Thursday, September 20, 2007

Puppy calling

Not too long ago, I was escaping the heat of Palm Springs by browsing in a giant book store. I was browsing the pet section and pulled out a large tome on dogs. I looked up the Toy Breeds, as I prefer small dogs. It took some time to explain why toy dogs exist: for the comfort and amusement of their owners.

That struck me as funny. The next time I was visiting my friends with the four pugs, I took time to try to explain to the pugs that their entire existence was about my happiness. The information didn't take. I got more reaction when I said the word, Cheese.

Recently I've been hearing the puppy howl. I'd like a little guy. A King James Spaniel, Yorkshire Terrier or something small and loving. Greg has a thing for mini-daschounds. I'm not as familiar with that breed, but we found some cute ones online. It looks like you have to order them from a breeder... put your money down on litter around conception time.

Since I want the dog and Greg has to be coaxed into it, I suspect we'll have a mini-daschound. Which is fine... but then another thing popped up. He's not keen on us getting a puppy until one of us - specifically me - is home full time to tend & train the wee-one.

Now this job seems eternal... My company got bought by a computer giant this year, so many of us here are waiting for the pink slips. This company already has a sales force and we haven't heard any talk of integration, which is suspicious.

We'll see, I want to get a puppy before Greg can find another reason for me not to have it.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Like a Flower Petal Blooming

Right before I headed off to Italy, Greg and I discussed getting our bodies into better shape. I think this is an eternal concern for our contemporaries, and isn't a surprise. Our strategy was to go on the Atkins diet. Having had some success with Weight Watchers, I was a bit skeptical of the high-protein, low-carb thing. However, after about 5 months, I have to say I love it. I've had much fun changing around the menus. I miss pasta, but love the meat. And I'm able to give blood now that my iron levels are high again.

We're keeping track with the fitness. I'm slowly switching from the gym to yoga 3 or 4 times a week. I'm going to Bikram yoga - where the room is 100 degrees or higher and we do the same series of postures every time. I can see a difference in my body, although it may be all in my head. I haven't been near a scale, so I don't know if that is moving.

What really keeps me coming back is the tranquility I feel during and after the classes. I used get a meditative feeling from intense time on the work-out machines, but this is much more balanced. The downside is that I'm supposed to breathe through my nose and with all that sweat, I'm finding the smells icky. I encourage everyone to go out and give it a try. Well, two tries, the first time might be a bit much.

Since Greg started the business, we've been skipping the alcohol in the evenings. Going without the evening glass of wine has been less challenging that I thought it would be. I don't miss it. My experiences with alcohol in the home are so varied. I started drinking regularly in Italy, as my Italian host family offered only 3 beverages: wine, water & coffee.

Then, after graduating college, I was poor and living with Duncan. I had such tight fists, I wouldn't even buy a bottle of wine for myself. Duncan was a beer drinker and liked to have a drink at the end of the day. When we went shopping, I would be so anxious that he would buy the higher priced Anchor Steam beer instead of a cheaper brand. So painful.

Now I'm spending money on orchids, their high lasts longer.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

4 Minutes Twice a Day

So I was reading Social Intelligence a few months back and they cited a book Contact: The First Four Minutes by Zunin, Leonard. The idea is, when you meet someone or initiate contact, the first 4 minutes make the biggest impression. Be it for a sales meeting, date or just time with friends & family. Focus on making an effort in the first four minutes and you'll get better results and relationships.

The idea passed along, specifically in relation to relationships, is that the two most important times of day are when you wake up and when you get home. At these two times, the couple should take 4 minutes to focus on each other and the relationship. This manifests in a chat about ideas, or about each other - no dumping, no honey-do lists, just stop what you're doing and focus on the person.

Greg and I have implemented this and it is such a highlight of our day. I get up super early and then, when Greg wakes up, we go out to the couch and have a few minutes... sometimes it morphs into other discussions or lasts closer to 20 minutes. And then the same goes when we both get home. We both look forward to it now.

The other day, we didn't do our 4 minutes and it made me cranky for quite a while. I hadn't realized how much I look forward to my fix. Even when I asked for it, it wasn't enough. Funny, how a such a small thing has such a big impact. I like having two times each day when I get 100% of Greg's attention. He get's 100% of mine. We share, chat, flirt, tease and often cuddle - providing neither of us is straight from a work-out and covered in sweat.

It makes a big difference - Give it a try.