She said it much better
I love the perspective Doctor Mama has on running here. It is exactly how I feel about it, but much clearer and more...you know, verbalized. (Shut up, I DO make sense (to myself).)

In the beginning, I jogged just to lose some weight. And I did, to the tune of 30 lbs (jogging 6 days a week without fail, along with 1200 calories/day without cheating - for over 3 months - not something I could do now that I work full time, I was in school then). Anyway, I delude myself into thinking that I STILL jog for weight control. Truly, when I am in shape and generally happy with myself, I always go into I-just-need-to-lose-a-few-more-pounds mode and tell myself that I jog to get down to my self-prescribed ideal weight.

What a load of shit. And the sad thing is, the only person I'm lying to when I say this is myself. Because my real reasons are only revealed when I STOP jogging. I stop, and enjoy the first couple of weeks - yay, I'm as lazy as I've ever wanted to be! The scale stays the same, and I wonder why I ever bothered in the first place - clearly, I can lose just by cutting back on calories, and clearly the jogging does NOTHING besides make me hate the weather no matter what it is (you don't know how to hate a beautiful, sunny, mid-70's day until you take up outdoor exercise).

Then a couple more weeks go by, at which point I get crabby, I feel fat even though the scale hasn't changed and all my clothes still fit exactly the same. I'm more tired than usual and all I ever want to do is mope around the house. Finally, I decide to do something to get rid of all the imaginary weight I've gained, so I start jogging again. Voila! Within a week or two I'm back to loving my body (but still telling myself I need to jog to lose weight, even when I don't care about actual results on that front), I'm less tired, and I have many, MANY fewer mood swings (just ask my husband), I feel stronger and more capable in general, and I'm a lot more inclined to take the stairs instead of the elevator. Go figure.

Don't ask me how it works, I don't know. But I do know that I'll probably end up jogging for most of the rest of my life, just to feel good. Ew, I can't believe I just said that - how depressing!

Kill me now

Oh my god, you will never believe this.

The coworkers from #4 and #5 in this post are having a conversation about grammar - about how standards have gone downhill and they don't teach people to speak or write properly anymore and how things like double negatives, or the WAY PEOPLE PRONOUNCE CERTAIN WORDS annoys them.

This, from the two people who say "warsh" and "for certain" and "fustrated" among other things.


I'm in a BAD mood
People that annoyed me today:

  1. The dog who whined nonstop this morning - the little one (S.) does this every morning, but today it go on my nerves and I wanted to strangle him.

  2. The guy on the bus who did not stop adjusting his baseball hat (worn backwards, of course) the entire ride into downtown - What. The. Fuck???

  3. The guy on the elevator who said, in an unnaturally cheerful voice for 7:30 am, "Make today great!!" - if he hadn't said it as the doors were closing after he got off, he would have had an ID badge through his eyeball.

  4. My coworker who says "fustrated," with intentional emphasis on the "fuss" part - she does this every day (because she's always so freaking FUStrated) and seems to take a perverse pleasure in saying it that way. Stop it. STOP IT. STOP IT!!! THERE IS A GODAMMED R AFTER THE F STOP SAYING IT LIKE THAT YOU ARE DRIVING ME FREAKING CRAZY !@$@#%%@@@#%#@ *deep breath*

  5. A different coworker who says "for certain" instead of "certain" (e.g. "I am for certain going to the mall today") - this is not english. If you continue to do this in the future, please see above list item for my eventual reaction to you, you illiterate troglodyte. I am surrounded by idiots. Idiots who are within earshot whenever they make phone calls.

  6. My manager, who responded to a simple question I sent him by scheduling a half hour meeting - and then not answering that question in the meeting until I mentioned that everything he was going over was stuff that I had already taken care of and could you please just answer this one question for me so I can go back to my desk and finish working on this project?

  7. Whoever nuked up some pizza in the breakroom at 3 pm - you are making me drool. Huuuuunnnngry.

Yes, I am conceited. Why do you ask?
I'm not a naturally athletic person. Ok, fine, I hate exercising. I'd be perfectly happy to never move a muscle. In grade school my parents made me choose a sport for each season, but by high school all pretense was dropped. When I embarked on a weight-loss program a few years ago, I did a simple cost-benefit analysis (like the nerd I am) to figure out what activity would burn enough calories, not take much time, and not bore me out of my mind. Behold: Jogging with Audio Books. Jogging basically gives me the most bang for my buck, time/calorie wise. Plus (and this was important): I could do it by myself, it didn't involve competition, and I didn't have to buy any equipment to get started. The audio books just distract me enough to not give up 5 minutes after I start every time. Plus, I'm not "allowed" to listen to audio books unless I'm jogging, so when I'm in the middle of one it's a little extra push to get me out the door.

Four years after I started, I still hate it. But I do it for the same reasons I picked jogging to begin with. I can go out for a half hour 3 or 4 days a week and it keeps me in shape (and when I don't eat like a pig, lets me lose a pound here and there fairly painlessly - er, at least, without having to change my normal routine much).

Anyway, enough with the boring background. Last night I went out for a jog at 8:30. In the area I jog in, I see quite a few other runners when I'm driving places and also a ton of dog walkers. Even so, I rarely see anyone else in the time I'm out there slogging it out, with the exception of people doing yard work. I had just turned the last corner before I stopped "heading out" and started "going home" and noticed a woman on the sidewalk across the street also jogging. She was a little bit in front of me, but it looked like we were going about the same pace, which is a surprise because even after four years I'm slower than a freaking snail. We both headed up a fairly long and steep incline and when she reached the halfway point she just…stopped. Didn't slow down, didn't start walking. Stopped. Then she fiddled with something at her waist (music player?) and started slowly strolling up the rest of the hill. A feeling of superiority and smugness got me up the rest of the hill at the same pace I started it at and then all the way home. I feel a little bad about it now, but it's so rare I can feel more accomplished than anyone at something physical, I think I'm going to go with it. *sigh* I'm such a bitch.

No, really, I'm fine. Just bright red.
Yesterday I had a mildly clumsy day. This is good, because when my day is severely clumsy I usually get hurt. Instead, I was only embarrassed a few times as I twisted my ankle, got my bag caught in a revolving door, and almost dropped my badge down a flight of stairs as various professionals (of which I am considered one, somehow) looked on. It would be easier if I didn't like heels. I wear them maybe once a week as it is, but they always end up throwing me for a loop. My naturally klutzy self kicks it up a notch. If only they weren't so pretty!

I miss her
I saw my best friend yesterday and now my throat is sore and my voice is hoarse. We only get together about 4 - maybe 5 - times a year because we live 2 hours apart. That doesn't seem like much, but it's hard to find time when we're both free and make the trek.

We met in college and ignored each other for the first semester, then were inseperable from second semester on. We were only roommates for a year, but it was the single most fun year of my life. We used to joke that if we were gay, or if one of us were a guy, we'd be soulmates.

Originally, we were going to meet this weekend in the town we went to college in and walk around campus all day. We usually do that once every summer. At the last minute she called and said she had discount tickets to the big amusement park that's about halfway between our houses. We spent 10 hours there and waited in line for most of that time beacause we both like the really good rides - the loopy, fast, scary ones that get your adrenaline going. I think we went on a total of 10 rides, plus ate lunch and the rest of the time was spent in lines. That was fine with us, because waiting = talking. We fit in all the conversation that we missed by not living close to each other and seeing each other more often.

It's the best Saturday I've had in a very long time.

C is for Cookie
You Are Cookie Monster

Misunderstood as a primal monster, you're a true hedonist with a huge sweet tooth.

You are usually feeling: Hungry. Cookies are preferred, but you'll eat anything if cookies aren't around.

You are famous for: Your slightly crazy eyes and usual way of speaking

How you life your life: In the moment. "Me want COOKIE!"

Hm, pretty accurate, at least on the food front. Found via This Bud's For You.

My office is boring
So recently my office acquired a new vending machine. We already had a soda machine, a snack machine, and a drink machine for glass bottles (starbucks, sobe, juices, etc.), but this - this machine is what we needed and didn't even know it. It is a Blue Bunny ice cream machine.

News of the machine spread fast, but the hopeful gossip was squelched soon enough - it was empty, and would not be stocked for a week. Ladies and gentlemen, the waiting has ended and there are ice cream bars sitting 200 feet from me, waiting to be bought. But wait! That's not even the best part! Call in the next 30 minutes - wait, not where I was going with this.


The best part is how the vending machine, er, vends. It's a cross between a vacuum cleaner and a claw. When you put in the money, the lid to the freezer lifts (behind the glass) so you can see what's available. Then, you make your selection and a hose drops down from the top and glides over to the compartment that holds the thing you chose - in my case, an ice cream sandwich. The hose then starts sucking. It drops down and gets an ice cream sandwich to stick to it, then lifts up and glides back to the front of the machine. The vacuum turns off and the sandwich drops into the pick-up area.

People, this is fascinating. I'm serious, the machine has been stocked for two days, and whenever someone mentions getting something from it about 6 other people pop out of their cubes to go with them. To WATCH.

Ok, maybe we're just all pathetically geeky.

A bloody disappointment
Today I tried to donate blood. I arrived right on time for my appointment and chatted with the nurse sitting at the desk. I was pleasantly surprised that she recognized me, since I only go in 3 times a year.

Sidenote: I do a "double red" donation where they take out a pint of whole blood, separate the red blood cells from everything else, put all the "everything else" back in, then repeat the process. They end up with about a pint of red blood cells alone, I believe.

Anyway, I chatted a bit, then filled out the questionnaire (yes, no no no no no no no no no...no, yes, no no no no no) and sat down to get all my stats taken. First, my pulse: 64. Not bad, but that's about usual for me. Then, blood pressure: 100/78. Hm, better than usual. The nurse pricked my finger and tried to get a few drops of blood to test my iron levels aaaaaand........nothing. She squeezed harder and then said in a pretty accusing tone, "are you really cold today??"

Well, yeah, I'm always cold. I told her so and she commented on the poor circulation in my fingertips and had me hold my hand down for a few seconds before she could get anything from it. The blood was sent off to the centrifuge and we continued with the other tests. Temperature: woah!!! I know it's usually low, but that's the lowest I've ever seen: 96.6. Nurse asked if I was feeling ok or if I was feeling a little....hypothermic. Heh.

Then my HCT for my iron level came back: 46. Now, you have to understand, the last time I gave blood I ate red meat for a week and examined labels on snackfood trying to get as much iron as I could beforehand, and I only made it up to 40, which is their bare minimum for letting you give double reds. This week I didn't do anything special. Nurse said the highest she's ever seen a woman have was 42 or 43ish, and WOW was my count up there. She then asked what in hell I was doing to get it that high. "Umm...well, I've been taking a Flintstone's multivitamin....and.....I jog." She stared for a minute, then told me I should maybe mention to my doctor that it was pretty high and ask if I should do something about it. So that was nice, now I have a medical concern. Still, Nurse and her coworkers were excited that I had such healthy blood and that someone was getting "a lot of good iron" with my donation.

Since I had passed everything with flying colors, I got to sit in the loungy chairs, and Nurse ran to get me a blanket and even asked if I wanted to take my shoes off, which was a first. It was almost like preparing for a nice nap. The needle went in with a tiny wince from me, and my blood went through a tube and into the four test tubes they take in the beginning to test for various diseases, infections, etc. Then it was routed into the machine that separates the red blood cells in a centrifuge. About two peaceful minutes went by, before suddenly BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP and the machine stopped. An error message popped up on the screen saying that there was a leak in the centrifuge and it was aborting. Do not pass go. Do not continue to donate.

Yay. Nurse gets me all unhooked, orders me over to the snack area, and assures me that she's sure I'll be able to do at least a regular whole-blood donation later in the week, maybe next week, but she has to check with their procedures and then call the main office. I'm eating some of those fluorescent orange crackers with peanut butter in the middle when she comes over and tells me with a sad, sad face that because the machine malfunctioned after the blood had reached the separation stage, I couldn't give for another 8 weeks. Great. So I'm left with a hole in my arm and nothing good to show for it. Better luck next time, I guess.

On my way into the library today, I noticed a group gathered in the "auditorium" area in front of a puppet show stage. It was backlit and you could see the shadows of hand puppets and hear a guy making goofy voices for them. It was clearly for little kids. I didn't take much note of it, but walked right by and went to drop off my book and CDs.

Since I had a book due back today, I wanted to sit in the lobby in the air conditioning and finish it, like I do whenever I have a due date coming up. At first the make-believe voices were distracting, but I managed to block them out after a few minutes. Then there was intermittent clapping, but I got used to that, too. It was when the quacking got underway that I decided to give up and move to another area where I couldn't hear it anymore.

No silver lining
I noticed my first white hair in college. Well, ok, I didn't notice it, my sister-in-law did (she delights in pointing out when you don't look as good as her, which for me is all. the. time). I didn't think much of it until several years later when I was parting my hair in a slightly different place than usual and found about 5 of them along the same line. I freaked (I was 22ish - the horror!) and yanked them all, then went through the rest of my head searching for the invaders. Since then I had taken a few minutes every couple of days (usually right after I plucked my eyebrows) to search and destroy.

Last month, I was pulling out a whole bunch of them and realized they were probably getting a LOT more common and I had no idea if I was past the point of one-or-two-is-common-for-a-25-year-old and already to crap-I'll-be-salt-and-pepper-by-the-time-I'm-thirty. Since I have no intention of dying my hair, even if I do go completely gray really soon, I thought that I should stop pulling them so that a) I could see how many there are and b) if there really were that many, I wouldn't stop doing it a year from now and suddenly not be able to stop without looking funny because I'd go from dark to gray overnight. Also, I did not want to be pulling so many that it looked like my hair was thinning, because that would just be too sexy. Ha.

Incidentally, this isn't surprising - my mom started going gray in her 30's and by 40 was "gray" for hair color on her license instead of "black" (and is now in her 50's but still gray, not silver-haired yet). I apparently take more after my dad, who had black hair until his mid-20's and then started going gray. Speed up my mom's timeline by 5-10 years and you have him. And whenever gray hair is mentioned, I am reminded that my grandmother had white - stark white - hair by 30. So great. I hoped I wouldn't be subject to it, because both my parents had jet black hair, but I clearly had dark brown. I'm not that lucky, I guess.

Anyway, we come to this month, which has heard a lot of "oh god, there are SO many!" everytime I comb my hair. Nonetheless, if I part my hair the right way you don't see any - maybe one or two if you stood directly over me and looked down, which, who does that? So I was good. Then today I got a haircut and was joking about how I was only 25 and going so gray already, and my stylist was working along and when she was done, I noticed that she had parted it (and dried/styled to the point where I'd have to take a shower to change it) where there was a clump of them visible - some even sticking straight up. Great. Thank you, person I will now pay $50 so I can come back next month so you can do the same thing.

So what did I do when I got home? Got in the shower so I could cover the gray with more hair? Of course not, that's too much work. I pulled all those visible suckers out. I swear I won't go looking for them to pull like before, but if they're sticking straight up when even people shorter than me can see them, those things are GONE.

Bringing the funny - or lack thereof
Today I was thinking about what I like about each of the blogs I read, and what they have in common. Let me see, Amalah is cute and funny, Mir is pretty and funny, Miss Doxie is...well, you get the picture. I'm drawn to blogs that make me laugh. Most of us are.

Because I'm not a writer, I've been trying to think of something, anything to post every day. But I may be making a mistake. I'm choosing quantity over quality. And I'm not saying I'm a funny person, or could be a funny blogger. But if I try to put more thought into what I'm writing, maybe I'll be more interesting. For now, I'm still going to try to make this a daily exercise, for several reasons. For one thing, frankly, I need the writing practice. Second, I don't know if I've really found my "voice" yet, and I know it takes a while to settle into a consistent and unique style. And last, I'm not sure where this blog is going. It may be that it remains an anonymous blog about me, and stays boring and is just an outlet for me to try to be creative for once. Then again, maybe it will take some other direction.

Actually, there's a fourth reason I should try to continue posting daily. I am one of those people who start new projects full of enthusiasm, and as soon as the newness wears off, I totally and completely give it up, never to speak of the short-lived hobby again. Maybe everyone does this, I know a lot of people do. But I don't want this to turn into one of those other projects, shoved to the back of my brain like my knitting, pilates, cross-stitching, etc. I need something I will actually follow-through with for a while. And that reason alone is worth it to me to keep plodding.

Sleeping my life away
I'm not sure if this is normal for someone in their mid-twenties, but I am exhausted all the time. I wake up at 6, go to work and get home at 5, and then it's a challenge not to fall asleep on the couch. I admit, I give in to the urge pretty often. I do exercise 3-4 times a week, and I try to be in bed sometime between 10 and 11, but I never feel rested or refreshed, except on the weekends when I can get up to 13 hours a night. I just feel like I waste so much time - there's not a ton of time between when I get home from work and when I go to bed anyway, and I hate that I spend an hour or two sleeping it away instead of doing something interesting or productive.

I also wonder how the hell I am going to keep up with a kid when I have one. If I'm this tired now, how will I even cope when I'm getting up in the middle of the night all the time?

The grass is greener

I love unexpected compliments from unlikely sources. I work in a city, and am a frequent visitor to the main branch of the county library - it is two blocks from my building, and I find myself there at least twice a week, sometimes more. Because I'm there so often, I am on a smile & nod basis with several of the people who work there. One girl always stands out in my mind when I visit because she has absolutely gorgeous, 50's pin-up, lushious red hair in fat ringlets around her face, just longer than shoulder level. I have had hair envy for four years because of her - I covet the ringlets, I covet the color, and I covet the texture.

Today I walked up to the desk to pick something up and she smiled and said "Hi! How are you?" in that "I recognize you" tone of voice you use when you're familiar with someone but don't know their name. "Good!" I said, "how are you?" She said she was fine, and then blurted out, "you make me want to cut my hair, your haircut looks great!" All I could think was "WHY???? Noooooooooooooooo!"

Anyway, score one for the pixie cut!

Not so lazy days
Ok, so yesterday was just as relaxing as I thought it would be. Today, however, is not shaping up that way. I had forgotten that since the in-laws would be arriving right after we get home from work tomorrow, the house would need to be ready by then. So today, in addition to the lake, I had to mow the lawn, plus later I'll vacuum the entire house and make sure all our crap is picked up.

On a side note - I think my dogs talk to each other. The little one has been a whiner since the day we got him. He wants something? He whines. The bigger one ignores him for the most part, since he is older and wiser. We have an armchair in our office that the dogs are allowed to sit on, but only one of them fits comfortably (especially in the summer when it's too hot to snuggle up together). Lately, I've noticed the little one sitting in front of the chair when the bigger one is on it, then whining for a couple of seconds and then just watching. After a few seconds, the bigger one gets off the chair and lays on the floor and the little one hops up. This is so bizarre to me.

Lazy days of summer
I love relaxing weekends. I have no plans this weekend except to go grocery shopping (our regular once-a-week trip) and take the dogs to a lake with my husband. It is hilarious watching the dogs swim around since they're not very good at it, but they seem to love it.

The peace will be broken next week, however, as my in-laws are due to arrive Monday night and leave Wednesday morning. Who, may I ask, drives 9 hours one-way to spend one full day with family? I honestly wouldn't mind if they stayed longer, I get along with them pretty well. It just seems so weird to me that they'd get here in time for dinner (maybe), then spend a day with us, and then leave first thing the next morning.

Also, I had to take Tuesday off from work for their visit, which annoys me a little - I got the 4th off as a holiday, so that would be the logical time to have guests. I really don't have that many vacation days left this year - I have 7 and was planning on using 5 of them to visit my family around the holidays since we haven't seen them in a year or so. That leaves 2, one of which will be taken on Tuesday now.

Oh, well. I'll concentrate on doing nothing today but shopping, laying around the house, and finishing up a book in the hammock out back. Maybe I can even sneak a nap in there somewhere.

I am in L-O-V-E!

With this. Isn't it gorgeous? It will be mine! I think I'll get it in black...

It doesn’t come easy

I’m not a writer. I’ve never had a diary or journal, and while I love making up stories in my head, I’ve never written any down aside from school assignments long ago. My great passion is reading – and I read voraciously. Most things in life are a give and take, and I’ve come to realize that (especially online) I read other people’s work and adopt their ideas and get swayed by their opinions, but I never give back. Honestly, after 3+ years of reading certain weblogs, I have yet to leave comments. I wrote one comment once, but stopped reading that particular blog shortly afterwards (the two events were not related).

I’m not conceited enough to think that I will have a big impact on anyone, but I’ve felt for so long like I’m simultaneously part of the blogosphere but still standing on the outside because I simply never contribute. It doesn’t feel that great to know that I’m deliberately removing myself from a group of people just because it’s more difficult for me to get my thoughts down than it is for me to read someone else’s thoughts. So I’ll plod along and be very uninteresting, but at least I’ll be contributing, and I’ll be part of it.

I can heeeaaaar you
I'm always fascinated by cube-farm behavior. In my office, people say and do things that they would never dream of doing if their desks were in an open area. Today I overheard one coworker talking in extremely graphic terms about the birth of her nephew a few days ago, and then five minutes later heard a different coworker playing with his ringtones, trying to decide which one to use.

There are few things more irritating to me than when someone decides that it is appropriate to use the speakerphone function when they are not in an actual office with a closed door. It's not!!
Not for checking voicemail (how do you know what the person is going to say? What if it’s confidential or embarrassing?), not for being on a conference call (you mean I have to listen to tinny voices talking about a topic I know nothing about using synergistic-manager-speak for an HOUR???).

I know I’m not perfect about this stuff either, but if I have a sensitive phone call to make (doctor’s office or whatever), I either go to an empty conference room (you know, one of those places with WALLS and a DOOR) or else take a walk and make the call on my cell phone once I’m out of the building. Because I’m a courteous whiny bitch.

As we drove home from the picnic last night around 9, the following conversation took place:

Me: Well, that was fun, wasn't it? And WOW, it's already nine o'clock! That means we should go to bed an hour after we get home - but we won't be home for 40 minutes so I guess we should go to bed 20 minutes after we get home but I'm not that tired and I don't think I'll be able to fall asleep so I think I'll stay up for a little bit and you're probably not that tired either and - oh, yeah! - I did my laundry today so I have to put that away before I go to bed or else I will just live out of the laundry basket for three weeks until it's time to do laundry again.

Him: ...


Yeah. So after about six months of having maybe a cup of coffee once a month, I had a regular Mountain Dew at 5 pm and a Diet Pepsi at 8 pm. I finally got into bed at midnight, then lay awake for an hour before getting up again to read for a while. At 2 I got back into bed and spent the rest of the night tossing and turning. When the alarm went off at 6 this morning I wanted to kill it.