Category Archives: Daily Life

Personal Update: Warmer weather brings thoughts of walks

It’s already 34*F (11*C) this morning. I think it was a couple degrees earlier when I started my car to come into the office. As I’ve been doing, I started before I fixed breakfast. Back when we were in the single-digit temperatures (and even lower wind chills), that gave my car’ s heater just enough time to get the passenger cabin slightly about freezing. Today, I hopped in a toasty car instead. It made the five minute drive to the office even more pleasant.

What was more pleasant than that, though, was the fact that walking through the parking lot to the back door of the building didn’t involve walking against near-arctic blasts of wind. As I covered the hundred yards on foot, it occurred to me that I almost felt like going for a three mile walk in this weather. That says something about how the polar vortex has changed my perceptions regarding temperatures this winter. It does suggest, though, that I need to get walking again.

Health-wise, it’s time to get walking anyway. I haven’t been going for my near-daily treks since just before Thanksgiving, mainly because it’s been too cold (and despite my rest expectations of what’s “cold” and “not so cold,” it’s still too cold) to do any serious walking outside and the Christmas shoppers made walking at the mall nearly impossible. It’s been okay though, because I’ve been able to meet my health improvement goals without long walks. (Climbing five flights of stairs three or four times a day has certainly helped.)

I think that’s about to change, though. Everything has been completely steady for a week or two now. The weight, I don’t care so much about. While it’d be nice to lose another twenty to thirty pounds, it’s just not something I’m going to pressure myself to do. (My doctors can deal with that.) But my morning BG readings are leveling out in the 80’s. Granted, those are fantastic levels. But since one of my major goals right now is to get off the five units of insulin I’m taking daily, I need them to drop a little bit again (that way they raise back up to the 80’s or 90’s when I go off the insulin). And the return to regular walks should certainly help with that.

To support walking, though, I think I need to adjust my evening schedule. Between taking blood pressure, taking my evening pills, taking my insulin (another reason to get off it), and testing my BG, my evenings are pretty well divided up. It makes going anywhere to walk (or do anything else to exercise) for thirty five minutes rather difficult. I was doing it the week or so before Thanksgiving, but it made my evenings feel full and rushed at times.

The big culprit is taking my blood pressure at 8pm. That’s something I really need to be home to do. Plus it requires me to sit still in the seat where I’m going to check my blood pressure and give my heart time to fully get to a nice resting state. So I’m thinking about moving that to just before dinner. Or maybe late at night before I go to bed.

Taking the medication — which I also do at 8pm — at night isn’t as big a deal. It’s only one pill and I can do that anywhere. Heck, I could slip that bottle into my coat pocket and take it with me on the walk. Same thing with testing my BG. The insulin is more of a challenge, but I don’t do that until 9pm, and could move that even later. That would free up a couple hours in the evening where I could go out. Come to think of that, it would also help me be free to do other things with my evening if I wanted to.

 

Refreshed and Returning

sunrise-3.jpg

When I wrote my previous post in February, I didn’t realize that it would mark the start of a two-month blogging break.  But life has a way of conspiring against us to keep us busy and away from our online ponderings, I suppose.

Work has been extremely busy and hectic, thereby sapping me of a lot of energy and motivation.  What little I had left of both generally went into dance classes at Park Avenue Dance Company or working on preparations for the dance company’s annual benefit.  The latter turned out quite nicely, by the way.  By the time I got done with everything, I was ready to come home, kick back, watch a little television, and head for bed before the next day brought its hectic schedule to more doorstep.

Those who know me well, however, should realize that the last two months weren’t all work devoid of play, however.  I did manage to get in a few trips to Tilt for some great dancing.  (In a a future post, I hope to talk about the Elmira-based Club Chill, which I checked out last night while I was at my parents’ home for the weekend.)  And the first weekend in April, Marina and I made another trip to Toronto, where we saw the Chimera Project in its performance of Blood.  The performance was fantastic, powerful, and highly athletic.  And Marina and I had front row seats — seats close enough that I could’ve stood up and reached over to caress the chest of the extremely hot dancer that was lying on the front of the stage.  Let’s just say I discovered how much self-restraint I had in that moment.

But now that I’ve had a bit of a break and things in my life seem a bit calmer, I’ve decided it’s time for me to start posting again.  So with a bit of good fortune, I should start making a few more posts over the next week or so.  Because like the rising sun, I will always return.

I just don’t have as regular an orbit as the sun.

(The photo in this image was taken by Jon Sullivan, who was kind enough to release it to the public domain.)

Life gets interesting

This afternoon, I decided to go to the psychic fair at the Henrietta Holiday Inn. While there, I decided to get an aura portrait reading (that’s where the psychic sketches the colors in your aura and explain what they mean and how it’s affecting your life) by one of the people there. The theme of my reading was that I need to begin working more on integrating my spirituality into the rest of my life. This wasn’t a surprising message, because I’ve been getting it from different angles. In fact, over the past couple of weeks, I’d say the gods have gotten more aggressive about this message. In fact, I think they’ve gotten to the point where they’re basically saying “do this or we’re going to do it for you.”

For example, a couple Saturdays ago, Marina invited myself and Rudi (a former dancer in the company) to come to her home for lunch after the beginner’s jazz dance class. While there, I mentioned that I had to run to Psychic’s Thyme at some point that afternoon. Of course, the other two asked me what that was, so I told them. I ended up telling them about my spiritual interests, which fascinated both of them. I ended up telling them about a couple of my experiences with seeing spirits (to my credit, I’m getting better at being open about the fact that I’m developing my abilities as a medium). By the end of the discussion, they both decided they want me to give them a reading after next Saturday’s class. And Marina has gone on to tell at least one other person (a student in her intermediate class) associated with the company about my interests. I suspect that by the time she’s done, everyone in or associated with the company will know. Hopefully, they’re all as open-minded as Marina and Rudi were. (Actually, I’ll be happy as long as no one tries to perform an exorcism on me.)

The second example of this came during this past week. When I got a break from work, I decided to quickly check my site stats for this blog. While checking them out, I discovered that someone visited my site from work on Thursday afternoon. I was quite surprised by this, and quickly confirmed that it wasn’t a visit I made myself. As I dug into this (I even downloaded the server logs for that day so I could check the parts of my domain that my two Sitemeter accounts don’t cover), I discovered that my visitor must have found my site at least somewhat fascinating. While they read only a couple of archives and two individual posts from this blog, they also visited my Dear Lover, Journey (I guess I’m out at work now!), my main site, and my photo albums.

I’m not sure how they found my site. The logs indicate there was no referring site, which suggests they typed the address in directly. I asked the two people at work who I thought it could be, but they admitted that they didn’t even know I had my own website. So I’m completely mystified. I really don’t care that someone from work read it all. They didn’t really find out anything I’m trying to hide. (I’m smart enough to avoid posting anything I want to keep secret.) Though I do hope that they talk to me about it at some point. I’d like to know who it was, especially considering the significant amount of surfing they did.

So yeah, it would seem that everything in my life is coming together. I think I’m okay with that, though. I’m just a bit shell-shocked.

Breaking the Silence

After nearly a month long silence, I decided it’s finally time to write here again. I apologize for being gone so long. However, life made it necessary. To be honest, between the fact that I’ve been too busy at work to do much writing and the fact that what I had to write about were things I’m not comfortable sharing publicly, the lengthy silence was necessary.

Of course, I’m still somewhat busy, and not just because of work. My activities with Park Avenue Dance Company are taking up a great deal of my time. I believe that I mentioned that starting this Fall, I’d be taking three classes a week there. True to form, I am now in the Tuesday evening Beginner’s Contemporary class, the Wedensday evening Floor-Barre Plus class, and the Saturday morning Beginner’s Jazz class. That means that I’m spending between three and a half and four hours dancing every week. Who needs a gym membership with that kind of exercise?

The jazz class is going quite well, though I have a lot to learn. Marina has been quite patient with me, homing in on my need to learn to shift my weight and regain my balance quickly. Fortunately, it’s a very small class, so I’m getting a lot of personal attention (and harassment). It’s worth every moment, believe me.

However, my involvement with the dance company has moved beyond taking classes and attending performances. After the September performance at ArtisanWorks, Christine took me aside and asked me if I’d be willing to join the board of directors for the company. I agreed, and I attended my first board meeting last Wednesday.

This means that in addition to learning to dance (and getting in better shape), I’m now beginning to spend time trying to sell tickets (are any of my readers interested in buying?) to and otherwise promote ROTO 3, which is coming up in just under three weeks.

So far, I just sold one ticket. However, I’m hoping to sell one or two more at the end of the week. And I have another possible sale, but the person needs to wait until the event is closer to verify she has the money for it. Hopefully, as I work through my friends, I’ll sell more. Char has also been kind enough to let me put up a poster at the shop to generate interest. Hopefully, a few ticket sales will result in the process.

I’m also working with another board member to coordinate our attempts to get ROTO on various community calendars in the area. I’m also hoping to get a mention — if not a brief talk — on either radio or television. (If not, I’m hoping to at least make the necessary contacts to make such a possibility a reality for next year.) I’m hoping that helping with getting the word out there will make up for the fact that I don’t have a lot of friends in the area to whom I can directly sell tickets. 😉

Life is great, but crazy and busy. And to think, I still have to squeeze my day job into the picture.

Collecting together non-controversial books for family time

Tonight or tomorrow morning, I’m headed back to my parents’ house for the Thanksgiving holiday. Saturday, my father and I will drive down to York to have dinner with much of the extended family. It’s a four hour or so drive, so I hope to do some reading on the trip. Of course, I suspect other members of the extended family will be joining us, so I need to be judicious in my selection of reading material.

For those who may not know, I am the religious oddity in my family. While I am a practicing witch, just about everyone else (at least on my father’s side of the family) is a conservative, evangelical, and even fundamentalist Christian. This means that sitting with them while reading such selections as Witch in the Bedroom or Anything But Straight would probably lead to all sorts of unpleasantness. And while part of me feels like I’m reaching a point where I need to assert myself around my family regardless of how they may react, the holiday season just doesn’t seem like a good time to do so. (Too bad it’s about the only time I seem to see most of them.) So I’ve started thinking through some choices that may be safe.

The first obvious choice is my new copy of Beowulf. (Special thanks to Pisco for bringing this particular translation to my attention.) I figure that no one can complain about me reading classic literature. And hey, they don’t need to know that I’m reading it for spiritual reasons in addition to literary ones.

As another option (because I always have to have multiple books available to read) is American Gods. Because even if it’s fiction that my family may not care for, fiction is still a relatively safe choice. As long as it’s not erotic fiction, of course.

In many ways I’m looking forward to the trip, too. Melissa’s wedding reminded me that I don’t spend nearly enough time with my extended family, and I need to change that to some extent. Of course, that means putting aside some of my own biases, as I’ve unfortunately come to expect time with my family to be unpleasant. (In reality, the unpleasantness only comes from one or two people, who often aren’t even there.) But in the end, I’m hoping it’ll be worth it.

In the meantime, I’ll be looking over my shelves for a third and possibly fourth choice in “safe” reading material.

Nothing like a little ego boost

Apparently, the gods decided I needed a bit of a confidence boost this evening. Two different guys decided to check me out while Michele, Belinda, and I were at the restaurant tonight. Unfortunately, neither of them took it to the next level by asking me for my phone number, but it was a nice experience, nonetheless.

In reality, I didn’t notice the one guy checking me out, but both of my companions assured me he did. It was while we were standing at the front of the restaurant waiting for our turn to be seated. Two young men in their mid-twenties (or so I’d estimate) stood on the other side of the aisle leading from the front door of the restaurant to the hostess’s station. Apparently, the one looked over my way and took several seconds to check me over. What a shame nothing came of it, though.

The other instance I’m not 100% sure of, but the guy who seated us when it was our turn seemed incredibly friendly. Once we took our seats, he turned to me and complimented me on my creative tee shirt (it’s the “2QT2BSTR8” one). Now many people have commented on this shirt, but this is the first time someone has struck up almost a full minute long conversation over the topic. Granted, I still might have shrugged it off as nothing if Michele didn’t comment on the incident herself. (Indeed, she went so far as to say she wanted to tell him to ask me out already by the time our brief conversation ended.) And he did exchange smiles a couple more times throughout the meal, so it was interested. But alas, he never said anything. And to be frank, I’ve embarrassed myself one too many times to take a chance on mistaking yet another person in the service sector as being more friendly than their job requires or even suggests.

All the same, it was nice to be noticed. I hope it keeps happening on a regular basis. Though I also hope one of these guys gets up the courage to do more than just check me out.

A granted request

This post isn’t about the festival, per se. However, it is loosely related in the fact that the motives behind my actions were spawned at the festival. Saturday night, the four of us who went together held an open circle to bring about more abundance and joy in the participants’ lives. As part of the rite, we each agreed to do one good deed or act of kindness for someone else every day.

Monday morning, as I drove back to work for my first day back from vacation, I got thinking about that commitment. I was wondering what good deed I could do for the day. As I thought about it, I finally decided to take it before my gods. “Okay, guys, I’m going to need help with this one. Help me to be open to any opportunities I might have to help someone else.” Once at work, I set about to figuring out where my projects were and determining my immediate tasks to work on. My mind quickly became lost in the distractions of the work day.

At around five thirty that night, I decided it was time to head home. So I hopped in my car and pulled out of the driveway. Because of the time, I decided to take Route 31 back towards Pittsford rather than deal with rush hour traffic on I-490. That meant turning left onto Woodcliffe and taking it over to Route 250. When I was almost to Route 250, I noticed a car pulled as far off the road in front of me as possible, but still blocking my lane of traffic. I also quickly noticed the woman holding onto a very young girl with an upset stomach. The poor thing was vomitting as the woman held onto her.

I pulled up beside them and rolled the window down to ask if everything was alright. The girl’s mother assured me they were fine. However, the other women made a comment (presumably pointing out the little girl really needed a change of clothes), and the first woman explained they weren’t from around here. She asked if I knew of a Target or Wal-Mart in the vicinity. I gave her careful directions to the Target that was less than a mile away, and wished them the best.

As I pulled away to continue on my way, I instantly remembered my prayer earlier in the day. The gods had been good to me in honoring my request. Despite the fact that I had forgotten asking them to help me be aware of opportunities to help someone else, they had not. They gave me an opportunity to help someone else, even if it was something as minor as giving much needed directions to a store. After all, it was pretty important to the little girl and her mother.

Of course, what really has me thinking about this is the fact that I don’t usually take that route home. Usually, I would’ve turned right onto Woodcliffe Drive and taken it back down to Route 96. Had I done that on Monday, I never would’ve run across this family in need. So I find it particularly interesting that something as minor as a change in my routine led to the opportunity I was looking for.

The gods are good.

I’m not sure I like iPods.

Last night, I ate with the Cheap Dinner Group again. To be honest, I think I’ve gone every week for about a month now. I think it’ll be difficult to drop down to only attending every other Monday night once my father starts staying at my place on Monday nights regularly again. It’s just nice to get out and chat with people that night.

At the end of dinner, just before we left, I got a massive cramp in my left thigh. I wasn’t ready to go yet, so I had fun trying to manage to get the muscles to relax while still sitting there. At one point, I had to stand up briefly. I’m not sure what brought the whole incident on, but I managed to survive it without too much difficulty.

After the dinner, I went for my walk. I walked West on Park Avenue until I reached Alexandar, which I then took to East. From there, I headed back to Berkeley, crossed back to Park from there, and continued back along Park until I got back to my car. The whole trip took me just under 45 minutes, which made it a pretty good walk. It was actually quite pleasant, though I was somewhat disappointed that I didn’t get hit on this time. Oh sure, last week was just a fluke and I shouldn’t realistically expect it to happen all the time anyway. But it still would’ve been nice to get another little ego boost out of the whole thing.

During my walk, I came to my conclusion about iPods. One of the things I noticed is that the vast majority of the other people walking, running, or riding bike along my route had an iPod in them. So as a result, they were lost in their own world of music and endorphins. And while I can certainly see how that might make the process of exercising more enjoyable in some ways (and certainly helps with focus), it also has a negative impact on my other reason for walking.

At the risk of showing just how old fashioned I am, I tend to still see going for a walk through town as a social act. The whole idea brings up rustic images of Main Street in a small town right around sunset. People are all walking along, greeting each other as they pass.

“Hello there, Joe!”

“Hey Sam! How are the kids?”

“Pretty good. Eugene called the other night. Susan had the baby two nights ago. A little girl.”

I’ll be the first to admit that a small city like Rochester probably isn’t going to support that kind of neighborly intimacy. Like I said, I’ll be the first to admit I’m old fashioned (and something of a country bumpkin in some ways). However, you’d think there’d still be room for simple pleasantries.

Wearing an iPod enables a person to isolate themselves from that kind of interaction. “Being off in their own world” becomes pretty literal after a while. And I find that a shame.

Of course, it wouldn’t be so bad if this isolation was just limited to wearing an iPod while exercising. We seem to be pretty insular on many levels and in many areas of our lives. So to me, the problem wasn’t so much that everyone wears iPods while out getting their exercise as that this fact is representative of what seems to me to be a greater problem.

Well, aren’t I just a silly ass?

It’s nine o’clock and I’m still home in my jammies. I’m waiting for the dryer to get done so I can grab a pair of shorts and head out the door to work. It’s probably looking like I won’t get in until ten at the earliest. I’m feeling rather dumb about it.

Last night, after getting home from the Cheap Monday Night Dinner Group, I gathered up a load of dirty clothes and threw them into the washer. After the washer was done, I even made a point of running downstairs and tossing the wet clothes into the dryer. (Of course, this was after reminding Precious that the dryer wasn’t a kitty hiding spot and got her out of there.) Then I went back upstairs and went to bed. The truly observant (and those who just know me so well) might note that I didn’t say anything about starting the dryer. That’s because I didn’t. So when I got up this morning and went downstairs to get the rest of the clothes I needed to go to work, I discovered everything was still wet. So I have about an hour to ninety minutes of down time while I wait for today’s outfit to finish drying.

Musical flashback

While driving to Applebee’s tonight, Aerosmith’s song, I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing, came on the radio. There are many songs that are deeply connected to memories of people and events in my life, and this is one such song. In fact, it’s probably one of the most strongly connected songs I can think of.

Tonight, this song took me back to my relationship with my first boyfriend. At the time Chris (not his real name) and I were dating, this song was relatively new and seeing a lot of airtime across the nation. And every time I heard it, I became more deeply convinced that it was the perfect song to describe how I felt about our relationship. In fact, I think I pointed this out to Chris at the time.

Thinking about the relationship now, I can still understand why I felt this way. Chris and I seldom saw each other (we probably spent barely over a week total together throughout the six months we were “involved”), and it was perfectly reasonable for me to want to make as much of that precious rare time as I could. On more than one occasion, I ended up taking a sick or personal day off work just so I could have those eight more hours with him.

Of course, there were other reasons for feeling like this, too. The relationship wasn’t healthy, and I knew it. And that made me want to cling to it even tighter, holding it together out of my own desparation. Aerosmith’s song spoke to me powerfully and romantically about that desparation I was feeling. In many ways, I used that song to validate my sense of desperation.

As I listened to that song this evening and allowed these memories and thoughts to play through my mind, I began to ask myself many questions. The first question was whether there was any pain associated with this song or the memories that it evoked. There wasn’t, and I have to admit that I’m a little surprised by that. Certainly, there’s a certain morose feel to the whole thing as I think of mistakes made and lessons learned. And there’s the memory of the pain that used to be there. There’s the knowledge that years ago, hearing this song would’ve driven me to tears almost instantly. But not this evening. This evening, there was merely a sense of familiarity and a knowledge of what has passed. And while I find it somewhat strange, I also find it rather comforting.

Of course, I also asked myself how I felt about the message of the song today. If I were with someone, would this song still reflect how I would feel about a new relationship? And I think that for the most part, I can say that it doesn’t. Because now, my love relationships aren’t about desperation, they’re about something else.

The underlying premise of the song is about a relationship that would consume my whole life, an that’s not what I’m lookin fo at all. Certainly, I want a lover I can share my life with, and I’d prefer to spend the rest of my life with him. And there are certainly those moments I will want to get lost in, but only for a time. Because there are other things in my life that are equally important. And I do not wish to give up those things completely just so I can make sure I “don’t miss a thing” with my lover. That just isn’t healthy.

It’s strange to think of the thought processes a song can initiate. Of course, I also find it interesting that this all started on the same day that I had a dream about Chris (sadly, I don’t remember any details) while napping.