this and that

In no particular order, things that have been on my mind. It’s a scattered place in there.

One thing I didn’t mention was that after wearing high (not sky-high) heels all night at my reunion, my big toe was numb for the next few days – actually it was the left half of my left big toe and the right half of the second toe, so I assume those are on the same nerve and that I pinched it. This may mean I’m in trouble today; I wore my high heeled Docs (something like these, but mine have eyelets for the laces and more of a platform) but didn’t remember until I got to work that I have a meeting several blocks away. It doesn’t make sense to drive; I’d have to park far enough out that it’s silly not to walk in the first place. At least I don’t need to take my laptop, so I won’t have the weight of a backpack on me.

Exciting News: I just fund out this minute that the creators of the songbook Rise Up Singing, Peter Blood and Annie Patterson, are putting out a new songbook, Rise Again. The book’s website says “Rise Again will have a large variety of song genres just as Rise Up Singing but will have more songs from genres that were not very well-represented in RUS – blues, country, jazz standards, early rock, Motown, recent popular & indie songs written after 1995”. The website has a full list of songs, plus the preface by Pete Seeger. (I’d buy it is I didn’t already love the other one just for Beeswing, Jambalaya, Hey There, Delilah, Fear an Bhata, Pancho and Lefty… they’re all available online of course, but sometimes it’s easier to play from a book.)

I’m trying a new thing on the erg. I’d like to race on our home lake this April, if I can get in shape enough not to embarass myself too badly (that last spate of marathon training, which I abandoned about 2/3 through after the Holiday Challenge, never did really feel like it was clicking). Masters rowers race one km for our sprint races in spring and summer. In the past I’ve tried 2k training plans, adapting my own plan and just winging it; this time I decided to try something different and start with the Fast-Track FItness Training Programme from (They used to be the UK arm of Concept 2.) I’ve used their marathon plan many times and found that it works well, so we’ll see how this one goes. It’s not explained quie as well as their marathon plan or even their 2K plan, but I’m pretty sure I understand what to do – and if not, what I think they mean is probably close enough. If our home race (the Covered Bridge Regatta) goes well enough, maybe I’ll even do a race or so in Portland. Maybe.

I’m a bit jealous of all my friends and family on the East Coast, because it seems that we are not getting a winter this winter. I’m especially envious of the Philadelphians, who got a day or two off of work and some snow to play in without actually having the inconvenience of criplling amounts of snow. Here, we’re expecting highs in the 50sF into the foreseeable future. It’s very nice and hasn’t even been raining all that much – even in winter, Portland has blue skies more often than you’d think, because our rain and clouds often don’t last the whole day. But I do miss winter. We had a few very cold days and even a snow flurry around Christmas, but that’s been it for the winter. Our one big storm last year was in February, so there’s hope, but the current warm forecasts stretch out through half the month.

I probably need to go to a doctor and talk about my thyroid – when I had my physical last fall, my TSH levels were a bit high, which is a symptom of low thyroid function. Last year, the doctor said I was borderline and could choose whether to treat it; this year the levels are higher still, so I suppose I should. Ironically, I’ve been putting this off because the potential payoff is so big (and I don’t believe they will really happen). Low thyroid function can result in fatigue, hair loss, carpal tunnel sydrome, forgetfulness, greater sensitivity to cold, difficulty losing weight, depression – who wouldn’t want more energy, better memory, thicker hair, easier weight loss (if you’re trying!), cheerier mood, less wrist pain, and so on? But none of those things are really *problems* for me. Sure, I have less energy than I’d like, but what I’d like is to be able to hop on an erg and do a half marathon any time. I’d like thicker hair but mine is just fine. I’d like my wrists to bother me less often, but I type, knit or row much of the day, every day. In my experience (as a fairly healthy person) you go to the doctor, she says, “Yes, you might have so and so,” and either they can’t do much about it or they try a treatment and nothing really happens. (It’s not that I’m anti-medicine, just that I’ve always been fairly healthy. The only cases where doctors have made any difference is when I’ve been ill with bacterial stuff, when I had some precancerous cervical cells removed a couple of decades ago, and on birth control. I do believe doctors are in general more use when there’s really something wrong – though of course they can’t always help even then.) So I’m in doubt if it’s worth a doctor’s visit and the costs thereof (I have high-deductible insurance) or if I should just wait until I have to go for some other reason.

And just to complete my usual rowing/reading/knitting subject list: I’m currently working on the Follow Your Arrow 2 Mystery Knitalong – I like this one because there are 2 options for every clue, so that I get all the fun of discussion but don’t end up with the same FO as a thousand other knitters. My other current project is gloves for Ted. My plan is to complete these and then start a sweater for me (possibly Rogue, if I can figure out how to do it without a hood) and then a shawl for a friend’s birthday.

This is why I ought to blog more frequently, just to get all the daily stuff written up so it doesn’t come out in one big bolus.

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