Happy Halloween everybody!

I'm waiting to fill little goblins full of sugar. I've gotten sour candies and Fizz candies and am eating pizza and having a beer...because I feel 9 zillion times better.
Celebrate the little things :)

Happy birthday - I got you the flu!

I spent most of yesterday coughing and fevery and chills, but thankfully today my muscly aches are pretty much gone. Hot damn. It was like severe PMS...for 4 freaking days. Yes, lets say I'm overwhelmed and joyous at the less achy bit. I'm not too sure if it was me being sick or the vaccinations. Either way I'm glad it's gone. It was not cool.
Feeling better today - no more fever and such, and I have more energy. J feels guilty having given me what he has, but spending a romantic weekend away together pretty much guaranteed that whatever he got I would eventually. I'm just hoping it goes away relatively soon. J was feeling good enough to head back to work today, so I'm hoping that by the end of the weekend I'll be well on the mend. I already feel better than yesterday.
I'm supposed to go bridesmaid dress shopping together with a friend and her mom and sisters tomorrow, so I'm hoping I'll be at the drug myself up to the gills stage by then so I can get out for a bit. I'd hate to put it off again - it's the only time in 3 months we could all get together in the city to do it...and it would be fun. I just don't want to spread the plague. We'll see how I feel.
Friends and I were having a bonfire tonight for my birthday and my lovely J and others are setting it up. I'm determined to bundle myself up and go even for a little while and sip hot chocolate...I'd hate to spend my whole birthday in bed!
I have watched a lot of James Bond though...I still think Golden Eye and Casino Royale are my favourites...for plot and strong characters and low cheese level.
Anyways, I should have some tea and put the lappy down and go have a nap. Boring as it is, it'll get me better.
Have a nice weekend all!

Achy butt is a symptom of what again?

I think I'm getting what my husband has. Last night I ached all over (even my butt...that was wierd...), especially my arms, which I'm assuming is from the shots. I'm still stiff in one arm today and generally feeling wiped out. This morning I have developed a nasty cough. Boo.
I think getting 2 immunizations pushed me over the edge and weakened me up a bit. After an important meeting I think I'm going home to bed to see if I can cut this off before it gets too bad. J is really really sick, and I have no desire to get that sick...
Here's hoping.

plague prevention

Well I didn't work out this morning but I had a very valid reason. I was waiting in a ridiculously long line to get both flu shots before work. Luckily my labs are part of the hospital, so asthmatic little me (who gets really sick when I get the flu) could get both the regular flu shot and the H1N1. I know the H1 N1 flu isn't too serious a strain, but for me it's worth it. My husband is coughing and appears to be coming down with the flu....I don't know if I got in on time to miss what he has, but I'm hopeful....
My doctor friends are freaking me out (since they know I've taken it) and telling me about all the potential side effects from the adjuvant in the vaccine in Canada, and admittedly I am a bit concerned at how it was rushed through approval. Still, given how VERY sick I get from complications when I do get the flu, it was not a choice for me. In addition, work paid for it, so really...I'm there. I find it strange that every province has been allowed to have their own H1N1 immunization responses and I've been ranting loudly about my province's: here the H1N1 is free for all, but the regular flu shot is open only to seniors and health care workers this year. Yup you heard right -in the past I was told it was critical to get seasonal flu shots (and I agree) because of the complications my asthma brings to the flu (usually pneumonia and bronchitis...wheee).
This year in Saskatchewan? Nada. I cannot get it any other way. I have tried to get it by other routes - I could not. Not through the immunization clinics, not through my doctor even, and regular flu clinics were cancelled to make sure the H1N1 vaccine got out to everyone.

Ridiculous I say. I was just told that I should write a letter to the minister of health about it and I have. I haven't gotten a reply yet....I'm curious to what their response will be about how suddenly a "vital" vaccine isn't necessary for me, since I need to get a vaccine to a less virulent form of flu instead. My coworkers and husband are sick of me ranting about it. Luckily now it's moot. I have both.
As a microbiologist I get the theory: Yes H1N1 is a new strain of flu never gotten before by humans. That means if you are exposed you will catch it. Period. End of story. You have no built up immunity to it yet - our whole species is lacking...but since it's much milder than the average flu, it's not such a huge risk unless you're old, very young, pregnant or have heart/lung conditions. Honestly, I think they are responding well, as if this was more virulent, we'd be screwed. Really , we would. As it is there will be a lot of missed time at work for a lot of people this fall. I know someone who's brother had H1N1. They said it was a mild flu. Not that big a deal for the average person.

I was struck this weekend by the deep chill of fear about a *real* pandemic. I mean, what if the next pandemic is more like SARS? Or worse...something that kills healthy people on a mass scale? Something very contagious? When we were at the mall this weekend I saw someone very sick and thought..."wow...that's how it would begin". Slowly 1 or 2 people would be sick, then more and more and by the time we tried to limit exposure people would be sick all over the place...health care providers too. I mean, it happened with SARS on a small scale. The plague in Europe and the spanish influenza knocked out huge chunks of the population. In our modern age with increased sanitation and very good immunization programs, those of us living in the developed world have no concept of what a strong pandemic could do. We don't see our loved ones die of illness like even our parents did. I've never seen anyone with polio or the measles...and I think it makes us a bit soft. Despite the rare risks from a limitedly tested vaccine, I was in line this morning, yawning away, to get both vaccinations. (for the company's info sheet on the vaccine being distributed in Canada, go here. Make an informed choice. The last 4 pages are standard patient info and the rest is all the info gathered on it that your doctor would get. Ask your doctor about it. I'm guessing he's smarter than me :) )
I count myself as lucky. Vaccinations are important. I cannot risk giving flu to my Mum, Grandma or my little neices or nephews-they could get very ill. It's really about the community health, not just me. Handwashing and good hygeine will help keep you well - but there is no serious harm in getting vaccinated.
If I was not asthmatic I don't know as I'd get the H1N1 vaccine until I saw more data about the vaccination affects, simply because I'm a bit paranoid, and I like to know things are well tested before I take them. The vaccine company's website lists all the testing done on the vaccine, and it is far from thorough and complete in my opinion. There are complications (like any medication), and age gaps in testing results and pregnant women (in my opinion) should not get the vaccine with adjuvant - it's not know what it will do to them. There will be an adjuvant free vaccination for them and small children. This vaccine just is not as well tested as the other vaccinations we have. Yet, in my opinion, safe enough to take for the average person. I am definitely provaccination. I know the difference in my health when I get this vaccine. I'll let you know if I develop a third arm or have a wierd complication K? K.

Here's hoping I miss the flu this year :)

Much later in the day: I am tired...arms still sore, but I'm still here. Pretty much what happened last year when I got the shot. :)


We had a mini holiday weekend. It was lovely. Had tickets to Moby in Edmonton so we made a little romantic getaway out of it, seeing as it's my birthday this weekend. It was a great concert. Plus, we spent the weekend in the Polynesia room...bhwaha! A big hot tub. A giant bed shaped like a boat...tee hee! So nice. I didn't go too crazy food wise - I had cedar planked salmon and roasted veggies with brown rice when we went out for a posh romantic dinner...erm...OK, and pumpkin pie too....and a drink that tasted like a piece of merangue pie (mmm...heaven). I had bangers and mash for breakfast...just cause I could...personally I think you should be able to have mashed potatoes and peas for breakfast anytime. Oh, and wine...and lots of grapes.
OK, down on paper it was not too bad, but not too good...but, yes it was WONDERFUL!

Tonight I have a big family dinner to go to-J's Grandma is 80! I'll try and stay away from too much mennonite food and be good. No doubt there will be lots of cabbage rolls, perogies and good mennonite cream gravy...I promise to be good.

I'm excited as tomorrow morning I can try out one of my new bellydance DVDs. I have the Tribal drills DVDs from Fat Chance Bellydance now, courtesy of my instructor - looking forward to trying them out! I have the Basics Vol.1 DVD AND the advanced workshop Vol. 4 DVDs now to cover all the moves I have learned and some of the new ones I will be. I wanted some extra drilling, as the other girls in the intermediate class also take lessons from her on monday nights so I feel like I'm falling behind, even tho it is thru no fault of my own. This will let me get in extra practice too...play catch up in a way. I'll feel much better. I wish they weren't so expensive or I'd order the whole series. With shipping they come to $45 each...too steep for me to go that crazy right now...even when my instructor orders them in they aren't really much cheaper...

PLUS I found a tribal costume pattern on Ebay for cheap so I can make my own choli and 10 yard skirt for tribal - buying them premade is pricey. Plus I love to sew so I'm looking forward to making them myself. The costuming is slightly different than egyptian so I'd like to have more choices for dancing. There's a pattern for tribal hip scarves included (they have no coins and lots of shells, fringe and tassels instead) plus instructions about how to properly wrap a turban and costume up for traditional tribal dress and sword balancing. Cool!

Chicky chick ladies!

Cold turkey or luke warm chicken

Ah...got a bit of sleep last night. Which is good, as tonight is 3 hours of bellydancing. I'm pumped. I also stepped on the scale this AM for my once in a while weighing in and (meep) I weigh 131. Mee hee. Lowest I've been in years...cool. Yes, I need to gain some muscle so that could be the reason...but that magic 125 number that rolls around in my head seems actually possible now. For real. Only 6 lbs away. 6lbs is less than my cat. That's doable. Hmmm....:)

Something J said yesterday has me wondering. I was commenting on how tired I was on my way to bed and he said "ah you caffeine drinkers! When will you learn?" Yes I had had little sleep, but he had a point. J doesn't like hot drinks at all or the taste of coffee (I think he might be an alien) and doesn't like fizzy drinks (they make him hiccup) so he gets pretty much no caffeine at all unless he chokes down a Starbucks iced cappuccino or caffeine pill to stay awake on long editing projects or car drives. And when he does - the change is remarkable. Comical in fact. He's twitchy and hyper and you can see the caffeine working in him. And the thing is, he can stay up when he wants to usually for as long as he wants to. He's survived working at 4:30 AM for years on NO caffeine. I know. Crazy.

Me and caffeine? Not much effect anymore...I have a big cup of coffee every morning as I wait for the bus (mostly because it's warm) and usually another 2 or so in the day on my breaks. Makes me wonder how I can have a big cup of coffee before I go to bed and then just sleep no problem. I have been teased often for the amount of coffee I can consume at times. Yes I like it, but jeez...if it doesn't even affect me anymore? What the heck does THAT mean. I'm starting to wonder...what if I cut out caffeine? Would I (after the dreaded withdrawal headaches and constipation I'm told I'll have) have more energy and sleep better?

I'm thinking that November may be "wean Geo off caffeine" month. I do like the taste of coffee, but decaf is totally possible. I could cut out a cup a day until I was down to nothing. I could choke down more fibre in my diet and take metamucil (gag) and switch to decaf teas to keep warm before the bus. I could have decaf tea or coffee here at work. It wouldn't be THAT hard.

I'm starting to think think it might be worth the little experiment for a few months to see if I have more energy or not. Then if I really needed a boost for alertness it might actually work... I could still drink coffee, which I love, but cut out the caffeine. My body needs to learn to regulate itself without caffeine. All that stimulation all the time can't be good. How can I listen to my body and what it needs if it's all hopped up on caffeine?? Then I'd know if I was actually tired and not just crashing from the wearing off of my daily caffeination.
What do you think?



This morning I slept in, as I was up deliciously late visiting with my friend Heather, who I just don't get to see enough of. We spent the evening yakking, nibbling junk and lime diet coke and playing a bit of Tomb Raider...like the old nerds we are. Felt like a college student again for the first time in years. You know...having fun? Just cuz? This adult so serious all the time stuff is for suckers :P.
It was nice to catch up and we totally lost track of time. I didn't get home until midnight and to bed far after, but hey - I'm not that tired and I'm glad for it all.
Today I will eat healthy and be good and then hang out with my brother for supper and have another good visit.
It's such a pleasant change from being so busy and rushed in September...I'm catching up with everyone, including myself. I can feel the stress dribble out of my toes and back into the river of life where it belongs. I'm sure a few days of consistent exercise haven't hurt either!

I'm finding it really daunting, this "getting back at it" thing. Now that the sun comes up very late (as I'm on my way to the bus) I have been whining about how it's dark and I'm busy and I"m tired and blah blah blah blah...and you know what?
I just want to be where I was at before I screwed up my knee and I've been trying to avoid all the hard work it took to get there. I read a post over at Jack Sh*t Getting Fit and it just gave me a kick in the ass and a serious finger wagging that I *really* needed.

Excuses give me nothing. If I'm worth it (and I am) then I have to suck it up like the good muffin I am. 2 good days of bellydancing are a start. This is LIFE. Believe me, from now on..... IT'S ON!

2 days in a row - oooh lalah!

Well, I got up again this morning (2days in a row at 5:30-woo!) and did my favourite Tribal Fusion Yoga DVD. I did the short yoga warmup and the first full set of drills and isolations. By June I had worked up to doing the drills through no problem, and this morning my arms ached by the end and I had to stop a few times. I definitely have muscles in my upper arms and back to rebuild. It was nice though to do familiar moves and drill them into muscle memory. Lots of upper body isolations and armwork.

The cooldown for this DVD is nice: good stretching and then some yoga poses and deep relaxation, which my cat is very grateful for...he can sit on my chest and purr while I deeply relax for 2 minutes. Helps me relax more too. Whenever I roll out the yoga mat both cats need to sit on it, so I have to retrain them to get off while I stretch or I'll end up squishing them!

One good thing - my husband will finally be off his ridiculous 4:30 AM morning show as of the end of October for the first time in 2 years. I'm so happy for him - he's put in his time on that show and will be able to do more shooting and editing and producing AND not be exhausted all the time. No forced naps and early bedtimes for him anymore. I admit to being a little pouty about having to rearrange my mornings to accommodate our new schedule tho. I've finally worked out a nice morning groove where I'm used to having the house all to myself when I get up to do as I please, play what I like and workout and get ready for work at my leisure, and we'll have to figure out how to fit us both in now. Plus I usually get up when he is leaving for work, and it's easier to get up when he is already up. Now he works out after work...it'll take a few weeks to figure it all out I'm sure. In the end it'll be so nice for him to not be so tired all the time. He's a night owl, and his body chemistry is so much more content when he's on "his" time. It'll be back to me being the one falling asleep too early at night now (OK it still happens now, but it will happen more!)

After a rushed morning and some oatmeal with blueberries and brown sugar (the best breakfast ever - I don't think I'll ever get tired of it) I feel ready for the day.
Have a great day!

Busy weekend!

Yes this weekend was full of much smoochery, and we even got lots of chores done in between

We both got up early both days and got to a list of chores we've had for ages: we reinstalled a pane of glass in the bedroom window that I broke painting, I cleaned the windows, we painted a box for J's light kit that Dad built and primed and painted the bookshelf Dad & J built at the lake last weekend. I hemmed 3 pairs of J's pants, and I made a serious dent in setting my craft room up. I helped J install track lighting in the computer room and in our upstairs hallway and stairs. Sure only half of it works, but I haven't had a light in my hallway for almost 4 years, so I'm pretty happy that the one that works is that one. 4 and a half years ago the fixture up there started acting up and then quit working. We didn't replace it, as we meant to put up track lighting when I painted...which (cough) we did over a year ago...and then after having the track lighting for a mere 6 months we have actually installed it sunday. Our hall is a zig zag so there was lots of cutting and drilling and crazy ladder hanging to install it but it all works except for a little endy bit, which I'm sure we can just swap out. I keep just going to the hall and turning the light on and looking at it and grinning like a nutter. We'll figure the other one out eventually...

And the breadmaker? Oh my lovelies, you must get one...I made homemade pizza dough and buns with the new breadmaker. Soooooooo gooooooood. Even if I never make a loaf of bread with it it was worth it just to make 15 of the most delicious big kaiser buns I've ever had. Yummers. It will be very hard to not gain 10 lbs eating bread all the time. If the loaves turn out this good, I will do the happy dance (with a mouth full of delicious bread)...

This morning I got up to try a bellydance workout DVD I borrowed from my sis-in-law, which I think I'll have to pick up: the Luscious Bellydance Workout from World Dance New York.
I have to give it 2 enthusiastic thumbs up, even though I only got through half of the moves training this morning. IT has a 45 minute workout that is completely composed of bellydance moves. It's broken down into 5 main categories of moves, and they have a training section that goes through every move in detail and all the combos they will use in the workout. It is step by step so even if you've never danced before you could do it. It would be a challenge if you were a newbie, but a great review for a more experienced dancer too. The main workout is all these moves grouped together to music. AND you have the option of doing the workout with and without commentary, which I like, as once you get the moves down, I like the option of being able to just turn off the voice and dance happily along to the music, as the music is quite nice Egyptian dance music. It's all very flowing and sexy and wonderful. I'm looking forward to adding it to my morning workouts...I need to build up my muscles again for dancing and just for toning...this seems like a fun way to keep up on my bellydance. There's even a choreographed dance you can learn at the end made up of all the moves taught on the DVD. Cool! My only complaint about the DVD would be that it has no warmup or cooldown bits on it...but I know enough stretches that I can just do my own before and after.

I'm pumped to learn more bellydance, as my friend Kristi went to Dubhai on business and while she was there she picked me up a GORGEOUS professional dance outfit there at a street bazaar - hand beaded moss green with gold coins and sequins and beading. Best birthday gift ever...
It is beautiful: a top and hip scarf - I just need to make a green skirt to go with it. I tried it on and it fits perfectly :) It's the kind of outfit that would be about $350 here...and she bartered the guy down to $20. $20! That's crazy! I'm so glad she saw it and thought of me...she said it was fun to barter for it too...I can't wait to actually dance in it at a recital sometime. I may end up just wearing it around the house every once in a while...I'm sure J won't mind :)

ANYWAYS, I must be off. Lots to do.
Have a great day!

Smoocherama here I come

Last night the beginner's class was a lot of Egyptian hip twists and turns...and then the advanced class...where we practiced a arm florio turn (don't remember the name of it but it looks neat when we all do it in synch), some group work and then floor work - the start of back bends. Very cool, but by the end of it all my major muscle groups were used all up. It's hard work to dance. Having two 1 1/2 hour classes back to back is quite a bit when you're out of practice!
I'm actually not as stiff as I thought I would be and if felt great to do so much. I need to do more practicing I think, to get the muscles back I had in the spring. Plus there's a lot different in tribal style I'm still learning. It was good to know I remembered so much of it...for a while there I thought it had floated away into the fog.

Ah. Just a creaky busy day in the lab and I get to go home to spend the weekend with J. He shaves his mustache off today (WOOOOOO! YEAH!!!!) after his obliged 2 weeks of keeping his Tom Selleck 'stachio after the pledge drive, so I'm looking forward to a few kisses with no facial hair. It's been over a year since he's had no beard. And 2 weeks with the mustache. Me no likey mustaches...
Between that and making bread in the new breadmaker I'm so pumped about a relaxing weekend with my J. Can't wait!
Have a great weekend! :)

Better with age

One of the reasons I don't mind taking the bus is I get to meet interesting people...yes some of them are nutters and some smell funny, but occasionally I get off the bus feeling 10 times better for having met someone new and interesting.

Tuesday night as I was on transit delivering a policeman's hat, I got to meet a 72 year old Scottish lady named Marjorie who was on her way to teach bellydance class :) Yup - teach bellydance at 72! She had been a Dance Egypt dancer for many many years (a local troupe) but they had started to hint at her that perhaps she was a bit old to be dancing. So she said "adeu" (I love adeau said with a scottish accent...made me giggle) and twirled up her hipscarf and shimmyed off to start a few classes for older and larger ladies at her local community hall and hasn't looked back.
As we took the long bus ride she told me about her growing up in Bonny Doon and going to the theatre every saturday to see plays. She felt the arts were suffering with lack of real theatre, and told me of her son, who was an actor, having trouble finding work here in Saskatoon. We talked about my job and my bellydance classes and I was pleased to find that the bellydance troupe I'm taking lessons from this year were very highly respected by her and that she hoped to start a senior's class there as well (our sclasses are actually in the multi-purpose room of a senior's apartment complex so it's a perfect place for it!). She told me to never stop dancing and wished me a bonny day then got off, jingling as she left (her hip scarf was already on) , and left me behind grinning for the rest of my ride.

I hope when I'm 72 I can be even slightly that cool!

Geo's Hat Delivery Service

Last night did not go as planned...
I had a in my head a relaxing evening of making bread in my new machine, posting blog stuff, catching up on chores and visiting a friend to bring him some thanksgiving nibbles my Mum sent home for him. Instead I spent the majority of it cleaning up the tornado search for a costume hat that went through my house (sigh), then finding this hat in a bizaree obscure place and delivering it (by public transit) to where J needed it for a project. I have had it reaffirmed that we need to complete our reorganising projects. Big time.
Finally, about 8:30, I could go home, have some food and drop quickly by my friends house to deliver the yummy goods before rushing home to do some more chores and squeak into bed at around midnight. Whew.
I had grand plans to get up and do my Dance Fusion Workout this morning and have homemade toast for breakfast...but instead I slept in and had some oatmeal. It'll do.
Life is always throwing a little bit out there to keep you alert! I'll get it together eventually :)

And I now know, if you need a hat delivered on time...just call me. I know people. I can hook you up :)

So much to be thankful for

I had a nice relaxing weekend up at the lake. It snowed (and snowed and snowed) so it seemed more like christmas, but it was beautiful. The roads weren't too bad so we all made it up there OK. My sis in law wasn't feeling well so she stayed home with the cats, which made it a little less hectic in the cabin. Plus a few people didn't make it up to the lake with all the snow, so the number of people at the big turkeyfest was narrowed down to 20 - which was the perfect size. There was lots of space, and great conversation with friends and family.
My hermity old uncle brought up borscht (who knew bachelors made good soup? :) ) and I helped Mom figure out her new bread maker. With her arthritis she can't knead bread properly anymore and was getting pretty frustrated at the flat wimpy bread and buns she'd been making, so she picked up a black & decker breadmaker...we diddled with it a bit and I wrote down the reader's digest condensed instructions for her (too many buttons for her to just dive in and use it on her own...mom is cute that way: she could save a life in the hospital but give here more than 3 buttons on any machine and she'll freak out and run away!). We made dough for buns and some herbed bread for the big supper....YUM...AND as a bonus, one of Mums friends had that very bread maker and she never uses it so she sold it to me for cheap...he heh...carbtown here I come! I haven't been convinced of bread maker's being worth it until I played with mum's. I am now. I'm pumped to make my own bread more often...I always skimp out on the kneading part. I love bread and I love knowing it will be homemade from now on, instead of just occasionally when I have a day to diddle around. Yum.
Dad & J built the shelf, and it looks great. We bought way too nice wood considering it will be painted (oops) but oh well - I love having furniture my Dad made. It means a lot to look around and see him in the things we have here at home. I even had time to make surprise cookies with my brother's student Yukiho. They are amazing. I'll post the recipe on my food blog later when I get the chance...peanut butter surprise filling inside a chocolate cookie. Seriously amazing.
And then it was turkey supper at J's parents on the way home...and then finally home. Yes, it's nice to be home. I'm all visited and turkeyed out. :) I have so much to be thankful for: My mum's health, my wonderful family, a great cabin to spend holiday time at and my wonderful husband to spend it all with. Luv you J.
Well, back to the lab. Have a great day everyone!

Turkey for me, turkey for you

It's thanksgiving weekend up here in Canada. I'm looking forward to some family time up at the lake. My brother's wife has decided to take their 2 cats and exchange student up to the lake, so I don't know where we'll sleep, but I'm sure we'll figure it out. I'm the youngest, so I'm used to being shoved in a closet for sleeping at family gigs. I think the closet is big enough to fit J and I in!
Mom has invited (gulp) 35 people for supper. Heh. I'm a bit nervous...I'll help her with everything, and hope we can all squeeze in!
Dad & I are gonna build a bookshelf. Mom and I are gonna build a turkey dinner.
Should be great!
I've been humming the thanksgiving song by Adam Sandler all morning...I'm ready for the holiday. I feel as tho I can control myself around the food, so I think it will be a good time.

Pass the cocoa please. Happy thanksgiving :)

No more outddor runs for miss injurious

It's snowing!
Lots of fluffy white stuff coming down.
I'm now stuck with indoor workouts until it melts (yes it will melt shush now) so I don't slip on a flake and land spread eagle. (I've done it. Lots. Believe me...it is for the best)
I pulled out my harem pants and stuff for my bellydance class tonight...and I can't wait. :) Snow be damned, I'll have a great jiggly evening!

team photos

I just heard back from our team leader and together we raised about $3000 for the breast cancer run. The Pathletic Lab team (eh? pathology and athletic? we're so clever...) is a great group of people made up of doctors and techies (and their families) from the path department and cancer clinic. Pledges are still trickling in from far away (thanks Kristi :) ) but despite the cold chilly day (yes, I wore a toque and fuzzy bunnyhug under my run shirt - I'm a wimp) we all had a great time. Here's me getting my pink ribbon tattoo...which later did not want to come off. Here I was worried the rain would smudge it. We all had one on our right cheek...I'm sure these were designed for the apocalypse and were not a problem to keep on :)

Now that summer craziness is done, I'm looking forward to bellydancing and morning workouts...the gloomy weather lately has made it harder to get up, but once the rain switches to snow (*sniff*) I know it'll be easier to get up and do morning things.

My bellydance instructor wants me to take both basic and intermediate lessons for a while and I'm happy to. It'll reinforce the old stuff, which I'm really lacking after not being able to bellydance int he summer from my knee thing. The intermediate class is so *cool*. I picked up some kneepads last night, as we're learning floorwork, and will continue to learn sword dancing and other trio group work. And then the zills and veils...it's nice to be challenged and have so many things to work on. I'm the newest person int he intermediate class, but I'm determined to work hard and catch up. I'm rather proud of myself, because a few years ago being the slowest/newest in a class would have made me feel bad about myself and maybe even give up the lessons...but now? It's a challenge. I'm in this for me, and for the joy of it, so how can learning anything be bad? I certainly won't do any performances or hold the group back by learning....I know know just what I can do when I put my mind to it. It's going to be so much fun!

Well, off to science town. Much to do on this grey rainy day. Have a great day everyone :)

I love you sleep

I slept in this morning and went to bed early after going out to see a great movie with friends.
(Zombieland is a hilarious movie - if you like cheesy horror movies and find movies like Army of Darkness funny...then my friend, this film is for you).
You don't realise how tired you are until you get sleep...not too much...just enough. 2 weeks of overdrive is enough to wear you down.
I feel like a millions smackeroos.
Off to the lab to do some.....SCIENCE!

Tah Dah!

It was a busy weekend...contrasting one day of exhausting cold work and utterly terrible eating and a day of getting up early, speed walking 5K on the Cancer run and then going out fro an awesome breakfast and then a family dinner later.
Saturday I helped J shoot a halloween episode for the music show he works on. It turns out there is a Camp Crystal Lake a few hours from where we live, so we took the crew and gear there and set up on the shore of the lake to shoot a Friday the 13th themed episode. It was fun...but cold, slightly rainy and full of crap food. Small town highway gas station and pit stop sort of snacks. Normally I pack snack for this sort of thing, but having lived 2 weeks at the work/pledge drive mine there wasn't much for food for me to pack, so we just winged it.
The next day I made myself get up and had a much better day. It was the breast cancer walk...a chilly misty day, but very inspiring. I really enjoyed it, and raised $250 for the cause...I walked in memory of my friend Shirley and in honor of the smile bringing Missicat, who is currently undergoing her breast cancer treatment. It was so encouraging to talk to the survivors and feel the hope - and see that so many people beat cancer. To feel like I'm helping a bit in my own little way. I'm hoping all the positive energy from the day somehow made it down to her...:)

After that and a family dinner J and I got out to a gypsy punk show. I was tired (still am), but Gogol Bordello puts on a great high energy show...it was a fine end to a truly insane 2 weeks.

I cannot tell you how glad I am to be back into regular life. No more takeaway food (yes I'm actually tired of takeout. I didn't think that could happen), my evenings back AND maybe even catching up on my sleep? Pllus, in the more advanced bellydance classes this year we're learning floorwork and (BwaHAH!) balancing swords on our heads. On our heads people! Meep.

The C word. No not *that* one

In my family there has been a lot of it. My grandfather...my Dad's 2 brothers...close friends...their parents...sisters...brothers...fathers.
I see the faces of people every day who come in for chemo. For some, it's a relapse and they're ready to fight. Others, for the first treatment are nervous and twitchy, waiting to see what they're in for. Moms trying to comfort their kids...kids trying to comfort their moms. Some days it gets to me. Other days the strength and humor of the people I meed staggers me and feeds me.
Every year we have a breast cancer run here in town. This year it's this sunday. I'll be out there in the rain with a lot of great people, remembering the people we've lost and celebrating with the survivors. The funding raised helps the families of those diagnosed with breast cancer...and helps fund research of people like me who are trying to figure out how this whole cancer things functions anyways, so we can try and figure out how to stop it. I didn't raise as much as I'd like, but I know it helps. Awareness helps. Everything we do helps.
I've had people ask me why with all the money they donate and we receive for cancer we haven't cracked it yet. Why we haven't found a cure?
I wish it was that simple. I truly hope that in my lifetime (maybe even in my lab) someone will make the link that will allow us to treat cancer effectively. You have no idea how much I want that.

My big concern about it all lately has been prevention. I know, genetically, some people have the deck stacked against them...but we can do some things. Little things. We can make smart choices and look after ourselves. We can force companies to stop putting chemicals and "food like substances" into us and our children.

Most importantly, we can live every day fully...try and make things better. Live. Love. Be who you want to be. Every day.

I truly believe cancer can be beaten.
Let's do it. Together.

kids today

For our pledge drive local businesses donate prizes and gifts to give to the people who donate to our pledge drive...it is a way of saying thanks to the donors for us, and a bit of free adverts for them.
One of our donated gifts this year bothers me. Deeply.
It is THIS:

Yes - it is a kids "first fitness" exercise walker. I'll say that again so you can feel how creeped out I am:

A kids exercise walker

Jesus, Mary and Joseph on a pogo stick...

The company also makes a an indoor exercise bike for kids...Awhah??

Now, I should clarify that they're not all bad...they have a Rainy Day playset...which is a swing you can mount in a doorway. That IS cool. I get what they're trying to do, I just look at it and think...do kids need this kind of forced exercise? Are we really that terrible of role models that this is the only kind of exercise we can show them? Are we that paranoid or just lazy about our kids that we can't put them into scouts, soccer, ball or...go for walks with them or something? If nothing else we can shove them out in the yard or on a bike or into a park to play a bit. Gods...I even know someone who took their kids to ballroom dancing class just to get them out doing something. To teach them this WE have to be doing something...

I think one of the reason this bugs me so much is I grew up an overweight kid. I would have been horrified to have been given this. I'm sure all the softball, soccer, volleyball and track teams I got stuck on to do a bit of activities hated me being there...I pretty much sucked at everything except volleyball and figure skating. I wasn't even remotely a top athlete...but my home town was so small we all had to play all the sports or else we didn't have a team. And I played them all. I really hated broomball so I got to finally quit it, but I did have to at least try it out before I quit. My mom sent me to day camps and summer camps, took us swimming and walking and even got me a "Mousercise" exercise LP. We skipped and biked and played hopscotch. We played "near and far" with Grover on rainy days running around the living room. Plus Mousercise was AWESOME. It had dance around exercisey type stuff to do to Disney songs...it was fun. My friends came over just to do it. Mom tried, I'll give her that!
Thing is, I was an active kid...I just ate WAY too much. Mom worked nights so Dad & I fended for ourselves or ate what she left...and I learned to eat as much as my Dad, or eat quick before he ate it. Dad's a big guy. I had no sense of portions and he never took food away from me or was able to limit my snacks much...had I had some lessons in food portions and healthy food eating and I'd have been much thinner...I think a lot of issues in kids being overweight is less activity, but also WAY more food for ALL ages.

If my Mom had brought this home to try and help me lose weight I would have been HORRIFIED. It wouldn't have been fun. I wouldn't have used it and I likely would have hated the elliptical that I now (for whatever reason) love to use when it's blizzardy or rainy...I wouldn't have realised fitness could be fun or know the rush I get from a good run.

When I see something like this I want to gather parents together and go NONONONONO! Be examples to your kids! Be more active. Teach them how to PLAY! Give them good food. They will be what we let them be.

Help me out here? By giving our kids this aren't we teaching them to live sedentary lives with bursts of planned exercise? I'm not dissing the exercise, really I'm not. I just don't see how you make active adults starting out with this...? Everyone I've asked at the pledge drive says they would never give this to their kid...it's more $$ than a bike, so they'd get them a bike and some skates or skis instead...I don't have kids so I largely feel like I"m talking out of my ass but it just seems so very very wrong to me :)

What do you guys think?
I leave you with this dance track I like to run to...partly as it has lines in it I sang when I would double dutch skip singing Hot Dog as a kid...you know...playing? :)
(yes the video is lame...the song? Good...)

The end is nigh

Two more days of insanity and double shifts and a weekend of hurry hurry.

Then I sleep.

Then I can workout in the morning like a regular person again...

My lovely J is minding the pledge drive for an hour tonight so I can sneak away to my first tribal bellydance lesson of the fall. I can't wait. It's at an actual dance studio this year...I haven't kept it up over the summer, so expect there will be much to relearn in muscle memory, but it will come slowly...

I just have to stay awake for it :P