10 pounds down 32 pounds to go!

Monday, December 29, 2008

"Quiet, you'll miss the humorous conclusion"

Starting the post-Christmas welcome to the rest of your life at 182.6 pounds. It's not as bad as I would have thought after eating for four days straight. I'm totally tired of food. I'm trying not to think of this "period" of healthy eating as a "diet" but sheesh, who am I kidding. On a diet all you can think of is cheating so I really don't want to be on a diet in that sense. I just want to eat better through out the day. I started a few weeks before christmas a regimen of having the same breakfast every day. I'm going to do that with lunch too. It's so easy and there's no thinking involved. I'm not doing a proper south beach diet, but I'm cutting out everything unnecessary or over the top. I'm keeping my teaspoon of sugar in my tea and I'm cutting out the halloween and christmas candy, which seems fair and reasonable. If I have a sweet craving I go directly for tea, which is a good appetite suppressant too because your tummy feels all warm and full and it's only 15 calories.

I'm blogging the actual numbers again because I need the record. it's so much easier to chart things when you write them down for real. I've never once remembered anything I thought "I'll remember that" about so why fight it. I didn't record weight or exercise or anything at all this year and I gained about ten unrelentless pounds. Clearly the laissez faire doesn't work. I need structure and regular beatings to get anything accomplished, that's just the way it is and I must accept it. C'est la vie.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

"I've been sane for a while now..."

Yesterday I drove up to Bar Harbor to see my friends and their very tiny new baby. We had about two feet of snow on sunday and it was too much for the philadelphia contingent because they were very worried I wouldn't make it to the house...Oh, how novel! I did pick up some stranded folks on my way there. A couple plowing out their friend got stuck between no and where and they flagged me down. They'd been waiting an hour and a half for a car to go by, which I totally believe, and even though picking up strangers on lonely snow covered roads is usually too Stephen King to contemplate, I'd feel damn lucky if someone was nice enough to help me on that road. Ironically it was the same couple from the summer, the woman with the pug that jumped into my car and they told me a good story about some of their neighbors. There's always been this sort of weird house with a cross on it on the road to home. Is that a house that's a church or a church that's a house? There are always half broken wheel chairs and fire wood for sale and i always wonder if it's the home of a faith healer that makes it's fortune off the crutches and chairs of the newly healed. Apparently not, which is disappointing. The real story is that the city had come to cut down a tree and the invalid owner chained himself to the tree shouting "I pay taxes!" to keep the city from chopping it. They arrested him and cut the tree while he was in jail and when he got out he vowed to never pay taxes again...so he got himself ordained as a minister. Apparently he got to keep the firewood too, so that seems fair.

Today is D day as far as Christmas preparations go. I have to bake some pies and wrap some presents and I have to scour my house from top to bottom. Fortunately I don't have to sew a thing because I'm completely over the sewing. Which is appropriate since I just spent so much at JoAnn's for new material. Ironical. The Macbook cover went over very well, pictures below. I love the old school apple design. I only have to make 800 of these to use up the 7 yards of rainbow fabric I have.

These are the result of franticly googling "homemade baby gifts". Every single site suggested a fleece blanket which is what I was trying to make but my sewing machine is cranky with me. They're supposed to be bathtub crayons...homemade....and they double as soap! What kid doesn't want soap??? They look cute anyway and I had all the materials on hand. ***If you googled homemade baby gifts and got to this page, make the bath crayons...you can put a bar of soap in the blender and melt it with some food coloring and you're good, it's the way to go.***

Sunday, December 21, 2008

"You can't just go shooting down light aircraft with hand guns"

Matt just informed me that he is preparing to weld something 6 inches from a gas line. Probably he wouldn't have told me if I hadn't been downstairs and probably that would have been better than waiting for the explosion. Obviously it's a good time to blog. It's been cold as hell here and discouraging to the exercising. I know I've mentioned it before but it's really important for me to have excellent music to get my ass out the door in 6 degree weather. Here is my latest list of favorite songs for running in the deep dark north.

Ready to go
Can't Stop
Pon de Replay
Take me out
Last Smile
Your Song
One girl revolution
Let's get it started

I don't even want to talk about number ten, my mother loved the corrs.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

fabric junkie

Today I had wheels of my own for the first time in two weeks. It was awesome. I went to the fabric store and super walmart and to bed bath and beyond to use up a giftcard from last christmas before I get yet another one next week. I went crazy with my five dollars and bought myself a chop and scoop cutting board, not to be confused with the chop and scoop chopper (FYI). It was surprisingly hard to choose a five dollar something just for fun, I mean as much fun as you can get out of a cutting board. I almost bought a set of little steel prep bowls for 4 dollars but then I'd have to find a one dollar item and it just seemed too hard. I didn't have any trouble spending at the fabric store though, damn it's expensive to be a crafty house wife.

It was a harrowing experience too. Apparently no matter how long you stand in line at the cutting station if you don't have an actual number from the broken number machine they will not serve you. Harsh. A nice lady in the check out line gave me some coupons though so yay. My fifty dollars of fabric should have cost me tons and tons more apparently. I guess I need some more fabric store experience to up my thread cred. Hehehe. For the record I am done with pot holders and on to one more quilt and some Mac book cozies and some napkins. I'm taking a lot of pleasure in thinking up kitchen gifts for the girlfriend who doesn't cook. I'm a mean, mean girl.

In relevant news, I've lost two pounds this week. I was debating the south beach thing but it seems cruel and unusual to start the week before christmas so I'm just skirting the beach. I'm in the parking lot, if you will. Every day I can run I'm running and tonight I'm setting my bike up on it's indoor training thingy. Matt keeps saying he's going to do it for me but I'm perfectly capable of doing it myself. I should just ask him to do it because of the two of us he's the one who gets things done. Although, I am impressing his socks off with all my christmas sewing. He keeps saying he wishes he could put some stitches in himself but it's not really his forte. He can do his part by setting up my bike and keeping me out of friggin' JoAnn's. I can't go in there alone again, at least not until I get a job.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

"I've been working steady for the past twelve years, minus the last three."

I made like six pot holders today. If I was working in a real sweatshop I'd totally be fired because I'm slow as all hell at sewing. Or maybe it's the cutting. Or the planning. I don't know which but some part of the pot holder process is slowing production. The by the hour cost of these pot holders is huge, if you look at it that way I'm giving all my nearest and dearest very pricey christmas presents. Just for the record.

Monday, December 15, 2008

I read mysteries. Gory, violent, and usually British. I love a good murder. One of the things every member of my family has in common is a love of mystery stories, that and food obviously. On my sister’s last visit from Prague she brought me a huge box of chick lit, a move I still haven’t figured out. Anyway, of the books in the box every cover has a pair of shoes and a cupcake and while I totally respect a persons right to read and relax with that sort of book I just can’t do it myself. It’s not that I don’t like sex, shoes and chocolate, I do…It's just that actual sex and shoe buying is more relaxing. When I’m asked to consider a book in that genre I usually decline because I know I’m not an unbiased reader and it doesn’t seem fair. The publishers of “Two Weeks Under” by Rivka Tadjer sent me a selection and a picture of the cover and lo, no cupcake and no shoes and a very familiar set up.

I don’t think I give anything away by showing this book to be a mystery. If it was an average feel good story about an overweight girl in the city there would be a cat and a best friend in on the secret. The secret, that only we the readers know, is that our would be heroine has made a very big decision to under go a serious procedure for vanity weight loss. A procedure that was essentially effective however unexpected the end result.

The procedure is a medically induced coma that reduces the patient’s weight. In my heart I feel like this should be a shocking revelation regarding the direction of healthcare in America but in my head I wonder if it’s not the next new thing. The only downside I see for the weight loss industry is that the thing actually works. Except for the pesky mysterious deaths the idea is awesome and with only the slightest suspension of reality.

On my first reading the thing that struck me about the characters was their weight, or lack there of. They’re not very overweight, just above normal on the BMI. They’re all skinnier than I am in their beleaguered pre-coma bodies. On my first reading it pissed me off how skinny they were and how they spent so much money to lose enough weight to hardly exist. That would be where Rivka grabs you and whoops your ass with the truth we all live. There’s no such thing as normal and there’s no rule about who’s allowed to be happy with their bodies and who’s not. The writer calls these comas "vanity comas" and bless her for being honest about all the things we do for our "health".

In the lives of the women in this book, women with good jobs and expensive apartments, weight is still an issue…still the issue. The money spent and risks taken by these women to achieve their metamorphosis is the same as every woman who buys diet pills or signs up for Jenny Craig but on a different scale. My first reaction to the women in this book is that they weren’t relatable but I was wrong, I don’t know a woman who wouldn’t use every advantage to have a body she felt good about.

Rivka Tadjer has written a book for every woman who wonders about her true potential and she did it in a way that didn’t need the amusing embarrassing moment or the binge fest over the handsome man from the foreign office. But maybe I’m just a sucker for a good mystery.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

How cold is too cold to run?

Take my advice and never google this phrase. The truth is that I only googled it so I could find a good excuse not to go running this morning. The temperature was 4 when I started my googling and now it's 6 so what's to complain about. 6 whole degrees! It was so much better when I didn't know what temperature it was out, I'd just bully myself into going and then cut off my toes when I got back, simple and efficient. Anyway the answers I got ranged from "it's never too cold, put on some clothes" and "if you can see your breath it's too cold". If you can see your breath, damn, I'd only be able to leave my house like 3 months a year if I abided that rule. So, I'm getting dressed because I should consider it lucky that the road isn't covered in ice/snow and that it's not precipitating in any manner and you know I'll be grumpy when it's snowing and I'm stuck inside and no one likes a whiny blogger. I'm gonna get dressed slowly though, hold out for 7 degrees.

I'm also going to stall by blogging about the show yesterday. FIVE DIFFERENT WREATH MAKERS! I pulled up to the door and there was a jeep unloading the world's largest supply of ugly ass balsam wreaths. I was feeling a little guilty about not having made any balsam wreaths and that stupid jeep filled me with relief. I'm so glad I didn't waste my time doing any more friggin' balsams, the only things we brought home were balsam. By the looks of the packing up none of the other balsam sellers had luck either. We made enough to cover costs but it was by no means a good craft fair, the ladies next to us sold exactly one hat and yet another wreath maker was on his cell phone as we packed up saying "I had such nice wreaths for sale". Charlene heard more and said he sounded really depressed but most of his wreaths had american flags on them and maybe this isn't the right timing for a patriotic christmas. One of the groups selling wreaths was extremely, uhm, in need of a bath and every time we made a sale they'd come over and ask how sales were. "Dude, isn't it sort of obvious", not really, I'd say "great" with a big smile and he'd go back to his table and sneer. I'm sure there's a market for giant angels glued to wreaths but apparently not in ellsworth.

Hey, that paragraph got me two whole degrees! Wish me no frostbite!

Friday, December 12, 2008

"a thin line between hell and here"

I had a very nice birthday. The power was out all day so I had two naps, Matt took me to the thai place that serves rice in the shape of teddy bears which was brilliant on his part and we went to the fabric store. He found pink boxes and wrapped my presents in hello kitty paper, so I'm a very happy girl. We have a show tomorrow and I have to make just about every piece today with ice covered greens. Extremely unbrilliant on my part. And I have a book to review which I've read three times for professionalism's sake. More on that monday. If I can get my act together.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

"Well, I'm not dead or unconscious, so I say bravo for me.'

This is what I've been doing. When Matt's grandma died his mom let me have a lot of her sewing things and some dishes and some retro print sheets. I saved the sheets especially for this quilt to be a christmas present for his mom. It's a small quilt, just something for the couch, but I'm having fun making it. Because the fabric is used the quilt is very soft and I can't keep the meow off. I hope his mom likes it as much as the fur does.

Tomorrow is my birthday and I'm feeling really weird about it. It was around this time last year that things started to unravel and I feel like I'm just getting things raveled. As raveled as one can be when you have no job and no prospects and also you broke your car exactly three days after your boyfriend finally fixed it for you. I slid on some ice coming home from home and I was fine it was just that I hit an embankment going very, very slowly and I bent some part that isn't meant to ever be replaced because apparently you can't buy that part on planet earth. And I felt better when I wasn't thinking about my car up on jacks in the garage. Better to think about quilts and cookie baking and frontier housewifery. And maybe prozac.

Next week if my car is working I'm going to see the unemployment man because I need help and it's good if they see how insane this is and god help him if he tells me to get an email account as the solution to my problems. But I've been thinking about job training and I wonder if the have one of those tests that tells you what you're supposed to do with yourself. Or maybe they make you play the game of life and just go with whatever card you get. I'm thinking about hairdresser school. If I go into color application at least I can be high all day.

Friday, December 05, 2008

"Of course it blows, it's a horn."

The other day I went out to buy some socks. I want to start the story there because I want the innocence of the errand to have center stage for about eight seconds. So, I was shopping for socks and I bought the socks and I took the socks to the car and we started to drive home, me and my socks. It was then that a very old man and his wife started to drive into my car. I beeped at them. It was intended to be a short, polite, you’re trying to kill us beep. The intention was there, I fully intended to beep briefly. Only the car didn’t so much agree and the beeping wouldn’t stop. Which was really fun when I drove by the old folks shaking their fists at me.

If they teach you what to do when your horn won’t stop horning in driver’s ed I completely forgot. I tried hitting it, you know, vigorously and at the stop light I tried turning the car off. Twice. And then I merged on to the highway. Probably I could have pulled over and been a spectacle but why do that when you can be a spectacle all over town…so I drove home. I didn’t have any tools or, like, a clue so I just kept driving.

The highway wasn’t so bad, the speed and the noise seemed to help with the beeping. It was the back roads filled with staring pedestrians and dog walkers that were the most fun. I’m not sure my flailing and the “it’s not me, I swear” face I was making convinced anyone that I wasn’t crazy. Two giant suv’s pulled over in a hurry like I was an ambulance and one child cried. No, not really but I think crying children add a level of drama, very Lord of the Rings.

So, the whole time I was driving home I was on the phone with Matt discussing various ways to make the noise stop. Pull the fuse, disconnect the battery, sledgehammer. I thought about warning my dad with a phone call but that would ruin the heart arythmia causing surprise when I pulled up with a blaring horn (like I got a bagpiper stuck in my grill: see tweet). I got home to my thank god it’s empty neighborhood and opened the hood. And you know, way louder when you’re out of the car with the hood up.

It’s really hard to concentrate with a noise like that but we finally got the batter disconnected and in the quiet pulled the fuse and we never had to use the sledgehammer. And I tried so hard to be invisible in my dad’s neighborhood. Fail.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

"We will bring you the limp and beaten body of Bob Barker"

Yesterday I had a "re-interview and workshop" regarding my unemployment benefits. I was extremely freaked out about it but it turned out to be as big a waste of time as any workshop I've ever been to and not at all scary. There were at least three people who interjected useless things about every three minutes and one asking the world's stupidest questions every two minutes so it was exactly like every other workshop I've ever been to. "What website are all these jobs on?" "This is the website." "But what is it linked to, these jobs are on a website" 'This is the website, these jobs are on this website" "But what does it link to". It was awful. Four hours of the importance of having a resume and creating your own email account. It was a waste of time except for about 10 minutes when they discussed self employment and job training. I could be a plumber and kill two birds with one stone.

I am going to talk to them about self employment and essentially beg for help. There was a very long discussion about survival jobs....the jobs people have while they're looking for the jobs they want. I've had survival jobs since I stepped foot in Maine and the one I thought would change all that made me miserable and unemployed. I've been job searching for five years and I'm tired of it. There's nothing here to be found. I'm beginning to think it's time for a big change. I'm going to see what options I have with the career counselor folk who are clearly desperate to get us all back to work and out of their hair. I'm running out of options and discussion of my moving went very badly not that I expected different. Things at the moment stink and I'm seeing very few ways out.

Monday, December 01, 2008

"mr. billowy coat king of pain"

So I was about to do my nablopomo post and hey, it's december. I don't have to post. But I am, aren't I virtuous. It's a very nice 50 degrees here today and it was very good running weather. I should have had a great run but instead I got halfway, cut my feet off and limped home on bloody stubs. Or is it stumps. Never can remember. Anyway, yeah, standing all day sucks. I've forgotten what that was like having been a chair bitch lo these many months. Now I'm whining and cooking, busy busy. I have a big day tomorrow full of haircuts and wreath deliveries and the ever exciting grocery shopping. Must get a life if I'm to continue blogging, I'm boring myself to tears.