Thursday, June 28, 2012

Previously On "my childhood"

A bit ago, I shared a photo from my youth in which I expressed gleeful amusement at wringing my Cabbage Patch Dolls neck, here. This time, I give you exhibit B. Honest to god truth, that I, have been documented....
wait for it....... in a DRESS! *gasp*

Before I get to the dress, note the broken arm. I did that riding my bike to school one morning, in the third grade, so I am about 9 years old in this picture. Also this is the small cast. Originally when they put the cast on, they set my arm wrong and put the wrong cast on. Wasn't till I started complaining of back and shoulder pains and Mom took me back to the hospital, did they realize that I had the wrong cast for my particular break. Go figure.

Anyway, we aren't here to talk about patient care and "oopsy" Doctors. The dress. This was by far my most favorite dress in the whole wide world! Lord knows, I wore it to church practically every Sunday for that entire year! I loved it because:

1.) it was GREEN! It is still my favorite color.

2.) it had ruffles!

3.) because of ruffles, it was a great spinning dress.

I would spin like the Whirling Dervishes out in the parking lot of the church every chance I got. I wonder how many horrified church goers saw my 9 year old underwear? And if they wondered where my parents were while I was showing my underwear to the holier than thou? A parking lot with lots of moving cars isn't necessarily the safest place to spin in circles like a crazy person. My parents, however, were most likely watching me spin round and round with a grin on their faces. Now whether that grin was in delight at seeing their cute, adorable daughter spinning in her equally cute, adorable dress and seeing me happy too boot, or they were grinning through embarrassment. I'd go with option one, there. Just saying.

And now you have it. Proof that I (at some point in my life) did actually enjoy wearing a girly foo foo dress. Until next time in my childhood where we will examine fluffy kittens and their impact on me becoming the crazy cat lady, or the allowing of older siblings to do what they wished with me and how that facilitated my knowledge of worms, snails, and pincher bugs.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

uh oh, what if there's sex?

I’ve decided to post just half of this particular entry. 1.) it is taking way too long to edit the second half, 2.) the second half doesn’t really have anything to do with the first. So instead of confusing you all, I will split them, and maybe someday I will get the second part the way I want it... or not.

I recently convinced my sister to purchase an audiobook for our trip. It wasn’t hard, I didn’t even have to reveal the real reason I wanted her to get it. Then I realized it was a classic regency romance, and then thought, “oh god, what if there is sex in it?” So I had to go to the library (needed to get my card anyway) and got the book. Read it. Rest assured, there are no sex scenes. Our fragile ears will not be defiled! Hurrah! But as I was reading this lovely book, I realized that since I had stopped reading as of late, I have become dumb. Seriously! There were so many words in that darn novel that I didn’t know the meanings of. Sad to say though that I didn’t look any of them up. I have always realized that my own vocabulary is limited. I’m more of a say it straight, dammit. So when people start using big vocabulary, I start to feel kind of stupid. And I know this is all shocking to you because I have a bachelor's degree in English! Yeah, I felt pretty stupid then, too. Besides the life stories I’ve been sharing with you here on the blog, there has been another one that I have not been sharing. And while reading this book, I thought, this (reading intelligent books) will help me in my pilgrimage of bettering myself for a specific purpose (of which I will not share with you all). But rest assured reading intelligent books not only betters me for my “specific purpose” but also betters my mind, body, and soul in general. It’s multi purposeful!

Monday, June 25, 2012

All that work for what??

Grrrrr. My quest is failing... sort of. As you may know I have been running and working out for over 8 weeks now, trying to lose that last elusive 10 pounds. I lost one. One freakin pound! ugh. So frustrating. But, there is some good news in all this. Although I have only shed one measly pound, I have lost 2 inches off my tire (waist), 1.25 inches off my hips, 1-2 inches off my thighs (depending on where one chooses to measure), and 1.25 inches off my calves. So I am slimming down, just not getting any lighter. Bwahahahahaha

When I get back from the road trip, it will be time to change things up a bit, so that I don’t plateau or get bored. Not sure what that will entail yet. Maybe run the loop in the opposite direction. Means more up hills than down hills, which would make it a bit more difficult. And somehow change up the weights routine.

The run today (beginning of week 9) was easy. Well it is never easy, but that painful stitch I had is finally gone (that was a hard 2 weeks) and I ran the entire loop. I usually have a short walking stint towards the end, but ran through it today.

I broke one of my rules. I said I would reward myself with a DVD every five pounds but since it is taking 8 weeks to lose just one, I bought it today. (Hopefully it will get here before Saturday.) Because, I have been doing good. I’ve never kept up a workout this long before! And I threw out another pair of “way too big now” shorts. Even though I haven’t reached any weight goal, I thought I still needed to celebrate what I have accomplished. So there. Still a long road ahead (the fight against genetics will be lifelong), but trying to keep optimistic.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

It's not a tumor

Utter fail today (Friday) on my run. It’s the end of week 7 of this odyssey and it didn’t start out well. It started on Tuesday towards the end of the run I had such a bad side cramp/stitch that it even hurt to walk. I had to stop and bend over. I didn’t think much of it at the time. Yes, it was painful but went home and finished the usual workout. Next day, the stitch was worse. I had to stop earlier and ended up walking the last half mile. Day three was a bit better. I was able to run up to my usual rest/walking point. I thought, this is not just a normal side ache. I wonder if I have a hernia? (*make note to google hernia) Then, today, Friday, the last full workout day of the week. I knew I was going to hurt. But started out anyway. It started to hurt immediately. I made it, maybe half a mile before I had to stop and walk. It still hurt, even during the walk. I kept going though. I stopped and kneeled down and bent over for a spell. That seemed to help. I then said, well, give it a try, you have about half a mile to go. I was able to run most of the last half mile.

I knew it was going to be rough today, so I even decided to do the slightly shorter route of 2 miles instead of the usual 2.2. Glad for that. To compensate for the lack of leg exercise today, I will ride my bike to the post office, which is about 3 miles round trip, I think. Hopefully whatever this stitch is will heal itself by Monday which is the next time I will run. Riding my bike does not seem to aggravate it.

*I googled. I sure hope I don’t have a hernia. Ouch! I’m hoping it is just muscle strain and with a few days rest will be fine.

Friday, June 15, 2012

The fickle beast

I have two new blogs I am wanting to write but they will take some time to figure out. One requires me to learn how to embed music files legally and the other requires going over to my parents house to use their scanner, and search out more photos from my childhood which I do not have. *see previous post here

You may have noticed that this blog isn’t really about my job anymore. The obvious reason for that is because I don’t have one anymore! Haven’t for over a year and a half now. Scary to think about that. Money is getting very tight these days. It’s a good thing I’m a saver and not a spender. But the savings is almost gone. I have no idea what will happen when the winter rolls around. I’m hoping that dig bumming this summer will give me a little cushion... but if I have learned anything about the field of archaeology is that it is a fickle beast and can drop you in an instant. I haven’t worked for over 2 months now. I may or may not have a job lined up when I get back from the road trip in July. Being in limbo for a year and a half has not helped my psyche, I suspect.

Oh archaeology, I can’t seem to quit you. (sorry, I couldn't help myself) A smart thing would be to get a part-time job at some menial retail gig to have steady income till the shop requires my full attention, but I can’t seem to bring myself to do it. There is a sense of rebellion (may not be the right word) to staying in archaeology. Sometimes the work is monotonous and tedious, and downright frightening (angry people with guns and dogs comes to mind). But then there are the times when it is just breathtaking, literally and figuratively. And I hope I will never forget some of the amazing people I met and worked with over the years in the job.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Am I warped?

My Dove chocolate told me to do something spontaneous today. So here it goes. A photo examination of my childhood, let's observe:

you can click to enlarge

Yes, this is me, I was eight. A few things to note.

1.) my short hair. If my brother was in this picture with me, you would notice that I had the same haircut.

2.) my fashion sense was non-existent. Everyone knows you don't wear a blue t-shirt with blue jeans, especially ones featuring dolphins! However, I never did nor do I now have any fashion sense.

3.) (and perhaps the most disturbing)I have hung my cabbage patch doll. And not just hung him, I am gleefully proud of the fact that I did. I mean, look at that smile on my face!

One can only conclude that even at such an early age, I had a warped sense of humor or justice. I can't remember why I hung him. This may have been his punishment for doing harm to my other cabbage patch dolls. Still doesn't explain why I am so happy about it.

*please don't take anything I just said seriously.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Road Tripin'

Going on a road trip this summer. Some of you already know this, and some of you I will finally see again... finally! Been wondering what I should bring to listen too to pass the endless miles of salt flats and construction zones. Of course I will bring the ipod (however, it has been acting up lately - oh no!!) but what new stuff should I put on it? Audio books? New music? Old music? And how much am I willing to spend on all this stuff? I don’t have much money and shouldn’t be spending it on frivolous stuff like itunes.

But is music and books frivolous? Not for me. They have a huge impact on my life. They can inspire, motivate, alleviate, distract, and focus me. Some things make me cry... every time, no matter how many times I’ve listened, or make me smile or laugh. So yeah, profound effect. Not in the least bit frivolous. But I am having a hard time spending money to get some. The ultimate penny pincher and saver.

I’ve been fighting a bout of depression for months now. Exercising is helping, by getting me moving and outside for at least 30 minutes a day to see the sun. Exercising also helps with hygene. (gross, but sometimes I was just too tired to shower) Music and novels are a useful tool for me during these times as well, so why won’t I read? Buy new music? I bought 3 new books for me to read and have only read three chapters. I blogged about it here.

Right now I have my earbuds in and am listening to three songs on an endless loop. What are they? Into Dust by Mazzy Star, Just Breathe by Pearl Jam, and To Build a Home by The Cinematic Orchestra. They are of the more melancholy sort. Is it helping? Well, it is making me write this drivel. However, new music (to me anyway) can help me break out of a depressive state. Because it is new and exciting and I want to experience it.

That’s it! Light bulb moment. I experience what I listen to and read. The good stuff, I become so engrossed in it that I become part of it, and it a part of me. Which is why I can listen to three songs on an endless loop for hours, why I can re-read a book and enjoy it again and again. Same goes for movies, I suppose. Which is why I have such a large collection.

No idea where this is going, oh yeah, so to buy new stuff or not? I should. I think I need too, and not just for the trip.

Friday, June 8, 2012

What's in a name?

Someone once asked me if I had a blog. I said, why yes I do. Really, doesn’t everyone these days? I directed said person to my blog. Then said person somewhat snickered at the name of my little blog, The Lonely Traveler. I sort of just shrugged it off at the time. But in reality, it kinda hurt. I spent a long time coming up with the name, I put a lot of thought into it. Or at least, I thought I did.

And so, I will now explain it to you. I’ve had this little blog for.... dear lord, six years? Holy crap. It’s about time I explained myself then.

Why I chose, The Lonely Traveler: The obvious one is, that I do tend to travel alone. And not by choice, or so I thought at the time, six years ago. I think now, I tend to travel alone because I want to. And I think that started when I finally went to New Zealand, alone. The trip was to be my graduation present to myself for making it through graduate school. But of course when one graduates from university with any degree, said person is in debt. So instead of using what money I had on the trip, I started paying off my loans. Then I couldn’t get any one of my friends to commit to going with me. They were either still in school themselves, or getting married, or having babies, or were dirt poor, yadda yadda yadda. So finally after four years, I drummed up the courage to go it alone. I did it. It was completely awesome. And you can all read about it, if you haven’t already on this very blog under December 2009. Wow, that was almost 3 years ago now. Time flies when you aren’t paying attention.

I still get nervous when I go off on my own. I was nervous when I flew out to North Carolina last month, but once there, I had a grand ole time. I will be driving myself from Wyoming to Chicago and Minnesota come July. Granted I will be visiting dear friends, but that is 5 days of driving on my own. I’ve noticed that I like being able to stop whenever I feel like it to take a breather, go on a short walk about, piss break, what have you. I like that freedom of not having to confer with fellow travellers. If I want to stop and look at the giant ball of twine then, gosh darn it, I will. If I see a trail head sign by the side of the road, then it is within my right to stop the car and go for a hike.

I’ve also come to the stark realization that I do not travel well, unless it is a designed road trip. Me and planes/ trains/ boats/ busses/ and apparently kayaks, do not get along. Getting to the destination is not the fun part. I love going places, seeing cool things, etc. So I put up with the fact that I will be a nervous miserable wreck getting to them, because I know that it is worth it, in the end. Puking in that stupid small airplane bathroom is totally worth it, trust me. I like traveling to work destinations alone too. Don’t get me wrong, I like traveling with co-workers. They are usually great fun and we tend to have the most bizarre discussions. And traveling with my family is usually quite a hoot as well.

I do find at times that I wish there was someone in the passenger seat next to me who I could talk to about this or that, or be able to show them this or that as I pass by on the road. Or wish that there was someone with me on those long flights who would engage me and make me laugh hysterically to take my mind off the fact that there are still 7 hours left of said flight.

Now the less obvious (and more serious?): I am not an extrovert. I am an extreme introvert. I can go for days, not saying a single word. I force myself to do things and when put into leadership roles, force myself to be said leader. Doing this puts a lot of stress on me, so when I have the chance to be just one of the sheep, I say baaahhhhh. I have friends, but none of them know my secrets, desires, and whatever. Some of them know some things, others know other things, but none of them know everything. I don’t have the obligatory “best friend” with whom one shares every dirty little thing and knows you better than you know yourself. I am by nature and by my own design alone, and therefore often lonely. Which is why I tend to go off on hikes by myself or long walks through town contemplating and debating with myself said loneliness and usually drawing no definitive conclusions. It’s an endless cycle of woe is me, I have no friends, no social life, yet don’t do anything to change that, and realize I find comfort within myself and don’t need that social fluff.

There’s no “bestie”, boyfriend, soulmate, or life partner. I know that there may never be. Some days, I’m fine with that and relish it (I quite enjoy the fact that the entire bed is mine and I can flop, turn, twist, and contort my body anywhere I please), other days, not so much. But that’s life.

So basically, I am a lonely traveler. But that’s the way I like it. Oh, that last bit is kinda depressing. Sorry about that.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

I can't be liking this

I haven’t been writing very many blog posts lately. Well, I have actually, I just haven’t been posting them. Two of them in particular I have decided are too personal and as such am not comfortable sharing them with the world.

But today during my run. Yes, I run now. I came up with another blog post. I actually said in my head, I wrote this in my head during my run today. I really did. I even laughed at myself, which threw off my breathing rhythm, I might add.

I get a lot of thinking done, while running. I have my earbuds in and the tunes are blazing loud, but I can’t just turn my brain off. Todays thoughts were of how different it is running at week 5 as opposed to week 1. Week 1 is always a struggle. My lungs would burn and I’d have to stop not because my legs hurt but because I couldn’t breathe. I was sore, and it took the rest of the day to recover. I remember my lungs/chest would still have a burning sensation that evening. It was hard. And once I had to stop and walk the rest because I gave myself an asthma attack. I can only remember 3 times in my life when that has happened.

Now my lungs don’t burn. They are stronger, and I think I have managed how to breathe so that they won’t hurt. I run a bit farther now, and I am not sore at all. Recovery is quick, and I think I am actually starting to enjoy it. I know, Eeeee gaddssss! Still, no marathons for me. My only limitations now are when I get side stitches. Those can be painful. Most of the time I can tell myself to keep going, saying “work through the pain”, or “pain is good”. Perhaps I’m a bit sadistic, but when I start running funny and the breathing gets wonky because of the stitch, I do have to stop and walk it out. At first I thought it had something to do with what I am eating for breakfast, but whether it’s a banana or bowl of cereal, sometimes I get a stitch and sometimes I don’t. Today I did, and had to walk for a bit to work it out.

I was also thinking today that I have always used the excuse of having Valley Fever, as to why my lungs always burn, and why running is hard for me. And there may be some truth to that. I do have compromised lungs, but I contracted Valley Fever over 6 or 7 years ago now. And for a time afterward, years actually, I did notice that breathing was more difficult when at high altitudes or while exerting myself (think of that how you wish). But I can’t use it as an excuse now. Today, I do not have smoker’s lung. I never smoked in my life, not even pot in college. I know, that is somewhat unbelievable coming from someone who went to Humboldt State, aka, pot capital of the U.S. But it is true. I can count on one hand the times I have smoked a cigar, and then proceed to puke my guts out. I never wanted to smoke, because I already thought I had weak lungs and didn’t want to compromise them. So when I got Valley Fever, I was bummed, yes, but glad that I hadn’t already weakened them from previous bad habits.

That was quite a tangent. Anyway, I also decided on this run that I need proper running shoes, and that the trees that have purple leaves year round are quite pretty, and that the adventist church waters their grass way too much. Their sprinklers are on every single day. Granted their grass is very lush and green, but it seems a bit excessive. Who knows what will pop into my head on tomorrows run.

*addendum: Finished week 5 and ran 5 days. I was apprehensive about weighing in, but I did it anyway. I really want to buy that DVD sitting in my amazon account. Was utterly heartbroken when I did. I weigh exactly the same as I did before I even started all of this. Now I’m all depressed, surely I would have lost even a pound. But I can’t let this stop me. I need to do more. So, I’m going back to eating less carbs again. No more cereal for breakfast, no more pasta, potato chips, and bad snacks, and only brown/ whole grain rice. Also going to kick the soda habit. Soda’s usually causes weight gain, so maybe it’s time to kick it again. However, soda was my reward for running, so I have to come up with something else... perhaps it needs to be non-food or drink related this time. I’m using this weekend (Saturday & Sunday) to jump start the soda detox, and needed to give my knees and hips a rest anyway. Monday will be the start of week 6. Also decided not to weigh in again until week 8 is done. So, 3 more weeks of waiting to buy that blasted DVD. It’s worth it though.... right?