23 December 2016

Pre-Christmas Crazy

Yesterday was a DAY.

Ran around and did errands. That whole you-waited-until-the-last-minute-to-shop thing that I do every year (even when I tell myself I won't). Someday I need to write a post about my procrastination habits. Like how today is December 23rd and I am just now addressing my Holiday Cards.

Hour long workout at the gym after errands. I love my trainer. I do. But I hadn't had a full workout since before the last week of school. And for the last two weeks I've been madly grading. While sitting on the couch. And it is the cookie time of the year. So yesterday I squatted and jumped and pulled up and slammed balls and lifted weights and at the end of an hour I was toast.

Then I went off to the Red Cross to donate platelets. Now, I donate blood all the time, but have never done the platelet thing before. How hard could it be? Sit in a comfy chair for two hours and don't move your arms. Blood out one arm into machine to be separated and red blood put back into other arm--easy, right? Apparently I do not sit still well. I kept setting off the machine's alarm. Sigh.

After 3 1/2 hours, exhausted, I go home to Best Beloved who (bless him!) made me dinner (new panini grill to play with!). Then I veg on the couch a bit, craving Bailey's but drinking eggnog (calcium and fluid, but no alcohol). Sore all over and, by the way don't lift anything heavy for 72 hours. But then Daughter and Granddaughter stopped by and who can resist lifting and hugging an adorable two-year-old? I did go early to bed. Today, however, I still feel like I've been beaten with a rubber hose. Arms sore as all heck, but is that from the donation or from the workout? (My trainer is a slave driver and he made me lift a lot!) 

Today more errands. Make cookies. Make pies. Precook dinner for Saturday. And then maybe to the zoo with Best Beloved for the lights at night.

Good news? I can now drink again.

23 July 2016

At the Chinese Night Market

Crowds are thick at the Night Market.

13 October 2015

Why I should not be allowed to Play with my Food

I got a connection request in LinkedIn today. I tend to connect with a lot of people in linked in; half of them are students I once had so even though I did not expect to be contacted by an engineer, it did not throw me off. After he messaged me, however, I looked closer and was amused at his profile.

Picture is of a thirty-something man in a nice suit standing in front of a a table loaded with lit candles (romantic moment?). The guy says he is a petroleum engineer in Houston, One degree (a BD!) in petroleum engineering (really? a Bachelor of Divinity in petroleum? wow!), which he received in 2003. But his work record starts as a "senior well control instructor" for Halliburton in 2000 (so he had an internship in a senior position?). For the last year he has been "self-employed" (warning bells get louder).

It has been happening for some time now, the false profile to pick up women. It is almost de rigueur on dating sites, and we ignore it as a matter of course in Facebook. But I never expected the fake profile move in LinkedIn. Here's what happened [name redacted to protect the guilty]:

*          *          *          *          *

GD: It's a wonderful moment for me coming across your profile on here and i feel honored connected to you here while searching for my colleagues and believe me I've been caught up by your perfect smile and beauty and can't leave without sending my compliments across, believe me you look so beautiful and gorgeous and I would love to get to know more about you...What exactly keeps you this happy and beautiful? I do hope you would have a great and wonderful day as I do hope to hear from you soon. 

 Great Smile... G.

Me: Did you just hit on me in Linked In? WTW?

GD: Hello dear, Thanks so much for your responses regarding towards my message i really appreciate, i deeply apologize for writing this on your professional page as this is not a dating site. Well I think it was a great privilege to have met with such a wonderful woman like you,i have not come here to search for a woman but your smile and beauty has made me thought so many things.Am a single father, I've been caught up by your perfect smile and beauty,I just couldn't help but notice your charming, beauty and you look so gorgeous and amazingly sweet.with your beauty you have my complete and undivided attention,i like you JANA,and am so glad and proud to meet you,you are the kind of woman i want to spend the rest of my life with.if only you will give me your time and attentions,to get to know me more.you sounds so interesting and i will like to continue this conversation with you and see how it goes,pls feel free and ask me anything you need to know about me. 

 have a blissful day, G.

Me: You are right this is not a dating site. And people do not behave like that here. 

 I do have a question for you. Is this even a real profile? You have a poor grasp of the lexicon, as well as capitalization and punctuation issues--not what I would suspect of a professional person looking for contacts on LinkedIn.  

After a bit of close scrutiny I see that your degree comes from an Iranian university. You are "self-employed" (which is often code for either retired and consulting, or unemployed). A brief search tells me there is a G-- D-- in Houston who works in the petroleum industry, but he is 65+, married, and has a law degree as his first degree. If your picture is even close to accurate you are much younger than that. 

The speech patterns in your message are of someone to whom English is a second language but, although you list an Iranian university for your "BD," you do not list Farsi, Turkic, Arabic or any other languages besides English. This tells me you are being disingenuous (look the word up). 

Do you really think women are dumb enough to fall for the "you have a beautiful smile line" when you haven't met them and have only seen one picture? You come across as a scam. Get real, Dude.

*          *          *          *          *

There may be desperate women out there, but for heaven's sake, even if you are desperate, do your research before falling for bullshit! And gentlemen (and I use the term loosely) you have to do better than this. Det the hell out of LinkedIn. 


26 March 2015

Con Man

Just signed on to the Indiegogo Fundraiser for Alan Tudyk and Nathan Fillion's latest venture. Let's pray it lasts more than one season!
 

03 January 2015

Hello 2015!

Here we are facing another year! As years go, 2014 kinda sucked. Too much chaos in my work situation. Too many complications in relationships. Too much left undone. But now in thinking about 2015, I think it can only go up from here. Amazing how each new year brings with it the idea of a clean slate and a chance to start fresh.

I always say I am not going to make resolutions and then each year I feel guilty for that. Not this year. This year I am making resolutions... but I refuse right now, up front, to feel any guilt if people or events or things don't turn out as I hope they will! I will take this year one day at a time. This year I will be me... just me. Take me or leave me, I don't need to live up to anyone else's expectations, just my own.

So here they are, My Resolutions, fifteen of them for the year--not in any particular order:
  1. I will write one poem per week. More if I am so inspired. And I will send them out to be published weekly, too.
  2. I will finish the second manuscript. 
  3. I will lose 20 pounds. Seriously! I will visit the gym more!
  4. I will Detox on occasion and eat healthier and mindfully.
  5. I will clean my house better. At least one room per week; a very thorough cleaning.
  6. I will paint two (maybe three) bedrooms upstairs and finish the copper work in the kitchen. 
  7. I will get rid of clutter by selling off or giving away collectables and books I don't need. 
  8. I will read at least 200 books.
  9. I will spend (at least) one evening a week with my partner, having some quality time. 
  10. I will do one cultural thing a month (museum, concert, galley opening).
  11. I will do (or try to limit myself to) one alternate fun event a month (SCA, Steampunk, cosplay). 
  12. I will finally get back to writing on the novel.
  13. I will finish my freelance assignments before deadline!
  14. I will blog more this year!
  15. Last but hardly least, I will not worry about things I cannot control....
As I have been writing this, my 5 year old granddaughter has been dancing around the room singing the "Let it Go" song from Frozen, and I think this just might be my theme song for the coming year...


This will be a good year. I won't have it any other way! You have a good year, too!

29 April 2014

A Bit of Fit?

I couldn't help it. It was new and shiny tech. And it was on sale. 
 

So now I am the proud owner of a Fitbit. You know how it works. You want to get more fit / lose weight / get out more, you buy the newest toy that will push you in the right direction, right? But like any hurried relationship it will probably not last. . . . Already it is nagging me to get off my ass and go walk around the block. Only 3000 steps so far today. Dammit. Time to run around the building at least twice?

As you get older fitness becomes more and more of an issue. I don't dance or do martial arts like I used to, Steve still fences and does sword work once or twice a week, but we also like eating well and lounging about watching the telly in the evening.


Several years ago the fitness bug bit and we were all about the stationery bike that Steve borrowed from his mom. We rode it in the living room while watching TV. (We would not allow ourselves to spend hours channel surfing unless one of us was pedaling like crazy, too.) It's a shame we never figured out how to run the TV off all that pedal power like Charleton Heston did in Soylent Green. But that old bike wasn't very comfortable anyway, so eventually we traded it in for a recumbent bike. Steve still rode it, and it was better for his knees, but it gave me a backache and it was huge a pain to change the setting from one for a 6' 2" man to one for a 5' 3" me.

Then couple years ago we broke down and bought memberships to the Rec Center at the University where I work. Great pool. Indoor track on which to walk. Tons of equipment to play with. Steve liked riding on their bikes (which also have television screens). I took the occasional Yoga Class and did lots of stretching. Until our evening schedules went wildly out-of-sync. It's no fun going to the gym without your gym buddy.

 Last summer we both got into bicycling. Spend money on some new, very good bikes. We rode the Towpath Trail that goes by only a few blocks from the house. Winter of 2013-14 put a crimp in everything. No more riding outdoors. Horrible cold days that make you just want to stay in bed. Heat system went out in the Rec Center and it was closed for several weeks. I put on weight.

My health coach also happens to be my wonderful daughter-in-law, Blue. I've been doing online cleanse events with her for the past two years. I've lost weight, felt good, and always come away with a renewed commitment to staying fit.  But somehow this spring, between a killer teaching load and a lot of family emotional or health issues, I find myself nibbling and into the junk food more than ever.

So I bought the Fitbit. Now I know there is no magic bullet to staying healthy. And I also know this fitness stuff gets harder the older we get. My left knee hates me ever since I broke it about 5 years ago. My urge each day when I get home is to curl up with a good book, play mindless Facebook games, or watch Castle reruns on TV. So Fitbit, you have your work cut out for you. While you are still the new shiny toy go ahead and nag me. And if any of you out there have a Fitbit, too, do friend me! I need all the encouragement I can get.

I wonder if the Fitbit will count my pedaling as steps when I can get out and ride again?


21 January 2014

How to win a war?

Pennsic is a test of arms between the East Kingdom and the Middle Kingdom. As such there has to be some "keeping score" to determine who bests whom, right? Traditionally this has been through "war points." 37 war points to be exact. Traditionally SCA combat has been fought on an honor system. If you get hit hard enough you "die." If enough of your guys "kill" enough of their guys, you get the war point for that battle.

Over the 23 years I have been coming to war I have heard all sides complain about their opponents not taking blows, not dying even when a shot is "good." And when your opponent doesn't die there is a natural tendency to hit him and all his comrades harder. This, of course, makes everyone angry, and angry fighters hurt others and get hurt themselves.

A great deal of this is based in a desire to "win," but this year the king of the East has taken that factor out of the game. He ceded the War to the Middle at the opening ceremonies. Now some are saying that he did this in a fit of pique that the East had fewer fighters and allies than the Middle, and some are saying he did this in hopes that if the "win" isn't a factor everyone will play nicer. Some are saying that the East fighters are so angry about this that they will fight harder, and some others are saying that many East fighters will not bother to even take the field since there is nothing to fight for.

The first battles go off in about an hour. So we'll have to wait and see. As for me I think nothing much will change. Honorable fighters will still fight with honor for the joy of the test of arms. Assholes will still be assholes. The question each fighter has to ask him or herself is: which am I going to be?

Honor, courtesy, and chivalry are still hallmarks of living the dream.