Monday, March 31, 2008

Day 1 ~ Let's get it started!

Up at 5:50 a.m. Not so bad, really - although Riley wanted to sleep longer. I didn't get out of the house until 6:25 a.m. however: flashback to high school swim team practice at 6 a.m. and collect calls from the locker room pay phone home to Mom - "I forgot my...(bra, underwear, something)...will you bring it please?" at least twice a week. Even though I checked and double-checked the night before, I had to check just one more time. To be sure. *sigh*

Finally made it to work, then across the street to the Lot and across the Lot to the gym - that's a workout right there! The gym had less than a dozen people in - yay. I didn't have to wait for a cardio machine - yay. So, did cardio and abs and legs today. Yay me!

I'm doing it, people! I'm doing it.

Now, the food part. That's gonna be difficult...

Sunday, March 30, 2008

tomorrow, tomorrow

I've got 5 weeks to get my blood pressure down, on its way to being under control.

  • Workout ~ I have joined the gym on the Lot - sooo convenient (and reasonably priced). Starting tomorrow morning, I'm there, kicking my ass.
  • Food ~ I walked through the grocery store today, looking at what I eat and/or like to eat; trying to find substitutions. I just need to be much more sensible: got carrots and Roma tomatoes for snacking, Zone bars for morning energy to workout, Crystal Light and Propel flavor packs to kick-up my water, and a box of SlimFast for a chocolate meal-replacement treat.
  • Support ~ got tons of words o'encouragment from friends! I've got 2 partners-in-crime on Twitter (thanks @demca and @illuminato) who are there in solidarity. Got a couple of messages + a scolding from Scot and WayLo. Jaimes and WayLo threatened me, too. So, working out will only help me kick their collective asses. ;)

I will be tracking my progress...keep me honest...keep me on it.

So, bring it on! I'll bring it down.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Doctor, Doctor gimme the news

Saw my doctor yesterday. We talked about the events leading up to my high blood pressure reading the previous day - which was nothing out of the ordinary. He explained the dangers of my bp hovering in the area it measured at (heart damage) and reviewed my bp readings from past visits. While those were high, they were considerably lower. What was going on then that isn't going on now? Working out. When I was going to the gym, I was happier, I was feeling great, I had lower bp! He gave me options - none of which I was agreeable with. So, we discussed...and agreed: I have 5 weeks to get my pressure down, on the way to being under control. If in those 5 weeks, nothing changes, he's putting me on another med. Not a different medication; an additional medication! I am NOT having it.

Gym, eating better...I know it works, I know I can do it. And I have to. My life depends on it.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

I don't need this pressure on

Went to the dermatologist yesterday, where she (oddly) took my blood pressure. It was high.

No. Seriously. IT WAS HIGH. Dangerously high. So much so that they were thisclose to checking me into the ER.

In the meantime, I do what I gotta do with the dermatologist. Then my cell rings: it’s my primary physician. "Please go to the ER or Urgent Care now." Well, HE wasn’t going to be there, so what’s the point? I’d rather see HIM, since he knows my business. He said I could make an appointment and come in tomorrow. Fine. I did (3:40 p.m. today).

I am so scared. Truly scared. My bp has *never* been this high!

I set my alarm for every 2 hours; but I don’t care - as long as I wake up in the morning.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

don't crash the car tonight...

Left work early last night in order to make it to the Downtown Women's Center by 6:30 p.m. for an event. Just prior to leaving, I was IMing with a friend in crisis. Telling her I had to scoot, I wanted to reassure her that I'd be available for a bit, but then the cell phone would be off. She assured me she'd be fine.

The typical stop-and-go on the 134 (Sidebar: every time I'm on the 134, I'm reminded of the scene in The Truman Show when he wants to escape...and out of nowhere, the roads are jam packed!)...I brake and gas to the 5, where it's relatively smooth sailing. I listen for the keen text tone on my cell, just in case. People are zooming by, so I'm relieved no calls or texts are coming in.

I exit 4th Street, heading towards downtown L.A. As I'm crossing the 4th Street bridge, my text tone goes off. I ignore it.

When you cross the 4th Street bridge, heading into downtown, two things happen: the road becomes a 5-lane, one-way street and 4th becomes 3rd Street.

It was about this time, I heard the text tone again. I was going to read it, but didn't - I just shut my purse, figuring I'd deal with it when I got to the Center.

There are a lot of cars stopped at Los Angeles Street (where I need to turn left) and the light at San Pedro Street (to which I'm approaching) is green. A huge white 4x4 truck is on my right, some idiot is trying to turn left into the closest one-way lane, currently inhabited mind you by my car, a line of parked cars and a group of people, sorta just standing. With the scowl still on my face, I see a white Honda Civic coming towards me from the right. WTF?! Screeech! Crunch! :::horns blaring:::

Now, correct me if I'm wrong - since I haven't taken drivers ed in a while: is it now acceptable to make a left turn from the far right lane of a 5-lane, one-way road? The young Honda Civic girl is yelling. *Yelling* at me, at the 4x4 lady, just yelling in general. 4x4 hit Honda Civic at the rear driver side door - and thank God! Honda Civic was thisclose - THISCLOSE! - to me and my Camry. Ohhh, I was livid. Honda Civic chick was in my face, yelling (picture this: she is 5'4" in her heels, I am 6'5" in mine) - which is fine, I get it, she's pissed. But then, she yells "fucking bitch" in my face. Uhh, no. So, calmly, I say: are you hurt? Are you okay? She stops yelling; blinks several times. "Yeah, I'm fine." Good. I turn to 4x4 lady who is wailing: are you hurt? Are you okay? She's fine, thanks. I look at my car - no damage. I give 'em each my business card and say "Later!"

I had to sit in my car at the DWC for a few mintues to calm myself. Damn.

Monday, March 17, 2008

so in between the sleepless nights, you dream that you are winning fights...

Ever since Philadelphia, I've been completely out of sorts. I have no control over a certain I have been making poor choices in order to have control. And, it ain't working for me, dawg.

I've found myself setting up situations, aligning certain things, agreeing to certain things; only to pull a 'Lucy' and snatch the football away at the last second. It's making me physically ill. It's making me crazy. It's making me not like myself too much. And the things I do have control over, I'm ignoring: my writing, my livelihood, my apartment. I really can't live like this. I really shouldn't live like this.

I had 2 conversations today with friends named Steve. Both have no idea what I'm going through. Both said the same things about me, to me. It was so sweet, it made me cry.

I need to get through this...get some questions answered...and snap out of it. Somehow. I don't like this downward spiral; I don't like this person in the downward spiral.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Guilty of Idiocy

I couldn't find my keys this morning. Not in the 'usual' place. Hmm...

So, I do the purse dump on the floor - work keys, cell phone, random coins, ooh a ten dollar bill y'all!
But, no keys. Hmm...

So, I retrace my steps from the night before: bags from Target, mail, cell on ear, up stairs, at door, key in the...

No. No! Pleaseohpleaseohpleaseohplease...

I open the door and ~ ta da! ~ my keys are dangling in the doorknob. My keys! My house key, my deadbolt key, my mailbox key, my car key, my car alarm thingy. All I could picture was some teenager taking my car on a joyride, emptying the tank (how very 80s teen movie of me)!

I (re)locked my front door, wondering why none of my neighbors bothered to let me know my keys were in the door, and walked downstairs, fully expecting to see space where my car should be. Sweet relief! My car *is* there, unmoved. It was about this time my insides started liquifying.

At least I know my building is safe. Well, it was safe last night.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

ooh whoa whoa ~ Idol Top 12 03.11.08

New set ~ oooh!

(I'm sick of snarky Simon and Ryan. Mean is not funny.)

Lennon/McCartney night has me scared: this could be absolutely amazing or completely horrendous...

Syesha ~ Got To Get You Into My Life ~ Yes, she can sing. Just not this. Rough start. And she needs to make friends with the show stylist.

Chikeze ~ She's a Woman ~ Wow. How different. I think I like it. No, really. I like it. Very tent revival-esque at the end. Nice! He actually took a risk, mixed it up and it worked. Whew.

Ramiele ~ In My Life ~ Ohh, this is a sentimental, special song to me. OK, seriously? What's with the cheesy stare on the stairs? It's a center-stage, mic stand only type of song. Not blown away. She sounds out of breath. Stylist. Where's the stylist?

Jason ~ If I Fell ~ He's very sweet. I like it and him.

Carly ~ Come Together ~ I totally agree with Quernzy & Greeblemonkey - Carly went up a coupla notches in my book. I liked her and the song. However, I think Amanda woulda rocked it harder and better.

David C ~ Eleanor Rigby ~ another sentimental, special song to me. Nice groove goin' on...and, as much as I hate to admit, I like it. Jury's still out on him but diggin' the song.

Brooke ~ Let It Be ~ I tuned out.

David H ~ Saw Her Standing There ~ for a former 'dancer' he's got lousy moves. Might I suggest the audience wave dollar bills, y'all. OK. The song - Tiffany, in all her mall wisdom, performed it much better.

Amanda ~ Can't Do That ~ I really like her; she's very Grace Slick-ish. She woulda rocked it out on 'Come Together' but did well on this song (even if she sorta mumbled a lot).

Michael ~ Across the Universe ~ Didn't do it for me, dawg. He still hasn't found THE SONG. I'm waiting...

Kristy Lee (who?) ~ 8 Days a Week ~ OMG. Country?! I reject that totally! Horrible. Just horrible, Carrie Underwood Jr. :::shiver:::

David A ~ We Can Work It Out ~ ooh, he messed up the lyrics, tsk tsk. It was okay. Too much pressure on the kid?

Bottom 3? Ramiele, Carrie Underwood Jr, Syesha?

only in my dreams

Strange dreams of late...since Philadelphia, really. Huh, go figure.

List of people in my hand (which included my Mom, Maria and Eddie), chasing each person down - on foot, on a moped (I called Mike Leinbach - from high school! - to borrow his moped to go find someone), flying - on a plane as well as my own flying ability. I just had to convince the people on my list s/he should marry for love not obligation. They were unconvinced.

It was obviously heart-wrenching because I woke up with Riley curled on my neck, licking away my tears.

Sunday, March 09, 2008


Arrived in Philly late late late Wednesday night (so late it was Thursday), greeted with "Welcome to Philadelphia where the temperature is 27 degrees!" Damn. It was 80 when I left LA. Most times I hit PhilaPA, the temperature is fairly normal and my luggage is a lot smaller. Not this time - layering pieces, sweaters, coats, socks, scarves, hats and gloves. Seriously. Socks, scarves, hats and gloves?! The three beers I had between LAX and PHL barely warded off the cccold.

When we finally awoke to see the light of Thursday, we ventured down to South Street ~ a cool and quirky shopping area (think Melrose Avenue). Did some browsing, made a couple of purchases at Vixen (earrings - cuz they always fit and one can never have too many; and more gloves - hey, they were cheap!), grabbed a cheesesteak from Jim's (yum yum) and headed back to the hotel. We, along with Ro-Ro (hey, he calls me Ree Ree, so all's fair) and JP, were heading to the Trocadero to see (who else?) The English Beat. JP couldn't make it, so the 3 of us braved the cold (OK - I was the only one to brave the cold since the other two are used to it) and hit the Troc. The venue is pretty cool, though sectioning off the bar area from the social/dance area? I reject that totally. I explained to R&L I'm in my own little happy place when at a show, so they would more than likely be ignored by me. Yeah, that's a lie. They *would* be ignored by me. After the show, Lys said "Now, I completely understand your English Beat show blogs: aggro pogo boys, drunk dancing girls..." Yep, they were out in full-force. The stage was up pretty high, a barrier for the drunk dancing girls. One guy actually made it up there (had to text Scot!) but that was it.

The English Beat at the Trocadero, Philadelphia PA 02.28.08

After the show, Dave Wakeling makes it a point to greet the fans who approach the stage. Truth be told, *all* of the guys in the English Beat do that. Dave takes the time to listen to each person who has a story to tell, or he shakes their hands, accepting the kudos and praises. Wayne Lothian, bassist, does the same thing. Both men - correction - ALL of the band members are gracious and charming and good guys. I approach Wayne, of course. Then Dave and Rhythmm (drummer) come over. We wait to go backstage and I make introductions. Rom and Dave talk about The Smile Train (the band's philanthropic organziation); Lys and Wayne talk about music, Florida and the business. Ahh, what a good night.

Other than enjoying a great show and doing a little networking and business, something else happened. A guy from my past, another life really, crossed my path - and it shook me to my core. He's been out of my life for several years, but was part of it for longer than he's been out. It's a long sordid tale...which ends with me shaken and stirred (and not in a good martini sort of way). Anyway, I'll find someway to deal with it...

The 3 of us headed to Silk City ~ a *totally* happenin place! Diner on one side, jumpin club on the other. The music was ridiculous! The DJ was killin it! Biggie, old skool, Doin' Da Butt, pop, dance ~ a phenomenal mix that had the whole club dancing. 2 Stellas and 3 car bombs later, we left (and that was just my order).

This picture is much clearer than how I actually saw things that night...

Friday was jam-packed with plans. I made plans to have lunch with my new friend Cortney! Several emails and texts later, we met at the Marathon Grill. It was great to meet her! I was honestly thinking it would be a weird meeting. Ha! It was NOT. She's funny and smart and it was really like emailing/texting each other...well, without the emails/texts. It was easy. I met her through a mutual friend; when I asked about him, she said he didn't plan on seeing me. I've been in a pretty 'fuck it' place in my head re: this mutual friend. But what he said really hurt. This trip has been planned for almost two months - and he knew...just felt compelled not to respond. All day that situation stewed in my head and my heart. I was hurt and angry then apathetic. I was upset and sad the next day. Now, it's just gone. Anyway, Cortney is cool people and I had a great time.

After lunch, Lys & I headed to Cherry Hill NJ for shopping. Did you know that there's no sales tax in NJ?! I didn't go overboard with the shopping, but Rissa did do a little damage in that mall natch. Had a little customer service mishap at the Lane Bryant store (poor customer service is my #1 pet peeve: if I'm not greeted when I walk into a store, I walk out. And that's just what I did), spent almost an hour in Sur La Table (Lys fondling the copper pots and me picking up all these effing gadgets thinking 'WTF is this for?!'), hit Macy's and Torrid pretty hard and was disappointed with the clothing at Ashley Stewart. But you know me ~ any shopping is good shopping :)

Saturday was the day, with 'there are no coincidences' as the motto. Lys & I hooked up with Chris for lunch at the Copa on South Street (we got there at 12:30 p.m.). While there, we obvously started talking about "the past." During one of the many sordid stories, our client J called. Chris & J haven't seen each other in a dozen or more years. J shows up within 20 minutes. We're chatting, we're drinking, we're discussing business and the past. Out of nowhere, Lys spots LH - yet another link in the chain of the past. These guys sit and chat it up. Then Rom shows up! Shit! All of these guys, with 20 years of catching up to strange how they all showed up...anyway...we didn't leave until 8:30. Yeah, we put in a full work day at the Copa. Worth every minute.

J, Chris, Rom, Lys and I ended up hanging at the hotel lounge, swapping war stories and just enjoying the company. Oh ~ BB King walked in!

Today was travel day...stopped by Geno's for a cheesesteak to-go and hit the airport.

I really do love Philadelphia - South Street, cheesesteaks, Penn's Landing, the history of the city and friends - old and new. This trip accomplished exactly what I set out to do, which makes me happy. And this trip tripped me up, which makes me unsure.

No matter...thanks to my friends and to PhilaPA for showing me a good time :)

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

ooh whoa whoa - Top 8 Idol Boys 03.04.08

The rumor mill (read: the internet) was churrrning this week, what with 'rocker' Robbie ('I used to date Brit-Brit') wearing a wig, then getting the boot; Danny ('I'm Hannah Montana') and his holiday video surfacing; and, of course, David the Stripper. Who needs singing?! I do! I do!

80s week...this is sacred ground to me. A lot of great and not-so-great songs to be sung. So, let's see who surprises and who disappoints.

Luke ~ Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go ~ OMG. I reject that totally! Of alllll the 80s songs...shoulda worn the shorts & day-glo...or shoulda sang 'Careless Whisper' instead. Ai yi yi.

David A ~ Another Day in Paradise ~ Forgot he plays the piano. Nice surprise. He almost makes me like this song. Surprise again. He's adorable.

Danny ~ Tainted Love ~ I reject that totally! :::shiver::: WHAT was that? Seriously. What WAS that?!

David H ~ It's All Coming Back to Me ~ I like when guys sing girls songs and vice versa. I was aiight for me tonight, Dawg. Perhaps if he unbuttoned just a couple more...

Michael ~ Don't You Forget About Me ~ Quernzy loved him. I like him. And sorta liked his interpretation of the song, though it isn't one of my faves. Uh...Randy, it's not Michael Hutchence/INXS,'s Jim Kerr and Simple Minds. Oooh, Simon. I agree - haven't found the right song with that connection yet. He will. And he'll explode!

David C ~ Hello ~ Yeah, the Lionel Richie song. Sorry, I reject that totally. No no no no no no no no no no no no. Emo? Bah!

Jason ~ Hallelujah ~ like everyone, Jeff Buckley's version rips you to shreds and is a favorite. I was intrigued...this interpretation was strange and sweet and simple.

Chikeze ~ some Whitney song that I forgot ~ I liked it okay, I guess. He sings quite nicely...not sure why Simon is so harsh on him...

Apologies for the quick/brief recap ~ I have homework *and* am so very exhausted.