Tough Mudder: “How are we doing this?”

-me, after looking at pretty much any one of the climbing obstacles in Tough Mudder, of which there are several.

Yesterday I “did” Tough Mudder. I write that “did” in quotes because I skipped four obstacles of the 24 on the course, and it’s a coincidence that there were two planned skips (arctic enema and electroshock therapy were listed verboten by the doc) and two were unplanned skips (Everest and Stage 5 Clinger).  Arctic Enema is where you dive down a tube into water that has floating ice in it and is shockingly cold, and have to swim under an obstacle to get out of said water — so you are completely submerged.  Electroshock therapy is walking through about 15 feet of dangling electrical wires that will zap you.  Everest is a 20′ high slippery slope that you have to run at, run up (hope you don’t slip), and grab your team’s hands so they can pull you up.  Stage 5 Clinger is an inverted ladder (so the base is farther away from you than the top) that you have to climb and then pull yourself up and over.

I tried Everest. I tried it three times, and the third time I landed square on my right shoulder, and told my self enough was enough.  I’ve got an impressive welt and a jammed feeling; I can lift it but it hurts when I lift it just so.  I should have tried Stage 5 clinger more than the bit that I did.

My pull up game is *not* strong, although it’s getting better, and I struggled with many of the other obstacles that required me to do various forms of lifting my body weight with just my upper body.

Which gets me to this point: unless you are the kind of person who can do 25 effortless pull ups from hanging on your fingertips to pulling yourself up and over something with  no foot support, you will have to rely on other people in Tough Mudder.

This is hard for me (and others), and there’s usually one of two competing reasons behind it:

  1. You don’t want to rely on others because you don’t find others reliable.
  2. You don’t want to rely on others because you don’t want to inconvenience them.

I don’t have the first problem and once you finish your first few TM obstacles you won’t, either.  Random strangers will pull you up, grab your leg to help you get over an obstacle, come to help you, and encourage you to overcome your fears.  Yes that was me whimpering at the top of an obstacle because I couldn’t get a toehold and some completely strange person came up and coached me where to put my foot and reassured me he’d catch me if I fell.  Your team will also be there for you; I had only met one of my team members before this but every single one of them gave me a folded hand or a leg up at one point.  This was not my problem.

My problem is that I kept feeling like I wasn’t pulling my weight (no pun intended). I’m still not sure I did.  The Abseil and similar exercises– where there’s at rope or rope ladder — were no problem.  But anything that required team-provided-footing left me to feel guilty, like I hadn’t trained enough.  And in theory I had “trained” more than my team — following the guidelines, doing the runs (mostly — I only got two 8-milers in), etc.  As mentioned previously I can’t do a pull up but I was doing weight-assisted ones in the gym; that proves to not have been enough.

I can say with absolute and utter confidence that I would NOT have signed up for Tough Mudder if I  had known the volume of obstacles around heights.  Heights for me — particularly ones where I’m sure I’m going to injure myself but not die — are a trembling phobia that surfaced about twenty years ago and hasn’t gone away.  (For those of you worried about enclosed spaces: there’s a few of those, too, but they aren’t bad at all– not even MineShafted).  Had someone walked me through the course in advance I would have bailed, then and there. But having spent the last 3 years regretting the Tough Mudder I didn’t do, I’m very glad I didn’t talk myself out of this one. I’m glad I had to work through a series of heights challenges, I’m glad I had a supportive team and was reaffirmed in the kindness of strangers, and I’m glad to be back in “regular” training again. Except this time maybe I’ll do some more upper body work.

Those who know me are probably shaking their heads because they think this means I signed up again for next year: NOPE. This was one of those beautiful, shining days that sits on its own. My legs and forearms are thoroughly scratched and bruised, I have the aforementioned shoulder welt and a matching one on my hip. I have met new and awesome people. I have my orange headband.

Yes that’s a massive bruise on my right shin. A lot of our course had berry bushes and straw packed in to the mud.

I’m good.



Unilateral Butt Syndrome


Headed back home in the eerie light.

This time of year, the road to Spokane from where I live (just a little east of Seattle) is moderately nerve-wracking; you have to take one of three passes (North via the 2, South via the 410, or the standard I-90) and two are typically closed (the north and south). The 90 itself has a history of landslides and closures, and since my PT appointment was at 11am in Spokane this meant I needed to leave the house around 4am and cross the pass at night. (Actually it meant I needed to leave at 6am, but I didn’t realize the South pass was closed and so drove all the way down to South Auburn before I figured that out and had to double-back).


Once you get past the pass, though, it’s eerily beautiful in these cold winter months, with snow on the ground and overcast skies. I pulled over to take a picture on the way back, both to capture the light and also to stretch the legs; otherwise five hours in the car is a bit much, even for those of us who enjoy driving.

The question you may have that I haven’t yet answered is why I was going to a physical therapy appointment in Spokane in the first place. I live in the Seattle area, surely there are good physical therapists here? Yes, of course there are. But the very best physical therapist I have ever had (who managed to get me off of regular knee injections and back into running in my 40’s) moved to Spokane and so for things like orthotics and gait analysis and exercises I go see her. (It’s Kit Vogel at Tailwind Physical Therapy, if you’re interested– she also does bike fittings.)  Yes, I will take a day off work and drive 600 miles roundtrip to keep myself active. Quite apart from all this Kit is a wonderful person and fun to hang out with.

My knee, sensing an expert appointment was at hand, decided to go out three days before my planned appointment. It was my first outdoor run in months (not including the Disney Half) and I was sore post run — and then the next day — and then really sore the next day. So off to Kit I went.

After marking on my legs (with green washable marker) and measuring my gait in slow-mo and reviewing my shoes and my orthotics, she pronounced my problem: Unilateral Butt Syndrome. In short, my right cheek has been doing all the work for both cheeks (when running and working out), and so my left cheek is lazy. Therefore over time my knee has had to take up the slack for my left leg when running, and as my orthotics and shoes wore out (I use Hokas but because it’s for knee cushioning they don’t last more than about 6 months with regular use) my ankles and feet stopped doing their part and sent the work up to my left knee.  The left knee will only put up with so much of that bullshit before it screams and so here I am, with a busted knee. Apparently UBS is a real thing, as I was explaining it to a friend at the gym and one of the trainers chimed in with, “Oh yeah, I have that!”.

I now have nimg_0506ew orthotics on the way and new shoes, and a new set of exercises I’m doing probably less often than I should but probably more often than Kit thinks I am; and kinesio tape on the knee. That the exercises are awkward (see pic) and difficult is not unexpected. It’s also hard to tell how quickly I will recover. I’ve stopped running for now and am walking (on the treadmill at incline, outside with my best friend) to keep moving. I’ve figured out (finally) that I will not be able to continue running without the routine of floor exercises to keep my butt from being lazy and shifting all the work to one cheek; this is not a case of “ok the pain is gone now I don’t have to do clams anymore”.

If you suspect you have UBS, talk to your PT, and I’m happy to share info on the exercises I have to do. Mostly it’s clams (for the glutes), bridges, push me/pull you (as seen above), hamstring work, and balance work. It’s not particularly fun and for those of us who are impatient and just want to go do the run or walk or whatever it’s an extra series of steps. Considering that impatience got me here, though,  I shouldn’t let it keep me here.

Side note: if you find yourself alone in the car for five hours each way, the Rich Roll podcast is particularly good. Thanks to my brother and Havi Zavi for the recommendation.


Tough (-ish) and Clean (-esque)

Today I went to the gym for three hours.

About three months ago a bunch of (well, call it four plus me plus some outside) people from work decided we should Do Tough Mudder. To which my response was “I’ve just posted how I’m not signing up for any large events, so really? You’re asking? Really? Okay.” And so I signed on. I proudly told this to my trainer, with whom I meet pretty much weekly, and tasked him with getting me ready.

For three months I met faithfully with David (trainer), each Wednesday cursing things like burpees and pull-ups and push-ups and other things whose Official Names I do not know but that doesn’t prevent me from dearly disliking. And about a month before Tough Mudder, we lost a team member.  A week later, we lost a second. A week after that, a third. And then there were four.

Four is not a big team, and four may-or-may-not have been successful in getting us over hills and walls and so forth. Add that to the fact that I was now the only female on the team, and certainly the slowest runner (hello, 10 minute mile!), I was uncomfortable. So I decided to see if I could pad the team. I checked in with my gym, and found someone willing.

Except he was signed up for the Saturday, and I couldn’t do the Saturday (hey, I was snack mom for the soccer game! Priorities!). OK, fine, I put an ad in Craigslist.

Now, I like reading Craigslist for entertainment, and have used it to sell many things, but not really to do something social. I got one response. It detailed the length of some male person’s phallus and an invitation to ride it. I did not respond.

On the Wednesday before my original Tough Mudder–which I have now bumped off to next year — I devised a plan with David. I would chart the obstacles and the runs, and create gym-equivalents. Running is fine (treadmill), but how many pull-ups do you figure equates getting over an 8′ high wall (somewhat assisted — say a push up or a pull up from a team member)? David figured 3 sets of 10. How do you replace swimming? David figured you’d use the same muscles as burpees and knee-bend deadlifts with weights, so 2 sets of 10 of those.  To simulate running in mud he added ankle weights. The only thing David did not compensate for was electric shocks (which I was to skip anyway) and an ice bath. On the flip side, instead of the cushy wait times in front of obstacles that my more mud-laden brethren got, I got one (1) three-minute break.

Two hours and 40 minutes later, I had run just over 11 miles (well, I had run about 9 and speed-walked another 2 because the knee was hurting) and done crazy crawling, push-up, pull-up, weight-lift, balancing obstacles throughout the gym.  I left the gym incredibly icky (not muddy) and wondering if an ice bath would have helped.

There’s a few things I can take away from this experience, and yes, a couple more goals:

1.  No, you don’t have to train running-wise as though you’re training for a half-marathon. But I probably should have run something over 3 miles recently.

2. If you do it alone, or in the gym, or both, you don’t get the event-based adrenaline rush.  You trade that for the “comfort” of controlling your environment.

3. I could have done it by myself in the mud. And I probably should have.

4. I’m training as though I WILL be doing it solo next year, because I don’t want to have to do it in the gym again.

Not that I don’t love David. I loooove David (in a totally platonic, he’s like an uncle kinda way). He is awesome and patient and inventive and he doesn’t let me slide. But next time I want him waiting at the end of the route, standing in the mud, with a beer. And I want that extra load of muddy, muddy laundry.

The Ultimate Driving Machine

Just warning you: this post is a rant, mixed with a little bit of a whine.

On my way to work there is a nice stretch of straight road, maybe a mile long, that toddles along at 55 miles per hour, before it kludges up with traffic. It provides a nice counterbalance to the 25mph crawl I have through the suburbs before I get there, and it offers an opportunity to relax.

This morning as I drove along I let my left hand drop and it rested on my knee, the same one that I went in to get visco yesterday on. It felt damp so I looked down, and discovered that the injection site was seeping. Oh, joy. Back to the house to change bandages, change jeans, apply detergent to the stain, etc. Such are the joys of medical maintenance.

(Editor’s note: I asked for it. Now with an ultrasound machine and another six months of technique improvement, I was able to walk unassisted after the injection and by end of day my knee felt totally normal. So I didn’t exactly follow the instructions and went to the gym. I’m not a total idiot, all I did was upper body stuff, but clearly I had pissed something off.)

In the meantime, I’m struggling with a “decision” I need to make: my lower back. Arthritis isn’t uncommon in people over 40 (or, in my case, 39) and the PT should take care of the pain I have. Up until a week ago I would’ve said “what pain” because when I run, or indeed do pretty much anything else active, it’s not my back that hurts. My upper right leg hurts. Figuring that this was my body’s way of insisting I get a full set of x-rays, one body part at a time, I went back to the doc.

“So, my back is all better, but my upper leg is hurting, particularly when I run. The PT thinks it’s my psoas.”

“I think it’s your lower back.”

“No, no, my lower back feels great.”

“Yeah, I still think it’s referred pain from your lower back.”

“Well, okay”

Here she had me lay down on my stomach, flipped up my shirt, and started poking at my spine.

“Does this hurt?” (poke)


“Does this hurt?” (poke)


“Does this hurt?” (po-)“AAAAAAAAAARGH”.

“Yep, it’s your lower back.”

After brief consultation, here is the treatment plan: Go back to Physical Therapy (more time with my friend Dan, I see) and, if that doesn’t solve it in another month or so, start thinking about spinal injections.

Spinal. Injections.

I have no problem with needles (blood donation, tattoos, piercings, etc.) and I have no problem with my spine (apart from it being in pain) and one time in my life I didn’t mind having an injection into my spine (hello, Epidural!). But the idea of ongoing annual (or semi-annual) pokes into my trunk does not sound good, for a variety of reasons.

Being handed the ersatz ultimatum, such as it is, that if I do NOT get better with PT in about a month then we need to “look at this”, puts undue pressure (I feel) on the viability of the PT. This last two months’ worth have succeeded in radiating the pain OUT, in half that time we need to radiate the pain back in and start making it go away. It’s like being handed an assignment you’re likely to fail at. If I had that kind of control over my body I wouldn’t be IN this position.

This whole process feels a bit like my commute… slow crawling progression, nice coasting parts, followed almost immediately by infuriatingly gnarled systems.

An Open Letter to My Personal Trainer, David

Well David, it’s that time again, where I’ve done something rash and signed up for something I probably shouldn’t do. There’s a timeline involved, and some frankly optimistic requirements; I figured I’d apologize now and get it over with.

You see, I let the Ms.Krieant sign me up for Tough Mudder, and I have a little under 13 weeks to get ready. It has some impressive obstacles, most of which have me scared out of my mind, but as you know once I’ve said I’ll do something, I’ll do it…

…as long as I get to whine a lot about it.

So I realize that up until now your charge has been mostly to try to get me stronger while avoiding the injury of the month; in our short tenure together this has meant occasionally avoiding my knees, my neck, my upper back, my lower back, or my right hip. Now we need to ignore all of that, because I will need all of those parts working and functional.

I also realize that this means that the chattiness of our sessions will have to reduce, that we can no longer freely evaluate others in the gym as you hand me five more pounds of something or have me do 15 more push-ups. It means that you’re likely to give me homework, that I will need to actually do weight work more than twice a week, and that I will be very, very sore these ensuing weeks.

But David, I’m turning 40.

I realize this isn’t much to you — I think 40 hit and flew by for you about a decade ago, not that you’d notice, being an ex-Marine and all. I realize this isn’t much to most of our early-morning compatriots, as I think the average age at the gym at our time of morning is mid-50’s. It isn’t technically even much to me in the sense that I’m not having a huge to-do over it, nor do I want to see black balloons, nor do I think the day after my birthday I will suddenly fall apart or feel older. The fact is, David, I’m tired of having my body feel older now.

Five years ago I entered into a half marathon, having never run, because someone told me I couldn’t do it. (Actually, he laughed and said, “yah, right”). Three years ago I entered into a 2-day, 160-mile bike ride because someone said I wouldn’t want to do it. Last year I did the STP pretty much under the same auspices. And each time, I injured myself either in training or in the event itself. But each time, I did the training without any professional help.

You’re here to fix that, David, because at 40, I’ve decided I’m tired of injuring myself. And this likely means I’ll have to do a lot of things I was heretofore unprepared to do, like go to the gym more than 4 times per week and maybe, actually, you know, stretch. Perhaps even do my regular PT exercises. I have a support group in my friends — one lent a very pertinent book (Supple Leopard, indeed), one gave me tips on how to deal with the electric shocks (or at least a realistic impression of what they’re like). But your job is to make sure I’m ready, and so I really do hope you’ll understand the bullet-pointed list you’re going to get when next we see each other.

I still reserve the right to whine, though.

AGAIN with the Injury

Point of clarification: I have NOT entered into any major sporting event (yet) (I may or may not have been conned into doing Tough Mudder thanks to Ms. Krieant), I have done nothing out of the usual in workouts lately, and yet I’ve managed to muss up my hip flexor. This doesn’t take any particular talent, other than having a crap-tastic lower back, because (fun fact) the hip flexor runs from your lower back and wraps around the front, down into your inner thigh. F-ing with your hip flexor feels rather like having a pulled muscle right where the cut of your leg is, and I can tell you from personal experience it 1. doesn’t go away after a few days (we’re working on two weeks, here) and 2. it is really awful to get PT for it.

Mind you, my PT is for my lower back (hello, arthritis, so very wonderful to see you there too) but suddenly that felt fine and this other area started hurting. As I associate visiting the PT with a massive amount of whining, I added that in for good measure, and Dr. Dan arched an eyebrow (never, ever a good sign) and started asking questions. Since the 3 people you should never lie to are your doctor, your lawyer, and your self, I told the truth… and found myself lying back on the table and having him digging his hands into my pelvis.

I am not exaggerating.

Because your psoas (aka, hip flexor) is so buried and deep, the only way to get it to chill the *F* out is to dig in between your gut and your hip bone, quite deep, while extending and contracting the affected leg. This feels appallingly like having someone dig into your pelvis to clean out the inside of the bone, much like you take a spoon to the inside of pumpkin mash when making Jack-o-lanterns. It doesn’t SCREAMING hurt, but it is one of the least pleasant things I’ve let another human being do to me.

Today was my second session in PT for this (actually, for the lower back facets issue but apparently this gets grouped under that) and I can walk without limping but I’m still not allowed to run. This weekend I’m off to cub scout camp so we’ll see if a Hobbly Mom is okay.

Advil, take me away…

OW, says the Bobbie

I can’t tell if it’s actual full-body disintegration or if it’s old age or if it’s bad karma, but I find myself *back* getting X-rays and *back* on anti-inflammatories. This sucks. I was being so good, and it’s not like I signed up for anything crazy or over-trained. I’ve been lifting weights (lightly, nothing more than about 25/30 pounds) 2-3 times per week, and running 2-3 times per week (nothing more than about 2-3 miles), so I should not be dealing with this.

About a week ago the Male Person and I were commiserating on lower back pain, the kind you get here and there that is annoying and you may put a heating pad (or ice) on it and take an Advil and it goes away. Annoying, but live-able.

As of yesterday I had to use assistance (chairs, tables, handles, etc.) to sit down/get up. I went back to my French Canadian Doctor, because it was time for some punishment anyways. The good news: It’s not sciatic nerve stuff! Bad news: it’s probably more degeneration, but we’ll find out. Eventually.

In the meantime, I have purchased a back brace. There is absolutely nothing at all attractive about a back brace. It’s all white nylon and velcro, and reminds me of oversized superhero belts. Today I could be Monochrome Woman, as my grey tank top and black pants mean the white belt just really makes me look … spiffy (insert eyeroll here). Walking around gingerly means lots of people look at you funny. In this case, my walk is something like that of the cartoonish old man – butt tilted forward, therefore abdomen tilted forward, upper body tilted slightly back to help with balance, and a slow, shuffling gait to get places. Combined with my spiffy back brace, I look a prize idiot.

The fervent hope is that between anti-inflammatories and muscle relaxants (night-time only! no wine! um, yay!) things will calm down enough so I can fly out to vacation (yay! Arizona!) and then come back to do my last three days of work for Expedia.

Because I don’t want to make the post about my new job led-in by all of this whining, and because I will have plenty more time to blog on the plane to/from AZ, I won’t get into that here :). You will just have to wait.

(I hate waiting…)

OK, you can have this much: I’m going to work for Sur La Table, in the Applications Dev Team. I’m very excited, and yes I get a discount, and believe it or not no, that wasn’t the biggest selling point.

Pride (?) of Ownership

I have once again ventured into the land of Personal Training (receiving end). This is the third time and I hope it works like a charm, as the first one I worked with 4 years ago seemed disinterested (possibly a reflection of my attitude of “I’m paying you so my work is done here”), the second one found all the things I didn’t like and increased them in proportion (I hate kettle bells).

Up until now my ventures into physical activity consisted of the following process:

  1. I need to lose weight.
  2. I don’t make time for the gym.
  3. Unless I have paid for an event.
  4. If I’m going to pay for an event it should be a “big” thing.
  5. Which event has enough credibility and pressure?
    1. Half Marathon
    2. 200 mile bike ride
  6. Register for event.
  7. Feel pumped about event.
  8. Figure training schedule for event.
  9. Skip some days but don’t worry I’ll make it up.
  10. Train in earnest.
  11. Injure myself during training because I didn’t ramp properly.
  12. Ignore or marginalize injury because I’m in denial.
  13. Do event. Maybe whine a lot. Maybe get a little irrational.
  14. Injure myself during event and/or exacerbate injury from training.
  15. Go to Physical Therapy. Go Directly to Physical Therapy.
  16. Have PT person:
    1. Shake head
    2. Remind me of the last time We Were Together, Ask if I’ve Been Doing My Exercises
    3. Hand me New Exercises
    4. Graduate me 2-3 months later
    5. We both know we’ll see each other again.
  17. Celebrate my newfound physical wellness by “taking a break”.
  18. Gain weight. Go back to #1.

The part of this cycle I’m trying to break is numbers 2, 9, 12, and 17.  Hence, Personal Trainer.

My Personal Trainer’s name is Dave. Dave is a former Marine Corps Drill Instructor and acts like it, which is good, but he’s also pretty cheerful at points and is sensitive to the random pains that come with arthritic knees. Dave managed to work me out so hard the first two days that I was actually sore in my armpits. Did you know you have muscles there? I did not… until they were sore. Or there was the time I coughed and my stomach muscles hurt…

This process started about three weeks ago and it’s fairly predictable – while I’m using MyFitnessPal to log all of my food (for the most part honestly), I’m typically tracking more calories than I ought to have, and usually due to the end-of-day meal. I’m also (theoretically) increasing my muscle mass, and since muscle weighs more than fat, my weight hasn’t gone down materially. *

The part that I’m proud of though is that, for more than 21 days (23 as of yesterday) I have made it to the gym 6 days out of each week – at least 3 runs and at least 3 weight workouts. My knees have managed to make it through 32 minutes of running with one, 1-minute break; there’s only minimal swelling and it’s gone at end of day. I’ve also noticed if I don’t run or work out (e.g., that 7th day) I’m a bit of a princess crankypants. I am taking all of these as good signs and hoping the adage that “21 days  makes a habit” is true.

And I haven’t signed up for any events, thank you.

*Actually muscle does not weigh more than fat, any more than a pound of gold weighs more than a pound of feathers, because a pound is a pound is a pound. However, the DENSITY of muscle is higher than that of fat, so the VOLUME required to make 1 pound of muscle is smaller than the VOLUME required to make 1 pound of fat – which is how come the inches go away long before the scale registers anything.

Counting One’s Blessings

“At least you have your health!” — often said when one is disparaging one’s fate, usually accompanied by the statement one should count one’s blessings.

My health took a brief holiday on Tuesday night, having (correctly) assessed everything else was going very well so it may as well take its turn. It started with the usual sore throat — and then, as my son puts it, you feel like you swallowed sand. Then you get the fever. And then a wet cough that punctuates every third word.

Three days later you’re still pretty much there. There was one brief respite where the fever had broken and I felt better, I now feel like that was likely the result of DayQuil and not actual healing. Now it appears the fever has broken (again) and I’m hopeful, as this time I can talk more before the racking cough, and the joint pain is subsiding.

One of the most frustrating things about being sick is that you take time off of work (if you can, and you should if you can) so you can heal up. As a result, you look at this startlingly clear calendar, this wide-open schedule, and fantasize about all the things you could do! You could — garden! You could sew, you could catch up on those books, you can reconfigure your pantry, you can …

…oh, no you can’t. Because you’re sick. So while your BRAIN is perfectly capable of envisaging these things, and of planning and plotting and wanting to go do them, your BODY is calling you four-letter words, aching at every joint, and requiring obscene amounts of sleep. In the space of 24 hours I used up an entire box of kleenex (plus five individual packs); in the space of the last 4 days I exhausted the remaining supply of tea and honey. I’ve lost four pounds (silver linings, anyone?) I am both BEHIND and AHEAD at work because I’ve done everything I can that didn’t require me to talk — because I couldn’t — but now I need to make up all that talking time with a voice that sounds like I’ve been sucking on helium and pickles.

This is okay thought. Because it appears I can once again count my health.


As part of that non-work, non-home, non-PTA poo I previously referenced, I’m knee-deep in documents: big documents, little documents, documents that climb on rocks. Documents that must be scanned, annotated, pdf’d, and emailed. As a result of this — which, I must note, has lasted four weeks now and shows zero signs of letting up — I have learned many things:

1. People who have presumably gone through enough college to acquire a JD are still susceptible to amazingly huge gaffes in grammar, logic, and facts. This is not my person, but someone else’s person, and the fact that this person makes as much as he does makes me weep for the MFA’s of the world. Those sorts of leaps of logic/creative spellings should reside firmly with unicorns, fairies, and unpronounceable pseudo-worlds.

2. My boyfriend’s bulimic cat can immediately sense these, and will puke in disgust (I’d totally join her, but the carpet cleaner couldn’t handle it).

3. The household HP Scanner will lovingly scan each document as an INDIVIDUAL jpeg, to be hand-converted to pdf, and oh you have to rotate them 180 degrees (sure, you could try to feed your documents 180 degrees differently — and discover the HP Scanner then becomes bulimic of its own accord).

4. There is no easy (read: free) software for annotation, so I must send my [descriptive noun redacted] a detailed, bulleted email about the scanned documents. She loves this (at slightly under $300 an hour), but it goes against my norm of power-point “SmartArt”, and I end up involuntarily twitching.

5. The household Scanner is not on the network (still), and so I must do the weird braille method of re-attaching its USB connection to the male person’s machine.

6. Waiting for the aforementioned household scanner will cause you to read your Facebook feed with more interest than you have had in a few weeks, and you will therefore discover Wil Wheaton Collating, making your mind both euphoric and in danger of its own personal Warp Core Breach.

7. All of those people? Who you kinda told but didn’t really about the poo, and the stress, and the non-eating-sleeping-and-general-bowel-dysfunction (oh, wait, TMI)? They totally meant it when they said they were pulling for you, as evidenced by the forty-two customized email messages through various media inquiring as to status of poo and whether poo was in fact, gone.

For the record:

The poo is kinda gone…the stench lingers… and after October 19th I’ll officially hope the fan has kicked in. Really could’ve used a courtesy flush, but it didn’t happen.

In other news, it’s 16 days to my birthday, can I get a pony?