Monday, May 31, 2010

Manic Monday: Relaxing Weekend

I had very little to do this weekend so I spent the majority of it with Beta. While she slept, I spent my time with tea and a good book. Beta hasn't been feeling too well, so she slept a lot. (Bonus reading time!) We did go to the park and to agility class. That tires her out quickly.

It was a pretty lazy weekend and just what I needed. 
Friday night I went to the pub with a pole friend of mine. It was hilarious because as soon as we walked into the pub, we both took note of how high the ceiling was. It's habit now. Anytime I hear someone say they have 9 foot ceilings I turn a bit green with envy. That would be fantastic for a pole! After dinner we walked down the street and had dessert at Nectar Desserts. It was amazing! Very cozy place to hold up on a raining evening.

Saturday night I had dinner with my RCIA sponsor, who is really more of a friend than anything else after spending 2 years together.  We always have wonderful conversations. After a great dinner we went and had ice cream for dessert.

Sunday was a stay in the house day. I gave Beta a bath in the evening so she would be clean and smell nice for when Frenchie gets home this week. She's always so fuzzy and soft after a bath. I find it funny that most dogs dislike the bath part of the process. Beta hates the drying off part. I gave her lots of treats so hopefully she gets better the more often we do it. She's not the kind of dog that needs to have a bath often. Only once a month at most unless she gets really dirty somehow. We've had a lot of rain lately, so she was a little 'wet dog' smelling.

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Sunday, May 30, 2010

27/50: Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's StoneI feel like the only person that hasn't yet read Harry Potter. I was hesitant. I had gone to the movie with a friend of mine who read them when it first came out. Why would I need to read the book if there is a movie?
I finally got around to reading this book for the first time. Since I have already seen the movie, the story wasn't new for me. I find this one hard to review. I dislike reading books that have characters that make me angry. I had to put the book down several times when Malfoy and Snape were a part of the story. The fact that I can't stand those two characters shows how well written the book really is. I've been told that those characters become more prominent in the rest of the books, and I'm not sure I can deal with that. Although the books are so well written, I find it hard to want to read the rest of them knowing that I might be angry through them.
I did like Harry as a character. He is a force for good and very likable.  I did find him a little annoying is some spots, but then I remind myself he is Harry Potter! He's the wizard who survived!

It was a fast read, but it didn't convince me by itself to continue with the series. I've been told by a lot of people to keep reading as they just continue to get better. I should hope so, because this one didn't pull me in and convince me to read more about Harry and his friends. I realize it's a young adult book, and I know that most adults love them almost more than their children. I didn't feel that way. I read it, but it didn't make any profound difference to me. It was just another book.
Perhaps later on I'll read the second one and slowly get through the series, but I feel there are other books out there that I would like to read before the rest of these.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Movie Review (10): Gia

Gia (Unrated Edition)I've had this movie recorded on the PVR for the last 6 months and never got around to reading it. I had heard it was a sexy movie and I felt I should be in the right mood to watch it.
It wasn't very sexy, at least to me. It was touching and showed a side to the modelling world that most shows don't let us see. Gia was a happy young girl and then she got sucked into the world of fashion. They used her up and spit her out. She died far too young from a disease that the world wasn't truly aware of yet.

The part of the movie that stuck with me, wasn't the drug use, but that she felt so alone and was clinging to anyone who would show her an ounce of love. She was pulled from her slightly broken family and pushed into a world where she was preyed upon. Everyone loved her. She was so young and had no idea how to navigate the fashion world. She'd do anything they asked of her and more. She was so lonely that she turned to drugs as a way to find happiness. Sadly, that only lasted for so long. She clung to everyone and lost a lot of people. Every lose pushed her farther down.

I found it sad and scary that she descended so far into drug use and even as a junkie who was completely incoherent, they still wanted to photograph her. The scene where she is spaced out, and they are manually positioning her body for a photo made me angry and sad all at the same time. Anything for a picture.

Gia was a sad story, but it had a good message from all sides. From the young girl who said yes and ended up dying. From the mother who cared for her and wanted nothing but to please her. From the girlfriend who tried to do the right thing and no matter how she tried, would fail, but not through her own fault.

This movie is old, but it certainly shows great acting by Angelina Jolie.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Movie Review (9): One Week

Ben Tyler (Joshua Jackson) has been diagnosed with cancer. With a grim chance of survival in the best case scenario even if he immediately begins treatment, he instead decides to take a motorcycle trip from Toronto through the Canadian prairies to British Columbia. Along the way, he makes new friends, reevaluates his relationship with his fiancée Samantha (played by Liane Balaban), his job, and his dream of becoming a writer, and, after suffering some near-death experiences, learns to appreciate life.

I recorded this movie on the PVR so I would have something to watch while Frenchie is away. Season finales are airing so there is little left to watch. I am very glad I did.

I loved this movie. The scenery showed how beautiful Canada really is and that we need to take some time to enjoy it. Ben makes a life changing decision by deciding not to do treatment. He choose life first instead of being a 'patient' (as he says often in the movie).  He learns something from each person he meets and he also changes their life in some small way without even knowing it. One thing I liked about the story itself was that it didn't concentrate on his having cancer. It concentrated on him living life and dealing with the cards he was given.  I can't say the movie brought me to tears. I believe it could depending on your state of mind.

As a Canadian, I suppose I loved this movie because they had the typical things Canadians do. Ben stopped for coffee at Tim Horton's and rolled up the rim to win. Something most Canadians do yearly when the contest is on. They accurately showed what the different provinces had to offer in terms of scenery. (Yes, Saskatchewan was very flat).  I even recognized one of the roads that Ben drove on. I know it by heart because I've been on it to get to our yearly holiday location since before I was 5 years old. I felt proud to be from such a beautiful country. From a place that even with death staring Ben in the face, he found enjoyment.

I would recommend this one.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Wedding Wednesday: Taking Care

I was on The Knot this weekend looking at the checklist they have on there.
I realized mine said "1 overdue item". I hate seeing that word "overdue" so I looked at what it was.
"Start taking care of your body in preparation for the big day. Get a workout routine and a diet started. Join a gym or find a personal trainer to help you."
Oooohhh... right. I should probably start doing that...
I was able to check it off because I've started working out again. Sort of. I'm not going back to lifting weights just yet. I'm still terrified of hurting my wrist and undoing all the good my prolotherapy is doing. Instead, I've started taking Zumba classes.They brought an instructor into the gym at work so i signed up. What a blast! The first class I felt like a smoker (sorry if I offend, I've lost a lot of people to the habit) because I could hardly breathe and I was wheezing by the end. I am NOT a cardio person. As my coworker says: "I'll only run if someone is chasing me with a very large knife."
The second class went much better. I felt great and I swear I was the only one smiling in the class. It's so much fun, and an amazing workout at the same time. It was great to go and have fun and not care what I look like. (Which, btw, I think I look like an awkward chicken). I know for sure it's a workout because my butt muscles hurt for a few days after.

I have yet to work on the diet part of getting prepared. I tend to eat what I want, when I want and it usually works out, as long as I'm active. I have a very high metabolism and burn through calories just thinking. (It's a blessing and a curse. I'm hypoglycemic with makes life difficult.)
Over the next couple of weeks I'm going to be trying very hard to start brining my own lunch to work and adding healthier foods to my diet. I was great at eating healthy when I worked out every other day and was focused on building muscle. Now I'm just focusing on being happy, and eating delicious food does that for me.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Therapy Tuesday: Cupid

This is my new go-to move. When all else fails, I end a class with this because I know I can consistently get it.

I have yet to find a graceful way to get into it. I am currently using a side climb and I dislike the look. I may have to perfect the side climb with grace and then go from there.

I started learning this move by having my bottom foot on the floor. From there I went higher so that I was on the tips of my toes. Now I am able to do the full pose.

I love the look of it and the strength it requires in grip of the top leg. This move will hopefully lead me into doing knees.

Therapy Tuesday: Prolo #4 and Natural Medicine

Since my last treatment (2 weeks ago) my wrist has been up and down with pain. I am definitely seeing some results and a lot happier. The first week after the last treatment brought about some odd things. The Monday and Tuesday after, my wrist was very sore. This was odd since the pain usually didn't set in until later in the week. Luckily, those were the only two days I had any significant pain. There was some discomfort at the end of the first week, but nothing out of the ordinary from working on a computer for 5 days.
The second week went much better. The Tuesday was the worst pain and it didn't require any Advil or heat on it. The wrist was just weak and made it a little difficult to pole for any length of time. (How convenient that it hurts on the Tuesdays I have dance class)
At my appointment, the Dr. assesses the area where he puts the treatment and noticed the affected area is becoming smaller. The places he has to put the serum has become a lot smaller and that shows great improvement.

We will probably go on to do 6 or 8 treatments in total, depending on how things progress. I am over the top excited that I'm getting less and less pain, and when it does occur, it's less on the scale.

While I was getting my treatment, I thought I'd inquire with him about stress management and stress relief. He is a naturopath and deals with that sort of thing. I told him I have been experiencing anxiety attacks, some weeks more than others.  He said that the most common reason for people being unable to handle stress and stressful situations is due to a B-vitamin deficiency. He recommended that I take a Hi Potency B complex daily. For when the anxiety attacks occur, he recommended I buy a spray/pill/drop (it comes in all those forms) called Rescue Remedy. It it supposed to help calm me down during the situation as it happens. I opted for the spray. I haven't had to use it yet, but I will certainly let you know if it works or not.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Manic Monday: Victoria Day Weekend

This weekend for us Canadians is a long weekend. For Frenchie and I it turned out to be 4 days long. We both got Friday off and Monday is a national holiday. We got 4 full days together and it's been great. Today we have nothing but relaxing and going to the park on the agenda.

Friday we took me to my fourth prolotherapy treatment. See my post tomorrow for the results. I took an hour and went and got my hair trimmed and then we spent the afternoon at home with Beta.  We went to the dog park and tired her out. To our surprise she went into the river! Sadly we didn't take the camera. Today we will and hopefully she'll go in again. There was two dogs chasing a ball their owner was throwing in the water. Beta decided on her own that she wanted the ball too. It took her a couple of tries, but eventually she went into the water up to her belly. She did a couple of funky looking jumps to get out of it. She looked like she was having a blast. My only concern is the current. She's still pretty small and we're not sure if she can swim yet or not. She had her feet on the river bottom last time. I guess we'll find out!

Friday night we went to Robin Hood, review is here.

Saturday we took Beta to agility class and trained to go through a tunnel, over small jumps and up the A-frame. She did wonderful and got over her fear of each one very quickly. I think this class is going to be great for her. It's super fun, she's tired after and I enjoy going with her. She certainly won't ever go into any competitions, but we'll take a few classes.

After the classes we dropped Beta at home and then went for a massage. A wonderful 90 minute massage. We've been trying to find new spas to go to in the city that a) aren't too expensive, b) will do a 90 minute massage, c) we enjoy and find relaxing.  The spa yesterday was called Swirl Spa. They are very holistic and natural which was very different for us. The sitting room had a couple of chairs and some books. It felt like being in someone's living room. The massage itself was amazing. They used aromatherapy oils which was very relaxing. I chose lavender and jasmine for mine. Frenchie chose a citrus combination.  I find when I get a massage I leave feeling greasy because of the amount of oil they use. This place used an oil that didn't do that. It was completely absorbed by my skin and moisturized it. At the end, they even gave us what was left to take home!

Saturday night we went over to celebrate my brother-in-laws birthday. We had pizza and Crave cupcakes. I love hanging out and playing with my nieces. They are growing so fast and amaze me at how much they can say and know. They pick up on everything!

Sunday was Frenchies day to play sports (he's hurting today and I'm laughing at him). I pimped him out to play ball hockey with a pole friend of mine. They needed a goalie so I offered up his services. He played for about 3 hours until I ran to tell him he was going to be late for his soccer game. He came home, changed, ate a snack and then went to soccer. Today he says his quads are on fire and he hasn't been that sore since he did the P90x.

It's been a wonderfully relaxing weekend. I've really enjoyed having him home for 4 full days. I'll be sad when he goes back to work tomorrow, but luckily it's for one less day!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Movie Review (8): Robin Hood

I wish I hadn't used a free ticket to see this one. The free ticket would have been better spent on a movie worth seeing. If you're a Robin Hood fan, I would suggest renting it just to see it.

Here's why I didn't like it:
The battle scenes weren't up to Ridley Scott's amazing talent. They were short and sad and disappointing.
The plot was lacking for me. There was a couple of different plot lines they could have taken, sadly, none of them were executed thoroughly enough for me to enjoy. the thing to remember about this movie is that it happens before Robin Hood is who we know him. There was only one stealing from the rich, giving to the poor incident, which was what Robin Hood stood for. This movie is more how he became Robin Hood, and I find it hard to believe that's how it came to be.

What I did like:
Russell Crowe did a good job. Cate Blanchet did great. Friar Tuck was a great character as always, and Robin's band of merry men caused laughs throughout the theatre. Little John was a great character and fit to what I remember in the past movies. Will Scarlett was great as well.

If you're a Robin Hood fan from the past, rent the movie. It's worth seeing just because it's Robin Hood, but not worth the money it costs to see on the big screen.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Wedding Wednesday: 13 Months

Yesterday was 13 months to the day! I can't believe how fast it's coming up to the year marker. We still have so many things to take care of! With what I wanted to have done by June of this year, we're pretty well on track. We are still looking for a caterer, but that's the last big vendor we need. The cake baker and florist can come later.

I have a mini list in my head that's growing like crazy. I can't contain it or remember everything. There are so many little details that I would never have thought would make a big difference. Mostly the decorations. Given the expense of the caterer (of what we've seen so far), the decoration budget is taking a big hit. Hopefully doing some DIY projects will help that. the biggest problem with DIY is that once you're done them, you have to find someone that will set up either the night before (which requires a bigger payment for the hall) or the day of the wedding (which means it has to be someone other than me and my immediate family). Then you have to completely trust the people that are doing the decorating to do it right. I'm still unsure about this part.

I'm still hoping to win the lotto so paying for things isn't going to be an issue. Dreamer aren't I?

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Therapy Tuesday: On The Pole

I can't really say that pole has been very theraputic lately. I've been struggling with one move for about 3 hours over the past few weeks and I still can't get it. I figure I'll cut my losses and work on it another day when I'm a little stronger.

I'm actually pretty frustrated with pole right now. I feel like I'm plateued and can't get any more moves than I already have. Instead of thinking of that as a negative, I think it's my body telling me to stop, work on the moves I already know and perfect them. We get so caught up in "what's next?" and "I saw this move and I want to try it" that we forget about what we already know.

There are several moves that I can do. Can I do them consistently? No. That's my new goal. To start focusing on the moves that I'm "okay" at and try to make them consistent. I have a bit of brain block on a couple older moves and the only way to push past that is to do them over and over.

One thing about pole, the more you do a move, the stronger you get, the easier it gets because of the strength and the easier new moves will be. Pole is a set of building blocks. You have to start from the bottom of the pile of blocks before you can put the middle or the top block on. We often forget this and try to do moves that above our strength or comfort level. We need to step back every once in a while and focus on the basics. Only when we have the basics will the advanced moves come.

Therapy Tuesday: Writing

I had a suggestion from a fellow blogger, Psych Dog Partner over on A Dog With A Very Important Job. They suggested that I write down the causes and feelings I go through when I get an anxiety attack. I started last week doing this. I opened a new journal, starting fresh and wrote down a snapshot of my life right now, this instant. From there, I wrote down throughout the day anything that made me anxious. It helped me to identify what my main sources were. It also helped me to see what the symptoms are. I know the things I'm supposed to do, but it's hard to remember when you're feeling overwhelmed.

I'm hoping that by writing these things down and getting them out of my head, I will be able to function better. I'll be more aware, and more able to deal with things when they pop up. Especially if it's the same things affecting me all the time. Identify a pattern and you should be able to come up with something to deal with that pattern. I'm also hoping this will make my next counseling session a little more directed. I'll be able to tell my counseler what's happened, why, and what I did about it. It not only helps me, but helps her to aid me and give me advice and things to work on.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Manic Monday: Weekend Recap

These weekend recaps seem to be all about Beta. I may have to rename them.

Saturday I was supposed to go to an agility class with Beta. It was cancelled. I was supposed to go for dinner with a friend, she got sick. It was just me and the dog and even though I wanted to kill her at some points throughout the day, it was nice to have her. To break up the day I went to the dance studio and poled for awhile. More on that Tomorrow.

Sunday was much more eventful. My friend came over with her dog Charlie (a Beagle) for a puppy play date. Charlie turned 4 on Sunday! We let the dogs get acquainted in the backyard and then headed to the off-leash dog park. It was very busy and a lot of fun. Once we figured we'd tired the dogs out enough, we headed back to my house for a BBQ. We had burgers, fries and salad. It was nice to have someone to sit on the patio furniture with.  Once Charlie and my friend left, Beta and I sat outside. Or rather, I read and Beta slept. It was beautiful weather, I wasn't going to sit in the house. Best part of the day? Beta gave my friend a puppy hug! The last time my friend came over, Beta would not be in the same room. I think since she brought a friend for Beta to play with, she was ok to hug haha.

Manic Monday - walking to work and thinking about what I left on Friday has been causing severe anxiety and it's only 8am. I can see this is going to be a lovely day.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

26/50: Middlesex - Jeffrey Eugenides

(You'll notice the title is now out of 50 to reflect my new goal)

MiddlesexMiddlesex is the story of a girl who, because of a recessive gene is a hermaphrodite. She has male and female genitalia. I thought this book would be really interesting. It's not something I normally read, but it happens to be on the 1001 Books to Read Before You Die list. And in turn, that is one of the tasks in the Spring Book Challenge on the Nest Book Club.

I would give this book 2 stars (out of 5).
This book took me forever to read. I found it slow for the first 300 or so pages. I guess I was expecting more out of it. I found the story of Cal/Calliope didn't get started until 3/4 of the way through, and then ended before I could really learn about him/her. I felt like the story didn't get started until the book finished. Very disappointing. I actually had to flip through the last couple pages to see if I was missing some from the book. Apparently I wasn't, but I felt like the story ended without finishing. I have so many more questions. I wouldn't say this book is about Cal/Calliope at all! It's about her ancestors more so. Her grandparents and her parents.

I'm glad I got through it. I know if it hadn't counted towards a task in the SBC, I would not have finished reading it.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Bookworm Habits

I saw this on Something to Crow About so I thought I'd join in the fun.

Do you snack while you read? If so, favourite reading snack:
Crackers and Cheese or Chips.
What is your favourite drink while reading?
I typically like a hot cup of tea.
Do you tend to mark your books as you read, or does the idea of writing in books horrify you?
Unless it's a non-fiction book where I am going through it like a textbook, I will only write my name and year in the front of the books I own.

How do you keep your place while reading a book? Bookmark? Dog-ears? Laying the book flat open?
I lay the book flat sometimes, but I love bookmarks. If I don't have one, I will use a post it or piece of paper. I hate dog-earing.

Fiction, non-fiction, or both?

Are you a person who tends to read to the end of a chapter, or can you stop anywhere?
I prefer to read to the end of the chapter, or stop at a point where the story seems to pause.
Are you the type of person to throw a book across the room or on the floor if the author irritates you?
I won't throw it, but I will definitely put it down with some force and a loud huff.
If you come across an unfamiliar word, do you stop and look it up right away?
I imagine what it means and go with it.

What are you currently reading?
Middlesex - Jeffrey Eugenides

What is the last book you bought?
Dead in the Family - Charlaine Harris (I couldn't wait for the library. I had to have it)

Are you the type of person that reads one book at a time, or can you read more than one?
I read more than one. Usually of opposite genres.

Do you have a favourite time/place to read?
I read on my commute since it's the easiest place. I love sitting on my couch and reading.
Do you prefer series books or stand alones?
I like series books since I know there is another book waiting for me. I also like stand alones since the story starts and finishes. That sense of completion is very rewarding.

Is there a specific book or author you find yourself recommending over and over?
Still Alice by Lisa Genova or The Hunger Games - by Suzanne Collins

How do you organize your books? (by genre, title, author's last name, etc.)
Those on my read shelf are by genre, then author last name. My to-read shelf is by author last name.
I also have a shelf of those books I've borrowed from people. That's a jumbled mess.
I'd love to hear your answers!

Faithful Friday: Neophyte Mass

This past Wednesday was my last RCIA class. We made bread. I could have done without going. I learned nothing whatsoever. We actually sat at the back of the classroom and talked in a small group or played on our blackberries or iPhones. Even though I could have not gone and been perfectly content, I liked being with people that are so welcoming and just hanging out and talking. The only thing that could have made it better would have been a Starbucks.

Next Wednesday is the Neophyte Mass. This is a mass specifically for those who are newly converted to the Catholic faith. As part of this Mass, each one of us new Catholics will have some part. I will be reading the Responsorial Psalm. I am excited to be a part of the Mass. I think it will be good to be a part of it rather than just observe it from the pews.

I'm excited and sad at the same time. My 'family' that night will be those that I converted with, and my sponsor. No one from my blood family will be there. It's times like these that I really miss Frenchie. It's something small, but meaningful and I have no one to share it with that is of direct relation. I am thankful for my friends from RCIA that will be there, it's just sad that they will all have their families and I won't.

Somedays, I feel like my faith has pushed me away from my family. I feel like since I am a Catholic, I have this separate life that I need to nurture on my own.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

25/25: Dead in the Family by Charlaine Harris

I have officially reached my 2010 goal! I started out this year aiming to read 25 books. I have reached that by the fifth month. Since it only took 5 months, I have revised my goal to be 50 books in 2010. I'm already half way there.

Book 25 was Dead in the Family by Charlaine Harris. This is the 10th book in the Sookie Stackhouse series. I owe it to my maid of honor for getting me addicted to this series. I protested and protested. Then I read the first one, Dead until Dark and was instantly hooked. I went out right after and bought the entire box set.
Dead in the Family (Sookie Stackhouse, Book 10)
Dead in the Family is a lot about Sookie and Eric. Eric's maker comes to town and wrecks havoc. He comes to Eric for help and it changes Eric. He is this completely differen Vampire, but that's all explained as to why. There is trouble with the Were pack, and with the government trying to get the two-natured to register as they did the vampires.
Without going into too much detail, Sookie must deal with Eric's maker being in town with his new vampire child, Bill being sick, a fairy cousin coming to live with her, and the Were pack of Shreveport possibly leaving a body on her land. That's a lot for one gal! Lucky for us, Sookie is an amazing woman.

I found this book to be shoved full of new characters that were not fully developed. There were a lot of plot lines, however I think the next book (whenever that comes out) will go into more detail. If it doesn't, I will be disappointed. There was one plot line completed from start to finish and that was good with me. I would say it was one of the important ones.

One thing missing from this book was the sex. I'll be honest, the first few books had a lot in it, and it was always entertaining. This book lacked a lot of bedroom business.

All in all, I'd give the book 4 stars. I was entertained, it kept my interest and I just about missed my train stop on several occasions while reading it.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Wedding Wednesday: Wedding Congratulations to a fellow blogger

I don't have anything much to say on my own plans. Frenchie and I did nothing with the wedding this weekend. It was actually really nice to take a break from it all.

Rather than go over what I've already planned, or what I still need to plan, I want to give a shout out to a fellow blogger.

Congratulations to Olivea of The Sweet Life on your recent nuptials!

I haven't followed your blog for a long time, but I feel like I know you a little better going through the last 5 months of your wedding planning.
I hope you and Luke have a wonderful marriage together!
You are a beautiful woman and I wish you all the best.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Therapy Tuesday: Prolotherapy #3

Prolotherapy: Treatment #3
As said last week, I'm now getting treatments every 2 weeks now. As much as I would love to go every week, the Dr. says it's the best time frame to maximze healing. Personally I didn't like last week and all the pain I got back with it. The second week without a treatment was rough.
Friday I went for treatment #3. The freezing didn't last nearly as long as before. By the time we got home from the Dr. I was able to function ok. For most of Friday I had soreness which is normal. Think of when you get freezing at the dentist and then the freezing comes out. It feels like that.
Saturday the forearm felt much better and by Sunday I recall saying my wrist feels great.
Monday? Well, I heated my forearm and tried not to type very much. I think this is going to be a very long week. It's truly amazing how one day of work and typing makes a big difference in my pain levels.

Therapy Tuesday: Counseling

"Counseling isn't helping. I don't have the sessions often enough. I don't think I'm getting what I need out of it."

That is what I intended to say at my session yesterday. I expected myself to say that I don't want to continue since it's not helping. Guess what? I didn't have to say it. My therapist has booked my next 3 sessions. One more in May, and two in July. (I'm taking some holidays in June so that month wasn't going to work)

It was a good session. Apparently I am at risk for clinical depression if we don't get my panic attacks and anxiety some help. (yes, I'm referring to them as a separate entity because it's easier that way). My greatest strength is being able to talk about how I'm feeling opening and honestly. A drawback to that is finding people that will opening and honestly listen. Other than my fiancĂ© and a friend or two, there is not many people that want to listen to you. We are all very ego-centric people. We all feel a lot of the same things, but no one talks about it. It's as if it will make us weak. I believe its the opposite. Talking about how we feel only brings us closer and stronger together. Finding a person that will listen rather than try and fix, or try and brush it off as 'no big deal'. I know most people are scared to acknowledge that someone they love is hurting. It's hard, but it means the world to the hurt person to know they are acknowledged and not alone.

The plan now is for me to not be afraid of the panic attacks. They'll happen. I'm doing what I can to get through them, and my therapist was impressed that I have the ability to tell those around me exactly what I need. Most of the time, I just need a distraction while I calm myself back down. Since I am already pretty good at this part, my next session will be focusing on the heart of the matter and trying to find a solution. This part scares me more than anything. There are a few things I can control. There are a few that I can't. The ones I can control are the ones I don't want to since it could mean a big change and I'm not ready for that.

I talked to Frenchie last night and we had a good chat about everything. He's worried being away, but that's one of those 'can't control' things. He's working on finding a job back here, but it's a slow process with the market so down.

For now I'll keep praying, keep breathing deeply and try to surround myself with people I love, and that love me back, in spite of all my faults.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Manic Monday: Poor Beta, Body Worlds, Iron Man 2

This weekend our poor puppy was spayed. We don't want little puppies running around our house, so it was the best thing for her and us. We are also in a contract to have her done by June 1st.

Friday we took her to the vet early in the morning and dropped her off. I am so comfortable with our vet and all the staff that I didn't worry about a thing. We knew she would be completely fine and well looked after. When we picked her up around 4pm she was so groggy and tired she slept the entire evening. I feel so bad for her, but it was needed. She now has a giant incision on her belly that we have to check and make sure she's not licking. Thank goodness they are self-disolving stitches so we don't have to get the vet to remove them. I'm pretty sure she slept most of the weekend away, going from one bed to the other. I can't imagine how uncomfortable she is not being able to lay down as she would like to, and having us carry her up and down the stairs.

While Beta was at the vet. Frenchie and I took the opportunity to spend some time together. We headed to the Body Worlds exhibit right after dropping Beta off. The exhibit was incredible!! I had read about plastination in the book Stiff by Mary Roach. It was one of the more interesting chapters by far. It was creepy to see some of the bodies and knowing that they were someone's loved one.  The human development portion of the exhibit was weird and oddly fascinating because I've never taken biology in my life. They had embryos up to 9 weeks old. I had no idea we started out so tiny and developed like we do.

After Body Worlds we went to the movie theatre for popcorn, pop, candy and Iron Man 2! Fantastic! I did my review Saturday here.

Saturday was a relaxing day. Beta needed to be monitored so we watched a bunch of things on the PVR that we needed to get rid of.

Sunday we did our respective phone calls to our mom's. Happy Mother's Day!!

It was a really relaxing weekend together. Too short as always, but nice to spend time together and just relax.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

24/50: Nightlight

Nightlight: A ParodyI got this book from a friend on the Nest Book Club in a book exchange.
I had briefly heard about Nightlight right before the exchange and added it to my wishlist thinking it would be amusing. It's a parody of Twilight.

I thought this book would be hilarious. I loved the Twilight series. I read it in no time flat, completely ignoring life around me until the series was done. That said, I was looking forward to reading some witty writing making fun of it. You can't have an unbelievably successful series, and not have a parody of it.  Sadly, I was disappointed.  While I appreciate the attempt, it fell short.

Perhaps I didn't quite understand how far fetched it went. The play on names was great. Belle Goose, Edwart Mullen, Joshua (for James), Angelica (Angela), etc. It was funny in that respect. I did appreciate that the writers not only brought in elements of Twilight and Eclipse, they also brought in quips about Stephenie Meyers other book The Host. Having read The Host, I chuckled knowing that a lot of people may not have got that part of the joke.

Most of the things I didn't like were not because they made fun of Twilight, but because they didn't do a good job of poking fun. This may be where I misunderstood the parody portion. I can't think of a way that would have been better, but it just wasn't funny.

Even thought I would only give it 2 stars, I will pass this one on to my other Twilight friends just so they can read it.  It was a quick read (about 2 hours tops) so it's not a big commitment.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Movie Review (7): Iron Man 2

Frenchie and I were both off this past Friday, so we decided to hit a matinee. There were only about 30 people in the movie so it was great. No fighting for seats or ending up in the very front of the theatre.

The movie itself was awesome. Robert Downey was fantastic as always in his role. He was more Iron Man than he was in the first one. He was funny, charming and a smart ass. All the perfect traits for a super hero that has revealed himself to the world.
Black Widows character played by Scarlett Johansson was great. I didn't know what her role was in the comic books.
Definitely a great movie. Entertaining, funny and action-packed.

23/25: Peony in Love - Lisa See

I absolutely loved Peony in Love. I read Snowflower and The Secret Fan by Lisa See a while ago and found it fascinating. I was not disappointed with Peony either.

The story was heartfelt and I really got into the characters. The plot took a turn I was not expecting, but I found it couldn't have been any other way. The perspective the story was told from was necessary to teach the characters the lessons they learned.

This book was great for me to read. Even though I am not from that culture, there was still things I learned as a soon-be-wife. The biggest lesson for me was that love comes in 3 forms. Mental, sexual and 'deep-heart'. I never thought of it that way, but I see that those three ways to love are so important. If we are missing one, we are not fully loving with all our being.

****Spoilers Below ****
Peony in Love: A Novel

Peony grew through the book and I was amazed. She went from a pretty girl that was in love to a good wife in their culture. She learned more as a ghost after she died than I think she ever would have while alive. She got to witness and grow with her two sister-wives far more than she would have if she had married Ren herself.

My heart wrenched for her while she roamed, but the worst was with her ancestor tablet. I kept wondering when it would be dotted so she could finally rest.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Faithful Friday: Opening Prayer

On Wednesday at my RCIA class I volunteered to give the opening prayer for our group.
I'm not a great public speaker, but I am a firm believer that if you make yourself do it, you'll get over the anxiety. What better place to speak than with loving welcoming people!
I prepared myself by writing a prayer. I thought I would share it with you. It's very specific to the RCIA, but I was thanked twice by Sister Pauline for how thoughtful it was and how I included everyone.

sign of the cross. Amen.

Dear Lord,
For those of in the RCIA, grant perseverence, wisdom and your love.
For those new Catholics, grant a stronger faith, wisdom and your love.
For the sponsors and catechists, grant encouragement, patience and your love.
We ask for these gifts through the words you taught us:

(Lord's Prayer)
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed by Thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us, and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For the Kindom, the power and the glory are yours, now and for ever. Amen

Saint Patrick. Pray for us

sign of the cross. Amen

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Wedding Wednesday: I said Yes!

To the Dress!
Saturday I had an appointment to go back to the bridal shop I had first found the dress I really liked. I had several dreams about it a few months ago, so I figured it's time to make an appointment and get sized to order it. My parents came down for this purpose. I really wanted my dad to see it since he's purchasing it for me. I won't give details about it, but trust that it's gorgeous!
In approximately 4 months it'll be in at the shop all shiney and new. I can leave it there up to 2 months for storage. This works out well since I will have to have it hemmed and bustled by a seamstress.
I now have 4 months to find my wedding shoes. I can't get it hemmed until I know what height I am actually getting. My biggest decision now will be what color? Pink or Green?

I also ordered my garter for the garter toss. It's a surprise for my hubby-to-be, so I can't give you details on that either.

Since Frenchie was last home, we've also decided on bouquets and boutonnieres. Pink and yellow gerbera daisies and blue irises for me and my groom. The boys will have iris boutonnieres and the girls will have yellow gerbera daisies. We will still have to figure out alter flowers and what we're doing for the reception, but it's a start! I figure if we know the bouquets, the florist can suggest what to do for the rest of them.
A weekend of checks! I'm very excited to start checking more and more things off.

Sometime soon my sister and I will be going to a couple of hotels to check out the rooms/suites and then Frenchie and I can decide which one we will book a bank of rooms at for our guests.

By the end of June, I imagine we will have all of our vendors, and the guest accomadations booked. That only leaves the little details.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Therapy Tuesday: Prolotherapy and Pole

I don't have a lot to say about prolotherapy today. My next treatment isn't until this Friday. I am starting to go every two weeks from now until I'm done.
This will be the second week after a treatment. My wrist is fairly sore this week already. It's Tuesday and my wrist is in it's brace again. I wish I could take advil to bring the inflammation down, but that would defeat the purpose of the treatments. I hate having pain and still having to function at work.
I've had a lot of people asking me about the process. Mostly people from work or from dance classes. If you're interested and missed the original post, go here.

Assisting was great again this week. I'm so excited to be doing it still. I love seeing the students faces when the instructor shows the move they'll learn. Mostly it's one of "are you kidding me?", "There's no way that's happening" or "that looks like it hurts." I also love the aftermath of when they get the move. The jumping up and down, the clapping for each other, the scream of joy/pain (muhahaha). They were learning how to do the Reverse Superman. It's very similar to the plank, but with a different bottom hand position and you are releasing your top hand. There's more to it than that, but it's a start.

As for my own class, I worked on the cartwheel again. I now know what the issue is with me getting my foot up. I was having problems with my hands: only one on the pole until you actually do a cartwheel motion. Problems with my legs: the leading leg should be straight. Problems with my head: I should not be looking at where my feet are going.
On top of working at that one move for over 30 minutes, we moved on to the Teddy. I got it!!! It's not the most appealing move (at least from my point of view) but it's a skill to hold yourself up with your armpit.
Here's a few pics from me in class. If you look in the mirror you can see how I'm holding on. I dislike how this move looks from the front, so I won't be posting a pic of that direction.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Manic Monday: Pole Workshop

Friday night my parents came into town and stayed at my house. My sister brought her two girls over and we all had dinner together. It was a blast! My nieces love Beta, unfortunately, she doesn't love them back. She's very skittish and tries very hard to stay away from humans other than myself and Frenchie. The girls want to play with her, but all she really wants to do is go to sleep after a long day at daycare.

Saturday I spent some time over at my sisters. Beta enjoyed being in the backyard and slept the entire evening away after so much playtime and fresh air. It was great to be over there visiting with everyone and enjoy a family dinner.

Sunday I went over to my sisters for lunch and then popped over to the dance studio for a pole workshop. I did a lot of driving that day. After the workshop, I drove home, picked up Beta and went back over to my sisters to hang out with my mom and dad. It was a great weekend, not too eventful. Sunday night I dug out some scrapbooking materials and sat in front of the TV trying to get through some pages.

The pole workshop I attended was a virtual workshop. Cruella Steele (a fellow instructor) and I met at the studio to take the workshop together. It's way more fun to have someone else around than to do things on your own. Plus, it got me out of the house.
Our workshop was with Karol Helms. She is USPDF Miss Sexy 2010. I took the intermediate/advanced class. We learned a total of 5 moves, 3 which I could sort of do by the end. One thing I learn from these workshops is that there is an endless amount of moves you can learn. Whether they be the same move combined with others in a unique way, or something totally different.  I had a great time and can't wait for my next workshop, virtual or real-life.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Happy 5 months Beta!!

Our furbaby is 5 months old!
We have had her in our little family for 3 months. I know there are somedays I wonder why we got her, but then there are those times when I can't imagine life without her.