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There is a derelict church at the end of my street. Was? Not sure yet. Just a smallish urban church, brick, beautiful old building.
Today at work I checked facebook and saw a friend mention that she'd seen a big fire over in my neighborhood and I thought vaguely that I hoped it wasn't too near us. Cycling home, my phone was ringing off the hook in my bag, but I couldn't pick it up, obviously. I had to pull over at one point to let a fire engine race past with all sirens blaring. Got to the end of my block, and the access street was barred by a police car. I put two and two together and started to get worried, asked the cop on duty if I could go through. He pointed down the street, asked if the place I was going was before or after the crowd of police vehicles, but I honestly couldn't tell, so he let me through.
As it turned out, my street was right in the middle of those cars, because it was the church that was on fire. My fiance met me halfway down the block - he'd been the one calling me all the way home. He said he'd checked with the firemen, and we could go in our flat if we really needed to, but should keep our windows closed if we did. I locked my bike up, we went out to have dinner for a couple of hours, came back, and it was still the same deal. It's under control but they expect to be fighting it all night. The end of my street is taped off and a fireman escorted us to the door.
Windows are closed. There's a lot of noise from equipment and chatting firemen. (Might bring them down some tea and biscuits later, unless folks think that's not a good idea while they're on duty? They're all wearing masks, but were happy to take them off and talk to us.) One of the windows in our flat never entirely shuts, so I've put some damp teatowels over the slight opening.
Observations so far...
-I'm feeling very calm
-Edinburgh emergency services have continued to impress me, bless them
-What if it had gotten our flat? I have nothing stored off-site.
-Thank god we're in a position now to have this happen and be able to just go have a nice dinner, and come back later.
-Such a shame, beautiful building
-Mostly I am just universally grateful right now

andrewducker ook this picture. We live in the building in front of the fire - notice that the lights are still on, thank goodness. (Andrew, you must live right across the street.)


Bread and Roses

As we go marching, marching, in the beauty of the day,
A million darkened kitchens, a thousand mill lofts gray,
Are touched with all the radiance that a sudden sun discloses,
For the people hear us singing: Bread and Roses! Bread and Roses!
As we go marching, marching, we battle too for men,
For they are women's children, and we mother them again.
Our lives shall not be sweated from birth until life closes;
Hearts starve as well as bodies; give us bread, but give us roses.
As we go marching, marching, unnumbered women dead
Go crying through our singing their ancient call for bread.
Small art and love and beauty their drudging spirits knew.
Yes, it is bread we fight for, but we fight for roses too.
As we go marching, marching, we bring the greater days,
The rising of the women means the rising of the race.
No more the drudge and idler, ten that toil where one reposes,
But a sharing of life's glories: Bread and roses, bread and roses.
Our lives shall not be sweated from birth until life closes;
Hearts starve as well as bodies; bread and roses, bread and roses.


pain tolerance

My dysmenorrhea hit me with a vengeance last night.

When I was a young teen, I used to get horrific cramps, and occasionally throw up or faint, usually in inconvenient places like grocery stores. Now I've been on hormonal birth control for about 7 years, and for the most part, I'm fine. Liberal doses of ibuprofen and the occasional hot water bottle, and I'm good. (Ibuprofen: proof that there is a Goddess and she cares for her flesh-and-blood daughters. When my dad died, we returned all the interesting drugs to the pharmacy, but you can bet your ass we kept the prescription-strength Ibu.)

Last night, though, it was suddenly back. Minor cramping all day turned into whimper-inducing waves of pain in the space of about 5 minutes. I was getting very light-headed and my vision was covered in shifting fluorescent leopard spots and dark at the edges, so I warned Sandy that I might faint. If I did, I wanted him to know ahead of time so he wouldn't freak out. But he said that if I fainted he would probably call an ambulance, which is ridiculous. So I laid down on the cool bathroom floor and concentrated on breathing until the painkillers kicked in 10 minutes later. Dysmenorrhea is apparently very good practice for childbirth.

I've been thinking about this on and off all day today. I don't know why it's gotten stuck in my brain. It's jus so surrea to me that anyone would bother calling an ambulance because I fainted. Because anyone fainted. This is just something women deal with - you get your period, you force yourself not to curl up in the foetal position the whole time, because you have classes to attend or a paycheque to earn. Sometimes you fall over, and you take 20 minutes to get yourself together. Along the way you probably learn not to be disgusted by pretty much anything the human body can do. You don' call an ambulance. Who calls an ambulance for fainting? That's like calling an ambulance because you threw up. It's just such a disconnect for me. This stuff doesn't even occur to guys. We deal with it constantly. Like everything else, I guess. Do what men do, but do it in heels while bleeding from the crotch and feeling like someone installed a rabid possum in your uterus. Women play on hardmode.

I'd be interested to see data on how many men vs. women are affected by fainting when they see blood, as well. Betcha very few women have that problem. I think it's been proven that women have a higher pain tolerance, as well - again, down to reliable and terrible pain every month.

I dunno. Maybe I'm reading too much into it. It could be that I'm just a freak who doesn't like to get doctors involved in anything, even when I should, possibly because I'm American and expect everything to be expensive. Or maybe he was worried because I cracked my head off the wall pretty hard the day before. Eh. You deal, right? 

Oct. 13th, 2012

I've been having kind of a crisis of faith lately. This post is a rambling look at that so I can try to work it out. It will probably be boring for anyone but me.

Read more...Collapse )

I think I'll try to go to Meeting tomorrow, see if I figure anything out...

I have a problem

My dad was an enormous workaholic. This was mostly fine, because he was a) very passionate about his work, and justifiably so, and b) worked from home a lot of the time, so it wasn't like we never saw him.

I think I've inherited his workaholism (workaholicism?), though.

Worse, I seem to have some kind of addiction to coming up with business ideas.

There are a bunch of them under hereCollapse )

I kind of hate being an ideas person, it's very frustrating. And I'm running out of space for all my notebooks.

I think I'm supposed to be planning a wedding or something. Instead, I have the first draft of a SCIO constitution, and the notes for half a dozen business plans, and the outlines and first chapters of a couple novels, and a stack of business math review books.

I should probably just give in and take the damn GMAT.

Someone put me out of my misery.
I actually did manage to find the numbers for women's powerlifting competitions in Scotland.

And what they told me was, if I get back down under 63 kg (which is my lowest weight, but I can do this if I stop fucking around), I will actually be pretty competitive for my weight class.

Warning: The rest of this post is entirely about weight lifting, and thus is probably boring if you're not me. So, just know that I'm training to be Captain America, and skip the rest of the post.

My current stats are... Bodyweight ~65 kg. Deadlift 105 kg for 2 reps. Squat 70 kg for 5 reps. Bench Press 45 kg for 5 reps.

My goal stats for competition are (all one rep maxes)... Bodyweight <63 kg, Deadlift 115 kg, Squat 90 kg, Bench Press 55 kg.

Those wouldn't win me a competition or anything, but they'd be very respectable numbers for a first meet.

I am aiming to enter a Scottish Powerlifting meet taking place in the borders on November 3. I'll do this whether or not I've reached these goals.

So, I need to figure out my 1 rep maxes, hit my training really hard, and clean up my diet. I've started doing a couple hours of indoor climbing on the weekends, which is a good workout and very helpful for my grip strength. Also hella fun. I'm thinking of adding some complementary exercises to my current routines - probably bicep curls using plates pinched together, again for my grip strength, and dips.

Diet rules
-100g of protein daily, not counting BCAAs
-No refined sugary crap, including jam, honey, and peanut butter, which I eat way too much of (to help me stick with this, calorie-free artificial sweeteners and lots of fruit are fine)
-Less milky coffee, more tea
-Back to fasting for 16 hours a day
-One full fasting day, on a rest day, at least every two weeks
-No pizza, cheesy pasta, grilled cheese sandwiches, fried & battered foods, creamy curries or chips
-No wine or beer - whisky in small amounts is okay
-At least 8 servings of fruit and veg per day
-At least one natural source of protein per day (meat, eggs, greek yogurt, milk, beans, or tofu - rest can be from protein shakes & bars)
-Skimmed milk only
-Refined carbs down to a minimum, stick to rice, oats and potatoes when possible (unless you've baked it yourself, I mean come on, who can say no to bacon muffins)
-Take multivitamin, iron, calcium and fish oil daily

Workout rules:
-Lifting 3 times a week
-Cardio (running, swimming, cycling, rowing or hiking) 3 times a week
-Climbing once a week
-Cycle to work, EVERY DAMN DAY
-Drink your BCAAs, woman, you know they help you
-DOMS are no excuse. Order more TIGER BLAM.

When I list it like that, that seems like a pretty extreme list of rules. But most of it is stuff that I've already been following, and I've just fallen off the wagon in the last couple of weeks. So I'm pretty close to start with. I just need to get back to being a MACHINE.
Warning: This is very rambling. Also, I compare weight-lifting and sex. So you may want to skip it.

I suck at blogging. On a variety of levels. I suck at a lot of stuff, actually. But that's okay. I'm human. And I feel good about that.

Yesterday I lifted heavy things. A lot. It was a deadlifts day, and I'm doing 90 kilos at 5 reps on deadlift days now. That's just short of 200 pounds. (I lifted 220 last week, though, just the once, for fun and profit.) So I'm sore this morning. Very sore. But in a good way. It's delicious. Like being sore after wild sex.

I started eating at noon and stopped at six. This is what I do, now.

Then I went out gaming and didn't get to sleep until midnight.

I woke up at six in the morning, ran two and a half miles, took a shower, had some green tea and ironed my Executive Goth gear, because a client I've been speaking with on the phone a lot is coming in to the office today and I love seeing that realization of "What the fuck, Perky Finance Chick is actually a goth". I'm not actually that much of a goth. But I play it up a bit in the office, because Executive Goth is just such a fun role to play.

Then I got on my bike and rode to the Sexual Health Clinic, because when I got my implant replaced a few weeks ago I volunteered to be in a bone density study, but they need me to be on my period so they can see how my hormones and implant and bones are all affecting each other. And my period started yesterday. So I biked up, they took some blood, and I biked off again, to work.

I put through a sale, passed on some messages, had a cup of dandelion tea and read some Freakangels. A package arrived for me, a black vintage skirt I ordered off eBay that will be good for more Executive Gothing. I felt at one with the world, truly blessed. Things have worked out so well for me. Better than a lot of my friends. I don't know what I did to deserve it. But I've been thinking a lot about it, and about the ethics of reciprocity. That's what philosophers and humanists call it. Karma, The Golden Rule, The Rule of Three, be the change you want to see, and so on. Everyone knows it. I've been trying to act on it lately. Hippie shit like planting wildflowers in the verge near my house, moderately hippie shit like starting a charity. Participating in this bone study. The Rule of Three. I'm starting to believe it. "Do as you would be done by" is the Quaker version. Anyway, I felt at one with the world.

It was probably the blood loss and bodyhacks. I'm running overclocked, lately. This morning body was full of water and absolutely nothing else - no blood, food, shit or endometrium. And I was sweating the water right back out. Empty. It's a good thing, though. You wouldn't expect it, but I'm feeling healthy and strong when I fast. Free. I could suddenly take up parkour based entirely on how my body feels at the end of a fast. (I'm starting with headstands. Sandy doesn't even comment, any more, when he walks into the room and I'm upside down.)

More creative, too. So many ideas. I already have problems with having too many ideas, so maybe this isn't good, but I have my little moleskine notebooks again and I'll get to all of it, someday.

I broke my fast about an hour ago, with a protein shake. Hit me like a brick. I need a nap so, so hard. When you're doing intermittent fasting, everything is suddenly loaded with tryptophan. But it's great. I feel amazing. My run this morning, it went so well. Nightwish helped.

You know what else is nice? I get to eat like a pig now. I think I'll have a bug fuckoff salad, some chicken, a chocolate bar, some coffee. No more of this shitty eating like a bird so I can spread 1200 calories over the course of a day. I'm having more than that, and I'm having it in the next five hours. And I'll lose fat anyway.

Also, my hair is pink now.

Okay, I'm done. See you in another year, livejournal.

Note to self...

The Quitter

By: Robert Service

When you’re lost in the Wild, and you’re scared as a child,
And Death looks you bang in the eye,
And you’re sore as a boil, it’s according to Hoyle
To cock your revolver and . . . die.
But the Code of a Man says: “Fight all you can,”
And self-dissolution is barred.
In hunger and woe, oh, it’s easy to blow . . .
It’s the hell-served-for-breakfast that’s hard.

“You’re sick of the game!” Well, now, that’s a shame.
You’re young and you’re brave and you’re bright.
“You’ve had a raw deal!” I know-but don’t squeal,
Buck up, do your damnedest, and fight.
It’s the plugging away that will win you the day,
So don’t be a piker, old pard!
Just draw on your grit; it’s so easy to quit:
It’s the keeping-your-chin-up that’s hard.

It’s easy to cry that you’re beaten-and die;
It’s easy to crawfish and crawl;
But to fight and to fight when hope’s out of sight-
Why, that’s the best game of them all!
And though you come out of each grueling bout,
All broken and beaten and scarred,
Just have one more try-it’s dead easy to die,
It’s the keeping-on-living that’s hard.

to do today:

-email roachers
-get into GO, check invoices
-call more stables
-figure out guide accounts
-check that last tuition payment has been taken out
-call ipsos mori
-oh god stress stress stress
-figure out paper due dates
-talk to dr mason about long essay
-check with first choice about council tax band

I need to drop something. I really need to drop something. I shouldn't have gotten involved with guides again this year. argh.