Art & Stuff

I’ve been thinking a lot about how to be more consistent with updating and at the risk of sounding like a broken record I made a few decisions that should help with that and I’m really excited about. Specifically, I’m going to utilize the different domains I have that are basically dormant and focus my posting. However, I also just started a new job and so presently most of my time has been spent either working or sleeping with occasional eating thrown in to keep me from keeling over unconscious. So, despite my enthusiasm to do so I’m opting not to fiddle around with websites for the time being.1

Instead, I wanted to share this wonderful drawing Dany Gonzalez did of me and the girls:

Graphic artwork of me practicing yoga with Yara, Uschi and Dolly playfully surrounding me

Honestly, I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect piece of art to print and hang on my living room wall. The more I look at it the more things I notice. I really dig Dany’s style and I’m impressed by how faithfully each of the girls have been captured. But since this was a collaboration, there’s also a lot of history that’s showcased here from the girls’ reactions to me practicing yoga to Dolly stealing my harness.

  1. Except, of course, the few changes I already have made around here.

A New Year

While I like the concept of personal improvement through self-evaluation and goal-setting, I find New Year’s resolutions to be entirely pointless. But having said that, I have a somewhat lengthy list of goals that I intend to work on throughout this year. And since one of those is essentially to blog more1 I’ll be chronicling all of that right here. Of course, I fully intend to continue my normal posting of whatever strikes my fancy because I’m the first to admit my life is hardly thrilling and a daily account of such is going to be mighty with the boring. Nevertheless, I figure this is as good a venue as any to hold myself accountable for the goals I’ve laid out for myself. Which is not to say I’m going to be rigid about this and expecting to accomplish every darn thing by year’s end. I’m thinking of all this as more a road map for stuff I want to do and, well, I’ll take stock as time goes on.

So, here goes:

Job — I need a new job and that’s all I’m saying on that. :-p

Fitness — Since the pain issues are behind me2 I’ve let my yoga fall by the wayside. I would like to get back to some yoga each day, but for now I’m striving for a few times a week at the very least. Especially on days where Uschi and I don’t get out for our marathon walking.

Photography — I’ve had my shiny red Nikon D3100 for over a year now and even though I’ve learned a lot I still feel like a total newb with it. I’d also like to invest in at least one new lens for it because I’m really lacking in zoom and macro features. Really, I just want to get more comfortable with my camera and continue to improve on my own photography skills (or lack thereof).

Food — Believe it or not I went almost all of last year without baking anything. There were a bunch of reasons for this, but it still surprises me because not only do I really enjoy baking, I find it a great stress reliever and I’m sure that first goal alone will require that in spades. Plus, I have so many cupcake designs I’ve been wanting to make! But even more than that I’d really like to make an effort to make more diverse dishes. Cooking for one tends to lead me to be lazy because it seems like so much effort for just me and since I don’t eat meat I find that I fall back on the same meals again and again even though I can make something else.

Writing — Academic writing is now a thing of the past3 which means from a creative standpoint I should be writing almost nonstop and instead I’ve found myself doing very much the opposite. Even blogging seems beyond me. And I would like this to change.

Books — No school means more reading!

Websites — Enough procrastinating! Either I get the sites updated (or off the ground!) or I’m letting domains expire and making space for hostees. Also, I think this place needs a bit of a facelift.

Gaming — Okay, truth is this is just to ensure my list had some fun in it, but also I got Animal Crossing: New Leaf for Christmas and I figure I’ll be playing that a bit almost every day for quite awhile.

Uschi — In an effort to work more with Uschi on her one major distraction, I’m hoping to get her enrolled in some training classes. I’m thinking eventually we could do rally obedience or even get her certified as a therapy dog. At any rate, I almost always have something to report on the shepherd so she deserves a goal catergory all her own. ;-)

Now this is not an exhaustive list by any means, but these are the big ones I’ve had in mind. I’m sure I’ll tweak this as the year goes, but for now I’ll see how these all pan out.

  1. At the least I hope to blog more than I did last year!
  2. Well, there is still pain, but certainly not as extreme.
  3.   At least not a thing of the foreseeable future!

Some Yay and Some Ugh

My computer is on its last virtual legs, I think. Today while trying to compile the accessibility issues with WordPress’s Add Media panel, JAWS suddenly popped up a bunch of strange installation errors. And after trying to resolve those, my entire computer crashed. And now it’s doing all manner of odd things. I would very much like my new iMac to get here already. Seems like it’s been forever since it was ordered.

On the sort of brighter side, today I had an appointment with my rheumatologist who pretty much unequivocally ruled out nearly all of the speculated possible diagnoses I had for the pain issues, including fibromyalgia. He thinks the initial issue from last year was likely a pinched nerve from sleeping weird coupled with strained muscles and feels the continued issues are due to bursitis. So, in point of fact, my worry that working the dog had actually caused and/or exacerbated the issue were quite well founded. Though, thankfully, he doesn’t think I’m in danger of causing myself more harm by continuing to use my guide dog.

He gave me a bunch of exercises to add to my yoga routines, a script for a pretty powerful anti-inflammatory, and wants me back in two months. If I continue to have pain after all that, he wants me to have a cortisone injection. Well, actually he wanted me to have one today, but I’d rather try something that’s more sustainable since yoga has helped greatly over the last several months. Though, having said that, the poke-and-prod session has predictably left me feeling especially achy and a good part of me is regretting not jumping on the idea of an injection.

On the Horizon

It’s dreary out and I feel this post is a good reflection of that. Over the last day we’ve been having the wettest possible snow. It weights an absolute ton. And so I opted to take my hour of shoveling as substitution for today’s daily yoga. You can call it cheating, but frankly I’m too sore and exhausted to give a fig.

All kinds of stuff has been going on over the last two months with regard to work. I keep thinking I’ll have something worthy of announcing, but it’s all complicated and nothing is truly settled so mostly I’ve been vague. I do have a Very Important Test in April that I just spent more money on than I think is adequately fair. I’m really excited about the whole thing, but I’ll be much more excited if something actually comes of it. I’ll be utterly over the moon if that happens quickly, though, these things rarely do.

Tomorrow is my first appointment with my new rheumatologist. It’s actually a good time for this given I’ve been having increased issues with pain the last week. The stiffness and pain is back in my neck — and actually it was bothering me on the opposite side last week, which was a first — and I’m noticing issues in my left leg again. We’ll see what comes of it. In other health news, I’ve had an unpleasant bout with migraines over the last month. I think it might be from a combination of sinus issues and allergies since I tend to get migraines when I’m extremely stuffed up, but the last few have been incredibly bad ones and I’m sad to say I’m seriously thinking I may have to go back on meds.

I completely have forgotten the other things I was going to post because the phone just rang and utterly distracted me.

Yoga Cupcakes

I may have to take some inspiration from these confections:

Cupcakes topped with gingerbread men in yoga poses

Yoga cookie cutters are available here. And there are more yoga cupcakes here.