Friday, October 28, 2011
I tried to just maintain, but even counting calories was tricky and we had a couple of weekends where things were totally uncountable and uncontrollable. We went to PAX up in Seattle, WA to rock both our geekiness and also our gamer status. While at PAX our meals came from places that were legally-bound to ask if we wanted fries with that. I didn't count calories that weekend because I can't actually count that high, people. Big, ugly calorie numbers for about four days.
In the end I put T.E. on a plane, stepped onto a scale and found I'd gained back 5 nasty little pounds. Well, T.E. is coming back here to spend the holidays with me in just about 6 weeks. And in that time I plan to lose the remaining 3 pounds of my gainage, plus hopefully another 5 more. These 5 extra pounds will be the pounds that I can gain back while he's here, between Christmas parties and holiday cookie trays and awesome, awesome egg nog. (and can I just say thank god Egg Nog is seasonal -- if I could drink that stuff all year long there would not be enough bike rides and kickboxing classes in the world to keep my ass in regular people pants...)
And then once he flies back across the pond I'll have over 6 months to lose even more! My overall goal, now that I've hit the original number (FINALLY!!!), is to get down to a size that I can enjoy most of the year, but from which I can gain some during the summer and holidays and still like my butt. It's actually a pretty good butt! And we're finally enjoying each other's company again, so... Wish me luck, my people.
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Monday, July 18, 2011
First, a quick update:
1) I has job. It remains awesome. Yay for good job.
2) I has home. It is also awesome, featuring wood floors, a garage and right next door to the lovely riverside bike path, as well as being close enough to bike to work and a seriously good deal.
3) TE arrives soon!
…and now that I’m finally settled into my new place with boxes un boxed and furniture in their furnitury places and knowing the locations of the closest gas station and pizza parlor and second-hand dogfood emporium I thought “Hey, didn’t I used to write a blog?”
Something that I have written about many times in the last 6 months of living back in Hippyville has been my progress losing weight.
(what? You haven’t written anything about that in the last six months…)
Oh yes I have. I’ve written about it at least a couple of times, maybe more.
(seriously, you haven’t. I’m the one person left who’s continued to check this sorry location for updates and not a one has mentioned this. I’m really sure.)
I totally have written about it. I’ve written about all the various things I’ve been doing, and the foods I have or haven’t been eating, and about how I had to buy a second scale, even though I spent years never setting foot on scaley-things w/out being forced, because the scale at my parent’s house was off by at least 5 pounds, but in the GOOD direction so my Dad was (understandably) loathe to get it fixed or adjusted or whatever it is you do to make a scale tell the damned truth for once. I wrote about all of this. I wrote it all down.
I just never seemed to finish these posts, or post them. So you never got to read them. But wrote them I did.
Still, since the words never made it out of the file on my desktop called “UIL” to the big, bad interwebs I guess I should update you guys officially.
I lost weight!
As the year started I decided to do something official in the realm of food management. As I think I’ve mentioned before, my hugely finicky palette means I can’t do a true diet, as I would eat only about three things and, of course, starve. More than that I WON’T do a true diet because I believe when you do something that drastic you may lose the weight for a while, but you’ll gain it all right back as soon as you go back to eating normally. You can’t live the way. But I also knew that after over a year of exercising RELIGIOUSLY (and remember, I don’t do ANYTHING religiously, so that’s saying something!!) and yet moving not a pinch of pounds off of my huge ass I needed to try something new. And everybody kept telling me “you should count calories. Calorie counting is totally the way to go. Your calories – let me count them.” And then I discovered that there is an app for that (shock! Wonder! What are the odds? Can it be true?) which would help me count those calories all the time.
I set my goal on losing one pound per week. And I set my calorie intake to a tiny little 1460 each day. And I said my tearful goodbyes to pizza. And French fries. To oreos and waffles and anything that came on a bun. “Farewell, faithful friends,” I said, caressing their salty sides or creamy fillings. I told my beloved Pepsi that we could still see each other, but only occasionally. First it was lunch and dinner; then just lunch. Oh sure, I thought about Pepsi all the time, but I would be strong. STRONG.
To achieve this calorific goal I had to do some other things I’d always shunned. I learned to drink water. (shudder) Not boring, regular old water with only water flavors – this is a thing I cannot stand, and should be reserved for hosting fish and washing the car. But thanks to the invention of “powdery flavors to make water taste like non-water flavors” I was suddenly a water drinker. I was drinking water every day. I was drinking water at almost every meal! Cran-grape water and cran-pomegranate water and cran-lemonade water – these are now my closest friends. I have a lovely collection of huge water bottles that I take with me everywhere like one of those “fitness” people you see and hate walking down the street or biking in the rain.
I also became the expert on all things “low-calorie.” Now I can tell you, right off the top of my brain, that dill pickles and celery and lettuce all have so few calories as to almost not be counted at all. I can tell you that 53 pretzel sticks = 100 calories, and that sugar-free Jello and fudgicles make great desserts with tiny amounts of the bad things in them. My pantry is stocked with Pirate Booty and Pop-Chips and Oogie’s white cheddar popcorn because they’re all low-calorie ways to get a little salty snack. I’ve discovered wonders such as the thin buns and thin bagels that cut my carb calories to a manageable load; the 100-calorie bags of cookies and cheese-its and brownie-bites; the non-fat flavors of yogurt that sound so wonderfully decadent, like “Strawberry Shortcake” or “Triple Berry Torte but also ring in at a tiny 100-calorie number. Ask me any question about low-calorie foods. Go ahead, ask me! And then punch me in the stomach, I won’t feel a thing! Yes, I am the calorie-countingest calorie counter this side of Calorie-Countopia!
On top of the calorie counting, guaranteed (cough, cough, sputter, sputter) to drop a pound each week, I also took advantage of all the free time that being unemployed affords a person and I worked out. A LOT. I went for a 15-mile bike ride every single day. I took a pilates class for about two months, and after that was done I went to the dark side and signed up for kickboxing classes. Some days I did the bike ride and the kickboxing class on the same day. I called these days “sheetcake day” as so much exercise pretty much meant I could eat an entire sheetcake and still not exceed my daily calories, so many was I burning away. I also started doing these brutal toning exercises I found online that brought my hips and abs and big old butt into a reasonable size and shape. I sweated, and sweated, and then I sweated even more.
I took this goal really seriously, you guys. I felt like this was one of the few places that I really should be able to make a change, as opposed to the job and the home and all the other stuff I was desperately trying to achieve. This one was just in my hands, and all I needed to do was not. Drop. The. Ball. I was pretty damned obnoxious at parties, drinking my colorful waters instead of soda and eating my burgers bun-free and shunning desserts in favor of a couple of fudgeickles, thank you very much. In the past I would have looked at someone like me, putting my body size before my fun, and found me ridiculous. But not anymore. I was tired of being the big-but-funny (or smart) girl. I wanted to be both.
Two weeks ago I finally hit the goal I set for myself TWO YEARS AGO: I am down to 150 pounds. A total reduction of over 50 pounds in that time, over 30 of them lost in the last 6 months. When TE steps off that plane in about a week I honestly think he will take one look at me and decide to ditch his old girlfriend for this new hot chick! I’m proud of myself and what I’ve accomplished. And now I know it’s something I can do just so long as I really put my mind to it. I just need to focus; to really concen- ooh! shiny!
Thursday, June 02, 2011
- I’m counting calories. No more than 1360 of the lovely little buggers a day. It’s such a tiny number…
- I’m going on a 15-mile bike ride, for an hour out and back, four days a week
- I’m taking a kickboxing class for an hour twice a week
- Every other day I do these killer exercises on my hips and my abs and my fanny. They are very, very mean. I hate them, but I think they’re making big things smaller, and that’s good
- I do pee-ups. 20 push-ups each time I leave the bathroom. Many push-ups each day
Saturday, May 28, 2011
- Move back to Hippyville: check!
- Find a (n awesome!) job: check!
- Find a new place to live: …ummm…
Finding a job was hard, for sure, but I’m shocked to discover that finding a home has been almost as big a challenge! Plus I’ve got a much smaller window to do this – if T.E. comes this summer it will probably be in early July. I will need a couple of weeks to get boxes unpacked and things put into some semblance of “away” before he arrives. So I’ve got less than a month or so to find the totally perfect place that I want to spend the next year or so of my life, talk the landlords into loving me and figure out where to find the money for all the stinkin’ moving-in costs.
In Hippyville there’s really just the one resource to find a home – my good friend Craig and this list he has. At first I’d check the craigslist about once a day. Then it was more like a couple times per day. Right now I’m clicking that little “search” button every ten minutes or so. Frantic? Me? Crazy talk…
I used to use all the filters too, but I swear to you there was stuff that was getting erroneously filtered out. Who knows what amazing, 4 bedroom house with beautiful yard and granite counters and built-in genie who grants three wishes I missed out for in that time? Whimper, whimper… It is interesting, though, as you start to build your lists. I’ve got three lists right now: the “must haves”, the “must NOT haves” and the “gosh, that would be so awesome…” These lists, for ME, look like this:
- Two bedrooms
- At least one bathroom
- Takes my two wonderful kitties
- Less than a specific dollar amount (which I will keep to myself, but it’s a HEALTHY NUMBER)
Must NOT Haves:
- Too far away to bike to work
- Shared yard – I don’t mind a duplex, but I would prefer the option to never actually MEET my neighbor
- Acres and acres and ACRES of yard. I want a yard, I do, but I don’t want to be a professional mower of my lawn. (after all, I have a job now!)
- Don’t be… creepy. (you guys who have checked out the creepy places know of what I speak.)
Gosh, That Would Be So Awesome:
- I love porches. I want somewhere to sit and watch the neighborhood not bother me
- Hardwood floors. No amount of cleaning ever make someone else’s carpet not a little ucky
- BIG. The shiny apartment in Metroworld was a big size, especially for an apartment. I’d rather not take a step back if I can help it?
- There are some older neighborhoods in Hippyville which give me the happies. They’re also the spendy neighborhoods, where every house has character and nobody even knows what crack is, let alone how to make or sell it!
- A yard would be cool. A fenced yard would be cooler. A fenced yard with something like a deck? So cool you could store fudgicles in that yard!
I’ve been on the hunt for about a month now, and I’ve had some awesome options snake right by me. I’ve had some people rent a place right out from under me, and had some landlords decide, for no reason I ever hear, that they’re not even gonna let me see the place before they skip me and give it to someone else. (it’s possible I have smells that I cannot smell, or that I type my emails in exactly the same way that serial killers do.) But one of the biggest annoyances? The SCAMS.
At this point I’m kind of the cops for my local Craigslist. I have some regular offenders, or ‘perps’ as we call them in the biz, that I know on sight and I’m lightening fast with clicking those “BAD PEOPLE!!!” flags up in the corner. Are you someone from some totally non-here state posting pictures of a place from totally non-hereville where you live? CLICK! Are you crazy people who post these pre-fabricated addling-things saying people could rent a house for a dollar eighty plus the lint from their sock, and rent to OWN no less? CLICK! Do you tell people you are this service that will FIND YOU A HOME for no money that will be perfect and ‘don’t you worry, little people, we’ll do all the work and you’ll get the most awesome home ever…’? CLICKITY-CLICK!!
Then there are the sneaky people. They post an ad that looks potentially good – much space, wood floors, new appliances, house could be made of gold, etc. But they just happen to leave out any indicator of where the heck it is. No address, not even a neighborhood. This is where they getcha, because that’s the question everybody will ask when they email. Oh, and email they will. These people always use the Craigslist email addresses and never use a name so you have NOTHING to identify them. But still you’re hopeful – it seems so danged too good to be true! So even though you know it has to be hooey, you email.
They reply over a day later with a pile of information you so don’t need or care about: approx. age of the house, nice views, name of the tile pattern on the floor, how many times George Washington might have slept there, etc., etc., etc. But they won’t give you any info on the location because, well gosh, “I’ve been burned by scammers in the past.” (seriously, lying sacks of very bad stuff!!!) Oh but hey, they’d just LOVE for you to move forward pursuing their amazing house of gold and famous sex! And its so EASY! Just reply w/ some info (single or not? What kind of job? Left-handed or right-handed?), your contact info and, while you’re at it, please just click this itty-bitty link that goes to this totally reputable credit report website. And they always say the same thing: it’s ok if you have bad credit! This is just a pesky little formality to make sure you haven’t had more than 2 evictions ever, because if you have had more than 2 they just will have to pass. Sorry.
This is all multi-layered levels of crap. CRAP I SAY! These are bad people, who want to do bad things. I don’t know if they’re hoping to get people’s SSN’s from the bogus credit report site or if it’s just one of those websites that says they’re free, but in reality once you sign up you can never find the place to make them go away and they nickel and dime you to deeeeeeeaaaaatttthhhhh… Either way? BAD PEOPLE! AND CRAP! FIE, I SAY!
The first couple of times I got caught in this trap (and by ‘caught’ I just mean I believed their initial ad and sent an email asking for location) I just threw away their ridiculous email and moved on with my life. But as I’ve run into more and more of these douchebags my patients has… oh, let’s say ‘worn thin.’ Now I send a reply back that states this:
“Oh, I see. You are a scammer. You’re a bad person trying to take advantage of people who simply want a nice place to live. You’re one of those bottom-feeding parasites who identifies situations where people might be vulnerable and you exploit them. You are a pile of crap. Well, now that you’ve identified yourself as such I’ll be flagging your ad as a scam. Good day and I hope you die.”
…and then I mail them one of my patented bags of flaming poop.*
In the meantime I’ll keep clicking that “search” button every ten minutes or so and doing whatever comes next, whether that be calling on an awesome prospect or shooting a bad guy what wanders through my town. ‘Cuz it ain’t big enough for the both of us…
*patent pending, although I've never filed a patent. I'm pretty sure that the patent should just be implied due to how much I talk about flaming bags of poop.
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
I got a job. Actually, I got an AWESOME job! It’s doing something I have always thought I’d be good at, and which I’ve done as part of other jobs. It’s something I can TOTALLY market myself doing for future job hunts. It’s something where the everyday tasks DON’T make me want to kill the folks with whom I work hardly at all!
But more than the job, the PLACE is also very awesome. It’s small – I like small. (don’t tell that to T.E.) It’s focused on what you need to do, NOT “be here for 8 hours every day, regardless of your workload, just so we know where you are.” There’s the opportunity to work from home pretty much anytime I want to, and there’s days off! Sanctioned, approved, “no really, we do think you should take time off” days off! And the people I work with are ALL. TOTALLY. GROWN-UPS. I manage things, but I don’t have to manage people – the people are grown-ups and they want to be grown-ups. The culture is one that rewards grown-uppy behavior. It mocks those who want to be baby-sitted. We’re one step away from arming the staff w/ behavior-modification squirt guns, except that we don’t need to because everybody has such adult behavior!
I <3 my awesome new job.
I’ve been there for just over a week, so right now I’m in that place that I hate, where I’m new and don’t know anything and can’t really contribute. Every time I think of something else I could do I run forward until I’m jerked back, ‘doggy-in-a-Looney-Tunes-Cartoon’-style by the leash around my neck that is “I have to go get someone else to show me how to do this before I can actually do ANYTHING…” Which sucks. It gets better and better, though. On the first few days I could only go about 3 feet from the stake by the doghouse door, but at this point I can get all the way to the back of the yard. I’m hoping by the end of the month I’ll be able to give the mailman a good growling-to!
Once this awesome job hit my radar (the process to get hired was VERY long and drawn out. Many conversations. Many emails saying “I’m still here and still awesome. Just sayin’…” Plus also the company had the whole “I need to hire someone because I’m overworked, but I’m so stinkin’ overworked I have no time to do the work to hire someone!” conundrum going on…) I also started reading this business book. Now, let me start by saying I totally hate business books. For all of the many reasons that one could hate a business book, such as that they’re boring and condescending and chock full of lies and all anecdotal (oh wait – I already said ‘chock full of lies’…) and soooo boring! I’ve had to read some in the past and I got through them, but then when it was over I blotted out all the info from those books as a terrible dream that was, as I’ve mentioned, just chock FULL OF LIES…
But this book? This new book geared toward the people in business? This new book is cool. Stinkin’ cool. And it’s not really just a business book. It’s a book of wisdom and smarts! It’s a book of ‘here’s how to do something that EVERYBODY HAS TO DO ALL THE TIME IN LIFE.’ It’s all about how to make changes. It’s subtitle is “How to change things when change is hard” and I always think “when the heck is change NOT hard???” (Answer: never. It’s always, always hard.) I’m half-way through the book and I’m actually retaining information and, even more shocking for me, spitting these knowledge nuggets out to other people! Heck, I’m borderline annoying in the way that I’m always quoting this book. Next annoying step: when I start buying this book as a gift for others, even though they never asked for it and probably also hate business books because all reasonable people do.
I don’t know that I’ve ever promoted a book or CD or anything on this blog before. This is a first in 5 years of blogging. Feel free to hear a drumroll in your head, or even make the drumroll sound with your fingers on your desk. Or with your mouth if you have the skills. (dirty) Ready? Here it is, my first ever pitch:
Read this book: “Switch: How to Change Things when Change is Hard”, by Chip and Dan Heath.
Tangent: yeah, I know, I had the same reaction. “business book writing brothers? Really? Named ‘Chip’ and ‘Dan’? Really too? But now that I’m more than half-way through the book I think of them as the witty, brilliant Hardy Boys of business book writing. In my head I even heard the voices of Shawn Cassidy and Parker Stevenson talking to me about how to affect change. Just makes it all that much more awesome… End tangent.
…where was I? Oh yeah – I haz a job and is getting up in the morning again, which is hard, but I’m loving it, so it’s totally worth it. Next stop: place-to-live-ville!!!!
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Being a member of the great unwashed (or at least the great unemployed) I’ve got time on my hands. But me, I’m smart! I knew that the fastest way to get a job to show up would be to cram so many cool things into my free time that should a job show up I’d be all bummed about having to go back to work. “Awwww, man!” I’d yell at the idea of gainful employment. “But I still need to learn Italian and tantric crochet and build that full-scale model of the Empire State Building out of pudding cups!” (also kicks toe into the dirt in disappointment…) So far the job hasn’t appeared, but I’m sure it just means I don’t have enough hobbies and classes and idle goals yet.
Right now my free time is filled with any and all of the following:
- Copious amounts of exercise (which will be the subject of a future blog post!)
- Writing (both fiction and blog posts)
- Making vaguely erotic jewelry
- Learning video editing
- Reading all the Buffy the Vampire Slayer graphic novels
…yes, I said archery. You can just go ahead and call me Robin Frickin’ Hood, people! Or no, wait, call me Green Frickin’ Arrow! Yeah, that’s good; that’s my favorite tights-wearin’, arrow-shootin’ dude. Oliver Queen. Hippy-Dippy Millionaire w/ arrows sporting boxing gloves on the end. I’m THAT cool.
I have to give T.E. credit for this too – he’s the one that reminded me how many times I’d said, in passing, “I have always wanted to learn how to fire a bow and arrow…” He also reminded me that I currently have a surplus of time that nobody wants to pay me to fill with their business. Add these two together and you get: Voila! Instant Fish! Instant, arrow-fling-flanging Fish!
So I found a local range that would show me the ropes and I went in and learned these ropes. These ropes? They’re pretty easy. I was asking the owner about taking ‘classes’ and he corrected me: “it’s just one class. If even that. I just show you how to do it, and then you just practice until you get it right.” Honestly, this whole thing has gone so well I wonder if maybe this whole ‘losing my job’ thing wasn’t really just to allow me to discover my archery savantivity and allow me to become the next Hawkeye (of Avengers, not M*A*S*H) or William Tell. (Check me, breakin’ out the historical archer references!)
Plus also you add the kickboxing (and I’m talking ACTUAL kickboxing. Not like “kickboxerjazzercizering for Cardio and Tight Butts!!” kickboxing. Feh.) and I figure I’ll be a real life Superhero by year’s end. I’m working on my costume idea now. Oh, and a name! I need a cool superhero name, you guys. Can’t do Green Arrow (or Red Arrow, or really any names that start with a color and end with ‘arrow’ of any kind) or Robin Hood (yes, that includes Robyn Hood!) Suggestions?
I’m looking forward to patrolling Hippyville in the dark of night, seeking out injustice and crapweaselitude and crushing it under my awesome superhero boots wherever I find it. (oh crap, boots! I gotta get some awesome superhero boots!) It’s gonna be awesome. And only you guys will know it’s really me! You’re gonna be my Alfred and Dick Grayson and Barbara Gordon, all knowing who I am and lending a hand when I need it, even though I’m all dark and brooding and a loner and everything. Still, you guys will bring me Jello water and try to get me to sleep once in a while because I totally need it, even though I’ll push you off gruffly and tell you that evil never sleeps.*
It’s gonna be SO SWEET!
Of course the big problem with this plan is the lack of any pay or dental or anything . Just ask Spider-Man – crime may not pay, but crime fighting TOTALLY doesn’t. So I’ll have to fight crime outside the hours of “work” and “don’t work” so as to still be able to move out of my parent’s place. Because no self-respecting superhero should have to sneak out via the garage. (Unless, that is, they’ve got some killer super-bike or super-jet or something. )
Man… now I gotta get me a super-jet too.
*actually evil does sleep. but at something like 10:45am to around 2pm or so. Slacker evil...
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
OK, I’ll apologize again for the uber-dramatic last post. It’s very not my style to be so emo, and I spent close to a week living the emo life: I ate the emo foods, listened to the emo songs, dreamed the terrible emo dreams. (except that’s all a lie: full disclosure I didn’t sleep or hardly at all eat for the time, and, to quote a friend of mine from HER bad, bad time, “all music was broken.” But you know what I was going for.)
The other thing I did, after the initial wave of “emo” washed through my big, dumb brain, was a lot of thinking. I would go for these epically long bike rides (often in the rain – big shout out to the weather for totally backing my state of mind all of those days. Holla!) and I kept putting two and two together and getting spatula. What I knew for sure was I hurt. I loved him. He loved me. And I really, really hurt. Nothing else was anywhere near as clear.
So I did the thing that every strong, independent, bossy, control-freak of a woman would do in that situation: I went crawling after him. (OK, I’m gonna give my womyn and grrrrl readers a minute to FREAK THE F*CK OUT. Please send your incensed email reactions to the email address that’s somewhere on this dang blog.) I told him the truth of my feelings: being apart had given me an entirely new definition of “pain” and I now knew I could live with some compromises that he’d asked for that had seemed, before, out of the question. I just couldn’t make sense of the fact that we were apart given that the single biggest message from our last conversation had been how much we loved each other.
The other thing I did during that time apart was I went back to the beginning. I read every email conversation we’d had, starting with the ones right in the very beginning. I read the transcripts for all of our online chats that I could. I read all of our skype chats in the last 3 months. And that’s where I saw it.
I watched myself dissolve, right before my eyes.
As I think I’ve said before, one of the things that T.E. has always said he appreciated about me was my strength and stability. I’m someone who prides herself on handling her life stuff and having been able to take care of matters all by myself. Then life kind of went “KABLOOEY” a couple of months ago. And right about then my slide began. Strong went to sketchy to wobbly to “I’m sad! Fix everything! Waaah!!!” I leaned on T.E. more and more because I couldn’t show the cracks in my armor to anybody else. And to his credit he tried, but realistically I did not make it easy for him, and there was a big limit to what he could even do! He tried to get me to talk to people in town, but I can even remember thinking that no, that was what he was there for and I would just lean even more on him.
And frankly I think I just overwhelmed the entire thing. I pushed him out the door, straight into other opportunities that were new and fresh and exciting and easy – all things I definitely wasn’t for him anymore.
Well, long story short (everybody together: too late!!!) we talked, we negotiated, we snuggled (there’s a way to do it on skype, trust me) and finally we got back together. This was actually a couple of weeks ago and I would have posted sooner, but for the first many days it all felt very fragile. Several times per day I’d decide this would never work. Then I’d change my mind and be desperate for us to talk. Then I’d be sure he was regretting the decision and about to drop the hammer. It all felt totally impossible.
But we stayed with it. And we talked. And talked. And TALKED. Man oh man, did we talk. Like talking was going out of business we talked. More than that, we did the thing that I think makes us really impressive: we talked honestly. And each long, heartfelt conversation built us back better and better. I’m proud to say that right now I feel closer and stronger and more right with this man than the day he had to fly away from me. We’re making plans for his trip home to me this summer. And the music is fixed again.
I promise, good people who were actually willing to wait for this additional drop of shoe, that I won’t let the emo stuff get all over this blog again unless there’s an actual death. Or maybe I break a nail. You know – the big stuff. Pinky swears!
Friday, March 25, 2011
Sunday, March 20, 2011
I know you’ve probably heard something about this on the news or in passing or around the water cooler. At work. If you have a water cooler. Or a work. If you DON’T have a work then you know, like me, that these silly little reports of the lack of the jobs? Turns out they’re TRUE!
I spend some amount of time each day looking at the various job resources out there. The local paper, the lists of my friend Craig, specific companies in Hippyville that are the good ones wherefore you could work… I don’t use the Monsters and Careerbuilders because as it turns out the only people who hire from such resources want you to stand around at a kiosk at the mall and sell cell phones. And I’ll be signing up to do that about two steps after I jump off of a speeding train. (because I hear that the pay for jumping off a speeding train is much better. Still, you don’t get dental…)
Today I say this ad: “BUBBLY SIGN HOLDER WANTED” Instantly I knew the hell that this ad was soliciting for. Those sad, lost people who stand on the street corner with signs for cheap pizza or “if you lived at CONDO PLACE you’d be home right now!” and dance around, jolly and cheery and… well, I’ll say it: BUBBLY!!! I’ve passed these people before and thought to myself “oh come on now, was suicide really not an option before THIS seemed like a way to spend your days????” And now I’m reading these ads. I’m reading them because I don’t have something better than that.
Don’t get me wrong: I’d still check that “suicide” option first. I’ve lost my job, my home, my independence and a big chunk of my self esteem, but I have NOT lost my pride. Or my senses. (or my knowledge of quick and relatively painless ways to end it all.) And frankly I don’t have the qualifications. I. AM. SO. NOT. BUBBLY. You could pump 10 gallons of C02 into me and I’d still not bubble, not a bit. (however I’d belch like a sodden dock worker, which could be amusing!) Frankly I don’t know how people in those positions don’t just use those signs, so often arrow shaped anyway, and plunge them into the window of the nearest passing car. And heck, that might even make a job opening somewhere! Multi-tasking!! I know I’d never be strong enough to resist, so this is not a job I could even consider.
Still, it’s pretty depressing to see those ads at all. I have been feeling bad for every single person out there without work in this truly sucky, SUCKY time and I’m sorry to have had to join you guys. I hope some of you are having better luck than I’ve had so far! Keep your sense of humor, your pride, and for ALL THAT IS HOLY, do not become the bubbly people on the street corners flipping around signs! YOU’RE BETTER THAN THAT!
Friday, March 18, 2011
Please do not misunderstand my worry here: this is not a question of trusting T.E. I trust him. His dedication to honesty with me is just one of the various pieces that makes me trust him completely. And I completely believe that he loves me. But I just don’t understand WHY he loves me. I don’t get what the actual appeal is. He tells me that he feels the same, but my friends this is Kah-Rap. Well-meaning, sweetly intended and wonderfully British Kah-Rap. Both because I tell him ALL THE TIME of things that I specifically love about him, down to stupid little details like how loud he chews (the first time we met he chewed through a pile of Chicken McNuggets sounding like he was dynamiting a coal mine. Once I managed to close my mouth I totally swooned.) and his freakish flexibility and the way he loves to hold me personally responsible for the ways that my nation has butchered the language that his people generously allowed us to take with us when we ran away from home, and also because I can see how handsome and sexy and brilliant and funny and a million gallon bucket of other good things he is. And where as I’m old and done and pretty isolated he’s awesome and gorgeous and surrounded, UTTERLY SURROUNDED, by herds of free-range hotties with navel rings and sexy british accents and perky boobs and a much. Closer. Proximity.
In short: I’m not worried that T.E. will cheat on me. I’m afraid he’ll fall in love with someone else.
What the hell does one do with this worry? I can’t make him promise not to find someone better – I’m sure he would but he can’t make that promise anyway. Also you can’t plan who you fall in love with; if anybody knows that it’s he and I. Also HOW STUPID DOES SOMEONE SOUND MAKING THAT REQUEST??? And to be really honest, if he met someone better it would be, by far, the very best thing for him. He so should not have to be dealing with the mess of all-day flights, of listening to me worry about finding work, of forcing himself to stay up so late just so we can talk. The part of me that wants the best for my sweet boy almost wishes he would meet someone because of how much better his life would be.
Then I think about losing him and I throw up in my mouth.
Right now I’m really struggling with this worry. I’m trying to do it without becoming this clingy, paranoid mess, though I’ve really perfected the art of FaceBook stalking every girl that he befriends and makes the mistake of mentioning to me. (it’s that honesty thing again. So much more dangerous than it looks on the outside of the box…) I’m trying to be this low-key, cool girlfriend who, when she hears that he’s got to crash early so that he can get up early to go meet a funny, hot, bright girl for coffee, responds with the blasé “oh, sure, cool, awesome baby. Hey, have a great time, seriously, have a blast. Totally. Awesome…” even if my head is echoing with unending choruses of “The Party’s Over…”
Gosh, maybe this is the good part about the long distance relationship. I seriously wonder, if we DID live in the same city would I be the crazy girlfriend in black trench coat and sunglasses parked in my car with binoculars and a bag of Doritos watching their coffee date from across the street? I own a trench coat. I enjoy Doritos. And I can totally parallel park my car.
Friday, March 11, 2011
This post is for all the smart-but-average-looking girls out there. I’d say “you know who you are” but sometimes you don’t. I’ve had friends who thought that they were part of this group, when they were OBVIOUSLY members of the similar yet different smart-but-also-totally-hot/gorgeous group, and that’s not an easy conversation to have.
“No, actually you’re NOT average looking.”
“Awww. That’s sweet, but I know I am.”
“But seriously, you’re definitely not. Believe me when I say this.”
“You’re just saying that…”
“No, I’m really not, because it kind of pisses off we actual members of this group when you hot girls try to horn in on our not-hot action! You’re hot! Deal with it!”
…see how that’s difficult? Sigh.
For those of you who ARE in the group it’s time for a little honesty. I know many of us have publicly claimed the stance that we’d rather be valued for our brains anyway. This sounds good; noble and strong and “you go, grrrrrl!” and stuff. But between you guys and me we know the actual truth, right?
Being valued for your brains is great, especially when you’ve put a bunch of time and energy into making your brains all big and buffed. (I’m talking about college, higher learning, books and the like. Not, as I fear some of you may have thought, those yucky brain implants that make your head twice the size of a regular brain and with your brains showing and with entirely too much focus on your brains. “Hello??? My eyes are down HERE!” Yeesh…) I like it when my guy tells me that one of his favorite things about me is my smarts – makes me beam and such. But what I REALLY want is for him to think I’m hot! For me to have the looks that makes him and also other guys go “Woah!” when I’m rockin’ it.
Don’t misunderstand about my guy – he compliments the way I look often. But I’ve got mirrors. I know how I look, and I know that his love of me physically starts and goes most of the way based on his feelings for me. Again, this is awesome. Love-based-attraction – dig it! I’ve been there. I’ve had the friendship where you weren’t physically attracted to the other person what-so-ever and then there was that one dance on the boat going around the San Francisco Bay at the end of that summer where you worked at the Beach Boardwalk and you got sweaty and he got sweaty and suddenly you’re thinking “Hmmm. Has he always been cute like that and I just never noticed it? Perhaps I’m very stupid?” …or, you know, something like that but not exactly like that with so many unnecessary details…
But we average looking girls want to be hot! Actually hot! Imperically hot! The kind of ‘hot’ where bad clothing or stupid hair or that morning gunk in the corner of your eye cannot impair your hotness. Because you are that hot. We want that. We just do. And any average looking girl who tells you differently is full of average looking crap.
I cannot tell you how many times my guy has told me that he loves the way I look right now and doesn’t need me to change a thing. That it’s fine with him if I want to work out or whatever, but if I’m doing it for him I can stop right now because he doesn’t need it – he’s totally in love with the (average looking, but he doesn’t say that but I’m thinkin’ it anyway) way I look. I love that he says it, and honesty is HIS THING so I totally believe him. And yet I have a goal:
T.E. is landing here in July of this summer and when he does; when he comes up that escalator (or down those stairs or through that walkway – I have no idea what the international arrivals area of the airport here in Hippyville! It could be a frickin’ portal through time and space for all I know!) I want his ever-loving English jaw to goddamn BOUNCE from my hotness.
And THEN I want him to love me for my mind.
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Did I say give me two weeks? Because apparently I meant a month – give me a month. Sigh.
So it was about two weeks until I got moved, and the overly, ridiculously, crazy-like-a-monkey-wearing-a-bra side of my brain thought things would go like this: 1) move. 2) immediately do the things I like to do, like blogging. Which, as you can obviously already tell, was bra-wearing-monkey crazy. The first week after I moved was all about “how to cram an entire life into a single room plus bathroom.” This was not unlike a life-size version of those puzzles with 8 blocks all being slid around in 9 spaces to make a picture. In this instance a picture of a VERY CRAMMED LITTLE ROOM PLUS BATHROOM.
Oh, and there was also that little thing of finding a new job which, as absolutely everybody in the entire world will tell you (all clever-like), is its own full-time job. Its clever because its true, people: job-hunting is hard, crappy, depressing work. But it’s totally required to actually GET a job – turns out they won’t just give you one.
But even that stuff and the other half dozen little things I’m not whining about would have only tied me up for an extra week or so. The rest of the delay is all about my Dad. My poor, bummed Dad. My Dad who, when I first arrived home, was achy but walking and talking and getting around, albeit slowly and with the occasional “oof!” My Dad who is NOW stuck in bed, in agony despite the HIGH level of brain-melty pain meds coursing through his system, along with almost a dozen other forms of shiny, shiny drugs.
Here’s the highlight reel: He had back pain. He was told “you need to have spinal fusion surgery for two vertebra.” and so he did. He was recovering amazingly well for the first two weeks. Then he had PT and he’s been doomed ever since. It’s inflammation. No, wait – it’s a muscle spasm. Wait, sorry, it’s sciatica. Or possibly, for all we know for sure, it’s gremlins dancing on his spine in stiletto heels. Whatever it is it hurts like a m*therf*cker. The medical geniuses also have him doped up on Valium, so for the first time in my life I have a pretty good idea of what my Dad would have been like if he’d been a heavy, sloppy drunk. (I’m telling you now, I missed NOTHING.)
After over a week of helplessness and misery and frustration and anger I’ve boiled things down to a thick, bubbly bitterness. I have reached the well-informed conclusion that all Doctors are bastards and snake oil salesmen. I’ve forsaken all hope in preference of cynicism and peanut butter sammiches. I’ve even threatened a poor, helpless nurse with handcuffs and a classic Shirley McLaine meltdown. But hey, at least none of it has done any good and we’re all still where we started, so there’s that!
I’m sure there will be more nasty, ill-tempered, growly posts brimming with self pity and loathing – I don’t want to use it all up here! But at least I can say this: I’m back and I’ll be writing. Look for it here!
Saturday, January 22, 2011
Ummm… yeah. Goals… Goals are good, don’t get me wrong, but…
I’m not saying I’m throwing out the goal. I’m not. I’m not throwing out any of my goals for 2011, of which I currently have three:
- 1250 pages this year
- Lose a pound a week before T.E. comes back in July
- Try to get the phrase "Loose Beans" into common usage, at least in the USA
Now here’s the thing: I really hate telling you guys when big, dramatic, bad stuff happens. I don’t like writing about them, and it’s not really what I want this space to be about. I want Unlikely In Love to be about “cool!” and “Wow!” and “crazy!” and “tee hee, snicker snicker, giggle snort (and possibly pee)!” Not “Oh no!” and “horrible!” and “Wail, sob, gnash teeth!” So I’m not going to spend a lot of time explaining HOW things have changed. But they’ve changed, and now they look like this:
1. I’m moving back to Hippyville.
2. In two weeks
3. Because my very cool job blew up on me
4. I don’t THINK it’s because of this blog, but honestly I can’t be sure about that.
5. Yes, that would suck.
I got about 18 pages written in the first week of the goal. I truly think I could have written the extra 7 if life hadn’t gone “Kablooey!”, but given the recent events I’m going to… table the goal. However since I don’t have a job anymore I’m expecting that I’ll have a nice, big chunk of free time to do some catching up once I’m back in Hippyville.
I’m bummed that the job burned me, but I’m not bummed about going home. I’m not bummed about going back to having one life in one place. I’m not bummed about dialing back the crazy levels of stress that this life brought to me. And if I can be one of the very lucky few and get a NEW, hopefully LESS crazy-stressful job pretty quickly this might just be a “win” in the end. Give me the next two weeks to get the big changes made, and then I’ll be back, making crapade out of the crap life has recently dealt me and telling you guys all about it. And who knows – I might actually be back even sooner!
Sunday, January 09, 2011
NO! GOAL! OBJECTIVE! STAY ON TARGET!!!
So as I said before, I have a job right now. And rest assured that I recognize it to be a VERY GOOD job! It has many things that I have missed other places, like challenges and opportunities to make an impact and learning new things, not to mention a healthy paycheck and some very cool people to work with. Honestly if my job were a crappy job it would make life easier: my goal would be “get a better job.” Because now I have to solve the fact that I’m not really where I want to be even though I have a really good job!
The question is this: other than having a job, what do I want to do with my life? And the answer is: figure out what I WANT to do with my life. And do it. While still working my very good job. And not losing my mind.
Of all of the options I know of, and know how to do, and know what I like to do, my answer is this: writing. I like to write. I personally think I’m pretty good at writing. (feel free to agree with me! Unless you’re thinking “really? Writing? You? I don’t know, don’t you find your writing pretty pedantic? Pedestrian? Um… lame?” In which case you can feel free to SHUT IT.) I have this fantasy in my head where I get up on a Monday at about 8:30 or 9:00 am. I pull on my slippers, make a cup of coffee and go to work in my office, where I sit down at the computer and create awesome things that people love to read. And someone pays me for these things. And sure, I may work more than 8 hours that day – heck, I could write for hours and hours and HOURS! But since it’s something I love to do and something I take pride in and something… that just sounds COOL to me… I think I’d love this life. So that’s the image I’m chasing. That’s the objective, folks. That’s the goal.
Now, how to get there? Well, as I’ve mentioned I’m too old to “pay my dues.” Because “pay my dues” is really just another way of saying “be totally poor, live in your parent’s basement, eat Ramen and Domino’s Pizza and try to work your way up from the total bottom.” At the age of ‘really, I’m THIS OLD already?” I’m not doing any of those things. Except the last one. But I’m doing that from the comfort of my own apartment, in front of my own computer, drinking my own expensive beverage and eating a frickin’ steak, people! Possibly also fancy fries! (and here you should picture me thumping my chest like King Kong, all he-man like. With fancy fries crushed in my massive, macho mit! Because ILLITERATION IS BOSS!!!)
With these rules in mind I’m going to continue to kick butt at my current good job while setting myself goals to actually try to write. Write a LOT. And not just to you guys, though you know I love you and all. I’m setting myself a goal that for the year 2011 I’m going to write 25 pages each week. I took off this first week of the year (for swooning over my sweetie and then packing up my sweetie and then, this weekend, moping over the lack of my sweetie – you know, the classics) and I’m sure I’ll be totally unproductive the last week of the year, but I’m going to try to write this 25-page amount for 50 weeks this year. That means a total of 1250 pages. That’s a book, people! Heck, that could be a few books depending on how small the font, how big the spacing and how many pages are actually worth reading by the end of the year!
Don’t worry – I’m not kidding myself here. I know that writing 1250 pages does not an author make me. But it DOES show me that I can set a goal for writing and achieve it. And let’s face it: if I can’t do THAT it means that my fantasy of being a writer is only that: fantasy. So that’s the goal, folks: do the writing. Do the work. Do the Dew. (Except no Dew doing. I hate Dew.) I’ll keep you guys posted.
Friday, January 07, 2011
This night is the part of my new life that I most hate. I put my guy on a plane about 4 hours ago, and now he’s somewhere over Hudson Bay, Canada. By the time his tragically long flight is over he’ll have spent more than 12 hours in the cosmic garbage grinder that is the travel system; he’ll be stiff from sitting in a tiny plane seat for over 9 hours and he’ll be completely exhausted. I’ve asked him to call me just so I can know he’s home, safe and sound, and to hear his voice – even though it will be about 4am for me, I want to hear him because we probably won’t connect again for most of the weekend.
And we won’t be together again until July.
I’m not a crier, as you guys know, but I admit that this day at the end of each of our visits together gets to me. A lot. It starts the evening before, when I start thinking “this is the last time we’ll eat dinner together for months.”, “this is the last time we’ll crime into bed together for months.”, “this is the last time he’ll stick his icy-cold feet on my ass for months.” (ok, some things don’t seem so sad, I admit.) I get blue about two days prior to him leaving and I get ‘great, big, deep breaths’ about a day prior. And the last night we climb into bed together I start getting weepy.
This time around I finally figured out that I should always take off from work the first day after he arrives and the day he leaves. The fact that it took me this many visits to figure it out is one of those things that proves it’s amazing I can tie my shoes. (the bunny goes around the tree, the bunny goes down the hole, the bunny mocks me, mocks me, stupid bunny!... sorry, where were we?) I loved being able to wake up with him this morning, wrap my arms around him, eat breakfast with him, lose yet another couple of games to him. But the pressure of making the most of EVERY SINGLE MINUTE was even worse than previous days. And so were the tears. And at a certain point you just have to ask yourself the question you know your family and friends and all those damned strangers wandering around the airport are asking: Is this really WORTH that many tears?
(As the kids are saying these days)
Please don’t misunderstand: this long-distance thing sucks. I feel like a complete cliché as I stand there on my side of the stretchy rope wall, watching him fill white, plastic bins with his stuff and waving at me from further and further distances as goddamned tears slide down my cheeks. Because remember: I’m NOT a crier! NAHHHHHT! You can poke me right in the eye and won’t get your finger even slightly damp. I could watch Field of Dreams and The Notebook back to back, followed by that stupid “Christmas Shoes” song and nary a tear. NARY! So to have a day where I get gulpy because I catch sight of his passport, or sniffly thinking about eating breakfast alone tomorrow… This is so not me it’s like I’ve suddenly got a penis and green eyes. (probably could have left off the thing about green eyes.)
So keep doing this? Really? Are you sure?
There’s no question. Every gulpy moment is more than balanced by the times when big, warm hands massage my head to calm me down; by songs we sing together and movies we quote to each other; by the amazing silver pendant hanging around my neck; by each time he leans down, nuzzles my neck and whispers in my ear three words every person longs to hear, me probably more than most. I don’t need to give you the words – you already know what they are. (no, not those three. No, not those either. Seriously? Those words? OK, now you’re just trying to piss me off…)
I’m sitting on my couch, kitties pinning me down on either side. I’ve been drowning my single-life sorrows in tater tots and Frosted Flakes since I got home from the airport. I’m taking solace in Criminal Minds reruns because “Hey, at least my sweetie isn’t a crazed serial killer!!” (it’s the little things that really matter, right?) I am supposed to be taking down the Christmas tree, on the theory that since I’m already incredibly blue it’s a good time to do other things that make me blue, but my melancholy has sucked up all my initiative. (and besides, it’s not like I’ll be chipper tomorrow. I’ve got an entire weekend to be blue and do depressing things! Sunday I’m gonna check my bank balance and step on the scale! Shudder…) I just checked my iPhone ‘where is your sweetie’s plane NOW?’ app for the 10th time (“if you look out the right side of the plane you’ll see Air Force Island and other totally imaginary places in Canada.”) and I keep doing the math for when he’ll land. When he’ll call.
And all of this crap is totally, TOTALLY worth it for the big, dopey grin this boy gives me during the four or five months a year that we are together. So tomorrow I’m gonna buy a new webcam and headset and get ready for the next many months of online life until July, when T.E. comes back to me. TOTALLY WORTH IT.
Sunday, January 02, 2011
Here’s the stuff I’ve realized which, at least, bring me just that bitty-bit closer to some kind of answer or plan:
1. I have a job.
2. I pretty much always just have a job. No matter how hard or influential or stressful, etc., a job is a job is a job.
3. My job is stressful. Like “three times this year I wondered if I’d given myself an ulcer” stressful.
4. I am totally up for stress, as long as it’s from something I WANT to do. I’ll take that stress out to dinner! An EXPENSIVE dinner, with candles on the table and a separate wine menu! I’ll babysit that stress’ 17 young, bratty children! On HALLOWEEN! I’ll soak my feet in that stress, and then my head, and then my great, big, stressed-out butt! BRING ON THAT STRESS!
5. However for just a job the stress just stresses me out. About which I can only say: Boo. And possibly also Hiss. But I’m sure about Boo. I stand behind that for sure. Boo.
6. Oh, and also I’m not willing to be poor. About being poor I also say “Boo.” And I currently define “poor” as “I have to decide between a decent dinner and buying a new mop, as I currently have a huge mess on my floor. And also hunger.”
…with these totally groundbreaking and mind blowing and “Wow, she has put a LOT of thought into this!” epiphanies I come to a conclusion: I need to figure out what it is that I really, REALLY want to do. And then start doing that. While still doing what I’m doing now.
In other words, I need to add about 2 hours to each day.
I’m working out the flux capacitor and other sciency-sounding words, as well as waiting for the delivery of my magicy pendant from an old guy in a wizard’s hat, all of which will be the key to turning back or stopping the clock for these 2 hours each day. Once I’m sure what I want to spend those 2 hours doing. There’s a plan! A happy life is right around the corner!