06 July 2010

Is This Thing On?

I don't know if this blog even has any actual followers anymore. I wouldn't follow me because I suck at regular posting. Fuck it, it's summer--I have better things to do with my "spare time" than stare at a computer screen and wax poetic about my fucked-up life. There are tans to attain, bikes to ride, children to embarrass...the list goes on and on...

I have actually been doing shit. All the aforementioned activities, of course. Lots of biking. Lots of running at the gym (I'm still not brave enough to try actually running on the mean streets of the Happy Rock). Lots of hanging with the boyz. Sewing, too. I've made myself a couple of skirts and think I may finally be ready to take on...a zipper.  Duh-duh-DUH...

And then there's all the not-so-happy stuff that I won't bore everyone by detailing. Suffice to say I'm doing a really great job if I make it through a day at work without hiding in a bathroom and ruining my mascara. (Damn non-waterproof shit.) Hate my job, hate db, hate db, hate db. Hate db so much that I spent a few minutes beating on my steering wheel tonight while pretending it was his face. I thought I broke my thumb for a while, but I think it's only bruised. I wonder if I can sue him for that...

19 June 2010

Lather, Rinse, Repeat

Does my lengthy stretch between posts make me an *official* Bad Blogger?

Whatevs, it's summer. Live with it.

My other blog is also in desperate need of attention, as well. Don't see that happening soon either, unless we hit a serious stretch of bad weather that extends into weekends. We had a pretty helacious storm here today--came on right about noon and was, thankfully, over by 3. The pool re-opened at 4. We returned home around 6.

Yeah--it's like that.

I did manage to do one creative thing today--my oldest niece is having a birthday next weekend, and I've commissioned for a pair of pajamas. I decided to throw in a pair of "slippers" as well--flip flops adorned with strips of the same flannel I'm making her pj pants out of. I've got them mostly finished and plan to work on the pjs tonight.

Right now, there's a 2-year-old sitting on my chair behind me, alternately trying to unclasp my bikini top, rubbing my back, and slapping my rear while yelling "BUTT!" and then laughing. We're teaching him to be such a good citizen.

I've also been investigating running shoes. I've taken up running lately. Here's why--at 15, I could barely, barely run a mile without collapsing, and my best time was damn near 11 minutes. Lately, I've been able to run 4 miles in just under 40 minutes. And that makes me feel kind of like a badass.

The downside is my high arches and underpronating feet, which inevitably lead to shin splints. Very, very painful shin splints. Most of the time I just run through the pain (bad, bad me) but after a run or two, I find I need at least a couple of days to recover (and lately that's not even enough). It's gotten bad enough that just this afternoon, at the pool, the toddler pressed down on my shins while scooting himself off the end of my chaise and it hurt enough to make me scream. I'm also a huge pussy, but trust me, it hurts. So even though my old shoes are barely worn on the bottom, I'm thinking I've had them about a year and it may be time to invest in a new pair. Unfortunately, I'm also cheap, so let the battle between my wallet and my shins begin...

I did FINALLY get a haircut this morning. I decided to suck it up and take my chances at the salon very near my house. And my old stylist was just sitting in there, killing time between appointments. It was like running into an old lost love. I've not been that happy to see someone in a while. I also did step one of my 2-step color this afternoon--so long, gray hairs!

I think it's time to take off this wet suit now before I start to mildew.

31 May 2010

Memorial Day

It's been kind of a crazy weekend. For not having really done anything, it feels like we've been "doing" non-stop since Friday afternoon.

Starting with Friday night BMX racing, now with new and improved (or at least "improved") bike (new pedals, fully working brakes, and a bigger sprocket/chain/gear thingy). It must have worked, because he took 3rd--his second placing finish so far this season. And he worked for it, too. I was ridiculously proud.

Saturday, I asked him what he wanted to do, and his response was "can we just, like, stay here and play in the backyard?" Who am I to argue with that? We set up the kiddie pool and the slip'n'slide and had ourselves an afternoon. After I dropped him off that evening, I went to the gym for a run (over 4 miles in 45 minutes, and I ran a full 15 minutes straight without stopping at a 10:00 mile pace), then came home to sticky chicken on the grill, grilled corn on the cob, and pasta salad, served on the deck with a nice cold beer and sugar-free Creamcicles for dessert.

Yesterday was more of the same--pool time with the toddler. Then to my sister's house for a barbecue, which was promptly rained out. Hmph.

Today--another beautiful sunny day spent poolside watching the toddler "swim." Unfortunately, we have also discovered "swim diaper" really means "creates a biohazard in any pool, just add water." Gross, gross, gross. And why must he shit EVERY. TIME. he gets in the pool?

Back to the grind tomorrow. I'm hoping for an excellent 4-day week. I'm feeling "tanned, rested and ready" (so the political joke goes), and really hoping good things start happening after Wednesday...but that's a post for another day.

24 May 2010


So today I'm going against my recent vow to avoid processed foods. Yeah...that's going to be a tough one to uphold, really. I live in the burbs. We don't have cute little convenient corner grocers that stock fresh produce and crap. Instead, we have Quik Trip, and you don't want to eat anything from there unless (a) you're drunk; (b) you're starving or (c) you have PMS. And since I don't like going to the grocery store every day, I think a little processed fare is going to have to sneak in every now and again.

I am, however, trying to be a good little soldier. So far, so good. Started my day with a cup of coffee brewed in my new French press (husband keeps asking me what's French about it and aside from a portion of the enclosed instruction booklet, I honestly don't know) with some almond milk and a Soy Joy bar. The "joy" part of that is a total misnomer--there is nothing joyful about eating something that tastes like cardboard and looks like a turd--but they are a mere 130 calories, proteinariffic, and portable. And they still taste better than some of the protein bars I've had the displeasure of wrapping my mouth around.

Lunch is rice noodles--more processed food but hey, it's ramen, whatever--and a can of cat food tuna. With any luck I'll start chasing imaginary things and scratching the shit out of my cube wall by mid-afternoon and will be sent home. In an effort to improve my chances, I might start interjecting "meow" into every sentence around 1:30ish.

I have no idea what lies in wait for me in terms of dinner, but I did bring some rice crackers and fresh cherries to nibble on (assuming I don't get sent home for hissing at anyone). And my plan is to go to the gym tonight, as we hope to be at the bike track tomorrow evening. I killed 45 minutes on the stair climber last night--go me!--so tonight I will likely return to the treadmill to see if I can repeat last Thursday's performance.

23 May 2010

Biking, Thinking, Dyeing

Friday night, the husband and I found ourselves in that strange but wonderful situation other parents occasionally find themselves in.

We were childless. At least for the next 12-24 hours (at our discretion).

Let the wild rumpus start.

I dropped the older child off for the weekend with his father while the husband sent the younger child off with Grandma for the night. After my dropoff, I hit the gym and hit the treadmill. With my feet. Repeatedly. I didn't pound it as hard as I did Thursday night, but I still managed to go 3.88 miles in 45 minutes (and burned 425 calories). Not too shabby. Again, I went with my strategy of a 5-minute walking warmup, followed by running as long as I could before I thought I might die, then walking no longer than 1 minute before running again, and forcing myself to run for at least 10 minutes before walking again.

When I was through torturing myself, I went home, cleaned up, and we went out for Thai food. It was awesome, except I asked for "medium" and got "hot," which meant my spicy basil and chicken stirfry was damn near painful to eat. No pain, no gain--I ended up leaving a substantial amount of rice on my plate (another first for me) because I was full. And because my mouth hurt too fucking bad to eat anymore.

Yesterday, even though we had no damn good reason to wake up at dawn, we did--7 a.m., to be exact. We got up, cleaned up, loaded up our bikes, and hit First Watch for breakfast. We haven't been to First Watch in ages, and since it is where we spent our first hour as a married couple, it's always been a favorite of mine. Again, I didn't eat everything on my plate (left some potatoes behind) because I was full and knew better than to stuff myself before our ride.

Fat and happy, we headed for Little Blue Trace trail. Our goal--to bike from one end of the trail to the other and back. No small feat, as the trail is 10 miles one way. But it's reasonably flat and well-maintained. It was a beautiful sunny day. It was also muddy as hell. And windy--a couple of gusts damn near took me and my new lightweight bike out--we rode the first leg of our trip entirely against the wind. There were times I wasn't sure I would make it. But about an hour and 10 minutes in, we reached the other trailhead and it was time to turn back. The return trip was a cakewalk by comparison--amazing how much easier it is to ride with the wind working for you instead of against. By the time we got to our car, we'd been riding for 2 hours and 10 minutes, and I felt like a rockstar. A muddy, sweaty, stinky rockstar.

We picked up the toddler and went home, where we showered and promptly collapsed into a sunburned heap on the sofa.

I spent the evening finishing the book I've been reading, and thinking about things. I've been contemplating the logic (or lack thereof) involved in "just living with" my mental state. It really does seem ridiculous, even though it's kind of my M.O. where my health in general is concerned--preventive or treatment measures are always too expensive, too time-consuming, too inconclusive as to effectiveness, too embarrassing, too damned scary, or just too whatever for me to either pursue them or keep up with them. I took allergy shots for years, but stopped because it was a real pain in the ass to go to the doctor every week for a shot. I took prescription sleep aids for a while (Rozerem is awesome) but stopped because of the cost (and haven't slept as well since). I haven't been to the dentist since the oldest child was 3 because that last trip was nightmarish and I'm scared to death to find out what kind of horrible shape my teeth are probably in now that I've had another kid.

My mental health is no different. If anything, it's worse. I have a lot at stake. I can't afford to pay "drug roulette" the way I've forced my kid to play. (Why would I make him endure it when I won't go through it myself? Because I'm still more or less functional--he was not.) I also can't afford to have psych records floating around with my name on them--my older child has a crazy, mean biological father who will, I'm sure, take me back to court to try to regain the custody he lost during our first go-round, and I don't want any paperwork declaring me crazy winding up as an exhibit. I don't have time to take my kid to his appointments, much less take myself to one. And we haven't been able to afford for more than one member of the family to require medical expenses.

But really...am I doing any of us any favors by just continuing to "live with it?" When I'm good, I'm pretty darned good, but when I'm bad, I'm useless. And with all my excuses and whatnot, aren't I just contributing to the stigma of mood disorders--the very problem I'm always soapboxing about?

Wouldn't it make more sense to get my shit together?

So I'm thinking about it and making some decisions. Decisions that I will keep confidential because, well, I want to. Until the judiciary no longer consider depression a hinder to one's ability to parent, I have to. In the meantime, I will keep on keepin' on (as the hippies say) and do the best I can.

I will also resolve to not forgetting sunscreen when I go biking on a sunny day. And I will dye my hair, because gray isn't sexy, no matter what all the old hippie bitches would have you believe.

21 May 2010

Revival (and not of the tent variety, either)

So it is with me. I'm here, then I disappear for days (or weeks), then I pop back in again. And so on, and so forth.

I've mostly spent the past few weeks wallowing in my own self-despair, trying to maintain a toehold on my good habits while shamefully indulging in the bad ones. Fortunately, I think it's all come to a head at last, and I may be getting my groove back.

Yesterday, I had good intentions--but they were thwarted by a co-worker who felt a need to bring bagels in for breakfast. Still, I limited myself to a plain one with lite cream cheese, and I stuck to that. We ordered in pizza for lunch, and there was cake to further celebrate a couple of department birthdays--I had probably the equivalent of 2-3 slices and one small square of cake. I told the husband I wouldn't be eating dinner, but I had a very small plate--about a cup of spaghetti with 3-4 meatballs and some marinara.

I had planned to go to the gym and spend 45 minutes on the stair climber. No small feat, considering I've been pushing it just to get through 20 minutes on that thing lately, and I slept wrong Wednesday night so my left shoulder/neck had been tied up in knots and hurt like hell all day. When I got to the gym, the stairs were all available, but I didn't really want to do the stairs. I wanted something faster-paced, something more challenging, something that felt like I was really doing something (I know the stairs are challenging and really doing something but humor me, okay?). So I climbed on a treadmill.

I walked for 5 minutes and then started to run. And I wanted to quit almost immediately, but I told myself, "self, I'm sick of listening to you whine like a bitch. You CAN run, and you WILL run, because you SHOULD run, and you're going to shut the fuck up and just RUN, dammit."

And run, I did. I stopped three or 4 times to walk for a minute, but no longer than a minute, and then I was back running. And I didn't stop until I'd gone 4.6 miles, 51 minutes, 513 calories (according to the treadmill) burned.

I was sweating like a beast, my legs felt like jello, and I was thinking "this is going to hurt tomorrow," but dammit, I did it, and I felt awesome. But I didn't stop there--oh, no. On to the mat for pushups (real pushups), 5 sets of 10, and crunches (about 60 or so).

Then I stopped.

And I felt like I had regained my badassness.

So today, same story--I'm not going to listen to myself whine like a bitch anymore. Go hard or go home, pussy. Eat right, drink water, do a repeat performance at the gym tonight, and quit that fuckin' cryin'. So far, so good. Some asshole brought donuts to work this morning--DUNKIN Donuts, mind you--and I've decided to pass in favor of my oatmeal with a tablespoon of peanut butter. Ha. And you know what? I don't feel deprived. I don't feel like I'm being cheated out of a good time because it's just a fucking donut. It's not like you're cheating yourself out of a trip to Disneyland or something.

Three cheers for me, and for all the other trying-to-behave bloggers out there who seem to also be pulling out of their (our) collective funk. Really makes me wonder if there's some weird seasonal, weather-related, cosmic shift going on that's had us all wigging out. Whatever it is, I hope it's on its way out the door.

09 May 2010

Weekend Update

Betty White is so cool. I hope I'm half as awesome as she is when I'm half her age.

My boys surprised me with a new set of wheels Friday evening. Not the dorked-out, PeeWee Herman wannabe cruiser of my dreams--my husband refuses to cater to my "style over substance" philosophy. Instead, what was parked in my living room when I got home Friday was a new, blue, shiny aluminum-framed 23-speed street/trail hybrid. It may not look like anything spectacular (meaning, it looks like every other "normal" bike out there), but WOW, is it easy to ride.

Yesterday we took it for its maiden voyage--the trails at Smithville Lake. Hills, hills and more hills. Hills I've been avoiding so far this year because the toddler weighs more than he did in November (the last time we were there) and I wasn't sure I could maneuver them with him on the back of the Suburban. The New Bike weighs maybe 18 pounds (compared to the Suburban's 50ish) so I was hopeful.

Holy crap--I was taking those hills like they were nuthin. We usually wind up and down the hill from the lot to Sailboat Cove, then wind back up and down again to the lot in a big circle. This time, we hopped on the "Bonebender Trail" beyond Sailboat Cove and had almost a 3-hour ride. My legs were super sore last night, but I was amazed at how much easier it had been to ride The New Bike. I'd never have made it on the Suburban! It also made me realize I am kick-ass super strong to have been hauling that toddler around on my old, heavy Suburban. I may have a spare tire, but my legs are awesome.  ;)

So yeah, it may not look like anything special, and it will never be the prettiest bike in Puppetland, but The New Bike has won my heart. Of course I'd love it more if it had fenders and a chain guard and a wicker basket on the front, but I won't tell it that. Much. And I'm keeping the Suburban just in case I ever want to look like a dork. (Of course, it's out of commission for now--had to swap out the seat clamp with The New Bike's so the toddler seat could be installed. :( But I promise it will ride again eventually.)

I will say I'm now super-pumped for more biking adventures. The weather has sucked balls this weekend--it was nice at the lake yesterday because we were in the woods almost the whole time, so we didn't get killed by the wind, and it was sunny. Today, we went for a very brief ride at Little Blue Trace and even though we warmed up after a bit, it was still cold and dreary. I can't wait to take my first bike/bus adventure... I'd like to take the toddler along but I'm not sure how amenable he'd be to bus travel, and I'm not sure I could hold him AND put my bike on the bus rack at the same time.

I will say my boys went out of their way to make me feel appreciated this year for Mutha's Day. The bike may not have been "just what I wanted" but it is just what I need. They even remembered the Maggie Moo's cupcakes I requested--which we ate the shit out of last night and which are incredible. I'm really very lucky to have them all and even though I may complain about them here and there, I wouldn't trade any of them for any number of dorky bikes.

08 May 2010

The day started with good intentions. Really. It was supposed to be the first day I went for a run over my lunch break. Unfortunately, the weather took a typical shitty midwestern turn overnight, and it's cloudy, windy and too cold for my personal preference--plus it looks like it could pour any minute--so I brought my shoes, just in case, but no walkies today.

And then it was lunch time.

The asshole behind me got greasy Chinese. The asshole next to me got greasy Chinese. The other two assholes in my immediate vicinity got Chic-Fil-A.

I held firm. I heated up my green beans and my Healthy Choice. And then one of the assholes held a barely-eaten order of Chic-Fil-A waffle fries in my direction and uttered those fateful words:
"Here, you want these? I'm full."

Do I want them? Do I want them? Does the Pope shit in the woods? Heck yes, I want them!

But I don't blame the fries. I blame the Healthy Choice. I find a lot of those frozen "healthy" meals are so full of who-knows-what, they leave a really nasty, just-licked-a-cat's-ass sort of aftertaste in your mouth. I needed something to get rid of that taste. Something sweet. And the only sweet stuff I had on me was some dried fruit. So I dug out a shriveled up former cherry and stuck it in my mouth...

...and immediately was taken back in time to grade school, where my sack lunch dessert was often a Hostess Cherry Pie.

Oh, sweet Jesus. The Hostess Fruit Pie.

And I remembered having seen them in the vending machine downstairs.

And I happened to still have about $2.50 in quarters in my purse.

The machine didn't have cherry, but it did have apple. At 470 calories. 470!!!! That's like, dinner. And I inhaled it. And the saddest part? It wasn't even that good. And I wasn't even sure why I was eating it, other than the fond memories of grade school lunches.

And then, because it was sugar, fat, and salt, I needed more. So I had one of the bagels left over from Wednesday. That's how sad I am. And I thought about myself and how not unlike a junkie trying to shoot up bong residue I've become. (Have I told the story about the PopTart I pulled off the top of a pile of dishes in the sink? Yeah. It's like that.)

Now I feel full, fat and sluggish. And disgusted with myself. The full circle of addiction.

When are we (as a nation) going to recognize junk food addiction for what it is?

And don't roll your eyes and tell me I should be ashamed of myself for comparing my inability to stop myself from being a pig in a trough to a poor helpless heroin addict. Think about it. Junkies shoot up because they're unhappy (or bored or lonely or want to fit in or what the hell ever), then they get hooked and spend the rest of their lives trying to chase that first "high." Overeaters are the damn same. Junkies feel powerless over their addiction. So do overeaters. Junkies spend obscene amounts of money and are willing to risk their lives and their livelihoods to score. So do overeaters.

Ah, but there's where the disagreement lies. We aren't willing to recognize that crappy processed food is killing us. Obesity is at an all-time high. Girls are hitting puberty at the ripe ol' age of 8, 9 years old because of their high percentages of body fat. Some of us wake up in the morning and start obsessing about food--what we're going to eat, when, where we're going to eat, why we're going to eat, and so on--before our feet even hit the floor.

It IS dangerous. And it's so damned hard to walk away from, because food addiction is still an acceptable vice. Food is EVERYWHERE. You can't walk three feet without someone trying to feed you. I was pumping GAS at QuikTrip yesterday, standing at the pump, and just happened to glance up and WHAM--there's a bigger-than-life ad for their Hotzi sandwiches. Everyone knows Hotzis are disgusting, but that ad triggered some very strong emotions in me and I actually found myself wanting a fucking Hotzi.

Why aren't there tv ads for cigarettes anymore?

Oh, yeah, because people got all pissed off about the tobacco companies waving cigarettes in everyone's faces and so cavalierly feeding their addictions. These are the same people who have no problem with fast food restaurants flashing giant-ass images of big, juicy burgers on the screen every 10-12 minutes.

Yes, I know, if we start regulating the food industry, it will be just one more admission that people really are ignorant sheep who can't make their own choices and require nursemaiding at every turn. Which isn't something I'm encouraging. I don't even really agree with the limitations placed on tobacco ads. I guess what I'd really like to see is more of an admission of "hey, this shit isn't good for you," and more help being available to people who have a problem. Hell, I can declare myself an alcoholic and an A&E producer is happy to ship me off to any number of facilities in beautiful locations to help get me on the right track. Ditto if I didn't have an aversion to puking, or had the self-discipline to starve myself.

And now I'm rambling and I'm not even sure what my point is. But I assure you, I have one, and it's in there somewhere.

Oh, yeah--raw carrots are fucking gross.
Thurs, 6-May-2010
So much for not obsessing.

Like I said, I didn't record anything I ate yesterday ("tracking," for those of you hip to the jargon). Around 3pm, when I was feeling completely and utterly miserable, I IM'd my husband to inform him I would not be having dinner. When he asked what I had eaten, I thought back and listed it all out for him. I don't even remember now what all was on that list, but I remember it was an incredibly long list, and I was dumbfounded by the time I finished typing it all out. I simply could not believe I had eaten all that. Moreover, I couldn't believe it all fit inside my stomach, and I truly expected to explode all over my office like the guy in Monty Python's Meaning of Life.

But I didn't. Instead, I went home and ate a very small dish (maybe 2/3 cup) of cottage cheese. Then I tortured myself with a "run" at the park. We took the toddler to the park and he and the husband played on the playground while I walked a lap, then ran a lap. Then I realized it's only a 1/2 mile lap. Ugh. So I ran another lap. Then I decided I was done.

Today has been better. I stuck with my latte and protein bar for breakfast, and didn't shove anything else into my mouth until lunch. I had to go to Target, so I thought I'd fetch a salad--they were fresh out of damn near everything. But they had these delightful little sandwiches--10 oz of sourdough baguette, turkey breast, and brie with a little mustard. I picked it up and a little tub of reduced-fat roasted red pepper hummus (to eat with my carrots later). I also grabbed a pint of fresh strawberries.

I tore into the sandwich as soon as I got in the car because I was starving. It was delicious. I finished it in the parking lot at my office, then went inside and had half the strawberries. I had the other half a little later. Then I succumbed to peer pressure and accepted a beef stick from a co-worker when it was offered. I figured it couldn't have had more calories (80) than the hummus I had planned to eat, and it had considerably fewer calories than a couple of big-ass cookies.

After dinner (cheese tortellini with crispy bacon and peas), I loaded the toddler into the jogging stroller and attempted a Toddler/Mom Jog. It was surprisingly not as godawful as I'd expected it would be. I surprised myself by being able to jog a lot more than I thought I'd be able to. We took the route he usually takes with Dad and the Dog, but I didn't want to be gone longer than about 35 minutes, so we only went about half their usual route. It was still a good little haul, with plenty of hills and incline.

Still thinking about suspending my gym membership...

07 May 2010

Wed., 5 May 2010

Happy Sink-o De My-o, yo.

It's been a busy, busy time of year. Spring usually is. Between coming out of the winter fog, and a little person's birthday party planning, and the start of BMX, and (since I'm being honest here) trying to cram in as much "quality time" with my older kid as I can before he disappears to his asshole father's house for the majority of the summer, I barely have time to wipe my ass. (Rest assured, I still make the time for that activity.) My other site has all but stalled out, and I don't expect getting back to it til the weather gets shitty again (although I do have a project to complete this weekend).

And, of course, there is still the whole existential crisis I'm in the middle of. Who am I, where am I, why am I...

I think I'm getting closer, though.

I'm on the fence about my gym membership. I really think my recent bout of self-loathing has been exacerbated by my gym's clientele. Not to mention it's really nice outside now and I'd like to figure out a way to incorporate exercise with family time. Because I'm not willing to take time away from my kids during the week (any more than I already have to) and dammit, I am ass-tired at 8pm. Beyond that, I know how to run, how to walk, how to ride my bike, how to do push-ups and crunches and dips and lunges and squats and all kinds of other things I don't necessarily need a gym for. (At least not until it gets cold and starts snowing again. Ick.) I'm contemplating putting my membership on hold for a few months and reevaluate the situation this fall.

I'm also reevaluating this OCD behavior with food and eating. I'm going to stop tracking my every bite because although it works for a lot of people (I guess), it seems to be backfiring on me. I cheat. I look at my list and feel bad about myself. So I eat more. Then I feel worse when I look at the list. So I eat more. And so on.

Yes, I know, I'm crazy. It grows on you after a while.

So my goal is--stop obsessing about food. That doesn't mean I'm going to go hog wild (literally) and start hitting up every drive-thru I pass in my car. It doesn't mean out-of-control portions and 2nds (or 3rds, or 4ths) at every meal. It means I'm going to stop being obsessed and calculating and analyzing and scrutinizing every damn bite. Because that's not happy.

I'm also going to try to remember, no matter how fat I "feel," my waistbands all beg to differ. I'm not as fat as I think I am. I'm probably not as old/pasty/useless, either, and my hair probably isn't so bad after all.
Mon., 3 May 2010

What I Ate so far: almond milk iced latte (90 cal); protein bar (170 cal); tuna salad: 2 small cans of white albacore, chopped kalamata olives, capers, red onion, red wine vinegar (~320 cal); protein bar (170 cal). (20 minutes before I leave the office as of this reporting. Hope I can make it without shoving anything else into my mouth.)

What I Plan to Do: stairs, 25 min; treadmill, 20 min.

I didn't go to the gym at all this weekend. I'm still working through my most recent funk and part of that is the realization my gym is having the opposite effect lately. Specifically, I go to the gym. Everyone there is under 30 (hell, probably under 25 for that matter), tan, already thin, most likely single and childless, and because they all look alike, I stand out even more for my pasty skin, over-35 and 2-kids spare tire, and bad hair. And I immediately start comparing myself to them and berating myself for not being more like them because dammit, never mind that I AM over 35 and have kids and bad hair and no time to lay on a tanning bed, I should be able to somehow change all that and miraculously still appear to be 25 and tan and childless and skinny.

Yes, I do know how ridiculous that sounds.

So this weekend, I just stayed out of the gym. I rode my bike. I walked all over the damn place with Bob during our bus adventure on Saturday. I got my nails done Sunday and tried to figure out how to get excited about working out again. Because I miss the way it used to feel. I miss that feeling of achievement, particularly after hitting a goal or even after just finishing a workout I thought initially I'd never make it through. I don't know what happened to it, but I want it back. (I also want to know who let all these hipster fucks get memberships, dammit.)

I've also been thinking a lot lately about my job in general. I'm more or less in the same boat I was six months ago and I've determined, it's not the job--it's the profession. I want to get out of law. But this economy sucks for any kind of field change and I don't know how to really go about it. So I filled out an application for the school district--yeah, $4M in budget cuts, doubt they'll call me anytime soon, but hey--someone's got to quit eventually, right? I just hope something comes along before I get desperate enough to become a lunch lady.

02 May 2010


The husband just took the boys to his parents' house to again search for morels. I've been left behind to contemplate our budget, plan our meals for the next two weeks, do our grocery shopping, and maybe get myself a pedicure.

And I'm no closer to figuring out what I want to do with the rest of my life.

"Survival is fine, but satisfaction is rough."

Amen, sister.

01 May 2010

Saturday Urban Adventure - The Photo Post

We left the house at 10:14am to make the 10:38am stop of the 142 Metro.

My boots:About halfway into our walk, I glanced at my watch and noticed we were running a little slow. So we ran a little faster. These boots, by the way, aren't made for runnin'.

We made it to our stop in plenty of time (turns out my watch is about 5 minutes fast). We boarded, took our seats, and off we went.

We got off at Crown Center:And entered the Link--a completely enclosed walkway that more or less will take you all through the Crown Center/Union Station area without having to set foot outside.

We entered Union Station and I took some photos:

We went through the railroad "museum" first:

Most of the displays are tacky and cheap-looking, but I did get a couple of shots of the very cool neon signs for KC Southern and Union Pacific:
I love the KC Southern one--something about it makes me feel like I'm about to step on a WWII era train and go somewhere fascinating.

We bought our tickets to Science City, where the most exciting thing that happened was Bob got attacked by a bronze alligator in the sewer line exhibit:
I have to say, Science City was disappointing. In the ten years or so since its very expensive and controversial opening, very little has apparently been spent on its upkeep. Many of the exhibits were missing parts, and the whole thing was kind of dirty and gross. I would have rather spent the money to see the dinosaur exhibit, but Bob said dinosaurs "freak him out," so we didn't. Hmph.

Eventually, I convinced Bob to head back over to Crown Center for lunch at the sushi bar:
Then we wandered around for a bit, and eventually decided to head home. We sat at what we thought was our stop, but soon realized it wasn't--after our bus came and went. So, having another hour to kill before our bus returned, we got ice cream and wandered up the hill to where our stop was and waited.
All in all, it was an enjoyable day. I've realized my issues with KCATA and the Metro--(1) there aren't enough buses covering the routes to make it an efficient method of travel and (2) it's not really convenient if you live in the burbs, where there isn't service on Sunday at all and only limited service on Saturday--are very real. I've also realized it is very helpful to know where all the stops are on your route so you don't end up walking all over the place trying to find one. But I'm already looking forward to my next public transportation adventure--this time, I'll be taking my bike--next weekend.

Saturday - Urban Adventure

Today, Bob and I are taking the Metro from suburbia to the KC "vibrant urban core" (which is really neither vibrant, nor urban, nor the geographical core, but who's arguing). This venture will begin with a long (for him) walk to the Metro stop. I anticipate much bitching, but that's why I'm bringing my MP3 player.

I also talked the husband into parting with his precious camera for the day so that I might photograph our adventures. With any luck, these photos will not be used as evidence in any future criminal trials.

Stay tuned!


I didn't go to the gym last night. I was tired. And I thought it would be better to just not go at all than to go, half-ass my way through a pseudo-workout, and then feel bad about it. I haven't decided about today yet. I don't really know what I'm doing right now. I feel like I'm at some sort of life impasse (mid-life crisis, anyone?) and I need to think some things through and figure out who the hell I am and how that reconciles with who I was and who I want to be.

What I've Eaten So Far Today: my signature almond milk iced latte; gluten free pumpkin pancakes (from my freezer stash) smeared with 1 tbs REAL peanut butter and the slightest drizzle of light syrup. I'm not going to obsess today, but I'm not going to binge, either.

Wish us luck!

30 April 2010

Friday Night Recap

It's been a frustrating day.

Suffice to say, I did not make it through the day without succumbing to the temptation of the cookies. To my credit, they were really fucking awesome cookies. But I admit, I probably didn't need to eat four of them to figure that out.

So when my husband IM'd me asking if I was amenable to "corndogs and fries for dinner?" I probably should have said "no, thank you." However, I had just read an email sent to my department by our managing partner, which said something to the effect of "someone told me you're all standing around talking instead of sitting at your desks working, do I need to come up there?" and I was sorely tempted to type in "sure, big fella, why don't you come up here and spank me, I've been ever so naughty" and hit send. Instead, I IM'd my husband back and told him to save two corndogs for me.

I spent the drive home in silence, thinking. Why I have to work in a field where the divide between haves and have nots is so incredibly obvious and wide, and why the haves feel such a need to treat us have-nots like we've never really stopped being 3 years old. Honestly, I'm a grown-ass woman. I have a bachelor's degree, a mortgage and two children. I don't need someone to send me an email reminder that the firm dress code doesn't disappear just because the temperatures outside are rising. I don't need someone to stand over me and track my every move 24/7 to make sure I don't let my work suffer in favor of idle chit chat. I don't need nursemaiding, for fucking out loud. And I'm getting damned sick and tired of people who seem to think I do.

Then I wondered why it bothers me so much. Why there are some people who take that kind of bureaucratic bullshit and let it roll off their backs like so much water. Why I can't be that way, just go about my business and be secure enough in my own self-worth to not let things like that offend me so much. Who's right--those of us who want to slap the shit out of the condescending asshats, or those who really don't take it to heart? Who's winning?

And then, will I ever be happy in any job I take? Really, when am I at my happiest?

The short answer: weekends, when I'm home with my kids. Holidays, days off, when I'm taking care of my house and doing shit with my kids. The days when I'm not stretching myself irreparably thin laboring in a modern-day sweatshop and trying to cram the rest of my life into an obscenely short time period.

So you can imagine the frame of mind I was in when I picked up the older boy from school and he told me he'd gotten into a fight on the playground. After I gave myself a time out (mostly to prevent myself from beating him senseless), I let him give me the whole story, and in a nutshell, some girl complained another boy was being mean to her, so Bob went to open a can of whoopass on the boy, only to discover said boy and said boy's friends had every intention of opening a can of whoopass on Bob. Oops. I asked him if he'd learned anything from this experience, to which he replied "don't get involved and take care of myself." Good call, kid. Good call.

After dinner, the older one and I went to Target--I've had my eye on some rubber boots and decided today was the day. I love them. And the next rainy day, I will wear them to work. All day. Because the dress code doesn't say shit about rubber boots.

After we returned, this guy:
decided to ride this:down these:
Fortunately, he was mostly scared (like his parents) and after many hugs and kisses, all is well. I suppose he's learned something today, too.

What have I learned? I have no idea. And I'm too tired right now to figure it out. Hopefully tomorrow I'll have some time to think during my and Bob's Awesome Bus Adventure.
Thurs., 29 April 2010

What I Ate: almond milk iced latte (90 cal); maple brown sugar oatmeal with 1/8c granola and 1/2 tbs honey (210 cal); big ass salad: spinach, baby lettuce mix, roasted chicken breast, dried cherries, walnuts, goat cheese, Ken's lite raspberry walnut vinaigrette, alfalfa sprouts (~360 cal); small Fuji apple (60 cal); 1 tbs "peanut butter spread" (95 cal); oven-baked fries and beef/mushroom/muenster sandwiches (hard telling).

What I Did: treadmill (walk/run), 22 minutes.

I learned some stuff:

(1) "Peanut butter spread," or the stuff most people consider peanut butter, is gross. I've been buying only natural peanut butter for the past several years (the kind that contains peanuts and salt and nothing else). Today, however, I was at Target on my lunch break, and I didn't want to have to try mixing a new jar of pb with a plastic fork (we don't have real silverware in the office), so I settled for a smallish jar of "reduced fat peanut butter spread." Suffice to say, I won't buy it again. It's gross. And it has considerably more on the ingredient list than "peanuts, salt." Not that that stopped me from smearing a tablespoon of it on my apple a while ago, but I didn't enjoy it. As much.

(2) My watch is really old. I bought it at a vintage shop about 10 years ago for about 10 or 15 bucks. It's a tiny little Bulova wind-up job with a cheap stretchy replacement band, but it was cute and dainty and old and I liked it. I wore it until I was pregnant with Bob and developed carpal tunnel and couldn't stand to have anything on my wrists. Then I lost it because it was in my lost jewelry box, which just resurfaced last week while I was cleaning out some shit in the basement. When I found it, I wound it up to see if it still worked--voila, it sure does! And it still keeps accurate time.

I've been thinking I should get a new band for it, because the existing band is really, really tight. I took the watch off and started looking at it, and noticed the serial number on the back. Google is awesome--within seconds, I knew my watch was made in 1962. (Other than that, I don't know much--our desk computers are very firewalled so I don't have access to many sites.)

So now I'm even more enamored of my watch. :)

(3) I am not nearly as efficient or productive an employee when I am not overwhelmingly busy. I haven't missed anything, but I've let a couple things slip my mind (I caught them before any fires were started, but still). Sadly, that's the nature of the beast in my line of work--either you're so busy you can't breathe, or you can't find enough to do in a day. If I were a model employee, I suppose I would put out that "I'm available to help you" APB, but I won't, and here's why--every job I've had, I've been the person who got work done quickly and without any difficulty. Which means I always got stuck picking up the slack of the slow and the stupid. After about 15 years of being taken advantage of in this manner, I am DONE. I'll do my work, you do yours, and we'll all be just fine. I don't ask for help, and I'm damn sure not offering. Maybe this is a bad attitude to have, but all my assisting others in the past ever got me was...well, extra work. And it kept people in jobs who probably shouldn't have been. So it's just my policy not to do it anymore. So there. :P

(4) My husband is awesome. Well, I knew that already. But now he's made himself even awesomer. The local paper he used to write for went tits up, so now our little suburb has no local news source. And trust me, the big city media couldn't give two shits about what happens north of the river. So my husband created GladMo.com, a web collection of news feeds referencing our municipality. It's pretty cool, even to a non-techie like myself. Of course I'm most impressed by the pretty pictures he has on the banner (which he took himself). I'm simple that way.

I also learned an important lesson about the power of negative thinking. Well, it was a lesson I already know well, so I guess I didn't really "learn," but was reinforced. My plan was to try to bust out 25 minutes on the stairs and then 20-25 minutes on the treadmill. I was especially eager to have a decent workout because we took the boys to the park and then for ice cream afterward, and let's just say I didn't say "oh, no thank you, I really shouldn't."

When I got to the gym, the stairs were all taken (DAMMIT), so I hopped straight on the treadmill. I walked for about a minute and then cranked it up to 6.0. And I thought I was going to die, but I forced myself to run, and keep running, until I hit the 1 mile mark. And the whole time, I kept thinking, why is this so fucking hard? Why can't I just run, like this little 20-something skank next to me? Maybe because she might weigh 97 pounds in the rain and most of that is her fake tan and her long, luxurious hair, and I'm hauling around 15 pounds of spare tire. Why can't I do that? Why can't I just stop eating? Why can't I be thinner and younger and hotter and tanner and faster and fitter and have better hair, dammit???

Yeah...it was pretty much a downward spiral from that point. Every time I'd catch a glimpse of my humidity-screwed hair, or the bulge created by my shorts waistband cutting into my gut, or my pasty skin, I'd immediately throw a mental dagger at myself for not being 25, tan and gorgeous. Ridiculous, yes, but it is what it is.

So I made my 1 mile, and then I forced myself to do another. But self-loathing makes for a heavy load, and after 10 minutes (and only .86 of a mile), I quit. By that time a stair climber had opened up, but my heart wasn't in it, so I didn't bother. I went back to the locker room to weigh myself, and finding the scale missing, nearly had a panic attack. So I went back to the floor and climbed on an elliptical, where I spent another 6 minutes before deciding I was sweaty, exhausted, depressed, and my t-shirt had been left in the washer too long and had a mildewy stench emanating from it--time to call it a night.

Ah, the roller coaster ride of emotional overeating. I am depressed. I eat because it makes me happy. I eat too much, and then I'm depressed. So I eat. And so on, and so forth.

How do you stop it?

Today: the plan is simple--Stop. Eating. So. Damn. Much. Eat when you're hungry, stop when you're full. Go to the gym and just do it, dammit. And while you're at it, stop beating yourself up for not being 25 because dammit, if we were all 25 forever, the world would be a really stupid place.

It's already not looking good for me. We just got an email that there are 5 million cookies in the fucking conference room downstairs, free for the taking. And already I'm rationalizing with myself...if you eat it, you'll feel like shit. Yeah, but you'll feel like shit anyway, whether you eat a fucking cookie or not, why not just have a fucking cookie?


29 April 2010

The Bitch is Back

***Note: originally, this blog was intended to be primarily an entertainment venue, with little to no actual association to my "real" life. Since that fell to the wayside after I drained my free time resources dry (and stopped being funny), it's more or less sat dormant for several months. In the meantime, I've been wanting to start blogging in general again (because I am a narcissist and therefore my favorite thing to talk about is me). I've also wanted to start a diet/food/exercise/health/fitness blog (because there are a lot of those out there but jolly few, I've noticed, written by women who have both kids AND a full-time job). Since I haven't had the time to bring those two separate entities to fruition, and this blog is just sitting here, free for the taking, I've decided it's going to have to serve as a temporary home to my ventures. Ta-da.

Wed., 28 April 2010
What I Ate: almond milk iced latte (90 cal); cinnamon spice oatmeal with 1/8c granola and 1/2 tbs honey (210 cal); spicy pumpkin soup (leftover from Tuesday, probably only about 2/3c) (100 cal); small Fuji apple (60 cal); roasted red pepper hummus, lettuce, cucumber, goat cheese, and alfalfa sprout sandwich on Orowheat multigrain sandwich thin (160 cal); Ghirardelli 60% chocolate square (60 cal); SunChips (140 cal); chicken fried rice, white steamed rice, beef and broccoli and pot stickers from our favorite local Chinese takeout (too many cal to count).

What I Did: 30 min walk at lunch; 30 min walk after dinner (while pushing the toddler in a stroller).

Okay, so, not the best day. I started with the best of intentions, but I started feeling all snacky in the afternoon. And it was Wednesday. Ben and I have been doing "Chinese Wednesday" since I don't even know when, and even though I initially told him we were NOT having Chinese for dinner, he eventually wore me down. So much for my iron will.

Since it was Wednesday, and I had to leave to fetch Bob at 7:40, I didn't get to the gym. I did take a nice long walk with Ben, the toddler and the dog after dinner. And I took a leisurely stroll at lunch, as our office participated in the "National Walk at Lunch Day" or whatever it was. So I wasn't a complete sloth. This is an argument in favor of purchasing the Polar F4--I have no idea how many calories I spent yesterday, but the F4 would have told me, and I'd like to know because I obsess. Much.

When I picked up Bob, I realized (1) I had no evidence of the good day at school he claimed and (2) he had already had ice cream with his father, so I decided against getting him a malt at Winstead's. Further temptation avoided, we headed for home and stopped to drop off a prescription at the pharmacy.

As we were preparing to pull out of the pharmacy, I noticed the bike shop across the street had changed their window display--and there, gleaming in the storefront, was the cutest bike I've ever seen. A pink and white cruiser with a big fat seat, a chain guard, and a wicker basket on the front. It was cuter than a toddler in a baby porcupine costume. So we had to go across and get a better look. Even better, it's a NEW cruiser, so it doesn't weigh 500 pounds, and it has gears with handlebar shifting!

I'm crazy in love with this bike. And the cutest thing was Bob saying he could get it for me for Mother's Day. I told him that was sweet, but the bike probably costs close to $200 or more, and I appreciate the thought just as much.

All the same...if I had that bike, I'd be the happiest girl in puppetland. :)

Today: Despite having no plans for what to wear to work, I managed to pull a pretty cute little outfit out of my ass this morning. I even put on my old watch, which was missing until I found my old jewelry box in our basement last week. I did notice, however, that I'm sporting a bit of the dunlap disease--so I'm going to spend the day sucking it in and displaying the best posture ever. I'm going to stay true to my food plan (having my goatmeal right now), but I'm not sure what to have for lunch--I have salad stuff here but I'm getting kind of tired of salad. I need MEAT, dammit. Dinner WILL BE steak and mushroom sandwiches (no exceptions). And the gym will be graced with my presence tonight--I think I'm going to try 25 minutes on the stair climber and 20 minutes on the treadmill. We'll see what happens.