The Hunger ARTists and the DTIK's Fuliginous Future Frontiers

Previously on A&A's Adventures ARTistry: Horses whinnied and stomped to the marca, while witches and a bevvy of belly dancers tangoed on. Comets careened through space, threatening birthday birches on a special late-night girls night date night.  And terrifying prospects pullulated, when one cocktail beckoned a new labyrinth full of unknowns and uncharted territories. Decisions made, but certainty unfastened and all subjected to the caprices and vicissitudes of an ornery body and a game of chance with the nosy norns. 

Coming Up: Submerged in murky swamps and downward dogged into a corpulent creation, our ARTist waits... and waits... and waits... for euphemisms, Halloween thrills, and a final go ahead from that same snipey sassy soma that has lagged so long. A million moments hovering in space on a single IF and a companion WHEN. Will Sanguinity Now! nostrums coax the coagulated corpus to flow freely? Will craziness emerge from chaos in fresh furcations? 

Only time (and the entries below) will tell. 

The Interlude Non-Period And another merry (we hope) Monday!

Unleash a can of whoop-patience: it's time for the waiting game! I've torn off my patches and doffed my drug bottles. And now I have reached the "2-7 days" in which I let my intransigent body decide what happens next. Does it demand a repeat performance of orange barracuda lady-cocktail choice option A. Or do we amp up to mega-super-oh-my-oh-ova shoot 'em ups option B(aby trying)? Drums are a'rollin' in chambers of my heart.

In the meantime, the parts I can control shall be complying with the more rigid demands of the next phase. My mandate for the next few months: eat a bunch, work(out) less hard, chill the frig out, and pamper the crap out of myself.  So, act more like the self-entitled Amurican upper-middle class brat I really am. In between the poking and prodding and endless commuting, that is.

Eating more. Check. Kind of challenging. I still haven't quite gotten the hang of it, but I'm getting a little better just doubling up portions of certain foods. More oil on the pan for breakfast. More fruit on tap throughout the day. Extra grains. Extra nuts. I've done this before, so I have a template. It's still kind of a gradual readjustment, but I'm getting there. And coaxing my body into increasingly tolerant states. Still can't stomach (har har) sugar, but fats are increasingly a-ok. I'm still ten pounds up on my wedding weight, but honestly could stand another ten just fine (hell, I looked cute twenty-five pounds up). And now, still not "just eating a cheeseburger." Just wait all you advice-offerers: it'll turn out that cheeseburgers are like the perfect diet food. Just give it enough time and there will be a study to that effect and a related diet book. 

Chilling the frig out. Working on it. See below. 

Pampering myself. Working on it. Through the largesse of some not-so-anonymous patrons, I am in receipt of a gift certificate for Massage Envy. Yesterday I scheduled a November appointment with somebody other than Nick during a weekend time that he doesn't have available. It's a full body swedish (read wimpy) massage. Then a real deep tissue cruncher with Nick for the next weekend. I'm also reviving my headphones for walking around with my meditative classical station all awhirl. I'm further determined to make this bath thing stick a little more. 

Working (out) less. Oh boy. Andrew may say "well it's only really the one run a week, right" as if this will be no big deal. Compared to him having to to cut out his five billion hours of truculent and tightly tracked tachycardia, he's right. But it's a little more than just a half hour a week. 

There really may be something to that exercise-addiction theory. I'm not saying I am getting full on DTs, but a good cardio rev up is definitely the quickest way to bliss back from a stressful surge of adrenaline. Not having that as a resource is definitely an adjustment. I may have gotten a pure high walking up the stairs this morning. Took all my willpower not to start charging up to the heavens.

It feels weird not to have done at least something a little heart raising. I may not do formal runs or workouts during the week, but I always do something a little challenging. Run up the stairs, sprint across a street. Especially on days where I haven't spent hours meandering in place on my treadmill desk. My body feels a bit backlogged with excess energy. Especially with the extra eating. Usually if I eat to the point of fullness, my body interprets this as "oooh fuel for movement! Let's move!" Loggishness is not a familiar one for me. 

More than the surge though, it is a little weird. Being fit and in shape, running fast, having great endurance, being pretty strong and looking athletic... these are all parts of my self-identity. And part of our couple's identity. Being in shape is something we're proud of. Something that makes us the (W)rights.

And working on that together. Improving on something together. Watching Andrew sprint off yesterday, later hearing him blathering on about how hard of a run he'd done and how excited he was to amp his running up for the training season... kind of sucked.An immediate reminder of both something I'm missing out of and a minor drift between us to have lost a shared thing. Minor. No big deal. But harder. Even if I did join him for the warming up part, and take a nice walk when he sprinted off. 

He's passively but dutifully going along with my request that we try yoga (double goal in mind: keep some sense of myself as "fit" while doing something that also forces me to chill the frig out) as a weekend substitute. Not exactly with gusto, and still after the run and the biking and whatever else is beating it to his training calendar. But it's something. Sure I want him to want to do the dishes, but I'll take just doing them! In November we'll check out swimming (something I can do without "jogging the ovaries" - don't ask - or over-pushing into some kind of cardio explosion).

It will be nice to have some something like that back. I guess this is a time where I feel the need to have a greater sense of solidarity, so any little shared something helps that out. I even started suggesting we go on mellow bike rides together, which is pretty shocking. Clearly the lack of a run this weekend is driving me totally mad. 

Yesterday was good practice for all of the above. I had an appreciably painful massage with Nick. Note to self: full body is even more painful than the back/neck ones sometimes. And holy crap what did I do to my calf muscle?!? I also took the aforementioned walk, followed by an additional walk around the Harbor with my mom and Favors, her frisky boy-toy.

I'm trying to slow down a little when I can. Maybe leaving a kitchen mess for longer. Maybe leaving a little more produce to handle during the week. Even downloaded a mindfulness meditation app that is (1) cheesy to the point of making me laugh, (2) still fairly effective for times when you've got a few extra minutes to kill while sitting around and waiting.  

If yoga sticks, I might take more time out to do it during the week. Yes, now I see how yoga-moms are born. Women's bodies don't always tolerate the form of upper-middle-class-elitist-signaling-via-athletic-prowess that favors men. More importantly, it preserves my excuse to endue myself from head to foot in athletic clothes. As if I ever needed one!

My excuse today is pilates. Maybe tomorrow it will be... ok, tomorrow, I'll actually wear my real pants (which are far baggier and less attractive being as they're purchased for a weight I've yet to attain, and not stretchy). Wednesday of course for date night? 

Happy Monday! I hope whatever ambiguities you are waiting on resolve themselves into workable paths, and in the meantime may you enjoy the interims with a heaping bit of self care and your favorite tunes!

A Tremulous Tuesday Declining and Paranoia Pining 
The following morning-lesson may be noted in crimson ink and cinereal accent: gently touching the side of your hand to a sizzling skillet is ill-advised. Wearing dinky little latex food-prep gloves will provide an interesting puckering reaction to the immediate SSSSST, but will not necessarily prevent the formation of some irate little char on a high-traffic swath of the body. Makes me nostalgic for my teen years when I volunteered at a local movie theater and was constantly cauterizing myself making popcorn.

 Then again, if you must burn yourself, definitely opt for the hands over more delicate areas of your epiderm. Feet, for instance. Trust me on this, you do not want to pour scalding tea water on a besocked toe. Yes the resulting blister does resemble an adorable little sea creature, but it's gross and painful and does not suffer shoes. 

And if you must burn your hand, the side underneath your thumb isn't a horrible place to do so. Far less ornery than a frail fingertip or a multi-purpose palm. I'm not saying I'd do it again, but as morning burns go... well it could have been worse. With the oil I fling around sometimes, it could have been an eye. I really should wear more protective gear in that kitchen. Maybe a hazmat suit!

Today begins the official waiting window on my transitions between treatments (3-7 days after going off the crazy happy fun pharmacopeia). I am footloose and fancy-lady-cocktail free. I am, essentially, waiting for Aunt Flo. I am, as a result, simultaneously despairing (how many cycles has "she" failed to show) and hyper-aware of every last little twinge and cavil of my body.

My sassy souma been aroiling (and generally just a royal pain) since going cold turkey. That's to be expected given the massive doses of looby lady pills etc. previously flowing through my body. I'd be a bit cantankerous too at the dramatic shift. But, if these ninja cramp attacks and tremulous lethargies are to no particular end, I am annoyed. If it's all working up to going full on Carrie-doused-in-pig's-blood-at-the-prom on Halloween month, I'm far more tolerant. We'll see. 

And I shall carry on my quest for fattening up and mellowing out. My grand gesture for today shall be decreasing my default "incline" setting on the treadmill from 2 mph at 3% grade to 2 mph at 1% grade. I really can't tell the difference, but there is a difference.

I'm also putting some extra focus into walking up the stairs slowly. Which, when done with a cynosure on continuous gradual motion, actually becomes a challenging strength and balance exercise in and of itself. 

Yesterday I demanded a bath of myself. Yes, the bathtub was muckier than a moat. Two days of post-mountain-biking-boyfrianceband ablutions will do some pretty nasty things to any bath. Yes I had to start the bath by fishing out several hairballs from an uprotected drain (the bike-and-chain likes to rinse his jerseys and shorts off in the bathtub; he then will take the drain cover off to let the shower drain "more quickly" when the detritus on his clothes starts to back up the drain cover ... I will not elaborate on the long term effects of this, except to say my solution is to keep the drain cover on and to empty the drain or drain cover drain of soapy hairballs regularly and his solution is to buy a lot of draino). Yes, I got home at close to six, after a nice long pilates class and slower jaunt back to my car. 

But I was going to take a bath, goshdarnit! With friggin' soothing friggin' classical friggin' music. And epsom salts (mint and eucalyptus negates pebbles and twigs, right??) And and and... and I did. And, having accepted the baths are always disgusting and one need merely shower off afterwards, I managed to origami myself into a temporary holding pattern of OOOOOOOOOOOOOOMMMMMM. 

It didn't hurt that Mr. (W)right had decided to go off on another bike ride upon his return home. The dilatory dinner plans allowed me to pull out the rice cooker and let it pip and pipe away unattended while I had my little cleansing ritual. How I love modern technology that lets me step away from the kitchen or even the house! It gave me plenty of time to finish pruning, dry off at a leisurely pace, prepare for the next day and snuggle into a crossword by the time he returned to re-clog the drain and re-smutch the basin. 

In our dream house... The one we will be able to afford once we given up on this whole reproducing thing and after Andrew invents something to be featured in Skymall (the real engineering profit is definitely in "weird unnecessary gadgets for rich people with too many weird unnecessary gadgets")... In our dream house, I will have a bathtub the size of a human being. A large human being. It shall be ergonomic, self-heating, and deeper than the fathomless ocean. I shall be able to fully submerge without pulling a shoulder and a hip out of socket. And Andrew will have a mud room. With huge and hearty drains. In the entryway to the house. Possibly next to his special temperature-controlled bike mansion. 

And I will have a wall of rice cookers and slow cookers with their own water faucet.

With speakers in every room piping in music set on a remote to follow me about the house with soothing classical toonz. 

In the meantime, I'll take my mud-bath and my ultrabook and call it excellent. 

And then I'll poke the side of my hand where no blister has yet emerged. Because who can leave well enough alone?

Let the Craziness (Um, the Other Craziness that Isn't The Norm Craziness) Commence

It begins. As you may have sussed, I've been in a bit of a holding pattern this week. One does not simply walk into a bar with a duck on one's head and ask the bartender to order up a slew of medical tests and crazy shots. One waits. One sees if the body is willing to accept such a challenge. One perhaps starts going a little crazy with impatience and spending her "sleeping hours" mindfully meditating "Sanguinity Now!" messages to her hepetudinous hustera.

In between running downstairs to rescue the incubating yogurt down below, that is. Yoga? I was saying I'd like to try yogaaaaaa? Ooops, I guess I got confused last night and opted for jiggly white goo instead. I set up the yogurt machine overnight on a blustery evening. Nary a thought for the potential power lapses. Our house is well protected, but occasionally it surges off for a tick. Long enough that I heard a plaintive little beep at about 3 a.m. last night. Upon opening my eyes, I noticed our alarm clock was flashing 12:00 a.m. A speedy somnolent resetting of the the alarm, and maundering downstairs for the yogurt.

Actually, when I make yogurt with whole milk, I think that 9-10 hours is better than the 11 I'd budgeted, so it stopped at a fairly decent time. But once you're done making yogurt, it's usually better to put it in the fridge. And my innards could wait long enough for me to finish that up before returning to my chanting and coaxing.  

Yesterday, Andrew finally got jealous of all my special medical attention and decided to grasp some for himself. He's had a never exactly defined "weird liver thing" for years. Back in 2009, it led to some uncomfortable tests, some gross ones, and some zinc supplements that made him nauseous. When he graduated, he switched insurance and seemed less than enthusiastic about ever going back to a doctor again. We've discussed the sagacity of this stance, but (given my tangos with the medical system) I certainly understood his hemming and hawing. 

After a probably unrelated bit of stomach discomfort finally pushed him over to schedule an appointment (and then re-schedule it, because there was a design review on the day of his first appointment), he made it to a doctor. And now he's got homework too! Mine is more of a constant uncomfortable barrage, but his is, at least, a little gross (the word "sample" is involved, and this is a man who hasn't owned a lot of pets or babysat too many children in potty training age brackets, so he's a little less than thrilled). 

I'm hoping our little lab test lulus will coincide at least once or twice! I think maybe a blood test might at least! Although I am allowed to eat before my blood tests bwahahahaha. Gee, this is fun. Tandem medical stuff. It's like we're elderly and swapping stories about our goiters and carbuncles!

And that brings us back to today and the mad dash now upon me. I have several bajillion things that need to be handled immediately. 

Naturally, my first step is to try to schedule several things that are likely all booked up. So my second step will likely be "travelling down to Kirkland!" Why do I see this commute becoming kind of a regular thing? Maybe I'll just start sleeping at EI(eeeeeiiiiioooo). It's closer anyways. 

Schedules are about to get a lot more plastic, and I'm ready to say "to hell with my usual DINK priorities" (whatever those may be). Time to fully embrace the "run around to various medical appointments and spend any remaining waking time focusing on lazing, fattening, and ooooommmming happy thoughts right into my viscera."

Oh but the socks and blathers are here to stay. Possibly even more virulent than afore!  

Happy Humpday. I feel like I'm over one in more ways than one. 

A Red-letter Rumpus of a Webby Day

Word-nerd side note: "red-letter" or "scarlett" has been used to highlight days of special significance for an indeterminate stitch of time. At least as far back as classical Rome, days of special significance were marked in vermillion. The phrase itself can be traced back to at least a few hundred years ago. Most think in relation to the ecclesiastical calendars. Apparently "Scarlet Days" in UK academia denote days in which doctors may wear their fancy-schmancy festal dress gowns instead of their ho-hum black robes. I see no particular reference for why exactly red and not sparkly silvery gold with rainbow hues and stickers, but red certainly makes a statement.

And it looks nice strewn with enough webbing to scream Spider-girl! And/or celebrate a belated second or third maidenhead (at 14, then 28, then now 32 years old) for this sockonista. And/or feel like a goth kid in a particularly good and chirpy mood. 

Today is a good enough day so far. Perhaps not quite time to break out the regally ruddy robes, but time enough to be happy that (1) I have a working calendar for the next week; (2) my body - when sufficiently provoked - actually will do the logical thing that is expected of it by a medical  professional - I was starting to think it was just being contrary for the heck of it; (3) I don't have to drive down to Kirkland and battle 405 traffic today. Tomorrow, yes. Today though, I'm all good. Small mercies. 

I do get to receive a special biohazard of a package - presumably from The Umbrella Corporation - today. I'm told that it will require refrigeration, so I thought having it come to work instead of languishing on my porch (or worse, getting bounced back to LA, because nobody was home to sign for it) all day would be preferable. Of course I'll be in and out with various commitment.

 Mom-boss seems to think it would be hilarious to announce that whoever signs for the biohazards will have to subsequently use them. I'm not sure the follicular stimulation is high on everyone's list of awesome ideas. But by all popular lore, I guess it will help one appreciate wrinkly pug puppies, LOL cats, and screaming scrunch-faced infants... 

I still see very few takers. 

Since I'll be driving myself a bunch tomorrow, and thus out of the office, today feels quite a lot like Friday. It's not. I have the DRC today. I have two days' of work to slog past evasively. And tomorrow is not Saturday with all its promises of sleeping in and awkward attempts at yoga (oh yes, first try will be Saturday). But today is still a very good day, and I'll ride on that wave through our thundersturms und drangs. SOmebody's got to, because mom-boss has back to back appointments all day, and Leslie may be ducking under her desk at each tremor of tintinnabulation from our door chimes (considering what might happen if she's forced to sign for any packages today...)

Ova Irae: Blazing Birch Birthdays and DINKS Becoming DITKS (or something like that)

Previously on A&A's Adventures in Cohabitation:  A runny mess presented itself as two selves battled inside our heroin's ambivalent husk of a huff. Girls were goners and plots unfolded slapadash with malevolent monotony. Pilates plans imperiled by credit card by administrative ructions and concerted confusion. Solace was only a rock or two away, as our couples fled the home and hearth into the land of sculpture and serenity. And autumnal interventions contemplated anew, but once more forestalled.  

Coming Up: Adella awaits a long absent euphemo-relative promising to bring in her packs upheavals untold. As camels cross epees with barracudas, the DINKS plunge unfathomed territories of terror and tremulation: endocrinology becomes fertility. Insured becomes oh-crap. Free schedules become "on perpetual reserve." Pills become pokes. And longterm goals upgrade from possible-potential-options to absolute-actuality in the face of perpetual uncertainty. Will trying yield progenitative progress or merely ravaged schedules and barren wallets? Will love persist in the face of tortuous trails and nebulous time-and-space charts? In the midst of the October ookiness, a banner day splattered in red (gold, blue, and birch). ART set aside for art. A birthday feted with uptown oils and autumnal afflatus. Will Adella recover from her wild night of carousing? Will Molly's tree ever dry? And a clop-clop of heels tarrangoes in the tangos. Will Mr. Ed's true identity ere be discovered? Will a tango high ameliorate endorphin DTs? Will anything ever quite return to normal if such a thing ever conceivably existed, or will belly dancing flappers jingle their jangles with the witches to ook-and-spook this month of mayhem to a frothing smolder?? 

Sign your waivers, don your aprons, and be prepared to delve the depths and depravity of TMI land as DINKS dabble in the next realm. 

Zombie Camels Crunching Candy-Corn TGI Humpday, baby!

I will write the meeting minutes I was supposed to write yesterday. I will write them. I will. Well, I shall. I don't know how much active will or wit shall be involved. But they needs must be done... eventually. They're my sweet ticket to Whew-it's-Wednesday Whimsical Whoopies (TM, Umbrella Corporation), after all. 

But first, a mighty fine hallooo to the world wide interwebs! With a boil, but nary a toil nor a trouble, let's get this mid-week up to a bubble. 

Those of you tagging along in TMI (no such thing) land with yours-occasionally-truly, oh there are developments on the cocktail quagmire! If you are just dipping in a toe to the oceans of info (drum roll please...), I upgraded from a specialist to a mega-specialist endocrinologist to deal with my body's enduring resistance towards certain feminine activities that necessitate flowing white pants and riding horses on beaches (or at least the sanitary napkins that go with them). 

After several eons of low dose HRT (oooooh barracuda!), some weight gain, and several "huh, this should work... let's give it more time," I've amped it up a bit this fall. Have been on high doses of hormones and thyroid medications in far more targeted ways and with more monitoring medical tests in the interim. 

Which leads us to the next step. Should I choose to accept it... and by that I really mean, if my body is so kind as to respond to all those hormones and do the thing it's supposed to do when I discontinue these hormones by going a bit Carrie for Halloween, and giving me occasion for several more uncomfortable euphemisms to alienate the squeamish with potentially themed parties involving jelly donuts, cherry pie and so on! It might not. In which case, we begin the cycle-starting-cycle again. 

But if it does, a threshold shall be crossed into what could very well be considered straight-out fertility treatment. And I've got a complicated google sheets protocol to prove it.

If I make it to this next step, there will be ultrasounds on days 2-3. There will be self-administered shots on days 3-5 (and/or 1-3 of "stimulation day"). Bloodwork on day 6/4. After that, it's all touch and go (and poke and prick), subject to daily instructions based on regular lab tests; but expect more of the same. Hell, I'm in Munchausen's paradise. And yes, having a spreadsheet to play with does make this all way more fun than it really ought to be. Aside from the sheer overstimulation - (hopefully not the follicular kind, har har) - anyways. Hey, trying to work a full time job was so not my thing anyways. 

I'm excited and nervous. Nervous that the hormones won't work. Nervous that they will. Skeptical enough about my baseline responsiveness not to be too freaked out by the requisite waiver that Andrew and I must sign with a notary indicating that we are aware that this all amps up the rate of twinnage and beyond (gulp). But whatever else, the faint reek of progress and maybe-movement in a stagnating absence is hopefully not raising my hopes too  much. Just enough. Just enough and no more. 

As we debouch from TMI Land, I boomerang from home to work for a stopover at the every exciting EI(EEEEIIIIIIOOOO). Andrew had his very own minion for about a week and a half. This minion seemed like an ok guy... at first... but then he started disappearing for long swaths of time. If asked, he'd say things like he'd been "in the bathroom" (for an hour plus). The situation escalated, and a short check of his "work" on the project revealed a clunky and meager showing that should not have taken even the time he was present. Of course, he was not present for any kind of review of this.

On Friday, Andrew's  project manager spoke with "the brass," who revealed that this fellow had already been written up once on a previous project. They were planning to speak with him on Monday, but the kid didn't show up. No notice. No answers on his phones. No anything but an antiquated comment on his call-list that he was "travelling in the UK."

 On Tuesday the project manager got a mid-morning email from ex-minion saying he'd found black mold in his apartment and would be in when he was done bleaching. He did, in fact, come in. He was even apparently surprised when he was escorted to a private corner with the muckety-mucks, and informed of his termination. 

Let it never be said that there's no structure at EI. Apparently the hours may be flexible, but people do start noticing if you're blatantly blowing off your single project. 

And a return to the home-front, Andrew and I had an early date night last night. That's because tonight I've got a date night with my bestie for a post-birthday art-extravaganza (ok, painting and drinking). I'm excited and preemptively exhausted all at once! Both being run ragged by those ravaging Tuesday work-days, we played it low-key. Ate some slightly more formal Chinese (not even take out), browsed through a Gaiam catalog (yes, we too can have an entire YOGA LIFESTYLE) and snuggled on the couch. This is good preparation for the mad Maenad ART anomie I'll be slinging this evening. 

Which just leaves a work day to plonk through with fingers akimbo and brain a-bleary. Minutes, hours, minutes. I shall do the damned minutes! Maybe. After I color code my pretty new chart. 

Birthday Brewhahahas and the Baying of the Birch Wild nights in (W)rightlandia

Hrggnghh! I rolled out of bed this morning with a groggy grumble and that instinctive sense of panic one gets rousing from a restive parasomnia in all too short a spell. Paint flecks shrouded my epiderm. I stumbled to the bathroom, shaking my head in hopes of shaking off the veil of evisceration from a late and madcap night. 

COLOR! Glowing through the crepuscular crannies of an uncharted "downstairs." A memento of the evening before. Oh yes, it did happen. No delirium dreamt up in a febrile paroxysm.

Like some reckless rabble-rouser out for a gallivant, I had a girl's night out. And it actually included being out! At night!

Yeah, ok, maybe I did get home at eleven. Maybe no spirits were imbibed (though spirits were certainly high). No sleazy clubs or car chases ensued. But eleven on a weeknight?? At a paint and sip studio? What depths of depravity did I plunge when clasping hands and dreams with my oldest bestie (by time of position, not by the chronological age, despite the recent birthday) to take the leap into the oils??  

So, Uptown Art: it's kind of a fun playground for grown-ups to mix with their friends in an informal environment. Each session chooses a different painting. All of the supplies are provided and instructions for filling up one's palette come with one complimentary glass of wine. Additional vino is extra at the "canvas cafe," which is actually just a fridge behind the main registration desk with two sandwiches and a few bottle of wine. The instructor walks participants through the process, from color mixing, to building layers to hair drying each lovely layer. The final painting is free. A fancy schmancy wood frame is extra.

In the interim: Paint flies. Medium is mushed into any available crevice. Wine is spilled. Every one hates her piece. And somehow, these paintings get finished and all come together.

It's fun, but holy crap did it take every hour they predicted and then another forty-five minutes! To paint this particular painting, we worked in layers - doing the entire sky first, then the morass of autumnal colors. And finally the birch tree itself. Each step took about an hour. Finishing touches went from there.

Usually, there's a copy of the finished painting on display. But last night, the instructor was recreating in real time without much of a reference point. Which made it a little harder to see how things would come together and paint accordingly. But, as yesterday most certainly confirmed, I am so not a perfectionist. I took the absence of template as license to just do whatever. Did I mention I'm not a perfectionist?

Especially by the end, I was just kind of globbing paint on and then blow-drying a section several minutes before the instructor informed the more persnickety members of the group (Molly, for instance, was feverishly working with a cell phone photo of the painting with a brow so knit, one could make baby booties from it) that it was time to dry a layer and move on.  

Funnily enough, I actually like the tree part that I daubed haphazardly the best. I hate the final touches of sky (blue blobs) that I benightedly attempted to add. I think without them, there's kind of a nice abstract look of a barren birch-tree silhouetted by an enormous comet crashing down to earth. Which I rather like. The blue just undermines that for me. Like, what, is the comet wearing hydrangea boutonniere's? 

It was fascinating to see the drastic differences between paintings. No two looked remotely alike, though several of them were very cool and each had some resemblance to the initial painting. I think. I only saw the original a few times.

Molly, as I mentioned, was far more serious about this effort than I was. Being a visually artistic person  without much of a present outlet, she was in full on catharsis mode. Which was a little like panic mode at times! She started with "too much blue," going back to the paint pumps several times and then ruing the sheer blueness of the effort. When we covered that up with "leaves" she was cast into dire despair at the flaming voodoo doll that she had created. Once she mentioned it, I could totally see the face. It was a little fire demon. I actually kind of loved it. Then of course, the tree. After falling several steps behind getting the trunk of the tree, she tumbled further down the rabbit hole on the branches (cell phone photo of the original out) and painted through the "drying period" for the black outline. 
But it all came together. 

When I left, she was avidly yawning and painting the outer corners. I know she made it out of there from Facebook, but it wasn't certain last night! 

I absolutely love hers. And, hey, the last time I touched paints was in elementary school (and most of them ended up on my face), so I'm happy enough with my "Comet Crashing into Birch." You know, it's a real comment on like um global warming? Or um, the elements of earth, water, and fire coming together through air in an endless cycle of life and death and more life. Yeah. Anyways, I painted the damn thing, so I guess for a while it'll stay in our living room. Until somebody I know has a birthday. 

Anyone having a birthday soon?? Wedding? Housewarming?? 

And so it begins October got a whole lot scarier

Today is the first day of the rest of my ongoing life-changing terrifying ascension into potential adulthood. And/or, the precipice of the next level of medical mummery. I have two more days to finish out on my current white-pants-on-beaches protocol. If that pans out, a longstanding visit from Aunt Euphemism-and-or-oh-god-am-I-related-to-that-lady-from-the-Progessive-commercials. In theory. Sometime. Aaaaand if that happens, which it "probably will" all hungry hungry Hippocratic hell breaks loose (to paraphrase a far more detailed excel spreadsheet). 

About this time, insurance will be petering out. Or - as it did with the medication I will have to order within a day of said euphemistic visit - the "copay" may exceed the out of pocket payment by $800! Not a billion percent mark-up, but actually it does nearly double the cost. 

And of course, this is where we revisit our insurance plan and realize that it ain't gonna cover much. And so, I expect as I teeter from this edge of endocrinology to something more, we are both perilously close to entering the TTC (trying to conceive) category as far as the world comes.

If... big if... 

Given the expense (in all regards of the word), I feel it's time take everything more seriously than I may have been before. I have made the minimum adjustments, maybe mixed things up a little more earnestly after starting my thyroid medications. But I have still been holding out just a little. Still making excuses for being on-the-thin-side-of-not-quite-healthy, and still justifying my "moderate" exercise habits with a fantasia of overblown relativity. We shall not talk of stress management. 

I've confirmed with my doctor that I should avoid most any exercise that I'd categorize as even mild. Andrew and I have such a distorted sense of exertion and intensity when it comes to exercise. I think it's left us both dazed to realize what the doctors really mean by "moderate" (wait, no flaming searing burning sensation or doped out endorphins high??) Walking is a-ok, thank goodness. But anything that boosts the heart rate to what I'd consider an aerobic zone... not so much. And anything that could potentially jiggle and jaggle my overgrown internal flora is out. No skipping rope or bouncy castles for me. Gaining weight, yet again, is on the agenda. And enough of my excuses. 

Andrew has to be dragged into the process a little bit more. This is kind of "our" thing now, instead of "my" thing. And that scares me as much as it scares him, I think. 

Terrifying. Because (1) kids are terrifying. I have nephews. I've been left alone with them. I survived, but with a healthy respect for my sister's supernatural momness. Why would I even consider intentionally allowing one to happen to me, let alone go to great cost and effort to attempt one; (2) it will completely upend some of our (more so, my) lifestyle preferences for some time, and drain off all excess income. All with the possibility that it will lead nowhere but disappointment. And if it leads somewhere, that's an even larger upheaval. 

But, as Andrew said, all things worth doing are a little scary. And upheaval is the only constant in life. Things will change no matter what we choose. Perhaps it's only scary because we're affixing a marker of conscious choice to it all instead of mere passive experience. 

Regardless, a perfect thing to ponder in Halloween Month, both the month of terror and whimsy!

Hempy Hobgoblins and Devilish Di Sarli's A very spooky tango tanda or two

Peradventure some benighted souls consider the 19th of October (two weeks before All Hallow's Eve) a premature time for madcap masquerading. They probably are the sorts who misspent their childhoods playing IRS compliance accounting officer with three kids and a mortgage instead of Supehero soccer on Mars versus the Orks! 

But we try to serve all sorts. And maybe sometimes, tangueros are so caught up in their dancer's domino and melodic maquillage to venture beyond the costumery of TANGO DANCER. But then again, in sheer tango hipness, if you can dress up as a tango dancer dressed up as something else... well that's like twenty hipster tango bonus points. Belly dancer is a particularly good one, and certainly one used to good effect last night. Tango chic tends towards these styles already: drop crotch-harem pants, exposed bellies, little tingles and accents. 

Witch is honest: I want to still look pretty, but am willing to don a costume hat off the dance floor, and yep the makeup will get a little tweaking

Horse, however, is a less popular hipster tango costume option. So, the dude (and I still have no idea who this was) who came in full hoof and mouth gets a simultaneous kudos and unease (it is not easy to dance with a rubber horse maw pressed into your face). He was quite in character all evening - refusing to speak and only communicating by stamp and gesture. 

This was a first run for my costume, so I'm not revealing it yet. The big Halloween day is actually the one I just spend at the office on Halloween. No excellent explanation of why this is, but there you go. I was pleased with it. It didn't scream tango, but it didn't interfere either. 

Although Andrew and I subsequently decided that we really should just dress up as each other. I'd wear his Carhartts and EI t-shirt (maybe pencil in some stubble and get some glasses). And he'd borrow my yoga pants and aqua workout top (with built in shelf bra!). Sure it'd mostly be entertaining to each other, but the further into interior a little joke burrows, the better. Clearly we'll need to find a party to attend after all. Although not on Halloween. That's when I hand out candy to rugrats. 

To continue our "very scary Halloween month," Andrew and I did a little more comprehensive of a "what it means if (still big if) Adella starts the first part of her (feminine, not bikes) cycling, and graduates to the fertility side of treatment. I walked him through as much as I know of the process. What I need to do. What he can do to help. 

And he and I worked through the financial part of things (to HSA or not to HSA... apparently to HSA and quickly at that, because there are limits in dribs and drabs on what can be contributed when and all). 

Having been on the front lines for some time, I'm not sure the transition in thought was as dramatic for me, but it was definitely a - oh I'm gonna say it and then get an icky rash from the very thought of having uttered the words - paradigm shift for the (W)rights. 

Oddly enough these talks are exhausting. And adrenaline boosting. Which I'm supposed to manage these days. Andrew got to burn his off on some kind of self-destructive death plunge through Galbraith. Since I'm specifically supposed to cut back exercise - one of my major coping tools - I'm re-assessing my stress management techniques. I have others, but I'll want to expand my repertoire. 

I've got a guided meditation app on my phone. It's short, but I need a gradual transition to anything meditation-wise. I can work into the skill, but it takes me a little while. I've got reading (out of the house - there's always things to be done in the house). I've got the once a month Taize service, which I wish were more often. I've got walking. I've got my hurts-so-good massages.

Then there are baths. I used to live in the bathtub as a child. Really. I ate breakfast in bath. I spent hours either playing with bath toys or - eventually - reading. At a certain point I guess I outgrew (literally) the common household bathtub. It's now challenging to get comfortable or fairly well immersed. Our current bathtub isn't the most amenable, either. it's weirdly flat and shallow, and ergonomically challenging even with a nice bath pillow (to say nothing of its general state of mire from the bike-and-chain's post-bike ablutions).

 But even with those limitations, I'm thinking I could make it work. Yesterday I plopped myself down with a kindle, a glass of water, a songza playlist (Meditative Classical) and some bath salts (not the kind that make you eat other people's faces). And it wasn't 100% comfortable, but it was restful. Not to mention it also allowed me to soak my feet and scrub down some of the callouses a bit. 

So, that's a miniature win for the day: New stress management/self-care method achieved. 

We'll see how often it can be worked into the repertoire. 

Another opportunity today, as I've got a massage. And I might be getting a nap if i'm really lucky. But long before this, it's time to rouse the loris and lounge with some dark as the devil Halloween goodies. 

Yawn Girl and the Ragged Runner's Biggest Rocks

Previously on A&A's Adventures in Cohabitation: Hormones hurled from the heavens upon the weary brow of our heroine left her weakened for the vicious calcium attack from below. The lessons were hard and well learned: never trust a supposed ally in the supplement battles (and always drink your water). The plague ravaged the (W)right weekend plans, taking our hacking hero from bike seat to convalescence in two hacks and a sniffle's time. Only the other-mother and her button sewn eyes could rouse him from his dwindling consciousness. And a plunge into the inner realms brought new ruminations (and yet more "pills"). 

Coming Up: Gorillas grapple with barracudas in the foggy twilight. Best laid pilates plans tremor in the winds of change, as YMCA billing processes inactivate accounts and annoy a hormonally-cocktailed member. Will logs and trees be hugged again? Will our warrior poses pullulate or peter out? Fatuous fiction traps our heroine in its anserine agony. Will she plummet through the looking glass into a funhouse of meta-mawkish-mumbo-jumbo seeking to subvert the Highsmithian highs into chick-lit lunacy? Will windows break when kindles fly across rooms? Kitchen plans laid waste and wastrel as the nutty norns intervene with fragile forks and harbor happenings. Will the hummus ere be saved? And runs raise rampant self-doubts and far-flung symbolic ponderances. Will Mr. (W)right ever ask "a simple question" again?

Charge up your e-readers, froth up your bile and pack some uncookies along to discover the final tally!

Friday Forms in Formidable Fog A final feat of a day to earn the weekend

There may well be gorillas afoot, what with all this mist dripping from every street lamp and traffic light (the only things that remain visible on a smazy morning)! I can't say that my ride to work stayed strictly on the roads, though I hope this is the case. I may well have barrelled through a few parks and office  buildings along the way. I'm not sure when exactly I tip-toed into an Edgar Allan Poe novel, but it does seem appropriate an appropriate ambience for our torrid tumble into full fall! We will eventually get to the point of putting fans away, closing the windows, and possibly even turning the heat back on. Not yet, judging by the tendency thus far of these fogs to burn off into crisply crystalline days. But eventually.

I've been riding the orange barracuda bareback(upping the hormonal mojito ante by an additional "pill") for three days now. It may be that the dosage is starting to accumulate sufficient to warrant side effects. Or I could be nauseous due to some philosophical crisis of existentialism and every one could just be exceptionally irritating to the point of tiring me out! Always an option.

After finally renewing my commitment to that pilates class at the YMCA, I got a phone call yesterday informing me that they stopped taking checks this summer, my account has been "inactive" since that time, and they don't know what to do with the checks my bank has been sending them. This perplexed me a bit, since I was allowed to enter several times in October. Apparently month-to-month memberships must be auto-charged by a credit card on file now. I guess I don't really mind this. But the whole idea seemed obscene to me yesterday. And when I did sufficient math to discover that the "seasonal membership" (three months paid in a chunk without the autobilling requirement) was actually four dollars pricier than the month to month... well I'm currently not a member of the YMCA anymore. I'm sure I'll come around, but the timing (just starting to use my membership after two months of desuetude and occasionally commenting that if it weren't for this one class, I'd drop my membership...)

Fortunately, I was mostly a touch too sleepy to care much after the YMCA phone call (phone calls intrinsically annoy me, so that might have had as much to do with it as anything). And the ambivalence floated me through the rest of the day quite nicely. I even had another excellent spell of quiet contemplation while perfecting the previously crafted excel spreadsheet. Oh even further, I reached - brace yourself - data entry!! Which was just my speed!

And when I got home, I forewent any grand ambitions at making "cauliflower steaks," proclaiming I was low energy and would make do with leftovers. Of course, when I do leftovers they typically become culinary endeavors unto themselves. Thaw and reheat some pumpkin chili? Sure, but wouldn't the bit left be good with some lentils? And a sweet potato? Oh and there's plenty of napa cabbage and kale that would really pop. And hmmm more onion? You know, I'm not feeling the chili, let's revamp the spice profile with more of a garam masala and ginger sheen... etc. until it's 6:00 p.m. and I hear the garage door growling (at which point I realize I never plugged the rice cooker in, so ... time to make couscous!!!) But considering how much time and effort leftovers took, I'm glad I didn't attempt something that would have required innovative thinking and a lot of produce prepping (read "mess-making with sharp knives"). 

The futzing was restful, and the sofa surfing with my hubba-hubby was decidedly un-irritating (and I have Bhutanese rice for lunch today!) So I come into this day feeling pretty a-ok. A little nauseous from time to time. But a-ok. 

Once we debouch from our haze into the glare of autumn's sunniest (should such a thing continue to occur), I see a beautiful WEEKEND unfolding. Well, after my mother is surgically extracted from the mediation miff that looms over our collective morning. There are several reasons this won't be a tea party. For one, nobody remembered to order the scones. For another, all those other reasons I'd just as soon ignore for another few happy moments of ignorant bliss. 

For now, I'll stare into the haze outside my window and the little pinprick stars of glowing orbs (streetlights? aliens? spirits? who can say) and wish you all a fantastic FRIDAY!!!!!

Caturday Capers and Escape from the Peaks of Lit-Pique

I have escaped the bonds of a bad book! And there was much rejoicing. As I was explaining to a friend recently, I'm the kind of reader who lets a book... um... get to her. While I'm relatively even-keeled in most of my relationships, my relationship with literature may have some strains of borderline personality disorder. I love it. I hate it. It's nothing in between and if it lets me down, oh god will I destroy it ... with my brain. And nothing more. 

The way I see it, literature forms a symbiotic relationship with the readers' imagination, borrowing great portions of any reader's cognitive facilities each time the story is recreated. Overwriting portions of brainspace generally dedicated to the  maintenance of that trusty illusion of identity, even. It's a full-bodied cerebral experience that leaves little room for passivity. As such, it has a stronger effect on me than many other forms of entertainment. With movies and so on, I feel I have a greater ability to choose my level of engagement. I may sit back and let the story present itself to me (while doing a crossword and maybe fixing dinner even). Or I may become fully complicit. But I have that option. 

With literature, I become the conduit and vessel of the art itself. It burrows into my brain. And inevitably, my inner monologue (having been co-opted by a narrator's timbre) picks up the prose-style and tendencies of the piece I'm reading. Which can make me fully rapt. Alternately, I may fall prey to the throes of vituperative viscerating venom against the thing which has so abused my delicate id-self.

I'm more likely to abandon a book halfway through if it's a book I think is "ok" or "meh" or even "well written, but just doesn't grab me" than one I actually dislike. Maybe it's a sunken cost fallacy. A desperate hope that one brilliant ending will justify the time lost on something that has so insulted my supposed intelligence. Maybe I just kind of enjoy a little self-righteous raging.

I'm loath even to admit which book was currently irritating me, because inevitably (1) I cannot talk about my fully frothed annoyance without some sheer hyperbole that may well imply a scathing review not only of the source material but also of anyone who likes the material; (2) at least one person I know and respect and have no intention of insulting inevitably loves any book that I hate. Tastes are funny like that. 

Suffice to say I will eventually froth over and just declare that Gone Girl is - to me in all my righteous roil - not my cup of tea. Really, it strikes me as an awkward attempt to squish Patricia Highsmith into chick-lit. Which is just wrong. It is also obsequiously hip and meta, something it is so hip and meta about that it frequently references the fact that it is being quite hip and meta within the book. Every five seconds, some character or other is mentioning how much they feel like they're a character in a crime novel or tv procedural. Then thinking about how they're thinking about it and how that's really cliche and then becoming cliche and going with it in this endless loop of pointless reflection.

Given that the story is decidedly derivative (though as unlikable protagonist #1 points out more than once, "derivative as a critique is like soooo derivative") of said crime novels and stories, that's appropriate. Which could well be exploited for an interesting tension between the happenings of a crime-novel formula and characters of a more realistic bent. I think there are hints we might try to exploit that. But instead, they just kind of conform increasingly to cardboard cut-outs of more interesting-and-less-overwroughtly-explained predecessors. 

None of them are particularly engaging or likable in that way that horrible people in really good thrillers tend to be. The villainous victim (yeah, I don't think anyone who's ever read a cliff notes of a mystery or noir could call it a spoiler to say that "Diary Amy" is a fake and our heroine is apparently a "brilliant" sociopath... except when she's a naive moron) is always a chance for a seductive anti-hero, but instead she's just so annoying that she made the annoying Diary Amy persona slightly less so by comparison. There's no ambivalence or ambiguity exploited or utilized. It's all so obvious for a book promising miles and miles of twists and turns. Painfully, insultingly obvious. And unremarkable. But in this sort of blecky way that still makes my inner dialog go a little crusty and bleak and suspicious of the institution of marriage. 

Maybe less psycho chic-lit than revenge chic-lit passed off as noir for bitter divorcees of average intelligence who want to feel clever. Ok, see where I said I go all judgmental and hyperbolic? I don't really mean that, but I'm in a froth. 

I started this "literary" endeavor because David Fincher went and made a movie out of it. And that had all these fairly intelligent reviewers coming out and comparing it to the book. Some of them had high praise for the book, making me rethink my previously "no thank you" to the whole affair. I still have hope for the movie because (1) since it is so derivative of prior crime stories, the story itself - with a more interesting ending - actually has been and could again be quite functional in the proper hands, (2) David Fincher made Fight Club, which made a generation of smart kids benightedly believe that Chuck Palahniuk was the voice of our disaffected generation (he's not, but when your concept of Fight Club starts with the movie... you give the book and its subsequent carbon copies a lot more leeway for several years before realizing you've been had). 

Regardless, it's a bloody f-ing relief to wash a painfully prosaic pablum from my inner voice with a refreshing chaser of something else! Anything else! In this case, a series of short stories called Vampires in the Lemon Grove by Karen RuRussellThank you, Ms. Russell for not sucking horribly (har har, vampire joke!) 

And I'm off and on to my Caturday capering! I have already been out shopping, nearly requiring an ark to make it to the store with the passing tsunamis. And Andrew is hearty and hale enough to make it back to his four hour bike ride plans. I'm sure he'll survive. Hopefully. But if he doesn't, I swear he like is totally a brilliant sociopath who set me up with some massively over complicated (but BRILLIANT) plans. You'll see. When you find the second diary that he inscrutably is keeping after the first one and intersperse it with my self-conscious half-truths of a snivel fest... oh you'll see those Marionettes weren't just whistlin' Don Giovanni!! 

Of Big Rocks and Little unCookies Saturday gone (not hugely) wild

Yesterday was not the kitchen bacchanalia that I had anticipated. Those hempy norms quite craftily wove a polyphonic counterpoint to all my little mousy plots. Immediately after getting all my produce and prep stuff sprawled and smooshed across the kitchen, my presence was demanded elsewhere. Requiring a hasty repackaging, half-hearted "clean" and a rush back out the door yet again to barrel down streets and avenues towards far flung destinations. I can't complain about this too vociferously. My throat is hoarse from all the moaning yesterday, after all. 

Also, well,  the interruptions were generally pleasant affairs. After the first attempt to make my version of pico (not really at all, but the chopped onions, parsley, and peppers I add to my morning meal), I was off for a walk in the highly atmospheric Zuanich Park (Bellingham's bigger harbor). We hit a window between deluges and even saw glints of sunlight glinting from the roiled tides beyond us.  

Upon my return, I had just enough time to mop the hurricane I'd left behind, and extract most of the produce for a mostly finished pepper and onioning. Well, turns out that I left a bunch of cabbage and parsley and onions and peppers stashed in the salad spinner and promptly forgot about them for the rest of the day. Oh the joyfully pungent discoveries of later days. But just enough time to mostly give the food processor its second what-for that day. 

No more time. Not before Andrew - who'd been out in the Chuckanuts plummeting down even steeper hills than usual - requested a pick up in Fairhaven because "something was up" with his fork. Turns out it was less of an emergency than I'd interpreted in my dervish back through the stashing-everything-in-containers-in-the-fridge-and-fleeing-the-house routine (going on Tour in Spring of 2015 - reserve your tickets now!). I arrived in a glutted and thoroughly clogged Fairhaven about twenty minutes before Andrew puttered in on his bike. That time was well spent dredging the clotted neighborhood for something remotely resembling a parking spot. Eventually, I just picked him up on the curbside after he'd left his little treasure in the capable hands of the Bike and Ski people.  

Needless to say, I'd not really anticipated all this kitchen nonsense taking longer than "the morning" so I also hadn't had lunch by the time we got back (just around 2:30). Finally did eat and finally made it to the hummus I'd  expected to finish at roughly 11:30 a.m. that morning. All the several grander culinary conceits have been waylaid and ziplocked. They are on their way to the freezer at this rate. 

After the grand kitchen finale, we did have a pleasant evening excursion to Big Rock Garden, one of the little hidden gems of Bellingham's extensive park system. Beautiful Japanese gardens strewn with commissioned sculptures and related arts. Slowly zenned me back out of "AAAAA" kitchen-panic mode. 

This morning, I tried to make up some of the kitchen-crafting difference by making some protein bars and a new recipe experiment of uncookies. My last had mashed banana, oats, applesauce, and spices. Bananas are anathema to Papa T. He made it through one without realizing the "secret ingredient" but awareness exponentially increased from there. So I thought I'd try to replicate without the banana. Applesauce, peanut butter, oats, some jam and spices. Could definitely have used a little honey, though I like them in their nearly savory form. 

We are just about off for our run, so I'm jotting this out a bit more rapidly and less elaborately than generally, but I assure you, I'll be having far more strange fantastical thoughts just about all of you while I plod around the lake. And/or about the painful callous on my right outer arch that is making running a little uneven. One of those. 

Moonday Mystifications and Morning Pother - Socktober to the Rescue

It has come to this: I'm on the brink of booting up my SAD light. Like turning on the heat, firing up the ol' mini-nova represents a point of no return on the season
, rife with portent symbol and onerous omens of darker days ahead. Not something to be taken lightly (har har PUN!). 

Sure it's a little chilly, but it's not cold enough yet! Sure, it's pitch black when I rise and for several hours afterwards, but it's going to get so much worse that's it's virtually mid-summer in Alaska hereabouts by comparison. The days have several more hours to lose before the hiemal quietus to our sanity manifests in perpetual ash of our sparsely day-almost-lit hours. 

Sparking up the incalescence and luminescence feels a bit like (1) admitting defeat, because obviously the seasons and I are in an epic battle, (2) wasting fire-power and risking early hedonic adjustment. Or something. Maybe I'm just lazy. But soon. Very soon, I'll stop stumbling through the mornings in somnambular stupor and instead grope blinkingly through the blinding happy rays. Eventually, it may even grow cool enough to turn off the office fans. Ok, probably not. I hear they're revving up the boiler now, which means it's probably just going to even more infernal in our twelfth floor boiler room. Just watch, we'll have to run the a/c all year round!

Yesterday was, however, one of those days that doesn't quite merit the heat/light combo. Yes, it was a touch cinereal and moderately damp, but with bursts of sun and a certain warmth. Perfect running weather. Just cool enough to make my and head lungs happy, but only so cool that my hands got tepidly numb and blue. Once we hit the forties, my fingers will go gelid no matter the insulating layers I pile on top. Really, by the forties, my toes may start losing sensation. But fifties are fine by me. 

As Mr. (W)right discovered (or desperately tried not to discover) upon asking what appeared to be the very simple question "would you like to start increasing our run times together": I have this lingering ambivalence about running. I love running. It got me through my first year of law school. Yes, I dread it before every run, but by the second mile I am soaring. Yes, I keep injuring myself, but hell I do that in the kitchen. Once I'm out there, there is nothing more meditative or transcendent. Just me, the pavement, my breath and my steps. It's magical. 

But in my current hormonal predicament, I can't help noticing that it was when I started running that everything went wonky. Granted, I started running specifically to deal with nuclear levels of stress-fall-out and this coincided with a drastic loss of weight which I've dubbed "the law school thirty" (everyone either gains or loses it, but that first year will transform ya one way or another!)

And honestly, I think it's the combination of underfeeding myself for my activity level, and continuing to mix running with dancing with aerobics with yadda yadda yadda that really did me in. And that then, despite an ongoing sense of unease, I masked the symptoms with birth control and decided not to deal with it until we were at least arguably "ready" to head towards possible fecundity for fear of either terrifying a not-so-ready boyfriend or stumbling into some kind of "oh it would just figure" sort of discovery along the way. In that natural way of human  beings who will blame themselves for things far out of their hands because at least that blame gives them a faint illusion of control, I feel like I didn't listen to myself and kept on running. Yeah, running's become symbolic of all the stuff above. 

So when I read in my endo's flier that maybe I wasn't even supposed to get beyond "four hours of moderate activity" (maximum HR 140 bpm, which is about twenty BPM below my average running HR) a week... well, like all of us as patients, I have a way of undermining myself on the one hand, and flying into hypochondriac manias on the other. I have gained weight, but not as much as I proclaimed I would/should (still hovering at just 130, which is technically healthy but not really). And, well, for a while I was running, working out, etc. etc. on top of the usual several miles of treadmill walking a day. I like it. It's my lifestyle. If I don't have to change it, I'd rather not. But what if I ought to? 

 The arch injury was kind of a relief. It made any ambivalence between my athletic drive to over-push and my miserly drive to over-conserve (plus the cerebral compulsion to overthink) a moot point. But now that my foot has recovered... well, I was at least able to say "it's just 30 minutes a week. That can't really do all that much. " As if magically each minute added to that "only" has an exponential impact. 

I love running. And I'm horribly jealous that Andrew gets to do it with little impact on his health. And that if I bag out, what was once my thing when we first started dating will become his thing instead of at least our thing. And maybe I'm more competitive than I think or maybe I just hate being left out, but the fact that he already does more of it than I do (especially after this last year) does make my inner child do a pouty face. Which is the same pouty face (tumid lip and all) it makes when he attempts to retract his offer that "we" do more running and suggests he can just do it midweek. 

At any rate, the real moral is: This is why you don't ask Adella even the simplest sounding of questions right before bed, or at any time where you aren't ready for at least twenty minutes of omphaloskeptic dialog as she rounds the corners of every single facet inherent. And don't think there won't be a pop quiz at some point in the future about how this simple question relates to that time when she was three and realized her parents were not god and mortality was the bittersweet spice of life.

This is why, instead, you wait until just after a run - when her brain is too amped up on endorphins and already bitter than she has had to stop, to ask this question. Because then she'll most likely just say "ok, but let's work up gradually. Now excuse me, I NEED TO EAT. And SHOWER. Possibly at the same time!!"

Fortunately, between giddy and ponderous, most of the day fell into a loosely efficient half-focus. We watched The Corpse Bride (another October movie I've long coveted and now finally own). We took a nap (oh the indulgence).

And I made my hackneyed variation on aloo gobhi. With red rice instead of basmati. With a garnet "yam" instead of potato. And with maybe not enough sauce. Really, the recipe let me down on the one area to which I remained devout (well mostly). It was delicious but about half as much as I would have liked in ratio to my small head of cauliflower, half yam, onions, peppers, and chickpeas. I could have eaten the sauce like a kitty lapping from a saucer, but instead I had to allow that it had absorbed into the veggies. Ah well. 

And today is Monday. I see pallid promises of sunlight peeking twixt strata and hilltop, while I eye my light box suspiciously. It is whispering sweet nothings in my direction, which I fortunately cannot hear over the Wind Machine that still chugs along beside it!