Thursday, March 29, 2007

It's Not All Hooey!

People who know me know I'm a wee-bit flaky. I believe in energy healing and karma and auras and all that other good stuff. I have an altar in my room with representations of Athena, Brigit, Sekhmet, and Ganesha. UFO-themed music plays when I enter a room.

But there are times when I think - there's no WAY breathing or meditating can make me happier or get me through this [insert work project here] better.

But today, at yoga, that belief was challenged.

By all accounts, I had a bad practice. My hip is really sore and I wore bad shoes to work so my feet were cramping like nobody's business. (You try balancing when you have to keep your duck-footed feet turned straight and your arch feels like it's crumbling!) I fell out of a bunch of poses, couldn't hold some deep poses very long and generally just didn't perform like a dedicated yogini. But, as the instructor went around and encouraged us to breathe and focus, to stay still and soft even as our muscles shook or the sweat began to pour, I GOT IT.

In Virabhadrasana II (Warrior II) I inhaled deeply. My leg was quaking, I was positively drenched with sweat. Every fiber of almost every muscle in my body was on fire. And I just stuck it. In and Out. No judgement. If I needed to come out of it, I would. If I could stick it out I would. I wouldn't think about it, I would just do it.But whatever happened, I would breathe.

And there it was. I went in and out of the pose as my body dictated. I didn't think "I can't get out of this pose because people are watching and I need to appear strong." Or "I can't possibly hold this any longer, teacher, Let Us Out!" I just let the moments pass.

And, if I can do that on the mat, why can't I do that off the mat? How beautiful a world would it be if I could approach all adversity like that?

Oh, sure, it's easy in yoga when I've got the community behind me. It's quite another when Napolean calls me at 5:25. But, maybe, one day....

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Kalesy and the Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day

Now, first things first. I woke up on time feeling good and not already exhausted. So it should have been a good day.

My hot water was out. I knew this was a theoretical possibility because my landlord rang my doorbell at 10:30 last night to tell me my oil tank was on empty. But I thought it must be like the tank of a car, right? It says empty, but you've got at least 2 or 10 mile left. Right? Wrong.

I got to work and openend my email to a complete and total shit storm. The graphic designs that I'd been waiting for came in and were completely underwhelming. I'm a week and a day from a major deadline and I've got crap designs. And, since I know absolutely nothing about graphics software, what am I to do?

Napoloean - who only two days ago read me the riot act about how writing a brochure should be my one, only, and most important priority - emails me about five or six other projects. Because, really, coffee table books are going to be the major differentiator in multi-million dollar enterprise deals. Seriously.

The oil company had to actually come inside to reset my heater. So someone had to be here. And because I took Monday afternoon off, I knew if I tried to get today off too - or even work from home -- I'd get grilled because Napolean is paranoid. Of course, he should be because I AM interviewing.

(Note: I haven't heard back from the company I met with on Monday. Bastards.)

So I couldn't take time off so poor Mr. Zips had to leave work early and wait here. And the damn oil company didn't come until 5:45. Bastards.

The good things that happened today: I had an awesome workout. Primarily because Mr. Zips told me to forget coming home early and to do my kickboxing double. And, I once more realized how amazing and awesome Mr. Zips is. Who else would sit in an empty, cold apartment for five hours waiting for a damn oil tank fillup? He rocks.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

The Amazing H Hour

Mr. Zips and I caught the opening montage of CSI: Miami last night. He'd never seen it before.

If you've never witnessed our Savior Horatio Caine at work, I offer this beauty.

I know I'm a little out of date in posting this, but the seven minutes of hilarity is well worth it.

Trust me, Frank. (Put on sunglasses.) You might think it's late, but the laughter is (look directly at the camera) right on time. (Exit stage left!)

Sunday, March 25, 2007

One More Thing

While we were all sharing, Deb pointed out something interesting. Each of us, after rattling off why we were (fill in the blank) ended with saying, "And I'm just really glad to be here." Or the like. Now, those of you who have been to these types of things know that that is a pretty much required statement. But each of us - I honestly think - meant it.

And it started me thinking. I used to be the kind of person that made up an excuse. I can't possibly make it to my herbalism class today. I'm too -- tired, sad, hungover, sore, sick. I can't go out tonight because I've got to ....... You get the idea.

I made it through the entire immersion, no excuses, no second thoughts.

Oh my heavens -- I'm evolving!

Sorry and Glad Together

(extra points if you can name the band who sang the title song...)

So this weekend - the culmination of our Anusara Immersion 1 - ended with the doors of my mind being blown off. When Deb talked about being lit up w/ the radiance of Shakti, she wasn't kidding. While I fully expect every day life to creep back into my brain, I still feel moderately justified in warning you of long, introspective posts in the next few days.

This weekend was a strange one. Yesterday found many of us exhausted for various reasons and emotionally drained as, almost every one of us to a person, seemed to be standing at some personal crossroads or precipice. Some of us had looked and jumped, others were gathering up the courage to jump, still others had turned away - not yet, not now.

I understand these crossroads. I've walked through a couple of them. Some (divorce) for the better, some (Hiroshi) for the worse. These crossroads are often painful and difficult (witness all the tears yesterday) but they are always worthwhile. For, if nothing else, they teach us invaluable lessons about ourselves.

And, while practicing today, I came to realize that much of my difficulty these last few days/months/etc. has been because I historically don't like to remember myself before these crossroads. I tend to look forward and not look back.

We all know that cliche about history, right?

To wit: I have this odd memory of being a kid - 10, 12 maybe - and looking through my "baby book" - that scrapbook my mom kept in her drawer until it was overstuffed with useless things like play programs or certificates of achievement. There was a picture in there of summer camp. I liked summer camp. I cannot honestly remember a single thing that happened at summer camp that would have troubled me. But I do remember crying -- really really crying -- at the end of summer camp, when it came time to float our Memory Candles on the lake and sing "On My Honor." And then, I got home, and I never - NEVER - wanted to look at that picture of Camp Mosey Wood - all those girls, suntanned and grinning with missing teeth. Now, the writer in me wants there to be some hidden reason - a counselor who took criminal liberties with young bodies, or a traumatic turf fight with another camper resulting in self-esteem loss. But, the truth is, camp made me feel a lot - I missed mom and dad but also kinda liked not being home. I liked my new friends but wouldn't ever see them again. It was scary, exciting, adventurous, thrilling, joyous, and sad. And, it's a lot easier to deal with all those emotions by not looking at them - at the picture that captures them - than it is to, say, feel them.

It hit me like this. We were catching up as a group on Saturday a.m. And it was my turn. And I was explaining my new living situation and the difficulty it presents. "He's got four sisters and is close to his mom. And they're all into sharing their feelings. And I'm not so much with the sharing of the feelings."

Hell. I'm not so much with the feeling of the feelings.

Thus, today, while running us through the most exhausting 3 hours of asana I've ever lived through, Deb practically challenged me to start feeling.

Because it's only when we reveal our hearts - to ourselves and to the world - can we really become to embrace and embody the beings we're meant to be.

It's a pretty lofty goal. It's gonna take a whole lot of work. And it probably won't be pretty.

I wonder - am I up to the challenge?

Friday, March 23, 2007

Just When You Need It

I need to say that today, after whining for a week about my lack of friends who understand, I got the sweetest email. Another one of my friends sent me a note today basically saying that she was there for me if I needed it and that she loved me. I love her too. Because I really needed to hear that.


Yes, that's hookEY and not hookER. Bad reader!

So, today I played hookey. Not really. I did have to go into the office at one point (because in addition to decorating our office like a B&B, the other way we'll sell software is to change a verb on our Web site to something more IMPACTFUL. Ugh.) And I did start doing email at nine a.m. like a good little keyboard monkey. But, I did manage to stay in my jammies until noon.

And this always throws me off. Those days where you don't really have any schedule or any time constraints. I always think I'm gonna get tons done. And yet, I still haven't cleaned my damn apartment (are we noticing a theme here? Please PLEASE let me one day be independently wealthy and hire a cleaning crew...)

It's making me wonder what I'm avoiding dealing with. Is there some thought or emotion I've been blockading that gads of quiet, non-BurgerTime-playing time will allow me to experience? Is this, perhaps, why I've felt the need to sob uncontrollably for days? (No, I haven't actually yet shed a tear. So beware. The tidal wave is coming).

It's probably a good thing that I scheduled an energy work session for next week. I do loves me some reiki.

And, thank Shakti, this weekend is a yoga weekend!

PS -- Speaking of which, I got cornered whilst at home working in my jammies, by some Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses folks today, inviting me to come to a meeting on the anniversary of Jesus' death (which apparently is April 2.) Do you think they'd really welcome a pagan, bisexual, yogini into their midst? Maybe I should go................

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Empathy and the Art of Listening

It's been a rough couple of weeks. (When isn't it, you ask? High maintenance anyone?) In addition to the rough patches Mr. Zips and I have been going through, there's the hormonal imbalances of yours truly, Napolean's in town, I have to have surgery in a few weeks and, oh yea, I don't have an empathetic friend to speak of.

To recap: this week was much better for Mr. Zips and I. Probably because I finally got "My Dear Aunt Flo" this week. Only about three and a half weeks late. So, there were many tears but also some serious emotional sharing and heart opening. So, we're doing good.

Napolean is in town again and that means my mornings are in danger. He is a man who does not understand that you do NOT talk to me before I've had my coffee. And so, yesterday, he corners me and starts talking about DECORATING the FUCKING OFFICE before I've finished my coffee. So, I graduated phi beta kappa magna cum laude and have seven years industry experience (and the awards and merits to back it up) and I'm picking out dried flower arrangements. Because you know what will help us sell more enterprise software? An office that looks like a B&B.

I got a call today from my doc's office. Results from last week's procedures came back and we're not happy. So, on April 27th, I get to go under the knife. OK, technically laser, but it still hurts. A LOT. Plus, I won't be able to have sex or exercise! for two months. How horrible is my life. (The only thing that makes this feel better is that I told Mr. Zips and his response was to tell me, "I'm sorry I caused all that Cancer. NICE!)

So, the point of this whole honking post. I have a friend. (Are you shocked?) She's going through a rough time. And I've tried my best to help her, listen to her, support her. But these last two weeks, I've really -- REALLY -- needed a friend. Not only to listen to me, but to hear me. Not best me with a reaction of, "well, you're problems are bad, now let me tell you about mine." And that, in the long and short of it, is what I've gotten.

I shouldn't be surprised. Every person I've ever tried to talk to - friend, parent, lover - has "one-upped" me. I have a headache, they have a brain tumor. I had a bad day, they had a bad life.

But, for some reason, I'm really hurt by this recent turn of affairs. I've become passive-aggressive in my emails to her and that makes me dislike myself. But I can't bring myself to put myself out there for her again. Not after getting Jack in return. I know friendship isn't tit for tat, but I really -- really -- needed a friend to listen. Just once.

And, this, dear readers, is what you get when you have one overtired, overworked, hormonally imbalanced female who's had two rough weeks in a row. Sorry.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Comfortable in My Skin

Despite the Nor'Easter that hit us on Friday, it is almost spring here in New England. And so the spring catalogues are arriving in the mail.

Mr. Zips and I had a near argument last week (you're shocked, I know) about these catalogues. I was showing him a shirt in the Lands' End catalogue I really liked. It's a white, eyelet Oxford button down. It looks a lot like a shirt I finally had to part with during the last move.

Mr. Zips thinks I dress like an old woman. Probably because I dress like an old woman.

He says, with my figure, I could get away with a lot more.

I say, why do I need to get away with anything?

I dress the way I do because I feel comfortable that way. Not because I'm trying to hide - or show off - my figure. But because my personal taste in fashion runs to the conservative and classic. The sad, disgruntling truth is, I like Talbots.

No matter who we think we should be or who other people think we should be, well, sooner or later who we actually are is going to come out.

For example, I felt like I should be going out partying last night. It was Saint Patrick's Day. I'm so Irish I even work for a Dublin-based company. But I wanted to go to yoga today and so I wanted to get to bed early.

So I got to yoga and, lo and behold, the class was filled with people I knew. And I mentioned something about listening to WeSun before class this morning. "Wasn't the puzzle fun today?" one woman piped in. "Yeah, but the challenge was way too easy" said another. We had a good laugh, walking out to our cars, each one adorned with anti-war, anti-bush, pro-environment bumper stickers.

We are who we are. And even if Mr. Zips would love to see his galpal in skintight spandex or supershort mini skirts, I'm gonna keep shopping the Lands' End catalog.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Diesel Sweeties

My friend Tomkolson turned me onto this comic strip, Diesel Sweeties. Check out this strip. It's relevance to my life is a little astounding....

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

The Origin of Mr. Zips

I recently received a question from a friend - what is the origin of the name Mr. Zips? Well, it's kinda convoluted, but if you know me, that's not surprising.

Mr. Zips and I are both fans of random Internet mayhem. People who have too much time on their hands. To this I offer up b3ta as evidence. Sign up for their newsletter, you won't be disappointed. Mr. Zips is a particular fan of old-school favorite Strong Bad. And especially liked this episode. In it, Dangeresque calls a young lady "Cutsie Buttons." Arrive my nickname. And, not to be outdown, I baptised him Mr. Handsome Zips. Abbreviated to Mr. Zips.

It's convoluted, but it works.

And if I haven't mentioned it enough lately -- to him or to my blog -- I love him.

Hormones Suck

Being a woman sucks. No, I correct myself. Being a woman is great. It's having estrogen that sucks.

Why you ask?

I know two women, both of whom are on birth control. Now, I'm not a big fan of synthetic hormones and/or artifical means of adding hormones to one's body, one's ecosystem, etc. But they do indeed serve a very practical purpose (more on that later). And, so, I return to these two women. One of whom had to recently double up on her dosage because she missed a dose. Cramping, nauseousness, and fever ensued. The other of whom has just begun a new form of birth control and has been 1) having migraines and 2) crying uncontrollably for days.

And then, there's me. I have felt PMS'y for days. Familiar story for me, true enough. I guess I shouldn't be surprised, I've never been regular, never had a cycle that levels me at an even keel. But I've been mood-swinging for days - complete with crying jags - and more than a month and a half since my last period. That's not fun math for a non-breeder.

Tomorrow I'm supposed to go to my gyn for a quarterly visit (ah, yes, the beauty of non-specific, abnormal results) and get another nasty procedure done. (Run of the mill pap smears are for the faint of heart!) And I'm not sure if I'd rather get my period, so that I don't have to go and know for sure I'm not pregant or if I'd rather not get my period and know for sure I don't have cancer.

See, like I said, having estrogen sucks.

By the way - if you have a young friend, daughter, etc. PLEASE advise them to get the HPV vaccine!

Monday, March 12, 2007

Losing My Mind

I know alcohol kills brain cells, but this is ridiculous.

I think I'm truly losing my mind.

Exhibit 1: Last night, I went to the store. I wanted to get Mr. Zips some sleepy-time tea. But I NEEDED to get toilet paper. (We go through a lot of toilet paper in my house. If FuzzyKitty would learn to pee in the litterbox instead of over the litterbox, we'd go through much less toilet paper. But I digress.) So, I went to the store. I bought tea. I bought bath salts. I bought apple juice. I did not buy toilet paper. I have to go back to the store tonight.

Exhibit B: I was getting dressed this a.m. I am so excited by the warming weather that I was going to go all out and wear a skirt. I sat down on my bed and started putting on my pantyhose. Mr. Zips asks me, "Um, aren't you going to wear underwear?" Oh, right, underwear. Forgot that.

Exhibit III: I went out to grab the daily soup from the dreaded ABP. (I try to get there early because from about 11:50 until 2 p.m., it's absolute insanity in there and you're taking your own life in your hands even trying to ladle out lunch. ) I got to the store. I left the store. Because I had no wallet.

I can only imagine what the gym is going to be like tonight. When you see someone go flying off the treadmill because she's still wearing her high heels, that will be me.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Why Am I Not Surprised?

Well, the tradeshow and Florida trip is over and went well by all accounts. I did nothing silly or stupid (although I did witness someone throwing his career away - or, more accurately, into the pool) and I managed to actually come to care a smidge about what it is I do. And now it's over and except for throbbing, swollen feet, I'm not really the worse for the wear.

Except, I am.

For some reason, I'm massively wound up, sad, angry, depressed, whatever. Probably because I was reading my alumni magazine today and found that there's all sorts of kids who graduated years after I did doing amazing things with their lives. And I'm still balancing my checkbook wondering when I'm actually going to be able to pay off my credit cards and/or afford a pair of curtains I desperately want.

In short, I'm feeling old and unaccomplished.

I know this is not really true, as I've actually had some amazing experiences, done some pretty cool things, and have a decent life to show for it. But still...

Garrison Keillor calls it the spring blues. Because the world, life, and everyone around us is telling us we should be happy and be enjoying every moment. And that's a lot of pressure to put on someone.

So I've got the spring blues. And I do the stupidest thing possible - I call my mother.

When am I going to learn?

Instead of listening to me or supporting me or anything helpful, she basically shut me down. Got off the phone faster than you could say Boo.

I listen to her whenever she needs it. I hear her tales of woe and misery and I do everything in my power I can to help. And she hangs up on me.

This helps me not at all.

To top it off, Mr. Zips is on his way over here and he's being very sweet and supportive and, you know what? I just feel like Marsha Mason in The Goodbye Girl.

I'm angry. And I don't want to lose it.

Monday, March 05, 2007

I Like Intelligent Conversation

Scott Rodriguez is suing Scott Chemicals.

Scott fired Scott because during his employemnt drug testing, he tested positive for nicotine. Turns out that Scott has a policy that they will no longer hire/employ smokers because the costs are too high for the health insurance. And this is perfectly legal in Ohio, where Scott is headquartered.

So, I'm listening to the story on NPR this weekend and my first gut reaction is that this is a frivolous lawsuit. Scott legally set the policy not to hire smokers. Scott R. knew this and applied anyway.

But then, listening to Scott R's lawyer, I thought better about my reaction. Maybe it is a slippery slope -- if a company can fire you because you smoke, what about if you have a genetic defect or all the men in your family died early of heart disease? Smacks of Gattica.

The problem, of course, is that companies are the ones responsible for the vast majority of American's health insurance.

I've had insurance and I've been uninsured. And the former is definitely preferable. But I'm also 1) friends with the woman responsible for benefits at my company and 2) work in an industry where we closely examine the costs and profits of health insurance. I know precisely how much it costs for companies to offer these benefits and how knowing and/or avoiding those risks can affect premiums, deductibles, settlements.

And so there's this part of me that thinks, sure, employers have every right to mitigate their risks. And then there's part of me that went through Democracy School and thinks that creating an even more uneven playing field -- for corporations (or the insurance industry) v. the little guy -- is really a bad idea.

So, I'm not exactly sure what the solution is. But I don't think it's clearcut or simple.

And, in lookng into this, I found a very interesting blog. I don't agree with the majority of posts on the site. But what I really like is that the comments, both in support of and against the original posting, were intelligent, articulate and - get this! - courteous. No flame wars here. So, without further ado: Reason Hit and Run.

May intelligent discourse commence.


Mr. Zips is very tired. This is not surprising. I mean, the boy has been burning the candle at both ends for about six weeks now, working basically 70 hours/week. With nary a day off in between. And I remember when I was working those kinds of hours. You get so tired you get dumb.

It's making me feel really sad and really helpless. Because I see it in his face and can hear it in his voice when he talks. But what am I gonna do? You can't sleep for someone else.

Of course, the obnoxious holier than thou part of me wants to point out that perhaps, on Saturday night, instead of going to his buddy's house, he could have stayed home and gotten some R&R, like I did. (OK, well, I took heavy drugs, but I've got to get back on my feet before this durned tradeshow. So I was massively doped up, but all for the theoretical greater good. But I digress.) Or, perhaps, last night instead of insisting that we stay up to watch Tenacious D in the Pick of Destiny (NSFW!) (which, by the way, no matter what the critics say, is hilarious) he could have gone to bed early, when I suggested it.

But none of that really matters now. What matters is that he's so tired and my heart breaks seeing him like this. Because I know the pain and I know how it feels to be so at the end of your rope and you can barely function. And, as a woman, I could get a way with breaking down and crying, but what can he do?

I can only hope that while I'm gone and he's holding down the fort he can actually get some rest.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Opening a Window

I am sad. My Sunday morning routine has been messed with. Normally on a Sunday, I wake up, turn on NPR, eat breakfast and generally putz around, then it's off to yoga. Sunday is a bona fide Anusara class. Not that my other weekly class isn't enjoyable, it's just not the same.

But this Sunday, I sit here, basking in the wonderful sun, knowing that it's not off to yoga I go. Yesterday's marathon mall walking really did me in and my foot is about three sizes too big. It woke me up constantly through the night. Heck, last nite I even broke down and took one of the "crazy pills" to keep the pounding at bay.

So, elevated, iced, and wrapped, it's up on a chair. No yoga for me.

I'm trying to see this as a chance to balance my checkbook, work on my latest story, finish the trashy novel I'm reading, or whatever. But I'm still kind of sad.

I wonder if, being on my feet for so many hours this week at the tradeshow means I can take some workers' comp time.... Hey, we're in the insurance biz, right?

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Total Eclipse of the Crust

Tonite is a full moon. Historically, it is the Worm Moon - because the advent of spring whispers to the earthworms that it is time to start burrowing skyward. But it is also known as the Crust Moon, referring to the sheen of ice covering the world when the snow that has melted in the bright daylight sun freezes over during the colder nights.

I like the latter name better because it helps me believe that I am not the only one who has difficulty remaining upright on paved surfaces in March.

Tonite is also a total lunar eclipse. And while this has no scientific significance, I can't help but think that it has metaphysical and spiritual significance. Although I'm not sure what that would be...

I went for a walk to try and catch the actual eclipse, but it was too cloudy and the moon was hidden. I think I saw a crimson tinge to the clouds where the moon should have been, but that could be my overactive imagination. Still, it was nice to be out, walking around, under the stars and sky, contemplating the night.

And hopefully, no one saw when I fell down on a slick patch. Twice.

Thursday, March 01, 2007


Recent observations:

Men should not wear spandex. Even while running. Really big men should really not wear spandex. Especially while running.

The size of the sandwich they make you at the Au Bon Pain will be in indirect proportion to how hungry you are.

On the days you are running late for work, your cat will find and eat the one rubber band you have not diligently thrown away, guaranteeing that you will spend at least ten minutes cleaning upchuck kitty.

And of course, the one time you want to sneak out past Napolean's radar screen is the one day he take the five o'clock flight instead of the four. Of course, if you happen to be dressed up that day, he'll think you're going on a job interview and maybe he'll give you a better raise...