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I Don't Care if Monday's Blue, Tuesday's Grey and Wednesday, Too

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Oops, I'm a day late with a blog. So sue me. Life is busy/I was getting up awfully late. Yesterday, I got up, er, right about now. But today's been different so far.

I am, I think, getting some of my disciple back. It had been somewhat lacking with the lousy weather (a poor excuse, I know) and now things are finally improving and so that is extremely helpful. As in, yesterday I finally did not wear long underwear, for the first time all year. Yeah, it's been that disgustingly chilly.

I was also getting up late, in part, as an avoidance mechanism. I was/am still working out, eating right, etc. I just didn't want to face the days quite so much, for reasons that I will not go into here. But things are improving. And I am tired of missing the morning, and finally getting everything rolling at 11 AM. So I will try to do better, and seize a more sunlit part of the day.

Assuming the sun comes out.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    Nothin like discipline.

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PHEBESS 4/9/2013 10:15PM

    Some of us are night owls - which means sleeping a bit later than the morning people of the world.

My DH is a morning person - up by 5 AM most days - while I sleep until at least 8 and sometimes 9. Can't help it, he's asleep by 10 or 11 PM and I'm wide awake til at least midnight or 1. Last night 1:30. Because there are noisy people at the hostel next door, and I had coffee at 1 PM. Yup, that'll do it.

So - upshot is - if you need to sleep a bit later to get enough sleep, well, don't worry about it. We don't all have the same Circadian rhythms.

Mornings are over-rated.

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CAROLISCIOUS 4/9/2013 9:34PM

    I love the mornings!

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MS.ELENI 4/9/2013 7:07PM

    I get up late for same reason some times.

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2WHEELEDSHARON 4/9/2013 4:39PM

    Gee whiz, long underwear still?! Hope this burns through it soon. emoticon

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MARCHMAIDME 4/9/2013 4:31PM

    I have plenty of excuses myself--both weather and health related--but it's time to buck up: the groundhog is back trying to chew up my herb garden. : (

It's global climate change, Mouse. Expect weirdness in the foreseeable future.

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LALMEIDA 4/9/2013 9:45AM


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THECITYMOUSE 4/9/2013 8:56AM

    This is how Spring rolled in to the OBX....Saturday we were doing yardwork and it was so cold our breath was visible in the air....Sunday it was tanktop weather. Go figure?!

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And So Become Yourself

Monday, April 01, 2013

For reasons that I will not go into, I have been rather pensive about the teachings that are being passed onto the next generation. And about the teachings that we absorbed at our own mothers' and fathers' knees.

* Drive around until you find a closer parking spot, because walking is too much work!
* Do your exercises, and you won't have a back ache.
* Don't let anyone know anything about your health - and then spring it on them when it gets really bad.
* Share your health issues so that people can learn from them, or at least do what they can to help you.
* Buy convenience foods instead of fresh.
* Learn to cook.
* Let yourself balloon.
* Keep your weight down, into your later years.
* Drink soda.
* Drink water.

And there are a thousand other lessons.

Even now, at age 50, I am struck at times by what I recall from earlier days, and I wonder why these habits can sometimes continue to shape me and fuel my decisions. And then I pull myself up short, and declare that that's just stupid - you were a kid long ago, when dinosaurs still roamed the planet, and now you know better and we all know better and it's time to stop blaming your current life for past failures and problems and issues.

And so I ask you, as you putter around in your daily lives, to consider the examples that you are setting, and the decisions you are making. Last week, Mr. j and I went to Chinatown for lunch for his birthday. There is a big pagoda-style gate at the front of Boston's Chinatown. And right in front of it, there was a food truck, selling variations on grilled cheese. There was a line.

People were rejecting good, fresh, tasty, interesting, inexpensive and mainly health foods in favor of ... grilled cheese?

I get it if people have no time, but for many of these places, you can call ahead, and they'll have your order bag waiting for you, so that's no excuse. The prices were pretty high at the truck, and they are low in many of Chinatown's restaurants, so that's not the excuse, either. The variety at the truck was okay but not great - not even enough to cover one side of a standard-sized menu printed in standard-sized fonts. So that's not the excuse.

I wonder what the people hanging around there (the area is a bit of urban green space, and has a smidgen of a park) thought of all of that. Did they think those choices were wise? Convenient? Better?

No one took a survey, no one took a poll. And don't get me wrong - I do enjoy grilled cheese on occasion. But I voted with my feet, my wallet and my stomach.

I had the chicken with mixed vegetables. It was good!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ANDREWMOM 4/2/2013 1:56PM

    Great List... Wonderful plan!!

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2WHEELEDSHARON 4/2/2013 8:29AM

    The idea of going to Chinatown for grilled cheese is leaving me pensive. I wonder what dinosaurs did whe they got bored with their diets.

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    Love that list. Lets see...
Walking is the best exercise. High heels are attractive.
Feeling fit is wonderful. I want "Comfort food"
Life is about achieving balance. Work 12 hours a day 7 days a week and then go home and do your email and hang out on Facebook.


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PHEBESS 4/1/2013 7:04PM

    I'd definitely go with the Chinese, each and every time!!!

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MS.ELENI 4/1/2013 5:08PM

    emoticon emoticon

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MARCHMAIDME 4/1/2013 2:03PM

    Good point. But nothing says loving like fat-filled food. Why is that? It must be that once upon a time fatty foods were harder to come by and people craved/needed fat in their diets. If we all were hunter gatherers we probably still would but now only the craving remains it seems.

Crocuses blooming yard work calls! Hurray! (Except I'm not supposed to do anything this week because of my back pain.) Darn. Foiled again. Ice cream anyone?

Just kidding. Sort of.

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Go Now, You've Been Set Free

Monday, March 25, 2013

The truth is, I am posting pictures and songs about reptiles as they prefer the warm weather. Et voila, if I do so, it will magically turn warm, right?



Boston is one of the many, many parts of the United States that is currently in Spring-pause mode right now. There are crocuses and snow drops up. My hyacinth are visible (albeit still green).

And I've still got a moderate-sized snow fort in my back yard.

I am awfully sick of this.

However in other, far more relevant news, I ran my second 5K of the year on Saturday. I was dead last in a very small field, but still shaved over 4 minutes off my time for the first 5K of the year, which had been run 13 days previously. All in all, it was good, although I did nearly slip on an ice patch.

Say what?!?!??!

You mean - you go out and run when there's ice on the ground?

Er, uh, yeah.

You go when it's raining?


You go when it's really hot out?


You go when it's muddy?


You go when you don't feel like it?


The only times I do not go (other than for actual rest days, such as yesterday) are either (a) it's dangerous, e. g. blizzard, hurricane, frogs falling from the sky or (b) I am ill with a fever.

Otherwise, I go, and I do something. It is not always running. Given all the snow we've had, a lot of my cardio for this calendar year has involved shoveling.

But the inner child who says, "I don't wanna!" does not get her way. She would rather sit at home, and eat junk food and watch bad TV and, well, anything but that.

She needs to shut up.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

THECITYMOUSE 4/5/2013 10:28AM's still 40 degrees on the Outer's spring break for many kids and they come here in string bikinis and flip flops....lemme tell ya, the outlet mall and the one sad department store here is making a KILLING this spring .... rumour on the street is there was snow in Raleigh yesterday...why does spring want to continue to elude us?

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KAYWEB555 3/26/2013 11:00AM

    Keep movin it! I wouldn't go wth the falling frogs ! But then I don't run ! You are doing great keep up the super job of healthy living !

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CHEETARA79 3/26/2013 8:48AM

    Greg and I have a pretty good home gym right now. We have a bunch of equipment plus the Xbox Kinect hooked up to our big TV. Yes, we put our big TV in our exercise room and NOT in the living room.

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PHEBESS 3/26/2013 7:59AM

    Yup, that "I don't wanna" voice gets smaller and smaller the more I ignore it. But yuck to all that snow! (Wanna come visit us in northern Australia? We get there in early April, rainy season has stopped, should be warm.)

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MARCHMAIDME 3/25/2013 9:46PM

    Thanks I needed that.

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GEE-KNEE 3/25/2013 9:36PM

    I fight with my inner child a lot too... and most days she doesn't win that fight... but I do let her go play on the swings or jump on trampoline from time to time.

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JOPAPGH 3/25/2013 7:58PM

    Agreed on the shutting up. Nice job getting out there!

Last week I ran 44 miles, including a 20 miler on Saturday. All outside.

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MS.ELENI 3/25/2013 4:53PM

    emoticon Thats you emoticon

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My Castles Stand Upon Pillars of Salt and Pillars of Sand

Monday, March 18, 2013

And so it goes.

That has been my mantra lately, it seems.

I went through a marathon interviewing session last week. In fact, right now last week (it's a bit before noon), I was busily, earnestly, explaining how I'd do some sort of project that has details that I have already, mercifully, forgotten.

And if you read last week's blog, you'd know that I also pounded the table and didn't overeat french fries and tried to be knowledgeable, charming and sincere.

And it was not enough.

I was told on Thursday that they didn't feel there was a fit.



But that's the point of this blog.

I am not saddened by this. I'm still a bit peeved at all the time and energy that went into a marathon that got me nowhere. But I do all sorts of stuff that, seemingly, gets me nowhere. I walk around my neighborhood and, when I've been a gym member, I've walked on a treadmill, the very epitome of things that don't seem to get anywhere.

I take one less chip, or drink an extra ounce of water, or I walk around my car the long way around instead of the short one, and none of these things has any form of instant gratification or results or success whatsoever.

It all seems to, sometimes, take forever, eh? It can certainly feel futile at times.

Another drink of water? Another walk around the pond? Another rep? Another meal to track? Another measurement to be recorded? Another step on the scale?

I know, and I am not without sympathy. It can seem like such an uphill battle, in both directions.

But the way I have learned to view it is like a system of gates and checkpoints. To get to your destination, you have to go through these points. Those points are that extra rep, or that ounce of water, or those rejected french fries. There are stops, too, as your body readjusts, and you readjust. And sometimes there are setbacks or slips, for those are a part of it all as well. There is no reason why this is going to be an easy or fast or pain-free voyage. For it will not be. That is not what was promised you.

It's the same with this seemingly endless search for professional fulfillment. The marathon interview session was just an annoying checkpoint I had to go through. So is this day's tracking - that's a part of today's checkpoint for getting and staying healthy. So be it. And we will push onwards, for all of our goals, whatever they may be.

And so it goes.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    i admire your determination and the way you put things into perspective.

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DDOORN 3/19/2013 3:48PM

    Another great song, Ms. Vonnegut!

Raising a glass to the wisdom of tedium! :-)


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PHEBESS 3/19/2013 3:36AM

    LOVE the song - one of my faves!

But - that was a major interview process for them and for you - and it sucks that it didn't work out.

As you say, it takes time, we keep on doing the work (or interview, or exercise, or watching what we eat) - and eventually we get the results we want.

So - keep on keeping on, you'll find the perfect job at some point!

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MARCHMAIDME 3/18/2013 3:15PM

    That's it, Jes. Onward/forward. Nowhere else to go.

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KASEYCOFF 3/18/2013 12:28PM

    I hate interviews - most of them seem to be such a monumental waste of time, both on the part of the interviewER and the interviewEE. So much of it consists of generic, banal questions that don't apply to a specific position anyway.

Re the gates / checkpoints: I think of them as mileposts, but it amounts to the same idea (thinks me). And yes, sometimes it's just a case of ticking another box.

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BLUEANGELLK 3/18/2013 12:28PM

    Sorry to hear about the job, but you sound like you are taking it in stride. Keep moving past the checkpoints and towards your goals!

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MS.ELENI 3/18/2013 12:03PM

    They sure seem to make you jump thru hoops for nothing. it will be worth it when you find the right job.

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And Possibly the Complications

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

I am one tired puppy.

Yesterday was a LONG day. It was an enormous job interview, and I didn't even see everyone I was supposed to! Hence, even if all is positive and wonderful and lovely, I would STILL have to have a phone screen with this last dude.

That would be my third phone screen, on top of six hours of interviewing which included a one-hour presentation by me.

I cannot begin to tell you how beat I am. But how do I feel about it all? Does the linked song provide a clue, perhaps?

In the morning, I had four separate interviews. I think they were mainly good. One was a woman I had phone screened with, and I had thought I'd blown the phone screen, but obviously didn't. I felt similarly in the interview, and then reminded myself that that was what I'd felt before, so it was likely to be all right.

Then I met, erm, someone (it's blurring together), then a gal who would be a peer. The peer mentioned that she lives in Somerville. Well, I had been in Somerville the day before, running a 5K. Hence we suddenly had what to talk about (she had not run it). But it was a good icebreaker. Then I met the only man I met with at all that day; he was more of a mathematical kind of a person and gave me a scenario and asked me what I'd do. When I told him, he said that that was exactly what he had done - apparently a part of this job is to revive that older project (as you can imagine, I cannot say too much about such things).

Then it was time for lunch. My hoped-for boss took me. She's another Somerville resident, and asked me about the race. It seems she's also a runner but she didn't run it, either. But there's also a gym in the building, at the end of the day, would I like to see it? Sure. I think I handled the lunch okay. I got a sandwich that turned out to be messy, and it turned out to be served with fries. By that time, I was already pretty fried, and my only coherent thought was to have them hold the bacon. But the fries? They were meh. There was a time when I would have cleaned my plate of even meh fries. Instead, I ate my turkey and avocado sandwich and had maybe ten of the meh fries and that was good enough. Got back and washed my hands really well.

On to the presentation.

I could pick anything I wanted, and I did not have a deck of slides from anything, so I had to do it all from scratch. I selected Social Technographics (
) for my topic. It is, essentially, about how and why people use the web in different ways.

I ran slides. I pointed. I paced (I hate sitting for such things). I pounded the table. I modulated my voice. I answered questions (and I even clarified an answer in one of my thank you notes). I am thinking that part went really well but who knows.

Then, one more interview ('cause I hadn't had enough of 'em, apparently) and then I would have had a phone screen with the guy who ended up being stuck in the air, flying back from Detroit.

Then I got my little tour of the little gym, and my hoped-for future boss remarked that she had offered to lots of people to show them the gym but I was the only person who had taken her up on it. We shook hands, she gave me directions to get onto Route 128 (even though I have a GPS) and she told me I'd hear this week, most likely, as to whether I'd be talking to this guy.

My impressions are that they are very thorough but perhaps too much so. Sometimes, you have to punt, you know. And sometimes there are deadlines and you just can't do everything according to Hoyle. So that's all kind of strange. They were recently purchased by a company in the Midwest (I had originally thought that the new parent company was overseas, but they aren't; they're in the Mountain time zone) but the transition is still not complete. Those sorts of transitions can be troublesome; my experience is that those usually mean layoffs. Hence I could be going into a situation that could end abruptly.

The commute was okay; I had been worried that it would be a real pain. The gym is okay, but the area is flat and seems safe and well-plowed, so outside walking during lunch might be a better way to get in fitness minutes. While I was there, someone had brought in homemade Irish soda bread and put it in the break room, but I just ignored it as if it were a fancy paperweight with raisins.

Do I want this job? I think it could be a productive way to spend some time, and I could learn quite a bit. Is it my passion? No. Is it exactly what I want to do? No. But it will more than pay my bills until I can fulfill my passion.

But if I'm going to be hired, I have to go through another damned phone screen.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

2BMYOWN 3/13/2013 5:24PM

    Good luck, Jespah, I am keeping my fingers crossed and saying prayers that this turns out for you in the very best way possible. Did you catch the article on yahoo this past week about all of the hoops that companies are putting prospective employees thru? Evidently, this is becoming the norm rather than the exception. I find it totally discouraging (and for those who end up not getting hired after doing all that hoop jumping, demeaning and demoralizing). Not to mention expensive.....some of the prospective employees who had been interviewed for the article stated how much expense they had put into gas, clothing, materials, etc. Keeping positive thoughts that you are going to be one of the lucky ones! God bless.

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DDOORN 3/13/2013 1:41PM

    OMG the PACES employers put a prospective employee through...! I am OH-so-happy not to be out in the meat market these days...whew!

Sounds like you did SUPER bearing up under it all, though...crossing all my digits for the tide to turn in your favor!


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CAROLISCIOUS 3/12/2013 9:09PM

    That was an intense day. Good for you for hanging tough. Sounds like you did really well. I request permission to borrow the paperweight with raisins imagery. Awesome!

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BLUEANGELLK 3/12/2013 8:54PM

    Sounds like you did a great job. You sound like you were so cool under pressure.

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PHEBESS 3/12/2013 8:06PM

    WOW that's an intense interview!!! But I think it sounds good - especially since you looked at the gym, LOL! But really, little things like that leave an impression.

So good luck!

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    Good Luck Jes. Keep those updates coming. Be nice to hear that the bills were paid off and you did not have to eat the fries to get there. Congrats on that part too.

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2WHEELEDSHARON 3/12/2013 12:06PM

    I would do well to learn some table pounding skills from you:)
It sounds like you did your part of the process very well. I hope they come through tolerably well until you do find your passion. All the best!
Excellent restraint with the meh fries!

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MS.ELENI 3/12/2013 10:43AM

    Sounds exhausting. Hope it turns out the way you want

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CDCSMITH2013 3/12/2013 10:19AM

    Good luck. Sounds like you did a great job!

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