Thursday, June 30, 2011

more evidence i'm a real blogger (and other bullet points)

I confess...the more I use bullet points, the more I love them.
  • Look it's me (first review, including a link to my books tag here).  The Frisky is a fun site.   I certainly don't read every post but it is a good page to intersperse with job apps.  I pitched a "real" article too...I'm pleased with myself for trying, even if it fails.
  • I had a random interview yesterday...and found myself oddly interested in the retail manager role.  It could be fun.  I was honest about not being a fashion plate..I swung it to say it would allow my staff to be subject experts and that I believe in managing from a point of mutual respect.  I could have faked it, but they'd find out pretty fast.
  • I was silly and tried to twist to move a power cord Monday.  The stars aren't as intense but it is def another pain flare.  I'm beyond glad to have surgery on the calendar.  I am already nervous about the rest in recovery but my awesome Boston PT (go to Michael if you need someone up there) said they are pretty encouraging on walking.  Someone should warn them about my reading of the word "unlimited" in this context.
  • My need for Lee Press-On toenails is no more!  I know, you've been waiting with baited breath for an update on the no-longer-totally-lost toenail.
  • I'm happy that New York joined the ranks of states that recognize marriage should be about love, not gender.
  • The scale was friendly to me last week.  Somehow, that makes it harder that it is being quite mean this week.  Yes, I know the scale and I have way too involved of a relationship.
  • I don't want to be interested in the Casey Anthony trial.  I don't want to want to hear the latest updates.  I want to be a good advocate for the justice system and not one of the many who has decided she's guilty and just plain evil. 
  • I get books from Harper and get others via Amazon.  I order through Amazon to keep it safe but buy used books, often for under a dollar so that even the shipping costs leave it around $5 or $6.  I did just order one that actually hit $10....I got Room because I've wanted to read it and I shall keep it a a "treat" for recovery time.
  • I really dislike how many TV ads fall back on the "smart wife, dumb man" trope.  It is a disservice to BOTH genders.  The guy who says "Fiber makes me sad" and then unknowingly eats a fiber-rich bar while his wife smirks is on my current list of most annoying TV folks.
  • Michele Bachmann scares me.
  • I should go lift today.  I'm in a high pain state though (and that's for me, some pain is a given) which makes it tough.  I know it is important to stay strong but it is a tough spot to be in when the pain is chronic.
  • I need to buy shorts.  I've made peace with the existence of my thighs, a state I have not gotten to with the belly pooch, but it still makes me averse to shorts.  Well, that's not quite true.  Shorts are fine when I'm standing.  Not so fine when I sit and the not-muscle (and there IS muscle under there) presses the seams.  But there are a few outdoor days on the horizon and some steamy weather so I may need to break down and get some.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

a light at the end of the tunnel

I confess....I was terrified they'd say no.

On June 13th, I ventured down for the last round of tests to identify my back issues.  The test was ordered by Dr. K, the neurosurgeon, and performed by his colleague, Dr. F.  Like my spine guy in Boston, Dr. F is a physiatrist.  They tend to be focused on rehab work and many hold a DO instead of an MD (Dr. F is an MD, Boston doc was a DO).  They perform a number of procedures, including the spinal epidurals I had done in Boston.  Dr. F did a discogram.  If you are ever slated for one, just don't Google is NOT fun and is painful, but it wasn't as awful as the internet had me fearing.

Anyway, I spoke with Dr. F after the discogram.  His role was to perform the test and give the info to Dr. K, not make the ultimate decision about actions going forward.  He did indicate that I had a reaction to the prodding of the disc we suspected was the culprit.  He also noted the results were a bit different than typical but said that could be attributed to both my age and my size (neither fit the most common patient profile).  He said he'd pass on the info to Dr. K and vaguely hinted that surgery might be warranted but it wasn't his call to make.

In one of the realities of modern medicine, it took a while to hear back.  I did understand this...they had to send out Dr. F's notes, he had to review and approve them, and then they had to go to Dr. K for analysis.  But waiting was still rough.  I know there are rules but the docs are in the same office and see each other all the time.  Falls into the world of things you know rationally but have trouble with in practice.  Dr. K's assistant did help make sure the file was seen and the docs were able to chat since Dr. K wanted a quick conference. 

When the phone finally rang, I was on edge.  It felt like the single sentence took an eternity and like I had been waiting for months.  The assistant (whom I swea I talk to weekly) said I was a good candidate for "anterior lumbar fusion L5/S1" and booked me for August 8.  I'll admit, I would have jumped up and down, but that isn't exactly a back friendly reaction.

So, yeah, I'm psyched to get a somewhat major surgery.  I've had more than my share already but this is definitely a more serious level of operation than the others.  I appreciate that there is risk and I am NOT looking forward to the recovery period (I am NOT good at resting), but the possibility of relief trumps all of that.  It's been two years altogether, though it is more like a year and a half at a serious level.  I've tried the less invasive options with steroid injections and rounds of PT and they haven't fixed it.  Pain medicine helps me get through the day, but it is a band-aid and one I've only been okay using because I knew I was looking for a true fix.  I needed a light at the end of the tunnel.  I needed a possibility of a "cure." 

I think that's somewhat normal but I also think it is tied to my history.  I have been through a number of doctors and tried treatments and even surgery, but the cold hard truth is that endometriosis is likely to be with me for a couple decades more.  There are band-aids but no cure, other than hitting menopause and turning all those systems off.  I get through and I know many women have it worse than I do, but it is still rough.  I appreciate knowing the truth about outlook rather than having a false hope, but it is a hard one to swallow.  In a really odd way, the back has been the closest I've gotten to a cure...the level 7-8 pain trumps the baseline endo pain (flares still hurt) and take my attention away.  But that's not a real cure and I know it.

I'm relieved to have a surgery date.  I'm happy the test didn't end with a "sorry, nothing we can do."  I've heard that enough.  I am scared of the IV.  I'm not looking forward to recovery.  But there's hope (and an end to the band-aid of meds).  And I needed that.

P.S.  Yes, I know people debate fusions.  I am confident it is the right call for me.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

i'm a real blogger now

I confess...this is just a link.  I'm the guest poster of the day over on my friend Lee's site.  Lee's an awesome lady and a totally dedicated blogger.  A lot of her posts are food-themed, both homemade and purchased, though she talks about fitness and her life in general too.  And I desperately want to play with her gorgeous puppy.

My guest post is about the foods I miss from my ATL days....

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

feminism, rambler-style

I confess...I'm not thrilled about the spark that led me to this topic, but I think it's worthwhile anyway.  Among the continued bout of name-calling I wrote about here, a comment was made questioning whether I am a worthy feminist because MM came to my defense during the initial battle round.  I hadn't said much publicly myself because I didn't feel the forum was appropriate.  I contacted one woman privately to apologize for inadvertent hurt but didn't care to engage in the mud-slinging given the tone.  MM saw I was upset and jumped into the fray, although he later deleted a comment written in anger.  This defense was construed as him "protecting his woman" in a way that made him evil and me a poor excuse for a feminist.

So, that's what got my mind toying with the concept of feminism.  I do consider myself a feminist.  In my mind, that isn't about suggesting women are an under-class or that, conversely, they are superior to men and worthy of special status.  For me, it is just about advocating for equality and for options.  I think being a stay-at-home mom is just as much a feminist move as being a CEO, as long as it is a true choice.  I believe the battle fought by prior generations of women was about opening options and I do get upset when women in-fight about the validity of various choices.  I think we're often are own worst enemies these days whether in office politics, the assorted mommy wars, or the importance of appearances

I also don't think being a feminist means I can't appreciate old-fashioned "gentlemanly" behaviors.  I think it is sweet that MM opens doors for me.  He does it to be nice.  He doesn't think I'm incapable of opening them myself and he'll "let" me get the door if I'm there first or his hands or full.  I remember standing in a doorway once with a guy who wouldn't walk through while I held it (I'd gotten there first)....THAT rankled my feminist side, just plain courtesy does not.  He CAN handle the heavier grocery bags more easily than I can, that's just a fact.  He knows I could manage them myself but he's happy to lend a hand.  And he's happy to get a hand in return.

Likewise, I don't think having him come to my defense is anti-feminist.  In truth, I'd expect him to defend me.  And I would absolutely defend him.  I do think we'd go about it in different ways based on our personalities (which also reflected in my lack of immediate public reply in the prior events), but a relationship is about having each others backs.  I'd defend a female friend too.  It isn't a gender issue.  It's simple respect and support.

I am a feminist.  I don't feel the need to distance myself from that term, like some people do, because I don't think it needs to be an angry term.  If you want to burn your bra, go ahead.  I'd rather not (umm...I get cold, yeah).  I very rarely blame slights on my gender, though I also don't deny that bias sometimes still linger.  I am woman, hear me roar.  Or hear me ramble, cause that's more my style and feminism gives me that choice.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Two Reviews: My Dear I Wanted to Tell You (Louisa Young) and •Sugar in My Bowl: Real Women Write About Real Sex (Erica Jong)

I confess...I totally could have posted one of these a few weeks ago, but decided to wait since my family members see this blog and I didn't want to have a post devoted to a book about women and sex.  And having two books to review means I can justify some bullet point usage...

  • My Dear I Wanted to Tell You by Lousia Young
I was a bit uncertain when I chose to review this book for the folks at Harper.  I am a bit mixed on war novels since I tend not to like battlefield settings but I do appreciate the complex impact war has on individuals on the front and at home.  My Dear I Wanted to Tell You explores how World War One impacts two different couples (one married, one just blossoming) and a commitedly single woman.  It begins with the budding young love of one couple that is interrupted by class differences and the man's abrupt decision to enlist.  The novel's focus shifts throughout to different characters and explores how the war impacts a young man, a more established man, a young woman struggling to find her place amid social rules, a married woman whose beauty has always been seen as her main asset, and a woman who has grown to accept her marriage-free state.  Some scenes are on the battlefield, others in hospitals, and other on the homefront. 

This book took a bit to grow on me.  I didn't invest in the characters immediately and was turned off by the narratives focused on the front.  I am glad I kept going though, because I did grow to appreciate the characters.  Young fleshes them out and explores the way the war (and society in general) impacts a varied group of individuals.  Many of the characters have flaws but I came to appreciate them for their own knowledge of their imperfection.  It did take time to get there, but I did become involved with their journeys (both individual and collective).  It isn't a book I expect to revist and I'm again ending up on my 3.5 star review (of 5)...a solid and positive score from me and one that would have been rounded down in the early going but that I found myself coming around on in time and would conclude with a rounded up 4 stars.
  • Sugar in My Bowl: Real Women Write About Real Sex by Erica Jong
This is a book that I'd have picked up, turned over, and browsed through at the bookstore but I'm not sure if I'd have purchased it on my own.  I got the opportunity to read it through the folks at Harper and I'm quite glad I did.  Erica Jong presents a collection of short pieces by a number of women writers.  Some are personal memoirs, others fiction, and they focus on a range of topics relating to woman and sex.  The pieces range from budding childhood interest to sexual attraction in a seniors sommunity and focus on everything from frustrating fumbles to unexpectedly satisfying encounters and even the sex that never happened.  I appreciated that Jong included biographical information on each author and found myself turning to the bios section to read about each author before reading her piece.

As is usually the case with collections, there were pieces where I wanted more and pieces I could have done with out...which is kind of appropriate given the topic.  I appreciated the frankness with which the authors wrote and the willingness to own their sexuality and desires that still makes note of how difficult taking ownership and talking honestly about sex can be, especially as women.  I highly recommend the collection and happily give the anthology a full five stars.  I thoroughly enjoyed it and the essay format makes it easy to read in pieces (I normally dislike short story collections so that's unique for me to enjoy).

Saturday, June 11, 2011

sticks and stones, 2011

I confess....I've debated this post since Thursday night.  I knew I needed to wait until I could be sure why  I was writing it and have it come from something other than anger and hurt.  I am not writing it out of vengence or for validation.  I work through things best by writing them and that's the think it out, to package it, and to put it away on a shelf.

A friend, Z (using non-initial letters...yes, I think about this stuff too much), made a FB link to an article with a title about obesity, weight stigma and bias.  I replied, noting I couldn't read the piece w/o registering (side note: really, I can't stand registering constantly) but wanted to note that weight bias goes both ways.  I noted three events where I was on the receiving end of stereotypes because I am smaller.  I noted, too, that I do get MUCH better treatment in stores now than when I was heavy.  Another woman, Y, replied:

 See, completely irrelevent and self-absorbed comments such as this is why she gets defriended. To paraphrase, "Well, I'm skinny and people are mean to me too. Oh, and my back hurts. Waaaa."

Later, more in response to something MM posted in my defense (and, admittedly, in return attack mode...they've said women's tears kill men's libido, I think it also turns on defense mechanisms), she added:

But instead of attacking me, consider the context of my comment and think about why everyone is always busy or out of town when you visit.
Okay.  Here we go...

As to the specific comment, I know I play the "me too" game too much.  It is a crutch for a socially awkward and uncertain person.  I admit that and I do see it.  I do want to say though that my point was NOT that people are mean to me but that stereotypes hit both ends of the weight spectrum.  I've seen studies on doctors pre-judging heavy patients, but really nothing on judgments about smaller women.  I was clear that I hadn't read the article and I owned my statement as my own observations.  I am not a researcher so I don't have stats, I only have experience.  While I share my stories, I also will place high value on yours as well. After all, social science studies are just experiences added up.

Additionally, I know I update my FB status a bit more than I should.  I'm home all day.  I'm doing job applications left and right, but I still have time on my hands.  So I comment more.  I've also talked with a couple of my docs about the fact that being unemployed isn't great for dealing with pain.  Yes, it is nice not to have to put on the work face and to be able to lie down as needed, etc., but it also leaves you with a lot of time to just dwell on the physical.  I'll also say that I haven't had the easiest journey in life and 2010 was a particularly rough year.  I'm coming back from that and 2011 has had some great events, but I'm still haunted by a lot of demons (2010's and longer term ones).  If you want to defriend me, fine.  If you want to hide my posts, fine.  If you want to just ignore them, fine too.  I get it.

With that said, I was hurt by the comment(s).  I don't need you (the general "you") to like me.  Again, it'll still likely sting if you don't, but it's your right.  I think I come off as brash and snobby sometimes but those who truly know me know I see the brilliance and strengths of others much more so than my own and try hard to treat others with high levels of respect.  If I'm not for you, fine.  You can tell me if it's something we can work out.  You can complain about me to other people (we all do that...).  But a public flogging is just plain rude and uncalled for.  There are exceptions, like a response to another cruel comment, but not many.  Y doesn't need to like me, but to beat me up in a thread started by someone else is not cool.

It is further complicated because there are always people in the middle.  Obviously, we're both friends with Z and Z did NOT deserve the explosion after her post.  We are also more closely tied since her BF is an important part of MM's life.  I'd actually noticed she defriended me and mentioned it to MM.  In this case, I didn't need to be besties with her but I did hope we could at least tolerate each other because of the guys' relationship.  It makes the public nature even more complex because it put MM in an awkward place.  Faced with a hurting girlfriend, he responded in anger and counterattacked.  It wasn't kind and he later deleted it when tempers settled but there were some angry word, online and by phone, b/w MM and Y's BF.  Not wanting to cause that rift is actually why I only replied with "wow"...well, okay, I was also blindsided and in shock. 

They are boys  They yelled a bit.  I will say that Y's BF didn't seem to see the irony that they were actually doing the very same thing...MM stood up for me and he stood up for Y.  As he should.  As they both should.  Yes, I'm a big girl and can stand up for myself, but I like that MM has my back.  I have his isn't a one-way, boys-only street.  As I said before, I mentioned noticing the defriedingDefriending is fine, raised my eyebrows but fine.  Public flagellation shows a lack of consideration for other people, not just me.

I am a queen of self-doubt.  I secretly wonder if every single person around me truly hates me.  I reached out to a couple people in our overlapping circles.  I told them I simply needed to know...if they didn't want me around, that was fine, but I wanted to know (privately, please).  I was reassured that we were cool.  They all wanted to avoid getting in the middle so didn't say much beyond that, but we got that air cleared. 

Takeaways (w/ bullets to bring me back):
  • You don't have to like me.  I would rather know than be an unwanted guest but...
  • Sometimes I think we need to tolerate people for the sake of other people.  If our circles overlap, feel free to try to avoid me and all that, but please respect the relationships that might be impacted by harsh words.
  • I am aware of my "me too"ing.  I know it isn't elegant.
  • Public flogging isn't cool.  It's junior high bullying and it saddens me that social media allows us to fall back on such things.  If I'm the issue, we can talk about it, you can vent to others over coffee or beer, but please don't air the grievances in a public forum.  Especially when it's a bit out of nowhere (i.e. would be diff if the poster said something...though I'd still prefer it be in private).
  • I probably have doubted whether you like me.  I'm really good at that, but I don't think it is just my thing...I'm pretty sure a lot of people have doubts.  Playing on people's weaknesses isn't very cool.
Summary of the summary: Feel what you want, it's your right.  Voice it if you must, but do so in a way that's constructive or just plain appropriate.  Feelings of the attack-ee aside, I think it actually gives your comments more power when they are expressed maturely.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

ramblin' woman

I confess...lots of rambly thoughts today, some of which feel a little un-PC but I'm gonna say 'em anyway. 
  • I don't care if politicians cheat on their spouses.  It is a HUGE no-go for me in a partner, but not something I care to be involved with in an elected official.  But I do take issue when they lie about it, then it moves from a lie to his family and becomes a lie to his constituents.  I don't know that I'd call for a resignation, UNLESS government money was used which is another issue, but it would impact my future vote (not control it, I did vote for Bill Clinton and would do so again).
  • Okay, my non-PC post.  I just don't care if gay people are born that way or if it is a choice.  It just doesn't matter at all to me.  I accept them and want them to have equal rights/opportunities either way.  I think the state should let you marry regardless of your partner's gender, though I wouldn't force a church to officiate.  I do see that the debate may matter to some people who are on the fence about acceptance, so I guess that gives a reason to talk about it.  But, personally, I just don't care (but I feel like that may anger people and we know how I feel about that).
  • Part two of my un-PC thoughts (well, this is more un-liberal) -- I do "believe" in transgendered people and think we should support them in their journeys for peace, including using the preferred pronouns and supporting their choice to pursue surgery.  But I just can't condone using government money to pay for the sex change surgery for a prisoner.  It seems really unfair that a criminal would get a paid-for surgery while "good" people don't.  And I understand that the surgery can be emotionally/mentally important, but it isn't the same as the medical necessity involved in treatment of physical disease.
  • I like to make earth-friendly choices (though don't always go out of my way for them).  I like to make money-friendly choices (with an exception for food & wine, of course).  But it is really the NOISE that makes me hesitate to turn on the AC (I did put it on today...two days over 90 are not fun).  I have a lot of trouble with background noises.  It feels like I hear TOO much since I can't distinguish the TV or a voice unless I really turn them up.  Former speech pathologist Mom says it is called figure-ground disorder.  You can try to train your brain to help it, but I'm lazy.
  • The guestroom does not have an AC ( Mom and Step-dad are giving us one later this month).  I went through THREE pairs of shorts doing my workout.  I am a sweaty gal, not usually the worst smelling but even with a well-cooled room I can sometimes squeeze out my shorts after cardio.  Guess the ability to change is an upside to the home gym (and the fact that I was planning a load of sheets anyway so it wouldn't throw off laundry planning to use more), but I will enjoy the "real gym" today since I need to do weights anyway.  We are getting Big Yellow tomorrow (it will be in the basement so a bit cooler there...tread is in guest room) and I'll see if I still want the Big Gym expense.  It is kinda good to have a reason to go out when you are unemployed, but it is also an added cost.
  • Another side effect of unemployment as a woman -- I go through WAY more TP since I'm always home.
  • I'm still scared about the back stuff and about controlling pain when I'm already maxing out on meds.  I try to take less when I can, but the knife in my back is pretty unrelenting. 
  • Tater tots are underused as a side item.  More places, esp. pub type joints, should serve them. 
  • I use way too much mentally energy disliking my tummy pooch.  I will, however, say that I'm feeling really good about my upper body.  I've added some muscle tone and it is really at a place where I'm happy to just maintain.  The only thing I sometimes dwell on wanting to change about the tummy is one (umm, well, two) that is outside of my control without a doc and some silicone.  And I am NOT doing that....they are proportional and all, just noticeably absent in a swim suit or in clothes that leave room for non-existent assets (same issue with lack of butt).
  • I'm waiting to write one book review for Harper until I finish another one.  I actually enjoyed the finished one a lot and am more "meh" on the one in progress, but my parental-types see the blog so I blush at the idea of reviewing Erica Jong's collection of essays by women about sex.
  • Likewise, I need one more bullet point after that one.  Yes, I'm odd.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

back to back (or back to me talking about my back)

I confess...this was going to start as a post about my ongoing back battles and then move on to general body stuff, including "talking" about having bought a treadmill.  But the back stuff got long so I'm cutting "part two."  I may revisit the dropped issues later since they are worth a ramble -- I love the convenience of the treadmill at home, but need to work on the demons and not feel the need to hop on for a random mile here and there...yes, that might be a good thing for most folks, but it could get WAY out of control for me and I need to generally have my workout and then be done.

I've been battling this back injury for what feels like a crazy long time.  In summer 2009, I was plagued by what I thought was a sore glute.  I remember trouble as far back as a Memorial Day trip to the Finger Lakes when the car ride was troublesome (even with wine tastings to help take my mind off it!!).  I blamed it on general exercise soreness but it definitely felt worse than normal and was always on the left.  Later in the year the left hip became the demon and I sought help in December.  The first doc focused on the hip (which is what hurt then, with a few back twinges) and did some shots for bursitis with no results.  I moved on and to two more doctors as 2010 opened.  The pain actually started focusing more in the low back (and intensifying) just as one doc started thinking that was to blame.  I tried two epidural steroid shots and became a PT regular (side note: LOVED Michael, my MA physical therapist...great at "getting" active patients which was important to me).  I did strengthen and improve my flexibilty, both of which had suffered.  I got to my personal norm on the toe reach...still couldn't touch my toes, but I never could.  But the pain never abated.  Moved to PA and tried another PT with a different approach but didn't show progress and was booted (insurance stuff).  A spike in pain in February 2011 led me to another doc office, this time a colleague of doctor dad's.  An MRI and a bone scan later, we suspect degenerative disc disease.  Most days are a 7 on the pain scale (1-10), 8s are pretty common too.

Monday is another step.  I fully understand it is necessary, but this one scares me.  I'm usually not too difficult of a patient...I had no trouble with the MRIs and I know there's always a process.  But I'm terrified of needles.  I haven't tried in recent years, but I have actually been told I was too scare to donate blood...I got scared my pulse skyrocketed, and I was disqualified.  The upcoming test includes an IV and needles in the back.  The GOAL is pain.  They need to fully identify the source and the only way to do this is by trying to stimulate the pain.  Not fun.  The intake person called today and said I could get a sedative if I need it and they do give pain meds after it is done (none from 9PM the night prior till the 1PM show time).  At MM's suggestion, the staff member did confirm I could bring my teddy bear.

If the test confirms the current theory, I'll head to surgery.  I've done the epidurals and the PT so it moves to the next step.  I've had FIVE surgeries...adenoids removed and sinuses drained at 13, tonsils yanked at 17, three pelvic laproscopies for the endometriosis.  Each time, the only thing I was really scared on was the IV (see the needle phobia above).  I trust that doctors know their trade.  I know it is a big day as a patient but another work day for a doctor and they have usually done it many many times (or are being supervised by someone who has) and I am pretty good at handing control to them.  But I'm scared this time.  I have tried a bit of googling but know I need to really hear it from the doc since things are often changing.  I am scared of the pain, esp since I already use the max dosage of my pain meds to get through days with the "normal" pain.  I am scared of mentally handling the rest and recovery.  They have an outpatient clinic, but some google results say it requires a night or two stay.  That scares me too. 

My back has been AWFUL the past few days.  Saturday was the first time I hit the "going away" point that I have with the endo.  I think it is being mean to remind me I NEED to move through these steps to get well.  And it does help to know I'm moving ahead.  I tell that to myself when I hit the 8+ on the pain scale.  After a long and ongoing battle with endo, where they really can't offer much of a fix, it is nice to have the light at the end of the tunnel.  And I'll keep going towards it, even if I'm limping a bit.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

wasting time rambling about wasting time

I confess...being unemployed and also a bit limited in my physical activity (you don't realize how much you bend or twist until it hurts) has created the first period in my life where time is generally pretty abundant.  Despite this, I do find myself losing (or, more honestly, wasting) time with a number of little habits.  Some culprits:
  • Reading The Frisky and The Stir...the latter is particularly vicious given how many articles they add each day.  I am not in the sweet spot of either site's audience since I'm a bit old for one and a bit child-free for the other.  They do provide quite a bit of amusement so it isn't totally wasted time, but the need to check both isn't the most productive use of it either.
  • Likewise, I love Television Without Pity.  I tend to read the Potluck forums the most.  Another source of giggles but not enough to justify the time.
  • Reading Health news on CNN.  I probably click on 80-90% of the headlines in the health section.  This could be productive but I read a lot more pieces that have no application to me than relevant articles.  And I don't have nearly the memory capacity that might make this habit useful as future conditions (for me or others) arise.
  • Thinking about blog posts I never actually make....the thoughts are wasted time, though I guess I'm saving you the time of reading them.
  • Waking up in the middle of the night and thinking about how much I really don't want to get up to pee.  I know I'd get back to sleep faster if I just got up right away, but that logic isn't compelling at 3AM.
  • Staring at my belly.  I've been told it is cute and not really as visible to anyone else, but it poofs out below the navel and is the first place my eyes go in a bathing suit (or my birthday suit).  I know my soda and gum habits don't help it, but it also doesn't go away when I cut back.  I've gotten to accept my thighs as a genetic fact of life...they will always be out of proportion and remained even when at my smallest.  I haven't found that place with the pooch.  I do a deep-muscle core routine but the muscles hide under not-muscle.
  • Hating my body in general.  I've come to realize that my body image issues are such a luxury.  Hating my imagined fat is very different from hating the parts that cause physical pain.  Not that either is healthy, but I think they are very different things. 
  • A final body issue...clearly there's a theme here...I know my treadmill time is insane.  I tell myself that I'll tackle that more when I'm employed since this is one where a scarcity of time might help, but I may have an earlier "opportunity" if I have back surgery.
  • Reading other reviews of books after I finish reading them myself.  I post my own first so I don't use them to determine my own reaction (never been one to like things just because they are cool), but I feel an odd need to see where I fit.  If I'm buying the book, I read plenty before my purchase...that's wise consumer time...but I can't really explain the compulsion to read dozens of reviews after I'm done.
  • Brushing my hair.  We have always had a complex relationship, my mane and I.  We've come to a decent level of peace, but I totally feel the need to clean it up every time I'm near my brush which lives in a bathroom drawer.  Luckily, I have many many hairs so losing a few extra is not such an issue.
  • Wondering what people think of me.  Everyone from friends to the folks I see regularly at the gym or Weis.  I don't so much care (well, it depends on the person) but I'm really curious what impressions I make and how those evolve with time and vary with relationship.
  • Looking at my blog stats.  I'm fascinated by the fact that I often have peekers from the Ukraine and other overseas locations.  If I don't know you personally, I'd love to know how you stumbled upon my blog.
I also waste a LOT of time thinking about things I want to add after I hit "Publish Post" on my blog.