Friday Round Up; Of Health

Time for my Friday round up:

Where was I this week?

Issues of Health

Eric and I planned our trip to Omaha this week, though it’s still somewhat tentative. My grandma’s health is not so good. Since last February, she’s been up and down, and lately, more down. I really, really don’t want to have reason to go back before our May 24th flight.

On my side of health, a nasty arthritis flare-up on Tuesday reminded me that I need to do more when I feel good. That includes exercising. Honestly, I’m not sure there’s any pattern to exertion and flare-ups. I’ve gained a few pounds lately and I need to start exercising more again. 2-ish times a week isn’t cutting it.

Women’s League

While I’m a proponent of women’s ultimate, I will admit that I’m not very good at it. I’ve played mostly co-ed, and as someone who’s played mostly with men, it’s often hard getting used to shorter and, yes, slower targets. Yet, I found myself really excited about women’s league after seeing my team. I mean, Sarah, Betsy, Marnie, Mel, Monika, and Kaysi all on the same team? Fun and good might actually co-exist! I was pretty surprised at the talent in the women I didn’t know too. Deborah is a dark horse with some skills and  the others are all enthusiastic and willing to learn.

We lost our game last night, but in universe point against a squad consisting of mainly ASU girls. The final point was notable in that it lasted nearly twenty minutes. I kid you not. The point was well in-progress when hardcap was blown at 9:50pm and we didn’t slap hands until 10:10. Allyson actually asked if we had heard the horn. Granted, the captains have made a vow to explain rules as we go along, and I believe that last point consisted of at least one rule-related stoppage in play and possibly a medical stoppage as well. (I don’t remember if it was during that point that Erin got clocked by Betsy or the point before.)

In all, my play was pretty good. After lacking limb control on Wednesday, I was a little worried, but after heading long during the second point, I knew I’d be okay. Throwing was decent. I hit Marnie in the hands with an IO forehand for an almost-score. That was a little low and zippy though. I only threw one ridiculously high backhand, which Kaysi nearly snagged anyway. My D was okay. I think the only person that ran rough-shod over me was Kaetlynn, but hopefully I proved to be a little less of a mis-match than she figured I would be. Well, a girl can dream…

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RoW80 – February 20th Check In

Been doing rewrites, so my word counts are fairly irrelevant. Wrote about 2000 words since Wednesday, but only added about 700 to the manuscript. I’ll talk to Eric later today about whether these changes have been good or good enough. We made several decisions to connect a few characters and I like these changes. The plan is to finish up this pass of rewrites on Monday and then start over with per scene detailing of priority events.

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Felt terrible the last couple days. My elbows and knees, hands and feet have been very achy and I’m tired.

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If I had a blogging platform, it would likely be based on really bad analogies and what lessons I keep learning over and over again. Ultimate frisbee continues to point out interesting behavioral things. For example: more chances for success translates to more likelihood of failure. I’ve been playing ulti for ten years now. My in-game throws are passable enough (no pun intended) that, in league, I get called as a handler. This isn’t a position that I’m comfortable with, but there it is. This means that I will touch the disc often and have more opportunities to cause a turnover. Sure, I have more opportunities for success too, but I remember the crappy shanked backhand, not the…uh…well, I’m sure I did something good. I guess the point is, you can’t get away with only ever being successful. The only way I could avoid screwing up on the ultimate field is to not play ultimate any more. The only way to avoid screwing  up as a writer is to not write. The only way to avoid failure is to not do anything. Which is a bigger, uglier failure because there’s no chance at success either.

Book #31, 2010 Review (fitness edition)

Book #31 for 2010, posted yesterday at Reading Notes:
The Burial at Thebes, a version of Sophocles’ Antigone by Seamus Heaney

I adore Heaney’s translation of Beowulf, so the lit-geek in me squeed when I saw that he’d done translations of two of Sophocles’ plays.

I read Antigone in college. That was over ten years ago, but I don’t recall being unhappy with the translation I read. Not like Beowulf. With Beowulf, I was required to read an utterly dry prose version. I might be wrong about this, but I’m not sure it’s ever a good idea to turn poetry into prose when translating a work. When I came across Heaney’s Beowulf, it was like a breath of frosty Viking sea air. Since I lacked the utter disappointment of hearing a bad cover of Antigone first, Heaney’s version had to stand strong on its own.

It certainly does. Each character is given a cadence to their speech which gives more indication of mood than any stage direction could. Heaney does not shrink from emphasizing the parallels between this story and modern arguments of patriotism. Love of country shouldn’t be defined by disdain for others, Creon’s mistake. And I’m reminded of the interesting relationship the Greek authors had with their female characters. Antigone continually states that she’s doing her duty as a woman and will stand up for it. Creon belittles her for being just a woman, while everyone around him seems to state, "Doesn’t matter what she is. She’s right."

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Fitness stuff:

Average daily calories consumed: 1839
Average daily calories expended: 1878
Considering that my weight hasn’t changed, that sounds about right. I should up my activity.

According to FitDay, I played 70 hours of ultimate frisbee (expending just over 28,000 calories) and ran 100 miles (18hrs 50min, expending 9600 calories).

In general, it’s difficult to say whether my body has deteriorated. I still haven’t come up with a satisfactory way of tracking pain. I also need to be aware that fatigue is a symptom. In February, around the time of the Skirt Chaser 5K, I had a bit of a flare up. After I returned from Omaha, I threw my back out. I don’t even remember how or when, exactly, but the pain was different than other times, extending into my quads. I used some stretches for sciatica to relieve that. Had a bad cold in the summer. Took me about a week to shake the cough. Felt pretty good during fall league. Made it through finals with no problems at all. Been a little creaky since then.

…Or maybe a nap?

Fatigue is an RA symptom that I have trouble gauging. After all, when my joints hurt, well, *my joints hurt.* I take some ibuprofen or naproxen, maybe drink a beer, and I’m either good or my joints still hurt. With fatigue, I can drink coffee and still be tired. I can drink an energy drink and still be groggy. I can go for a walk or a run and still be addle-brained. I can take a nap, go to bed early, and wake up tired. But I always wake up groggy. I’m not a morning person. Surely, another cup of coffee will put it all right…

Anyway, I apparently over-did it over the last couple days and paid for it yesterday (and am probably still paying today).

Thursday, we went to Mark’s for Thanksgiving dinner. Nice, quiet meal, though I might have drank a wee bit too much sweet tea vodka over the course of the afternoon and evening.

Since Eric’s parents aren’t in town this weekend (they’re going to come down for Eric’s graduation next month), we didn’t head back up to Mark’s to watch the Nebraska/Colorado game. Instead, I decided on the spur of the moment to head to Fran’s tailgate/pig roast. Since I hadn’t made any arrangements for a lift (like last year), I figured I’d head out to where they were supposed to be and if I didn’t find anyone I’d head back home. I’d have a nice morning walk and a rail ride if nothing else. Luckily, I spotted Fran unloading the pig roaster as I was headed back and thus avoided a repeat of the Cell-Phoneless-Girl-In-a-Parking-Lot Incident of 2008. Had tasty smoked pig and potato salad, way too many beers, and a conversation with Dan’s four-year-old about Star Wars.

And then on Saturday, the fatigue hit. I wasn’t hung over, I was just utterly tired. I got up, went for a run (felt decent), napped. Listened to half of a Nebraska basketball game, napped. Tried to do some reading for gaming, went to bed. It seems like the rest of the day, I sat and stared at a computer screen and contemplated napping.

Right now, I’m a little creaky in the joints, but not zapped. I’m doing some writing, watching some tennis. I do kind of wonder if over-indulgence of alcohol doesn’t cause more flare-up symptoms than over-doing exercise. Or maybe last weekend’s games are catching up to me too. Or maybe it’s the changes in weather we’ve been having (it’s cloudy today!). Or maybe… *shrug*

Being Unprofessional, 52|250, Reading Doldrums

Received some good writing news Saturday night. "Breakfast in the Garden" was accepted for publication by Bards and Sages Quarterly. I wrote this story in 2008 and had it critiqued via Critters. The critiques were, of course, mixed. Amid the usual line edits, there were a few suggestions for rewrites. Some of the suggestions were good. I noted them and set the story aside to be rewritten at some later point. Except the longer I waited, the more distasteful the thought of reworking the story became. In May, I did the unprofessional thing.  I figured, "Screw it." I was never going to make time for the revisions and the piece was just gathering dust. And…I liked the story as it was. I cleaned it up, made a few minor changes, and shipped it of to a few short story markets. At worst after a couple months of emailing it around, it would end up as more free fiction by me on the web.

The "screw it" philosophy is probably not the best way to get fiction published. Or maybe it is. The only thing I know about the publishing biz is that no one knows anything definite about the publishing biz.

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In the land of more free fiction, I returned to 52|250 this week with a piece called "RA." The theme was Red Meat. I kept picturing a gruesomely wounded knee, but then added a little auto-biographical to my fiction. My hands and feet have been aching since Friday. I took liberties with the actual medical science.

I like 52|250. It’s interesting to see what other authors decide to do with a theme, and  in bite-sized chunks!

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The doldrums of summer creep into my reading.

I couldn’t get caught up in The Strain. I may be forever vampired out.

I moved on to Red Harvest by Dashiell Hammett. Luck for Hire has some potentially noir qualities to it, so I figured it was about time I tasted that genre. After fifty pages, I find that there is so much distance between the tale and reader that I have no feelings for the characters. I don’t hate them, but I don’t like them either. I simply don’t care what happens to them. This doesn’t make me compelled to read on.

I’m going to putter through some short fiction on my defunct reading list.

Forks are painful.

The Spoon Theory from my point of view:
(a cached version since ButYouDon’tLookSick.com is undergoing a revamp)

I have a silverware drawer with a finite and unknown number of spoons in it. I also don’t know when the used spoons will be washed and placed back into the drawer. What I assume to be true about the situation: if I play it safe and only use one spoon, eventually I will forfeit all of them. Therefore, I occasionally think I have more spoons in the drawer then I do, run out, and have to use a fork instead.

(Where spoons are low-pain days (or something like that). And forks are painful.)

In short, I’ve overdone it in the past month.
From mid-January to mid-February:

  • Games of ultimate frisbee played: 10
  • Miles ran: 9.95
  • Drinks I didn’t pay for: 8 (Thanks Tyler, Casey, Cisco, Kuby, Dave & VOTS)
  • Words written: 6,628
  • Schemes related to writing: 1
  • Rejection letters: 3
  • Web pages created or modified: 13
  • Offers of work that I turned down: 1
  • Everquest 2 "events": 4 (and I totally missed one)

Of course, when I list it out it looks like the life of a not-very-busy geeky person. It’s just a little much for a hermit. I look forward to not doing much of anything for a while.

Probably just confirmation bias…

On a scientific level, there is little evidence linking weather change to arthritis pain. On an anecdotal level, I suffered for four days while the Phoenix metro experienced a pretty decent storm. Pain in my hands and knees set in Wednesday and didn’t let up until Saturday night. That’s the worst flare-up I’ve had in a while. It wreaked havoc on my exercise plans and my will to do much more than be miserable.

Today, I went out and played some ultimate with the Intel/Freescale/Other guys. Felt decent, though it took a while for my hands to remember how to catch a disc. Quan (of Intel disc) has put together a team to play at New Year Fest next weekend; Eric is a late add. They wanted to scimmage at least once and I went to provide an extra body if needed. I’ll be helping with Frisbee Central next Saturday and playing with one of the PHX-ation teams on Sunday. I’m looking forward to it.