Monday, December 8, 2014

Weekend Update

How was your weekend?  Mine was pretty good.  Busy, but good.

Last week was chaotic in terms of my workout schedule.  My train was late getting in on Tuesday, causing me to miss swim practice that night, and I never got caught up.  Part of the problem is that I’ve been sluggish since getting back into the gym to lift weights, but a larger part is down simply to bad sleep and the effects of the very short days we have this time of year in New York and Connecticut.  Sally thinks I have Seasonal Affective Disorder.  I don’t know what that means, exactly, but it’s true that the weather impacts my moods. 

I’m like a Venus Flytrap.  I need plenty of sunlight.  When I don’t get it, I tend to snap at the things around me.

Regardless, I only ran twice last week, and one of those runs was on the treadmill on Friday night.  Boring as Hell.  I tried to zone out and just listen to my music, but my gait always feels awkward on the treadmill, and anyway, the TV was tuned to CNN.  Their newscasters were absolutely gleeful at the various protests going on around the country.  It was like watching people stand around a burning car wreck, speculating about whether or not there were any kids trapped inside the car.  Instead of trying to help the passengers, the various anchors were roasting marshmallows, using gasoline to make sure the fire kept burning while the TV cameras were rolling.  It was hard to watch, even muted with Green Day playing in my ears.

I got home a little after Sally and the girls got home.  We had dinner, and then the girls headed off to bed while Sally and I watched the second half of the CW’s Flash vs. Arrow TV event.  I continue to like Arrow better than The Flash even though I know that puts me into the minority.  I’m enjoying Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. this season as well.  In fact, I think Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is my favorite of the three right now.

We all had to get up early on Saturday.  I met my buddy Ben for swimming at about 8:45 while Sally taught her usual deep-water aerobics class, and our kids went to the church for Christmas pageant rehearsals.

Swim practice was blistering.  I wrote about this in a bit more detail on Saturday, but bottom line, Ben wants to go to Master’s Nationals in the 100 fly, and that’s fine—I can help with that—but it takes a distinctly different kind of training than what we’ve been doing.  The new regime involves a lot more stroke work, and it’s a lot more intense.  This being my only swim workout of the week, I wound up going nearly 4000 yards, much of it uptempo butterfly work.  That took nearly 90 minutes, after which I shoved a gu into my mouth and headed to the gym for a half-hour to work back, biceps and core.  By the time I got home, it was nearly noon, and I found myself wandering the house in a zombie haze.  I shoved some cereal, some more coffee, and an apple down my throat and then headed to church myself to do our family’s bit of volunteering on the Christmas pageant. 

Fortunately, my part of the pageant didn’t involve much work.  They asked me to sit on stage and help keep the kids focused.  They said, “Don’t be afraid to be mean.  We need the kids to work.”  That was funny.  In true West Point fashion, I barked at the kids relentlessly for the first five minutes and then didn’t have to say another word for the next three and a half hours.  They all kept looking at me to see if I was still paying attention, and I merely had to look back occasionally and show them that I was.  To be fair, though, they’re all good kids.  Anyway, I’m re-reading WORDS OF RADIANCE, and I had it with me just off the stage while they rehearsed.  Considering how smoked I was from the morning’s swim, the whole event suited me fine.  I don’t think anybody noticed that I was mostly out of it.

I got home Saturday to find Sally in a state.  She has bad—and worsening TMJ—and at some point, they’re gonna have to do surgery.  I rubbed her back and her neck, and then we put a heating pad on her and gave her some Motrin, and after about twenty minutes of work, we had her up and functional again, but this was the worst I’ve seen her in quite a while.  It’s scary.  My mother developed chronic pain in her mid-forties, and it ruined her life.  I’m not eager to see my wife struggling with these same kinds of issues.  Granted, Sally is in MUCH better physical condition than my mother ever was, but even so, she not the greatest at finding time to recover from physical exhaustion.  As I told her on Saturday, “It’s wrong to think you’re just going to Ranger through this and adapt.  What’s going to happen is that your body is going to break down, and then you’ll wind up in the hospital.”

The human body is a machine.  It’s a wonderful, adaptable machine, but still…  Too much work, and it absolutely WILL break, 100% of the time.  You have to give yourself time to recover and adapt, or else you’ll do damage.  This is reality.  It’s not negotiable.

We went over to our friends’ house on Saturday night for dinner.  They just had a baby, but they wanted to have us over.  This was an amazing thing.  Dinner was roast pork.  Gabe and I split a few beers.  It was a nice night.

Sunday was weird because we didn’t have to immediately go anywhere.  I got up just before 7:00, got my coffee, and went straight to work on my book.  It wound up taking me a couple of hours to finish fixing up a few last little bits, change a couple of formatting things, and get the whole file uploaded to the Kindle website, but as you will no doubt have noticed by now, I finally got it all done.  The book is out! 

There are still a couple of minor formatting things that I need to fix in the introductory section where it talks about the gods of Wanderhaven, but they’re minor, and formatting for the Kindle is notoriously fickle.  I’ll get that done this weekend.  In the meantime, I think the stories themselves transcribed correctly.  They look readable and all that.  However, if you buy a copy and you’re dissatisfied with the formatting, let me know.  I’ll send you a PDF or arrange to get you the new version when I get it out next weekend.  Note: there won’t be any kind of announcement on it.  I’m just going to re-upload the book when I get the formatting fixed on the page where it’s messy, and that’ll be that.

People seem to have responded well to the book.  I’ve sold a few, mostly to friends and Classmates, I’m sure, but those count.  I’m looking forward to getting a few reviews up there and hopefully getting the word out a little wider on the Internet.  I guess we’ll see how that goes.

We had the Christmas pageant Sunday afternoon.  That was fun.  Neither of our girls had big parts, but Hannah got to sing a little, and she sounded good.  Emma got stuck in a corner for much of the pageant unfortunately, but maybe next year she’ll get to do more.  Both girls seemed happy afterwards, and that’s what counts.

That was it.  Last night we had a roast chicken that Sally fixed in the crock pot, along with a Riesling that was supposed to be very dry but wasn’t.  It was still okay, but it wasn’t what I’d been expecting.  Either other folks have very different tastes than I do, or else this wasn’t the 90 point wine I’d thought it was.

How was your weekend?  Did you do anything cool?

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