Sunday, October 31, 2010

November Blog Posts - Don't Hold Your Breath

So it's nearly November, and while I'm sure you're all super-excited about reading all about my life in the eleventh month, I'm going to just admit it now: I'm not going to have a lot of time for blogging.

Aside from the dreaded Black Friday looming, and the holiday shopping season making my work hours more demanding, there's one big reason that I'm not likely to be typing up posts for the next 30 days or so. And that's NaNoWriMo.

That's right. National Novel Writing Month is back, and I need to get cracking whenever possible. If I have a free five minutes for a blog post, it's going to be better spent banging out a few paragraphs of fiction instead. For my sanity, certainly. Gotta keep that word count growing.

Maybe once that's done, I can tell you all about it. For now, here's some details on my novel. It's not really a novel, it's a collection of short stories I've had in my mind and worked on since high school. So it's been rattling around for a while. That means it'll come out quickly and easily, right? Right?!?! We'll see I guess.

So, yeah, consider this notice that you probably won't see me around. Keep reading my Examiner articles, though, because I get paid for those, so they'll still be daily. That's just how it is.

Oh, and Happy Halloween and all that.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Doctors and Dentists: Nag, nag, nag!

Okay, so I know that it's a health professionals job to make us patients as healthy as possible, promoting all the things we could do better. But seriously, it sometimes feels like all there is is a series of things you HAVE to do to be healthy, and your only reward for doing each one is moving onto the next one.

First, I had my teeth cleaned at the dentist. It had been 9 months rather than 6 since my last visit, mostly because making appointments gets complicated when working retail with about two weeks notice of my schedule. So I guess my teeth were filthy. But anyway, I've been flossing every day for the past few years after being guilted into it by my dental hygienist and the fear that congenital gum disease might strike me down.

The problem is, apparently just flossing isn't enough, because she doesn't always believe me. As she was cleaning my teeth, she told me, in the nicest way possible, that since I was a writer, I should write down to floss everyday. I said that I do, but I guess not hard enough. So she told me to make sure to catch the back teeth. Seriously, though? It's annoying to floss your teeth every single night, no matter how late it is or how tired you are. To hear that despite improving your habits, there's little difference made, that's pretty freaking discouraging. However, I'm still flossing.

Then later this week I had a doctor's visit. I went into it feeling pretty good, ready to show off my continued weight loss. And things did go well. For the one day. The next morning, I got a voicemail about my blood work. Apparently my cholesterol is high, so I've been instructed to start taking fish oil supplements to bring it down.

Aside from being downright unappetizing (belches that taste like fish are apparently the most common side-effect), fish oil has calories. With the dosage they gave me (the maximum recommended, by the by), it could be up to 100 calories a day in pill form. Now, I just cut my calorie intake by more than half over the past year or so, I'm not about to make further cuts to make room for another pill based on one blood test that I didn't even fast for (which you normally do).

After a little mental and emotional breakdown, I got my physician's assistant to call me back, negotiated a lower dosage, and sullenly agreed to add another pill to pop nightly. If anyone has any advice on taking fish oil without gross side-effects, give me a shout-out. Also, I then had to decide on an even lower dose because when I got to H-E-B, the capsules all came in dosages that didn't match. Because it's not just about lowering cholesterol, it's also about testing math skills every time you take it.

I know this is a rant, and I'm lucky to be so relatively healthy. But it just seems like, despite all the things I have done to make myself healthy are met with the short term congratulations, and the long term return to that darn list. It feels like you aren't allowed to live at a certain point, in order to extend your lifespan. What comes after flossing with the force of a drill and downing fish oil? Are they going to tell me that knitting is in fact cavity-causing? Or will they forcibly curb my television-watching time? Because you can take my mac and cheese, but I'm not giving up Tim Gunn!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Civic Duty? DONE!

So, I've just been to city hall and voted, and I have a few thoughts on the experience:

First of all, those cars that drive by, and the volunteers waving their posters with the candidates' names on them: what are they supposed to do? I mean, am I supposed to catch a glimpse of that poster and think, 'Okay, that's who I'm going to vote for. I came into this booth with no idea, but seeing your name last has convinced me.' I would think (or perhaps hope) that people who can be swayed so easily are the people who lack the inertia to go and vote at all, much less early.

Okay, next up is a related request for those of us who vote early. As well as that neat-o sticker that proclaims that 'I Voted Today', I would like a guarantee that candidates will no longer send me campaign spam for the remaining days between now and November 2. My vote is cast, and even though that means you have nothing to lose in annoying me, one more ridiculous postcard of political mud-slinging might just send me over the edge.

Ideally, I'd like technology to advance enough to make it so that, as soon as you vote, the commercials on TV are actually filtered to remove the campaign commercials as well. Because really, I'd like to be able to foster my new-found appreciation for watching baseball, America's favorite past-time, without having to watch voter scare tactics, which is apparently America's other favorite past-time. Basically, I would like to achieve full-on censorship of all things political after I've voted, and the candidate that can promise me that will get my vote in the next election cycle.

Then there's one totally random consequence of voting. Because of the proximity of the library to city hall, I decided to park there. And to soothe my conscience of using their lot, it was only right that I should step inside and see what books they had available. You see? A totally innocent peak into the land of books. But of course, even the most innocent of trips inevitably results in more books that I simply must read. In this case, Aimee Bender's 'The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake'.

Super-excited to read it, but it brings it's own conundrum: do I start reading it immediately in order to try and finish it without extending the loan from the library, or do I hold off until I can finish the final hundred pages or so that I have left of Jane Austen's 'Emma'. I've reached a pivotal plot point there which might propel me to a quick finish, and I've already hibernated the novel once in favor of Kazuo Ishiguro's 'Never Let Me Go' (in preparation of seeing the film adaptation).

Decisions, decisions! First I decide on my governmental representatives, and now I have to make a serious reading decision? It's too much, I tell you!

Friday, October 15, 2010

*Sneaks Guiltily Back into the Blogosphere*

Hey guys! What's going on? How's your October been?

What? Oh, right, those WEEKS of me not posting. Yeah, sorry about that. It's just that, well, when you have a long list of things you should do, your non-profit blog tends to be the last line item. Which is good, because my store manager would probably not be okay with the excuse, 'Oh, yeah, I meant to open the store this morning, but I had this blog post to finish up.' Priorities, people.

There's so much to tell you all, I don't know where to start. Should I delve into my continued weight loss, my climb up the retail career ladder, my freelance exploits, or my TV-watching habits? All fascinating I'm sure, and impossible to choose between.

For now, it's a little late to really delve into anything, but I'm going to try and make a compromise here: I'm going to post more, but it might not be as put together. More casual, blogger-on-the-go, less painstaking search for interesting topics and development. Something's gotta give, and I don't want it to be between this blog and my sanity.