15
Jun 14

Acupuncture, or now I’m a goddamned hippie

20100928 AlphaCityAcupunks-8

I might have mentioned that I now go to acupuncture. I’ve been going for about nine months, ever since I started having more issues than usual with my teeth grinding. Turns out it was my new night guard, which didn’t fit properly. That got fixed, but I enjoyed the acupuncture so I kept going.

San Francisco has a ton of acupuncture places. I picked a highly rated one in Bernal Heights, a bit of a schlep for me but worth it. The facility is very clean and has that good spa smell. Plus the woman has an incredibly calm and soothing demeanor.

The acupuncture won’t stop me from grinding my teeth, but it does help loosen up my jaw, and in fact my whole neck and shoulder area. My acupuncturist says I carry a lot of tension in both those place, possibly from sitting and typing all day.

It supposedly helps with other issues too. At the beginning of each appointment, she asks me about any other problems. The ones besides teeth grinding that I have regularly are acid reflux (i.e., an acid taste in my mouth), sinus pain, and general anxiety. She’ll adjust her needlework, so to speak, according to the issue. For instance, with sinus pain, she’ll put one in the middle of my eyebrows.

We also talk about my diet. She was sort of appalled that I ate instant noodles regularly, and was glad when I told her I had given them up completely. Regarding my acid reflux, she also suggested eating more cucumbers, celery, and parsley.

The big question: does it hurt? Not really. For me it’s more the anticipation of the needle going in, but when it does, it’s nothing more than the tiniest pinch.

After doing some massage and placing the needles, she’ll leave me alone for 20 to 30 minutes. Sometimes I fall asleep. Most of the time I just daydream. After she removes the needles, sometimes she’ll feel my jaw and shoulders again to see if they’ve loosened up.

I’m always super spacey afterward. My jaw is wonderfully sore and for some reason I pee a lot. I mean A LOT. I guess acupuncture helps cleanse the system, and that’s one way.


25
May 14

Blissing out

Kabuki Springs & Spa

This weekend I finally had the chance to use the gift certificate to Kabuki Springs and Spa my brother gave me for Christmas.

The spa was really nice, fancier than the one I went to with my friend years ago. The massage was lovely, but I’m not sure how effective it was. It was nowhere near as painful as a Thai massage or even my acupuncturist. Pain tells me some good is being done. But at least it was very relaxing.

The piece de resistance was a soak in my own private bath. The tub was luxuriously deep. The water, which was the perfect temperature, easily reached my chin. My masseuse said she’d bring me some tea and water, and left the room.

I was lying there with my eyes closed thinking I’d really like an apple, and would have to pick some up on my way home. The masseuse returned. I was so relaxed, I didn’t bother opening my eyes. I heard her set down my tea and water, and leave again.

When I finally opened my eyes, I noticed a little dish next to my beverages. Guess what was in it: apple slices! So perfect. I was lying there in the tub, the room very dim, candles lit, eating delicious apple slices. And the tea was fruity and herbal, perfect for me since I don’t drink caffeine in the afternoon. It was wonderful.

Afterward I was completely blissed out as I made my way to the subway. I recommend everyone get blissed out, at least once in a while.


16
Sep 12

Krav maga update + intentional laziness

I passed my yellow belt test! For excruciating detail, go visit my krav maga diary.

I was so tired after my 4.5 hour test that I was falling asleep in front of the TV by 9:30. But after I went to bed, I couldn’t sleep. I got up at 10:30, and by 11 was dozing again. This time when I went to bed, I was able to drift off.

This morning I lazed in bed till about 8:30, then had a well-deserved vegan donut and a lot of of coffee. Now it’s 11 and I’m still in pajamas with no intention of working out. I finished a scene for a short story I’m working on and did that krav maga blog post. Will also get another blog post ready and work on my novel. Maybe I’ll do some yoga.

Such a relief the test is over!


20
Jul 12

New blog: Punching and Kicking

Because I don’t have enough distractions from my writing, I’ve decided to start a new blog dedicated solely to krav maga. I’ve moved my krav maga-related posts over there, and also retroactively added a bunch of filler posts called “Today’s class,” which track the different combatives and defense techniques I learned that day.

I’ll probably also post about women and fighting, like 17-year old girl boxer, “T-Rex,” who is headed to the Olympics. If this interest seems sudden, it’s actually not. I’ve been a Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan from way back, and have always enjoyed martial arts movies. Now I’m even more interested in the intricacies of the fighting, especially since I’ll (probably) test for my yellow belt in September.

Anyway, hope you enjoy some Punching and Kicking!


19
Jul 12

Krav maga check-in

It’s been almost six months since I started krav maga, and I think I’m ready to test for my yellow belt. Emphasis on think.

In case you didn’t know, krav maga was first developed in the 1930s by martial artist “Imi Lichtenfeld, who made use of his training as a boxer and wrestler, as a means of defending the Jewish quarter against fascist groups in Bratislavain.” After he immigrated to Israel in the late-1940s, “he began to provide lessons on combat training to what was to become the [Israeli Defense Forces, or the Israeli army], who went on to develop the system that became known as Krav Maga.”

I keep hearing that you have to go at least twice a week to get anything out of it, and that three times a week is ideal. When I started back in February, I went twice a week almost every week. I didn’t go at all in March (vacation and laziness), went only once a week in April, and only started going twice a week again in May, which became a habit in June. I went three times in one week once last month, and once this month.

What’s tough about going three times a week is that the class times aren’t ideal for me. I prefer to work out in the late morning or noontime. The weekend times, 11 AM, are excellent, but during the week is tougher. I usually work from home Tuesdays and Thursdays, and krav maga isn’t till later in the afternoon, which means sitting around unshowered for most of the day.

But now I really need to suck it up and go three times a week because like I said, I think I’d like to test for my yellow belt in September. I’m much better than I was in the beginning, but I still suck at a lot of things. Luckily they’re very transparent about what I’ll need to know for the yellow belt.

There are five sections for testing: 1) Fighting Stance and Punches; 2) Kicks; 3) Punch Defenses; 4) Choke and Headlock Defenses; and 5) Ground Positions/Movements/Kicks. Under each of those sections, there are four to seven things I need to know. Today let’s look at my Fighting Stance and Punches.

Fighting Stance and Punches

  • Fighting Stance and Movement

I’m pretty good at this. At first I had no idea how to move in fighting stance. I kept stepping out with my front foot when it’s really pushing off with the rear and closing the distance.

You should avoid doing things that would make it easy for your opponent to knock you off balance, such as crossing your feet (a big no-no) and lifting your foot too high. At the same time you don’t want to drag your foot on the ground because that will slow you down.

  • Straight Knuckle Punches

I’m erratic at these, sometimes good, sometimes terrible. I have the tendency to strike with my lower two knuckles on my left hand. You’re supposed to strike with the upper two as there’s less chance of injury that way. I also sometimes forget to lead with my lower half. In other words, the power starts in the sole of your foot, you turn your foot (a little or lot, depending on which foot), and pop your hip forward, following through with your arm and fist.

I also forget to follow all the way through with my right, which is my cross. The jab, your left hand, is supposed to be fast and just to stun your opponent; with the right you imagine punching a hole through the person. It’s the knockout punch.

  • Palm Heel Strikes

I’m pretty good at these. It’s the same body mechanics as the straight knuckle punch. You just hit with the heel of your hand. That way you don’t have to worry about hurting your knuckles (which I have done, at least with the skin).

  • Hammer Fists (Front-Side-Back)

I’m also pretty good at these. With the side and back, you have to remember to first look at your target before striking. It could be your friend or some innocent bystander. Newbies, I notice, have a tendency to just strike without looking.

  • Advance and Retreat Punch Combos

I felt like a clumsy idiot when I first started learning this. It’s like when do I step forward? when do I punch? I’m better now but I think I still have a tendency to step first, then punch, instead of at the same time.

  • Elbows

There are seven elbows. I’ve learned one, two, three, and six (which I think my instructors call seven, but whatevs). One is to the front, two to the side, three to the back, and six, straight down (as though your opponent is bent over and you’re aiming for their back). Four and five are backward so I guess we don’t learn that till level 2, and the last one is like an uppercut with your elbow.

Next time, my favorite: Kicks.


28
Feb 12

Krav maga: What I’ve learned so far

This weekend I had my eighth krav maga class. I still get butterflies, and I still sometimes feel like I have no idea what I’m doing, but I have fun every single time, and I’ve learned a lot.

The classes start with 10 to 15 minutes of conditioning. Doesn’t sound like a lot but I’m always dripping with sweat afterward. Conditioning can involve any of the following:

  • Jogging around the room or in place
  • Jogging and trying to kick your own butt
  • Jogging with knees high
  • Fast running in place
  • Jumping jacks
  • Crunches
  • Push-ups
  • Handshake push-ups
  • Elbow push-ups
  • Standing sit-ups

We did standing sit-ups for the first time this weekend. When the instructor started to show us, I thought they were regular sit-ups with a one-two punch. Then he said, “Then stand up.” Everyone was like, “Whaaaat???” I was able to do maybe five. Luckily my partner held me down tight. Surprisingly, I can do the different kinds of push-ups, and not on my knees, woot! I guess all those planks, chatarungas, and burpees have paid off.

After conditioning, we learn stances, kicks, and punches, and run through those several times with our partners. So far I’ve learned:

  • Fighting stance
  • Footwork
  • Straight punch
  • Hammer punch
  • Side elbow punch
  • Groin kick
  • Knee kick
  • Blocks

This is when I feel like an idiot. My form has improved, especially with the tips that MB has given me, but I still feel awkward most of the time.

Then we learn how to put certain punches and kicks together, and defend ourselves in difference attack scenarios, like:

  • Choke from the front
  • Choke from the back
  • Headlock

I’m best at getting out of a headlock. This weekend my teacher even gave me a pat on the back! But I’m still terrible about getting out of the chokes, which involves something called plucking.

When I come home, I’m always excited to show MB what I’ve learned. He corrects my form and teaches me a little more. Then we spar for a bit. Last week he told me how to do blocks, namely how to keep your eyes at the center of your opponent’s chest and use your peripheral vision to see the oncoming blow, rather than look at the person’s hand. So this weekend when we practiced blocks in class, I kind of knew what I was doing. I still sucked, but was able to tell my partner to not look at my hand but my middle and to use his peripheral vision, which seemed to improve his blocking.

MB also had me practice footwork. This is much harder than it looks, at least for me. When you step forward, you don’t just take a step with your front foot. The higher you lift your foot, the more easily your opponent can trip you up. What you do is push off with your back foot, move your front forward, keeping it low to the ground, and sort of slide your back foot to close the space. When moving to the right, push off with the left foot, shift your right foot, close the space with your left. Etc. And never cross your feet. You could trip or be thrown off balance.

The only downside to class is if you don’t get paired with a good partner. It’s totally by chance – whomever you happen to be standing near. Some women gravitate to partnering with other women, but this is only good for me if the woman is pretty good. I don’t like getting partnered with someone who’s afraid of getting hurt, not that I’m whaling on people, but when I’m the one holding the punching or kicking pad, I suck it up (as a result I’ve gotten some bruises and abrasions, but they’re sort of like badges of honor).

I’ve found the best partner for me is a short strong guy who’s a krav maga beginner. Don’t know how the guy feels to have me as a partner, but oh well.


05
Feb 12

Fitness update + krav maga

First up, I met my January goal, which was “to continue what I’ve been doing [twice a week yoga class, three times a week hard cardio, walk to and from the train station on my work days] and also to do burpees/weights/pilates at least once a week.” I did burpees and weights (if not always pilates) once a week, every week. I got up to 78 burpees. Not in a row: I do 12 in a row, rest for 30 seconds, 11, rest, 10, rest, nine, rest, etc., down to one.

Also, recently and unexpectedly, I’ve started taking krav maga.

I’m not sure why.

Maybe because I’ve never taken a self-defense class, or because MB is well-versed in martial arts. Maybe I’m just curious. Or maybe it’s because I’m almost 40 (YUP) and I want to try something different.

Mid-life crisis.

Why krav maga and not another martial art? Sheer laziness. There’s a krav maga place two blocks from my apartment. I’ve passed it before but never thought about taking a class. Then I got the bug up my ass about it, checked their website, and saw they were offering a free 3-day pass for January.

I’d try one class, I decided. It was free and one hour of my life. It’d be a beginning class. No biggie.

When I first got there, I was nervous. There were mostly men. But once class started, I saw there were a few women, at least one who looked as nervous as I felt.

And you know what? It was totally fun.

We started with conditioning, ie, running around the room, lifting stuff above our heads, punching, doing push-ups alternating one-handed (so glad I’ve been practicing plank, chatarunga, and burpees, otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to do it), and some stretches (again, yay for yoga!). Then the instructor taught us stances, kicks, and punches. We practiced those facing the mirror, then with partners. (Some poor guy ended up as my partner and had to make do with my incompetence. But he was really nice about it.) Then we took turns pretending to attack each other and practicing a series of moves our instructor had taught us.

I’m not sure I knew what I was doing, but it was fun as hell.

Plus it helped that the teacher was terrific – energetic, positive, and patient, unlike the teacher this past Thursday. He was all right but a lot more blunt and not very clear with his instructions sometimes, so that when I did something wrong, and he was like, “No, that’s wrong,” I wanted to snap back, “Well, then tell me how to do it.” I held my tongue though and just went with it.

So far what I like best about krav maga is the conditioning at the beginning. I kind of like having someone yelling at me to run! run! run! now do burpees! now do crunches! MB, who was in the military, just shook his head at me. “Angela’s playing army!” I guess I am. It’s sure more fun than running on the treadmill.

I’ve prepaid for a six month membership (there was a special discount) so I have a six month commitment. However, the gym offers other classes. Yoga, conditioning, etc. I’m tempted to switch to all conditioning, but I know just a few classes isn’t enough to give krav maga a chance. MB says I should give it three months, which I’ll try to do, but my shorter term goal for the month of February is to go to krav maga twice a week every week.

Here are all my February fitness goals:

  • Go to krav maga twice a week every week
  • Go to yoga class twice a week every week
  • Hard cardio twice a week every week (dropping from three because of krav maga)
  • Burpees/weights/pilates once a week (this will be a challenge in addition to krav maga)
  • Walk to and from the train station on work days

My knuckles already have scrapes and scratches, which I kind of like.


14
Jan 12

Motivation

Last week at The Frisky, Amelia wrote about how while she has found an exercise she loves (yoga), she still has trouble getting motivated to go to yoga class after work. I totally understand. After work, all I want to do is stuff my face and sit in front of the TV for three hours. Hence, my thwarted attempts to work out in the evenings, even though my bus passes my gym.

So I decided to work out and go to yoga on the days I work from home, Tuesdays and Thursdays, and at least once on the weekend. You think that would be easy, right? Wrong. Although I had all the time in the world, I *still* had trouble getting motivated, and would find lots of excuses. I have a deadline for work, I need to write, I can go another day, etc.

Finally, last month I was able to meet my goal and go to yoga twice a week, and do cardio at least three times a week. How?

I set a short-term goal. Amelia said her New Year resolution is to go to yoga class three times a week. For me it’s much easier to say, “For this one month, I’m doing X,” instead of, “From now on forever, I’m doing X!” That’s what I did in December, which seemed to kick my ass into gear.

I broke down “going to the gym” into tiny steps. When I was working out after work, I’d tell myself, All you have to do is go into the building, fooling myself into thinking that’s all I had to do. But of course once I was in the building, I worked out.

In terms of working out and going to yoga during my WFH days, I fooled myself into thinking:

  • All you have to do is lay out your workout clothes.
  • All you have to do is get out your yoga mat.
  • All you have to do is load up your gym bag.
  • All you have to do is change into your workout clothes.
  • All you have to do is put on your sneakers.
  • Etc.

Soon that first step, laying out my workout clothes, became a trigger to getting my ass out the door and to the gym.

I remind myself that I will ALWAYS feel better after a workout. Even if I decide to do 30 minutes of cardio instead of 40, or “just” the elliptical instead of running, I always feel better afterward, never worse.

I try to stop arguing with myself. Back when I worked for a company that had a gym on the premises, I’d still argue with myself about going. Should I, shouldn’t I, should I, shouldn’t I? Finally one of my co-workers said, “You spend more time arguing with yourself that actually working out.” That made something in my head click, and I simply stopped arguing with myself.

I wish that had been a permanent change. At times, I still feel myself spiraling down the arguing sinkhole, convincing myself not to workout. What I’ve tried to do is simply take arguing with myself out of the equation completely. That way I don’t give myself the opportunity to come up with excuses not to go.

Now what I need to do is apply that to my writing.

In a lot of ways, working out is easier than writing. Quality matters less. If I have a sucky run, it doesn’t affect my next run. If my writing goes awry, it could mean I’m heading in the wrong direction, or that I have a lot of work to redo, which can be discouraging. You don’t redo a run over and over till it’s a right. Plus with exercise, you see faster results.

Writing coach Julie Isaac gives some great advice about how to get motivated to write daily (or whatever your goal is) more easily. The tips I like best are Make Writing a Priority, Write First, and Break My Daily Goal into Smaller Goals. I hadn’t realized that my writing (ie, not work-related) hasn’t been a priority. I often tackle other stuff (like, ahem, Words With Friends) before writing. This is what Julie says about writing first:

How often do you find yourself saying, “I’ll write as soon as I finish … (the dishes, my favorite TV show, organizing my desk, etc., etc., ad infinitum)” And how often does the day slip by without you doing any writing (or very little)?

There’s only one way to answer both of the above questions with “never,” (or at least “rarely”), and that is to Write First!

  • Let the dishes sit in the sink for an hour… Write First!
  • Record your favorite TV show… Write First!
  • Let the piles of paper on your desk get a little dustier… Write First!

For the past couple of days, I’ve been trying this. On Thursday, a WFH day, before I started my day job, I wrote in my notebook for about an hour. The amount of time or number of pages (or page in this case) wasn’t the goal. It was getting a short scene done. And it felt awesome for the rest of the day knowing I’d gotten at least a little writing out of the way.

I always plan on writing on the train to work in the mornings. But more often than not, I end spending the short ride catching up on Words With Friends or Twitter. Yesterday I consciously told myself, “Write first!” and I got another scene done, and didn’t even look at my iPhone. (In fact, I totally lost track of where we were and almost missed my stop.)

Today I did the same thing again: after breakfast and before my computer, I wrote another short scene. Then I wrote some more this afternoon. Just a little bit, but over the week it all starts to add up.


30
Nov 11

Fitness slacker

It’s been several months since I last checked in with my fitness goals, and you know why: I’ve been slacking.

Generally, what happens is I’m very disciplined for a few months, then when I lose a little weight, I begin to slack. This was okay when I was already skinny because gaining a couple of pounds wasn’t a big deal, but now that my usual weight is skinny plus SEVERAL extra pounds, when I gain another two or three pounds, it makes a difference. Like bulging hips and thighs difference. Like spare tire difference. Like back fat difference. Like shorts that fit two years ago that no longer fit difference.

I’ve tried a few tactics that haven’t worked for me.

Eating Paleo-ish. If you don’t know, the Paleo diet is basically like the Atkins diet but somewhat healthier. Depending on how strict you are, you’re supposed to eat mostly animal protein and vegetables, plus a little fruit, dairy, and nuts, virtually no sugar, and absolutely no carbs like rice, pasta, and bread, not to mention sweets and pastries.

My problem with eating “Paleo-ish” is that while at first I did cut back on carbs, after I lost some weight, I added carbs back in on top of all the extra protein I was eating. More protein and carbs equals more calories. More calories and no increase in activity equals weight gain.

Going to the gym after work. My bus home passes the gym so it seemed stupid not to get off one stop early and go in. For a while I was really good. Three times a week (I work in my office three days, from home two days), I’d fool myself by thinking, All you have to do is go in the building, to psyche myself into going.

But somewhere along the way I fell out of the habit. Suddenly, I got tired of carting my stuff around. I hated getting home so late. I started getting tired. After working a full day, then commuting back home, I just didn’t have the motivation to also hit the gym.

I just got lazy.

Doing yoga on my own. Because I was going to the gym after work, I felt less motivated to go on the days I worked from home, which are also the days of my yoga class. I did yoga on my own, which was better than nothing but definitely not as effective as a class.

How do I know? One day I went after a couple of months of no classes, and I ALMOST DIED. Well, not really. The class was tough and afterward I was sore for a very long time.

Setting goals. You’d think setting goals would be a good idea, and at first it was. I was determined to check off all four “Do cardio” boxes every week. And sometimes I did, but of course, more often, I didn’t, and then I’d feel lame. I’d feel like I was cheating by putting something other than running or the elliptical, like walking or burpees, in those cardio boxes. Then I started to feel like, Why bother at all if I can’t check all four of those boxes?

So what am I going to do instead?

Eat in moderation. Duh! I want to continue to avoid carby snacks, sweet or savory, but I have to remember to not go crazy with the protein. Something kinda Paleo that I’ve been doing is having yams for breakfast, if only because they’re so tasty.

While we were visiting my parents in NJ in September, MB commented after a couple of days that I suddenly looked healthier. He put two and two together – we were eating my mom’s healthy Chinese food every day – as did I: we were taking three mile walks every day.

I think MB has made a conscious effort to suggest healthier options for dinner. Instead of pizza a couple of times a week, now he’s been cooking more, or suggesting more Asian cuisine and less diner food. While he’s a skinny guy who can eat just about anything, I’m not.

As for me, I’ve decided to. . .

Walk a lot more. Now instead of going to the gym after work, I walk to and from the train station on the days I go into the office. That’s two miles each way, three times a week. The walk (one way) is about 40 minutes, which is actually the same or even faster than my bus, and a hell of a lot more relaxing, especially in the morning when not a lot of people are out.

Right now the weather is really good for walking. It’s a little chilly, which is good because I’m sweating like a pig by the time I get to the train station, but since I get to wear jeans and T-shirts all the time, this doesn’t really matter. When it starts to rain more, that’ll be a bummer.

Also, I’m saving on bus fare, which is $2 each way, three times a week, or a total of $48 for the month. And after work, MB usually meets up with me in the middle, and we walk part of the way home together, chatting about our days and sometimes stopping somewhere for dinner. Another good thing is that the walk is fairly flat, an important consideration in this town.

And I’ve never felt unmotivated about walking. I’m an impatient person and hate waiting for the bus. With walking, I have total control over how quickly I get to the train station or back home.

Go to yoga class. Like I said, I get so much more out of a class than yoga on my own. I just don’t push myself enough, and also tend to do the same positions again and again. My teacher mixed up the routine, corrects our form, and sometimes talks us through the positions, reminding us to hold our muscles in a certain way. By myself, I tend to do the minimum.

My goal this month is go to yoga every week, twice a week. Once a week is pretty good, but going twice makes a real difference. Last month, I went twice just one week and even that made a difference. Plus I want to do cardio three times a week, two times before my yoga class and once on the weekend.

Track fitness, not goals. But I just talked about goals! Well, those goals are in my mind. In a spreadsheet (yup, a spreadsheet), I’m just tracking what I do each day, whether it’s walking, running, yoga, or weights. This way at least I’ll want to do SOMETHING every day, to avoid having a blank sheet spot on my my spreadsheet. For instance, this past Sunday I didn’t feel like doing anything, not even going for a walk. But I wanted to have something to put on my spreadsheet. So I just did a round of weights.

The results so far? I’ve probably lost two or three pounds, but more importantly, I feel better. My spare tire has shrunk a little, and I’m not disgusted by my reflection in the mirror. I still have a ways to go, but my new tactics seem to be working.

So far.


12
Sep 11

Of dreams, insomnia, and demons

During the two and a half hours of sleep I got last night, I had two weird dreams, or one long disconnected dream.

1) I’m somewhere minding my own business when Shaquille O’Neal comes out of nowhere. Not only that, he has his dick out and is waving it around and trying to get close to me. We’re on stairs, and I keep backing away, telling him I don’t want him near me, but he won’t listen. Finally, I call out for MB – “MB! Help me, help me!” – and he runs out and with his kung fu skills (which he has in real life) brings Shaq down, during which I think, Hot.

Because MB has rendered Shaquille O’Neal unconscious, the police and paparazzi are after us. We run down the stairs and hide in some room, trying to blend with the crowd. They find us, and we run off again, and again.

2) Suddenly MB is gone, and I’m hanging out with this group of people who call themselves goth tricksters. I’m surprised to find a childhood friend there, a friend who’d be the very last person to have anything to do with something goth or trickstery. I keep telling her and the group this, and they’re all very insulted. My friend is and has been a treasured member of their group – how dare I think she doesn’t belong?

Finally, I tell her, “Okay, the person I know is you and this person who’s part of this goth trickster group don’t seem like the same person, but your essence is the same.” She and the group like this. She crosses the room and gives me a hug.


I’m not sure why I couldn’t sleep last night. I slept till nine on Sunday morning, but that’s not that late. I mean, I couldn’t sleep till five AM! I didn’t have any caffeine late in the day, but I did have some 7-Up at dinner. Was that really the culprit? Half a can of 7-Up? It’s true I rarely have soda now, so maybe all that sugar, in combination of a sleeping late in the morning, did do a number on me.

And then I couldn’t sleep past 7:30 this morning, although I was exhausted. Just an excuse to drink gallons of coffee.


Tomorrow we fly out to New York!


I’ve been prepping a book of essays for a contest that I thought was due September 15, but actually starts on that day and is due in mid-November. So now I can take my time revising a few of the pieces. Two only need medium revisions (I think) but one sucks. It’s about when I was nine and thought I was possessed after seeing The Exoricst and then getting the flu right after and being doused with too much cough medicine. I originally wrote it in combo with my paternal grandmother’s death, but reading it again, realized it was a forced combination, and that there was too much summing up in the end.

I’ve decided to go another way and focus on the pseudo-possession and the idea of demonic possession in general, which means reading articles about it. A couple are pretty good, not just linking mental illness and possession, but breaking down the dynamics of using possession as a reason for uncharacteristic behavior, but one is, how should I put it, stupid.

The author basically says psychiatrists and psychologists shouldn’t discount demonic possession because it’s, um, real. Her “evidence”? Eyewitness accounts of exorcisms. Yeah, heads up: just because someone says they saw something doesn’t mean it’s real. Her other reasoning: how can we say that demons don’t exist if exorcisms seem to work? *Sigh.*