It started last night on my way home from the gym. I watched as the thick layer of gray clouds that had been blanketing the city for the last 13 weeks were pushed away by some high-elevation winds, leaving behind clear skies.
Clear skies that welcomed today's sunshine with open arms and sweet cheek kisses. I feel like I haven't seen the sunshine in weeks, and today I got to play in it for a little bit.
My birthday is on Monday, and Steve is such a child that he couldn't wait until then for me to open my present. Once I opened my package and re-wrapped the paper around one of Lacey's toys to torture her, there was a few moments of, "That's sweet, babe. But what the hell is it?"
Then we did some errands for some supplemental items to my birthday present and I was able to set everything up in the living room.
I immediately put Lacey into it to test it, because that's what I do with lightboxes. My rule for any item I have is that if I can't use it to torture my dog, then what is even the point in owning it? Torturing the dog is the one thing that has and will always bring me joy.
Steve whined about how bright my four 500-watt flood lights were, but I don't care. It is awesome. You can see my living room from space. All of the light also kept Lacey warm an toasty, by which I mean Unlikely To Jump From The Lightbox Tearing Holes In Its Precious Sides.
I barely had time to get the dog out of the box before Steve took me out for Secret Dinner Reservations, and I left my take-home box of prawns on the table like I always do. Someone else (*cough*Steve*cough*) should be in charge of getting the leftovers home. Then we appreciated the stars and the city lights and each other from the bluff behind the airport before heading home.
It was a really good day, better than the days I've been having lately. Here's to more of the same.
Whenever we go to the Asian market, Steve likes to play a game called "Buy Something Unpronounceable." Sometimes this Something is in the form of sugary turmeric mocchi cookies, but more often it comes from the large section of cold beverages.
He has yet mustered up the nerve to try the tiny candied crabs, which are exactly what you think they are, only smaller.
Soon I will wear down his resistance. If he tries them, I'll try them. And you can be assured one or both of us will come running to tell the internet just how awful they truly are.
The other night we were at the Asian market getting good organic chicken and veggies and we swung by the cold beverages to see what new abominations the Asian continent is coming up with.
The generic rule to this game is the less English on the packaging, the more time you spend trying to figure out what is in it, the better.
I'm not nearly as adventurous as he is, but sometimes I like to play. I've seen açai juice for some time; it looked dark like grape juice and the label had pretty purple flowers on it, so I grabbed one to try it.
It tastes like.... well, basically... it's like someone repackaged the juice canned olives come in and added a pinch of sugar and some pretty purple flower.
I hate olives.
And this sweetened canned olive juice coated my mouth and throat and would not let go. It was awful.
My prescription of sunlight, minimum of ten minutes taken once daily, has been working out very well to combat my SAD.
It helped even more that last week we got ten inches of snow. Then the temperatures dropped and the sun came out and little songbirds arrived to help make my bed. It was lovely.
This is what winter should be like all the time: temperatures between zero and -10°F, snow covering all of the trees like icing, and bright shining sun. That would be Most Perfect. Others may disagree with me, but they are wrong.
This weekend, I decided the best way to celebrate these below-zero temperatures would be with a sledding party. Outside, even. I convinced John and Heidi to drag their sleds and girls out to the park where we had no thermoses filled with soup or hot cocoa. Brilliant planning on our parts, that.
But we did have sleds. And mittens. And snow. And snowboards.
My niece Rose taught me how to snowboard. By which I mean holding my hands as she pulled me along on mostly-flat ground while I screamed and then sat down because snowboarding is dangerous. And also scary. And I am a big wuss.
After about five hours of that, she told me, "It's okay if you fall, Aunt Valette. Because you'll just fall in the snow and the snow doesn't hurt!"
Which is a lie.
But lies from sweet 12-year-olds are easier to believe. Until you are pointed down a huge hill with only your belief in God Almighty to save you and you know you're going to die and you realize that not once in the lesson were there instructions to stop.
I am proud to say that I did eventually make it all the way down the hill on my last try without falling. I did scream the whole way down, however, as did my brother who stood at the top and yelled, "Just ride it out! YOU CAN DO THIS!!!!1!"
I did not get any photos of the sledding party; no evidence of Steve (aka Slimy McCheatersons) totally cheating on the sled race, and no shots of my niece rolling her eyes so far into the back of her head that I could hear them talking to themselves about how idiotic I was being.
No photos because I was too busy being idiotic. But both John and Heidi had their cameras and made sure to get my myriad wipeouts on video. I can't wait until they share that with the internet.
Until then, here's a picture of Lacey's butt, quite embarrassed at her clashing winter attire:
I've been experienced some Seasonal Affective Disorder the last few weeks. I didn't really know why I was feeling down or unmotivated to do even the smallest of things until Sunday afternoon.
With the sun going down at 4pm, there is so much night time that I'm having trouble convincing my body to go to sleep. That the darkness at 11pm is somehow different from the darkness at 6pm.
I'm staying up until 1 or 2, and I'm so tired all week that I sleep in until 11 or later on the weekends. Usually later. After an hour or two of checking in with the internet (aka: Waking Up), and then a half hour of getting some "breakfast", and then a half hour shower and getting dressed, it's now 2 or 3pm and the sun is already going away. I feel like the day is already over and I've not accomplished anything, even though I've only really started.
On Sunday, after I realized what was going on, we decided to get out of the apartment despite the sun mostly gone. We went to the gym for a quick half hour, which really helped. Then grocery shopping, dinner out, and a movie.
It was good to get out of the apartment while I was feeling down, but I still didn't accomplish much this weekend. Didn't do any of the things I had wanted to do.
Today I got outside during my lunch break and stood in the sunshine. It was only 15 or 20 minutes, but it was beyond wonderful. I needed that little burst of vitamin D.
By the end of the month, the increasing light will be more noticeable and I will be doing much better, but until then I will put a little reminder on my calendar to soak up some sun.
We welcomed 2008 with a big midnight sledding party that involved running into trees and getting snow all up in Steve's face.
If you have never gotten snow all up in Steve's face I would highly recommend it because it is a lot of fun. The only way it could be more fun is if he learned how to steer better, or maybe if he just let me do it already for the love of God.
This morning I'm being flooded with "ddr adults weight loss" spam, and I don't like the idea of spammers telling me what my New Year's resolutions should be.
That's pretty presumptuous, don't you think? What if I'm more of a Wii person?
I've never been one for resolutions. Why make long-term promises to myself that I know I'm going to break within a month? If I'm going to lose weight, I'm going to do it when I'm good and ready, not just because it's the start of a new year.
But I'm thinking the beginning of a new year may be a good time to set out some personal goals. Is this the same thing as making resolutions? I don't really think so, unless my goals include losing 50lbs and stopping smoking and going to the gym for an hour every single day twice a day on the weekends.
No, I want my goals to be manageable and attainable and things I'm actually likely to work towards, if not accomplish. I want to guarantee success, because failure scares me.