raybear: (red)
Saturday night, after waivering, almost tilting onto the side of crawling back into bed and lying in the dark, I instead put on cut-off jean shorts and in-the-style-of-seersucker blazer and biked down to meet J-Hud and we went to a yacht club. "Are you sure I'm dressed alright?" she said. "Are you kidding? We are so coordinated they will take our picture and put it in the straight version of Nightspots." "Does that exist?" I have no idea. We arrived nearly simultaneously with other members of our party, to join the party, the one in celebration of the music of Time Life commercials that feature 'grown up' members of Air Supply. That is a euphemism. If you call something out as a euphemism, does it still count? Its unclear. We stood in long lines for free booze and ordered the maximum amount, which sometimes involved a bottle of beer in the pocket. I saw an old friend from college. I danced. I nearly coldcocked a friend for being an ass. I nearly had a foursome. Or a threesome. Fcking Joey and his fcking ascot! We piled off the boat, down the sidewalk, we parted ways at the light, it was back to me and J-Hud and we walked to pancakes, or BLT with fries, then parted ways. Buzzed biking is drunk biking, but I felt way better after the food, and at a six-way intersection I decided I needed to make a phone call and sing into someone's voicemail.

~~~~~~~~

We think we are so difficult, so unique, so special. Of all the vast open space in the universe, how did we end up so complex, when there are galaxies made up elemental puffs, how did we luck out and get mitochondrial powerhouses inside of our cells. But its not just us, its us and stray dogs and fruit flies and giant jellyfishes that skate along the bottom of deep ocean shelves. We are all elegant. Zizek says we are nothing, that talking helps distract another person from seeing that we are nothing, so we keep talking. He also says no one taken in by idealogy ever believes they are being duped. I am inclined to believe this as well, we never are fully aware of what's going on in any given moment, when it comes to the macrocosm. With the microcosm, this is where my spiritual inclinations come into play, because I believe full awares is my spiritual purpose, to be absolutely present and conscious in my body at all times, that is enlightenment, but enlightenment is not only far away, it is unlikely in this lifetime, in this generation, in this millenia, but I do it anyway, because achieving enlightenment is not the point. It just feels to me like the only path to stride on. Rilke says only write if you cannot conceive of yourself living a life of not writing. I would suggest considering this: only breathe if you cannot imagine not breathing. Even when I envision death, my lungs have breath remaining inside. When my mitochondrial plants shut down, workers sent home without a final paycheck, there will be rattling and yelling, but in the end they will walk, they will take buses, they will drive, disperse and the gates will never open again and people who buy houses across the street won't know what its like to live next to the hum of coils and generators. They will live in a different world than their neighbors to the left who have been there for decades. That is the house where my memories will remain, in the basement, in cardboard boxes lifted off the floor in case of heavy rains and flooding.
raybear: (scream)
I'm back from San Francisco! And its almost the weekend. That is the way to time your travel. The only downside to the trip was its brevity, yet there was a certain elegance in having squeezed in so many guest appearances within such a short period, especially since they were all paired with great meals or snacks. My favorite might be the indonesian restaurant on Sunday night in Richmond, but really, its only by a hair that it wins. I hit my favorites: Maxfield's, Bombay ice cream, Twin Peaks. I finally ate at The Sausage Factory. There was brunch as 2223 Market (aka No-name) and on the last night there was bbq from the stand across the street from [livejournal.com profile] limenal whose name I've forgotten, but after we ate the brisket and links, we walked around the corner to Memphis Minnie's to try their pulled pork, so it was a bbq taste-test feast, aka, pork for dessert. There was also the work of [livejournal.com profile] drinkasyoupour, the lovely homemade chicken and tart and shortcake for our Delores Park picnic. SF is definitely a good town for eating and books. And people. At least the ones I know. I have pictures to upload tomorrow.

This morning I had a bodywork appointment and she did lots of craniosacral therapy on me, which was weird but awesome. Afterwards I felt a bit like I'd undergone a deep visualization/contemplation while stoned. My body felt a bit like pudding, and I was ravenously hungry, so going to the grocery story afterwards was kind of odd -- I wanted to try everything, but I spent a lot of time contemplating it first, which luckily meant I managed to not put everything in the cart that caught my eye.

Work was totally dead, so I decided to cut out early and made it home just as the season finale of Lost started. I know some people are over Lost now, but between obsessing over it with [livejournal.com profile] blondestallion and [livejournal.com profile] dommeyourass, as well as after reading this site on the Time Loop Theory, I am enjoying it. Well, I guess I'm not enjoying it anymore since I probably have 5 months without it. We're also only one episode away from the season/series finale of The 4400. I've been reading the comic book series Y: The Last Man. Lately I'm all about the sci-fi. And handwriting journal entries for myself so I suppose I'm less inclined to blab it all here. But its been 8 years, I know the ebbs and flows. Hell, tomorrow I'll probably write one big mammoth long detailed post that includes stories about naked making out, the recent influx of media interest in China, kindness of strangers, spiritual re-thinking, asexuality, self-worth as tied into productivity and work and capitalism, and how badly I really wish someone would lock Hillary Clinton in a room with a pen and pad of paper to write her concession speech and end this constant media saturation that's making me nuts (I'm not speaking as an Obama-lover or a Clinton-hater, only as an innocent bystander). Well, I guess that last part is covered I have nothing more to say. The rest of it, who knows, but I'm here and I'm reading and to quote [livejournal.com profile] anjibobanji, I love everybody!
raybear: (scream)
I've been thinking lately about my own rhythms and patterns and circadian cycles, and introversion, and how its sometimes hard for me to know, wait, where am I? Much like I had to learn to identify sadness and grief and anger, to differentiate from 'depression', I'm in a similar process with longer cycles. I began thinking about things in terms of tides, because I am woowoo, I am a Cancer and we are moonchild ruled by water, etc. etc. Also, I just like imagery. I'm drawing the lines of what is "low tide" and what is "taken out to sea" with the latter being a more pronounced period of depression and the former just being a mood for a week or two. Rather than try to change my high and low tides (which is probably impossible), I'm trying to look at what works best for each one, and working with those strengths, while also looking to stay anchored so I'm not completely drawn out into the sea (or beached, which I suppose if I'm staying with the metaphor, that is supposed to be a more manic period, which doesn't really fit, though sometimes AFTER a manic period I feel kinda beached. anyway....). Periods of low tide seem to be marked with higher consumption of movies and reading and music.

This current low tide is also marked with achey recovering body, first with my swollen knee of a couple weeks ago, now with strained back. They are active injuries, i'm still functioning, partly since the position that actually causes the most discomfort is sitting, but the injuries have also disrupted my habits, and another thing I keep re-learning is that ongoing minor pain wears down my defenses much more than I give it credit for doing, often until its too late. Today I went for a massage, which both helped and inflamed another region of my back. She also asked me questions that made me fear I actually had a much more serious injury than I initially thought last fall, perhaps it is a herniated disc of some sort. It is a frustrating process of healing, most everything I've read about backs says a large percentage of injuries self-heal within 2 weeks, but then again, the percentages are equally as large that once an injury has happened, it will be re-injured again and again. Ah, getting older. There are mental pleasures and physical drawbacks, but must the latter start so soon?

So here are some highlights so far from this recent (current) low tide.

Before the Devil Knows Your Dead: an intensely emotional character-driven family drama combined with a heist gone wrong? Yes, please! I can't believe this movie flew under the radar for me last year, I never heard anyone I know talk about it. Its on DVD now. In addition to the movie as a whole, I also keep thinking about the irish toast that the title is based on: may you be in heaven a full half hour, before the devil knows your dead.

Fun House (memoir by Alison Bechdel). This book has been well-reviewed by most every periodical as well as every person I know who's read it. That's a lot of hype. Guess what? It lived up to it.

New Amerykah, Part One (by Erykah Badu). When I went to Miami a couple months ago, I picked up Giant Magazine and there was an article with Erykah Badu. I loved her first album (and second live album) then she kinda lost me. I don't hate her, but I do roll my eyes at her a lot. This article made me intrigued again, so when her new album came out I downloaded it. I listened to it nearly a dozen times, usually while washing dishes or puttering around. I liked it, but nothing stood out. But sometime last week, late at night I was home and lying on the ground with my feet in a chair (see above, re: back pain) and I listened to it all the way through. Again. And again. Something clicked and now I think it might be kinda brilliant. Then at the same time I read Rich at FourFour's entries: http://fourfour.typepad.com/fourfour/2008/05/yes-siree.html

Note: there seems to be some controversy in the blogs about her line "so I salute you Farrakhan, yes, because you are me" in one song, and this annoyed me because 1) how come when a white guy says "I shot a man in Reno just to watch him die" we don't denounce him and his album for being murderous, but also, 2) if you listen to that line in context, it doesn't really seem like to me she's holding him up as an example of perfection, but actually more of an example of imperfection, as we all are. But maybe I'm giving her too big of a pass, I will admit that's a possibility.

Last year I tried to get into Samuel Delaney, after reading a profile on him and having several people in my life who are big fans sing his praises. I found several of his books online, I tried to read Dhalgren, and I just couldn't get through it, I barely got into it at all. But yesterday I had this idea for a short story and the topic and structure seemed sort of...Delaneyesque, from the little I've been gleaning. So I decided to pick up Aye, and Gomorrah off my bookshelf and read a few short stories and maybe I could make it a sort of intentional writing exercise. I was wary at first, but I didn't need to be. I started the story "Star Pit" and I'm so engaged and compelled, I've been looking forward to my commutes this week.

__________

I went camping last weekend and completed a 15 mile bike ride through big hills (I did not know south central Wisconsin has such ravines!) -- 7+ miles each way from the campsite to House on the Rock. That deserves its own entry, really. I also had a spiritual experience while sitting shirtless in the sun on a swingset, listening to Jeff Buckley's "Corpus Christi" and St. Vincent's "Landmines".
raybear: (Wiley)
The following things happened to me yesterday, not anywhere near each other in time and space:

1. I took a hot bath in the morning, even though I knew I was biking to the gym in a couple hours, but I was so sore and achey that its all I wanted to do. During this bath, I stared out the window into the sunshine and wished for a hot tub on a back deck, because it was perfect weather for it, where it was warm, but not hot outside, there was still a barest hint of spring chill in the air that a bubbly spa would complement.

2. On the train into work, I marvelled in my head as to why so many buildings in this city are made with the same ugly boring concrete grey blocks and if there's some market domination going on, or if its just that they are the cheapest and most efficient and everyone is trying to make/conserve money, so its like building your house in the Sims, and you want to branch out but you just end up making most every house look pretty much the same because materials are limited within a budget.

3. I corresponded over e-mail with DYA and our friends about possibly renting a 4-bedroom vacation house together for a weekend in June in Michigan while we are all there for our mutual friends' wedding.


These things added up to a dream last night where DYA and I were with a bunch of people, looking at housing plans (the view was much like playing The Sims) and there was a lottery/race to pick which rooms we wanted to live in -- it kinda reminded me of the race to get seats on a Southwest flight, where they divide groups into 3 sections, but its cutthroat mini-chaos within each one. It also kinda reminded me of the moments at the beginnings of reality shows that involve all the contestants living together, and how they run around and claim beds. Everyone else was a stranger to us, except we knew [livejournal.com profile] blondestallion was coming later and would need a place to stay and we didn't want her stuck in a crappy room with strangers, so we decided to claim the biggest room that we could all share, which had two big beds and a hot tub. I was very happy with our decision and our 'win', though slightly nervous about the longterm consequences of three adults having to share a room for period of time more than a few nights, even if it is two people that I like a lot.

I'm not allowed to go to the gym today. Working out has totally become my tool for avoiding writing, and while it has some benefits over say, watching oprah and eating cookies and napping as a tool to avoid writing (nothing wrong with any of those things on their own, of course, only for me when done in combination for long periods of time), it also has some disadvantages like my back being a little inflamed and angry at me because I've been overdoing it. I am going to the grocery story though, which is one of my favorite activities in the world.

Please enjoy the latest installment of my imaginary boyfriend.

raybear: (sunglasses)
This morning I got bodywork done by KS and it was as excellent as I hoped for, maybe moreso. She did thai massage on me, which I've never done before, and it reminds me of Alexander Technique that was done in an acting class years and years ago, except way better because she's a trained professional who knows what she's doing and I didn't have to reciprocate, only keep my body slack while she does all the moving around. Which is kind of harder than it sounds. I was much more comfortable with having someone manipulate and treat my body than I've been in the past, though it still can be a bit nerve-wracking. She did a lot of work on my right leg, the quad muscle and the IT band and other surrounding things, which were either a cause or an effect of overextending my knee last Friday at the gym. It was swollen for a couple days, no major pain, but lots of soreness and feelings of misalignment. I've been resting and doing light work out this week, but its been slow recovery (well, slow for my impatient self). Now I'm still sore, but more like post-massage soreness of recovery, verses the soreness of something being wrong, if that makes sense. But the session also was like having a personal trainer because she talked all about the muscles and training and overcompensating and all sorts of small detail boring things that I love and are useful. Like realizing how much I push down and off with the outer sides of my feet, rather than pushing through the arches, and how this tiny thing of shifting your weight can alleviate all the problems that doing it wrong has been slowlg causing. So I feel better, feel way more in tune with my body in general through this and about injury, strains, etc. in general, but I am a bit weary of the ache now. Everday I realize I'm fantasizing about the 75 pound bag of epsom salt that exists at Costco.

Last weekend I acquired my summer shoes. Here they are:



I love them, but they also take some adjustment. I come from a family history of sensible, practical shoes. Sneakers with sky blue on them, even as just an accent color, even bought on sale at the outlet store, do not generally fit this category. Even today, when getting dressed for work, I started to panic a little about what I can wear them with, what goes together. I contemplated just wearing my black boots as usual. I stuck to the plan. I'm trying to challenge myself. New shoes is a fairly pleasurable way of doing it.

I'm also wearing "skinny jeans". This is partly [livejournal.com profile] mintwaster's fault, as she mentioned finding a pair that works, and then when I was going through the clearance section rampage on target.com, they had a pair for cheap, the only size was MY size, and the guy in the picture made them look pretty good. They arrived a couple days ago, but I'm only just wearing them out in the world today for the first time. Luckily I processed through it all via texting with [livejournal.com profile] unscrambled. The first hour I was not pleased, I felt both constricted in my movement through the legs but also that my ass might be hanging out in the back, or at the very least my underwear. (Yes, I'm wearing a belt.) But after an hour, they stretched out a bit and felt much better. An hour after that, I took a pair of scissors and gave my skinny jeans a bootcut leg opening, solving the other problem vexing me, which is how the hem was breaking on my shoe. I'm not exactly sure why I obsess about this for myself, seeing as I hardly notice it on others. But, I'm happy with the results finally.

I have a changing body in the middle of changing seasons and I'm possibly also changing personal fashion tastes (either as a result of the other two, or independently). I need to just accept that its might take me some extra time to leave the house for a little while.

Also, can anyone recommend socks that are interesting and stylish but have strongly reinforced toes? I have the squarest, sharpest toes in the world (no matter how frequently I trim the nails or not) and I poke through socks at a rate that I can never keep up in the darning - it frequently happens in the first 3-4 times of wearing them, then I just keep wearing them until the hole gets so big its uncomfortable. I have tried socks from H&M, Gap, Dockers, Gold Toe reinforced something argyle socks that I poked through in the first 5 hours of wearing. H&M has perhaps lasted the longest, surprisingly. Am I doomed to a life of athletic socks?
raybear: (sunglasses)
Random Body Change Observation of last week: my armpits are more muscular.
The observation of today: my elbows have more pointy parts.

A couple weeks ago I bought a full bottle of cologne from my dealer, Lucky Scent. I think this might become the 'signature scent', i.e. the one I wear most everyday, and also maybe the one I don't tell people what it is. But then again, I might just be embarrassed because of the extreme ridiculous colonialist designed cap on the bottle that this French company uses. Bottles with bay rum or gin, they love to put some imperialist images, don't they? Luckily its just the outer cap so I threw it in the garbage this morning. With my purchase, I requested any CB I Hate Perfume samples they had. I've come to terms that CB-IHP doesn't live up to the overall hype, but there are still things to smell there. And I was so thrilled that the three vials they sent were all things I was most curious about: In the Library, Russian Caravan Tea, Patchouli Empire (aw damn, there's that word). In The Library did NOT impress me at first, I was just like whatever, its Demeter's "Paperback" which I already have, just with slightly less 'grandmother's dusty perfume' notes. But today I did a direct comparison, Paperback first, and I realized whoa, In the Library is way more complicated, I totally underestimated it. Now I have a crush on it. Which will soon be squashed when it abandons my skin after an hour, I'm sure.

I was wary about Patchouli Empire, because I recently tried the CdG 'true' patchouli scent and it made me kinda nauseous. But this one is nice, more woody, more the faint hint of new age book stores and yoga shops, the part that smells good before it gets totally overwhelming and heady. Russian Caravan Tea smells so much like my mother's skin products, its uncanny. Like the mix of jergen's hand lotion and dish soap and laundry detergent. A sort of clean scent like aloe vera. I know this one is on [livejournal.com profile] anjibobanji's short list, so I plan to wear it as the fellow scent-addict's equivalent of internet *hugs*.

Speaking of mothers, yesterday I found a card for mine and sent it off. I am so proud of myself for doing this, and not just for the complicated relationship reasons, but just because I can be so horribly bad about mailing things in a timely fashion. I dropped it in the magic post box downtown, so I'm thinking it'll get there on Friday, or Saturday at the latest. There's a significant chance she can read a mother's day card ON mother's day! Astounding. I also wrote a message inside that I feel good about. I've been thinking lately more holistically about what my parents have given me, how they have informed me and created me in ways I forget. And looking at myself, my sense of being kind, gentle, patient and respectful have come directly from my mom. I've spent a lot of time looking at the hard parts that have arisen from these qualities taken to an extreme (by becoming silence and paralysis), but I don't often look at the good parts. So I said something to that effect in the card. Well, just the part about thanking her for those traits, not the other processy part. I'll probably call on Sunday too. I'm actually somewhat motivated though after a conversation at Stanley's last weekend, I'm curious to know what my mother craved while she was pregnant with me and whether that informed my own preferences. I had initially thought of two things I frequently eat, chocolate and bananas. But now I'm thinking that my bet would be chocolate/peanut combinations.

Perhaps this is how I should approach all my phone interactions with my parents -- set up talking points and an information goal.
raybear: (sunglasses)
I read the new issue of Men's Health and whenever I workout after doing that, I get these ambitious ideas and try out three new intense things and so after dropping off Coco at her house, I went to the drug store for epsom salt. I will need it. Well, I already need it, but I will need it very badly later.

Of course I had to wander around and see if there were any toiletries I'd forgotten I needed, or anything on clearance, and while wandering, I heard the holy triptych of soft rock favorites for me:
Midnight Blue by Melissa Manchester,
The Air that I Breathe by The Hollies, and
I Honestly Love You by Olivia Newton-John.

I didn't want to leave. But then I got scared I had crashed the car and died and this was my heaven, so I needed to get outside to confirm it, either way. I mean, its good to know these things.
raybear: (scream)
I have pink eye. w. t. f.

Based on my copious googling, I have determined that I probably have noninfectious pink eye. Do you know what causes pink eye? Well, its a virus. Except for when its bacteria. Except for when its an allergic reaction. Except for when its irritation from chemical or foreign object exposure. Basically I've discovered that "pink eye" is when some part of your eye is pink. Way to go, medical establishment.

My pinkeye is just my top lid that's swollen, the whites of my eye aren't pink at all, and there's no discharge. Which is why I think its noninfectious, an allergic reaction to something. Which for some reason makes me feel more grown up, because pink eye is like chicken pox, I always associate it with kids. Speaking of, moms with more recent experience on this topic of pink eye diagnosis and treatment, please feel free to enlighten me. It started randomly in the middle of work last night, while playing scrabulous with [livejournal.com profile] limenal. And once I read that allergic pink eye needs a cold compress, I switched to that, and the swelling and discomfort has gone down immensely. I'm sure I'm suppose to be going to a doctor or staying home from work, but fck all those things. I'm going to Target because I ruined the tea kettle this morning and I have some leftover giftcard to replace it.

Despite these minor setbacks, and the fcking subzero temperatures outside, I'm in an okay mood. Its just after 9, but I've decided on my fellowship submission -- I'm going with the older, more polished writing -- and I feel good about it and didn't cringe myself to death while rereading it. I'm thinking about a new essay to write to submit for a collection. I ordered two pairs of sandals from Zappos and got a free shipping upgrade so they should be here in time for my trip.

I think its because I'm wearing my Mr. Cheerful t-shirt.
raybear: (Default)
I'm inspired by [livejournal.com profile] swampgirl who turned me onto the idea of a Lazyman Triathalon -- where you complete the Ironman Triathlon, except over 6 weeks. However, since I'm not a swimmer by any means, I'm performing the water portion via row machine. So my goals are: 13 miles of rowing, 26.2 miles of run/walk, 112 miles of biking. I started today and realized immediately that I might have to show up more than 3 times a week if I'm going to make this happen. But I think even if I go 4 times a week, I can make it happen. Its hard for me to go on days and not do any weights, because that's my favorite part. Its like having sex and stopping before an orgasm. I mean, sure, its not necessarily the end all, be all, but to not even try? When there's a chance?? C'mon. Ok, I know, its weird, I don't know why I'm really into weights and various complicated strength exercises, but I am. I even do strange ab exercises now.

Also, did anyone else watch the made-for-tv movie about the suburban mom who trains and complete the Ironman Triathalon? I can't remember why. Maybe to get over a divorce? But the woman was played by Penny Marshall. Wait, here is the original New York Times review!
http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9E02EFDA1439F937A25751C0A963948260
If Laverne can do it, so can I.

I'm listening to "The Drive" at work, which for non-Chicago radio listeners, its like 'classic rock lite', and they're doing some countdown of their catalog and today its H and I was somewhat amused and shocked to here both Whitesnake's Here I Go Again and Damn Yankee's High Enough.

Last night I had a dream that featured my office-mate. No thank you, subconscious.
raybear: (Default)
Spending time at this office I have learned, through my purely anecdotal research of this somewhat representative sample of mainstream straight corporate midwest america, that the gap between men and women when it comes to hating their bodies is narrowing. Unfortunately, this is because men are the ones dropping, not because women are becoming more confident.

I just went to get a plate for dinner, and they ordered I think from Chili's, and its chicken tenders and mashed potatoes and corn on the cob. Jealous, I know. So I was the first one there, with this other guy SK, and we're pulling out the plates and utensils and kinda making jokes about the gravy and how heavy this meal is but perfect for a winter day, and then he looks at it and says "why don't they just apply it directly to my ass!?!" (SK is approximately 6 inches taller than me and 40 pounds lighter, not that it matters, but still.) I was so taken aback. Even though I hear comments like this ALL THE TIME, from the male attorneys at dinnertime, talking about carbs and diets and working out and getting fat and losing weight, etc. etc. ad nauseum. It almost occupies as much time and space in their conversation as sports. It makes me very sad. I mean, it makes me sad that anyone hates their body, and it makes me angry whan any person just parrots off whatever anti-fat sentiment is handy in their brain to express their fears of such, but something about hearing it from straight men's mouths, which up until recently was far less common, is a different kind of unsettling, because of what the broader implications are.
raybear: (red)
At work tonight, an attorney gave me an e-mail with some changes he wanted me to redline and e-mail back to him. The document was, get this -- his son's essay on John Donne's Death Be Not Proud. For real? For real?!? I couldn't believe his old school blatant powerplay use of secretarial resources. I thought about refusing to do it, but it just seemed like too much effort and frankly I was mildly curious to read this high schooler's 5 paragraph essay (and what changes his lawyer father had recommended). There was a moment though when he tried to hustle me along, because I wasn't done soon enough for his liking, and I looked at him and said, "[The Greek] needed me to make edits on his real document" and he kinda backed off sheepishly and let me finish then thanked me profusely afterwards. I don't know, maybe I'm fooling myself into thinking that doing random isht like this banks up some credit with people. I do think I do win occasional currency, but its maybe not as much as I'd like. Too bad I already wrote my essay on "Why I Deserve a Holiday Bonus 2007" because that isht would totally have been in there.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
now i will talk in detail about cologne )

Scents are the new wine for me. I haven't been buying or drinking much wine at all lately. Right now I'm indulging in a cocktail of whiskey and cream soda, bottles of which were left in our fridge from a guest and I'm not generally a fan but it makes for an excellent mixer with bourbon. The cocktail goes well with the bay rum/woody smell of my wrist that I keep sniffing. I do this out in public frequently and I wonder if people think I am talking into my wrist. 'Its the new bluetooth technology!'

Every year it is something, it seems, some tangible category of item to collect and fixate and research and experiment. For some reason, I like that at least this time, its something that will get used up. I used to be the opposite. I didn't like spending money on things that would disappear (e.g. food), I wanted large sturdy bulky things I could look at and feel were worth my hard-earned cash (or easily-squandered credit). Now I want to give away the 3 dimensional items in my house and subsist only on the thoughts and experiences conjured by the smells that lead to my distraction and imagination, which I suppose one could say wine served that same purpose as well.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Today I didn't do much and I had to tell myself again and again that it was okay. That I didn't have to either distract myself or necessarily be 'productive' to be a worthy human being. (Ugh, that word, I hate it some times.) I spent most of Sunday out of the house anyway, so some solitary lounging was probably necessary. Plus, you know, some other stuff. Walking from the office to the train tonight, I realized things are sitting in my gut, not in my chest, where they usually reside. For some reason, this seems like a good thing to me. Because it is different. Of course now I'm home and things sit heavy on my chest again, but then I smell my wrist and put myself to bed under the downy cover and listen to the ice storm pass over us in the night.
raybear: (mr. lunch)
When I stepped on the train today, every passenger was sleeping except this one guy, who was kinda staring at me. For a moment, I thought there was a gas leak. Or that the one guy awake has somehow gone around and poisoned all the other passengers between stops. Then I decided to stare out the window instead of constructing gruesome fantasies, and the guy got up at the next stop and I realized that he was probably gay and was trying to figure out if I was probably gay too. Probably, I am.

I have two follow-up reports.

Number one: bacon salt. This morning I had a poached egg on toast, with bacon salt sprinkled on top. It was ok. Maybe my expectations were too high. It didn't really taste like bacon, though definitely more than maybe bacos taste like bacon. However, I did enjoy it as a spice concoction. I think it will be most amazing in things like collard greens and black-eyed peas, and maybe even added to cornbread mix or macaroni and cheese, too. I still have "peppered" bacon salt and "hickory smoke" bacon salt to try, and maybe I will love them more. I also bought some french fries at the store today -- I want to try bacon-salted popcorn too. On the whole, I would say this is a welcome addition to the spice cabinet, but not so amazing that I would insist everyone I know go buy it. If you are curious about it, I will gladly give you some to try and you can see for yourself, just bring over a little baggie when you come to my house.

Number two: the Y. I officially joined today, at the Lakeview location. I felt a bit overwhelmed by this Y, partly because its really difficult to find the exercise room with all the machines. Once I found it, I was fine. It was also a bit overstimulating, because they had large screen tvs, playing different shows with captions (or you could tune your headphones to an FM channel to hear it) but there was also music piped in, as well as just the general mechanical sounds of all those treadmills and whatnot. I had my ipod on and had to turn it up kinda loud to drown things out. I also saw a lot of naked men today. Mostly they were walking by me, or I was walking by them, it was quick, but at the end of my workout, I went to my locker and of course, right across from me was a naked man with his leg up on the bench, rubbing himself down with lotion. I get really awkward around strange naked men, because of course I want to look at their bodies (and their penises). Except I don't want to look. But I can't help it. Except I make myself not look. Except then I sneak a peek.

This is where its more noticeable in my reactions to things that I didn't grow up a guy. I would have had more experience with this by now. You could put me in a room of women in various states of undress and I would feel, for the most part, perfectly fine and comfortable with my ability to not-look or at least look very briefly and surreptitiously. And most importantly, to not blush while doing it.
raybear: (Default)
On the elevator ride up to work, the mini-screen with flashing headlines mentioned Livejournal being sold to a "Russian media company".

Last night at 2:22 am, I woke myself up from trying to escape the bed and some weird freudian psychosexual dream. I hate those. I only get them maybe once a year, and last night was something about my mother sleeping with some other man and telling me about it, but worse she was telling me about it when the man's child was in the room with us. This was obviously influenced by the Margot movie. There was also some weird appearance with the Clintons and reference to Hillary sleeping with Obama and Bill talking about public sex and I was just like, agh, enough, I want out of these conversations! So I got up, was groggy, but also far from sleep. Perhaps not so inclined to return to the possible narrative awaiting me. I played my scrabble moves online, then went back to bed and did a crossword puzzle. Then I read. Then finally, around 4:30, I turned out the light and eventually fell back to sleep. I suspect DYA was maybe waking up around that time on the other side of the apartment.

A random bout of insomnia wouldn't be so bad with my schedule, except I had plans to meet Coxy at the Y at 8:45 am. The alarm went off and I made it happen. Even got there early! We scooted in just in time for our Hydro-Aerobics Class. This class was my suggestion and Coxy was totally game (and possibly equally excited, though I don't want to presume to speak for her). It was sort of exactly what I expected -- we were the youngest people in the class and we were definitely being observed and sized up, though it never felt hostile. Just...questioning. So imagine about 9 people in a pool, with my grandma standing on along the edge and calling out the exercises. It started off with going back and forth across the short distance of the pool, doing specifical leg or arm movements. Then we got these styrofoam dumbbells and she called out more movements for our arms. Then we got floatie noodles to recline in the water and she called out more movements for our legs. Then we went to the wall and did a bunch more movements. Then we did about 8 seconds of stretching and the class was done.

I actually liked the class a lot, because you could adjust all the movements easily, to make them as vigorous as you'd like. Its not swimming focused, in fact I wore my glass the whole time because I never went fully underwater -- its more about movement underwater so its easier on joints but there's also more resistance. It was sort of soothing being in water for an hour too.

After the class, Coxy stayed behind in the pool to do some laps and I went exploring the rest of the fitness area. I tried out a few machines, including the climber. For some reason elliptical machines are daunting, but I had no problem hopping up in this rail thing and climbing away for a couple minutes. it looked like this, if you don't know ) Then I went to the circuit training room, which I haven't done in years, and I kinda love all the weightlight machines, even more than free weights. Except, I got all bold and did the assisted chin-up/chin-dip bar, and now my shoulders are jelly and I could barely lift my arms to get dressed for work this afternoon. I'm a little worried that tomorrow morning will be worse, though usually if the tiredness happens right away, I'm less sore the next day.

I liked being there, because I didn't feel as self-conscious about my body. I mean, its probably more likely people stare at my tattoo instead of my scars, since the ink is actually more prominent. The majority of the people there were older than me, there were all sort of body types and fitness styles, it wasn't too crowded and the people there were utterly fascinating to me. Also, they have machines with tvs on them. So, assuming they don't require a year commitment, I think I'm going to join the YMCA. Its 3 train stops away, and about 2 blocks from the station (it took me about 15 minutes to get there, door to door).

So maybe every Wednesday, Coxy and I are going to do water aerobics and then eat at the Golden Nugget and talk about things that make me agitated (in a good way).

I can't believe I'm joining a gym and super excited about it. I also can't believe I wrote a whole blog post about it. I don't expect it to happen that often. Except maybe after I go to the steam room for the first time.
raybear: (sunglasses)
Its blue skies, sunny, and 19 degrees here on this Chicago morning. So I put on my new sportswear thermal shirt, my orange head band, grey hoodie tied up tight, and my aviators; then, like a gay Rocky, I went out for a run. I haven't done any vigorous physical activity since hurting my back, or rather the first week of a hurt back when I was riding my bike anyway. I ran the whole time though, just over two miles in about 24 minutes, so not too bad. This was also an experiment on whether I have adequate clothing for winter running (I do), whether I still have a touch of cold weather asthma (so far, so good - no problems), and if I enjoy running in the cold more than the heat (definitely). When it was hot as hell and I'd get tired, slowing down to walk felt good. When its cold, I don't want to slow down because then I'll get colder. Its a good nudger.

My route was mostly about chasing sunshine, which also made a difference on the comfort levels. Of course now that I'm all proud of myself, I want to lie down on the couch and take a nap. However, I won't be following my initial plans for the day, which is watching the second half of Lars von Trier "Dogville". I'll save that for a day when I'm already feeling despondent -- no reason to induce that isht. Instead I'll do some writing. And clean up the mess of dishes from my failure attempt at a cake.

All this after I rest.
raybear: (scream)
It's the first spring day, so it feels. I'm not the only one, tons of folks were out there on the sidewalks too while I was taking my first run in...I can't remember the last time I went for a run. Probably early last summer, before it got wicked hot. I made an ipod mix with lots of Ghostface and Outkast and Missy's "We Run This" which the latter sorta made me feel like I was in tv commercial when it came on, but it got me going. I was wearing grey wind pants and a somewhat tight long sleeve yellow gold t-shirt. I mean, it wasn't tight skin tight, because that would be uncomfortable for running but still, fairly fitted, not hiding the fact that yes, I have a belly. It made me feel pretty sexy when I put it on, which is good inspiration that I would need since I knew I'd be a little out of shape.

I was a few blocks from California, the halfway point, when I gave myself permission to walk the rest of the way home. I was winded. "Just round the corner, then you can walk." But while rounding the corner, my ipod stopped. Or rather, the headphones stopped working, because the ipod seemed to be running just fine. Damn. I put it in my pocket. By then I was headed back home and I'd hit the plateau and the endorphins kicked in. I kept going and felt fine.

As I approached Kedzie, I told myself again. "You can walk the rest of the way home." I stopped at the light, but when it turned, I kept running. This isn't so bad.

From across the four lanes of traffic, I saw a group of people, two adults walking a little dog, and two teens trailing behind. "Step it up, pudgie!"

Wait, what? Did I hear right? I turned and one of the teens was looking at me and the other one appeared to be laughing. Naw, I'm being paranoid. Then I heard him yell again, something something, pudgie, but at this point I was half a block away and not turning.

Not even 50 steps later, I passed some people on the sidewalk, and I heard a woman say, "you got a few more pounds to lose, buddy." It took a second for it to register, but that is definitely what she said. I turned around, jogging backwards. The man she was with had turned around to look at me, but when we locked eyes, he quickly turned back. For a moment I hesitated and started to go towards them. I had no idea what I would say. Maybe just run past them again, circle back, look her in the eye and smile sweetly. I was about to do it, but then I looked at her closer. She was this white lady, a lot older than me, a lot more bedraggled than me (hungover, high, exhausted, or all of the above), and her clothes were worn. I decided, you know what, that was mean, but I think maybe I still have the advantage here. She can have this round. I kept running for home. I didn't stop until I was a block from the house, to cool down and stretch.

I pulled out my ipod and tried it, and guess what? It was suddenly working again. I feel like I passed some sort of test.

I should wear tight shirts more often.
raybear: (Default)
I opened up this Thing - the amorphous 'thing' that is frequently reference in nonspecific talks about brains and hearts and psychological histories - last week and have been taking things out one by one and it hasn't killed me yet, but I'm pretty tired of it now. It's probably no accident I went and got addicted to a video game (Bully, for those who are curious, and yes, I've been making him kiss the boys all day) because its an excellent way to pass the time while somewhat checking out, somewhat enjoying myself. That has been my schedule for the past two days -- get up in the morning, write about The Thing, feel like isht, play video games for several hours in a row, go to work. Today, I forgot to eat lunch. I didn't realize until I was about to leave the house in the mid-afternoon and it was too late. Previously this would have made me panic a little, as I'm hyper-maintenancey about the blood sugar thing, but it hasn't been a problem lately, I've been feeling like I'm eating too much, too often. I don't mean like, in a judgemental way of caloric intake, I mean just authentically physically feeling do not feel need to eat but I did it anyway and afterwards I felt overfull. And this is at mealtimes, after not haven eaten for several hours. I'm not sure what is up with my body right now, but I suppose I'll go with it. Because really, what else can you do? Perhaps it is another symptom SAMe? I am currently on day 8.

But dinner is being served here at work at 15 minutes and its just in time, I'm starting to actually have growly noises in my stomach. I haven't eaten since 8 am! But no headache, no sluggish. Maybe not even crankinees, but its hard to gauge that one today, as other emotions have been vying for my attention. I did manage to have a 20 minute nap/liedown before work and in the middle of it, I had this lovely wave of relaxation and near-delirium, mixed with immense compassion and love and forgiveness and acceptance and clarity that just washed over me. And everything was perfectly okay with the world. And me. I was perfect. It felt like I took some sort of drug. But I didn't. It was purely dream-induced. Which is nice because it's free and perhaps doesn't do as much wear and tear on the body, but bad because I can't just call someone up and get more of it.

May 2010

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