Monday, June 20, 2011

What is age...just a number, right?

So, something very funny happened yesterday. I think it was funny. One of the people I was with didn't think it was very funny.

I thought it was hysterical.

So, I was sitting outside with two friends who are older than me by say 20+ years (this is only important for the next thing that happened) and another woman was on her phone chatting annoyingly.

The next thing we knew, phone woman says, "there's some old people out here".

I sucked in air such that you would think that I took my last breath before I was to dive 100 feet into the water.

One of the other people I was with, uttered a curse word such that I won't write here except to say that it starts with F and rhymes with duck.

What was funny? What was funny is that we were the ONLY OTHER PEOPLE THERE!!

And, yes, I'm sure phone woman wasn't talking about me. And even if she was....

Now, my friend who was unhappy about being called "old" did eventually get over it (I sure hope they did!) but it got me to thinking...

What makes someone "old"?

Age? Aha says that age is only a number and it's not to be worried about or given any energy to.

Do I think my friends look old? (Must tread lightly here) No - but that takes me back to what old is.

If you're grey are you old? If so, I have a lot of OLD friends! ; )

If you have grandkids are you old?

My Grandpa Julie was old from the moment I was born. White hair, hunched over, smoker's hack --> OLD.

My Grandpa Milton was old but different. Dark hair, big smile but cranky sometimes. --> OLD.

Aha is 12 years older than me and let me tell you - I should look that good NOW!!! After what he's been through = brain abscess, seizure, more brain surgery, divorce, MS and he looks younger than most people we know.

I don't know what old is. Sometimes I feel really old. Sometimes I feel like I've been on this earth F.O.R.E.V.E.R.

And sometimes, I feel like I'm still learning how to be human.

Some people are old souls - you know, this isn't their first rodeo...I have a nephew #1 (on my side) who is a such an old soul - he came out looking like my grandpa julie.

Some people are new souls - this is someone who hasn't been around much - nephew #2 (on my side) is B.R.A.N.D. N.E.W. He is so funny - he's fearless and wants to know about everything. Blank slate.

I think I'm pretty old - Aha is way old (his soul I mean). Interesting.

Well - getting old chronologically is not as fun as I thought it'd be, but to be honest? I don't want to do the teen thing again so I'll take this. I've got awesome friends and family and the world's best husband.

So what could more could I really ask for?

Not much.

Love the one you're with,

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

"Um, have you written a book?"

I was asked that question the other day. It was prefaced by the person saying, "I have an awkward question".

Only in Los Angeles is, "have you written a book" an awkward question. Well, maybe in New York too. But in most 'regular' places, "have you written a book?" would be met with, "a what?".

But here's the thing....

I do plan to write a book.

Or at least, I really want to write a book.

But am I really literary? Literate? Library? Oh wait...not library.

The thing is, as it turns out, I've lived through a lot in my mere closing-in-on-43-years. Aha and I are living with two GIANT things that individually would break up couples. Try having one spouse with a chronic disease that requires that they go on permanent disability and thus are not able to be the financial partner they (and you) planned and the two of you have to deal with unexplained infertility. Now there's a happy marriage! That's a couple that wake up every day with a smile on their faces, excited to face the day and who feel "normal" in every sense of the word.

If you believe that, I've got something to sell you that is invisible. A bridge, my sanity, hope, whatever.

But could that book, propel me into the stratosphere of public, dare I say ("dare! dare!") motivational (yick! I really dislike that word - how about empowering?) speaking?

Maybe it could. Maybe, just maybe, my method of survival (whatever that is, I wonder if it fits neatly into an acronym?) would be helpful to others? At the very least, it could be funny to them, thus giving them a moment of laughter, which frankly, if that did it? It would be worth the price of admission. I really would like that, speaking to large groups about how to stay empowered when the chips are down.

Way down..not down in the "oh-I-broke-a-nail-today-and-my-dog-pooped-in-the-house" kind of way.

Way way way down. So down that the chips are hitting you on the head because they have gone so far down they are above your head.

But what I'd really like to do is give them a sense of hope. A sense of that even though their reality hasn't gone as planned (Uncle A said it would be like this) that they will make it. That they're not alone.

Not alone is the key.

Hmmmmm food for thought.

Oh, food...what kind of food. Maybe each chapter could have food names!

Chapter 1 - Wheat
Chapter 2 - Flour
Chapter 3 - Cake

Well, it needs work.

I'll entertain all chapter suggestions and more importantly, ALL requests for speaking to groups. My fee will be commiserate with the size of the group and/or the subject. ; )

Next blog

Sunday, June 12, 2011

What can you do? You're doing it.

It's no secret that part of the reason I have this blog and that I am active on Facebook is that it is an outlet for me. You see, while I have a most fabulous husband (if you don't know about him, read other posts) he suffers from a disease that makes it difficult (and virtually impossible on some days) for him to communicate with me. Not in that way that he has no voice, but in that the words are spinning around in his brain and he can't seem to grab them and put them into a sentence to conversate with me. Now for those of you that are married or in committed relationships where you cohabitate, you can appreciate how important it is to be able to have conversations - small ones, large ones, important ones, silly ones - with your spouse/partner/whatever. Well, we're in a position where an outside force (Multiple Sclerosis) decided that we'd not get to have that as often as we'd like to. And when I say "not as often" I mean multiple days during a month, easily one day a week, often more.


It turns out that this blog and Facebook serve a purpose that they didn't start out serving. I signed on to FB when my cousin's son sent me an invite many years ago. I thought that if this was something he was into, I would be into it too, simply to get to be part of his world. He was probably in early middle school at the time and I consider myself lucky that he has not only stayed 'friends' with me on FB, but that he and I still have a pretty good relationship, at least I hope we do. Yikes. I hope so. Anyway....

the point being that FB started out as a way to stay connected to my cousin's kids and my nieces, nephews, great nieces and great nephews. What it turned into was a way for me to stay connected to the outside world. Now I know most of you are thinking, that my being on FB is a humongous waste of time.

Not for me.

On those days where Aha is in the throws of a MS exacerbation, FB and this blog provide me the outlet and connection with the people in my fabulous circle of friends and family when I have no connection here.

So, was this what I was going to write about originally?


Mourning was the topic I was going to talk about. I'll save that happy topic for the next day or so.

So when someone says to me, "What can I do?" when I'm despondent about Aha? For the most part, there's nothing anyone can do. No one can make him better. No one can give us back the parts that MS has taken away so, if you're witty on FB or read this blog and comment on it, thanks. : )

I just looked back thinking, "I've already written about this, right?" but couldn't find it. But if you can, try not to mention it. Really, is that necessary?

So...babbling aside, be careful before you bash social networking; it could just be helping someone you know. And maybe someone you know and love. I'm just sayin'.

See you in cyberspace.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

"I don't know, I can imagine a whole lot"

Here we are - another day and I'm 4 days in having been up at "holy-cow-I-mean-seriously-it's-too-freaking-early-to-be-doing-training-for-anyone" o'clock. But I complained about being tired the other day, so let's move on, shall we?

I am a Star Wars fan. Not the kind that has a costume to wear to the convention (which I've never been to and have no desire to attend) and not one, that if I'd had kids, would have named any of them: Luke, Leah, Chewie, Obi-Wan or Han.

I'm the kind of fan who could easily spend four days watching all six movies over and over and over and over in rapid succession.

Side note: I come from parents who don't understand the fascination of watching something over and over again; and with some things, I agree. For instance, I don't ever need to see The Hangover 2 or Bridesmaids again. They were both very funny and I laughed out loud in both, but not my over and over type. Similarly, watching The Manchurian Candidate or the Lord of the Rings trilogy isn't for me over and over again either. But for movies like Star Wars (and its 5 companions), Ghostbusters, Gone with the Wind, The Blues Brothers, Beverly Hills Cop, Stripes, Auntie Mame, Funny Girl, Godfather I, & II (I can only handle III every 10 years or so) and The Princess Bride I could spend the rest of my life watching them over and over again. It's fun, lucky for me Aha likes it too and it is something to do together. I can't understand why this bores others. Ah well, to each his/her own.

But back to the Star Wars sextet (heretofore known as SW) Now, it's true, I fought even liking the new first three, and maintained that the original three: Star Wars (now called A New Hope - what....ever...), The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi were the only "true" SW movies. I was even hesitant to own the new first three as I felt as if owning them would imply that I've moved over to the Dark Side (if you don't know what that is, why on earth are you reading this blog???? Go to IMMEDIATELY and purchase all 6 movies and watch them. Then you are allowed to come back and read my blog.) and accepted the new first 3 as the actual first 3 and thus lose my status as a true "original" SW fan.

Well, a few years ago, I bought gave in and bought SW III Revenge of the Sith because I thought, "well, it's an important movie because we learn how Anakin Skywalker becomes Darth Vader". And for a few years, that was it. We owned the "real 3" and then SW III RotS and I thought that was o.k.

Then I found that I was watching SWI-Star Wars & SWII-Attack of the Clones every single time it was shown (usually on Spike). It started to dawn on me that, maybe, just maybe, I'd converted...slightly.

And while there is a HUGE distance in storyline, characters, technology and culture between RotS and A New Hope (not to mention a MASSIVE leap of faith in the story) I may have been brought on board and trained in the ways of a tolerant SW fan.

Now, what is it about these movies that pulls me so. I can only think that for the final three (IV, V & VI) it's all about emotional attachment. I mean, think about it, if these were released today as they are now, they wouldn't survive. But in 1978 and on, they were AMAZING. Completely new technology in movie making. I was 10 when ANH came out and we saw it in the theater. It looked huge to me on the screen. We may even have seen it at the Cinerama Dome in Hollywood where it would have been the biggest movie screen anyone had ever seen thus far (far earlier then IMAX) and even more spectacular. It's not like all the characters in IV, V & VI are all that likeable; and poor Carrie Fisher - that hair and that bikini in RotJ. I think I knew those two things were wrong even then.

But, now, they serve a much different purpose for me. They are a calming force. When my life is particularly topsy turvie (when isn't it?) putting these movies on while I work, or am cooking or just zoning in bed or on the couch allows me to really check out (except for the working thing - SWIV is on now...). They allow me to go to a different place and forget what's happening in my real life. I get so into it that I get sad when Ani starts to move towards the Dark Side in SWII and in SWIII when he gets all charred and turns into DV, I am always amazed. While, the acting is a little over the top in all of the films, I don't care. I love them and by the time I die, I will have watched them a gigillion times and I'm really o.k. with it.

May the force be with you,

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Let's face it, I'm pooped!

So, let's talk tired. I planned to talk communication but frankly, I'm just too tired.

There are so many kinds of tired:
  • Overdid it tired
  • Your kid won't sleep tired
  • Your partner/spouse/bed companion snores tired
  • Sick and tired tired
  • I've run 26 miles tired
  • Enough of this crud tired
  • I've trained online from 1 - 3 AM PST for the last 3 days and my sleep cycle is messed up tired
and I'm sure I could go on for hours, nay, days or months listing all the things that make us tired.

But what really makes us so tired? Is it our own self set schedule? Is it the fact that we're trying to keep up with everyone else in activity, money and/or status?

It's probably all of those. But the larger question is, "why?"

Now, keep in mind, I started this post at 3 AM PST yesterday morning. Why? I was up for a work online training that I was facilitating for Sweden. At 3 AM, you're left to contemplate both your navel and your life and I am no exception. I found myself saying, "What the hell am I doing up at 3 AM waiting to train people in Sweden?" The answer is very simple.

I am doing what is needed for Aha and me. It's my job to take care of us both from a financial standpoint; well the bulk of it anyway. When that's your role, you do what you need to do. You also know what pressure that brings. I don't care how successful you are, it still worries you day and night.

But here's the thing, what if it makes you nutty? What if it makes you seriously nutty? What if it makes you seriously crazy in the head?

Too bad.

It turns out that being an adult is filled with all sorts of things that are very little fun. There's the waking up worrying about being able to be successful that day; the wondering if you're doing the right thing for you and your family (however that family looks). I mean, no wonder we're exhausted.

Did I solve the exhaustion issue yet? No, but if I've given you cause to think about how we exhaust ourselves, then maybe it's all worth it.

I started this post yesterday and am finishing it today after another night (morning?) of training from 1 - 3 AM. I love it when I'm doing it, but wow, am I too old for this middle of the night stuff. The overnight stuff is for the younglings in the training world.

More tomorrow...

Communicate well - without yawning,

Monday, June 6, 2011

Loverde Menu - week of 6/6/11

I've decided that I don't use this blog quite enough to pretty much, I don't know, provide my inner musings. So, after listening to many podcasts of The Story and This American Life, I've decided that for the foreseeable future, this will be my online journal. Read it, don't read it, to be honest, I'm good either way. : 0)

The first thing I want to get into the habit of doing (again) is sharing my menu for the week. I get a lot of requests on Facebook for the recipes that I post and (as my mother taught me), I'm happy to share them. So here goes with the menu for the week. Should you want any additional info on it, let me know.

Monday: Shrimp Risotto with Snap Peas (Weight Watchers Magazine p. 98 May/June 2011) & Caesar Salad (iPad Weight Watcher's App)
Tuesday: Korean Style Crispy Chicken & (Weight Watchers Magazine p. 121 May/June 2011) & Ginger Sesame Green Beans (iPad Weight Watcher's App)
Wednesday: Asian Salmon Salad (Weight Watchers Magazine p. 104)
Thursday: Garlic Pasta with Lemony Scallops (iPad Weight Watchers App) & Spinach with Parmesan Bread Crumbs (iPad Weight Watchers App)
Friday: Out

Misc cooking:
Vanilla Cupcakes with Chocolate (iPad Weight Watchers App)
Baked Sweet Potato Chips (iPad Weight Watchers App)

So there you have it. A week's worth of eating right, but not depriving oneself. I'm not a big believer in depriving oneself of something to eat right. For then, as most of you all know, all you want is what you deprived yourself of. Why, oh why, couldn't I crave carrots instead of ice cream? Well, in any event, that's the plan.

As you can see all those recipes this week came from either the iPad WW app or the current WW magazine. I lost 46 lbs following the WW plan and have kept it all (almost all anyway - save 10 pounds) off. When I need to (as now) get rid of that last 10 I know that eating right and exercising are the only thing that, for me, will work. So, that's where we are at.

Monday, 6/6 - I ran 4.1 miles and boy was that helpful. I'm in the middle of training an international audience for one of my clients and that requires that I am up and training at 1 AM. The training ends at either 2:30(ish) or at 4(ish) and this will go on all week. So....... I know that running all week will aid in my not going NUTTY!

I have a half marathon that I'm running in July but more importantly, I have a sprint triathlon in September and I must get in the pool to start to train for the half-mile swim in the O C E A N ! ! ! I really need a wetsuit. I want a used one to start. I also need to find out from someone who knows if my cruiser bike is o.k. for the sprint in Sept. So, there's work to be done here.

What else is important yet, total drivel? Well, nothing since this post is about the menu and I got off track (surprise!).

More tomorrow!
Welcome to my daily 30 minute therapy session.