Archive for the ‘Health’ Category

Where software and clothing converge

For many months, I lost touch with the physical world while immersing myself in a virtual political one. To sustain that, I had too much coffee and too much beer; coupled with the fact I was no longer getting outside to move, I gained a lot of weight. 

I’m not too concerned with my weight as an isolated factor. I see it as a symptom, not itself a problem. Happily, after almost four years of figuring out which foods hurt my body and which ones heal it, I know exactly how to tackle the root causes of my feeling-crappy-ness. Doing so, I’ll feel much, much better … and my weight will change as a result.

What had bugged me, then? My clothing! I got to the point where I had four skirts and zero pairs of pants that fit me. I didn’t want to invest a bunch of money in clothing I’d only wear once or twice, so I spent a month wearing my least favorite clothing before deciding I had to change something.

How, I wondered, could I spend only a few dollars to cover a transition period? The answer came to me by virtue of my work in software licensing.

For ages, most companies bought their own hardware to run their software. Maintaining hardware was expensive and time-consuming, so that cloud computing was pretty exciting: all the software benefits, none of the hardware costs!*

Using software in the cloud, someone else has to maintain the hardware. With that “someone else” investing in all that infrastructure, the client company can use a little or a lot of hardware capacity … without having to constantly worry about hardware itself.

In a word, cloud computing offers easy scalability.

I needed that, but in clothing–something that would easily scale up and down with its hardware (me).

You know what provides scalability? Maternity clothes!

I bought a few pairs of pants and a few pairs of shorts. For the first time in a month or so, I actually felt good in what I was wearing.

It cost me all of $40, and will keep me covered across many sizes.

So, hey! Here’s to scalability, and making small investments to feel a little better now!

* There are plenty of other costs, by the way. Just don’t expect techies to care too much while oohing and aahing over new technologies!

Categories: Health, Learning Tags: ,


Many times, I’ve explained how the Democrats lost me.

No times, until this week, did I explain how Bernie Sanders won me.

I committed here to writing about the love, ultimately pouring my heart into 1,500 words of “Bernie, Because I Was Poor.”

Writing about my love instead of my earlier rage felt joyous. Right.

Something unexpected and beautiful happened even after I posted. Someone tweeted three magic words that made me cry: I believe you.

For years, my slogan has been, “your belief is irrelevant.”

All the same, seeing those three words opened the floodgates for me. Those words of support weren’t only about me, but my mom, who spent her whole life yearning for people to believe and lift (instead of castigating) her.

I’ll include some more tweets behind a cut below. One was retweeted more than 80 times, which meant I saw the hashtag #IBelieveYou every few minutes throughout Saturday. Each time, I said quiet thanks.

In ways I’ll have to explain later, the piece only happened because I got out to vote for California delegates last weekend. Actually stepping out into my community and interacting with people here changed everything for me.

If you’re yearning to do something but don’t know what to do, you might consider attending an Our First Stand: Save Health Care rally tomorrow. People will gather across the U.S. to demonstrate our commitment to health care as a human right.


By showing up, you have the power to help save lives … all while setting aside worrying in favor of acting, from love.

It may not be everything, but it’s a fine start.

More #IBelieveYou tweets below the cut

Read more…

Not only can, but do

This afternoon,
I ran for the first time
in months.

a girl’s just gotta
feel the wind against
her face as her feet
propel her

Near the end
of my run, I saw
the woman who called
me a whore.

Her older
children stood
on the sidewalk,
and shouted after
me about the fat
white lady

I raised
a bird for them,
which shut them up.

And then,
when I reached
the opposite corner, I turned
around and ran back.

The boys jumped
back as I plowed
through. “Sorry,”
said one.

I said
as I

back on
the other
side of the

Do they
think they
could possibly
say anything
I haven’t

the only
way you
run is with
that no words
can hurt more
than running

I’ve run
two marathons,
and, barefoot,
a half marathon.

While they
sit idle and sling
harsh words, I’ll keep
running … running
toward something
better than
just sitting
around cars,
at the
who not
only can,

Summited K2! Oh, wait.

With thanks to living donors

My cookie, with eggs

The work of feeling groovy


Less coffee, more water

Four months ago, I thought coffee was The Problem dragging me down.

Three months ago, I realized The Problem ran much deeper than coffee. I was running myself ragged and using coffee to conceal the degree of that raggedness from myself. Coffee worked to keep me going short term, but relying on it was a terrible approach to sustaining myself longer term.

I began investing in myself daily: first by rubbing my ears and temples for a couple of minutes twice daily, and then by adding in a few minutes of meditation. I created a bedtime routine to improve my chances of getting a good night’s sleep. I started listening to musicals, which I found were far more conducive to feeling human connection than was social media. Best of all, I practiced addressing myself kindly and with compassion, soon determining this was the single most powerful change I’d made.

This isn’t hippie, New Age stuff, but grounded in human biology. As I wrote in mid-April:

Long story short, we are supposed to spend most of our lives with our parasympathetic–calming–nervous systems engaged, with stressors only briefly activating our sympathetic–panic–nervous systems. Life these days involves constant activation of the sympathetic nervous system, at great cost to short and long term well being. The more you can do to consciously, repeatedly activate your parasympathetic nervous system, the healthier and happier you will be over the long haul. This is more than just a moment’s distraction; it’s a cumulative investment in you.

By quitting coffee and being kinder to myself, I’d solved The Problem! Yes!

Yes? Read more…

two bicycles

this morning,
my two-year-old
awakened me with his howls

it was too early
to be awake, but also
too late for me to fall asleep again

in the darkness,
i thought two words
that jolted me out of bed:

two bicycles

i’d read, as many now have,
about a (now former) stanford swimmer
found guilty of rape and yet
barely sentenced
because his life
should not be ruined
for “20 minutes of action
out of his 20 plus years of life” Read more…

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