BECOMINGJAMI's SparkPeople Blog BECOMINGJAMI's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Maybe the Mayans Were Just Predicting the End of Concert Season Oh, concert season. The time of year singlehandedly most responsible for my health downfall. When it is physically impossible to run between rehearsals and lessons and dress rehearsals and concert prep in the proper amount of time, and where you only eat if you have a sandwich in your car or you race through the emptiest drive-thru in town. Where you call the tire center three days ahead of when your studs are supposed to be in, just to see if they can mount and balance said tires beforehand ... Sun, 2 Dec 2012 16:49:11 EST Up and About (Kind of) I wish I had something interesting to tell you that I've done or learned this week. But unfortunately, I'm mostly posting to say that -- despite my over-calorie day yesterday -- I'm still on track. My last several days had been under goal thanks to the most impressive dance with illness I've had in awhile. <BR> <BR> I've spent most of the week in bed. My bedroom looks like the Battle of Normandy, had it been fought with kleenex and throat lozenges. But on the upside, my abs are ridiculously ... Fri, 16 Nov 2012 18:30:16 EST Finding Peace in the Process It's sort of late right now, and I have to work tomorrow. I get the feeling, however, that I should write something at least marginally explanatory while I'm still in a brutally honest mood. <BR> <BR> In November of last year, I wrote a blog post about wanting to be who I used to be. About being tired of being depressed and anxious, and wanting to be the person that I know I can be. It astonished me to see that little ray of rebellious cheer, because I was hurting so badly at the time. I was... Thu, 1 Nov 2012 05:54:30 EST Damsels-in-Distress and a Love Letter to Myself I have an interview tomorrow for an adjunct position at a community college. Teaching pre-college writing skills - not in my normal oeuvre, but still something I firmly believe in. So, at the suggestion of a friend who used to be a job recruiter, I've been in the process of going through all my old blog posts, searching for a few samples for my portfolio. (A.k.a., "this is what I do for fun!") <BR> <BR> And I realized something in going through all of my stories. Allegro Mazerati and dental ... Wed, 31 Aug 2011 02:56:56 EST This is Why God Invented Bootstraps A couple months ago, while I was still in the depths of depression, a stranger gave me a gigantic self-esteem boost when I needed it most. My mother told me of a coworker of hers that might want piano lessons for his six-year-old daughter. So I dropped by the office to meet with him. We talked for several moments, discussed my teaching methods, I heard stories about his adorable little girl, and then we reached an agreement and I headed home. Apparently, he made a trip into my mother's office... Wed, 17 Aug 2011 15:14:57 EST Turning Back Into Myself Depression sucks. <BR> <BR> No, it literally does. It sucks the life out of every day, every hour, everything that you normally take pleasure in. It makes you behave like a socially-deficient walrus around your friends (though I don't particularly know why a walrus is any worse than anything else, except that it has giant tusks and is good at making angry, aggressive scenes. There. I just made my random simile work.) <BR> <BR> Point is, I'm not Jami when I'm depressed. And after awhile, I s... Fri, 12 Aug 2011 16:24:45 EST Confessions of a Bad Food Addict I caught myself today. <BR> <BR> Me: "By the way, Mom, lunch will be done in a little bit." <BR> <BR> Her: "What are we having?" <BR> <BR> Me: "Lemon Pepper Pasta with roasted asparagus and mushroom." <BR> <BR> Her: "I... I was thinking a sandwich or something. I didn't want you to have to go to all that trou--" <BR> <BR> Me: *waves her off* "Oh no, this is easy. Cook the noodles -- and these low-carb ones don't take long at all -- cut the veggies, toss them in a pan, put it together. Bo... Sun, 10 Jul 2011 16:42:58 EST They Say Dogs Are Like Their Owners So part of my summer goals is that I do a daily set of a hundred crunches. I started out being able to do ten at a time. Then twenty. Right now I'm sixty-forty. It's great, and I've felt the results of just making sure to do that, if nothing else. <BR> <BR> Now, as many of you know, I have a black pomeranian. Eight pounds of fuzzy menace. I've seen a lot of cats that are bigger than my dog. But that's really not the point. The point is, she loves attention. And she loves me. It's adorable, r... Sat, 9 Jul 2011 16:50:37 EST Rebellion (Lies) The title, for those of you who don't know, is an old Arcade Fire song. It seemed appropriate. (Of course, now it's stuck in my head.) <BR> <BR> So the truth is that I lied on my status. <BR> <BR> I lied a lot. <BR> <BR> I'm sorry, everyone. I know I need to take responsibility for my actions. I just... I worry what you think about me. All of you mean so much to me, and that's why I've decided to come clean. <BR> <BR> I'm running about 93% on my goals. Not 89%. :) <BR> <BR> My math was r... Fri, 8 Jul 2011 15:57:32 EST If It's Not My Inner Batman, It's My Inner Godzilla I have a love/hate relationship with summer, as I've mentioned before. It's hectic, it's chaotic, and I run around the state like a giant, headless chicken, racking up gas mileage and raising hell -- and usually gaining a few pounds. <BR> <BR> It's like Godzilla attacking Tokyo, only not NEARLY as cool. <BR> <BR> But! I have mentioned my great plan previously, and today is the day I put it into action! I will combat my inner Godzilla with yet another fearless experiment. <BR> <BR> Which in... Wed, 15 Jun 2011 16:36:29 EST They Don't Make Carnival Rides Like This My life is one of constant flux. <BR> <BR> Sometimes, it's sort of like living in a tornado, actually. It's fast, it's furious, you're flipped every which way, and sometimes smacked upside the head with pieces of flying debris. Every once in awhile, it even occurs to you that you seem to be going in circles, and despite constant motion, you never feel like you're getting anywhere. <BR> <BR> But on the upside? <BR> <BR> Damn, if that's not the coolest ride ever. <BR> <BR> It does, however... Mon, 13 Jun 2011 20:42:31 EST The Amazing Balancing Act (Summer Edition) It's the end of the year as we know it, and I feel fine. <BR> <BR> Okay, so minorly stressed, considering that I have to pack everything I own by Saturday. And that this is my last week living with Roommate, which is a very sad thing indeed (although I've been informed that if I don't come hang out, that I'll get a barrage of angry messages because I just have no excuse for that sort of behavior.) <BR> <BR> Our social calendar has been filling up since school ended. Which is to say that we'... Sun, 29 May 2011 15:54:30 EST The Ugly-Duckling Days of Summer Today, I have an ugly-duckling complex. Summer is coming (and in some places -- not here -- it's already arrived.) And I'm met with the reflection of a girl with four chins and unsightly back rolls. And all I can think is "oh god. I'm never getting in a swimsuit again." I've been on SP since August, and I REALLY feel like I should have made more progress than this. And it can't be impossible. Other people do it. So why does my "lifestyle change" involve a perpetual series of falling down and ... Thu, 26 May 2011 15:11:56 EST Productivity: The Results Show Yesterday! Yesterday was more successful than not. My goals were: <BR> <BR> - to pack four boxes <BR> - to clean my house <BR> - to do thirty minutes of cardio <BR> - to make a veggietastic, low-sodium dinner <BR> - to get my paperwork done. <BR> <BR> My results: <BR> <BR> - I packed SIX boxes, and then some <BR> - I cleaned my house <BR> - I didn't get all the cardio done, but I did scrub the everliving daylights out of my bathroom for forty minutes, so I don't feel TOO bad. <BR> - I made... Fri, 20 May 2011 16:12:41 EST Defeating the Blahs the Old-Fashioned Way My last concert was last night. It went almost surprisingly well, and was very well-received -- which is unabashedly surprising from this particular community. (Long story.) But still. Woo! <BR> <BR> Anyway. So I'm working on getting my life straightened out and to prepare for many long days of living out of suitcases and boxes until I figure out what's going on. <BR> <BR> And I'm sort of in a funk. I don't even really want to blog, but I feel like I should, to help me stay on track. <BR> ... Thu, 19 May 2011 15:40:41 EST A Salute to Beautiful People And by that, I mean YOU. <BR> <BR> Today is a short blog. I just wanted to get something out there. <BR> <BR> I've heard several people mention over the last few days that they've heard/seen boundless negativity on SP of late. Hurtful attitudes. People laughing at others' failures, etc. etc. etc. <BR> <BR> The list goes on. <BR> <BR> Which just goes to show me that I'm fortunate enough to meet a sampling of the world's best people wherever I go. And this is no exception. <BR> <BR> I've b... Sat, 14 May 2011 13:51:14 EST Finding Serenity (Without Looking in the Movie Aisle) Today has been an overwhelming torrent of soppy, angry negativity. <BR> <BR> In life. In family. Even on SP. It's everywhere, coming at me from all sides. (Which is really a shame, because I was in a great mood this morning.) But there was a point today that I felt as if there was no way to escape. No matter where I went, there it was. And some of it was far more justified than it should have been. Other parts people had inflicted on themselves, plain and simple. <BR> <BR> But in the end, i... Fri, 13 May 2011 19:36:44 EST The Will to Flourish So first off, I'm sick again. Woo! But I'm pretty sure this is Roommate passing on his head cold, which isn't nearly as bad as being bed-ridden for three weeks with pneumonia. <BR> <BR> It's like instant perspective. <BR> <BR> Anyway. <BR> <BR> So, as many of you may know, my academic year is winding down. As of July 29th, I will be woefully unemployed. Put simply, my time with AmeriCorps has run out. They will not award me any more education funds for the work I do. So it's time, once aga... Tue, 10 May 2011 15:59:10 EST A Late-Night Rant Session Posting twice in one day is a rarity for me. <BR> <BR> But a post on the Daily Spark blogs pissed me off. Well, not the article itself. The forum response to it. <BR> <BR> The article was about whether or not people judge what is in the grocery carts of others. And the resounding, overwhelming response was "yes! We judge people who have unhealthy food in their carts. Especially if they use EBT/food stamps. They're wasting MY money when they do." <BR> <BR> Now, let me first say that I appre... Sat, 7 May 2011 01:42:21 EST Concert Night and Standing For Your Something I directed my last concert in Long Creek last night. It was, for lack of a better term, utterly amazing. So many of the kids performing did better than they'd ever done. Everyone gave their best, and despite a few minor snafus, the audience was impressed by the sheer amount of talent they have in their town. <BR> <BR> For my part, I ended up covering for Roommate, whose vocal cords felt like piles of infected sludge (you're welcome) when he was supposed to be singing/playing bass for an old ... Fri, 6 May 2011 14:43:20 EST Twisting in the Wind (Reprised) I fell into a pit of drama last night. <BR> <BR> It was well-timed, really. I was talking to a friend of mine, and she wasn't sure what was going on. I referred her to my blog, sort of like an instruction manual. "Oh, well that makes sense then." <BR> <BR> Score one more for honesty. <BR> <BR> I feel blue and pensive today. Which is appropriate for the rain coming down out my windows. (But hey. At least it's not snow.) It's probably a good thing that I rescheduled classes to go to the dent... Tue, 3 May 2011 13:25:23 EST A Sledgehammer Called Honesty I am, on occasion, a drama queen. <BR> <BR> Roommate, if you're reading this, don't laugh. <BR> <BR> At least not while I'm in the room. <BR> <BR> I try to be low-key and and even-keel. I try to be the unshakable one in hard situations, and the bastion of smart-ass no matter what's in front of me. But let's face it. If there is a drama gene, it exists in my family. So every now and again, when problem upon problem has built a mountain of frustration on my back (not unlike that scene in Lab... Mon, 2 May 2011 15:38:45 EST Resolve and the Return of the Body Image Ninja I haven't blogged in awhile. There are many reasons, excuses, whatever you like. I could tell you that between concert season, a massive three-week bout of pneumonia that made my lungs mildly asthmatic, and a very large job interview (that would theoretically move me about an hour away from WRENRAMON), that I've been exhausted and stressed. <BR> <BR> Or I could just say that I've been making excuses because of discouragement over a constant struggle to lose the weight I gained earlier this y... Sun, 1 May 2011 13:53:46 EST Dusting Yourself Off: Why Self-Pity is for Losers At the leadership conference last weekend, the keynote address was phenomenal. It resonated with me in a very personal way -- it did for most people in the room, which is a credit to the speaker. But in any case, I think my favorite part was when he spoke about five qualities of effective, successful people. (From Adam Bryant's "Corner Office," for the sake of not plagiarizing.) <BR> <BR> Passionate curiosity. Team smarts. Simple mindset (not simplemindedness). Fearlessness. Battle-hardened ... Fri, 11 Mar 2011 14:47:10 EST The Promise of Something to Come I've been tossing around ideas for a blog today. I knew I wanted to write something. At first, it was going to be the promised recap of my conference. About speaking on the panel, and how it went better than I ever could have hoped. <BR> <BR> Then it was going to be about the rejection letter I got in the mail today. The one that tells me that the dream, the goal I've worked and sweated for for eight years has gone down the drain in thirty seconds, and I'm suddenly very unsure of where in th... Wed, 9 Mar 2011 18:46:24 EST Unconventional Cabin Fever and Other Tales The muse to write has completely escaped me lately. I always feel as if I have to say something useful or I'll somehow vanish into the abyss (along with left socks everywhere, apparently.) But the truth is, I'm feeling a bit stuck. <BR> <BR> Or maybe "stuck" is the wrong word. I feel frozen. Like everything around me is stagnant, waiting for something big to change. And no small wonder - I should be receiving my acceptance/rejection letters from doctoral programs in less than a month now. E... Fri, 25 Feb 2011 14:49:54 EST National Disaster Areas and Other Winter Ramblings I've been discouraged lately. Oh, don't get me wrong. I've been doing pretty well. Still fighting to get below that 291 threshold like I have been for awhile. But I'm about two pounds up from it, so that's exciting. But I've been discouraged from being on SP. I suppose I didn't really realize what a difference having people around made until they sort of faded away. <BR> <BR> I think perhaps this is the time of year when we get discouraged by cold weather and snow and sludgy skies. We stay ... Sun, 6 Feb 2011 16:23:11 EST It's the End of the World As We Know It (And I Actually Do Feel Fine) I've had monumental issues sleeping this week. You know how they say that the road to Hell is paved with good intentions? <BR> <BR> Apparently, so is the road to insomnia. <BR> <BR> It all started out innocently enough. You see, I'm a night owl by nature. I do my best work in the evening hours, and I function best when I can start slow in the mornings. But on my weeks in one school, I have to get up an hour earlier than my normal sleep schedule. Normally not a problem. <BR> <BR> But last w... Fri, 28 Jan 2011 16:40:55 EST Having Faith and Gamer-Chick Support Groups No, I'm not in need of a support group for gaming. I'm not obsessive enough for that (though I know some people...) <BR> <BR> As I've mentioned, I haven't been doing badly lately. Forgiving one day in the weekend where I officially didn't care, I've been getting back on the wagon. Right now, my kick has been getting enough vegetables and fruits. Right now, on a typical day, I'm getting between 5-7 servings a day. My water intake is not quite where it should be, but I'm working on it. <BR> ... Mon, 24 Jan 2011 15:57:12 EST Nothing Fosters Social Anxiety Like Helicopters and Biofuels I've been having trouble blogging lately. I want to. It's just that when I sit down in front of the screen, my mind blanks and I find myself searching in vain through my memory banks for a subject that might actually matter to someone, somewhere. <BR> <BR> Then I look around the room, as if that will give me inspiration. <BR> <BR> ...nope. No one cares about the dirty sock on the floor. And even if it could be made into a metaphor, let's face it. No one would care even then. <BR> <BR> My l... Sat, 22 Jan 2011 15:15:00 EST For the Love of Neuroticism So the root canal went well, for those of you wondering. My dentist is very, very skilled and firmly believes in the wonders of novocaine. I'm pretty sure it should have been horribly painful. Especially considering the fact that, judging by the smoke billowing from my mouth at a few points, he set my teeth on fire at least once. For my part, I just sat back with my mouth open for two hours, utterly chillaxed and trying not to sing along with the songs pumping through my iPod. <BR> <BR> Whic... Sat, 15 Jan 2011 18:45:51 EST And the Award for January's Most Random Blog Goes To... Today, my post doesn't really have a point. It's more of a quasi-mindless ramble, but you may in fact blame the fact that I've been down with the flu for the past few days - and inevitably, the first thing to go is my brain cells. Still, I've missed you all, and wanted to at least write something so that you could be assured that I haven't died or turned back into a snowman. <BR> <BR> Ironically, the prolonged lack of blogs has not been due to lack of progress (for once). I've been consisten... Thu, 13 Jan 2011 16:10:32 EST Resolving to Resolve In the spirit of the end of the year, I've been doing a lot of thinking. Things that have been. Things to come. Those suspicious little things called fat cells clinging stubbornly to my sides. But mostly, I've been thinking about the life that I want, and how I want to get there. I've already taken some steps. Some more need to be made. That's what I want to focus on as we hit 2011. <BR> <BR> I've never really been one for New Year's resolutions, however. Why? Because I realized that we, as ... Thu, 30 Dec 2010 14:55:13 EST It's All About Respect: A Rant on How People Treat People I'm having one of those days where I can't blog about one thing, because I COULD blog about eleven things. The second concert. Videotaping my class. Going to see my cousin's college basketball game. Maybe someday I'll get to some or all of these things. But today, I have something I want to say. <BR> <BR> ***** <BR> <BR> If you're fat or even a little overweight, you've probably been the subject to insensitive comments or sentiments that are just plain horrible. (Check out Abbyemerson's bl... Mon, 20 Dec 2010 14:32:23 EST The Heart of the Matter (Concert 1) One concert down, one to go. <BR> <BR> Last night was a resounding success, by and large. The kids did incredibly well, and I found myself beaming at all of them, fighting the urge to give them all hugs (as it's against my non-profit's policy.) I told them all how great they were several times. Big highlights? <BR> <BR> My violin students knocking them dead on a song they'd been struggling with. <BR> <BR> Sei's advanced guitar student playing a song by Green Day. <BR> <BR> My second-gra... Wed, 15 Dec 2010 16:49:31 EST 1 a.m. Promises (Getting Personal -- Again) The time has come for another one of those deeply personal entries. But it's personal in a good way this time. <BR> <BR> ***** <BR> <BR> It's after 1 in the morning. And I've been sitting in my room trying not to shed tears of frustration. You see, I decided to be productive before I headed to bed, and finish my cover letter for my application so I could print everything out tomorrow and send it off. On a whim, I checked the requirements page for one of the schools. <BR> <BR> I found that ... Mon, 13 Dec 2010 04:44:43 EST Mango-Mustard Madness (and a Tale of Near-Tragedy) On a random note, I get so tired of seeing people on facebook and other such sites that are so darned charismatic and wonderful that they can write a blog or status that says "I had a bad day, and plus, I just burped" and they'll get at least sixteen responses saying "OMG, me too!" <BR> <BR> I sort of wish I was one of those people. But I'm not. We all play to our strengths, I guess. <BR> <BR> Of course, I'd never want to post my bodily functions on facebook, either. So I guess I win. <BR> ... Sat, 11 Dec 2010 17:30:11 EST Matter over Mind and the Return of Loose Jeans I've found myself reading lately about how so many people are discovering how in tune they are with their bodies, that they can tell when they're shrinking even without the scale telling them. It sounds like a beautiful idea. <BR> <BR> Unfortunately, I've had the opposite problem. See, the scale is dropping. But I look in the mirror and go "am I getting fatter?" and right now, I mostly don't feel that different. <BR> <BR> Of course, I should stop and thank God that my 'normal' has taken a ... Fri, 10 Dec 2010 19:13:12 EST 'Tis the Season for Mess and Chaos Day 3 of the Experiment and I'm still having trouble exercising, but I've taken to exercising in the mornings/afternoons again and then just being more active at night. Chores and the like need to get done, I have to do them, and the evening's the only time I have anyway. Plus, I needed to be more active. <BR> <BR> The synergy is, well... basically mind-blowing. <BR> <BR> The scale is still slowly dropping. <BR> <BR> ***** <BR> <BR> 'Tis the season. For giving, for sharing. For being wit... Thu, 9 Dec 2010 17:11:34 EST Ramblings: Playlists and Personalizing Your Lifestyle Day 1 of the Experiment (Dec 6, 2010) was a modest success. I had my dessert and nothing else. Didn't exercise, but hey, the first day isn't always going to be a textbook example. And I stepped on the scale this morning and realized that I lost two of the four pounds I put on, so I really can't complain. <BR> <BR> So, in the spirit of exercising this evening, I decided to share something that's very important to my workouts: a piece of my playlist. <BR> <BR> It makes sense, really. I'm a m... Tue, 7 Dec 2010 14:59:01 EST Armed With a Plan (and a Flat) This week in my SP diet overview is "you can overcome setbacks." Which I thought was apropos, all things considered. One of the action steps they suggested was writing about a trouble spot that always gets you. What happens, why it happens, creating a plan to make it better. <BR> <BR> For me, that beast is eating at night. <BR> <BR> I can do so well all day. I'll get up, eat breakfast, snack only if I'm actually hungry -- and then make good decisions as to what I choose -- and put together... Mon, 6 Dec 2010 14:14:03 EST Back on Track (Also Featuring: Allegro Mazerati) I called, you answered. <BR> <BR> Have I ever mentioned that you guys are amazing? <BR> <BR> I'm pretty sure I have, but it never hurts to reinforce. From helpful suggestions (like the "am I really too ____ to do ten minutes" that led me to exercise the last two days consistently) to telling me I'm okay, to just having been there yourselves, your suggestions and encouragement have been the positive kick I needed. Things are definitely going back up -- which is great timing, since I have a r... Thu, 2 Dec 2010 17:18:05 EST In Need of an Immaculate Interception In grad school, my musicology department used to have get-togethers every term. These usually involved food, drink (more drinking for some of us than others) and a fierce game of Encore. (Look up the game -- one where you have to break out into song to get the right answer -- and now imagine it being played in a room full of graduate-level musicians, music theatre majors and professors, most of whom have had too much to drink.) <BR> <BR> One of these times, a friend of ours had made a pizza... Tue, 30 Nov 2010 17:48:08 EST A Dose of Thanksgiving Spirit I was never a Thanksgiving fan growing up. You see, though I love my extended family dearly, oftentimes certain members prove to be truly drama-tastic. One person would get mad at a sibling or what have you, they'd stop talking, making the dinner a feast of awkward proportions. <BR> <BR> Given that, my family just didn't embrace the holiday. We'd go over to my grandmother's because it was the right thing to do, stay for dinner, sit around the table pretending that everyone was speaking to on... Wed, 24 Nov 2010 14:44:17 EST Winter Wonderland: More Proof That I'm Slightly Insane We have more than a foot of snow on the ground right now. The land is pure white and untouched for miles (except for the random snowman in our yard). The cold is bitter, but somehow refreshing, and the big, fat flakes swirling around make you feel like someone's shaken the snowglobe around you. <BR> <BR> Ironic to think that snowglobes were invented to imitate a snowstorm, and now we reference the imitator when talking about the real thing. <BR> <BR> In most public school system, this would... Tue, 23 Nov 2010 13:24:40 EST Dental Trauma and Why I Adore My Students I've been out of commission this week. Not only have I only rarely been on SP, but I've not been much of anywhere else, either. As a few of you know, this is due to, ah... "dental trauma." <BR> <BR> A visit to the dentist to replace a broken filling turned into five days filled with severe pain, epic grumpiness, lack of appetite and more Tylenol than I care to admit. Coupled with nights where my tooth woke me up in fifteen minute increments every time the heat compress cooled down... yeah. N... Fri, 19 Nov 2010 16:00:07 EST A Strange Source of Momentum I've been a human whirlwind this week. Or maybe like the Tasmanian Devil -- only without eating anything that comes into my vision, throwing tantrums and screaming "blwehblwehblwheeeeeeeh!" at the top of my lungs between intermittent bouts of broken, barely-coherent English that also usually involves eating something. <BR> <BR> Considering how close that description might have been to reality in previous years, I consider that to be a distinct step in the right direction. <BR> <BR> I plead... Thu, 11 Nov 2010 13:46:34 EST Positive Spaces (and Ninja Cows) I often find that the state of my bedroom is a signifier of where I am with my healthy choices at the moment. If I'm in a hurry, things tend to be tossed and left where they lie. I may or may not have dirty dishes at my desk (a bad sign) because I was too busy working on something to stop and eat with my roommate. Clothes are the largest culprit, because I may have a basket of the clean ones with a pile of the dirty around the clothes hamper because the lid was closed and all I felt I had tim... Tue, 9 Nov 2010 13:00:06 EST V is for Victory, not Vendetta Well, technically, both start with V. My Sesame Street years compel me to set the record straight, in case anyone was in doubt. But I think you know what I mean. <BR> <BR> Also? C is for Confidence. Not Cookie. (But they still shouldn't have changed the song.) <BR> <BR> ***** <BR> <BR> It's finally showing. <BR> <BR> In the last twenty-four hours, I have received "wow, you look great!" compliments from four -- count them -- FOUR people that I haven't seen in at least a month. I hadn't r... Sun, 7 Nov 2010 14:13:45 EST Twisting in the Wind I had a genuine, heart-to-heart discussion with myself last night. <BR> <BR> No, not the slightly creepy kind where you're pacing and have to pretend you're on a bluetooth if someone walks in on you. ("Sorry, man. It's my Aunt Karen. She has all these relationship problems, and she's crying... it's not pretty. Don't worry, I'll close the door.") <BR> <BR> ...I don't even have an Aunt Karen. But not the point. <BR> <BR> Anyway. I've been starting to read through "The Spark," and right at th... Wed, 3 Nov 2010 02:23:46 EST