Category Archives: Health

Coffee Blues

I’m a bit vexed. Most workdays I enjoy a cup of coffee at my desk first thing in the morning. I usually buy it at the café in my building or occasionally make it at home. Always use cream or milk and sometimes eat breakfast with it or before. None of that matters anymore ~ coffee in the morning is now always making me nauseated. I can haz tea with milk no problem, and maybe coffee later in the day (if I want to), but it’s annoying to have to change my habits because my tummy is getting fussy with age. Boo on aging!

Yes, I suppose it beats the alternative. 🙄

There was a time [cue mist machine and piano music] when I could drink multiple cups of black coffee on an empty stomach any time of the day or night. While smoking cigarettes. And wearing red lipstick, high heels, and a raincoat. And nothing else! Okay, I made some of that up.

But I could drink the coffee. That much is true. Oh well. I still have coffee ice cream. Sigh…

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Travel Musings

In theory, I’d love to travel to a bunch of cool places ~ England, Scotland, Ireland, Italy, Israel, etc. ~ but practicalities always quench my wanderlust. First, the cost. Second, the time. Third, my migraines. It’s not only long plane flights that mess with my head, but everything about changes in my environment ~ food, sleep, weather, etc. ~ are pain triggers as well. I also don’t like to leave my furbaby. Right now, it’s an emotional challenge for me to go away for more than two nights in a row, but luckily I have a trusted friend to come over and take care of Gatsby.

I thought I had blogged about my idea for a post-retirement (and post-kitty) epic U.S. trip, but apparently I only discussed it on Facebook. My previous plan was to take train rides from the Pacific Northwest across the country. I’d see Idaho, Montana, Minnesota, etc.; then onto Chicago, Philly, and NYC; up to Boston, Vermont, NH, and Maine; down to DC, Nashville, Atlanta, and New Orleans; over to New Mexico and Utah; smoosh Yellowstone in there somewhere… basically see lots of new places, plus old friends (and meet friends in person with whom I’ve been corresponding for decades). But I’m not sure this is a good plan any longer, given the state of railroads these days. Dunno if I want to drive thousands and thousands of miles alone when I’m old, but…

I have this fantasy that after I retire (and after my kitty has rainbow-bridged), I could get rid of most of my stuff and do this epic trip in a comfy vehicle. But still… so much driving! Oww, my neck hurts just thinking about it. After the trip is over (three-four months, who knows?), I could figure out where to resettle in California, in a less expensive area away from the coast.

Be nice to visit Canada at some point too. That reminds me: I still haven’t bothered to get a passport after all that fuss to finally obtain my birth certificate. Yes, I am legal! I know, it was iffy there for a while, lol. But all this road-trippin’ is only a fantasy. It’s not like this crazy vacay would be cheap ~ I’d need to stay in a lot of motels and buy a lot of snadwiches. Not to mention gas!

The furthest I ever go these days is the Bay Area, which luckily is fabulous, and not only because my awesome daughter lives there with her awesome fiance and their awesome puppy. But mostly because of that. 😍

Pinch Punch…

…First of the Month!

One of my OCD ideas is that the first day of a new month is the best time to reaffirm good intentions to do the right things. That lasts about an hour. J/k. But seriously, I generally think day one of a month is a time for introspection and the renewal of worthy goals, or the discard of unworthy ones.

Now, before y’all start to congratulate me on my awesomeness, I’m talking about goals like keeping my kitchen table free from clutter and trying to eat more fresh veggies. Nothing earth-shattering is gonna happen on my watch.

Happy August! 😎

Writing Misc.

I’ve read a few books lately that have broken some “rules.” They’ve mixed first-person and third between chapters. They’ve included pieces of a “destroyed” diary in italics, so the reader would know what was going on when the first-person protag didn’t. They’ve told stories in the present tense, first-person, and then stuck in an epilogue from another character. On and on. Yet, I enjoyed these novels. Just shows to go ya!

*

I don’t have writer’s block. I’m not sure how to describe my “ailment.” I’ve written a boatload of bloggery lately, a bit of it fictional, some poetry for Twitter, etc. I still feel that all my previously outlined story and novel ideas have potential… but I can’t work on them, given my lifestyle.

One, I’m no longer capable of getting up at 5am and writing for a few hours before work. Just can’t do it. Maybe once a week, but not consistently like I did 10 years ago.

Two, I’m not capable of writing fiction for 3-4 hours at night after work. Or even two. I’m tired. I can fling off a blog poast and some texts, but my eyeballs rebel at doing solid screen work.

Three, I’m too OCD to let my cleaning and chores mount up on weekends to write. I need to get stuff done. And I enjoy seeing movies, hanging with friends, and, most of all, spending time with family when I can. I’m not going to give up that stuff to pound out chapters of a book only a dozen people at best will ever read. Not motivated.

But that’s not the same as writer’s block. If I had the time ~ if I were retired, forex ~ I’d be cranking out those stories like I did years ago when I had more energy. They are still in my head. Dunno how long they’ll stay there. That’s a different issue.

*

Conversation with my daughter…

Me: I don’t feel safe putting my documents in the cloud.

Sharon: Why not?

Me: Because I’ve already shared a photo folder with people, so they might be able to see all of them.

Sharon: You’ve sent emails to people. Can they read all your other ones?

Me: Good point.

Sharon: Now I know how Mark Zuckerberg felt in front of Congress.

No Sinning Here

Today I read that one of the seven deadly blogging sins was jabbering on too much about oneself without giving something to the reader, so before I indulge in more navel-glazery tonight I will give back. Yes indeed. Here is a lovely link to my books you can buy. Now, please don’t say I never gave anything to my blogfans!

Okay then.

The otter day I commented somewhere (can’t remember where) that I’m a chatty introvert. I meant to talk more about this because it’s interesting to me, since it’s about myself, and honestly what could be more interesting than meeee?

I enjoy my own company and am happy in solitude ~ reading, writing, organizing stuff, watching a movie, chilling with the cat, etc. I’m fine going the whole weekend without talking to another person as long as I know my kids are okay. My office is quiet too, and I like that; I don’t chat much with people usually nor do I go to lunch with anyone. I think I’m probably more of a loner than the average introvert. My friends call themselves introverts too, but they seem to need much more social time than I do.

However! Speaking of friends, and being social generally, when I’m with people, I’m on. I talk. I talk a lot. I’m an open book. I’m warm and friendly, not shy, not quiet, not reserved at all. You really can’t shut me up, basically. I’ve even done open-mic stand-up comedy!

But after a few hours or so, my energy level will sink like a phone battery with a million apps open. I’ll become noticeably drained to the point that peeps might comment on it. My head feels too heavy for my neck… it’s overloaded with all the peopleness in the room. So much sensory input. Eventually I can’t process one bit more. Must escape!

I recharge again by being alone.

I’ll Tumble For Ya

Ruth’s poast reminded me of a series of unfortunate events in my own life. I’ve remarked to friends and family lately that I’m extra careful about shoes/walking these days because of falling, but the truth is… I have always been a bit off-balance.

When I was a kid, it was pretty normal for me to trip over nothing and sprain my ankle. Never broke anything, but damn that hurt. I’d limp home and Mommy would ice my ankle and then wrap up my foot in an Ace bandage. Three days later I was good as new.

In Chicago, I was always slipping on the ice no matter what shoes or boots I wore. Most likely other people were falling too, but I assumed I was the clumsiest one. I took a particular nasty fall one night coming home from work and was covered in bruises for weeks. That was my last winter in Chi-town.

Out here in SoCal, I either had a break (har) from falls for a decade or so, or else my brain pushed out the tumble memories to make room for more important things, such as how my eldest daughter pronounced yogurt (new-moo, so cute!).

So, my recent falls aren’t something new, but simply a reminder of who I’ve been all along: Klutzy McKlutzface. Yet, it is scary to fall at my advanced age (50+)… that’s when people break and fracture bones. Not only that, but bruises take a long time to heal. Aches and pains linger around. Who needs more of those layered on top of the usual ones? Feh!

One of my friends suggested I get a mini flashlight to clip on my keychain ~ it helps when navigating dark parking lots. Those seem to be my particular kryptonite. The least little bump or slope and down I go. But I also stumble in broad daylight walking in sturdy shoes on a smooth surface. It’s just me.

Regarding Writer’s Block

Jenga

Dusty commented about WB in my last poast. It’s true that I can’t seem to sit down and force myself to write the things I believe I “should” write, such as the next short story in my epic collection of long connected stories, or even finish one of Anna’s hot romances I’ve left in limbo. But that doesn’t mean I can’t write anything ~ in fact, I’ve been blogging a ton (have actually deleted several ridiculously verbose and pointlessly rambling poasts in the last several weeks before I hit publish), emailing a bunch, and tweeting a twitload. I have even poemed a bit. It’s just the fiction I’m not into any longer and thus have given it up.*

Fiction writing feels like regression. Maybe that’s a lazy copout, but it’s how I feel right now. Writing fiction was an escape from bad times in my life, and my life is no longer bad. I don’t need an escape into a fantasy world of make-believe characters I focus on instead of my own situation. Unlike poetry, which stimulates my love for language, wordplay, and brief, intense emotional exploration, writing fiction feels hollow and fake. (This doesn’t apply to fiction reading at all, which I still love. Or movies dur!)

Writing about real events, however ~ slightly enhanced for entertainment value ~ such as the “dating stories,” is still a lot of fun for me. I was going to write about my trip to the wilds of Los Angeles last Tuesday, the crazy Bentley who tailgated me (a freaking Bentley!), the trippy sidewalks, my adorable granddaughter (I’m a grandmother now, if you didn’t know), etc., but there wasn’t any outstandingly funny moment to regale y’all with, and I’m all about the regaling.

[Just had to delete some amusing nonsense about regal and regaling because the words aren’t related. Dictionaries are our friends! But eccentric comes from outside the circle of normal, which was the WOTD yesterday, and since I can’t sleep in this heat even with a Valium and it’s now tomorrow, that word is definitely appropriate.]

Now, at this point you may be wondering if this poast isn’t one of those ridic rambles that should go into the trash heap… no! First, this is an experiment to see if it’s easier to blog from my old Kindle, since it’s larger than my phone and has a more finger-friendly keyboard. Second, it allows open tabs to be visible at the top, like a puter, which is helpful for switching back and forth when looking stuff up while blogging. Third, it’s difficult to create links when blogging by phone (have not tried the WordPress app) ~ basically have to write them down on a piece of paper and type them in again like a cavewoman. But on my Kindle I can copy and paste like a normal person. However, there is one issue: my bitmojis! I only have access to media already uploaded to WP, no new bitmojis or photos on my phone, since this thing isn’t connected to my phone. Of course, I could save this as a draft and then reopen it on my phone, where all my pics are. But that is not exactly an efficient, streamlined operation, is it now?

I put the previously used Jenga blocks up top, meh. Other solutions were: (1) use a previous bitmoji that didn’t really go with this poast; (2) use an ugly stock WP photo of blocks; or (3) begin some complicated process of installing an app on my phone that will give my Kindle access to photos, but it is 3am and I don’t wannu.

There is a rumor going around I might be getting a Mac, which will render all this angsting obsolete, but in the meantime… the blog abides.

*One of my friends said he learned in a yoga class recently that stress damages the brain and is potentially one of the leading causes of dementia. So, this just proves I’m on the right track giving up stressful things like dating, Facebook, fiction writing, etc. If only I could give up driving, that would be AWESOME!

Oh, now I have to stick on all the tags that will allegedly attract zillions of readers to this poast. Bwahahaha!

My Independence Day

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I celebrated this July 4th by flinging off my self-imposed yoke of fiction writing tyranny. Hurrah! Instead of dumping tea into Boston Harbor, I spilled it all over my laptop and destroyed my keyboard, thereby depriving myself of the means to gaze at the screen wondering why a best-selling novel authored by me doesn’t materialize while I screw around reading the news. Tuesday I had a meltdown while visiting my daughters because I’m so frustrated and stressed over my lack of writing progress and success, so I suspect the tea spill was a subconscious rebellion.

Of course I could buy a new laptop, but I don’t want to. My hard drive is fine and safe, if anyone cares, and most of my stuff is backed up, but I can’t write fiction on my phone. I feel relieved. I spent the day watching movies and doing NOTHING. I’m tired of telling myself that the minute I get home from the office, after typing on a computer all day, I have to start working on a novel or else I’m failing at life. Most nights I don’t even write ~ I just sit there, tired and miserable, staring at the screen, until I crash into sleep.

Maybe my subconscious was also at work when I titled my last book of poetry All She Wrote. At the time, I meant it about a specific situation… or so I thought. In any case, I don’t intend to stop blogging or tweeting, or even writing the occasional pome, all of which are phone-friendly. I’m only talking about giving up the agony of fiction writing and the hopelessness of self-promo. These nowhere goals have been adding to my depression. (I probably shouldn’t use the word depression, but since I allow people with regular bad headaches to call them migraines, I figure I can haz a pass.)

These are the movies I watched yesterday:

1. Spaceballs! So freaking funny. I can’t believe I never saw it before. Loved it. Just what I needed to cheer me up. And whatever happened to Daphne Zuniga? So pretty! She was in a sweet romcom with my honey John Cusack back in the day. What was that? Be my google.

2. Winter’s Bone. Yikes, what an intense movie. I can see the appeal of Jennifer Lawrence now. She is incredible in this utterly bleak yet fantastic film.

3. The Age of Innocence. Generally I don’t like narrated movies, but there are exceptions to every rule, and this is one. What a lovely film. Everyone was superb. Daniel Day-Lewis is such a gifted actor ~ what a shame he retired.

I plan to feast madly on movies and books from now on. Other people have created delicious art and I’m simply going to nom up theirs and shoot down any idea that I need to write a novel, should such a crazy notion ever raise its nasty serpentine head again out of the tangled jungle of my mind. Begone, slithery, sanity-stealing, ego constrictor of doom.

Freedom!

Vehemently Vocal!

Can’t a woman walk into a place of business without a bunch of wackadoos harassing and shaming her… where is the civility? Where are the manners? Why can’t peeps just back off already and leave her alone?

It’s her choice where she wants to go for medical care…

WHOOPS!

Did I say medical care?

Hahahaha, I meant to eat a meal of course.

Silly me.

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~*~

WOTD: Vehemently

 

Conflicting Philosophies on Chronic Pain

In honor (lol) of migraine awareness month, here is another poast on the topic.

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There are two basic ways of dealing with chronic pain, and neither is “right” nor “wrong.” They are simply different. One may work for you, or the other might be more helpful. One may be more useful at certain times in your life (say 9-5) and the other at different times (nights and weekends, possibly). I’m just throwing some ideas on the table and clarifying them for myself via the written word, as I do.

1. Fake it ’til ya make it.

This is the traditional approach of visualizing the thing you want (a happy, pain-free existence) by pretending you already have it and smiling, acting cheerful, never mentioning your ailments, etc. Just ignore the throbby slammy hammer pounding itself through your eyeball and soon you won’t even notice it’s there cuz you’ll be having so much freakin’ fun! Seriously this sometimes works for me a little if only because I just don’t even want to talk about the fact that I’m feeling awful (especially in the office), since it doesn’t help anything and why bother; while I might not be chipper I can get immersed in a task, and there are times (if I’m lucky) the pain may subside somewhat.

2. Eff that ~ lying is stressful.

What a relief to read on the migraine site that we don’t have to fake it. As if it isn’t stressful enough to suffer from migraines, we also have to deal with society’s pressure to always be happy and smile. Why? Because we make other people uncomfortable if we don’t. Well, that’s their problem, isn’t it? Our problem is that we’re in horrible pain, nauseated, dizzy, etc. They’ll just have to deal with the fact that we aren’t flippin’ cheerful at the mo. This is my preferred approach outside of work. If I’m in pain, I’m not gonna lie about it to my family and friends. If I need to rest at home, that’s what I’ll do. Why the heck would I lie, say I feel great, go out to a loud, bright movie, and throw up? Dumb!

“Not trying to be positive all the time is a radical act of self-care.” ~ Kerrie Smyres, from the above-linked article.