May 17th, 2005

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Back

Last night, to avoid the aching back I get from sleeping on my stomach half the night, I tried very, very hard to sleep only on my back or side. My back didn't get as sore as usual, but I spent half the night awake :( Usually I start on my back and fall alseep on my side, then I wake up at some point around dawn and flip to my stomach, so I can bury my head in the pillow. All night I was agitated by the fact I knew I couldn't flip onto my stomach -- unless I wanted a sore back. I was half-awake from 5 to 8:30 forcing myself to keep off my stomach. I think tonight I'm going to say screw it, since the back problem resolves itself by lunchtime anyway. I'd rather sleep soundly and get a sore back than keep myself up to avoid a couple hours discomfort. Plus if I keep losing weight, sleeping on my stomach will get better, since the thing that causes my back to ache is that my stomach keeps me from lying level :)
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German Spam

Over the weekend my email account at Georgia Tech, which I'm checking now, seems to have been hit by a massive wave of German spam. Normally most of the spam I get there is Chinese or Russian (go figure), but this is all German, with great subject lines like (I'm translating):

The Whore Lived Like a German
You Will Be Made A Slave
People Will Be Made to Pay
Turkey in the EU
Paranoid German Murderer Goes to the Psychiatrist
Dresden Bombing Is To Be Regretted Enormously

Bizarre...
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Vegetarian Update

Today for lunch I went to Tin Drum and ordered my favorite dish of theirs, Shanghai Fried Noodles. I had eaten a few bites of it and was grabbing another chopstick-load when I noticed this lump of something, which turned out to be chicken. Aaargh! I forgot to specify tofu as I usually do, so they assumed I wanted chicken in it. The situation was easily remedied, however; I fished out about 20 pieces of chicken and ate the remainder.

I have been a very good vegetarian for about 6 weeks now. The only red meat or poultry I've had was a single piece of pepperoni I ate by accident at Baraonda. Other than that, it's been all vegie, with some fish and shrimp. Really there wasn't much of a transition for me, since my home cooking is always vegetarian (mostly Moosewood recipes) and the only meat I really get is at restaurants, parties and with family, and most of the time that stuff is really bad health-wise anyway (e.g. reuben sandwiches, fried chicken wings, country-fried steak, etc.) I think I probably *will* eat some meat if my mom and dad make it over Memorial Day but other than that, I don't anticipate any lapses.

Oh, and my weight is now down to about 198. When I get to 190 I should be able to wear pants again, should I so desire. Plus several of my shirts -- currently too tight to be anything but embarrassing -- will go back into general circulation! I'll be very excited when my cute Chinese silk dress fits again. I bought that last year after going on a diet and I know it won't fit for some time yet.
firstgrade

Summer Vacations

What did you do for summer vacation?

Not sure what triggered this exactly, but I started going over things I did on summer vacations growing up, then wondered what other people did.

From age 0 through 18 the main thing I did every summer vacation was go canoe camping with my family in the Adirondacks (upstate New York). From age 12 on up this turned into wilderness canoe camping in places like Algonquin Provincial Park in Ontario, Boundary Waters in Minnesota, and the Provincial parks in the Canadian Rockies. The first time I went I was under a year old and, so mom says, I stood right in the bow of the canoe as we crossed Middle Saranac Lake in a big thunderstorm. I was certainly never afraid of water!

Trips always took place in August. When I was younger and we were going to the Adirondacks trips were a week, but later when it was just me and my parents and we got ambitious, we'd go further away and take off for two weeks. Often we'd go out for a week in Algoquin, come back to the outlet to get showers, milkshake, more food, then drive off to some other lake or river and do another trek.

It's pretty amazing how far we'd go considering my parents' age at the time and my dad's heart condition. We'd do something like paddle through a huge lake like Lake Opeongo, portage 2 miles to another lake, go up a river, portage to another lake, do another river, cross another lake, then portage back to Opengo over a week. Along the way we'd do little hiking trips, go fishing, read, and go swimming. Those were some of the sweetest times in my whole life.

Other than those canoe camping trips, we'd also do some shorter weekend trips up to Maine, where we'd stay in a regular campground and then go off on day trips to places like Booth Bay. And of course when I was around 15 and my dad got his 22-ft. sailboat, we went sailing just about every weekend and even several times a week. The summer after my dad got laid off (and summers after that) he and I would go out on the boat 3 times just on the weekdays, just going out into the ocean and chillin'.

I spent 2-3 weeks of the summers of 1988 and 1989 staying with my sister Nancy and her family in Ithaca, NY. Another summer trip for me was 1992 when I spent the whole summer in a suburb of Bonn, Germany. But that's a whole other story.

ADDENDUM
I *do* remember what triggered this line of memory! The owner of the Asian place I had lunch asked me if I had any summer vacation plans. I told him I was going to Italy and Germany and he asked if he could get in my suitcases.
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Depression udpate

Entering my weight into the weight/diet software I have, I noticed that according to my log, I've been taking the Lexapro for about two weeks.

During that time I've had both hyper happy days and yucky depressed lethargic days. I have only had a couple of days where I felt really paralyzed and terrible. I think the most positive thing is that overall I do seem more able to get things done and make decisions. There also seem to be fewer headaches. Caleb and Daniel have noted that I've been considerably less snippy and harder to annoy, which is good since I know I was being really unreasonably irritable at times.

Based on what the doctor said and what I read about the drug, I shouldn't actually expect to see full results (if there are any) for three weeks to a month, so I will just be patient. I think the fact that I'm working out three times and week and trying to walk more will also do me good. So hopefully when I go back to Dr. Jones for my follow-up in early June I can say I'm a bit better and also have lost 5 lbs.