Savvyminx...

knitting ate my brain.

Otherside
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Now that the journey is over, and the constant stress of planning and moving is complete, I have the time, energy and will to finally get this baby weight off.

Thursday, we joined the YMCA. I went back later that day and did 30 minutes of elliptical cardio, with the incline on 4, and the resistance on 1. Racked up 2.06 mi. Afterward, I did lat pulldowns (15@50#), shoulder press (15@55#), and ab machine (15@50#).

Friday, I went back for more elliptical, did 30 mins at 4 incline, 2 resistance, and managed 2.21 mi. Afterward, I did lat pulldowns (15@50#), shoulder press (15@55#), ab machine (15@50#), and added in seated row (20@40#).

Saturday, I actually managed to get to the beginner's Pilates class at 8:30am. The instructor was great. She focused on form and individual attention. I don't know if it was already her plan for the class, but she really focused on core and hip, which is exactly what I needed.

Sunday, I am resting. I woke up feeling like cold taffy, but in a kind of satisfying way. My back is feeling good, coming into better alignment.

This is my plan for the week:

Monday: 30 mins elliptical + nautilus
Tuesday: 5:30pm Pilates w/ Kristen
Wednesday: 45 minutes lap swimming + spa
Thursday: 10:30am Pilates w/ Pam
Friday: 30 mins elliptical + nautilus
Saturday: 8:30am Pilates w/ Kristen
Sunday: REST

Based on loose calculations, that amount of activity effectively negates an entire day's worth of calories from the week.

I have been tracking food on my phone using the My Fitness Pal app. I have managed to stay under 1500 calories every day, with some days being 'adjusted' to below 1200 due to logged exercise.

This is strictly a numbers game. Calories in versus calories out, and I'm trying to enforce portion size awareness. No gimmicks this time, although I am avoiding processed carbs and sugars, because they are unnecessary calorie sinks that encourage rebound hunger. I'm also cooking mainly with chicken and fish, because they are leaner and somewhat cleaner than pork and beef.

Wikiholes
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Listening to the Golden Record that went up with Voyager. Reading the wiki about it, I'm surprised and not surprised that when Pioneer went up in 1977, there was a lot of criticism of NASA for including nude line drawings of a man and a woman. Seriously? To avoid controversy, they only included silhouettes of a man and a woman along with separate anatomical diagrams of the various body systems. How deep does the shame go, folks?

I'm becoming slightly obsessed with wikipedia, somehow justifying it as short attention span trivia cramming. I have been on one game show already, without really meaning to, and now I want to do it again. Only this time, I want Jeopardy.

The thing I just can't ignore as I delve into the wikiverse, is the overarching theme of religious ideological oppression throughout history. We're struggling against the mentality of the dark ages even today. I read a lot about science and scientists, and I often end up frustrated by the reality that our progress as a species has been systematically retarded by superstitious zealots.

I'm an atheist, a humanist, a rational believer in exploration through science. I live in a place where that statement is basis for offense to most of the people around me. I live in the same county as the Creation Museum. If you haven't heard of it, you're lucky, but let me give you a clue. It's not about the Big Bang, and there's a statue of Jesus riding a dinosaur. I shit you not. Take me away from this awful place.

Shop Update
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Fiber update

Goodbye, LJ...
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I haven't really cared to update this thing in at least a year, and even though I usually read it every day, I've noticed that less than 25% of my contacts ever post, and that demographic is pretty even split among people I know in RL and follow on Twitter/FB (thus making most posts redundant), and strictly internet-friends. I just went through and removed everyone who hadn't posted in at least a year and my list has shrunken dramatically.

So basically, I'm taking LJ off my daily reading list. If you want to keep up with me still, find me on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/savvyminx

In a world... where I LOL'd!!!
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Spun
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My first real skein of hand-dyed, handspun yarn. Made on my Babe Fiberstarter spinning wheel with superwash merino roving from www.wool2dye4.com. This skein weighs 70g(2.5oz) and is approximately 50m(55yd) of thick/thin, ranging from sport to bulky weight.

Judy puts it so well...
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I don't know about you, but I'm making my decisions based on the issues. There are no "do overs" here. We have to choose a leader whose judgment we respect. One who doesn't make important decisions based on gut feelings. That's why I want the calm, thoughtful, intelligent, knowledgeable candidate who will surround himself with the best and the brightest. That's why I'm supporting Barack Obama.

What I don't need is some sarcastic hockey mom who describes herself as a pit bull, who flaunts her pregnant teenager and her new special needs infant, a heartbeat away from the presidency.

Meet Argos!
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Argos-1

(full set of pictures)

We drove up to Wilmington this morning to the Clinton County Humane Society, and adopted this little guy. He's about 12 weeks old, and he's a husky/chow mix. He has a very sweet, even temperament, and he's very friendly. He rode on my lap all the way home with no trouble at all. No barking or squirming and thank god no excreting!

We stopped by Petsmart on the way home to buy him a leash, collar, shampoo, brush and treats, and he handled all of the excitement quite well. I gave him a bath to wash off the shelter-funk, and then he tried to play with Jack a little. He went for his first real walk after he had a nap, and he actually tinkled in the grass like I hoped he would.

We named him Argos after Odysseus' faithful dog. Also, Argus was the name of Baron Munchausen's dog. It was apparently fated to be, because after we left the shelter, I was thinking about what to name him, and my train of thought followed from the golden color of his coat to shining silver, and argent, then Argus. I didn't say anything at the time and a few minutes later, Erik suggested the same name out of thin air. The coincidence was too much to resist, and the pup already seems to be catching on that his name is Argos now.

The other names we considered were Barnabus (after the dog that Destruction gives to Delirium in the Sandman graphic novels) but we decided that it was too likely to be shortened to "Barney" which we could not abide; Sirius, after the dog-star, and of course Sirius Black from the Harry Potter series; Remus or Lupin after Remus Lupin also from Harry Potter.

He's an adorable and sweet pup who is currently passed out cold in front of the bookshelves. I'm looking forward to raising him into a dog as wonderful and sweet as Jack.

Catching up
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So, I know I haven't written much lately, but I need to change that. My daily life has been mostly poured into my IM conversations with my friends during the day at work, so I might as well dump it into my LJ, too.

I really hate recapping for some reason, but I'll try to make it quick. Erik and I have moved into a lovely loft apartment in Camp Washington, a mere two miles from where we both work. We carpool every day, taking turns driving my blue Yaris or his white Yaris, sipping 36 mpg. I drop him off at UC Hospital and drive another block to my office. It's quite nice.

We moved in on July 29, and of course we're still unpacking and settling in. We had our security deposit down 6 weeks in advance and started packing really early, so I feel like I've been upheaved for quite some time now. I had a little trouble sleeping the first few nights; new place, huge windows with no curtains, slightly insufficient air circulation on the bed loft. I've fixed most of those things, and I'm feeling less like a hotel guest each day.

Jack has been despondent since we gave the ex's cat away and then moved him to this weird new place with no glass back door to watch other doggies through. He's been stress grooming and seeming pretty depressed, so we've decided to adopt another puppy so he has a friend to play with. We have an appointment at 12:30 on Saturday at the Clinton County Humane Society in Wilmington, OH to check out a litter of 12-week-old Husky/Chow pups. There are three of them, all male, and we're going to try to determine which one has the best temperament. They have a really reasonable adoption fee, and the volunteer we've spoken with has been very nice, so I have a good feeling about this.

We're having a housewarming party tonight. I kind of failed at planning it correctly and making sure that certain people were contacted with enough advance notice, so I'm not even sure how many people will show up. I was really tweaking last night about trying to get as much unpacked, organized and stashed away as I possibly could. I think I actually made Erik uncomfortable because he was ready to rest and relax until bedtime but I couldn't stop moving. I get off work an hour earlier than he does today, so I can go grocery shopping for party snacks. He wants to make some fondue.

Speaking of food... my 3rd monthly diet checkup is on Wednesday. I'm kind of pessimistic about my weigh-in. At my June check I'd lost 4 lbs., I broke even for July, and I really don't know how August is going to go. I ate like crap during the thick of the moving process, which was about 3 weeks. The kitchen was in boxes and it's so easy to order pizza when you're exhausted and stressed out from packing and hauling around everything you own. I've been doing a lot better since we've started to get settled in, but I don't know if it will balance my cheating out enough to even let me break even. I have this irrational paranoia that my doctor is going to kick me out, but I know that's the opposite of the point of his practice. I really need stability in my life to be able to lose weight. I'm finally rediscovering that stability, and Erik helps ALOT.

We've been doing some quick yoga in the mornings before work, and sometimes before bed, too. Just a 7 or 8 minute run through a sun salutation. I'm already feeling slight changes after just a few days, especially in my abdomen. I'm hoping that it will help me be more in touch with my body and want to eat better, too.

All of this moving has left me very little time for my two favorite hobbies, knitting and WoW. WoW has suffered more, because up until a couple of days ago, my desktop had no WNIC, and my laptop had a severely outdated UI setup. The cable company isn't coming until next Tuesday to install our internet connection, so we've been relying on the building's free unsecured wireless service, which is middling at best. I finally got on for about a half-hour last night and worked on my alt a little bit. It was a good way to get myself to unwind and stop looking at the boxes we still haven't unpacked.

Knitting has suffered less, because it's portable and doesn't require electricity. I've been bouncing back and forth between a few different projects, suffering from knitting ADD. When things settle a bit more, I'm going to start completing things, I swear. I finally found a knitting circle that I like, with a bunch of really cool women in it. I met with the group for the first time on Tuesday, and I'll be going back next week for sure. It's nice to spend some time in the company of women, especially others who are as obsessed with yarn as I am.

Ok, so there's the summary. I'm going to try to update more often, I promise!

Reconstruction
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Good news about my brother. Matt's reconstructive surgery has finally been deemed medically necessary.

A large portion of his skull was removed immediately after his accident to relieve pressure on his brain due to swelling. It was out for nearly 4 months while he was recovering from his coma. After it was reinserted, his body rejected his skull plate, and the bone has begun to die around the edges, so it's not fitting correctly, obviously.

The bone plate is putting pressure on his left brain, which is putting pressure on his right brain, which is causing him a lot of problems. If the pressure is high enough for a long enough time, he can start to have cell death around the edges. He also has excruciating migraines almost all of the time. I can't help but think that his cognitive recovery would be greatly assisted by relief from the headaches. How well would you be able to concentrate if you either had a huge headache all the time, or you were doped up for the pain?

So they're going to go in and remove the rejected bone, and replace it with a prosthetic, probably plastic and titanium, and then they're also going to do a muscle graft from his back or chest to rebuild the Temporalis muscle that atrophied during his coma, which should also give the prosthetic more support.

The surgery is going to be covered because the doctors have finally signed off that it's medically necessitated. However, the only facility in the region approved for this type of procedure is University of Cincinnati, which is great because they've been responsible for his care since his original airlift. The not-so-great part is that it's going to be considered "out of network" so there's going to be some out of pocket. Still, at least some of it is going to be covered.

As far as being concerned about the surgery and risks, etc... we're not all that worried. UC has taken great care of him all along, and he's already been through much worse than this. The other upshot is that even though he'll be in pain for a while after his surgery, he won't remember any of it within a few weeks. He doesn't even remember his daughter's birth, and that was just under a year ago, and it was also 2.5 years after his accident. There are pros and cons, I suppose.

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