Friday, November 30, 2007

Just in Time

I am ridiculously busy at work. This is impeccable timing, as I finished NaNo yesterday and managed to get the marketing freelance proposal done as well.

The project that's got me so crazed? Rewriting the website. Ostomy supplies. Glucose meters. Lancing devices. (No lie, the current site describes on test kit as "easy, accurate, convenient, simple, and unique." Me Write Copy Good.) I cannot tell you the sexiness that is my life...

While I'm pondering my copy strategy, I often surf the net. I can do this without actually concentrating on what I'm looking at, so that my mind is actually focusing on how best to position ordering your AUTODISC meter from Wilford Brimley.... I don't actually read anything meaningful or important, of course. Because here's my dirty little secret - I browse online menus.

Yep. I can spend hours downloading and perusing menus for restaurants I will never visit.

I informed my dad the other day that Friendly's now offers veggie burgers. I do not need to know this. But, if I need to stop at a Friendly's ever again, I am all set.

It's a bit like this shameful secret posted on From Oy to Vey: Butter my Bread?

I suppose its better than downloading porn. Right?

Thursday, November 29, 2007

I Dud Itz!

At 11:27 a.m. (don't tell my boss!) I crossed the finish line and uploaded a 50,112 word novel excerpt to the NaNoWriMo website. The novel isn't done yet and I fully intend to finish it. But the point is, I won. I committed to writing 50 THOUSAND words during the month of November and, one day early, I did it.


Finally find out why I've been so tired. Turns out my iron count is WAAAAAY low. Not only could I not give blood, but they asked me if I wanted to get some. (kidding) I'm not sure why the anemia is rearing its ugly head again. Stress? Lack of access to fresh, organic kale? Does bourbon have iron in it? (I KNEW I shouldn't have stopped drinking!) Seriously, though, this explains a lot about what's been going on with me lately.

Part of the problem is, despite being so unbelievably exhausted, I've been feeling very stressed about my lack of preparation for the Christmas holiday. Anyone who knows me knows that I am Christmas Girl. I love the movies, the songs, the lights - all of it. I even enjoy going to the mall around the holidays, even if I have no shopping to do. I LOVE the Christmas spirit.

But I spent yesterday panicking about when I'm going to have enough free time to decorate my apartment, when I'll have a chance to watch the classics, when (in short) I'm going to have time to get into the holiday season.

Then, once again, everything I needed fell into my lap. I tried out a new yoga class and it was amazing. During my favorite-to-say pose - Eka Pada Rajakapotasana - I surrendered and started crying. And then I got home and The Grinch was on TV.

I sat on my new comfy couch, Peeps on my laps, and sang the Who Christmas song and cried and cried and cried.

And then I went to bed. I was asleep by 9:30.

Need I say? I feel great this morning.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

New Stuffage

As part of my commitment to making my new house a home, I invested in previously mentioned furniture. To prove how wise a decision this was, I offer these before and after photos.

Old couch:

New couch:

Methinks I made a great decision. What do you think?

The best part (well, the best part is how comfortable it is. But the second best part) is that a friend of mine got in touch with me and asked me to freelance for his dad's company. I'm putting together a proposal now and, if all goes well (and there's no reason it shouldn't) I'll get the gig AND the paycheck. Under the table. Hello new living room set all paid for. No baseball required.

I just love how the Universe takes care of me.

Oh yea, just for kicks. Here's the view from the beach that's exactly .75 miles from my new home. Sigh.

And here's my new office. Sigh more.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Homes and Such

I am back safe and sound from New Jersey. And cheers to Amtrak for offering a far superior, far more civilized alternative to air travel. Despite the flamboyant theatre major who sat opposite me on the trip down and broke into showtunes apropos of nothing, it was a fairly uneventful trip there and back.

All in all, it was an uneventful weekend for the most part. My uncle is, not surprisingly, still a racist and a bigot and, even though I informed him several times that I was a flaming liberal, he didn't get my warning and kept saying things that more than enraged my sense of propriety. Here's hoping the NSA hasn't actually wiretapped me or my parents' home.

I got into a small argument with my mother that was fairly consistent as far as our arguments go. I get upset because she says/does something that makes it all about her. She asks why I'm upset. I tell her. She makes it all about her. I get more upset. She cries. (Variation here is to fake a heartattack, collapse, or otherwise indicate an imminent death.) I relent and apologize. She makes it all about her. We both end crying, telling each other we love each other. I understand EXACTLY how unhealthy this pattern is, but there you have it. Family dynamics at play.

This time, the argument started when I mentioned that it hurt that they were acting like I should have my shit entirely together when, um, I just 1) had my heart trounced 2) started a new job 3) moved to a new house 4) in a new town. Somehow, this turned into a 10 minute sob fest on how much she missed my aunt and how she will never have a friend like her again and how lonely she is without my aunt to talk to and how she thinks about her every day and will never get over her death. I mean, don't get me wrong. I am very sad that my darling mom feels this way, but it was kinda beside the point of the discussion in the first place. N'est-ce pas?

(Note: for those that think I'm a cold hearted biotch, let me point out that my aunt passed 10 years ago. Still sad, but not exactly a fresh wound.)

But I'm happy to report that that was the low point of the weekend. We still managed to have a great time at Kids' Day, although I took the world's WORST PHOTO EVER. I hid for a few hours on Turkey Day itself and got some novelling done. And, I hung out with Best Friend in Taco Bell for 2 and a half hours, like you do. (Oh, yea, losers club mixes up their grilled stufft burrito's, but that's another story. BF, I'm sorry you had to watch me dig chicken out of a bean-filled tortilla!)

Now, I'm back at home and thrilled to be here. I'm still adjusting to life in a northern town, but I am filled with hope that it won't be long before it really does feel like a home. Because every year, NJ feels less and less like home. It's sad. But it's true. This little girl is growing up.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Tis the Season to be Jolly and Joyous

Fa La La La.

Bonus points if you can name the movie that's from.....

It's almost here, my favorite day of the year. And I should be happy and frolicking and greatly anticipating the stuffing, the pie, and Miracle on 34th Street viewage (the original, if you please). And I am. At least theoretically I'm looking forward to it.

Too bad I am so damn tired.

This weekend wore me out. The furniture arranging and rearranging. (Pictures to follow). The cooking, cooking, and more endless cooking. The meeting random people at a party and smiling politely for more than an hour while strangers made overly emotional and sentimental speeches extolling one another's virtues. The highlight of my weekend was going running along the beach which was unbelievably gorgeous and inspiring but, not surprisingly, also tiring. I went to bed by 10 p.m. only to be awakened repeatedly by my next door neighbor watching the game, loudly, with his buddies.

It doesn't help that it's week three of NaNo which is traditionally the time that most authors crash and burn. I've had my document open all day and only managed to write another 1K or so words.... I keep saying that I'll write on the train on the way to NJ, but I know that I will likely get lulled to sleep by the motion. That is, if I'm lucky enough to get a seat....

I wish I weren't this cranky. I wish I was full of joll and joy.

But for now, I just want to escape home onto my comfy new couch and curl up for a warm winter's nap. Too bad I've got spinning first. And I must spin. Peanut butter pie made an appearance at the party. And you know what the only thing better than peanut butter pie is? More peanut butter pie.

PS -- Muppets Christmas Carol. Of course....

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Pros and Cons

So, it's been a busy month for ole Kalesy. New job, new apartment, new town, and now ...

Yep, I did it. Heck, I'm already $4k in debt, why not be $6? I got a big fat raise, right? (ha!) But, seriously, I got so tired of walking into my wonderful new apartment and thinking, Damn! I hate my sofa. None of my furniture goes together and I just don't like anything. So, a trip to Jordan's later, and all new stuff will arrive on Saturday. Ooh Bah.

This makes me happy because it will arrive just in time for the holidays. But sad, because it will arrive just in time for the holidays.

I have one of the busiest next couple of weeks ever on tap. Furniture delivery, NaNo, trips to NJ, no days off work, and - oh yea - trying to improve my yoga practice in there somewhere. I'm exhausted just thinking about it.

And, to top it off, I've been invited to a co-worker's pre-Thanksgiving party this Saturday. Not only is it BYOB and a potluck, but it's a $20 cover! I really SHOULD go - it's good for the career b/c lots of work people will be there, my boss is really into us seeming like a family and I've really got no good excuse not to. Unless madly, desperately, completely NOT wanting to is a good excuse...

I'm so tired. I have to make my entire Thanksgiving dinner and somehow transport it on Amtrak to NJ. The last thing I want to do is make an additional meal and then pay $20 for the privilege of sharing it....

I sound like a crank pot. I realize this. Can I blame it on Wilford?

If I go, I might meet wonderful, fun, amazing people. If I don't go, I might get some sleep. If I do go, it might be awful and I'll spend the whole time being a wallflower wishing I hadn't gone. If I don't go, I might lose a powerful professional opportunity.

Decisions decisions.

While I ponder, I will look at pictures of my new stuff.... *sigh* (Ignore the hideous lamp above...)

Monday, November 12, 2007

Semper Fi and Thanks

Today is the official observation of Veteran's Day. In this time of war, Veteran's Day should - and does - mean more than a sale on cars and mattresses.

There have been many eloquent and poignant words of thanks spoken for our men and women protecting our way of life. I have no such eloquence to offer.

On Friday, I received an American flag from the local newspaper distributor. It was part of their "Welcome to the neighborhood / Subscribe to our newspaper" direct response package. I don't know what to do with it. The cynical part of me - the same part that sees someone wearing a cross around their neck and earmarks them for a bible-thumping, right-wing nutjob - wants me to run far, far away from the colors that don't run. The other part of me wants to fly it proudly, thankful for the truths this country stands (stood?) for.

And so, on this Veteran's Day, I find myself conflicted. How do I feel about America? I am proud that I can evaluate candidates and determine who to vote for without being under marshal law. I am sad that we are still involved in an occupation that isn't helping us, the country we're occupying, or anyone in between. I am proud that I can march on our nation's capital and sad that so few do.

So, my hesitant conclusion is that, although I might just pretend to be Canadian (or say "Scooby Doo!") when abroad, I know that I truly love this country and the ideals it stands for.

Thus, to all our men and women who "stand on a wall and tell us nothing bad's gonna happen tonight, not on our watch," ... I say Thank You.

And, to one special Army National Guardsman, I say a special thanks. You know why.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

NaNo Is Eating My Soul

I'm one-third of the way through NaNo. And I'm happy to report that I'm currently over my projected word count. But not for long. Because I'm sitting in a coffeeshop and - ACK! - I have writer's block.

Maybe I just need to take a break. After all, my life has become writing and the gym. Writing at work. Writing after work. Writing at home. And the gym in between. Not much more. (Well, I'm still listening to NPR, but that's a given....)

The thing is, despite not knowing what to do with my novel, I'm re-writing everything else in the world around me. I was on the elliptical and found myself disagreeing with the plot twist in King of Queens. I rented Home for the Holidays last night and found myself completely changing the characterization between Robert Downey Jr. and Holly Hunter. (There's no WAY he wouldn't have invited her to his wedding. Right?) I'm even writing dialogue for the people sitting at the table behind me. (Because if he says one more thing about how cold it is outside, I'm gonna scream!)

So, not sure what to do about this conundrum inside of a puzzle, wrapped up in an enigma. Any ideas?

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

I Wish I Were a Better Yogini

Sure, on the surface, I look like a great student of yoga. I've been to three classes in as many days. Two of them Anusara. I even registered for another weekend intensive with Deb. So, yeah, I look like a great yogini. 'Cept I'm not.

During aforemention Wilfordpalooza, they served pizza. It's been a long time since I had pizza. I ate three pieces. While this may not seem overly outrageous, I was the only woman in the room who went back for thirds. So the guilt was a flowin. Thus, when it came time to yoga class, I was not holding back. Give me heat, give me an extra vinyasa, give me holding a pose one, two, three more breaths. I practically worked myself into the ground.

Today, I was pretty damn sore. Not to mention, emotionally I had a rough day. I arrived early to class and tried - really tried - to center myself. And I was doing a fairly good job. But then we did frog pose, which is a GINORMOUS hip opener. And my hips opened. And, as we all know, our hips hold LOTS of memories. And all I wanted to do was assume balasana and cry like a baby. But everyone else in class was moving on, progressing. I should keep up. Must. Do. Asana.

I'm getting used to a new job, moving into a new home in a new town, trying to write a novel in a month, and getting used to an entirely new schedule. This is probably the best time in the world for me to practice compassion with myself.

Instead, I'm pushing myself to the limit and probably not doing myself any favors (except for staying in the same weight class).

If I were truly a "good" yogini, I would be gentle with myself. Express gratitude with myself. For finding some time - any time - to practice and not stressing about it.

Hopefully - just maybe? - coming to this realization is one step closer to actually embodying it.

Monday, November 05, 2007


I had a very long post all written out in my head about setting down roots and having a home that I can call my own for longer than a year and all the "A Ha!" moments related to settling down that happened at the Samhain ritual on Saturday night. But I self-edited. Because you all probably don't care and because I've got to muddle it over in my head some more to make all the pieces fit together.

But sufice to say, I had a great, albeit jam packed weekend. There's just not enough hours in the day. But I did manage to go for a 2 hour walk around Gloucester. The waves were gigantic thanks to the remnants of Hurricane Noel and, paired with a bright sky, it was a perfect day for sitting on the shore. I hung some plants, found the local esoterica shop and even got some cooking done. I was a busy girl.

I also knew that today would be a busy day at work. I'm finally working on a project but, unfortunately, we're still figuring a lot of the moving parts out. So a lot of it is drafting up copy variations and seeing what sticks.

But at lunchtime, I did get to take a break and enjoy Wilfordpalooza.

What? you might be asking. Well, let me explain.

One of our big accounts is a "Diabeetus" testing supplies company. And their spokesman is Wilford Brimley. And even though he's awful to work with, he still pulls in the response. And it's time once again for us to script a Wilford commercial.

In preparation, the team got together to review all of the old Wilford commercials to review what worked, what didn't, and possible reasons why.

And then we got to watch this. Enjoy. And, remember, it's all about a healthy diet, exercise and checking your blood sugar and checking it often!