Archive | April 2014

Getting in Shape: End of Week 27

What, you say, happened to week 26? I blame work. That's all I can do.

Here's the report.

Beginning Wii Weight: 223.8 (My heaviest ever after this summer.)
Wii Weight on 4-30-14: 204.1 (a gain of 1.5)
Total: 19.7 pounds LOST

Weight Watchers on Initial Weigh In: 224
Weight Watchers on 4-30-14: 207.6 (I didn't weigh in. I wanted a night eating at home.)
Total: 16.4 pounds

What do you have to say for yourself? First of all, I've been getting all drama llama over the amount of work I have to do. I have not been happy, been stressing, and not taking care of myself. All this, not just the overeating makes me gain weight. Yesterday, I was about another pound heavier.

What's your plan? Stop being a drama llama. The end of my 4 week crazy work month is in sight. And, even if it wasn't, I still need to get some perspective. I'm not worried about my weight as much as I am concerned about my happiness. Happiness=weight loss on planet Catherine. And Catherine has been forgetting to laugh, be delighted, carve out time for herself, and stuff like that.

Hey, don't look at me like that. I get all my writing time back. And did you expect me not to relapse on the road to recovery? Really? Because what kind of unrealistic expectation is that shit? 🙂

So, I'm back to making happiness number one. That might mean a little more food right now, not as the only way to be happy, or a substitute for other rewards, but I'm focusing on happy, whatever it takes. And relaxation. And delight. And perspective.

Fitness: The Wii Fit meter continues to be good for me. Even on days that I don't make the calorie count it has set for me, it makes me more likely to make the attempt.

***

Okay. Two more interviews this week, one more next week. Then get the student rankings and make the decision on the new teacher. All the orientations and registration sessions are over. Just residuals. One more teacher evaluation meeting. A couple of batches of tests. Some projects. Finals. Finishing the last fourth of the novella (again) and proofing it. Taking the cat back to the vet for the cyst, round two. (no more seizures. Just cyst refills).

What I'm trying to say is that we are on the downward slope, and I have embraced not stressing. But if I were to list all the things I have done these last three weeks, I might insufferably preen, so it's maybe better to look through this end of the telescope. Work will always be there, so I choose to be okay with that, and suffer less.

***

Will I ever return to blogging on a regular basis? Will I ever get back to my novel? And what about the Paradise Icon website, or research for Wiscon?

Yeah, what about them? 😛 All things in their time.

Professorially Yours

All I can say is that the gods of my day job are laughing at me, and I should not have tempted them by making that foolish remark about having more time on Monday. It serves me right, I suppose.

***

So, almost the weekend. What can I tell you that you might be interested in?

Well, I continue to get rejections and send things out. And other things that may or may not come to fruition.

This weekend my hope is to get the novella out of the shop and back into the hands of the nice people who suggested they would like a second look with improvements.

More sobering news is that Sekhmet had a seizure Tuesday. She was playing, and then she lifted her paw like something was stuck in it, then her back legs went out, and she was confused. From the time this occurred to the time we were dressed and ready to start all the calls to take us out of our day, however, she was up and walking normally like this had not happened. No repeats. Doc has definitely confirmed it is a seizure, and she'll get a blood test and a cyst looked at this weekend, but we may never know what happened, and have to live with ambiguity. You know, I'm okay with ambiguity as long as it doesn't happen again. And...she's also off her kitty meds, which means she's back to looking like Raggedy Cat and licking off her own fur.

Less sobering news is that the new drapes and rods are up, and they look faboo, especially at night when they are an opaque royal blue.

Okay, so, I leave you now to conquer the weekend, burn a lot of calories, eat like a sane person, and write. I hope you are all well. I have a couple of ideas about interesting things to write here, but I suspect they must wait until orientation/registration/new job hire/teacher evaluations are over. In about two weeks.

Getting in Shape: End of Week 25

This week looks to allow for some more posts than last week. Well, we can hope anyway. Here's the weigh in on the weight loss from last week.

Beginning Wii Weight: 223.8 (My heaviest ever after this summer.)
Wii Weight on 4-17-14: 202.6 (a loss of 2.4, and also my weight today!)
Total: 21.2 pounds LOST

Weight Watchers on Initial Weigh In: 224
Weight Watchers on 3-25-14: 207.6 (the same)
Total: 16.4 pounds

New dog tricks: This weekend we had an Easter brunch, and I planned for it. I did not plan for my Red Lobster binge on Saturday, but I seem to be okay so far. I have done A LOT of exercise, so maybe that's countermanded it. I think we'll know more tomorrow.

I'm trying to eat small snacks between the major meals to keep the metabolism going, and I'm shutting food down no later than 7.

Unhappiness: In spite of my reflux strategies, I've been more gassy this last week. Could it be...STRESS? It could. I'm also keeping an eye on what I eat before I have an attack. Today, it seems awfully hard to believe it could be oatmeal and blueberries...but there you go.

The Future: I want to be below 200 for Wiscon. That gives me 5 weeks to loose 2.6 pounds, and not gain any more weight. Let's see what happens.

I need new clothes. Just got back into some 14s from the past, and summer will be a good time to buy some transition pieces.

Detcon 1

Well, that's my plane booked and my flight booked for Detcon 1 in July. Just felt the need to kibbitz with some writers and, I guess, go to Detroit. As usual, it will be a solo trip.

So, if you'll be there, let me know. I'm letting you know now. You see how that works?

When It Rains, It Rains

Saturday was a gorgeous day in Iowa, with temperatures in the 80s. We were out a bit. I have the sunburn to prove it (slightly red. Not going for skin cancer here.)

Sunday was a rainy day. And we needed a relaxing day, as our storm radio kept alarming us awake until about 12:30. We didn't get the ping pong sized hail many of you had, but we were prepared to take cover at a moment's notice. So, what did I do with Sunday? Napped and hemmed new curtains. Such a life.

This week the temperature will fight its way back into a seasonal 60 degrees.

***

Writing this week continues to be the novella. I am thinking about maybe going to Detcon, but I haven't looked into it at all yet. Stay tuned.

Have a great Monday.

Rejection, Reassurance, and the Writing Group

Hmmm...there's that feeling I'd been missing since I hadn't written many short stories recently. The awesome feeling of REJECTION!!! (Da da dum!!!) That would be four in the last two weeks, three of which are right back out there, and one of which is in the revision factory. If you add that the Abigail Rath rejections, it's been a...well, it's been a typical writer's year for my writing. Because rejection is the name of the game.

The rejections have been nice rejections. People know me. People are nice to me about my submissions and my writing. In two cases, the stories have gotten praise, but the available slots are few, and I knew that going in. In one case, the story was actually lost, and my long game of waiting did not pay off. And in the final case, rewrite suggestions, which is why this story is back in the hangar.

There have been times when it's worn me down. Even when rejection is punctuated by acceptance, writers focus more on rejection. And you have to figure out that the alignment of the planets (your story) with the sun (an editor's tastes and needs) and the moon (whatever other factors you can think of to throw in there, like did they just buy a story like that, or do they hate that particular kind of thing, or did you have typos in your letter, or did the editor have a bad burrito experience), well, all of this makes it any wonder that anything gets published ever. So it goes.

You might remember my hearty essay on not giving a damn. What I'm finding pretty helpful right now is the value of not writing in a vacuum. I have great readers who are supportive and reassure me when the need is there. I hope I can do the same for them. Becoming a published writer is not immediate gratification, and it's good when you have people in your corner, because lots of things about publication are capricious.

So, shout outs and kudos. And yeah, still just doing the best art that it can. These circulating stories have legs. It's a matter of time.

An ISU Alumna Talks about VEISHEA Suspension

For those of you who don't live in state, most of you, you may not know that my alma mater's usual spring celebration VEISHEA, the largest student run festival in the country, has been suspended this year due (yet again) to another riot.

As an undergraduate, VEISHEA to me was an opportunity to showcase the college. I was a member of the chemistry club (odd English major that I was), and we decorated and put on a show to the nines. We sometimes won first, sometimes second best open house, our chief rivals being biology. There was a parade, and a variety of festivities. There's always been too much drinking. Some fires were started in frat row, but things escalated seriously in 1988.

VEISHEA's first riot happened in 1998 when I was still working on my Masters at ISU. It was a bit of an embarrassment, of course. There were task forces to decide whether we should still have the festival or not. In the end, the festival was moved from May to April, in hopes that cooler weather would dampen darker spirits.

But it did not. VEISHEA riots have occurred every few years since then. One year the event was cancelled all together in an effort to stop the mobs. This year, we did it again. And this year, someone was hurt again when a light pole fell on them. Why are we pulling out lamp posts? The spirit just moves us, man. Thanks to social media, arrests are being made. Good.

Most of the alums I talk to think we should just shut it down, and I agree. All of the good that the festival used to do in the past has vanished, only to be replaced by this negative publicity. No one goes to Dairy Industries for ice cream anymore. No one cares about VEISHEA pies or club displays, or even nostalgia alum visits for late night Campaniling. Nope, it's all about if the students and visitors will riot this year. And you know, that stinks.

I sincerely hope that this year's suspension leads to permanent cancellation. The harm has been done, the festival is irretrievable. The vandals have won, and that just makes me angry. But when people start getting hurt, it's time to let it go.

Getting in Shape: End of Week 24

And in a dizzying week of workity work work, we're back. How'd we do this week?

Beginning Wii Weight: 223.8 (My heaviest ever after this summer.)
Wii Weight on 3-25-14: 205 (a loss of 1.1)
Total: 18.8 pounds LOST

Added Intelligence: This is the new high. I have spent most of my week in the 203.5-203.7 zone. I'll tell you what's going on shortly.

Weight Watchers on Initial Weigh In: 224
Weight Watchers on 3-25-14: 207.6 (a loss of 1.4)
Total: 16.4 pounds

What's going on: As I mentioned the 205 is the new ceiling. I had a big indulgence last night (pizza AND ice cream) but I have no "food events" this week, and so I decided to spend all my extras on one days. The rest of my planner is cute now. At the top it says "Remember the Zookie." and how many points I can have for the day, plus how much exercise I need to do each day. I'm in the zone, and I expect great success this week.

What's working: The Wii Fit U Meter gives me a wonderful idea of how much exercising I'm really doing. It means that I must take more time to work out, BUT at the same time, it's more honest. It's also fun. I mean, I've walked around Chicago, New York, and Sydney. I'm currently in London. I've also climbed the Statue of Liberty, the Pyramid of Giza, and I'm almost up to the top of the Eiffel Tower. What's not to like?

What do I need to improve?: Well, work has been full. I mean as in robust. So, you know, eating seems to be a way to cope when you aren't enjoying yourself. I refuse to fall back into that trap, so focusing on one really good treat, being satisfied, and finding happiness where I can, that's what I'm working on. I believe that I have the exercise under control, and when I get the happy under control, the food will follow. Pretty sure about that.

My new hope is to be below 200 by the end of May. Here's hoping!

Notes of Interest

After a weekend of pure registration, finally got back to the writing today. I'm revising the weredog novella again, with hopes of turning it into something more viable.

What I seem to be doing with the rest of my time today is meetings, soup making, and exercising. So, hopefully there will be a review of Captain America: Winter Soldier this week. Full time job is full time, so we'll see.