stardust holiday
chronicles of the chronically (and voluntarily) bedridden

Getting there

29 September 2006
I think I finial reached my breaking point with this study. I'm ready for the entire thing to be done and over with. I'm looking more and more forward each day to the end, to sleeping in, to having complete control over what I eat and when. Food that didn't bother me at first, makes me angry to see now. One in particular, the fried fish, I had to ask not to be served again.
All of this isn't to say though that I'm ready to leave now, as that isn't the case. The end, is just so close, just over three weeks now, that I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, and as the days pass the light is getting brighter and brighter.
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26 September 2006
Update, update, update. Not much new is going on right now, same old same old for the most part. I'm starting to really look forward to the end though. I can't believe how fast time went, and now, there isn't even a month left to go.
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there should be a title here

22 September 2006
I just noticed how long its been since I updated, wow. Things are still going well, we got some nifty NASA gifts and a few posters. One, in particular, is ubber cool, as it shows the official mission patch from every NASA space mission ever.
Earlier this week though, my ZLS running time was cut short. I'm allowed to run as much as the allotted 20 minutes as I can anymore. From now until the end of the study, I run for five minutes, rest for five, run for five, rest for five, and so on. I'm upset, but I'll get over it. We're still going to try to challenge me a little by increasing the running speed.
Other then that, things are going well still. Mind you I can't wait to be done, but for the time being things are just fine.
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16 September 2006
To say that Saturday was unproductive would be a great understatement. I did nothing but play on line, update my myspace playing games, and watching TV. The only thing I did that I was supposed to do, was stretch. I hope I'm able to actually do something tomorrow. I have to. No TV other then Sunday Morning, until prime time.
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15 September 2006
The good news is that time is still flying by, maybe faster than ever. 37 days to go, and out of 84, that doesn't sound like much at all. The bad news, however, is that I was incredibly unproductive this week. No reading, very little writing, almost no studying Scrabble. The internet can really suck you in.

I'm off to waste some more time...
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Halfway plus some

13 September 2006
Our half way point came and went in the shadow of the 9/11 5 year anniversary. I spent some of the day reflecting on the past five years, recalling where I was at various points throughout the day as the events played out on TV. The shower, the lobby of my dorm, sociology, my dorm lobby again. The class, as was the case all classes that started after 9:00 that day, was not in session. That day, and the days that followed, are beginning to get a little foggy. I can no longer recall what I wore that day, what news show I was watching when I found out, what residents I told about the attack and who told me details I hadn't yet known. What I do recall is being fixed on my TV for several shorts periods of time throughout the day and the days that followed. Wanting to know everything, afraid to know anything.

I've slightly changed my mindset with the ZLS over the past few days. I no longer run until I don't think I can run anymore. I know that I can run twenty continuous minutes on this thing. I may be tired, sweaty, and my legs may ache, but this is only 20 minutes. It worked well Monday and Tuesday. Today, I ran for 7 and 13 minutes, but only because my shoe came untied. I don't know if this is going to become habit, but I feel so good when I finish a longer run, I want to try to keep it up.
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11 September 2006
It definitely feels a bit inappropriate to be celebrating something on September 11th, but it just worked out that today is our halfway point. 42 days down, 42 days to go. I've been watching the coverage all morning and it's really bumming me out, and I keep thinking the same thing that everyone must be thinking: "Those 5 years went by quickly." The whole thing still seems a little bit surreal. I was in New York City in March of 2005 and I saw Ground Zero, and it just didn't seem real. It was like seeing a celebrity in person and noticing how different they look. Some things are so huge that they just jam my system and their significance doesn't register.

Five years ago today I was on my way to take an exam in philosophy class at Cuyahoga Community College. The first plane hit while I was driving, but since I was listening to a CD and not the radio, I had no idea. Once I got to school I noticed a large crowd of people gathered around the TV sets in the galleria. I knew something was going on, so I joined the crowd and saw a large building with a hole in it, and I couldn't tell which building it was. I asked someone near me what was going on, and he told me that someone had bombed the White House. I told him that it didn't look like the White House to me, and he said, "They'll show it in a sec." It was about time for class to start, and when I got there our professor told us that class was cancelled for the day. I went back to the Galleria and watched the second plane hit. Being so far away from a small TV set, and getting mixed stories from the people around me, I decided to go up to the newspaper office and check the computer there. While I was trying to piece it together, my advisor walked in the room. He looked visibly shaken. He greeted me, and I asked him what was going on. I still knew very little. Before he could tell me much the phone rang, and it was for him. I only heard his side of the conversation, which was "Hello?" "Other than totally devastated?"

Obviously, five years later I think I mostly understand what the attacks have meant for our country. Without getting too political, I will close with this: Whatever measures our government is taking, and for all the people that were killed on that day in New York and since then in Afghanistan and Iraq, I hope it all means that we don't have to see anything like this happen again.
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a little note to the bedridden:

10 September 2006
i've been fighting a seriously awful sinus infection fora couple weeks now. you guys don't need it, i promise. i've been miserable and wanting to come in, but... you'll thank me later for NOT coming in. i miss you guys, hope you're doing well, and happy halfway point on monday!

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07 September 2006
I don't get hooked up to the treadmill and think to my myself I'm going to run X minutes today. Beyond my assigned prescription of 4 minutes followed by a rest, I have no goal of running any particular amount of time. I try to clear my mind as best as I can, and just run. There are moments where I'll close my eyes and wrap myself in the rhythm of my steps as they hit the rubber and metal that make up the ZLS, and think of nothing but the next step I need to take.
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Day 3?

05 September 2006
My birthday and went without incident on Sunday. The was no cake, though I did get a piece of apple pie, no presents, or song. It was, more or less, a day just like any other. There will be plenty of time for fun and food when I get out of here, but it seems odd that a day that often holds so much importance passed with little notice.
My TV viewing has also gone down. I was very good at limiting the amount I watched when I first got here, generally reading, knitting, and/or playing online until prime time TV came on. The I would watch two or three hours of reruns of sitcoms and dramas I'd not seen before. Somewhere around week three though, I realized how much time I was wasting online doing nothing of any importance, and I turned to the TV to make up for it. Bad idea. It soon became this endless cycle of two mindless time wasters, often steeling my time at the together.

I made a resolution this weekend to do a lot more reading and knitting, I have to make up for my mistakes of the past few weeks. There were so many things I wanted to do while taking part in this study, but don't have much to show for it yet. I've read one book and started and completed two knitting projects. The blanket I've talking about before and the sweater was finished last night just before bedtime. A belated birthday present to myself.

The ZLS is also going well, my personal record is 13 minutes of continuous running followed by break and then 7 additional running minutes and 4 minutes of a cool down walk of 2 decreasing speeds. To a lot of people, I know 13 minutes isn't a long run or a lot of physical activity for that matter, but to me, it is an accomplishment 27 years in the making. That 13 minutes will soon become 15, then 18, and 20. Before I know it, I'll be counting the miles instead of minutes as part of a new morning or afternoon run. I'll start with 2 miles and work my way up until I can push myself to run a 5K, just over 3 miles. This seems to be the most commonshort distance in the running world with respect to competitive races. I have no intention on becoming an elite runner, as I don't think I'll ever become skilled enough to be a viable candidate for a prize. Any race I hope to run is just for my personal glory. Maybe I'll start a collection of free t-shirts and water bottles.
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Day 36

04 September 2006
Things have been going pretty smoothly. TV viewing is down, productivity is up. Friends have been coming to visit, and before I knew it there's only seven weeks left till we get out of bed. I've begun thinking about what I'm going to do when I'm done, and I think I've come up with a plan that will yield maximum satisfaction. I'm looking at some possible cities to move to and I think I have some leads. Of course, any decisions I make are still subject to seven more weeks of consideration.

Every time we hit Monday at 11:00am, that means another week has passed. I judge how fast time passes by the meals. Today we had French Bread Pizza, and even though the last time we had that was ten days ago, it seems so much more recent. In less than a week, we'll be halfway done.
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03 September 2006
I was board this afternoon so I decided to look at the webpage of one of my former high schools, Pioneer in Ann Arbor, MI. I was a bit taken aback that my choir teacher and theater teacher were still there, but got over it quickly. Both programs were above average when I was a student back in the mid 90's, but have surpassed anything I could have ever expected from a public high school. The choir recently won a Grammy for being the 2006 National Signature School. The theatre department in recent years has performed large scale productions of; Tommy, The Elephant Man, Hair, Oedipus Rex, Beauty and the Beast, Les Miserables, and coming this year, High School Musical. I wouldn't be surprised if the rights alone to some of those productions surpass the entire theatre budget of most school. Not that this is a bad thing, its wonderful if students get the chance to work on a world class production like that. Check it out. If things are now like they were then, the students were in charge of just about everything from set design and building to lighting and costumes.
Things got weird though when I was looking at the production pictures for Hair when the song Age of Aquaious came on TV for non-Hair related reasons.

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01 September 2006
On Friday, for the second time since getting here, I ran for 10 continuous minutes on the ZLS. Nearly a mile. The more I run on it, the more I become a fan of the sport. It can be hard at times, always sweaty, and there are moments I just want to stop and rest, but I push through all of it and make it to my personal goal. I try as hard as I can not to count the minutes or seconds when I'm up there, usually I'll recite the alphabet slowly to myself (forward and then back), I'll count the steps I take until I loose track of where I am and am forced to start the count over again. Today, of all things, I sang Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer. Even though it was all in my head, the beat and words became so clear and in sync with my pace, it seemed for a few brief moments that the entire room could here my song.

Even though it can be tiring and uncomfortable, the feeling I get when I finish a run that long, is awesome. It's just this euphoric sense of accomplishment and pride that makes me want to run for longer periods of time.

I should be done with the sweater tonight or sometime tomorrow. I'm excited to finish because it is my first sweater, and it means I can move onto the next project. A have some extra wool and hope to make a bag or purse.
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