Thursday, January 30, 2014

Thursday Thirteen

1. The house hums with noise. An air purifier, a humidifier, room heaters and the imperceptible hum of electronic gadgets permeate the house. The silence is startling when the power goes out. Suddenly I hear the noise of my own brain and the whooshing of my blood as it whisks through my veins.

2. The online headline of the local paper at 6:30 this morning: Roanoke police say clerk shot suspect during robbery attempt. Shootings occur frequently in the city but they are not often reported. I know this because my husband is an emergency services worker, and they run gunshot calls almost every night. We are a nation at war with one another, each of us thinking the other evil and in need of annihilation. There is something insane about the way this is perpetuated. A nation of crazies, running the world.

3. The first thing on my Facebook newsfeed today is a story from The Guardian about dangerous hikes in the world. Our area is known for its hiking: the Appalachian Trail traverses the county and some of the most beautiful views in Virginia can be seen from McAfee's Knob. Hiking to McAfee's Knob is on my bucket list, but I need to get well enough to wander through the grocery store before I try that.

4. The news story in my Bing news on my MS Surface this morning is headlined: The Little Bit of Neanderthal in All of US in the New York Times. I can't help but think this somehow relates to my observations in item #2, but perhaps that is being unkind to Neanderthals.

5. On AOL this morning, the first story is from Huffington Post about a woman who had gastric bypass surgery. The woman appeared on Oprah with her father, who found her an unacceptable person when she was overweight. My aunt recently underwent gastric bypass surgery because she wanted to wear pretty clothes. She weighed only about 20 pounds more than I did last summer (I have lost 25 pounds). I hope she is happy with her decision to have this surgery. It is not something I would consider at this time, even though I am a fatty.

6. I hear the sound of sirens in the distance, an eerie noise in the country at 6:45 a.m. Looking out the window I see a parade of vehicles, three of them, lights flashing brilliantly against the darkness that still dominates the morning. The lights fly up Blacksburg Road, and out of my sight. I wonder who has wrecked, or woke up with chest pain, or suffered some other misfortune. I offer silent words of encouragement to the universe.

7. In an item related to item #5, the New York Times headline Obesity is Found to Gain its Hold in Earliest Years catches my eye in my NYT app. It starts out, "For many obese adults, the die was cast by the time they were 5 years old." I was not an obese child; my issues with weight began after I took infertility drugs and had a hysterectomy. My fattiness is hormone-related, but unhealthy eating habits learned in childhood (my mother thought as long as we weren't hungry we were well-fed) have followed me into middle age. I still don't know how to eat healthy.

8. According to USA today, the five things I "need to know today" are that Amanda Knox is awaiting her third Italian court verdict, Obama continues on a national tour, economists see a bright GDP report, Target is blaming its stolen data fiasco on an outside vendor, and Justin Bieber has been charged with assault. You know, I don't think I need to know any of that.

9. My brain hurts from trying to think about all of this stuff this morning. Some Thursdays this 13 stuff is hard. I am determined to get through it.

10. I've been doing Weight Watchers since June, which is how I have lost weight. I don't think Weight Watchers actually teaches you how to eat well, though. It just teaches you what not to eat, not what to eat. I did maintenance from Christmas until yesterday, when I went back to trying to lose weight. Sometimes you have to take a break. I was pleased that I stayed under my target weight for the holidays.

11. We went to UVA on Monday to see doctors about my health issue. I am sorry to report that we received no help there. I have reached the unhappy conclusion that no one really cares if a 50-year-old childless woman can function or not. We are a society that does not step out of its comfort zone, one that does not solve problems but instead puts band aids on dire wounds and hopes the bleeding stops. Our healthcare is not the best in the world, in spite of the propaganda, and I am in search of a voodoo queen in the bayou or a shaman of the mountains now because I am out of options. Know of one?

12. I almost have my tax stuff finished and ready to go to the accountant. I'm just waiting on forms from the bank. Nanner nanner boo boo.

13. It's twilight, that hour when it's light enough to see the shapes of trees but still dark enough to be ... dark. And it has taken me over a half-hour to write this up. None of it is connected except that it is my morning. I wonder if that is enough.

Thursday Thirteen is played by lots of people; there is a list here. I've been playing for a while and this is my 329th time to do a list of 13 on a Thursday.


  1. How great about weight -- So right on number 1 a shock

  2. So true about the news that is reported in today's times. So much is written that is just drivel.

  3. Way to go with number 10 - I, like you, managed to maintain my weight throughout the holidays. I'm happy to report I never felt deprived - in fact, I knowingly overindulged on several occasions. I think taking a break is a good thing and helps jump-start our systems as long as we don't go too far overboard and manage to stay on track.

    As for number 11 - if I knew anyone, I'd be sure to let you know. I hope you find some solid answers somewhere, soon.

  4. I think the 13 is such a good writing practice that you have a good mastery of. I think this list was interesting to read and there is a stream of consciousness thread.

    The medical field only knows what's wrong if you fit into their small list of diseases. We need a HOUSE or a Caroline Myss!

  5. I used to know a blogger who did a lot of hiking along the Appalachian Trail. I've been on bits and pieces of it that were accessible from the Blue Ridge Parkway. Apparently there is a trail running along the Continental Divide here in the Rockies, but I haven't been on any of it yet. Grocery store is about my speed, too.


    1. I was walking better last Summer than now. Ice slows me down.

  6. Good for you for maintaining over the holidays, and here's hoping you will eventually manage that hike. The noises I can hear right now include the hum of the refrigerator, the heat vent, my harddrive, and the barking of a neighbor's obnoxious dog. What I have not heard so far today are sirens (I heard A LOT of them on Tuesday) and the keening of the wind, which has sent shivers skating up and down one's back all week. I'm talking about groundhogs this week.

  7. An interesting and quite diverse list of 13, Anita, and while I have never been compelled to write along I do enjoy your posts. Congrats on the weight loss and maintenance and I wish we could share the same good news, but the holidays and travel were our downfalls. You are right about medical care and hope you will be feeling better ion.

  8. Way to go maintaining over the holidays! Over the past four years, three of my friends have died due to complications from gastric bypass surgery, so that's something I would never consider, even though I have A LOT of weight to lose. Right now I'm counting calories and exercising as much as I am physically able to do, and I've lost sixteen pounds so far. Onward and downward! Happy Thursday!

  9. Good for you for toughing through the 13. I'm sorry about #11. Our family has been in this situation more than once and it's the most frustrating thing. I have no helpful answer, but you are in my thoughts.

  10. True silence is amazing and so rare these days. It's hard for me as a New Zealander to understand all the shootings. They're much rarer down this end of the world, and that's a good thing!


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