Sunday, January 29, 2012

Here We Go - - Again!

So, I'm at that point again where the jeans aren't fitting, and the top of my control top tights are rolling down so they don't have to TRY to support my belly. That's never a good place in life to be, so the decisions are once again made in my head to DO IT THIS TIME. I know, it's the battle of a lifetime, but when I start out I'm always in the mood to tackle it and I'm always fed up with myself to the point that I think I can make it. I finally figured out the REAL reason for that I never keep the weight off and it has nothing to do with the way I eat; it's my dang knee! My right knee is about as cooperative as a green horse with a new bit. I get going, and I'm dancing, or I'm stretching and it decides ON ITS OWN to just quit! When your knee stops and you keep moving it can be disasterous. I've found my face too close to the concrete at times when it happens; last night it was me walking up the stairs and nearly kissing the carpet before I caught myself. Stupid knee!

I've been looking things up on line that may be able to help. Of course I'm going to want to do the right thing and not hurt myself further. I'm only 50, not too young but not too old right? I don't want to do the whole knee replacement surgery; not at this point. I don't have the money and I certainly don't want to take the time it would take to heal from it. I'm just not a sitter...not a sitter. I have to be moving or working most of the time. The answer? YOGA..again. Yoga and I are good friends. We haven't seen too much of each other lately, but we're going to become much better acquainted now that I'm in a place where the carpet is good enough to sit on it. (I don't know if you know, but for about 3 months we moved to a place that should have been condemned. It was absolutely ridiculous. We put blankets on the floor just to let the baby crawl around after the owner of the house refused to change out the carpet - - which was part of the contract - - which is why we left!)

Now that I'm able to sit and stretch, dance a little, and move a bit, I can get started on the same 30 pounds I started with years ago. I think Tom Arnold wrote a book about it only taking 20 years to lose the weight. I'm there...right with you Tom! So, it's juice, boiled eggs and one piece of whole grain toast for breakfast! Don't forget the coffee...there will be coffee. Lunches these days will be juice again; mainly veggies with an apple or two thrown in for health. I love my carrots!! I could live off of olives, yogurt and carrots if I had to, but chocolate is a staple and I'm never one to argue with the food charts. Chocolate is necessary for one's brain to function from one minute to the next, so remember, dark chocolate has less calories, it takes great, and yes, it makes you feel good. Makes the brain say to itself "It will work out, whatever is wrong will work out!" More chocolate and a few front porches is all this world really needs to settle most of our differences.

Here we go...boiling the eggs right now. I boil a dozen eggs and eat them throughout the next two days or so. I love the protein. I put raw eggs in my fruit juice drinks, and I drink both a fruit juice and a veggie juice every single day. Dinner may be a piece of chicken, lots of brocoli and some wild rice, I could have a salad, I may end up with tuna, but the point is I will be juicing again, doing yoga and breathing...just breathing, and praying that THIS TIME my knee decides to be a team player and not such a freaking drama queen.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

To Fire or Not to Fire

I'm on the fence right now over the new Kindle Fire. I'm SURE an Apple iPad would do everything I wanted it to do, and probably a million things I had no idea it could do, but I don't want to pay out over $600 for it. I'm waiting on them to go down in price - - and they do. Kindle Fire offers more or less what I need such as reading, viewing, browsing, and watching TV/movies, but the iPad does more of the other things I want, namely e-mailing and editing of documents. Both have a wi-fi dependability that doesn't make me happy. I'd like to have the capability to use the iPad and/or tablet as a passenger in a car without worrying about signal going in and out. There's that. There's also the fact that the Kindle is smaller and easier to put into my purse! AAAGGGGHHHH!! I'm sure something will come along to help me make up my mind.

I was even playing around with the thought of just going without a tablet, but I could use one. I'm forever mistyping on my iPhone because my fingers are just too big, and I can't and won't carry my big laptop with me. It was smaller when I bought it, but now it's a giant compared to the technologies available. It's not that I have to be connected but I like to be. Actually with my job I don't have to be connected whatsoever, I can teach and go home and live in a cave and no one would care unless I didn't show up for work. Next year will be a different matter. I'm going to be teaching online courses and having the tablet will be so much easier than carrying the laptop into Starbucks and setting up shop. I do that, I go to Barnes & Noble, Starbucks, maybe even outside if the weather is nice, and I tell the students where I'll be in case they want to come by and have coffee with me. It will be very necessary next semester to have either the iPad or something like it; so I was hoping that the Kindle Fire would answer these questions for me.

In a few reviews I've found the Kindle Fire is NOT meeting up with the expectations of the purchasers. In one report the owner actually said she would throw the Kindle Fire into her fire if it acted up again. I don't know what she was or wasn't able to achieve with it, but I am NOT a geek - I am a dork. If I have to do more than turn it on and type there could be a problem. The Kindle Fire I'm told, is more for uploading and downloading, or as they say "pulling from the cloud" to give me the tv/movies and books or magazines I want to view. Well, I want to do more than view. I want to interact, design, create, move things around, e-mail, maybe even use it as a camera if it has that capability....how funny would that be, it would mean the return of the larger camera again.

So, it's the iPad for me I guess. Better start putting the pennies away now. Maybe Acer or HP can make something as good. I say this as I remember I have already thrown out a number of LG and Samsung phones with Android capabilities that were suppose to rival my old 3G iPhone. I'm keeping it. Fat fingers or not, it beats the heck out of the touch pads I've been playing with. I guess I answered my own questions. See how rewarding blogging can be? Just imagine if I could do this on the move...and I can, but just not today.

You Just Can't Please Them All

Laura and I have been the fodder for a young girl's rants online lately, and there really isn't anything we can do about it. She (the girl, we'll call Kate) has a bit of a mental illness and I asked Laura politely once to be kind to her because of it. This would be kinder gesture on my part led to Kate's feelings being hurt and suddenly I'm the "bad guy" online. I've been told by friends and people I don't know that I've been marked and/or targeted by her banter but to be honest I'm not that worried about it. If I had done what she claims I have done some one of authority would have already have stopped me right? Maybe not, maybe I'm that clever...anyway, my point is that I just can't please everyone and so I won't really try that hard to do so. If my gesture was taken as pity it wasn't intended that way.

I'm reminded of the time I drove about 150 miles out of my way to deliver a dog to a woman who, after I had arrived, informed me that I needed to take the dog to the vet for a check up. Then I was asked if it would be too much of a bother to pay for the check up because the lady hadn't actually AGREED to take the dog until she knew it was OK. I smiled. I opened the gate to her yard, let the dog out and waved. For that I received a blasting online about how I abandoned animals. Me, the one person who I know goes all out of whack to be sure I accommodate the fuzzies ones...but it is what it is. I'm sure we have all been there, or have stories about how our good intentions or good deeds backfired.

Today Laura and I went to the barn where she boards her horse and I told my oldest daughter that if Kate were there I wasn't going to be mean or nasty, I wasn't going to ignore her as Laura had suggested, I was just going to be as nice and sweet as I possibly could be so that speaking poorly of me again may be harder on the kid. Who knows, maybe she just didn't want to be treated nicely. Maybe that was my bad, and I should have just let the chips fall. There was (and I am thankful) absolutely no drama! Lots of mud though. We were slinging it, but it was the real mud we were mucking through and not the type you throw with innuendo! Viva la Good Deeds, I say. I believe we should continue to be nice, continue to be sweet, continue to be the great people we were made to be, and if the nay-sayers don't like it, well they can eat a worm...no wait, let's make that a gummi worm. I don't need anyone writing how I was belligerent to the needs and caregiving of our slimy friends in ponds and creeks.

Back to the Chalkboard - Or More Appropriately, the Whiteboard

So, I'm happy! I woke up happy, and I'll probably stay that way! I am about to start a new semester of teaching Ethics, Philosophy and English! YES! I'm one of THOSE instructors who just loves to get out of bed and teach someone something. It makes my day to see just ONE light bulb pop over a student's head. When the eyes open up, and the mouth drops just a tad - and then, wait for it....the SMILE! They get it! YEA!!! There aren't many teachers and/or professors out there working for the money alone. We wouldn't be doing what we do if we did. Nope, we'd be at the Financial Planning offices downtown, uptown, or on the streets peddling futures. Instead, I'm in the classroom training for the future. Hey, I'm selfish! What can I say? If I can get these guys to open up their minds and take real responsibility I'm that much better off considering they are my future. "Learn them well" as my old Philosophy prof used to say! "Learn them well".

This semester I'm teaching 5 classes: 2 English Comp., 2 Ethics, and 1 Intro to Philosophy. The Philly class is on Saturday mornings from 8-12 so we'll be up and at it before everyone else, just laughing and carrying on. One of the requirements is to bring your breakfast and pour my coffee for me when I get too busy and let it go cold. I'm all about team work. Socrates is one of my favorites to discuss. He and Teddy Roosevelt do as much as they can to teach my students what it is to be both intelligent and responsible with intelligence. If it weren't for Socrates I'd probably be one of those people thinking I knew too much, and perhaps I'd become arrogant as well. Socrates reminds me daily that I probably don't know anything at all really, and to delve too deeply into a subject may reveal to my brain that I was correct in assuming how very little I truly know. Then again, the fact that I want to delve is good - right? I think it is.

Teaching English is much more of a classic instructor's role for me. I'm required by the rules of the college to have the students meet criteria necessary to progress. We prod and trudge through academia on a much more traditional path; no one is asked even once in my English class to stand up and role play their favorite blabbermouth or explorer. We write, read, create, and revise. I like teaching English very much, it brings me back to reality. Reality is a good place to hang out from time to time, but my home is somewhere back in the mind. I'd rather think, dream, believe, and create than be, dare I say, civilized. At least I'm the Fun English Instructor. At least I have the same goals of seeing the students smile and laugh their way through the drudgery of developing outlines or determining how many adjectives should properly be applied to one paragraph. (For the record I require 15 adjectives per paragraph, and 8 sentences minimum)

Today is not a teaching day however. I must go back upstairs and put things away both in my room and in the closets. We've recently moved and though all of the boxes are now properly placed into the correct rooms I am finding that my room is so very hard to move around in. Boxes, bags of clothing, books, shelves, and shoes clutter my way. I put the 12 full boxes of CDs in a hall closet; my iPod holds their content. There will be a day when these plastic pieces will be valuable...like vinyl was. Remember LPs? No? Well, they were awesome. Go forth and learn something today! It will make you feel fantastic.