offer them an ear

"Imagine you're going about your day, minding your own business, when someone sneaks up behind you...You feel something press up against the back of your head, as someone whispers in your ear. "Sssshhhhh.... don't turn around. Just listen. I am holding a gun against the back of your head. I'm going to keep it there. I'm going to follow you around like this every day, for the rest of your life.I'm going to press a bit harder, every so often, just to remind you I'm here, but you need to try your best to ignore me, to move on with your life. Act like I'm not here, but don't you ever forget... one day I may just pull the trigger... or maybe I won't. Isn't this going to be a fun game?"
This is what it is like to be diagnosed with cancer. Any STAGE of cancer. Any KIND of cancer. Remission does not change the constant fear. It never truly goes away. It's always in the back of your mind. Please, if you have a loved one who has ever been diagnosed with cancer, remember this. They may never talk about it or they may talk about it often. Listen to them. They aren't asking you to make it better. They want you to sit with them in their fear... their sadness... their anger... just for the moment. That's it. Don't try to talk them out of how they are feeling. That doesn't help. It will only make them feel like what they are going through is being minimized. Don't remind them of all the good things they still have in their life. They know. They are grateful.
But some days they are more aware of that gun pressing into the back of their head and they need to talk about it. Offer them an ear.
Sherry McAllister"

Cosplay crafting 101

I am gearing up for the Calgary Comic expo with my girlfriends at the end of the month. I have a lot to make yet, but I think I'll get it done in time. I have a costume to sew (not too complicated - it's basically a school uniform and it's cut out -just needs sewing and accessorizing) and a prop to finish for it (a bit more complicated).  At the last minute I decided I am making Ryuko Matoi's red scissor blade to go with my costume of her -learning how to sculpt and build with mdf is fascinating. It's so much fun.  We're all also doing a team costume one of the days as a ghostbusters (we all have coveralls and patches and light up proton packs heheheh). The coveralls are all beat up discards from the mine where a friend works so we're gonna go as...wait for it...zombie ghostbusters! Heheh. I know! Don't judge me. We're gonna trash the coveralls even more and wear gross makeup and contacts and have fun with it. We are actually getting my friend Lisa to dress up this year in the group which is fantastic! She never has before so I am so excited. I'm gonna be zombie Spengler...cuz Egon is the best scientist haha.
And... I only have 8 days left to finish all my stuff...but I think I'll get it done. Heheh. We shall see. I have things to go to on the weekend and hopefully I'll still have enough time to get it all done around that. Making the prop piece has added a lot of work to the one costume so I'm gonna make sure I have the main costume done before I do all that, but I think it's's fun to make stuff. Almost as fun as wearing it to be honest :) The weather's been so nice I can work out in the yard and not fill the house with sawdust. far so good.

In regular life I've been trying to be more active and getting back to running again -I started the couch to 5K last week and it's going OK. My right knee has been it's usual annoying self, but I had some physio and learned it's related to my ITB band and a tight hip so I have stretches and exercises to strengthen things and it seems to be getting better. Foam rolling is helping a lot too. I'm hoping to workout at lunch more often at work with running and some other weights - it gets me out of my office for lunch and I have a membership to the great gym at the campus where I work as part of my salary so I might as well use it more. If I am at a gym I tend to workout harder since I made the fuss of getting there. Plus this way if I don't want to workout at home in the morning and I need to sleep in I can sometimes and have options. I can even go for a swim if I want too.

I really need more sleep than I used to and I have to look after myself better. It's exciting to do it though -I can't wait to get stronger. I feel so good after I workout and it's nice to have that happy buzz again.

Anyhoo...I should go finish up work. Hope you're all having a good day.

Please don't leave candles unattended

Montreal was a blast. I'm back and busy as a bee. Happy and healthy.

BUT I am here for a good reason today...something happened that I want to pass on to all of you to maybe keep you all safer.

Please don't leave burning candles unattended. If you like to burn them have them in holders but most importantly -Put them out when you are done and don't have tea lights or bare candles burning while you sleep or leave the room.



My friend's girlfriend is lucky to be alive after she had a candlelit bath and a glass of wine an and went to bed, forgetting to blow out a tealight candle she had going while in the tub. She luckily awoke to the alarm and a neighbor helped her escape. She managed to find her glasses and get out of the house full of smoke but they've lost almost everything...the fire destroyed most of the house and all of their stuff. She was in the hospital overnight with breathing problems. She said the smoke was so thick she couldn't see anything...if she wasn't totally familiar with her surroundings she probably wouldn't have found her way out.

So yeah. Please. Be safe.


I am leaving for Montreal in 2 days and I have so much to do at work before I go away for a week that I'm freaking out a little bit.

So naturally I'm here instead of working.

Yeah. I should go do that...

Funk Cancer and Week 3

This weekend was a lot of fun. A few of our friends who are promoters, once of whom just lost his mum to (fucking) cancer and who's significant other's mum is also fighting it got together with like-minded peoples and fueled our anger into something good -we threw a big cancer fundraiser party saturday night - Funk Cancer. Despite the stupidly cold weather we've been having (seriously -it's absurd - how many weeks can we be at -45 with the windchill?) we had a decent turnout and it was lots of fun.  It was 80s themed with so much love put into it. It was great to work on building a venue up and be creative with so many people who I'm proud to call my friends and see JJ get to do his thing as only he can. They built and painted giant Nintendo NES dance platforms, put a giant blacklight PAC MAN on the wall, built and painted a giant boom-box stage (complete with a cassette to flip over for each new artist!), giant Light Brites saying Funk Cancer (I made those heheh..), Donkey Kong barrels, a giant Etch a Sketch and great music. There was also a whole lot of many different cool things for the silent auction which raised lotsa cash too - still waiting on the final numbers. I bid on (and think I won) a small painting of one of the Ghostbusters heheheh so I got a little cheesy art for a good cause. I worked with JJ before and at the event to help build custom LED light bits for the stage and the light bars above the platforms and JJ laser mapped the stage elements to make the stage come alive. It looked AMAZING. All the proceeds form the silent auction and all profits went to the Canadian Cancer Society.
Main stage with laser mapping hee hee

NES platform test with discoball before doors opened :)

Since poor JJ was randomly and thoroughly sick, I helped him out as much as I could and we were working on it all weekend and were there all day for setup...then I didn't get home and to sleep after tear down until almost sunrise sunday AM but it man -was SO worth it. Poor JJ was sick a s a dog with a bad cold that snuck up on him on thursday so he was finally able to give in to it and just be sick all sunday. I fed him and made him sleep and he basically slept all day, poor guy. I left him with water and advil and fruit smoothies this am and hope another day of sleep will help him feel better. If not I'll take him to the doc today. His arm has been hurting him a lot too (not sure if it's a sprain or strain, but it's been really sore and achey for about 2 weeks now, so he needs to have it looked at). He leaves for Montreal on friday so I want him to rest up and feel better before he goes. Holidays when you're sick are no fun - and who wants to take the plague with you when you go?
So far I seem to have escaped his cold - I think JJ's mad 5 days work in a row with minimal sleep and lots of company in the house wore him out enough to catch something. I've just shifted into chemo level germophobe mode and although my hands are getting dry form over-washing I'm (so far) still OK. I'm just back at regular workouts again so I don't want to stop and be sick again. This long winter has been brutal for germs - when you're trapped indoors with everyone you get their germs too...Having friends stay with us while they apartment hunt made for enforced visiting too and their son who is 5 was an exhausting never ending ball of energy. I am pleased that they will be here soon (and in their OWN place) an introvert having someone in your house all the time is exhausting. I'm actually looking forward to JJ being in Montreal for a week prior to me so I can just have down time.

I finally feel like I"m getting strength back .There are faint muscles on my shoulders again and I feel stronger. Started Week 3 of Ripped in 30 and it was a new hard adventure this AM. Duck walks -oh. my. god. They look so simple...oh no. And all the arm stuff with monkey push-ups and tricep side raises. Oy. I modified the jump switch lunges because my knees cannot deal, but other than that I made it through it all...barely. I'm about 5 Lb down so far and feeling stronger so another week of healthy eating and regular workouts will be good for me I think. Just knowing I'm working at it is enough for me - I feel really good this AM.

But - I'm avoiding getting to work so I should just get to it.
Have a lovely and warm week peoples. Hug the ones you love.
And fuck cancer.

Week 2 here we go

Starting week 2 of the Ripped in 30. It seems easier overall this week (may just be in my head though) but way more core work. I think it's just more of stuff I like. I like the 30 seconds format too - I can do anything for 30 seconds. I only have to modify a few things because of my surgeries so I feel like I'm getting a solid workout even with those. As I get stronger I'll work to do that less, but I don't want to injure myself so I'm making sure I'm smart about it. I'm finding the eating more of a challenge really. It's easier on workdays, but when it's a weekend and I'm home by myself? So hard not to just nibble away my days. I've tried to have lots of healthy snacks around and stay hydrated which helps. I find I eat when I'm thirsty sometimes and really what I need is water instead. I'm trying not to obsess over food - I'm debating whether I want to track my meals or not because I know how obsessive I can get about it. I want to be aware of what I'm eating and portions but I don't want to get weird about it.We have company here too for a few days so I have to be open to more options and eat enough, but not too much. Ugh. I envy people who just eat for fuel. It's so much more complicated for me.

After one week of being hardcore food + workouts I already feel better. My muffin top is less and my pants feel a bit better. I've lost ~3 pounds (most of which I bet is water) but it's good to see a bit of progress and feel like I'm doing something useful. It's not really about the scale though and I'm not aiming for such drastic change. I'm only stepping on once a week - I want to feel stronger and be comfy in my clothes again. My abs are more visible again which is nice and my shoulders seem a bit more muscley which I have missed. So far? This program works :). I took an extra day off because it was a long weekend - I did fully plan to workout yesterday, but friends came to visit a day early without much notice so I was not able to fit it in before they came. That's OK though - we've gotten a tonne of snow the last few days and JJ has an injured wrist so I've been doing all the shoveling. Let me tell you - getting a sidewalk clear of 10 inches of snow and chipping off the ice is a solid exercise!

I should be off and get to the lab. Just wanted to touch in to say hi and be accountable to myself. Hope you all have a great week. Stay warm!!

Baby its Cold Outside

We're in the middle of  a hellish cold snap at the moment. It's hit -50C with the windchill a few times and at this very moment it's a balmy -41 C with the wind (-31 without). Needless to say since the mercury has dropped this low I've resorted to the bus in the morning. I hate to do it but it's dangerously cold out right now and I couldn't walk 45 minutes in this safely. It should break by the end of the month (oh please) and then things will get slorshy but much more reasonable. I've got an alpaca scarf which is lovely and soft and warm on my face and I've been keeping warm. I don't have to go anywhere this weekend except to the fabric store and to visit my adopted gramma Stella in the hospital (she took a bad fall, poor thing). I'll happily stay in where it's warm and craft away.

After a frustrating time finding something dressy that fits right to go out at the end of January I've gotten back to more intense morning regular workouts again. Part of that is going to bed on time - boring, but necessary. Proud to say that all week I've gotten up to do week 1 of my 30 day shred dvd and I haven't died yet so the yoga and swimming I've been doing when I can at work lately has definitely helped. This week I'm covering for someone at work so I've only been able to get away for one swim and might make yoga today at lunch (I hope I hope), but I have been good at workouts all 5 mornings this week. Yay me. This morning I almost slept in, but I still got up and I'm glad I did. Happy exercise endorphins really make my day better. It also sets me up to be diligent with my eating as well when I start my day off right. I feel a bit stronger already.

I need to find some healthy soup recipes. At a friend's suggestion I picked up a thermos and have used it to keep hot lovely soup for my lunches lately and it's awesome - even has a little spoon with it. Our lunch room microwaves are gross so this means I can eat my hot soup at my desk. I like it. I'd like to make big batches of soup like I used to over the weekend. Any recipes you like?

Monday is a holiday here - I totally forgot, but that's nice to have a break. JJ works all weekend, so at least I'll have monday off with him. I was supposed to go with him to a gig in another city saturday night, but a friend of his who is a lot more tech savvy is free to go as his legit helper so I'll be here instead. I am sad to miss the event, but I could use the down time to do some chores and get crafty.

My girlfriends and I are getting ready for the Calgary Comic Expo at the end of April so I have some sewing to do! This year I plan to be Ryuko Matoi from Kill La Kill in Kemui Senketsu (untransformed cuz I have no desire to be mostly nekkid) on one day and all us girls are going as some Ghostbusters on another one.
Ryuko Matoi in Senketsu

Yep. Possibly zombie ghostbusters...we shall see what our salvaged work coveralls look like first. Heheh. I love having friends as nerdy as I am. We all bought the proton packs that light up and make noise after halloween when they were on sale super cheap so even my friend Lisa who never dresses up  will be dressed up at the Con. They are tweedley cool :) I've got my Ryuko wig on order and am heading to the fabric store for some navy fabric to make Senketsu tomorrow afternoon...It should be a pretty simple comfy costume. Any costume where you wear running shoes is OK by me :)

BUT...I should get to the lab. Stay warm.
Later taters.

I'm bringing safety back

Still here...just strangely undesiring of writing in my blog really. Not sure why. Holidays were good. Life is OK. My health is fine. Winter is cold. My goal is to bundle up like a sausage and walk to work every day and try to get to yoga at work 2-3 times a week. The rest will come - I am finding getting up in the morning hard so it's been a challenge to workout but I am doing my best to fit in fitness where I can.

So really...other than needing more sleep it's been the same old same old.

I had a special project starting in the fall and so am finding I have a lot to do at work and when I am at home I am trying to *do* more meaningful things and relax more -to get off the computer and tv and be more creative. Dust off some hobbies and organize. I did a lot of sewing for holiday gifts aand we are working to go thorough our home to organize and do some purging. I want to learn how to use my serger better this year. I also want to learn how to sew lengerie.
I feel more content now that our bedroom is rearranged and we are slowly organizing things room by room together so JJ knows where stuff is and we are purging a lot of things that we no longer want or need. It's very freeing. Slowly...

At work I've been trying to promote lab safety. A coworker and I tie dyed our lab coats and put bling all over our eye protection to make our PPE (personal protective equipment)  more visible and, I think, better looking. A few students have followed suit which is fun, but in the end we've gotten more people to remember their PPE and safety and that's the main end goal so I'm happy. I've been slowly rewriting Bringing Sexy Back into a new lab safety song...Bringing Safety Back...heheh. If I finish I'll make something with it. The song will probably be way out of date by then...I'll post whatever I come up with. It'll be sure to assault your senses in some way.

Me and my management team and boss at one of the the
university labs this fall. I'm 2nd left. 

BUT, I gotta go. I has much science to do today. Hope you are all safe and warm.

Bye. Happy New Year.

I'm curious - any goals you have for the coming year?

So many leaves

I am happy to say I was good all last week - worked out mon-friday every morning and ate well and walked to and from work. Saturday I raked the whole dang back yard. Sunday I relaxed - a bit of a cheat day with a light beer and some snacks with friends playing spooky D&D. Was so tired I was in bed by 930. Really needed some sleep...Kept nodding off reading a book in the recliner with my cat so I just gave up and went to bed.

This AM I slept through my alarm (oops) so I am sad to say I didn't have time to workout BUT I still walked to work and am eating healthy. I hope to workout when I am home tonight, as well as Tuesday and Wednesday am. I'll be going to Winnipeg  (ooh aah) Wednesday PM until Sunday to visit an old friend who is here from the UK and we may go for walks and runs while there...shall see. I'll try and be healthy and wing it.

So very much looking forward to the visit :) It's been years and we may go relax in a spa for part of the day where I can nap in a heated hammock and sit in hot and cold pools with a book and ice water all day and visit in whispers. Never been to a spa before...just hot springs.

Never been so excited to go to Winnipeg haha

Whelp, here we go again

Yes I'm alive.  :) Long time no post - I've just been busy doing stuff. Life. Good things. Bad things. The myriad of life.
What I haven't been doing though is exercising. So - now that summer is over and I'm back home and in more of a routine I'm getting back to the fitness logging and healthy sorta stuffs again. Why? Well a wondrous summer of adventure (and beers and snacks a plenty) has had me lose most of my muscles and gain about 11 Lbs. Boo. It's enough that my pants are tight (really - I have 2 sizes of clothes and I'm tight in my upper sizes of them and really feel self conscious)....and more importantly, physically I am very weak. Yes I had to rest and heal, but it's been 6 months - I have no reason not to work out anymore other than just wanting to sleep in.  This weekend while helping set up decor for an event I was frustrated at how little I could lift and I am glad to know I'm starting back to fitness again. I couldn't even hold my arms up for long periods to hang and mount stuff - it's remarkable when you are used to being able to do a lot and you just can't...

So, since the start of October I've been slowly getting back on the train to being more health conscious. Other than thanksgiving day (where I had a yummy meal with my family and 28 other people - wine and pie and snacks playing cards and all that) I've been sober all month and not snacked on junk. Yep, no more beer or a drink after work. October will be sober, but after that I'll go back to just a drink on sunday...or e
lse I may pick up some Canadian 67 or some G&T for when I just really want a drink. It was becoming a routine and not a treat and although there's nothing wrong with a glass of wine with supper it was getting out of hand with all the (delicious) craft beers and once I have one I have a few beers ...then I have a snack and...yeah...that's how your pants get too small.

True story. :)
I have been walking to work, there and back as weather permits. I should not diminish this - it is 3.4 Km one way and it does help a lot - I really feel it when I don't. But - it doesn't give me strength, and I really need that back. So - last week I did a few days of a workout DVD and this week I'm going at it full tilt - Jillian Michaels Ripped in 30 DVD. Last week I felt pretty pathetic since I couldn't even get through the first workout without stopping and I had to modify a lot of things, but this week on my first "official" day at it I made it all the way through with only 2 modifications - pushups on my knees as requested by my surgeon and my front raises of weights were one weight between my two arms  instead of one in each. Misplaced my 3 Lb weights and only have my 5, 8 and 10 to work with.

I admit, I feel pretty proud of myself that today although I was pretty sqeuaky in parts I made it through the whole DVD with no breaks or cheating and just those 2 changes. I'm hoping to be up to a weight in each hand and a heavier weights for a few of the other moves by the end of the week that don't involve my arms. Having only one lat muscle really changes how your back works and I have to remember that to ensure I don't hurt myself.  Plus I have to remember -the first few weeks kinda suck. I can make it through and I won't's neat how quickly I don't get crazy stiff and fall back into the routine of being up and getting this in before work. Plus my asthma gets dialed in again and I'll feel a lot more confident and strong. It gives me energy and helps my moods too. Really I just want my clothes to fit a bit better again. I just want to be healthy.  So... I'm gonna be back logging my stuff again for a while. :)

So this AM - week 1 workout was done. Had some cottage cheese and fruit and a mug of coffee with cream for breakfast and I'm off to a good start.
Here's to a good day!