Thursday, November 15, 2012

A little physical therapy never hurt anyone

I walk 2-3 miles every day. I run once or twice a week. I take martial arts classes 3-4 times a week. I do the elliptical 2 times a week. I’m not ready to do an Ironman, but I’m no slouch. So going to the doc for some nagging hip pain wasn’t going to be a big deal…
Neither was physical therapy… right?
So I went to the first physical therapist appointment for my hip.  Nothing like a good physical therapist to make you feel completely physically freakish and inadequate.  In the span of 2 minutes, she told me my shoulders were uneven, my back was crooked, my hips were uneven (right is higher than left) and my left hip muscles are atrophied.  (Yes, she used the word “atrophy”.) Nothing like someone telling you you’re atrophied to make you feel good about yourself!
Then she made me do some tiny little exercises (put your leg here, straighten your knee, and lift up 2 inches and back down again while i push on your leg) which nearly killed me. I apparently have “a good deal of weakness in that area.”
It’s going to be a long 3 weeks…

Friday, March 2, 2012

Feeling persecuted...

or... we could keep an open mind to other peoples' feelings?  just a thought...

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Bridal Gown Shopping - Combat Style

I had an appointment today to try on bridal gowns at Lord & Taylor in NYC.  And right there on the website it says, "In our brand new Wedding Shop you'll find everything you need." I needed a dress, so I made an appointment. So I trekked to the third floor, past the rows of hyper-vigilant perfume sprayers, makeup experts, and accessory hawkers, and up the elevators, to a little section in the formal wear department that was all white...

On the wall a sign that said "Wedding Shop" and a little table with a phone and a computer sitting in the midst of about 30 dresses.  Looked good!  The only thing missing - a human being. There seemed to be many salespeople wandering about very busy with...something. But none stopped to ask if I needed anything, very few made eye contact, and those that did quickly glanced away and put their heads down and ran.  One I actually got to speak to me said "Yes, I'll be right back" and fell into a black hole (that's the only explanation I have for her unexplained disappearance.)

After waiting 20 minutes for someone to show up, I finally helped myself to the racks, looking through the small selection of dresses, and lugged three torn, patched, dirty and limp gowns to the dressing room (alone) and tried them on.

One other girl came in at one point to try on bridal gowns, too. She had as much luck finding assistance as I did, and her poor dad ended up combing the racks and lugging the gowns back and forth for her to try them on. He did, however, seem more pleased that he had something to do other than sit in a dingy sofa-chair like the other men in the department store.

There was no success finding The Dress at Lord & Taylor. Not because the dresses weren't pretty, but because I was a little concerned about putting my faith in a store where the Brand New Wedding Shop seemed to be more like a Deserted City After the Zombie Apocalypse. But I'm nothing if not positive, so I came up with this:

Constructive Criticism for Lord & Taylor:
1. Have salespeople available at the  Wedding Shop to actually sell wedding things to people. You'll be surprised how successful that might be in increasing your sales rates.
2. Answer your freakin' phone.

Anyhoo, after that bit of fun, I decided to head over to the famous RK Bridal and try some gowns on there. It's a no-appointment place but I figured a Friday wouldn't be too bad, right? (Wrong. But we'll get there later.)

I entered the door... and was greeted by racks, and racks, and racks of gowns. Acres of wedding gowns, prom dresses, bridesmaids gowns... you name it, it was on a rack, smooshed together in such density as was almost unimaginable.  The front-door greeter-woman handed me a flyer - it gave instructions for "First Time RK visitors".

The instructions were along these lines: Welcome! Put your name on The List on the clipboard, pick out 5 dresses (maximum) you'd like to try on, and put them on Rack A. Tie a ribbon around them, and then have a seat and wait for your name to be called.  Thanks for your patience.

They're already asking for my patience. On a flyer. Uh oh. I should have used the loo before coming.

It was packed with dresses. It was packed with brides-to-be. And all the women were like carnivorous animals, stalking the dresses like prey...each looking for the choiciest one to snag before the other brides spotted it.

I dutifully forced my way through the crowds of brides and their variously-sized entourages and put my name on The List...about six names were before mine...and went to the racks of gowns. It was overwhelming. The wedding gowns were all wrapped in plastic bags, squashed together so tightly that some were standing on their own, held up by the other gowns squashing it on the rack. You had to force your way through the bulging tulle skirts to get from aisle to aisle. Supposedly they were arranged by designer...but I never found any patterns to the piles.

Sweating, and my arms literally were sore from pushing, pulling, manhandling gowns to see them... I eventually gave up on looking at the actual gown on the rack and just went by the photos on the tag to pull out my first 5 gowns. I put my gowns on Rack A and tied a navy ribbon around them...and waited.

And waited.

And waited and waited and... I definitely should have used the loo before coming.

There were brides of every size, shape, and color. Moms of brides, fawning. Friends of brides sneaking photos (which, according to the much-ignored sign, were not allowed until you're purchasing a gown.) There were even a few unfortunate men there, with eyes as big as saucers, no doubt wondering why they'd been dragged into this hellhole nightmare. There were literal fights over dresses, whispered commentary about how good / bad / fat / skinny / ridiculous that one looked on that girl, or that one looked on that girl. Crying moms, nervous girls, impatient salespeople, bridezillas, mom-zillas, friend-zillas... I tried to make myself comfy resting against a swath of tulle-puffed towns and watched the circus... and tried, in vain, to be patient.

I wasn't that successful at the patient part. After an hour, my bladder was maxed, and so was my cranky level... but my name was finally called.  I met with my consultant, Mariah, and headed back into her room with my navy-ribboned gown collection, which was suspiciously reduced to four. Apparently another bride spotted one of my finds and snagged it for her own try-on session first. (Did I mention the bridezillas?) Mariah told me not to worry...she'd find it.

I tried on 6 or 7 gowns, and Mariah was fabulous... she tried to find the dresses that I brought photos of, and wrangled gowns from other dressing rooms when necessary (and trust me when I tell you, blood was nearly drawn over a few gowns that several girls were eyeing simultaneously.)  She brought dresses she thought I might like that were a little different than I would otherwise look for, and was totally game when I wanted to try one or two dresses on again, just to take another peek.

About 60 minutes later, my cranky level had gone to nearly zero thanks to Mariah and two gowns that I now need to make a decision between. Overall, a rocky start, but in the end, we had achieved success! And next time, I get to make an appointment...which puts me right up at the top of The List.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Working from home

I have a few eyes watching me when I work from home...

No pressure.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Dear Granddaddy...

Dear Granddaddy....

My aunt called today, and told me you'd passed away. I know you're 87, you've been sick for a while, but it's never easy to hear this news, even when it's not surprising... 

As I'm thinking about it today, I remember my mother dying years ago.  There are things about her that I'll never forget, but I'm sure there are things that I've forgotten, too, that I wish I hadn't.  So here, I'm going to write a few things I've been thinking about today... things that I don't want to forget, and things I hope you remember, too.

You used to give us hugs when we saw  you that were so strong that we couldn't breathe. I hated them as a child, but when I grew up, I looked forward to those crushing hugs every time I saw you.  Over the last years, they got weaker, and that made me so sad.

You wore Old Spice aftershave, and I have loved the scent ever since.

You had the biggest Christmas stocking of anyone, and we always tried to sneak coal or sticks into it every year. You never complained, and we always thought it was such a funny joke.

You loved to travel, and for as long as you could, you traveled all around the world.  I still tell people today that you were snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef in your late 70's... and I wanted to do exactly the same thing.

You took tons of photos... we still have the slides. Some are the most beautiful photographs I've ever seen. But the one I remember most is of a broken down, bent fence on a beach in New Jersey. You were an artist, and I cherish the memories that you preserved for all of us with your camera.

You played with all the grandkids at Myrtle Beach every year when we were little, leading all of us down to the water like little ducks... all of us lined up in single file, with a floaty around our waists, marching down to the beach in size order... tallest to shortest.

You went to war, but never spoke about it to anyone. The only story you ever told me was about the time when you and the guys were taking "baths" on the beach somewhere in the Pacific. You said you were using your helmets to scoop up the water, and pour over yourselves, and you remembered a few native girls walking by and giggling at you.

When my mother passed away, you told me that I looked just like her... a compliment that still holds my heart today. And you told me that no father should outlive their children, and I know how it hurt you when she had to go.

You told me that I would find someone that would take care of me, but that if he ever hurt me, to let you know and you'd come and take care of it for me. I have found someone... he won't hurt me. But I can't tell you how happy I am that you met the love of my life before you left us.

You made wooden furniture for the grownups, and wooden toys for the kids in your shed in the back yard. You loved working out there, and what you made was so beautiful.  I had to force you to make me a wooden train one year... and a little wooden table.  I still have them. I cherish them.

You were an engineer for the phone company... I remember when I was little, you pointed to the payphones at the airport, telling me that you helped make those.  I was so impressed and thought you must be famous.

You taught me the sign language symbol for "I love you"... which our entire family uses all the time now.  It's a part of our lives forever.

I know you're with mom now...where you are not sick, or suffering... where you can see what us silly people down here are doing, fretting about the small things that don't really matter much in the end.

I love you, granddaddy.  And I miss you.  You are part of me forever, and so I won't say goodbye... but instead, I'll just say ... I'll see you later, in another place.  Say "Hi" to mom from me... and give her a hug.

I love you,

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Our Arizona Vacation

The Grand Canyon


A friend on the trail

Literally, ON the trail


Our shadows enjoy the view

Sunrise on the rocks

Going down is optional - coming back up is mandatory!

Going down!

And more down...

Looking up at the canyon

Condors flying below us

Looking down on the path we just hiked... eek!

Sunset on the canyon

Grand Canyon at night

Getting ready for a hot air balloon ride in Sedona

helping inflate the balloon

going up!

WAY up!

Mule deer cant' figure out what our balloon is

Sunrise on the red rocks of Sedona


Going ATV riding with our friends


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Old photos...

Going back through some old photo files...
I took this in 2008... I really need to blow that up and get it framed sometime...