, a month or so ago this issue did not exist at all. Had another "discussion" about it earlier this week.


Back when I was about 17 and having some drama with my friends, I stumbled upon this thought after hearing one of them suggest for the umpteenth millionth time we should talk about things: We can talk until we're all blue in the face, and in the end, everyone's going to do exactly what they really want to do anyway.


Sometimes, I'm really stunned at how right I had some things so early on.

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Just Don't....You Know....


One of the local kink groups is fixin' to throw a party. Since it's been a while since this particular group has hosted a party and since there've been a number of new people joining since the last one, the person hosting the party decided a review of kink party etiquette was in order and sent a list of rules to the mailing list. I was glancing over the list of rules and thinking about rules of behavior in other venues (like, here, f'rinstance), and it occurred to me that the vast majority of the time, all those rules can be summed up in 4 words:


Don't Be An Ass.


I mean, if you use those 4 words as a guideline for your conduct, you'll do fine in well over 90% of the situations you may find yourself in. I have yet to run into a situation where remembering and following "Don't Be An Ass" didn't ease the way for me. If you make rules too complex people tend to not read and/or not remember them. So just boil it down to its lowest common denominator:


Don't Be An Ass.


******(indicating a complete change of subject)*****


When Bruce Springsteen was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, in his thank you speech, he mentioned his wife Patti and said she was "tougher than the rest." At the time I was still single and his sentiment got me all farklempt. To me, it was...and still is...such a huge compliment and commentary on her and the relationship they have.

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I Don't Want To Color Inside YOUR Lines (...But You Should Color Inside MINE)


So there's an email list I'm on. It's for a local kink group. The list is combination discussion and part planning real time gatherings. A few days ago, someone posted something about how they didn't like labels/stereotypes within the lifestyle. Then a few other people chimed in on how they agreed with that and blah, blah, blah. Basically they came to the conclusion that labeling is bad and we shouldn't do it.


I have been involved in the public BDSM scene for nearly 10 years now...and I've noticed a few things. One being that, for a group that seems to pride itself on coloring outside the lines, they have some pretty hard lines themselves. The railing against being labeled got me thinking about the "why behind the what." I don't know where understanding can come from taking the stance that people shouldn't do something (like labeling) and condemning them for doing so. Maybe you oughta take a look at why people label and why they want things defined for them.


It's a quick and easy way for people to make sense of something that may be new to them. Might not always be accurate, but you learn that as you go. For someone new to the lifestyle, there's generally sudden exposure to a lot of new things/concepts/people all at once. It can be exciting. But it can also be confusing and overwhelming. Having some sort of structure to help navigate this new territory (like labels) can give a person a sense of comfort and security.


It also helps save time. For good or ill, it does save a person the time and effort of really getting to know all these new individuals they encounter. If you can label someone a Dominant or a submissive, you can make some basic guesses/assumptions regarding how much you may have in common with that person. Those guesses/assumptions may be right and they may be wrong, but most of us don't have the luxury of time to get to know people and then figure out if we have enough in common to be friends or more. There has to be some sort of screening that takes place so we can attempt to select who we think we might be more likely to click with, and one of the ways we do that is label.


In a lot of ways, my thoughts about those who use or need to have others labeled and defined are similar to my thoughts about religion. It has everything to do with how far along you are in the journey. The earlier you are in the journey...the more there is that is new/unknown to you, the more you need structure, labels, and someone else's definitions to make sense of things. The further along you are, the more uncertainty/unknowns you can handle and the less structure/definition you need.


In any journey, one milepost I've found is that point where you realize that even though you may know a lot about something, you also realize that you don't know it all...and further, you realize there may be more you don't know about than what you do know about. I was at that milepost one time and heard it summed up perfectly in a song by Don Henley called "The Heart of the Matter":

The more I know, the less I understand...all the things I thought I figured out, I'm learning again.


I started thinking about the why behind the what because the tone of the first email on the topic was of a "How Dare You Put Your Labels On Me!" nature. Well, once you get over your indignation, maybe you could try exercising a little understanding and realize why someone wants to label.


Getting over the indignation also gives you the opportunity to grow on another level -- once you realize that, yeah, some people are going to label...sometimes for valid reasons (because they're early in their journey and need the structure to help them process an enormous amount of information) and sometimes for reasons that are not valid (choosing NOT to progress on their journey)....you can also become open to the realization that their labels have nothing to do with you and who you are. It's their right to use labels as much as they want in their thinking. It's also your right to ignore and/or refuse to accept whatever label someone wants to slap on you.


Now, we cross into a different scenario when people start using labels to treat others poorly/rudely. I'm limiting this scrawling to topic of the email which was the writer decrying having other people assume they were "just a submissive" or "just a dominant." The writer never brought up a situation where they were treated rudely/badly by someone labeling them. They only brought up situations that were awkward or uncomfortable or mildly embarrassing for those involved.


I just can't get into some of these discussions my fellow kinksters want to have. Oh, I did at the beginning...when I was first exploring kinkland. But I went from needing a structure and someone else's defintions to figuring out my own defintions and figuring out who I am. To me it's mostly arguing semantics anymore -- what's the difference between a "submissive" and a "slave" and a "bottom" and so forth. I am what I am. I call it what I want to call it. If you want to call it something else, that's your business. This (meaning being kinky) is only a small portion of who I am in total. And, really, unless I'm doing more than socializing with you, you really don't need a lot of details about what I'm into in a sexual/kinky sense.


Label all you want. At the end of the day, I am who I am. If you don't like that, you don't have to include me in your life. All I ask is I be treated with civility and courtesy and I will offer the same in return.


So that's been rolling around in my head for the last few days...and I needed to scrawl it out. I suppose the place to have posted it would've been to the email list, but I really don't want to open that can of worms. As alluded to in the post title, this group of folks who prides themselves on coloring outside the lines has some pretty hard lines of their own...and they generally don't like it when that gets pointed out. I've been on the outside of those lines before, and it's just like dealing with any other group of people who think you've overstepped some boundary. Long story short, I had the audacity to speak aloud that my goal was to be kinky within a monogamous marriage. It was years ago, before I was married and with an entirely different group of people, but I learned my lesson. That being enjoy these groups for the things they're good for -- socialization, the occaisional play party, and the occaisional munch. But leave the philosophizing and what passes for deep, important discussion behind.


In other news, my husband actually logged off the Warcrack and went to the gym with me yesterday. Perhaps some of the things I've said have started to sink in. Not holding my breath, but I'm cautiously optimistic

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