Monthly Archives: October 2010

Getting to know me

I’m participating in Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop. Today I’m doing prompt 2:

2.) About me. Do you have an about me page? Because people want to know. Write a page that describes who you are and what you’re about or spruce up your current about me page!

OK then! Look up. Higher. A little to the left. See that new tab that says “About Me”? Click on it to read the amazingness!

Go ahead, click. I’ll wait!

*pretending to whistle but not knowing how so just blowing out air*

All done? Yeah, I know, it’s really not that amazing, but “click here to read the boringness” just doesn’t work as well at getting readers.

After several weeks of liking none of the prompts at WW, this week I like four. FOUR! So you may be seeing more from me…try to contain yourself.

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Improvement

Things I am doing to improve my quality of life:

  • I ordered the textbook/video from Seattle Central Community College’s first year of ASL classes. They have a well-recognized Interpreter Training Program which uses legitimate ASL, so I trust their choice of books. Since I have a foundation in sign, I’m going to use the books to try to get started, then decide if I want to join later classes or just keep going on my own. My goal is to eventually get certified as an interpreter, and hopefully be able to work at that in some way (in the schools, as a telephone relay interpreter, free-lancing) that I find rewarding, which will also pay well and let me work fewer hours to make more money.
  • I joined a local symphony orchestra. I wanted to do something totally for me, and it was almost an impulse decision to find them and join. One night I had a strong desire to, so I searched for the local groups, found one that would work, and contacted them. Once they accepted me (within 24 hours) I rearranged my class schedule so I can go to rehearsals starting in November. I’m really hoping this is a good creative outlet, and also a potential community. It’s something that’s been in the back of my mind since leaving college, and I finally decided to act on it.
  • I am not becoming a therapy dog team right now. I would love to do it…but I haven’t had the energy to go prepare for the test, let alone take it, much less find a placement that I would enjoy who would take me that also has the right level of commitment. It is still something I really want to do…but I figure Toby will only get better at it as he grows, so there’s no rush. If I’m feeling overwhelmed with all I have going on right now (I am) I’m not going to do something “for me” that feels extremely stressful and I rebel against just because I can’t find time. If it’s stressing me out, it’s not “for me.” So it’s on hold. I will become a therapy dog team when the idea no longer makes me inwardly cringe and I stop subtly procrastinating the steps. Maybe if I can find a way to work a few fewer hours a week and make the same money (yes, hubby, I know you don’t want me to worry about money but I do) I’ll find time for it and it will be the fun it’s supposed to be.
  • Did you read that one above? I’m not over-committing myself! That’s huge! *high fives self*
  • I’m planning ahead and setting out time to go out on dates with my hubby. Yes, going out is (often) expensive. We can afford it. It’s worth it for my mental health. I want to have some quality time with him free of distractions!
  • I am going to therapy. With a great therapist. Who gets me and suggests things and has helped me to understand myself better, even with relation to some scary stuff.
  • I am seeing a physical therapist, to help with the pain and discomfort in a lot of normal living, and things I want and need to be able to do comfortably! And I am doing my home exercises.
  • I am seeing a naturopath. Who has put me on approximately a bajillion pills…which seem to be helping. Not a lot. But some. I’m not sure if the improvement thus far is due to the pills, or timing with finding my balance other ways, but who cares? It’s working! I just got the last set of meds in the mail today (I had to call a pharmacy to confirm, I had forgotten to/procrastinated). We’ll see if they help.
  • I am spending ridiculous amounts of time sleeping. I am so sick of wasting half my day asleep. But I am striving to learn what my body wants, so I can at least knowledgeably decide what I’m going to give it.

Sometimes, with all the depression and the fatigue and the guilt, it’s hard to remember that I am actively working to make things better. It is just that, right now, one of the hardest but best things I can do is take it easy. (Note to self: This is not being lazy!) These may sound like little things I’m doing. But I have never put my own self-care anywhere close to first on my list of priorities. Sometimes I need to literally see what I’m doing, written out in front of me, to remember that I am doing something.

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RTT: Puppies and Spiders and Signing, oh my!

It’s time to get our random on!!

I’m writing this post first thing in the morning! You know, it’s morning with how my day is going. Since I just got up. Ignore the clock that says “4:46.”

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Last night the puppy swallowed a big piece of chew, freaking me out, since it could block his intestines and require surgery. He was whimpering, coughing, gagging, and throwing up..but not being able to get more than bile around the obstruction. *facepalm* So I stayed up to keep an eye on him. Til he was breathing easily. Around 2AM. Then, this morning, someone called and woke me up at 10. I mean, come on, people! That’s the crack of dawn! We all know 8 hours isn’t enough for me, so I was exhausted. Got out of bed around noon when I accepted I wasn’t sleeping anymore. Went back to bed at 1. Just got up again at 4. So, hey, good morning, everyone!

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What did I do when I got up bright and early? (Well, it’s bright…) Went out to pick fruit in my garden! Got jalepenos, tomatoes, and a couple mini pumpkins! Eeeee! Halloween decorations!

I would have gotten more..but there are GIANT FREAKING SPIDERS EVERYWHERE! Spiders are scary. I freaking hate them. I realize it’s ridiculous, and I stand there trying to tell myself that a little web strand (or GIANT FREAKING SPIDER) isn’t going to hurt me. And just can’t bring myself to cross them. *shudder*

I must plan my garden next year to be spider-free. I have a bunch of tall plants on opposite side of my walkway, which means it is now a stand-and-cower way. Next year: better planning!

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I am almost done with my current book series, and excited to start Room, next! I hadn’t been reading for several weeks until I got into this series, so it feels really good to be back into it!

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If only I had a bathtub to read in. I have been really missing my tub soaks!

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Oh hospital deliveries. I’m watching A Baby Story (I have a problem) and the poor woman is fully dialated and DESPERATE to push. The nurse says, “You can’t push, because if you push without the doctor here, you’ll deliver without the doctor here. He’s at home. It’ll be about 10 minutes.” WHAT THE HELL IS HE DOING AT HOME?? Yeah, I’m thinking a midwife who stays with you the whole freaking labor so when you’re ready to go you can go sounds reeeally good.

I also love that when he finally arrived and she wanted to keep pushing, he yelled at her to stop, and then he pulled out the shoulders himself with no help from her while she cried out in pain (she’d been good thus far). Um..you know, if the baby’s head came with one push, why not just let her push the baby out? *sigh*

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What am I going to make for dinner? Last night I made a really shitty version of baked mac and cheese with no actual cheese in it (I didn’t realize til it was made). I was just looking for a recipe I didn’t have to go to the store for. I hate throwing out food..but this has no nutritional value, so there’s no reason to keep it.  So now, no leftovers, gotta cook again. Boo, store run.

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I really want to learn ASL. I have the vocab (I know sign language), but not the grammar. I’m just not sure how to go about it. I want structure, but going through an ITP (interpreter training program) is not for me because 1) it’s expensive 2) they assume you’re starting from nothing and will go over a lot that I know, and 3) it’s expensive. So trying to find ways to pick it up. It’s one of those things that’s been in the back of my mind for months, that I’ve been toying with going forward with. It’s moving to the front. I’m just trying to come up with ways I can be exposed to ASL, not just sign language like most hearing people know. Aside from going and mingling with the Deaf community it’s tricky, and we all know how good I am at mingling. Hmmm…

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Fast food fast

I have been trying to eat healthier. One thing I really wanted to do when I quit my job was cook more regularly. But now I work many evenings, and so does my hubby, so that hasn’t happened as much as I’d hoped.

That doesn’t mean there’s nothing we can do, though.

At the end of August, I proposed something rather radical to my husband:

What if we gave up fast food for the entire month of September?

Stopped. Period. No more. My theory was, if I stopped eating it, I’d stop craving it, and the convenience wouldn’t be as tempting. But I’d have a hard time doing it on my own, so I made my hubby suffer, too proposed he do it with me.

Now, I didn’t have a perfect definition of fast food. Obviously Micky-Ds and BK were out, as was Panda Express, Taco Bell/Time, and other such places. We kept in Subway, though, because even though their “meats” and such are questionable, they’re *relatively* healthy. We kept in restaurants, despite many of their meals having enough calories to meet my daily requirements.

And we did it. I did not have fast food once. In fact, I have not had fast food since. Because we’re keeping it up.

And my theory? It worked. I have been tempted by the McD’s I drive by coming home from class (or running to class) in the evenings when I’m hungry, or, just from long habit, the idea of it sounds good when I’m at work. But then I actually think about what I’d get. And my stomach turns a little. Ew. Not appealing.

Granted, it took the full month for this to happen, as even 3 weeks in I was c.r.a.v.i.n.g a Bic Mac.

But this is huge for us! We were eating fast food at least once a week. Usually several times. Not. Healthy.

And now that it doesn’t sound good, I’m not thinking of it as much.

Just last night I was coming home from a new class, hungry. And rather than contemplating stopping at any fast food, and giving up the idea regretfully, I caught myself contemplating what kind of quick but relatively healthy meal I could make for myself at home.

Because, now that fast food doesn’t sound as good, neither do the over-processed “easy” meals I used to grab at home when I was hungry and tired. No more Lean Pockets, no more Chef Boyardee. They just sound gross.

Instead I’ve started keeping healthier fast options on hand. Not many, but hey, it’s not like I had many Lean Pockets around, either. I have a package full of hard boiled eggs, which led to an egg salad sandwich last night. Yes, (fake) mayo isn’t the healthiest, but it’s all about relatives, people. I used fresh ingredients to whip myself up a quick, filling meal. That is a huge step for me, especialy when coming home tired!

I am loving this change, and while I’m still working to change and cement habits, I celebrate every time I catch myself being good!

Of course, the weight still isn’t coming off….but that’s OK. It’ll come. Healthy matters more than skinny!

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Why are boys stupid?

My hubby is out at a bachelor party for a friend tonight. This friend is more…well…they’re college friends. And my hubby and I have always been fairly uptight (which is shocking to people who know my political stances now, but we still have the social lives of our super-conservative,  straight-laced past). These friends are…not. At least, not when cutting loose to “have a good time.” Big drinkers. The groom-to-be said no strippers (which would have been a real possiblity otherwise), so the guy planning had them all bring porn. My hubby thought they wouldn’t watch, it was just to embarrass the groom-to-be.

But then he just texted me, because they’re all trying to bully the groom-to-be into going to a strip club.

Really, guys? A strip club?

My hubby doesn’t want to go, but he also doesn’t want to make a big deal about not going, or make things awkward.

I’m just not quite sure what to make of this. I never contemplated how I’d feel about my hubby going to a strip club, because my hubby is not the type who would GO to a strip club!

He asked me what I think/how I’d feel, as he tries to decide if he should just ride along or stand up. And I just don’t know what to say.

Why do boys have to be such idiots when “having a good time?”

Any of you have opinions?

::UPDATE::

I just re-read this, and realized it came off wrong. When I said “I don’t know what to say,” it’s pretty much because I totally trust my hubby. I feel like the idea of him going to a strip club should bother me..but it doesn’t seem like it does.  (Unless maybe it will later, because I feel like I should, hence the un-sure-ness.) Because I trust him. But I don’t doubt my hubby in the slightest, he’s a sweet, wonderful, loyal man, and I don’t for a second think that going to a strip club would cause him to feel or say anything bad about/to me.

I’m just annoyed at his friends for putting him in this stupid and pointless situation. I don’t get strip clubs. Guess that’s ’cause I’m intelligent female.

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Dear Depression,

You are a mothafucka. Please stop fucking with my life. Please stop ruining things I’ve been looking forward to for weeks by joining the party. I don’t know how to un-invite you once you’ve arrived.

Go away and never come back.

kthnxbye.

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What the Hell: Anniversary Edition

Today is a very special anniversary: The one year anniversary of What The Hell Wednesdays! Congrats to the Blue Monkey Butt sisters! Go link up and play along in their honor :-)

The hubby and I planned on going to a professional soccer game last night. I enjoy soccer, it’s a really fun sport. I’d been looking forward to it all week (since we changed our plans and decided to go to this one and schedule a conflict with the other possible one). Then a client called and wanted to schedule a meeting. At 4:15. OK, great! I figured I’d be home by around 5:30, maybe a bit later. But, being me, I procrastinated leaving the appointment. And got stuck in traffic. And ended up being forty-five minutes later than I said. And when I said I’d be home was evidently the latest we could have left to make it (which I misunderstood). So we didn’t go. WHAT THE HELL is wrong with me??? I’d been so excited to go to this game, and I knew I needed to leave, and I just…put it off…until it was too late (though I didn’t know it was “too” late at the time, just late). I have got to stop doing that!! Why do I procrastinate at things I want to do?????

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The other day I was at work. Have I mentioned that at work we carry 45+ pound bags of food and litter? A woman asked for help carrying her 40lb bag to her car.  No problem, we do it all the time for people who need help! But I was sore, since rather than the usual 2-3 pallets of heavy bags and cans to unload on Friday, we had 8, 6 of which were stacked taller than me. And that I helped to unload 6 of them. So I was sore (and buff!). I grab this woman’s bag, head out to her car….with her chatting all the way. (Evidently she can’t walk and chat, either.) About some construction going on nearby. Asking what it was. Telling me she didn’t know there were areas that could be developed around here still. Etc. While standing next to her car. Not opening the door or telling me where to put it. I mean, WHAT THE HELL was she thinking, that I enjoy doing sustained-carries of 40 pound bags? I’m scrawny, lady, open the damn door!!

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This week I was tipped off to a great article by Kristen at Rage Against The Minivan. The article is all about breastfeeding, and how the crazy breastfeeding movement has really done a lot to oppress women, even when there isn’t any good scientific evidence to back up most/all of their claims that breastfeeding has any positive effect on the health of mother or baby. They make breastfeeding out to be the “ultimate badge of responsible parenting,” ignoring the hardships involved and often soundly denouncing anyone who doesn’t as too selfish to have children. Here’s an excerpt:

The debate about breast-feeding takes place without any reference to its actual context in women’s lives. Breast-feeding exclusively is not like taking a prenatal vitamin. It is a serious time commitment that pretty much guarantees that you will not work in any meaningful way. Let’s say a baby feeds seven times a day and then a couple more times at night. That’s nine times for about a half hour each, which adds up to more than half of a working day, every day, for at least six months. This is why, when people say that breast-feeding is “free,” I want to hit them with a two-by-four. It’s only free if a woman’s time is worth nothing.

Here’s another quote, this one about how the view has become that the mother’s health/well-being should become completely unimportant relative to the needs of her children. Even if breastfeeding is a big source of stress on the woman and her marriage and means she has to completely sacrifice her career, of course the infant’s needs come first if there’s even the possibility that breastfeeding is better. You only have to read the comments on this article to see that view expressed over and over.

Mothers these days are expected to “optimize every dimension of children’s lives,” she writes. Choices are often presented as the mother’s selfish desires versus the baby’s needs. As an example, Wolf quotes What to Expect When You’re Expecting, from a section called the “Best-Odds Diet,” which I remember quite well: “Every bite counts. You’ve got only nine months of meals and snacks with which to give your baby the best possible start in life … Before you close your mouth on a forkful of food, consider, ‘Is this the best bite I can give my baby?’ If it will benefit your baby, chew away. If it’ll only benefit your sweet tooth or appease your appetite put your fork down.” To which any self-respecting pregnant woman should respond: “I am carrying 35 extra pounds and my ankles have swelled to the size of a life raft, and now I would like to eat some coconut-cream pie. So you know what you can do with this damned fork.”

Good, huh? Now go read the whole article!

WHAT THE HELL is wrong with these crazy breastfeeding advocates?? I mean, when I have kids I want to breastfeed, mainly because I feel like, in general, if you have a choice between natural and artificial (which is trying to approximate natural), and there’s no other concern, you might as well go natural because there is so much we don’t understand about the natural that might be missing in the artificial. I have always looked forward to breastfeeding, and want to be home with a baby anyway, so no big deal for me. But these crazy people make me want to not breastfeed out of spite!

(Side note: This position is also based on many people I have met in person, not just what the article says. The article resonated with me so much because of personal experience.)

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Glee!, a show which I typically love, broached the tough topic of religion last night. I was so freaking tense the whole episode, waiting to see if the “Christianity is best” attitude would win out. But I kept on getting pissed at Kurt’s friends. Storyline: Kurt’s dad has a heart attack (and more) and is in the hospital in a coma. Kurt doesn’t believe in god/religion, what with being gay and being told by most Christian religions that the way god made him is sinful and all. His “friends” keep trying to push god down his throat as a way to comfort him. Mercedes: “I’ve been thinking all day what I want to say to Kurt. Then I realized, I don’t want to say it, I want to sing it. This is a song about being in a dark place and turning to god.” She knows that he does not like Christianity at this point, and yet she thinks this is comforting to him?? It’s pure selfishness, it is just comforting to HER. She sings, he politely thanks her, and says he doesn’t believe in god, he doesn’t want their prayers, etc. His friends keep trying to push religion on him. Three show up in his dad’s hospital room to pray over his dad in shifts, “We’re all different denominations, so we figure one must be right.” Another woman then says, “Friends help even when you don’t ask.” He tells them to leave. Later, Mercedes approaches him, “I don’t know how to talk to you anymore. I know you don’t believe in god, but you’re closing yourself off to a whole set of experiences.” Him: “You’re right, I shouldn’t be pushing my friends away.” WHAT THE HELL?????????? His friends shouldn’t be so selfish as to try to force him to turn to god when he’s down and extremely stressed, just because their much lesser level of stress is causing them to turn to god!! She then asks him to go to church with her, and he does. Again, WHAT THE HELL. I’m glad they didn’t end with a miracle conversion, but come on. Can we at least acknowledge that pushing their faith on him repeatedly was a selfish and dickish move, especially at such a time in his life, rather than just talking about how him not wanting to hear it was bad?? His dad was possibly in a coma for life. He’s allowed to be a bit selfish about not wanting to hear how it’s all part of god’s plan when he doesn’t believe in god. They are not allowed to be selfish and call it support. It’s only support if the person in question finds it supportive!

That’s it for me, now WHAT THE HELL are you waiting for? Go link up and play along!

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