July 30, 2009


Having attached the blinking lights of safe guidance, Allen and I did forthwith venture upon the night and found that the night received us as one of her own and did usher us gentle down the lamp strung streets of San Jose.

Ok, that's sort of hard to keep up. Sufficing to say we had fun, and no one got hurt. Hopefully we'll have another opportunity to take a night ride together sometime soon. Right now Allen want's me to get off here so we can watch another episode of Leverage.

weight loss for the reasonably healthy?

Seriously, I see all these weight loss ads/programs/herbs/whatever. What I need is something that will tell me why a girl who eats organic, homemade, balanced meals can't seem to budge a single pound. Seriously, it seems like every time I try making a lifestyle change for the better (raw food, more fruit, biking, getting my broad spectrum supplement, etc) I end up gaining weight. Or if not gaining weight then having weight shift. I know the big thing I need to add into that mix is 15 minutes of rebounding a day and some weight training, but honestly this doesn't make a whole lot of sense. Little help that my mom always thought I was overweight anyway. The past few years certainly haven't done much to improve my body image. But, I can't gripe about my weight anymore just now. Betsy and I are meeting Allen at the bike shop to get a rack for B. Then it's off to meet church folks for dinner. Road meet Betsy. You have just met your doom. For these ten miles at least :D

July 29, 2009

What does depression actually look like?

Lately I've been wondering just what depression really looks like. I understand that suicidal inclinations and an inability to function because life is just too much to handle indicates real, severe depression, but is that all depression looks like? I mainly ask because for I don't know how long I've cycled through up and down moods. My up moods never really become manic phases, and my down times don't actually cripple me. Not really. My mom used to joke I was bipolar because I could cycle between up an down sooo quickly. Allen actually told me when we were dating that if I was flying too high when he picked me that was a signal to try and get me back home before my mood crashed. And still the man married me. Isn't love great. Fortunately my mood swings have gentled somewhat -or at least lengthened. I still can cycle between up and down in a day, but I don't cycle between adrenalin highs and sobbing in the corner lows. Not normally anyway. Nevertheless I still experience a cyclical pattern of highs and lows. About a week and a half ago I entered a downward swing that pretty much continued unabated until Monday. That is not to say that I didn't have good days during that time. It's just that my default mood is lower than usual. Monday though I woke up, and it was literally as though someone had flipped a switch in my brain. Although I didn't get up any earlier that day, when I did get up I had a much more positive outlook on life and the tasks that needed doing that day. Same thing today. In fact, I was actually upright and coherent when Allen left for work. Just that can be quite a feat some days. In the past I've questioned whether what I've experienced has been some form of depression (sometimes I think that would be a definite yes), but waking up Monday morning and feeling that abrupt switch in my personality has made me wondering whether or not my rolling mood swings actually constitute some sort of depression in and of themselves. I don't have an answer, but I'm thinking it might be time to find some. Yes, I've been through a stressful cross-country move, and I'm struggling to fit into a culture and geography that's strange and slightly scary. I also know that before I had my last depressive episode I was doing better than I have since Allen and I got married. Chores where getting done. I was feeling good about myself. I was looking forward getting fully settled in here and pulling out some of my long neglected projects and hobbies. Then....it all fell apart. I did have some muscular distress in my shoulder that was making deep breathing/sneezing/yawning painful, but I don't know how much of that was correlation and how much was causation. For one thing three days after I went to a massage therapist the pain was gone, and the depression lasted maybe 5-6 days longer. Could be related. At any rate I can't think of any one thing that triggers these blue moods of mine. A common frustration/complaint with me is that as soon as I get things on track I get knocked back on my back again. Could this be one of depression's many faces? If so it would explain so much of my discouragement over not being able to keep to a schedule longer than a few weeks because what can start coming naturally when I'm in a good mood can seem like an impossible burden when I'm in one of my blue phases.

One reason why I haven't sought out professional guidance on this issue is that my moods never really get that bad. I certainly become lower functioning, but I never really get dysfunctional. Heck, during this last rough patch I even managed to keep making my smoothies. Considering that when I get depressed it takes a good deal of mental effort to do anything for myself I'd call that forward progress. Peanut butter on rice cakes and frozen fruit smoothies might not be a complete and varied diet, but it sure beats what I've eaten in the past when I get down. So like I said, my down times aren't, on any absolute scale, that bad. They're just bad enough, and they keep coming back. Towards the end of last week I found swing music helping me to get moving and face the day. Maybe it's matter of environment and learning to talk my way through it. Maybe I need to find me a decompression chamber -be it bike riding, pedicures, or taking my hammock off to the park with my last Agatha Christie find. Maybe it means hanging out on the sofa trusting that my bad days will pass. I don't know, and I think it's time I start finding out. So maybe one of my next steps should be finding a Christian counselor in the area who can help me sort through all of this. If anyone knows of such a counselor (preferably reformed) then please holler out. If not I've got a feeler or two I can put out.

July 27, 2009

....with the jolly roving tars

I've figured out what we're doing for our anniversary. For some reason I'm constitutionally unable to spend $400-500 on a weekend at a bed in breakfast, and considering the accommodations at the cheaper places I will only say that I enjoy waking up in a tent. However, by dint of much searching I discovered a national historic site right on the bay that has historic sailing adventures by day and sea shanty singing on the dock by night. So that's the plan -caltrain, ships, singing, pizza, and really old arcade games. Really the perfect Saturday I should say.

July 22, 2009

anniversary coming up -ideas?

Does anyone out there have any ideas for celebrating a 3rd anniversary? It's coming up fast (Aug 5th), and I'm fresh out of ideas. It's smack-dab in the middle of the week, so we'll probably end up doing something either the weekend before or after. Day of ideas would be nice too. Monterrey is out since we're planning to go there for my birthday. Napa Valley might be nice, but I need to check prices. We were thinking it might be fun to do something in the city (ie SF), but I'm drawing complete blanks. I guess it's back to trip advisor to try finding something fun.

July 16, 2009

Bigger than ourselves

Our new pastor out here said something last Sunday that I've been thinking about all week. He was referring to an author who was writing about how on the whole Americans aren't really that ambitious -or rather, how Americans tend to be rather narrow in our ambitions. By this author's estimation American ambition is mostly concerned with upward mobility ie parent's working hard to afford a good home and good schools so their kids can get good degrees and afford even better housing and schooling for their children and so on and so forth. Apparently the author views this as a rather narrow, self-concerned ambitions. What is really ambitious, to his mind, are those Christians who say "I'm going to devote myself to the reading and studying of God's Word, the Bible." According to our pastor this fellow isn't even a Christian, and yet he realizes that to devote yourself to God's Word is to devote yourself to something far bigger and more meaningful than just ourselves. I've been thinking about that all week. I've heard of so many people talking about wanting to be part of something bigger than themselves. I've thought it myself quite a bit, and yet I don't think any of them have actually said that picking up your Bible and reading some psalms or part of the Gospels would be, in that moment, throwing ourselves into something bigger than ourselves. At some level I think we all know it, and yet I think we get caught up in thinking that there are people (missionaries, pastors, leaders of great causes) who are definitely doing something great for the world and forget that perhaps there are much smaller ways to do great things. I'll admit I'm pretty remiss in my Bible reading, but maybe next time I start thinking that my life doesn't count for so very much or that there's nothing I can do I'll take a moment to open my Bible. It's a thought.

blender recommendations?

I'm thinking that I might have to get a new blender. I know I got one only about a month ago, but every day it sounds a little more tired. Any recommendations? I'm looking for something that will make frozen fruit smoothies 4-7 times a week and not burn out on me. Since it looks like these smoothies are going to be a regular part of my diet I'd be willing to get a more expensive model if it would do the job and last me a few years.

nice try mister walking directions

In my search for biking directions around town I have often checked Google out for general to and from information. What I have learned through this experience is to very carefully zoom Google maps all the way in (or nearly) and check for walkways, overpasses, trails, etc. For instance, in getting from my place to the other side of 280 (yes, they have a 280 out here) Google would send me through two large, busy intersections. Think 280 and 1-19. About that size. Instead, there are two pedestrian/bike overpasses that should allow me to avoid the main intersections (and especially avoid trying to turn through any of them) instead take a few peaceful little roads to my destination. I'll admit I first discovered one of these overpasses using Google maps. However, it was from zooming and searching for shortcuts instead of following any of their suggested routes. I think Google walking directions have a lot more to do with satellite view than anything they actually suggest.