Monday, February 8, 2016

Are These Words From The Future

Soo I'm doing this 52 Lists Project, remember? Maybe if I remember to go back to it once a month, I will actually get one list a quarter out.

Winter's list is list your goals and dreams for this year, yeesh. I don't have goals for the year or if I do they're process- not results-oriented, remember? Idk, do I have dreams? Should I have dreams? A dream seems like something that would take longer than a year to come true. Well I'm only doing four lists per year, so it's going to take me thirteen years to finish all fifty-two lists if I don't die first. So maybe I will think about my dreams for the next thirteen years. Let me think for a second about thirteen years. Thirteen years from now will be 2029, I will be 62. Thirteen years ago was 2003, I was 35.

That sort of is more food for thought. What follows is a two-week comedy where I reconstruct separate alternate histories for this post, one where everybody has already died (I know, hilar!) and one where nobody even has cancer yet and then amazingly I remember my LiveJournal password after only two tries! And it's all there: this is the month thirteen years ago when cancer came knocking. Three times! My sister, my sister's dog, and my mom. I forgot about my sister's dog, poor Jazz. In retrospect, why did I not remember this? I know that my sister was diagnosed with cancer when she was 37 and I know that I was two years younger than her. Welp, math is hard. Anyway I was married, I do remember that. I'm not even friends with der schweetums yet because he's friends with some weirdo who hates me for some reason and I'm giving her a wide berth. He is not even a twinkle in my eye. A lot can happen in thirteen years. Is all I'm saying.

1. Well, you've aged okay! There's a teeny scary thing at the beginning of year twelve but don't worry about that, there's really nothing you would have done differently about that. Overall, your health is way better. You don't have insomnia, for one thing. You drink actual water. You eat actual vegetables.

2. Incredibly you've found somebody normal, dare I say nice, actually unbelievably enlightened, to work for.

3. You know how you don't really love this condo because it doesn't feel like home? Uh... good news? A small apartment is a lot less to clean, amirite?

4. Phones are going to stop getting smaller and start getting bigger and nobody's going to talk on them anymore, everybody is going to write to each other on their phones, and send pictures. And videos, even. That sounds like kind of a nightmare because you can't stand pictures of yourself, but let me tell you something: you're really quite pretty. It kind of blows my mind that you don't see this, but maybe it's for the best.

5. Don't laugh, but you're going to become a legit athlete. Not like the world's greatest athlete, but still. It has to do with when you learned to ice skate, you know how you could just skate. It's going to be more than that and the parts that are more than just skating are going to be really hard for you, but you're definitely kind of a jock.

6. Here's the great news, you figure out what you want to do with your life! People actually pay you to think up workouts for them, and you get to hang out with them while they work out!

7. Oh hey, it's not too late to start a blog, blogs are still a thing in 2016. You're not internet famous like Flux is with Fluxblog, but you are a legit blogger in the sense of writers write. You blog. I know you're thinking I'm 48 and I blog?

8. There's this whole group of friends that you haven't met yet, but you will because you're going to start and finish playing roller derby. I know, what? Anyway after you're finished with that, you're still going to have all these friends. Who you'll still be able to talk to because of Facebook. Facebook is like LiveJournal, but bigger.

9. There's going to be a tiny burst of going out and drinking and dancing after your, uh, divorce, but then you're going to go back to mostly staying at home and watching Netflix. Though Netflix will be totally different, no more getting DVDs in the mail. Spoilers but, movies get beamed straight to your computer.

10. I know, why would you ever leave the house. It's still a challenge. Idk—this means I don't know— if you're ever going to figure out the going out and socializing thing, to be honest. You always did prefer dinner parties to parties, but the dancing was fun.

So, maybe this will help. Maybe if I look at how different my life is now than thirteen years ago, then I can imagine how different it can be thirteen years from now? Because honestly I have been so focused on just getting through the past thirteen years, eyes on the ground! Maybe I could look up ::trip::

Sunday, January 31, 2016

January GTD Review

Yokey dokey, January GTD review slightly adjusted for new considerations:

January picks:

HOME: Cleaning and decorating

3. 2016 means ASSAULT ON THE FRONT ROOM. Make it nice :|

Ha well, der schweetums has been doing most of the assaulting. An entire short wall of boxes has been removed! This month I was mostly letting the mail pile up because tax forms are coming in and I was avoiding them, which was ever so healthy. But, I have an accountant now! So I eventually went through the mail and started a little pile for him. And I finally opened all my Xmas cards, there were a couple quite funny ones:

lol! i have not opened my mail for, uh, a while.

A photo posted by Pauline Pang (@allapoppy) on

Sorry I'm such an asshole and didn't open my cards until the middle of January, friends.

I also finished putting the plastic on the windows, and I cleaned the bathroom. I know, I am awesome.

BODY: Healing my body

Really the main thing in this regard is that I actually committed to healing my body as a project, I'd had it in my head that I would be done with bodywork and onto something new in the new year, turn the page and all, that's sooo overmind of me. Well, 2015 is done but my body is ...not done. Stop looking at the calendar, Munt. You are not a calendar. Be present with your body, yourself.

and a little bit of SYSTEMS

4. Aagh get up to speed with this phone...

Yatta! At first I hated my phone (all thumbs) but now I love it, but I think I don't love it too much. Only time will tell, but I think I missed some window for really imprinting on a phone and instead I imprinted on just being present while riding the train (or reading the RedEye, my real guilty pleasure, or my Fitness Journal), I look at my phone sometimes in transit, if I'm in the middle of a conversation on the way out, but I don't have that twitchy need to always check what's going on. Yet, anyway. Right now my phone is being a good servant and I am being a good master. As you can see, I have discovered embedding Instagrams! Plus now I can text emojis to der schweetums. Which he loves, I knowww.

PLAY: Studying muscles

5. TBD.

I'm going to call this done, because what what determined was what place to mise studying muscles en. Which is very much not nothing.

PASTIME: Writing for my two blogs

6. Whatever gets written for aP...
7. Start writing Nom!

What got written for alla Poppy was circumspicere! Okay I have a semi-plan, certain things are set in my "editorial calendar" and then they pop up in my powergrid and I do them: my 52 Lists project, which will come around quarterly or whenever it comes up; my TLC reviews, which will be monthly in the middle of the month, and my GTD reviews, which will be monthly at the end of the month. I feel like these three projects will inspire more than enough material for me to keep up with.

I mean, qqqq: is this too long? Do I give this the Joel Runyon treatment and break each of these into a separate post, like I'm thinking about doing for my TLC reviews? Kinda how I imagine it could work is, this structure provides, what, at least eight jumping-off points for stuff to write about. Idk. Suddenly it's a lot of writing. I don't want to blog more than I, you know, actually live.

Nom-wise, I THINK I have all the photo assets I need to start writing everything up. I have thought that before, though, way more than once, and then there's something else that has to be cooked and photographed.

Going out, seeing people

8. New Years Day chez Problem, maybe I will take pictures with my phonnne
9. Reschedule King Spa?

Yes and yes! New Years Day I went to Problem's. Guys, her house is SO NICE. That's partly what pushed me over the edge to pick cleaning and decorating to GET DONE. King Spa we went to for A-Bomb's birthday weekend, me and A-Bomb and Hausa, rub a dub dub, three Fury in a tub. And I think that was all? Oh, I went to my work's holiday dinner for the first time since like 2010 I think. I'm so much less of a jerk at work now that I'm retired and more rested. And the Fury went to Frozemont, truthfully I was scared about the tubing but it was fun. And I am not so up to speed with my phone that I have that picture- or video-taking instinct when I'm out. And even more importantly, the iFly was right there and we watched the fliers for a bit—flying is part of me and der schweetum's love story—and we are sort of dying to go, I am keeping my eye peeled for Groupons starting right now.

Staying in, Netflix and chill

0. Find something to replace Cosmos, or start from the top...
1. Eeeegh I guess I'm watching Arrow
2. Ash vs Evil Dead to finish, after that TBD

For sleeping, I have settled on The Blue Planet, which turned out to be not as upsetting as Planet Earth and has proven very effective. Now Netflix is going hogwild recommending nature shows to me, so I think I'm set for a while.

If you look at the chart, I watch Type 1 stuff when I'm resting before Tuesday and Thursday clients, if I have time and inclination. I generally need less of this because I'm less depressed and don't need TV to drown out my busy mind, and am generally less patient with, say, everybody on Arrow not operating at 100% capacity; so, I have mostly abandoned that. I know it's not fair, it's not like everybody on Hawaii Five-0 is a super genius. Welp, nobody said life was fair. That was a different moment. I caught up with Foyle's War, which I love, and finished Poirot, which I also loved but I do NOT approve how that show ended >:( and now I am taking a peek at Person of Interest, eh.

We finished season one of Ash vs Evil Dead, il est okay. We also watched season one of The Man in the High Castle, I actually thought that was good!

February picks:

3. Big clean front room!
4. Continue bodywork.
5. And prep taxes for Elliott to finish! This month! I'm serious!
6. Start studying muscles.
7. Start writing up Nom for realz.
8. Felting workshop at Maul's new space, I want to go to that.
9. Few Red Hots bouts coming up, we might go to those.

0. Maybe try NDT on SoundCloud...
1. Person of Interest
2. X-Files!

Thursday, January 28, 2016

January GTD Preview and Chart

Okay so, blabbly blabbly life is balance between TLC and GTD, still working on that, will always be working on that. On the TLC side it's about mise-en-place, everything in its place and that's how it gets done, and on the GTD side it's also about mise-en-place but differently. TLC is the same things in the same places, rinse and repeat. GTD is the first step of a journey of a thousand miles here, then see you next week for the second step, same bat time, same bat channel, week after week in the general direction of the thousand miles. I suppose what I have going in these monthly reviews are roughly four thousand-mile journeys going at the same time, each thousand-mile journey in its place. Where clearly it's about the journey and not the destination. Clearly. It's like the sloths at the DMV in here. The destination just gives a little gravity to the journey, gives it something to orbit, around. I just blew my own mind: we're going in circles, we're not going anywhere! It's allllll rinse and repeat, maaan. You know what, that's fine. Circles is somewhere. Circles is good enough for Mother Earth. Circles it is.

A big piece of what I've been doing in January, GTD-wise, is setting my four thousand-mile journeys in their orbits. Settling on which four thousand-mile journeys to send ...into space, since I seem to be going with a space metaphor. I love space. Because there were way more than four journeys to choose from, let me tell you. I sort of have a feeling that I was supposed to choose ONE journey but that is so fundamentally not how I do. Sorting it down to four is serious personal development for me.

What I had to choose from

I have, have had, my life divided into four areas: WORK, HOME, PLAY, PASTIME. One from each area was a good place to start:

0 - Work

I was turning over in my head picking up an extra day at work, but I think I'm going to close the door on that and see how I can do with just MWF. I can work an hour late on M and F if need be, because no derby. I love how being retired from derby means that working late is a fun concept, not even kidding. WORK vis-a-vis this blog is generally behind closed doors, what happens at work stays at work. I generally like my work and would like to keep it that way.

So ha, that still leaves me with four to choose.

1 - Home: cleaning and decorating

HOME actually is broken down thusly, imagine what I'm about to tell you as Russian nesting dolls: the largest doll is home, which contains my body, which contains my systems. Maybe home is like the hardware, body is the firmware, and systems is the software. Whatever. All of it has to be in a certain working order to produce whatever the software is supposed to produce, Stephen Covey calls this "sharpening the saw" so now we're talking Russian nesting saws. Really this is uber-TLC, but at the end of the day it's all TLC (see above).

Anyway I choose home as my first journey, which fundamentally says so much about me I can't even. I dimly remember a time, back when I was married, when the Thing to Do with Your Life seemed to be remodeling or at least redecorating your home. Which I was, by the way, really crap at. Which I may still be pretty crap at, but I think the problem before was that I had no... life, you know, to put in the home. Where form follows function? I have a new-to-me theory that the software you want to run will inform how your hardware needs to be set up, I have no idea if actual software and hardware are like that. Pretend that it is, I have more of a sense of my software now; so, maybe I will do better with my hardware.

As you know between then and now there was a long six-year period when I was doing derby and derby is pretty all-consuming, so I really consciously shut down all those thoughts of homemaking. Which is a totally valid thing you can do, I highly recommend it when there are priorities afoot. Now though, I'm going for a little more balance. I don't want to be that Suzy Homemaker where all of me goes into making my home, just a little bit of me.

HOME for me actually has three areas: Cooking, Cleaning, and Clothing. Cooking under the aegis of Nutrition has always gotten the long shrift. Is that a thing, the long shrift? So I'm talking about Cleaning, I made a decent cut at it last year with a little turn down for depression. 2016 is going be the the year of cleaning and decorating, I made a Pinterest board, so it's official. We... shall... see. Said the sloths at the DMV. I actually made a big cut at Clothing a few years back and that's been running itself... into the ground, by now. A lot of the clothes that I've been wearing straight up have holes in them. So I might borrow a little time for my clothes here and there.

2 - Body: healing my body - and a little Systems

I choose Body as my second journey, the current journey I'm on being bodywork with Maul. I may have a lot more to say about this TK.

this is my comfort zone *and* where the magic happens, so there! #structuralintegration

A photo posted by Pauline Pang (@allapoppy) on

But also I need to keep checking in with my PCP, still in the tail of that stroke. I feel bad about saying this because I'm sooo much better recovered than probably anybody's image of having had a stroke is. I'm not incontinent. I haven't had to relearn to walk or talk. Those are things that could have happened but didn't, knock wood or whatever you do when you thank God. But just to name what is: I'm jumpy about falling depressed again. I have this globus that is supposedly an anxiety output and certainly an anxiety input, though I'm mostly over being anxious about having throat cancer and mostly just anxious about having anxiety. That's all, it's not much. You know what they say about God only giving you as much as you can handle, sooo... thanks God, this is a good amount! Portion sizes are getting out of control, amirite? That root canal was a nice touch. Just to round things out, I need new glasses like woah and Biggie is helping me grow out my hair. Oh and, Biggie and I have a few more lipstick dates planned.

Oh and one more thing, I need to renew my passport. I had that on my list of things to do last year. I will squish that in here. And, taxes; it is that time of year.

3 - Play: second pass at studying muscles and movement

So I started the beginning of the year with 1) having to cancel a week of appointments because I had a cold, 2) losing a client, and 3) wrestling with availability of the squat rack at my gym. I had just gotten my remaining clients settled down in their new bat times and was planning to calm my tits for a while, then literally the next day I ran into Nina at Maul's and now I have six clients again. And I actually have room for a seventh client, but I would actually like to calm my tits now.

While my tits were in an uproar and I was thinking that my cute little personal training phase was going end with a whimper, I had a lot of thoughts about why I want to do what I do. TK, maybe. The upshot for now, I want to take a second pass at studying muscles and movement layered on top of now four years of experience working with actual bodies and, bonus, getting my body worked on.

4 - Pastime: writing for my two blogs

Last but not least, I always wobble back and forth on whether my blogging is a thing that is done as an end in itself that is an end in itself (PASTIME) OR a thing that is done as an end in itself that is a means to an end (PLAY). I went so far as signing up as allapoppy on Instagram and changing my Facebook URL to allapoppy, now I have an empire lol. I actually think I have an allapoppy Twitter, but I stay away from Twitter because of the comprehensive doctrines. But I still think that, in general, that way lies madness. Something changes in my head when I think about writing to draw people in. The blog has always worked best for me as a mental health mechanism, a sort of pensieve. When it's internally motivated by my needing to organize my teeming thoughts. Not so much externally motivated, looking out at the teeming masses and what do they want.

A man, a plan, a canal, a chart!


So you can see, that leaves three blocks that I can use for Netflix and chill (no really, Netflix and chill) or "going out" and "seeing people" o.O

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Purse Essentials

So, wacky, this lady wrote to me out of the blue:

My name is Samantha and I'm the Community Manager at Glossier, a modern beauty brand creating essential products based on what we learn from insiders, like you. We like to look for the stories behind the products - stories that are informed and inspired by you.

Here at Glossier, we believe in "skin first, makeup second, smile always". We'd love for you to put together a post on your blog that features some of your purse essentials that allows you to highlight (instead of hide) your natural beauty. From face mists to skin perfecting tints, we want to see how you give life to your products and achieve that natural glow on the go!
Which at first I lolled:
i just got this email inviting me to write for some something, idk what, whose motto is "skin first, makeup second, smile always," sooo which of my posts did you like, the one where i fuck up taking a shower or the three months of depression?
Second I looked up Glossier, looked at the prices of everything and lolled again. But, I am curious. I wrote her back and after I straightened out that I'm not at all interested in writing sponsored posts, the deal seems to be:
Glossier loves to learn from the beauty community and use that in guiding our next move, whether it's creating a new product or inspiration for a new piece of content. This project [is] a way to introduce Glossier to the beauty community, as well as connect with influential members of that community, such as yourself.

Lol again, but okay. Just for the record, my motto is skincare first, makeup sometimes, smile sometimes. If I feel like it!

Her project is working, though: at this point I've drilled into Into the Gloss, which I actually love and have added to my feed. Which is what provides a good amount of fodder to my scintillating facebook conversations. And when I add something to my feed, well, my feed is my reality tunnel. So like in my reality tunnel, everybody is Paleo (except I myself am not Paleo) and when I stick my head out of my tunnel into, like, actual reality and see people eating so much bread, it's a shock to my system. So now in my reality tunnel, it's all skincare first, makeup second in here. I already had Michelle Phan in here, though lately she has been going off book and talking about, like, space, which I got comically territorial about. Let's be clear: you are beautiful. I am nerdy. You can't be nerdy, too! Then what am Iiiiii.

I'm wordy, is what I am. The point, Poppy, are you getting there?

We'd love for you to put together a post on your blog that features some of your purse essentials that allows you to highlight (instead of hide) your natural beauty. From face mists to skin perfecting tints, we want to see how you give life to your products and achieve that natural glow on the go!

One last LOL, ookay, here's my truth: my project for the better part of last year for highlighting instead of hiding my natural beauty was, you know, getting out of bed.

But, also truth! I have been using skincare first, makeup second to get myself out of bed. Like a carrot on a stick, only MAC Russian Red. Here's the thing though, I swear I'm getting to the purse essentials part, apparently I'm a branch of House Greyjoy whose words are "We Do Not Reapply." I was never one of those derby girls who wore great makeup, I sweat like a banshee. I always figured whatever, people can just look at my ass. So really the Russian Red is the first makeup I've worn in a while that actually wants reapplying, and for a hot minute it was in my purse and by purse I mean backpack. And then I put it back on my bathroom shelf and said the words: we do not reapply. I don't wear it to work anymore, I can get out of bed on my own these days.

When I wear lipstick to go out I'm working this trend for all its worth. Because it's crystallized in my mind that I put on makeup to paint an picture of myself in the mirror—i.e., for myself—a little selfie for my mind instagram that runs in the background of the rest of my day or night. Because I have other things to do in the foreground. I'm not saying that skincare and makeup or looking good aren't important, just not anything I want to keep checking all day and night; they're actually very, very important, for those 5 minutes that I'm registering my face in my mind before I sally forth. My current project is waking up a half hour earlier so I can fit in that 5 minutes, which you know is saying something if you know how I feel about waking up earlier. I may have a post about that TK.

That is not this post, though. This post is about Purse Essentials. Without. Further. Ado.


My one and only purse essential.

Lololololol, I am sorry. Essential means something you actually need, and I need lip balm throughout the day and night, enough to override we do not reapply. Hell yeah, I reapply lip balm. Lip balm you can reapply without looking. And Eos, the best lip balm applicator ever invented. I don't know why it look so long. Sticks, yuck, I hates them, everything about them is pinched. I like pots okay, but I can't stand when they get less than full and then some of the balm gets hghghhghgh under your nail. Freddie says use your knuckle, then you get a bonus moisturized knuckle. But the ball shape is also great for swiping my cheekbones for when I'm riding home on my bike. The only thing the ball shape isn't great for is putting in your pocket. Apart from it looks like you're happy to see everybody, I wrecked my winterval Eos like that, that close to my body temp was too much for its structural integrity, saddest day of my life. In truth I don't love the flavors, the flavors are a little too wacky for me. The shape outweighs the flavors, though.

And I guess some people are horribly allergic to Eos? I am not. YMMV! Don't sue me!

You know what would be great, Burt's Bees in the shape of Eos. But it would be a hive, and honey-flavored. Somebody make that for me!

ETA 1/25/16: OMG!

A photo posted by Pauline Pang (@allapoppy) on

It's mint, though, what, you get all the way to making the pot look like a hive, then you turn left at mint? Also, it's green :\ back to drawing board.

Friday, January 15, 2016

January TLC Review

Okay so, I have this other thing going on besides the 52 lists project, last year it took the forms of monthly reviews and Power 30. Where Power 30 was about self care and where monthly reviews were about getting things done but not Getting Things Done (tm). When I was rolling around in my head how I wanted to use this blog going forward, I thought sure, these monthly reviews are helpful for keeping me on track, I'll keep those. But what got me out of my depression was the self care, really specifically telling GTD to talk to the hand while I got the self care—or TLC, if you will— under control. And then getting the GTD back up again, and seeing how that pushed back on the TLC, and actually developing some compassion about why it's so hard to "eat better" or "exercise more," more than compassion, actually respect, that most of the rest of the world has been getting shit done while I've been fine-tuning how many times I get to get refined carbs in a week. Life is choices, it's all good. And thanks for what you do, everybody. This is what I've been doing and you're very welcome to it, if you think it might help you.

If you're keeping track of what I'm saying, I think what I'm up to is: if shit's going down in your elevator, tell GTD to talk to the hand and get your TLC under control.


The other thing that I think besides Life Is Choices is Life Is Balance. In this case, balancing GTD with TLC.

Which means, TWO sets of reviews. And without further ado, this is the January TLC review.


"Good" (remember, a technical term in the muntverse) sleep means undelayed and uninterrupted, there was a week in the middle of Winterval where that got wobbly, but I fixed that and now I'm good again. Sleep is everything, y'all. When I don't sleep I get depressed and I'm pretty sure vice versa.

How did I fix that. Remember when the doctor put me on statins and a low-cholesterol diet ::mad face emoji:: and then I fell into the abyss? I found some stuff about statins and low cholesterol being correlated to low serotonin and, hey oh, depression. Yes, I know I am a poor scientist and Dr Internet has a fool for a patient, but you see this is what I do when you will not help me, this is me "being my own advocate," my least favorite self-help phrase of 2015, so fuck you. I regard myself as having pulled myself out of depression with therapy and Power 30, but also I stopped taking the statins and once my cholesterol numbers came back hella low went back to eating the way I eat. And the depression stopped, and sleep was good, and after a time I got a new doctor who tested my cholesterol again and was fine with my LDL at 114. Because that's normal!! But being the goody two-shoes I so fundamentally am, I thought, woop, maybe I should get that below 100 and cut out eggs again. I did learn an actual foolproof technique for cooking chicken breast, so there's that. But then the wobbles came in, and that's when I read about the low cholesterol and depression. And put back eggs, moderately.

Anyway. Sleep is good. Undelayed. Uninterrupted.

I have this whole other idea brewing about how self-care really comes in two parts: Showing Up For The Thing and Doing The Thing. For sleep, showing up for the thing is really what's under your control and then if all is well, doing the thing does itself. TK, perhaps.


I'm sorry to say that this one area is where I have really improved, I'm not sorry that I've improved but that I needed improvement. But, I never don't brush my teeth before bed now. Even if I'm somnambulating toward bed high on muscle relaxants I stop by the sink and floss and brush like a zombie, a zombie with good dental hygiene. I never don't wash and moisturize my face either. I'm trying out Aveeno's Positively Radiant brightening facial cleanser, so maybe also a radiant zombie.

Okay after this I'm going to stop apologizing for my previously bad hygiene.


Hydration fell a little by the wayside during the wobbles, but it's back on track again. That's another thing I almost never don't do, fill my water jar before I go to bed (except those times with the muscle relaxants) and now that it's winter, there's also a little humidifier routine.


Weirdly throughout the whole depression to present, nutrition has been pretty much on point. Or not that weird, it's what I've worked on the most, and apparently productively, because a lot of "work" on nutrition is what my technical term for is drama—i.e., unproductive Strung und Drang, you may have seen me refer to this as the opera about the bagel. The point of this self care work is to work, to set things up to do themselves so that you can get to the business of GTD. Not judging, though! We are not helped by our environment; it is a Gotterdammerung of drama out there, swords slashing at you and clashing with each other and just everything. It's really hard to find a quiet place to build a little fire, I get that.

See also above, about the chicken and the egg. I have another idea brewing about how all these TLCs support each other, and how they can motivate each other. Also TK, also perhaps.


So let me tell you about the state of movement in my life: I don't do shit. That is, I don't do anything that I think you would regard as a "workout." Maybe my twenty minutes of sun salutations two times a week, though I think that's much closer to ten minutes now that I know what I'm doing and am not taking long pauses to look up poses on the internet.

This is what I do:

  • Two mornings a week - a little at a loss for what to do, still figuring this out, one of those walking to the bus to bodywork
  • Three mornings a week - walk to the train to work
  • Two mornings a week - do yoga, the aforementioned sun salutations
  • Almost every afternoon - get out and walk just a little bit, even just around the block
  • Three evenings a week -  train clients, two of those loading up to 45# plates for my strongsters
  • Almost every evening - a little series of stretches in bed that end with a headstand also in bed (not recommended). Not when I'm on muscle relaxants, obviously.

Three days a week I sit on a stability ball and stand at a standing desk, really more of the former than the latter, and two mornings a week I'm on my feet cooking and cleaning. And one morning a week I get bodywork done, that's an actual thing.

But that really is all!

And you know what, I'm leaner than I was. My abs and upper back are more defined, just saying, and I'm stronger than I was. "The way I was" being B.S., before stroke, when I was skating 4x/week. I have no idea how I would deal now with a two-hour on-skates practice, but I know that I can run full speed up two flights of stairs and it barely registers as effort. I can just about curl a 45# plate without momentum. I can easily do chatarunga. Maybe I will have more to say about this later.


Meditation apparently operates on the same positive feedback loop as hydration, where when you're in a good hydration routine, you love, you need, you crave water, and when you're dehydrated, you hatesss water ::hiss:: my beautiful wickedness. So yeah, that happened. I took to 15 minutes of meditation like a duck to water, went right up from three to five to seven days a week, went up to 20 minutes, that went well, went up to 30 minutes, and then things fell apart. Then meditation no days a week for a time ::hiss:: whose idea was this?? Why isn't it that you're thirsty when you're dehydrated?

Ooh, but anyway. I'm back on it, new year and all, starting with 15 minutes again. I think maybe 30 minutes was pushing too hard on GTD, and GTD pushed back. But, I have this smartphone now! For one hot meditation, I used the Insight Meditation Timer app. Very pretty, very nice bell sound. I thought I could ignore the other bells and whistles like I do on 750 words, I don't need anybody setting meditation goals for me (lol, where do I even begin with that). But then I used it again and there was this big stat saying that I had done one meditation, when I had just done two. Then I learned how to uninstall an app. I mean, I'm sure they're nice people. Now I just use the timer on my phone, which was actually one of the main reasons I wanted a smartphone in the first place. It works just like I imagined.

This post is entirely too long. I just read this thing on Joel Runyon about building one function per app, I think maybe it should be one topic per post. Maybe I write about each of these in their (gender-neutral singular, hey oh) own post, over like a week. Like Shark Week, but TLC.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Winterval Epiphany
 HATS OFF and intro to the 52 lists project

winterval epiphany

My curio calendar, set for the new year. Tomorrow, go!

Somewhere in the middle of last year's Power 30, I got The 52 Lists Project: A Year of Weekly Journaling Inspiration and then I set it aside because it's all aligned with the seasons, and I wanted to start it in the new year and be aligned with the seasons, and now it's the new year. And now I'm trying to decide, do I keep pace with one list a week? Because I'll tell you about me, you already know, I drill deep. I am thorough. Right off the bat I easily output over 2000 words on List #1, that's a lot of material for me to process and could keep me busy maybe all winter if not all year. But, maybe the exercise here is to go with the flow. It's right on the edge for me, by contrast I also got Tiny Buddha's 365 Love Challenges and they're actually deepish challenges, she invites you to reflect on every one of them, and that is right out for me. I'm not that big on daily anything and then for deep reflection, I need more than a damn day. I pretty strongly feel that a reason why people don't progress sometimes (speaking now as a profesh trainer) is because what's the rush.

Slow down, you move too fast
You got to make the morning last
Just kicking down the cobblestones
Looking for fun and feelin groovy
Ba da da da da da da, feelin groovy

Which I think is extra funny to feel about a book on Buddhism, not that I don't love it. That one, though, I'm taking right apart for my own nefarious purposes; I do that a lot, maybe with 80% of the stuff I stumble upon. This 52 Lists book, though, it's right on the edge of the 20% of the stuff that I think the discipline is to use as is, as an exercise in trying something someone else's way (like with some recipes, I make myself try at least once the way they're written. Though others I immediately cannibalize for parts.)

So, one vision is: pick a list, blurt back to the list, see what you blurted, divide and shape that into bite-size blog posts. Big bites, obvi. I do most of my writing in my 750 words, in bed before I start the day, and now that I'm back on a normal sleep schedule that's only four days a week or less (because work three days a week, and on those days I like to spend a little time putting on my eyebrows); so writing a thing stretches out over the days, and what I really like is to to stay with a thing until it's done. It's imaginable that I could produce one list per month in this fashion. Except for this first list, which is a monster. This list I could be writing about all year. LOL, the 1 List project.

Welp, what of it. I feel some tiny regret because some of these other lists are pretty fun. I have FOMO about my own 52 lists project. What if I try to write one list every quarter, that way I start every season with a list. Then next year I can start winter with List #2, and so on through the years. Boy in thirteen years, a) will I be 61 and still blogging, and b) this will either be my favorite thing ever or I will be real sick of this project or I will have abandoned it like I did pizza quest.

A man, a plan, a canal!

I am pleased with my curio calendar. 2016 is a really new year to me, not my first year without derby—well actually yes, my first entire year without derby, but more significantly my first year without any idea of derby. I had planned all along to retire after IKC last year, but before the stroke it was in my head that I would keep on as a league trainer; but, the stroke sort of killed that so I gotcher silver lining right here. I used to use my curio to lay out my bout schedule, I was thinking welp I guess this year's curio is going to be blank. But no, I mean I have my usual health and beauty appointments up, and birthdays, always striving to be less of an asshole about that—Shanna and Biggie are ON THE BOARD, I've only been friends with them for eight years—and for my greens, back to the silver lining, not being a league trainer really opened me up for being the aforementioned profesh trainer and this year I want to start doing things like recognizing my clients' anniversaries, and birthdays too, I still have to put those up. The blues are all, lol, superhero movie release dates.

Friday, January 1, 2016

New Years Day

A photo posted by Pauline Pang (@allapoppy) on

The aforementioned Problem. ETA 1/28/16: Weeee, just learning how to embed from Instagram!

Problem had everybody over for New Years Day, but I only have a picture of Problem because I still feel shy about taking pictures with my phone. Good times with good friends, good way to start the new year.

Thursday, December 31, 2015

New Years Eve and December Review

new years eve

We're going to Problem's tomorrow for New Years Day, so we're having hoppin john tonight. The lads are ready to party. Happy New Year!!

It feels mostly like December has been a Winterval production, which is as it should be. Quiet on the people front, busy on the me front.

December's picks:


3. Cleaning is on hold under after the holiday!

The thing that has to be done during Winterval, I decided, is putting the plastic on the windows. Preparing for winter, right? DONE.


4. Structural integration ten series to finish!
5. But the big thing this month is my holiday, Winterval.

Not quite done with either, Winterval's not over obviously and I missed a bodywork appointment because I had to have, wait for it, a root canal. Remember, my toothache. Yay.

Annd, I got a smartphone. Ahhh. I hate it.


6. Figure out a weekly/monthly time to work on admin/business development stuff.

Ooh, done! I have implemented new best practices: set times to email clients to confirm appointments, prep before appointments, and post—i.e., take notes—after appointments. I'm also taking a trainer holiday between Xmas and New Years, ever striving to be a good example of self care. Maybe I'll take one in summer, too? And I have a set time to do a little thing every week for business development, let's see what comes out of that.



7. Figure out a plan or schematic for how this is supposed to go...

Ooh, also done. I have this set up in my timetracker, what's alla Poppy and what's Nomnomnomicon (my new blog) and when I have time to work on them? What I've been doing for Nom is getting together all my photo assets, FINALLY done with that, omg that took forever.


December ended up being pretty OFF people, which I sorely needed. No offense, people.

8. Breakfast with Sparty
9. Wine Party chez Trouble
10. Lunch and Christmas concert with family
11. King Spa with A-Bomb

I did have breakfast with Sparty, that was nice. We went to Whisk, it was good. (I am the worst food reviewer ever.) I cancelled on wine party, that was the day after my root canal and I was on antibiotics. We did go to my niece's concert, that was nice. And King Spa was cancelled, A-Bomb was sick.

Oh, I did go to this Logan Square Skate Night on a whim, it was fun to do something on a whim. I ran into Riley and Mangle and skated around with them a bit. Still know how.

Oh and just last night, I met Jen from my Power 30 group. Weee.


0. Cosmos
1. Idk, I'm running out of stuff again...
2. Theory of Everything, A Beautiful Mind

Type 0: Cosmos got me through most of December, but oh noesss I finished it. I tried NDT's Inexplicable Universe, too shouty, and also David Attenborough's Planet Earth and Life, really kind of the opposite of what I want: what like about Cosmos is it zooms me out, the planet shows zoom in, nice closeup of all the suffering on the little blue dot :(

For Type 1, I think all I did was finish off that season of Hawaii Five-0. Until I started Arrow, oy vey.

Der schweetums and I watched lots of good Type 2 stuff this month: we finished season four of Longmire (srsly wtf), and we did watch The Theory of Everything and A Beautiful Mind, and also Birdman and Pawn Sacrifice, and we stuck our toe in The Flash, which is what got me stuck on Arrow. But we put The Flash on hold and have been watching Ash Vs. Evil Dead, which der schweetums loves. Then we finished up with the original Star Wars movies, Empire and Jedi, so then we went out to see The Force Awakens. Weee.

January Picks

I have this mapped out on my power grid, do a little bit of cleaning every week or every month at least, a little bit of admin, a little bit of business development, a little bit of blogging... these are the things I want to get work on this year.


3. 2016 means ASSAULT ON THE FRONT ROOM. Make it nice :|


4. Aagh get up to speed with this phone...


5. TBD.



6. Whatever gets written for aP...
7. Start writing Nom!


8. New Years Day chez Problem, maybe I will take pictures with my phonnne
9. Reschedule King Spa?


0. Find something to replace Cosmos, or start from the top...
1. Eeeegh I guess I'm watching Arrow
2. Ash vs Evil Dead to finish, after that TBD

Eh, these aren't the pickiest picks. Not the planniest plan, but sometimes that's the way to go.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Boxing Days
 set up agenda

In all seriousness, Winterval has a purpose. Winter is hard for me, I get SAD. Which I guess I can talk about now that I'm out as a person with depression. An obvious function of all the winter holidays is to get folks through goddamn winter, and Winterval certainly is a child and thief of all those traditions. And probably the best way to deal with winter, or with just life in general, is to see and accept it for what it is. Actually the first thing I did to help myself with winter was to unstick myself from thinking that winter is at the end of the year, that OND is winter. Listen, winter is not at the end of the year; it's at the beginning of the year: JFM is winter. OND is fall, look at the calendar! Because if you start slouching toward winter pretty much after Halloween, the real horror is that it's still moving its slow thighs in March, or sometimes in Chicago you get a surprise blizzard in April and I feel like maybe once there was one in May though I think I might be getting a little dramz there. But anyway, that still leaves you feeling winter is SIX MONTHS LONG. Which is why my first internet handle was Persephone, by the by.

More recently I've unstuck myself from the thought that winter starts in November because that's when it starts to get cold and sometimes snows. It's still fall! If that's not your idea of fall, what's easier to change: your idea of fall or how fall actually is and has been every year of your life. Change. Your idea. Of fall. It's stupid to be angry that what actually is doesn't conform to the idea of it in your head. ONLY OCTOBER is crisp piles of brightly colored leaves and pumpkin spice lattes and all that. Yes, that's fall, everybody's favorite season, but the rest of fall is the dying of the light; that's fall, too. It just occurs to me, do you know what fall is? It's like on Season 9 of Grey's Anatomy when McSteamy is cheerful and talking after the horrible plane crash, but ::spoiler:: it's just the surge and he knows it, and then he totally dies. Yeah, that. Fall is the surge, and then everything dies. That is fall, in its entirety. I am going to accept that. And deal with fall as it is, in addition to winter.

But, winter. This here winter. I love this quote from Groundhog Day, I'm sure I've quoted it before:

When Chekhov saw the long winter, he saw a winter bleak and dark and bereft of hope. Yet we know that winter is just another step in the cycle of life. But standing here among the people of Punxsutawney and basking in the warmth of their hearths and hearts, I couldn't imagine a better fate than a long and lustrous winter.
and have resolved to try this Norwegian secret to enjoying a long winter. Which is getting back to where I started, the purpose of Winterval, to prepare me for winter. Or really to prepare me for the new year, for a good start on the next leg of my life trek, and it just so happens that this next leg is through winter. So I'm preparing for both those things, the trek and the weather.

(Other times I start new legs: my birthday, and Labor Day; you can take the Asian out of school, but you can't take school out of the Asian. The weather is fine for both of those, though.)

For the trek I need:

  • primarily, my agenda for new year
  • as well as various other systems that I am continually updating, my timetracker and my powergrid
  • and a thing to put into those things, which is to say, a plan
  • maybe a review, I like how Chris Guillebeau does his annual review

Idk about the plan or the review, the days between Xmas and New Year are when all this is supposed to happen but I've been sort of depressed this week. Haha. But look, I made the agenda:


All stamped in gold and shit.

Should I post an agenda-making tutorial? I'm getting pretty good at this.

coloring pages inside agenda

Look, I put coloring pages in the middle.

To make the number of pages work out, finally figured that out.

charging station

Look at what der schweetums made!!!

Ahhhhh, it's so good. It floats! It's a leftover IKEA shelf from nevermind that long story, it's been laying around and MJ glued—not nailed, to preserve the floating effect—two pieces of trim underneath to make room for the cables to snake underneath. OMG, GAMECHANGER. I've been so bad with charging my phone, but now I put it right on the station when I get home and plug it right in. I do inordinately love a place for everything.

From left to right, that's my tablet (hand-me-down from MJ, I only use it for listening to music or watching type 1 TV), my phone, this box of cards with quotes from the Dalai Lama, and MJ made that little stand that the card's propped on for the tablet actually, he chiseled out that angled slot with a chisel, which made him so attractive to me. What, I am not good at making physical things and he is; it's attractive. The little package is a present I made for somebody for New Years Day. The round thing is a bluetooth speaker that I need to mend with sugru, MJ's phone and tablet go here too and in the back is his tiny drone that I got him between his birthday and xmas, because that's how I do presents. Those are not doilies, by the way, for under our phones. I finally learned how to cut six-sided snowflakes, so they have been laying around. I'm making giant ones for the bedroom!

For the weather I need:

  • warmth
  • and light
  • and just get hygge with it
Haha I didn't make that up, I heard that from Freddie R. Knott. I have no specific plans for this either, just the idea of the warmth and the light—and holding in my head that actually winter is when the days get longer— and the hygge. When I get sad I will come back to these ideas, and try to come up with stuff.

I'm also supposed to throw shit out over boxing days, but I have a pretty full boat for the rest of this week. I threw out my stupid ideas of fall and winter though, how's that for a start.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Xmas Day
 orangenwaffle breakfast
 open presents

spaceship of the imagination

Santa brought Odie and Kevin a spaceship of the imagination!

hypnotic waffle

"Bah, I'll just make a giant waffle with the rest of this batter."

I've made a lot of progress on my trust issues this year, though. This is the first year I did not butter this nonstick waffle iron (I've had it for nine years, it was a housewarming gift from my darlingest friend Sarvi) and guess what. It doesn't stick!

club soda and OJ with orange bitters

Fill a glass with mostly club soda, add a big splash of orange juice, and a few dashes of orange bitters.

orangenwaffles with blueberries and duck bacon

Orangenwaffles with blueberries and duck bacon.

pluto: never forget

Der schweetums is really getting the hang of this present thing.

it actually opens

It's a working spaceship, obvi.

ninja in space

Ninja in space!!!

dancing monkey

His card game is getting pretty strong, too.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Xmas Eve
 chinese takeout

xmas eve waiting for santa

Waiting for Santa.

Important things to remember about Xmas Eve chinese takeout:

  • order almond cookies as a special treat
  • definitely order enough food so that you can eat leftover chinese on Xmas Day
  • suggested order: hot and sour soup, potstickers, pork lo mein, mon lung chicken, mongolian beef, almond cookies, plus rice and fortune cookies
  • milky Tazo zen (green and lemongrass) tea is very good for dunking almond cookies in

I love this, in so many ways this is what Winterval is all about:

The only thing scarier to me than something ending is a new thing just beginning, which means I’ve been on edge since November. If you’re like me, you’re balancing holiday planning with wrapping up year-end business, while getting extremely introspective about where you are and where you want to be.
THE WORLD IS YOUR CARB. I hope Santa brings you everything that you asked for!

Monday, December 21, 2015

Winterval Day
 potato pancake dinner

winterval day potato pancake dinner

Okey doke, I got my act together for my potato pancake dinner. I made the applesauce when I got home last night from lights, and I made the potato pancakes when I got home tonight from work. I'm not vegan anymore, not that I wasn't a pretty poor vegan, so here again are deveganized potato pancakes, which is to say, potato pancakes. And they're not paleo either, if you keep track of such things.

For the applesauce:
2 apples, this time I used Jonagold
2 Tbsp sugar or to taste
1 Tbsp lemon juice

Peel, core, and cut up the apples into chunks. Put the apples into a saucepan with just enough water to cover and cook uncovered over medium high heat until the apples are soft. Mash the apples, add the sugar and lemon juice, and refrigerate until needed.

For the potato pancakes:
3 russet potatoes
1 small onion
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup matzo meal
1 tsp salt or to taste

Peel and cut up the potatoes and onion into chunks. Grind them together in a food processor, in batches, until fairly fine. Transfer to a large bowl and add egg, matzo meal, and salt to taste.

Heat oil in a heavy skillet over high heat. Drop heaping tablespoons of potatoes into the hot oil, fry for about two minutes per side, and drain on paper towels.

Eat potato pancakes topped with sour cream, or in this case greek yogurt, and applesauce.

Winterval Day
 eight presents 2015

hairdryer baby oilfrank o'hara poems sheet masktiny chapstick chalk lettering booknight cream lotion

OH MY GAHHD around Halloween I had a PLAN, I was going to finally get a smartphone and my first eight apps were going to be my eight presents this year... but then I starting buying things, nothing huge, I have less than no money right now, which also kept me from pulling the trigger on getting the smartphone. Which facebook memories reminds me, I have been talking about since 2013. I WILL, I will get one! I have a plan. A new plan.

Also I edited the schedule of Winterval a little bit, so now Eight Presents is happening on Winterval Day. Which is today:

  1. Conair Infinit Pro hairdryer - My old hairdryer finally gave up the ghost while der schweetums was putting the plastic on his windows, Shanna's friends just happened to be talking about hairdryers and this was the winner. It was on sale and everything, seems decent. My plastic is TIGHT.
  2. Travel size Johnson & Johnson baby oil - Weirdly I have wanted a little baby oil for a while, because I want to try this thing with the witch hazel and the baby oil, though I see that was in August. Well, I will be ready next August >:|
  3. Two volumes of Frank O'Hara poems - I came to these because I take that little pause at lunch, remember, and then mein wifey posted this thing about how to read poetry, and that made me want to read poems and I didn't know where to start, and then I remembered that I love Frank O'Hara, and I read a bit about him and, yes, I do love him. I feel like if I wrote poems, I would write poems like Frank O'Hara, if that's not too douchey to say. The thing I read said not to start with the whole collected works, I picked Lunch Poems because lunch and Meditations in an Emergency because meditation.
  4. O'Three Waterising Mask - Sheet mask authentically sourced from Korean mom! Because Ronnie and I were talking about skincare, now that I actually talk to the people at work, and she got one from her mom for me, "makes your skin moisturizing & vitalizing," lol. This is what I'm doing for Xmas day!
  5. ChapIce tiny chapstick - I don't think I've appreciated anything more this year than I did this tiny chapstick that the dental assistant handed to me during the break between my root canal and my crown. Well I hope I appreciate it, I paid $1500 for it. (JK, that's not why I appreciate it.)
  6. The Complete Book of Chalkboard Lettering - EEEEE! I have plans.
  7. Aveeno Active Naturals Ultra Calming Nourishing Night Cream - Astonishingly I used up the jar of night cream that I started this summer. I have not historically been good about nighttime, well, hygiene in general, and skincare in particular. But I guess I am at that time of my life when it seems serious, and now I'm good as gold. Or maybe I finally set up a habit stack that works for me. Or maybe I'm less depressed. Who can say! I specially found the Ultra Calming night cream to match my other ultra calming products, which I've used for years and years and love them; but I must say, this ultra calming night cream sits up on my skin in a way that the positively radiant night cream didn't and I'm not sure that I like that. Idk, maybe I will switch to all Positively Radiant stuff for the next round. Maybe I'm done being ultra calm, time to be positively radiant?
  8. Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Lotion with Broad Spectrum SPF 15 - Astonishingly also, I used up my body lotion! So serious about moisturizing, Munt. Good job.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Erev Winterval


Win-ter-vaaal is here...

It's supposed to be potato pancake dinner tonight, but I didn't plan my day right and was doing the week's cooking right up until there was this Walk on the 606 with Light that I wanted to observe for my own festival of light; nice of the city to arrange that for me. And ironically I was out of cooking oil, I was thinking out of the box that we could stop by the Jewel on our way back from lights. But then as long as I was out of the box, I thought we could just stop by The Hat for gyros tonight and do potato pancakes tomorrow. The Hat does really good gyros, so we did that and when we got back we lit the first candle for Winterval.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Catalogue of a Friendship
 volume 2

chapter 287 - in the gap without a helmet
chapter 286 - imma rip off your arm and use it to scratch my head!!!
Chapter 285: adventures with the Mewkaroo!
chapter 284 beautiful gut biome
chapter 283 - the usual numbing agents
christmas present for zombea <--haha sekrit thread
chapter 282 a squid among clams
chapter 281 - and now our watch begins, winterval is coming!
chapter 280 - happy thanksgiving shoalies
chapter 279 - freiheitangst
chapter 278 - crockpot intervention
chapter 277 - sheesh
chapter 276 - eight apps!
chapter 275 - judgy cat cucumbers
Chapter 274: Maybe a tiny Buddha, Maybe not
chapter 273 thanksgiving sans food
chapter 272 - a whole new ruleset
chapter 271 - winner winner chicken dinner
chapter 270 - spilt boners
chapter 269 - drone adventures
chapter 268 - shemar moore problems
Chapter 267: Space problems
chapter 266 - suncatcher
chapter 265 - the friday at 6pm dance
chapter 264 - retraction
chapter 263 - in the gap the air is so thin
chapter 262 - the trouble with trouble
chapter 261 - i came in like a firewall
chapter 260 - fallin' friday
chapter 259 - womp womp wednesday
chapter 258 - fresh start monday
chapter 257 - math
chapter 256 - stuffed things
chapter 255 - a shocking lack of clams and squids
chapter 254 - DON'T LOOK
chapter 253 - charmed i'm sure
chapter 252 - thank god his hair is back to normal
chapter 251 - a dog basking in the sun
chapter 250 - married life!
chapter 249 - i came in like a melon ball
chapter 248 - rinsibgt
chapter 247 - oatmeal chum
chapter 246 - ziva david's bridal

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Winterval Advent
 and now our watch begins

and now our watch begins

EEEEE I thought maybe I was stuck in an endless groundhog day of wanting an advent calendar every year at this time of year, but this year the stars have aligned, albeit four days late for this year, because I of course am counting down to Winterval and not Christmas. Idk if the number of drawers will always work or not, I am not good enough at abstract math to figure that out and by abstract math I may mean counting. Shanna scouted this out, and Biggie and I both got it; but whereas I obediently numbered the drawers like the good little Asian I am, Biggie drew an amazing design on hers literally outside the box(es). She also has a brilliant use for hers, which I shan't steal her thunder and let her tell you herself if she wants.

Monday, November 30, 2015

November Review

I was imagining a little ebb in November for a nice little ebb-flow rhythm, but October was flow and November was more flow... and that is how I always get in trouble. I did significantly slow my roll over Thanksgiving weekend, which was the best.

November's picks:


1. Clean kitchen to finish?

Nooo, not finished. But I did the stove and hutch areas, sooooo improved. And now all that's left is the little strip away from the back door where the coffee cart is and where der schweetum's project is parked for the nonce. Which we had to move for the landlord to take away the air conditioner, so could see that it's not too bad underneath all that. So we put it back and I'm at peace with it overwintering there.



2. Last neurologist appointment!

Done, but doesn't feeel done? I think I'm done with him. Which means done with this stroke?

I do have this new toothache, which I don't know if I should just go to the dentist or is this another sinus infection that I should see my PCP about or am I batshit crazy and need a head doctor. Sigh. If I do need a head doctor, I want to go to Rush though. For the record my neurologist was great and the nicest of all my doctors, but Elmhurst is far—a million thanks to Biggie for taking three hours out of her day to cart me there and back.

I don't think I've mentioned that for the past couple months I've been getting structural integration work done by Maul, which has been important and great and I highly recommend especially for newly retired derby girls.


3. Revisit muscles and movement, per The Power of Posture.
4. Maybe one admin project per month, maybe order postcards.

Not done, I have some thinking to do about how much time I have available and for what. All I really made time for this month playwise was staying ahead of who needed new workouts, what Stephen Covey would call Q1 urgent work and obviously staying ahead is better than not staying on top of that. But, I want to make time for Q2 important work too.

To give myself credit, I have significantly transitioned in the past two months from basically flying by the seat of my pants with four clients to staying on top of six clients, where for the former I could keep everything in my head and for the latter I need to keep it more organized in the cloud, which requires a little more desk work—which is to say, desk time—than was previously required. And now I want to level up again and put a little more desk time into admin and business development... and I do think I did all this in the right order. I didn't do a lot of planning and organizing at the outset! One, two, four things kind of organize themselves, you know? I guess I would recommend letting things be fruitful and multiply first, and then organize when they have multiplied enough that they need to be organized. Like I don't know what came first, the chicken or the egg, but I do think eggs first, then egg carton. [ETA: Though for actual eggs, I guess I would start with the egg carton.]



6. Nom Phase I to finish?
7. Not to mention, alla Poppy is changing. Maybe pay a little mind to that.

Not at all done!

The battle royale is all on this side, where HOME and SYSTEMS on the other side have staked their claims (though I will be done with my bodywork at the end of the year, which will free up some time that I'm not counting on) and where PLAY and PASTIME have to compete for the last bit of ground. And, there are three kinds of pastime. Though the real fight is between writing my (two) blogs and seeing my peeps. Watching TV is not an active pursuit, you'll be happy to hear; that's my default rest mode.

Anyway all I managed to do this month blogwise was flip through little bottleneck tasks and that's not nothing, cooking and photographing things that I need for The Big Write (for Nom).

Oh and, I wrote a couple three big things for alla Poppy: Grief and the Maiden, Shit's Getting Real: gratitude edition, and Shit's Getting Real: meditation edition. That stuff I write in my morning pages, my 750 words. I'm writing this review in my 750 words, too. I was super productive with that for a couple weeks while I was adjusting to daylight savings time, I wish I could do that all the time. But, I have adjusted. And sleep trumps all, and I don't mean that in a slacker layabout sense. I mean that as trainer valorizes sleep as a real important thing.


8. Longmire season four to finish.

Mehhh, the long arc on Longmire made me lose interest. So I started watching Jessica Jones. Which also has a long arc, bleh. Not a fan of the long arc, at least it's only thirteen episodes.

Have I mentioned this already? There are three types of watching that I do: type 0 is pretty much not watching as I fall asleep, currently being filled by Cosmos (I'm onto Neil deGrasse Tyson now, not as soothing as Carl Sagan but still works.) Type 1 is half-watching whilst I do other stuff, where my procedurals tend to go, this month was another season of Criminal Minds, another season of Bones... and the first season of Legends... and halfway through another season of Hawaii Five-0. Type 2 is actually watching with der schweetums, where Longmire was supposed to boldly go and might have failed, and where Jessica Jones just made it to the finish line.

Moviewise we're doing much better, der schweetums proposed The Imitation Game. Which, I forgot that Alan Turing is the saddest story, and thankfully remembered just in time before I was completely destroyed. You know I remember when I was in my twenties at Squaw Valley Writers' conference, one of the editors saying that she wasn't so interested anymore in young writers talking out of their belly buttons and preferring fiction or indeed nonfiction that could teach her something that she didn't know about the world, and feeling depressed about that because my belly button was all that I knew and Write What You Know. And that was then, this is now and I am probably the age that editor was, still writing out of my belly button because that's still all I know, but I get now what she was saying, I totally prefer fiction and non-fiction that teaches me stuff I don't know. But where I was going with that was, next we're going to watch The Theory of Everything and maybe after that A Beautiful Mind, for a little tragic science and math festival.

ETA: Oh and, The Martian!


So lol, November was supposed to be OFF seeing people, fat chance. Once you get the ball rolling, that thing picks up mass and speed like woah. To wit:

9. Chili Weeknight at the Aloha Palace
10. Wine Club chez Trouble
11. Chubby Run with Trouble and friends

Trouble started this Chubby Runner's Club where we meet at a donut shop, run away from the donut shop, then run back to the donut shop, and then eat donuts. Haha! In truth I don't really care that much for donuts or for running for donuts, I'm more donuting for runs.

12. Last Feed with meine frau
13. Star Wars 5K with Biggie and Outlaw

This did not involve running, it was supposed to be a Star Wars marathon but I only made it through the first one so it was just a Star Wars 5K. Haha.

14. Chubby Run with Problem
Problem and I did not harm any donuts in the making of this run, we had fancy juice after instead.

15. WCR Round Robin
16. Friendsgiving at the Aloha Palace
17. Black Friday Grief Chicken with Problem and Minerva

I kinda do want to talk about these. But by talk I mean, blog. About seeing people. Where seeing people is what hampers my ability to blog o.O

December Picks

I am liking these monthly reviews, really looking forward to doing them and combing out how I want to do them in 2016. Even though there's still a month of 2015 left. But, now we're going into holiday season where not a lot gets done. Probably good to note that though, to prevent freakout.


3. Cleaning is on hold under after the holiday!


4. Structural integration ten series to finish!
5. But the big thing this month is my holiday, Winterval.


6. Figure out a weekly/monthly time to work on admin/business development stuff.



7. Figure out a plan or schematic for how this is supposed to go...


8. Breakfast with Sparty
9. Wine Party chez Trouble
10. Dinner and Christmas concert with family
11. King Spa with A-Bomb

I am missing Riley's Breakfast with Santa again, sigh. I cannot waiiit for King Spa.


0. Cosmos
1. Idk, I'm running out of stuff again...
2. Theory of Everything, A Beautiful Mind

Woah, did you see what I did there. I'm weird. Idk if I shouldn't just wean myself off half-watching TV, it's definitely a crutch. Or maybe wean myself onto music or podcasts or whatever.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Shit's Getting Real
 meditation edition

Well, idk how real shit's getting with meditation. I started to write about meditation and then that went sideways into gratitude, it's gratitude that's getting more real and that's when SGR popped into my head for a title; and then it was getting so long, I figured I'd split it into a two-parter. Where shit's getting real in Part I, but not so much in Part II. I didn't look far enough ahead, ah well. Meditation's getting something else, though.

Historically I've had an okay grasp of meditation, first of all. I've been doing some form of meditation since 2000 or 2001, picking it back up and putting it back down at points—June 2009, October 2014— and being okay with that, and picking it up again this August 2015 and more or less holding steady since then.


Here's an appropriately-sized, not entirely legible image from 2009.

Way back when I first started meditation in 2001, I started with the parade. When I started again in 2009, I started breath counting and played a bit with the path through the body—i.e., skating laps. Then when I returned last October, I returned to breath counting with the parade as my backup mechanism. And then when I picked back up this August, I picked back up with breath counting with the parade as backup and that's pretty much what I've been doing since then. But now that's changing in kind of an interesting way, so I thought I'd write about that.

Breath counting with the parade as backup is counting my breaths up to four and starting over, over and over, until the timer goes ding, and when my mind wanders to the parade of thoughts, see those thoughts as the never-ending parade, name the thoughts that as passing by, and gently return to counting breaths. This has worked great for me and I recommend it, but only if it works for you.

And also, but.

But it entered my mind... well, what entered my mind was that song Cat's in the Cradle. Super sad song, right? Because a thing that came up in my therapy was that I felt like I had no friends. (Sorry, actual friends that I do have and did have then.) Raise your hand if you predicted that my therapist annoyingly asked, Are you a friend to yourself?

It's annoying because being a friend to myself doesn't count, now does it!

Annoying therapist: why don't you count?

Dammit. Mind blown.

So I started to think what if my friend wanted to bring up a thought. Would I smile beatifically at her, boop her on the nose, name her thought, and gently return her to counting breaths? I gotcher boop right here, Poppy. No, I would listen to her thought! I would let her talk. Because I'm a good friend like that. Am I a good friend like that to me?

So my meditation is changing to breath counting and ...listening to the parade, I guess. I start with counting breaths but when the parade goes past my house, I don't just boop it on the nose and go back in the house. I say hello, I suppose. I ask how it is. Sort of like that.

Listen, it's still the parade. It's still seven-six trombones and a hundred and ten cornets and elephants and flying monkeys, I still try not to be carried away by the flying monkeys. I pet the monkeys, let them know they're cared for, and politely excuse myself and invite them to join me? No? Okily dokily.

And that's what convinced me about anti-gratitude. I don't think I'm a very good friend to myself if I only listen to myself when I have nice things to say. I'm a good friend to myself if I don't have anything nice to say, I still listen. I wasn't in good enough shape to listen to it all before, but I think I'm in good enough shape now.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Winterval Advent

HATS ON 2015

OMG LOL, this pic. Biggie randomly emailed it to me and Shanna a couple weeks ago and I put it as my profile pic for #tbt, it's from Shanna's going-away party in 2010 I think. Whatever's my profile pic on Black Friday gets the HATS ON treatment.

And now our watch begins, Winterval is coming! I'm totally going to say that every Winterval Advent from now on.

I did fun things this Black Friday, chiefly rode my bike in not too nice weather—forties, windy, with a light rain—to Gus's Fried Chicken where I met up with Problem and Minerva and tried this new, very good fried chicken restaurant. I was going to do a fried chicken quest, but the quest is already over: actually the first place I went was Harold's—also very good, and blocks away from my house. And Gus's is extremely good and easy to get to via the Milwaukee bus for more festive occasions, done and done.

To do before Erev Winterval (12/20):

\\ put plastic on the windows
// get tea lights
// get eight presents
// get presents for Josh and Cara
// get presents for Odie and Kevin
} Cara's xmas concert usually happens, too

I didn't go to Cara's concert last year! Boy the more I remember this time last year, the more I think it's no wonder I had a stroke.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Shit's Getting Real
 gratitude edition

I have historically not gotten gratitude, basically feeling like I was naturally grateful and not needing to pay particular mind to gratitude. Which, maybe that was legit. Also being pretty severely inclined to doing rather than being, and so treating gratitude like a verb: identify what you want! Get rid of what you don't want that you have! Go out and get what you want that you don't have! Chop chop! You know what else I have historically not gotten? Forgiveness. I sort of get that now. Also unconditional love. I still ...don't really get that. Not sorry. Just saying if you're looking to get advice from me, I'm not offering advice and I'm a person who doesn't understand unconditional love.

Things look different from the bottom of a sinkhole, though. This is my version of shit go down when it's a billion dollars on an elevator. LOL bully for you Beyonce, I woke up like this. So in September I figured I'd give gratitude a chance, and I have to say it worked for me this time. Because I'm me, I made a google form and then in October I tuned up my form a bit:

grateful and proud

Where I structured it a bit so that I phrase my gratitude in the form of I am grateful for [x] because that means [y] so that [z]. Where Y is something that caused the thing that I'm grateful for, and Z is something that the thing I'm grateful for caused, little gratitude centipede. Then I dropped the Doubler, which I didn't get, and I substituted pride. Why not. Where gratitude is for something that was done for you, and pride is for something that you did yourself, I think that's another nice way to divide the waters from the waters. You can see that I am operating at a 3:1 ratio of gratitude to pride, possibly because I thought I would only be able to think of one thing that I did for myself per day. That number is up, but I still think it's spiritually healthier to be balanced toward gratitude.

My point: there's no right way. Not only is there no right way for all the people in the world, there's no right way for just one person for all time. Different things are going to be right at different times. Writing is hard because it's hard to get things to sit still so that they're in focus, but I'm writing this because I want to show something in the act of not sitting still.

At the same time as this is happening, my meditation is also shifting its feet and I've been thinking about that, and while I was thinking about that, this popped up, another example of the universe providing in the form of the internet.

For what moment today am I most grateful? For what moment today am I least grateful?
Woah, an anti-gratitude practice. In some ways I appreciate even more that it's all couched in uncomfortable (for me) talk about God's loving presence, you kind of assume that the godly people are the ones who are out of touch with how life can suck, and by "you" I mean me. Me kind of assume. Me U ass.

Anti-gratitude! Mind blown!

Again I will say, different things for different times. I think I was pretty well drowning in anti-gratitude at the bottom of the sinkhole, so thanks but no thanks! But now that I'm more or less at street level, the queen will see you now. Wait, I forgot again what gratitude is:

the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness
So then, anti-gratitude is the opposite: the quality of being not thankful; readiness to show that you do not appreciate...haha I don't think I have to go full "he sends one of yours to the hospital, you send one of his to the morgue" here, baby steps, but how often do you politely accept something that you DO NOT WANT, let's just try do not accept and send it back. Frankly I don't think I have the ponytail even just for that, I was raised to be politeAF. I don't know if I want to be impolite. Let's start with saying to myself that I don't appreciate, fetus steps.

Because the goal is not sunshine and lollipops. My goal is not. Sunshine and lollipops are just to lure me so that I'm not quite so far back in the cave. And sunshine and lollipops are loud, so you hear about them. The cave, sort of, is silent. But my goal is not to be sunny all the time! I mean I've read Dune, that way lies drinking your own pee. My goal is to be sunny at times and rainy at times, sunny when I'm sunny and rainy when I'm rainy. My goal is to be balanced. My goal is to be real.

And real talk, some shit you just do not appreciate.

Anti-gratitude, it's an interesting choice.

00:06:10 Yeah. Yeah, I'll be fine.
00:06:13 It's- It's no problem.
00:06:16 Bacon, it's an interesting choice.
00:06:19 Yeah. Yeah.
00:06:22 A lot of interesting possibilities for bacon.

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