Love, Patient Zero

I’m giving up on calling this thing allergies and moving on to where I just admit that it’s a cold. The good news is that means it has a lifespan of a couple of weeks. The bad news is that by then, the farmers in Kansas will be burning their fields, so I’ll probably just transition smoothly into allergies.

I have pills that are supposed to help, and probably do, since I woke up at the stroke of “allowed to have another one” and a nifty OTC inhaler which smells like furniture polish, and works, if you’re actually able to… ya know… inhale.

Tea might be the answer.

I will be faking my way through work, pretending I feel fine because there’s just not an absence policy that lets me stay home that long.

After the next pandemic, I’m sure the survivors will all be sitting around, saying If only they’d just been allowed to stay home back when we thought it was a cold.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spring, Cleaning, and Strappy Sandals

My spring cleaning has kicked up a lot of dust, and my allergies are going haywire. My eyes are dry and itchy, and my neighbors are circulating a petition to have my nose removed entirely, as it’s now an unauthorized water feature.

I’m not doing anything completely insane. I’m not washing the soap or alphabetizing the rejection collection, but a little tidying here and there might not kill me.

The inescapable truth is… I have a lot of index cards. I use them for my writing, and for my programming, and probably for notes on half a dozen other things, when I happen to grab one. Recipes, too, although the last time I cooked was… uhm… well, I can cook. I think I made some fry bread a while back.

It’s the time of year when I realize that I own a pair of ice tongs shaped like dragon claws (Why?!!), and that sometime last summer, I hid a pair of strappy sandals from the cat, and they’re still in pristine condition. (Yay!)

I’m also going through a quick inventory of clothes in my closet. Spoiler alert: I’m going to need some new clothes. I’m not exactly sure what I’m looking for, but something that makes it a little easier to pretend I’m an extrovert.

Other than that, back to typing up all those handwritten pages that have been building up in my purse, and maybe find some rubber bands for some of those index cards.

Sometimes, It Really IS the Journey.

Once upon a time, I decided to hike the Ocean-View trail out of Muir Woods. I can’t remember who, if anyone, I was with. Family, maybe, or possibly a friend or two. It’s not the most rigorous trail in the world, and it’s only about three and a half miles long, but if you make it to the end, you’re promised–you guessed it–a view of the Pacific Ocean in all its glory.

It’s a beautiful trail. Redwood country, with a little stream (the site I was just on called it a “river”) about halfway up. And a nice, steady rise in altitude.

Well worth the effort, if you  happen to get out there.

And the day was perfect. Not too hot, and not too cold. More or less Hollywood style hiing up a mountain weather. Despite being in Northern California, we only ran into one nudist the whole way, and it was a small nudist.

But.

Ocean view? Probably not what I’d call a teeny-tiny sliver of slightly not-sky blue peeking out from between two mountains. I think someone had to point it out to me, because I would have missed it.

You were looking down across a deep, green valley, and some of the oldest trees in the world, under a blue sky and a warm sun… Are you sure that’s the ocean? I wasn’t. I’m still not, except that the signs promise it is.

Actually, the most prominent features of the place I’d just spent an hour or two getting to… Were the convenient parking lot and picnic tables just off the main road.

Explaining the Self-Explanatory

Well, hell. Sometimes it just gets down to that choice of getting up or lying in bed counting down the moments that you could have been sleeping… if only you could sleep.

Good morning, world. Time to eat my English muffin and pretend to be awake.

I’m not really sure what got me up this early. It could be the scene I was writing last night. (Possibly I need more time between when I finish writing, and when my head hits the pillow.) Or it could be the fact that I’m having one of those “conversations” at work. You know the kind: I said something I figured was self-explanatory, and apparently, it’s not.

It’s going to need to be fixed.

I’m still vaguely hoping to have a manuscript by the time I leave for Colorado. That may be at least slightly optimistic, but my characters were cooperative last night (and probably any night where I have time and a little bit of discipline) So, it could happen.

I think about going to the library to work on things on my days off, and then, I realize the library opens roughly eight and a half hours after I wake up. That’s a whole work day! I’m not sure what is open, right now. Truck stop cafe might really be it.

In further small-town related news, the junk-yard burned last night. Thick black smoke everywhere. About two miles of road was closed down… not that the fire was that big. It’s just that two miles is the smallest section of road you can close, and still have a place for traffic to turn off without having a giant rut of u-turns.

I liked that junk yard. Meanest dogs in town. Nearly licked me to death, the last time I was there, and when that didn’t work, they tried drowning me in an ocean of slobber. I was lucky to escape with my life.

Ballerina Feet

I wandered off on a tangent, yesterday.  Something about kids and baby ballet. A bumper sticker on a car–one of those Activity/Kid’s Name things–made me think of it. Now, let’s be honest. I live in a small town in the Midwest, where there are exactly zero dance studios that have the direct line to Julliard.

I suspect there aren’t all that many parents who are looking toward dance as a future career for their kids, either.

There are a lot of things to be said for a good dance teacher and a positive dance experience.

And there are just as many problems with a bad one.

I have one dancing cousin who credited dancing with her continued ability to walk, following her MS diagnosis.

And another one who’s been luckier, but who is hobbling around on a cane with all kinds of nerve damage. Why? Because going en pointe isn’t all that good for you, and once upon a time… Well, she was at the top of her small-town ballet class for a flashing moment.

Did she ever have a chance at a career as a ballerina? No. Did she have a chance of being able to walk without pain well into her forties? Of course.

I’d pay for jazz, I’d pay for tap, or modern dance… I’d run screaming from ballet. Why? Because ballet is the one with the highest cost–in terms of your body–and the one with the lowest chance of having a career. And because a kid’s best interests change, depending on whether she’s a 17th century waif starving in Paris, or a 21st century child with a chance at all kinds of careers.

They say that everyone wants to be successful, until they find out how much it costs. I think I’ve seen that next to a picture of a ballerina’s feet, at one point.

But that makes it sound as if everyone can be successful, if they’re just willing to pay.

What about the kids who see what it costs, and pay–and keep paying–for success they never achieve, and never had a chance of achieving?

The Glories of Shitty Day Jobs

Today is the least popular day of the year, the day when the clocks get set forward an hour and we all lose an hour of sleep. Or, you know… in my case, an hour of early-morning writing time.  I’m most likely going to wake up at exactly the same time I always do, and then realize that it’s an hour later and almost time to go to work. So, naturally… blogging in advance. Like a disciplined person.

I am going to have to deal with vacation time–**again**– because somehow, the current incarnation of “management” missed the fact that there are two Karens and well… they got us switched. Which means that I was just given other Karen’s six week (unpaid) medical leave, instead of my own (much shorter, but compensated) vacation time. So… I have to check to be sure that I’m still good.

No, I have no idea how that’s even possible.

I am going on vacation. Oh, yes. I am. And I am going on a real vacation. It has been a really, insanely long time since I had a real vacation. Things just keep getting in the way. You know the family-stuff thing, where you use up all your time to do something that’s actually more stressful than just staying at work would be? That was the last couple years.

This year? I’m going out.

I’m going to relax, if I still remember how.

I’m going to wear heels the whole time, and see how many people I can convince I’m tall. Maybe even put on some decent clothes to go with them.

Going on vacation as a well-dressed tall person. Yes, I am.

And I hope that I’m doing it as scheduled with no unexpected surprises.

 

I’m So Healthy I Can Hardly Stand It

I am in the midst of a give-up soda and (some) other sugars and cling to a set schedule lifestyle shift for health. It’s actually working incredibly well for me. I feel great, I’m being productive. I’ve nearly reached the point that I’m saying “iced tea” when I order in restaurants, as opposed to “Coke” and then correcting myself. Nearly.

I’m not exactly used to all my new sugar alcohol friends. I’m not used to having a limit on sweets that is so ruthlessly enforced. If I’m not paying attention to what I’m eating, well… that laxative effect catches up with me. And that happens well before I get to the point that I would like to stop eating those sugar-free goodies.

Well, it will take time.

I do actually feel better, and I’m fairly sure that paying attention to what I’m eating probably means I’m actually healthier. Ordering a little thing instead of a big thing, too. I have a way of letting things pile up on me.

More nifty vitamins. Maybe a little more exercise.

Maybe not. After all, baby steps.

I’m getting there.

My writing teacher–Holly Lisle–actually suggests a revision diet. It’s something somewhat similar to what I’m doing, and is supposed to result in the mental clarity and stamina required to actually revise a novel.

As far as losing weight… well, I don’t really know yet. Maybe my pants are a little looser. I don’t do scales. I don’t believe in them, and haven’t since I stopped dancing and lost weight (muscle mass), But I feel better, and that’s more or less the point, isn’t it?