Wednesday, December 26, 2007

File This Under Moments of Unbearable Sweetness

Today tastes like my deviled eggs, with mustard, hot sauce, garlic, and bacon. Mayonnaise is for sissies.

Earlier this week, I made tags for the Xmas gifts--photos are in the Embellished Circus blog. I've done this for a couple of years now. Last year, the Dowager Empress Odie-Bird swiped each and every tag, then recycled bits and pieces into ATC's.

But that's neither here nor there.

Rodentia, whom you may remember from this post, has taken to sleeping on our pillows at night. Gareth believes it's because she has discovered our heads are warm. I can hear her mutter about "spicy brains" sometimes late at night. Have I mentioned how she's mellowed as she's aged?

She has, though. She'll actually cuddle through the night, not getting up for anything save her own feline comforts. It used to be that when I got into bed to lay my head on my pillow she'd hop up and run away, stealing back later to lie next to my arm, the tips of her fur just b-a-r-e-l-y touching my skin.

Now she lies on the pillow, benevolently watching her monkeys pile together like a stack of overlarge kittens, curling around the warm furry heads, purring all the while.

Last night I woke with her whiskers tickling my cheek. I started to turn my head, and felt a tiny hard weight on my shoulder. Rodentia was dozing with her head on my right trapezius, wrapped around my deltoid, sleeping on my shoulder.

Every monkey in da house say "Awwwwwww."

Thursday, December 20, 2007

You Say You Want a Resolution? Well, You Know . .

Today tastes like too much icing, too much roast, too much ribbon candy. Can I just sleep in till Valentine's Day?

It's that wonderful time of the year when we set down the eggnog cups and back away from the fruitcake, and make our New Year's Resolutions. Being a good little lemming, so am I. However, I decided to steal a page from David Seah and do Groundhog Resolution Days ("GRD") this year.

The theory behind GRD is that we are hungover and overloaded on January 1, so we're not really thinking clearly. We've had a three month holiday from life, and consequently believe we can do ANYTHING.

So we resolve to get back into those jeans that we wore at 14, to create a finished canvas everyday (never mind we don't paint), to become an Enlightened Being, and to bake more cookies. Low fat, sugar-free cookies chock full of fiber and nutrition. (Never mind that we hate baking.)

Instead, GRD poposes that we get back into our lives again, get back to our everday routines, and then decide what we want to do this year. On February 2, Groundhog Day.

Then, just like the movie, we check in once a month. March 3, April 4, May 5--see the pattern? All the way through December 12, we ask if we are making progress on our goals, and if not, why not? Is this a goal with measurable results? Is the goal realistic, geven that we have other things to handle? Do we really want what we're chasing, or is it something we feel we "should" want?

I'm just now stepping off the whirlwind roller-coaster of Hallowthankfestivusmaskwaanza. I'm pondering options and alternatives for what I want to do with 2008. I have a huge list--highlights being making more for me, making more for my pet charity, doing more art for me, doing more art in swaps, getting back into the Xfit groove (dropped out during the first week of December. NOT because I broke my hand, but because I've had a cold, then bronchitis, and possibly walking pneumonia. Lovely.) picking up my broken yoga practice, keeping art journals (an actual gonna be bound journal, and a little practice deco with pockets and stuff to put in the pockets), investigating intermittent fasting (to change my relationship with food), and learning how to use Photoshop.

Riiiiight, Spike. Just seeing it all laid out before me like this is a great reality check. (Oh, and I want to write a 55 word story a day, too.)

Perhaps I should resolve to set aside the part of me that is driven. Driven as in suffering because my desires to do more, be more, have more (cupcakes! I want to bake cupcakes once a month for the office!) are in conflict with some basic human needs, such as sleep. Such as play. (When can I play if I am producing? A part of play is to investigate alternatives, even when they lead to dead ends. When producing, a dead end is a waste of time and material.)

Maybe not set aside, but to embrace gently and explain that right now (RIGHT NOW) we need sleep. We are deserving of a nap, of art time without a product at the end of it all, of time to stretch and meditate, of time to move chunks of iron for the pure animal pleasure of exhausting the body, of time to appreciate hunger without satisfying it.

Is that it? Reframing resolutions in terms of deserved play? To remember that I know what is good and best for me, and that I will take those actions as I am able? That I don't need to stand over me with a whip to ensure that art gets made and words get written and to deprive myself of the things I need in the name of the things I want?

Good thing I have a month to think it over and find a way to quantify this.

Or not.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

What Will You Do?

Today tastes like cough drops, ginger ale, and Kleenex (TM). I've had this verdammit cold for almost two weeks. I'm ready to be done. Since you can't get better until you've passed it along, I am posting this thing on eBay under "Readymade Excuse for Time Off During the Holidays."

Back before the distractions of breaking parts of me, I was doing a systematic appraisal of a point of stuckitude. The final query: What will you do? My answers now are a little different then they would have been before physical difficulties entered the scene.

Which is good in a way. I've said before (maybe even here) that this has been a valuable lesson in asking for help, in vulnerability, in patience. The lessons will appear, one way or another, until they are learned. While this has not been the way I would have chosen to learn these lessons, at the same time, it's manageable. Perhaps I'll actually get them down this time without the forces that may be having to gear up again to hit me over the head with the inevitable stuff that happens.

Anyway, the point I was stuck on was my art. Not just getting my behind into the studio and creating and moving stuff along that had gotten bogged down, but in determining what was on my gotta list, as differentiated from my wanna list, as opposed to my someday list.

Just sorting those out has helped. I've determined some of the things I used to love have less or no relevance to me now, and so I've weeded out that which does not nourish me. I've cleared the decks of my gotta list--even going so far as to remove myself from active participation for several months while I hunkered down and cleared the decks. No one died, went to jail, or lost their kids.

I'm actually doing things on my someday list. I have limits right now, with my hand in a splint, and I will have limits after I get out and can use all my fingers all the time. (See, Universe? I get it. No more lessons needed, 'k? Thxbai.) However, I am doing them. Maybe not the way I keep thinking they ought to be done, maybe without eternal significance and awe-inspiring perfection, but doing them.

If it ain't a YES, then it's a no. And I can list all the things I've said "no" very softly to; said "no" with a weight on my heart; said "no" reluctantly to. And I can go back to that list any time I want and see if they've turned into "yes" while I wasn't looking.

I've found some new tools. Or perhaps, not new so much as buried under a pile of greasy rags and those newspapers I've been meaning to toss. I need to continue to harness the power of the lists, to keep my "To-Do" short and sweet, and to ignore the voices of guilt about the length of the "Wanna-Do" and "Someday" lists. If I keep moving the last two onto the first, and striking out desires that have fallen away, I should be able to avoid getting mired down in this particular bog again.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Busted . . .

Today tastes like everclear and Band-Aids, like iodine and phisoDerm. Like aspirin and plastic.

I broke my hand.

Ok, not the whole hand, just one bone. The fifth metacarpal, proximal to the phlange. In geek terms, I failed my wisdom roll at the gym, then missed my strength roll and bliffed my save vs. dexterity.

I loaded a barbell heavy for a first attempt, could not rise up out of the squat, and didn't dump the bar in time. I fell over backwards in the cage, hit my hand on the lower rack on my way down. Then, the barbell rolling backwards hit my hand, trapping it between the vertical support and the barbell. Then I landed on the barbell, hitting it with the back of my neck on my way to the floor.

As I got up, I had a huge goose egg on the back of my hand. On the palm, I had a bruise the size (and color!!) of a grape, and a blood blister on the side of may hand that I honestly thought was a cut when I first looked.

Sometimes you don't need to go to the doctor to know you're hurt.

So we spent the rest of the evening in the ER, and when I left, I had a huge splint on my right hand. Yup. The hand I use for everything.

Did I mention that this year I'm knitting Gareth socks for his birthday? That's not unusual, but these socks are. They're gourgemous. Only the fact that I can make them refootable (and have yarn to make a pair for MEEEEEEEE) is letting me part with them for the man I love.

Uhm, except now I have about four weeks where I can't work on them at all.

I just got a new, smaller splint on my hand. Look ma, I have fingers again!! I can type, and drive, and dress myself once more. No more elastic waisted pants, I can operate a zipper now! I can put on crew-length socks again! The new splint is removable, so I can WASH MY HANDS.

This has been a real lesson in patience, vulnerability, and asking for help. Gareth joked the morning after the accident that he'd probably come home to find me gibbering in the corner, unable to write, knit, or art. I told him he might want to cut to the chase and find a sanitarium to keep me in until my hand healed.

I had just started another shawl for myself, in fine wool and silk. I've been mooning for years over this project. It's totally within my skill set, I just hadn't settled down and got going on it yet. Why? Dunno. Just hadn't is all.

So I finally wanted something simple, but not crazy-making simple, the way the current Linus binkie is crazy-making simple. And something not too complex, like Gareth's socks are very nearly too complex. I'm welded to the charts for these, and doing them both at once on two circs means a lot of fiddling to fix mistakes.

The shawl was coming along splendidly, a nice marriage of yarn and pattern. And yup, something else that will have to wait until I get my hand back.

I followed up with the doctor today. He's satisfied that the bone isn't going anywhere, and believes that I'll have good healing. He's approved of the little PT I do each morning and evening in the shower so I won't have a long recuperating process (knocks wood with the good hand). The more you sweat in peace, and all that good stuff.

I'm going to be patient, I keep telling myself. I can knit continental, I can play with retensioning the yarn in my right hand, I can make this work. I can do part of the warm-up, I can modify the workouts so that they're possible. Some of them, the onew where you run and run and run don't even need modification.

I can write. I can art. I can knit. It could be worse.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Temporary Hiatus

Today tastes like sand. You really don't want to know what last week tastes like.

Just dropping a line to let you Tonstant Weaders know I haven't gotten trampled in an Xcessmas rush for the newest sparkliest Furbyformer Patch Tickle Me Doll.