Weight Loss

December 11, 2012 § 1 Comment

Apparently I’ve been losing weight. It shouldn’t be surprising, given the total lack of food in my house and my general lack of interest (and ability) in purchasing it. When I’m stressed I either binge (I call it “emotional eating”) or don’t eat at all. I’ve been so busy lately, that I often just forget to eat. I’ll think “hmm. tummy is growling. oh, wait, what was I doing?” and then eight hours later, I remember I was supposed to eat something. If I smell food, I definitely want to eat it, so it’s not like I’m anorexic, it’s just that I’m fucking busy and overwhelmed. There simply isn’t the brain power left to make myself eat.

I cleaned my apartment yesterday. It took me three hours, and I still need to clean the bathroom, but it’s a big step for me since it hasn’t been done in months. Yes, I am disgusting. Sorry. I don’t have time to eat, do you really think I have time to sweep and hang up my clothes and rearrange some art or furniture? Fuck. no. sir. Ain’t nobody got time for that. When my apartment is clean though, I feel relieved and happy even though I live in such a small space. The living area of the apartment is literally the size of my old bedroom in the log house. I’m jealous of people who have studios with little bedroom nooks. Mine isn’t like that, and the options for arranging the furniture are very limited due to the window unit being centered in the one window and the three doorways blocking three out of four corners of the room. I get frustrated sometimes because I don’t really like the arrangement I have, but there simply aren’t any good alternatives. As usual, I’ve done the best I can, but that doesn’t mean I’m satisfied with the results.

Oh right, losing weight. So I ordered these jeggings (oh yeah, I said it. I didn’t even cringe) before I left DC, but when they arrived, I could barely get them past my knees. I’d intended to return them, but with the craziness of the move and the whirlwind of more craziness once I got to Alabama, and then the other move when I moved into Birmingham from my parents’ house in the boonies, the returning of the pants didn’t happen. I finally decided yesterday to try them on again before I threw them out, since the box had been sitting in the corner of my room making it look cluttered. The pants fit! They’re tight, but they’re jeggings and that’s how they’re supposed to be. It’s not a graceful image when I have to take them off, but who cares. I haven’t taken off my pants in front of anyone in a while, though a fat lot of good that did me. Anyway, it’s kind of awesome that this size 10 girl can squeeze into a size 9. Totally worth celebrating! But not with cake. Celebrating with celery. Yes, that’s the spirit.

I bought this FANTASTICALLY GORGEOUS totally drool-worthy bright blue lace dress with this really great low-cut back to wear to this cocktail party, but when I got it in the mail, it was really too short and too tight to be appropriate. I would like to lose a few more pounds before attempting to wear it out in public, though an opportunity necessitating such a great dress has yet to present itself. It’s super-fitted which is why I am hesitant to wear it in my barely-a-size-9 state. Being objective about your own body is so hard, and I don’t want to ask my friends because they’ll just say “oh, you look great!” no matter what I wear. I could ask my mother, I suppose… Anyway, losing weight. If I can just drop ten more pounds, I’ll be happy. My mom and I have been chanting that mantra for years, but we just can’t seem to get to our ideal weight of 120 lbs. At my heaviest (not too long ago), I was 145, sometimes 147 lbs. BAH. According to my BMI (and my doctor) that’s borderline overweight. How scary! Last time I went to the doctor, I think I was down to 135, but I would still reallllllly like to be at 120. Weight is just a number, I know. I’ve heard that. But since I have such a hard time looking at myself and knowing if I look good or chubby or what, I figure a number is a quantifiable  solid way to judge whether I look okay.

If I can be more attractive physically, maybe people will forgive me for my rhino-like personality! Work with me here, people. It’s for my own good.

I’m boring you with all this lady-nonsense, aren’t I. Oh, go back and read about my zombie dream, why don’t you! I’ve got my last school assignment of the semester to force myself to do.

UPDATE: There are so many typos and incomplete sentences in this take-home final that I want to give it back to my prof and tell her I’m not going to do it until she fixes it. Sheesh.

Saved by the Subconscious

December 10, 2012 § Leave a comment

I had this really intense, vivid dream last night. I’ve been watching a lot of the Walking Dead lately, and I usually try to be pretty careful about what I expose my imagination to, since it so often takes something small and runs with it (though it has the capacity to make up scary-ass shit that I’ve never seen before. A few years ago, I had this really vivid dream where I was in the kitchen of our first Alabama house and there was this scratching at the door that led to the garage. I opened it, and this dead zombie woman who was missing all of her body below the belly button dragged her way in, screaming this horrible blood-curdling scream, reaching out for me. It was totally disturbing and purely from my own imagination. When I woke up, I felt like I could still hear her screams.). I’ve also been watching it alone, which means I don’t have any visual distraction like another person would afford. 

Anyway, so in the dream, I’m with a bunch of people in this warehouse area. The warehouse was red brick, had big windows, and a chain link fence around the perimeter about 25-30 feet from the walls of the building. Zombies had us surrounded, pressing themselves up against the fence as we frantically tried to gather supplies for the “bunker,” where we were planning on making our last stand. I say “bunker” because I couldn’t understand why they were calling it that since it was more like a pit. It was a 10 foot deep concrete cut out, rectangular in shape and slightly smaller than the average size of a suburban swimming pool. The pit was rimmed with a rail fence about 4 feet high. Yeah, sounds real secure, just like a bunker (note sarcasm). I was sent on the supplies run into the warehouse with about half of the group, while the others clambered down a ladder into the “bunker” to stack up supplies we already had. 

As an aside, the warehouse had one exterior wall covered with these great antique porcelain signs (guess I’ve been watching too much of American Pickers as well). They were lovely. We headed around the side of the building to the entrance, but we saw that a number of zombies had forced the gate of the chainlink fence open enough for them to get through, though they could only get through one by one. We hurried into the warehouse to try to gather supplies before they reached us, but we were too slow. Abandoning the bunker, we prepared ourselves for battle inside the warehouse, basically just standing there with our guns at the ready as we watched the zombies silhouetted against the doors, pressing harder and harder against the old metal and glass that were sure to break. I remember briefly wondering how the folks in the bunker were doing. The zombies broke through the door and we were vastly outnumbered. 

This is the interesting part, so pay attention. 

We were vastly outnumbered and were retreating backwards into the warehouse. A male zombie grabbed me. I knew it was over, but instead of fighting or screaming or crying, I just closed my eyes. As his hands gripped my arms, I expected them to be scabby and cold, but they were warm and soft and strong. I braced for the feeling of teeth on my neck, tearing flesh and breaking through to that fat artery I use to check my pulse rate all the time, but all I felt was a soft kiss on my throat. I opened my eyes, and I was on a rocky beach, looking out over a foggy sea. The light was soft, diffused to the fog, and the breeze off the water was warm. I was sitting in the middle of a large, soft bed with white sheets, enjoying the grey tonalities of the world I’d found myself in. I felt totally comfortable, totally at peace (though normally, I have to say that I’m more of a Gulf Shores girl than a coast of Maine girl). 

This is interesting on a number of levels.

It’s fascinating to me that my subconscious pulled me out of a very scary apocalyptic dream and put me into one of the most peaceful scenes it’s ever created, if not the most peaceful. It’s also interesting because of the specific nature of the switch between the dreams, with my closing my eyes and embracing inevitable death-by-zombie, but instead feeling no pain. I expected the rough grasp of the zombie’s hands followed by the ripping into my throat by sharp teeth, but instead I felt warm, gentle hands and soft lips. The transition was so smooth, seamless. And yet still so vivid. Bizarre, and a first. Usually my subconscious totally fucks me over, letting me die 100 horrible ways or leaving me alive but in an overwhelming fit of hysterics. 

I am incredibly thankful for this dream, in its entirety. I don’t think I would appreciate the beach nearly as much if I hadn’t been dying in a zombie apocalypse before I got there. I also find it refreshing that my subconscious can create both good and bad dreams. I haven’t had a good dream in a long, long time, so it’s nice to know it’s still possible, though I never would have predicted the good dream it gave me last night. What a wonder to think that that feeling of complete and utter peacefulness is inside me, especially since it’s being expressed by my normally tumultuous and downright abusive subconscious. Perhaps things are getting better?

Yeah, you’re right. It’s probably just a fluke. 

Totally unrelated, I saw a dead adult mouse on my way home today. I rolled his body off the sidewalk with my boot so he wouldn’t get stepped on, not that it matters now anyway. Sad.

Best Intentions

December 8, 2012 § 1 Comment

I knew today was going to be a bit off when I woke up at 4am. The fitted sheet had been pulled off the bed and the blankets were all messed up, so I could tell I wasn’t sleeping well before I woke up. All I can remember about my dreams is that I ran over the dog I met last night at a holiday party. That’s bad enough.

The weather was really weird too. It sounded like it was raining, but when I looked out of the window, I couldn’t see any rain though it looked foggy. So I thought maybe it was the wind blowing the leaves, but it didn’t look windy either. The weather the rest of the day has been strange as well, with really low, dark clouds but no rain. 

Got to work and the tours were a disaster. One of our docents (one of my favorites actually) had a stroke last night, so we were short a docent for a tour that was supposed to be 40 kids. We’re still waiting for an update on his health status from the hospital. Only two other docents showed up (our of four). The students got to the museum 20 minutes early, but because it was Pancakes with Santa day, they had to wait outside because we couldn’t fit them in the lobby. We assigned the docents to their extra-large groups and sent them up to Rockwell, but Security refused to open the doors until exactly 10am, even though we have them open Rockwell early literally almost every day. The other tour at 10am was supposed to be 12 people, and about 30 showed up. Not much I could do to help. 

I decided to take a hike to help clear my head from the events/frustrations of the morning, and I called a friend of mine from work to see if I could take her dog with me. She was more than happy to have her dog out of the house, so I loaded her up and headed to Red Mountain. 

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The trails were mostly empty, I assume because the weather was so ominous-looking. I wasn’t too worried about the weather because I had only planned for us to be out there an hour based on my previous day hikes there. This time, though, I decided to take a different trail which ended up being much much longer. About an hour or so in, we come to a lovely overlook, but there’s a sign that says “End of the Trail” which I was 100% not expecting at all because the other trails I’d been on there were all loops. It was just how my day was going. I really didn’t want to be out there another hour, so we jogged half of the way back. During one of my walking periods between jogging sessions, I saw a baby mouse in the middle of the trail.

My first thought was to move him. Admittedly, there weren’t a lot of people on the trail, but the people I had seen were guys jogging or on bikes, so at their speed, they wouldn’t have seen the little guy and probably would have run over him, especially since he was smack dab in the middle of the path. Cricket was looking forward, down the trail, so I tried to get the baby mouse onto a leaf so I could move it onto the side of the path, knowing that the smell of a human will repel the baby’s mother. Unfortunately, Cricket turned around to see what I was doing so I instinctively scooped up the little guy before she could eat him.

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First mistake. Now he had my humany smell all over him. Judging by the fact that he was covered in fleas, I was pretty sure his parents were long gone. I pulled all the fleas off him as I was pondering what to do. Clearly he was on his own, so many my scent would help protect him instead of doom him. I decided the best I could do was hide him on the side of the trail and let him try to take care of himself. After putting him down on one side of the trail, I decided the other side looked safer because there was this little collection of twigs and leaves that would cover him and keep him from getting rained on. As I was moving him under the twigs, he bit me, and instinctively I shook my hand in reaction to the bite, throwing the little guy into a twig where he lay curled up with his eyes closed. FUCK. 

Try to save baby mouse from being stepped on or run over, check. 

Try to save baby mouse from being eaten by dog, check. 

Rub human scent all over mouse in the process, ensuring that his parents, were they ever to find him again, will abandon him, check. 

Move baby mouse to safest area from predators, rain, and hikers, check. 

Get bit in the process, shake off baby mouse, send him flying into a twig, check. 

Way to screw the pooch, kiddo. Honestly, I feel a little better about the baby mouse dying from the shock of breaking a tiny leg when he hit the twig than from him starving scared and alone in the middle of a very big world. I should have just left him alone, kept my nose out of Nature’s business, but it’s so hard to see something that small sitting there so vulnerable and alone. Maybe it would have been better to leave him there, let him get stepped on, because at least that would have been a faster death. I don’t know. It’s too late now. Poor little guy. The biggest thing in the world that I absolutely abhor is the death of children, especially when they suffer and are scared and alone. No matter if they are human or animal, it breaks my heart. I hate that I could have made things worse for that little mouse.

Sometimes shit goes wrong. Lesson learned that best intentions can cause the most harm, check.

Signed with Wine

December 8, 2012 § Leave a comment

I’ll be honest, I can be a real spiteful bitch when I want to be. I know how to cut a man down when I want to, and I know how to permanently burn bridges.

It’s actually rarely the case that I’m doing it just to hurt him; usually I do it with intention. You know me, always thinking about the future. I hurt guys in the worst way because it helps close that door, because when I cross that line that I know I can never come back from, it means that I can never reignite anything with that guy. I don’t lie and I don’t lie by omission either. I’m honest about everything, so when I cross a serious, deal-breaking line, I know that I can never have a potential future with that guy because I could never lie about not crossing that line. I cross that line for a reason, I hit below the belt as hard as possible because it means that I don’t have to be in that weird limbo stage of not knowing whether we could get back together or whether something more serious is there.

I did it to alec. When I first moved home, I burned that bridge as fast as possible, even if it’s just burned on my end because I have knowledge of my actions that he does not. I could never get back together with him after what I’ve done. If he ever found out, it would destroy him. But I didn’t do it to hurt him, I did it to close that chapter/book/whatever permanently in my own mind. We will never get back together. There is no going back, there is no way to apologize, there is no way we could get past this.

I’ve gotten better about being spiteful. I prefer having things cut and dry, black and white, and sometimes I do the worst thing I can think of if it ends in the kind of clean cut that I want, so I don’t have to have that question constantly nagging my mind. Sometimes I do things just to hurt, because I felt hurt. That’s childish, I admit that. I get really angry any time I let someone hurt me, and in the past, I’ve been quick to hurt them back.

I can’t decide what my motivations are right now. Standing too close to the picture, maybe? I’ve been so tempted to cross those lines, to really make it hurt, to burn those bridges so I can move on with my life knowing that I’ve removed any kind of questioning, any kind of wondering. I want a simple life and often times permanently closing those doors, even if it’s just on my end of things, really helps. Few things are more uncomfortable to me than that kind of wondering, that kind of vagueness and confusion, those fleeting moments of eye contact when I search for some kind of answer.

Tonight I actively chose not to cross those lines. I can’t decide if it’s because I’m maturing or if it’s because I’m just not ready to burn those bridges yet. Time will tell, eh?

Create-A-Day: Baby Steps

December 6, 2012 § 2 Comments

For the few Flickr followers still with me, this one is for you.

sink faces small

Stages of Life

December 6, 2012 § 1 Comment

I got lunch with my mom today. We went to our usual place (Surin) but instead of diet cokes, we both got glasses of red wine as toast to celebrating the insurance company’s decision to total the truck. It’s the second car of theirs that has been totaled this year, but considering the ridiculous amount of money they’re getting for that crap bucket, no one is complaining. Hopefully they’ll use the money to get a decent car for my dad to drive, now that he’s driving again. There was a year or so where he couldn’t drive. It’s better for him to be able to drive, I think. 

Anyway, I was telling my mom about how tired I’ve been, not just from recent events but for the last few years. I take on so much. I know other people take on more, but for me, I think I’ve reached my maximum level of stress and responsibilities. I want my life to be simpler. 

She reminded me of something that I already know, something I’ve been hanging onto, though it’s easy to forget in the fray. She reminded me that this is temporary. My life won’t always be this

I’ve made some important decisions about my future that will help, I hope, to prevent my life from returning to the color-coded overload that it has been for the last….. ten years. I’m not applying to grad school again if I don’t get into somewhere this round. I can’t keep killing myself trying to fluff up my resume, trying to somehow make my application stand out. I’m done. This is the last time I’m trying. If I don’t get in, I’ll use my Master’s degree and just try to get a job, try to find a life that’s simpler, that’s just 40 hours a week. A life that doesn’t involve a constantly grumbling belly and a fear of checking the mailbox for the knowledge that yet another bill has been delivered. I can live on so little, it makes any salary seem wonderfully high. But it’s exhausting living on so little money, and it’s exhausting taking on so much. I’m at maximum capacity and it’s time for things to change. 

I just have to make it through the end of my Master’s degree, that’s what’s really the big push. I need to find a job since I still haven’t been given word about whether I’ll get to keep my job at the museum after Rockwell closes. A new job is not something that I want, but a girl has to pay bills and my student loans (dispersement date is Jan 9!) will only go so far. I want to stay at the museum. It’s grown to be somewhat comforting, like a dysfunctional, on-the-verge-of-self-destruction kind of family. But getting attached to anything right now is dangerous. This stage of my life is temporary. 

I used to do this thing, when I was younger, where I would think through a situation or relationship so far that I would refuse to pursue it because I saw that it would end. One can understand why I did it, especially considering how deeply sensitive I am despite the walls I’ve built. I avoided people because I couldn’t stand the thought of losing them as much as I couldn’t stand the thought of them turning out to be a disappointment. When I left alec in DC, I tried to let go of that way of thinking, maybe just because I’ve been wrong so many times or maybe it’s simply wisdom that comes from growing up. Since I’ve been home, I’ve tried to be open to whatever opportunity presents itself that I think might lead down a road towards happiness. There’s a good chance I’ll be leaving Alabama in 6 months, but I can’t say for sure what will happen next year, I can’t say for sure that I’ll be leaving or staying or moving or changing. Being open is living life, not being caged by the worst case scenario. 

Being open is scary, though. I’ve been hurt a lot since I’ve been home and I do worry that the damage goes deeper that I am willing to acknowledge. What is perhaps most surprising about it all, though, is that I don’t regret anything. In general, I think regret is a waste of energy, one of the most unproductive emotions we possess, so I try not to do or say anything I will regret. I made a lot of questionable decisions when I first moved home, primarily because I felt totally numb and was desperate to break out of that fog. I did break out of it, and looking back on the past six months, I understand the decisions I made and I can’t regret them. I did the best I could for myself and things have turned out fairly okay. I’m in one piece, I still have my health, and I ditched the people in my life who didn’t make me happy.

Damage has certainly been done, but I feel an indescribable relief in knowing that deep down, there’s still a person who wants to love and be loved beneath the bitchy, judgmental, arrogant shell I live in. The shell is in integral part of me, so please don’t think that it’s some kind of shallow construction. For lack of a more attractive metaphor, I’m like a turtle. That shell is as much a part of who I am as my soft, sweet insides, even if it repels people as often as it attracts them. I have to protect myself and I see no shame in having a decent set of walls that have to be scaled before someone can wheedle their way into my heart. I thought that when I left alec, that that part of me had died, or become completely inaccessible. Despite the hurt I’ve felt, it’s nice to know that that is not yet the case. 

My body has an innumerable amount of scars, yet some people still find me beautiful. I don’t see why I should assume that my heart would be any different. 

What.a.day.

December 5, 2012 § Leave a comment

Made it through the day! This should be my last really hard day for a while. Today was the last day of classes, so that helps.

Went to sleep at 3:30am this morning, got up at 7 for work. Was having a tough morning (duh) so a friend of mine at the museum kindly brought me a brownie. Worked through lunch then went to a departmental retreat until it was time to go to class. Tried to finish my presentation (worked on it til 3:30am and only got half of it done) during class, then scrambled to finish it between my afternoon class and my evening seminar, when I was scheduled to do it. Got it done just minutes before class started. As per usual, my presentation was great. Now I just have to put in all my footnotes and elaborate on a few minor points and I can turn my paper in! Which is good because it’s due on Friday, so it’s not like there’s a lot of wiggle room.

Realized by the time I got home at 8:30pm that all I’d had to eat today was that brownie and a granola bar. Whoops.

Looked in the fridge, but all I found was this:

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Old applesauce, old pineapple from thanksgiving (I should really throw it out…), old grapes that should also be thrown out, and some really old apples that I haven’t looked at in over a month. That can of fruit cocktail has been with me since the move down from DC. Not sure what I’m saving it for, a rainy day, I guess. That package you see in the lower left is this pre-cooked bacon that my mom bought me. She meant well, but just because it says bacon on the package doesn’t mean it’s really bacon. I’ve had that box for a while, should probably throw that out too.

I ate some stale rolls from thanksgiving with a little bit of peanut butter. I have to ration peanut butter because it’s so damn expensive. I get the kind with extra vitamins + omega 3s.

I can’t wait for the day when I’m not this poor. I can’t wait for the day when I don’t have to do 13 hour days with non-stop stress, little sleep, and no food. I can’t wait for the day when I actually have food in my fridge that is edible. Grad school is supposed to be like this though, right?

Exhausted now. Painted my nails and have plans to wear makeup tomorrow since I’ve looked like a zombie all week. I cried during work today, so I have to put my big girl pants on and get a grip before I go back. I’d also like to look nice tomorrow because there’s a certain cowboy fella roaming the halls of the museum looking for places to put healthy vending machines. No joke.

Seriously. Bed time. Every day I have like this probably takes 5 years off my life span. Sigh. Hope it’s worth it.

Where Am I?

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