14 March, 2010

Moving On

Category: Dating,Drinks,Exercise,Family,Habits,Mood,Running,Triathlon,Work — Moose @ 6:50 pm

February just sucked gorilla butt.

Since I haven’t posted since mid-February here, there have been a number of changes, with the usual ‘things in threes’ as well. On top of the death of my grandfather, Mike and I broke things off, and I finally discovered what the third casualty was. In the mess in the middle of the month my office and I completely lost the invite to the GAO annual one-day update on the state of appropriations law over the past year. On Friday I found out it had happened the day before. Understand, this is the one bit of professional development I get to do each year which is actually relevant to what I do at work (as opposed to the annual CLE requirements & courses for the bar, which are a complete waste of my time), and I haven’t missed one since they started doing them until this year. So, yeah, February sucked gorilla butt.

March has been better. I’m on track to do okay in the half marathon next weekend, and by extension the 10 miler next month. I’m getting a good base built for the IM, setting the stage for that little challenge at the end of August. To keep myself on track there I’ve actually stopped drinking. I’ve found that when I do drink, even just a single drink, I tend to drag badly the next day, which prevents me from training (and puts me in a foul mood). The IM is too important to me to let a preventable thing stand in the way, so I’m not letting it. I’ve gone out a time or two to bars with friends now, and it’s actually not been bad not drinking.

Works’ been crazier this month than last, and we’re starting to run against political pressures on spending. Thankfully my office advertised for another fiscal law specialist, which closed Friday, so we’ll start setting up interviews for the next week or two. I hope the process goes quickly, I definitely need the help, and soon.

19 February, 2010

Where I Am

Category: Dating,Family,Games,Geek,Mood — Moose @ 6:01 pm

The family visit was a good one, despite the circumstances. All of my cousins were there, even if all their spouses & children were not, so we had all of the grandchildren present, something that hasn’t happened in decades. Really enjoyed seeing them all.

We’d known granddaddy wasn’t in very good health for a while, so this was hardly a shock. It was a little quick based on how the nursing home had presented it on Thursday (3 weeks) versus what happened (he passed on Friday morning with his wife and youngest son present).

The whole thing did end up hitting me harder than I’d expected, especially once I got home. It definitely threw me into a funk out of which I’ve not quite pulled myself. Getting out of the house last night helped, and I did a little (planned) retail therapy today to pick up a PS3 (thanks, DC tax refund!). Have it mostly set up but want to wait until a little later today to actually get into a game. I took the entire week off, which was good and allowed me time to do things like get groceries and the aforementioned retail therapy, as well as trying to process some of the mental mess that’s come out of the whole thing. Hasn’t helped the mood any that I had to cancel this past weekend’s trip to go see Mike, and I’m not sure when I’m going to be able to get back up there to see him. It’s a question of timing, more than anything, between what I’ve got going on and what he’s got going on over the next month or so.

So, that’s where I am at the moment.

25 January, 2010

State of the Moose at the End of January

My new mortgage servicing company has made a fine festuche of the escrow statement on my PMI as I moved over to them. Sent them a doc on 12/10/09 to have them correct the error (they somehow assumed I wasn’t going to pay the PMI that was on the bill for December and January, despite never being late with a payment?!?!). Called today because the February bill shows an increase (which was threatened in the incorrect escrow statement) to collect the “missing” PMI. They did indeed get my letter via fax on the 10th, but no one ever bothered to send it to the escrow department to have the thing fixed. Oy. So, step one was having that happen today, and I’ll call to bug them in a week. In the meantime I have to pay the bill with the extra $17 and change on it and then deal later with getting that somehow credited to a future bill or to principle. Right. It’s not a ton of money, but frankly I don’t want to pay them a penny more than I owe them. I have little faith in this new company so far, though the reps I’ve spoken to in the two months I’ve had them have been fairly pleasant to deal with.

Oh, and my favorite part of dealing with them? For the first time since about my third mortgage payment back in 2006 I’m paying my mortgage via check. Why? Because they want to charge me to make the payment online, in an amount that adds about 1% to the bill. No thanks, I’ll happily pay the USPS to deliver it instead. Dingbats.

And there’s some question why people dislike financial institutions?

Anyway. Other than that, training is going okay. My foot began to bother me a little at the end of last week, but several nights of sleeping in the brace has staved off the ever-possible plantar fasciitis. Went absolutely nuts in making soup last week, so I have gobs of the stuff in freezer bags now for easy meals later (whip up some fresh rice and heat up the soup, voila, homemade meal in no time). Curried split pea soup and African bean soup (also slightly curried, but with peanut butter in the broth – yum). Mood is much elevated thanks to regular exercise again.

Mike is looking at condos in Beantown these days. It’s been fun to watch the excitement and apprehension that goes along with that process. In a lot of ways I wish I were up there to look at places with him and watch the possibilities unfold. I did have to admit to him that I was a bit apprehensive when he first said that he was going to buy rather than rent when he moved this spring (it does make the long-distance aspect of the relationship a bit more, well, lasting for the near future), but spitting it out and talking about it with him released that anxiety. Yes, we’ll be traveling back and forth for a while to come, but I think he’s worth it.

Work has been hellacious as we move toward budget hearing time with the President’s budget coming out on Monday. Today was spent going over mind-numbing anticipatory questions and answers (the programs guessing what the Hill is going to ask us, and then answering said questions). On the one hand it’s a good picture of the overall direction of the BGA. On the other, it’s tedious and time-consuming, and one gets tired of correcting grammar and statutory reference mistakes. Eh, as long as they keep paying me. Though I do look forward to getting the ad out on the street for the other appropriations attorney position we’re supposed to be putting out. Soon. I hope. (Help!)

NTP is in full start-up mode. The newbies register on Wednesday and then the fun begins. I have two docs to edit up this week, and then we’re good to get started.

Been thinking a lot about decorating, again. Mainly paint and some minor things around the apartment. It’s been 4 years-ish since I moved in and I’ve not painted a thing. Whoops. I did come up with an idea for the color (though not the exact shade) for the bedroom this afternoon. Looked around when I got home and I think it’ll work. Not saying much past that, but I’m hopeful. Need to find someplace to do some framing for me, too (oooh, and there’s an idea for the front hall. Hmmm…). Anyway, it’s a slow process (re: 4 years, no paint), but is good to get some more concrete ideas. Oh, and cleaning out of closets will happen shortly. Lots to do, lots to do.

10 January, 2010

Wrestling With Winter

Category: Exercise,Habits,Mood,Weather — Moose @ 6:24 pm

I am most decidedly not a fan of cold weather, not that this is a revelation for anyone who’s known me or read what I’ve written online over the past decade. Being stuck inside, not being able to run or bike outdoors, all makes for a grumpy Moose. This weekend ended up being a wash as far as most activities go, though I did manage to get on the bike in the trainer both days an get some decent exercise in. For the most part I just vegetated and didn’t seem to do a lot past playing a lot on my DS. It’s weekends like this that make me question the decision to live on SW; it’s so much more socially isolated down here, despite the convenience to work and training. Though when I sit down and think it over I honestly wonder if I’d be any better at getting out if I lived any closer to folks. Certainly I’d have less of an excuse not to venture out, but would that be enough to motivate me to do so? I’d like to think I would, but I can’t know that at the moment.

That said, I’m getting the hell out now because I can’t take the apartment and the lack of human contact any more. So, off to JR’s for me thus evening and meeting a friend or friends for dinner. I may not like going outside in cold weather, but I can’t ignore the need to get out of my little shell, so wrestle with winter I will.

26 July, 2009

Tapes

Category: Body Electric,Mood,Motivation,Music — Moose @ 11:09 pm

This particular song by Alanis came on in the car tonight, and it ended up meaning a lot more than on previous listens:

“I am someone easy to leave”
“Even easier to forget”
A voice, if inaccurate

Again: “I’m the one they all run from”
Diatribes of clouded sun
Someone help me find the pause button

All these tapes in my head swirl around
Keeping my vibe down
All these thoughts in my head aren’t my own
Wreaking havoc

“I’m too exhausting to be loved”
“A volatile chemical”
“Best to quarantine and cut off”

All these tapes in my head swirl around
Keeping my vibe down
All these thoughts in my head aren’t my own
Wreaking havoc

“I’m but a thorn in your sweet side”
“You’d better off without me”
“It’d be best to leave at once”

All these tapes in my head swirl around
Keeping my vibe down
All these thoughts in my head aren’t my own
Wreaking havoc

Ah, negative thinking, how much you run through the brain and won’t let it keep moving. Another breakthrough today, and something else to think more about, post-DLOC. One wonders where these thoughts come from, and why they’re taking so much of my energy with them. I think the DLOC journal will be getting some more writing this week.

12 July, 2009

Reintegrating

For some reason the reintegration back into real life has been a bit difficult. There was the inevitable backup of work at the BGA (“vacation is its own punishment”), breaking things off with someone I’d been dating, adjustment back to east coast time (which means I have to try and fight my normal nature to be a night owl), and just doing the little things like unpacking everything and putting it all away, sorting mail, grocery shopping, etc. Still haven’t done the grocery shopping, so I’ve been subsisting on ever-shrinking supplies of staples from the freezer and cabinet. Not a bad thing, it’s good to clear those out every now and again, but not perhaps the healthiest meals I could be eating.

One thing I’ve been doing to integrate some of our practices from DLOC has been to post “appreciations” over on FaceBook. Just little things to acknowledge those things I’m appreciative of for whatever reason. It does help to make one more mindful of what’s going on in your life, which has made it a useful tool for me.

Past that I’m trying to find my motivation to get back to tri training for my last two races this season, and finish up my commitment with the club’s volunteer work this month. “The Pile” of books has grown since coming back, including some re-reading of classics I feel the need to reexamine in light of the DLOC and SF experiences (The Ethical Slut, the Tao Te Ching/Dao De Jing). I’m about 1/2 an inch from finishing sock #2 on pair #2, and I have another pull ball ready to go on the next set, but the one sock’s been sitting here unloved as I try to work myself back into life.

Picked up another bike yesterday. I wanted something a bit better for zipping around town than my mountain bike (which is a good bike, but not the best for commuting). I went in a slightly different direction, a single gear, and put “campus pedals” on it (clipless on one side, regular pedal platform on the other), so I don’t have to throw on bike shoes just to zip somewhere if I wish to bike out. My goal there is to bike about more to things in town, and sweat be damned. It even came with a kickstand! I feel so retro with a kickstand on a bike – I don’t think I’ve had one of those since high school. With the bike, though, comes the last big purchase for the year, I think. Need to back off and pay off the remnants of vacation and the bike and plan for the end of the year and Giftmas. And to plan for the next body electric workshop next year, of course.

It’s hard to fully describe the changes wrought by DLOC, but I’ll be working on them this year.

5 July, 2009

Dear Love, 2009

Category: Body,Exercise,Health,Leisure,Massage,Mood,Motivation,Queer — Moose @ 10:06 pm

I still have a lot of stuff to process from this past two weeks. Dear Love of Comrades (DLOC) was simply amazing, and precisely what I was needing. It revealed a lot of things to me which I needed to see and experience to help clarify where I am in my life and where I might want to go. But it’s going to be difficult to reconcile those with my daily practices. There are changes I will need to make, and I’m not entirely sure where I’m going to make them yet.

Two of the big things that were revealed were the extent to which I have let fear dictate so many of my actions. Fear of change and fear of my body being at the top of that list. And then, as I dwelt on those, the incredible sense of anger I felt at how I’d let that fear dictate things, and especially anger at my body and how it sets me aside from the norm (more specifically the lactose intolerance and all the problems associated with that, and the extensive history of cancer in my family and how that affects me and my behaviors). Most of this was revealed on Friday, first during the daily movement practice before breakfast (an exercise where we were visualizing our obstacles and chopping, pushing, dropping them, and then pulling toward us what we wanted in our lives), then in a large heart circle we had before and after lunch.

I knew there were emotions that were going to be revealed as part of the week – no one gets through Body Electric without some sort of emotional experience, large or small – but I don’t think I expected these particular ones. Of course, my previous experiences with Body Electric have all been ones where I felt this overwhelming joy at the connections made. I got a lot of that joy during the week as well; the big draw we did on Wednesday was the most intense, and the most intensely erotic, that I’ve experienced to date. Unlike last fall where I felt the build up of energy in me, but didn’t know what to do with it, so released it, this time I held the energy, moved it over and around my body with my hands, and claimed it as my own. It was incredible to hold that much energy and be able to channel it rather than simply releasing it into the cosmos. I did laugh again, from giggling to full body, shaking laughter. Even thinking about the experience now, a week and a half later, gives me goose bumps. There was one moment where the masseur was working on my lower body and one of the assistants came over and put his hands under my back, helping me arch up and throw my head back as I lost track of where was up and down, simply concentrating on how awesome (and erotic) the whole thing felt. I spoke first when we were done, describing the marvelous experience I’d just had, and started by repeating the word “wow” over and over again (when asked to breathe into it, the coordinator said to breathe into “Wow to the ninth power”). I don’t normally speak first for those, but it just came bubbling out this time.

Comparing that amazing experience and connection to the much more mellow and introspective weekend after Friday’s revelation feels somewhat unfair, but they’re part and parcel of the same body of experience. There is incredible joy to be found in the connections with other people, but there are barriers I’ve erected to fully giving myself over to the connections I could be making, and I need to change that.

One of the hardest things about coming back into the Bay area from up on the mountain in Guerneville was the lack of practiced movement. Each morning at DLOC you got a choice between a walk/hike or practiced movement (yoga, sufi meditation, etc.). All but one morning I did the movement exercise, all of which were wonderful (and, as written about above, cathartic in one case). Even when we were getting together during the day we were able to move and dance and stretch, experiencing the wonder of being fully present in (and thus mindful of) our bodies. Wandering around SF I kept wanting to stop and drop into yoga poses when the feeling arose, but of course even in SF there are expectations of behavior (and public sidewalks aren’t conducive to yoga). I had to content myself with stretching my arms above and to the side when I was able, and that just wasn’t the same. I suspect one thing I’ll have to do more is that type of spontaneous stretching during the day – close my office door and take a few moments to stretch out and be present in my body. It can’t hurt, and I’m lucky to have that freedom to be able to close that door and take a brief break, even in work drag.

One thing I’ve already brought back into my life is posting those things I appreciate, both to FB and to my main countfour blog (it wasn’t like there was anything else going to it!). Just noting something every day which I’m thankful for has been a good practice. It helps to focus on the positive, and to be more mindful of the experience of living.

The school set up a yahoo group for our class, at first to share rides up and otherwise coordinate travel, but also to keep in touch after the experience. Thus far it’s been pretty busy, with folks posting regularly to describe their transition back to “normalcy”. I’m glad to have this group of men, and this forum to stay in touch with them. It’s all too easy to let these experiences slip back into the background and fall back into old patterns, and I don’t want that to happen if I can avoid it. I can’t go on living as if this had never happened; I’d be miserable if I did.

21 June, 2009

Relaxed, Finally

Category: Dancing,Drinks,Food,Friends,Leisure,Mood,Stress,Work — Moose @ 4:16 pm

Been loving being here in the bay area the past two days. I’ve worked on my tolerance for beer, wandered around in town, run into friends on the street, and gotten to meet several folks I know, at least one for the first time. Went dancing last night at the local every-other-week bear get-together. Stayed out late yesterday. Crashed early Friday. Eaten lots and lots of good, inexpensive dim sum.

And I can tell I’ve relaxed considerably because I actually have fingernails and cuticles again (I tend to chew them off when I’m stressed, and so they’ve not much been in evidence lately as they’ve been thoroughly taken down at work). Precisely what I’ve needed, and while I’m looking forward to the retreat this week, I’m also very much looking forward to seeing more friends the week after.

11 June, 2009

So Tired

Category: Health,Leisure,Mood,Queer,Racing,Stress,Travel,Work — Moose @ 6:35 pm

I think the theme of this past week has been “yes, I’m incredibly tired and I’m so, so, so, so, so, so ready to go on vacation now, thankyouverymuch.” It’s been difficult to motivate myself to do much of anything.

Sort-of prepped for a 10k on Saturday, then likely planning to go watch the parade Saturday evening, and perhaps find myself out and about somewhere later that evening. Sunday is of course the festival, and I plan to go down and try not to get too sunburnt.

Also more than a wee bit tired of the daily thunderstorms now. With one exception they’ve all been in the evening this past week so have (theoretically) not interfered with my workouts, but I’m still a bit tired of the light shows and the wet. And the accompanying humidity. Not that we shouldn’t expect 198% humidity in DC in June, but still.

Gotten my stuff together, mostly, for California next week. I’m set for a ride to Wildwood, have made a couple plans to see folks, but will need to be making calls & dropping notes this upcoming week to try and set a few more things up. Looking forward to the Tut exhibit at the De Young, and the zoo, and yarn shopping. And, most of all, just not being at work for two full weeks. I need the down time from it or I’m going to seriously go nuts. I’m very, very glad I planned this trip and got it approved back in December, because it’s coming at a perfect time to get the heck out of Dodge.

25 March, 2009

Busy Moose/Dating on the Brain

Haven’t made time to write because I’m either getting home & being a total veg because I’m wiped out from the work day or I’m going out to see friends or maybe even a date or two. Work continues to roll along at a crazy pace. I’ve given myself a big assignment that I’ve not been able to start yet because of other fires that keep popping up. It’s needed, but finding time is a challenge.

Training is almost non-existent at this point. I’m swimming, but with the colder temps I’ve not gotten out to bike in the mornings and I’m unmotivated to haul the trainer back out. It’s not supposed to be this bloody cold in late Smarch in DC, damn it.

Much has also been on my mind about dating and the extent to which one compromises versus standing firm. After BC there are some things I consider to be vital to my well being which are not precisely the norm (Body Electric comes to mind), and I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about those things and how and when to introduce them. With a couple guys I can tell there are distict differences in relationship styles that I don’t think will ultimately be compatible. And how does one express that and not sound cliché?