Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Thinking too much

I went for my third acupuncture appointment this evening. I feel like I've been running pretty even-keel overall, but over the past day or so, I've felt like my energy level was just a shade lower. Maybe I'm just not getting enough sleep, but I did mention it at the start of my appointment.

I've been curious about what they've been finding during my previous sessions as I've only overheard something about "heat and I've refrained from asking so as not to distract them. So today I asked Masa, one of the assistants, and he told me that they've noticed and have been treating a slight kidney deficiency. (Which interestingly enough, and probably not unsurprisingly, is what the Chinese doctor said last year when we were in Beijing.) He does the usual pulse-taking, abdominal palpation and applies magnets, and then leaves the room to let me settle in. A short time later, Mr. Kuwahara comes in (followed by Masa), takes some time to check my pulse and then asks me:

"Have you been thinking a lot recently?"

Hmmm. Finals this week in Physiology and Anatomy; trying to figure out how to test a particular feature in the design at work; and sifting through a bunch of ideas presented in this book I've been reading for the past week or so.

Well, uh, yeah, actually. Why do you ask?

Apparently he could feel it in my pulse. He and Masa speak briefly in Japanese, tells me he will return later and then leaves the room. Masa tells me: not kidneys today, spleen.

Well, there you go. I guess I'm just thinking too much. Hope the treatment works, 'cos things aren't going to settle down for a little while.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Not us...

...but still, a very strange headline to see in my feed aggregator.

And I don't much care for the reader letters that have been written in response. But I guess I have a slightly biased opinion on the matter.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

What's in a number?

To be honest, I have no idea what this means, but I thought the explanation was interesting... especially the part about enjoying being alone. The old me? Or maybe the true me?

Your Life Path Number is 7
Your purpose in life is to find truth and meaning You are very spiritual, and you are interested in the mysteries of life. You are quite analytical and a great thinker. You have many theories and insights. A life of solitude is perfect for you. You need time to think and do things your way. In love, you are quite charming. You attract many with your confidence and wit. While you enjoy being alone, sometimes you take it to an extreme. You can become too isolated, shutting out loved ones and friends. Express yourself a little bit more, and you'll be surprised where it takes you!

Ok, so I googled "life path number" and found this on http://www.astrology-numerology.com/:

The Life Path Number

The Life Path is the sum of the birth date. This number represents who you are at birth and the native traits that you will carry with you through life. The most important number that will be discussed here is your Life Path number. The Life Path describes the nature of this journey through life.


A Life Path 7 person is a peaceful and affectionate soul, and by nature rather reserved and analytical. The overwhelming strength of the number 7 is reflected in the depth of thinking that is shown; you will garner knowledge from practically every source that you find. Intellectual, scientific and studious, you don't accept a premise until you have dissected the subject and arrived at you own independent conclusion. This is a very spiritual number and it often denotes a sort of spiritual wisdom that becomes apparent at a fairly early age. You need a good deal of quiet time to be with your own inner thoughts and dreams. You dislike crowds, noise and confusion. You are very thorough and complete in your work, the perfectionist who expects everyone else to be a meet a high standard of performance, too. You evaluate situations very quickly and with amazing accuracy. You rely heavily on your experiences and your intuition, rather than accepting advice from someone; your hunches usually prove to be very accurate, and knowing this, you are one who tends to follow the directions they seem to guide. It's easy for you to detect deception and recognize insincere people. You aren't one to have a wide circle of friends, but once you accept someone as a friend, it's for life. You really aren't a very social person, and your reserve is often taken to be aloofness. Actually, it's not that at all, but merely a cover up for your basic feeling of insecurity. You actually like being alone, away from the hustle and bustle of modern life. In many ways, you would have fit in better in much earlier times when the pace of life was less hectic.

In the most negative use of the 7 energies, you can become very pessimistic, lackadaisical, quarrelsome, and secretive. A Life Path 7 individual who is not living life fully and gaining through experiences, is a hard person to live with because of a serious lack of consideration and because there is such a negative attitude. The negative 7 is very selfish and spoiled. If you have any of the negative traits they are very difficult to get rid of because you tend to feel that the world really does owe you a living or in some way is not being fairly treated. Fortunately, the negative 7 is not the typical 7, at least not without some mitigating positive traits. This number is one that seems to have some major shifts from highs to lows. Stability in feelings may be elusive for you.

Ok, so that's kind of creepy.

Although it's also kinda interesting to note that HM, the old high school friend whom I mentioned a short while back, had talked about astrology and numerology (things I needed to be more open-minded about) during our conversation over the holidays.

Up is down, black is white...

Originally uploaded by tallasiandude.

The tall asian dude continues to be in a pretty good mood, and yesterday, still in the middle of January in New England, it was 60°F.

Sometimes when things are all wrong, things are alright.

We played disc in shorts on a rain-softened field, followed by brunch.

Good times.

Friday, January 13, 2006

ID/PSA * The Kimberly Trip

Just heard this bumper by the Kimberly Trip on Flashback Alternatives:
"This is Kimberlina of the Kimberly Group and you're listening to Flashback Alternatives...
...because corporate radio is the Devil."

...I wasn't really paying attention until I heard the last part and did a mental double-take. Damn WMP, if the RealAudio streams weren't overloaded (Gee, go figure -- buffering and music info encoded into the stream -- who'd want that?), I coulda backed up, listened to the whole thing and quoted it properly.

UPDATE: got the complete bumper after they played it again a few days ago. Heh.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Homework, location #3

Originally uploaded by tallasiandude.

And now the living room smells like incense and my left shirt sleeve smells like smoke... but otherwise I feel pretty good.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Dude, what have you been smoking?

So I decided to give acupuncture a try again.

Maybe I'm just hanging out with the wrong crowd (you know: aromatherapists, acupressure and Reiki practitioners) or I just drank the Kool-aid they were serving when I signed up for massage school, or maybe I'm just getting in touch with my inner Asian, but I've noticed a shift in my perception -- a perception that buys into the idea that traditional eastern approaches (Traditional Chinese Medicine, Five Element theory) conceptually seem like they might be more effective at managing internal physiological and emotional... uh, issues. I've always felt that I was pretty open-minded, although there's also been a pretty heavy dose of skepticism floating around. But I have to say, after a class on Shiatsu/acupressure in our Perspectives on Bodywork course and really finding the "headache pressure point" for the first time, and discovering the effectiveness of Stomach-36, I think I've really started buying into the stuff.

So anyway, I thought: hey, maybe I should try a fresh approach to what ails me. All this depression and getting sick business. And the low energy, and occasional "gastro-intestinal distress"... this seems like it'd be right up Complementary-and-alternative-medicine's alley, so to speak.

So I ended up going to the Culia Ki Clinic in Watertown. I originally found out about the clinic because a friend was attending a workshop with the director and was impressed with his... with something. Over the holiday an old friend HM told me I needed to learn to listen to my gut, and I guess I'm trying to put it into practice. I guess I could just feel that he knew his shit.

Robert, an assistant, did an intake and initial pulse and palpation evaluation and then the director, Mr. Kuwahara, came in and did his magic. It was interesting to notice that he stayed in the room and continued to adjust the needles and check my pulse several times. (This may have been part of the initial consultation, we'll see how much I'm seen by the director in future visits, I suppose.) Some time later, Robert returned and was told how to proceed with the next part of the treatment, and then after that, Mr. Kuwahara returned and did some more things ...and then gave me my homework.

Yes, they gave me acupuncture homework. Actually, I'm supposed to self-treat with MOXA. From the looks of the sheet, it could have been magnets, too. But for me: just moxa, 4 locations. Robert gave me the low-down: there are dots on my hands and feet to help me find the exact locations where I was supposed to place them.

The complete session took just over an hour and a half. I felt alright but afterwards, nothing special... but y'know, I really didn't expect to see any immediate effects -- this is supposed to be energy work after all, small changes occurring over time.

But, I must admit, I slept... oddly last night. It seemed like I was sleeping deeply, and yet I woke up several times, with a feeling I really can only describe as being... intense. Not like, "Whoa dude, that was intense!" There was just a strange intensity about it. A perception. Sorta fuzzy. Maybe it could be better described as a sort of buzz. Regardless, it seemed like I slept pretty well, despite the interruptedness.

Had to take the car in this morning. I officially decided to get up an hour before the appointment and did my homework sitting on my bed. Robert had recommended lighting the Moxa using incense which seemed to work well enough. And it seemed less involved than having to burn a bunch of matches (not to mention that I have no idea if there's still a lighter in the house). Watching the thin thread of the smoke rise, it was interesting to observe how drafts and flows within the room. And hey, incense and moxa stinking up the bedroom. Oy.

At the dealership, I notice myself feeling surprisingly awake after such a strange sleeping experience. Disc during lunch, and it feels good. The field is snowy, icy, wet. By the end, my toes are semi-numb, but I can still feel all of my wet fingers. At one point, I remember thinking about intention, catch myself thinking to myself: this is the world where I catch the disc, this is the world where I throw the disc. I catch, I throw. It feels good to be outside. Then home, shower, work, eat. Then class.


I'm disappointed to admit that I actively dread this class. We can afford to miss one class per module, and I'm pretty sure I'm just going to bail on one since I don't have any overseas weddings to attend this month. Class has been, and is, in fact, annoying. But at the breaks, I notice something odd: I'm ...chatty? People who usually annoy the crap out of me don't seem to be bothering me at all today. Holy shit, I'm actually making jokes with him. I'm... being upbeat?


What am I doing?

This isn't me.


Or... is it?

Maybe it was just the weather: gray, but mild and in the high 40's. Might've even snuck into the low 50's this evening. Maybe it's the exercise. Or maybe things are just falling into place. However, the internal energies are supposed to influence behavior as well as emotion...

It should be interesting to see how I'm feeling tomorrow... especially after I finish my homework. My acupuncture homework.

Too bad the bedroom still smells like moxa. I guess I can live with that.

Monday, January 09, 2006


kat, who's drawn this amazing community around her for AEM and now AW, has a post about the journey and briefly touches on the synchronicity that's been happening in her life. I followed a link over to 37days where Patti has a post on the power of words:

"And these three stories are also about how willing we are to believe the stories we tell ourselves: I'm not as smart as people think I am, I'm an imposter, I'm afraid of bats, I'm not good with money, I'm disorganized, I'm fat, I'm a lousy cook, I'm an overachiever -- we all tell ourselves stories about Self, some that we've told ourselves for years, don't we?"
Wow, that's kinda me.

I often get hung up on semantics and the baggage that sometimes comes along with certain words, but this particular aspect of words (the power of the inner dialog and the stories we constantly tell ourselves) has very recently become something that I'm going to actively work on. I'd almost call it a New Year's resolution, except that I don't really subscribe to the notion of NYRs so much, and it wasn't really so much a New Year's thing, despite it still being generally the season.

And it's funny, this whole business of words and stories and journeys...

Because I thought I was where I wanted to be, more or less, or at least on the right path and generally moving in the right direction. And a few nights ago, I got blindsided. The train jumped the track. The building collapsed. The board upturned. Bicycles everywhere.

And somehow, when the dust settled, it seems like I got dropped right by the road I was meant to be traveling all along. It's not going to be a walk in the park -- there's work ahead to be sure -- but somehow, it feels right. At least it seems like it does so far. The weather changes fast in these parts -- it's good to be prepared. But even so, sometimes you still have to hope for the best.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Keeping Score


  • Countries visited: 4 (China, Canada, Italy, The Netherlands)
  • Cities: Shanghai, Beijing, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Chicago, Montreal, Philadelphia, Ithaca, Stresa, Milan, Amsterdam, Chapel Hill, Albany
  • Airplane legs:24
  • Logged running time: 77 hours, 42 minutes, 46 seconds
  • Boston's Run to Remember Half-Marathon, March 13th. Chip Time: 1:45:19
  • Big Lake Half-Marathon, May 7th in Alton, NH. Chip time: 1:40:33
  • Historical mean high temperature for May in Alton, NH: 61°F. Race day high temperature: 44°F (and raining)
  • BUDA Spring Hat League Tournament, May 21st. Historical average high temperature: 71°F. Tournament day high: 57°F (51° and raining by 3:30pm)
  • BUDA Fall Hat League Tournament, Oct 29th. Historical average high temperature: 58°F. Tournament day high: 43°F (34° and snowing by 3:30pm) (30th: high of 66°F, 31st: high of 70°F)
  • Weddings: 4
  • Funerals: 1
  • Trips to the emergency room: 1 (right hand)
  • X-rays taken: 4 (left knee, left hand)
  • MRIs taken: 1 (left knee)
  • Surgeries: 1 (left hand)
  • Number of stitches in right hand: 4
  • Number of stitches in left hand: 4
  • Number of days with 2" pin in left hand: 33
  • Days showering with a plastic bag over one hand: 20


  • February 9: Start 2-year muscular therapy (massage) program
  • April 6: SOOTTAD moves to Chicago
  • April 19: New job (contracting)
  • July 16: tear Radial MCP ligament of left thumb
  • August 9: Hand surgery

Thank god it's over.