Introvert in an Extroverted Location

I’m still trying to get over the amount of people I ended up around this weekend.  Family was fine.  I was good.  Glad today was a calm work day.


A couple months ago, I did a blog post about Portland and all the people.  Seattle:  Not much different, especially where I went.  Reminder: Pike’s Place at 7 a.m. when most of the shops are closed and getting ready to open is a much better time to visit versus 9:30 a.m. on a Saturday.


I did have fun with scavenger hunt I did Friday afternoon, although I would have gotten more points had I looked either down or at eye level.  I was too busy looking up at the Space Needle to get some of the clues.


My calves are still on fire from walking up and down the hills and then sitting for long periods of time in the car.  I did get to see a lot though, including a book nerd gem.


All in all, it was a good trip.  I was happy to be back in California though.  I want to say that this has been a great experience and has done wonders for my perspective on family and life and how much nicer it is to do things with other people.  Ray and I skyped while I was doing Pike’s Place after 9:30 a.m. PDT and I got to show her some cool things.  Would probably have been cooler had she been there with me.


My introvertedness was showing by the end of it all.  With family, it’s not so bad.  Without them… When you’re staring at your phone, with your headphones in, and (hopefully) talking to someone on the other end, things are a little better.  But there’s nothing like going somewhere with them and sharing your love of a place together.  I miss that.

Listening to:  Nothing right now.

Reading:  Just One Damned Things after Another by Jodi Taylor and The Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs.

Quote of the Day:  “There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.” ― Will Rogers


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Filed under 1001 Days, Bucket List, Vacations/Travel


This week, I decided to torture myself.  Maybe torture isn’t the right word.  Maybe experiment would be a better one for it.  Let’s go with experimenting.

I’ve been eating like crap lately, especially on the weekends while I’m home alone.  Chex Mix, candy, crackers, junk food, carb heavy things… You get the picture.  I’m not going to lose the last 50 or so pounds I wanted to doing that.

While looking for healthy recipes, keto things kept popping up. I figured why not try it. I’ve seen one of our kids do and he had a lot of success with it.  So… hello Pinterest and Reddit.  /r/keto had a lot of great recipe ideas, questions with tested answers from other members, support. There were success stories and everything.  It’s pretty cool.

My concern:  How does keto work with hypoglycemia and diabetes?  It wasn’t recommended but a few people who had diabetes and sugar issues suggested glucose tablets.

Kind of said screw it and just went for it.  That’s what experimenting is about, right?  It may not be a good thing but I’m willing to try it for a while.

I’m on day three and thankfully haven’t been having issues with sugar yet.  On the first day, I didn’t get cravings, especially for sugar like I had been getting.  Yesterday, I got a small one but found out why this morning.  Other than that, though, so far it hasn’t been bad.

This weekend will be the true test though.  I’m going on a road trip to Seattle, WA, and the Washington Coast.  I have a couple gallon water bottles that I’m going to fill up and take with me.  Water on this lifestyle change is a must.  I’ve gone through more water in the last three days than I had all of last week.  Also am going to need to stop and get snacks so I have them.  I normally do chips and candy and coffee…lots of coffee.  I can’t on this one so lots of water.  It should be fun though.

Already have my list of things to do Seattle and the surrounding area while I’m up that way.  Should be an interesting weekend and I’ll finally have something to actually say when I get back.

Listening to:  Shinedown and more playlist on Amazon

Reading:  Grave Peril by Jim Butcher and Just One Damn Thing after Another by Jodi Taylor.

Quote of the Day: “You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.” ― Steve Jobs

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May’s Goals

It’s a beautiful Beltane morning!  It’s sunny and cold here but it’s sunny.

I didn’t complete much this month though.  Mostly, I was focused on going to Chris’s graduation and then not burning a book.  That was the surprising part and almost caused another reading slump.  This month, I’m focusing on getting another job and marking some of the travel things off my list.

  • Miles reached for Walk to Mordor: 1,457.87.  321.13 miles to Mt. Doom!
  • Weight: 250.2 (up 2.4 lbs)
  • Books read: 16 books.
  • Blog Posts: 5
  • Vlog Posts: 7

May goals:

  • Reach 400+ miles.
  • Get under 245.
  • 10 blog posts.
  • 15 books.
  • 10 vlogs.
  • Finish edits my NaNoWriMo book.
  • Attend a Writer’s Workshop in Bend, OR
  • Buy a lottery ticket.
  • Visit California’s North Coast (Eureka and Crescent City, CA).
  • Complete a 24 in 48 hour readathon.
  • Defensive Driving Class
  • Plan my trip back to the East Coast.

Really need to clean this list up; some of these things have been lingering too long.

Happy Tuesday.

Listening to:  Office noises.  Trying to wrap a couple things up before I leave to go do other stuff.

Reading:  The Lost by Vicki Pettersson and American Gods by Neil Gaiman

Quote of the Day:  “Keep love in your heart. A life without it is like a sunless garden when the flowers are dead.” ― Oscar Wilde

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I was trying to figure out what to write about today so I started looking through my old posts from a couple years ago.  Sometimes when I’m not sure what to post I look through there for inspiration or a post I can just copy and paste.

Copy and pastes are normally reserved for quotes, which I normally read before I post to see if any of them still hold true.

There was one that seriously hit home today:

“Your perspective on life comes from the cage you were held captive in.” ― Shannon L. Alder

Someone made a comment about perspective yesterday.  Something I may see as wrong is seen by someone else as fine.

Racial and gender issues are two things that come to mind right off bat for me.  It’s been years but I’ve actually had a young lady tell me that I would have more opportunities in life than she would because of the color of my skin.  I told her then it wasn’t true; I have more opportunities because I’m willing to chase them down.  Who was right though?  At the time, we both were.  Later, there were some other personality traits that came out from her end, but it shocked me when she said it.  It hurt actually; still does thinking back on it.  But she wasn’t wrong; neither was I.

If we had both applied for the same job and gotten the interview, I would have failed.  My personality is blunt; hers is coy.  She dresses for success; put me in a dress or a penguin suit and it’s very clear I’m awkward.  Agencies looking for stability would have picked her over me; I’ve moved around too much within the agency.  I take chances and always look for ways to learn more, do more.  Where I would have succeeded:  My references.

But cages…

Cages are words and comfort zones.  They are the metaphorical blankets and physical situations/people we surround ourselves with.  But who keeps us in those cages?  Who holds us captive?

Bet your immediate answer is “I do.”

My answer to you:  It’s not always you, but you do hold the key to the lock.  Fear for both the unknown and other people’s opinions keep you from using it though.

Think about it this way:

How much do you not do because you don’t know anything about it?  For me, the list is long but getting shorter.  How many times do you stop doing something because you think someone will have a negative opinion of you? Almost stopped doing something last weekend because of someone’s comments.  Said screw it and did it anyways, but it was something small.  What about the big stuff?

Interesting thoughts for a Friday.

Listening to:  Hamilton Soundtrack.  I needed some Lin-Manuel Miranda in my life today.

Reading:  Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer

Quote of the Day:  “Winning and losing is not an external game. It is an internal battle over telling yourself the truth vs. lies regarding why you haven’t stepped into the life you dreamed of.” ― Shannon L. Alder

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Reading the Signs

In the last two weeks, I’ve dropped symptoms of what happens to me when I eat sugar and cake-like things to people.  My mother-in-law askThe most recent was pecan pie.  It looked really good and when asked if I wanted a piece, I explained that my hands and nose get numb when I eat things like that.

This coming after I had a cookie for breakfast (OMG was it good) and then got told, at work, that I looked blank faced.  I don’t know if that part goes hand-in-hand with each other but it was weird to have someone say that to me while I’m at work.

Same person asked if I was diabetic or hypoglycemic.  I know the stuff runs in my family, but I was not diabetic before I had surgery and most people say that post-gastric bypass, their diabetes goes away.  What if it doesn’t?  It just shows up as something else, or manifests as something else after surgery.

My symptoms:

  • Passing out about 30 minutes after eating cake, pie, etc. I’ve been very lucky with cookies although after yesterday morning, they are now regulated to afternoon/night time.  Also, paleo cookies didn’t cause issues from what I remember.  I bounced off the walls with those.
  • Cold fingers and nose.
  • Brain fog. I know brain fog; post-surgery, it bugged me.  Felt like I couldn’t care about anything or anyone.  I guess I would compare it to being mentally numb.
  • Mood Swings. These happen a little more than normal and I have been attributing them to other things like weather changes and S.A.D.

I haven’t gotten tested though and the last time my panels were drawn, I was fine.  What if I’m not?  Two people ask you the same question for the same symptoms…

Research time!

Symptoms of hypoglycemia (which normally shows up two to three years post-op):

  • Fast heartbeat.Many things in addition to hypoglycemia can cause a fast heartbeat, including excitement, stress, exercise, or ketones associated with high blood glucose. This can make it harder to notice fast heartbeat as a potential sign of hypoglycemia, but if you are having a fast heartbeat when there is no apparent reason for this to occur, you should check your blood glucose level.
  • Looking pale.You or those around you may notice that you are paler than usual during hypoglycemia.
  • Hunger is a useful symptom of hypoglycemia since it usually leads a person to eat and consequently raise his blood glucose level. However, you may be in the habit of ignoring the initial symptoms of hunger at work or school if you’re in a meeting, engrossed in studying, or attending a lecture. This is a dangerous habit to have, because the longer you ignore hunger, the hungrier you get and the more likely you are to overeat when you finally eat. In addition, if you wait until you have moderate hypoglycemia, your judgment may be affected such that you eat the first thing you find, whether or not it will quickly raise your blood glucose level.
  • Weakness and fatigue.These symptoms are directly related to your body not having enough energy (glucose) for both physical and mental needs. It may be tempting to take a nap when you feel weak and tired, but it’s important to monitor your blood glucose level if you feel this way at a time of day when you are not usually tired. If hypoglycemia is causing your feeling of fatigue, your blood glucose level may go even lower during your nap, and you are unlikely to be able to detect other symptoms of hypoglycemia while asleep.
  • Having a headache often signals that you had hypoglycemia earlier in the day or have had it for some time. For example, if you wake up with a headache or leave a movie theater with a headache, you may have been hypoglycemic for some time. If the headache is severe enough, you may have nausea. You should treat yourself with carbohydrate and plan to monitor more frequently for the rest of the day. If the hypoglycemia has lasted a long time, the body’s stored sugar may have been used up, and you are more prone to repeat episodes of hypoglycemia that day.
  • Impaired vision.Double vision and tunnel vision are two types of visual disturbances that may occur with hypoglycemia. Like headache, impaired vision also often signals that your blood glucose has been low for quite some time. Your brain routinely takes two pictures from two eyes and formulates the pictures into a single image. When your brain does not have enough glucose, the brain loses the ability to coordinate vision. You may see fine with one eye closed, but quick action is needed to prevent the confused state that will follow if you don’t raise your blood glucose level.  Enlarged pupils can also be a symptom of hypoglycemia, but you are unlikely to notice them unless you’re looking in a mirror or someone else takes a close look at your eyes. If you are becoming hypoglycemic while reading, you may notice that you cannot find the correct line or that you see fewer words with each glance.
  • Difficulty communicating.Difficulties with communication can range from not being able to remember a word, to speaking in a monotone, to only responding in simple words such as “yes” or “no.” Some people describe feeling that the words they want to use are just out of their reach.
  • Difficulty absorbing new information.Without adequate glucose, your brain has trouble taking in new information. If you find yourself reading the same paragraph over and over or listening to someone speak then realizing you missed what was said, perhaps because you were daydreaming, you may have hypoglycemia.
  • Dizziness is another symptom that occurs after a person has been hypoglycemic for some time. You may have trouble walking a straight line or changing body positions. This is one of many symptoms of hypoglycemia that may be misinterpreted as drunkenness. If strangers or the police find you swerving while walking, medical identification in the form of a bracelet, necklace, or wallet card may save you from a misunderstanding and get you the treatment needed to stave off severe hypoglycemia.
  • Numbness or tingling.Numbness or tingling in the face or hands may be symptoms of hypoglycemia. Sometimes the numbness is first noticed in one spot, such as the upper lip, then it spreads across the face.
  • Unusual behavior.Anxious, giddy, confused, and irritable behaviors are important symptoms for friends, coworkers, and family members to learn about. These symptoms may occur when you can no longer judge that you are in danger. Your blood glucose may be so low that you no longer recognize family members or authority figures such as the police. You may argue, cry, yell, or fight.

Reading these after I copied them into my “working document” scared me a little bit.  Hello doctor’s appointment and panel work-up when I get back to Maryland.  And I guess new recipe board on Pinterest.

Shaking my head, but definitely not regretting surgery.

Listening to:  2007 Hits Playlist on Amazon

Reading:  Dear Martin by Nic Stone and The Raven Boys by Maggie Steifvater

Quote of the Day:  “You don’t make progress by standing on the sidelines, whimpering and complaining. You make progress by implementing ideas.” ― Shirley Chisholm

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Personality Types

For the record, I’m 30.  That may seem old to a lot of people and very young to others.

I’ve not been quiet about my need and desire to find a new line of work, maybe freelance work like writing or opinion-based journalism (although lately what’s the difference?) or maybe travel agent/dreamer/unrealistic goal setter.  Take your pick.  A deep, secret part of me would have picked librarian or successful author.  I have a book finished; just can’t bring myself to finish editing the damn thing.

One terrible thing about me with this whole “wanting to change careers” movement is I research things to death.  Ask anyone who knows me and they’ll tell you that I research until things aren’t fun anymore, or don’t do enough research…although not sure how that happens.  I’m pretty focused on things and once I dig my nails into something, it’s very hard to get me to not do it.

The first article I came across about switching careers at 30 gave the reader the advice to figure out their personality type before moving forward, since making any type of career change now means finding a career that makes the person happy and going for it.  At 30, with the standard 62 year retirement rate, I’m looking at spending 30+ years (if I finally find something at 32 that I love and qualify for) working in that career field.

So personality tests:  Myers-Briggs.  That’s the go-to for any type of personality test that I know of.  And Pinterest, the best procrastination tool out there, is littered with explanations about the types with memes, lists, why a type might hate you, etc.

Damn it if I didn’t come out as an INFP (Introverted, Intuition, Feeling, and Prospecting).  I will say that the N could have easily been an S (Sensing/Observant) and the P could have easily been a J (Judging).  I don’t know what questions would have gone the 2% in the other direction and I kind of don’t want to know.  The other two, I and F:  no question on those two.

So at my age, with no degree, what jobs am I looking at?  Pretty much novel writing.  What can I do that makes what I make in a year?  Nothing without a degree.  I mean come on!  I have to have a degree to be a librarian, and a Master’s degree at that.  That is a dream job, doesn’t pay much starting off, but as a bibliophile, in a perfect world, that’s what I’d do.  Experience though counts for almost nothing.  Note:  My high school volunteer work and summers were spent at the library.  See?  Already looking at that route.

I’m complaining because now I have to get off my duff, finish my Bachelor’s, and start working on my Master’s in Library Sciences.  Yeah to another two to three years of school and another three years doing what I do now.  At least I’ll hit the eight-hour leave category by then right?

Listening to: Wish You Were Here by Incubus on repeat (Thank you Amazon!)

Reading:  Queen of the Darkness by Anne Bishop and A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

Quote of the Day:  “The turning point in the process of growing up is when you discover the core of strength within you that survives all hurt.” ― Max Lerner

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Perceptions are judgements wrapped in neat, little packages.  Seriously, perceptions, according to the dictionary, are “a way of regarding, understanding, or interpreting something; a mental impression.”

Here’s a great impression for you:  Respect.

I grew up being taught to give respect when people have earned your respect.  What they never tell you is how to earn said respect.  Is it by good actions? Pleasant words? Being formal in informal situations? Calling people out when they step over your boundary lines? Constantly calling someone a name they have asked you more than once not to call them when you aren’t like that with anyone else in the family? You may perceive you are being respectful but you aren’t.

They also never tell you all about the different forms of respect:  Parental respect, respect in friendships, the business world, etc.  The newest one in respect on the internet.


Another great perception is a safe and fair work environment.  Question:  How does that look to you? Because it means different things to different people since safety is viewed as something different for each of us.  For me, it’s a place where I can grow and not worry about screwing up.  It’s being able to feel like I’m breathing clean air and not surrounded by slimy things that steal small patches of happiness. If you’ve ever seen “Howl’s Moving Castle,” those things… Ugh!


Here’s one more for you: The pursuit of happiness. I perceive someone’s life as worthless and unfilled, but they are happy with what they have. I wouldn’t be happy in their life because I perceive it as meaningless. I’m also coming from a D.C. perspective and not a WV background anymore.  I perceive them as not happy because they are scrambling paycheck to paycheck (I still am too; see why I said perceptions were judgements?) but, to them, they are happy for the most part.

I perceive my life as awesome, with a great partner, a family, a few friends, a house, a job, and plenty of “stuff.” Someone else may perceive my life as cluttered, messy, unfathomable, unambitious, etc.  But their perceptions of my life are colored by their experiences and their feelings.

Are they wrong? No. Am I wrong? No.  We just perceive things differently.  You know how that changes though?  Communication!

Enough ramblings.

Listening to:  Amazon Music.

Reading:  Night Broken by Patricia Briggs

Quote of the Day:  “Some people see the cup as half empty. Some people see the cup as half full. I see the cup as too large.” — George Carlin

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Filed under Advice Column, Writing