Thursday, April 28, 2011

Everybody loves a meme (especially me. me)

I'm off my game this week, if that wasn't already abundantly apparent. So I stole this meme from Elizabeth at but nevertheless.
Toodles til Monday, when I'll post on Royal Wedding shenanigans at my abode...
A. Age: 32
B. Bed size: California king. My husband remarked the other night that there's room for a whole 'nother person in our bed, so I suggested we bring in another husband and I could sleep between the two of them. He wasn't thrilled with the idea.
C. Chore you dislike: Dishes, tied closely with cleaning the shower.
D. Dogs: Ain't got no dogs. We got cats, two of them, named Simon and Murray. They're mutts from the pound.
E. Essential start to your day: Brew coffee and check e-mail.
F. Favorite color: purple
G. Gold or silver: Silver. Gold looks terrible with my skin tone.
H. Height: 5' 8 and 3/4
I. Instruments you play(ED): piano and flute. It's been many moons, though. I can still play "Goodbye Old Paint" on the piano, though.
J. Job title: Madwoman.
K. Kids: Zero and counting.
L. Live: In a house in San Jose.
M. Mom’s name: Anita.
N. Nicknames: I don't have one. My mom does. It's Neeter Jean. She has others, too, I just don't remember them. 
O. Overnight hospital stays: None, I don't think.
P. Pet peeves: People who talk about themselves too much. IRONIC ISN'T IT?!
Q. Quote from a movie: Condolences. The bums lost. My advice is to do what your parents did; get a job, sir. The bums will always lose.
R. Righty or Lefty: Right handed, left politicked. Suck it.
S. Siblings: One pregnant sister.
T. Time you wake up: 8 on a workday. See "R" for "Suck it."
U. Underwear: Full butt coverage, black. Every. Single. Pair.
V. Vegetables you don’t like: Cucumbers walk a fine line with me. I'm OK with most veggies, it's melon that I abhor.
W. What makes you run late: If I have to go poopie.
X. X-rays you’ve had: Teeth, chest.
Y. Yummy food you make: Enchiladas.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Garage goings-on

My husband is on a bit of a vacation between jobs, and in his spare time he's been known to enjoy destroying things. Therefore, he went to work destroying the ceiling tiles in our garage a couple days ago. I did my part by documenting the job with photos.

The idiots who lived here before us installed ceiling tiles in the garage, as you can obviously see here. They screwed AND glued them in, making the removal process infinitely more annoying.

Here you can see that they also installed some extra wood cross beams to screw/glue the ceiling tiles to. By the way, we're not sure why, exactly, they had ceiling tiles in the garage. We speculated that someone may have actually been living in there, considering that there is basically a wardrobe in the garage as well, with hangers on a rod left by the previous owner. If someone did, indeed, live in the garage, I pity them. It is freezing in the winter and hot as an oven in the summer.

Anyway, all we knew is we needed the tiles gone, so we could use the garage for desperately needed storage.

We found some fun stuff above the ceiling. There was some insulation, but not much. Above, my husband's pulling carpet down. Old, disgusting carpet -- what a treasure!

He also found some old Halloween decorations. 

Here's what the garage looks like now. No more ceiling tiles, but most of the crossbeams are still there because of some wonky electrical we discovered. You can kind of see wires running to and fro.

 At least now I have a rough estimate as to when the roof was installed. 1997-ish.

Look at all this extra room! I could practically start my own cult and hold church in my garage now.

Anyway, that's it for today. I've teased you mercilessly with preview shots of the living room, which STILL isn't done, so I figured I'd throw you a bone with the garage. I'm nothing if not a master procrastinator!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Non weigh-in

I know it's Tuesday and the whole idea is to stay accountable but today I am going to do something I rarely do, which is: Be kind to myself.

If I don't? Then I'd have to admit weight gain and I'd get all down on myself again and as it is, I am already tired of living in my own brain, much less my body. I'd like to power down and take a vacation in someone else's head. 

Because there are already too many negative, downer thoughts bouncing around in my head, and I already feel like a fat loser without stepping on the scale and confirming it.

You forgive me this week, right? I knew you would. You're so purty. 

Monday, April 25, 2011

Weekend vignette

My husband bought me a pair of earrings for our anniversary. They are very me. He's pretty cool. I think I'll keep him. 

It's hard to tell what this is -- it's my cat, Murray, sitting in the front window with his claws in the curtains. He enjoys sitting this way, and you can imagine how attractive my curtains are. 

I made the flourless chocolate cake again, for Easter with the family. It was delicious, again. Between my anniversary and Easter, I dread stepping on the scale for weigh-in tomorrow. It's going to be ugly. Stay tuned - I'm going to get a broccoli slaw recipe from my mom that she made for Easter -- it's the bomb.

Oh yeah, nachos. This was simple inspiration from another blogger who posted a photo of her own nachos (tilte - at least 1 pound of weight gain this week is your fault). I saw it and decided I must have my own nachos, immediately.

Today, my husband is tearing ceiling tiles out of the garage. Before and after photos to follow soon. Happy Monday...

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Five notches

Tomorrow marks five years of wedded ... weddedness with my adorable husband.

Bliss is the usual term, yes? But not only is marriage not always blissful, some of the stuff life has thrown at us in the last five years has been mind-numbingly, almost laughably terrible. Thankfully, we have had each other over these years to cling to like life rafts.

And it might just be because of what we've endured that we have found a new respect and admiration for each other, and a new desire to ensure the other is happy, at all costs.

A little while ago, my husband asked me how I would feel about him leaving his job to take another one, at one of these notorious Silicon Valley start-ups, doing exciting things for not necessarily much money, and no guarantee that things are actually going to work out. And, after a bout of nausea passed, I wholeheartedly urged him to do just this. 

See, he and I had been very lucky with his old job, at a company that went public and did rather well. Well enough for me to quit my job and pursue my own dream of being a novelist, for at least a little while. And he could stay at that job and be guaranteed a very nice chunk of change. What most people would do in that situation is stay at the job and collect their winnings and say thankyouverymuch, even if it meant that every morning when they opened their eyes, they felt nothing pulling them from their beds. The best word for what was happening to my husband at that job is stagnation.

So he quit.

As far as I know, we only get to live life once, and there are only a certain number of years we get to spend when we are not drooling on ourselves or someone else is wiping our butts for us, so what we feel -- my husband and I -- is that probably what will work out best for us is if at the end of our lives we can look back and say: My regrets are few. I tried and it was worth it.

And each time we encourage each other to take risks like this, it's frightening and exciting, and most of all it makes us love each other more. My heart grows in my chest each time I think about my husband's selfless encouragement of my dream, and each time I think of how happy and satisfied he might be in his new endeavor. It's more than I could have ever expected of marriage or life, even with the bad stuff.

He's more than I ever expected.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

A weigh-in & Fathead

Thankfully, I am down 3.4 pounds this week, which is only .8 pound less than the 4.2 pounds I gained last week.

Good grief.

That leaves 37.4 pounds to go. But who's counting?!

I did really well avoiding carbs, and avoided coffee for a few days until I realized my debilitating headaches were probably a result of a lack of caffeine. So I'm back on coffee -- sue me.

I realized I can't cut out peanut butter quite yet -- at least not until I've finished off the jar I bought a few weeks ago. It's almost gone.

I've done very well not eating sugar, moderately well in cutting out dairy, and I only had one alcoholic beverage in the last week, so ... Winning! (Sorry)

This week I watched a documentary called Fathead, a cheaply produced flick that a comedian named Tom Naughton threw together, partially to debunk Morgan Spurlock's documentary, Supersize Me. It's mildly annoying to watch, so if you don't mind I'm just going to summarize it for you here.

Basically, he comes to the conclusion that grains are the root of all evil. The government's Food Pyramid is a lie told to us so that we will consume huge quantities of grains produced by the farms the government subsidizes. This isn't necessarily new information -- In The Omnivore's Dilemma, we learn that corn is the root of all evil (it really is).

Furthermore, the experts Naughton interviews conclude that not only is grain making Americans fatter than they've ever been, over-consumption of grains is one true cause of heart disease -- not cholesterol and saturated fat, which is what's been hammered into our brains for years now. They say the saturated fat-causing-heart-disease belief is a myth, also coincidentally perpetuated by the government. In reality, grains (in particular processed grains) and sugar cause the inflammation that leads to a buildup of plaque in the arteries (which is where cholesterol comes into play).

And to top it off, they say eating meat, vegetables, fruit and dairy is really all you need and it will not cause your bad cholesterol levels to rise -- rather it will make them drop. To prove this, Naughton goes on a full fat, butter, red meat, cream, veggie and fruit diet for a month and shows that his good cholesterol levels go up and the bad cholesterol levels go down. I didn't find this too entirely shocking, as it's what the SugarBusters! dudes have been saying for some time.

In any case, if Fathead is correct about all of this, it kind of confirms that I've made the right decision with this diet. It kills me not to eat bread and rice and potatoes sometimes, but that is the exact stuff that's been keeping me fat. That and ice cream and beer. 

All right, that concludes your lesson for the day. Now, onto the next item of clothing I'd like to fit into some time this century.

The ribbon that goes across the waist of this dress makes it look like a little chunkler outfit, but believe me, it's actually quite slim. I wore this to several weddings and even my own rehearsal dinner (I'm low maintenance). It's two sizes smaller than I am right now. I have lots of photos of myself in this dress that I could post here, but in every photo there are either other people who may not want their photos posted on my blog, or I am making a really weird face. I don't like having my picture taken. It makes me nervous.


It's a good dress and has served me well. If I can manage to fit back into it, I imagine it will make a few more appearances at weddings and such.

Next Tuesday, I'll show you the dress I bought to wear two months after I got married, when I could no longer fit into the dress you see above, so that I could attend my husband's company Christmas party. Now? I can't fit into that dress, either.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Not a home

My grandparents lived in this town you would never choose to live in unless you had a very good reason. It's got terrible air pollution, the tap water smells like rotten eggs, and the air reeks of cow dung.

But what that town was, was halfway between their daughters' homes. And they had friends there. So they bought the yellow house on the corner with the swimming pool and Grandpa kept the lawn putting-green short and babied a giant orange tree in the backyard and all of us spent many a holiday and hot summer in that home.

My feet remember the most about that place. I have tactile memory of every underfoot surface. The carpet, the linoleum in the kitchen and bathrooms, the tub with the nonslip stickers stuck to the bottom, the hot concrete in the backyard, the raked dirt around the orange tree, the scratchy bottom of the pool, the tile in the back room, the rock hearth.

It's almost always a bad idea to go back and look at a place that isn't yours anymore. Because you treasure the way things were, some irrational part of you subconsciously thinks whoever has your place now is going to treasure them, too. But inevitably they do not.

And if it can be avoided, I would not go back to look at a place that isn't yours anymore directly following a trip to the cemetery. Unless you're a masochist, which I've always been a bit of. 

Grandpa would not appreciate the state of the yard, nor the fact that the giant orange tree is nowhere to be seen. There are a lot of changes -- the woman who bought it won some large settlement for something or the other, and apparently she's in full swing with renovations.

And at first I was terribly sad and angry, which is a normal, but irrational response. It's not ours any more and of course someone would want to make the house their home. It's their home, not ours. May it be the site of many happy memories for them.

Grandpa is gone a year now and Grandma is in assisted living, still in the same town, where all her friends are. We float around the town, untethered, trying to find a comfortable spot to relax for a moment. A restaurant. The Native American casino. A coffee shop. Christmas was spent in a motel conference room. None of it's ours, and all of it feels temporary, which bothers me. Matriarchs and patriarchs are taken away and there are cracks in the family, dark lines running like highways for hundreds of miles through places where no one would choose to live.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Hard or Harder

Is it wrong if I want to skip trying to be published traditionally and all of the agent-hunting and rejection and waiting that comes with it, and just go straight to electronic publishing?

I haven't decided if that would be a cop out or if it would be only logical -- I spend much of my day on the Internet, "speaking" with people all over the world who I've never met in person. Maybe e-publishing and self-marketing is just the next logical step.

Or maybe I'm just afraid of rejection. I have, as I've mentioned, a healthy fear that my book is the worst book that has ever been written, so maybe I'm just worried agents and publishers will laugh in my face.

Or maybe I'm just realistic. Many very good authors can't get published traditionally for whatever reason, and some of them who have self-published have been very successful. Some authors get published traditionally, and their books tank anyway.

I could simply be lazy. This is a very real possibility.

Anyway. That's what's on my mind today. Back to writing. Must write. Must finish. Or die. One of the two.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

They're All Gonna Laugh At You

Yesterday was a bad, dark, no-good day. I don't know why I even bother to interact with others on days like that. It's a bad idea, and probably just makes everyone I come into contact with feel like crap.

Yesterday, I had come to the conclusion that everything I am trying to do in my life, I am failing at. I feel hugely insecure about the book. I'll probably need to get a real job soon, which is unfortunate since I've decided I hate real jobs and dislike a vast majority of people. I can't manage to lose weight. My blog sucks. My house is not the home I want it to be. My reproductive organs won't reproduce. Everyone is probably judging me.

I have only this handful of things to worry about and take care of, and every single one of them is being terribly mishandled. At least, that's how I felt yesterday.

Today is a little better. I still feel hugely insecure and irritated with myself (not to mention insanely hormonal), but as always, perspective is everything. Me and my first world problems -- the poor fat girl who gets to stay home and write a book, right?

So anyway, all that to say -- today I have a post on Tired & Stuck, where I explain why I'm looking forward to my next cycle. I may have also cursed out my vagina. See you there.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

A weigh-in (Or Hide Thy Face In Shame, Woman)

No, I didn't go on vacation or get breast implants or start lifting weights or get pregnant or leave my shoes on during the weigh-in this morning.

But I did gain 4.2 pounds in one week.

Which? Is a rather impressive gain, particularly considering I was "good" Monday through most of Friday, and then KAPOW, the weekend was here and it was cheese for dinner and wine, wine, wine, and last night I ate a cheeseburger and shared a hot fudge sundae and also? I am supposed to start my period today so I suppose I could blame some of this on water retention. Which would be a pretty good excuse if last month on the day I started my period I hadn't recorded a 2.6 pound loss.

I weighed myself this morning and then I ate the rest of the cheeseburger for breakfast. This week is kind of a double whammy of negativity, with the weight gain and the period (meaning another unsuccessful month of trying to conceive).

But, I was just waiting for my period to start so I could begin the diet that will probably kill me. Because what I am planning next excludes the following foods:

- carbohydrates (except fruit & vegetables)
- peanut butter. Which I currently eat every day.
- sugar, including chocolate.
- coffee
- dairy (God help me)
- alcohol

All of this is effective the moment my period starts. Except if I go on vacation, which I may do at some point in the next month. And also except for one meal on April 30, because that is when I am going to eat tiny sandwiches and scones and drink tea while I watch recorded coverage of the royal wedding. 

Also effective the moment my period starts is exercise, at least half an hour of it, every day, preferably vigorous.

Anyway. Because I gained 4.2 pounds this week, I now have to re-lose that weight, and then some, for a total of 40.8 pounds. What a freakin' bummer.

So, this week's item of clothing that I'm looking forward to fitting into eventually is my "More Cowbell" T-shirt. It's too tight, obviously. I just want to wear it to yoga. Is that too much to ask?

Monday, April 11, 2011

Monday again, I suppose

I feel pooped from a fun weekend, so guess ... what ... comes ... next? (I don't know why I felt compelled to put ellipses in that sentence)

Bullet points!!

- Grandma is said to be doing fine. Mom texted me a photo of her eating lunch in her hospital bed, looking pleased as punch. Hernia, schmernia.

- I ate cheese for dinner on Friday night.

- What is the deal with Jill and Alex on Real Housewives of New York? Which one of them is a crazy biznatch? Both? I just started watching at the tail end of last season and still can't figure out what the hell is going on.

- Saturday I went to San Francisco to see a comic, but we had to turn around and come home after dinner because one of us was ill (not me). But, I did get to eat a delicious plate of pasta and drink a couple glasses of wine. Winning! (Sorry.)

- I mistook the Bay Bridge for the Golden Gate Bridge. I? Am not smart sometimes.

- And when Jill and Bethenny were in a fight? What was that all about?

- I love ahi poke.

- I had three glasses of Chardonnay last night. What is wrong with me? Actually, scratch that. I already know: I have no restraint. I fail at moderation. 

- Cindy has two little baby twins and she's 46! She endured three years of IVF. If I were Catholic, I would have crossed myself after I wrote that.

- Tomorrow's weigh-in is sure to be a bomb. In a bad way. Tonight? I am eating bad things again. It can't be helped. 

- Yesterday we went to a couple of open houses to torture ourselves and one of the houses is on a SEPTIC system. Um? Gross. Where do we live? In the boonies? No. This is San Jose. Hook that shit up to the city sewer and then gimme a call, mkay? 

- Ramona is straight up crazy, right? Right.

- Is it too early for lunch?

Thursday, April 07, 2011


Grandma is in surgery right now, to repair a hernia we think she probably got during one of the dozens of times she tried to haul my grandfather off the floor when he fell. Over and over and over. He refused almost all help until the end, and even then he was stubborn until he couldn't be any more.

Bad things happen to good people and bad people who don't deserve for good things to happen to them are always getting ahead, aren't they? Grandma's one of the good ones, but, like ... so good. Ridiculously good. Good to a fault.

If we lived in a fair world, Grandma would have been swept off her feet by a king and then she would have been Queen Evelyn, co-ruler of some fabulous nation with great year-round weather, where all the people loved her. How could they not? Everyone loves my grandmother. You would, too.

Grandma is a bit of a phenomenon because of her personality. "Where did it even come from?" I asked my mom on the phone the other day, about the niceness. The sweet, twinkling-eyeness of it all that makes everyone adore her. "I don't know," Mom says. Mom's also one of these people everyone is always saying is such a nice lady, and she is, but as the niceness passes down through the generations it gets diluted. I, for instance, am only marginally nice and am prone to hormonal mood swings.

My grandma would admit life's not fair. "Nope!" I can hear her agreeing, agreeably, probably with a smile. But in the back of her mind she's probably thinking life can't be all that unfair if it contains such things as pralines-and-cream ice cream, Black Friday sales, and video poker. 

Grandma has this blunt doctor who tells my mom and aunt not to allow any unnecessary surgery, as it could have nasty results on her health, since she has Parkinson's Disease. It's one of those shitty diseases happening to fabulous people things. Grandma calls the doctor Dr. Santa Claus, or Dr. San Diego, or Dr. Santa Barbara, or Dr. San Juan Batista, because his name sounds like one of those and hell if she or I can remember what his actual name is. So we share the inside joke and she looks up with a twinkle in her green eyes. She is easily amused, easily entertained, easy, easy, easy.

They'd never allow the surgery if it weren't imperative; if some day this couldn't kill her. It could, so they did, so she is in surgery right now and my phone is here, dark and quiet.

She'll be OK. She'll probably make some doctor fall in love with her. She'll probably come off the anesthesia and ask adorably, "When's lunch?" and then they'll bring her the disgusting hospital food and later she'll tell us stories of how delicious it was.

And she'll really think it was.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Babies babies babies

Sunday: A woman at the coffee shop wheeled newborn twins through the door and I remarked to my husband, "Probably IVF." I feel like I see twins all the time these days. Your chance of having natural fraternal twins is 1.7%. Your chance of having natural identical twins is .4%. Your chance of having twins via IVF is between 20 and 25%.

Monday: It looked like Mommies-with-newborns day at the grocery store. Each one was more adorable than the next. All of the mommies were skinny. I got a week's worth of grocery shopping done in 10 minutes flat. 

Tuesday: The woman at the salon having her hair done next to me said she had two sons, both conceived while taking Clomid. "It's the only way I could conceive," she said. Her stylist was five months pregnant, the good old-fashioned way.

Wednesday: I'm blogging about chucking all my fertility junk in a drawer and taking a cycle off. Tranquilizers and margaritas are sounding better and better. Catch up with me at Tired & Stuck.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Weigh-in & a skirt

Amazingly, I lost 1.2 pounds this week, for a total loss of 7.4 pounds, which leaves 36.6 pounds to go. The loss is amazing because I drank half a bottle of wine last night. I wonder what it would have been if I hadn't?

The going is sloooowwww, but such is weight loss when you're not exercising. I keep saying every week I'm going to start exercising, but then I never do. I went on one walk last week; that was it. But I'm gearing up for something much more intense in the next week, which I'll be writing about shortly.

So, this week's item of clothing that I'm looking forward to fitting into is this skirt. 

I bought this skirt in 2006, right before I started a new job. It's only one size smaller than I am right now, so maybe I'll fit into it soon-ish. I love it because it's light and summery and poofy and hides a multitude of cottage-cheese-thigh sins.

The print is preppy and cute. I'm imagining wearing this with gladiator sandals (which I must have this year. I simply must) and a tank top as I sip a mai tai at a beach-front bar somewhere. I'm also tanned to glowing perfection and have awesome, shiny hair in this fantasy, FYI.

PMS is right around the corner, so wish me luck in avoiding chocolate and cheeseburgers!

Monday, April 04, 2011

Eat the Beet. Repeat.

You guys are all pretty well-versed in beet preparation, if your comments on last week's beet post are any indication. And I just wonder -- how? I don't remember beets being present at a single meal when I was growing up. Maybe my parents didn't like beets.

Maybe they were right not to. 

'Cause beets? Kinda suck.

So as you'll recall, I roasted a beet until it looked like this:

Which I compared to a bleeding cow's eyeball. I've dissected a cow's eyeball, and this is pretty much what it looks like after you've taken your scalpel to it.


Several commenters encouraged me to just peel the damn thing and slice it up and put it in a salad. So I did.

This is an endive, green leaf lettuce, roasted walnut, blue cheese & beet salad with a vinaigrette I whipped up real quick with olive oil, red wine vinegar, dijon mustard, honey, salt and pepper.

It was good. My husband liked it quite a bit. I ate most of the beets until my stomach yelled: PARDON ME. WHY ARE YOU FEEDING ME GOAT POOP.

And then I stopped. Beets are a gamey vegetable, don't you think? Like when you eat lamb and sometimes it's kind of gamey and it just tastes wrong? Beets are the gamey vegetable of the vegetable world. They just taste wrong. 

Now, what tastes right is if you subtract the beets from this salad and add in some slice apple and dried cranberries. Which is what I did the following night.

In conclusion: I tried the beet and it sucked. I'll be subtracting beets from my Farm Fresh To You deliveries, seeing as how there are still two giant beets sitting in the fridge that I have no idea what to do with.