Friday, August 28, 2009

Woke Up This Morning

I haven’t been talking about Lori lately, on the blog or in real life. Ever since she wrote and said goodbye I have been attempting to loosen my grip. Not let go completely, just relax the muscles a little. It caught up with me this morning at 2 AM. I was awake and afraid and...

I never know how much to say about this. I don’t know the circumstances that can lead to mistrial, and I sure as fuck wouldn’t want it to be my fault if that did happen.

I’m not trying to be mysterious here. I’m just trying to share and explore my feelings without the details of the case, and that is pretty hard to do sometimes.

Part of me just really wishes these next few months would hurry up and get done. I want the trial to be over. I want whatever answers there are to be had.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

His Noodliness

Do you folks out there follow the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster? It really is my cup of tea. Anyway, a few weeks back they posted a letter from a concerned 13 year-old that was just heartbreaking in its earnestness. But the first comment is what kills me. That is why I love these people. Read on, if you dare...

The Post:

I am a practicing Roman Catholic. And I am also 13 years old. I was on Yahoo Answers and found a question about “The Flying Spaghetti Monster” So, I clicked on it. I probably shouldn’t have but when the link finished loading, I almost cried. Its hard enough for me to have faith in God already, I’m the type of person who needs to have things proven to them, but I just found your site… Disgusting for lack of a better word. I also heard that you made this site because you wanted to get back at the Kansas School Committee or something. I am hoping and praying that this is a true fact, and that you really don’t believe in this. I know this is wrong of me to say. People should believe in whatever they want, but really, looking at some of the articles that you have written, It seems that your site is more of an “In your face” thing to the Christians saying “Haha, we can make a religion just as easy as you guys can, see how stupid it is now?” For example ‘Your just jealous that our god has bigger balls then yours’? Excuse me for my language, but thats just crap, again, for lack of kinder terminology.Even so, if you made this as a joke, or something to pass the time, that doesnt mean everyone else sees it that way. I mean, come on, you have a majority of collage students believing in this, and hopefully they’ll see how stupid (excuse me for saying that, im just trying to tell you my opinion without criticizing you further then everyone else already has) this all was, and that they may want to rethink their ways, that maybe you’ve gone a little too far?I relize this all probably sounds silly from a 13 year old, but please take this into consideration…. If this whole thing is not a joke, im sorry, but if it was bobby… Thats kind of sad.

The Comment:

Argh! Swing’n'amiss there matey! Hopefully growin’ up’ll grant ye a sense a’ ‘umor! Ye need ta’ unnerstand Erin, me matey, there’s a lotta jokes out there that people don’t find funny or be offended by. I happen to not like Dane Cook’s particular brand o’ humor, but that don’t mean I gotta write ‘im a letter! Leave us well enuff alone until ye can grasp the point o’ a bit o’ satire matey!
Cap’m RedTom
PS: If’n ye have trouble believin’ in yer skydaddy, why not try out Partafarianism fer 30 days? If’n ye don’t take a likin’ to it matey, we’re sure yer religion’ll take ye back!

That is some good shit right there. RAmen.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Maybe the best idea EVER

Originally uploaded by sevenworlds16

A bacon, lettuce and peach sandwich. Seriously.

Yeah, but...

I have blogged before about how terrible Austin's breathing is at night. I'm still having regular phone and email exchanges with the pediatrician, and Austin has an appointment with a pulmonologist next month, even though I think he should go to the ear/nose/throat guy. Anyway, when I talk about his breathing at night, people suggest I keep his head and shoulders elevated. And that would make sense if he were a robot, but...

I guess with him being so round, gravity can't help but roll him on down.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Pretas and me

The Hungry Ghost was powerful in me this month. Having things was too important. More important than having enough money for gas. I’ll be coasting on fumes and prayers for the next few days.

I screwed up. It’s not the first time. I can only imagine it might not be the last. I’m torn between hopefulness and realism on that one.

I am as bad with money going out as I am with food going in. No matter how okay I think we are at the beginning of the month, we are fucked all over again by the end of the month. And savings? Please.

Don’t get me wrong, we aren’t starving. Hardly. We could all stand to lose a few pounds. More than a few. But there is no money for school pictures on Thursday. No money for gas. No money for my husband’s textbook for school [until I get paid]. And it’s my fault. I’m not looking for reassurance or consolation. It is a fact.

So the question is -- how to conquer it. The biggest part of my problem, I think, is that I believe things bring happiness, and I am not always a happy person. I am a cheerful person. I smile earnestly and often. But inside, down deep, I am not a happy person.

Things make me feel happy, but of course, the feeling is fleeting.

Knowing this has yet to help. I’m still jonesing for that Toby’s Windmill addition to Austin’s Thomas playset. Because things will bring him happiness, no doubt. I am being sarcastic here, but honestly, he has played with that Thomas Wooden Railway set more than any other toy in his whole life. He imagines and pretends and holy hell, I’m getting off topic.

Money. Right. So, the husband and I sat down with the bank statement and added up the bills and the groceries and the gas and decided on a Plan. Including an allowance for me [and him] and a limitation on eating out. My biggest challenge in following said plan? I face the internet all day at work and I am very bored at work. I have a good job, and I would be hard-pressed to do without it, but I am bored. And it is very easy to spend money online.

I need to set my sights on content more than happy, mayhaps. Let me know if you have been successful with that, please.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Clear Blue Eyes

It’s cloudy and windy out, and there’s something about wind that makes me feel so ALIVE. I went for a walk and after I’d been out for a while it hit me that it was also muggy; I hadn’t noticed that at first. By the time I got back inside I felt a little less enthused about how beautiful the world is.

I’ve been walking more regularly again and it is already doing my legs and lower back good. My bad knee has been driving me crazy for several days now, but I’m hoping that will ease up.

When I walk during work I can’t help but walk past Austin’s daycare.

I was afraid to say so too soon, but Austin hasn’t cried during morning drop-off in four days. I feel like a new person. Having my heart broken anew each day was not doing much for my outlook on life. He wasn’t just crying when I dropped him off at daycare, he was holding my arm with both of his, pulling me to the ground and wailing “PLEASE,” from way down in his throat. That boy knows how to get to his mama.

Tuesday he walked away from me voluntarily and I left quietly without telling him good-bye. Wednesday I told him to have a good day and he looked at me and said “bye.” Thursday the same. Today I told him to give me a kiss. He did and then he looked in my eyes for a long time. I told him to have a good day, said good-bye and waived at him and he waived back.

Things are lookin’ up.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

"I just did what I had to do"

This girl rocks: Teenage hero saves the day

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Mama didn't raise me to be no Christian

This song is really something... Born Again by Cory Chisel

Some Christian music is so moving, it gives me chills. But I have a strange relationship with Christianity. I don't consider myself a Christian, but I am bookended by them. My daughter and parents attend church together. I go for special occasions, usually sticking out like a sore thumb. I have no problem with the teachings of Christ. I dare say, they are mostly good messages, right? My problem has always been with the idea of "Accept Jesus as your ONE AND ONLY TRUE SAVIOR OR ELSE." Ultimatums usually leave me looking for the nearest exit, even if it does lead to a fiery pit.

I'm not setting out to describe my relationship, or lack there of, with Religion here, just giving some context for this song that I like a whole hell of a lot. :)

Monday, August 17, 2009

My other home

I think I’ve mentioned before that I work at a college. If not? Well, I do. I actually work at the same college I attended. Or rather, the same college I have been attending off and on for the 14 years since I graduated from high school. And no, I’m not saying which college. I’m not a complete idiot and I need this job.

Anyway, today is the first day of Fall Semester. It’s kind of our version of Opening Night of The Big Show. The parking lot is full to overflowing and there are people EVERYwhere. Just two weeks ago this place was a freaking ghost town.

There are so many fresh faces… fresh faces on freshmen, heh. [Sorry.] I was one of them 14 years ago today, in Fall of 1995. But now, for me, every square inch of this joint holds years of memories. Classes with instructors I now sit on committees with. Lunch with a friend who gave her baby girl up for adoption just a few months after I had Maya. Walking breaks and smoking breaks with coworkers I miss, friends I may never see again. The art studios. The computer labs. Lecture rooms. Even the damn restrooms. Familiarity at every turn.

The first few years I worked here, I was easily distracted from my career path. Every program of study seemed enticing. I could be a nurse, or a preschool teacher, or or or… but here I still am, banging away at a computer, hanging out with geeks who claim not to be geeks. [Denial, much?] Maybe someday I’ll even get a degree. ;)

My daughter says that when she finishes high school, she wants to go to college where I work. She asks me if we can drive in together and have lunch together. I wonder if she will still want that 6 years from now. I wonder if she will want to live at home or get an apartment near campus. I wonder if some of the same instructors will still work here then that worked here the semester she was born… Fall 1996.

I was walking across campus a little while ago and saw a student with no right hand. It looked like it was cut off at the wrist. I wondered if any of his teachers asked him how he expected to do it, the way my English 101: Freshman Composition instructor asked me how I expected to finish her class with a baby due in the middle of the semester. Well, I did. I got a B in that class*. Not too shabby. She doesn’t work here anymore though, so he probably didn’t get asked that.


I got a B in that English class, failed my math class [that shit was hard], and got an A in my Intro to Computers and Data Processing class. I think I got a C in my art class that semester. My worst semester overall, grade-wise.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Mobile Mansion

Maybe, just maybe I've spent too many years living in mobile and/or manufactured homes, but the place pictured above looks like too much fun to me. Too bad it's just an art exhibit.

It would be like living in a treehouse. Er, a mobile home that got stuck in a tree during a twister, whatever.


Adrienne, I'm calling you out. Do you know these guys? :)

This one's good too.

Crazy Cover

One of my favorite singers covering one of my favorite songs (not by him).

Not as good as the Gnarls Barkley version, but a worthy experiment.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Needle and thread

A button just popped off of my shirt. It couldn’t handle the strain of containing my belly as it pushed out and forward while I sit at my desk. No joke.

I wasted half of my lunch time yesterday driving in circles trying to decide where to go to eat. Where could I get the healthiest, most natural food? I drove to that place. But I wanted Mountain Dew, so I turned around and made my way to Taco Bell. I knew I was doing something I shouldn’t. It would be better to get good food and if I really had to have the Dew, go to a gas station to get that. That would have been a better compromise. But I didn’t. In the bag with my food was a coupon for a local water park.

There are two goals I have in mind when I think about my weight. First, I want to be able to buy clothes in a normal store. I want to be able to buy clothes at Costco where sizes stop at 16. Second, when my kids ask to go to a water park, I want to think “that sounds like fun,” instead of “oh god oh god oh god. Swimsuit. No.”

So there I am with my Dew and my double-decker taco and my meximelt. And my water park coupon. Let the downward spiral of shame begin. I ate my taco and my meximelt, and then I went back to work and ate chocolate. Makes sense, right? What’s the fucking point? I already screwed up. Within a little while my hands were shaking and I was getting angry.

I think about food all the time. I think about what I can eat next, and how long I have to wait.

It has become rare for me to not be the largest person in a room, to the extent that I notice when it does happen. “Oh look,” I think “that lady over there is fatter than me.” And then she sees me looking at her and we both know.

My OBGYN mentioned weight loss surgery. She thinks I should talk to my regular doctor about my options and what the process is. My first reaction was NO. I know my relationship with food is based on emotions and addiction and if I don’t conquer that… what if I have the surgery and then end up in the very same place a few years from now? So I started going to therapy. And I started to think maybe surgery was a good idea. I made an appointment to see my doctor next week. But am I ready?

I used to work with a very large man named Jeff. A few years ago I had a baby, and when I went back to work after my maternity leave, Jeff wasn’t so large. He had had surgery. He was less than half of his former self. He seemed happy, but also somehow awkward. He tired of people looking him up and down in wonder. Jeff called me into his office one day where we had a very, very strange conversation, a conversation about posting a suicide hotline number on our website. He had been getting calls and thought our community could use it. I told him it wasn’t a problem, but he insisted on calling the hotline to get permission to put them on our site. He called while I was there in the office. He got their voicemail. That’s right, voicemail, when he called a suicide hotline.

Just a few days later, Jeff took his own life.

Now I have no way to know that it was in any way related to his weight loss surgery. But I know that for me, being fat has been part of who I am for so long now that I wonder who I would be if I wasn’t fat anymore. I know that if tomorrow I suddenly couldn’t rely on food for emotional comfort the way I do today, I would be lost and afraid.

I’m still going to that appointment with my doctor. I don’t know what he will say. Maybe there are tests and preliminary measures and hoops to jump through. There should be, this is a big deal.

But either way I know I have to continue to be strong and find ways to fight. Even though you can fight and fight for hours or days and it only takes a few moments of weakness to screw it up. You still have to fight.

I’ve been reading some essays by a writer who I knew already had been an alcoholic. I read what she wrote about addiction and first felt camaraderie but then I remembered that food isn’t a sexy addiction, one that is usually belittled as not being as bad or as dangerous as drugs or alcohol. I started to feel meaningless and small. And then I read an essay of hers that I hadn't before, and there it was… food addiction. Her too. I allowed myself to relate to her again and was grateful for what she had written.

I could go on about instant gratification versus long term health… my self esteem… my daddy issues… on and on and on. But I guess this blog will still be here next week.

My name is Stephanie and I am a compulsive overeater. And my fucking shirt is missing a button.


Update: In the spirit of being honest [with myself] I should specify that when I went back to work and "ate chocolate," it was one chocolate candy bar AND one large package of gummy candy. So, yeah.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Room for Growth

Emotions shift like tectonic plates. There is always some movement, usually subtle and undetectable. But sometimes, well, you know. The ground gets shaky.

Having lived in Southern California for as long as I’ve been able to retain memories, I’ve developed a certain relationship with earthquakes of the literal variety. First you feel and hear a rumbling, and then you pause and hold your breath. How bad will it be? Once it is obvious that no one in the vicinity will wind up dead, this strange excitement comes over you... well, me at least. Like… WHEEEEEE!!!

My current emotional stirring is not of the deadly variety. There will be no divorce or resignation. Just a sort of shift in perception. Maybe a little more patience. A little less enabling.

There’s a new crack in the sidewalk, people. Don’t trip on it.

Monday, August 10, 2009

I Feel a Change Comin' On

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Deep Breath

The the tiny blossoms of the sagebrush have turned from dirty-white to a burnt red-orange. The sky, the sky is an especially crisp blue. The wind changed direction two days ago and the tempurature sighed and dropped. It is as if the heavens and earth are singing...

Fall is coming,
Fall is coming,
Summer isn't over yet,
But fall is coming.

And with it a new school year, thoughts of Halloween, plans for a big birthday for a soon-to-be 13 year-old in November. And Thanksgiving. A day dedicated to food and family hosted in my cozy little house. Now I am singing...

Fall is coming,
Fall is coming.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Good reading

This is something I would have sent to Lori, and we would have talked about it, agreed some and disagreed some. I miss her.

Aside from that, it's a good read with some Buddhist leanings.

What You're Looking For

Listen for the twist...

Just a Man

Of all the music I've posted, I can't believe I haven't put up any Los Lobos. These guys mean a lot to me.