Thursday, July 31, 2008

Mamma Mia!

I have decided, since watching Mamma Mia! tonight, that I really like Abba songs when Abba isn't singing them. I was also reminded of my sister in law, Emily, by the main character throughout the movie.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Service with a Smile

I love helping people. It's just my nature and it feels good. I help strangers, friends, and family alike. But there is a terrible flip side to it. I don't let people help me. It's awful. People practically have to beg and even then I rarely concede.

Last Saturday I had an onset of sciatica. I cleaned my house all day and then went to babysit Rob's kids from 4pm on. Both jobs are strenuous. A side note - my arms are disproportionately short and since I am tall, most counter tops are too short for me and I have to hunch over them when doing dishes, cleaning countertops, etc, and this always excites my sciatic nerve. When I have sciatica, if I bend, lift, step, sit, or just move in certain directions I get a sharp pain that initiates from my butt-cheek and shoots around and down the front of my leg all the way to my toes. It can be excruciating.

The only way to treat sciatica (short of surgeries and other lengthy feats) is rest and symptom management while you rest. I knew this before Saturday, but because of my competition and my re-found love of running, I decided I could 'run through the pain.' GROSS MISJUDGMENT! It just kept getting worse, yet I just kept pushing it.

The pain is worse at night. It makes sense because I have been active all day and it catches up to me. Yesterday after work, Dillon and I went to Costco bought some heavy things and then went to Walmart to pick up some other things. We got home (about 8:30pm) and decided to unload the stuff we bought and go to a 9:30 movie. I busted out my Magna Cart and loaded it up. It was full and heavy, and that is another time I notice my short arms. In order to keep the cart tilted so it will roll, I have to scrunch down a bit. It can be quite uncomfortable.

There was one point in our trek to our apartment that I was pushing Dillon and pulling the cart up hill at the same time. The worst pain shot through the lower part of my body, my hand immediately clutched my ass, my mouth opened, and obscenities flew. After a moment I gained composure and shuffled, still with the cart, towards the apartment. A lady on the second floor was sitting on her balcony, and I am sure she saw everything. She called out to me, "Are you okay? Can I help you?"

Immediately I found myself taking bigger steps, moving my hand away from my backside and forcing my face not to grimace as I said, in the most pleasant voice I could find, "No, I am okay. Thank you though." I even smiled.

What the hell is wrong with me? I was not okay and I did need help. It would have been no excursion for someone who was not hurt. She would have been happy to help, yet I would rather hurt worse to act like I wasn't hurt just so I could refuse her service.

After some contemplation, I came up with some possible reasons I don't let people help me. I don't like admitting weakness in myself, and if I think I can 'run through it,' I do. I also am not used to being helped (I am the helper) and have a fear of burdening others. In some cases, (not last night though) I refuse help because I think I am the only one that can do it right. Sometimes it's valid, but I bet, more often than not, it isn't. I think this is a virtue that turned terribly wrong some time ago and is now a vice.

I know I need to and I want to improve on this, but right now as I type, just thinking about it makes me want to say, "No, I am okay. I don't need it." It's going to be a long row to hoe, but, another thing I decided some time back is, a form of service is letting others serve you. So here I go.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Rock Band...well...ROCKS!

I babysat my brother Rob's kids on Saturday. Before he left, he told me that he got the Rock Band for his Wii and I should play it before I left. I was going to play it with the kids, but we ran out of time.

My mom likes to come visit me and help when I watch the kids. This time, she showed up about 8pm. We played outside and then put them to bed.

After they were to bed, I asked my mom if she wanted to play Rock Band. To my surprise, she said, "Yes!" Then she said, "What's Rock Band?" I set everything up and she thought she would do best on vocals. I wanted to try the drums as I have played Guitar Hero and Karaoke Revolution before.

It turns out that I am not that bad. Well, I probably am, but I was able to do pretty well on easy mode and had soooo much fun doing it. There are two symbols, two main drums, and on bass drum (you have to use a foot pedal.) I had a blast.

My mom technically did well on the vocals, but I wanted to blow my brains out the entire time. The game only looks for pitch and on easy it doesn't seem too picky about that either. My mom didn't know the songs so her trying to sing the words didn't last long at all. She also enjoyed a range about 3 octaves above the song's. I am surprised none of Robs windows are cracked. Seriously, it was brutal. My blood pressure darted quite significantly whenever her parts came along.

Maddy didn't stay in bed long. She came down to hang out with us and neither my mom nor I had the heart to put her back to bed. She took a shot at the vocals and was awesome. My mom would sing (this was before she gave up the words and darted up the scale with her voice) the line to Maddy and she would sing it in the mic. Too cute. She also played on the drums.

Rob and Sheri got home while we were still playing. Rob, my mom and I all played together. Rob was not nearly as patient with my mom's singing as I was and it was hurting his guitar playing. He told her she sounded like 'whales humping.' She did two songs with us and then went home. Rob and I did about three or four more together. He rocked the guitar and I stuck to the drums. It was super fun. I totally felt like a ROCK STAR!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Hydration is Key

I was feeling a bit dehydrated today when I wanted to run. Instead of running then, I took a couple of hours to hydrate, and I am so glad that I did. I drank about 34 oz of water, peed, then hopped on the treadmill. I recalled last time I ran dehydrated. My body fought me the entire time. I didn't sweat and overheated very quickly. The difference between the two runs was incredible. I was in much better shape back then, but today's run was so much easier in comparison. Most would say, "DUH!" but this was an epiphany of sorts to me. I didn't think it would make that big of a difference. Yay for H2O!

I like losing; what can I do?

My friends at work (yes, Ese, you are my friend whether you like it or not) and I were talking last week about losing weight and getting in shape when we had the idea to have a 'Biggest Loser' competition. What a great idea!

We started yesterday with the first weekly weigh-in. There are twelve people competing for two grand prizes - one for weight loss and one for inches lost. We already have $60 to split between the two prizes, and that will likely go up. It will last for 12 weeks.

At my last job, we did this same competition twice while I was there, and I won three out of the four prizes. We were so poor back then, the cash was a huge motivation. This time I think I will need to rely on my competitive spirit and the mirror for my motivation. Everyone seems pumped and in good morale in the early stage of the competition; this may change come October.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Screw Job

On my way from my work to Dillon's work yesterday, I felt funny about my car. I thought it was my transmission for some reason, but I knew something wasn't right.

When I got Dillon, just before I got into the car, I noticed a large wood screw sticking out of the rear passenger wheel. It was out about an inch with the head broken off by me driving on it. Thankfully, the tire was still full of air. The angle suggested I backed over it. The last time I backed up was leaving my work parking lot.

Dillon said, "Does someone at work have it out for you?" I told him I was thinking the same thing. Then he said, "That's what they call a 'screw-job.'"

"Really?!" I said. I was all on board. It totally made sense.

"No," he said laughing at me. Rude.

We were able to make it down the road to Les Schwab just fine. They patched it quickly and inexpensively, then we were on our way.

I am thankful that I had the feeling that something was wrong. I usually don't have a keen eye, but was on the lookout because of my prompting. Now I just need to find out who at work has it out for me... Oh, the list is getting so long....

Friday, July 04, 2008

Happy 4th of July

Dillon and I went to visit Nolan, Heather, and Doug the Dog today. Doug is Heather's friend's dog that Nolan and Heather have doggy-sat ever since he was 'little.' Doug never really has been little. He's a Bernese Mt Dog. Everyone loves Doug. At just a year and a half, he's so huge and oafish. He'll just plant his extra large self wherever he feels like. He loves to hide his head in people's crevices, and is often in his very own world that seems so far, far away from ours. His frequent vacant stares are comical, but still adorable. He slobbers relentlessly. It takes a pretty large animal to make Nolan look smallish.

I have decided that he is autistic and is lucky to have someone like Heather - a master of special education - in his life.

We had a barbecue with bratts, corn on the cob, steak, watermelon, and cantaloupe. Yummy. Dillon and Nolan especially liked the corn.

After grub we decided to go to a park above Nolan's house to watch fireworks. We arrived at around 8:30p to ensure a good spot on the grass.

It seemed like forever waiting for the fireworks to start. It was dusk when we got there.
Then the sun began to set.It was dark for a while before the show began.
Doug was a bigger attraction than the fireworks - well, before they started anyway. Everyone who saw him stared for at least a bit. Their eyes all seemed to get bigger and mouth gape when they saw him. For those who do not know better, he can be very intimidating. I kept hearing people around us trying to call him over to them sneakily. If they only knew what it actually takes to get Doug to respond, they would not have even tried. Others would ask to pet him or just come over and pet him. There was one little boy that asked his mom if he could pet the dog and she said, "No, he's too big." He would not stop asking her though.

Heather and I motioned the boy over and he yelled, "Mom, they said it's okay!" and she relented. He was so cute. He would pet Doug and if Doug made the slightest movement, the kid would do some sort of cartwheel move out of the way. This was as close as he would get to take a picture of Doug. He said that he was going to get a dog bigger than a horse and name him Doug and then Doug and Doug could play together. Then he laughed and laughed.

And, finally, we got what we came for.

Oooooooo Aaaaaaaaaaaahhh