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Just As I Suspected....


Currently reading link removed by J. Eric Oliver.


By now, I've figured out that the anti-fat sentiment actually had very little to do with anyone's health. I know that a lot of it is fueled by money and profit. But just a few chapters into this book, I am being exposed to new ideas.


It's not just money and profit. It's fear and social status and racism and classism and biology and genetics and a shift in how we live. There are so many levels to it, so many different ways to look at it. And even though "conventional wisdom" and what we've been doing isn't working, it's still touted as the solution.


The section on bariatic surgery was scary. Doctors purposely taking healthy/functioning organs and cutting them up to make them meet the definition for dysfunctional and sick, all in the name of losing weight. However, along the way they end up creating a whole host of new health issues for people having the surgery -- malnutrition, intestinal problems....with no guarantee that weight loss will be permanent/sustainable and the risk that health issues such as heart issues and diabetes will not be improved. In years past, these types of surgeries were reserved for very, very large people, there are now aggressive bariatric surgeons who keep pushing the threshold for surgery ever lower. It's sad and infuriating.


But I will continue reading this book anyway. Even though it pisses me off. Even though it indicates that I -- and all of us -- are being lied to left and right about this topic. Even though it takes what we think we "know" about weight and weight loss and health and questions the wisdom of conventional wisdom. Such as...we've always blamed weight for being a cause of Type 2 diabetes. However, if that was a cause, then thinner people wouldn't develop it (which they do) and everyone who got under a specific weight threshold would be able to resolve it (which they don't). Fat Politics suggests that perhaps we've been looking at it wrong -- that the genetic predisposition to develop that disease also makes it likely that a person will gain weight. The weight is a SYMPTOM rather than a CAUSE....and you don't solve a problem by treating a SYMPTOM.


It's a complex, multi-faceted issue that's not going to solved by a diet. If that was the solution, it surely would've worked by now.

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What The Heck Does THAT Mean?


My horoscope in today's paper:


Taurus (April 20-May 20). Stonecutters sometimes hammer away at a rock a hundred times without seeing so much as a crack. Then, on whack number 101, it all comes apart. Keep pounding away; you're about to break this thing open.


I mean, jeez, that almost sounds good. I just wonder what the "thing" that's about to break open IS.....


When some things "break open," it's messy...and may require stitches.

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....But Any Idiot Can Have A Kid


A news item that makes some sort of parent-licensing sound good: link removed. Apparently they could stop playing online enough to have sex, huh? I see stuff like this, and I think of a couple people I know who really want/wanted kids (and would've been great parents) and couldn't have them. I suppose the good news is the kids aren't dead.


Everything I've been able to dig up on this incident declines to identify what online game these idiots were playing. I mean, I've lost plenty of time sitting in front of WoW, but my house is clean, I'm gainfully employed, I manage to go to the gym & yoga classes, we have home-cooked dinner most nights, my cats are fed and their litter boxes are clean. I joke about having a problem with the Warcrack, but the fact of the matter is I don't. Do I spend a lot of time playing? Yes. I also attend to all the other things that are necessary to keep life going, so I know that doing both is possible


I guess I just don't get why you would have/keep a child if you're unwilling or incapable of taking care of it. Back when I was single and before I found out I was infertile, I was sooooooooooo hyper about getting on the pill. I knew I didn't want a kid, and I knew there were steps I could take to greatly reduce the risk of ending up pregnant. So, I took them. And it wasn't all that difficult. In fact it was a freakin' cake walk compared to what getting knocked up at 18 or 19 or 20 woulda been like.


I've been really irritable lately. I see stories like this, I see posts on here, I see people I know in the offline world....and I see the many, many ways they complicate their lives through the things they think and the choices they make. Heck, I get my panties in a twist when I catch myself complicating things in my own life. It just seems like I've seen a lot of this manufactured complexity around me (but not necessarily in my life) lately. Most times, it's not my place and it's not appropriate for me to say anything, so I bite my tongue and mind my own business.


Really, kids, it ain't that hard. It doesn't have to be that hard. Don't come cryin' to me because you chose to make it that hard. Because, if asked, I'm likely to tell you that you brought a lot of that complexity down on yourself.

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I Certainly Wouldn't Say That I Was Stuck In A Rut....Stuck In A Rut....Stuck In A Rut.....


Got bored yesterday, went looking at my old Xanga blog which covers from 9/2004 until I moved my blog here. My God, I am freakin' whining about some of the same damn things 3 years later. Ugh. Witness the downside of journaling. There is nothing new under the sun, everything just comes around again. Our tiny attention spans forget and so the recycled, re-packaged garbage looks new to us when we encounter it again. SSDD, indeed.


In other "running over the same old ground" news, it's another Dreams Of Exes Week in my brain. Last night, it was the fling at my former place of employement...the night before, the alcoholic made a guest appearance. Boy-oh-boy, I can hardly wait until senility sets in...then I can have these involuntary memory recall sessions in my waking hours, too. Between that and the adult diapers, it sounds like a real treat!


The Monday night yoga class I started last week is a little more advanced than the Thursday night class I started in June. It's not markedly beyond my abilities, really. We worked on Moon Salute variations Monday night and the backs of my thighs are still a little sore from all the stretching. It's good, though...feels like I Did Something. Planning on going to the gym tonight since my husband's working late.


From the "saving myself frustration" department: I have noticed that if I suggest going to the gym, my husband is all gung-ho about the idea....until it's actually time to go. Then it becomes a 50-50 shot if we'll actually make it. If he decides he doesn't want to go for whatever reason, I tend to let that dictate what I do. Then I get annoyed and blame him because I didn't go. So, lately, I have been trying to change how I'm approaching this. I cannot count on him to make sure I get to the gym (nor should I expect him to). He apparently isn't ready to make that a regular part of his life, and it's not my place to get him to make that decision and do that. He has to come to that conclusion on his own.


The lower-frustration solution then, is to plan on going at times when he's not around anyway (like when he's at work and I'm not) or figure on going without him (like on Sundays when we're both off and I'm up early and he's not). My yoga classes are all at times when he's working, so they're not the issue. The 'getting to the gym to do cardio and weights" part is the issue. I did real well the week I was off work...going to the gym or walking around the neighborhood or going to a yoga class almost every day.


Now if I could just figure out a low-frustration solution for the crap food he wants to have in the house.... When I've been single, I simply don't buy stuff like chips and ice cream and junky food when I go to the store. On the rare occasions I did crave something like that, I'd get a small package and go to town. For the most part, though, when I was single that stuff just wasn't around at home. It wasn't easily available, and I didn't miss it. However, when it's there (particularly if it's visible and insists on reminding me it's there), I'll eat it.


I'm not going to be the food police and say "no chips or ice cream in the house." Just because I'd rather not have any doesn't give me the right to make that decision for anyone else. So I have asked him (....politely and repeatedly with an explanation of why I need him to do this.....) to put these food items away in certain locations where I'm less likely to see them. Don't leave the bag of chips on the baker's rack or on top of the fridge...put it in the cabinet on the top shelf (which he can easily reach, but I can't), so I don't see them. Stuff like that. And he does it...as long as he remembers to. (You can see where this is going, can't you?) I mean, I thought this was a pretty fair solution...put those food items you want where I won't see them because I'd rather not eat them. Maybe it's not, I don't know. I know he's not leaving the crap out intentionally. More than anything it's just laziness. But it can get annoying because I'd really rather not have any of that stuff in the house at all.


I understand it's my responsibility to choose what I eat and how often I exercise, but dammit, I don't want to have to think about it all the time and be hyper-vigilent all the time. I have this bizarre idea that I have a right to be able to relax in my own house sometimes.


As complaints about a spouse/SO go, I know this is all small stuff. It's really not that important to the larger picture. But it can get mighty damn annoying at times.....


Edited to add: Give yourself bonus points if you caught the Monty Python reference in the title of this post.

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The Sound Of Things Ending


I was listening to the Velvet Underground album link removed the other day. It was the band's last studio album. And it struck me several years ago that it is the sound of things ending.


I had this on vinyl when I was still in high school. I didn't get around to getting it on CD until August 2000. I was doing a road trip with my last bf when I bought it. He was out of town on business, so we were driving separately to our weekend destination. I listened to the Velvet Underground CD in the car on the way to that destination and on the way home after the weekend.


Looking back, it was an eventful weekend. I can see now that was the weekend I realized at a very deep and significant level that relationship was not going to work. Oh, yeah, I hung around for another 10 months just to make sure it was really dead. There were some other reasons I hung around that much longer, one of which was having the surgery for a herniated disk. I made a conscious decision to put the relationship issues on the back burner when the disk in my neck blew up because I needed to focus my full attention on getting that diagnosed, treated (surgery), and recovery, so that accounted for about half of that 10 months I continued to hang around with the corpse of a relationship.


Anyway, as I was driving home from that weekend...the last weekend in August (which always sorta feels like the end of summer)...knowing that the relationship was probably over...listening to the last album the Velvet Underground recorded...I realized that album was the way things ending would sound.


Looking back, what prompted me to buy that CD the day before that weekend trip was having this song (which, appropriately enough, was the last song on the original vinyl album) stuck in my head:

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I Don't Like Mondays


Weekend was pretty good. A whole lot of cleaning and food prep in advance of my husband's birthday party yesterday afternoon. I made deviled eggs (with a tomato rose & celery leaf garnish), a fruit salad in a watermelon basket, a veggie & dip tray (with green pepper "bowls" for the dip), potato salad, and meat & cheese trays for sandwhiches. A friend of mine who is in culinary school (...grr...jealous....) made the cake. She did this really cool fondant-covered cake and made it look like one of the drums in my husband's drum kit.


Over the weekend, a somewhat anti-Warcrack thread popped up. I told my husband about the thread and some of things that were discussed on it and that sparked off some interesting conversations between us. Outside of the small number of people who truly develop addiction issues with the game, how is it really any different than any other activity people become immersed in, really?


I think back to people I have known throughout the years. I remember one gal I used to work with. At one point, she joined a church and in a very short period of time, she started spending all her time with other church members and had little or no time for her non-church friends anymore. Eventually, she took a job at the church-run radio station and worked for the church.


When I first discovered the kinky community/kink lifestyle, I immersed myself into it. For a time, outside of work, nearly all of my contacts were with other kinky people. For entertainment, I went to kink events -- munches, demos, workshops, weekend events. After a while, it began to be pretty much all the same thing and some balance returned, and I incorporated non-kinky folk and non-kink related activities into my life again.


When I owned/raced horses, I spent a lot of my non-work time in that world. If I happened to be involved with someone who didn't care for horses, the amount of time I spent doing that caused a lot of friction.


There are also plenty of other activities people engage in on either a participant or spectator level that can have the same sort of "life taken over" effects that cause problems in relationships with people who are not into those activities. If there weren't, terms like "Football Widow" and "Golf Widow" would not exist.


I suppose an argument could be made that those things are different because they involve face to face involvement with other people and they involve some level of physical activity whereas WoW doesn't. But that's really just the way nearly all aspects of our lives are anymore...they're more automated and more sedentary.


I mean, I don't have to go to the BMV to get my plates renewed -- I can just go online and renew my registration, pay with a credit or debit card, and my new tags come in the mail. I don't have to go to the (minimal) effort of writing a check and mailing a bill to pay it...I can just go online and click my mouse a few times and it's paid. I don't have to call or physically go to a pizza place to order a pizza...I can go online, order & pay, and about a half hour later, there's a guy with a Papa John's sign on his car standing at my door with what I ordered. I don't have to physically go to a store and walk around looking for whatever items I want to buy. I can go to ebay or link removed or link removed or any number of other online shopping venues, click my mouse a few times, and in a few days the stuff is delivered right to my lazy ass. I no longer have to go to a movie theatre or a video store if I want to watch a movie...I can download it on my computer, have DVD's sent to me, or order it from my cable provider when I want it. Some people don't even have to physically go to work everyday because of technology. They work at home and use technology to send their completed work to their employer.


I could go on, but I think that illustrates the point. Technology has made just about every area of our lives a little less face-to-face with others and a little less physically active. Warcrack -- and other online games -- are just another facet of a much larger trend. For people like me who tend to prefer our own company and don't like crowds much, "once-removed" social interaction (not face-to-face) is good enough to meet whatever social needs we have much of the time. There is certainly a social aspect to Warcrack, although most of the time I choose not to participate in it. I play Warcrack to get away from the BS that comes with dealing with other people's drama, I don't need in-game BS.


Anyway, yet again, the "I lost my friends to Warcrack" isn't really a new phenomena. The details change, the activity changes, but the basic pattern has been going on for longer than my lifetime. Two facts remain: 1. Change is the only constant. Throughout our lives, we will change, our interests will change, and through that, the people we share the journey with will also change. 2. There is nothing truly new under the sun. Specifics may change, but human behavior tends to follow some very predictable patterns much of the time.

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I'm Mad As Hell....


...and in my head, I hear and see a Monty Python bit:


"A precision display of bad temper" by the men of the Derbyshire Light Infantry

Bly goodness me, I am in a bad temper today all right, two, three, damn, damn, two, three, I am vexed and ratty. (shake fists) Two, three, and hopping mad. (stamp feet)


...because if I don't find a way to bring some humor to it, I'm going to be inspired to commit some verbal skewering. That gets us nowhere.


And what has my panties in a bunch? Oh, just another fat-people-bashing thread that was going to go un-commented on. Had these folks said some of these things about people of a certain ethnic background, or religion or gender, others would've been all over it. But since it's just bashing fat people....


So, I said something. And that sparked more anti-fat sentiment and fat hatred. And the thread got closed. Since I didn't get any love notes/warnings from the powers that be, I'll assume that I managed to remain tactful enough. But with as pissed off as I was, it was very very difficult.


And that part of me Who Knows Better is laughing, and asking, "Why are you even bothering to get the slightest bit annoyed by something posted on an Internet message board?" I know that part of me is right. As I am fond of saying, they have a right to have an opinion...even on things they know nothing about...and I have an equal right to ignore them.


But this time, not before pointing out the hateful, hurtful and ignorant nature of their remarks. Score one for the middle-aged fat chick.




One of the guests at my husband's birthday party is someone I've known for a good dozen or so years. That we met and became friends is amazing in and of itself. This is due to how we met.


Long story short, here's how I met her:


Summer 92, I answered a personal ad, wrote back and forth with a guy for about 2 months and I became smitten with him. Went on one date and then he sent me a kiss-off letter. Very cold and mean letter. I spent, literally, the next 2 years thinking there was something wrong with me and he was some great guy who got away.


Summer 94, new girl starts at work. At the first logical opportunity -- which turns out to be one minute before I'm supposed to go on the air and introduce her newscast and chit chat with her -- she tells me she's married to Mr. Personal Ad Guy from 92. He had met her about a month after he sent me the kiss-off letter. Even in my state of shock, I admire the girl's backbone in getting that bit of information out there. But I still spend the next 2.5 years being jealous she's with the guy I still believe is some sort of wonderful person I missed out on.


Winter 97. She comes to work looking like hell. Seems she caught Mr. Personal Ad Guy cheating on her with one of his co-workers. She kicks him out and starts divorce proceedings. In the space of 30 seconds, he goes from being "a great guy who got away" to "Damn, I dodged a bullet on that one!"


Anyway, between then and now, whenever I hang out with her, there's a good chance I will get some other little bit of information about Mr. Personal Ad Guy that illustrates the depth and breadth of his screwed-up-ness. I got another piece of that at my husband's party Sunday. I feel bad for her. The relationship with him screwed her up financially and emotionally in ways that I can't even begin to comprehend. It's 10 years after the fact, and sometimes I get the sense she is STILL dealing with some of the fallout from their marriage.


And I still get the sense that I was damn lucky he had no interest with me back in 92. Even though, at the time, I was crushed....devastated...destroyed by it. This whole thing took years to play out, but it proved to me in a most amazing and convincing way that 1. whatever is going on, no matter how painful or difficult at the time, is for my highest good....and 2. that everything always works out.


Knowing those two things and unquestioningly believing those two things with absolute conviction has really made dealing with life a whole lot easier. It's been 10 years since something I thought was a great tragic event revealed itself to be a HUGE blessing. There were so many things that came after that kiss-off letter that were so much better than a relationship with Mr. Personal Ad Guy would've been. I'm lucky that I had a series of circumstances prove that to me in such a memorable, dramatic, and concrete way.

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Looks like my husband's going to be changing jobs for the second time this year. Ugh. That means another health insurance gap unless we find some short-term coverage and pay for it ourselves.


He had an interview yesterday, and pending a background check and drug screen, he has the job. The part salary/part commission pay structure at the car dealership isn't working out. I had my doubts about that back when he was offered that job, but he was so chomping at the bit to leave the bank, I question if he was thinking clearly.


When I did bring up my concerns back then, he took it to mean I didn't think he could do the job. Then we had to have a whole big discussion about that until I could get it through his head that it wasn't that I thought he couldn't do it...it's that commission (or part commission) based jobs are very, very tough for the first 12-18 months until you can get a customer database built up. Doesn't matter who we're talking about, that's just the way those kinds of jobs are. Some people can make it through that really financially tough beginning, and some can't afford to work through that tough part. Not everyone is mentally suited to work on a commission/part-commission pay scale. I know I couldn't do it. So, my remarks were not about his lack of abililty or my lack of supporting him...what I said was just a description of the cold, hard truth about working on commissioin/part-commission, period. But it took a good day or two for him to realize that and get past, "You're not being very supportive. You don't think I can do this."


So when he called me after the interview yesterday all geeked up about this job, it was taking a good amount of effort on my part to phrase things in such a way that it wouldn't result into that same "You're not being very supportive" BS again.


I don't know that I'm a real big fan of this "your financial well-being and future are linked to this other person" aspect of marriage. Especially when I tend to be the more frugal, cautious and practical one in this area.


Well, I already know that from next year going forward, we're getting the health insurance through my job. I know I whine and complain and consider getting out of here now and again but the fact of the matter is that's really not likely. I was at my last job for 20 years and whined and considered leaving at least once a year every year, and I never did (although, looking back, I probaby should have). Anyway, point is, I tend to grow roots and remain in a job for the long haul. My husband does not.


Oh, don't get me wrong, he has managed to stay constantly employed and he doesn't quit one job before he's got another one lined up. It's not like he's getting fired from places and doesn't want to work or anything like that. But given his work history and mine, I think I'd feel a whole lot better about having health insurance when we need it if it was coming from my job and not his.


We managed to talk about this new job offer last night without him getting all bent out of shape and accusing me of not being supportive. But it was due to a lot of me keeping my mouth shut and really watching the way I worded things. I have things rolling around in my head that I wanted to say, but knew they'd cause more problems, so I opted not to. I will probably write them out in my paper journal at some point because I gotta get 'em out of my head so I don't blurt 'em out later. I also ate too much last night. I don't doubt there's a connection between that and being hyper-vigilent about what I was saying.


I'm going to the gym tonight. Wonder what his new work schedule will be like and how that's going to alter my exercise plan.......

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Pictures of the eats I put together for my husband's birthday party. I did everything but the cake. The cake was done by a very talented professional cake person I know.


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From the left front: chips/dip & cheezy poofs, veggie & dip tray, basket of sandwhich condiments (mayo, mustard, ketchup, etc), drum cake (to match my husband's drum kit), deviled eggs (w/tomato rose & celery leaf garnish in center of plate), potato salad (link removed), plate with lettuce & sliced tomato & onion for sandwhiches, sliced ham, turkey, roast beef & cheese for sandwhiches.


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Fruit salad in a melon basket I carved. A really good mix of fruits this time: watermelon, blueberries, strawberries & nectarines


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Veggie & dip tray with the dip (ranch & spinach dips) in green pepper "bowls."


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Drum cake. Fondant over chocolate cake, artfully created by my friend/culinary student & cake professional from a picture of the snare drum from my husband's drum kit.

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Think Bottled Water Is Better Than Tap Water?


Surprise! Some of it IS tap water. link removed Save your money, you're being lied to in the name of corporate profit.......again.


I'm feelin' kinda crappy. Have been for the last 24 hours. Stomach ache that kicked into high gear about 3 yesterday afternoon. Took some Pepto Bismol...it didn't help. Pain finally eased up some by about 10 last night. Felt up to having some hot tea and a matzo with a little butter. Pain's still there now, just lower than it was and more concentrated in one location. When it started it wasn't in any specific spot, just everything from the bottom of my rib cage to my hips was hurting. Now, it's lower abdomen...more right side than left.


On link removed's symptom checker, as soon as I indicated lower abdomen and right side, I got a pop-up window that advised me to seek medical attention immediately. Joy. Apparently that's a common site for pain with appendicitis. I don't have a fever or other symptoms of infection, though. I think I just ate something questionable (but have no idea what) and it's working it's way through....slowly.


Missed yoga last night because of this digestive ailment, which kind of annoyed me.


I'm hoping this will resolve soon. The last real meal I had was lunch yesterday which woulda been around 1 o'clock. Since then I haven't felt confident having anything past some hot tea with sugar, matzo, and a little oatmeal this morning. At the same time, I haven't felt particularly hungry, either, so it's ok. I brought a couple packets of Cream of Chicken Cup A Soup and crackers for lunch, but I'm even wondering if that's a good idea......

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"You Have Appendicitis"


...so sayeth the ER doc around 10 last night after getting the results of an abdominal CT scan they had done about a half hour prior.


An hour later, I was being wheeled into surgery to remove the offending organ.


Not exactly what I planned to be doing Friday night.


Got sent home from the hospital as soon as I was keeping food down and using the bathroom on my own. I've been home for a couple hours.


I feel like crap. Then again, they did cut my stomach open and take stuff out...that doesn't really lead to feeling good, I guess.


I'ma go lie down now.....

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Whee! Percocet


I realize I'm supposed to be resting, but for some reason I can't sleep for more than about 2-3 hours at a throw. Then I'm up for a while until I get drowsy again, then I sleep for a couple hours. Weird.


Taking pain meds only when absolutely necessary. If I take them more frequently than I really need or longer than about a week or two, I'm likely to trigger a depressive episode. No thanks. I'll just deal with a sore tummy.


Being in one position -- say standing or sitting or lying down -- is ok. Getting from one position to another is painful. Warcrack proves itself yet again as an incredible distraction. When I'm playing, I don't feel any pain from the surgery. If I stop or adjust position....ouch.


In the midst of all this, the first two tomatoes from my garden ripened and were picked. I had slices of one in a BLT yesterday. Stunned at the difference in the flavor from the tomatoes I've bought at the grocery store. It's like it's not even the same food.


I am taking today off, but planning on going in to do my show tomorrow. I have an extremely sedentary job, so there's really no need for me to be off for weeks and weeks. I'm afraid if I take off even a week, it will make it even more difficult to go back, so limited schedule starting tomorrow it is.


Of the (now) 5 surgeries I've had in my lifetime, this one was the only one done on an "emergency" basis. I chose the day/time for the rest of them. I planned ahead with time off and what I would need afterward. I didn't get to do that this time, and it has had it's up sides and down sides. On the plus side, not knowing ahead meant no time to freak out over nothing. It was decided, done and overwith so fast, there really wasn't much time to flip out. That was good.


Getting sleepy again. Time for another 2 or 3 hour nap.

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No Worries...Nurse Cat Is On Duty


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This is my husband's cat. She has been keeping a bedside vigil on me since I started feeling ill on Thursday. She takes her job very seriously...to the point that she won't let my cat (the gray and white boy in my profile) in the bedroom.


When I go from lying in bed to lying on the couch in the living room, she re-locates there and doesn't allow my cat near the couch. She purrs very loudly at my head and my stomach. I imagine this is supposed to make me feel better.


I thought she deserved an honorary nurse's cap for her efforts the past few days.

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Up To My Ankles In Tomatoes


...and this is just the start. Went out to water last night and came in with 7. One was bug-eaten and not salvageable, so I pitched it. I brought a couple in to work to give to my boss and one of the engineers. I ate one in a sandwhich this morning. It was good.


I don't know what happened between last night and this morning, but I've had a pretty big leap forward in surgical recovery. Oh, it's still sore around the incision site and I still get an unpleasant twinge or two when I move, but I feel a lot better today than I have in a week. Only took one Percocet (pain med) yesterday...and that was more for ease of falling asleep than necessity to manage pain. Less than a week out from surgery, I think that's pretty good.


People I know have been expressing surprise that I am moving about, driving and back to work "so quickly." I dunno. I thought the idea was to get back to a reasonable level of health quickly. I don't think you do that lying around doing nothing for weeks on end. It's not like I have a physically demanding job or anything. I spend most of my shift sitting on my ample rear and cracking a mic a few times an hour. This barely requires "lifting" let alone "heavy lifting."


I'm kinda figuring on the week of August 20th being the target date for getting back to yoga classes and light workouts. That's a week after my follow up appointment with the surgeon and a 3 weeks and a few days post-surgery. I think that'll be enough.


A couple of random thoughts from things I've read on the board recently.


*On people who don't get involved with someone they're interested in because they're "afraid of being hurt." The fear of being hurt causes more damage than actually being hurt. The fear of being hurt keeps you weak and doubtful. Going out there, risking, getting your heart broken teaches you that you CAN do those things and you CAN survive if/when it goes sideways and ultimately, it makes you stronger. Doing (or not doing) things because of fear keeps your life small and limited. And in doing so, you never get to learn just how strong and resilient you truly are.


*On a "what's the point of getting into a relationship if it's going to end in break-up and heartache?" The point is everything that goes on before. The point is what you learn in the aftermath as you work through the pain and heartache. The point is all things eventually end. Fearing endings is utterly useless, because endings are a cold hard fact that cannot be changed. Trying to avoid the pain of endings if futile because they're inevitable (much like change is inevitable). The point is to learn to actively and openly appreciate what you have now, and not waste time and energy trying to hang onto it or keep it "the same" or trying to figure out a way for it to go on forever. The best stories have a beginning, a middle and an end. Endings are just part of the total experience.


*On relationships that don't work out being "failures." It's not a succeed/fail, win/lose thing. It's all about learning experiences while we're here. We can choose to learn and grow...or not. How do we learn to make better choices and be better people? By first making poor choices and learning from our mistakes. Back in the day, it didn't occur to me that getting involved with an alcoholic wasn't a good idea, so I did it. I learned a great deal from a poor decision, and it served me well through the following years. Was that relationship a failure? No. It had a beginning, a middle, and an end...like any good story...and it taught me a lot about what to look for in a healthy partner by showing me in an unforgettable way what an unhealthy partner was like.


A guy I used to work for had a sign in his office that said: "Good Judgement Comes From Experience. Experience Comes From Bad Judgement."


Poor choices, mistakes, getting hurt...these things are just a part of life on this earth. Part of our challenge is to learn how to learn what these things have to teach us and become better, kinder, more compassionate human beings. I don't believe poor choices, mistakes and hurt were intended to make us live in fear and close ourselves off from others.


Yet, there are so many who choose to respond with fear and avoidance and deny the ultimate strength, resiliency and joy contained in the human spirit.

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Sudden Realizations


Yesterday, I got this book from the library called "Tales From The Scale" by Erin Shea. Started reading it when I went to get a pedicure. Got into the first chapter, and I'm not sure if I like it. Right now I'm kind of wondering if it just turns out to be the stereotypical "we lost weight and our lives are soooooo much better" message or not. For now, I'll stick with it, but if it's going that way, I'm bailing, because that message is BS.


Anyway, there was one line in the Introduction that sparked a few thoughts for me, and it was this:

Because despite popular belief, no Fat Girl is ashamed of herself because of her weight until another person tells her she needs to be.
Even if the rest of the book is something that my own good sense rejects, that line was worth taking it out of the library.


I thought about it further, and looked around the nail salon at the array of women there, and then I had this thought: I don't know that I'd really want to be markedly smaller/thinner than I am anyway. I see average-sized women, thin women, women who work out a lot and have a very atheltic yet trim physique and when I try to imagine what it might be like to inhabit those bodies, I don't like it. I'd feel small and weak (yes, even in the athletic/trim body)....brittle, hard and prone to easy breakage. In this body I've had, which tends to fluctuate between 190 and 215 lbs most of the time, I feel solid, strong, tough. I feel like I can weather whatever storms life wants to throw at me because I have enough cushioning to withstand a fall. In a smaller body, I believe I'd feel more vulnerable and more likely to crumble when Life's Little Surprises hurl themselves in my path. I realized that, yeah, I kinda like feeling solid, and strong, and I kinda like taking up some space.


Later in the day yesterday, I happened to catch part of a Wayne Dyer PBS special I hadn't seen before. It's for his new book. Now, I love watching these things. Wayne Dyer is a very interesting and dynamic speaker. However, when I've tried reading his books in the past, I have a really hard time sticking with them because there's something about his writing style that doesn't really engage me. It's not the concepts he's teaching, because when he speaks about them, I'm fully riveted to what he has to say. I've really come to believe there's something about his writing style that doesn't really mesh up with my two-minute attention span.


Anyway, one of the segments I saw on the PBS station yesterday had to do with trusting our own nature. How we did this in the womb, and all was well...our eyes, nose, fingers...they all showed up when they were supposed to without any intervention from our egos. But the minute we're born, we start getting exposed to influences that claim they know better than our nature what and who and how we are supposed to be. They teach us our nature cannot be trusted (or that we don't even have a nature in the first place), and suggest we define who we are by what we do, what we have and what other people think of us.


Which made me think of what I'd read earlier in the day, "...no Fat Girl is ashamed of herself because of her weight until another person tells her she needs to be."


Trust my own nature. You know, the same nature that feels more comfortable in a larger body than other people think I should have.

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10 Days Post-Surgery


The last of the Steri-Strips came off my incision over the weekend. As surgical incisions go, it looks pretty good. It's clean and closed up with no signs of infection. Surgeon did a very nice job stitching me up. I still put a big-ass bandaid on it during the day because clothing rubbing against it is irritating. I'm scheduled for a post-op check-up next Monday. After that I figure it's time to get back to some sort of normal schedule. Last week and this, it's just go to work, go home. No yoga, no gym and lots of naps. I haven't taken any pain meds since Friday afternoon. I don't foresee needing anymore, really.


I sort of idly wonder if this is "fast," "average," or "slow" in terms of the typical recovery for this kind of surgery. I think I might be a little ahead of the curve, given people's reactions to when I came back to work and how they see me getting around. I guess there are people who would've milked the surgery for all the paid time off they could. I saw no reason to, really. (Even with my "why give 100% when they're happy with 75%" attitude toward work...) Much as I'm against busting my butt for work, I dislike being sickly even more, I guess.


Well, at least we had insurance when this happened. Started getting the processed claims back and called the insurance company. The good news is once we pay the deductible, everything in network is covered 100%. The middling news is the deductible is $4,000. That will be easily cleared with the hospital stay alone...in fact, the hospital has already sent a bill for the $4,000 and asked for payment in 10 days. The insurance company told me not to pay them until they process the claim, though. That'll probably go over real well with the hospital's billing department...NOT.


If they billed me that quickly though, I have to believe they billed the insurance company that quickly, too. Guess I could go to their website and check.


I think I will do that. Nowish, even.

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So, Why Demand Payment In 10 Days?


I called the hospital's billing department to discuss the insurance company's advice to not pay anyone until insurance claims were processed. They said that was fine. I asked about the two claims that have been processed and applied to the deductible. Turns out neither of them were from hospital. One's the doctor's fee from the ER and the other is a radiology fee. So, no, the hospital is not getting the entire $4k deductible. So, why send me the slightly snippy letter demanding payment in 10 days before insurance processes what they'll pay and what they won't? I don't get it.


Got 2 more tomatoes last night. Used one to make a tomato-basil bruschetta topping. Oh. My. God. I'd have been eating fresh raw tomatoes years ago if they'd been served like this. (I'm not a fan of plain, sliced tomatoes by themselves, which is how my parents liked them) Anyway, I cut a couple slices off a baguette, brushed them with a little olive oil and toasted them in the oven. Cut, seeded & diced a tomato, minced up a tiny clove of garlic, chopped up a couple leaves of basil from the garden, mixed that with salt, pepper and a little dribble of olive oil. Let that sit together for a little while to let the flavors combine, then spooned the tomato mixture on the warm, crispy, toasty bread....yummy.


Ended up having a conversation with my husband that was long overdue. It was about finances, his ill-considered, ill-timed job change last March and a couple of not-so-smart major purchases in the last couple months. The last 6 months have been an exercise in keeping my mouth shut and letting him make his own mistakes. Sometimes, when a person gets an idea in their head, they won't listen to reason. Even if you try to point out potential pitfalls in a non-judgemental way, they interpret that as you not being supportive or not having faith in them. Well, he was in that headspace for much of the year and I was done having my head bitten off after it happened once. So, I let him screw up. Last night, we talked about how he's realized he screwed up and he should've listened to me instead of getting all defensive and thinking I was trying to hold him back. For other people, this could've blown up into a huge fight...after the first few minutes, we were both laughing.


I think it really started to fully dawn on him when we were in the ER and first found out I was going to have to have surgery. My initial reaction was, "Ok, so we know what's wrong with me and what needs to be done to fix it....let's get it overwith." When I looked over at him, he looked like he'd had the wind knocked out of him. A freak out was imminent, and apparently that was when the full consequences of his not-so-stellar decisions really hit home with him.


I refrained from saying, "I told you so." I've done enough bone-headed things myself to lose the right to say that. He's going about cleaning up the mess that resulted from his decisions. He'll be starting a new job in a couple weeks...one that has a set salary, not a commission-based pay scale. Even so, I'm thinking it'll be close to a year before we're out of the financial hole the last 6 months created.

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I Have Seen The Dairy Products............


.........and they are life-size and cow shaped link removed This year, in addition to the traditional butter cow, they were also calf-shaped, cherub-shaped, and 6-foot-tall-wedge-of-Swiss-Cheese-shaped butter sculptures. Paula Deen shoulda been there. Ate our way around the fair last night. Walked around in 90+ degree heat and humidity like a steam room. Watched a Belgian horse driving competition in a sweltering arena. Ate cornbread-batter-covered, deep fried mozzerella cheese on a stick, an ear of roasted corn, a gyro, a few fries and part of an elephant ear. It was a good evening.


It was also the first sustained physical activity I have engaged in since the surgery. It felt pretty good. The only ouchy moment came when I was doing this sort-of fast trot down a cement staircase. My incision didn't like that and I had to walk down the steps. Then it was fine.

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Perseids Meteor Shower


link removed


It's that time of year again. It's one of those things that brings up some memories. I met the alcoholic during Perseid in 1994. It's weird to realize that I met him 13 years ago. That was 5 years of on-and-off , highly dysfuctional relationship that changed me in a lot of ways. I wonder about him sometimes. Did he ever get his **** together? Did he ever deal with his addiction issues in any meaningful way? Is he still living with/sponging off of his parents?


I'm curious, but I don't really want to know.


Perseid 1983. Another significant time. My first, last and only experience with camping. Perseid was the excuse to go off with a couple of girlfriends for the night, set up a tent at the campground, meet up with other people we knew, party all night and get drunk/stoned. I remember lying on the ground staring up at the sky and having Deep Conversations About Life like only 19 year olds can. That was 24 years ago. 24. Years. Ago.




Perseid 1996. Little apartment in the woods. When I was really into creating and doing Personal Rituals. I bought a plain, white, round tablecloth and some blue, purple and black fabric paints. I painted my natal chart (horoscope) on the tablecloth. I used that as my ritual space. I wrote a lot in the days leading up to the ritual. Mostly about the other significant events that had happened during Perseid. It was very much a releasing/letting go/healing ritual. I went into the woods behind the apartment building after dark with my tablecloth, the pages I'd written, a big metal can, a lighter, and some healing crystals from a metaphysical shop. I burned the pages in the can with the crystals, then scattered the ashes and hot crystals in the creek. I picked up my tablecloth, went back to my apartment and ate cold, leftover ribs.


The weird things my brain decides to hang onto.....

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48 Hours


Blizzard...the company that has foisted Warcrack on an unsuspecting public...announced they needed to take down a bunch of different servers for an upgrade. The estimated time to do the upgrade is 48 hours. The list included the server we play on, so we have been cut off the Warcrack for 2 days. (Well..I suppose we could get on one of the servers that's still up and running and create a new character, but that seems a little...extreme.) You would've thought it was the end of days watching the in-game chat as the shut-down time approached. Get a grip, people...it's 2 days. You can find something else to do for 2 days, can't you?


Had my post-op check with the surgeon yesterday. That consisted of sitting and waiting for the doctor for about 20 minutes, showing him the incision site and him going, "Looks good. You're past the point where infection or internal bleeding are concerns. You can go back to doing your normal activities. If you do something and it hurts or is uncomfortable, stop and try again in a week or two." So, I went to yoga last night...and it wiped my butt out. A couple of hours after the class -- boom -- I was exhausted. Slept like a rock. Wonder what I'll be like after a cardio and weight workout......


My husband is on week #2 of 3 weeks at home before starting his new job. He had planned on taking a week off between jobs. When he turned in his two weeks notice at his old job, they told him not to bother working the last two weeks, so 3 weeks off. In my meaner, more sarcastic, judgemental and not-very-nice moments I think: Hmmmm....surgery to have appendix removed results in a 3 day weekend and $17,000 in medical bills...series of bad decisions resulting in financial hole results in 3 weeks off with nothing to do but play Warcrack. I do not voice this thought, but damn...I have to write it down just to get it out of my head. To his credit, he has done some things around the house: cleaned inside, cleaned out the garage, cleaned up the basement.


In the TMI Department...if I'm going to develop a menstrual-related migraine, I am most likely develop it on day #4 of my period. Today is day #4, and sure enough, a little after 10am the right side of my head started throbbing. I took a Zomig a bit after 11am...spent the next 2-and-a-half hours in a haze of head pain, light & sound sensitivity, and feeling drugged out. Nibbled lunch about 1:30 and started feeling better. Lemme tell ya, "sound sensitivity" is NOT a desirable thing to have when you're trying to do a radio show. But I'm feelin' like I might live now...and that's a good thing.

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It's Not Thursday...It's Wednesday


From the minute I woke up this morning, I keep thinking it's Thursday. I don't know why. Maybe the migraine yesterday has something to do with it. I mean, thinking back on it, it's like it was 2 different days...the first half of the day was spent fighting the migraine & dealing with side effects of the Zomig. Then, after about 2pm, I was fine...got some work done, went to the massage therapist and so on.


That's my theory anyway.


Still just a little headachy today, but no accompanying sensitivity to light/sound or other migraine-y symptoms. I am, however, down to 4 Zomig tablets. If nothing else, this will likely force me to do the dreaded "find a primary care doc" chore that I've been putting off for...oh...at least a year now. I'm kinda hesistant, though...I mean, we're on health insurance from my husband's last job til the end of the month, then we're on short-term coverage from a different company from September til the end of the year, then we're going on my employer's plan (yet a different company) after the first of the year. No idea how easy/difficult it would be to find a doc that's on all three plans. Since the migraines are menstrual-related, I wonder if I could just ask my gyno for a prescription at my annual check-up next month? Then, I have to consider paying for the pills. Zomig's not cheap, last time I checked.


Sigh. It's so annoying to me to have to be going through this crap with the health insurance because my DH decided he HAD TO change jobs RIGHT NOW (back at the beginning of the year). He says he's learned his lesson about considering the consequences and realizes how screwed we woulda been if that appendix thing had happened when we had no insurance, but I'm still a bit leery...and thinkin' that I won't be relying on him to provide that again anytime soon....


I'm not real sure what to do with this. I mean, I am really pissed about the situation we're in, but there's not much point in going off about it, y'know? Nothing constructive to be gained. How much can you rub in "wow, you really messed up and now we're both going to pay for it" before it gets really old and tired?


But, still, I'm angry...that he didn't think it through more before taking the job at the car place, he just took the first job he was offered, angry that he wouldn't listen to the down sides of a commission pay scale, angry that he decided he HAD TO buy a new car after being there for 3 months, angry that I got my head bitten off when I voiced some reasonable, logical objections to these decisions, angry that when I needed to have health insurance in May when I injured my leg, we had none (and I had to pay for treatment out of my pocket)...and when I needed health insurance a few weeks ago, we had some piss-poor high deductible plan (and I had to find more money to pay for that). And I'm afraid I'm going to have to sit through another round of job-switching in a few months because I'm not so sure about his new employer, either. He's going back to the type of work he did at the bank...you know, the work that he was so fed up with and HAD TO LEAVE RIGHT NOW shortly after the first of the year. I have voiced my concerns about that, but he says his attitude is different because of what he's gone through the last 6 months.


Sometimes I feel like I'm the only one looking out for our financial well-being. Maybe this is part of the price I pay for marrying someone who didn't have as much life experience ("younger than me") and who never really had a period of being single and on his own for a while ("no responsibilities, no one to answer to, and free to screw up as often and as badly as he wanted so as to learn from his mistakes without affecting anyone else")


So, that's where I am right now. Been better places and been in worse places. This, too, shall pass.

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Where Are The Strings?


I grew up in a place where, if someone was being especially kind or nice to you, there was something else going on. If you got any gifts or special treats, there would be some demand for payment later. There were strings attached to everything. I'm sure this is part of what resulted in my underlying attitude of "I will do this myself, I don't need your help, I'll figure it out on my own."


I became consciously aware of this for the first time when I was 14 or 15. I wanted a stereo. After detailing exactly what they expected, my parents offered to buy me one. I think it was the first time it was so clearly illustrated to me that everything came with strings attached. Other weird things that had gone on prior to that point started to make sense, too.


I didn't have to think about it for long. I said, "No, thanks." Then I got a regular babysitting job, saved up the money I earned and bought my own stereo and a bike to boot. No muss, no fuss....and no strings. And I liked how that felt. I liked not feeling like I owed for these things. I suppose that made me harder to "control" from their standpoint, though.


This has cropped up the past few days because my husband's being even nicer/more considerate than he usually is. I keep wondering what he's up to and/or what he's after. Why's he cleaning, fixing dinner, washing my car, encouraging me to get on the Warcrack? What does he want? We talked about it and it's got nothing to do with him. It goes back to the environment where I grew up and how everything had strings attached.


It's decades later, and this is still in my head: If I accept something or some kindness from you, you will undoubtedly want something in return. Even though I have had the good fortune to know some truly generous and giving people who really didn't expect anything in return. Even though I practice the fine art of giving with no expectation of return more often than not. Even though I spent most of my 30's in therapy. Even with all that, I still look for the strings.


What all went on back then that I am so well-trained in this? I started my journal when I was 12. Beyond what's written in there, most of my memories of childhood are hazy. An incident here, an incident there...odd little snippets...but no concrete, on-going recollections. I'm just left with these habits and attitudes and perceptions and wondering how (and why) I have these defenses. A kid doesn't learn things like looking for the strings unless there's some vitally important reason to do so.

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I Got Off Warcrack For This....?


I found a T-shirt with this phrase on it about month or so ago when I was looking for my husband's birthday present. I wanted to buy it for myself then, but if I would've gotten it before his birthday, it would've tipped my hand about the Warcrack-related shirts I was going to get him. So, I waited until after his birthday (and after my surgery/recover...and until I had some extra money....) and bought the shirt over the weekend. Thought it would make a dandy avatar, so there it is for a while. Truth in advertising...it does sum up my attitude to some degree.


I am having a fairly moderate case of the Mondays today. Don't particularly wanna be at work, just markin' time and gettin' by...looking for everything wrong with work, when there really is nothing wrong. Daydreaming about a big lottery win or something....


Went to the gym on Saturday. First time post-surgery and it went ok. It felt pretty good, actually. Nothing I did caused any pain/discomfort around the incision. It didn't kick my butt like the yoga class last Monday, so that was good. Did groceries and cleaned the bathrooms this weekend. Made Pancit link removed. Went to a Garlic Festival that wasn't really all that. It is only their second year, so I suspect they're still trying to figure out what the "Garlic Festival" really is.


My husband starts his new job next Monday. It's been nice having him around all the time, but I am starting to miss my alone time. So, it's none too soon, really.

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