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I understand now why Madonna is so sinewy and muscular. It's Pilates. I did my first class last night. I was invited by my Physical Therapist to come to her class at the clinic. She's teaching free classes while she becomes a Pilates instructor. I really couldn't ask for a better teacher than someone who knows exactly where I'm injured. The hour went by really quickly but Pilates is a very different workout than I expected. I can't believe anyone compares it to yoga at all. It's nowhere near like yoga. I like both a lot but for very different reasons. I liked that Pilates was less serious and I could actually laugh at myself when I wasn't able to roll up on my upper back. My own personal definition of Pilates would be: effective strength training using yourself as the weights.

The Pilates class last night combined with Monday's spinning class has me feeling like today needs to be a rest day. Although not really since I'll be walking to work and back. I'm feeling more hopeful this week that by the time March rolls around I will be ready for triathlon training again.

I slept so hard last night. My head hit the pillow at 9:45 and I didn't open my eyes again until 6 when I had to pee. I cannot remember the last time I had a night like that. I feel rested but I'd really like to stay home this morning and lie around.
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Happy 31st Birthday to ME ME MEEEEEEEEEE!

Special thanks to mommy for pushing me out 31 years and 14 hours ago. I know it wasn't easy.

I'm having a fabulous day and I feel spoiled as ever.
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Ugh. and double ugh.

While parking my car this evening I accidentally scraped the car in front of me on the bumper. Normally, if it's just a bumper and there's no damage, I'd just drive away; but it looked like there was a good scrape on one of the more plasticy parts of the bumper. The parking space was obviously far too small for even my little car to fit into. I started searching around for a pen and could not find one anywhere. Not in my bag, not in the glovebox, nowhere. I was feeling kind of stressed and this GIANT child molester van pulled up behind me. I was on a street I'm not particularly fond of due to it's narrow width. I had to move so the creepy van could get by. I went and found another parking space then ran home to get a pen and paper. I went back to leave a note on the car and either they already moved it, there was no scratch and I'm just seeing things, or they're out hunting for red cars and revenge. Either way I feel bad. Good reason to keep a pen in your car. Sigh.

I saw a naturopathic doctor who specializes in physical medicine yesterday. Basically a ND/physical therapist. I feel like I'm finally taking good steps towards healing my back, or at least making it feel better. He did a full and thorough assessment and found it alarming that it's been hurting for 5 years and no one has yet taken an x-ray or MRI. I think part of it is that I hurt it when I was 25. I never sought proper medical care back then because I was young and dumb and when I finally did, I didn't see the right person. I'm getting x-rays next week and possibly more tests depending on what the x-rays show. He also did some manipulation during the appointment, including my neck and chest which was fairly terrifying. You know how on TV and in movies they show someone getting their neck adjusted and it's this rapid jerk of the neck to one side, followed by a loud CRACK? That's exactly how it was. Except I was positioned on a long table and I had my eyes closed. It took a lot of concentration for me to just take a deep breath and trust that this man was not going to make me a quadriplegic. He managed to do both sides of my neck successfully and it actually felt kind of good once the terror wore off. He also cracked my chest which was also unnerving. He had me sit up, legs forward, and arms across my chest. Then I gently laid back down on the table with my chin tucked in. He then did some kind of ninja PT move and thrust a ton of weight on my chest. It popped all of of ribs back into place. At least that's how it felt. It felt really good after that. I was glad it didn't knock the wind out of me or make my heart feel funny. Obviously he's an expert. He seems to be very enthusiastic about helping me. I think he could tell, based on the 10 million other appointments I've had, the number of people I've seen, and the frustration in my voice; that I'm ready to get better.

My boss is off all of next week and I'm a bit nervous. She has me on her voice mail and email as the "go-to" person which is fine and flattering, but I'm sooo scared. I've only been there a month! The only person I can go to during this time with questions is the big scientist leading the study and he's hardly ever in his office and I feel funny bothering him with anything. Hopefully all will go smoothly. I'm a good troubleshooter and I think I can handle it. If not I'm just going to shut my office door and hide under my desk.
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I just walked into my bosses office to ask her a quick question and while walking in a little toot slipped out. There was no hiding it. No pretending it was my "shoe" or anything like that.

God. My life sometimes.
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Today like usual I worked out at the gym. When I walked in I was immediatley bombarded with balloons. Then I was asked while checking in if I'd like to participate in the "friends and family" offer being presented right now. On my way to the locker room I was offered a "free" spine adjustment, although I'm sure it would have been a sales pitch of some kind. While working out I had to turn off my ipod because the music was so loud. Then I had to listen to at least 10, screeching, obnoxiously loud announcements and reminders over the PA system during my 45 minute workout.

I like exercising, and I don't mind going to the gym, but I'm starting to really mind MY gym. Initially I joined because they have a pool, the dues are cheap (about $31/month), and it's close to work. Are there people out there who really LIKE this type of environment? Does anyone like the annoyingly loud music and the horrible sales pitches? Are there people that really, truly, believe that if you buy 100's of dollars in APEX brand supplements and energy bars that you will lose weight more quickly? I think I'm going to go shopping for a new gym. Workouts are supposed to make you feel refreshed, not give you a headache.

God, I sound like a crotchety old lady.
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I got rid of a huge bag of clothes today. It was quite satisfying, but even more satisfying was that I put the bag in the hallway with a "free" sign on it and about half disappeared. Today has been a fairly productive day. I did a few hours of yardwork for my mom in preparation for the upcoming family BBQ/oldest sister's 40th birthday/summer solstice. Then I did three loads of laundry.

While I was waiting for the last load to dry I took a satisfying nap with my sister's cat Lucybell. Lucybell is the sweetest cat to ever walk the face of the earth. She is unaware of her larger size however. She is not petite. She is also not a fatty. She is the human equivalent to a 6' tall, retired female basketball player. Tons of muscle and a bit of chub. I fed her two crunchy snacks and she immediately plopped down next to me to spoon. Instead of plopping next to me, she overshot and plopped down on me with the full force of her kitty weight. It's like being hit with a ton of bricks. (on occasion she likes to jump from the windowsill to your midsection, I'm sure you can imagine how that feels) As soon as she got comfortable we had the best nap ever. I miss having a cat a lot.

I'm thinking it's time to take a class again. I had a week or so where I considered training for a triathlon in Sept, but I feel like it's too short of a timeline now . I like to really stretch my training season out. So I'll pick that up again in the fall I think. I think I'd like to take a class fall quarter. I'm considering Japanese or maybe a printmaking class? I will return to Japan in 2010 with my sister and niece so I really need to get myself in order so I can have the best time possible. On the other hand, I miss printing a lot. I love Sev Shoon and I would like to print there again, but it's so inconvenient for me to get to. But I don't know if I could deal with having a different printmaking teacher after having Dionne. She is by far the best printmaking teacher in the world. I miss her and I miss the studio a lot, but I don't miss the stress of trying to commute across town on my bike with paper rolled up and sticking out of my backpack.
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It's a little lonely in my new office all by myself. I confess I miss Tiny and her demanding princessness sitting in the cubicle next to me. I haven't really made any friends in my new job yet, aside from my boss. My boss is fantastic and is EXACTLY what I'd hoped for. I've been overdue for a nice boss for a long time now. She's taking her son (he's temping) and I out to sushi lunch tomorrow. I'm so excited. What's so amazing is that I'm getting BOTH positive feedback and constructive criticism. I sort of feel like that's how it's supposed to work with one's supervisor. I never feel bad when I get constructive criticism from her, and I always beam when I get positive feedback.
I'm not sure I'm going to make a friend like the ones I've made at my last three longer jobs. I'm going to have to be more assertive in my friend-making in this job and it makes me want to hide under my desk and lock my office door. I don't need a BFF, I just need someone I can gossip with on occasion and eat lunch on the roof with here and there. The woman who has an office across from mine is a potential friend candidate. She has a child. He's about 18 months old. I met him by complete accident as he came wandering into my office one day wearing a sailor suit. I about passed out from cute overload. Normally, that sort of thing comes off as too much on a kid that age, but he worked it so well I was won over. So cute. He also marched right up to me and started flirting, how could I help but fall for him? Anyway, she's been awfully nice and chatty to me. I need to be less shy and come out of my office more, but sometimes it feels like a party (a really lame party where I have to collate and update databases) where I don't really know anyone and there's no open bar.
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http://www.flickr.com/photos/yospyn/887842937/

This may be the CUTEST photo ever taken in the history of the world.

sigh
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I am so sick of having back pain. It has been hurting non-stop since I went to Japan 16 months ago. Initially I hurt my back lifting a 70 pound cooler with a giant jug of ultra-clean water in it while I was working in the lab years ago. I'm pretty sure, based on numerous tests, that it's a herniated disc. I have yet to have the MRI because I hate MRI's and CT's and any of those expensive diagnostic tests that Americans overuse, but I think it might be time to properly diagnose it so I can get proper treatment. One of the problems is that the type of treatment I need requires 2 visits to the doctor every week and I can't afford it. It's a $20 copay every time I go and I just can't pay for that right now. It's getting to the point where I'm considering coughing up the money anyway so that I can have some relief.

I went to the gym tonight and I did a nice long workout including weights. At first I felt good and then by the time I got home my back was in full-on spasm mode. I took an Epsom salt bath and a muscle relaxant. I hate taking drugs for it, but it's at a 7 out of 10 on the pain scale. I think the Epsom salt bath helped a lot. If anything, it will keep me from hurting so much in my legs tomorrow from lifting weights. I would like to say a special thank you to Cutie for introducing me to Epsom salt baths. You would think with all of these years of athletics in my life that I would have learned about how delicious an Epsom salt bath was years ago. I guess I've spent most of my training swimming and taking a bath to recover from swimming never really sounded appealing.

I'm sure that camping this weekend was probably what set my back off into it's recent angry tirade, but it was soooooo worth it. I had a lovely (if slightly mosquitoy and rainy) trip to B.C. with Cutie. I feel really relaxed and ready to dig into my new job. I can't believe I went so long without a vacation. Not doing that again.
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I am an overpacker. I confess this here and now on my LJ. I pack too much stuff. I've tried and TRIED not to pack so much, but it's a condition. Like OCD, I can't help it. The one and only time I ever packed for a trip lightly was the first trip to Japan with Marblehead. She simply would not allow me, nor was it possible, to bring more than fit in two small bike saddlebags. Literally, I had one street outfit and two biking outfits and that's about it aside from the tent etc..

So now I'm going camping and I'm overpacked and I TRIED and TRIED not to pack so much but what if....what if I NEED something and it's not there? It's only four days right? But..but..what if I get cold? What if Cutie gets cold?!

You should have seen my bags when I packed up to move to Japan. You should have seen the lists and the careful consideration that went into deciding what to bring. Especially since I'm about 8 feet taller than the average Japanese woman. I had to bring all of my clothes as well as shoes.

So far each time my dirty little packing secret has come out into the open all I've gotten is an eye-roll, but one of these days someone is going to put their foot down and insist that that I DO NOT need that extra pair of underwear and 5 pairs of shoes for a weekend getaway.

Seriously, shouldn't you be glad I remembered the toothpaste, bandaids, tampons, and extra washcloth? Remember that if you ever take a trip with me.

p.s. I blame my mother, she overpacks too.
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Woman who gave birth in jail sues King County

12:08 PM PDT on Tuesday, July 17, 2007
Associated Press

SEATTLE - A mentally troubled woman who gave birth in a jail cell nearly 10 years ago has filed a lawsuit accusing King County of negligence and failing to provide proper medical care or staff training.

According to her lawsuit for unspecified damages, filed last week in King County Superior Court, Imka Pope, 36, told guards she was going into labor but did not receive medical attention until after the child was born.

Pope was arrested for trespassing, but the charge was dropped after she was found mentally incompetent to stand trial, said her attorney in the lawsuit.

The statute of limitations for filing the lawsuit would normally have been three years, but her mental illness was such that she was unable to recognize that she had been wronged, her attorney, Christopher R. Carney, said. Her condition has improved recently with counseling, he said.

"She has a constitutional right to have adequate medical care given to her while in custody," Carney said. "I don't see how it could be much clearer that she didn't get that."

Defendants include the county; Reed Holtgeerts, county director of detention; his predecessor, Arthur Wallenstein, now a corrections official in Maryland; and 14 other jail staff members.

A county corrections spokesman said that he had not seen a copy of the suit and could not comment on pending litigation.

Arrested for sleeping in a transit bus shelter, Pope was incoherent, didn't know her name, talked to herself and wouldn't leave her cell when she was booked into jail on Nov. 15, 1997, as "Lisa Enigma," Carney wrote in the lawsuit.

Six days later, according to the lawsuit, she told guards she was pregnant and going into labor but was given medical attention only after staff heard the cries of her newborn son in her cell.
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I've come to a few conclusions on my 2nd official day of vacation and 4th day off in a row.

1. I like Cutie a lot. Really, that's putting it mildly.

2. I need to drink less coffee, but it's unlikely I will.

3. The Flaming Lips are the bestest band ever and when I think about seeing them in Sept. I feel almost as squishy as I do when I think about Cutie.

4. I'm tired of my back hurting. It has been hurting continuously for the last year with a one-month break where I went to acupuncture twice a week. It is time for me to fix it. I'm tired of wincing every time I stand up or sit down or get out of bed. I'm 30 for christsakes. Not 75.

5. I miss the following: Elizabeth, Steph, printmaking, triathaleteing. I plan to see all of these things before the year is over.

6. I need to put more money into my "Japan" savings account and I need to figure out what's happening with my retirement account.

7. There is no effective way to clean up a lot of spilled sugar.

8. It's important to never stop visualizing the future.

9. I may not be totally convinced that I don't want babies.
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There is no God. If there was, she would NOT have me start my period on the hottest, 95 degree day of the year and include miserable cramps. Especially when I'm supposed to go swimming at the girlfriend's parents place.
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My boss popped her head in my office at 3:45 in the afternoon and said "Why don't you call it a day? It's so quiet and boring here right now."
I couldn't believe it. After my last job, I just felt so SPECIAL. Especially since I was doing one of those tasks you do at the end of the day when you've finished everything else.
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UGH. I am SO full. I stuffed myself with a burrito followed by Lemon Custard ice cream. Lemon Custard ice cream or LCIC for short, is one of the finest things on the planet and I recommend you get yourself a pint ASAP. Be prepared to buy new pants because it will make you fat. LCIC is hard to find.

I feel like all I've been doing lately is eating. Eating, eating, and more eating. Which probably explains why I feel really FAT. I don't think I am fat, or have really gained much perceptible weight, I just FEEL fat. I was feeling really bad about all this eating and then I realized the reason I'm eating so much is because I'm tired. When I'm really tired I'm always looking for something to make myself feel better and food temporarily makes me feel better. I haven't had a good nights sleep in 3 or 4 nights and if I don't get one tonight I think I might die a little bit.

If it was a possibility (other than the whole immaculate conception thing...."hey guess what mom? Jesus is getting a sibling!"), I might think I was pregnant. My gut feels bigger, I'm really tired, and I'm eating all the time. However, I don't think it's possible unless Cutie has something she needs to tell me.

The fourth of July was interesting. I spent it at Cutie's house with her family, and it was more relaxing and enjoyable than when I went there for dinner. I think her family might like me, but it's hard to tell. Her sister's are just kids really - they're 16 and 18, her dad is sort of spacey (but really nice and dad-like) and her stepmom wasn't there yesterday. Her stepmom worries me the most. Despite the fact that Cutie says she liked me after we all had dinner, I felt like she was suspicious of me.

I have the week of the 16th-20th off. That would be NINE DAYS TOTAL FREE FROM WORK. I cannot tell you how excited this makes me. I actually teared up a little bit.

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