Archive for August, 2010

Today’s “run”

So, I got up late today and it was too hot to run outside by the time I was ready. So I suited up to run on the treadmill. I then spent half an hour perfecting the keyboard-laptop setup. It involves wood, duct tape and a piece of bamboo flooring. I got the TV set up with a nice ST:TNG episode AND got my iPod ready in case the TV wasn’t distracting enough. Bodhi followed me around as I made these preparations, panting and jumping on and off his ottoman.

I spent nearly an hour “geting ready” to run. Once I got on the treadmill, I started with a slow walk, the same way I do when I head out on the road. I usually walk about a half a mile before I start jogging, I find I get a better run that way. I walked and watched TNG, then switched to the iPod, then turned off the iPod, then stopped to get some water. After another minute I got down to get the fan. I paused again to get the dog a nice calf hoof to chew on, as he never stopped following and panting and running to the door throughout this process. He took the calf hoof and rushed off to his bed – content for a minute or two.

Just before I hit the half mile point, I noticed that I was having trouble breathing. That is not normal. My throat feels a little sore, too. I got down again to post on facebook the fact that I believe I may have a cold.

I got back on the treadmill for another few minutes, then got down again to get the laptop and actually get it set on the treadmill – so that I could write this post.

All set to run!

Is it just me, or is any one else beginning to suspect that I am not interested in running on the treadmill today? To tell the truth, I kind of hate running on the treadmill. I mean, I love to run (jog). It works like meditation for me, I forget about the flotsam and jetsam in my mind and sometimes come up with good ideas. I feel invigorated by the effort and usually feel proud of my progress as I go, not to mention how I feel when I’m done. I usually turn the music up except for the parts when I am in the woods – there I like to listen to what’s actually going on – wind, birds, critters in the underbrush. Sadly, none of those things are present in my living room.

I know that the treadmill is a good solution for days like today (another pause to take Bodhi outside – the church sign next door puts the temp at 92) and for when the winter gets harsh. It is. And I have a nice treadmill, one I bought less than a year ago. It’s fairly quiet and had a nice long running surface. But none of those things compare to a nice, long run outside, with the sun in your eyes and the wind on your skin.


I noticed a funny (or is it sad?) thing

I wrote the last post a few days ago, then let it sit a while before publishing it. I wanted to think about it and decide what I wanted to do with this blog before publishing. As it happens, I really didn’t think about it much, except to remember it was here, hanging around, waiting for me in it’s unpublished state.

Meanwhile, I did manage to update the other blog. It wasn’t a very clever posting or amusing to anyone but me, really, but it made me think about how very divided I feel, sometimes. The thing I really wanted to post about was loneliness and depression, which belongs here. But the dog entered the story and so then it seemed to belong there. As if just because I’ve set up these two different blogs, somehow my life ought to divide up neatly into these two categories.

I was thinking about that as I was publishing the last post, and wondering some more about publicizing it…when I realized, hey, I have two facebook pages too. I could just publicize this on the corresponding facebook page!

Which made me think, wait, I have two facebook pages. My best friend was just saying how in the new facebook app on her iTouch she can customize her privacy settings when she “shares” something. I checked on my BlackBerry and I still can’t do that there. But then, I never need to. Want to know why? Because I post from my BlackBerry to my “real” facebook account. The one where I am all myself, no holds barred, (nearly) total transparency! “That’s your privacy setting,” my friend commented.

Now I can’t decide if that is sad or just funny.

Coming out of the blog-set?

I’m thinking about “private blogging” again. Here is the thing: I wonder, from time to time, why I am blogging? And for whom? Mostly the answer is that I am blogging for myself. It feels a lot like journaling to me, and I think I gain many of the same benefits I might gain from journaling, except that I can actually read these accounts long after I write them.

I started a second blog recently, one that I publicize on (gasp) facebook. This one I started specifically to get help for those crazy vet bills I talked about here. I wanted to raise money to help me pay those bills, and I wanted to make it very easy for people. So I set up a new wordpress blog and dedicated it to the dog and his health issues. I put a sweet little PayPal button on it so that people could donate even if they weren’t going to see me soon or if they were far away. Don’t hate, I needed the help.

Several people were actually reading the blog, and so even though he seems to have passed through the scariest part of his heat stroke related problems, I keep posting there. The posts are real – I am not digging for topics or having trouble coming up with things. They are mostly related to the dog, albeit sometimes in a kind of roundabout way. They are pretty safe – there is nothing there that makes me too vulnerable or too crazy. What I mean to say is that while I am not censoring anything that I am writing there, I am censoring my topics before I even begin. I try not to do that here. What I want to do here is to be totally transparent, to allow myself to be free.

The thing is…I like seeing that people are reading my posts. I like thinking that what I am saying is getting out into the world. It’s an old, old dream of mine to be a writer and while I write for myself here, I wouldn’t mind if some one else was reading it. And further I’d love to think that I had provoked some thought or some conversation. But what I am writing there is so…tame…so…careful…so…bland. Every time I see that a whopping 14 hits to that blog I smile. But I kind of wish that people were reading this, too.

I looked over the posts here today, and I am willing to admit there is nothing amazing, nothing earth shattering, no fireworks. But as a friend wrote on her blog – who cares? It is still great to imagine other people reading it…

These posts are different from those because here I am my true self, my whole self. And when I read my friend’s blog, I believe that about her writing there. And I am honored to read it, glad to know her that way. Again, the other blog is still me, but it’s just a part of me. The part of me that isn’t out all the way is the part that gets out here. And I want to share that part too! Am I ready to come out of the closet with this blog? Am I ready to let people see what I am writing/thinking about?

Bodhi update

Bodhi is still alive and kicking, no doubt about that. He is currently a hungry dog, as he has been having more stomach problems for the last couple of days. Nothing like getting up every two hours all night long to put you in a good mood. I much prefer leaping electrified from the bed and out the door to cleaning up whatever mess is prevented by the leaping, but it still takes a toll. I found myself out at 2, 4, 530 and 7 this morning, blinking blearily in the yard, watching while Bodhi attempted to relieve himself and wishing I had pulled on a hoodie. Yes, every time I went out I was wishing for a hoodie because I didn’t have the wherewithal to actually remember a hoodie. Maybe tonight I will hang one on the door handle before I go to bed…

I’m glad of the cooler weather and as soon as he has managed the elimination process again I will try taking him around the circle. Poor guy tries to lead me down the driveway several times a day, sniffing the air and leaning in the direction of the street.

Loneliness and the West Wing

Tonight I stayed in with Bodhi and my migraine although I had a very nice invitation to out and see some live music. I felt a bit bad about not going because I know that when I’m down I isolate, then I feel lonely, which makes me feel down…it’s a nasty cycle. Luckily I had a few episodes of the West Wing to watch. Unfortunately, it was a Christmas episode.

I’ll try to get to my point without giving you too many West Wing details. President Bartlet has MS. In this episode, the DEA suspended the license of a doctor in Oregon who assisted with the suicide of a terminally ill patient (which is legal in Oregon). Some of the team wants to take a stand on the issue, some of the team see that as a mistake. Toby (the Communications Director) goes to talk to the President.

TOBY – One in five patients requesting aid in dying has MS. One in five. Do you know what the questions sound like?

BARTLET – I’ve got a pretty good idea.

TOBY – “How long does the President think he has before his MS will become debilitating?” “Do the doctors anticipate a speedy decline?” “Does he have a plan?” “Does the First Lady have four glass vials and a syringe in a lock box in the night stand?”

BARTLET – [beat] She may chicken out. Maybe I’ll call you.

After all the Christmas plans fall apart (as most of the family plans do “We’ve never been Currier and Ives,” says Abbey, his wife) the President and his wife sit quietly and he tells her he is planning to put together a panel on assisted suicide.

ABBEY – Your position has changed?

BARTLET – [shakes his head no] Uh-uh… No syringe in the nightstand. It’ll get ugly and that’s that… You gonna be there?

ABBEY – [long pause] Yeah. [stands to leave]

I felt pretty alone just then, thinking about who would be there for me when my time comes. I looked down and found Bodhi staring lovingly into my eyes (did I mention that I was snacking on popcorn?), and I swear, for just a moment I teared up, grateful that at least he would be there for me. And then it occurred to me that barring any sudden unforeseen incidents, I will certainly outlive Bodhi. And then I felt sad all over again.

Running gear for the dog

How is running gear related to the dog, you might ask? Lucky for you, I am gonna tell you.

On the same day that Bodhi had his heat stroke, my very cool Bluetooth stereo headset also stopped working. The volume raised and lowered randomly and then it finally stopped altogether. The next time I tried to use them, I found that they would not turn on. I looked it up online and found that this was a common problem for these headphones. I started looking for a replacement. Should I try a different brand? Or buy the same ones? One of the things I found in my research was that all of the popular Bluetooth headsets had a problem with sweat! No, really. Over and over again reviewers said, “these work great, but not if you sweat in them.” I did sweat in mine and I managed to use them for about 15 months, so maybe that wouldn’t matter for me. And the headset that died is now half as expensive (of course).

Meanwhile, today I was out running with my old Sony over-the-ear headphones and I was thinking, “These headphones are really great. Why have I been looking at those wireless headphones, anyway?”

If you guessed it, you get 2 bonus points. Yes, I had them for Bodhi. No, I’m serious. I never had wireless headphones before last year. I have been using these $9.99 Sony phones for many years (not just one pair, I think these are my third pair, but at $9.99, I never cared much).

Now you can get them for less than $5!

Back in the day, when I was running with Detta, I never needed them. She mostly ran off-leash, she stayed pretty close most of the time. I ran with my ipod in one hand and carrying the leash in the other, in case some nice police officer came over and told me to put her on it.

Bodhi, as mentioned before, is always on the leash. And he was still a puppy when I got him and not too good at all on the leash. In fact, I don’t think I even ran with him that first year, it was everything I could do just to keep him walking beside me. I worked every day, three times a day, on that walking on a leash. It took a lot of time.

When he was finally able to go running with me, it was still touch and go for a while. There was lots of lagging and forging and the occasional cross-over in front of me. I had to keep the leash in both hands and be prepared to switch from one side to the other at any moment. It was some adventure in the beginning. 🙂 That was when I first started longing for the wireless headphones.

I made all kinds of good justifications for the expense, I wanted to use them also with my phone, and while gaming! See, so here I would have a headset that works in place of THREE! It was a savings, really, to buy this expensive headset. Further, in order to make this work with my old fashioned ipod, I had to also buy a little doohicky that gives it bluetooth capability. The whole rig cost me about $125 I think. And it was always a pain in the butt to pair with the laptop, and people almost always complained when I used them with the phone. It worked for me, but they got echo.

In the end, the real reason for them was Bodhi, and now that he is grounded, I won’t be shopping for a new headset. I’ll just keep on using my Sonys.

Font issues

So, I was typing up a blog for tomorrow and decided to put it in a word doc so I could work on it and when I pasted it back into wordpress, the font was all crazily large. I could not figure out how to make it smaller on wordpress, so I went back to the word doc and made the font smaller, then it was TINY.

Try as I might, I could not see an easy way to fix the font in wordpress – so I went to the HTML. I could see there that it was using “small” for the font size so I went up to medium. Now the word are quite LARGE. In general I think larger is better than so tiny you can’t read it, and also it is 1 am, so I am going to stop messing with it.

This does not mean I am satisfied, only that I have to get up and go running tomorrow. I am not giving up, just letting go. Briefly.

Also, just wanted to say, feel free to comment on posts!

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