Category Archives: Curious

Lonely without it

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I wasn’t feeling well this past weekend, and spent two days stuck at home. Now, it could have been the illness (I had a fever and everything, yuck), but I realized I was feeling kind of depressed. My depression has been in ‘remission’ for the most part, thank God. So I was like, “what the hell is THIS?” What did I have to be depressed about?

I journaled about it, free associating all over the place, to work it out. Two things came to the forefront.

1) I’m sick of being single. FINALLY. Many times, I’ve wondered when this day would come! Because, of course, I love the way my life is right now without the drama of dealing with a relationship. But lately, I’ve been thinking about it again as a possibility. It comes up when I am at a party surrounded by couples, or when people post sickly-sweet things about their spouses on FB, or I am once more the only single person in a group of friends or people at work. I feel the creep of time closing in, and know I am (gulp) only 2.5 years away from FORTY… and think, damn it. Am I honestly going to wind up the weird cat-lady spinster I don’t want to be? Will I wake up one day and be like, oh shit! It happened! I’m Forever Alone(TM)!

Well, here’s the bitch of it: Dating as an activity just doesn’t appeal to me. I can’t get interested in trying the Match.com route again, at all. I’d rather it be the way I’ve done it in the past: I find someone I like. I find out a time and place we might be in the same place. I approach the guy. I tell him, bluntly, that I am interested. He asks me out, and before long we’re BF and GF.

OK. This approach has only worked twice, but those were fun relationships. I do have my eye on someone right now, but… I AM AN IDIOT.

I can’t seem to make eye contact with the dude when I’m around him! I feel all stupid and awkward. I’m not sure what my problem is. He’s now one of my FB friends, and I feel like I’m back in high school when he likes a comment or a post of mine. I’ve thought about messaging him, but don’t want to come on too strong. And THAT is my eternal problem with guys: My tendency is to just jump in with my blunt “I like you” approach, but normally my doubts trickle in and I chicken out. I’ve ‘passed up’ a few very good guys in the past because of this. (And ended up with lame-ass guys instead, blechh.)

So, who the hell knows? Either way, this little crush thing is more fun than it is depressing… so I know the “lonely because I’m single” thing isn’t actually a cause for full-on depression. No way. In fact, I was thinking about it this morning and realized that having this silly crush puts me in a GOOD mood. Maybe I’m a masochist. No. Maybe. I don’t know. Leave me alone!

OK, so the other thing that came out of my journaling was this sentence: “I miss writing Zachary.”

It probably sounds strange to non-writers, but I miss having Zachary in my head. He’s been in there for a good 16 years! And now he’s sort of left the building. I can’t explain it, but now that the first book is complete, he’s not in the forefront anymore. I go do something new, and I don’t immediately start imagining, “what would Zachary think of this? What would he do?” Now I just do something, and that’s it. It’s so weird…! I’m not explaining it well. All I know is there has yet to be another character that’s demanding my full attention. I know it’s only been about a month and a half since I finished, but I guess I thought I’d be deep into the next story by now. I have those two other novels started, both with very fun protagonists, but I suppose I’m not ready yet to get too involved with either of them…?

I did start messing around with the sequel to Zachary, but even that’s not taking off like I’d expected.

So, I appear to be in some sort of transitionary period, where my brain’s recalibrating and (hopefully) preparing for the next character that can’t be ignored.

It feels so, so weird. I’m anxious for it to go away.

I plan to FORCE it to go away, by writing. Writing anything, freely, who-cares-what-it-is. Just get my fingers flying over the keyboard again, see what happens. It may be an entirely new character is waiting to be created. I did get a brand-new idea (a romance!) on the plane ride home from our NJ trip that’s kind of fun to think about… I just need to figure out which of the two characters in that story is the protagonist.

In general, these are the rough physical prototypes for the new story:

And the whole thing came to me from listening to this EP: We Can Make the World Stop.

Yeah, this one is fun.

 

 

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What happened on September 30?!

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Holy crap. I have to share this:

I just checked my blog stats and was shocked to see I received five-hundred and eighty-five views on September 30. I normally get around 40 views a day.

It turns out this stupid, random post I wrote about the end of the galaxy got 540 of those hits.

By the way, before this happened, that post was already my all-time most popular post. Every day, a few people do a search like “galaxies collide” or “galaxy explosion” and they wind up on that post. I even had a very educated-sounding person add a long comment on the post, explaining in detail how I got the science wrong in my post.

Like I was trying to be serious or something.

Now I feel really bad. I’ve thought about blocking the post, or deleting it. I am not only misleading people wanting to learn Real Astronomy Science-Stuff, but it’s definitely not one of my better posts in the first place.

The blog world is quite strange.

Happily, the other most popular search to get people to my blog is “Ben Barnes.” Yay! Let’s go with that, and forget about galaxies and shit.

Sweeeeet.

How the hell do I use flashbacks in first-person narrative??

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Man, I’m having some trouble right now with my book. I’m trying to insert some flashback scenes here and there, and I have no clue if I am doing it right or not. The problem is that my protagonist is speaking in first-person for the entire book. I decided to write the flashbacks in first-person, also… but it is still him, speaking at younger ages. It’s been really fun to do this, and I really love the “new” scenes.

I’m trying to decide if:

* I should put the flashbacks in italics… or not.

* I should section off the flashbacks with a little symbol (I currently use * * * between paragraphs with spaces above and under to signal a new scene is starting), or make them their own standalone chapters? If I did THAT, the chapter thing, would it throw the book off-balance if the flashback chapters only occur three or four times in the whole book? Would they have to happen, say, every two or three chapters or so? So the reader has an expectation/routine to the story’s flow?

And finally,

*Should I just flow the flashbacks chronologically at the beginning of the book, so my character ages accordingly? I kind of don’t want to do this one, but again, I’m trying to think of all the possibilities.

It’s strange that I haven’t found very much yet in terms of writing flashbacks in first-person… yet. I need to keep looking, obviously. I had been trying to find fiction where this same thing happens, but the flashbacks in Diana Gabaldon’s books happen for entire CHUNKS of the book. Part II, Part III, etc… Yeah, I can’t write an 800 page book for the first one out, so that’s not going to work, per se, with my book. Also, she switches POV up quite a bit in this second book of hers. I don’t know yet how to switch POV successfully.

Unless…

I rewrite the flashbacks as some kind of journal entries or official records, told from someone else’s point of view…?

Hmmm.

But I really LIKE writing and reading my protagonist’s childhood voice. So much fun.

But he would be interesting to the outside person as well, being what he is and all… so maybe having an outside perspective would work.

OH DEAR GOD! This is how writers lose their minds! Or why so many of them turn to drinking!

Well, that’s all I have to blog about right now, I guess. I’ve definitely got a one-track mind right now. 😉

The Self-Righteous, Liberal A-Hole

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Wow, it’s tough to be at work today. I thought I’d be super productive since a lot of people are off, taking a vacation day or two after the holiday. Instead, I’m all distracted and dopey. I spent a good 10 minutes just playing with my new phone this morning, trying different things with the text settings (it’s my first phone with a slide-out keyboard, woo hoo, slow down there, lady) and I realize I am supposed to finish an article today. I said I would do it. So I have to do it. My boss is counting on me to do it.

Good thing the article is about half finished already. But jeez, COME ON. Just finish the fucker! I want to slap myself into productivity. It won’t work, though. I’ll just get a red mark on my face and spend time looking in the mirror, trying to perfectly push my hair over the mark to hide it. And then I might do a Google search on “why people slap themselves” and the next thing you know it, I’ll be looking at old vintage photos again.

I am always searching for vintage photos. “Weird vintage photo” is one of my most popular searches, in fact.

I just got back from a quick lunch with my sister. We were talking about Dave Franco, and the weirdest thing happened: a guy walked by our table who looked a lot like Dave Franco. The timing was flawless. See, these are the kinds of things that amuse the hell out of me. Random coincidences. I love it.

Non-sequitur alert: Ever since I put my Obama magnet on my car, I get all giddy when I drive behind or next to someone who also has one (or a sticker). It’s like we’re in a club. A small club, of course (this is Arizona, after all… you better believe everyone’s voting for Mittens this fall), but a club all the same.

I worry that I look like a big douche, though. I’m already self-conscious about the Prius part of my sweet ride, but to add a political magnet to it just feels a little weird. I don’t think I am a giant a-hole, but who knows… maybe the rest of the world sees me in my Self-Righteous Prius and my Self-Righteous Obama Magnet and wants to beat the crap out of me.

Either way, it’s not enough to make me take it off my car. I’ll admit it– I’m kind of proud for my stance in this particular election, to be honest. I’m amused by the people who are freaking out and completely misinterpreting things like Obamacare and getting all crazy about their Constitutional rights getting stepped on. I feel like saying, “Whoa, calm down there, KneeJerk McCracken. Do your homework, read up on the thing, and think about it rationally for a few minutes. Think for YOURSELF and stop buying into things the media says or morons online who get off on spreading false facts and anxiety.”

I’m perfectly content with the President we currently have, thank you very much. For the first time in my memory, I’m not embarassed of our President. There are no scandals, no wars declared, gays aren’t being victimized, the environmental movement isn’t getting scoffed and belittled like it had been, I even got an $8K tax credit for buying my house, and he doesn’t mispronounce words or sound like a hillbilly when speaking with foreign dignitaries. Yeah, I’m cool with all of that.

I feel like if we vote him out now, he’s only half-started what he is capable of doing. Everyone wanted immediate CHANGE and now they bitch because it hasn’t all happened just yet. Like they could do any better. Like they have no clue how policy changes actually occur, when in fact, it’s common knowledge how long shit takes. Bills take YEARS to make it through the House, even in the best of situations. Nothing can occur overnight in this country, except the spread of panic, anxiety and misinformation. That can happen. No problem. We’re such an instant-gratification culture, it’s ridiculous.

Wow, I got all political there for a minute! Woot! Hot damn, lookit me!

Anyway, yeah. I’m just prolonging the inevitable here… I have got to get to work and finish my article. I’m a bum, a total bum.

 

Can you repeat that, please? And maybe spell it, too?

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I just finished transcribing a 35 minute phone call I had with a woman in South Africa. WOW. This was one of the hardest transcriptions I’ve ever had to do; possibly even harder than the guy from Brazil a few months ago.

It was difficult because her accent is very strong. I could hardly decipher so many of her words or phrases; and it was especially tough because her syntax was a little different, too. Here is a sample sentence:

“Procurement substantial over the global vendors, that way we have our own subcontractors and suppliers, and therein, it’s a very interesting approach that we take with HP South Africa.”

That’s verbatim. It often feels like words are missing, and she said “therein” about a dozen times. She also said, “to which extent” a lot, which sounded to my ears like one run-on word, “tooWITCHeggsdend.” She also pronounces “world” like a German would, which is “vorld.” I kept thinking it sounds like a cross between German and Australian accents.

I’m so happy to finally be finished with this one. Now I have to finish writing the article itself. I already started it, thank God… my other sources were American or Canadian, so no real accents to get in the way there.

This whole thing reminded me of something I’ve thought about a lot since I graduated college: I feel like journalism programs/tracks should offer a basic introduction to other languages around the world. Even if it’s just listening to it and learning some of the characteristics of how other cultures speak, that would be a huge help. I realize this is the first time I’ve ever spoken with someone from South Africa. And the only media experience I can think of is watching “District 9” and, way back, that Biko movie.

The other thing journalism rarely touches on is the nuances of writing for business media. They teach you how to write news stories and feature stories for general consumption newspapers and magazines, but there’s no training regarding business writing. I’m not being arrogant when I say I’m pretty good at it by now, myself (I’ve been doing this for over 14 years now), but I learned so much on the job regarding how to balance advertisers’ wishes with editorial content so nothing sounds promotional; how to understand the graphic design aspects so you can provide input (if necessary) regarding the art elements for your stories; and writing in a style that’s somewhere between a white paper and a Newsweek story. I don’t know why school just glossed over this stuff, but it really did in my case, anyway.

Before I wrap up, here is my most perplexing sentence from the entire transcription. I honestly do not have a freaking clue what the words in italics are supposed to be:

“Also consider that HP is, as much as we do direct business, we also channel sin creek, and are working with resellers.”

Car limbo and a book signing

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I’m still waiting to hear back regarding the estimate to repair my car as of right now. I did talk to both my insurance company and the other woman’s company today, and my deductible is being waived since they have confirmed, for sure, that I was not at-fault. (It seems like a no-brainer, and it is, of course; but it needed to be formally declared for it to count.) Now I just sit and wait… but apparently I might hear something later today.

I’m so anxious and distracted about it. I checked back into the claim I filed in July 2010, when I was rear-ended and had to get my rear bumper and tailgate replaced, and to my shock the cost of the repairs then was about $7,500. Two years ago, my car was worth a little more money, too. Now, since I’m looking at a current KBB value of about $7,300 or so, I’m not feeling very confident that I will be driving that car again. Knowing that there is damage to the front and the back driver’s side panel in addition to the bumper and tailgate definitely has me thinking the cost to repair will be higher than it was when they only had the bumper and tailgate to replace.

But I’ll wait and see.

In the meantime, of course I’m thinking about what kind of car I could get to replace this one if it does come to that. I’d most likely want another HHR, and for some reason I am leaning towards a white one since they look kind of funky in white. (I don’t like white on most other car models, though… too plain for my taste.) However, if I can’t find an HHR, I’m looking at smaller cars that have good gas mileage. On my list? A Mini Cooper… maybe? I don’t know. It is pretty small, but they are damn cute and compact. I saw a purple one on Carmax’s site yesterday and it was really nice-looking. I’d also like to consider smaller hatchbacks like the Honda Fit, the Toyota Matrix, etc… Sedan models are OK, but I definitely am drawn to hatchbacks for some reason. We’ll have to see how it pans out, if and when I am actually in the market.

So, in other news, last night I did something spontaneous. I went to Writer Ex’s book release. I had thought about going, but hadn’t given it serious thought. Last night I was sitting at home after work, not intending to go down there because I still feel kind of weird about the whole thing–OK, mostly it’s the idea of seeing his wife because I get the sense she is uncomfortable around me– but suddenly being like, “Oh, fuck it, I’m going,” and I did get up and go at that point. Because how often does one get to see their ex-fiance do a Q&A about the writing process of a book one helped him edit, once upon a time? I was curious, and wanted to see how he did up there at the podium, and what he had to say about taking a book he began writing in 1994 and turning it into the book that was just published.

I was half an hour late, so I missed most of his talk, but I did arrive during the Q&A part and it was amusing. People were asking him questions– one was “why he decided to become a writer” and he answered with some pompous thing about, “well, I had no choice, really” and I wanted to smirk… Someone wanted to know where he got his ideas, and if he did research to be able to write in the voice of a 17-year old girl who’s an artist, and he babbled about reading books on Salvador Dali and other things, and he sounded a little too pleased with himself when he mentioned “now I go to schools and do readings and get to work directly with kids that age, and it’s added such a level to my writing to have that direct experience with them…” Yeah, it was funny to me in a snarky way. He likes to drop little asides about how this is now his day-job and he is a “stay at home Dad” to his 8-month old son, and he definitely mentioned his agents way too much. He’s a braggart. He loves this attention, the spotlight, all of it. He was hamming it up to make people laugh.

Overall, it was cool to go, though, and witness all of it. The best part was I got to see some friends I never hang out with anymore since they’re in his social circle. I visited and laughed with everyone, and got to see three kids I have only seen on Facebook up until now. (This sounds mean, but I wasn’t impressed with those kids. The two babies–including Writer Ex’s– are very ordinary looking little boys, and the 10 year old daughter of a girl I used to be in plays with is downright unattractive. She looks like Chris Farley, which isn’t a good look for a 10 year old girl.)

Anyway, I bought his book and I do plan to read it at some point, because yes… I remember the original drafts he worked on, and I gave him notes and everything and I’m definitely curious to mentally compare the story I remember with this one that Random House published. I still don’t care about reading his first book, for some reason. It just sounds dopey.

The two weird moments of the night:

1) He signed my book, and he wrote an inside joke in there (a Bill Cosby quote, actually) and we chatted for a few minutes, doing a quick catch-up. I found out his parents have never met his son. He never speaks to his Mom and Dad anymore. Interesting. But anyway, beyond the gossip, it definitely feels so, so, so strange to have your ex sign a copy of his book for you. Try to put yourself in that position for a second, if you can. See what I mean? It’s weird!

2) His wife. OH MAN. She was glancing at me from the other side of the room and looking away the whole time he was doing his Q&A, and I felt strange knowing she was probably thinking, “Oh, why is SHE here?” But whatever. If she knew what I think, she’d know she has nothing to worry about. I roll my eyes at my past self, wondering what I possibly saw in him back when we were together. I do not find him even slightly attractive, and I don’t like this kind of arrogant side of him one bit. ANYWAY. After he signed my book, I walked over to her to say hello and she was super, over-the-top friendly to me. “Hiiii!!!” she squealed with a big smile on her face… but the smile wasn’t reaching her eyes one bit. It was so fake, it almost threw me for a loop. But I played along, and asked some small-talk things like,  “How are you doing? Congratulations on the baby, that’s great! Are you having so much fun being a Mom?” These are the kind of things that, if any of my real friends overheard me saying, they would tease me about later and be like, “What the fuck were you talking about? You totally don’t care how she feels about being a mother, and you know it.” YES. I do know it. It’s all part of the lame-ass social game we sometimes have to do in order to be civil. And also, it’s one of the rare times I can turn into a catty woman who likes to push buttons. Just push them a little.

I’m just being honest.

I asked about the house, and the dogs. I don’t think she’s ever been super happy about moving into a house that Writer Ex bought with his ex-fiancee, and she knows good and well that both of their dogs wouldn’t be there if it weren’t for me. There are subtle reminders in her life of me, and while enough time has gone by now that I’m sure she doesn’t think about it much, I could sense that when I asked about those things last night she didn’t like it. She got just a little defensive and snotty, but in that big-smiled, sugar-coated way. This amused me.

I wouldn’t have wanted to put little digs in at her if she could have just been normal when she talked to me. I mean, she didn’t get all “hiiiii!” with the other people around there she was talking to. It was obvious to me that she is overcompensating and trying to look like the chill wife who can be really, really, really nice to her husband’s ex. She clearly doesn’t realize that just speaking normally and not trying so hard would be the actual indicator that she was OK with me being there. She is a really strange person, overall. More power to them as a couple, I guess. She can have him. They kind of deserve each other, and are probably the only people who would really want the other one.

So, that was an interesting night! I felt pretty good when I left, though, knowing I had been supportive and didn’t let my weird-ass insecurities or dread of talking to his wife keep me from checking the whole thing out and seeing old friends. I felt encouraged, yet again, that I am doing the right thing with my own writing and thought (again): “If HE can do it, then I can absolutely do it, too, since I am better than he is and my stories are so much more creative than anything he comes up with.” Heh.

By the way, since I don’t want to type out his name or the title of the book in case it would show up in a search engine thing and bring him (or his wife) here, but I still want to share the title of this book with the three people who read this blog, so here’s the cover:

Oooh, the pretty colors

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If you are reading this right now, then you know this blog has recently undergone a makeover! Yes, last night instead of getting something useful accomplished, I messed around in the “themes” arena for a good hour or so. But I like this! I did love the simplicity of the previous theme, but for some reason it was time to shake it up. Woot.

I’m in a mood today. I feel cold and sleepy and I woke up with a muscle knot right in between my shoulderblades. GRRRR! And then, there’s the woman at work who I cannot stand listening to. She’s extra loud and perky today and I want to punch her in the stomach. Ooof. I don’t know what it is about loud, perky voices that make my eyes spin around and my hands clench into fists. Even on my good days. But on a day like today, I could easily snap and say or do something I might regret later. Might. Hmmm. I’m giving my options some thought…

Gremlin has not demolished the Christmas tree, so tonight I’ll probably throw some plastic ornaments on there.

I’m mentally preparing myself for the juice fast. I don’t know, exactly, when I will take that on, but I’m thinking that I could try it right after the new year. I need a whole weekend to detox and be all miserable during the first few days of it… I had been thinking I’d do it this coming weekend, but J’s right: with the holidays, it’ll be way too hard to do it the right way and there will be too many temptations, too early in the process.

The part I am most excited for is changing my taste preferences. He was telling me all about how he used to crave soda, chocolate and Mexican food, but after juicing, he no longer wanted that stuff much at all. I have such an insatiable sweet tooth… it’s definitely time to try to make a change with that. Sometimes I wonder if I am pre-diabetic or something, with the way I always, always find myself eating some form of sugar throughout the day, but I’m not actually pre-diabetic. I’m just flat-out addicted to sugar. And I have been so sick of this, for so long. Having J come along now, with this juicing idea, seems pretty ideal. Good timing.

And THEN there is the thing about feeling good every day. People with chronic headaches and migraines can feel incredible results after spending a month or two juicing and eating organic foods, and that sounds excellent to me. I hate the headaches so much. They definitely cut into my life in a negative way. When I am headachey, I don’t want to do anything. So I don’t. I nap, I sit around, I hide until it is over. Maybe if I don’t get frequent headaches all the damn time, I will accomplish so much more. I totally look forward to this.

The thing is, I don’t see a downside to trying this out to see if it could work for me. The most I’ll lose is a weekend. I’ve never done a fast of any kind, and in fact, I always thought they were ridiculous, but those documentaries changed my mind about that. Of course, it might not work for me… but at least I’ll have attempted to do something to try to make myself feel better, and that’s pretty cool. It’s better than just schlepping along, eating the same terrible foods and not caring about chemicals in my body and being lethargic and cloudy-brained, for years on end. It’ll be an interesting experiment.

After I finish my work-work today, I’m going to be writing more for my book. So I better wrap this up, so I can get the work done and get to the GOOD stuff! 🙂

A most unique gentleman

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Yesterday, I met Ben for lunch, and it went pretty well. He was very cute, softspoken and polite. We had some similar habits, like mixing our sodas and smelling things almost subconsciously. (I have gotten better about smelling glasses before I pour a drink into it, but I still catch myself doing it from time to time. I sniff books when I open them, and if something is made of clay or Play-Doh I just can’t help but smell it – I love the smell of Play-Doh. He saw me smelling a little clay pig in the book store yesterday and laughed because he was in the process of lifting another one of the clay pigs to his own nose. It was pretty funny.)

I wish I got a better sense of how it really went, though. As I drove away after we hung out, I realized I didn’t know if it was going to work out or not. Why? Well, he does have some unique idiosyncrasies, and he sort of kept his distance from me as we walked around the store. I don’t know if he wasn’t attracted to me or something, or if he might have felt self-conscious and shy because he’d shared some personal things with me as we’d talked. Either way, it felt a little off, which is unfortunate. I totally loved hanging out with someone I’m physically attracted to. I kept holding my gaze longer than usual, and I know I was smiling a lot. Oh! That’s it! My smile is CREEPY! I probably freaked him out!

So, what are the things that make him eccentric? The biggest one is that he has issues with food. He’s not anorexic or anything, he just doesn’t enjoy having to eat every day. He’s had tests and he doesn’t have any physical reason why eating isn’t fun for him… it’s totally a psychological thing. He is a math and engineering person, so what he ended up doing several years ago is research things about nutrition, optimal calories and the best foods to deliver the most nutrition for the least amount of eating. He has it down to a science, literally: He knows exactly how many grams and ounces of food he needs to eat at each meal, and weighs it all out on scales. He’s even got a scientific scale that can measure the tiniest fractions of grams; he joked that “people think my kitchen is a meth lab or something.” When he explained all of this to me, it was with an embarassed awareness that kind of made me sad. He knows he is doing something abnormal, but it’s something he feels he has to do. He told me at one point after college, he weighed only 112 pounds and he is 5’11”. Today, he is still a slender guy, but he doesn’t look sick or overly skinny, so whatever he is doing is keeping him healthy. I was fascinated by this whole thing, because I’ve never come across anyone who goes to these extremes. Especially not a guy. It sounds like a difficult existence.

He was married before, too, and I don’t know if his eating habits contributed to the collapse of his marriage or not, but he did say he was in a relationship with a girl who would tease him by taking some of his carefully-measured portions and eating it; he laughed and said it drove him crazy. The fact that he could joke about it and understand that someone would mess with him added a sense of normalcy to the whole situation. I still felt bad, because I had pushed him to tell me “something weird about himself” in our conversation. (I had told him about my accident-prone nature and the time I spray painted in the closed garage and got violently ill; he laughed pretty hard.)

That’s not all that makes him a very unique person. For one, he and a friend of his have a “side business”: They invented a special kind of sand for ant farms, and they sell it online. I’m really amused by this. How random is THAT? Who figures out that the sand in ant farms could be improved and then goes on to invent a new sand that’s made just for ants?! I love it.

And he asked me, softly, if I ever “get curious about something and just have to know the answer.” I said yes, tentatively, to see what he was gonna tell me. And the weird thing he got curious about was how much hair, exactly, he was losing in the shower every day. What he did was collect the hair after a shower, and stretched it all out and untangled it (his hair is not only long, but naturally curly) and under a bright light, he actually counted the strands. And he weighed them. He researched to find out the average, normal amount of hair a person loses every day (it is apparently around 200-300 strands) and determined he is losing the average amount of hair. He did this for a week so he could come up with his own, exact average. Why? He was curious.

Again, this amused me so much. These are things I have never thought of doing, ever. The fact that this guy would go “hmm, I wonder how I can figure out how many average hairs I lose every day” is very intriguing.

But I do wonder: how much of this behavior could be annoying in a relationship? Would it wear out its amusing qualities after a little while, and just become a source of contention? Would it be hard to enjoy meals with a guy like this? (Oh, Sunday is his “off day” when he can eat whatever he might want, so it worked out well that we went to lunch when we did.) After the bookstore, we did walk around Trader Joe’s so he could get some groceries before he went home, and he seemed a little self-conscious, and I can kind of see why he might. But he was still nice, and recommended some different vegetables and yogurt that I might want to try, as well as some chocolates that are sold by the cashiers.

So, overall, I don’t honestly know what to think about all of this. It was different, that’s for sure: the other guys I have met from Match haven’t been anything like this guy. Like I said, I was attracted to him and I liked his quiet mannerisms–it was kind of cute. And I loved hearing his detailed stories about his travel adventures. We also have a love of the odd things in life, and we casually chatted about The Body Farm and Victorian death photography. Yet, did he like me?! I don’t know.

I guess we’ll just have to see if he gets in touch with me again, or not. Either way, it is fine. It was a good experience, and it was nice knowing that there are guys I actually find cute out there. Like I’ve said before, I sometimes lose hope that any real-life men can be smart and attractive because I never seem to see any in my daily travels and experiences. Everyone looks the same. Blah blah, generic boring sameness.

Now, I do still have two Match connections remaining. Sam, the artist and Jason, the Air Force guy. I may be meeting Jason on Friday at 2nd Friday in Mesa, because it turns out he is into steampunk stuff and would love to attend this particular 2nd Friday because it’s got a steampunk theme this month. We’ll see what happens.

In the meantime, my book’s just crackling with energy these days and I will be dedicating a lot of time to it this week!

Things are pretty good. I can’t complain.

From robots to zombies: My weekend

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It was a pretty decent weekend, actually. On Friday night I went to 2nd Friday with my sister and BIL, and another couple we’re friends with. It was fun, although it was still a little too hot out. Since the theme was “Robots and Zombies” I wore the sweater my sister made for me a few years ago. She embroidered a robot and the words “The humans are dead” on the front, and I love it. And when someone actually gets the reference, I feel like jumping up and down in happiness at finding a fellow FotC fan.

We hung out pretty long Friday night, having dinner at an old favorite restaurant I haven’t been to in years (it’s the scene of the crime–the place where I met X for the first time) and laughing very hard at free-association type of stuff. It was a lot of fun.

Saturday I slept in a little and then went over to the blood bank to make a donation. They told me I qualified to be a “power red” donor. This meant giving twice the number of red blood cells than a normal donation would take. They take one unit, separate it into plasma and red blood cells, and return the other components and some saline back to you; and then do this process a second time. It takes a little longer than a normal donation, but it all happens through one needle that also happens to be smaller than the normal needle. I agreed to try it. I was geekily excited to be doing a more hard-core donation, too. I’m weird.

First, they had the usual challenge of figuring out where my veins are. It takes a lot of feeling around and decision-making (“is this the better vein, or this one?”) and then, apparently, my best vein goes “deep” which means they need to press the needle deeper in. It doesn’t hurt me more, but it does present a challenge to the plebotomist. If they go too far, it could go right through my vein and we don’t want that, of course. Anyway, they finally got the needle in and blood was flowing, and there was no problem. I was fascinated by the machine that was separating my blood. It’s pretty amazing seeing the plasma and the red blood cells-only bags.

Everything was going OK until they began to do the first “return” of fluids. I noted that it felt a little cold, but it wasn’t uncomfortable. But then the technician came over because the machine started beeping urgently, and I look down to see a little bubble-bump under my skin around the needle, like something was swelling up there. Apparently, my veins were not “accepting” the return fluids for some reason – it’s not a common issue. They decided to “cut off” the power red donation, and stop for the day. So, in essence, I gave the equivalent of one normal whole blood donation. That’s fine. The technician was very sorry about the inevitable bruise I was going to have now. Of course something freaky has to happen with me. I was amused in my usual, sick way.

Now I do have a very dark bruise on my inner elbow, from the blood spilling out right under the surface of my skin. I admit I thought about poking it to drain the blood out at one point, but common sense got the better of me and I left it alone. Today, I put a bandaid over the majority of the bruise because when I was in my morning meeting today, my boss and co-worker were very visibly grossed-out by it. Neither of them can handle needles well, and they looked at me like I was crazy for doing that to myself voluntarily. It’s definitely not as noticeable now that it’s covered up. I plan to wear long sleeves on my date tomorrow night, too.

I spent some time watching some of the shows on my DVR, since I am getting closer to cancelling cable. I took naps. I did some cleaning, and was ultimately able to cross almost everything off my to-do list. The things I didn’t get to was mopping my floors (I hate doing that so much, since it hurts my back) and taking Gremlin back down to the humane society so they could re-microchip him. (His chip fell out right there in the humane society on the day I adopted him; they found it later and realized it was his, so they called me to bring him back down to be re-chipped.) I never got around to doing this all summer, mostly because I didn’t want to drive him a long distance in the car with all the heat we had. Even with the A/C, I know air flow isn’t that great in those carriers. Anyway, yesterday I attempted to take him down there.

I couldn’t get the bastard into the carrier no matter how much I tried! After three attempts (with breaks between each to give him time to calm down), I gave up. I’ll do it next weekend. I know I can get my Mom or sister to come over and hold the crate steady while I maneuver the mad honey-badger of a cat inside with both hands. He acted like I was killing him– yowling, scratching, twisting… it was actually humorous in its over-the-topness.

I did my grocery shopping and finished cleaning (bathrooms, ugh) and then settled in for a night of “The Walking Dead” because last night was the second season’s premiere. With the exception of shopping, everything was a bad idea. For one thing, I’m now incredibly achy and sore from the scrubbing and cleaning. I knew I would be, because I always am when I do that, but with the sciatica symptom added to the pain, it’s extra painful. And then, I realized I probably won’t be able to watch “The Walking Dead” as it airs, because it airs at night. Thinking back to last season, I saw all of those on DVR, usually on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon when the sun was out. Things are never as scary during the day. Last night, I got really freaked out and decided to give up halfway through the episode. I’ll watch it… this weekend, probably. Not at night.

Now, I need to make a few phone calls. I need to call the MRI imaging place back, since they called to schedule my appointment; my home insurance guy is calling about trying to get me back for car insurance and I really think I’ll go for it if he can cut me a better deal than Progressive did. I’m still mad that Progressive wouldn’t cover my windshield replacement 100%. (It turned out I don’t have “full glass coverage.”)

So, here we go with a new week. I hope it goes well for all of us! Good luck!

My Epic Bruise

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So. I’ve got this ridiculous bruise on my left calf. It’s been there for at least 10 days now. And I have no idea how I received it. As someone who regularly loses her balance and bumps into things or does clumsy things, like spin the pedals on my bike when I’m standing at a street corner waiting to cross, and the pedals fly up and hit me in the back of the leg… it’s not unusual at all that I wind up with random bruises that I can’t explain.

I wish I could remember how this one happened. My best guess is that bike example above. The placement of the bruise seems to correspond with where a pedal would hit. But there’s really no way to ever know for sure what happened to my poor calf.

My bruise looks almost exactly like this:

 

That picture above is the same calf in the summer of 2008… yes, I actually have a photo of an old bruise that could easily stand in for the new bruise. I don’t know if this is creepy, sad or just plain smart. I’m going with smart. Why? Because it’s my blog, and my bruise, and I can think what I want!

This Bruise is uncomfortable as hell right now. It’s been sore ever since Saturday, when I did a 50 minute run at South Mountain. I was doing so well out there… running my intervals and feeling good, being careful going downhill so as to not strain anything by going too fast, etc… but when I was done, I noticed a tugging pain in my left calf. At first, it was all around my calf– on the left, the middle and the right sides. My shin was OK, just a little tight. After several hours, the pain localized itself to the general area of my friend, The Bruise.

I was careful for the rest of the day, putting my icepack on the area several times and not doing anything strenuous for my legs. I also used Absorbine Jr. and was surprised at how well it actually worked! I’ve always regarded that stuff as something like a placebo, to be honest. But not anymore.

I was doing pretty good yesterday, too. Then, after dinner, I mowed my lawn.

Bad idea, I guess, because the pain returned after that. I guess the strain of pushing that mower through the too-tall grass and lifting the mower to hover just over the edges of the pavers to get the grass on the edge was too much. I iced it again last night.

Today, it’s just hurting again. I’m not in pain, per se… it’s just annoying and sore. I have an ice pack on it right now. The thing is, I was pushing around on The Bruise today and I felt a solid lump underneath. I never noticed this before. I guess it could have been there all along, but I’m wondering if I should worry about this.

Like, did my running on Saturday “damage” or overwork the muscle fibers and tissues that were trying to heal The Bruise? Is that lump like a muscle knot, or should it be treated so it doesn’t cause scar tissue or something?

Hmm. I need to look into it. I know the obvious answer is, “Well, duh. Go to your doctor” but I don’t wanna just yet. I’m a cheap bastard, remember? I’d rather just find out what I can before I panic and start spending money on the thing.

And that, my friends, is my story of The Bruise. To Be Continued…?