Thursday, September 03, 2009

The CilleyGirl is going on hiatus

This blog is, at least. I've started a new blog mainly about this crazy idea I had about completing a marathon. Come visit me there at Run. Or Die Trying. Where I'll be running. Or dying trying.

Ciao for now,
the CilleyRunningGirl

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Hello sports fans!

Or my fans. All two of you. I'm gearing up for what I hope will become a series on my blog, but (a) this is the week I started serious training for my August 5K goal and (b) the series is something that I may not enjoy (you'll understand later) so after putting in ten miles this week I think it will have to wait until my rest day on Friday.

In the meantime, let your imagination run wild!

the CilleyGirl

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Identity crisis.

Still here. Still trying to figure out what to title this thing. Decided the last was a little too esoteric. Or maybe esoteric isn't the right word? Yes, Merriam-Webster tells me it is. Apparently the definition of esoteric is too esoteric for me?

Will try to get my act together and post.... something. I have a list.

--the CilleyGirl

Monday, April 13, 2009

Coffee, tea, or me

I never used to drink tea until fairly recently. Growing up -- particularly growing up in Seattle -- I always wanted to be a tea-drinker since everyone else (the adults, at least) drank coffee. I thought it would make me special, exotic, sophisticated, something. Of course, this was way before the birth of Starbucks, etc., so none of my friends drank coffee either. Or, if you did, you were weird, or a poseur -- basically, the character you were supposed to be rooting for in a John Hughes movie.

So I tried tea and couldn't stand it. Either tea has improved or I was trying crappy tea for all those years, but it always tasted like barely flavored hot water to me. Though I'm pretty sure I never tried putting anything in it. The atmosphere around me was that to put anything in your coffee was a sissy thing to do -- my mother was such a girl because she put in two sugars and cream -- so my young mind associated that with tea as well. And I never wanted to be a girl. At least, in the obviously, sissy-girly way. A real girl liked pink but no frills and could not only cook and clean and sew but change a carburator, hunt, fish (baiting your own hook and cleaning the damn things too), throw a baseball (NOT like a girl) and a punch. Et cetera. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say my stepfather had issues.

Anyhow, I also wanted to drink coffee (in a covert kind of way) because I wanted to be Molly Ringwald in Pretty in Pink. She not only drank coffee (and probably tea) but she had Andrew McCarthy and James Spader after her. And -- although I didn't appreciate this much until I was a lot older -- Jon Cryder. I thought that I would take a sip and magically! find that I loved it. All the cool kids would notice and I'd get invited to all the cool parties and my closet would have cool clothes and my breasts would be a cool size. I also had this idea not only about coffee and tea, but beer as well. That's a lot to lay at the feet of a beverage.

Do beverages have feet? I know wine is supposed to have legs...

Back to the story. Like everyone around me (mostly my parents) said, you have to develop a taste for these things, and eventually I did. Beer was first. Sophomore year in college I came to like the stuff, although for a few years it was only the stuff out of a keg -- which was probably the cheapeast-ass beer around. I still tend to prefer PBR over a microbrew. Coffee came next. I had the first cup I actually liked in my senior year of college during an all-nighter for a 400-level macroeconomics course. I also had hallucinatory-like dreams around that time of being trapped in an X-Y bar graph depicting gross national product, but I'm sure those aren't related. Tea came last, within the past year or so.

I officially developed a taste for it at a real British tea shop here in CilleyLand, where I also learned that putting milk in tea can be tasty. Ironically, I had moved out of Seattle before I learned to like coffee, and well, this isn't ironic at all since I live in CilleyLand which is the home of not only Tazo tea but Stash as well. Hmm, another point there for a possible Cilley brain tumor. Not really any irony with the beer thing; I was at college.

I sit here now sipping Raspberry Red Zinger, with two splendas. I would've felt that this particular tea called for honey but (a) we're almost out and (b) I started today with my resolution to keep a food diary and honey has calories. I think it only needed one, however. It's kind of sweet.

As a side note, I still will not drink tea or coffee first thing in the morning (I may or may not drink beer, it hasn't really come up as an issue yet). I do not like hot beverages first thing. Doesn't even matter when that morning is. It could be 5 PM when I get up and still, I want a diet coke. I have no idea why. You'd think the real girl thing to do would be to scald something first thing in the morning. But I also will not drink iced tea or iced coffee. Ever. I may still have a thing for James Spader but I don't care if Molly drinks it or not. That's just gross.

-- the Cilley tea drinking girl (who will be having a diet coke after the tea, FYI)

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Changing my focus.

I decided to rename my blog today, after a stupid joke I made up* last night trying to recover from two days of sleep deprivation. Originally it was "Two priests walk into a bar. The third one ducks." Then I thought about "Two priests walk into a bar. An atheist ducks." Because I'm not religious. Or at least I think humans have screwed up religion which has left me with a strong disdain for it. That's another blog post, however.

Anyhow, I recently went back and re-read all of my posts and did some editing, with an eye towards other people actually reading this one day. Which may or may not include those I was bitching about. "Under my skin" was the second incarnation of this blog's title, and at that time became the place where I complained about those who had gotten under my skin; the blog was how I went about extracting them. After going back in time on the blog, I realized that I've also become a much happier person these days and therefore less inclined to let others get to me. So I've got a new title, one that I think illustrates perfectly my mental bent.

Yours, all bendy and stuff,
the CilleyGirl

*I may not have actually made up that joke. But since I've never heard it before, I'm claiming authorship from here on out. I had some others about lizards being snakes with legs (which I heard from Bill Engvall) and then the natural question of whether turtles are just birds without accessories (that part I did make up), but all of the rest were lost to sleep. It's probably a good thing.

Friday, April 03, 2009

So far, not bad

As I mentioned previously, I found my new year resolutions the other day. Here's what I had, and where I am so far.

- Run a 5K by the end of summer.

I thought this was better than the typical "exercise" or "lose weight" resolutions. I've done three races so far this year -- two 5Ks and one 5-miler, walking about half and jogging about half -- and I have three more planned for April, including one this Sunday. I can easily do one minute jogging, two minutes walking intervals and I'm going to bump that up to 1:30 the next time I train. In my last training workout, though, I pushed farther than I have before and felt pretty good afterward, so once the weather is dryer on a more regular basis I hope to bump up my intervals fairly quickly.

- Learn how to use my digital SLR.

I'd been wanting a digital SLR for years and last year I finally got one. I love it, but I've barely scratched the surface of what I can do with it. For example, I can't figure out how to set the f-stops manually, so the last two sets of pictures I took were mostly overexposed. I've got a book about digital SLRs, as well as the camera's manual, but have yet to start in on this one.

- Try something new.

This one I've done, and done really well. I joined a winter kickball league and learned to play second base for it. While I'm not an all-star player, by the end of the season I was solid in the position and looking forward to do it again later in the year. I also started tai chi this week, and will start bellydancing classes next week. Lastly, I started running 5Ks. The more new things I do, the more I want to do. Which plays havoc with my next resolution.

- Spend more responsibly.

I've done so-so with this one. I've been good about not buying lots of books or clothes. I have spent more on sports, and along with that spent more going out. I also haven't been much better in spending on food, although I have been pretty good about not eating out as much during the week. I have to start keeping a food diary again so I can focus more on healthy eating, which in turn tends to rein in my spending on food. It should also help rein in the amount of alcohol as well. I can say I have also managed not to buy a new HDTV, but it's been very, very hard.

- Write.

I originally envisioned I'd meet this one by blogging. I have been keeping up more with friends, via Facebook (which goes to the next goal as well), but I want to do more substantive writing. Not only am I more creative that way, but it's good therapy.

- Be more social.

This one I've also blown out of the water. I've gotten to know lots of people through kickball and bowling, and two friends I've made there have become running buddies so I've enjoyed getting to know them even better. I hope to make more friends through tai chi and bellydancing as well.

- Stop interrupting people.

I have a bad habit of finishing other people's thoughts. A large part of that is that I know where their thoughts are going and they're taking too damn long to get there. So maybe it's really a goal to be more patient. Also in there is a desire to be heard. Often if I don't jump in to a conversation, I never get to say anything. Growing up, I had to assert myself and that is definitely a core character trait of mine. So, people, please think and express yourselves more quickly and help me make this goal.

Those are my goals for 2009. I'll have to check back in with more updates later. Cheers!

--the CilleyGirl

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Cousin Willie is off his meds again

I've always imagined* that it isn't Mother Nature who controls the weather but rather her nephew, Willie. Which for our purposes makes him Cousin Willy. Mother Nature has a lot of stuff to worry about, what with global warming and the ozone layer, so it makes sense that she would delegate the more routine aspects of her job off to family members. Mother's sister Bertha was always complaining about how Willie needed something to occupy his time -- other than Facebook -- so she asked Mother to help out. Mother decided Willie could handle the weather (plus she's a fan of alliteration; Bertha handles, among other things, bunnies, bacteria, and the biosphere) so now Cousin Willie works the weather. But today, at least here in CilleyLand, Willie must be off his meds because our weather is extremely schizophrenic. We've had rain, clouds, sun, downpours, and every mix of those you can think of. And it's only 3:00 p.m.

I haven't been around much because I've been trying to get healthy. Already this year I've had two serious colds, the first of which resulted in not only a sinus infection like all the others but also my doctor saying she was sick of seeing me (I've had at least six courses of antibiotics in the past year) and consequently she sent me off to an allergist. Who put me on prednisone. Which suppresses your immune system. So I promptly got sick. Again. And ended up back at the allergist. Who put me on prednisone. I told him I'm starting to get wise to his racket.

Seriously, though, prednisone also reduces inflammation, which is why I'm on it to get my sinuses better, at which time we will then work to keep them that way. I got to get one of those allergy scratch tests on my arm, where they stick you with 40 different types of common allergens and then see if you have an allergic reaction. It was actually pretty interesting, once I got over the squeeee factor of having dust mites and mold and mildew stuck into my arm.

The test confirmed pretty much what I already knew, which is that I'm allergic to a few trees, some grasses, dust mites, molds and mildews, and cats. Very, very allergic to cats, as it turns out; other than the histamine control stick (that one is supposed to swell up), the cat spot swelled up the most out of everything. So although I miss my kitty very much, it's probably better that I no longer have cats for the first time in my life. This was emphasized the other night when I forgot about my cat allergy for the minute it took me to sit down and pet my friend's cat.

Turns out I'm not allergic to dogs, which made my two dogs happy. I do wonder if living with two dogs could have skewed the test somewhat, as in constant exposure resulted in no reaction. When I had the test, my cat had been gone about six months so that was mostly out of my system by then (I still need to do some severe cleaning under my bed).

I was also playing on a kickball league earlier in the year, and still bowling. I'm taking the spring season and maybe the summer season off from Underdog, however, since in an effort to combat my rampant insomnia I took up running. Or rather I took up working up towards running. I just started tai chi and belly dancing will start next week.

The exercise also ties into my health. The insomnia is a side effect of my sinus problems. The sinus problems lead to frequent colds. The colds lead to sinus infections. Lather, rinse repeat. I'm sick of being sick. I also have been having problems with my left eye, so I have to see a neuro-opthamalogist in a couple of months. You know, to see if I have a brain tumor. I'm hoping it's all another side effect of my sinus infections and that that will resolve itself.

All of this (except for Cousin Willie) has to do with the goals I set for the new year. One of them is to run a 5K by the end of summer. I've already done two 5Ks and one 5-mile race this year, with at least three more 5Ks scheduled this month. Another goal was to step more outside my comfort zone; hence the kickball and the tai chi and the belly dancing.

I also want to be more creative this year. Hey, maybe Cousin Willie does qualify! One way I anticipated doing that was to blog more, or at least more regularly. I also need to take up my needlepointing again so I can finish her quilt before my niece is in her teens.

I'll have to formally post my goals here (I just found them the other day) so I know where I am and where I'm going. A nice side effect of all of this has been I'm making new friends. Two of them have started running with me, and it has been great getting to know them better. I'm also a lot happier. Which helps to make friends and to not be sick.

Yours in health,
the CilleyGirl

*Technically I haven't always imagined, since I came up with this about two hours ago. But I'm adopting it into my belief system from this point forward.