Friday, July 28, 2006

Searching For a Safe Haven

Nothing, NOTHING is booked for this weekend. AAAhhhh I might actually get to read and relax. E is having a thermal pump installed. He claims that I'll be able to hide out in my office and ignore the process, but I'm concerned that I will feel guilty being surrounded by all the activity while I loll around reading OR, WORSE that I'll be sent to Rona for 3/8" hydrolining retrofitting compression connectors, and then come back with the coated ones instead of the uncoated ones. I want to help, but... maye I'll go see if the local library has comfortable chairs. Run away!!!! Bad Karen.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Manilow on My Mind

I woke up with the song "I Write the Songs" playing in my head and I can't get rid of it. Mental breakdown? Possibly...

Remember the Energizer bunny all happy with his sunglasses and drum, and how sad it is when he runs out of energy and falls over? That's E - he was face down, passed out completely asleep when I got home from the movies last night at 9:45 pm. I couldn't believe it - he's normally going and going and going - Ohmigod - he stopped!!!

I am feeling better and better each day - recovering from those two Navy Seal boot camp weekends. I also got another call from someone looking for some marketing freelance writing. I can't tell you how happy that makes me, particularly because it's for the kind of work I like doing : )

And although I haven't technically 'written' any bits of my book, I've been thinking through some rough spots. Soon it will spill onto paper.

Office cleanup status: messy. Papers from three jobs spread all over mixed with various bills, post-its and hot pink page flags. I bought more oganizers yesterday, but they don't seem to be magically doing the trick. I might have to break down and sort through this crap soon.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

The Fog has Lifted

I'm back BACK the fog has lifted
The earth has shifted
and raised the gifted

name that tune...

I am an official PADI-Certified Open Water Scuba Diver. I spent last Saturday and Sunday refining my skills in the murky depths of some unknown lake by St Zotique Quebec. Apparently divers certifed here have it relatively easy everywhere else because the conditions around here are so bad. I believe it.

I am still having problems clearing my mask. I think I might need to drop some coin on a prescription mask. I can swim with my contacts and goggles, but underwater it takes longer to re-adjust your mask, and keeping my eyes squeezed shut while underwater is just a bit too much - it makes me a little too anxious and my beathing gets ragged. I think if I could keep my eyes open while clearing my mask it might go better. E and I are going to try a few adjustments in a friend's pool soon. I'm also a stinky snorkeler. We're going to work on that this weekend (weather permitting) at the cottage : )

I have a more manageable level of freelance work this week which might actually allow me to - - dare I suggest it? --- work on my book!!! I have an appointment to check in with L this Sunday, so progress must be made or else.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Easily Distracted

My peaceful, quiet home office that I have been SOOO looking forward to using this week has been completely disrupted by project new driveway across the street. The amount of trucks, crew, and construction equipment is almost equal to the water pipe project on the nearby road.

For whatever reason, I am completely fascinated by the process. I keep watching as each piece of equipment or truck does its part. E wants me to go over there with lemonade to try to get them to dump dirt in our driveway. I am too intimidated by the whole operation to even consider it.

Must try to focus... must finish work and send out some invoices... oh yeah, then there's that novel sitting in a binder gathering dust....

Monday, July 17, 2006

Coming up for air

I spent the weekend underwater - literally. I took the 'confined water' aka pool portion of a scuba certification class. The schedule was pretty intense: Friday 6:30 - 11:30 PM, Sat 7:45 AM - 12 noon, 7 PM - 11 PM, then Sunday 4 PM - 11:30 PM.
The time was aboout 1/2 classroom, 1/2 pool.

The first night the pool visibility was bad and I was bordering on panic most of the time even though we stayed in the shallow end on our knees for most of it, so you could see the surface right above you. The panic was completely unfounded - there was nothing wrong, it was just little voices saying 'go up, go up - you don't want to do this' HEY - I recognize those guys - slightly altered versions of the you can't write a book demons. I know better than to listen to them, but they show up at the WORST possible times...

Saturday went MUCH better even though by Saturday night I was coming unglued just from being so tired. I have always been good in a classroom situation and I am not incredibly patient with people who are slower so I was getting really antsy before we got in the pool. In the pool, the tables turned so to speak - I was one of the slowest ones to catch on. It almost always took me at leat two tries to be able to do the skills, and sometimes I needed serious additional explanation. This is normal for me with anything physical - it does not come naturally or easily. I always have to work harder than other people who might not be as book smart or even in as good condition physically. It's just the way it is - I don't like being at the back of the class, but my only other option is to not get to do any of these things.

Sunday I aced the final exam, but was still wrestling with my inability to clear my snorkel and mask. I made it through the pool part, but still need to work on some skills before I feel confident.

There was a 10-yr old kid in my class, and while he struggled a bit in the classroom, he was incredibly at ease in the water. It was impressive and humbling at the same time.

re: sharks. I was more afraid of them before I went to the class than after. Sharks are not aggressive. For the most part they are shy and will swim right by you, which is actually really cool if you think about it. They bite from below, so if you see one that seems interested in you, you can swim away along the bottom and be safe. Driving to the class on the highway under construction in the rain was much more dangerous than diving.

Next weekend we head out to the open water. It's supposed to be easier in many ways than being in the pool, except you need to deal with cold and current. I am looking forward to it because there should at least be something to see besides clumps of hair floating in the pool - yuk.

When E took scuba classes over 20 years ago, you had to take apart and dump your gear on the bottom of the pool, surface, take a breath, swim down and reconnect it all and put it back on underwater. We didn't have to do anything like that. Either the equipment is more reliable, or the odds of ever having to do that are so slim, it just doesn't make sense to freak people out by teaching it.

Today I am really sore and tired, but looking forward to next weekend : )

Wednesday, July 12, 2006


As if doing truckloads of freelance work wasn't enough, I signed up for an intensive scuba certification course this weekend. All scuba, all weekend. AND I get to read the entire scuba book before I get there.

What makes you bouyant? Why does a wetsuit have to be so freaking tight? What's the most important thing to remember so your head doesn't explode? Breathe. Trying to just focus on that one for now.

stop. relax. breathe.

In other news, we had visitors last weekend - my aunts and uncle from Boston. I was of course a maniac. I put rhubarb bars in the oven then sat down on the porch with the door closed, chit-chatting and sipping Sangria until Sgt. Yahoo showed up and said "Hey, Karen - is there supposed to be smoke coming out of the oven?"
They didn't burn - they were ok, in fact pretty freaking tasty. Amazing what 1/2 lb of butter and a few cups of sugar can do to a fibrous weed growing in the yard.

Luckily E handled the rest of the cooking - delicious bbq. We also made it downtown for the last day of the jazzfest and went for a walk along the boardwalk in Ste-Anne. That's the good thing about having people visit - it forces you to re-appreciate your city. We would have completely missed the jazzfest otherwise.

The visit was quick but fun. Now I'm back to work, studying scuba and swimming twice per week.

How is the book going? Hello! Did you read the above? I've completely overscheduled myself and the book is once again on the back burner. I know, I'm an assclown.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

I'm #1!

I actually finished 1st in the Women's Duathlon in the Great Race at St. Albans Bay VT last weekend. Not sure if that's a smile or a grimace in the photo. Jumping on your bike after running doesn't feel fantastic, so I'm leaning toward grimace.

See official results here.

If you search triathlon teams/men's kayak over 40 you'll find e. on team sparky - ranked 3rd.

I am the champion.... I am the champion....

Before we all get too excited, let's look at my actual times:
Run 5K 29:49.5
Bike 20K 51:36.0

That's ummmm... slow... but not as slow as sitting on the couch, so there you go.

My reward?

Delicious. And, yes.... I ate the WHOLE THING!

: )