Monday, January 31

What this is really all about

One of the real reasons I decided to start a blog is because I was looking for a way to help provide myself for with some accountability for getting healthy. So why no mention yet? Well, I guess I'm still sorting out how to use this form of communication and why I'm doing it this way. And I'm still trying to kick my butt.

So here it is. I need to lose weight. I need to take control of what I eat, when I eat it, how much of it I eat and how I work it off. I need to stop pretending it is out of my control and 'not my fault'. I need to do this for myself, not for anyone else. I need to do this because of how I feel, not because of how I look. I need to do this because 34 is fast approaching and I don't want 35 to hit and have nothing be different. I need to do this so I'll be healthy, not so I'll be thin.

How to do it? I have NO idea. I have been encouraged by the stories of others out there who have done what I am attempting to do, but it still seems SO daunting. I know I need help - but I'm not sure where to turn first. A large part of me stubbornly wants to prove I can do it on my own. That's ridiculous of course, since if I could do it on my own, I would be happily wearing a size 8.

So here's my plan - I'm giving myself 3 months to break some bad habits and form some new ones. I'll consider any weight loss during this time a bonus, a perk, a thrill. Then, once I've got my act together, I'll seek out those professionals that will teach me how to do it right - Weight Watchers, a personal trainer, advice from my doctor and nutritionists.

And why don't I just start with the professionals? Simply because I feel like I would be setting myself up to fail. When I think of all of the habits I need to change, it is overwhelming to do it all at once. To go from my current lifestyle to one filled with healthy eating based on informed choices and regular, supervised exercise. It makes me feel stressed and completely NOT up to the task. Brain overload. So ... baby steps.

For February - habits I plan to break:
  • Fast food - NO MORE! - pack a lunch dumbass.
  • Not eating until noon - IT'S CALLED BREAKFAST - eat it!
  • Snacking after dinner simply because it's there - so don't have it there.
  • The devil's own Coca-Cola - go Diet or H2O
  • Walking the dog at her snail pace - if we're walking anyway, I might as well work up a sweat.
Habits I need to start:
  • Drinking that H2O
  • Exercise beyond walking the dog - crack open those videos, break out the exercise machine
  • More veggies! More fruit! More veggies! More fruit! Say it with me now ...
So there - I said it. Now I just have to DO it.

Thursday, January 27

NailGate 2005

So, I cried on the way home.

It had initially seemed like a little thing. When Jasper came in from the yard last night just before we left the office, I noticed some blood on her back foot. A quick glance revealed what I thought was a bit of hang nail.

No problem - we all get them - I know first aid - just clip if off.

Then I looked closer. This was no hangnail. This was a split nail. Imagine the horror I faced.

Actually, it was quite nasty - in that I can't stand to look at it but I can't help myself from looking at it kind of way. I quickly leapt into super-first-aider mode, applied pressure and soon all seemed well. I convinced myself it was not big deal - there was no need for an emergency vet visit and even less need for an emergency vet bill. I then leapt into super-sneaky-pretend-I-didn't-notice mode, ignored the 4 blood spots on the carpet and took her home.

I did some fancy googling, hoping all the sites would tell me it was nothing - "just a scratch" they would say and recommend a little ice cream (for the owner), an extra carrot for the dog, and a couple of days of bed rest.

But no - the advice said crazy things like "sometimes the entire nail must be removed", "under anesthesia", "payment plans available" and most shockingly "a little ice cream for the DOG and an extra carrot for the owner." NOOOOO!

I lived in denial for another 12 hours or so, but when it started to bleed again this morning I kicked myself out of poor-broke-owner mode and into compassionate-whatever-it-costs mode. (I think it was imagining what it would feel like if she snagged it on something. YIKES!) I called the vet and put my car up for collateral. I was in such loose wallet spirits I signed her up for her (overdue) yearly physical/immunization extravaganza as well.

Before I knew it, she was weighed in (a small gain - oops - back into the 3 digits) and being praised by the very kind and thorough vet for her soft coat and charming (pathetic) begging for cookies (low fat of course).

It was all good news - healthy coat, good teeth, clean ears, clear eyes, stretchy hips, beating heart - and then the nail. The vet said it would need to come off as far down as it was split and offered to sedate her, or get someone to hold her and make it quick. As visions of payment plans danced through my head, I remembered having all four of my wisdom teeth pulled in the chair with no sedation and opted for the quick option. If a wimp like me could do it, a 101.5lb chubby mutt certainly could.

A wonderful lab tech came in, and after patiently giving Jasper time to relax and get to know her (read sniff frantically at her clothes to try to determine every breed, species and colour of animal that had been in that day), we were almost ready to go. On went the muzzle (just in case) and armed with 17 more cookies, we all held on tight for that fateful snip.

In that next moment, I would have given my car to have chosen the sedation option. Never was a more mournful cry heard, followed by a quick growl, which quickly settled into heart wrenching whimpers. It was all over in less than a minute, the snip, the Quick Stop, the cauterizing, the inhaling of cookies whole while still muzzled, the snuggles that meant forgiveness, but the deed was done. Jasper was fine. I was not.

I held back tears as she waited patiently for the vet to bandage her foot. I tried not to sob while the IV bag was tied to her foot to protect her from the rain (quite ingenious I might add). I did my best to sniffle discreetly while Jasper polished off 24 more low-fat cookies, oozed love on the vet and the tech and stood patiently for her vaccine injection. I held it together for the three-legged-get-this-off-me hop to the waiting room, the paying*, the medication instructions and the curious looks in the waiting room.

Then I cried all the way home.

Seriously, can you imagine if I had an actual human child**?

*All in all only $75 for NailGate 2005 (immunization and exam extra). Not bad considering Jasper has a cool new shoe and I scored a free IV bag. As if I'm letting her keep it.

**Just to be clear - I don't consider Jasper my child at all. I'm NOT THE MOMMY! NOT THE MOMMY!

***Further proof that Jasper is cool - she hasn't even tried to chew off her bandage. No dorky lampshade for her!

Tuesday, January 25

Give It Back

Okay, this isn't funny any more.


I've had enough stress today and this kind of "joke" is pure evil any day of the week.

Don't make me get up.

I mean it, if I have to get off this couch, someone is in trouble.

Just give back the remote, and no one gets hurt.

Monday, January 24


Don't tell, but this is my first post from work.

Now I really feel like a blogger!


Saturday, January 22

Wondering ...

How many times do you think you need to trip the breaker before you remember that you can't run both the microwave and any other appliance?

At least once a day ... for 2 years?

That's what I thought.

Why my dog is cooler than your dog

  • When I gave her 2 leftover baked potatoes for breakfast because I was out of dog food, she not only had no malice towards me for being an incompetent owner, but she loved those potatoes with all her heart.
  • By loved, I mean she tried to bury them in her bed because she likes to save the best treats for later. When she was unsuccessful in getting them both covered at the same time, she didn't bite me when I kept trying to steal one of the them just to torment her.
  • When tormented, she can eat a whole baked potato in two bites.
  • She didn't even try and eat the puppy in the pet store - despite the fact that it was smaller than a baked potato, had similar colouring and was being held at teeth level.
  • When I left her for 4 hours last night to go out with friends, she wasn't angry or bitter when I returned, but rather was so thrilled to see me, she spent the next 30 minutes trying to figure out a way to sit on my lap. Even when I wasn't sitting.
  • When I give her a treat, and ask her to say "please", she does.
  • She provides enough entertainment on a daily basis to my co-workers that all 95 lbs of her continues to be allowed to go to work with me - despite the unfortunate poop incident on the really stormy day and the shedding, which is beyond all imaginable shedding.
  • She loves everyone at work, including all our visitors, except the creepy guy who makes me feel horribly uncomfortable. Him - she doesn't let in my office.
  • She puts up with the rowdiness of the 20-25 kids that invade her "office" every day. She lets them sit on her bed beside her when they are sad and need a friend.
  • She runs to the window every time I say "Kitty", even if she's in a dead sleep. There is rarely a kitty outside, but she never resents me for laughing at her.
  • She likes to play with the cats upstairs even though she has never seen them. When they get rowdy, she barks and runs around too, because she thinks she can play with them through the floor. When that riles them up even more, she runs and jumps on the bed, as if she is trying to get as high up as possible, in hopes of actually finding them.
  • She loves whole carrots. If I ask her if she wants a carrot, she'll run to the fridge. When I open it, she tries to stuff her head into the vegetable crisper. When I give her the carrot, she bounds off with unabashed joy.
  • When she needs to go out, she lies down at the door and waits patiently, with her head on the floor sniffing the outside air coming in the gap, as if she is an addict waiting for a fix. She'll do this for as long as it takes - for example, as long as it takes me to write how cool she is.
  • She never mocks me that I'm completely obsessed with lists.

It was all for nothing

So the Mother of all Naps ...


Today's Dwarf - Sleepy

Last night I went to bed at 2:15AM. As I snuggled down into the comfy goodness, I remembered that I could turn the alarm off, because for the first time in 3 weeks, I didn't have to be anywhere before 9AM. I was planning to sleep until the rain stopped (forecasted to be sometime Sunday evening).

This morning I woke up at 4:45AM. I valiantly tried to get back to sleep, but eventually had to give up. By 9AM I had (in random order) walked the dog, showered (etc.) , sorted 2 weeks worth of laundry, cleaned the kitchen, blogged, re-organized my closet, flipped my mattress, sorted a months worth of recycling and loaded said recycling and laundry into the car.

I would like to pretend I did all of this because I am motivated and disciplined.

In reality, I did it in anticipation of the 8 hour nap I have planned for this afternoon.

Thursday, January 20

Feeling Dopey

Words I couldn't spell this week:
~ psychic
~ shoveled
~ vacuum
~ achieve
~ achievement
~ achiever (yes, I'm a complete idiot)
~ license
~ committed
~ lightning
~ questionnaire
~ embarrass
Pair of words I had to check on because I couldn't remember which was which:
~ breath/breathe
Words I used alternates for because I couldn't even get close enough to spell check.
~ nutritious
~ solely
Damn flu influenced brain cells.

Tuesday, January 18

Reason #1 of Why I Need to Move

What ever happened to it being as simple as taking trash to a curb? Here in a city of tourism there is no trash at the curb - only in the back alley. We wouldn't want to admit that we actually create trash in the Northwest, would we? It was actually fine when I lived in a house with a back alley that actually connected to the back yard. Now - not so fine.

Taking out the trash in 30 easy* steps.
  1. Empty indoor trash cans and consolidate into (hopefully) less than 2 kitchen size bags.
  2. Sneak dog poop bags from outside into trash. Sneak because you're not allowed to put them in the trash even when they are double bagged. Once again wonder where you are supposed to put them.
  3. Put leash on dog as trek to trash can involves entering alley popular with drug dealers.
  4. Attempt to leave the house with 2 trash bags and 90lb dog on leash who is excited she is going for a walk.
  5. Drop at least one bag as dog pulls your arm out of its socket in her excitement to go for a walk.
  6. Yell for (at) dog to go "this way" and brace yourself as she turns on a dime and gallops towards the back yard.
  7. Wince as your arm is popped back into place.
  8. Pick up dropped back of trash and attempt to close door while playing tug-of-war with dog.
  9. Practice new dance moves on icy path that landlord's have not bothered to shovel or salt because hey - they don't use it.
  10. Arrive at back door to landlord's suite and find nicely shoveled and salted path for them to use. Remind yourself to buy them "Landlording for Dummies" or "Landlords are Dummies" depending on price and mood and whether or not they turn the furnace on tonight.
  11. Step onto path and sink knee deep into slush & mud. Be thankful you've fed dog for the last 6 years as you now need all her strength to pull you out.
  12. Realize that for the first time in 6 years, dog is not pulling on the leash. Curse at dog as she waits patiently for you to catch up.
  13. Make it to back fence. Remember that the landlords have put a padlock on back fence to slow down drug dealers that break windows in your suite in their spare time.
  14. Rejoice that your anal-retentiveness means you never leave the house without your keys. Rejoice more that you remembered this before you attempted to trek back to the house.
  15. Unlock gate while holding bags of trash and leash to dog who has suddenly remembered that walks are for pulling and makes up for lost time.
  16. Scrape all skin off of right hand knuckles.
  17. Exit through gate, following dog who loves the alley because there is smelly trash and, on at least one lucky occasion, a dead rat.
  18. Realize there are no drug dealers in alley at the moment. Breathe a sign of relief. Apologize to dog that she has no one to intimidate (aka become best friends with on sight).
  19. Carefully navigate slippery slope from gate to two houses down the alley where trash must be placed. Mentally thank parents for purchasing Atari in 1982 on which you were able to hone your tree root jumping skills.
  20. Consider irony that garbage truck cannot make it all the way down the alley to your back yard because there is too much trash in the alley.
  21. Put trash bags in trash can. Wonder for 1873rd time why landlord's never have the courtesy to bring your trash can back to the house when they bring theirs, thus allowing you to remove trash from your apartment more than once a week. Remember they only pass this way a minimum of 4 times of day and only have 2 hands. Absolve yourself of any responsibility as there are only so many hours a week that can be dedicated to trash adventures.
  22. Realize dog has not pulled one of your joints out if its socket since reaching bottom of slope. See dog routing through trash. Hope dog has not found dead rat.
  23. Ask dog if she wants to go for walk. Make it back up slope in .8 seconds flat by 'skiing' behind dog as she bee-lines for the front of the house.
  24. Use magical skills to lock padlock up as you fly through gate. Remember you don't have magical powers, yell to (at) dog, take skin off knuckles on left hand, but earn points for flexibility.
  25. Employ Olympic talents to return to apartment door.
  26. Disappoint dog by making her go back inside. Try to convince her that this was a legitimate walk.
  27. Clean up bloody hands and try to remember what colour your pants were before they became completely encased in mud.
  28. Decide to consider trash adventure/dog walk 'cardio'. Pacify new addiction by blogging about event instead of riding exercise bike.
  29. Realize you now qualify for "Health and Fitness" category you randomly put your blog into when setting up counter.
  30. Be in awe of your psychic powers.
*and by easy I mean absolutely ridiculously stupid and unnecessary

Monday, January 17

Working in pajamas

So yesterday was fun.

That is, if your idea of fun is a Pepto-Bismal commerical and you're playing all the parts.

So today, I slept untill 11Am - a sleep that was repeatedly interrupted with commercial auditions until about 4AM, followed by the 'call-in sick' vs 'suck it up and work' debate everytime I got close to consciousness. I decided to compromise and work from home. I feel somewhat better, but have no desire to be around people and there is plenty I can do from here. Like write in my shiny new blog, clean the bathroom and walk the dog.

Somedays I really wish I had the kind of job where I could call in sick and someone else would do my work for the day, so there was actually a purpose in having a sick day. But as a project based, salaried worker - calling in sick does nothing except cause me to have to work longer hours the rest of the week - the projects don't change, nor do the deadlines. On the upside, I'm happily allowed to work in pajamas (if I stay home that is - it's frowned on at the office).

In hindsight, this is a really boring and mundane entry. Who reads this crap? Oh right - no one=) I just felt that after yesterday's miss, if my blogging addiction is going to become active, rather than passive, I better write something today. If I'm more clever later, I'll play with the delete keys.


Sunday, January 16

Blogs for Dummies

It's after 2am and I'm filled with excitement that comes from learning that I'm not an idiot!

I figured out how to tweak the blog template and add links and change colours and all together I've probably ruined the artistry of the template, but who cares (other than template's creator - and maybe his mom). My first venture into HTML has been a success.

I tried to set myself up with a stats counter, and hit a stumbling block when I had to pick a category for the web page. How can they not have a category for random thoughts and mindless ponderings? Of course, I don't really need a stats counter, but all the cool kids have them so ... actually I think all the wannabes have them. Mostly I'm just trying to figure out all the fun toys I can add.

I'm off to walk the dog ... oh, and maybe I should get some sleep.


Saturday, January 15

My name is Jax and I'm a Lurkaholic

It began about 8 months ago. I was surfing the net and somehow found myself reading a blog. I was familiar with the term, but had never really checked them out before. I read a bit, clicked a link, read some more, clicked another link and pretty soon my "Favorites" had a new "Blog" category.

As I found new gems to read, I found I wasn't satisfied to just read the recent posts - it felt like I was discovering "Friends" or "Sex in the City" midway through the 4th season. I learned to love those archives buttons and within a few weeks not only had a number daily must reads, but I was completely up to date with their online journey.

To my shame, in my eagerness to devour this new source of entertainment, I selfishly fell into the dreaded "lurker" category. I read and read and read and posted nary a comment. Not once.

I knew I was in too deep when I began taking life experiences and composing imaginary entries for a non-existant blog - something had to give. So here it is. I'm officially de-lurking. First this blog ... next the comment section ... who know the chaos this will cause!