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I Talk Talk, I Talk to You

Monday, August 13, 2012

I wanted to post this cutie as I love the colors on that pic.

Anyway ....

It's another Monday. Time for another rant. Or, maybe not.

I have been thinking about communication lately, and about socializing.

I come from a background that generally frowned upon socializing. I mean more in the work environment than elsewhere.

I never really had good party skills. I'm still lousy at sticking my hand out and introducing myself, even at networking events or the like, where it is expected, nay, encouraged.

I just feel so weird about it, still. I am nearly 50 years old and should be utterly comfortable in my own skin. And I mostly am. But I still find it weird to just sort of foist myself on others at events. I do far better in one on one situations, or in huge speaking halls. I have zero fear of public speaking, possibly because I don't have to look anyone squarely in the eye. The bigger the crowd, the better! I love it, no lie.

But get me to a party and I want to hide.

It used to be, I'd hide in the clam dip. I've gotten better at that, and am a lot more likely to hide behind fizzy water with a twist of something or other.

Anyway - communications.

One of the best and easiest ways I have found to communicate in person is by having something - anything! - in common with the person I am approaching. Wanting to network, to me, is not enough. It's got to be more than that.

Early last week, I saw a guy with his black lab off leash. The dog was friendly, came over and immediately leaned into me as I starting scratching the part that, obviously, the big beast could not reach. The guy came up and said, "That's Dakota." And the guy had some sort of a Western accent that I could not place. Colorado? New Mexico? Maybe one of the Dakotas? I dunno. I gave Dakota another scratch and we went our separate ways.

This morning, as I was walking along, almost back to my house (this was at around 7:15 AM or so - it's been way too hot to walk much later than that), I see a guy across the street, walking a big black lab and the guy waves at me first! Holy cow. So I wave back. I did not cross to say hi but there was still that smidgen of contact as Dakota and friend undoubtedly went home to enjoy a hearty breakfast, etc.

And that got me to thinkin', which is always dangerous.

Maybe I was the first person who said hi to this new guy in Boston, ever. And he's probably pretty far from home or, at least, far from wherever he got his accent. And while he's got Dakota, I am guessing that Dakota does not speak a lot of English.

If I hadn't gone walking that day, if I had let the heat and the humidity and the general chewiness of the air keep me from getting some aerobic exercise in, I would have missed this encounter. And Dakota would not have gotten scratched (at least, not by me). And the dude might not have had anyone say hello to him, maybe.

The point I am attempting to make is - there is more going on than just one foot in front of the other, burn calories, rack up the steps on the pedometer, tote that barge, etc. It is a true bit of community.

I have long maintained that obesity and depression are linked. They are married. They are Siamese-freakin' twins. And we lock ourselves away. And society PUTS us away. They don't want to deal with us. They don't want to hear. And they sure as hell don't want to SEE.

So get out there anyway. And pet the dogs and say good morning and crook your finger at children in strollers in a little private wave and pick up a stray bit of trash if you see any and take a photo of your neighbor's prize petunias and scan the horizon for distant ships or trucks as the case may be, but by all means GO OUT THERE.

It is not about pedometers and personal bests.

It is about being a prized, functioning and, dare I say it, beloved member of your community. Here in the United States, we have locked ourselves away in our little castles. Put down the damned drawbridge and get out there.

And I bet those dragons would like a few scratches on their rumps, too.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BRENJET 8/14/2012 8:51PM

    Fantastic blog! Drawbridge is lowered...I will be saying hello to many people tomorrow. Thanks for paying it forward...and giving us something to think about.

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TELERIE 8/14/2012 5:39PM

    I'll never forget the bright cheers I got when I was a new "runner" going up a hill. A seasoned runner going the other way shouted encouragements and really gave my feet wings. It takes so little effort and can potentially mean so much. Connecting with others...
Scratch Dakota from me too, next!

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    Phew how true. I am only just admitting to myself how much emotion has to do with overeating or over anything. In fact I am making myself a nervous wreck by looking into the face of anxiety. A big surprise because I think I project to everyone a calm self assurance. To myself as well. The thing is whether it is anxiety or depression or whatever we have gotten so great at managing it but it still comes out in a way...maybe over eating. My way. You are so right too about just getting on with it. Putting the draw bridge down. Reaching out. Now my task is to stop stuffing the anxiety while I am skillfully putting down the drawbridge. Multi tasking at its finest. Great blog. Thanks

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KASEYCOFF 8/14/2012 3:45AM

    I dunno exactly what you 'do' in real life (lol) but if you don't write - I mean, really WRITE - you're missing your calling.

What a terrific blog! You've put such a great start to my day... not to mention some inspiration and motivation!

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CAROLISCIOUS 8/13/2012 9:36PM

    I'm shy in front of crowds and one on one. After reading this, I feel encouraged to try to be more friendly.

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MALCONTENTION 8/13/2012 3:50PM

    I like this and apply it myself. Yesterday it was going up to a little boy who had a John Deere hat on like mine and saying "we have the same hats!" Connections are very important, even with strangers.

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PHEBESS 8/13/2012 2:08PM

    Totally agree!

And the people who walk or run with sunglasses and earphones make me nuts - it's like a sign saying "leave me alone!!!"

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MS.ELENI 8/13/2012 11:56AM

    Loved this blog. emoticon emoticon And pic of dog is so cute

Comment edited on: 8/13/2012 11:57:04 AM

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SAINTBETH 8/13/2012 11:27AM


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VALERIEMAHA 8/13/2012 11:14AM

    Me too!

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It Feels So Close, But Always Disappears

Monday, August 06, 2012

Frankly, I was hoping for an excuse to show this little cutie, so here it is. :)

But our goals do hide sometimes, eh? They get behind the chair or, more likely, behind the ice cream pint or the plate of french fries or pick your poison, whatever it is, and they required some moving and reshuffling and when we look up they are further away and we are left wondering just what the hell happened.

And we get distracted, as we see the neon lights of complacency and just plain old hanging around. I gotta say, it's been hot as blazes again, and so just hanging around looks awfully good. Sometimes that's one of the few options, when it's really brutal out there.

But with that hanging around and not exercising so much has to, hand in hand, come the corollary - eat less.

But it's oh, so easy to ignore that part of things, and so hanging around also turns into more of a festival of eating. We're bored. We're at home. We're sedentary.

It's so ... easy.

But it's a seductive lie.

It strips us of our purpose and diminishes our efforts.

I say, fight complacency back, and kick it in the keister.

This heat has been brutal, but the mornings aren't so bad, and neither are the evenings. So walk then. Or go to a mall and walk. Or a gym. Or head to a cooler spot - perhaps a local beach or lake? Swimming is fantastic, and walking on sand can be quite the workout as you fight sinking.

Just, don't let it block your view of what's important.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NVDONNA 8/11/2012 12:40PM

    Guilty! Complacency and general laziness. You are so right. It is just easier. Gotta suck it up and do the HARD work. Ugh,,,but it's so hard!!!! WAH!!! LOL!!

OK,,,I have the exercise clothes ON,,,,now just gotta go do it! I will! Going now!! While it is still cool. Hotter than heck here too!!!

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KASEYCOFF 8/7/2012 5:00AM

    Brilliant. And motivating.

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CAROLISCIOUS 8/6/2012 8:21PM

    Weekend eating continues to be my distraction. Why is it that when Friday night goals go hide behind that chair and peek through the cracks at me?

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VALERIEMAHA 8/6/2012 1:18PM

    Say it like it is, grrl!

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GUITARWOMAN 8/6/2012 12:10PM

    So true......

It is hard to keep focus sometimes when life gets in the way, but there are ways to cope....

And, I feel more and more that eating the junk is just not worth it!


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DRAGONCHILDE 8/6/2012 11:57AM

    I think you got photobombed. Love the picture!

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GEE-KNEE 8/6/2012 10:47AM

    I have a chair that looks very close to that.... :) It is really easy to eat more and move less... if you have air, there is also the option of throwing on a video and cranking up the air at home. I personally love running early (like 5:30) in the morning in the winter (now that would be CA winter) because it's so cold outside, that I run the whole thing just to keep from freezing my bum off. Heat can be no fun. How about swimming? Any access to a pool?

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MS.ELENI 8/6/2012 10:29AM

    Loved the cutie behind the chair.
Good blog as usual

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BUSYGRANNY5 8/6/2012 9:45AM

    Great blog... cute chair and adorable dog, too!

Have a great day!

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Sue Me if I Play Too Long

Monday, July 30, 2012

Lately, the clock has been moving way, way, WAY too fast.

I feel like I'm running in place in order to be behind, if that makes any sense.

Part of it is the heat. Part of it is just plain ole garden-variety boredom. I've been doing the same old, same old for so long that I'm just affected with fifty shades of ennui.

Another part of it is, because of said boredom, I am overbooked with all sorts of little time killers, time wasters, time scrubbers, time eaters, time smashers, and they are doing it to me, big time.

This morning - because it's a Monday - here's what I have done so far (it's 11 something AM here).
* Showered
* Lifted weights
* Walked for 85 minutes
* This blog
* Added stories to two different fic sites
* Breakfast
* eight 8-oz glasses of water
* toured around three sites where I do community management
* talked to a recruiter
* applied for a job (unrelated to said recruiter)
* weighed in at Spark, recorded food and exercise
* email in two different accounts
* managed the RSVPs coming in (I'm planning a partay for my own 50th birthday, so there's stuff to keep organized)
* managed my fantasy baseball team (I'm in 4th place)
* took a look at the teams as they are shaping up for fantasy football
* made sure there were no comments to be moderated for my blog or my father's blog

Once I am done with this here blog, I still have Facebook and Twitter to look at.

Plus somewhere in there I have actual work to do for a place where I do community management and also some mild marketing stuff (this is online research).

Yes, folks, it's hard work being unemployed.

Now, I am well aware that most of this junk will be swept away when I begin actually working again. And I am often more nutty about such things than I need to be. I mean, is the world going to fall apart if I don't play Scrabble online one day? Not really.

And of course some things are more of a priority than others. The exercise. The food tracking. The water drinking. The job search. The work for the people who are paying me a pittance but wish they could pay me more.

I know where the lines are drawn between fun and obligations. But I don't mind blurring them on occasion. The work for the pittance people is, for the most part, kinda fun. Walking is fun. Blogging is, too.

Otherwise, I mean, sheesh - why do it at all?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    The 50 shades referenced is hilarious. I think maybe there is no such thing as a time waster. We can't always get what we want. Hmmm. Why am I hearing Mick right now. Yes. Well. Maybe one of the hardest things to want is good work if it is out of reach. But the things you spoke of here have great value and the pay is precious, just as your time is. There is no waste. What you do is now part of who you are. ST, job hunting, blogging. All of it. Not a drop was wasted. Not a single moment. and I suspect anything you touch becomes fun. 50 shades indeed

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DDOORN 7/31/2012 8:54AM

    "fifty shades of ennui" it! Nails it for me lately for reasons I have yet to pinpoint...ugh!


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CAROLISCIOUS 7/30/2012 9:28PM

    Your list of time killers, wasters, scrubbers, eaters, and smashers looks pretty productive to me!

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MS.ELENI 7/30/2012 3:21PM

    Sounds like you had a very busy morning

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The Grass is Always Greener Over There

Monday, July 23, 2012

I am spending much of the day indoors, yet again. The heat broke, but the relief was all too brief. We are back to air like hockey pucks. Hence I walked at 6:30 or so. It's done, that much is all well and good.

Back to other things, but the siren song of social media keeps calling me and it's screaming loud in my ear and it's like a nest full of baby birds and it won't SHADDAP ALREADY!!!

From Facebook to Twitter to my two regular blogs to writing to here and back again, around and around I go. And it's like wishing for something better, half the time or perhaps more frequently than that. I swear it's not just that we, as a culture, have short attention spans. I believe we also, again as a culture, are conditioned to, more or less all the time, covet something better.

Now, this is not necessarily such an awful thing. After all, striving for something better is why we're here, yes? We lift one more pound of weight, walk one more mile, do one more rep, drink one more cup of water. We leave it all out there on the field.

There are two fraternal twin impulses in life - Laziness and Covetousness. They are deeply ingrained in our genome. Laziness means we don't expend too much energy when we are starving, and we conserve. Covetousness means we try to get better. These sins - if you can call them that - they might just redeem us, eh?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    I do love this. What I call reframing. You are the master.

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2BMYOWN 7/24/2012 9:07PM

    LOL What did we ever do in the days before computers.....?? And I distinctly remember hearing myself say **back in the day** "I'll NEVER have one of THOSE things!" Aaaah, yes.....eating crow. Probably why I'm so heavy. LMAO

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MS.ELENI 7/24/2012 12:26PM

    emoticon emoticon

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DDOORN 7/23/2012 9:57PM

    Good to hear from you as always Jes...yes I sometimes scratch my head over the social media thing and the time I can allow it to soak up. Lazy: Object at rest, Covetousness: Object in motion! :-)


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CAROLISCIOUS 7/23/2012 9:55PM

    Might as well make the best of laziness and they are ingrained.

Let's laziness keeps me from overdoing covetousness keeps me from giving up all together.

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TELERIE 7/23/2012 5:07PM

    Sometimes we have to stop and smell the roses. Or think slow thoughts. Not always laziness, but a cllse cousin?

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GUITARWOMAN 7/23/2012 4:40PM

    Interesting thoughts....certainly carnivores, as long as they are not hungry, sleep a lot--look at your common house cat! And they do not move around for the sake of moving, as you might run into something that will want to eat you.


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STARMIZER2000 7/23/2012 2:47PM

  Good reading

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Let's Have a Mini-Surrender

Monday, July 16, 2012

I have been dragging myself around for days, weeks, it feels like months although I know, intellectually, it has not been quite that long.

It is HOT.

Now, the real definition of a heat wave is three consecutive days of 90+ temperatures. For those of you who use the Metric System, 90+ degrees is M*F'in' HOT.

It has not, for the most part, technically been heat waves (although I think we might hit one this week. We also had one when this nonsense started, back in mid-June). But it has been over 80, 85 most days, and it has been humid. The air is like thick, plain oatmeal. You can stand a spoon in it.

And so, of course, what did I do last weekend?

Heh, I ran my 30th 5K.

The time was godawful; the third-worst time I have ever had. I am also heavier than I have ever been for a 5K. As in, when you compare to the lightest I was for a race, I am 56.8 pounds more.



Funny thing is, I don't look huge.

Now, I don't say I look skinny by any means, but I don't look like I'm in love with the buffet at Denny's, either. This was how I was in Junior High, and High School, and into much of college and Law School. Densely packed. A surprise inside, perhaps, like a fortune cookie, eh?

A big part of that is strength training. I see people lifting 5 and 10 pound weights and I am supportive, yanno, but I last lifted a 10 pound weight for a workout back when I was recovering from abdominal surgery. Back in '10.

What do I lift now?

45 pounds, folks.

Why that amount?

Well, the thing of it is, any higher and I start to leave the realm of hand weights and hit the realm of big honkin' barbells. And I don't have the room or the budget for same.

When I was doing the gym, I was lifting more. But the gym is also not in the cards right now. Too much of a cash sink right now. I just can't justify it in the budget, even if I live there.

So I take my preexisting iPod and hand canteen that I won in the after-race raffle after one of my 5Ks, and wear my sneaks and my shades and a Red Sox cap and a tee or a halter top and cargo shorts and little New Balance socks and I go out there into the fiber-rich miasma that is Boston and I swim past the people who are panting as they barely move from air conditioned house to air conditioned car to air conditioned office to air conditioned restaurant to air conditioned gym (maybe) and then, eventually, back to air conditioned house.

I go out there and I do it. I am s...l...o...w in the heat, but that's to be expected. I also only do somewhat short stints. It's generally 30 minutes or so, rather than the usual 80 (no wonder I've gained weight). At home there is a fat free yogurt and a 90-calorie fiber bar that I have stowed in the freezer and will make my fillings rattle and will, hopefully, cool me down a bit.

And then tomorrow I get to do it all over again.

And I say "uncle" to no one. Not to those who look at a woman who weighs nearly 230 and cluck and disapprove and wonder why I'm not hidden away somewhere. Not to those who think it's too hot to do ANYTHING, because even one small thing is something. Not to those who just do the air conditioner glide from house to car to office and around, almost as if they were in one large, temperature-controlled human Habitrail.

But I am getting awfully tired of the heat.

So, heatwave and near-heatwave gods? Let's have a mini-surrender, mmmkay? Otherwise I'll need to go out and buy more halter tops, and I am not so sure my public is ready for that yet.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

VALERIEMAHA 7/23/2012 8:00PM

    You be damned impressive, grrl!!! (Totally out of the loop on blogs, sorrie.)
Puny Maha

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    Great blog. How did I almost miss it? Maybe cause it is so *******hot? I did not realize you lifted so much weight either. Or made it out for a run even in this kind of heat. Kudos to you Kiddo!

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BESEVEN 7/19/2012 3:12AM

    emoticonLove this post! You have the best attitude ever! emoticon

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DOKEYOKEY 7/17/2012 10:14PM

    Way to go with stamina, determination, and just plain old strength!

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DDOORN 7/17/2012 8:43AM

    Slow & steady wins the race, no...? :-)

Good for you to stick with it. Even though we've had our spells here in upstate NY a couple weeks ago while at our family reunion I was "treated" to the mid-West blast furnace where it was 94 freakin' degrees at 9 pm...! It was surreal to step out into the dark and WHOOSH!

I beat the heat by cycling first thing in the a.m. and would leave the hotel on my bike at 7, bike the 25 miles to my parent's place, have breakfast and bike back to the hotel. This heat is something else...almost eerie. It feels like a whole new sea change is afoot, where a/c is no longer a frill but a matter of life and death.


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TELERIE 7/17/2012 6:41AM

    I could send over some cooler temp and a bit of our rain... emoticon
You're such an inspiration, J! I'm going to think about you next time I'm trying to sneak out of a workout.

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CAROLISCIOUS 7/16/2012 7:49PM

    Verra admirable...

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MALCONTENTION 7/16/2012 4:47PM

    Good for you! I got out on my bike this morning and it was actually pretty darned nice.

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GUITARWOMAN 7/16/2012 4:19PM

    45 pounds?

I got up to 6 pound dumbells before I had to pull back to 4 after my surgery.

You rock!

Even in southern Ontario, it is still pretty hot. I am walking a bit outside (can't treadmill because of my foot) and I go out really early in the morning to avoid the worst of the heat.

Stay cool!


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MS.ELENI 7/16/2012 3:57PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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QUAIL75 7/16/2012 3:52PM

    emoticon It's so awesome the heat isn't slowing you down! I live in Boston too and dang, it's been hot. I normally walk to the gym after work but I've been taking the bus so I don't arrive in a puddle of sweat and heat exhaustion.

Cooler temperatures are coming this week, hopefully.

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WV_JIM 7/16/2012 1:03PM

    As a 40 year resident of the great state of Alaska who now lives in West by God Virginia, I completely empathize with your heat wave blues. We had a real heat wave AND our AC broke. It isn't as hot now but you can swim without getting in the water because it is so muggy.

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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I completely understand!! (The heat, being heavier than previous times running, but still not giving up because I know that I'm stronger and that's what counts.)

Here's to you and what you need to have a fabulous week!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SEXBOBOMB 7/16/2012 12:33PM

    Holy crap, 45 pounds?!?!?!


And I do agree, we all need a break from this heat. Saturday, I ran in 100% humidity, people. In Atlanta. And it's just July!

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