30 April 2010

How to break a finger

I may have broken a finger pumping gas.  Yep.  I'm magical.  I'm sure it will be fine. 

This week has been difficult, with its combination punches of potential elation dashed and crushingly demoralizing "performance reviews" at work and that pesky hope springing eternal when the ceiling is really low.

In other news, yesterday, it didn't rain until the sun came out, and I thought that seemed deep and significant.  Somehow.  Today we had gorgeous grayscale watercolor wash skies and brilliant sun coming out every so often to paint the trees a disturbing shade of yellow.  I would rather think about light than about darkness, but it's hard when there's so much darkness and so little light.

Thank God for books.  Other people's triumphs will do in a pinch.  :)

Have you ever injured yourself in a weird way?

27 April 2010

In answer to some questions about acupuncture

Some questions were raised about acupuncture after my last post on it, so I decided to "explain" what I know about it, which is little.  It was recommended by my best doctor a while ago, but I couldn't go until the government finished putzing around and gave up all responsibility on me.  By then (now), so much in my body was (is) screwed up directly and indirectly from that simple injury 7 years ago that I'm not stepping on insurance toes by seeing an acupuncturist.  Hooray.  :)

I think the theory behind acupuncture is about balance and imbalance, flow and blockage of energy channels in the body.  Needles stimulate certain point in the dermal layer that correspond with certain organs and muscles and illnesses and stuff and try to re-establish the correct balance.

I am familiar with imbalance, crookedness, and crippledness.  I would like to try balance again, and if this is one way to re-establish it, bring it on.  I have no pre-conceptions, really, so whatever improves (or doesn't) won't be because of positive thinking or negative thinking.  I'm just trying to be open to whatever happens.

Any questions or concerns?

24 April 2010

Spring Cleaning Is Good for the Soul

All 385 square feet that I can reach are clean(ish).  This pleases me. 

We will ignore the piles of work in progress because they are in progress and not stagnant pools of filth like this snud I photographed last month. 

We will instead focus on our reorganized closets and dusted and vacuumed living space, our slightly-more-sparkling bathroom and our extremely clean stove-and-counter-tops.

Ahhhhhhh.  Refreshing.

19 April 2010

Just to let you know I'm still alive

Well, that was a bit of a blog break.  I had some last minute job applications that suddenly came my way and needed to be completed, and the only thing I could steal time from was blogging.  I apologize.

So, I'll be honest: acupuncture hurts.  Those people who tell you it doesn't are lying or perhaps experiencing more nerve problems than I am.  Or maybe they mean "It's nothing to cry over" when they say "It doesn't hurt at all." 

It's not constant pain or anything.  It's normal for it to hurt for less than 30 seconds, which was true for me except in the very worst places that are so sore from hurting for so long that I don't think they can transmit any response but pain.  Hoping that will change.

The acupuncture lady said quite seriously that I was kind of a mess, which I found endearing.  She also said, "For what you've been through, you seem remarkably . . . sane."  (I especially liked the ellipsis, which you could actually hear. :)

What sanity I still possess is thanks to God, my family, and you.  So thanks.

14 April 2010

Now for something completely different

This Saturday, I'm going to see an acupuncturist.  This is really on the advice of my mother who has been doing research.  Western medicine had seven years to help me, as did my Federal Government, but they failed big time.  Let's give some other alternatives a try.

As a bonus, the only actually certified doctor who is also covered by my insurance happens to be female and a Christian.  What an interesting coincidence . . . :)

12 April 2010

Why you should give Tiny Art Director a moment of your time

I know this is book-related and should thus be on my reading and writing blog, but Tiny Art Director is also a blog, so it counts.  And it also led me to a great idea for a blog or a journal (Things I finished: To help myself remember how I felt about various things that I finished).

So Tiny Art Director is hilarious and cute.  Bill Zeman is the father (an artist) who takes "commissions" from his daughter (The Tiny Art Director [TAD]) who then accepts or rejects them often with commentary.  Sometimes highly amusing commentary that could only come from the toddler dimension . . .

The book is taken from earlier blog posts when Zeman's daughter (now 5) was 2.  It amused me that there were so many requests for blood and death and violence, but it also worried me.  Apparently, Mr. Zeman was worried, too, because he put in a note where he talks about it and about how he found out that such bloodthirstiness is perfectly normal in kids.  No less disturbing, I must admit, but apparently normal.

Why this is a better-than-average blog-to-book collection: We need more tenderness in the world, and there's something very tender about this unique way of spending time getting to know your child as she grows up.  The blog and book are not simply gimmicks but are amusing and touching in an honest way.  I think Tiny Art Director is worth your time.  (So does this famous guy at this famous site.)

08 April 2010

Give yourself a chance to fail!

I'm pretty embarrassed when I go back to look at my first teaching applications.  I had good ideas about how to write a cover letter or organize a resume, but I hadn't developed an ability to say things concisely.

Of course, since I still haven't even had a real interview, I can't say I'm anything near an expert, but I blame the content of my resume and lack of teaching experience for those things.  I'm still open to revising my resume and cover letters (each one is personalized), but I have basic templates.

I needed to let myself stumble around failing for a while before I could develop the ability to create these documents successfully.  As I mentioned, getting a job is another thing entirely, but now I can't blame it on clumsy formatting.  :)  Whether this is good or bad, I'm not sure . . .

All this to say: as an adult, I recommend that you be willing to fail at new things, so you can develop new competencies.  We often resist trying new things because we're afraid (correctly) that we'll fail.  Being that afraid of failure means we'll never get to experience success or competence, either.  I hope I will eventually . . .

06 April 2010

The joy of rejection

I never thought I'd be so happy about rejection, but after a couple years of apparently sending off applications into a black hole, I've finally gotten responses.  They were, of course, negative, but I really will take what I can get.  Outright rejection means I don't have to waste hope on fantasies.

I could be in a slightly negative frame of mind because in the last week, I went sleepless for 3 or 4 nights (I really can't remember), and my arm is twitching and hurting and getting tingly and generally being a huge nuisance.  I'm getting all clumsy and taking micronaps (where your brain just shuts down for a few seconds even though you're up and around and conscious) and stressing out about being a hazard.  The good news is that sleep-deprived people who can't sleep are not likely to actually cause nearly as many accidents as they think they will because the chance of them actually falling asleep at the wheel is low.  See, another positive fact.

Also, the magnolias are blooming.  And a single tulip.  Yay.

04 April 2010

Who paints a bathroom these colors?

They re-painted the exercise room and attached bathrooms again.  I am personally thrilled.  I'm not sure whose idea it was to paint the walls brown and yellow, but I found that combination particularly amusing in the bathrooms because I am somewhat sophomoric on occasion.  Brown and a sort of heavy cream color is better for my dignity.  It also matches the carpet, which, as one other exerciser pointed out, looks like a refugee from some young boy's bedroom of dreams. 

I am somewhat miffed that I was kept out of the exercise room for weeks so they could replace the perfectly good carpet and paint.  Three times.  Only twelve of us use the room, and, trust me, none of us exercise because of the decor.  Does anyone seriously choose whether or not to exercise based on the interior design of an exercise room?  Seriously?

01 April 2010

Joys of the Midwest: expect the unexpected

I heard frogs in the pond across the street last night and tonight. Today, I read depressing books in the courtyard while sitting on a blanket absorbing sunshine in shorts and a t-shirt. Last year at this time, it was snowing. I love the Midwest.