Friday, April 20, 2012

Out of Body Experience?

Dear Body,

I don't know where you came from, but are you sure you belong to me? I mean, I went away for 3 weeks in March and except for once, didn't do any running. Before I left, I could do 3 miles.

Then I come home, and I do a 4-mile run. Do 3 days of weight training, a walk in the woods and some intervals. This week I did a 5-mile run. Just because I felt good at the time and wanted to see if I could do it. And I did. With almost no pain. What is up with that?

How far do you intend to go? I hope you don't want to do a marathon someday. The brain has no intentions of ever doing that long of a run.

Keep it up though--I'm not complaining. I'm just a bit dumbfounded.

Your pal,

Thursday, April 19, 2012

What's this Blog of Which You Speak?

Dear Readers,

You're still here? You're that committed?

Well, thanks. And yet, I disappoint. No posting. Disappearing to the other side of the world and not even writing you a postcard--what's up with that??

I don't really know. My brain's been full.

It's true. I did go to the other side of the world for a couple of weeks. I'm an instructor for the WFTDA's Officiating Clinics, so I went to Auckland, New Zealand, and the Gold Coast in Australia to teach Non-Skating Officiating to a bunch of awesome Kiwis and Aussies. The training clinics were so much fun--I get to talk about officiating and draw on a big white board and help people become excellent. I can't wait to get to do it again during some of the U.S. clinics this summer.

I'd never been to either country before, so everything was new and exciting and on the wrong side of the road but also still in English. I ate kumara, feijoas and Lamingtons. I drank ginger beer and some local brews. I also had some amazing fish and chips.....and a not so amazing meat pie. I indulged in kangaroo and wagyu beef. I had delicious local yogurt and managed to fit some giant Easter eggs into my suitcase.

I didn't just eat though. I hiked in the bush of New Zealand and flung a huge piece of seaweed around the beach. I tooled around the streets of Auckland. I biked along the riverfront path in Brisbane. My fellow clinic instructors and I saw glowworms and did a rainforest hike in Australia. I also went up to Lady Elliot Island and petted a giant sea turtle while snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef (being able to write a sentence like that about my life is both amazingly and obnoxiously cool--thanks for indulging me).

I've been home for about two weeks now and am probably over the jet lag--been feeling wobbly at times, and I'm not sure if it's jet lag or seasonal allergies. I'm still unpacking/picking up from my bags exploding all over my office. I find random receipts, new A4 folders, international power converters, an Australian cell phone and Kit Kat Chunky3 bars everywhere I look. I'm slowly changing from international jet setter to your average slob who might soon be mistaken for a hoarder.

So, am I back to blogging full time? We'll see. I've been doing a lot of derby stuff and a lot of business/formal-type writing. My creative side needs a bit of a workout--and by "bit," I mean my creative side is probably 75 lbs. overweight and has become a borderline diabetic mouthbreather. It needs some help. I've been doing the whole weight loss thing for some time though, so I know that it's one day at a time and that baby steps are in order to make some lasting change. These last few posts are just some of those baby steps.

Will I be able to take the creative weight off? Stay tuned!

Your pal,

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Tis the Season? Pt. II

Dear Neighbors,

I feel like we had this conversation last year. I've tried to hold on and not complain, but I just can't take it anymore.

Your flowering tree is full of beautiful flowers. That means it's OK to take down the Christmas garland still wound around the pillars on your front porch.


It's OK.

Don't make me come over and do it myself.

Thanks so much!

Your pal,

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Tis the Season?

Dear Microbrewers,

I know we're all excited to get winter behind us (though it was pretty mild here in my neck of the woods), but we just had the Spring Equinox. Why is summer beer already in the stores and on tap?

Don't get me wrong. Summer beer season is my favorite, but I was pretty shocked to not be able to get the Sam Adams Alpine Spring Seasonal at the beginning of April (beginning of April). I had to settle for the Sam Summer, which I like, but I like to look forward to it in April and May, not drink it.

I might blame you for global warming. Releasing seasonal beers too early causes global warming.

Sounds good, no?

Your pal,

Monday, February 27, 2012

Oh, Monday

Dear Readers,

A little over a week ago, I dropped off my sports watch at a local jewelers to have the battery replaced. Though the place offers battery replacement while you wait, he was busy with another customer, so I offered to come back the next day. This, of course, has turned into something like 10 days.

Today I was determined to go pick it up, so even though I'm a bit behind on work, I walked the 20-25 minutes down to the jewelry store. Five feet before I got to the door, I realized the place was closed on Mondays.

Go figure.

I guess it's good that I needed the walk.

Your pal,

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Short People Like Donuts Too

Dear Dunkin' Donuts,

I realize you're all about the coffee now, but do you have to line your countertops with coffee machines and coffee displays? Do you realize that they block the view of the donuts, the product that's actually a part of your name?

I don't drink coffee. When I go to Dunkin' Donuts (which is surprisingly a lot, given that before I moved to Massachusetts, I didn't have much of a Dunkin' habit. Now I go at least a few times a month), I'm going for a donut or a bagel. Problem is, because I'm 5'4", if I'm standing in line, all the coffee-related stuff blocks my view of the donuts and bagels. I often can't make a selection until I'm actually at the register, and at that point, the cashiers are hurrying me along because they want to get the line moving as fast as possible.

On Monday, I was in a store where the donut sightlines were so bad, I had to ask, "Do you have crullers?" because I couldn't see them at all. For the record, this was an outlet with crullers, which was a great bonus, but the customer experience was so frustrating and so unsatisfying that I don't know if I want to go back there.

In fact, I often will think that a donut would be a good snack. However, I'll opt against it because if I don't know what donut I want, I don't want to deal with the stress that ordering entails. Isn't there a way you can showcase the donuts, yet still have enough counter space for all the coffee makers? It'd certainly make me want to run to Dunkin' more often.

Thanks for listening.
Your pal,

Friday, February 17, 2012

Postcard from the Ether Dome

The "Mass" in "Mass. General Hospital" stands for "Massachusetts," though it could stand for "Massively confusing," since it's one of those really old hospitals that has a bunch of additions, with none of them really labelled well, making it really hard to find anything and necessitating a well-staffed information desk.

Recently, the Boy took the day off for a doctor's appointment, so we decided to head to the Ether Dome, where anesthesia was first successfully used in an operation. The dome is the operating theater where it happened, and the hospital now has it set up as a museum that you can visit. During business hours. When there aren't any meetings in there. Not that they'd tell you the schedule or anything.

This is, of course, what happened when we visited. Once we actually found the right entrance that would eventually lead us to the right building and got to the Ether Dome, there was a meeting going on (that I sort of walked into, since the door was open, and it certainly felt a little bit "tour guidey" to me). Dome off-limits to the general public.

One would think the visit was a failure, but not really. We did get to poke through the random tiny museum behind the operating room that you entered through a Jill-sized door, which meant the Boy had to pretty much double in half to get through it. This, of course, is a phenomenon I haven't experienced since we went to Japan, so I was pleased.

The museum contained random examining chairs and tables, none of which were labelled, so you didn't know what the heck you were even looking at--it kind of felt like they cleaned out old Dr. Morton's office in the 1980s and decided just to shove the contents back there. It also contained the wedding clothes of J. Masson Warren, who got married on April 30, 1839. Warren, I learned as I was writing this, since the few faded information panels along one wall were too boring to read and I don't have extensive knowledge of medical history, performed the first nose job and also developed surgeries for closing cleft palates. How his wedding clothes ended up framed and tucked behind an old operating theater in a hospital is a mystery.

Even though the museum took all of five minutes to look at, I was strangely transfixed. "This is a bizarre little museum," I said to the Boy.

"I know. And it's probably full of germs! Germs from a thousand years ago that they don't know how to cure anymore!"

I opened up a drawer on an examining table. The Boy got disgusted. "Don't touch anything! You're like a little kid!"

For the record, the drawer contained a used rubber glove.

To make it feel like we totally didn't waste the afternoon, we looked at all the (unlabeled) pictures lining the stairwells and flipped through the guest books. Although we'll have to go back to see the main attraction, the whole experience felt like this entry:

3 cheers for the either [sic] !!! :-) :-) :-) 

Thursday, February 16, 2012

What, Who Me? Yes, You!

Dear Doctor-Waiting-Room Jerk who's complaining about the long wait,

Thanks for letting us all know you're really important because it's 9:40 and you have a 10:00 call and are upset because haven't gotten in to see the doctor yet.

I know you're dealing with a he-said, she-said kind of thing. The nurse says you were 25 minutes late for your 8:45 appointment; you claim you got here before 9:00. The point is though that you were late.

Haven't you tuned in to any of the problems in health care over the past decade (or more) that talks about how little time doctors have for individual appointments? If you're even 10 minutes late, you've pretty much missed your time slot. You want a same day appointment? Wait it out, buddy. Since you've wasted their time (and their dime), you're now at their mercy. Suck it up.

I realize your call was probably earth-shattering, but since you screwed up their schedule, you can wait until 9:36 to get fit in. If it's important to you to see the doctor, your call can wait.

Oh, and since you're scheduling your follow-up appointment for first thing in the morning, how about setting your alarm now so that you can get there on time and not mess up the day. Again.

Please and thank you.

Your pal,