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A (not so) brief history of my online blogging…..

 

We got internet access where I worked in early 1998. It was my first introduction to this medium that would end up bringing me many hours of entertainment, a bad (and recurring) case of tendonitis in my right elbow, an introduction to kinkland, the wonders of online chat, permanently tight muscles in my right shoulder and the right side of my neck, ebay, my spouse, my cat, online shopping and a way to pay bills that was as painless as parting with one's money can be.

 

I created a little shrine to myself on geocities (now yahoo geocities) sometime over the summer and fall of 1998. It included a blog…although there were very few people who even knew what that term meant back then. To me, it was just an extension of what I'd been doing since I was 12 – scrawlin' about the events in my life and my thoughts, feelings and insights about them. Instead of a pen, I had a keyboard and a mouse. Instead of paper, I had a monitor.

 

The biggest difference between scrawlin' with a pen and paper and scrawlin' online, and something I still can't quite comprehend, is that other people would actually happen onto my itty bitty corner of the net and actually read what I had written. Sometimes, they'd leave some evidence they read in the form of comments.

 

My raw nerves and open guts approach to online blogging bothered some people. It's the same approach I use in my offline paper journal….although I do tend to leave out identifying details online. One of the readers of that early blog said he felt like he was intruding….reading something that was so personal that he shouldn't be reading it. He said he felt like a voyeur of sorts. But I don't really know any other way to write about the things I'd write about in a blog.

 

I kept up that first online blog until about 2000 or 2001, although the last year or so the entries were really sporadic. I removed the whole thing in a fit of pique in 2001 and didn't bother to back it up. Sometimes I wish I'd saved it. But then, I have my paper journal from that time which discussed many of the same things….and in much more detail.

 

I stopped blogging online for a few years. And while I stopped blogging, it became THE thing to do. A bunch of sites designed just for online journaling popped up. There I was...on the cutting edge, and hadn't even known it. About two years ago, I stumbled accross Xanga, and eventually started an online blog there. It's at link removed . I've actually kept up with it pretty well, as online blogging goes.

 

I'd considered moving it to myspace…but after surfing a bunch of other people's myspace sites, I got the definite impression that my blog wouldn't really fit in there. Much like how I never fit in going to the bars/clubs when I was single. There's something about shouted conversations consisting of one or two word sentences that just isn't my style.

 

So, the opportunity to shift my blogging activities here arose. I think I'll try this for a while and see how it goes. I mean, I can always just go back to my xanga if I don't think this is gonna work out, after all.

 

It does strike me as strange, though…an activity I've engaged since 1977 that never had an audience until sometime in 1998…and now the idea that what I'd scrawl would get read is somewhat satisfying. Would I let just any passerby read my paper journal? Absolutely not. But in a sense, that's what I'm doing with an online blog. Sure, I may automatically censor myself when I'm scrawlin' and suspect it might be read, but I don't censor all that much, really. Mostly just identifying details.

 

In any event, comments....if you are so inspired...can be made via PM. I considered putting this in the section to make it available for in-thread comments, but I thought it might just muddy the water. I am easily distracted (ooooh! shiny penny!) on my own, let alone when others are luring me off point. So I figured why tempt fate.

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Losing My Enthusiasm For Air Travel

 

I remember when you could arrive at the airport about 30 minutes before your flight's scheduled departure, check-in, head to the gate, get on the plane and be on your way. I remember when you didn't have to partially disrobe before they'd let you get on the plane. (Note: slip-on shoes are an absolute must when flying....nothing with laces or buckles...you'll hold up the line.)

 

I remember when they didn't paw through your luggage in front of you, the other travelers, God and everyone. I'm tempted to find an item that's the right combination of "embarrassing to find" and "not likely to be confiscated or get me into trouble" to put in my suitcase....just to see the reaction. However, by this point, I'm sure the baggage screeners have seen it all. Such an item probably doesn't exist.

 

Now, we're being prohibited from bringing liquids on the airplane. This includes drinks, cologne/perfume, shampoo and liquid foundation make-up. It's a sudden change, so the lines are long and slow-moving as people learn and adapt to the new rules.

 

I used to like going on trips that involved an airplane. Now, staying home is starting to sound better and better.

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Sometimes, It's Better If Someone Else Speaks For Me....

 

....like, f'rinstance a topic that'd make me get on my soapbox and use 3,000 words to get a point accross that someone else could use 30 words to express....or an issue that I'm too close to and involved in to be objective about.....or, like now...

 

 

 

Whew! I feel better now that that's been said. I don't seriously expect anyone who lives outside of my head to have any earthly idea what this is about, though.

 

What I do know is when I have had the sheer unmitigated gall to make assumptions about other people based only on what I can see on the surface, I am very often wrong. And when I have wondered how people can get themselves into some situations....I will sometimes find myself in a similar situation later....and at a loss to figure out how I got there or what to do next. It's rather humbling, really.

 

I like to think of it as the Universe having a little laugh at my expense while trying to teach me something. I must admire the multi-tasking. It's very efficient, indeed.

 

In my present holier-than-thou state of mind, I'm thinkin' I'm not the one who could use a little humbling and Universal adjustment, though.....

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This Old Man

 

So yesterday, while we were out getting some food, my husband brings up my last ex. I broke up with the Old Man (aka "The Cheater") a little over 5 years ago. Only time I give him any thought now is when I'm using that relationship as an example in my posts here. My husband was waxing eloquent about our relationship and just wondering aloud how the the Old Man could've screwed things up.

 

I said the main problem was that the Old Man never wanted to be in the kind of relationshp I wanted to be in. He wanted someone around to clean his house, cook his meals, look after his developmentally diasabled adult daughter who lived with him, and be a pleasant companion/sex partner when he wanted that. Otherwise, he wanted to be left alone to chat online and go meet (and who knows what-all else) any of the women online who struck his fancy. This is a problem when the person you're involved with (me) thinks you're in a monogamous relationship.

 

I don't think I've ever met someone who was so bound and determined to avoid anything he deemed "unpleasant." In the context of a relationship, that trait alone makes it really difficult (if not impossible) to address any problems you're having...whether they be problems you're having as an individual or as a couple. Toward the end, I can't even remember how many times I was told that he didn't want to discuss this because I was being "unpleasant."

 

You bet I was being "unpleasant." There were a number of "unpleasant" things going on that weren't going to go away. He was 18 years older than me...you'd think he'd have figured out that life does have its unpleasant moments. It's quite possible those unpleasant moments can, at times, outnumber the sweet moments. How can you truly appreciate the good if you never experience the excremental?

 

Anyway, when we got home, my husband decided to do a little checking up on the Old Man. For some reason, he likes to do that every once in a great while. I married someone who's not above a little link removed every now and again. It's a guilty pleasure. So, my spouse went to the Old Man's former Happy Hunting Grounds for Women on the net. Lo and behold, he still had profiles on all the sites and they say he's single/looking. One site he hadn't been to in about 2 months, the second site had his last visit down a couple weeks ago, but the one that was his absolute favorite showed a visit in the last 36 hours. Yup, that'd be about the same as it was back then....

 

We scanned over his profiles, and what struck me was this: in the section where you write about what you're looking for in a relationship, the Old Man stole MY words. The relationship he claims to want in his profiles describes what I told him I wanted when I met him 7 years ago. He uses the same phrases I did in the same way I did. That frosts me. For two reasons - 1. plagiarism and 2. he flat out told me on several occasions that what I wanted wasn't possible! Unless he's undergone some sort of magical transformation (which I concede is possible, but realistically think is highly doubtful) that's NOT what he wants nor does he believe it's even possible. However, I'm sure it's an effective way to lure in potential playthings. He's using MY words to deceive unsuspecting women. {imagine sound and facial expression conveying irritation/disapproval/annoyance/indignation here}

 

The only other thing I noticed was in the background of a picture he had posted. It was taken in his living room. The Old Man is still using my fireplace candle holder. The one he thought was ridiculous when I bought it, but there it is in the background, fully loaded with candles just a-blazin' away.

 

Now that we have our own house that happens to have a fireplace, I've been looking for a fireplace candle holder, and I can't find one I like. I didn't take it with me when I left the Old Man, because I never dreamed I'd ever own a house, let alone one with a fireplace. I want that one back....but not enough to blink. My parting words to him were "I never want to see or speak to you again. Ever." I've held to that for 5 years. I know how he thinks. If I deviate from that, he thinks he wins....and I refuse to give him the satisfaction. I will find a suitable fireplace candle holder elsewhere.

 

Incidentally, that relationship I said I wanted....the one the Old Man told me wasn't possible....the one he's listed as his goal in his profiles (grrrr....f'n stole my words.....grrrr)....is the one I'm in now and have been for the last almost 5 years.

 

Living well truly is the best revenge...but I still want my original fireplace candle holder back.

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The Newer, Better Fireplace Candle Holder

 

This is similar to the old fireplace candle holder referenced in the above entry:

image removed

It used pillar candles, which dripped wax all over the holder & fireplace as they burned. Looked cool as all get out, but was very messy.

 

After I got done with the above entry this morning, I thought I'd poke around on ebay and see what I could see. I found this:

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Jackpot! It takes tealights (cheaper, no mess) and I can just set it on the metal grate that's already in the fireplace (which means I don't have to figure out what to do with it or how to get rid of it).

 

The auction ends tomorrow morning. Problem solved for about $20. I love ebay.

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For Zaur/Zardock

 

He showed up on ICQ back in 1998. He lived in NYC. He was 10 years younger than me. We liked the same music. We thought alike. We often typed the same thing at the same time.

 

From the start, he was adamant we would never meet and he was just looking to chat. I appreciated his bluntness on this, as I was given over to flights of fancy rather easily. He did relent when we started kicking around the idea of going to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. He said he thought I'd be the perfect person to go there with him.

 

Every Friday and Saturday night we chatted til 3 or 4 AM. He was from Russia. He was a student. He loved Bob Dylan. He had a diabetic cat who needed insulin shots on a regular basis. His birthday was October 12, 1974.

 

Then I met the Old Man and real life (or what I thought was real life) pulled me away from the computer. Zaur was happy for me. When things started going sour with the Old Man several months later, I logged into ICQ looking for Zaur to talk to. He was there. We talked about our idea of going to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and how cool that would be. I knew then we'd never go, but to talk to him about it that night made me forget about the horrible mess I was in with the Old Man. It took me back to those nights I was still living in the apartment behind the bank and the Pizza Hut and spending my Friday and Saturday nights chatting online with a Russian boy in NYC. It was comforting that he was out there and he remembered my life before the Old Man, because it seemed I had forgotten it.

 

What I thought was real life with the Old Man reclaimed all my attention after that last chat. When I found the time to go looking for Zaur, he wasn't there anymore.

 

Sometime shortly after that, I heard this song. And from the first time I heard it, I thought of Zaur....and I could almost hear him saying it to me.

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Magic & the ipod

 

So, my husband gave me his old ipod. When I say "old," it's less than a year old. At the end of the year last year he won it in a contest at work. This year, they had another contest at the halfway point of the year, and he was one of the top 3 employees on site (again)...so he won...another ipod. The old ipod is a 30GB, the new one is a 60GB....so I inheirited the old ipod. He bought me a hot pink case for it to replace the black case he used. He cleared all his stuff off it, and ripped all my CD's into it.

 

I sort-of know how to use it. I grudgingly admit it's a handy device. (albeit a device that poses a threat to my livelihood in radio as I know it.) But mostly, it sits on the computer wondering when it'll be used again. I take it to the gym when I can get myself to go work out, which I did this morning. Slogging away on the elliptical, this song (from a CD I had completely forgotten I had) popped up:

 

 

 

Yeah, my life in its current incarnation is pretty damn sweet.

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The Emperor Has No Clothes

 

Had an appointment with my dietician today. This marks 5 months in therapy with her as I try to get back and stay on the recovery wagon.

 

For the most part, I feel better. I usually leave appointments with her feeling vindicated -- I'm not nuts, I'm just surrounded by craziness, false beliefs, junk science and unrealistic ideas/ideals about weight and what adult females should look like.

 

I've been reading almost non-stop for the entire time. I no sooner finish one book than I pick up the next one. I have learned that much of what we are told (or more correctly SOLD) in the media about weight/diet/exercise is not true. When most of the obesity research in this country is funded by the diet and weight loss industry, the first question should be "How unbiased is it, really?" not "How much should I weigh?"

 

When we supposedly know more about nutrition and exercise than ever before, yet, overall, people are larger than ever before...why are we blind to the fact that what we've been trying (weight loss diets) does NOT work? We just blame ourselves and go on the next diet that comes down the pike...thinking maybe this time....maybe this one will work....

 

In this day and age it's impossible for someone who is overweight to NOT be aware of it and NOT be aware of the socially acceptable (albeit not very effective...) methods to change that....so how come we still get lectured by doctors, other medical professionals, supposedly well-meaning friends/family and even strangers on the street? I'm fat? Really? Why thank you so much for pointing that out....here I thought I was shopping at Lane Bryant because of their wonderful selection and fashion sense.

 

Here's a hint....you wouldn't point out someone's race or religion to them, they already know. I assure you, as someone who's carted around extra pounds my entire life, I am well aware I'm fat. I'm also well aware of the alleged dangers of being overweight. I feel fairly confident saying that EVERY fat person also knows these things about themselves. We don't need to be reminded. Save your concern for someone who needs it.

 

Really, I'm actually in a pretty good mood today...although you might not be able to tell from the last couple paragraphs. Anger...and the ability to get angry about this and aim the anger at the proper target (and the proper target is not my flabby stomach or my ample behind)...has actually been a sign of regaining sanity.

 

I feel like I finally looked and saw link removed....now I wonder when everyone else will see.

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My Brain Is Hanging Upside Down

 

From link removed, questions from the "Reflections" section at the end of chapter 7:

 

*How would your life change if you believed that your body and mind were fine as they are, that nothing was "wrong" with you? Is this condition possible? Do you want it to be possible?

 

*Are you working on solving any problems in your life? Have you ever asked yourself if these problems are real?

 

For some reason the above questions leaped out at me when I was reading this during breakfast yesterday morning. Weird little quirk of mine...I like to read my ED recovery material while I'm eating. I mulled it over at the gym while I was doing time on the elliptical.

 

What if I'm sane/healthy and the rest of the world has gone crazy? What if my "behaviors" are a sane response to an insane situation? And, yes, it is quite possible that some days, I make a bigger deal out of it than it really needs to be.

 

Is this what sanity is? To order a side of steamed vegetables & a salad with your steak because, good as the loaded mashed potatoes sound, you know they just aren't going to feel right in your body if you eat them. Not because you're concerned about the calories or fat or carbs or any of that other bull...but just because you look at the description of the loaded mashed potatoes and while your brain is going "yummmmmmmy" your stomach is going "if you send that down here, I'm going to give you grief about it all night." So you opt for the vegetables (which happens to be broccoli, and that's cool) and a salad (dressing on the side, please) because those are the only 2 things on the massive list of side dishes that don't make your stomach go, "give me that, and I'll make you miserable for not listening to me..." Is that sanity?

 

While waiting for our dinners to show up, I look around at what other people are having. I see a lot of deep fried crunchy goodness...something I generally don't care to see on my own plate...I'm not much of a fan of the deep fried crunchy goodness. I see a lot of the loaded mashed potatoes and loaded baked potatoes. My brain keeps thinking, "oh, those look good....all creamy and buttery with cheese and bacon...." and my stomach is still threatening mutiny if I do anything more than look. It keeps saying, "not tonight dear, I have a headache." I continue my nosy perusal of the other diner's plates. I feel a little like a peeping Tom. Nope, doesn't look like the broccoli is a popular choice among my neighboring diners. Salads are common enough, albeit drowned in dressing...as if the lettuce was merely a carrier for the creamy coolness of Ranch.

 

I tell myself other people's choice of sides are none of my damn business. I want to be able to choose what I want to eat, free from any judgements (particularly from strangers), so I need to practice what I preach and get my judgements off other people's plates. I avoid looking at my husband's choice of sides when our dinners arrive. The cinnamon apples and mac & cheese are far too gloppy for my stomach to consider. I hope he doesn't complain later about "dinner not sitting right," because then I'm gonna have to bite my tongue about gloppy food that lays in one's stomach like a brick and show some concern instead. I try not to feel better than everyone else because I'm eating my broccoli, which is sitting like a fallen, bright green, little tree on my plate in a little puddle of butter.

 

I fail miserably.

 

If I were to accept that there was nothing "wrong" with my body as it is, I'd also have to accept that was true for everyone else. If I accepted that was true for everyone else, then I don't get to feel holier-than-thou when I choose broccoli over the loaded mashed potatoes. And giving up feeling holier-than-thou is more difficult than passing on the loaded mashed potatoes.

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Dysfunction Junction, What's Your Function?

 

Last night, I got a phone call from someone I used to work with at Dysfunction Junction. She still works there, and is the only person I've kept in touch with over the last just-over-two-years since I left that place. I talk to her every month or two.

 

The more time that goes by, the more that place sounds like a completely different planet. I started working there just before my 20th birthday. I left just before my 40th birthday. I turned in my resignation 9 days after the 20 year anniversary of my hire date. Point being, I had spent my entire adult working life in that place. I had nothing to compare it to, so I had no idea how messed up it was/is until I finally left. Apparently not every workplace is rife with in-office affairs/relationships with no regard to one's marital status....and not every workplace has a good number of folks who appear to have some issues with "adult beverage."

 

And what astounds me, after a little over 2 years of being free of the place, is that the only thing that changes are the names of the people involved....the stories are the same ones that played out in the time I was there.

 

Still, I am fascinated...on some level...by the tales my former co-worker tells me when she calls. I emerge from these conversations feeling very thankful that I no longer work there. There's also another emotion I have in the aftermath of these calls, and it's more subtle...a sort of sadness mixed with the desire to shower....as if hot water could wash off the sort of....mental ickiness....that I'm left with when I hear about the goings-on. Nothing against my former co-worker. I like her, I like talking to her, and God knows, I've got enough insight/history/information on many of the folks she's working for/with to assist her in coping with the environment there.

 

As I've blogged about before, I don't know that I'll ever be able to be happy with the way my departure from there was handled. I don't know that I'll ever completely let go of the feeling that I deserved better after busting my butt for that place for 20 years. Or the feeling that, in the end, it really didn't matter one bit that I was ever there at all...it didn't matter to the company, it didn't matter to the people I worked with, or the people who listened to the station...that I didn't matter at all.

 

I do know that my experiences there, particularly the last year or so I was there, have really transformed my attitude/approach to work. I don't think I have it in me to care that much about a job or give that much of myself over to a job again. Oh, I still care about doing a good job and being professional and all....but I'm not so (emotionally?) connected to it anymore. When I'm not at work, I completely disconnect from it and that's something I never used to do. In a sense, I guess I sort of lost my innocence and grew up. Realized that all that rah-rah "we're all in this together" "we're all one big happy family" "we're all on the same team" crap really was just crap. Unless, of course, your idea of "team" "family" and "together" include backstabbing people to save your own butt and selling people down the river when they're no longer of use to you....

 

When I left, I did what conventional wisdom says you shouldn't do. I burned most of my bridges behind me. I don't regret that. The things I said needed to be said....even if those people I said those things to chose to believe I was just some raving lunatic nutcase. Besides, when I thought about it, I realized I'd sooner go flip burgers at McDonald's to make a living than work for those folks ever again.

 

A decent night's sleep and a hot shower this morning hasn't washed the mental ickiness of last night's phone call away. Sometimes I think the reality of my life now -- healthy marriage with quite possibly the coolest guy on the planet, a new-to-us house we've fixed up and made our own over the course of this year, a job I like well enough in a drama-free environment -- sometimes I think this is all a dream, and I will wake up and have to get ready to go to work at Dysfunction Junction again.

 

When you live in a nightmare for so long, sometimes it's hard to believe it's over when you finally wake up.

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Google is Evil

 

...especially when, out of curiosity, you Google the name of someone you haven't seen in 20 years....and the only links that come up are all him. No, no...it can't be a stupidly common name like "Joe Smith" or some other name that a million other people have, so you get so many links it's like looking for a needle in a haystack, and you just go "oh, well" and go about your business. Nope...it's gotta be that person whose name is just unique enough that only he turns up.

 

I knew him in college...some 23 years ago. Before I really learned that you can't make someone love you...no matter how cute and clever you try to make yourself. I met him my first semester at college. He immediately went for my friend. She wouldn't give him the time of day, so he tried getting friendly with her buddy (me) to get to her. He was funny, creative and good looking. I was smitten.

 

It was a stupid situation. If someone here posted an identical situation, I'd tell her to run the opposite direction. I'd tell her don't put up with being this guy's second choice...don't be the fall back girl. I'd tell her don't try so damn hard to get him interested because he either is or isn't...and that's not under your control. I was young and didn't know any better. So, I ended up hung up on this guy and hurting myself for the better part of a year. Torturing myself wondering why couldn't he love me? Why did my Miss-Goody-Two-Shoes-No-Drinking-No-Smoking-No-Sex friend (the one who didn't give him the time of day) interest him so? Why that red-haired girl who lived in the dorm? Why not me?

 

Why was I good enough to seek out after he'd had the "proper" date with the redhead...but not good enough to go on the "proper" date? I got the late date....smoking a joint, getting some food at a drive thru, and having sex in the car. In a sense, I guess I got some revenge back then, when I "accidentally" let it slip to the redhead that I had seen him over the weekend...the same night she had. At least I knew there was an early date before me...she didn't know there was a late date after her.

 

I had a guy buddy who fed me pizza and listened to me whine every time Mr. Late Date did something hurtful. I had a gay male buddy who said, "I don't get what you see in him...he's so immature." I had girlfriends who told me (repeatedly) that he was nothing but trouble. None of them got through to me.

 

I no longer remember when it changed. I no longer remember how I got strong enough to say "no" to being the fall back girl....to being the second choice. It's quite possible I didn't do anything...that HE was the one who decided I was no longer good enough to even be second. It's a blur of pain and rejection 23 years later...

 

All of which came up when I saw the websites that turned up on Google. I was just looking up people I went to college with. I thought I could handle looking him up. I thought it would be totally neutral...like the other people I looked up. I was wrong. The sewer backed up and there's some 23 year old sludge on the floor of my brain I need to mop up. Oh, I know this is only temporary. By tomorrow, I'll be laughing at myself about it. This...this is part of the mopping up. If I write it out, it doesn't need to roll around in my head anymore.

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The More Things Change......

 

When I was 15-16, I had long hair that was its natural, dark color. My favorite pair of jeans were these bell bottom, low rise things. The waistband sat right at the top of my hip bones. I wore them with a thin, brown leather belt and tucked-in t-shirts for the most part.

 

Yesterday, when I went to work, I didn't bother doing anything to my hair. It was long and its natural, dark color (thanks to Clairol...). The waistband of my jeans was sitting right at the top of my hip bones, and the bottom of the legs are visibly flared. They fit very much like I remember my favorite jeans from my teen years fitting. I was wearing them with a thin, brown leather belt and tucked-in t-shirt.

 

Sometimes I think the only differences between my 15-16 year old self and my 42 year old self are that I have 2 cats, my own money, my own car, and my own house now. I suppose that's not really true...too much has happened and I would have to be willfully, stubbornly ignorant to not have learned anything from the events of the last 17 years. Most days, I still feel like I'm about 15 or 16, though. While I don't look 15 or 16, there isn't a huge disconnect when I look in the mirror...because I don't look 42, either. Generally, people guess my age to be late 20's/early 30's based solely on physical appearance.

 

Outside of basic genetics, I think there are a couple reasons for this...and they have nothing to do with diet/exercise. 1. I only wore make-up on a regular basis for a few years -- late high school to about halfway through college. 2. I got married later in life (a few weeks after my 38th birthday) and 3. I never had kids (decided I didn't want 'em, then found out I couldn't have 'em anyway). It's been my observation that constant cosmetics usage, early marriage and kids tend to age people more than not doing those things. I dunno why that is...possibly the amount of stress an early marriage when you may be ill-prepared for it and the stress of being a parent have something to do with. The make-up? Well, I don't believe our skin was designed to be covered with goop all day...and, over time, I don't think our skin responds well to it. I use a little moisturizer, but that's it.

 

I do recall times in my life when I felt older (sometimes much older) than my chronological age. Given the options of feeling older than 42, feeling like I'm 42 and feeling like I'm 42 going on 16....I'll choose 42 going on 16, thanks.

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The Awesomeness That Is e-bay!

 

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image removed

 

The new fireplace candle holder in its permanent home. I think it looks pretty damn good. It arrived a week ago Friday. I haven't had the time/motivation/opportunity & remembered to take pics til now.

 

That's some of my husband's Highlander stuff & South Park stuff on the wall & mantle above the fireplace. It's a raised hearth, so the bricks in front of the fireplace are about a foot up from the family room floor.

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I'd Like A Little Brain Dran-o, Please.

 

 

 

This song...and link removed voice...have been stuck in my head for the last few days. After his death in 2001, it came to light (well, to light for me, anyway) that he had some issues with alcohol.

 

It figures. I always said you could turn me loose in a roomful of men, and I'd make a beeline straight for the one with addiction issues. Apparently my Addiction Issues Detector System has a much wider range than a room. I managed to pick him out from thousands of miles away....

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New Year

 

Wow. September already. As if on cue, we have rain, high temperatures only in the 60's, and the feeling of fall in the air. I'm wearing a long-sleeved shirt for the first time since (probably) early May.....

 

Even though it's been nearly 20 years since I was formally in any sort of schooling, I can't help but think of going back to school around Labor Day. I want to go out and buy myself some new pens and paper. It's almost like New Year's Eve in a way. A time to start things fresh...in the midst of things dying (or appearing to die...most of it will green up again come spring) around you.

 

With that in mind, perhaps it's time to change out some old thoughts for new. The last couple sessions with my dietician have been focusing on exercise and my piss-poor attitude toward it. It's been difficult to try and discover just the joy and pleasure of moving around and separate it from "you MUST do this so you LOSE WEIGHT or you MUST do this so you don't have a heart attack and DIE." She suggested to try approaching it with "a child's mind."

 

I was active as a child...riding my bike, walking around in the woods behind my house, climbing trees like a boy, chasing toads, and all that crap. I sometimes felt more at home outside in the woods than in the house. It drove my mother nuts having a tomboy daughter. It wasn't what she wanted.

 

I had no interest (and still have no interest) in any sort of organized sports. The idea of playing on a team makes me nauseous. I've always been more of a "solo pursuits" kind of gal.

 

It's hard going to the gym and trying to find the joy/pleasure in movement when you're surrounded by people who are so focused on losing weight or are doing their workout with motivation from a fear of dying. I'm sure not everyone at the gym falls into those mindsets...but the little snippets of conversation I over hear between gym-goers and gym workers lead me to believe a lot of them are. Of course, some of those snippets of overheard conversation also lead me to believe the gym workers earn some sort of commission if they sell any of the nutritional supplement products or nutritional planning services prominently displayed in the lobby, too......

 

Of course, that just feeds into my pervasive on-going cynicism about the diet/weight loss industry. The only weight they'd really like us to lose is those horrible $10's and $20's that are weighing down our pockets and purses. The weight that's actually ON our bodies? HA! The longer that stays there (or goes away and then comes back) the longer they get to stay in business.

 

But I digress.

 

I cannot control the mindset other people have about going to the gym. I cannot control the companies that constantly want to sell me products and services that are based on a big, fat lie. The only thing I can control is what goes on in my own brain and within the borders of my own skin. That begins with paying more attention to my inner world and less attention to the outer world.

 

It's strange to me that I have to be reminded of this. In so many other areas of my life (career choice, sexuality/lifestyle, choice of relationship partners) it was a given that I was going to do what felt right to me and the opinion of outside observers/friends/family be damnned. I did what I felt to be right for me. There was very little questioning of myself/doubting myself in those other areas of my life. So it's a bit of a puzzlement to me that it's a struggle to do that in this particular area of my life.

 

Then again, the other areas of my life weren't getting the constant bombardment from every direction that the area of weight/size/eating/exercise gets, either. Sometimes I think I had it right all those years ago when I was a kid and hanging out in the woods more often than not. I was just another one of Nature's creatures out there, moving around and exploring my surroundings. Climbing trees, walking through fields of tall grass, chasing toads, finding blackberry vines and putting up with getting scratched to reach the sweet, sun-warmed berries.

 

Sometimes I think I understood some things better when I was a kid than I did as a teenager or do now as an adult. So maybe I will buy myself some new pens and some paper. And while I'm at it, maybe I can re-discover my "child like mind" and a new attitude, too.

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Let's Do The Time Warp Again

 

There are some songs that, upon hearing them, I am transported back to certain specific moments in my life....

 

"Eden Is Burning" - John Mellencamp: I hear this and I think of the year I lived an hour away from work and had a hellacious (and very boring commute) every day. I listened to that CD a lot that fall...but for some reason this is only song on it that really creates a clear picture of being in the car I had at the time and being on that stretch of highway....

 

"Edge of 17" - Stevie Nicks: Coincidentally enough, the song came out when I was 17, so my mind goes back to the start of my senior year in high school...and one particular favorite outfit.

 

"Running Up That Hill" & "Cloudbusting" - Kate Bush: The lowest point of my college years...spring quarter...first serious go 'round with depression. I haven't listened to the "Hounds of Love" album for many years because it's too painfully raw. These are the only 2 songs from that album I can even stand to listen to.

 

"Girl With Grey Eyes" - Big Country: On the airplane returning home after a college radio conference in NYC, late fall, 1984.

 

"Rain King" - Counting Crows: Mid-August of the year I met the alcohlic, just a few weeks after I met him

 

"Good Mother" - Jann Arden: Sitting at the traffic light waiting to turn left at a major intersection near the racetrack toward the end of racing season. A chilly fall night, after the races, going home to the apartment I was living in before I met the old man, after having gone out for eats after we were done for the night.

 

"I Wanna Be Sedated" - Ramones & "Rock Lobster" - B-52's: Junior year in high school and listening to a local college's radio station I'd just discovered....and thinking how I couldn't wait to be on a college radio station....

 

"I'm Alive" - Jackson Browne (whole album): That year I was single & not dating after breaking things off with the Dink but before I met the alcoholic.

 

"Fruitcakes" - Jimmy Buffet & "Mrs. Rita" - Gin Blossoms: Living in that one-room apartment...the first apartment I lived in alone

 

"The Freshman" - Verve Pipe: March of the year I lived in the little apartment in the woods...half waking up several times a night, with this song on the radio on a very cool Adult Alternative station that was only around for a few years.

 

"Banditos" - The Refreshments: Moving into the little apartment in the woods.

 

"Synchronicity II" - The Police: My one outdoor tent camping experience. Staying up half the night watching shooting stars. The first time I had sex that really mattered or meant anything.

 

"Hey Ya" - Outkast: Moving here a little over 2 years ago, finding my way around the city the first few weeks, keeping the radio on constant "scan" just so I could sample all the stations in the market

 

"Temperature" - Sean Paul, "Ridin' Dirty" - Chamillionaire, "I'm In Love (Wit A Stripper)" - T Pain & "Be Without You" - Mary J. Blige: Painting the basement of the house before we moved in...and the upstairs painting projects after the basement was done. I'm fascinated by the hip-hop/r&b station...I am a middle aged Asian American female...my husband has a hard time reconciling those two things.

 

"A New Day" - Celine Dion: Normally Celine makes me barf, but the lyrics of this song bring back the few weeks after I met my husband.

 

"Torn" - Natalie Imbruglia: First trip to Vegas (by myself), in the hotel room, writing in my journal at 3AM.

 

"Kiss The Rain" - Billie Myers: Coming home from the Vegas trip and the doomed LDR that followed it.

 

"Take The Long Way Home" - Supertramp, "Prove It All Night" & "Candy's Room" - Bruce Springsteen: Sophomore year in high school....before it got all stupid

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I ~heart~ My Swiffer Sweep-n-Vac

 

I live in 1400 sq. ft. house, 1150 sq. ft. is either hardwood floor (3 bedrooms, hall, front room), laminate floor (kitchen/dining area) or vinyl floor (1.5 bathrooms). I bought a link removed about a month ago, and it freakin' rocks.

 

It really doesn't take a whole lot to make me happy anymore.

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Scary Monsters

 

Something is brewing in my brain, but I don't yet know what it is. I know the feeling though. The feeling that something is formulating below the surface, the feeling that subtle yet important connections are being made. I keep poking at the still-covered lump in my brain, curious as to what it is and when it will be revealed to my conscious, waking self.

 

All that is hidden and all that is in process sends out little notes when it starts to become active and is preparing to emerge into consciousness. I tend toward slow realizations rather than sudden revelations. It's less jarring to one's psyche that way. And I've been finding notes from the shadow part of my brain lately.

 

I listened to an album last night that I haven't listened to in years. When it was new (in 1985), I listened to it constantly. That happened to coincide with the time I was at a very, very low point in my life. Quite possibly the lowest point of my life to date. And link removed was the soundtrack for it.

 

For a long, long time, listening to it was like walking through a minefield. I couldn't do it without churning up a lot of crap and ugliness. Last night, though, I sat through the whole thing...and it was ok. I could actually hear it and not hear all my own BS.

 

There was no pain, no anguish, no horrible memories. The only thing that came up was thankfulness for the failure. Because if I had succeeded back then in 1985...when I was listening to that album all the time...if I had actually managed to take my own life...I would've missed out on all my life is now.

 

And that would've been far sadder and painful than the circumstances of my life as it was in 1985.

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History Lesson

 

I've been keeping a journal more or less constantly since 1977. One of the things this allows me to do is look back at my life and get a pretty clear picture of what it was like mentally and emotionally at various points in the past. It's funny how you really do forget stuff over time.

 

I was rummaging through a couple of the boxes where I keep my old notebooks last night. Looking back at 5 years ago around this time and 10 years ago around this time. Things have changed so much that it really seems like someone else's life. The down side to having that written record is being reminded of things that are really better forgotten. Yeah, I had a little of that last night, too. But it's the risk one takes when the lid comes off what I've come to think of as a sort of link removed.

 

Side note: I think this interpretation of the myth is the more accurate one:

In another, more philosophical version of the myth, hope (link removed) is considered the worst of the potential evils, because it is equated with terrifying foreknowledge. By preventing hope from escaping the jar, Pandora in a sense saves the world from the worst damage.
In many, many cases "hope" does more damage than good....but I digress.

 

One thing I did learn as I was reading was that it was 10 years ago around now that I had my last hard-core, unreciprocated crush on someone. It was somewhat comforting to know that I haven't embarrassed myself like that for 10 years now...but a little uncomfortable to read about it.

 

I also found a couple of passages that I had copied out of link removed:

 

That's the problem with the truth. The truth is relentless. It won't leave you alone. It keeps creeping up on you from every side, showing what's really so. That can be annoying.

 

Boy, howdy, can it ever be annoying. Those few sentences really hit home with me when I first read this book. That would've been when I was recovering from my neck surgery and into the last few months with the Old Man. The truth of that relationship had been presenting itself since Day 1, and I put on blinders until I could no longer deny the truth.

 

Since then, I always think of these few lines whenever stuff comes up that I don't want to look at.

 

There are times when you may have to give up Who You Are in order to be Who You Are. In order to have yourself as a man of peace, you may have to give up the idea of yourself as a man who never goes to war.

 

The same is true in the most individual and the most personal relationships. Life may more than once call upon you to prove Who You Are by demonstrating an aspect of Who You Are Not.

 

Yup. That was relevant at that time, too. In some areas of my life, I'm thinkin' it might be relevant now.

 

Other than that, my big thrill yesterday was stumbling accross $2.15 a gallon gas and trying out link removed. It was pretty good. Three things I'd change to suit my personal taste: 1. I'd use a better cut of meat, 2. Skip or cut down the time on the marinating step...the beef picked up too much of the red wine flavor for my liking, 3. I'd cut the recipe by about half because there's only the two of us and it didn't look like we'd even made a dent in it after we had dinner.

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My Litany Of Physical Complaints OR TMI!!

WARNING: If you are squeamish about the workings of the female reproductive system, skip this one....it really is TOO MUCH INFORMATION.

 

Alright...so, there I was, in my late 20's. I had been on the pill since the second I turned 18 and I was ready to stop that. When I stopped taking the pill, I also stopped having periods. That didn't seem right, so it was off to the gynecologist to figure out what the heck was going on (or not going on, as the case may be). Anyway, long story short, that's when I was diagnosed with link removed.

 

After celebrating my basic infertility (I had decided long before the diagnosis that I was NOT mommy material), and having a bitter chuckle over the irony of developing an eating disorder when one of the symptoms of PCOS is excess weight, I learned to live with a highly irregular menstrual cycle. Basic ground rules laid down by the gyno were if I had no period for 3 months, I was to take a pregnancy test (a CYA move on the gyno's part) and, after that came back negative, it was 10 days of progesterone at 10mg. a day to induce a period.

 

When we moved here, I got a new gyno, who further diagnosed me with link removed after I had a pelvic ultrasound last year. Well...that explained a few more things about the (non)-functioning of my reproductive organs. The new gyno's mandate was no period for 6 weeks + a negative pregnancy test = 10 days of 10mg progesterone a day to induce a period.

 

So, I started my 10 days of progesterone on August 24. After 5 days on the progesterone, it goes one of two ways....I either get very weepy and nearly suicidally depressed OR I get so irritated I can't stand to be around anyone. Either way, I always get the physical symptoms - bloating & cramping. This go-round it was the irritability. I wrapped up the 10 days of progesterone September 2....and waited for the bleeding to start. Usually that takes 3-7 days after the last pill.

 

Nope. But in the interim, I was treated to a hellacious hot flash -- woke up at about 2am, burning up and absolutely drenched. The only time I experienced anything close to that was when I've been sick with a very high fever. I also had continued cramping, bloating & irritability. Oh, and a couple more body temperature regluation issues...but nothing like the one previously described. Yup. Just a Merry Little Sunshine, me.

 

Today....10 days after I took my last progesterone tablet...I FINALLY started my period. Thank God. Another 2-3 days, and the cramping, bloating, irritability and constant discomfort will go the hell away.

 

Just in time for my annual check up at the gyno.

 

Apparently, this September is MY personal reproductive health month.

 

Ugh.

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Drama Kings & Queens

 

The amount of DRAMA(!!!) some people allow in their lives just stuns me. Given the choice between adding layers of complication and complexity or keeping things simple, I'll choose simple the overwhelming majority of the time.

 

My payoff for keeping it simple is a relatively stress-free existence, ability to sleep at night, peace of mind, a bank account with a few extra dollars in it, a reasonably functioning body (no digestive problems, high blood pressure or other stress-related nastiness) and a realtively clutter-free house. These are all things I couldn't imagine giving up/living without.

 

Yet everyday, I see people who seem to go out of their way to make their lives more difficult...and I always wonder what for? Why do you do that to yourself?

 

The other day I was driving to work, and a traffic light turned yellow, so I stopped. The driver of the vehicle behind me (who was on her cell phone while driving) decided that whatever she had to do was far more important than what anyone else on the road had to do. So, she cut over in the left turn lane, passed me with a dirty look, and ran the red light. About 2 miles down the road, I stopped for another red light...and guess who was the car in front of me. A great lot of good her running that red light did, huh? Got her a WHOLE CAR LENGTH ahead of me who stopped for that red light.

 

Dunno about anyone else, but I find operating a vehicle challenging enough to require my full attention most of the time. I don't need to add the additional challenge of dialing/answering a phone and trying to carry on a conversation.

 

A note to all the folks in the world who are on cellphones while they're driving, who are driving the big tanks that have a monthly payment bigger than my mortgage, who are up to their eyeballs in debt because everything they have has to be the biggest and best, the latest and greatest --- Get over yourselves. You're not that important. No one is.

 

The rest of us don't care what you're driving, what you're wearing or what neighborhood you live in. However, we'd like it if you'd STOP WHEN THE FREAKIN' LIGHT IS RED.

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The Library Is My Friend

 

I have always loved the library. Just the idea of it appeals to my thrifty (some would say "cheap")/spartan nature -- You can go to this place, select a bunch of books, dvds, cds...and walk out with them for FREE. And when you're done, you take them back so they're not cluttering up your space collecting dust, and you get MORE stuff for FREE!!!

 

I am especially liking it since my renewed, active efforts at recovery. In a sense, I am reading my way out of this insanity. So many books on the non-dieting approach, on the whacked culture we're living in (and why so much of it is contrary to the physical reality of our bodies), on the idea that you don't have to be super-skinny to be healthy or physically fit. If I had to buy them all, I couldn't afford to be reading at the pace I have been.

 

Thus far, the library here has had EVERY title I've been looking for. And they have an online system where I can reserve books from home and have them sent to the branch that's a mile away. They e-mail me when my selections are ready for pick-up. I find this so freakin' cool I can hardly stand it. Especially now that I have found a treasure trove of books on these topics here: link removed

 

It has been several weeks since I ate past the point of "full." This is progress. The last time I ate too much, I spent the entire evening full and uncomfortable, slept horribly, and was still feeling it until midway through the following day. I thought to myself, "This sucks. We really need to avoid doing this because it just makes me feel like crap." That was the big insight...the huge "a-ha!" moment...the "eureka!" And like most of those kinds of things it seems so simple and small taken out of context that to most people outside my head the reaction would be, "well, DUH!"

 

Now the challenge becomes "How do I hold on to this?" How do I hold on to this in the face of a culture that, for the most part, wants to flock to ideas that are 180 degrees opposition to what I know is true? How do I hold onto this in the face of a medical profession ("experts"), many of whom would reduce me to the raw numbers of height & weight and hand me a 1200 or 1400 calorie-a-day diet that I KNOW doesn't work and will only cause MORE problems? How do I hold onto this when I'm shopping for clothes and nothing fits (and what does fit looks horrible)? It's easy enough to hold onto my truth when I'm surrounded by books about a non-diet approach, or books about being fit at any size, or at my dietician's office, or in any other supportive environment. But how do I hold onto it when I'm in a hostile environment? And how do I hold onto it when that hostile environment is more prevalent than the supportive ones?

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