Sunday, May 31, 2009

Fun in the Sun.

I'm back. Or most of the way back to my former self. It seems the sluggish riding of the waves has subsided and I found my row boat.

I had dinner with Shana, a friend of Andrew's, and her boyfriend last night. At first it was kinda stressful because I didn't know really how many people were going to show up - possibly two total people whom I didn't know/hadn't met before, if one group came Shanna's boyfriend might have had issues with someone from another group, timing was getting tight getting the food ready, etc... But it turned out great. One group didn't show up until the other was gone, which mostly resulted in no one being unhappy/fighting with each other. I made a kick ass raspberry pie I'm particularly proud of - I would take pictures of that and the fudge and rocky road brownies I made, but my camera's being weird. But basically - we drank and ate and were merry. Socializing is wonderful. Shana rides bikes as well and as she was leaving, suggested we go for a ride and go out for breakfast on Sunday.

So the next morning (far too early) we suited up, changed my tires (which are beautiful, wonderful, gorgeous supple monuments to awesomeness), and waited for her. Andrew showed up unexpectedly and then Shana did. We went to Besalu - the best pastry shop in Seattle, and I had my favorite Hazelnut Twist and an Americano. We decided to go South to Seward Park and then decide then how far we wanted to go. End result is that Paul, Shanna and I did the lake washington loop (Andrew had to bail early). Coming from Ballard and going back to Ballard makes the total around 65-70 miles - ish.
Keep in mind I haven't done a long ride in months, I've been "busting out" around 13 miles per hour at MOST doing my commute for the past few weeks and generally crapped out energy wise after 6-12 miles. We did over 60. And I was keeping a 16-19 mph pace on the flats (I still am slow going up hills). We had a great time and then CRASHED when we got back to the apartment. The heat/hot sun did Paul and I in, even though we drank lots of water. I'll bring my other water bottle next time. Paul and I are going to start doing the hills and some 30-40 mile rides during the week and then work up to a 100 miles doing a long ride on the weekend.

I'm happy (very tired and sore and sunburned) but very happy. I'm fast again and I spent the weekend with friends and had lots of fun in the beautiful summer sun.

Friday, May 29, 2009


There's a good reason I haven't posted in way too long. Life has been really hectic/difficult.

Things are going well on the Paul/unemployment/writing front. The last couple of weeks have been. SUPER. stressful for me at work and he's taking care of the house, of me, and his writing, and enjoying a little bit of a vacation. We're fine financially and we went on a grocery trip to stock up for the next month and a half - which was totally fun. But this budget consciousness has brought around feelings of stress and frustration that was a huge part of Rich and I's life. And even though there's not any issues around that with Paul and I it's still there. It's like going into a place where you've always been stressed and unhappy and even though the environment now is perfectly fine, you're a little wary and every now and then you have flashbacks of "how it used to be". Classic conditioning, gotta love it.

Work is stressful. They laid off another 10 or 13 people on the 22nd (two Friday's ago). We're down from 125 to I think 83? now. So again with the stressed out and irritated and freighted people all around me. I'm barely keeping ahead surging waves of workload, and now really live for Friday's/weekends so I can pop my head above water and breathe, relax for a bit before treading water again on Monday.

Monday's are going to be really special too, because for the large hospital project I'm working on I have meetings from 8 am - 5 pm with an hour break for lunch. *sigh* I hate meetings. They've become most of all of my work right now. Attending them, taking meeting minutes, typing those up, typing up notes other people take for meetings I don't/can't attend, etc... Trying to balance that with the Microsoft project and the random crap that comes up every day, my inbox is overloaded with things I'm not going to get to anytime soon. Prioritization and letting go - my saviors.

And the petering out of the antidepressant meds/withdrawal symptoms have reintroduced me to the issues that've plagued me most of my life. Being an interesting intelligent person, wanting something that's true in your life - all of this comes with a price. And that price is wondering sometimes what the point of it all is. Why am I here? What's my focus? What's my reason? Delving into the depths of your character and analyzing your flaws and the "why" of who you are. I guess explaining the emotions make them trite and simplistic when they're everything but. It's been hard getting through it. Especially since my thyroid is really low and I've been bottoming out on the energy scale. But the universe is beautifully serendipitous. Paul has lived with depression on one scale or another for most of his life and us talking about is has really been helpful. Having someone else who does understand and does have valid suggestions for how to deal with those bad moments has been really positive. Being with Paul I believe has accelerated my growth and development as a person. I would have come to the conclusions sooner or later on my own, but with Paul it happens sooner, easier, with more growth and less pain.

The last couple of days have gotten better and better by far. I've come to terms - for now - with some things and I've had some really great days. I also got through some physical stuff that I think was heavily influencing my mindset/physical reactions.

I did Critical Mass on Friday, which is this wonderful festival/parade/shenannigan havings-like ride that 100+ to hundreds of people attend every last Friday of the month and it was beautiful. We corked traffic downtown, blocked the Aurora bridge, and went through a major parking garage. SO much FUN! It's nice being on a bike on the road and not being afraid of the cars. For once a month, for select areas, bicycles own the road. The cars stop for us. We ended up at Golden Gardens and Paul and I had our first sunset together -- although this couple blocked our view in the last minute and we leaned out so we could both say goodbye to the sun setting behind the mountains over the water. It really was beautiful.

And I got beautiful tires, that are 320 tpi (high thread count) and they will be as beautiful as egyptian cotton sheets are. mmmmmmmm..... I also have dialed in for the most part my saddle position, which has made my ride SO much better and allowed me to get back up to near my faster speed, so I'm not all stupid slow like before. I'm excited to take them out for a twirl. Friends are coming over for dinner tonight and Paul and I went to watch the Terminator movie - which was really good. I really got into it and thought it was beautifully terminator-tastic. Paul thought it was more of an "action movie" rather than Terminator movie, but they had such great scenes that tied in from the earlier movies that I really loved it. It didn't have so much of that - look at this new terminator thing we were able to CG! - and had more of a good story and acting that was believable - I thought it added some depth that I liked. Anyway, the last couple of days have been really good.

And I'm looking forward to July 3-8th. Paul's mom is coming down and I can't wait to see her. Plus, I have 6 beautiful wonderful gorgeous day's off. 6 of them. In a row. I. Can't. Wait.

Monday, May 18, 2009

May 18th

Life has thrown up in my lap recently, but it'll be all good in the end. They laid of people at my work = more work for me :( but a stable job :) with a stable income :) :) as Paul got laid off on Friday, that's important. We'll be ok for a year on what I make/savings/his supplemental income, etc... and he's going to try to write professionally, which I'm really psyched about. Susan Mom told me Grandma Houghton died, which is one of those good and bad things as she was old, had dementia and had recently broke her hip. So a busy life changing weekend.

And today is what would have been Rich and I's 2nd Anniversary.
Happy Anniversary Rich.

I watched Zombie Honeymoon tonight,
the worst movie ever made,
because he thought it was a riot
and we watched it the night/night after we got married.
I miss him.

Friday, May 15, 2009

On Why I Used to Hate Cyclists (and still do)

Now, in the years before I started cycling I lived a stone throw away from the Burke Gilman trail, which I used (and still do) on a daily basis. I used to laugh and sneer and vehemently curse at the stuipd cyclists who would create a black hole of death around them when they wouldn't adhere to common traffic laws. I realize now as I ride not ALL cyclists are evil. Just some of them. Granted, I'm not the be all and end all of cycling etiquette. I do stupid things occasionally -but never the same stupid thing more than once - I learn my lessons. (The one exception being I listing to music with one earbud in occasionally.)

However, after this "BIKE TO WORK DAY" that everyone was so "super psyched and totally revved up for", I felt it necessary to state the reasons some cyclists give the rest of us a bad name. This has been culmulating since the weather turned nice (for a while) and there's all these newbies on the road. I'm excited that the bike love is spreading - biking is awesome - (Do It!). But really, please learn the basics before you present a death hazard to yourself and those around you.

1. You-on a bicycle-are a vehicle. Follow vehicular rules.

1.a. stopping at stop signs, especially those designed SOLELY for bicycles.

1.a.1. when stopping at red lights - stop for the duration of the red light. Don't stop, see no cars coming, then run the red light. You're still running the red light.

1.b. Be in the correct lane. If you're turning right, be in the right lane. If you're turning left, be in the left lane. Don't cut me off because you have poor planning. It's JUST as dangerous than if a car did the same thing.

1.c. Wait your turn. If I get to a stop sign before you, line up BEHIND me. Don't cut me off, or stop your bike 1/2 on and 1/2 off the sidewalk in front of me and then yell at me when I don't immediately go when the light turns green because I'm unsure of whether you're going to T-bone me.

1.d. Don't ride for extended periods on the sidewalk.

2. Wear proper gear.

2.a. Wear a helmet. Period. No description or explaination necessary. You're stupid if you don't and most likely will get hurt and I will have no sympathy whatsover. At all.

2.b. As a general rule, if you're on the BMI index as overweight, please don't wear spandex. It's not good. I am not fit enough to wear spandex and so I don't. It's not good.

2.c. Fenders are friendly! Besides the asphault backwash and butt bucket you experience when you have no fenders, if you're the unlucky person to ride behind someone when they don't have fenders (EVEN THOUGH YOU DO HAVE FENDERS) you end up getting soaked. It's not really *necessary* per se, but it's courteous.

3. Don't assume since I'm on a bike and you're on a bike we're best friends. **Generally I like lots of people and am a people-person, but when you're A. riding on the sidewalk B. Weaving back and forth C. Not wearing a helmet D. Listening to your Ipod so loud I can hear it coming from your earbuds 4 feet away DON'T assume your perky little smile head bob thing is going to make me feel better/like you when you narrowly escape running me over (while I'm walking my bike on the sidewalk)

As a disclaimer - again - I am by no means at all the best rider. But every time I ride with someone and they point out something that's not condusive to good cycling I get better the next time I go out. So that's why I used to hate cyclists, and to some extent, still hate the bad ones.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

On the Road Again

First of all - I went and saw Wolverine last night. It was *maybe* a C-, mostly a D+, but Hugh Jackman rocks my world so much he in that movie = A++++. Mostly because he's delicious, beautifully ripped, and in several scenes barely covered :) For those of you who don't see Hugh Jackman as a delicacy, I'd wait until the movie comes out on video.

On the up note, it seems (for the most part and I'm REALLY crossing my fingers on this) that the worst has passed from coming off the anti-depressants. My joints don't hurt nearly as much today and I had energy and pep this morning. (and apparently was very talkative in my sleep last night)

So now that the world has quit reeling for the most part - I'm on the road again to my weight loss goal. I've lost around 40 lbs and I've got the last 40 lbs or so left to go. I've not gone anywhere for a couple of months in between the thyroid medication migration+ the sprained ribs+ Vicodine+ getting off anti-depressants. My goal is to get to my target weight by October 31st - to be able to wear something sexy for Halloween just because I can. That results in a little less than 2 lbs/week which is in the healthy and achieve able range (but the schedule does mean I can't lose any time, I need to lose something every week).

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Think Good Thoughts

UPDATE: Tuesday night - Charity has been found, nothing went wrong, everything is ok.

Charity (my brother's girlfriend) is missing. She went cold-turkey off her anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medication lately and has been very confused. We're all worried about her. Please think good thoughts for her and my brother (who has two more finals to take during this time)


I'm wanting a hug right now, so....

Saturday, May 9, 2009

The Naming and my Weekend.

My bike is now fixed - yay!!!!! I rode her in for my commute for the first day on Wednesday. It was quite nice (although raining and very winter like, just a touch warmer). The fatter tires and the violation of a seat need to go. Fat tires (cyclocross training tires) make it SO incredibly slow compared to the road tires I had on Andrew's Kona...which got switched out on very nice yes!!! And the seat - I'll just put it this way - there are certain seats out there that are a violation of all that is holy and cut off circulation in places that are really important. The stock seat my Kona came with is one of them. So I switched it out on Thursday it it was much nicer.... although the fit is .... off .... somehow. Getting better with every adjustment, but still more need to be made.

As for naming her, naming her has been very very very difficult. Nothing has quite.... fit. And it has to be right. I've considered a LOT of names: Paul had been calling her - "She-Who-Is-Being-A-Bitch-Right-Now" - true, very true, but not a name. Andrew voted for Naja "strong and stoic". Paul voted for Naava "Pleasant and beautiful" or Nenet "Goddess of the Deep" (found out that was actually a GOD and he was a super minor character, so that was out). I really thought about Nala, which means "Successful or Queen" in African. I mulled over Rowan "red-berry tree". I thought about Phoenix, but it's ...not quite right either. This is driving me nuts that I haven't found her name. I agree with Paul though about naming her requires an "epiphany" moment or a distinct impression with riding her and since she's a lot like Damian and I've not found her fit, and I've been really issue laden physically I haven't got that chance's got to come soon though, I feel like she's teasing me not letting me know her name.

Yes, naming a bike is this important to me. I never pretended that I wasn't a bit odd. Anyway, enough about the bike.

I went to the Opera on Saturday and had an absolutely AMAZING time. I saw the Marriage of Figero - I will do an in depth post later.

I talked to all my Mom's on Sunday (around 3 and two 1/2's ish I guess - mom who gave birth, step mom married to my dad. Susan-Mom, who was my former mother in law. Then the two 1/2s are Dee (mom who gave birth to me's wife) and Paul's mom, whom I talked to on the phone today and who is wonderfully responsible for the Opera outgoing). I love them all so much for very very different reasons. I do want to express now how wonderfully amazing Susan-Mom is and how I'm so thankful to have her in my life. She's really an amazing person and she is very dear to me. *big hugs to her* - and for all the other mom's who read this, this doesn't mean I love you any less/more, no jealousy! :)

As for how I'm doing with the medication business... doing better with the symptoms that have arose already, dealing with minor new ones now - fatigue, muscle soreness, achy joints. Riding my bike downtown and back yesterday and today (my typical commute) just about took it all out of me. My muscles feel like they do when I've got a really bad flu - achy sore and generally not-doing-much-at-all before I can't go anymore. *Sigh* So I'm really really really slow right now. And tired. But doing really well otherwise.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Geeking out and Figuring it Out.

I saw Star Trek last night - which was awesome!! It was very much like a wonderful classic episode - totally worth seeing. Logic gaps, but then again, Star Trek logic always moved at the speed of plot :) Anyway - see it if you get the chance.

So the ongoing battle with the effects of not being on anti-depressants continues. I'm getting caught unexpectedly by the fact that this is difficult, stemming from the fact I'm having to recreate me - how I act and react, how I think and emotionally respond, how I believe and what I think is my center, and the founding principles that I build myself and my world off of. I've been through really trying times (last year, for example), but this feels so much more difficult - it reminds me of the emotionally trying times I went through when I was a child / teenager. I think it's because now, like then, I have a chance (or am forced) to reassess myself, how I interact within the environment around me, and how I react to stimuli, what those founding principles are, etc.... With trying times before I always had that "core" or my castle where I lived and resided. Going through this, though, is harder because it's restructuring the castle. It's hard to escape to the "safe place" when the "safe place" is the place that's in disarray.

But it is really exciting. I have this beautiful tabla rosa that is who I am before me ready for me to make something wonderful out of it. I have the chance and the ability to develop my adult identity. It's not easy, but that's what makes it so important - so beautiful and so meaningful. We build ourselves, our castles, on clouds in the sky. And the cloud that's been defining my life for the last couple of years, in which I built my foundation on is disintegrating and I'm searching for a new cloud to build on while this one is disappearing. It's really the transition that's terrifying, the not knowing how I'm going to get from the current cloud to the future one.

I could stay on the earlier cloud, I could keep going on the antidepressants because this process is hard - I could give up. But (Paul and I talk about this aspect of both our personalities frequently) "What I want is true - and because of that I will suffer." If I were more shallow, or more content with meritocracy and lies, or undeveloping the truth about who I am and where I'm going, what I want, what I'm made of - I'd stay on this cloud with the antidepressants. I wouldn't search for the next cloud, I wouldn't look too closely at the current one and realize it's not valid anymore. I would be blissfully ignorant in my mediocrity.

But I can't do that. Choosing this is choosing the painful metamorphosis of developing myself. Even though I know this will result in an amazing transformation wherein I come out better than I am right now, it's a difficult and challenging thing to walk into. It takes courage.

Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgement that something else is more important than fear. ~Ambrose Redmoon. I want to constantly change and become a better person on a daily basis. Something that does take a lot of courage, but being a better person is more important than leaving behind my comfort with the now.

Courage, in the final analysis, is nothing but an affirmative answer to the shocks of existence. ~Kurt Goldstein

To live with fear and not be afraid is the final test of maturity. ~Edward Weeks

So here's to figuring things out. (at least for now)

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Dreams and Drugs

I'm feeling much better today. I've been holding off on describing what's going on because I don't think it's relevant, but to describe what's been going on in my life right now I have to.

Several years ago, before they found out I had a thyroid issue, I went in to see the doctor for a deep depression that I could FEEL was coming not from external influences, but from internal body chemistry changes. They said I was "just depressed" (even though I made clear something wasn't working with my body and this was a symptom and not a cause). They wanted to throw antidepressants at me, so I told them if I got to be depressed on my own somehow, I'd get back on my own - I'd work it out. Basically to screw off - I hate doctor's who just throw medicine at you before ensuring that they're treating the right issue. So I went to a therapist for a year. She wasn't very great, but helped in some areas. Over the course of that year I degenerated significantly and rapidly. I was completely impaired - at the end of that year I couldn't function on a daily basis - I was in a very deep depression, when I wasn't at work I was sleeping, I couldn't think or function. Period. It was effecting all relationships and jeopardizing my job. At this time the therapist said it was definitely a physical cause and not a mental cause, so I went back to the doctor. At this time I wanted relief so I could function (and not lose my job/relationships/etc...) I was told by a friend of mine (my boss at the time) that antidepressants would help and recommended "the mildest antidepressant out there". So I asked my doctor about it while they were discovering my thyroid condition, which took quite a while, I went on anti-depressants, which helped out tremendously. And I've been on anti-depressants in one strength or another for about 2 years now.

Over the past year I've tried going off of them a couple of times because I don't accept that this is just something "I'm going to have to take for the rest of my life." (quote from a doctor) They don't know how SSRI's REALLY work, and they change the brain's chemistry. To treat depression like a disease is to undermine the plasticity of the brain, strength of will, and beauty of being human. But every time I went off it before, it's been - well - horrible.

The withdrawal symptoms are more debilitating than the depression I originally was afflicted with. Bottom line is the withdrawal symptoms for me for Lexapro include dizziness that's really bad - just stepped out of the twirly carnival rides dizzy, emotional sensitivity, nausea, hot flashes, insomnia/needing to sleep for 11-12 hours a day, joint pain, poor motor skills/coordination issues - I become a total and utter clutz, and I cannot think, headaches, etc... etc.... When I've gone off them in the past I've been on higher doses and have had SEVERE issues. This time I was smart and for about 6 months I've been preparing to get off them once and for all, because I'm really at a great time in my life. I don't want to be on them forever, and they take the 64 count box of crayons that life is and pare it down to 24 or 16 colors. Life is all pastels with no neon colors. It deadens you. I don't care to be deadened.

So I originally went from 20 mg to 10 mg and stayed that way for 3 months. Then I went to 5 mg and stayed that way for 2 1/2 months. I went off of them about 2 weeks ago. It's been 10 times less intense than going cold turkey off of 20 mg and I've definitely been experiencing withdrawal symptoms, which cumulated yesterday into a pretty messy conglomeration of nastiness. All in all, though, the symptoms are a lot more mild and my ability to bear them out has been much better. I'm going to check in with my doctor in a week and if the symptoms don't taper off, I'll work with her on getting 2.5 mg doses to take every other day to taper off some more before trying again.

On the up side while all this is going on - I get my 64 colors back, things are more vibrant and poetry abounds. Life is more. I'm thinking in poetry again. When I'm on it, poetry is something that flits through my brain, whereas before I would just live it and think it and be it. So I'm getting my poetry back - :) Another thing I'm getting back is my ability to remember my dreams...which is a double edge sword as my dreams are very intense and not always happy rainbow dreams. I've had very intense dreams about my family (mother, cousin, father, brother, grandmother, etc...) and evil houses that have malevolent intentions repeatedly for the last couple of nights. I'm also dreaming about how we change as people. It's been really amazing and I'm truly stoked about finally getting off of them. All I need to do is bear out a few more days of these withdrawal symptoms (hopefully) and it'll be to a point where it won't interfere with my life so much.

Monday, May 4, 2009


Again with the medication adjustment, again with the feeling ridiculously crappy, nauseous, dizzy, feverish, emotional, and just plain icky.

Today was particularly icky. Woke up this morning to make biscuits and gravy - which turned out pretty good, I need to make the biscuits bigger next time, but all in all it turned out well. I was feeling really weird and lethargic/out of it. I went down stairs to switch the clipless pedals back from Iri to the new Kona this morning and the right pedal kept screwing in weird. (After further review tonight the pedal hole threads on the right hand crank are stripped - - how, I don't know since I wasn't forcing them on there. So now I have to make a trip to 2nd Ascent tomorrow to have them fix it - my brand new bike. FSA crank arms suck. I'm going to get a better crank set when I can.) End result is that I took the bus and between some confusion at work and the fact I increasing felt like poo on a stick, today really ranked superfragalastic on the craptastic scale.

Hopefully tomorrow will be better.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Sunday... race pictures, news, and names.

Beautiful awesome pretty day outside. Went to Andrew's race today and putzed around. Ended up trying out clipless pedals on the mountain bike for the first time, but more trial will be needed to see if it's good or not. Then I had a really nice picnic with Paul and got all sleepy and a little sunburned. It's absolutely GORGEOUS in Seattle right now. I love it.

Anyway, like usual, Andrew rocked and took 8th place in his division and 17th overall out of the "sport" category (which had over 50 people in it). It was totally fun to see everyone at a real race, as the Wednesday night things aren't a really races per se. I've mulling over my thoughts on racing and I'm sure there will be a post later on in the future fleshing out my mullations. Anyway - I took some awesome pictures and will share:

This is by far my all time favorite picture of Andrew so far.

Group shot of all the "sport" people going off.

And some random thoughts from Friday:
I'm not prone to terror (or fear for that matter) this whole swine flu thing isn't a joke, but I don't freak out like some people around the office/country are, but according to Zombizim (deriving from Swine flue) is going to arise and your loved ones are going to attack bummer.

News (or fake news) is totally wacky. I get 20 seconds of news in the morning in the elevator on the way up to my office (yes, there's tvs in the elevators here) and one of this week's top storieswas .... BARBIE GETS A TATTOO!!! Not just a shoulder tattoo, but a tramp stamp. Totally lame that that's more "important" than, I don't know...just about everything else.

And possible names for my bike:

Nia "Champion" Celtic/Gaelic

Naava "Pleasant Beautiful" Hebrew

Nala "successful" African

Naja - "Strong and stoic" African

Adah - "beautiful addition" Hebrew
Adina - "beautiful adorned" Hebrew

Naveen "Beautiful Pleasant" Celtic/Gaelic

Davina "Beloved" Celtic/Gaelic

Nenet "Goddess of the Deep" Arabic

Saturday, May 2, 2009

This is Me.

So I've been saying that I'll post more recent pictures of me on here...and here they are.

My Very Own

Paul and I walked into 2nd Ascent this afternoon so I could oogle the bike I was going to buy when my money came in.  We saw that the Kona's were 15% off and the sale was ending this weekend - which would translate into $135 savings on the price.  In (what seems like now) a whirlwind Paul offered to sport me the money until I got the rest of it in within the month and 


Mine, all mine and beautiful and glorious and fantastic and orgasmic.  I'm going now to switch out the components (fenders, pedals, etc...) and go for an "adjustment ride" to make it all silky smooth and beautiful and an extension of my body.  2009 Kona Jake red and black with white and yellow accents - it's beyond beautiful.  It's mine.  My first brand new bike that's not a loaner, not a hand me down, not a craigslist item, but a real honest-to-god beautiful sparkly new bike.  

And I have yet to name her.