Grazing and gazing

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I weighed myself this morning: 259.8.sugarkiss

It’s not the biggest I’ve ever been, but it’s not far off. I set a one-year goal for myself to get down to 225. I’ll still be heavier than I want to be, but 35 pounds is a good first goal in 12 months.

I need to start running again. That starts this week, thanks to the forecast not looking like Hoth.

My food choices need to change. I started eating salads — good salads, not just sad lettuce in a bowl — last week, and they’ve made a huge difference in my day, honestly. I’ve started looking forward to that Cobb salad from Cosi instead of the crap that I usually eat. There will be days when I get the pasta bowl from Piada, but I have other choices. I’m also probably going to start bringing my lunch to work more instead of buying stuff at restaurants. That Cobb salad is great, but I can make and bring two meals (salad and sandwiches) for the $10 cost of that salad. I got some Brain Bread from Beehive Bread Company this weekend; I’d forgotten how awesome that bread is. And it’s not far from work, so I can go up on my lunch break, get a loaf of it (and a pull-apart to eat) and still be back to work on time.

My biggest challenge is getting rid of Mountain Dew. I can do it, though. And maybe I can stave off the ‘Beetus for a little while longer.

Super tired of being fat. Super ready to fix it. Still not all that motivated.

sugarlips

My insecurities are coming back in a HUGE landslide. I hate it. Hate it like fire on my crotch (not that there’s anything wrong if that’s your thang; we all have our kinks). I’m good at my job (I’m not as consistent as I’d like, but that’s a different thing entirely). I have a great office environment and fantastic co-workers. I have a phenomenal husband and friends who are supportive. Someone suggested that I read up on impostor syndrome. I’m not sure about that, but it’s an interesting read. It feels like some sort of social anxiety, to be honest, and that confuses and infuriates me. I’m a strong extrovert, and shit like that just does not happen to extroverts. I should probably try to find a therapist at the very least.

My biggest problem with that, though, is that I’m petrified that I’ll end up on meds that will in some way fundamentally change me, who I am, and how I interact with the world. I don’t want that to happen. Meds would almost make me feel like I’m a failure, like I can’t handle myself and my world.

sugarlips

One of those aforementioned awesome co-workers and I have been talking about trying some exercise that doesn’t feel like exercise. So yesterday, we bought a Groupon for two private ballroom dance lessons and a group dance class. Anyone who pays any attention knows that I’m a huge Dancing with the Stars fan, so this makes me happy. And scared. SO SCARED. I’m going to do it no matter how much I suck at it, but it’s still scary as shit. We’ll see what happens.


“You post the lyrics on your blog…” ***

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*** I think very few people will get this reference, but I think Clay may pee his pants a little when he sees it. YOU’RE WELCOME. My shout-out — let me show it to you!

So, lately, I’ve been a tiny bit obsessed with the song Let It Go from Disney’s latest movie, Frozen. I have yet to see it, but this weekend, I will. I’m pretty sure it all started with seeing the sequence from the movie, and a couple of days later, seeing Court Clark singing a cover of it. And then I listened to it a zillion times. And then my iTunes BROKE, so I can’t even buy the soundtrack! DAMMIT!

So, yeah. This weekend will be a movie. And hopefully fixing my iTunes so I can sing in the car!

And now, the lyrics, after this here jumpy thingy!

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Clothing Retailers Are Dumb About Money

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Why do the fashion industry and clothing retailers know nothing about economics?

I ask this, because it’s blatantly obvious that, in addition to being size Nazis who care nothing about body shaming, every single clothing retailer that I’ve ever seen is missing a giant opportunity to make more money.

Have you ever been in a clothing store and seen Small, Medium, Large, and Extra-Large clothes sold for one price, and XXL and above sold for $2 or more extra? Yes, bigger clothes take more fabric, and yes, that fabric costs more money. However, it’s also demeaning, body-shaming, and embarrassing to plus-sized folks. How about, instead of punishing fat people for being fat, they make all of their prices higher to match the highest price. No, it’s not punishing anyone at that point; everyone pays the same amount. Also, there are more people who buy the smaller sizes, so the stores make more money.

How is this not a good idea? I think it’s brilliant.


Boop

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I’m currently listening to Tina Fey read her book Bossypants. It’s a fantastic book, and you should read it. Toby badgered (badgered, badgered) me until I listened to it, and it’s amazing. Thanks for poking at me, Toby.

At one point in the book, Fey is discussing the rules of improv. I smiled and nodded, remembering some incredibly good times. Later, she talks about having to ask Sylvester Stallone to enunciate. She and an experienced writer went to the host’s door, and neither of them had any idea what to do.

Enter my story.

Sometime in, I think, 2005 or 2006, I joined an improv group in San Jose called The Jesters of Yes! Clay was our Artistic Director and he was talking about what to do when ya just got nuthin’. He was on stage talking and said something along the lines of, “There are times when you get up there, look at your scene partner, and just go *boop* and wing it.”

So, Scott and I were the first people up there. We got our scene suggestion, we looked at each other (which is comical in and of itself; I’m 5’11”, Scott is 6’11”), and I just said, “*Boop!*”

Because sometimes, ya just got nuthin’. Clay started laughing, and said, “I didn’t mean actually say ‘boop’!” But really, it was as good of a code as anything else. Everyone in the Jesters knew, from that minute on, that “boop” was code for “You take it.”

No point to the story. Just some nostalgia in my head tonight.


…and cue the Celine Dion…

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Aunt Frances Owens: My darling girl, when are you going to realize that being normal is not necessarily a virtue? It rather denotes a lack of courage!

I need to remember that more often. I’m feeling decidedly… not a part of anything, and that saddens me. I’m feeling isolated, and I’m feeling lonely without feeling alone, and I’m getting neurotic about a lot of things. I’m trying my damnedest not to be and to be more positive, but I don’t know how well I’m doing. I need to change things about myself, both physically and emotionally, but I’m not sure how to do most of that work.

I feel like I let people down a lot, and I neither mean to nor want to. Something needs to change. Maybe it’s time to suck it up and find a therapist. It couldn’t hurt, right?


Stress + Flowchart = HELP ME, INTERNET ORACLE!

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I’m seriously debating going back to school.

There are two lines of thought on that, if I do.

I can finish my BTAS degree; it’d take me three semesters, if I’m lucky, four if I’m not.

Or I can switch gears completely and go after another degree.

That seems like a hefty line of thought. I’m not sure what to do. In place of that, I give you a flowchart that I made, because this is the shit I do. And yes, it’s blue, even though pink is my signature color. (And if it’s hard to read, then, uh, you can probably click to embiggen it. If you didn’t figure that out on your own, how are you on the Internet unsupervised?)

backtoschoolSo. You tell me what you think. It’s making me CRAZY.

 


Story Time!

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Note: This was written in 2010. I just don’t want to lose it, and I’m kind of proud of it.

I don’t often get taken by the writing bug. When I do, though, it gets… sometimes surreal.  I woke up from a nap this afternoon with a story running around in my head. Here ya go. Enjoy.  Welcome to my polluted stream of consciousness.

*****

I knew I shouldn’t have done it. I couldn’t help myself, but in the back of my brain, I knew I shouldn’t have been out there.

The night was perfect: crisp air, full moon, wispy clouds, a hint of woodsmoke every once in a while on the breeze. By morning, there would be frost on the stubble of harvested cornstalks in this field. And still, I walked around like I owned the place.

I didn’t see, hear, or smell anything out of the ordinary. My nose was cold and my breath was fogging the air in front of me. My brown hoodie was thermal-lined, so I was mostly warm enough, and my fingerless gloved-hands were deep in my pockets. I had almost reached the circle of blue-white light cast by the power pole’s light when there was a frantic, angry bleat from behind me to my right, and before I could do anything, even before I could turn and see what the hell made that horrible sound, I was flying through the air to land facefirst on the crunchy grass at the side of the gravel turnaround. Dazed, I tried to lever myself up, but my hip gave out; I could already tell that I was going to be bruised like nothing else had ever done, and I probably wouldn’t be able to walk in the morning.

Painful as it was, I managed to get myself on my hands and one knee with my right leg straight out behind me. Must have been too good of a target, because the next thing I knew, I had something big and sharp clamped on to my ass. Howling in even more pain, I swung backward with my right arm and made contact with the head that had its viselike teeth sunk into my backside, and it ripped away, pulling one pocket of my jeans and what felt like half of my butt, too.

I glimpsed a big hairy body with curled horns about ten feet away from me, with a pissed-off look on its face. It started to slowly stomp toward me on its spindly legs, tiny hooves barely making sounds on the grass. I remember thinking, oddly, “How can something stomp and not make any noise, especially with those little hooves?” I had gotten myself mostly upright again, and I could tell I was bleeding from my right ass-cheek. The damn thing came at me again, and I managed not to get myself thumped in the stomach. Those horns are bad enough when you get them in the butt and thigh; I’d never breathe again if I took them in the gut.

My noise-level finally roused my grandmother and she sent my uncle out with a baseball bat she kept by the side door to find out what was going on. He managed to scare the thing back into its pen with the bat and by just scaring it back in there, then he came and got me up off the ground. We made our way back to the house, me limping with my arm around his shoulder, him laughing because of the situation.

“This isn’t funny, Jake,” I said as he helped me into the house.

“Oh, believe me,” he said, “It is.”

My grandmother helped me down onto the bed in the spare bedroom where I was staying for the weekend. “What happened out there? You sounded like you were being attacked and killed!”

“I was!” I said.

My uncle Jake lost it at that point. “By the billy goat! He got out of his pen — I told you he’d be able to work that latch; he’s way too smart for a goat — and went on a rampage trying to protect the girls.” He sat down at the kitchen table and erupted in fits of belly laughs.

“Stop that! It’s not funny! I’m gonna be black and blue in the morning!” I scowled at him, which did nothing but set him off again.

Grandma doctored me up and offered to take me to town to see the doctor in the morning. I nodded and made excuses to go to bed. I read my book for a while — Coyote Rising by Allen Steele — and fell asleep.

When I woke up the next morning, my mouth felt like some kind of forest creature had shit in it and then died, so I lumbered, slowly and painfully, to the bathroom to brush my teeth and take a shower. I smelled badly, and my very hair itched. The shower mostly helped, but my scalp still itched for a few days.

Life went on for a few weeks. My visit to the doctor was fine and the bruises went away. My world returned to as normal as my world ever gets. My uncle still gave me crap about the goat attack, but I let him. About a month later as I was walking along a back path through campus, I noticed a couple of paper plates on the ground. I went to pick them up, and before I knew it, I was shoving one of them in my mouth. I stopped myself, panicked. Somewhat in a horrified daze, I dropped the garbage in the trash can as I rounded the corner to the rest of campus and headed for home. I’d email my professor and let her know that I went home sick, which was not really a lie.

When I got home, I just kinda sat there for a bit, unsure of what was going on. I took a shower, disinfected my mouth (because, um, ew, garbage!) and didn’t sleep all night long. I watched the mostly-full moon rise and a while later, watched the sun rise. Like some sort of freaked-out zombie, I got myself ready for school and decided to take another day off.

As I sat around my apartment, I finished my book, started the next one, cleaned up, dozed a little bit, watched some crappy daytime TV. Absently, I noticed that my scalp was itchy, right above my eyes, around the hairline.  About dusk, I had a craving for something… salady. I went to the store and got myself the stuff to make an enormous salad — big bag of spring mix greens, some mushrooms, a tomato (which, y’know, I hate), a couple of peppers (which, y’know, I also hate), a bag of shredded cheese. I had a fantastic recipe for a raspberry walnut vinaigrette dressing at home, so I picked up the ingredients for that. As I was wandering around the store, I put the cheese and fresh mushrooms back. I picked up some goat’s milk feta crumbles and a can of mushrooms instead. It made me feel better for some odd reason. I also hit the health-and-beauty aisle and grabbed myself some anti-itch shampoo and conditioner. Something had to make this stop.

I went home and made the salad in the biggest mixing bowl I had. The craving was mostly sated by the bottom of the bowl, but not quite. I needed something more. I hadn’t cleaned up from making the salad yet, and as I was looking around the kitchen, I saw the can from the mushrooms. I don’t remember moving; I just remember chewing on the can itself and feeling mighty better. Again, that sick, horrified feeling came over me. How the hell was I able to chew on a tin can?? My teeth weren’t meant for that, and my digestive system certainly wasn’t. I threw the can in the recycling and spit out what was in my mouth then stumbled for the bathroom, where I got pretty violently sick.

I was cleaning up when I noticed the tiny bumps at my hairline. That had to be the cause of my itching, which, I might as well tell you, was just getting worse. As I scratched at them, the skin split and there appeared to be … uh, horns. Little button horns. I wiped up the blood as best I could, and just looked at them as they got larger. At the same time, I noticed my fingers not working so well and the hair on my arms getting longer and silkier.

There’s a kind of detachment that happens when you feel like you’re losing your mind. Somehow, I managed to get out of my clothes without ripping them. The transformation finished and as I looked out my apartment window, I saw the split image of the full moon rising. My brain translated the images from my new eyes like they were supposed to be that way, but about half my mind knew that I wasn’t always this way.

Forget all the stories you read about werewolves; they kinda lie. Oh, I’m sure that the wolves will tell you differently, but you keep your human intelligence and reasoning when you’re in beast-form. Hell, after a couple of months, I learned how to control the transformation enough that some Beltane festivals have a real satyr in their midst. They don’t have a freakin’ clue how I make the costume so realistic, but calling on Pan has never been more… interesting.

Three nights out of my month are now tied into the moon, more than ever. One of the things that the legends and stories don’t tell you, though, is that when you get bitten, it’s not actually so bad. Well, the biting itself sucks a great deal, but you have access to all kinds of interesting things afterwards. I can choose which breed I turn into. I know it’s weird to be a were-goat and it’s not something I would have chosen, but I couldn’t have asked for a better critter. I trusted one person in my knitting circle with my secret. Did you know that when you shear a cashmere were-goat, on the next night, all that fleece comes back and you can do it again? Yeah, fun, huh?


Adrift. Again.

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Forgive me. It’s been four weeks since my last post.

Not a lot has changed since last I wrote, O Great Internet. I’m maintaining my weight (still ~250 pounds); I’m not losing, but I’m also not gaining. I’ve tried making better food choices, and that seems to be going well. I’ve been snacking on healthier things (oranges and strawberries lately, with some popcorn if I crave salty snacks). Hell, I even had a salad with dinner tonight. I haven’t been to the gym in two months, and I probably won’t go this week, since the Resolutioners are there, and I hate the thought of being seen as one of them.

I’ve been doing a lot of sitting on the couch and watching Netflix. I went through the entire run of White Collar and Hot in Cleveland. We’ve also watched the full first season of Game of Thrones and all of Star Trek: Enterprise. Fun shows, for very different reasons. I need to get the first part of this season of White Collar so I can catch up very soon, and I need to get the second season of Game of Thrones in a format I can watch on my large TV from my very comfortable couch instead of on my good-sized computer monitor from a mostly comfortable computer chair. I’m working my way through Burn Notice right now; I’m not completely sold on it yet. Though, honestly, I do love the glitter out of Ms. Sharon Gless. She makes me happy; I’d listen to the woman read the phone book. (And, dammit, I can get Cagney & Lacey on Netflix DVD but not streaming. WHY DO YOU HATE ME, NETFLIX??)

I haven’t just been sitting there, though; I’ve been knitting like a crazy man. I finished a double-sized (meaning ten repeats instead of the five in the pattern) Citron in a gorgeous pewter and amethyst for The Sister, and I’m just a bind-off away from finishing Anna for the same Sister. The Citron was mindless and made for a great traveling project, but by the final increase section, I was over 900 stitches, and knitting or purling that many stitches makes you want to stab your eyes out with the needles. Anna, on the other hand, takes a little more paying attention, and it’s paying off. It’s gorgeous, it’s in a 70/30 merino/silk blend, and it’s a fantastic deep blue-green colorway called Kenai. I’ll admit that part of the reason I picked that colorway was the name. Kenai was the name of the main character in Brother Bear, so it’s appropriate that it’s going to my sister. (And yes, I know it’s also a city in Alaska; there’s no emotional attachment there. Yet. One never knows, I may end up on a trip there at some point.)

There hasn’t been a lot of movement in the last month on my video game alter-egos. I haven’t been in the mood to play much, sadly, but I’ve got a ton of screenshots from before the end of City of Heroes (though, warning, that link makes COHers very sad), and I’ll turn them into blog posts at some point, I hope. I’m also still doing some hellacious rep grinding on World of Warcraft. It takes FOR.EV.ER. but I’ll get what I want. OH YES I WILL. Guild Wars 2 is fun, as well. My little Asuran Engineer hit level 40 a while back, and my Sylvari Elementalist (named Shadow Glitter) is also a hell of a lot of fun to play.

Not much to report on the job front. I’ve had a few interviews, but nothing’s come of them. I’ve got one on Monday, and I hope that it goes well. It could be a very large turning point for us if I get it. I’ll ask for more job mojo and leave it at that. I also think I need a new interview outfit, but we’ll see what happens with that.

Aside from that, O Great Internet, there’s not much to report. Same goals from last year stand: eat better, exercise more, lose weight, read more, pray more, blog more, be most smartest (though, if you need to click that link, how are we even friends?), be more authentic to myself. I realize that there are a lot of people out there who really couldn’t care less about me because they’ve made up their minds about me without, y’know, really getting to know me or caring if I’ve even changed who they think I am, and that’s their own issue, one that I refuse to make mine. There will be no shoving me into their molds; if someone doesn’t like who I am, well, they can waltz themselves right out of my life.

Here’s to a massive ass-kicking to 2012. You deserve it for sucking so badly. 2013, you’ve got a pretty low bar to get over. Perhaps you should get to it.

Much love. Blessed be.


“…after the night, the morning comes.”

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I’m totally freakin’ made of awesome, dipped in glitter and more awesome, in a bowl made of filthy language and awesome.

That’s how I described myself to someone today. And most times, that’s how I feel about myself. There are times, though, that I really don’t. I can spend two or three days feeling incredibly useless, incredibly worthless, incredibly broken. I know that it’s a temporary thing, and that the sun will shine again, but for those two or three days, my self-worth is somewhere significantly less than zero.

This year, my Seasonal Affective Disorder hasn’t been acting up. The last three or four years (or more; I’ll have to check with Leon), it’s been horrible. Crying at the drop of a hat, not wanting to get out of bed, not wanting to leave the house, that kind of thing. For me, it’s not as severe or long-lasting as depression, but I’ve done quite a bit of reading about it. It made me feel better to know that I’m not the only one who deals with this; I’m not the only one who suffers every year; I’m not the only one who spirals down into near-catatonia at times. Is that weird? To feel better knowing that there are other people in a shitty mindset? It feels a little weird, but, then again, I’m kinda weird. We changed out a few of the light bulbs in our house with full spectrum bulbs and OH MY GODS, does it make a difference.

I’ve got a friend who’s dealing with SAD really hardcore this year, and the people around him aren’t dealing with it well. They just don’t get it. It’s not something very many people can help with; you kind of have to have some sort of depression to understand. It’s a shitty, shitty, insidious, shitty disorder. With “regular” depression, you can get diagnosed and take meds. There are support groups. There is traditional therapy. With SAD, the most effective therapy is light therapy. There are no meds. There are no support groups. People think you’re just down and they try to cheer you up. It sucks.

If you know someone who has SAD, treat them kindly, but don’t expect them to be happy just because you are or you want them to be. If you have SAD, so do I. I’m more than willing to help talk you out of your dark places.

I’m ending this with a video. It’s by a group called Delta Rae. They’re absolutely amazing. The song is called Morning Comes, and it’s the absolute best song about struggle, hardship, depression, and hope that I’ve ever heard.

Be well, brothers and sisters. Be strong. We need you. The morning will come, and you will be stronger for it.


Workin’ it

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Three times in the last week, I’ve made it to the gym. GO ME. I’m pretty damn happy about this. I’m doing a strength-foundation workout that I found on RealJock (link is so very not safe for work; you’ve been warned). It’s kicking my ass. Tonight, I added an extra set on most of the exercises I’ve been doing and holy shit, do I hurt. I’m gonna sleep VERY well. I’ve also been keeping up (and, well, surpassing, because I’m an over-achiever sometimes) the Morning Mile Challenge from NerdFitness, and it feels awesome. I’m not always doing it in the morning, but I’m getting at least one mile in a day. Kinda proud of myself.

Still working on getting my food choices smarter, and that’s still not easy. I’m kind of a picky eater, and some foods are more challenging for me than others, but I’m doing what I can. I have asparagus that I’m going to make this weekend, I hope, and we have some orange cauliflower that we’ll be mashing up, too. Kinda looking forward to them. There are ways to make this easier and better, and I will do my damnedest to find them and make this happen, because I need to make it happen.

I finished a pair of cabled fingerless mitts this week, and I have a pair of kicky red cabled gloves on my needles to finish next. It’s kind of nice that I don’t have gigantic paws; most glove patterns are made for women’s medium or large hands, so I’m pretty safe with most of them. I hate sizing patterns, mostly because I suck at it.

Still nothing on the job front, but my unemployment kicked in this week. That will help until I get something. Help, because it’s not a lot. It’s not supposed to be a living, and I can’t wait until I can tell them to stop it. In the meantime, I’ve been working on a church program for Mom (link to Mom’s blog, which needs to be updated, hint hint hint), and I’m pretty proud of the way it turned out. I used my Mad Office Skillz, and it’s pretty awesome. I also have a hefty data entry project on which I’m working, and I’m designing some office documents for a friend’s new business. Those are heavily on the agenda for next week, I think.

Still reading Evolutionary Witchcraft with JaguarMoon. I’m not as enamored of it as I want to be. It’s nice to see another path, but I don’t know that that path is for me. I’m a little skeptical of it, but I think that has more to do with it being out of a book. I deal better with the experiential side of it, and the Feri rituals I’ve seen or of which I’ve been a part have been amazing. I’m pretty sure that that’s what the difference is for me.

I’m also still working my way through the Wheel of Time series. I’m on book five, The Fires of Heaven, right now. The final book, book fourteen, A Memory of Light, comes out in January, and I hope to be caught up by sometime in February or March so that I can get the final book on my Kindle and finish the series. I know that there are a lot of people who pooh-pooh this series because it’s so freakin’ wordy and loooooooooong, but I bough the first one, The Eye of the World, when I was working at Jack & Jill in high school, and it’s been with me ever since. It’s one of those things that I give my sister Sarah shit about, because there is crayon ALL THROUGH my copy of EotW, thanks to her little four-year-old self. No, she’ll never live it down. She knows why she doesn’t get to borrow my books. I don’t care that she’s almost 28. No.

People keep asking how I am. My standard answer is, “I’ve been better. I’ve also been worse, and I’m getting better.” The anger is mostly gone, though it spikes every once in a while, but that’s to be expected, I think. At some point, it will be gone, with little flares of bitterness and cranky-face. I’ll move on to better things, I’m sure, and life will move itself inexorably forward. It will take me along, as it always does. I will bounce back. And until I’m bouncing again, there are video games, there are rockin’ hot workouts, and there are good times with good friends.

And I will take this life, and I will make it my bitch.

So mote it be.