Monday, February 28, 2011

Not too bad...for a Monday.

I want everything I shouldn't have.  I want everything Jimi shouldn't have, especially.  Sugar, pasta, red sauce, cheese (LOTS of cheese!), cookies, ice cream, sugar, garlic bread...all of it.  At the same time.

Instead I'm going to have cereal or a spinach salad, depending on how ambitious I'm feeling when I finally decide I'm hungry enough to go forage in the kitchen for food.

Lazy and fat, that's what I am.  But, to my credit, I have 3 boxes of Girl Scout cookies hidden away in the pantry - I left them there this weekend because it wasn't until after I got them home that I remembered Jimi can't have them and that Jimi loves them and that it would be cruel of me to eat them in front of him.  So I hid them away, deciding that I'd delve in when he was out doing something without me.  The thing is, we don't really do anything apart, so the cookies are still hidden in the pantry.  I think I dreamed about them last night.

I need to put in some overtime at work and I'm dreading it and putting it off and not doing it and that sure as hell isn't getting it done, so it's all still just sitting there, looking at me.  I think this is the week - to clear my desk would be so awesome.

I don't have anything fun to talk is happy and boring, just the way I like it.
Maybe tomorrow.  Till then...

Happy Monday!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

I'm so much more than that!

I know it's hard to believe, but most people who end up here at my boring blog, well, they didn't MEAN to.  (I know, I know, it shocked me too.  I mean, any minute now my blog is going to go viral and overnight I'll become the next Dooce or Pioneer Woman.)  But no, most of the traffic landing here, on my little internet island* didn't come here to read the awesome - almost every click is some person Googling info on Loestrin.   You're thinking WTF, aren't you?  I know, me too.  But you see, back in October 2007, a new doctor prescribed that mean, mean birth control pill - by now you've probably deduced that me and Loestrin weren't good friends - I hated it.  And so I blogged about my feelings, as I am wont to do.  And then, for almost 2 years, I forgot that this blog existed - I was living in happynataliejimiland, and I just forgot that I had a blog out there.  (I posted 40 entries in 2007, 2008, and 2009 combined - compare that to 203 entries I posted 2010.)  When I rediscovered this place last July and started really getting into it again, I was stoked to find that one of my entries had somehow accumulated over 90 comments from complete strangers, all of whom were weighing in on my personal bitchfest about a hormonal pill that turned me into a raging sack of crazy.  I've since learned that the Loestrin post shows up on the second page of links when you Google "Loestrin FE".  WTF?  How did that happen?

At first I was all "Oh, that's cool!  More traffic is good traffic, and maybe they'll click on the banner up there and read what's up with me today when they see that shit is over 3 years old."  Not so much.  Something like 96% of my traffic bounces after a quick 30-second perusal, and ordinarily, I'd be really hurt by that and sad and shit, but when I look at the keywords that are leading people here:

loestrin 24 reviews
loestrin reviews
loestrin 24 fe reviews
lo loestrin fe birth control making me boated and my skin is breaking out
loestrin and anxiety
loestrin24fe reviews
my blog is boring
anxiety attacks on loestrin
can you take loestrin for perimenopause
does loestrin 24 fe cause acne

I get why they're not sticking around.  I mean, if I was just starting out on that shit and needed some more info, I wouldn't be all "Oh, this chick hated this stuff 3 years ago - I wonder what she's up to these days?  I can put off learning more about my mood swings and why I've had three periods this month - right now I'm going to see if this stranger from Kentucky had anything good for dinner last night."

How do I make that stop, though?  How do I get traffic that wants to drive on my road?  I've considered deleting the damned problem-causing post, but again, I go back to "all traffic is good traffic", and so that seems like it's not the best answer.

I fail at blogging.  I don't know what in the hell I'm doing.  I write this because it feels good to write, to stretch my words and my fingers and my brain, but I don't want it to be JUST for me.  I want you to want to read it, and then comment on it, so I can know you're out there so I can go read what you've got to say.  I want my dang analytics to be able to give me helpful feedback about what I'm writing, but so long as that effing birth control rant is hanging around, all the data is skewed.

Apparently, there's some stigma in the blogging world about having ads on your site or admitting to trying to gain followers, but I don't get that and I think it's lame.  I'm guessing that at least half of all bloggers do it because they secretly hope someone one day will read their shit and be all "OMG you're awesome and I want  to pay you money to write things".  I want someone to pay me money to write things.  And I'm also guessing that 95% of all bloggers get a little rush when they see that someone has left a comment for them - and that's before they even know what the comment says.  We do it for ourselves, for our children (real or imaginary), but we also do it because we want to share part of ourselves with the rest of the world - because we want others to know what we've gone through and to tell us where they've been.  But I think it's crazy to act like we're not all hoping that someone will find our story, or our way of telling it, and be all "You're awesome and I want to give you some money".  Or maybe it really is just me.

So yeah, I want to make sure that people who like to read blogs about ridiculous things and boring things and life in general can find my blog.  And I don't know how to make that happen.  But I know that a 3-year-old entry about a bad anti-pregnancy medication isn't the way to go about it.

Google sent me a card a while back for $100 of free advertising with AdWords.  (Conversely, the card they mailed?  It reads at the bottom:  PS:  This card was printed on 100% recycled paper embedded with wildflower seeds.  Plant it in a sunny spot with a thin layer of soil, add water, and watch it grow - while you watch your business grow with AdWords.  How awesome is that?)   I don't know where to start, though.  I feel like I need someone to hold my hand.  How does one go about finding someone to teach them how to do this sort of thing?  I wish I could be real-life friends with Heather or Allison O. or Monica or Katie or Natalie - then I could just call them up and be all "Um, I need some help...can you help me?" and they'd be all "Of course!  Come on over and bring your laptop."  (Not that I think I'm anywhere close to being on their level or anything - but you get what I'm saying, right?  Maybe a little?)

So I guess I need to figure out this AdWords thing - they've probably got a Help section that will teach me what I need to know.  And I need to figure out what to do about that Loestrin post.  (I admit, when I was pregnant for a week and had the baby ticker thing up in the corner, I got a kick out of imagining what people who found that entry must've been thinking - "Hmm, looks like it didn't work for her!" etc.)  (Oh, and I'm intentionally not linking that effing post - it gets plenty of traffic on its own.)

*Typing "internet island" reminded me:  Last night we went to eat with Karen and Gary, and one of Gary's roommates and his girlfriend.  The roommate told a story about his mom, who really likes pens - ink pens, of all shapes and sizes and designs and colors.  He, the roommate, suggested to his mom that all of her pen-loving needs could be fulfilled online - told her to look up Pen Island dot com.  Think about it for a minute.  It'll come to you.  Got it?  Dude.  He did that to his mom!  His MOM!  That's a little jacked up.

Happy Sunday, Friends!  And if you have any suggestions or if you happen to be fluent in AdWords, hook a sister up, would ya?  Love and skittles and rainbows and kittens and kisses!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Tag, I'm It!!!

A while back, a girl (woman, now) who lived up the street from me when we were growing up left a comment on my blog.  It's always cool in a i-hope-i-haven't-written-anything-too-embarrassing sort of way when someone from THE REAL WORLD finds my blog.  I'm still pretty hopeful my Momma doesn't know about this published-for-the-world-to-see-but-somehow-still-sort-of-private journal of mine...I use the eff word here and I try really really hard not to do that in front of my Momma.  Anyhow, I was like "Oh cool!  Stephanie blogs too!", and then I was like, "Oh, crap, I hope I didn't say anything that she'll go tell her Mom about and then her Mom will go say something to my Momma..." and then I realized she has far more interesting things to talk to her Momma about than my boring blog.  (It's not all about you, Natalie.)  It's neat to find a blog of someone you know in THE REAL WORLD, isn't it?  Stephanie and I, we'd said a few hellos to one another via private messages on a local social networking site, but that was years ago, when her babies were still itty bitty babies, and it's not like we took the time to share family photos or to tell each other about our days.  Linking back to her blog, Dirt and Lace, I read about her girls (they're 3 and 4 now, and look so much like Stephanie did when she was a kid.), her husband, her family, her business ventures.  And I also discovered For The Love Of Blogs.  (See the button over there to the right?)  (Oh, and coincidentally, Stephanie's blog is nominated for the March Blog of the Month Award.  She'd probably really like it if you voted for her.)  So, For The Love Of Blogs (we'll call it FTLOB here, it's quicker), it's a shiny happy place where bloggers go to find other bloggers and spread blogging love to all the blogging world.  In other words, as a blogger, they help you find readers.  As a blog-reader, you're introduced to all kinds of new blogs and stories and tales and sads and happys.  It's win/win.

So, I've found some pretty cool new reads thanks to FTLOB, and my most recent favorite, Elephants & Rainboots (I mean, how freakin' cute is that title?), she tagged me in this 7 Facts blog-love-spreading award thingy.  Thank you, thank you, thank you for the bloggy love!

This is the first time I've ever done this, so I'm sure I'll do it wrong and break the whole thing, and I almost didn't do it at all because I'm so afraid of failure but then I remembered:


In for a penny, in for a pound.  

The Rules:
1.  Copy the 7 Facts picture (above - the one with the sunflowers) and paste it in your blog.
2.  Thank the person who tagged you.  Share the bloggy love and link back to their blog.
3.  Share 7 Facts about yourself.  (I guess that's where the title comes from?)
4.  Pass the love to 15 other bloggers.

I feel like the fat kid in dance class.  Again.  You're not all laughing at me, are you?  If I'm doing it wrong, you'll tell me, right?  Okay, here are seven things about me that I'm pretty sure I've never talked about before here in this space:

1.  I really was the fat kid in dance class.  Stacy and I took dance lessons when we were little - I was maybe 7, 8?  Who can remember?  I was awkward, that's all I know...but that really could describe almost any period in my life.  Anyhow, for a year, once or twice a week, Momma would drive me up the road to the dance academy in the strip mall with the 6 foot gold-colored plastic trophies in the windows, where a pretty 30-something blonde lady tried to teach me and 8 other girls tap, jazz, and ballet for an hour; where I would pretend I hadn't spend most of my days watching the Smurfs and He-Man and She-Ra instead of playing jump-rope or propelling myself across the monkey bars.  All (in my not-reliable memory) of the other girls were tall and lithe and graceful and already looked like superstars in their leotards and sheer pink gauzy skirts.  I was round and soft and my leotard bunched up in my butt crack and my tap shoes rubbed blisters on my heels.  At the end of the year, shortly before my little brother was born (so I was 8 and 9 during my lessons), there was a recital.  My costume was red satin, with silver sequins glittering on the spaghetti straps and the 6" wide swatch down the front of the leotard; there were two skirts, (because of course, costume changes are awesome!) one with a thin band of silver sequins supporting a 4" long skirt of red fringe, and the other was an 8" skirt of fire and glare - it was nothing but sequins.  The whole thing had a flapper-ish feel to it.  We were required to wear pancake makeup - I remember my Momma, big and pregnant, working on making sure the rouge was bright enough on my cheeks, that the bright red lipstick didn't smear.  I'll never understand the blue eyeshadow thing, but we had to have that, too.  My dance shoes - the ones for tap and ballet - were spray-painted silver.  I loved every minute of it - the dressing up and wearing make-up part, not necessarily the learning part - but looking back it was expensive for Momma and Daddy.  They didn't put up any fuss when I decided I didn't want to go back.  To this day, I'm a lousy dancer.  

2.  I like popping pimples.  It's gross, I know, but I can't help it.  I don't want to watch videos of other people doing it, because that sorta makes my stomach do flip flops, but I kinda like popping pimples in real life.  Jimi doesn't let me talk about it; he won't let me pop his, either.  He says it's gross.  I know he's right, but I can't help it.  

3.  I chipped my tooth last night.  On Finn's dog bone.  It's a pretty innocuous story, really.  Finn had the bone, I was holding it for him, I leaned forward to kiss his nose, he let go of the bone and it smacked me in the teeth.  It hurt.  Fortunately, I don't think the damage is serious.  

4.  When I was 19, I got a tramp stamp and had my belly button pierced.  I was dumber then, and thinner.  The piercing only lasted a year or two; the tattoo is still there, but I never see it, so whatever.

5.  I love Sudoku puzzles.  I'm pretty good at them, too.  

6.  I once decided to quit a job because they changed my schedule at the last minute and it was going to cause me to miss the season finale of Friends.  No, really - it was an office job, where i worked from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. four days a week.  At 6 that fateful Thursday night, they told me they needed me to stay till 8, and that my schedule had changed to 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Friday effective immediately.  I thought about it for a minute, realized my show would be over 15 minutes before I got home (this was in the days before DVRs and, then I packed up my desk and went home and watched my show.  I sent an email the next morning saying I wouldn't be returning to work, but I would be in to pick up my final paycheck the following week.  They tried to make me do an exit interview, but I refused, and I knew they couldn't deny me my final check, so I avoided giving them a last opportunity to berate me.  
Okay, I didn't quit just to watch Friends - the schedule change was just the final straw in a long history of abuse and mistreatment I suffered at the hands of the owner of that company - one that specialized in Human Resources, not even joking.  For six months before I quit, I drank Alka Seltzer every day, four and five times a day, in an effort to combat the horrible heartburn I felt from the time I woke up until I was finally home for the evening.  The morning I sent that email?  No heartburn.  It was like a miracle.  No guilt here.  

7.  I'm a pop culture ignoramous.  On the rare occasion that I watch a movie all the way through, it's likely that I won't remember much about it a week later.  I don't know actors names and I don't recognize them when they're in good costumes.  I don't know who's been on SNL or what happened on Lost or Dexter.  I don't know what music is new or good (I listen to NPR in the car).  I have no guilt about any of this.  

Enough about me.  (That was hard.)  These 15 blogs are ones I enjoy, and I think you should give them a look-see, too:

Now I have to go post links to this post on their blogs so they'll know I've tagged them.  I hope they don't laugh at me. Tag, friends, you're it!  C'mon, play along, go join up at FTLOB, etc. and so on.  

Oh, and Happy Saturday!

Friday, February 25, 2011

A random example:

"When you were fartin' on my neck, I was watchin' the movie..."

"...and there were these zombie pygmies..."

Thursday, February 24, 2011

I hate drama. (In a not-at-all sort of way.)

I love drama.  I really, really do.  I love a good trainwreck.

Well, wait.  Let me clarify:  I love other peoples' lives.  I don't want or love drama in my own life, which is why I live such a boring happy little life.  I don't love drama when it adversely affects my friends or loved ones (my brother's drama?  Totally not funny).

BUT, I really love watching from the outside looking in.  Girlfriend wants to get all passive aggressive on her blog toward chicks who make passes at her man - knowing the other women will read the rant and know it was meant for them - LOVE IT!  There are at least three people in my Facebook friends who I'm friended-up with only because they are the sort who love drama in their own lives, and, as a result, I love watching their news feeds.  Kim will say "I thought you couldn't stand them?!" and I'll be all "Well, I don't AGREE with their choices, but I sure do like watching how they play out."

I'm a bad person, I know.  I should be ashamed of myself, but I'm not.  It's no worse than watching Jersey Shore, I rationalize - except I know most of my drama-sources in real life and so I can get the inside scoop, not just what an editor decided was most television-worthy.  I'm a really bad person.

Not all of what I consider "drama" is bad, though.  Some of it is good.  Watching Monica Bielanko via the internet for the last year or so via her blog and Babble posts, her husband's blog, reading about their efforts at raising their daughter, trying to conceive a second child, ALL about her pregnancy, and now, the birth of their son, born yesterday, and who was named, I assume, in honor of the deceased eldest child (Henry Granju) of another blogger, Mamapundit, - that's been pretty awesome.  And I know way more about the reality of pregnancy now, too - apparently it's not all big boobs and cute baby bumps and little flutters.

Reading Mamapundit's tales of life after the death of her child, the birth of her youngest only weeks later, and, recently, a pregnancy that ended in miscarriage - it's heartbreaking...  inspirational, also; it reminds me of how amazing humans are, women in particular, at adapting and overcoming the ridiculous and horrible obstacles life throws at us.

And then there's Allison O over at O My Family - she makes me want to join a church, get pregnant, and quit my job.  Go look at her pictures.  Seriously.  Have you ever seen a cuter family?  Reading her older blogs about her struggles with motherhood, I think "'O' goodness, if it's this hard for her, how would I ever manage?  I'm not half as patient and sweet and good as she appears to be..."  But oh my goodness, she also makes it look like so much freakin' fun!  I want to be more like her.  (I'll start by trying to make the baby, I guess.)


Not all drama is Jersey Shore quality, but it certainly has its place.  As do the uplifters, the encouragers, the redeemers, the examples.  I love it all.

I was going to call it voyeurism, and it hit me...

I just realized...

I think I've done this post before.

I'm pretty sure I have.
I think I even linked the same blogs.

Oh well.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Nothing to see here.

Flaky?  Yes, I am.

I started a 3-day diet this morning, then I had chinese food for dinner.  I haven't walked in days.  Despite January's success, I've smoked my way through the month of February.  I'm a flake.

Any day now, I'll stick to the changes I keep saying I'll make.  Any day now.

Looks like we're taking an extra-long weekend at the first of April and heading out to Washington D.C. to visit Jimi's older brother and see some sites.  I love Washington.  I've been at least a half dozen times over the years, and I guess it'd be fair to say it's my favorite vacation destination because it's the only place I've really been on vacation as a grown-up.  I'm not sure what my connection is with that town, but I feel drawn to it.  I love the history. I love that there are a million things to do. I love that the museums are free; I love that there are a million museums.  I love riding the Metro.  I love that all the monuments are right there on top of each other, all lined up for awe-inspiring viewing any time you turn your head.  I love that Jimi's brother lives just a few dozen miles south, making it easy for us to go touristing on the cheap - no hotel rooms to blow the budget, and we can park and ride the Metro into town, keeping transportation costs to a minimum.  I'm super excited.

I've been watching and listening to a lot of news in the last few months, and it makes me paranoid and scared.  There is so much horror and fucked-up-ed-ness going on in the world; I want to move to an island of my own where I can live on the land and hide my head in the sand and pretend the whole works isn't on the verge of a massive upheaval/collapse.  I can't think about it too much - it makes my chest start to feel tight.  What's up with the sudden vicious attacks on women and reproductive rights/health?  I still can't understand why the richest of the rich get tax breaks and the poorest of the poor lose their access to annual gynecological exams.  Isn't it the responsibility of those who have the most to look out for those who have the least?  And don't get me started on the back-room financial deals and conspiracy theories and Wall Street bullshit - I have to make myself stop thinking about it because, realistically, who am I?  All that happens when I read that shit is I get pissed off and my blood pressure goes up but I can't even bitch to anyone about it because no one cares because what can we do about it?  It's bigger than we'll ever be.

I'm talking a bunch of nonsense, I know.  I'd much rather live in a state of ignorant bliss, so I try to pretend all this shit isn't lurking right there on the edge of my reality every day, that I don't live in a world where some billionaire's desire for more leads to a decision that could have me and all my besties standing in a breadline in the blink of a keystroke.  I sound like a raving lunatic.


I know I talk all the time about how much I love Jimi and how awesome he is, but seriously, I must've done something remarkable in a past life to get to spend this one with him.  I see miserable lovers every day; people who love each other in words only - or maybe they don't even say the words anymore.  My marriage taught me one hard lesson: there are worse things than being alone.  Jimi taught me it is possible to be loved as much as you love; I can't help but feel sad for anyone who settles for less than that.  There's so much sadness in the world...I sometimes have to make a conscious effort not to yell from the rooftops about my happiness.

I don't even know what I'm talking about.  This is what exhaustion and MSG will get ya.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Monday, Monday...

What a happy little weekend this was.  We spent our day Saturday in Cincinnati with Sweet Maggie, shopping, as usual, but not buying anything, which is not usual.  I've got money burning a hole in my pocket, but I can't bring myself to spend it - there's nothing I want badly enough to justify laying down the cold hard cash.  More than likely, an unexpected expense will present itself and I'll have to use my mad money for that and I'll be mad that I didn't get to buy anything fun but I'll be glad I had the money on hand.  Such is life.  La di da.

We'd talked about getting a hotel room and staying overnight in Cincy, but in the end, I couldn't justify the expense or the extra trouble it would cause for Stacy and Jessie to have to keep the dog for an extra night.  And I didn't want to wake up and have to drive home - I really like my house and waking up here each morning is one of my favorite things.  So we drove home, picked up the pup, and we were home well before midnight.

Yesterday we went to Whole Foods to buy some bulk quinoa.  Do you know about quinoa?  Apparently, it's the new pomegranate, one of the new "super foods".  It's a vegetable that is eaten/tastes like a cereal grain, and it has like 14 grams of protein in a 3.5 ounce serving.  That's what they say, at least...I've not tried it yet.  Jimi swears it's going to be our new favorite breakfast food.  Anyhow.  So we went to the Whole Foods, and can I take a minute here to tell you how much I love that place?  I know everything they sell is marked up by at least a dollar compared to stuff at the Kroger, but it's like a hippie grocery-shopping-lover's wet dream.  (I love grocery shopping.  Hate all other forms of shopping.  Go figure.)  I love the beautiful, varied, unusual flowers that smell so good when you walk in the front door.  I love that their grocery carts have a built-in vase to hold your fresh flowers.  I love that they have every variety of everything, in organic and why-do-you-hate-the-Earth?! (regular, I mean).  And Oh My Gosh the Bulk Grains Aisle?!  Holy smokes, I want to live there.  I was so in awe of the place that I bought 2.5 lbs of split peas.  WTF?  I don't even like peas.  (I do like split pea soup though, which is why I bought the peas, I guess, but still - I've never actually made split pea soup, so who knows how this will turn out.  I just had to buy something from that aisle other than the quinoa.)

And then Jimi rushed me through the rest of the store because he knew I was well on my way to wandering aimlessly up and down every single aisle, spending minutes ogling the teas and tomato sauces and different-shaped noodles.  But the cheese!  He couldn't divert me from the cheeses, mainly because they live next to the food bars where we were planning to pick out our individual selections for lunch.  The cheese makes me happy.  I decided to splurge on a selection - I raided the $3 and under sample bin and came away with 8 cheeses of all colors and smells and tastes (one has cranberries in it, another has black olives; be still my heart!) for under $30.  (I don't actually know how much I paid - Whole Foods is one of those places where I can't look too closely at individual price tags - I just try to keep my total under a pre-set dollar amount.  I managed to keep my budget on this trip, so it's a win!)

While I perused the cheeses, Jimi made a discovery of his own - they sell beer!  Not just any beer, either; good beer.  Gumballhead beer.  Jimi loves the Gumballheads.  You can get a pint, 32 oz., or a 64 oz. growler.  The time it took to fill his growler allowed me the time I needed to pick my cheeses.  We were both happy.

And then it was time for lunch.  They had eight (8!) soup selections.  I'm such a sucker for a good soup.  They also had sushi and bbq pork and fresh green beans and salads and all sorts of delicious-looking things.  I wanted to eat it all, but I only have so much room, you know?  I decided on tomato bisque and crackers and a piece of my cheese...and a California roll.  Of course, I only ate the soup and such - I had two pieces of my roll, but I liked the soup better, so Jimi finished the sushi for me.  (He'd counted on this - it's pretty common - so he'd only selected a veggie sushi-style roll.  He's so smart, that man of mine.)  The Whole Foods has a little dining area there in the front of the store - making it officially my favorite place ever.  The cashier said they could arrange to have a cot set up in the back if I was really serious about wanting to live there; if Jimi ever kicks me out, I'll take the guy up on the offer.

After lunch, we went to the Guitar Center across the way.  I thought we were going to look at guitars; turns out, Jimi was serious when he said Saturday that he thinks I should spend my mad money to buy a full-size keyboard, and we were there to see what they had to offer in the way of portable electric pianos.  I'm not prepared to drop $300 on a keyboard.  It would mean I'd have to sign up for lessons; I've forgotten nearly everything I learned from the four years of lessons I barely tolerated as a tween.  And while I'd love to have a piano sitting around to plunk away on when the urge strikes, a keyboard is not a piano, and there is not room in the house for a piano right now and I don't know that I want to spend money on an electric one when I sort of feel like electric would be cheating or disappointing to my expectation and history with the traditional upright.  But Jimi's suggestion was so sweet, so sincere, and his line of "I thought then we could sit around and make music together" was just too heart-wrenching to not seriously sway my opinions.  But still, it's a lot of money...

So I walked away from the Guitar Center without a new instrument for me...but Jimi bought himself a ukulele.  He strummed all the way to Rick's house, who fed me homemade chocolate peanut butter cheesecake and shared a Gumballhead with Jimi.  He strummed all the way home, and then he hijacked the computer to look up chords and songs and sat here strumming until I lured him away with the offer of...

*ehhem*  So anyhow, he took over the computer last night, and that's why I'm regaling you with this awesome story now instead of then.  That, and I don't have anything else to talk about.  Except that when Jimi got home tonight, he took his ukulele to the bathroom with him, saying he was going to play while he pooped.  He said it's called "dookulele".

Gosh, I'm sorry I had to create that image for you, but it's funny, right?  Dookulele.  I'm still giggling.

Our friend and former roommate, Jen, called last night.  She's going to have her baby girl any day now, and I'm glad to find that I'm genuinely, without hesitation, happy and excited for her.  I'm not feeling those jealous pangs I felt when she first learned she was expecting, and I didn't have a single "why can't that be me?" thought.  This is progress, people.  And now I need to go find her registry and send that woman some baby towels - she said she's gotten dozens of little washcloths, but not a single bath towel for her little peapod.

Happy Monday, Friends.  I hope you have a lovely week.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Soap Free? Okay, I'm listening...

This blog led me to this blog that lead me to this blog that started the whole to-do.  And since I read it yesterday, I haven't stopped thinking about it.

Do they use deodorant?  Deodorant is still okay, right?  Man, my hair would be a real asshole during those first two weeks - but I always put it up in a ponytail anyhow, so maybe no one would notice.  My dry skin?  Maybe this could fix it.

It's crazy talk, I know.  But like the (at least) three bloggers before me said - it makes an odd sort of sense.  Our bodies are designed to regulate themselves.  Is a quick rinse and sloughing of skin better for us than a luxurious 30-minute soak wherein we lather ourselves with perfume-scented chemicals marketed to the masses?  I've never thought about it before, never considered "soap" to be a chemical compound, one that doesn't occur naturally and wasn't used regularly by humans for thousands of years, but now my gears are turning and I'm all "OMG, what if soap is what causes cancer?"

I'm being facetious, of course; everyone knows that everything, even soap, gives you cancer.

I think I'm going to try this crazy shit, though.  What the heck.  I'm not telling the folks at work, though - at least not until after it's either declared a success or abandoned altogether (and then I'll probably just never mention it and they'll go on forever thinking I went through a really bad depressive spell where I didn't wash my hair for almost a week).

Think about the money that could be saved.  Okay, not really that much money...let me add it up.  We use probably a bottle of body wash and a large bottle of soap every two or three months - Okay this isn't going to save us a lot of money.  Maybe $80 a year.  Big whoop.

Soft skin, though, they said.  And manageable hairs!  And 5 minute showers, which means an extra 10 minutes to sleep in or fuck off in the mornings before work!

I told Jimi about the articles, and I think he might be on board, too.  We'll call this Day 1.

Now I need to go buy some Birkenstocks and a hemp necklace.  And a long flowing patchwork skirt.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Spontaneous Bachelorette Night!

Jimi's on a bromance date with Steve; dinner and movie with their friend Aaron and then a movie, a Western.  I suddenly feel inspired to grunt like Tim the Tool Man.

I was, of course, invited along, but I don't like going to the movies because I'm crazy, and so while I initially accepted, I bowed out this afternoon in favor of spending my evening at home alone with the dog and the cat and the internet and the Sims 3 and TLC's Say Yes To The Dress and Four Weddings.

And pizza.  And beer.

And while I miss my best friend, I can't lie and say I don't enjoy the occasional evening spent completely alone.  I think I'm going through one of those phases, one of those that makes me super anti-social and reclusive and antsy when I'm out of my own house.  I'm going to fight through it, though - tomorrow we're going to Cincinnati to visit with Sweet Maggie.  All the more reason tonight is welcomed; I started feeling anxious about our little day-trip as soon as I woke up this morning, and this will help me center myself and enjoy the time we're spending with our friend.

So I've ordered my pizza, and I'm drinking my beer, and I've begged off of going over to Stacy's to pick up the present she's got for me.  I'm watching catty bitches on television critique each other's version of the happiest day of their lives.  I'm going to start playing The Sims 3 any minute now.

Oh, and this is my 300th boring blog post.  True to form, no?

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Spring 2011: BEFORE

That boy said it was time to take "before" photos of the yard,
and I thought "Too soon".  
And then today it was 63 degrees here in Louisville, Kentucky.  
It's February 16th, in case you don't have a calendar close. 
This is unusual. 
And I love it.  
The yard does too, apparently - I found these guys peeping up on the side of the house:

And then I decided that since I had my camera out, 
and it was such a lovely day, 
I should take a few more shots:

I took a picture of the Buddha that lives under the Japanese Maple.
No, I'm not being racist.

And there was this bird nest in the burning bush:
Can you tell what it is?
Maybe from a different angle: 
No?  Well, I did the best I could. 

And then there's the River Birch out front: 
I think this is my favorite tree in our yard.

This one's a close second, though, and will be first when we finally hire Steve to clean it up for us and cut out all of the dead that's left over from the ice storm a few years back.

I didn't get any good shots of it, but its got a great root structure - all lumpy and fairy-land-ish.  The sort of tree I used to play under with my Bambi figurines from McDonald's. 

I love outside.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

O Hay Thar

We shopped and didn't buy anything, then ate at a new Japanese restaurant in the Highlands, then came home and cuddled.  Another Valentine's Day come and gone - just another day in paradise.  And look!  Pictures:

The weather here?  It is making me very happy.  It's like a tease of Spring, with temperatures in the 40s and low 50s, lots of sunshine...oh my gosh, I can't wait to get our boat out on the water, to sit on the front porch with my book, to hang out around the fire at camp.  I love this time of year - it's so full of promise!  Jimi suggested that I go around the yard and start taking my "before" photos of the plants and things that I know to expect this year.  I'm also thinking of spending part of my Sunday mowing the yard - it's good exercise, and it probably should be done to mulch up the leaves we never raked.  

The news just showed a spot on bedbugs.  Holy mother of all things good, please don't ever let me have bedbugs in my house.  I'll burn the place down before I'll live with bedbugs.  On that note, for the foreseeable future, I won't be visiting with anyone unless presented with a certificate of bug-free-edness, and no one is allowed to come over.  You understand, right?  

O noes, lunch time is over.  'til we meet again...

Monday, February 14, 2011

The day is for lovers.

I've never been a big Valentine's Day celebrator.  My first boyfriend, John, always did it up right and sent me a ridiculously expensive bouquet of roses and maybe a stuffed animal and chocolate too.  Still, I was the girl saying, "It's silly to spend so much money on a made-up holiday!"  Sure, I enjoy flowers and candy and trinkets, but don't they mean so much more when they're random, just because, for no reason at all?  My ex husband used to come home with bouquets of flowers that he found on sale at the reason, no holiday, just because.  Jimi, he comes home with shoes.  It's sort of a bummer, I guess, to not get flowers and such on Valentine's day, but not really...I certainly wouldn't trade a fancy arrangement for those awesome rain boots he brought me a few months back.  Besides, I am a bad gift-giver and I've not gotten him anything and I don't even come home randomly with shoes for him.

I'm sitting here thinking back on the last 4 years I've spent with this man who loves me...

On February 14, 2007, he told me he loved me for the first time.  I'd said those three little words to him months before, in the dark of his bedroom, my heart pounding in my chest and tears in my eyes because I knew he wasn't going to say them back, and he didn't.  He held me close to him, and told me that he wasn't there yet, that he had love for me, but he couldn't make that commitment yet.  "I know," I whispered, "but I needed you to know."  "I knew, Natalie.  I see it every time you look at me," was his reply, and then I cried some more.

On that long-ago (well, four-years-ago) St. Valentine's Day, home for me was the upstairs of Kim's house.  I didn't have a full-time job, but I'd recently gotten hired on at the liquor store up the road and so I was home during the day when Jimi was at work.  It had become our habit to email each other periodically throughout the day, talking about nothing important, but we were shiny and new and so we needed to spend every possible moment together.  (Not altogether different from the way things are today, actually.  I guess we're lucky in that way.)  He emailed me a picture of a white stuffed teddy bear, holding a red and silver banner across its chest that read "I Love You".  I responded with "oh how sweet" or something along those lines, but inside, I was a little pissed off and hurt that he'd be so insensitive.  After all, it'd been months since I'd walked out on that limb alone and confessed my love for him - he'd said nary a peep hinting that he was ready to hear it again or return the volley should I be so brave to attempt it twice.  I decided I'd not make a big deal of it, but I would stand up for myself and my heart enough to tell him how his innocent gesture had stung.

And so I did, that night, when he'd come over after work, as we were relaxing after dinner, playing kissy face and googoo gaga or whatever in the hell it was that we used to do back when we were all that made up the entire world.  I said something like, "I appreciated the Valentine you emailed earlier, but I'll admit, the verbiage caught me off-guard.  I wish you would've picked something that didn't remind me that we're on different pages here."  He asked for clarification.  "It said 'I Love You'.  It just reminded me that you don't love me yet, and it was sort of a tease."

He pulled me close.  "Natalie, I do love you.  I thought you knew!"

There was a loud thudding sound as my heart frantically tried to escape my chest.  "How would I know?!  You haven't said it!  How would I know?"  Did he really just say he loves me?!

"I didn't think I'd have to say it, I thought you knew!  I thought you could feel it with the way I treat you.  Have I not shown you?"  Did he just say he didn't think he had to say it?  Men are from Mars is fucking right.

The best four years of my life, to date, have been spent with this man.  He and I, we're the ones they wrote the love songs for.  I see old people holding hands and I think "how sweet...I hope their love is as amazing as ours".  Jimi has shown me what love is, how it feels, what it's like to live your life enveloped in it.  His love for me gives me strength to love myself, to not be ashamed of my imperfections but to celebrate them, for they are what makes me uniquely me, and he loves me so hard I can't comprehend it sometimes.  And the love I have for him is so much, so big, so entire...if I think about it too much my heart gets too full and I can't help but cry tears of happiness because I get to experience something so beautiful.

It grows, too; love does.  Every day, I love him more than the one before.  But also, my love for others grows daily - this much happiness and light is meant to be shared.  I want my friends to love and be loved; I want to share a piece of my happiness with every person I meet, and leave their day a little brighter than it was before.  Pay it forward, if you will.

I love love.  I love Jimi.  I love that this is my life.  Happy Valentine's Day!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Turbotax, I give you a 10.

My bank offered a free version of Turbotax for easy e-filing convenience.  The day the W-2s went out, I got on the interwebs and filled in the blanks on the 1040ez form and calculated that I owed the IRS $580.  OH BOY!  Given that I've been chronically underfunded for the last few months while in the midst of paying off a happy little divorce left-over, I wasn't sure how I was going to come up with an extra six hundred bucks, but I figured I'd find it somewhere.  Jimi generously offered to cover the debt for me -when we moved into the house he bought for us, we briefly discussed if I would benefit in any way from the interest he'll be able to deduct.  It was sort of left up in the air, with an aura of "we shouldn't talk about this much anymore" hanging around it.  Paying this tax bill for me, he kindly said, would be his way of sharing that benefit with me.  Bless his sweet little heart.  But then I got my BFB (Big Fat Bonus) and so I can afford to pay my own taxes now and decided today is the day - while the money is there in the account, before I've had the opportunity to blow it all despite my best intentions of saving or being responsible.

So, even though I've got the forms printed out and ready to mail in, that was going to require getting a money order to pay the moneys I owe.  (I don't have checks - I pay everything online or with my debit card.  My mom insists that if I don't have checks, I must not have a checking account.)  Finding the free e-filing option conveniently located in the upper right-hand corner of my online statement was a happy little twinkle of fate for this girl who doesn't like to leave the house.  It took a few minutes to locate my W-2 again, since I'd cleared off the dining room table since last seeing it and couldn't remember where I'd put the thing.  That happens to me a lot - I put things away and clean up and put things where they belong...and then I can't remember where it belongs but I can sure remember seeing it sitting there in the middle of the dining room table on top of the Christmas tins and December's cable bill.  W-2 finally found, internet browser switched temporarily (Turbotax doesn't work with Google Chrome, turns out), I was on my way to being a responsible American citizen.

It was super easy, as programs made for the masses tend to be, but what made me do a happy dance was learning about the $400 Making Work Pay tax credit - which reduced my tax owed from $580 to $180.  That fast, I had an extra $400 in my pocket.  That's real cash money that I'd already marked as gone -money I wouldn't have known about if I'd mailed in my 1040ez forms with a money order.

My day is officially made.

If that weren't enough, I also calculated my state return, and turns out Kentucky lets you deduct your health insurance premiums, even if you didn't itemize on your federal return - that took me from owing $76 to expecting a $46 refund!  Now, I didn't file my state return, because Turbotax wanted $27.95 for preparation and e-filing.  For $27.95, I'll print the forms off and mail them in myself; I'm lazy, but even I have my limits.

And now I really, REALLY want to go shopping.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

What do you call that voice if you don't call it God?

Allison O over at O My Family wrote a post yesterday called second chances, and it got my brain going.  Go read her post - I'll wait.

Finished?  Okay.  If you didn't really go read it, she's talking about seeing an older lady walking along the snowy street pushing a cart full of groceries, and hearing a voice telling her to stop and pull over and help the lady, to offer her a ride.  When she ignored the voice the first time, she felt disobedient; she likened the voice she heard to the voice of God, telling her to help her fellow man.

I hear that voice too, all the time.  I hear it when I see a stray dog running down the street, when I see a homeless person sitting on the corner bundled up and surrounded by all their possessions.  I heard it that day the guy in the wheelchair was waiting outside the bank, asking everyone who passed if they had a dollar to spare so he could buy some food.  I hear it every time I see a man standing at the end of a highway exit ramp, holding a sign declaring that he's a hungry veteran, or when the smelly drunk guy standing in front of the liquor store asks if he can borrow my change so he can get gas for his car that's broken down up the block.  When the lady at the grocery in line in front of me is $2 short of her total, that voice is there.

The voice I hear tells me to reach out, help my fellow man, be compassionate.  I don't call it God; I've always called it my conscience.  

I mentioned this to Jimi.  "Of course," he says, "For the faithful, all good comes from God."

"But how am I ever supposed to find God or have faith if I already label that voice something else?" I asked.  "I don't have to have religion to tell me to be a good person, to tell me to do good deeds for others; how can that voice be God for me if I already hear it and I don't believe in Him?"

I've seen so much ugliness in the name of God that when I see good things done in his name I hold the do-gooders up as the exception, rather than the rule - as if they were somehow more able than others to wade through the mud and muck and the hateful and the shortsighted that surely they must've been taught,  to come up clean and good and loving and Christ-like on the other side.  I know this is an offensive and probably mostly-incorrect assumption on my part, but the loudest Christians seem to be the ones who are the least Christ-like.  I shouldn't be surprised when I encounter people who truly value and cherish and love other humans in the name of a Creator that formed us in His image, but I am, and it confuses me.

I guess just because I don't believe doesn't mean it isn't true.  I suppose all grace I experience could still be because Jesus loves me and God is my Heavenly Father.  But wouldn't that be contrary to all that religion teaches?  As an agnostic, a doubter, a self-described I-don't-know-what-I-believ-er, a girl who lives in sin with a man who loves her but probably will never marry her, a woman who conceived a child out of wedlock, a divorced woman - shouldn't I be struck down?  Shouldn't my life be dreary and miserable and full of disappointment?  Or maybe that only comes from drinking and drugs and over-indulgence...wait; I really should be fucked, not blessed.  But I am blessed; I don't know how else to call it.  I suppose it could be luck, and I guess I honestly believe that much of life is the luck of the draw, but to call all the fortune in my life a simple, random, lucky stroke seems flippant.  But maybe it is just luck, because there are so many people in the world who are so much better than I who have so much less or have been given so many more difficult challenges, and to imply that I'm somehow more divinely smiled-upon is arrogant.

Religion is so hard.  Life is hard.  I don't know what I believe and I guess that's why I've decided that I'll figure it out later, or I won't, but for now I'll just live my life every day, trying to be the best Natalie that I can be, spreading as much loving kindness as I can, remembering to see in every face I meet the divinity in them with the divinity in me.  I'll give my spare change, I'll offer a ride in bad weather, I'll buy a meal if I cross paths with someone who's hungry.  I'll do it because that voice in my head, whether it's God or the divinity within me, won't let me NOT.

I've tried many times to imagine my own personal Utopia.  Early versions centered around stores where everything was free and towns where you could get into any car on the street and drive wherever you wanted.  In my grown-up fantasy worlds, everyone has enough food, and everyone uses kind words all the time, and no one's heat gets turned off in January; the school where the black kids go has just as many computers and music programs as the school 3 blocks away where the white kids go; there are enough jobs to go around and if you're sick you can afford to go to the doctor without worrying you'll lose your house.  I'm pretty sure this makes me a hippie and a socialist.

Another fantasy, a more realistic one, involves winning the lottery and buying a big piece of land in the middle of Nowhere, Montana and turning it into a commune full of my favorite friends and family, all of us working together to form a Utopian society of smart, happy, self-sufficient non-assholes.  The trickling mountain stream nearby would provide lots of untainted drinking water.  We would grow our own vegetables and fruits, raise cows and goats for milk and cheese, pigs for companionship and bacon and pork loins.  We'd use geothermal and solar technology to live off the grid - except I still want internet access, we'll need it to keep current on stuff and as a research tool for homeschooling the commune's children-geniuses.

I've gotten way off track here.  What was I talking about?  Oh, yes, the voice.

I don't know what it is.  I don't know if it's God, or if it's a lifetime of lessons teaching me to be a good person, or if it's simply human instinct to react with compassion when we see another human in need.  Elephants do it, apes do it - it's logical to assume that we, those of us at the height of the food chain, would also have an instinct telling us to help others of the species.  Have we conditioned ourselves to be so selfish, so far removed from our nature, that the ones who follow that instinct need to explain it as being instructed by a Creator to do so?  And is it so normal to turn to religion as the reason for good-doing that the ones who aren't religious and simply follow that instinct spend an hour on a lazy Saturday afternoon trying to figure out what in the hell it's called and why she does it?  Can I write any more awkwardly-worded questions that don't exactly ask what I'm trying to ask because I can't find the right words for all the big thoughts in my small little mind?

Too much thinking for a Saturday afternoon.

Friday, February 11, 2011

As I was saying...

As I was saying this morning, what a difference a day makes.

Jimi's got the 'betes, as I'd suspected.  He's got a list of medications he'll be on for the foreseeable future, until he's got his blood sugar back down to a normal level, and he's been put on a low-calorie diet and ordered to exercise regularly.  He's set a weight-loss goal that's both bold and attainable.  The goal is for him to not be diabetic in a year or two.  

Honestly?  I knew this was coming.  He's not felt good for a year - I knew.  Honestly, I'd expected it to be worse.  I'm freaked out and scared that reality has come to call, but at the same time, I'm relieved.  It could be so much worse.  

It can always be worse.  Unless it's as bad as it gets, of course, but in that case it can only get better.  I'll forever be an optimist.

Speaking of optimism - my bonus was more than I'd dared to consider hoping for.  I've gone from wondering how exactly I was going to manage to pay the mortgage (which was due on the 1st, by the way) and the water bill (due yesterday) with this week's pay, to having a balance in my savings that the account has never seen before - and that's after leaving spending money, mortgage money, and water bill money in checking.  There will be enough for the few new items of clothing I've been needing but couldn't afford, maybe a massage that I'm so desperate for, and that $600 I owe the IRS this year?  I can pay that too.  And even after that, maybe I'll get to take an actual vacation this summer - one where we fly on an airplane to some tropical location far removed from prying eyes or the need for clothes...or Washington, D.C. - whatever; still a vacation, either way.  Or I can just leave it all sitting there and enjoy looking at that number and know that if an emergency comes up, I'll be okay for a few weeks.  

It sort of makes me uncomfortable to write that much detail about my finances, and I hope you read it and thought "Thank goodness my finances aren't so dire" and not "That effing biotch, listen to her brag about her bonus!".  Money is one of the suckiest facts of life, and I say that as someone who has always had enough.  I'm not rich, my family isn't rich, but I've never gone without a meal; my basic needs have always been met, and there has always been at least a little something left over.  I'm ridiculously fortunate, but I understand it is not that way for everyone, and recording this moment for what it is for me is the goal, not bragging.

Jimi's brother is over tonight for an evening that will include dinner and who knows what else.  Probably the brothers jamming on their guitars in the next room while I internet or read that Stephen King book with which I'm enthralled these days.  Or maybe Stacy and Jessie will stop in to hang out for a bit.  Just another happy, content Friday night.  My favorite sort.

What a difference a day makes.

I'm scared for my man, but I'm hopeful, too.  I'm worried, but I'm not going to vocalize that too much - I want to be the voice of encouragement for him, not the one saying "What if you don't..." or "You have to do this or...".  He's a grown man, and all I can do is love him and support him and encourage him - that whole vinegar/honey argument applies here.

On a similar note, last night Finnegan and I attended his first "Behavior Basics" training class hosted by the Kentucky Humane Society.  The tips we learned were very helpful, but the lady teaching the class should stick with teaching animals, because she sucks at relating to people.  I was pissed off when she criticized me for not bringing a rope-type lead and then proceeded to explain to the class, using my retractable leash as a prop, that retractable leashes are basically cruel and unusual and the equivalent of using shock collars/whips to train my dog.  I nearly walked out of class when she heckled me for bringing treats to class in a ziplock bag rather than a cloth bag that hangs on my hip.  And then, near the end of class, after I'd run out of treats and Finn was anxious to meet the pups across the room rather than touch my hand with his nose, that woman singled my dog out as one that was obviously in need of more rigorous "homework", and I decided I won't be going back to that class.  I'll work on the weekly assigned "homework" with Finn, but Jimi's going to have to go to class.  I'm afraid I'll get mouthy.

And now I have to go hang out with the men-folk because they say I'm being antisocial.  Happy Friday, and I hope your weekend is full of sunshine, rainbows, kittens, puppies, and happy.  :)

What a difference a day makes, take 2

I've used that title before.  It's the truest of the truths.

All of my worries from yesterday have been resolved by today.  Now would be a good time for me to take a moment to put a little thank you out there to the universe.

Thank you.

Thursday, February 10, 2011


Jimi went to the doctor this morning for follow-up on the blood-work that was done last week.  I don't know the results yet - he said it's bad, but he's not dying, but he didn't want to rehash it right then.  So now I've got this pit in my stomach that won't go away.  I'm pretty sure it's diabetes, but again, I know nothing right now.  Nothing.

I'm late, but not pregnant.  That only pisses me off; like the universe is mocking me.

Tomorrow is bonus check day at work.  Fingers crossed that it'll be at least as much as last year.  If not, that's okay, too; I'll just have to try harder this year.  Right now, though, anything is better than nothing.  I'm broke.

This is about as deep as my thoughts go right now.  Jimi's sick, I'm not pregnant, and I'm broke but money's coming tomorrow.  That's all I've got.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The boring blog meets the doldrums.

I'm not sure what happened.  For months there, I was a blogging fool, telling you every (almost) sordid detail of my mundane, boring day-to-day life.  And now?  I've not posted anything worth reading in weeks.  My bad.

I think part of what took the wind out of my sails is knowing I've been snubbed by Blogher.  Not that I can blame, them of course, but I really wanted them to like me and let me be one of them.  It's been so much longer than 45 days since I submitted that application, though, so maybe in six months I can try again.  Maybe in six months I'll have completely lost interest in blogging.  Probably not, but I don't do so well with rejection, even if it comes in the form of no response at all.

So yeah, that's a bummer, and makes me do some reflection on my little slice of the internet here.  I say this is for me, and it is, really, but I also want you to like it and want to read it, and when I look at the crap I've been putting out there, well, I can try harder, let's just put it that way.  I read dozens and dozens of blogs, and some of the writers seem to put so much more into their words; in comparison, I feel like I'm all surface and they're all depth.  I could change that.  I could.  I could try harder.  I don't try hard at a lot of things; I think maybe this thing means enough to me that I probably should try hard at this.

I said once that I think you have to live a good life in order to give good blog, and maybe my shitty writing here lately is a reflection of the life I'm living.  I don't do much; I go to work, I come home.  Rarely, I'll venture out to spend 2 or 3 hours with a friend or family member, but I'm always watching the clock, counting the minutes until I can make a not-rude exit and get back to my house.  What, you ask, do I do at home that's so fascinating and enthralling and consuming?  Nothing.  I sit here, read the internet, watch the ignorance that passes for television programming, eat, pet the dog, tell Jimi I love him.  That's pretty much it; so exciting.

I started walking/jogging/running at least 20 minutes a day almost 3 weeks ago, and for the most part, I've stuck to it remarkably well.  But you don't want to hear a rehash of that shit.  This isn't a weight-loss blog.  And really "I walked/jogged/ran for 20 minutes tonight" is really all there would be to say about that.  Same with the other major lifestyle change I've made this year - I'm still not smoking.  YAY ME!  Sure, I've cheated (the entirety of last week was pretty much a shameful weak moment; the time I told you about, then again the night before Kim's birthday when we went out, and then Jimi and I split a smoke on our way home Saturday night), but I've not bought a pack of smokes this year.  I'm still counting myself as a non-smoker.  I'm going to beat this monkey to fucking death.  But again - how many times can I say "Still not smoking!"?  Boor-ring!

Can we talk for a moment about the word "fuck"?  I like it, a lot; you've probably noticed.  I've been told it's tacky, or that it debases my words.  I don't worry about that so much; I do worry that it offends.  I don't mean to offend - sometimes, I just feel a particular thought needs a good strong "fuck" to fully illustrate the point I'm trying to make.  I've tried to switch to Eff or f-bomb, but it doesn't always do the job I'm needing done.  This is a battle I fight in real life, too, so please don't feel like I'm saving them all up for my writings.

Anyhow, so I'm either going to have to find a theme or some writing exercises to get my juices flowing, or I'm going to have to get out of my comfort zone and do some stuff I don't usually do.  I should probably do both, and not for the blog, but for me, for my sanity and health and social well-being.  I'm going to find a Zumba or Yoga class.  And then I'm going to attack that volunteering thing I talked about a month ago and haven't done anything about just yet.  And I've been more social - I was out 3 times last week, as a matter of fact.  Combined, that should give me something to say - deepen that creative pool, so to speak.

So bear with me, bloggy-friends, I'll get my shit together and get to giving good blog again soon enough.  The sun is out - that makes me feel more inspired already.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Wimmins is da crazy

I'm sitting here thinking "I haven't written in days, I need to write, but I don't know what to write about...maybe I'll read some other blogs for a few minutes and see if I can get some inspiration" and the first one in my reader is Home, by Glennon at Momastery.  Are you guys getting tired of me linking to her stuff?  I hope not; she's brilliant, and the more I read, the more I love her and admire her and want to be like her.  Go read that link - especially the part toward the end about her girlfriends and how they've watched each other grow and wear different hats through the years.

At the end of her essay, she says this:
How do you feel about female relationships? Do you have them?Do you want them? Are they satisfying? Are you afraid of them because you’ve been hurt? All of the above?

And so now I know what I'm going to write about; I'm officially inspired.

In high school, I felt like I related to boys better than girls.  I had girlfriends, close ones, but there was always a sense of being judged by them - like I needed to measure up to be worthy of their friendship.  In moments of crisis, we'd declare our undying love and devotion to one another, but when the smoke cleared and the dust settled, petty jabs and sly barbs were thrust my way under the guise of "I'm just kidding" and "I'm only joking", delivered in such a way that forced me to either laugh along or look like a crybaby who made a big deal out of nothing.  My guy friends, though, they didn't say mean things to me, ever.  They took me to movies and to the park to swing on the swings at 10 o'clock, or to the 24-hour Wal-Mart or Meijer to walk the aisles because there wasn't anything else for a teenager to do that was free.  They let me drive their parents' cars before I even had a learner's permit and they let me control the radio station and sometimes they paid for my Subway or McDonald's or Krispy Kreme too.  I had a boyfriend, though, so they never tried to kiss me or touch me or made me uncomfortable in any way.  We were just friends, and they liked me just the way I was.  They talked to me about history and philosophy and religion and life; my girlfriends talked about each other and boys.

When I became an adult, I learned I was a serial monogamist; I go from one long term relationship to the next, with an appropriate grieving period between each beau, of course.  And when I'm in a relationship, boy am I in it.  It's all-consuming for me; I live and breathe my man, and put him first in almost all things.  Between that little piece of psychosis and my own personal narcissism, I've never left a lot of time for developing and maintaining relationships with women.  I become a social butterfly when I'm single, and can quickly develop a mixed social network of acquaintances, but I stop nurturing those relationships as soon as I get into a relationship with a man.  I don't cut off all contact or anything, but I stop making plans, or I want to drag the boyfriend out with me everywhere I go, or he isn't feeling well so I need to stay home to take care of him.  I don't make the women in my life enough of a priority.  I wonder if this is because I felt like I wasn't a priority for my girlfriends when I was growing up?  I felt like the guys were there for me, but often felt like an outsider or nuisance for my girlfriends.

I have managed to not completely drive a way a few remarkable women, though.  I wonder a lot why Sarah still bothers with me, or how Maggie can be so sweet to me despite my flightiness.  And Kim puts up with some of the most amazingly vicious moodswings.  Stacy is family and has to love me, but even that blood bond we share doesn't explain how kind and good and supportive she is to me.  And of course, my Momma.  And really, now that I think about it, there are about a dozen or so other women who I know love me, just the way I am, and who even accept the majority of my crazy.  I've got a good network of women in my life, now, somehow, as a 30 year old woman who doesn't often leave the house and will still choose to stay home with a sick boyfriend over going out for wine night.  I'm obviously both the luckiest woman alive and insane.

I have some close male friends, but I wouldn't say that I gravitate toward men more than women these days.  I find it easier to get to know men initially - they, as a sex, seem to never worry about how they're being perceived or worry that there's some aspect of their personality they should keep under cover.  Men will willingly share racist or sexist jokes, expecting to to laugh along with them.  Women keep their cards closer to the vest; they're constantly aware of the image they're presenting, the things they're saying, the personality traits they're willing to allow you to see.  In this way, I guess I've become more of a man, but without the ____-ist jokes.  I am who I am, and knowing I'm loved, just as I am, by some amazing men and women, that gives me the strength to say "love it or leave it" to the rest of the world.

I'm not afraid of women any more.  I was, once, I guess.  I cowed and bent to their will and tried to be what they wanted me to be.  I wasn't happy, though, and for a long time I think part of me believed I could never be completely myself, completely who I am, completely happy if I was going to be a good friend to another woman.  Like part of me had to be what she wanted it be; like I'd always have to hide alway part of who I was, so I could fit the image of what she thought I should be.  I know better now.

My instinct right there, just now, was to say it was Jimi who taught me I can be loved being just who I am, but that's not true. I taught me that; my girlfriends, the ones who love me here, now, as I am, they taught me that.

I felt a little twinge in my heart as I read Glennon's description of the memories that can flood past when she looks at one of her girlfriends she's known since college.  I imagined that my high school girlfriends and I would have those same reminiscent moments over the years, and when I think of what might have been...but it's not to be.  Our paths have long-since forked.  Like everything else in my life, that part didn't turn out the way I'd expected; nothing is as I thought it would be.

The most surprising part of realizing my life is the opposite of what I'd imagined is realizing I like this version better than the one I thought I wanted.

Friday, February 4, 2011

The truth?

If someone asks me if I'm pregnant today, I'm going to cash out my 401K to pay for lipo.

Thursday, February 3, 2011


Okay, this is jacked up.  The indicident yesterday could be explained away by a cultural/communication gap.  But today?  Today is just bullshit, and I'm 99% convinced it was purposeful and intentionally mean. 

Guys, I was embarrassed to even tell Jimi, but I'm going to tell you:  For the second time in two days, a man has asked me if I'm pregnant.

What.  The.  FUCK?!  These cockbags obviously have no sense, no tact, no couthe. 

And I obviously am fat.  Any doubt I had in my mind that I could maybe pretend I wasn't part of that particular club has long since evaporated and is gone forever.  I'm okay with it, too; I know I'm fat.  But motherfuck, I certainly don't want it pointed out.  By men.  Who I work with.

Yesterday?  That stung a little, but the man didn't set out to hurt my feelings.  Today?  I think this guy did.  This morning, I relayed yesterday afternoon's events to the people who missed our meeting.  Not 30 minutes later, the same gem I discussed here was standing in my office, commenting on how big my belly seems to be getting and am I pregnant?  I glared at him, told him no, I'm not, but thanks for asking and making me feel so fantastic.  Futher, I said, you've just made my day by being the second person in as many days to say such a thing.  His response was "well, if I'm not the first, then i don't feel embarrassed".  Don't worry, dick, I'm plenty embarrassed for the both of us.   

I've got a theory that he heard the story from yesterday and maybe he was trying to be cute.  Or maybe he was trying to be mean.  Or maybe he really is just that much of an asshole.  Either way, I wish our work relationship was one that did not require regular communication, because, frankly, I've got nothing nice to say to this cat any longer.  I've been harrassed and made to feel small and had horrible things said to me by this man for years, and I've tolerated it with a smile and brushed it off.  I'm finished pretending. 

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

No baby, just fat.

I’ve been doing well with the whole “20 minutes of cardio every day” thing.  I missed last night because of Kimmie’s birthday gathering, but other than that we’re talking 2 solid weeks of daily walking/running/jogging.  It’s a record!  The numbers on the scale haven’t moved much, and that’s okay; the amount of effort I’ve put into this so far isn’t such that would induce any real change on that front.  I’m not feeling any more lean or fit; again, totally fine and in line with how hard I’ve been trying.  Baby steps, baby steps, baby steps.

I’m thinking it’s time to step up my game, though.  This afternoon, in what was supposed to be the afternoon production meeting  but instead only consisted of me and one of the other four mandatory attendees, my Mexican-born co-worker was standing next to me as I sat at my desk when he suddenly reached over in front of me, patted my belly, and said “What happen?  You baby?”  It took a minute for his meaning to sink in.  “Nah, man, just fat!”  I tried to laugh it off and move on with work-related shit, but his words are recorded in my mind, playing over and over again on a loop. 


I mean, it’s one thing for me to stand naked in front of the mirror, looking at my reflection from the side, and realize that when I was growing up, this is the figure I thought I’d have at around 8 months gestation.  Fuck me, it’s another thing entirely to have it pointed out by a man I work with. 

Did I mention this is the second time this particular question has been posed to me by co-workers in the last 2 years? 

I told my boss.  “See, I thought everyone understood the universal rule that you NEVER ask a woman if she’s pregnant.  I don’t get it.”

I don’t get it either.  Sense, people.  Use it.

Meanwhile, I took Finn for a walk when I got home, and I guess that and 60 crunches will be added to my nightly repertoire going forward.  


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