Monday, December 31, 2007

105 Payments Left to Go... 38 Years Old When I am Done with my Student Loans. WTF.

Never-ending Student Loans

Holy Student Loans, already. I never expected to be nearing 30 and still have over 10 grand in student loans left to pay off. It's a little ridiculous. I mean, I guess I should consider that I had 20K to start with so I've paid of like 9K in 7 years. But I feel like I'll be 40 and still paying student loans. I cannot imagine how people stuck with like 50-100K of student loans feel. They must feel absolutely crippled - how can you buy a house if you owe $75,000 in student loans? So I guess I am thankful for only having to borrow 20K, but it is certainly getting old. My plan is to kick up the payment amount once my smaller Perkins loan is paid off in a few months, but not done until 38 years old if I keep the same payments? Why in God's name did they give me a 15-year term and why did I agree to it? Sallie Mae sucks and my 22-year-old self was still a financial dumbass.

Back to His Clingy Self

Well, Friday morning, Rusty was still in pretty rough shape - I cleaned him up with hydrogen peroxide, gave him his antibiotic and went to work. L came home to find him bounding down the back slope, satellite dish bouncing around, knocking into things. The meds must have kicked in because Rusty is back to his velcro self. I'm happy he's feeling better but he is all-kinds of annoying again. It's just who he is. He follows you around, stuck to your left leg. Walks behind you, steps on the back of your flip flops (I have nearly face-planted several times because of this dog), steps on your feet, slobbers all over your clothes, blocks doorways because he wants to know your next move so he can be RIGHTNEXTTOYOU.

Yes, Rusty is back in the hiz-ouse. I suppose there is still the chance he has tumors or whatever else bad in his feet, but I am feeling more positive about the old man's prospects.


Am I the only person in America under 30 without a MySpace page? I'm beginning to feel like the old fart who is falling out of touch with technology and society. Soon I won't know how to work the TV remotes.

Apparently, I am missing out on all kinds of opportunities to stalk former high school classmates. And I have to admit, I have internet stalking tendencies. So, I am intrigued by the idea. I have avoided the whole thing mostly because I wanted to be kind of "anti-establishment", if that makes any sense. I mean, high school was tolerable but I was not into the clique-ishness and I almost feel like MySpace has that vibe with the "friends" and getting "accepted" as a friend. It's like residual high school rejection fear or something. But the reality is, like 80% of my classmates from high school still live in the same town (a town that I would file in the top 5 worst cities in Massachusetts in terms of crime and poverty) so I can't really feel that much inadequacy. But I still do. Doh!

But I probably will still create a stupid MySpace page because the draw of being able to stalk is so much stronger than my high school fear of rejection by the cool crowd :0) I have problems.

The Zoo

I used to say that my favorite animal (other than the common canine) was the monkey -- any creature in the moneky family. But the meerkat just might be tied with the monkey. At the San Diego Zoo (which is an excellent zoo - it is massive), they have a meerkat habitat where you are literally 5-7 feet from them, out in the open. Someone with a long arm might be able reach out and touch them. And these meerkats are attention whores. They LOVE to just stand up on their hind legs and and take glamour shots for the camera.

I love them. I would have a pet meerkat if I could. Carry it around like those airhead celebs do in a little bag except I would be so much cooler because I would have a MEERKAT. They would all be jealous.

And the gorillas were pretty great as well. One young male was all about putting on a show for everyone. He was wrestling with his little brother, smiling and standing up and rapping on the windows at all the people watching, running around, bopping other gorillas on the head and arms. He even did a drive by whap on the head of the big silverback (the head honcho gorilla), which was ballsy, because the silverback was huge. They really have lot of human-like qualities. But I couldn't help feeling some sadness because it reminded me that they are being massacred in the Congo. I swear, if I could, I would take the killers of these majestic animals by the balls and turn them upside down like pinatas, spin them around by their scrotums. I sure hope there is karma in the world, because these people are despicable.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Rusty, can You Get HBO with that Thing?

Well, the visit to the vet wasn't exactly ideal. I didn't walk out of there feeling very good. Rusty didn't walk out at all - he had to be carried. Not that he can't walk at all, but you can tell it's painful and it's not too hard to pick him up (at least for a grown man, it's a bit hard for me - he's almost 1/2 my weight).

Basically, I was on the right track with the antibiotics. Actually, it's the only track. If this doesn't clear up with twice-daily paw bathing with antibacterial shampoo and oral antibiotics, it's either a systemic fungal infection or tumors/cancer. The vet said there are no treatment options for the latter - at least he didn't recommend them because it would be "too much suffering" (as he put it - his English is so-so, I believe he is Korean) for a dog that is 12-14 years old. I would tend to agree. But it's a bummer because he is not "senile", he is still very mentally with it. He can see and hear ok (I mean, not perfectly, but he's old), he's got a steel trap bladder, and a happy disposition. As much as he has driven me crazy this year, the idea of putting him down is sad. Sure, when I found the trash strewn all over the first floor, and he was pooping out wrappers from getting into the Halloween candy, the thought - "when is he going to buy the farm" - crossed my mind. Now that it is a possibility, I am cursing that I even thought it, hoping that karma isn't biting me in the ass for having the thought. But I don't want him to suffer, so we will see how the next week or two go.

This morning, one paw looked a little better, the other didn't really look better, maybe marginally, but it still nasty, still some gross oozing. I'm not sure if the small improvement is from the antibiotics or the spaceman/satellite dish he has on his head that is stopping him from licking. Maybe it's both. It's day two of meds so I am thinking tomorrow it will really start kicking in. Once the infection is under control though, he may still have the swelling/lumps and then we'll have to go from there.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Shoudn't Have Asked The Universe

Well, I shouldn't have asked the universe for the favor, because it either ignored me or decided I could handle more crap on my plate. Got home from yoga last night around 7:45 to find that Rusty's paws were much worse. He can barely walk. He is now putting all his weight on his broken paw (how much can the last remaining metacarpal take before it gives?) because the other paw has become very swollen and painful. It was oozing yellow puss (I know, great visual, but how else to describe). He brought a lot of that mess onto himself with his incessant licking, but I have to wonder if something else is afoot here (pun not intended).

I did my best to clean it up -- I was out of epsom salts so I used a little sea salt and very warm water to soak his paws for as long as he would let me (which was like 3 minutes each foot - not bad - he's actually very tolerant). Tried to clean them with hydrogen peroxide, which was tough because he really didn't like when I tried to gently get in between his toes/pads. Put lots of antibiotic ointment on them with a q-tip (which was also hard for him because I tried to get some of it in between), finally wrapped them up, loosely, in vet wrap (stretchy sticky gauzy wrap) and covered his paws with a pair of old socks. At some point during the night he pulled everything off (I knew he would), but I think he left them on for at least 3-4 hours. During the time I was awake. I got maybe 3.5 hours of sleep last night, so I am beat today (I have some nice-sized bags under my eyes). His paws didn't look much better in the morning. The only thing that maybe looked a little better was there was less puss. It was more red consistency what was coming out of his paws than yellow. So I hope I did some good with all that effort to clean them up.

Made an attempt to go to the vet this morning, but he didn't get in until 9:30, so the tech at the front at least got the OK from him to give me antibiotics for now, until this evening when we go in to see the doc. I wanted to get something into his system ASAP to help fight the infection. Poor guy, he was doing well, but now he's in a low spot. Makes me feel sad about getting old.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

How does one Motivate on the day after Christmas?

The Stairway Sign

Everyday, I come into work, entering through the side door, and look at the sign that says "stairway". And everyday I am disgusted. Why? Oh, maybe because there are BOOGERS in between the raised letters. Green, crusty, nasty boogers. Who does that?! I mean, I hardly think it's a child - the sign is kind of high up, around chin level (ok, I know, not that high when you're 5 feet tall, but still). I work in an office building with ADULTS. A grown person decided to wipe his nose garbage on the sign for all to see.

And the other thing is - we have a cleaning crew in this building. So, yeah, wouldn't you think they'd clean that shit up? No, No. I have been here 4 months now and those boogs have been there the whole time. I suppose I could complain to our office manager who could complain to the cleaning company. But still, after 4 months (or more, mind you, this snot could be years old), one would think it would get cleaned up.

Enough Already

Poor Rusty, he is falling apart. Part of it is our fault for not doing another month-long round of weekly mitaban dipping this past summer, because his demodex is back with a vengeance - apparently exacerbated by the Prednisone the other vet gave last month for the rear paw licking-till-it-was-raw thing he kept doing (that was a long, probably grammatically incorrect sentence). On top of the demodectic mange that came back, he some how managed to break 3 of the 5 metacarpals (doggie fingers) in his left front paw. But with the mange, the doc didn't want to splint it since we have to do the wash and dip every week. With one "finger" intact it is sort-of splinted - an anatomical splint. I am just trying to have positive thoughts that he won't break the other metacarpal because then he wouldn't be able to use it at all, and his right back leg has never been good, he can't put much weight on it. At the moment, L has to carry all 55 pounds of him up and down the stairs in the mornings and evenings so he can sleep upstairs in his crate with us. I am debating moving the crate downstairs, but he's got some separation anxiety where he gets upset if he has to sleep alone.

So, more doggie drama. I suppose I should not be surprised. He is older than dirt (thus why some friends have coined him "old dirt"). He will probably continue to have some issue every couple months until he is shuffles off his mortal coil. As long as he is happy and isn't too uncomfortable, I can deal with his geriatric care. The one bonus is that he can't get into any trouble for a while - not more knocking over the trash and stealing food from the counters.

In addition to my dog falling apart, my father was in the emergency room for an eternity this past weekend. As expected, out in the boonies of Riverside County, the hospitals are a little over-capacity (the booming population growth far out-paced infrastructure like roads. schools, and hospitals).

For what should have taken maybe 6-8 hours (including the norm of hours spent in waiting), instead it took 14 hours (my emergency room visit for appendicitis took 7 hours - less than 12 hours after I arrived in, I was in surgery). Fourteen hours for a mild case of diverticulitis. And apparently, also, a UTI (which is interesting, I suppose if your immune system is depressed, perhaps UTIs are easier to get). So, yesterday was interesting. He did his best to cut down on beer consumption, but when you normally drink around 8 beers a day, that's a bit of a challenge. He ended up drinking one beer and some wine at the Christmas meal which is like 80% less than normal.

And I tried not to be too cultish/preachy about the veggie-ness, but I did told him several times he need to eat more fiber - more fruit and vegetables. Diverticulitis is rare in countries where people have high-fiber diets (it's kind of common in the US). My parents say they eat some kind of vegetable every night, but I am thinking it might amount to 2 (maybe 3) servings of fruits and vegetables a day. Not enough, especially as you get older. 5-10 per day. 5 minimum. I think I make the 5, sometimes more (like today, I will probably eat 7-10 servings), but seeing as I don't eat meat anymore, that's the only way it gets done. If I were eating meat, it would be 5 and it would likely be no more than that.

Anyway, so everyone is falling apart. At least most of them men are, aside from my husband, thankfully. So, I would like to ask the universe to please not make anymore of us sick for now. At least until Rusty's paw is healed. Thank you.

Mystery Solved

Oh, and the unknown gifter of the countdown-from-Hell-key-chain is an old coworker from 2 jobs back. Finally, I know who it was! It was driving me crazy already.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Please, Make it Stop!

I'd say, on my list of things I hate are muscle twitches. It is misery to have a muscle twitch - one that won't cease for hours at a time. I've have a twitch in my shoulder that started this morning at like 8am and has been going for the last 2 hours. It's like my shoulder is having Turret's syndrome or something (which, by the way, during important meetings I always get the urge to yell something ridiculous out like I have Turret's. And then everyone would look at me like I was crazy. What is that?).

I have a feeling this devil twitch may have something to do with the ridiculously hot Bikram yoga class I went to last night. I've been to 6 classes thus far, none have felt as hot as this one. The thermostat registered 105 but it sure felt hotter than that. I mean, I was envisioning that an egg could cook very nicely on the floor of the yoga room, right next to my mat. It took much mental energy to make myself not leave the room. Just laying on the floor was a struggle. I don't believe I have ever sweat that much in my lifetime - so my guess is that I my sodium potassium (Na and K) levels are a wee-bit off kilter (I read somewhere that these twitches can be caused by something relating to Na-K levels). I probably left all my body's minerals and electrolytes on the floor over there and in my clothing (the small amount I was wearing because when I go to that class, I disregard all modesty and wear bike shorts and a sports bra. That's it. I don't care if people see my bell rolls when I fold over - it's too stinkin' hot for normal workout clothes). Holy Lord, it was hot. Now I know why I do mostly Hatha/Vinyasa yoga. I like the occasional sweat-fest, but several times a week of that is beyond my capacity.

And the giant pimple cyst is no better today - still hurts like the dickens, perhaps redder and more acute (smaller circle of redness but more acute pain). It's like that Family Guy episode where Chris's zit takes him hostage and grabs a gun to shoot hi dermatologist. That show rocks.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Hello, Second Nose

At an Christmas get-together this past weekend I remarked that my skin has been behaving remarkably well (cystic acne runs in my family and I have always had acne problems despite a course of accutane), and I believed it could be my new sans-meat diet that has been helping.

Well, the "not-so-fast-missy" gods must have heard me say this and decided to ruin my acne-free fun because directly under my already large nose, I am growing another one. I have a lovely red bump forming just under my septum. Isn't that lovely?

It's either the above mentioned "we'll-see-about-that" gods or maybe it's the 5 POUND BOX OF SEES CANDY that our office's property management company decided to give us for the holidays. I swear, this should not be allowed. I mean, just selling 80 ounces of candy in a box should be a crime. I have eaten somewhere in the ballpark of 10 chocolates in the last day or so. This is in addition to eating left-over Halloween candy someone decided to bring to the office.

And it hurts like a mo-fo. I am actually periodically "icing" it by sticking my cold diet coke can under my nose (I'm sure this looks really weird, but it's feels better when I put something cold on it).

I am so over this bad holiday eating - I am all set for January to come.

(And speaking of health/diet stuff, it was kind of a drag to watch both the twins on biggest loser win both prizes. I mean, both of them? 350,000? For some reason, I feel like that' s not fair - like a monopoly or something. Eh. So the finale was a little anti-climactic for me.)

Monday, December 17, 2007

Spaceballs!? Oh, Shit. There Goes the Planet.

On Friday I received a package in the mail. Inside, I found a Backwards Bush count-down key chain and no indication of who sent it. It came directly from the distributer and no receipt indicating who had paid for it. So far, I am stumped. I thought maybe it was L because he had sent me the link of the Hilary nut-cracker and then also sent me the link of the count-down key chain. But he wasn't the mystery liberal gifter.

I then went to a Christmas party of an old co-worker who knows how much I dislike this president. He didn't sent it either, nor did anyone else at the shindig. My father thinks it could be either my grandmother or my Italian aunt. My grandmother also popped into my head as a potential because she has my new address and hates Bush more than I do. So hopefully tonight I will find out if she is the peddler of anti-GOP paraphernalia. Whoever it is will be getting a thank you card because it made my day, receiving that little piece of plastic, made in China, digital timer. I look at it a couple time a day. Right now we still have 399 days, 12 hours, 17 minutes, and 33 seconds. It seems like an eternity - but I think it will go by faster starting next month when the caucuses and primaries come into full-swing. I can't wait!

What kind of cracked me up when I got this thing was how obvious my feelings are for this buffoon. Apparently, my distaste resonates pretty clearly, to people I don't even talk to very often. Am I that transparent? Apparently so. Do I care? Eh, not so much.

(And how about this? This is ridiculous.)

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Bunny Hops, Careless Drivers, and Finally-Kicking-Bush-Out-Of-Washington Year 2008

Well, one of the moves in yoga that has eluded me for some time (at least a year) finally came together today when I attempted to demo it in class. I had prefaced it with the fact that I can only display the attempt since I have not mastered it yet. After a few attempts, up I went! Crazy!

At this point, you are wondering what the heck this bunny hop is. It is another way to enter handstand - urdvha mukha vrksasana. Instead of kicking up with one leg from down dog, you make a two-footed jump (bunny hop!) from down dog and go up. Of course, I still desperately need the wall, but maybe four months ago, this bunny hop thing was not happening. No sir. I would be there by the wall, just hopping in futility, exhausting my arms and abdominals. Seeing as I haven't practiced it at all in months, my explanation to how I was able to do it is either (1) the stepping up of my general yoga practice in the past months has strengthened my ability to do previously impossible poses, (2) it was a lucky try - perhaps the tilt of the earth and the alignment of the planets allowed me to get up as opposed to landing back on my feet with a thud.

So, I will be attempting this more from now on. It's also a stepping stone (at least in my semi-yoga-educated opinion) to being able to float up from down-dog and land feather-lightly either on my feet or behind. I have watched (in awe) Ashtanga practitioners do this and it would be fun to "float" just like that!

On a less positive note, I almost had a nasty accident this morning on my way to work. I was waiting at a red light, in the right-most lane with a large SUV on my left, who had stopped several feet ahead of the line. Light turns green, I start to go and hear someone honking repeatedly (I guess to warn me) - a millisecond later I am slamming on the brakes, stopping inches from a car that was running the red light. I stalled in the middle of the intersection (gotta love stick shift). I probably wouldn't even have been that close had the SUV not been blocking my left-hand view of the intersection. So, in case anyone is reading, stopping at the line is important! Not necessarily for you but for the people around you! It never occurred to me that if I stopped a little ahead of the line by mistake I could be endangering someone near me. So at least I was able to take that bit of knowledge away from this morning's almost accident (probably would have been kind of ugly).

I guess I had some good karma stored up somewhere. That and good reflexes.

And can you believe Obama and Clinton are neck and neck in both Iowa AND New Hampshire polls? I don't know what to think about it. I mean, I'm a little nervous about the primaries. I like Obama better than Clinton. I fear that Clinton is more electable, and also, maybe more experienced - plus she has Bill as her right-hand man and who isn't pining away for the 8 years we had before num-nuts dubya? So I am torn. Edwards is a no-go - for some reason, I'm not feeling him. He doesn't feel sincere enough. Obama just seems honest and straightforward. He's not playing too many games - he is likable. But young and inexperienced. So there is the conundrum. Hilary is able to do the job. I don't mind her. But I don't like her like I like Obama. I hope that internally, I am not being misogynistic - that subconsciously I am leaning towards the man because I don't believe a woman can do the job. I don't want to be that person. So I am torn :( We'll see. But I WON'T vote for Edwards even if he comes out on top of every primary leading up to California.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


It has been my practice to read a thoughtful passage from one of my meditation-esque book before I begin my class. While I do think this is nice (better than having nothing meaningful to say), I feel like I want to expound more upon my own personal experiences and inward exploration.

I have a fear, though, that several things will happen:

(1) I will sound like an idiot - like someone grasping for meaning and coming up listlessly short (or, like someone who smoked the wacky tabacky talking about "deep" stuff, but in reality he/she just sounds like they're high)

(2) I will run out of material! I mean I can talk until the cows come home, so, material that is not just rambling. Like, will I be able to, each week, have something meaningful to discuss without dragging out the kitchen sink of things that really are too personal to share with people you don't know that well (I mean, I don't need to scare people off).

(3) I will dig into myself and find that I am not the existentialistic person I always thought I was. I will find I am more 2-dimensional and flat than multi-dimensional.

Now the last fear I think has really come out more as I explore the study and practice of yoga. And also as I teach more, I seem to be conjuring up more insecurity about my ability to teach a good class. And I think it's more that I'm teaching in what I would consider more challenging environments. My "gym yoga" gig is feeling more and more like a chore (it doesn't help that I have to drive 15-20 minutes to get there and the pay is the worst of all my classes), and my studio gigs are feeling more challenging... So I am no longer feeling as much of the ego-boost I used to get from my large gym classes and additionally, I am feeling some insecurity as I embark to build strong studio classes.

Ah well. Non-attachment to attaining perfection and control is what I need -- to release the need to excel at everything. Anyone with advice on how to get there?

Thursday, December 6, 2007

More Rain Tomorrow! Woo Hoo!

I went shopping at Ross last night for something to wear to my hubby's office Christmas party. I completed in warp speed - I was in and out in about 30 minutes (including trying on 5 items!). Now, the Ross in my city is not exactly a bright and shiny place. It is very different from the Ross I used to frequent in Temecula. It's kind of dingy and very much in disarray. I had hoped to find some kind of interesting skirt - a skirt with pizazz. I was shocked to find that there weren't really any skirts - there were some in the clearance area (and the all sucked), but in the non-clearance area the skirts were mixed with pants which were mixed with jeans. And looking at the racks, it looked like mostly jeans. Goes to show you what kind of Ross this is -- further emphasized that is is not for the working professional woman (not even the business casual working woman).

Anyway, so I managed to locate a cute red top on clearance (6.99!) that I can at least use for the two very informal Christmas parties I have tomorrow. After a fruitless search in the pants/skirt area (why don't they just call it "bottoms", for Pete's sake), I zipped on over to the dresses area. The dresses were in as much of a mess as the rest of the place, and I almost gave up my search as it felt hopeless that I would find something un-hoochie-mama in my size. But I forged on ahead anyway because I am thorough! And wouldn't you know it, I found three dresses that worked! Crazy! I mean, I should have expected that knee-length dresses would work for me since I am short and pear-shaped; it's one of the few clothing items that I usually can wear without hemming and such, and the "skirt" portion of it works to conceal my larger bottom. Not to mention that I have short legs, so skirts are a crap shoot - I tried one at Target (I had high hopes for that skirt) and it made me feel like a hobbit, or perhaps a dwarf, since they have normal length torsos and short legs. It sat so stinkin' low on the hips (which I usually like but...) that the pleats began around the tops of my thighs and I just looked stumpy. Anyway, so with the dresses I ended up having a hard time picking one, so I bought two. They were so cheap I could justify it (19.99 and 25.99). And one of them is really cheeky - it's black with red polka dots, has an attached slip with red lace fringe that sticks out (very 40s), and a satin bow just below the boobage area. I think this is the Christmas party dress. I haven't worn something that fun since my feather boa and red satin Gap capris (alas, said pants were donated to the Salvation Army last year as I am 10 pounds than when I bought them in Dec 2000). The other dress is not as fun but still cute - it's red and the top part is halter-style with red satin straps. It fit so well that I figured if I didn't wear it this year, there's always next year. How often do you find a cute red dress that fits?! Come on! Now I just gotta make sure I maintain my weight so that I can wear it a year from now (Or lose. Lose would be nice, but I'll take maintain over a "poke in the eye with a stick" (where did this saying come from? It always cracks me up.)).

Monday, December 3, 2007

There was Ice on my Windshield this Morning! Very Un-Southern California! Humph!

Before I forget, this must be documented. Saturday night, after having dinner at Le Passage in Carlsbad (good French cuisine, the food was really good. Not ideal, though, for the non-meat eater that I'm trying to be--the menu was 80% meat-oriented--but there were a few options. And Wine was pricey, too. L's rack of lamb looked good, but I stuck to my salad which was excellent. Anyway.), we decided to watch Almost Famous, before hitting the sack. Another side note: I love that movie. I tend to forget how great it is until I see it again. It's just really well made and for anyone that is an "The Office" show fan - Dwight Shroot is in that movie! He has a very small part as a employee at Rolling Stone. Alright, let me get to the purpose of this post already. Jeez! I am the queen of digressions and non sequiturs - it's a window into the actual way my head works (which is all over the place).

So, around 10pm, the door bell rings.

Immediately, I think of the worst thing, that it's a bad person who wants to like rob us and/or kill us. Nikki starts barking up a storm at the front door so we have to answer it at this point. I peek through the little side window by the door and I see two guys, somewhere in the 16-20 age range, dressed in red Christmas onesies and Santa hats. Ok? I answer the door and they tell me they are playing a Christmas game where they are going house-to-house and they have to collect an item larger than the item they got at the last house (an item of inconsequence - that we don't need). So, I gave them the first thing I found in our office: a stuffed bear holding a red heart. They, in return, were supposed to give me the frozen Capri Sun (remember those?) they had gotten at the last house. I let them keep it because what the hell and I going to do with a frozen Capri Sun? I ask them why they are doing this and I get a totally bogus explanation: That they are having an AP Bio party and this is one of the games they are playing.


I'm surprised his pants didn't burst into flames right there in front of me. It reminded me of the scavenger hunts we would have to go on as new members of my sorority. AP Bio? No, I don't think so. It was probably an athletic team or fraternity hazing. And why they were in our neighborhood is beyond me - I suppose they could've been from Cal State San Marcos or Mira Costa College, they both have Greek organizations. All I know is I had a good laugh. I mean, just recalling the image of these two guys in red Christmas onesies cracks me up. Too bad I didn't get a picture.