Hey Guess What!

I participated in National Novel Writing Month, also known as NaNoWriMo, and to most of us just called November.

I finished my 50,000 words the other day which officially makes me a WINNER! Check it:

 

 

 

 

The 50,000 words have already morphed into 79,000 words and I’m trying to like actually write a book and stuff.

www.NaNoWriMo.org

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Crickets, Part Deux

Single guys my age don’t seem to have very long attention spans. Or maybe I didn’t text the right line to keep him interested. At any rate, I clearly have not convinced this guy I’m worth getting to know. It’s a bummer for one reason only: I really like his face. Can’t explain it any further, don’t have much to go on other than some photos and a profile blurb, just totally dig his face.

But alas, it’s crickets again. No word, no explanation, just another disappearing act.

Online dating has been a mixed bag of extremes for sure. I get nice messages that say:

Such beauty and energy coming out of your photos and profile.

Intelligent, fun and beautiful!? Fantastic!

How do you even get out of your house without being attacked by rabid suitors?

Best of luck to you and the lucky fella you meet.

And I get mean ones:

You are not special.

Get over yourself and turn off your chat applet unless you are trying to waste peoples time.

I hate people like you that don’t go with the program and then act all shocked when they get angry e-mails. You are asking for them. LOL whatever.

Women like you are a dime a dozen.

More often than not I just get ignored or dismissed. It’s all part of the game. Gotta take the bad with the good.

One guy said something really helpful that I’m trying my best to take to heart:

Enjoyed reading about you! I had some good advice a while ago, and essentially it was stop chasing, he/she will find you.

So at this juncture I’m deciding to take a breather from the chase (people somehow never look like their profile pictures in real life anyway). I’ll keep my profile up and check in to see what new messages arrive in the inbox. But rather than get upset or exasperated, I’m just going to back up and let it go.

Tonight I had the pleasure of watching a Krishna Das kirtan streaming live online from New York. It made me nostalgic for the city, missed home a bit too, but more than anything it brought me back to peace. Peace in the uncertainty is really all it’s about. Crying tears of joy is a beautiful way to spend an evening, feeling close to faraway strangers and getting to pet my dog the whole time too!

I am lucky. I have a good life. Just gotta keep on keepin’ on.

I’ll Tell You Something

Two days ago I texted all day with an outrageously cute stranger from Seattle. At first I was skeptical. OK no, at first I felt like I was about 400 years old and completely out of the loop on how the young ones date these days. (Seven years in a domestic relationship will do that to you.) But halfway through the day I got it and I really liked it.

It sure gave me that high back. Maybe dating isn’t so bad.

Here’s hoping he says hello again.

Two and a Half Weeks With Food

This post was initially titled “One Week With Food.” Then it became “Two Weeks With Food.” Life keeps getting in the way. Not necessarily a bad thing, just been busy.

I’m taking a sick day from cart world today. It’s a combination of glorious and completely irresponsible. On the upside I’m concentrating on the gloriousness and getting a lot of work done. And now I get to check in with you on the newest phase of my food journey.

The first couple days of eating were great. I ate tiny portions, took large doses of probiotics and managed to not get sick at all. Experiments with foods went well and I was generally happy.

My new daily food intake basically looks like this:

Morning – 2 scrambled eggs, steamed greens, orange juice, 2 slices high fiber toast

Afternoon – Fruit smoothie, soup, carrot-apple juice

Evening – Cheese quesadilla, steamed vegetables, avocado, seltzer

Snacks – Chocolate, nuts, sunflower seeds, probiotic yogurt drinks

Supplements – Probiotics, Fish oil

I’ve discovered I don’t enjoy eating bread nor do I like the way I feel afterwards, but I’m still strongly drawn to it. Weird. Same is true for the protein bars I used to eat every day – don’t like them anymore, still want to eat them. I had two beers out with friends Friday night. Never had any sense of a buzz but felt wickedly dehydrated the next day. Dehydration has been a big thing. I am acutely aware that I need to be drinking much more water than I am.

I had two minor allergic reactions the last two nights in a row. The first one I noticed after it took me forever to wake up yesterday (puffy eyes that did not want to open) and I felt the weird thing-caught-in-the-throat-thing in the shower. It didn’t turn into anything major and passed somewhat quickly. The second I noticed as I was falling asleep last night so I took a Benadryl and passed out.

Both nights I had chocolate almond milk (will I ever grow up?!) and organic crackers with peanut butter. The only thing I can fathom being allergic to in any of those things is Soy Lecithin but the interweb (I jest) tells me that doesn’t really happen because the hot-solvent extraction technique used to process it destroys all of the soy’s allergenic proteins. So do I now have a mild peanut or almond allergy? No words could describe how devastating a nut allergy would be to my taste buds and psyche. Much more so than the wine allergy ever was. But as usual, I’m left with no clear answer. I’ll just cut down on the almond milk and stop eating crackers.

At any rate, I think my body is telling me two things: don’t eat processed foods and don’t eat before bed. Then it’s wagging its finger at me and saying “Seriously. I mean come on, you know this already! Drink some tea and go to sleep.” Because I do know it and I’ve reached the point of no return. I have the knowledge so I can no longer ignore what I know to be true. My brain won’t let me. Thank you brain.

What else would you like to know? I gained back about seven pounds so I’m floating somewhere around 125 lbs. It’s a very comfortable weight for me so I hope I’m able to maintain it. The exercises my physical therapist friend gave me are continuing to help my sciatica and leg/hip immensely. I’m having more and more periods of very little to no pain and can feel my core muscles getting stronger each day. Thank you Sang.

The rest is just a mind game as is most of life it seems. On my good days I stick to my strict diet and I feel healthy and happy both physically and mentally. On my harder days when business gets hectic or I worry about money and where in the world my next boyfriend is hiding out, I eat some things I wish I hadn’t, feel sluggish and get a little depressed.

The difference between before and now is very important to recognize because I’m sure plenty of you read that last sentence and thought “Jenny no! Don’t get depressed because you ate a blueberry muffin! You’re beautiful and wonderful and you have to give yourself a break and you deserve chocolate and yadda yadda yadda!” I love you, but relax. The highs and lows are miniature now.  There’s no more berating in the bathroom mirror and sulking wishing the world would go away.

The wave of life is a comfortable ride now. What would my dad say? “The winds are at 5 knots and we’re coasting along on a quiet sea. No gusts in the forecast.” He’d say, “There’s not even enough wind to sail so we’re taking the jib in and motoring home.” Can you tell I’ve been on his boat twice in 15 years? I’ve been terrified of waves my whole life.

Getting a little depressed over a bad choice is a reminder that A) I’m human and B) next time I get to make a different choice. That’s about it. I really think I’m done hating myself.

Huzzah!

 

Then My Friend Sang Came To Town

I remember meeting Sang in the cafeteria of Broadview Junior High School in 1989. How refreshing it was to get out of elementary school and start meeting people I actually wanted to talk to. Sang was the Asian kid who played tennis. Always wore bright white sneakers with shorts and white gym socks pulled too far up his calves. And that huge toothy grin. Oh that grin.

Lucky for both of us, he lives in Seattle now. I got to see him this evening as he passed through Oregon on his way from California to Washington. He got the obligatory 30 second tour of my food cart then we headed up Morrison for India House. Towards the end of dinner my sciatic nerve was really pinching from the sitting and I was starting to squirm. Suddenly it dawned on me! Sang’s a Physical Therapist, I needed to pick his brain on this issue.

Well, Sang did much more than just talk to me about it. After settling the bill he insisted I drive him to my house (or should I say my miniscule converted two-car garage studio apartment that is jam packed with things like excited dogs who jump on friendly newcomers and a hungry screaming cat) so he could give me a full exam and figure out what the heck was going on.

It took him twenty minutes.

Here’s the miracle: within those twenty minutes he came to the valid professional medical version of what I had been trying to articulate in the form of an uneducated personal theory all along. And he did that without knowing what I had been thinking.

What he came to is that my pelvis stays tilted back when I move to stand from sitting. It doesn’t tuck under like it should and so also doesn’t allow me to bend forward properly. This is why my lower back is always curved in a slight backbend. Yoga teachers have said things along this line to me in different language that hasn’t been as clear and their solution is always to work on tucking my tailbone in order to get more flexibility. The obvious problem with that is tucking my tailbone hurts like all hell and guess what… pinches my nerve! According to my friend, my tailbone is tilted to the right and doesn’t allow proper space for the nerve on that side.  This is a mechanical problem I have had my whole life. Why has no one else ever seen it?!

Sang’s solution is focused on strengthening the muscles around my hips and buttocks in order to support my hips which he says swing around way too much in all directions. When they hit specific directions they push on the nerve and cause the pain. He said the problem has nothing to do with flexibility. If anything I have too much from so many years of dancing and yoga. The problem is centered on lack of stability. He says don’t stretch. Strengthen.

He moved my legs in all sorts of ways, explained everything he was doing as he did it so I can continue on my own and in less than half an hour had me on my back (hello!) with my right leg in the air (I swear this is PG) flexed and stretched farther than it has in years. The best part is that afterward, and still now, the pinch is reduced even more. I feel no residual pain. In fact, I can honestly say I feel better than I have at any moment since I fell in July.

Sang’s not just a PT. He’s a rock star, renegade PT. He’s the kind of guy who goes against his boss and tells a pregnant lady to start lifting weights in her eight month and turns out to be totally right. All her headaches, neck aches and symptoms go away. He’s the kind of guy who says stop stretching, the last thing you need is more flexibility. Sang belongs on Grey’s Anatomy: a Resident at Seattle Grace Hospital with at least a recurring role next to McSteamy.

The professional opinion, detailed description of my problem and strengthening routine he so generously offered are worth far more than all the combined money I paid out to acupuncturists, chiropractors and massage therapists.

Sang Truong, I love you. Thank you so much. You’ve given me a fresh new dose of hope as well as a day and a half to comfortably and effectively work my glutes before my date with the hot triathlete I found on OKCupid. Yes you read that right. I have a date with a hot triathlete on Sunday. Wish me luck  🙂

I’ll Leave You With This

This has been my inspiration throughout. You can watch and listen here.

I have no idea what the movie’s about.

The Cave, Mumford & Sons

 

It’s empty in the valley of your heart

The sun, it rises slowly as you walk

Away from all the fears

And all the faults you’ve left behind

The harvest left no food for you to eat

You cannibal, you meat-eater, you see

But I have seen the same

I know the shame in your defeat

But I will hold on hope

And I won’t let you choke

On the noose around your neck

And I’ll find strength in pain

And I will change my ways

I’ll know my name as it’s called again

Cause I have other things to fill my time

You take what is yours and I’ll take mine

Now let me at the truth

Which will refresh my broken mind

So tie me to a post and block my ears

I can see widows and orphans through my tears

I know my call despite my faults

And despite my growing fears

But I will hold on hope

And I won’t let you choke

On the noose around your neck

And I’ll find strength in pain

And I will change my ways

I’ll know my name as it’s called again

So come out of your cave walking on your hands

And see the world hanging upside down

You can understand dependence

When you know the maker’s hand

So make your siren’s call

And sing all you want

I will not hear what you have to say

Cause I need freedom now

And I need to know how

To live my life as it’s meant to be

And I will hold on hope

And I won’t let you choke

On the noose around your neck

And I’ll find strength in pain

And I will change my ways

I’ll know my name as it’s called again