Friday, October 31, 2008

Buck the trend

Yes, I am a blogger, but I have no desire to write a novel. I think this makes me a rare specimen in the blogging world. Starting November 1st, bloggers around the world with participate in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo for short) where they will attempt to write 50,000 words (ideally towards a novel) by the end of the month.

I think it's a bit crazy, but I'm not here to make fun of it. Some of my best friends are NaNoWriMo nuts. I just wanted to warn you that things in the Blogosphere might get a bit loopy, and overly wordy.

So, since I have no interest in writing a novel, or in writing 1666 words a day, I will honor National Writing Month by making my blog posts shorter! And since I love to drive myself crazy challenge myself, I will limit the posts to 100 words or less! So, come on over when you get tired of reading every one's encyclopedias.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Label it

On Sunday, Martin and I had dinner at Fire On The Mountain. (Ok, it was around 4:45 p.m. so it was more like an early dinner and yes, we do go there a lot.)

Anyway, long story and 2 chicken tenders with Spicy Thai Peanut Sauce and a house salad later we left and headed for home. When I got home I started to empty out my purse of the items I always have within reach: PDA, cell phone and blood glucose meter. Only, there was no blood glucose meter.

I immediately had a flash back of using the bathroom at FOTM (Fire on the Mountain) pulling out my meter to test my blood sugar (It was 113! Awesome!) but then...I didn't remember putting it back in my bag.

I immediately riffled through four useless phone books before finally calling 411. (When did this get automated? It's the same lady that Bank of America uses. "Sorry, didn't quite get that...")

I called FOTM and asked if they had found my meter. I mentioned that the meter itself was green (Which I have since learned is actually called, "Limelight" well, excuse me fancy smancy One Touch) and told them we would be back to pick it up.

Needless to say, I have now labeled the inside of the meter with a "IF FOUND PLS. CALL 360-123-4567 OR YOU WILL CATCH DIABETES!

(Ok, maybe not that last part.)

Monday, October 27, 2008

Find your quiet place

Between the t.v., the computer, the phone and beeping of the washer and dryer I just can't think clearly. I need some time, some space, to think.

In Boston, I used to use my roommate's pass to the New England Aquarium and sit up at the top of the Giant Ocean Tank and watch the fish and the sea turtles until it got too crowded. Then I holed up in one of the cubbies surrounding the spiraling staircase that winds around the tank.

There isn't an Aquarium nearby, so I have yet to really find a place to do some good thinking.

I thoroughly enjoy thinking in bed, but that's because I spend 15 minutes thinking and the other hour and 45 minutes napping. (Not that there's anything wrong with it.)

So today, I will find a place (ideally a warm place) so that I can sit and think.
I'm hoping they'll have muffins.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Stop faking it.

I'm probably committing blogging suicide, but I don't care. In blogging, links to other blogs are considered currency. It's a great way to get people to look at your blog.

You may have noticed some changes around here. One of them being me eliminating my blog roll. The service that kept tract of all the information seems to have gone away, so it got me thinking. Looking at my long blog roll everyday stressed me out because I saw all the blogs that I didn't have time to read.

In addition, I had added people's blogs, that I read all the time, in hopes that they would notice I was driving traffic to them, and thus add me to their blog roll. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn't.

I was starting to think I should just stop blogging, it was becoming so complicated (in my mind anyway).

So I am starting fresh. I will only add things to my blog that I truly love, that make me feel good. I've added the blogs I read to my Google reader so that I can read new posts at my leisure.

If this pissed you off, I am sorry, but that's the way it is gonna be.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Don't put your clothes in the living room

Yesterday my parents added to their fabulous new condo by getting California Closets to come do custom closet inserts for them. The guy who came did a fabulous job and was in and out in only 2 hours. Meanwhile, all the items that were originally in the closets had to go somewhere else. So, I present to you,

3 quick reasons not to put all of your clothes in the living room

1) Your daughter may feel the need to point out every item of clothing that was originally hers.

2) Your daughter, who happens to wear the same shoe size as you, may start trying on your shoes when you are in the other room and then declare, "Oh, these shoes are out of fashion, Mom. Why don't I get rid of them for you?" while she gently strokes them and looks at them with a devilish look.

3) Your daughter may notice that you have 300 black t-shirts and begin asking you why you have 300 black t-shirts.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Vote with your brain

I voted yesterday, October 20, 2008 and it feels good. Washington State has a vote by mail system. When this system was first proposed I didn't quite understand the logic, but then I remembered the 2000 election where I couldn't vote because I couldn't get to the voting place on time (I had recently moved from one town in Massachusetts to another and my voting place had not been transferred yet).

So yesterday, I put on my best jammies, turned up the heat, fired up the Internet and voted.

It took me an hour. I like to read each initiative in the Voter's Pamphlet, see who is listed under For and Against and then do some research on-line to see what other's are saying. There were only 3 initiatives for me to vote on, but I like to take my time and try and peer through the spin.

After that I quickly filled in the little empty rectangles with my black pen. I had already researched the candidates for the primary and had created a file on the computer noting whom I had voted for, so I just ran down that list real fast.

I can't recall if you are allowed to bring paper in to a voting place, but if you can, I suggest you figure out how you will be voting before you go, write it all down and then just use that list to fill in your ballot.

(The reminder phone calls and door to door canvassing hasn't begun yet, so I am considering putting a note on the door that says, VOTED and a message on my phone that says the same. Last election the phone rang all day long.)

Friday, October 17, 2008

Do your homework

So I continue to be without an Internet line. Because I did not expect to be without Internet, and because I am such a lucky lady having had DSL or a T1 non-stop for the past few years, I haven't really noticed where one gets free wi-fi in Vancouver, WA.

In Portland, I always use WifiPDX to local my free wi-fi, but I don't know of any such site for Vancouver, WA.

So on Tuesday, I tried the local Burgerville. I figured I would get some lunch in me while tackling some work, but I couldn't get their Internet to work. I composted what could be composted and headed off to Uptown Village. Uptown Village is probably the hippest street in Vancouver, WA. We have the best vintage clothing store in the area (The Urban Eccentric) along with other neat places to shop and hang out. I parked on a side street, fired up my laptop and looked around for free wi-fi. The best and closest place I could find was Moxie's on Main (1929 Main St.).

While they certainly have sandwiches and chips for sale, their claim to fame is that they have all sorts of sodas that you might not have seen since you were a kid. They apparently get mobbed in the afternoon when the high schoolers get out but on Tuesday afternoon it was quiet. So quiet in fact, that I only felt sort of rude when I answered my first cell phone call in public.

As of 10/16/08 my Internet is back on, but I still highly suggest that you look around your neighborhood so that you know where to go in case you need a wi-fi fix someday.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Write down their name

Two days ago I had my land line ported over to my new
cell phone. My phone/Internet carrier apparently decided it would be fun to play with my mind, so they just cancelled everything. We have zero Internet access now.

I immediately called them to report the problem and after the issue was figured out ("Yes, we did disconnect your DSL line, so sorry.") I was told that they would need to set up a new DSL line for me, and that I would be charged $200 since the old one was disconnected before the end of the two year contract. She told me that she would leave good notes, so that when I got the bill I could call them back to get them to take the charge off the bill. I wanted to swear at her, I wanted to tell but instead I said, "Ok, well I will just get your first and last name and direct number so that if there is a problem I can call you to fix it." She was silent.

We continued on in the set up process, she told me that the Internet would be re-instated on Friday. When I balked, she stated that "I've already expedited it, it would normally take longer." (Like I really cared.)

When we were all finished, she gave me a confirmation number, I restated what she told me would happen and then I asked for her last name (since I had already written down her first name). She was silent. I asked again, "And can I please get your last name?" She finally told me her last initial. Then I asked if she had an employer ID# (which I had no idea if it even existed). She said, "Yes." Then I asked her for it. She finally told me. Then I thanked her and told her I would be in touch if there were further problems.

I turned off the phone, turned around and my husband said, "Man, you kick ass!" And then we had dinner.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Victory is crossing the starting line

At least that is what my new Kaiser Permanente 5 Miler t-shirt says.

And you know if it's written on a t-shirt, it must be true.
A few Sundays ago I competed in the Kaiser Permanente 5 miler for the first time ever. Downtown Portland, Oregon was a mad house, with streets closed and gazillions of people wandering everywhere. I got to the appointed place where I was to meet my fellow walker, Sadie Medley and waited. And waited. And waited. I watched the marathoners take off in waves, I listened to Mayor Tom Potter count down over and over and then tell the runners to have fun. After 20 minutes I finally gave up and headed over to the port-o-potties. That's where I found Ms. Medley sending me messages via her iPhone. (Since my cell phone is not quite in working order yet, I didn't get any of her messages but they sure were amusing to read once I got home.)

We got her some food, made sure her chip was on correctly.

NO TAG NO TIME! and headed to the entrance area.
As we were about to start, Sadie asked me if we had a goal. I said, "to finish without crying."

Well, we certainly met that goal. We walked quite quickly (I've never felt safer in Old Town), talked about things I cannot mention here, struggled with the fact that if we wanted water from the volunteers we had to then drop the used paper cup on the ground, looked at all the clothing others had tossed aside when they got hot (apparently, someone comes along afterwards and re-unites the clothing with it's owners), griped when the policeman made us stop for traffic (Ok, that was me), hit the port-o-potties again (That was Sadie) and decided to run the last 20 feet or so, thus blowing by the people that had been in front of us for the last few miles.

We officially finished with a time of 1:28:01(Sadie) and 1:28:02 (me) but she owes me all her fame and glory because if it wasn't for me, her chip would have been inside out on her shoe and she wouldn't have been counted at all.

So in the end, it was a fantastic day. I was so proud of my time, I went home and slept almost the exact amount of time I had walked. I am a true athlete.

Come hear Sadie tell us a tale at the next Backfence PDX Event on October 22, 2008.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Face facts

I'm sitting here crying. All because of the effort to get Google to create a special logo on World Diabetes Day on November 14th.

But not for the reason you might think.

I started off pissed off. What the hell is a petition going to do? How could we need more awareness about Type 1 diabetes and the current Type 2 diabetes epidemic? Every time I turn around I get smacked in the face with the fact that every day even more people become diabetic (frankly, it's getting quite crowded).

The fund raising, the runs, the telethons for a cure are all a big waste. Simply put: diabetics are a huge money making industry for the drug companies and they aren't going to give that up.

I was diagnosed 19 years ago with Type 1 diabetes. My doctor told me there would be a cure in 5 years. I'm tired of all the articles and news about new cures (that never work). I'm tired of being asked if I am still diabetic. (uh, hello...yes!)

So it finally occurred to me, about 2 minutes ago. I will not be cured.

I will not be cured of Type 1 diabetes.

So I cried. I cried because this imagined need for a cure has been haunting me from the back of my mind for 19 years, I cried because yes, I am flawed. My body is broken, it doesn't work like everyone else's. But you know what?

That's Ok.

I love my life. I love my self. I will manage my diabetes the way I always have. I will accept the fact that I will be diabetic all my life and I will move on. I will continue to sing my praises about my Animas insulin pump and continue to meet other diabetics and encourage them and I will stop thinking about a cure.

And I will die a diabetic and I'm taking my insulin pump with me.

---Special thanks to Jeff M. for irking me so much that I wrote this very therapeutic post.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Sometimes it's the little things

Last week Martin and I had dinner with our friends W and S (I haven't gotten their permission to use their names yet.). We had a lovely dinner, with pizza, soda and a great conversation. Some how we got on the subject of shower curtain liners. I mentioned to S that I always cut the little magnets out of the bottom of the shower curtain liners before throwing the liners away (and after washing them as much as possible until it is impossible to un-guckify them.) And she looked at me in pure shock. I think she said, "Oh my god! You are brilliant."

But all I could think was, hmmm, someone needs to read my blog.

And then today, as I was heading in to Portland to see my Mom, I got stuck on the Morrison Bridge for 15 minutes because the bridge lifted to let a barge go through. This was my first time witnessing a bridge lift, and it freaked me out a little, but once I realized that there really was nothing I could do, I just sat, took a deep breath and looked out at the beautiful river and the beautiful town that is Portland, Oregon.

My point: do whatever works for you. To stay sane. To stay grounded. To stay happy.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

It's Ok to order the kid's meal

Image lovingly added from Daddy Types

I do it at Burgerville all the time. I did it just the other day at FOTM. I even did it at Subway last week.

I ordered myself a kid's meal.

I used to get blinks and stares from the cashiers. I've even had people refuse to let me buy one. But either 1) people don't care anymore, 2) I've reached an age when people assume that I have children with me or 3)people don't care anymore. (Yes, I know I wrote that one two times, it's because that is the one I am voting for.)

I often can't finish an entire meal, or just want a taste of things. I usually order a salad to round out my meal, sometimes even get the milk or apple slices that come with the meal. If there is a toy that comes with the meal, it usually stinks, but I have gotten some good ones, including Burgerville bowls that I use constantly.

So, if that adult sized meal is just too much food to eat, try out a kid's meal.

Don't worry, I'm not laughing at you, I'm laughing with you.