Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Summer camp memories

Have you ever caught a scent so evocative of a certain time or place in your life that you were immediately transported there?  This happened to me on a recent morning as I strolled the three blocks between my parking lot and the office tower in which I work. 

Despite the mild weather that had me taunting winter back in February, winter did indeed return and took me up on my offer to hang out in the Pacific Northwest until May or so.  It's been one of the coolest and wettest springs on record, and we've only just reached the 80 degree mark in the past two weeks.

But this week it was finally warm enough to shed my jacket and enjoy the mild sunshine on my morning walk. I get into work by 7 a.m. to avoid the worst of the morning traffic.  Downtown streets are quiet, almost peaceful at that time of day, and my stroll takes me along the edge of the downtown core where it fronts a park running along the river.  As I passed under shade trees filtering the morning sun, I smelled the fresh air and all of sudden I was transported back to the sleep-away summer camp I attended each year from the ages of about nine to thirteen.  Something about the light and clean air recalled the walk down the lane from my cabin to the dining hall for breakfast, where I would happily indulge in Froot Loops - one of the over-sugared cereals my mother denied us at home.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

The Swagger Wagon

I saw this awesomely hilarious video over at Juggling Motherhood.  You don't have to be a mom to enjoy this.  Seriously, take the time to play the video... it's SO worth it!

And the little girl is totally my MiniMii.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Pain in the neck

Out of nowhere almost two weeks ago, I woke up one morning feeling fine, but as I reached up to wrap my hair in a towel after my shower, my neck seized up.  I took an Aleve, turned my head gingerly for a few days and didn't think much about it... until this weekend when the dull ache that had never quite gone away grew into a severe pain that has spread across my upper back and leaves me wishing I had one of those halo brace things so that I don't actually have to move my head, or indeed, even use my muscles to balance it upright atop my neck.

I went to work on Monday and by the end of the day, I had to drive home leaning my head back against the rest on the car seat because it ached too much to hold it steady.  Leaning far back, reaching for the steering wheel with the hand on my "good side," i.e. the one on which it hurts only slightly less to engage the upper back muscles, I felt slightly ridiculous, like I should be cruising slowly down a street in the 'hood while hydraulics make the car do some crazy bouncing.  'Cuz I'm cool like that.  Not.

Then Tuesday came and I surrendered - no work for me - just miserably laying on the floor and endlessly heating water for my beloved rubber hot water bottle.  I felt fine actually, as long as I didn't have to move, like, at all.

As I type this now, I find the most comfortable position is to tuck my chin down, roll my spine into a ridiculous c-shape and hunch my shoulders over far as I can manage.  Even if I don't always maintain a perfectly ergonomic seated position at my desk, when standing I generally maintain reasonable posture - chin up, shoulders back.  Could balance a book on my head and everything.  So I find it I ironic that in my misery the most comfortable position would be horrifying to anyone who knows anything about spinal health.  But if I pull my shoulders back, my muscles writhe in painful protest and I just can't make myself do it.

My tolerance for pain is... well, admittedly non-existent.  The only thing that makes me feel better about this is the secure knowledge that it will pass as mysteriously as it came on.  It makes me wonder how I'd feel if I knew this pain would be chronic... that this is just how me and my body were going to get along from now on.  Gives me a glimpse into how people can get addicted to painkillers that have a street value.

I'll stop whining now, because frankly, spending time at my computer is not currently high on the list of things that make my neck and back feel better.  Plus I get to take a muscle relaxant now, and I'm not sure BUI (blogging under the influence) is advisable.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Too good not to share

From my awesome cousin and his wife, via Facebook:

Him: The Great Dishwashing Avoidance Challenge: all couples should try it, as nothing builds unity like a shared goal.  The goal: see who breaks down first and washes the dishes.  Eating cereal out of the blender, I can't be beat.  A friend suggested lining dirty dishes with Saran Wrap.  Remember that you knew the world champ before he was famous.

FB friend: So she gave in first?

Her: I so did not give in first! Just back from Paddy's Pub, in fact, and dishes piled to high heaven in the sink... (could I drink water out of a measuring cup, perchance?) ;-)

Him: If you eat fast enough and/or have a dog, eating soup from a colander works too. [ed. note: the mental picture delivered by this one makes me giggle!]

This topic is obviously one of those cultural touchstones, as it engendered quite a few comments.   I particularly liked one commenter challenging them to match his prowess in the Singles Class.  Come on, who else has been there, done that?  (Typed with one hand, since the other is raised in shame...)

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Time Capsule

Thanks to both Lisa and Amanda, I now know that June is National Blog Posting Month, and with daily prompts, one is encouraged to write each day.  I won't begin to claim I can keep up with that, but the prompt for June 1st is: When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?  (I can tell you this: my childhood dream was never to be come an accountant, but then again, who's was?)

However, I thought I knew the answer to this question.  I thought I wanted to be an astronaut.  In March of 1983, I was 10 years old, and my 5th grade teacher had us write a time capsule letter to ourselves, to be opened 10 years later.  I was sure that I had said somewhere in that letter that I wanted to be an astronaut.  It was nearly two years from the date of the first space shuttle mission - and before any of the shuttle disasters - and that floating around weightless in space looked majorly fun to me.  Little did I know at the time that the classes in the hard sciences and the G-force training required to qualify for such an occupation were well beyond the scope of my interest in either.

So this post prompt led me to dig out my baby book, where that letter has been safe-kept since it was written.  I didn't open it on time in 1993, only sometime in the late 90s... and I hadn't looked at it more than once or twice since then.  So I was amused when I dug it out again this evening.  Here, in all its embarrassing glory, is the letter I wrote to my future self [with notes from my current self] when I was ten years old: