Friday, August 25, 2006

Snow Days

This morning came with a very sudden and welcome turnaround from the direction it had been taking toward The-Most-Stressed-I-Had-Been-Since-Grad-School, a cold and dark
wasteland from which I just barely escaped once, never mind a second go around. I finished one copy editing job last night, only to open another one and find thick stacks of about 250 pages of papers, many single-spaced, due in about ten days. This figured out to approximately an obscene number of pages that I must complete each day to reach the deadline (and I was just recently late with a deadline, something that's happened only a handful of times in the three years I've been doing this). The problem is that I copy edit articles for academic journals, and most of those journals are quarterlies, which means I get dumptrucked on quarterly. And I have not been my hyperorganized, on-top-of-everything self lately. There's a huge stack of bills and filing, I'm missing birthdays, the house is a disaster, my sewing room is still nowhere near complete, too many errands for my comfort are pending, etc. It's hard for your garden variety type A to deal with.

Then two things happened: First, I learned I would not have to go in to work today at all. Ah, the magic of working PRN! "Snow days" come more frequently here in the desert than they ever did when I was growing up in the 'burgh, north of the Adirondacks, if you can imagine such a concept. Of course the reality of a snow day is a little different in that there is now no actual involvement of said snow, but there is still the unexpected thrill of waking up expecting to face another day, put another "x" on the calendar, only to get the phone call from heaven that, in fact, I have the day off! And there's the downside of not getting paid. On the other hand, this meant I could spend the whole day copy editing, for which I do get paid, and thus carve a nice chunk out of the work I had expected to be tethered to all weekend.

Second, I checked my email and found more puppy pictures!

The breeder will be doing temperament testing this weekend and allocate the puppies to their families on Monday. The two girls are apparently already reserved, so now we also know that we'll be getting a boy. She sent a dozen pictures of only nine puppies, so obviously some are dupes, but Lord help me, I can't tell them apart. Some look more reddish than others, but that could also just be the lighting. They're all just darn cute (as all juvenile animals are meant to be) piles of fluff. She also asked for preferences regarding ship date, and I learned that he could come home as early as the ninth, but I don't have a set date yet. Time to make a list of the 10,000 things that need to be done before he gets here and get cracking. Or get DH cracking while my butt is glued to the couch with my hand glued to my red copy editing pen.

I also learned three interesting things today (interesting to me anyway):
  • My old standby technique for copy editing, whereby all unknown or unfamiliar words and terms are replaced by such ubiquities as "whosit" and "whatsit" thus making the sentence comprehensible for grammar checks, does not, in fact, work for all academic fields. Specifically, I have stumbled upon a segment of academia so baffling to me that there are more whosits and whatsits in the sentence than anything else, making it instead less comprehensible than it was before. Case in point: "The spread of whatsits such as thingamajig, doodad, and whatsitsname has greatly contributed to the rapid dissemination of whosits among several thingies of human and verterinary importance." And that's a tame one. I just don't have the time to find the wild ones hiding in the bush for your reading excitement.

  • Despite the fact that I live in a so-called desert, one's lawn can apparently turn into a veritable jungle within a matter of three weeks during monsoon season. And further despite the fact that the real estate agent specifically told us she thought all the grass was going to die. It didn't. In fact, DH and I somehow failed to reckon with the fact, until days after we had moved in, that it was actually our responsibility to now care for this lawn. Lawn? Who said anything about a lawn? Wait a minute, lawncare requires a lawnmower! No sir, we did not sign up for that. Who has a lawn in the desert? Actually, far too many people, if you ask me, but we never intended to be one of them. We just never put two and two together and now we have to buy a lawn mower. This seems as overwhelming and daunting a task as buying a new car. In theory, DH is on it.

  • It turns out that fat really does weigh less than muscle. I am now suspiciously close to my wedding weight (according to the MD's scale at my recent check-up), which, for those of you who didn't know me then, was my fighting weight, my I-can-pretty-much-wear-whatever-I-want-without-thinking-twice weight (periods that have come fleetingly in my life). That should sound like a great thing, but I feel like I have the same amount of flab on me I had 16 pounds ago. Could I have really lost that much muscle? DH seems to have no trouble believing it, but he's a boy and that much muscle is nothing to them. Women don't put it on so easy. I recently figured out my supposed "ideal weight," not the fashion magazine kind, but the Women's Health kind with all the very complicated calculations that registered dieticians use for actual optimum health, as close as any calculation can figure it. Now I'm starting to see how that low, low number I figured is actually possible. With the same amount of muscle that most of my girlfriends have on them (i.e., very, very little), that would actually be a reasonable weight for me. Not unhealthy at all. I think being a rower in college just skewed my idea of what normal muscle mass was for a woman; although, I was never by any means any kind of hulking warrior princess. Looking in the mirror, I see the back muscles I've carried for the past ten years are gone. But when I think about the kind of effort it took to keep all that muscle, way way more than the average fitness plan, I start to question whether it's worth trying to rebuild to the same degree. Out of my early 20s, I'm not so insecure about how I look. Other things are more important now. Frankly, I'm busy. I don't have the same drive to excel at fitness so much as to just meet the status quo. But am I really willing to surrender to the fact that I've probably peaked, in that totally vain, shallow, physical way (note me noting that none of this really matters; feel no need to scaffold my self-esteem, sweet as any such intentions would absolutely be)? This is a tough fact to come to terms with for me. Kids are not too, too far in the future and I think I still see that as the beginning of the end, for my body anyway. Well, I'm not going to reach a decision this moment, so I'll just revel in the uncommonly low (for me) numbers on the scale, and ignore the rest for now!

  • Now really, this can't be comfortable.


    Ali said...

    Glad you've had the chance to plow through some of those pages! Sounds like a real whatsit of a job.
    I've tried e-mailing you again, will you let me know if you don't get it? Have a productive weekend.

    Ouiser said...

    I can't wait for you to get one of the puppies. They are absolutely adorable!

    die Frau said...

    That makes me feel so much better: I have gained weight in terms of muscle in my legs and I CAN'T FIT INTO ANY OF MY PANTS. I almost cried. Oh, wait, I did, broke down sobbing in bed because I thought I was fat. I may also be eating too much. Solution? Toning, working inside my "fat burning" zone more than cardio, and doing Pilates. Wait, this could be a great post.

    Anyway, glad that you survived the copyediting nonsense!