Tuesday, October 31, 2006
She tolerated photo sessions. But with the exception of bandanas after a trip to the (hated) groomer, the costumes came off right after the photo op! What she really liked was sitting on the couch watching Hockey Night in Canada with me … Praline is no longer with us, and her person has moved away with Xue the Kerry Blue Terrier.
I had an email from Xue yesterday with his picture attached. Xue said he was jealous of Praline’s picture being put up on my blog for you all to see. Personally, he looks a little bummed to me …
Monday, October 30, 2006
It’s not my ticket to ride, but it is my ticket to fly, back, breast and free. I am now officially a Masters Swimmer. (I’m pretty sure I have been since they cashed my cheque, but now I can properly fill out entry forms!) So I can “legally” compete on Saturday.
Speaking of swimming, last night was practically a pool party!! In the lane next to me as I was finishing up my swim was my friend and former neighbour Kevin. Over in the leisure lane(s) was his daughter, my pal Madeleine (who has a kayaking lesson after lane swim Sunday evenings). Neighbour Austin was there, too! So after I finished my workout, I scooted over to the leisure lane(s) and frolicked a bit with Madeleine.
Now, although it wasn’t too rainy out, it was windy. In fact when the wind is blowing 68 kph, it is somewhat difficult for me to make forward progress. In fact yesterday a construction project was completely flattened, and fixed windows blown out of a downtown hotel. As my regular grocery trip was scuttled yesterday, I had tucked a $20 into my pocket before heading out to the pool, so that I could stop at the Chinese restaurant on the corner and pick up supper on my way home.
My fortune cookie held good advice:
Sunday, October 29, 2006
He is also not terribly amused by the change of seasons. His tropical plants have migrated from the deck to the house, and are now dropping leaves everywhere. Not that he minds the leaves. He just isn’t all that fond of changes in the topography of his territory.
Truthfully, George has been most upset at the quality of the weather lately, and is not at all shy about voicing his opinions on the matter. The less he goes out, the more play he requires. As he is old and arthritic, it is my job to amuse him with games that don’t require chasing. Well, as long as I’ve known him, amusing him has been part of my general job description. It’s just that the weight given to that particular area of expertise has grown considerably. We did have some success with the old ball in the paper bag trick this week.
I’m hoping that he can be placated with some retail therapy (which involves sending me shopping, and he remains in charge of the home front). His collar is losing its reflective qualities (he does have one on, but when your hair is long sometimes your sparklies don't show as well), so when I go out hunting and gathering tins for him this week, I hope to see about some new bling for the guy.
Saturday, October 28, 2006
And I’m willing to confess that I’m a sucker for a silly quiz, as long as it is short. So for the bloggers out there, I bring you: What’s Your Blogging Personality? Props to Susie at Style Bubble, whose style is Confident and Insightful.
|Your Blogging Type is Artistic and Passionate|
Friday, October 27, 2006
When I swam as a youngster, suits were nylon tanks, and had no give. If your body didn’t fit the suit perfectly, the straps could give you brutal marks where the straps rubbed across your skin, often near your underarm. Many of us tied the straps at the back with shoelaces in an attempt to alleviate that. Sometimes that gave you rub marks on your neck. And let me tell you, some people didn’t believe that’s what they were! Luckily they were usually pretty uniform and symmetrical. We could have used CSIs to bear it out at the time, though!
In 1973 the East German women stormed the world championships, following a poor Olympic showing the previous year). Lycra racer back suits with lacing up the back took the world by storm with Kornelia Ender as their poster girl. Known as the Belgrade (for the city that hosted worlds), it revolutionized the competitive swim suit. (N.B. No athlete tested positive at the time for performance enhancing drugs, but in the 1990’s anabolic steroid use was confirmed. Kornelia Ender had been the poster girl for the suit, but not for the ideal female physique.)
Lycra was an incredible innovation in suits. They suddenly moved with you and hugged your body. You felt good. You felt fast. At first they were reserved for competition only. But the nylon suit eventually fell out of favour for the comfort of lycra. The drawback of lycra, of course, is its nemesis – chlorine! Oh, how quickly it degrades! And as it degrades, the risks increase. And it degrades where it stretches the most. (Naturally the fibres let go where most of us don’t want them to!)
Flash forward to the new millennium. I’ve been wearing the Speedo endurance fabric in the pool. The new polyester fabrics are great for training, and last well. The stitching (which still has lycra in it) changes colour first. I think of the stitching like the cautionary canary. Then the suit begins losing its shape but still maintains its opaque nature. The weave gives them much more give than the old nylon suits. They seem to last me about 6 months, which, given that I swim up to 6 days a week, is fine by me. And although a new one will soon be required, yesterday I bought a lycra suit.
How will it feel when I put it on next weekend? When I swim my first meet in, oh, over thirty years? I don’t know for sure, but I think it will feel good. At least the suit is the same size I wore then. And that definitely feels good!
Thursday, October 26, 2006
And, just for Trimama, whose appliances have ganged up on her, and who asked Bolder "what price to stop the insanity?" The sky’s the limit. But I say no matter how sparkly, if the design of the refrigerator makes you reluctant to put kids’ artwork up on it, it’s just not worth it! Nevertheless, a hat tip to Shiny, Shiny!
P.S. I installed a new keyboard this week, and the Little Laptop That Could seems to be back on track. So once again, I'm all about the links ...
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
Now, here's the other side of the coin. I have some pool idols. In fact, these people have no idea they are my heroes. But they are. They are Everyday Heroes.
- There's the lifeguard and teacher with a passion for and excitement about aquatics like nobody I've ever known. And she learned to swim as an adult!!! She's my hero.
- There's a lady who comes in and swims backstroke (in the middle lanes where she totally belongs). All she ever swims is backstroke with swim paddles. Her arms are each about a foot long. She's my hero.
- There's a fellow who comes in and swims 400's on an extremely quick pace. When we're at the wall he asks if I'm going soon as if I could keep up. He's my hero.
- There's a single amputee (leg, just above the knee) who was in an accident very similar to the one that changed my life. She is also (in the words of my brother) tougher than a truck. Watching her dive off the blocks helped me understand the logistics of my doing the same. She's my hero.
And here's the thing. We could all be someone's hero. We may already be. Without even knowing. The best kind. The everyday kind. Not the kind that fills us with awe. The kind that is a good parent. A good teacher. A good friend. A good example. The kind that makes mistakes, that sometimes struggles, sometimes triumphs, and carries on.
At the pool I go to there is a sign "swimming is like driving", and it goes on to elucidate some of the niceties of lane swimming. (Okay, there are actually two signs – one in each official language.) This is great for new lap swimmers – it should help them to understand what is or should be going on. At the far end of the pool there are sandwich boards with large text and icons at the end of the lanes. Fast is a bunny. Slow is a turtle. Still these seem to difficult concepts to get across.
It seems to me that by the time you are in the fast lane, these should be absolute no brainers. Needless to say, the italics are mine!
-- If you are resting (parking) stand to the side – people this means not in the middle so others can turn
-- If you are constantly being passed (disrupting traffic) move over a lane – you don’t have to wait for the lifeguard to tell you to, or for another swimmer to ask the lifeguard to tell you to
-- If you are constantly passing (speeding) move over a lane
-- Pass in the middle of the lane not at the ends
After due consideration I’ve decided we may need clarify a few things.
Let's distinguish between idling and parking. Let's say short rest periods are idling, or maybe even stopping. But if you are parking, let's say, oh, standing in the corner of the fast lane for 15 minutes on end please move to the leisure lane(s) or the hot tub. There is no need to be cluttering up the lanes where people are actually trying to swim!
Passing happens in the centre of the lane: swimming circles means you swim to the left and right of the line on the bottom of the pool not along it – if you are blocking the lane and someone gently touches your toes, they want to go by you; if you’re being a lane hog do not get angry that someone is trying to swim in "your space" while they pass you, stop, then out and out push them over to the wrong side of the lane. Someone could be coming the other direction!!!!
Drag racing is frowned upon: don’t suddenly pick up the pace when someone is passing you! Concrete example: if someone (say, me) spots you 20 seconds, catches you easily by 75 metres, goes to pass you on the next 25, don't suddenly start sprinting and race someone (okay me) to the wall and try to tell me "that was my pace!!!!" because if I’m cranky I will call you on it. (Monday night I was cranky. Extended parking, lane hogging and drag racing – all in a busy lane in less than an hour’s time.)
Don’t think I’m too bitter … coming soon to a blog near you: Pool Heroes!
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
Several years ago, I found Spanx. And clingy fabrics looked significantly better! We talked about magic knickers not too long ago at The Space Between My Peers. And you'll note that they look astoundingly like biking shorts (although on my very short legs they come down to just above the knee).
And then I had a second sacro-iliac joint fusion (apparently after you fuse one side, you eventually need to fuse the other side -- again, with the "who knew?"). Enter the Terrifying Brace. My first fusion I had a corset. I liked it so much better. The Terrifying Brace gave me dreadful sores. We tried padding it. We tried padding it with sponges. It was So Not Pretty. The orthopaedist finally suggested getting a wide belt and belting myself in at the hips. Not as horrifying as The Brace, but not so good.
I'm a big believer in physiotherapists. My physio came to the rescue (on more than one occasion). But this time in particular, she suggested I try my Spanx. Wow!!! Support!! And no painful sores! (Added bonus, no VPL either!)
So now, when my back is misbehaving, or I'm wearing the slinky off-white pants, it's magic knickers to the rescue! Right now it's the former, but my butt looks good, too! At least that's what I've been told ...
Monday, October 23, 2006
After my last post, I should say that I had a very, very talented plastic surgeon. The right side of my face went from flat and bubbling when I would breathe to same ole, same ole—at least if you don't look closely. So if I meet people I haven't seen, say, since high school, my face doesn't give me away. Right away. At the time my face was sufficiently rearranged that three people who came to visit looked at me and passed out. (No shame. I'm sure it was a bit of a shock. The staff wouldn't let me see myself. Although I eventually discovered that those tray things have mirrors inside. And then I was kind of fascinated and mesmerized by watching myself breathe!)
There are some strategically placed scars. There's a bump on my nose (that's where my fancy titanium plate bolts in and ends). I have a new and improved tear duct. If I lay my finger aside of my nose, my eye itches. But the big clue is, especially on gray days, I'm Tragicomedy! My face is smiling, but my right eye is leaking. Looks kinda like I'm crying.
Following facial reconstruction surgery (aka Part 1 of Putting Wendy Together Again), my right eye became photophobic and teared almost constantly. My lower lid muscles got trapped in scar tissue, as among the places they opened up to get the plate in was right below my lashes where one would put eyeliner. So I couldn't fully blink. (The plastic surgeon said 80% of the people who had the degree of injury I did would have lost the eye completely.) In the hospital I actually hid it under the top sheet from the flourescent lighting to make the tearing stop! Over the years it has improved substantially, and now, with middle age and the need for bifocals, as long as the glasses are sitting on my nose properly, it's much better. I got that fancy transitions coating on my lenses (in the brown variant—the gray makes it significantly worse). And presto! Now I leak significantly less.
Incidentally, among the things I learned in my navigation of the medical system, is there is such a thing as an ophthalmic plastic surgeon who can release scar tissue, teach your eyelid what "up" is, and later on build you a new tear duct. Who knew???
But when the light outdoors changes, I become my alter ego ... Tragicomedy! Which oddly enough, is the way I want to be. I want to see the good in lousy situations. I want to be able to laugh when things aren't unfolding the way I'd like. Most of the time I can. And I'm all about happy endings ...
Today I'm not just leaking, I'm "spanxed", but that's a subject for another post!
Sunday, October 22, 2006
Balance is hard to find at the best of times, particularly for me. Actually, both kinds of balance can be a problem. (Medical professionals have actually told me not to climb up stepladders or stools even to change light bulbs—which is kind of hard if you are the only biped in your household and you top out at almost 5’. It is even more difficult if you happen to live with an arboreal lizard.) In the other sense of the word, it is really easy for me to get overwhelmed.
Almost 18 years ago I was crossing the street at a green light when a red pickup truck went around cars stopped at the red, hit me from the wrong side of the road and kept going. Believe me, nobody understands better than I how lucky I am just to be here. To walk and talk and live my life. But my motto has become "Nothing is ever simple or easy!", although I do try to say it with a smile on my face!
The right side of my face met the grill of the truck, estimated to be travelling at 60-80 kph. I flew 15-20 feet, and bounced on the left side of my backside. The orbit of my right eye fractured badly, my nose along with it (but it didn't get pushed backwards an inch or so), my upper jaw shattered, and I had a head injury. I had multiple pelvic fractures, broken bones in my back, and too much soft tissue damage to mention save to say my left sacroiliac joint (where your back, hip and pelvis come together) blew apart on impact (although it took us three years to figure that one out!).
When I woke up I had a vague feeling something was off with the way I was thinking. It was embarassing to use the wrong words. But I was full of morphine. Medical professionals chalked it up to that, and to pain. It was my plastic surgeon who realized there was a real problem. Apparently we had the same rather heated discussion more than once—and he was the only one who remembered it! Things like that still happen, although less so, mostly because I lead a more sheltered life.
When I get tired, all the head injury symptoms that have been lurking in the background jump on the opportunity to present themselves. The word finding problems, the concentration issues, the complete memory lapses, the increased emotionality ... they're always there, but sometimes they are pretty well camoflauged. Not just now.
That's the kind of week it's been this week. The sudden and unexpected passing of Auntie Ely, ongoing computer issues, distress for a friend whose job situation changed suddenly, the pace of agreeing to do too much but feeling like the social commitments are important (and they are). But once again, I find myself searching for that elusive thing called balance!
If you find it will you let me know where it's been hiding?
A little later on I think I'll go look in the pool ...
Friday, October 20, 2006
Lots of different kinds of people go to the pool. Sometimes you can't help but put people in categories. I haven't named them all yet. You'll know them when I get around to writing my Pool Types lexicon. But I digress ...
I like to be in a lane with people faster than myself. Not so much faster that I hold things up, but I'm prefer to chase rather than lead. (N.B. I'm good at letting people pass. Don't get me started about those who swim down the middle and refuse to let you by!)
Last night one of the "big boys" was in the pool. By this I mean he's a foot taller than I am (at least), and a proficient swimmer (read fast). He also had all the pool toys. Everything. Swim fins, paddles, snorkel, tech toc (this fancy metronome by Finis to gauge hip position), and really fancy goggles. I mean really fancy goggles. My own pool toys are limited to goggles, and the kick board I use that belongs to the pool.
After we'd done our swims, I asked him about the goggles. I'd been curious since I saw them online. But this was the first time I'd seen anyone swim with them. Goggles & 128 Meg MP player, all in one!
He said he was really surprised that he liked them (they were a gift). He offered to let me try them. I explained I can't put "regular" shaped goggles on. No problem he said. "Put the "speakers" on your cheekbones, and put your face in the water."
So there I was, after my cool down, semi-deadman-floating in the fast lane (nobody was actually swimming in it at the time), holding these gadgets to my cheekbones. And, I confess, I was absolutely amazed!!!
For the folks out there who (a) wear swim caps (apparently that's a necessity) (b) like to listen to music while working out (c) have $200 US lying about itching to be spent ... these could be fun!!
Thursday, October 19, 2006
Now, personally, I think I've been awfully brave to (in the words of my brother) "suck it up" and register for a Festive Swim Camp that includes body composition analysis. I think having the scale at home might result in Dear Tanita hate mail! At least in this household. Maybe not in Bolder's. But he has a better view, too.
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
Sunday afternoon I had a cup of tea and a short visit with some neighbours across the road.
My friend Emma was working on a project. She and I share a love of making things, particularly for other people.
I couldn't decide what to do with this first -- reinstall my scanner and post it for posterity, or take it to the calligraphy class I teach on Monday afternoons as an example of creative card construction. You folks won! The class will have to wait until next week. (And when I scanned it this morning, I remembered that circles are also a very important part of hugs and kisses!) Just click the image to see her creation just a little bit closer to actual size.
Feel free to drop the fabulous Miss E some comment love, and I'll be sure to see she reads it all!
Tuesday, October 17, 2006
As we grow, our circles become better rendered. Sometimes we use tools to make them as close to perfect as we can. They become at the same time more abstract and more concrete. Never ending lines with mathemetical formulae to describe their diameters and circumferences.
They become symbolic. Rings of friendship, of promise and intent, of a bond that doesn't end. The circle becomes a symbol of love, of hope, of life itself, and of eternity.
Today I will be wearing a circle pendant, given to me last Christmas by my aunt and uncle. Today my aunt is surrounded by people who love her, who have shared her life and who are there for her as the time she spends here comes to a close. And somehow the circle will take on more meaning than ever before.
Monday, October 16, 2006
Not that I'm a Regis & Kelly kind of person (although I admire Ms. Ripa's choices in DVF wrap dresses), but sometimes I channel flick. Tomorrow they they promise to have on an 88 year old triathlete. I may even watch ...
Vote early! Vote often! The esteemed Tri-Geek Kahuna is taking opinions on tattoo options. (I want to know where he's going to put it. The tatoo, that is!)
Despite the balmy fall temperatures outdoors (see the fancy new weather button in the sidebar) George has replaced outdoor sleeping with basement sleeping. This may or may not relate to the relatively recent turning on of the furnace.
And rumour has it that Bolder (in Boulder) is making a return visit to Toronto for a very happy occasion in November. And maybe meeting(s) with Cliff and myself. Wouldn't that be something?! "Celebrity Something"! Tri-blogging community celebrities. Not me. (Just so we're clear!)
The saga of the ghost in the machine continues. I thought I'd email Dell (they keep telling me it's a good idea) this time. What do I get back? A promise to phone me!!!! Don't even get me started ....
Sunday, October 15, 2006
I poked my head in yesterday, as the store manager was setting pieces out in the display cases. The two art deco pieces top right are there. I flitted past some plique a jour enamel, some very sparkly critter pins, plus some art deco bracelets and brooches. Stay tuned ... this is gonna be some fun!!!
Saturday, October 14, 2006
Identify an achievable dream, commit to it. It sounds so easy. Especially if you are talking about an individual sport. Devise a plan to make it real. Keep your eyes on the prize, but do be prepared to adapt your plan. Then it is transformed. It has become something different. It is a goal.
With respect to what I'm doing in the pool in the upcoming year and a half, I set a few goals (but I still have dreams). Let's be clear though, my brother instigated the primary goal. Sometimes you need someone to believe you can, even before you believe it yourself. To help define the dream, to help solidify the goal.
Primary goal: Qualify for and compete in World Masters Championships 2008. Preferred event 100m breaststroke, any others bonuses! The first thing is there's a little bit of winging it involved, as the qualifying times aren't set yet. So for the moment, I'm working with the 2006 QT, women 45-49 of 1:54.0 long course meters.
Mini-goals: I see these as steps along the way, required to achieve the primary goal.
- Block starts (drag sorry butt up onto starting block and dive right into the deep end!). Masters swimming allows push starts in some but not all circumstances (rules vary depending upon the country in which the competition is held).
- Compete in local meets. Revisit competition in a step by step way, trying to learn what my body will do, and what I need to do to prevent further injury (or just getting into trouble). Ideally make qualifying time locally both short course converted and long course.
- Compete in an away meet. If, after 30 odd years away from competition, I want to swim in a meet as big as World Masters (it uses three, count 'em three, 50 metre pools to house the swimming events alone -- not counting water polo, open water, diving and synchro) far away from home, I'd better have some idea what it feels like to travel to a meet with my body as it is now.
- Join a team in the winter. For the fall continue to train myself at my own pace. Coaching will provide stroke correction I cannot do myself, and the team atmosphere will give me people to chase. I have reached the level where I need people to chase in order to be the best I can, and to add in some bonus events. And maybe even some of those dreams ...
Except here's the thing I almost forgot to consider: even in many individual sports there are relays and teams. And the team I have committed to has a goal!!!! Stated. In writing. On their web site: Have as many team members as possible compete in the Quebec Provincial Championships, Quebec City, April 20-22, 2007.
Now last year, this team won the event. Needless to say, they'd like to repeat! On the surface, this sounds practically perfect in every way. Like it plays right into my hand.
Except for one "leetel" detail. IMAZ (IronMan Arizona) is April 15th. Now because you know I'm not a triathlete, you say to yourself, "Where's the rub?" See, I have family reasons ... my brother signed up. And I want to be there. The idea of jetting to Quebec City from Arizona is unhinging. Or, is it??
Maybe it's just what the doctor ordered. Maybe it's a simulation of a trip across the world, and then trying to compete. There's plenty of time to decide ...
Friday, October 13, 2006
Fast is a relative term. It really is. He may have felt a bit pokey beside the kids who will never get to appreciate album art (cd art -- just not the same), but to someone else he's quicksilver.
Anyone who works out regularly knows you have days when you feel amazing and it all comes together, and days when you feel like a slug, but you carry on anyway.
One Friday evening this summer I was having one of the latter. The source of my frustration: stupid hundred metre freestyles on 2:00. Well, really it was my stupid holding times. They had plateaued something awful! How irritating! Darn things wouldn't come down to less than 1:34 ish no matter how hard I tried. Let me tell you, it was irking me. Plus I felt slow. Really slow. So capping the workout off with sprints, not such a happy plan. But I was alone in the lane at that point, and was determined to enjoy the luxury of sprinting straight up and down, just me and the pace clock.
I cooled down with some drills, satisfied that I had completed what I went to the pool to do, but unhappy with the speed at which it happened. A fellow from the next lane joined me at that point.
When I finished up, I took my goggles off and did that thing we all do (at least all of us who swim lengths). I sunk down, put my head back and dunked it. It always feels so good. The other gentleman was at the wall with me, and he said (maybe in his Outdoor Voice), "Holy sh*t you're fast!!!!!!!"
And I laughed out loud. And immediately said, "Thank you," still giggling a bit. I didn't want him to think I didn't appreciate the compliment. It was so genuine. And I felt sooo not that way, "Really, I'm not all that fast." He begged to differ, and we started to chat.
He had started to swim because he knew he was overweight, and he has children. He told me he wanted to be there for his kids. He knew he had to do something. So he started coming to lane swims. One day, he said, he wanted to do a triathlon. At that moment, I may have embodied encouragement and enthusiasm. (Oh, if I had only been able to send him to read Duane's story at RaceAthlete! Talk about inspiration!)
"Are you a triathlete?" he asked. I told him no, but that I knew people who were.
I wished him a wonderful weekend, good luck on his way to health and triathlon, got out of the pool, hobbled over to my deck shoes and swim bag, picked up my stick, and then the Outdoor Voice said something like, "Wait till I tell my wife that the fast woman in the lane next to me walks with a cane!!!"
I needed to hear everything he said to me. Perspective is hard to find sometimes.
Thursday, October 12, 2006
My ole pal George rates today's weather somewhere near Dismal. So while the heating systems at malls around the region will be blasting, the rain comes down outside, the recirculating fans at movie theatres are moving cool air with the velocity of named tropical storms, I'm hoping to be just warm enough as I venture out to hunt and gather tins for him.
And around the tri-blogosphere, please feel free to stop by and leave the Kahuna a birthday comment! I did, before my computer and blogger both decided they were feeling iffy today, at best!
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
But he househunted, and he househunted. He tried a number of different houses, but they didn't really work out. Some had too many cats (i.e., more than one). Some required he spend the night behind a closed door. But he finally found what for George was the perfect house.
As houses go, his is pretty well equipped. It has comfy beds, front and back doors, and a staff of one. (As long as staff keeps opening the doors and the tins, staff is allowed to stay.)
When his staff's father meets a youngster, part of the way through the conversation he says to the child, "Isn't that right George?" The child usually plants two hands firmly on his or her hips, and says with vehemence, "I'm not George!!!" However, when his cat servant asked him the same question, George marched straight in the front door. That is how he came to be called George. (Except on Elm Street, where some people called him Mr. Mooch for years ...)
His exploits have entertained and amused many people in the time he's spent as a homeowner. He's remarkably open to other species, and for winter after winter he and his housemate Houdini have shared Sunny Window Moments. He'd rather have pet mice than kill one. As felines go, he's a pacifist. Not to say he hasn't had a good dust-up with the Arch Enemy du Jour in his younger days (such that veterinary attention was required). And although he still comes in with the occasional scratch on his nose, he's far too much of a gentleman to point out the responsible party when I ask.
George's time here is growing shorter each day. He's old and arthritic, and without the anti-inflammatories I sneak into his food daily, trips out to do Important Cat Stuff or just up and down stairs would be pretty much out of the question. But while he's here, there's absolutely no question that he's the Georgest!!!
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
Every third Tuesday I go to see my GP, Dr. Susan. Sometimes I come away with bruises. A dear friend of mine, who was my physiotherapist at the time, asked me one day how come I often had bruises on my bottom.
Funny thing about me and bruises. I bang into things with astounding regularity and impressive speed. I often say a colorful "technical word", and think to my self, "Self, you're going to get a bruise!" Then I promptly forget.
So it didn't really surprise me at all when I was told I had a bruise I didn't know about. But that I had them frequently kinda did. Given enough time, I often figure these things out. So here's the thing -- I back into needles. Every three weeks. Like clockwork. (I lack an intrinsic factor, so get my B12 the hard way.) And sometimes I think, wow, that stings a little ...
Today Dr. Susan said, "So, how long have you had the cold?" (I also lack time sense.) "Ummm, days?" Guessing is good, right?
The thing is, right now I have a cold handicap. For a few weeks now I've been on a new medication, and what's contraindicated?? Decongestants!!!! So for today at least, no pool. Just pulleys. We'll see about tomorrow.
When I got back from seeing Dr. S., I reinstalled drivers ... then some software ... but I'm not overly optimistic, kids. When the machine first fires up it beeps like a banshee -- and I know it's not supposed to.
But for the moment, I'm posting from the comfort of my own home, and enjoying that! But I'm also not holding my breath ...
Sunday, October 08, 2006
As a kid it was often for Hallowe'en, and it regularly got to be bronchitis. When it did, my parents would encourage me to dress up in my costume and hand out candies to the ghouls, goblins, pirates, princesses and cowboys that came to the door. My brother would go out with two bags. One for him, and one for his sister who was sick at home.
Tomorrow is Thanksgiving here north of the 49th. So even though I can't belt it out at the top of my lungs, in my head I'm singing like Bing in the movie Holiday Inn, "I've got plenty to be thankful for!"
Besides family, friends (internet and otherwise), neighbours, guest computers; besides food, clothes, a home, and just being here to appreciate it all, I'm thankful for the Annual Fall Stuffiness. Despite several days out of the pool (which is giving me symptoms of withdrawal), I'm so glad to have it now. Timing is everything. My theory is, if I'm stuffed up now, I won't be for Hallowe'en! And that means I should be good to go November 4th. I should have the stamina to stay up as late as necessary, F5ing madly to see how my internet pals are making out at IM Florida.
Yes, I've got plenty to be thankful for!
Saturday, October 07, 2006
Yesterday after physio, since my nose was running rather like a tap and it didn't seem fair to share it with the other folks using the pool, I went shopping. Shopping for something to wear over my suit at a meet. Because here's the thing. In three years (or so) I've gone from a size 10 pant to a size 0 pant (and a size 12 blazer to a size 6). The current down side is this has been an expensive exercise in repetitive shopping, the many up sides I leave for another time.
Sometimes you make a Declaration of Intent. Sometimes you make a Declaration of ... Habitation. As some of you know, George is all warm and fuzzy, and somewhat gray. So as appealing as the idea of black warmups are, they're just not in the cards right now. So I went to see my new best friends over at Old Navy. Thank heavens for separates -- without them I would just never have anything remotely resembling a suit! Somehow I ended up with a large gray front zip hoodie and extra small pants!! (I'd like to think my body is not quite that unbalanced!) Now that they're laundered, I just need to hack 6 or 7 inches off the bottom of the pants ... and I'll probably go all out and hem them, too!
Next on the list of gear required: new suit. Maybe next week.
This post seems to be part of a series hosted by Guest Computers, and today I am in Mac World while I cat sit. The only down side to Mac World seems to be that Blogger looks a little different, and the nice easy link button in the post editor doesn't seem to be there. So, right now, I'm *not* all about the links!
Thursday, October 05, 2006
When the Dell HelpLine worker tells me to reinstall Windows there is always a disaster. "No," the fellow says, "it will be fine."
In a very Eeyore sort of a way, I assured him it is never fine when I have to reinstall Windows.
Sometimes being able to say "I told you so," but not actually doing it makes me feel good. In this case, not so much.
The reinstall failed. Twice. Some memory tests failed. After many hours babysitting diagnostics, installs, and too many hours on the phone ... now they're sending me a new hard drive and new memory. This week I've also had new plastics for my LCD. Last week I had new glide pad stuff. But at least it was limping. Now it's kind of dead in the water.
I'm over at a kindly neighbour's house, advising the Universe (and everyone) that my motto Nothing is Ever Simple or Easy has been proven right, yet again. And if I'm offline for the holiday weekend, I'm probably not going to be the happiest camper of the bunch! My mood may be kind of a cross between a fictional morose android, and, well, Eeyore.
Good-bye and thanks for all the fish!!!!
I've had the feeling before. I've even had the feeling that the feeling was lurking in the background ready to pounce. Trying to figure out what exactly the feeling was, exactly, now that has been a problem. I may now know.
I think it may be The Dreaded Question Mark! When I type The Question Mark, it seems rather droll and totally insignificant. Really it isn't, but maybe naming it will make it so. "Oh, it's just The Dreaded Question Mark!!"
It's not fear. That's what happens on a gray day when a vehicle comes through an intersection too close to me. Or I hear squealing tires. It's not anxiety, exactly. It's not trepidation. It's not butterflies, either. I know them by name.
I think it is The Question Mark. The feeling that I'm going into a situation of newness, and I will need to find my way. The feeling that I don't know if I understand how to get it right, or what the implications will be if I don't.
I had it when I filled in my entry form for this meet next month. It's not that I haven't filled in hundreds of swimming time cards or entry forms in the Distant Past. It's not that I don't know what I can do right now, in the water at the pool around the corner. But what will I do then? Should I enter fast? Should I enter slow?
In the Olden Days when I coached it was ever so much easier. If I knew (or thought) a particular swimmer swam faster chasing or being chased I filled out the entry cards accordingly. My coach did the same for me. But -- what about the me now?
In the end, I entered times I've done in training. Women and men will swim together seeded by time, so I'm hoping that I'll have someone chase, but will know I won't get left behind. And yesterday I swam all three events 5 minutes apart with a +/- 1 second variance of each entry time. For now The Dreaded Question Mark has been banished from the horizon. It'll be back. But at least I'll know what to call it!
Wednesday, October 04, 2006
Why Of(f) the Deep End?
- Some people said I should get a blog. Well, at least two. They know who they are. Two's people, right?
- Winter's coming. That means there will be days when I don't get out of the house. Occasionally Snow Days, but more often of late it's been Freezing Rain Days.
- I spend a good deal of time at blogs being informed, entertained and inspired -- so maybe I should really become part of the community instead of being out on the periphery. (I feel I know some bloggers so well now that they could be my Imaginary Friends.)
- I googled "masters swimming blogs" and not much came up that resembled an actual blog.
- I knew my brother was getting one. I thought maybe I might have an in for a link. (I'm all about links this week.)
- On November 4th I plan to swim my first meet in, oh, say, more than 30 years. (Of course I've now realized this means I don't need to get a countdown device till later. Right now we can refer to Bold's!) I thought this blog would help me to focus my thoughts. And keep my workout log.
I've been back in the water for a couple of years. I've only just worked up to doing block starts in the past two months. For the next four weeks a couple of workouts a week, I'll dive off the blocks three times. On November 4th I'll dive off the blocks three times. The first time for a warmup 100 free I really won't be worrying about. The second time, 100 breaststroke. The third time, 100 individual medley (one length each in the following order: fly-back-breast-free).
I think I've got the logistics right now. Grab start. Left leg back, right leg front, a foot or so apart. Lean back. Then it gets counterintuitive. Because all the push has to come from the right leg. From about s-1 down the left side is worse than the right. Sometime soon I'll try to explain why that is. Promise. The worst case scenario would be that I hurt myself coming off the blocks. So I practice, a little cautiously. Train what you race.
Oh, yes, and at the pool around the corner from my house the starting blocks are at the deep end!
Tuesday, October 03, 2006
For you Lance fans out there with very deep pockets, a love of 18K gold and diamonds, or who just have nothing to go with yellow, I bring you 10,296, with a big hat tip to the good folks over at www.Luxist.com. The bracelets come from the studios of Kendra Scott Design. I do like to see how the other half lives!!!
Trimama, should I tell you I may have a link to a blog that would be even more fun for a 13 year old fashionista? Over at The Frugal Fashionista there are regular posts on celebrity looks at less than celebrity prices.
Monday, October 02, 2006
I got home from the pool last night to find that I am an official featured contributor to RaceAthlete! It is an honour. But I immediately thought to myself, Self, this is more than a little ironic! (I confess, we're rather fond of puns.) At this point in my life I don't do long distances. And a triathlon is definitely out of the question. These good folks have accomplished or are shooting for Iron! I can cheer them on (in a no jumping, cartwheel or splits kind of a way). So do I belong? Maybe.
I believe the spirit of RaceAthlete is so much more than your ability to compete in triathlons. RaceAthlete asks if you have dream. And I do. So maybe I do belong, in even more than a Go Team way. And maybe, just maybe, I'll have something to contribute.
Run Brent run! See Brent run! Look for the not too tall fellow in the bright yellow t-shirt and cool shades. I'm not going to say short, because he's taller than I am. And I don't want to be the one calling the kettle colours!
Sunday, October 01, 2006
I live by lists. And goals. (Usually I like measurable and achievable goals.)
- Get a blog. Check
- Make the blog pretty. Ummm .... getting there
- Think of a cool sign-off. Hmmm ... might need some help with this one!
- Get a fancy countdown clock. Lots of tri-bloggers like Roman and Bolder have cool countdown clocks. I just want a simple one like my imaginary friend Myles has over at Studies in Clydeology.
- Find funny/relevant/interesting things to say. Well, it's good to have goals.
In the meantime,