Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Addendum to the post below

Moving next door is fiscally responsible. I'm getting a decent apartment for a good price. I'm saving a ton of money on moving. They only want a deposit, not first and last. I'm saving money on rent. Now is not the economic climate nor personal job climate to be living out of my means. I know the building, I know the neighborhood. I get to live alone.

So why does this feel so wrong?

I'm ready for change yet this feels like I'm signing up for status quo; like I'm selling myself short, and I don't know why.

What is going on here?

In which my breakdown quiet time keeps getting broken by CHASING GODDAMN PIGEONS OFF MY DECK


The first pigeon couple got the hint after I scared them off 10 times a day for almost a week. This damn pigeon couple WON'T TAKE THE HINT and is scarily aggressive. I actually hit one with a broom mid flight when it came in and tried to dive bomb me (I was just waving the broom around people, it was an accident) and 10 minutes later the fuckers were back with twigs and bits of plants for nest building. This nonsense is distracting the hell away from my mind meltdown and not allowing me time to rock peacefully back and forth and mutter to myself. BAH.

Good News:
Found a place to live! Sign Lease tomorrow! It has the same exact amenities as my current apartment but with a better view, new paint, new carpet, new appliances, and new linoleum. The move is going to be ridiculously easy and the rent is $150.00 less a month than what I pay now. DEAL!

Why Eris is Crazy News:
It is the apartment next door. As in, 12 feet away. Which is lovely except that I've lived in exactly one floor plan for over 4 years and the new floor plan is just exactly that floor plan: reversed and backwards. I know it sounds crazy, but I'm going to have heaps of trouble adjusting to this. Never mind the broken toes when I stumble out of bed and smack into a wall in the wrong place; my brain is going to have trouble adjusting. It will be like living in bizaro world, or the other side of the mirror.

Moving there saves me mucho money, time, and effort, and in my current position I really had no choice. I've been looking at places in the same price range that I pay now and was going to wind up having to duct tape bags over single pane windows for energy savings, sleep with a chambered handgun, and beat my clothes clean out on rocks in a creek somewhere. I saw the place I'm moving to come on the market but for much higher rent, which they then dropped, and I lunged upon it like fucking pigeons lunge at my throat when I try to make them take their bird flu and filth elsewhere.

I know this is a good thing. I know I'm really, really lucky. I know.

But I'm really, really, sad and nuts right now. The current apartment has been my rock for almost half a decade. It is the only thing that stayed with me during my formidable young adult years. It is the only thing that has been safe, my home. The furniture has moved, the jobs have changed or been nonexistant, the weight has come on and off (and on), the friends have filtered in and out and disappeared, the relationships have changed (for the better) and through it all I've had my safety, my white walls, and my delicious walk in closet.

I finally figured out why I'm not handling this well: I feel betrayed. I feel like I'm breaking up with something. And I also feel like I'm taking a step back, not forward. I figured when I left this place it would be on good terms and I'd be moving up in the world. Something with a backyard. Something with higher ceilings. Maybe even something in another city. Instead my apartment, my sanctuary, my safety, decided to get all foreclosed on and become a mess and a nightmare and even IF I could have stayed they never would have lowered my rent to match the place next door. I thought we had something apartment. I thought we got each other. Instead you decided to go and hurt me like this, couldn't our goodbye have been amicable?

I want to cry but I can't. I'm not good at crying. A lifetime of suppressing emotions makes that happen. At least I'm acknowledging the emotions that are there as opposed to running, but still, I'm all sad and scared and lonely because I'm moving out of a stupid apartment. Yes.

If I could have stayed here at the price point of the place next door even though the carpets desperately need cleaning and the appliances aren't brand new I would have. This is home. This is safe. This inanimate dwelling has offered the only consistency and care I've had since "growing up". But I couldn't, and I can't. Instead I come home to a place that feels alien and lonely. A place that I vacillate between savoring and being angry at. A place I have to start imagining backwards and reversed so that I don't lose my mind completely.

A place that is technically home, but isn't.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Every stupid ounce of energy I have is being spent trying to find a place to live, a means of income for my impending unemployment, trying not to break down and eat all the damn food I can get my hands on and chasing gobdamn pigeons off my deck. I'm kinda...close to snapping. My family is a mess, one of my friends is being a superbitch and disowned me (not just me, everyone, so I feel better?), my relationship DRIVES ME INSANE and renders me pathetically unstable/needy/wanting/momentarily happy/totally confused and my neck injury is flaring up BAD BAD BAD.

am nuts right now people. am nuts and 27 and in debt and have NOTHING to show for my nearly three decades on this planet other than crappy furnature that I found on the side of the road and a useless job and


must attempt sleep now.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

I’m a total sucker for airplane food*

Which may be the key to explaining my current contentment.

I’m not doing the environmentally correct thing; and I hate to admit this because I am the person who hates shampoo bottles and thinks we should be allowed to keep one and refill it direct from vats at the store to cut down on plastic waste, but I’ve been buying precut veggies and salads in non-reusable plastic bags and plastic containers and it feels GREAT.

Part of maintaining this current go at healthy eating has been the wonderful ease of buying pre-packaged salads and veggies. My brain associates cutting yummy, fresh, healthy veggies up and partitioning them into reusable plastic bins with depravation and misery. My brain hates taking care of me. It would rather eat half a stale bag of potato chips of questionable origin than make tuna for a sandwich. It would rather dig for 45 minutes though every kitchen bin imaginable for a few errant tootsie roll minis than whip up some whole wheat pasta. My brain: Functional Retardation at its finest (surprised we made it this far, actually).

I keep fresh fruit at my work desk, apples and oranges mostly, along with whole natural almonds and yogurts in the work fridge. I swing by the store on my way in and grab one or two of those veggies that steam in the bag (which I eat raw) and a premade salad by the bagged salads, and I’m happy. If I made the salad myself at home I’d resent it. I’d be angry at it. I’d go to sleep thinking “stupid salad” and wake up thinking “I hate that salad” and by lunch I’d be like “I hate that salad and my life and I’m hungry and I want a cheeseburger with onion rings now gobdamnit”. If I open my fridge and see rows of great, fresh, bite sized veggies in easy to grab containers a dark cloud settles over my mood and won’t go away. I apparently enjoy mystery in my life; I don’t want to know what I’m eating for lunch days ahead of time unless the words “buffet” and perhaps “all you can eat” are included.

I don’t know why my brain is like this; all I know is that it is. And I now know that I can bypass that whole loop if I buy my veggies precut and cleaned and my salads prepackaged all cute like. Hence airplane food: Give me two crackers in a tiny package and 1/8 ounce of peanut butter and I’m delighted. I don’t even like peanuts, or pretzels covered in “fiesta” spices, but if you put three or four in a tiny bag I’m all over it. Which may be why I’m so digging the current diet set up: It’s like vacation food. I don’t have to think about it, I don’t have to put any work into it, the calorie calculations are done by others and there are no plastic containers to clean out. Plus the mystery is still there: there aren’t five tubs of cucumbers and five tubs of salad and five tubs of tomatoes sitting in my fridge angrily nagging at me that I’m fat and a failure and they are all I can eat. No, my fridge is happy and veggie tub free and my brain is fooled by buying things in small doses.

I don’t have to worry about buying, cleaning, cutting, and preparing food for the week. I can wander into the store like a “normal” person and buy normal people food and I don’t feel deprived. I’m not spending hours of my week meal planning raw veggies and therefore focusing on my eating habits and therefore wallowing in self loathing. I can spend those extra hours a week wallowing in different kinds of self loathing, trying to find a new job, loathing, trying to find a new apartment, loathing, struggling with my credit, loathing, yelling at my wrinkles, loathing, you know, normal stuff.

Soon I may be bitching to you about my need for variety. I would love to see some jicama and beets precut and packaged for my convenience, I’m sure cauliflower and broccoli is going to start to wear on me, you know? But that shall be a post for another time.


If only I weren’t creating so much damn trash I wouldn’t have this nagging feeling of guilt but one thing at a time people, one thing at a time.

*Though luncheables are disgusting and can F themselves. That is one twee prepackaged meal I won’t touch with a ten foot pole.

I sent this post as an email to myself to publish later and all the google ads along the side were this:

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Mmmmm, think they data mine the content of emails much? Because I'm not chalking this one up to coincidence.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

I don’t glisten, I sweat Gobdamnit, and it ain’t pretty

Where I grew up 85 degrees (some number smaller in Celsius, I imagine) is full blown, all out, glory wonderful summer.

Where I live now 85 degrees is the break before we get slammed with 100+ degree weather. Supposedly I’m to take this 85 degree weather and label it spring, which is LIES, dirty dirty lies. Spring is 65 degrees, sunny days, rain showers and brisk evenings. Spring is not supposed to choke the green out of whatever tiny foliage attempts to peak out and turn the world a dusty brown that lasts until it snows again. Spring is not supposed to reduce me to hiding under patches of shade and growling if people get too close.

Clearly, I don’t handle heat well. My genetics would have me in Northern London or Scotland somewhere, where the sun hardly ever burns through the mist and touches pasty European descended skin. My internal temperature gauge cannot regulate anything above 70 degrees. Around 75 I get uncomfortable, by 85 I’m vaguely annoyed and angry for no reason, by 100 I’m whimpering in a bathtub full of ice and trying to remember my name.

The heat dragged my lunch walk down today. It added five minutes to my time. When I arrived back at my office after my 2.2 mile loop I was a sweaty, blotchy, panting, disgusting mess. And I still had four more hours in which to grace my co-workers with my presence. I wouldn’t call myself fully ripe, but I would say I wasn’t spring fresh either.

I had hoped that what with it being APRIL and all that I would still have at least a blessed month before the heat hit in which to cram in physical activity during lunch. Sadly it appears that this is not the case. This current heat spell is here to stay. And I’m going to have to find a new way to get physical activity into my day that doesn’t involve soaking through my bra and undershirt right before important company meetings.

I envy my father’s generation. When he was growing up all they railed on about was the next ice age. The global climate trend was toward the cold. Now damn global warming has taken over and things are heating up. You won’t see me whimpering and confused in an ice age, is all I’m saying.

Damn heat.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Tired of my diet ranting yet?

Fine then, I will give you a break.

I've spent the last week looking at apartments in the ghetto, reading apartment listings on every website available, driving all slow and creepy like down neighborhoods I like, and getting frustrated.

I'm getting absolutely no where in the apartment hunt.

Technically I only have two requirements: Safe and must have washer/dryer in unit. You would be surprised how hard it is to find these two things combined. My current place, while cute on the inside, really is in a don't go out after dark neighborhood but is a bit safer because it is an enclosed building. Well, it was, until someone drove into the lobby through the wall of windows just this week. Now I suppose if you really wanted to get in you could just push aside the caution tape, step gingerly around the shattered glass remnants and spray paint the interior of the elevator all you want. Because yes, in the time that I have lived here, people have tagged the elevator. The tagging luckily is usually confined to the outside of the building but still, this isn't the super best building, you know?

Technically I may only have two requirements but the list of hope-fors is longer. I want high(er) ceilings. My current ceilings are low and of the popcorn variety. My friend just moved to a fabulous place with vaulted ceilings and moulding and windows on more than one wall (my place only has windows on one side of the unit). I was drooling over the place until she pointed out her one problem: No closets. There is a tiny, shallow closet in her bedroom and that is it. She doesn't even have a pantry in the kitchen. I don't understand where she is supposed to store her sheets, towels, and shoes, much less coats for guests and her vacuum cleaner. She's paying the same price for that place that I am paying for mine and while mine feels like a dark, sad little dungeon after seeing her bright and airy domicile I must be grateful that I have no less than three closets, including a walk in! Plus I have a balcony that I have classily decorated with rubbermaid boxes full of crap covered in a tarp. So I guess I have to add must have storage to my list of needs. I really don't have that much, but this place is really small (all of it went to closets, methinks).

One question though: If you were building a beautiful development of swank loft two story townhouses what would make you decide that two bathrooms, one per level, was a smart idea for a space less than 600 square feet? Why wouldn't you put in a washer dryer in on of the twee bathrooms? Why would anyone think that a space than small would need two bathrooms? WHY? Because I tell you, I would have snatched that place up in a second. Apparently many people would save for the idiotic bathroom deal. I think the lease people are tired of being asked why there are two toilets per yet no washer/dryer. Common sense people: It ain't so common.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

It’s all in the numbers

The part that drives me nuts* about weight loss is that it is all a numbers game. A pound of fat is 3500 calories. A deficit must be created weekly of 3500 calories to lose said pound. This must be done with eating and movement combined. Movement must include cardio and strength training. Strength training is needed because muscle burns more than fat, it revs the metabolism, helps shed fat weight and get in shape much faster than cardio alone.

So I set about to eat healthfully, make good choices, slowly learn about real portions and what my caloric needs are, break a sweat and build some muscle, but the numbers are daunting. Actually knowing exactly how to lose a pound (in a numerical sense) rather takes away the mystery of it all in a not great way. I don’t care about the man behind the curtain, I am fine being in the dark about things. I have a terrible suspicion that like a cartoon character run off a cliff, if I didn’t know the numbers, and the character didn’t realize gravity existed, I would lose more weight in bliss and they would never fall. I fear that the universe will now make me follow this formula because I know it, whereas before I might have slipped by mostly unnoticed and lost, say, 22 pounds in just a few weeks.

If I was eating over 2,000 calories a day regularly then dropping to 1400 should have resulted in just over a pound lost a week. If I take that 4200 deficit and add 100 cals a day burned extra with movement I get 4900, which is about a pound and a half lost per week. If I want to really lose 2 or more pounds a week I’m going to have to find higher intensity ways to burn calories off because I can’t/won’t/will lose my damn mind if I attempt to restrict my calories any more.

This is rational, mathematical, and lovely on paper. It is not, however, happy to my brain or my fat gut. Perhaps I have been far too heavily influenced by years of media showing starlets/paid spokespeople/your mom losing weight practically by magic or performing special moves and eating special food because I really want to see that 5 pound loss in one week poof! Like magic.

Real weight loss takes time. It takes time and a shift in paradigm (sorry, work word). It could also take methamphetamines but I’m trying not to resort to that until two weeks before the reunion, you know? I try to look at that as a last go to effort, not a long term solution.

I’ve gained a average of 3 1/2 pounds per year since I was 19. That is an average because the weight came in waves, and I managed to lose the same 6 or 8 pounds over and over again for months in and out. But if I think of it in purely mathematical terms I’ve gained 28-38 pounds in 8 years, I can’t expect to lose all of it in three months. But I want to. I’ve never been a good one for planning, my papers are always written last minute and my projects completed in the wee morning hours. I’ve sorta been treating weight loss the same; ignoring the project and figuring I’ll be able to cram and save the day at the last minute. And it doesn’t help to see magazine covers promising 20 pound weight loss in three months and walking off 10 pounds by Easter. I know that the media lies, photoshops everything within an inch of its life, and tries to make us miserable about our bodies in order to sell us stuff. I know this. Yet a little part of me is still pissed that I haven’t dropped ten pounds in two weeks, which, I guess if I really wanted it I could try to pick up dysentery.

In the great weight loss journey the next steps are these:

Gently increase physical activity.
Do not aggravate injuries or conditions.
Join a cheap gym again.
Keep eating the way I am, but let there be a bit of play. If my body still gets the occasional pasta or pizza in right proportional sizes it won’t keep storing up for the famine.

I’ve got to increase calories burned up to about 400 a day, or 2800 a week, to meet the 4200 calorie deficit created by diet to add up to 7,000, or two pounds lost a week.

I can do my strength stuff at home with tapes in the AM, and hit the gym for cardio and intervals in the PM. I can still take walks at lunch, but those are more to stretch out and get away from my desk. I really can’t break a sweat or go jogging during lunch…in my work clothes…down the busy street we’re located on, which means I’ve met the limitations of a lunch walk.

Great! So I have the next step in the game plan. Only…What in heaven’s name burns 400 calories a day besides 3 hours of cardio? Any ideas?

*Mmm, this is a misnomer. Everything about weight loss drives me nuts. Nuts…like peanuts sprinkled on bananas and real whipped cream with chocolate sauce. Gobdamnit, I can’t even add a footnote without having a food fantasy.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Does the caloric content of a lean cuisine include the box too? Because I need something a bit more filling.

You know it’s time to distract yourself with something else when you spend over an hour (at work) looking up various gummi candies on Amazon (Jelly Babies, Wine Gummys, Haribo Jellies, Jujyfruits) and can’t seem to stop yourself. I want to whip out the credit card, order every variety, and eat my way through pounds and pounds of corn syrup, food coloring, and gelatin.


This is not good.

For nearly a week I’ve been stuck at XX2.4. I’ve been getting activity, limiting my calories to 1400 a day but not starving myself (technically, I guess) and eating healthy but MAN! I want to bury my face in some damn Jelly Babies right now. I want to wear a brown trench coat with a long striped scarf and pull out wax paper baggies packed to the brim with them. I want to stuff my mouth full of the black Jujyfruits, which are the best kind, and bite the heads of of gummi bears like a French revolution caught in candies. I don’t just want to go to Candyland, damnit, I want to annihilate gumdrop palace and eat all the goods inside.

Strange to see what cravings my body puts me through.

I’ve learned that I shouldn’t “starve” myself. If I let myself get all hungry then my body thinks it is in a famine and fights harder to conserve calories. Today, in particular, this is an issue because right now I’m hungrier than all out and I have to eat something but it is 4 hours until dinner and I’d hoped to save my calories for then. Ah well. Have to suck it up, eat an orange, and stop shaking.

My weight loss progress has been slow. This will be the end of week three of real dieting coming up and I’ve only lost about 6 pounds. Okay, so that is ideal, I know, about 2 pounds a week, but for me it feels like torture. I’m not sure I can do eight more weeks of daily salads while increasing my workout intensity but I’m going to have to if I expect to atcually lose this weight.

I really want to see movement on the scale so I’ve contemplated dropping my calories to 1200 for a week but that is impractical and nearly impossible, plus I’m worried that my body would freak out and convert all the lettuce I’m eating into saddle bags. (I did the 1200 cals a day thing once upon a time, with the HMR program, and yes, I lost weight. But I was gassy and cranky and tired and insane much of the time, the program was costly, and I gained weight back the second I ate one Cheerio).

I know that in my adult life I’ve been 10 pounds less than this. In my early adult life, not courting the time I got back from overseas and weighted 98 pounds, I’ve weighed far less than this. It’s strange because I can’t even imagine 10 pounds ago. I know it happened, I know it was there, and yet, why the hell did I let myself get back here? Why oh Why oh Why is the glory of a cheeseburger with onion rings and a malted worth more in the moment than my longer term health and happiness?

And why does my body think that pounds of gelatinized artificial syrup goo constitutes nutrients? Frankly, I blame my body for this. It is the one that makes me look at candy online all day, it should know better. It should take the damn carrots and cauliflower I gave it two hours ago and be delighted.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Ready for a change

Come on Universe, I'm open to something new.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Of hunger, cleaning, and WTH is up with boys?

I better get something posted fast while I still have a grain of energy. I just ate an orange and that should help boost my poor blood sugar level enough to allow me to type. Again, I'm not starving myself. I'm not being stupid. I eat healthy stuff when I'm hungry. But DAMN how my body fights it. This body thing doesn't know what it wants. When I eat crap and fast food I'm tried, sluggish, and cranky. When I eat healthy I'm tired, sluggish, and cranky. Someone invent the damn food pills already so I don't have to put up with this nonsense.

I spent today cleaning in a semi-lucid state (see: low blood sugar, or rather see: lack of nacho cheese) because my social life is dwindling and this place needed a scrub down. I live alone. My housekeeping skills are far better than days of yore (like when I learned that mold grows in cups of water left around the house). Yet it takes an entire day of scrubbing, mopping, dusting, vacuuming and bleaching to get this place to par. I don't even know where half the filth comes from. It's like secret dust fairies sneak into my apartment the second I leave and coat this whole house in their dust of the non pixie variety. I fear ever having to live with another person, or having nice things, how on earth will I stay on top of it?

Speaking of living with another person I have a question about the difference between boys and girls. If a boy asks you to move in with him what does that mean? To me it means I get double the cooking, cleaning, shopping and organizing in exchange for half the shower time, a snoring bed partner, and having to keep my legs shaved all the time. I see absolutely no point in living together.

HOWEVER, I am tired of trying to decipher the boy brain. What does living together mean for the boy? Does it mean that he wants to make a bigger commitment or that he likes the idea of having real towels in the bathroom and not drying off with laundry? Does it mean that he is falling in love with you or that he likes the idea of having milk with an expiration date that exists in the future and not the past?

Do boys even THINK about such things or are they just clueless bastards sent to this planet to torture women? And furthermore, why is it impossible to pry said motivations out of said boy? If you ask: Why do you want to live together? What does this mean? Does it mean anything at all? And you STILL get no answer at what point can you take him to small claims court and demand your sanity back?

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

The scale says one thing, but my pants say another: You have a long way to go sweetcakes

I am quite proud of my emergency weight loss skills. I’ve gone from XX8 down to XX2.8 in under two weeks, which, great! I’ve almost undone the damage I did while eating my way through my recent life obstacles (or opportunities as self help books would tell me to call them). This is all fine and dandy except:

I effectively wasted a whole month. I was supposed to be eight pounds less that I am now, starting on April 1.
Which makes the next two months that much harder.
I’m not losing weight by starving myself but I’m also not eating the way I would if I weren’t dieting which means:
I’m dieting
And I swore that I wouldn’t do this dieting stuff again
I justified dieting by deciding that I needed to undo the eating damage I did by justifying my emotional eating spree
The whole point of losing weight this time was learning to lead a healthy, active, non-restrictive lifestyle
Yet here I am, yo-yoing again

Well. I cannot beat myself up. I just can’t. I can’t undo the past. I can, however, get myself to XX0 and start back in on trying to do this weight loss the mature way. Right now I’m eating a yogurt, 13 almonds, an apple, raw veggies, a salad with lean protein, an orange and a super light dinner everyday, amounting to about 1400 calories. For a person of my size this is apparently what I can expect to eat and “maintain” my weight. Damn being short, I bet tall girls get to eat pizza more often. I also bet ten pounds on a tall girl doesn’t size her out of her whole wardrobe, but, fine. Short it is.

I am eating healthfully, I’m not starving myself (yet I feel hungry, damn stupid addiction to sugar and fat) but this isn’t something I’m going to be able to stick to for the rest of my life. Unless someone zaps the part of my brain that finds food delightful I’m not going to be able to eat a salad everyday for lunch until I die. My arteries are calling out for trans fat, I know, they are gluttons like that and don’t know what is good for them but still. My arteries should be begging me for more raw broccoli, not alfredo dipping sauce.

I’m doing a workout video about every three days and walking every day that I don’t do the video. This is because of my neck injury, I have to take getting in shape very, painstakingly, obnoxiously slow. Which might be a good thing. I get so obsessive about the weight that I probably would have tried working out 8 hours a day, hurt myself, and set myself back even further. The neck injury is keeping me from being an idiot.

I still need to lose 25 pounds by mid June. Send skinny thoughts my way.