Lots and lots of scthuff going on in the dreary days if January in these parts. I'm not certain if it's 'cause that's just the way life flows or 'cause I'm bored and trying to drum up some excitement after the holiday anesthesia has worn off.
Let's see if I can recount all the fabulous details with the glory it's due:
(should I go chronologically, or in a random fashion? hmmmm...)
It's dang cold in this house, and thus have taken to my bed with the heater cranked waaaaay up. With the new Wi Fi (installed, courtesy of yours truly-- mom and resident computer savant. I don't know what the hey I'm doing, but as long as I have instructions printed in my native language, I'm guarantee to bungle it up only 2-3 times before finally getting it to work. And my family worships me like the Techno Goddess I've instructed them to call me before I'll respond to their cries for assistance). I was just tempted to bring the laptop into the bathroom with me in celebration of my freedom to do just that, but figured there had to be some boundaries-- and that was it. For now.
On a side note, completely unrelated to my month: I have had recurring dreams for years about a certain individual and his family, a family I was very close to in my younger days. Last night, the dream was much like the others-- me looking for someone, spinning wheels trying to find them, make a connection. It's interesting how your dreams speak in allegories, telling you about something you've repressed for one reason or another, but I'm such a literal girl-- why can't my dreams just be about someone telling me something I need to know, like "hey! Your teenage boyfriend and his family were nice people and I bet your're wondering how they're doing" and skip all the drama of running around like a maniac in my head for 8 hours... I would really prefer a cool flying dream or riding on an elephant on a jungle safari-- something whimsical and light that leaves me refreshed in the morning instead of frazzled. I used to have dreams about chasing my ex husband around, too, tring to find him in the throes of creepy dreamland-- but the underlying theme wasn't so much about loss as it was that once I was able to catch him, I was going to beat his sorry ass to a bloody pulp. I must have resolved that existential angst, as I haven't dreamed about him in years.
Ok, major distractions averted:
I finally joined another gym after letting my membership at the Wellness Center lapse for 2 months. I signed my hubby and daughter up as well, but since they are lazy slugs and haven't gone yet I think I'll save myself $20 and take them off my membership. I also signed up for the unlimited tanning, but when you inadvertently stay in the bed for 15 minutes instead of 5 (it feels soooooo good to be warm!), and your nether parts are burnt and crispy, I haven't been able to make use of the limitless world of tanning. And my booty still hurts, boo.
I also picked up a couple interesting books from the library: Dr Laurie Steelsmith's "Natural Choices for Women's Health" and Peter D'Adamo's "The Genotype Diet". I really liked Dr Laurie's book and her suggestions for PMS, liver health, etc-- it's fascinating how she (Chinese medicine, really), can take one body system, such as those that regulate PMS, and tie it to a single organ such as the liver, kidneys, spleen, whatever. I know I've been drinking a wee bit too much and taking scads of Tylenol and the like, and if what Doc Laurie says is true, my liver is stressed (or, to be more specific, my liver chi is stagnant)-- causing problems with my cycle and other body systems.
Innnnteresting.... Dr D' Adamo says very much the same thing, but in diferent terms: based on my genetic makeup, I am an Explorer:
"This GenoType is named Explorer because of the unique and often unconventional ability of its members to search and discover who they are in the world. Explorers often enjoy greater longevity than the other GenoTypes. Many of the genes we typically find in Explorers, such as the Rh-negative blood type, are common in areas of the world where people seem to live forever — such as the Basque provinces of Spain, and the Caucasus Mountains of Asia. Explorers can benefit greatly from the GenoType Diet and should expect to lead long and healthy lives if they follow the recommendations in this program. However, Explorers are very often medical enigmas. They can be challenging to diagnose, since nothing apparent or obvious presents itself as a problem. Physically, they may appear to be in good health, but they will complain of a sudden loss of energy or a sudden inability to tolerate a certain food, supplement, or drug. Explorer women often suffer from chronic yeast infections or heavy periods. Blood tests often reveal anemia or other blood disorders. Explorers sometimes have problems with the liver or gallbladder. This can sometimes become manifest as intolerance to fats or sudden breakouts on the skin. Migraines are not uncommon in Explorers. Caffeine sensitivity is a hallmark of Explorers because they are almost always what geneticists call slow acetylators — a fancy way of saying that drugs spend a long time in their livers, going round and round, when they should just be processed and eliminated. Like a man who shakes his fist at the bicycle that just missed hitting him and totally ignores the bus heading his way, the liver of the Explorer often overreacts to small levels of toxins, to the point that it lets larger amounts of toxins pass by without doing anything about them. The unique metabolic profile of Explorers is manifested in very distinct physical characteristics. They are typically mesomorphs, possessing a low to medium body fat percentage, a high metabolism, and a large amount of muscle mass and muscle size. They can be rather large-boned, and the men tend to have asymmetrical, chiseled, craggy faces. Their trunk length is usually longer than their total leg length, and their upper legs are usually longer than their lower. Explorers tend toward asymmetry and often have different fingerprint patterns on their left and right index fingers, one often being the rather uncommon radial loop pattern. Another asymmetry often found in Explorers is that their finger lengths tend to be backward for their gender — men often having a longer index finger on one or both hands, and women have a shorter index finger on one or both hands. A lot of left-handers are Explorers, as are people with Rh-negative blood type, and although almost any ABO blood type can be an Explorer, "non-secretors" are more common. The Explorer's Immune System ProfileExplorers often have sluggish bone marrow function and struggle to keep up their white blood cell counts. This GenoType is prone to many types of anemia, such as those that result from inadequate levels of folic acid, B12, and iron, as well as those that result from bone marrow suppression or low levels of an enzyme called G6PD. G6PD is critical to the body because it enables the production of a critical antioxidant called glutathione. In addition to exerting powerful detoxification effects in the liver, glutathione protects red blood cells against damage caused by certain drugs and foods. Explorers often have trouble clearing foreign or man-made chemicals from their blood. This clearing process is called acetylation. Efficient acetylation helps drugs become more effective and detoxifies cancer-causing substances. Explorers have problems detoxifying drugs, carcinogens, and various artificial compounds that have been introduced into the environment, such as pesticides, fertilizers, and hydrocarbons. Because of these considerations, Explorers can be quite chemically sensitive, and they often react negatively to "typical doses" of drugs, antibiotics, and even vitamins and minerals. When using these medicines, they should always start with the lowest possible doses and gradually work their way up."
In homage to Dr Laurie and her recommendations, I also went and got my first acupuncture treatment yesterday. Being the cheap ass girlie that I am, instead of researching the best clinic in the area for my safety and well being, I threw caution to the wind and made an appointment with the student acupuncture clinic in Racine. Wheeeeeeeeee!
My student was older, very nervous, and had pupils that were so constricted that it creeped me out. What on earth could this woman be taking that would make her eyes look like that? And they were playing some sort of "tribute to the rock gods" music that was none too relaxing while they were poking me. Funny, tho-- she told me I needed to feel the needles go in, which was some sort of indication that my Chi was "moving" (wtf that is-- could they have explained it? they really couldn't), but I pretty much didn't feel *anything*. I think it freaked her out (even more than she already was, apparently), and she started putting the needles in deeper and wiggling a few of them around until I half heartedly told her I felt something, if only to make her feel better-- gar! The only ones I felt were the one in my left toe and the flab in my belly... maybe my Chi only needed to be "moved" there, who knows (as in, "I need to trust my GUT and HOOF it on out of there")? But really, I felt sorry for all these New Age people who were sooooo nervous and clueless, who seemed so anxious that they could barely answer the phones correctly (when I called all they said was an uncertain "hello?", and I wasn't sure if I dialed the wrong number...) No one knew if I had papers to fill out, if I had to sign something or another, how to take my blood pressure, or even my pulse--yet it was entertaining if not a little sad to see them sweating over every last detail (one gal said she was taking my "Chinese pulse", which she explained was supposedly like an EKG-- riiiiiiiiight.)
The best character of all tho was the office director, who seemed to be the only person devoid of any New Age hoop de do, who was trying in vain to get the students to exhibit some professionalism ("state who you are when you answer the phone", "explain what you're doing when you work with the clients"). I would have appreciated her more if she wasn't at the polar opposite end of the woo woo spectrum of not making eye contact, talking to me so fast and with her back to me that I had no clue what she was talking about, and just generally being brusque, but hey! It takes all kinds, and she was such a contrast to the students who I thought were going to break into chanting at any moment.
Really, with the strange crew working on me and the bad feeling I had about the whole experience it's a wonder I didn't just walk out of there and save myself $17 and 2.5 hours of my life, but I was just so curious and fascinated by the process that I stayed to see what odd thing would happen next. I *did* stare longingly at the shelves stocked to overflowing with pills and herbs, which I was told I wasn't ready for yet-- damn! Being a medical person and a compulsive one at that, I sure do loves me a handfull of pills to choke down at least 4 times a day, but I'm trying to work on that. I have an order out now that I'm tring to whittle down somehow to less than $89/month. I'm afraid now that I've stopped being a booze hound I'm becoming a pill popper, but really, it's a horse apiece. I'm sure I spent more than $80 on wine per month (ooh it sounds so dirty when you spell it out like that....), so now I'll spend it on supplements to fix my liver instead of trash it. I have no illusions about weight loss, but if it'll stop the PMS psychosis, I'll be a happy happy girlie.
So really, the gist of this whole month was to try and stop being such an evil beyotch 2 weeks out of the month (yes, it's THAT bad, and with 21 day cycles, it's 2x/month. Sucks to be me, sometimes...). Oh, and I got another Wii. If I had any idea just how hard those buggers were to get, I would have kept the one I got just before christmas. I guess if I had any backbone at all, I could have sold it at tidy profit and financed all the other gifts we ended up giving, but I had no clue about such things. I also didn't realize that the kids wanted one, so there you have it. I shopped around, and got another one a few days after I started looking-- 'cause I'm either the luckiest shopper around, or just really persistent, who knows. But now I am broker than broke, and need to get the lead out of my ass and start paying off the debt I've been accumulating in my winter doldrum shop a thons. Hopefully it'll be here by the end of the week (Sam's Club, with $10 shipping, not too bad...) and we can play in the newly CLEANED basment, a project I started on Sunday and choked my way through until Monday night. It was filthy and disgusting and I haven't been able to breathe out of my nose now for 3 days, but there's a HUGE space cleared out in the basement, the cobwebs are 95% gone, and we can all chill out and recreate and make a mess that no one has to see. Yay me!
Congrats if you've kept up with me thru all the updates... I love this time of year, it's almost a time of rebirth of creativity as we head towards spring and longer days. Now if only I could muster up the ambition to get out of this bed and figure out something else to do...