Category Archives: 366

A Single Step

I went to the doctor last Monday to discuss my MRI results. As we figured, it’s arthritis under my patella, which means I have a few options.

Option 1: Physical Therapy. Not what I was hoping (I am notoriously bad at following through on such things), but it’s definitely the most reasonable option at the moment. I will likely start that after next week, which is Jillian’s spring break. I’m to do PT for a month and then head to the doctor again to see what’s happening there.

Option 2: Surgery. While my “fix it now” bones are tickled by this option, it’s not terribly practical, due to the recovery time and all that jazz. Also, if I’m going to do it, I might as well do both knees at once (but that will mean going through the whole x-ray/MRI process on my right knee as well). It’s also fairly expensive, and while insurance will likely pick up quite a bit of it, our insurance sucks ass and it will be quite the fight to get them to pay on time.

Option 3: Honestly, this is where I tuned out a bit because he said “injection” and my brain just refuses to even go there. Apparently, there is a procedure wherein they take some fat from your body and do some voodoo to it and inject it into the knee. Errrrr, um. No. It’s not covered by insurance and isn’t a long-term solution anyway.

So… physical therapy it is! The doctor thinks that some PT to work on getting my leg muscles to do what they’re supposed to do and some weight loss (WORKING ON IT, SHEESH) will help this problem of mine be more manageable. Because it’s not exactly going away.


So here we are at Zero. Starting from scratch, essentially, since I haven’t been allowed to run for nearly four months. It’s daunting, the thought of how much work I will have to do to reach these goals I’ve set for myself. Hell, the amount of work I will need to do to simply get withing SIGHT of the goals is a little overwhelming when I think about it.

I won’t think about it.

I will set tiny goals.

Tiny Goal #1: Go to physical therapy.

Tiny Goal #2: Continue with cardio training on the elliptical and spin bike.

Tiny Goal #3: [depending on PT restrictions] more weight training

Tiny Goal #4: Continue and improve eating habits. I’m not doing too badly at the moment but there is room for improvement.

Tiny Goal #5: End-of-May 5K.


Filed under 366, Triathlon


I have finally admitted to myself that my half-assed self-taught knitting technique is not going to work for the Union Jack armwarmers that I so desperately want to make. I think I can rejigger the pattern to make them crocheted, which will be fine, but I will have to do a couple of tests to see.

The problem is that I am just not good at multi-color knitting. Either I am missing something entirely or the Fair Isle technique is just totally beyond me. I’m not sure. I wanted to avoid cutting the various yarns because I am not a fan of the weaving in of the ends. I can never relax because I always think they’re going to unravel eventually, and what if I get 80% of the way through it and mess up to the point where it needs to be frogged? Then I’m left with a billion wee pieces of yarn that I can’t really re-knit.

We’ll have to have a think on that while we experiment with the crochet.

In other news, I am itching for a new project. I have a shitload of random yarn that isn’t earmarked for anything (aside from the Harris yarn, which will be socks… someday [SORRY MOM! PROCRASTINATORS WILL RULE THE WORLD SOMEDAY]), and I’ve had a couple of ideas swirling around the creative neighborhood in my head… I just need to get them on paper and designed and then see what happens.

1. I’d like to make a crocheted/knit purse in the exact style of my kilt purse, which I love as if it were my child. I also have big plans to find a couple of pleated skirts and try to make one on my own but that will require thrift-store trolling and I’m not sure where to start with that. Time is my enemy most days.

2. I’d love to knit something mathy – I found instructions for knitting a hyperbolic plane, which might be fun, and I’ve been throwing around the idea of a fractal afghan but I don’t know if that would be interesting enough visually at the size I’m willing to crochet.

3. I wonder if it’s possible to knit a decent optical illusion. I have played with this concept a little bit by using colors that just… don’t go. The pink and purple I used for Jill’s blanket are lovely on their own, but together… ack! I forget the term for two colors that do that. I have put in an email to My Art Expert and if I explained myself well enough, she will be able to answer that for me.

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Filed under 366, Knitting

Foggy morning

I think I’m going to acquire a jump-rope.

I cannot find my graph paper.

None of my knitting projects are ever going to be completed, so I might as well start a new one.

I should get my sewing machine out.

I need to play my guitar more.

Also saxophone.

And flute.

And clarinet.

There is a whole tie-dye kit downstairs that needs to be used.

I’d like to paint more.

I wish I had the skills to paint a mural in the hallway.


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My next doctor appointment is March 26th. That is when he will say “yep, you have arthritis in both knees. Here’s what we can do about it.”

I really hope he doesn’t say “never run again” because that would mean a serious overhaul of my goals. And then I would be sad. My hope is that there will be a combination of drugs and physical therapy (if needed) and maybe a recommendation of new/different shoes that I can try to help minimize the pain and prevent further damage.

Granted, arthritis is what it is and it’s not going away, exactly, but if I can slow it down, I will be a happy lady.

So. Once that appointment is out of the way, I will put in for the NYC Marathon. There is no way in hell I will be in any kind of shape to RUN the stupid thing this November, but chances are I could walk it fairly successfully. IF I am cleared to start running, then the plan is to go extremely slow and increase time/distance at a ridiculously low rate. Sigh.

Still. I have to fit 140.6 miles into 17 hours. Swimming is coming along and will improve as soon as I get a coach (I KNOW I KNOW I KNOW), and then the only major thing left is to acquire a bike and start riding it. Which means I have to get myself to the bike shop and get measured so I can start shopping and working it into the budget. Even if I end up walking half of the marathon portion (looks likely), I think I can do it. If I can do the swim in under two hours (reasonable), then the bike in 6 or 6.5 (reasonable), I still have about 8-ish hours to drag my ass through a marathon.

Lucky for me, I’ve got time on my side. I have 3 years to go before I turn 40, so even if I don’t do an Ironman in 2013, there is still 2014 open to me. I have time. Better yet, in the fall, The Jillian will be in school full-time so even my “I don’t have enough non-kid time to train” excuse will be gone. That is an almost unheard-of luxury in this day and age and I am determined to take full advantage of it. I will have 7 full hours available to me, 5 days a week. If I don’t use that time for training, then someone needs to come over and smack me upside the head.

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Filed under 366, Triathlon

Budget Junkie

I drink a lot of coffee. A LOT. Way more than is considered “normal” or even “healthy” by whatever the standard du jour happens to be.

Thus, I go through A LOT of Brand Name Chemical Coffee “Creamer” Sludge, preferably in the Peppermint Mocha form. The default used to be the French Vanilla “flavor” and I would buy gallons of the Peppermint Mocha during the holidays when it was out. Then I discovered that it’s available ALL YEAR and well, damn. Granted, I have to go to the Other Grocery Store to get it, but that’s a small price to pay for a happy [strike]cup[/strike] pot of coffee.

I am perfectly okay with the amount of coffee I consume. I learned long ago that caffeine doesn’t affect me the same way it affects most people – I don’t get jittery and wired up. If anything, it keeps me on a more even keel than I otherwise might be on. As a migraine sufferer, I’ve found that a couple of days without a pot or three of coffee is a bad, bad thing.

Sure, that’s probably withdrawal, but my own personal experience is that I haven’t had regular migraines in years – coinciding rather nicely with my daily pot o’coffee. Lots of migraine meds contain caffeine, so According To Science, what I’m doing is just fine.

Anyway, given how much coffee I drink, it stands to reason that I go through a proportionate amount of Coffee Sludge. This is why I buy it six bottles at a time. When I run out, BAD THINGS HAPPEN. One thing that bothers me about The Sludge is that there is usually a perfectly respectable amount of it left in the bottle, but, it being Chemicals and Whatever Else, it clings to the bottle and settles in the bottom a little bit.

This will not do. Mama needs her coffee, and there is at least a cup’s worth of sludge hiding out there. So, since I have always been resourceful and am working hard at being thrify (-er), I poured a bit of coffee into the bottle, shook it up, and added the whole mess to my cup.

Not all junkies are stupid and lazy!

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Filed under 366, Food


Do this.

Go here.

Click this.

Read that.

Listen to this.

Donate to that.

Go here to help there.

Pay attention.


…the list of things about which people want me to care about is very long. The list of things I actually care about is very short.

It gets overwhelming, at times. And while passion is a good thing, the knowledge that not everyone shares it is even better. I have my own things that I care about. That doesn’t mean your things are less important, but they for sure are less important to me. This doesn’t make either of us a bad person.

I was thinking today about re-reading both Brave New World and 1984. If I can locate my copies of both books, I might read them concurrently, since they are basically about the exact same thing, examined from different angles. Orwell warned us that the things we despise would eventually do us in, while Huxley’s argument is that the things we embrace will be our eventual downfall.

Huxley is winning his argument, at the moment. I’m inclined to agree with the man, personally. We live in a culture of mass distraction and it’s wrecking us. The US is fighting at least two unwinnable wars against a shadowy, nebulous enemy and we’re about to start a 3rd. Even 50 years ago, there would be rioting in the streets and protests and pushback from the people.

Instead, what makes the news? Stories about some realty-show character getting pregnant. Some celebrity’s kid was seen maybe perhaps wearing lipstick. A singer died in a hotel room. These things get the 24-hour coverage, and while we look the other way, people die.


So, what to care about? Me, I’m gonna take care of my family and my home and maybe plant a garden that I will try to nurture. Then we’ll see.

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Filed under 366, Me Me Me, Musing

Management of the Domestic Sphere

I have gone on more than a few rants about how this house is My Workspace and in order for me to do my job efficiently and well (or… at all), the workspace should be run to my specifcations. Most of the time, it is. Certain people occasionally have to be reminded to Not Touch My Stuff (and god help you if you disturb a pile), but that’s becoming rarer.

The only thing that I really don’t like to do is deal with the trash. I don’t think it’s unreasonable for Freddie to handle that, especially when you consider I have never once asked him to clean a toilet in 16 years and we have three of them now.

Yesterday, I took a bag of trash out to the cans (normally I would have waited and made him do it but it was smelly and gross) and I noticed that he’d emptied out a box of packing material directly into the big trash can. Sigh. If we lived anywhere else, I probably would have let it go, but we are On Record as having issues with the trash pickup in our town.

This is because our neighbors on one side are totally whackadoodle and their son is a garbageman. There’s a history.

Knowing this, I fired off an email to Freddie telling him that he would be responsible for getting that crap in a bag. I am certain that if I had just left it, the garbage collectors would have dumped that can into the truck and those packing peanut things would have flown out and made a huge mess. Which means they would come knocking on my door to give me shit about it and I am Not Having That.

So, Freddie got home from work last night and went out to inspect the trash can. He came back in saying something like “I think it will be fine. It’s all packed down.”

Erm. No. It needs to be in a bag.

A discussion was held, wherein I trotted out the classic “don’t make me think for you” and ended with “if you leave it like that and the garbage guys knock on the door to give me shit about it, I will stab you with this 12-inch chef’s knife.”

A few minutes later, he went out and bagged all that stuff up. He said later that he was thinking about calling my bluff and seeing if I would really stab him, but I just fixed him with a grey-eyed glare and he finally realized that I was quite serious, actually. Then he apologized.

Would I have actually followed through with the stabbing? Lucky for him, we’ll never know.

…until next time.

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Filed under 366, Freddie, House

I keep going.

I love you, elliptical machine!

It wasn’t always like this, mind you. Once upon a time, I was going to Be A Runner, Dammit. Uh, yeah. First my bad ankles decided they were against this plan. Then I got shinsplints. Then I got shinsplints again. AND THEN I got shinsplints SO BAD my doctor told me he would personally cripple me if I stepped on a treadmill again, ever.


I am/have been cleared to walk, but… walking? That’s like, old-lady shit. And while I have hearing aids, and knitting problem, and two different kinds of arthritis, I’m still only 36! And… I want to run. I actually have the urge and desire to RUN. It’s really scary.

But I can’t, not at the moment. Until we get this arthritis business under control, I’m only allowed to walk real fast and maybe jog in place (which for some very odd and strange fucked-up reason, does not hurt my knees AT ALL) and ride bikes (hahahahahaha balance issues, what?) and get on the elliptical machine.

Which I LOVE.


I remember the first couple tries on that stupid fucking thing. I hated it. I wanted to cry. I put it on the “weight-loss” setting because that’s intervals and yay intervals and I thought I was going to D.I.E. It was so hard. I was a sweaty jelly mess when that 31 minutes was up and it SUCKED. Balls. Also, my feet were numb. I haven’t completely solved that problem, but it’s not as bad as it was.

Then I did it again the next day. And as I was dripping grody sweat onto the Precor logo, I thought about the things and people who inspire me. Lance Armstrong, for one. Yeah, it’s overdone and he’s kind of a tool, but you cannot deny what that guy has overcome. He had something like 12 different kinds of cancer all over his body, yet he survived and won the Tour de France seven goddamn times. I don’t care who you are, that’s fucking badass and you cannot deny that.

(blahblah doping blahblah maybe he did and maybe he didn’t but I’d like to think that he knows full well the kind of spotlight he lives in and that he is clean also he’s hot and I would totally hit that)

Matt Long. Now, THIS GUY is some kind of ninja. He got his by A BUS and DRAGGED half a block or whatever and the doctors were all “um, you’ll never walk again” and his response to that was “fuck you people, I’m going to RUN again, and what’s more, I’m going to run a goddamned marathon.” Matt Long is a stud.

There are others, but those are the two that keep me moving. When I really just don’t even want to leave the house to go to the gym, I think of those guys and I go. When I get to the gym and think about HOW LONG 30 minutes is, I keep going. When I’m in the middle of it and thinking “ugh, this sucks hairy donkey balls” I turn up the resistance. I keep going. I keep going. I keep going.

I keep going.

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Filed under 366, Triathlon


Ugh, I hate this fucking thing sometimes. Yes, blog. I’m ignoring you.

Anyway, I haven’t yet called the doctor to discuss my MRI results (because I owed them money that I just didn’t have until the US Government handed over the excess tax $$ I’ve been letting them hold onto), but the scribbles on the bottom of the “please call us” sheet point to arthritis in my knee.

It stands to reason that my other knee is in an earlier stage of the same thing because the pain there is similar though not quite so acute. Matter of time, though. Matter of time.

Getting old sucks balls.

I also have a touch of arthritis in the pinky finger of my left hand, but that’s something might be left over from the summer of 1992 and the Magical Mystery Disease I had back then. My hands have never again been quite right. I can ignore that for the most part, however.

The knee thing, though… I’m concerned about that. I am sure there are lots of fun things like drugs and physical therapy that will help me in the short term, but I’m looking at an Ironman here, and just thinking about the amount of work I will have to do is making my knees cry. I’m going to have to really plan and work closely with my doctor to get through this thing in one piece. Ack.

Right now I’m suffering from a motivation problem. At best I am managing to get to the gym 3 days a week, but it’s not enough. The weather has been up and down, so run/walking outside is more or less up to a coin toss, and even then, I have to be careful not to let my hands or feet get too cold because I am prone to frostbite even when it’s not super-cold out (thanks, marching band!). I AM A MESS.

I need new shoes. But I want to talk to the doctor about that first – if going to a minimal shoe will work for me, then I want to try that before I shell out for another pair of Asics Gel Nimbus, which have served me well. Maybe I need to change up my form – I already know that if I change it up so I’m landing more on my forefoot than on my heel things will improve, but THAT IS SO DAMN HARD TO DO. I feel like the fattest, slowest gazelle in the jungle when I try to run that way and it feels UNNATURAL which is going to be a problem over time, I think. I suppose I could get used to it eventually but I look like a goddamn loon when I’m doing it.

That doesn’t usually bother me, though. I could give a shit what I look like when I’m moving through space. As long as all my jiggly bits are decently covered and my underwear isn’t crawling up my ass, I am oblivious to the picture I paint as I run. It’s probably pretty hilarious, though.

I’m also a little worried about my support system. I don’t think Freddie is up to the challenge, to be quite honest. He *says* he is, and I’m sure he *thinks* he is, but he has NO IDEA what it takes to support a triathlete through training and racing. I DO. I’ve done it for three Ironman races and quite a few smaller races. It’s hard goddamned work, actually. Yes, yes, doing an Ironman isn’t exactly a leisurely stroll. I know that. But being the support crew… that’s something else again.

I’m curious as to how many triathletes have ever had to support a spouse or whatever during that person’s training. At one point, Freddie was under the impression that he’d train for an Ironman while I’m training for mine, and I just laughed because then what? We’d have to hire a nanny and a housekeeper and a cook because I will NOT be able to do it all every day. I will die of exhaustion first. So, I’m concerned. If he thinks he’s going to be able to work full-time AND train for his own race AND support ME in MY TRAINING, he is on some serious drugs.

I’m sure there are families out there who can do it, but I don’t think my family is one of them.

That’s not going to stop me, though. I am very good at putting my foot down and getting my way in this household. There are plenty of things that I compromise on or let go, but this isn’t going to be one of them.

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Filed under 366, Triathlon

Wading Through Oatmeal


This 366 posts in 2012 thing isn’t going so well, is it?

No, it is not. And that’s down to me. I am completely uninspired at the moment and I don’t know what the cure is.

Don’t feel like writing.

Don’t want to knit, even though my project is going swimmingly.

Been re-reading books because I can’t get inspired to start something new.

Can I blame it on the rain weather? Not this year! This has been a super-mild winter, for which I am thankful. I see the sun most days, and we’ve had but a wee bit of snow and it hasn’t been that cold.

We could blame it on my knees, which hurt all the time now.

Perhaps I should make a list. I like lists!!

Projects! (The exclamation point makes it cheerful, no?)

1. Seriously, and for real this time, clean out the damn basement. Our town will start picking up what they call “bulk trash” in March, which means we can get rid of things like icky old rugs and random bits of plywood that live in the basement.

2. Plan the garden.

3. Play my guitar. It’s been roughly 6 years since I picked up the guitar, and it’s just sitting there on it’s stand, looking all sad. I’m sure I have a half-hour every day in which to work on it. Maybe I’ll even start taking lessons again.

4. Write more. I try – I open up the “ongoing” document that holds all my ramblings but then my brain just clicks off and refuses to cooperate. Of course, right as I’m about to drift off to sleep or when I’m in the shower or the car or something, the brain lights up like the Strip in Vegas and starts throwing out ideas faster than I can pay attention. Stupid brain, you are working against me!!!

5. I need to do something artistic. Even if that only means I need to paint the bathroom (which I would like to do).


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Filed under 366, Musing