Friday, October 15, 2010

Creepy, Crawley Critters

This has been an odd week, working on the road with my boss and a cast of thousands (12) including my very own Mitchell. The client is important to us, so we are putting on the full court press, but are actually not at all busy. Mostly I have finished the client work in a couple of hours each morning and then spent the rest of the day being available and charming. No, I am not a call girl - altho charming and available did sound a bit like that. Actually, I am one of the computer geeks in a crowd this is pretty pc saavy and hasn't really needed us.

My laptop is old and slow, so I have spent the week using the boss's and trying to figure out why in the world it is configured (or not configured) the way it is. Fodder for another time.

The big issue this morning was ... bed bugs! You read about them. They are on the rise in the U.S. again, but you never think that you will come close to contacting one. But two people in our group did - up close and move-to-another-room-personal. One was so spooked that she left work this morning and headed to the emergency room for "treatment".

That was when I realized that altho I have read tons about how to prevent them and what to do to get rid of them - basically, call the exterminator and let him worry about it - I had not seen anything much about what to do if you are the not-so-happy recipient of the bites. So, what did I find? Benedryl and cortisone cream - plain and simple.

Apparently most folks are not particularly sensitive to the bites, but a small percent of people do react with an alergy-induced itch. There is an even smaller group of people who will get an infection from scratching the bites and introducing whatever germ is hanging around on their skin or in their environment. That requires an antibiotic cream in addition.

So, my co-worker has gone off to an emergency room to get benedryl and cortisone cream! She will spend a ton of money (and help cause health care costs soar again for everyone) and delay getting treatment because they will send her to a drug store after she has waited for an hour to be seen. I would be a whole lot more interested in cleaning off my suitcase and making sure all my clothes get washed tonight in hot, hot water.

And, I plan to plan ahead for my next trip and include two more things in my overnight bag. Benedryl and cortisone cream.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Happy 10-10-10

It's all over the news today, and it seems like a big deal, so I keep trying to think of something worthwhile to do to celebrate the uniqueness of the date. [I hear the English teachers in revolt over "uniqueness". I know. I did it for effect.]

According to 32,000 couples are getting married today. I can't really do that, since I'm already married. Virginia is a conservative state, and I'm pretty sure bigamy is still a big no-no-no here.

In numerology the date reduces to "5" which is apparently the number for love. Using another formula in numerology the three 1's signify success and the three 0's signify divine support. That makes it sound like a project involving love would have both success and a little help from "above". I don't really have a little project like that in mind. Somehow I think that Virginia might allow it, but Mitchell might have a bit of a problem with it....

Those of you in the garden business will have immediately recognized 10-10-10 as the fertilizer for nearly everything. You know, if you don't have time - or energy - to fertilize all the different parts of your garden with what they need, give them all 10-10-10 and everyone will be somewhat happy and better off than they will be without any fertilizer. This is probably how I should have spent the day, but I didn't. I may see how this one works on 10-15-10 instead.

Suzy Welch has a book [disclaimer here: I have not read the book, just the Amazon blurb] in which she posits that when making a decision one needs to consider the rule of 10-10-10. What will be the consequences in 10 minutes, 10 months and 10 years. Now here's something I might be able to use.

I like the approach. We tend to look a decisions in terms of the ends of our noses, rather than taking a short, medium and long view - all at the same time. So, sometimes we luck into a good decision ("we'll eat the sirloin tonight, because it won't keep") and sometimes we don't. ("Love these shoes, am sure they will feel better as they get broken-in.." but, none of you has ever done that!)

The decision that I have been tossing around in my head for months, ok, years, is to make a commitment to a healthier lifestyle.

Perhaps I should tell you the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth:

1) I've been on every diet known to man: Atkins (lost 35, gained 40); grapefruit (lost 15, gained 15); Pritikin (can't remember); Scarsdale (not that one either); Weight Watchers (three times); SlimFast, OptiFast; NutriSystem (lost 5, gained 5) and dozens more. Net result I'm at least 30 pounds above my BMI optimal weight. Either that, or I should be seven inches taller - I looked it up, but don't think there is much chance of that happening.

2) I work for a health education company. I tell people that I am the affirmative action hire, but going to meetings with all those folks who are in good shape is depressing. The partners are fully supportive of my taking time off in the middle of the day to get exercise. They let me play tennis last season on Thursday mornings, and pay for my tennis club membership. No excuse there.

3) I've taken steps - just not enough. I go to Jazzercise two or three days a week - most weeks. Too often I let my work schedule interfere. I like to go at 8:15 in the morning, but when I have an early meeting I don't go at 4:30 or 5:45 or 7:00 in the evenings, and I could. And, I've slacked off tennis. Actually haven't had a racquet in my hand since the middle of July. I have lots of excuses, but no good reasons.

So, 10-10-10. Here it is. I am committing to a healthier lifestyle - fewer calories and more exercise. The goals are 1400 calories a day and five sessions of exercise a week.

Charlene at the Balance Beam keeps telling me to see this as a positive - live a healthy lifestyle, not go on a diet - so I shall.

The one component of Weight Watchers that I always thought was the most helpful was the public acknowledgment of progress, so I will also be posting two things every Sunday: the number of workout sessions for the week, and the number of pounds lost. [You notice that I am not giving you my starting weight - TMI!]

So, we will call this 10-10-10 because I will love myself more and have success because of the divine support [I actually think that you all are the divine support] garnered by committing on this auspicious day, and the 10-minute consequence is that I will not have peanut butter crackers as a snack this afternoon [tea instead], but in 10 months I will be healthier [and lighter], and I will live 10 more years because of it.

Tune in - we're gonna make me successful.