I feel like writing here tonight, but I have no idea what I want to write about.  It's been a long week and my brain has ceased to function.  So this is just going to be a random splattering of what pops into my brain.  You've been warned.

I'm tired.  Real tired.  I thought for sure being on vacation when the clocks got turned ahead an hour would go unnoticed by my body.  I figured that because I didn't really live by the clock, so that when it was time to start again, I'd just ease right back into it.  WRONG!  Monday morning was really hard.  Everyone at work was already adjusted because they got a week's head start.  Not me.  Monday I was Friday tired.  And today, Friday, I found that I was only Monday tired.  I've slept like the dead every night this week.  I tried going to be early, but it didn't quite happen like I wanted it to.  Every day this week I felt a little better and more awake.  I think the exhaustion was manifesting itself physically in my body as a sore throat.  Monday was bad, Tuesday, too.  The more rest I got, though, the better my throat felt.  Today it's almost gone.  Tomorrow I don't have to set the alarm, but Ollie will get me up by 7 because he wants to eat.  That's still later than usual, so I'll take what I can get.

Speaking of vacation, there's a video of me being Pearl Harbored at the airport and I've watched it a bunch of times.  If we're Facebook friends, you can find it on my timeline.  It's funny watching the video.  Things are kind of the way I remember them, but not totally.  First of all, everything happened way quicker than it did in my brain.  You can see that I'm really checked out for all of it.  The before shots show how not into being at the airport I am.  And then I spend the rest of the video in shellshock.  I don't even speak!  Those assholes got me and they got me good.  I'll never forget that moment the rest of my life.  (In a good way, naturally!)

I predicted the Project Runway: All Stars finale correctly last night.  Just to be spoiler free, I decided that the collection I liked the best would finish third (correct!), the collection I liked second best would be in second place (correct!) and the one I liked the least would win (and correct!).  That usually seems to be the way Project Runway ends.  I really enjoyed the season.  I was bummed when I heard that Heidi, Tim, Nina and Michael weren't going to be a part of it, but I was pleasantly surprised by the new host and judges.  Angela Lindvall did okay as a host, but she was still a little too stiff and stilted.  She was best when she wasn't reciting her script.  Georgina Chapman and Isaac Mizrahi actually made decent judges, much to my surprise.  And Joanna Coles started off a bit stiff, but by the end she was pretty decent.  I wouldn't mind seeing any of these people again as fill ins for the regular show.

I started back at the gym last weekend.  I stopped going because my knees have been troublesome since the beginning of January.  It's been driving me crazy not going.  But all week in Florida, with the exception of the first day there, my knees were feeling great.  So once I got home, I headed back to (a) take advantage of the better feeling joints and (b) to start getting rid of the ten pounds or so I brought home.  My knees are starting to ache again and I have a feeling that the better weather of Florida played a part in that.  The weather here has been spectacular, too, and that might be why they've been better.  Next week will make or break that theory when the weather gets back to more seasonable temps.  But I'm trying not to over do things.  Trying.  I'm alternating between the elliptical and the treadmill when I go and then working my arms when I finish that up.  I'm already feeling a difference in my arms.  My muscle free, scrawny arms.  I can't do too much weight-wise yet, but I'm learning.  I'd love it if I could actually build some muscle there.  Even if my legs start bitching and moaning at me, I have incentive to go back now.  The one thing that makes me feel terrible about myself is the shoulder press machine.  I have that thing set on only 20 lbs and I can barely do it.  Twenty lousy pounds.  That's how little muscle I have.  The other machines I can comfortably do anywhere from 50 to 75 pounds, though.  So whatever muscle it is that you work when doing a shoulder press is holding me back.

It's not even been a week yet, but the living situation with Ken's nephew Peter is actually going really well.  Ken was going to give him a couple of weeks to detox from New Hampshire before he expected him to actively find a job, but that wasn't to be.  Not only did Peter start looking for a job within two days of getting here, he's already started working.  While it's not the most glamorous job going, it's a job, it's income and it will still give him time to look for something better.  I have to say I'm really impressed with him.  And he's calmed down a whole hell of a lot since the last time he was here.  If things continue along the way they're currently going, I'll be very happy.

I don't remember if I wrote about the change I felt recently regarding my Mom.  Back in January it happened, actually.  To recap, Mom got sick at the beginning of September and passed away at the end of the month.  And it really shook me up.  Bad.  It was horrible watching her wither away to nothing and then she was gone. I spent the next few months in a real funk.  I was depressed.  I really didn't want to talk to much of anyone.  All I wanted to do was cry and I couldn't even do that.  The worst part of the day, every single day for some reason, was my drive home from work.  I'm guessing it was because I was worn out and it was the only time of the day I had 100% to myself.  And that drive home every night had me almost in tears.  I would talk to Mom and kept asking her to just give me a sign of some kind that she's okay and that she hears me.  And I wouldn't get an answer.  Mom never came to me in dreams like I hoped she would.  I'd never almost catch a glance of her.  Nothing.  And the longer this went on, the more upsetting it would be to me.  I was there with her when she passed away, but she never got the chance to properly say goodbye and I think that was the part that hurt the most.

Anyway, in our backyard, we have a couple of bird feeders.  They're right outside the window of Ken's office and he loves just sitting there watching the birds.  In early or mid-January, he was sitting at his desk, watching the birds like usually, when he noticed this giant bird just sitting on one of the feeders, staring at the house.  It struck him odd because the bird was so big and just didn't do anything.  He noticed this bird a couple of days in a row, doing the same thing.  He took a picture of it because he wanted to show it to me.  I finally saw the bird that Saturday morning.  It was odd.  Just sitting there, staring at the house.  I didn't really pay it much mind.  Not right away, anyway.  That Saturday night we had tickets to go see Aimee Mann in Woodstock.  Great show, had a blast.  It was an hour or so drive home and we didn't get home until very late.  As we're getting close to the house, both Ken and I saw this sudden flash of light in the sky in front of the car as this white bird flew by and disappeared into the night.  It was eerie, but I instantly knew it was Mom.  This was the sign I was looking for.  Call me crazy, but I think that big bird was Mom, sitting out there, waiting to see me.  And later that night, it was Mom, leaving.  And what's even more amazing to me is a lot of that grief flew away with that bird.  I've read a lot about birds and after-death communications.  I'm 150% convinced this was Mom saying goodbye.  Although I haven't discussed this with my Dad or sister, both of them seemed like a big weight was now off their shoulders the next time I saw them.  I miss my Mom desperately and there isn't a day that goes by that I don't think about her and am sad that she's gone, but I feel differently now.

I was having a conversation with Ken the other day about being hard on myself.  I don't know what made me start thinking about it, but I realize I'm incredibly hard on myself about just about everything.  I've discussed in the past about being hard on myself about my weight.  I worked so hard to get where I am today that I never want to be fat again.  And it mostly works for me.  But I do this with everything.  With work, with exercise, with chores, with social interactions.  There isn't really ever a time when I cut myself a break.  With work recently, I've been burning the candle at both ends.  I'm the only one in my unit right now and I'm doing the work of three people.  I was really looking forward to vacation because I wanted everyone at work to see exactly how much I've been doing.  I don't think anyone really realized.  When I got back, one of the first things I was asked was "Why does it take 16 people to do your job when you're not here?"  That made me feel good.  But because I'm the way I am, I push myself hard to get everything done and then some.  This week has been hard because I spent most of the week working on the stuff no one bothered to touch while at the same time trying to keep current with everything else.  I would have pushed harder and worked longer hours if I wasn't already dragging.  I've found myself questioning who I am again, too.  Meaning, I'm having a hard time seeing what it is in me that people find appealing.  I know there's something there, that there's always been something there, but seeing it myself is very, very hard for me.  So every time I say something stupid or do something that I find moronic, I start beating myself up and that's all I see.  I need to stop that and I need to stop that now.  But it's hard.  I've been like this my entire life.  Trying to undo 45 years of self-taught behavior is going to be tough.  I'm up for the fight though.  Just watch me.

I've been playing Draw Something for a few weeks on my phone.  It's a fun and addictive game, but it's taking up so much of my time.  An inordinate amount of time.  And I'm falling behind on not only that, but the various word games I'm addicted to.  Tonight I counted and I have 34 games going right now.  So if you read this and we play together, I apologize for being slow in returning my turn.  I've got too many games going!

Ken wants to go see the Hunger Games.  He read the first book and loved it.  He's slowly reading the second one because he doesn't want it to end.  I told him it's probably not a good idea to go this weekend.  Next weekend, while the theaters will still be mobbed, is probably a better time to go.  And plus, I want to have a do nothing weekend.  I'm a tired boy.

There's a new Persian restaurant in town.  We noticed it for the first time a couple of weeks ago and decided to try it out tonight.  I was a little hesitant because I wasn't really sure what to expect.  Well, what I should have expected was pure deliciousness because that's what I got.  Man, that place was good.  It's called Manama Grill and I will definitely be going back.  I ordered a spinach and mushroom dish that looked rather gross, but tasted pretty amazing.  I like that while the menu is fairly small, they gave four vegetarian choices.  It's hard to find non-meat dishes at most restaurants, I've discovered, since trying to reduce my meat intake.  

And speaking of which, I made it nearly two solid months without eating any meat.  It was easy as anything, except when we would go out to eat.  While on vacation, I indulged in a burger or two (or five), though still eating less meat than I would normally.  And honestly, I didn't really miss it at all.  The last day of vacation was the first day I had any candy in just over two months and I think I finally got that craving out of my system.  I've had a little bit here and there this week, but not too much and to be honest, I don't think the candy tasted as good as I was hoping.  I'm really proud of myself for the changes I'm working towards making.  It doesn't mean I'm still not making bad choices, but I think overall, I'm making better eating choices.  

Hey, I think I was just not too hard on myself there for a second.  It's a whole new me! 

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