Sunday, February 24, 2013

Ride the Rails

I ride the train to work most mornings.  Not because I am particularly green or anything, although I am somewhat, but because I do not like to drive.  On a traffic free day, my commute is about 35 minutes driving.  On a normal day, it is around 45-50 minutes.  On a bad day, 90.  In my mind, that is a lot of time spent staring at the road doing nothing useful.  Sure, I listen to NPR, but I'm just sitting.  And I don't just sit very well.  I like to be doing.  Sadly, the highway patrol frowns on knitting while driving.  And so, I ride the train.  The lovely Utah Transit Authority recently revamped the schedule of the train that I take, adding more trains and adding an extra car to said trains (thank goodness) and so I gave up my usual spot on the last car and exchanged it for one on the first car.  My reason for the change is simple.  Not very many people ride the first car, and fewer people is fine by me.  I am not one of those travelers who likes to converse with a seatmate.
The other rail cars on the train are new, with that chemical new car type smell.  They have new blue fabric seats, clean white paint, chrome and grey plastic.  All shiny and new.  The added car?  Not so much.  It was built in the early 70's and they didn't upgrade it or change it.  Maybe UTA just ran out of money, maybe they just thought it was retro cool.  And, it is.  It's my favorite car.  There is so much more personality in it than in the sterile, industrial feel of the new cars.  Brown vinyl seats, industrial tile floor, luggage racks, heavy sliding door (that will totally take you out if you aren't watching), the works.

And, it has that smell...not a bad one...of must, and age, and people and time and energy.  There's a vibe in that rail car that doesn't exist in the shiny new double decker cars.
I sit on my brown vinyl bench seat alone, next the window and things are different.  No longer am I just a commuter in the rush to the daily drudge.  No, I'm a traveler, on my way to somewhere exciting.  Perhaps off on a cross country adventure.  Perhaps off to see long missed family members, or to meet a lost lover.
As I watch the scenery whip by, with the houses and cars just a short distance away, I imagine what it would be like to be whisked off on a long distance rail journey and wonder who or what would be waiting for me at the end of the line.  Will I end in a lonely hotel while I look for a job?  Will I find friends and family waiting for me?  Or will I step off the train into the arms of the eager lover?
And so, I sit back, and I enjoy the feeling and the journey, which ends all too soon at my station and my job.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The Last Plantagenet

I suppose, in the grand scheme of things, it isn't really that big of a deal, but the finding of Richard III's body gives me an inordinate amount of pleasure.  Now, I will grant you, that is the nerd/geek in me talking.  My facebook feed was full of references to it.  Which says something interesting about my friends. I think there were two or three posts about the super bowl and the rest of it was Downton Abbey and Richard III.
And, it seems appropriate that such a villainous king should be laid to rest under something as ignominious as a carpark, does it not?
Perhaps he wasn't quite as villainous as we think.  Well, as some think. I'm willing to be a large number of you don't think about him at all.  Ever. But I do.
It is said that many of his crimes were falsified and/or attributable to someone else, with the exception of the Princes in the Tower.  But isn't that enough to make him a villain?  The murder of two innocent boys, one of them the Crown Prince and only 12 years old, to boot?  Fat lot of good murdering those boys did him, anyway, he only reigned for 2 years.  He could have been Edward's regent for longer than that.
Dear Richard,
Karma's a bitch. You killed the boys, you end up in a car park.
How's that for fair play?
Now, they just need to tell me they've found the actual remains of King Arthur and I can die a happy woman.  To be sure, they'd have to figure out exactly who King Arthur was, first.
Want a good read about the History of the Plantagenets?  Check out the series about them by Thomas Costain.  It's fascinating, starting with Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine and ending, of course, with the death of Richard III on Bosworth Field and the subsequent succession of Henry Tudor.  It's confusing as all get out, but is definitely worth the read.
A horse, a horse, my kingdom for a horse!  Or this carpark, it will do as well.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Health and Wealth....or Just Health

So, I mentioned on Facebook the other day about how fate seemed to be shouting in my face that I needed to get off my lazy ass and lose some weight.  That morning my jeans were too tight.  That afternoon when I got  home there was a Women's Health mag shouting at me about the best way to get fit and healthy.  That night, while sitting on the floor with The Small One, she pointed out how big and fat my belly was.  In fact, she told me I looked pregnant.  Good times.  Nothing like a little hit to your self-esteem to get you motivated, right?
Now, to be sure, as my dear friend reminds me regularly, I'm not fat.  And I need to learn to be content with the body I have.  That being said, I'm not content.  I was a thin girl most of my life, even skinny at some points, so being...not a bit difficult for me.  And, you know, I made a human, which takes a toll on one's body.  I will never be as thin and fit as I was when I was, say, 25..

I'm the absurdly thin girl in the glasses.  This was, of course, 13 years ago.  My metabolism was still high and I was much more healthy eater.  Not to mention the fact that I got regular exercise.  I don't do that so much anymore, my life seems to have gotten in the way, a bit.
Add to that the fact that I just scheduled a photo shoot with an amazing photographer, well, there's some more incentive for me.  I want to be fabulous.  
I know, it's silly.  I've fallen prey to the stupidity that is pop culture.  Why should I be concerned about it?  I'm not really that fat.  I qualify as chubby.  But, my girl loves me, chubby or otherwise.  So do my friends.  In fact, they don't even see it.  If I were to show my dearest friend a picture of me today, I doubt they would even notice the chub.  What they'd notice is what they love about me.  I feel the same way when I see a picture of my friends.  I see what I love.  I see how beautiful they are.  Or how fun, or how delightful.  I see how they love their children or what they are doing.  But, no, I don't tend to see that about myself.  I think many of us are like that.  Too many fashion magazines.  Too much pounding into our skulls how we aren't thin enough or pretty enough.  And yep, I caved.  
But, don't worry.  I won't go too far.  I don't want to look like that girl up there.  I was that skinny in my 20's and it was part of who I was.  I'm not that skinny any more, and it would take WAY more effort than I am interested in investing to look like that again.  I have more important things to do that be skinny.  But, you know, I would like to not squish over my jeans when I sit down.  I would like to be thin enough so that my dear sweet, honest girlie can't tell me that I look like I'm pregnant.  Will it happen?  I don't know?  It's either that or become ok with the body I live it.  They both seem difficult to obtain. 
My end goal is to weigh what I did before I got pregnant.  I think part of my problem is looking at that end goal and seeing just how far away it is.  And, it's far enough.  20 lbs away, if you want to know.  So, I've decided to take it in 2 week bites.  I can do anything for 2 weeks.    So, 2 weeks from now, I hope to be 5 lbs lighter.  We'll see what I feel like doing for the 2 weeks after that when we get there.
Wish me luck.  It means no more brie and olives for dinner for the next two weeks. No crab and goat cheese ravioli.  It also means watching my too skinny daughter eat up creamy, gorgeous delicious foods in an attempt to fatten her back up, while not having any myself. It may kill me.

I'm a Greedy Beggar

You know what I want?  I want joy and happiness and beauty and enough money to travel and help out my friends who need it.  And a pair of really fabulous shoes.
Since I was planning to move this weekend (yeah, that didn't happen) I had been purging my belongings in an effort to fit into a much smaller space, so I got rid of a lot of my shoes.  Nearly killed me, that.  I hate purging my shoes.  It's silly.  I'm in a job where I'm on my feet much of the day, plus, we've had epic snow here and I have to walk about a 1/2 mile from the train station to work, so I've been wearing boots.  Not cute fashionable boots, of which I have 5 or 6 pair, no, useful boots.  Saloman, to be specific.  They are neither cute nor fashionable.  They are flat, with grippy soles and they keep my feet warm.
When there aren't large amounts of snow on the ground, I'm still on my feet for much of the day and I still have to walk 1/2 mile to and from the aforementioned train station, so I wear sneakers or boring flats.  So, I have a TON of gorgeous high heels, really sexy high heels, that I NEVER wear.  But, I can't bring myself to get rid of them.  Perhaps I ought to be more glamourous.
I love fashion and shoes and makeup, and yet, I show up at work everyday in jeans, a tshirt and snowboots with a scarf on my head and no makeup.  Something is wrong here.  Oh yeah, I'm lazy.  And lest you be confused, the scarf on my head is a headscarf, not a big winter neckscarf, cause that'd be weird.
But, high heels give me joy.  However fleeting.  So does cheese.  And good friends.  That joy isn't as fleeting.
As the move this weekend didn't happen, and it appears I am staying in my house for the next several months, at any rate, I decided to put my purging and organizing to continued usefulness.  I spent all day today covering boxes in pretty fabric so that I can properly organize my sewing stuff.  Moved some shelves in, started putting away fabric.  What a daunting task.  But, I will continue to purge as I do it.  This is a good thing, right?  RIGHT?
Here, let me show you the fruits of my labors so far.

Aww, isn't it pretty?  All blue and tan and grey and black and french.  I have a tendency to be half-assed when I start a project like this.  I am determined this year not to do that.  I will do it properly if I'm going to do it.  Problem is, it takes SO LONG.
I think The Small One may have had a better idea.  This is how she spent much of the afternoon, the lazy infant.
Laying in my bed, eating chili and watching cartoons on the kindle.  Or playing games.  Or harassing the cat. Just depends.
I want to go back to Ireland in my dreams tonite, but I'd like to have a companion.
It's after 2 am.  I'm tired and have insomnia.  Can you tell?

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Better, Someday

I dreamed last night that I went to Ireland with a friend.  We flew to Ireland and wandered around different places and had a wonderful time.  And then, we got separated.  My friend and I were heading for a train or a ferry or some other sort of transport and my friend made it on, but I did not.  There was a lot of confusion, a lot of things going on, and then I realized, I was alone.  Alone in a country I did not know.  At first, I was worried and a bit frightened.  What would I do?  Would I be able to find my friend?  Would my friend be able to find me?  Did my friend even WANT to find me?  Perhaps not. 
I sat in the station for a while, trying to figure out what to do.  And, then I realized I was in a new country, and yes, perhaps I was alone, but it didn't change the fact that it was a new country with new things to see, new experiences to have, new people to meet.  So, I got up and I went out into the city and started to explore by myself.  I saw my friend in passing periodically, a face on a passing train, the back of a familiar coat exiting a store I had just entered.  Having dinner with someone else.  It seemed my friend had an adventure to find on their own, and apparently, so did I.
I think Ireland would be a lovely place to do that. 

It's been a hell of a week.  Things haven't gone right, I feel all sorts of loose endish.  I wasn't able to move into the apartment I had been planning on.  I spend too much time away from The Small One, what with commuting and working all day.  My house is a half packed disaster.  I don't know if I'm staying in this house or moving to a different place.  The Small One has been out of school since before Christmas due to serious illness and major weight loss.  She is due to start back on Monday, and, I confess, I'm a bit worried about it.  I don't want her to get sick again, she can't afford to lose weight like that, but she does need to go back to school. 

I think I'll go back to Ireland.