Friday, October 30, 2009

Newsflash: I am still a little fatty fatterton!

So first of all, can I just say that the way I look in photos? Yeah, that's not what I really look like. I don't look nearly as hideous and fat in real life as I do in photos, JUST SO YA KNOW. Ask my husband. He will tell you that normally I look at least passable, but if he takes a photo of me, it's simply grotesque. I am not photogenic, goddamit. I am actually the opposite. I could be making a perfectly normal face in real life and someone will snap a photo of me and suddenly I look like I've got a snaggle tooth, 42 chins and a disturbingly yellow pallor.

Enough of that.

Yesterday I went to the doctor for the follow-up to my desperate flu visit a couple of weeks ago whence I received a double dosage of antibiotics and enough decongestants and nasal spray to ... well, to get rid of the fucking nasty hanger-onner of a disease that I had.

I was dreading the blood pressure test, knowing I'd very likely flunk it, so I was trying to be very zen. I was thinking about kittens and nap time and even making myself a little sleepy. Nonetheless, my blood pressure was 150/100. In case you're wondering, this is very not OK with doctors. My goal blood pressure is 120/80. My doctor starts to fling around words like "stroke" and "heart attack" and "medication" when she takes my blood pressure. Personally, I believe my blood pressure is only high in her office because she freaks me out. Nonetheless, your blood pressure is not supposed to reach these unsafe levels when you're not really under duress.

So my doctor asks me "Do you eat salt?"

I think of dinner the night before: Taco Bell. Salt, with a little salt on top?

"Yes," I admit.

"Stop eating salt. No salt, ever. Don't eat it."

So. I was a little depressed about this. If I'd agreed to take medication, she would have told me to cut back a little and we'd see how it goes, but since I'm not interested in medicating more than I already am, she wants me to completely cut out salt.

She started writing two lists. One said "bad" and on that list were things like cheese, processed meat, ketchup, bread, french fries. The other list said "good," and I kid you not, it had three things on it, and they were: Fruit, vegetables and mustard.

Seriously? I can eat fruit, vegetables and mustard? I'll get right on that.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Dangerously close to becoming naked hair dryer girl

So yesterday when I posted the photo of my kitties in the sink, I checked for my reflection in the hideous brass faucet fixtures but didn't even think of checking in the silver reflective hair dryer. Thankfully, I was not nude whilst photographing my kitties, but I was in a towel, which is my usual garb when putting on makeup in the mornings. When the kittens sat in the sink, I couldn't resist the cuteness, so ran for my camera and snapped a couple of photos. In one photo you can actually see me in the mirror behind the sink, which was definitely a no-go.

This morning, Hubs tells me that if you zoom in on the photo, you can kind of see my reflection in the hair dryer. I mean, I'm kind of clothed anyway and it's not a clear picture of me by any means, but WHOA! I came dangerously close to becoming Naked Tea Kettle Guy. Or Girl. Whatever sex that person is. I was almost Almost Naked Hair Dryer Chick.

So to prevent further embarrassment, I have "fixed" the photo by removing myself and replacing me with a stick figure. To enjoy, you have to click on the link. I'm much too lazy to re-post that photo.

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Pure sweet baby love

These are my 5-month old kittens, my sweet babies, my furry children. Every morning while I'm putting on my makeup in the bathroom, they sit in this sink and watch me.

And yes, that is my blog for the day. :-)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Writer's block

I am totally blocked about what to write on the blog this week.

So I'm gonna tell you about my day.

Today I overslept. Again. The cats sat in the bathroom sink and watched me get ready. I put on a new sweater made out of some kind of demonic material that seems to just melt all over everything and get stuck in my lip balm, nostrils and eyeballs. I knew I should have stuck to good ol' cotton.

I had to chase after one of our leasing reps, who was taking stairs four at a time, literally, and didn't seem to notice that his 7-foot-tall normal gait equalled me in a full sprint.

I returned to the office, sweaty and disheveled, since it's also windy as fuck outside today and my hair is now pointing north, south, east and west.

I listened to a message from Hubs, who wanted me to know he's feeling very free in his new boxer shorts.

I started my period. JOY. Nothing I enjoy better than fricking period cramps while I'm doing financial reports. Just kill me now.

It's picture day at work. We're all taking photos so they can load them into our online corporate directory and people in Chicago can laugh at us. There could not have been more fluorescent lighting in the picture room. I look like a bloated H1N1 patient.

And now for the rest of the day I will continue to pick sweater hairs out of my eyeballs and stoically suffer my Red Tent pains while poring over financial reports that have to be read with a magnifying glass, the print is so small.

Fascinating, no?! Perhaps tomorrow I'll be less blocked.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

As I suspected

There is this study out that shows women are becoming more unhappy, while men are becoming happier. Worse, as women get older, they become more unhappy. Experts claim this is because there are too many important demands in our lives. Education, work, looking good, having the perfect house, feeding your family, raising your children.

"...the one thing in life that will make you less happy in life is having children," this article actually quotes some assistant professor as saying.

Men, the article says, are feeling happier now that the full burden of financially supporting their household does not fall solely on them. Also, they are allowed to age gracefully and seem to have their choice of women, while women are expected to botox themselves to the gills to stay as youthful-looking as possible, as long as possible.

I really see only a few solutions to this problem.

1) I won't have kids, after all. The problem with this scenario is the huge-normous guilt trip that would be visited upon us until the end of time by our families who are dying, and I mean DYING, for grandbabies.

2) We will have to win the lottery.

3) I will simply have to quit my job. This will happen. Eventually. Before I attempt to rob a bank in order to hire a personal assistant (did I ever tell you about my bank-robbing fantasy? Hmm. Two birds, one stone, maybe).

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

I'm so 3008

So my much-anticipated birthday gift from Hubs this year was a Kindle. Because I read books like crazy, and all too often I buy a book and I don't really like it and then I'm stuck with this awful book sitting on my shelf just saying to me: "Oh hi. I'm a shitty-ass book about a knitting club that you bought because you thought the title, 'The Ladies' Knitting Club,' was probably some kind of reference to a detective agency or something else that doesn't suck the way knitting clubs do. And to add insult to injury, I'm poorly written. Which means you could have written a better book. But you haven't. Because you're pretty much a lazy whore." And if there's one thing that pisses me off, it's when books make me feel like a lazy whore who's squandering her talent and spending valuable time reading about boring knitting clubs.

So what I wanted was a Kindle, which is a nifty device that you can download books to and then immediately read. If you hate the book, the way I hated the book about the knitting club, no need to let the book insult you from its perch on the shelf: Simply delete it! There are a number of other advantages to the Kindle. You're being green by not buying a paper book. You'll never lose your place in the book because it always comes back to the page you left it on. Your fingers won't fall asleep while you're trying to hold your book open in bed -- you can just prop the kindle up against a pillow and keep your digits warm under the covers. Also, you can shop for, and maybe purchase, books you would not normally shop for or purchase in the book store because you're too embarassed to be seen with the book in hand. Such as the way that I immediately bought "The Host" by Stephanie Meyer, who is also the author of the "Twilight" series. Hubs thinks the premise sounds dumb and unoriginal but I haven't been able to put it down.

Possible disadvantages to the Kindle are that your father in law may try to destroy it by poking the non-touch screen violently with his fingers. Also, your cats might knock glasses of water over onto it. And lastly, the day after you receive your Kindle, someone else will probably come out with a cooler-looking technology, such as the way that rat bastard retailer Barnes & Noble released the "nook" this week. You'll rue the day you crossed me, Barnes & Noble!!

Anyway, nook or no nook, I love me some Kindle. All I wanna do is poke my hands through the convenient arm holes in my new Snuggie and curl up on the couch with "The Host." And when I'm done with that, I'm moving on to some trashy romance novels!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Just kidding

Last week, in what I hope and pray was my final week of illness after four weeks of what I am now convinced were complications brought on by H1N1, I had reached my limit, and I was pretty sure of the following things:

- I would never blog again. In fact, I hated my blog. I believed I "jumped the shark" probably way back before I even started the blog, in, like 2003.
- I was probably getting a divorce.
- All of my friends hated me.
- I would never feel well again. In fact, I would probably die of swine flu.
- I would probably infect my cats with swine flu and they would probably die, too.
- My grandparents were probably going to get swine flu and die very soon, too.
- I would never be able to drink wine again. This made me very, very sad.
- I would never have children.

If you think I am joking, well ... I'm not. I had reached an all-time new low. I was crying and feeling sorry for myself all day long, every day that I had to lie on the couch and watch mind-numbing daytime TV. Something about feeling so ill for that length of time killed my spirit and my hope and whatever sliver of optimism I manage to have on a normal day.

Now that I've completed a round of antibiotics and am moving on to another (just to be sure this bastard sinus infection is dead, dead, dead) I feel like I'm waking up from a bad dream. Even though I don't feel 100% better yet, I feel better enough that I am pretty sure of the following things:

- I will keep blogging, even if this never goes anywhere and I continue to have only 15 readers.
- I think I'll stay married to my husband.
- Most of my friends don't hate me.
- I'll eventually feel completely better.
- The cats will be fine.
- My grandparents ... well, let's face it. They're ticking time bombs.
- I will drink wine again.
- It might take a miracle, but I will probably have children someday. Poor things.

Friday, October 16, 2009

I give up

Yesterday, feverish and sweating at the doctor's office with a thermometer in my mouth and blood pressure cuff on my arm, my physician said a number of things that blurred out of her mouth very quickly and stuck together like overcooked pasta.

Long story short, who knows what I had. Coulda been swine flu but it doesn't matter now because what it is now is some kind of infection that is raping my life. Probably a sinus infection. Oh. You didn't know sinus infections could rape your life? Well take it from me. They can.

The days I've had to take off work over the last month -- well, I could have had a very relaxing, lengthy vacation somewhere other than my couch. And the time spent alone at home has been maddening in its boredom. It would have been better if I'd had the slightest energy to do anything at all, but it took until today for me to even get on the computer to blog. I am also doing laundry and finding myself out of breath after moving clothes from the washer to the dryer. See? Life raper.

My doctor pointed out that I also had a mystery illness at around this same time last year, so she believes perhaps I'm a winter asthmatic, whatever the hell that means. All I know is that feeling how I feel for as long as I've felt it is completely demoralizing. It's hard to explain.

So tomorrow I turn 31. BFD. I won't even be able to drink away my misery over turning 31 and instead will have to face it head on, along with the Life Raper. Not sure I will even be able to fully enjoy the meal and cupcakes my mom's planning on for tomorrow, since my appetite has yet to return. I've lost 14 pounds now over the course of this thing.

You know what I've never blogged about in relation to my birthday, which actually surprises me? The Loma Prieta earthquake. It happened 20 years ago on my birthday, when I turned 11. My parents came home early so they could take me and my sister to my restaurant of choice: Fresh Choice. Which, hey, remember how cool Fresh Choice used to be? While we were piling food onto our plates, the ground started moving and suddenly nothing looked stable or still, and of course, nothing was. My dad pulled me outside and I gripped a swaying light pole and looked around at all of the trees tossing back and forth and the horizon heaving like the side of a boat.

When it ended, everyone was stunned. I'm sure my parents were a little unsure as to what to do. They were in the company of terrified children, one of whom had been expecting nothing more than a simple birthday dinner at Fresh Choice, followed by the opening of gifts at home. But the reality was that windows were broken, people were crying, and word had already reached us somehow that the Bay Bridge had collapsed. A woman in the restaurant became hysterical -- her mother commuted on the bridge.

My dad insisted we stay at the restaurant to eat. We were one of two parties that elected to stay. The management, which probably wanted to close up shop and go home, allowed us to eat for free, since the drink refrigerator had fallen onto the cash register, making payment impossible anyway. Not to mention that the power was out. I felt like vomiting the entire time we stayed. The aftershocks began and dinner was abruptly over.

At home it was dark. There was no TV, and no phones. Family could not reach us, nor us them. We had a battery operated radio to listen to news on, and we lit candles for a little light. I opened my gifts -- a stereo and an outfit (purple stirrups and a purple and black striped shirt. It was the height of fashion!). The next day at school hardly anyone came to class and the shell-shocked teachers phoned it in with "where were you during the earthquake" stories.

It was obviously devastating and frightening for a lot of people. Dozens died and thousands sustained injuries. There was billions of dollars in damage done.

So every year on my birthday, the news remembers Loma Prieta. The devastation and death and destruction and they always talk about when the next big one is going to hit and whether or not we're prepared. This year, because it's been 20 years now, they've been putting out stories about the earthquake for two or three weeks now.

And, even though I'm a rational (sort of) person who understands that devastating things happen on people's birthdays all the time, and even though my birthday is never a big deal to me, it always kind of pisses me off that the news brings it up. I just can't help it.

Anyway. That's about it for this week. I'll keep popping pills and hoping they do the trick and then maybe NEXT week I can drink away my poor-me-I'm-31-now blues.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Wherein karma says "nuh-uh"

I won't lie. Last week was a real bitch.

There are lots of reasons for that, involving various people and me, and frankly, anytime I am involved in a bad situation, it just seems to get worse. So these mysterious situations have been going on (I know. Why have a blog if you won't even discuss it? It's f*&king retarded. I know) and I was as sick as a dog and there's the whole situation with my grandparents, not to mention that the mere thought of the holidays is making me a little bonkers, plus every time I see an old woman I swear to God she looks just like my grandmother who passed away in November and I'm thinking SHIT when is this going to stop happening? When can I watch a simple commercial for Ben-Gay without dissolving into tears? It's going to be a while, I'm afraid. Also, everyone keeps saying how wonderful the fall weather is and talking about how they're doing their fall decorating and making pumpkin bread and visiting pumpkin patches and curling up contentedly with their mugs of cocoa and all the while I'm just thinking, who the fuck has time to decorate for fall? Much less purchase and own "fall decorations." When I was a kid we decorated for one holiday: Christmas. Now there's all kinds of decorating I'm supposed to be doing as a perfect wife and keeper of the house, when, let's face it, I can barely get out of bed in the mornings and we're lucky any time I manage to make dinner, so putting up fall decorations? Yeah, that shit isn't happening. And also, I'm fat. And old.

So I was so happy to feel kind of OK over the weekend (even though SITUATIONS with PEOPLE were going on) that I was determined to plant some plants in the front yard. And I took a hoe and I whacked away at the packed soil that had the approximate consistency of granite, all the while thinking, Gosh, this is so cathartic, I can take out my frustrations on this dirt and it just looks like I'm vigorously hoeing! So Hubs and I spent several hours in the yard doing that, and when we were done we had, like, five measly plants in the ground and it looked rather unimpressive and to say that Hubs was skeptical and unimpressed is an understatement.

Then on Sunday we got up early and walked in the 5K (which, to clarify, it was really only 2 miles, ok? Are you happy now, Hubs?) and then yesterday I got SICK AGAIN.

So it's possible that I pushed too hard, too fast. After all, when one is recovering from the flu (and let's get real here. I had the swine flu), one should probably not hoe insanely in one's garden or go for walks on chilly mornings. But probably what is really going on is that I have AIDS. Let's just face it. My immune system is so weak that it can't fight off even a simple cold at this point, and since this is the third time I've been sick in three weeks, it seems obvious to me that my days are numbered and I should probably go in for testing. Perhaps I can testify in front of Congress about my AIDS. I'm not sure how it would help anything, but I've always wanted to tell Congress something.

And as if having AIDS weren't bad enough, on Saturday I am going to be 31. Shit!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Beating 'Betis

In the very early hours of the morning that I got married three years ago, my little sister miscarried in the upstairs bathroom at my parents' house. She was two months pregnant.

Because she is so strong, she muscled through the day as my matron of honor, allowing her tragedy to be overshadowed by my wedding. Later that night, in the honeymoon suite, I bawled over the loss.

A few months later, my sister began to lose weight. A lot of weight. Without trying. Rather, she was hungrier than usual and eating whatever she wanted, but it didn't seem to make a difference -- the weight just kept falling off. She was gray and moved slowly and seemed disoriented and tired.

It took a while for the doctors to figure out what it was. At first they said it was Type 2 diabetes. My sister radically changed her diet and began taking medication. The weight loss slowed, but continued. She still felt awful, all the time. The diagnosis changed.

Type 1 diabetes.

Often referred to as juvenile diabetes, Type 1 is believed to be an inherited disease that causes the pancreas to stop making insulin. Type 1 diabetics must test their blood sugar all day long by pricking their fingers to draw blood, and then must figure out how much insulin to inject themselves with, making sure never to fall too low or go too high. My sister is in constant danger of falling too low, and there seems to be no rhyme or reason to when her blood sugar will be too low or too high.

Since her diagnosis, her blood sugar dropped too low one time, and she had a seizure at home one evening. Thankfully, she carries an emergency syringe of insulin with her everywhere she goes, and her husband was able to administer it before paramedics arrived. Without it, she could have died.

Nowadays, she's outfitted with an insulin pump that is attached to her body through a shunt in her stomach. She carries the pump with her everywhere and she tells it how much insulin to give her. The pump simply makes it easier for her to administer insulin -- it does not remove the risk of her blood sugar getting out of whack.

Although she does her best to stay healthy by eating right and exercising, as a Type 1 diabetic she will always be at risk of serious health problems that can affect her eyes, kidneys and nervous system. And having children, which she wants desperately, is not as simple as just getting pregnant.

Type 1 diabetes doesn't get the kind of press that many other diseases, like breast cancer, get. There are a number of reasons for this, I think. Firstly, many more people get breast cancer, so it affects a lot more families. Secondly, Type 1 diabetes typically strikes the young, who don't really know how to advocate for themselves (That's not to say that advocating for breast cancer research is not a worthy cause. I've personally lost someone very dear to me to that awful disease, and my grandmother who passed away last November had one breast removed many years ago as a result of breast cancer. She wore a prosthetic for more than 20 years).

At any rate, I've jumped onto the Type 1 diabetes research fund-raising bandwagon. This was my first year of true participation (last year I just donated). I inundated friends, family & co-workers with emails and facebook updates with pleas for donations, however small, and then on Sunday my sister and her rag-tag team of supporters -- myself, Hubs, my friend C-dog, and my sister's husband -- walked a 5k with about 1,500 other people who came out to support the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. It felt so good to do it. It was such a simple act, but something about being there, united with hundreds of other people for a pure and honorable purpose, felt fucking good.

Our little group raised $795, and we were so inspired while we were there that we vowed we would do it up bigger and better next year. We're determined to do everything we can to find a cure for this disease, and we're welcoming anyone who wants to join us next year.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Dead animals = a laugh riot!

I was reading this morning that someone left a dead dear that was dressed up as a clown, with a wig on it, on someone's porch. Call me morbid, but this struck my funny bone. There's something, just... hilarious about the thought of someone going to the trouble of dressing a dead animal in a clown outfit and then leaving it on someone's porch as a joke. Make no mistake about it -- if someone did this to me, I would be livid. But when it happens to other people, it's just hysterical!

It reminded me of a story from my Sonora days (not one I wrote, just one that happened) in which someone threw a decapitated, rotting horse head into a crowded Taco Bell, yelled "Woohoo!" and ran off, never to be found. The horse head hit a customer in the leg and all of the horse's teeth fell out. Again, morbid, but hilarious!

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Inheriting Anxiety

Food for thought, courtesy of Hubs: An article in the NY Times, which, very simply stated, cites a study concluding our anxiety is inherited, not learned.

So basically, you are the way you are because you were born that way, not because your mom was a freak and she made you that way (although she inadvertently made you that way via the genes she passed on).

I find this fascinating because I've always assumed my personality flaws are the result of my upbringing. If I must own my personality flaws as inherited - as written in my genes - well, then all that the parenting mistakes resulted in is a chip on my shoulder.

Really, the article does not address all aspects of our personalities, but specifically anxiety. It states that babies who are anxious grow up to be anxious people, almost without fail.

Hubs recalls that as a child he was shy to a fault, and fearful of new situations. He wanted terribly to join a football league as a young boy but felt such anxiety over it he couldn't bring himself to do it. As an adult, he feels that he is an anxious person, and he's right that he is, in several ways, but he's not constantly anxious about everything. He worries over planning for events, paying bills, locking doors and windows, that sort of thing. He's certainly no longer a shy little boy, though.

As a child I was also shy, but mostly because I was locked in my own world, singing songs and telling stories to myself, puzzling over the spelling of words and imagining future possibilities. Today I am undoubtedly an introvert, but not to a fault (in my opinion). I am able to speak a lot, and will, but often find myself in the company of people who enjoy speaking more than I do, and I am typically happy to let them. I don't recall worrying over things as a child, but I certainly recall many solitary moments that were probably a result of my quiet, shy nature.

As an adult, I don't worry over things in an anxious way. Sure, I worry, but in a resigned, lazy way. I worry that a pain in my head is cancer eating my brain, in the same way I worry about a story on the news - in a temporary, half-assed way. I worry that I will never get this house whipped into shape. As I eat cookies on the couch. I worry that I will be forced to work at my job forever and might someday be driven to murder by it. As I surf the Internet, reading blogs written by much more clever writers.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

The Deal

Part II of this flu I am still getting over hit me like a freight train. I slept for several days, didn't really eat, barfed a couple times, and begged Hubs to knock me unconscious so I wouldn't have to continue to suffer from the sinus headache that I've had for, oh, ELEVEN AGONIZING DAYS.

All I want to do, all the time, is sleep, but unfortunately I have a job, so I'm going there again. Bummer.

I did lose 8 pounds during the whole ordeal, which is almost as good as when I did that crazy juice diet!

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Not in my front yard (NIMFY!)

So I should have known better than to be, like, oh look I got sick but I didn't get a head cold because what happened Tuesday night? Karma was like, BAM! YOU WILL BE SICK, OH MOCKER OF ILLNESSES. YOU SHALL BE MADE TO LIE PROSTRATE IN AGONY UNTIL YOU REALISE THE ERROR OF YOUR WAYS (Karma is Canadian).

So I did. I lied prostrate for many hours yesterday, with the head cold from f*&king hell. Today I am back at work, coughing all over anyone foolish enough to bother me. Get out of my cube and let me be alone in my misery, thank you.

So because Karma has sucked all creativity from my brain, I shall tell a Hubs tale.

Last night Hubs was turning the sprinklers off in the front yard, when he noticed several teenagers standing at the side of our house, under one of our trees, smoking pot. So he walked toward them (for those not in the know, Hubs does not look like someone who you want to fuck with). The following is a conversation between Hubs and the Leader of the Pot Smoking Teenagers and is an approximation of what was said, given that I was in a Sudafed-induced delirium when it was told to me.

Hubs: What the fuck are you doing? Are you smoking pot?
Teenager: Uh, yeah.
Hubs: Well get the fuck out of here. Why can't you go smoke under an overpass or something?
Teenager: You mean like a homeless person?
Hubs: Yeah, like a fucking homeless person! Get the fuck out of here before I call the cops!
Teenager: Yes sir, that sounds like a good idea sir.
Hubs (walking away): Jesus Christ!
Teenager (jumping into car): He's my lord and savior!

So, for the record, neither Hubs nor I have an issue with teenagers smoking pot, we just have an issue with them being disrespectful enough to do it on our sodding front lawn.

Also, the police are apparently uninterested in these types of activities among the youth of San Jose. Because they were not willing to come check out the situation. And then today we received our ass-raping property tax bill and we now feel very, very slighted by these so-called public servants.

This concludes today's Hubs tale.