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Okay, explain this dream…

February 28, 2013, 10:33 PM

Okay, this is a weird one.  Now you know I’ve discussed some odd dreams in this space in the past, like the surgery dream, the derailment dream, the Power Rangers dream, the countless Walmart dreams, CFW dreams, fire alarm dreams, etc.  But this one from a few weeks ago is hard to explain.  But here goes.

In this dream, I was at the building where I work in DC, and I was in the office doing work.  And outside, at least according to the dream, there was a volcano erupting.  Yes, a volcano.  In the DC area.  I know.  That said, this volcano was one of those explosive types of volcanoes, putting out tons of volcanic ash, but no lava, much like the AD 79 eruption of Mount Vesuvius that buried Pompeii.  In fact, in the dream, I even recalled that this was just like Pompeii.  Volcanic ash was falling all over, and the entire city was going to be buried, just like in Pompeii.  And we were all apparently doomed due to falling ash and poisonous volcanic gases.  It didn’t matter in the dream that Pompeii was only buried under nine feet of ash and my office is on the third floor, at least twenty-some feet above street level.  We were all doomed, and our building was going to get buried.  Completely.

With me so far?  Basically: big volcano erupts in DC area, ash falling all over the place, we’re all going to die.

The thing that got me in this dream was actually my own reaction.  Of course, I’ve noticed that in dreams, I seem to often “have a copy of the script” and know many details that are taken as indisputable fact within the dream’s fictional universe as things play out.  Thus how I knew volcano, ash, and pending death.  The only thing I saw in the dream was the inside of my office building.  Which had orange-red walls in my dream.  (Go figure.  The real office has mostly eggshell walls.)  But as my coworkers were panicking due to our impending burial by volcano, my reaction was indifference to our fate, because I had stuff that I had to take care of.  Yes, I was doing work as we were about to be buried under ash, decay completely, and then become plaster casts when we were rediscovered a thousand and some years later.  And yes, the idea of plaster casts of our final positions like happened in Pompeii came up in the dream.  I know.

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Categories: Dreams, Fire drills

So I finally have an outfit for running…

February 26, 2013, 12:17 AM

At last, I have an outfit to go running in.  Check it out:

New running/jogging outfit!  Just the epitome of fashion, aren't I?

So there you have it, I suppose.  For around half the cost of a pair of compression tights at Sports Authority, I am outfitted.  I got this snazzy pair of jogging tights at TJ Maxx for $15, and then I got the wicking shirt at Target for $20.  Not bad, if you ask me.  And, it all holds my stomach in place quite well.

And yes, I will wear shoes when I actually use this outfit for exercising.  I was trying it on for the camera at home in this case, and so, yeah, I didn’t bother to put on shoes for the photo.

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Protest fashionista…

February 19, 2013, 10:22 PM

I went to the 350.org Forward on Climate rally in DC on Sunday.  That was quite an event.  Good to see so many people interested in preventing manmade climate change and green issues.  I had the polarizing filter attached to the camera, and I was out photographing (though I was wearing a shirt advocating a ban on fracking).  I’ve been involved in various activism for about ten years now.  My first demonstration was April 12, 2003, about the Iraq War.  Since then, I’ve been to demonstrations on a number of different issues, including antiwar, globalization, organized labor, environmentalism, religion, food safety, whistleblowers, sexuality, and public television.  I’ve participated in many ways.  I’ve done straight photography, I’ve done black bloc, I’ve done public education, and I’ve even trolled (i.e. Internet-style trolling in real life).  And I’ve always presented my views when I get back to the computer.

This time, I really got into what I will call “protest fashion”.  I really got into the handmade signs and the various outfits.  Preprinted signs are great and all, but a homemade sign or a unique prop is going to get my attention more because it’s one of a kind.  And likewise, a fancy costume is going to catch my attention more than whatever someone just happened to pull out of the closet that morning (which makes me think of the Limozeen line, “And the lead singer wears glasses!“).

Now the challenge with Forward on Climate was that it was the middle of winter.  It was below freezing and quite windy.  Translated, it was really bloody cold.  And I mean really bloody cold.  Thus not freezing was of top importance.  I wore the anti-fracking shirt, and kept my coat open on purpose to accommodate that.  Thus I layered up under the frack shirt.  And I wore gloves, which unfortunately didn’t do much (note to self: I need new winter gloves).

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Categories: Activism

Trying some new training activities in the pool this week…

February 13, 2013, 11:01 PM

So life at the pool has been interesting lately.  Interesting in a good way, though.  I’ve gotten into a nice routine at the pool.  I know who’s in on which days, we’ve all gotten to know each other, and life is good like that.  And we all laugh about when we accidentally run into/hit each other in the lanes, or other odd strikes like the one time when I accidentally whacked one of the ladies in the aqua aerobics class in the butt as I was going by doing backstroke (embarrassing!) or today, where one of the kids in the swim class in the lane next to me accidentally kicked me in the funnybone (yes, in the elbow – very odd feeling).

And I know how my swimming jives with the others’ swimming, i.e. faster, slower, about the same, etc.  I most enjoy swimming with people that swim at a similar speed to me, or are faster than me.  With slower folks, when we’re swimming three or more in a lane, passing gets old after a while.  Folks I swim about the same speed as are folks that I know I’m not going to run into, and then faster folks are a challenge!  See, when I have a faster swimmer in the lane with me, I try to keep up with them.  I am up to that challenge, though my success varies.  Lately, there has been a small group of 17-year-old girls that come on Monday nights.  They also swim competitively, and so they go really fast.  If I can, I try to get a lane with them.  My goal is to see how long I can stay in front of them.  And I push myself to stay in that spot.  They usually pass me a few times over the course of a workout, but seeing how long I can stay ahead of them before the inevitable occurs is the challenge.  And with the goal of my swims’ being to get physical activity, push myself, and keep things interesting for me, their speed provides me with a good workout and also is something to aspire to.  I would love to be that fast one day.  Will it happen?  We’ll see, I suppose.

This past Monday, they were doing “dolphin drills”.  As I understand it, a dolphin drill is a training technique for improving one’s performance in doing the butterfly.  I don’t have any particular interest in swimming the butterfly, but the training technique intrigues me.  I observed the process in action and then discussed it with them, and got something of a handle on the process.  What you do for a dolphin drill, in a nutshell, is go down to the bottom, push off the bottom, come up, do butterfly arms, and then repeat.  In other words, this:

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Categories: Swimming

Best grammar lesson ever…

February 6, 2013, 10:26 PM

Sometimes, the best lessons in life are subtle and just sort of fall out of the sky.  This is one of them.  And also remember a few very important rules of the Internet:

  • The rules of proper spelling, capitalization, and punctuation still apply on the Internet.
  • There is no privacy on social media, no matter how much you think otherwise.
  • The Internet does not forgive, nor does it forget.  Once you put it out there, it is out there for everyone to see, and it’s out there forever.
  • The average Internet user is not required or otherwise obligated in any way to protect your identity if you say something stupid online.
  • It is not a violation of anyone’s privacy to circulate a message posted in a public venue.

That said, you are probably starting to realize one thing: someone is about to get nailed for something that they posted on social media.

You are about to find out why it’s best to use the language the way the rest of us learned how to use it.  However, while you may certainly be creative in your ideas and in the ways that you express them, those of us with a healthy respect for the proper usage of the English language request that you please not exercise your creative tendencies when it comes to grammar and spelling.

The incident in question happened on Facebook.  It was in response to a public post on the Power Rangers Facebook page.  The original post had something to do with Power Rangers Megaforce, and really isn’t too germane to what I’m talking about.  I made a comment about the original discussion (I know way too much about Power Rangers, by the way).  And then someone else made a post.  And it was a real doozy.

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How to stop the bounce…

February 4, 2013, 10:54 PM

Remember back in September when I walked over to get that haircut and then ran back?  I realized one thing after that exercise: I could run now.  And I could cover some pretty good distance, too!  I am, as they say, in pretty decent shape now.  A far cry from the little butterball that I was two years ago.  I’m also more than 100 pounds smaller than I was two years ago.

When I ran home, I was giving running a spin to see how I liked it.  And I did like it.  However, one thing has kept me from doing it again since then: the bouncing of a certain part of the body (not that part – nor that one).  The problem is my stomach.  My stomach has hung over a little bit for a very long time.  I don’t remember when it started, but it has.  It never hung that low, even though it hangs less than before.  But it still hangs over.  However, despite having lost around 30% of my original body weight in the last two years, the “spare tire” hasn’t gone away.  And when I run, it really starts bouncing around.  And I hate that.  I don’t like that it’s there, and I hate it even more than it bounces around like it does, since it makes a smacking sound as it moves.  I realize that this is probably going into “oversharing” territory here, but you know, I don’t think I’m that special here.  I’m sure that other people have had a similar problem.  Thus I discuss this in the hopes that someone else will leave a comment below (hint hint) and explain what they did in this same situation.  All I can find is information about pregnant women’s stomachs bouncing, and there are two problems with that: I’m not pregnant, and I think I can safely say that I never will be.  There is no baby inside of me.  Just excess body fat.  Then if I use the term “spare tire” to describe it, I get car articles.  Big help.  Not.

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