HKARLSSON's SparkPeople Blog HKARLSSON's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community I am the 0.5% Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the twilight zone that is my life today, where people who have never had a significant weight problem are full of advice and admonishments. <BR> <BR> I went to the doctor today for my monthly weigh-in. I managed to gain 1.9 pounds over the holidays. THE HORROR! THE HORROR! I AM A FAILURE! I AM LOSING FOCUS! OH MY GOD IT IS THE END OF LIFE, THE UNIVERSE, WESTERN CIVILIZATION! THE COMMUNIST HORDES ARE BEARING DOWN ON US AT THIS VERY MOMENT BECAUSE I, TH... Thu, 4 Jan 2018 00:30:41 EST Did you create something today? I have to write fast, because it came to me in the middle of yoga, right before my cat bit me and then jumped on the coffee table to knock over my water glass, and then I got heartburn, so here it is: <BR> <BR> My mind was whirling during mountain pose and all the twist poses. "It's 2018," I thought. "Another year, another set of resolutions to fail. What am I going to resolve this year? What am I going to ultimately fail at, other than my 2017 resolution to be a bigger @$$hole. I mean,... Mon, 1 Jan 2018 23:07:29 EST Operation Enduring Breathing: Day 6 Greetings everyone. <BR> <BR> I suppose you are wondering where I was yesterday. Well, I'll tell you. A combination of holiday blues, tiredness, hormones, stress, tiredness, did I mention tiredness? pretty much knocked me for a loop. A good bit was self-inflicted because I didn't partake in my regular therapy, which is to force myself to leave the house and go get a cup of coffee every morning. "But wait!" I hear you protest, "isn't Starbucks expensive?" Yes. Yes it is. But you know... Fri, 8 Dec 2017 18:10:59 EST Operation Enduring Breathing: Day 4 and Day 5 Greetings, all. <BR> <BR> I ran out of time yesterday for checking in, so I will check in today. <BR> <BR> Day 4: <BR> Today was the Stride, Stretch, & Relax program by Jessica Smith. <BR> Observations: <BR> 1. Since it was more intense, I did notice my chest hurting a bit, but not nearly as much as Video 1 program. <BR> 2. Cats are still very judgmental, and the little white one keeps trying to participate, so she becomes my eight pound weight until she nips me. <BR> 3. I like sitting... Wed, 6 Dec 2017 17:24:40 EST Operation Enduring Breathing: Day 3-ish Greetings. <BR> <BR> I took a break from the program yesterday for two reasons: I had a boatload of cleaning to do, and my husband and cats were being clingy. Also, I'm really trying to prevent injury and burnout. I have completed Day 3 of 21 for the Jessica Smith Walk On program. Today's workout involved using handweights. I figured I would play it safe, because it's been a bazillion years (give or take a century) since I've used any weights. Here are my observations: <BR> <BR> 1. The... Mon, 4 Dec 2017 12:52:14 EST Operation Enduring Breathing: Day 2 Greetings. <BR> <BR> In today's workout, I attempted to make it through 3 of the 6 HIIT intervals, totaling 20 minutes of aerobic exercise. <BR> <BR> Observations: <BR> 1) This would have been a whole lot easier without a cat underfoot. <BR> 2) This would have been more enjoyable if I didn't have a splitting headache from being dehydrated. I need to drink way more water if I'm actually going to sweat on purpose. <BR> 3) I probably could have gone on to complete 4 intervals, to be hones... Sat, 2 Dec 2017 17:45:13 EST OPERATION ENDURING BREATHING Greetings. <BR> <BR> As you may or may not know, I was diagnosed (finally) with asthma last year. In the last few weeks, it has become increasingly difficult to deal with. My medication just barely seems to stave off that tight feeling in the chest. Mind you, I haven't had any of those episodes where I start wheezing and gasping, but it sure does feel like I'm breathing through cotton wool, or that there is a band around my chest preventing me from getting a full breath. Rest assured, my... Fri, 1 Dec 2017 18:11:52 EST I am Grumpy Cat's spirit human. That's it, really. I've come to the conclusion that that is my natural disposition to be irritable. I've been irritable since I was born, and I'll be irritable until the day I die. And probably a few days after that, just because. My ghost will rattle around the funeral home during my memorial service, griping about "kids today" and "people in line at Starbucks." I'll haunt the spot where they chuck my ashes with barely intelligible grumbling about litterbugs and the sun being too bright... Mon, 20 Nov 2017 18:05:18 EST Beats me, dude, er, Doc. So, for those of you keeping score, you may have noticed a... <BR> <BR> ***furtively looks to the left*** <BR> <BR> ***furtively looks to the right*** <BR> <BR> ...downward trend on the ol' weight ticker. I mean, it hasn't been without bumps, but the trend is definitely downward. When I went to check in with my doctor for my monthly weigh-in and discussion of my plan, she was thrilled with my progress, especially with what's been going on in my life. <BR> <BR> She told me I was down 1... Thu, 2 Nov 2017 14:52:19 EST There is no timeline. And don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Heyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy. So. If you were looking for something uplifting, or cheerful, or positive, or even anything remotely about weight loss, yeah, you better turn back now. Go watch cartoons or something. I'm about to talk about everyone's favorite subject: grief. <BR> <BR> I will spare you all the details, but the basic gist of it is my mom received her "official' diagnosis of Stave 4 breast cancer on a Friday about three weeks ago. The following Tuesday, her organs failed. Wed... Mon, 23 Oct 2017 23:21:20 EST Squirrel vs Car Alarm, which is not relevant to my interests I couldn't really think of a snappy title for my blog, so I will dedicate it to the squirrel down the street who is, in turn, dedicated to shattering the suburban Sunday morning peace by chewing on the neighbor's car alarm wires. It is a pity that my neighbor must be hung over or dead, because the alarm KEEPS. GOING. OFF. As it has done for HOURS. I can feel that this year will, once again, not be the year I win the Mother Theresa Humanitarian Award. It's a sacrifice I'm willing to make. ... Sun, 6 Aug 2017 12:13:04 EST Finally home from the hospital Well, two blood transfusions and five enormous tumors later (three of which that were unexpected), I am finally home from the hospital after my hysterectomy. Strangely, it did not hurt near as much as I thought, mostly because they gave me some good drugs. I am glad to be home. I am swollen and misshapen, that's for sure. <BR> <BR> I did learn one thing: if I want anything done, I actually have some friends I can count on to make things happen. This was a refreshing thing to learn, and... Fri, 28 Oct 2016 18:07:59 EST Bye, Uterus. It was "fun" while it lasted. I'm going to make this quick, mostly because I don't have the energy or attention span to deal with it. I found out last Monday that I have a 9cm tumor perfectly housed in my uterus. Takes up practically the whole thing. Needless to say, it's gotta come out, and considering how many other troubles of the lady variety I've been having over the years, my vote is hysterectomy. Granted, it's the most invasive choice, but it's also permanent. Nervous? Yes. On the bright side, it will be the... Mon, 19 Sep 2016 12:55:50 EST Mars Attacks! or, more appropriately, Mars Panics! I am so ready to be done. My job is about to drive me over the edge. Correction: it already has. I've been fighting off anxiety and sleeplessness for the past three months. I thought I could deal with it on my own, but my body is telling me otherwise. I am on the verge of a panic attack right now because people will just not respect the fact that I am on vacation. <BR> <BR> I am this close to shutting down my entire business and get hired on at my husband's workplace as a coder for mini... Fri, 5 Sep 2014 21:50:03 EST Roly-Poly: Destroyer of Bikes I am at the end of my rope with my Specialized Sirrus Sport. It seems that just about every month I am down at the bike shop for something or other. Just since the beginning of the year, I have had to replace the back tire, the cassette, the shifters, a failed inner tube (the valve exploded while I was out riding; I thought someone was shooting at me), and when I went to get geared up for a charity ride tomorrow, I found a fault in the front tire. There is this little bubble that is disten... Fri, 25 Apr 2014 22:33:38 EST You know you're tired when... Greetings, Sparkpeeps, and welcome to the continuing series of indignities that is my life. You ought to get a kick out of this. <BR> <BR> So there I was last night, stepping out of the shower and drying off, trying to get ready for bed. It had been a LOOOOONNNNG day, and Mrs. Karlsson was VERY tired. HOW tired became quite evident in the minutes to follow. <BR> <BR> See, I'm one of those lucky people who manage to contract "bike rash" due to chafing and perspiration and so forth. L... Sat, 22 Mar 2014 19:00:46 EST Holding steady at -15 pounds. I need a tutu. Greetings, Sparkpeeps. <BR> <BR> I know it's been a while, but I crawled under a rock in the weeks leading up to my birthday and just decided to stay there. This seems to happen every year. I think I must be one of the few people in the world who actually dreads their birthday because they will be forced to celebrate it. It stresses me out, and the expectations always lead to disappointment. I actually feel the same way about most holidays, but there we are. <BR> <BR> To get myself out ... Wed, 19 Mar 2014 13:44:23 EST Patience is not always a virtue. And I think I bit my tongue off. Greetings, Sparkpeeps. <BR> <BR> Today was a LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONG day. <BR> <BR> I got a call from my husband at 8:30 this morning. I was about to go out and scrape the inch of SNOW off the car before heading to a client visit in a neighboring city. It seems that black ice had accumulated in a frighteningly short amount of time, and his wheels locked up when he took a turn off the freeway. He plowed into the curb and it bent the passenger side front wheel into the wheel well a... Thu, 6 Feb 2014 21:43:20 EST Hmmm. <em>192</em> <BR> <BR> I stared at the scale for a long time this morning. I weighed myself five times just to make sure I wasn't tripping on antibiotics. But sure enough, it said what it said in spite of any logical explanation I could come up with, and it puzzled me, because I feel heavy, like lead. It wears me out to walk across the house. I went to the grocery store to pick up some milk, and it was all I could do to get out of the store without sitting down on the bench outside to... Thu, 30 Jan 2014 14:50:56 EST Mystery Solved Greetings, Sparkpeeps! <BR> <BR> So here I sit, staring another four to five days of low activity in the face. How do I know? Well, I'll tell you. <BR> <BR> See, I actually got a bit of sleep last night. HOWEVER, when I woke up this morning, I was panting. It hurt to take deep breaths. This was a new, yet not unfamiliar development. I decided to drag my fanny out of bed and get myself down to the local urgent care facility. Just as I suspected, I was diagnosed with bronchitis and giv... Sun, 26 Jan 2014 16:23:30 EST Highly suspicious... Greetings, Sparkpeeps! <BR> <BR> Well, I'm still waiting for this dumb cough to go away and whatever is in my lungs to clear out already. However, I'm feeling well enough to be absolutely appalled by the state of my house, and I'm slowly going around throwing out all the mountains of kleenex, as well as other, less savory things. <BR> <BR> You may or may not remember me mentioning in a previous blog that I had left pizza sitting out on the counter, ostensibly to let the mold have a field... Sat, 25 Jan 2014 16:29:11 EST Well THAT was fun... (I'm rambling)(TMI) Greetings, Sparkpeeps! <BR> <BR> So it turns out that the "little bug" I had contracted turned into a much bigger one. I had a 102 degree fever for two days and alternated between sweating like a racehorse and chills where there were not enough blankets in the house to get me warm. I'm still not taking appointments, even though I suppose I could, but I just don't feel like being a hero any more. There was a time when I would have powered through and worked, but you know what? One of the ... Thu, 23 Jan 2014 15:23:36 EST Blogging in between coughs Greetings, Sparkpeeps! <BR> <BR> I'm not sure what it is that I have, but I surely do wish it would go away. It's not allergies, per se, and it's not flu, and it's not a cold. Just a runny nose, tiredness, and a hacking cough which is exacerbated by biking. My husband brought something home that gives him a fever, congestion, and a runny nose. You would think the guy had the plague, the way he has been carrying on this past week. Sheesh. Anyway, I'm not sure what I've got, but a lot of... Sat, 18 Jan 2014 23:31:58 EST The weekend of recipe experiments Greetings, Sparkpeeps! <BR> <BR> One of my New Year's resolutions is to incorporate more healthy food in our diets here at the House of Karlsson. Rather than wait around until January 1, I decided to go ahead and get the jump on things, especially with so much leftover ham in the house. I chopped it up fine and saved the ham bone for soup beans (made with no salt) and in the mean time came up with a few ideas. I also decided to make a green smoothie. More on that in a moment. <BR> <BR... Sun, 29 Dec 2013 18:01:33 EST Mr. Karlsson wades in the healthy eating pool Greetings, Sparkpeeps! <BR> <BR> As you may or may not know, Mr. Karlsson is experiencing the onset of middle age spread. He's been in denial about it for quite some time, but now that the scale has tipped 200 pounds (even without clothes), he's becoming a little... shall we say... concerned. I haven't nagged him or cajoled him or any of those things people tell wives to do concerning their husbands' health, because I KNOW my man. Any time I nag him, he shuts down and/or does the exact op... Sun, 22 Dec 2013 14:04:05 EST Mama Mia Greetings, Sparkpeeps. <BR> <BR> You may have noticed that I make a point not to really talk about my family all that much, my female progenator in particular. For various and sundry reasons, I prefer not to burden the general public with such talk, partly because nobody would believe me, and partly because I'm waiting to secure the rights for the film. You can't write fiction like that, people. Just trust me. <BR> <BR> Anywho, the holiday torture and guilt tripping has begun yet again. ... Fri, 20 Dec 2013 23:00:53 EST Yoga-schmoga, or, unexpected progress Greetings, Sparkpeeps! <BR> <BR> Well, it seems that I'm starting to outgrow my Yoga Conditioning For Weightloss video. Do I look EXACTLY like the instructor when doing the poses? Nope, because I weigh twice as much as she does and have boobs and a gut that habitually get in the way. BUT!!! I can do almost all the poses without props or modifications. I just finished up this fifty minute video, and, while it was beneficial to stretch, I just felt kind of "meh" about it. <BR> <BR> So! ... Mon, 9 Dec 2013 23:30:49 EST I'm glad America is so big, plus, rambling because I can Greetings, Sparkpeeps! <BR> <BR> I've been futzing around this morning covered in a pile of cats (whose fur seems to be strictly ornamental) and reading SparkPeople blogs. Dozens of blogs about the holidays and family and all that rot. After spending a good half hour doing this, I have come to a conclusion. <BR> <BR> I am SO glad I live far away from all my family and my husband's family. I mean, yeah, when things go wrong, we only have ourselves to get the job done, but I think the lack... Sat, 7 Dec 2013 13:13:33 EST Cold Day in Texas Well, the power went out at 4:30 this morning, which wouldn't be so bad except for A) it was 20 degrees outside and sleeting like the end of the world, and B) I can't sleep when it is dead quiet. I hear every little noise in the tri-county area and it keeps me away. Also, the carbon monoxide alarm went off, but it turned out to be a low battery, and fortunately I had a battery. Unfortunately, it is difficult to change a battery at 4:30 in the morning when you are half coherent, so it took ... Fri, 6 Dec 2013 14:18:15 EST Yoga induces terror. Who knew? Greetings, Sparkpeeps. <BR> <BR> I suppose you're wondering about the title of my blog. Let's just say that self-awareness can be pretty darn scary. <BR> <BR> So, I've been feeling pretty stiff from the official House of Karlsson five mile hike on Sunday, followed by biking and more biking (nothing terribly strenuous, just recumbent exercise bike use while working on my book), and a fairly intense bout of strength training so far this week. Today I declared it "Restorative Yoga Day" m... Wed, 4 Dec 2013 23:25:42 EST When the going gets tough... ... the tough resort to the MacGyver School of Engineering and rig up an ironing board! Whee! <BR> <BR> Well, today was an epic fail in the nutrition department, and I am solely to blame. I have not eaten enough food "to keep a bird alive", as grandma used to say. Consequently I was tired all day, especially after working without eating breakfast or lunch. Not a good idea. So, dinner time rolls around and my husband and I decided to complete the hillbilly trifecta. Namely, a visit to W... Sat, 30 Nov 2013 21:49:21 EST Moving right along Okay, so I'm done feeling sorry for myself about the five pounds. <BR> <BR> This is the second day in a row that I have gotten up with my alarm and gotten in a 30 minute workout before my day catches up with me. Any exercise I get later in the day is gravy. Well, maybe that's a poor choice of words since I don't really like gravy all that much. Bonus. Let's call it bonus. For the record, I haven't done this two days in a row since I was 19. NINETEEN. That's half my life ago. Speaki... Tue, 26 Nov 2013 10:42:27 EST Well, THAT was a short-lived celebration... Weekly weigh-in today. Gained back five pounds, so my 15 pound loss is no more. <BR> <BR> *sigh* <BR> <BR> I knew it was too good to be true. <BR> <BR> Yada yada yada water weight blah blah blah hormones cause retention etc etc etc just a blip on the radar yada yada yada it's not about the number on the scale blah blah blah <BR> <BR> Whatever. <BR> <BR> I understand the science, and I see the long-term picture. I know to keep pushing. It still does not prevent me from feelling disap... Mon, 25 Nov 2013 17:19:22 EST Just a blog Yep. Just a blog. That's all. <BR> <BR> *ahem* <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <img src=""> <B... Mon, 18 Nov 2013 14:47:52 EST Just lovely Greetings, Sparkpeeps. <BR> <BR> Well, you know, there's a reason that I believe living in a constant state of angst is better for me than being relaxed and carefree, mostly because it keeps me prepared for the inevitable disasters that befall me. <BR> <BR> Case in point: this week was a real winner in the business department. I won't bore you with the sordid details, but here's the short version. <BR> <BR> 1. Two customers wanted to return big-ticket items a week later, even after I spen... Sat, 16 Nov 2013 22:47:48 EST The FDA or the EPA needs to test the water in Dallas. Either that, or it's a full moon. Hang on, let me check... <BR> <BR> Nope! Waning crescent! So it must be in the water. <BR> <BR> Lord have mercy. I marvel at the state of humanity in this town. I really do. Today was quite the eventful day. I'm not mad. I'm just thunderstruck and am in danger of having my nose cave in from facepalming so much. <BR> <BR> Where to begin... hmmm, let's see... <BR> <BR> Well, I woke up to NO e-mails, beautiful sunny weather, and a pile of cat vomit ... Fri, 1 Nov 2013 23:52:29 EST Last Day Every Day? Not so fast, cowpoke. <img src=""> <BR> <BR> We've all seen motivational posters along these lines: "Live each day as if it were your last!" It's allegedly supposed to be an exhortation to live each day to the fullest. <BR> <BR> Well now hold on there just a minute, pardner. If you suddenly found out that today was your last day on this earth, what would you do? I know people say things like "Oh, I'd tell my family I love them" and "I'd go someplace spe... Thu, 31 Oct 2013 15:24:23 EST Justification Station What a week. <BR> <BR> I mean, it wasn't particularly stressful, per se. Just the usual assortment of demanding brats and their children, the usual melee of bills and confusing government paperwork, and trying to find a work-life balance. For some reason, though, I've been increasingly, well, noshy. No, that's not a word. I made that up. Noshy is when you graze like certain grass-fed free range ruminants, only instead of four stomachs to break everything down, you only have one, but you... Sat, 26 Oct 2013 22:41:26 EST The Charge of the Roly-Poly Brigade Greetings, Sparkpeeps! <BR> <BR> Despite all protests to the contrary, I got my butt out of bed (the other butt magnet in this house besides the couch), got my paperwork together, and biked to the bank to deposit some checks. I decided that since there was NO WIND AT ALL, I would try for a new speed record. My current there-and-back-again time was down from 59 minutes to 51 minutes, so I thought I'd push to see if I could make 45. <BR> <BR> I took off from my driveway and decided that sin... Thu, 24 Oct 2013 13:05:27 EST Lifestyle Change: The Opera Greetings, Sparkpeeps! <BR> <BR> The interweb is a dangerous and frightening place. There is no telling what you will find lurking in the furthermost recesses of the 'net. For instance, I accidentally discovered that there is an OPERA about JERRY SPRINGER. <BR> <BR> Yes. You read that right. An opera. About Jerry Springer. And it is as hilarious and/or blasphemous as you think it is, at least according to the Wikipedia article. <BR> <BR> Just think! An entire musical dialogue about ... Fri, 18 Oct 2013 21:11:52 EST Piano Angst I cancelled my piano lesson today. <BR> <BR> Partially because there is yet another plumbing crisis at my house (gotta love the shifting Texas soil) and I'm waiting on the excavators to get here to begin digging. <BR> <BR> The real reason: I only practiced three days this week. Yes, I was busy, but I was also just tired, and quite frankly I'm tired of beating my head against the Wall of Rachmaninoff's Prelude in C# minor. What on earth was I thinking when I chose this piece?! And I C... Wed, 16 Oct 2013 13:32:31 EST It is NOT a sin to be tired Greetings, Sparkpeeps! <BR> <BR> I am here today to make a radical statement. As you may or may not have noticed, we are constantly bombarded with admonitions and exhortations about "getting things done" and "staying busy." If we just want to sit down for a minute (or an hour, or a day), then it must mean that something is terribly, horribly wrong with us. Oh no! Panic! Crisis! You'd rather sit for a moment in peace and quiet than cross off another item on your To-Do list?! Why, that's ... Mon, 14 Oct 2013 20:20:52 EST What's this? A non-scale victory???????? Greetings, Sparkpeeps! <BR> <BR> So, today I decided to take it easy in the work department and not take any appointments today, mostly because today is my 10th wedding anniversary. I did decide to bike to my bank to deposit some checks so I can pay my bills. Round trip, it's about 11 miles, plus a stop at the local Starbucks makes it 13.4 miles. Not a terribly long distance, but respectable. <BR> <BR> As usual, the wind around here was hellacious. It's like trying to pedal into a bri... Thu, 10 Oct 2013 15:02:17 EST Achoo! Plus, what up with these activity trackers, yo? Greetings, Sparkpeeps! <BR> <BR> Well, it's been a couple of years, but I have finally managed to catch some sort of cold. Yay. During the busiest part of the school year. How very thrilling. It makes me cranky and slow, as opposed to cranky and fast. <BR> <BR> I've been sitting here thinking about things, and I think I'm going to have to make a choice. My job is becoming all-consuming yet again. I'm glad for the success. I am one of only two women in the state of Texas who runs an... Fri, 4 Oct 2013 12:47:05 EST Tummy hungry vs. head hungry Greetings, Sparkpeeps! <BR> <BR> I went on a bike ride and got phenomenally lost. I mean, so lost I had to bust out the GPS lost. Naturally I got lost in one of the hillier parts of my area, so there was a lot of grunting and obstacles and very narrow overpasses on freeways and it felt like I was going to have to resort to some parkour moves with my bike if the sidewalk got any narrower. Yeah, I was so lost I had to use the SIDEWALK. I'd say that takes some talent right there. <BR> <BR>... Sun, 29 Sep 2013 22:26:18 EST Recalculating... Just a quickie. I'm about to bike to the bank, which should be good exercise since it's so darned windy today. <BR> <BR> I have basically bounced around all month, gradually climbing higher and higher, and now I am a pound heavier than when I started. I'm pretty annoyed by this, but I'm making adjustments. <BR> <BR> 1. Changing my goal date from November 1 to December first. I'm trying to get down to 279, and it's not going to happen by November 1 unless I have a massive and prolonged b... Fri, 27 Sep 2013 10:14:27 EST Laying seige to my fanny Well, Sparkpeeps, it seems that water-weight gain is not the issue, because I have been trying to flush it away for two days with water and grapefruit juice, and it is going NOWHERE. As a matter of fact, I weighed in this morning at 291. Up seven pounds since last week. I have looked at my caloric intake, my exercise, and all that, and I can't make heads or tails of it. I'm doing what I'm supposed to, and the opposite effect is occuring. <BR> <BR> I suppose I could say "screw it" and go ... Wed, 25 Sep 2013 13:48:01 EST Curse you, X-chromosomes! Here's an update for you, Sparkpeeps. That growing shadow on my psyche? It's estrogen related. How do I know this? <BR> <BR> I WEIGHED MYSELF. Because, you know, good sense dictates that when you're sitting on your couch bawling your eyes out for no reason you should go and stand on a bathroom scale, because THAT will make you feel better. You know, because that right there is the very definition of sanity. ***our heroine rolls her eyes*** <BR> <BR> The past seven days, I have eaten... Fri, 20 Sep 2013 16:41:40 EST Winter is coming Greetings, Sparkpeeps. <BR> <BR> It's a strange thing about depression. It sneaks up on you when you least expect it, and for no reason. I can feel it coming. That hovering shadow slowly taking shape. Well, I'm not going to take it sitting down, or lying down. I don't have time for that sh*t. I will fight, and I hope you all will be with me. It may not seem like it, but I do appreciate each and every one of you. You're the only people I really feel I can express myself to and not be ... Fri, 20 Sep 2013 12:31:06 EST Making everyone's day more surreal, one government agency at a time Greetings, Sparkpeeps! <BR> <BR> For your amusement, I thought I would share a bizarre habit I have with you. It started out as a writing exercise, but now it's spun completely out of control. <BR> <BR> I started attempting to write short stories about eight years ago, just to blow off steam instead of eating my weight in Ben & Jerry's. Nothing fancy. In fact, they were pretty god-awful, because I couldn't write fiction to save my life. Technical manuals? Sure. Scholarly assessments? ... Sun, 15 Sep 2013 22:03:03 EST