Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Putting the FAT in Fat Tuesday

Started the day with a GRANDE Caramel Macchiato--enough coffee to float a horse--and I downed the sweet, sweet nectar in under an hour. Mmmmm.

For lunch, I consumed my weight in fried rice, sesame chicken, and crab rangoon. In fact, the sheer joy of mass consumption gave way to a dull, hard pain. Eating as a sport is not something I see much of a future in for this gal.

And tonight it's all about the Minsky's pizza. We're getting two kinds: Chicken Thai Pizza and Mediterranean (pesto sauce, goat cheese, lamb sausage, and sun-dried tomato on wheat crust). It's like an amusement park on bread. So delish. Then there should be something big and fattening for dessert. I'm thinking...ice cream.

But technically I jump-started Fat Tuesday last night by eating a Reese's Peanut Butter Egg. I did the most delightful thing, which disgusted The Banker. I ate all the chocolate off the top and side, leaving just the peanut-butter middle and the thin chocolate base. Then I took the lump of goodness and put it all in my mouth rolling it about. The Banker grouched he could hear me slurping and turned up the radio. For a man who can binge with the best of them, he has no appreciation for the fine art of relishing one of God's better concoctions.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

An interesting experiment

I had my second of two eye surgeries today in the hopes of providing me with 20/20 vision. Before the surgery I was given valium (only the second time I've had it). Then I went home and slept for hours. Then ate, a ton. And had a rum and coke or several. And I'm realyl, really tired of correcting my ty;ping. The Banker's off to a work-re;lated party, and I'm all patch-eyed and bired and eating and drining. =-) Okay, from the looks at my tyiing, a fair amount of imbibing. I thought it'd be intersting to gve typing while slightly intoxicated a go. And here it is. Not very compelling or exciting. Sigh.

Tomorrow at work is gonna suck. I think the whole work thing a little overrated. An annoying patch over my eye is also overrated. Did Imentiopn I don't want to go to work tomorrow/!?!? I'mm toying with a career change. To what? I don't know. I'd like to try to save thwe world and get paid for it. A decent amount of pay. And I realize that
's waaay too much to ask. Why doesn't the Humane Society pay more?!?!

Am watching a movie about Venice. I looooved Venice. I'd like to go abck. But since I failed to win the lottery, that won't likely happen for years and years and years. I remember getting lost for hours in the bakc streets, finsding the best carnival mask coated in gold.

Okay, the HNamker;'s on his way home. And Sister #2 called to say I needed to pull my crap together or she'll have to come over and drive me through Hardys for ofood I don't need. Or maybe it was Arbys. But I've eated all the crackers and cheese and peanuts,. And I ddidn't run today, or relly yesterday.

Amd ,pst upsetting, I found a tooth on the carpeyt. One of the pugs ahas lost a tooth. Can ethey be getting that old ? IAm I that bad o f a mom for not brushing their teeth?!? It's the saddest looking tooth you ever saw....

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Okay, Fuck my Crappy Attitude

I attended a "Creative Renewal" event today hosted by the really big, feel-good company I work for. A psychologist flew in from California to talk to us about "Enriching Our Lives." I've only been at the company for two months, so I probably don't need to be creatively renewed. Then again, it gets me out of two days of work and I get to visit the company farm, which encourages out-of-box thinking, so what the hell?

I'm not the perky type. I don't buy into a bunch of mumbo jumbo. I LIKE being snarky. But this gal had a lot of interesting things to say, most of which REALLY hit home for me. I wish I could somehow share what she had to say with all of you. I just don't know where to begin. It all boils down to the power of thought. I know, I know. We've all heard about this before. But think about it again.

We have a thought. That thought leads to a feeling. Our feeling leads to a behavior. And our behavior, or action, has a result. And that result can cause another thought, and around this circle we go again.

So what part of this cycle do we have any control over? We can't control our feelings--they come from the gut. And often our behavior, our reaction, is spur of the moment. And anyway, we're too far into the cycle at this point. So we try to control how we think. Your thoughts are like a paint brush, creating the way you see the world. And from there, the rest trickles down: your feelings, behaviors, and the end results.

The problem is, this is quite the challenge. I need to RETHINK the way I think. Instead of: "Stupid, bloody accountant fucked up. He fucked US!" I should have tried: "Okay, we owe some unexpected taxes. Let's take care of this and make sure it doesn't happen again." The first line of thought brought with it a wave of anger and self pity. I yelled. I cried. I called a kind man an asshole. The second line of thought would have been balanced and useful--and importantly, I wouldn't have been taking anything personally (a BIG, BIG, BIG no-no). Had I thought this way, I would have saved myself a lot of anguish. I wouldn't have lashed out at The Banker. I would have taken a bad situation and gotten control over it rather than letting it control me.

So now I must conciously work to think about thinking. I need to know that my thoughts form my reality. And I'd sure like a reality more prone to rainbows and sunshines than tirades and tears.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Okay, Fuck the Rainbows and Sunshine

Yeah, I tried to be positive. Well, screw that. This weekend served as a reminder that life enjoys throwing sucker punches that leave you crumbled on the ground wheezing for air.

We just found out that we owe Uncle Sam quite a bit of money. Our efforts to save for a Farewell for Independence Tour and a family will be wiped clean, and then some. And why? Because it seems we may have received some bad information from our accountant--otherwise known as The Banker's uncle. In an orgy of stupid, this Irish clan keeps it all in the family. And when the family royally fucks up, you have no recourse. No options. You bend over, empty your savings accounts, and smile at the next painful Christmas party the man throws.

I received the news on Friday night after one of the worst days of work ever (wherein my elderly mentor AGAIN shares with me that she's having diarrhea). I curled up in a ball and cried. We can't seem to catch a break. Our finances were well on their way to being healthy and out of nowhere we're taken out at the knees.

I could have made up the amount owed in several months’ worth of freelance if we were still in the big city. But we're not, and I lost all those lucrative freelance gigs because they were city- and state-based magazines. I can't even make a decent damn freelance career here. In fact, I can't even remember the last time I pieced together a worthy turn of phrase. All my hard work and schooling, but the odds are slim I'll have the opportunity to work for a decent magazine. In fact, I haven't touched words in two months' time at my day job, instead learning soul-crushing computer programs and completing clerical work.

I hate where we are right now. I hate that I no longer can boast with pride that I'd escaped my hometown. Hate that I need to accept that everything else is could-have-been's and never-will-be’s. Hate that we've been sucked dry by a mistake. Hate that there's no recourse. Hate that all the rainbows and sunshine don't mean shit.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Turning the tide

As I’ve been doing my daily checks of blogs I love to read, I’m struck by the impression that many of my fellow bloggers appear to be in a slump. Some are overworked. Some are encountering some big stressors in the home. And some are just caught in this dreary, cold February fug that makes everything feel crappy. And I know a bit of all of the above has started to fray my edges a bit. So this post is all about shaking off some of this, even for a few seconds. Try this:

* Nothing helps break through your own sense of sorrow than to reach out and help another. In a very selfish way, it lifts your own spirits while doing someone else some good. So put a dollar in the vending machine and walk away. Every morning, visit thebreastcancersite.com and its fellow sites and click away--providing meals, mammograms, books, and much, much more for free. Surprise a friend with a funny e-mail or card. Reaching out can mean so much to help the turmoil inside.

* For one hour, view life from a dog’s perspective. Get on the floor, roll about with a furry friend, and feed off each other’s joy in the simple pleasures. Life should be about this. Livin’. Lovin’. Eatin’. Playin’. And then after this fun, a good old nap never hurt anyone.

* Eat chocolate. Or whatever your favorite food is, diets and healthiness be damned--at least for a few minutes. The Banker and I gorged ourselves on Butterburgers, fries, and custard shakes last night. Will this help when I weigh in every month? Hell, no. But for once I was truly savoring what I was eating.

* Hot showers or baths can never be overrated. I do my best thinking in the shower and sometimes visualizing all my stresses and problems swirling down the drain helps more than you could guess.

* Take a favorite comforter or blanket, draw it tightly around yourself, pop some popcorn, make some hot chocolate and curl up to a good book or movie. Escapism can be like a breath of fresh air.

* Visit a nursery and breathe in, savoring the earth and all the plants growing. Go to a bookstore and watch the children careen about the children's section. Or visit a pet store and play with some puppies. Good vibes are contagious.

* Put on your favorite CD and dance around the room like a fool. My best friend and I, as roommates in college, would play “Turning Japanese” on top volume, bounce about on chairs and couches and look like idiots. We’d breathlessly laugh hysterically and, having had our break, go back to the papers we were scrambling to complete for classes.

* Gather those you love around you. Realize you have a huge foundation of those who are there to understand, support, and love you--through the good times and bad.

These all work for me. But everyone has something different that helps pull them out of the abyss. Maybe it’s time we all did that thing--whatever it is--to help us find the peace, happiness, and joy that's all around, if only we look for it.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

In the stars?

I don't usually pay much attention to e-mail forwards. They're like marshmallows, fun but not often very filling. This one gave me pause, though, since it came from Sister #1. Her only message? May. Yup, she's a May baby. So I scrolled to her month and read her description. And with maybe only one or two points, it nailed her.

Then I read my month--October. While I don't get angry too often (Libra scales would dictate I'm often the peacemaker), the rest seemed to be pretty accurate to who I think I am and how people portray me.

So want to know more about me? Read October. But more importantly, does this capture who YOU are?!

JANUARY - Stubborn. Ambitious and serious. Loves to teach and be taught. Never looks at people’s flaws or weaknesses. Hardworking and productive. Smart, neat and organized. Sensitive and has deep thoughts. Knows how to make others happy. Quiet unless excited or tense. Rather reserved. Highly attentive. Resistant to illnesses but prone to colds. Loving and loyal. Loves children. Has great social abilities. Money cautious, can budget successfully.

FEBRUARY - Abstract thoughts. Loves reality and abstract. Intelligent and clever. Changing personality. Attractive. Sexy. Temperamental. Quiet, shy and humble. Honest and loyal. Determined to reach goals. Loves freedom. Rebellious when restricted. Loves aggressiveness. Too sensitive and easily hurt. Gets angry really easily but does not show it. Dislikes unnecessary things. Loves making friends but rarely shows it. Daring and stubborn. Ambitious. Realizing dreams and hopes. Sharp. Loves entertainment and leisure. Romantic on the inside not outside. Superstitious and ludicrous. Spendthrift. Tries to learn to show emotions.

MARCH - Attractive personality. Sexy. Affectionate. Shy and reserved. Secretive. Naturally honest, generous and sympathetic. Loves peace and serenity. Sensitive to others. Loves to serve others. Easily angered. Trustworthy. Appreciative and returns kindness. Observant and assesses others. Revengeful. Loves to dream and fantasize. Loves traveling. Loves attention. Hasty decisions in choosing partners. Loves home decor. Musically talented. Loves special things. Moody.

APRIL - Active and dynamic. Decisive and haste but tends to regret. Attractive and affectionate to oneself. Strong mentality. Loves attention. Diplomatic. Consoling, friendly and solves people’s problems. Brave and fearless. Adventurous. Loving and caring. Suave and generous. Emotional. Aggressive. Hasty. Good memory. Moving. Motivates oneself and others. Sickness usually of the head and chest. Sexy in a way that only their lover can see.

MAY - Stubborn and hard-hearted. Strong-willed and highly motivated. Sharp thoughts. Easily angered. Attracts others and loves attention. Deep feelings. Beautiful physically and mentally. Firm Standpoint. Needs no motivation. Easily consoled. Systematic (left brain). Loves to dream. Strong clairvoyance. Understanding. Sickness usually in the ear and neck. Good imagination. Good physical. Weak breathing. Loves literature and the arts. Loves traveling. Dislike being at home. Restless. Not having many children. Hardworking. High spirited. Spendthrift.

JUNE - Thinks far with vision. Easily influenced by kindness. Polite. Has lots of ideas. Sensitive. Active mind. Hesitates, tends to put things off. Choosy and always wants the best. Temperamental. Funny and humorous. Loves to joke. Good debating skills. Talkative. Daydreamer. Friendly. Makes friends easily. Shows character. Easily hurt. Prone to getting colds. Easily bored. Fussy and stubborn. Seldom shows emotions. Takes time to recover when hurt. Brand conscious.

JULY - Fun to be with. Secretive. Sometimes, difficult to understand. Quiet unless excited or tense. Takes pride in oneself. Has reputation for hard work. Honest. Concerned about people’s feelings. Tactful. Friendly, but not always approachable. Emotionally temperamental. Moody and easily hurt. Witty. Not mean or revengeful. Forgiving but never forgets. Dislikes nonsensical and illogical things. Sensitive and forms friendships carefully. Caring and loving. Treats others equally. Strong sense of sympathy. Wary and sharp. Judges people through observations. No difficulties in studying. Loves to be alone. Broods about the past and misses old friends. Quiet, homey person. Has difficulty making new friends. Prone to having dieting problems. Loves to be loved. Easily hurt but takes long to recover.

AUGUST - Loves to joke. Attractive. Suave and caring. Brave and fearless. Firm and has leadership qualities. Knows how to console others. Too generous and egoistic. Takes high pride of oneself. Thirsty for praises. Extraordinary spirit. Easily angered. Angry when provoked. Easily jealous. Observant. Careful and cautious. Thinks quickly. Independent thoughts. Loves to lead and to be led. Loves to dream. Talented in the arts, music and defense. Sensitive but not petty. Poor resistance against illnesses. Learns to relax. Hasty and trusty. Romantic. Loving and caring. Loves to make friends.

SEPTEMBER - Suave and compromising. Careful, cautious and organized. Stubborn. Quiet. Uncomfortable if have to talk to a group. Calm. Sympathetic. Concerned and detailed. Loyal. Does work well. Very confident. Sensitive. Thinking generous. Good memory. Clever and knowledgeable. Loves to look for information. Must control oneself when criticizing. Able to motivate oneself. Understanding. Secretive. Loves sports and leisure. Hardly shows emotions. Tends to bottle up feelings. Very choosy, especially in relationships.

OCTOBER - Loves to chat. Loves those who loves them. Loves to takes things at the center. Inner and physical beauty. Sexy. Gets angry often. Treats friends importantly. Always making new friends. Easily hurt but recovers easily. Day dreamer. Loyal. Opinionated. Does not care what others think. Emotional. Decisive. Strong clairvoyance. Loves to travel, the arts and literature. Touchy and easily jealous. Honest, does not pretend. Concerned. Loves outdoors. Just and fair. Spendthrift. Easily influenced. Easily loses confidence. Loves children.

NOVEMBER - Has a lot of ideas. Difficult to fathom. Thinks forward. Unique and brilliant. Extraordinary ideas. Sharp thinking. Fine and strong clairvoyance. Can become good doctors. Dynamic in personality. Secretive. Inquisitive. Knows how to dig secrets. Always thinking. Less talkative but amiable. Brave and generous. Patient. Stubborn and hard-hearted. If there is a will, there is a way. Determined. Never give up. Hardly becomes angry unless provoked. Loves to be alone. Thinks differently from others. Sharp-minded. Motivates oneself. Does not appreciate praises. High-spirited. Well-built and tough. Deep love and emotions. Romantic. Uncertain in relationships. Homely. Hardworking. High abilities. Trustworthy. Honest and keeps secrets. Not able to control emotions.

DECEMBER - Loyal and generous. Sexy. Patriotic. Active in games and interactions. Impatient and hasty. Ambitious. Influential in organizations. Fun to be with. Loves to socialize. Loves praises. Loves attention. Loves to be loved. Honest and trustworthy. Not pretending. Short-tempered. Changing personality. Not egotistic. Take high pride in oneself. Hates restrictions. Loves to joke. Good sense of humor. Logical.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Fun Day Sunday

Sunday turned out to be bitterly cold--the kind of cold that you wish to avoid by staying in bed all day. You want to watch movies, read books, nap, and eat, all while in the warm confines of your comforter.

Unfortunately, baring some severe illness--which takes the fun out of such a day--I'm incapable of pulling off that kind of laziness. Sister #1, however, can pull off this type of day with flare. It's called Fun Day Sunday: a weekly routine where she curls up on the couch with her dog and becomes totally useless. If she needs to eat, her husband will bring some sort of sustenance to her. And if she needs to go to the bathroom? She avoids this at all costs, holding out until her kidneys are screaming for help.

And if you doubt the regularity or severity of this weekly episode, you need only turn to their dog, Guinness. The furry mutt loves Fun Day Sunday. He knows the phrase to mean "Day to get on the couch and be useless," and gets all excited when the words are uttered. And like his mom, he doesn't want to be moved for anything--including going outside. So he lays on the couch and moans and groans and whimpers because he has to potty but can't be bothered to go outside to do so. Only when it's clear that things are about to take a messy turn does Sister #1 and her furry mutt part ways for a brief interlude, before curling back up on the couch.

You have to admit, that's one helluva way to pass a day.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

A lady of leisure

Having spent another long, annoying, mind-numbing day in a small cubicle on a darkened floor with no windows in sight earning a pittance from corporate America, I've decided I want to be a lady of leisure. A lady who lunches. Or does charity work. Or whatever. I don't care exactly HOW I fill the time, but I'd like to see the sun, feel the breeze, and tell if Armageddon has arrived--which I can't do in my current locale.

My mom is a lady who lunches. Or rather plays tennis, does aerobics, keeps up a house, and works for my dad on Fridays (when she hasn't been fired). And having grown up watching a lady of leisure, it makes my sisters and me all the more aware of how odd that lifestyle is in comparison to our own. But at the moment I'd take it in a flash!

I promise the house would be cleaner, the fridge always stocked, the dogs well behaved, my hips smaller, body more toned, books read, writing improved, and my life in order. But after all that, I suppose I might just get bored. A part-time job I could occasionally get fired from would alleviate that problem, I think.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

The beauty of book club

Had book club on Saturday, and I must say, I loved it! Yes, it was early in the frigid morning after a long night. But there were mimosas, a French-toast bake, brilliant women, and great conversation. What more can you ask for?

We'd read a book that I'd sped through. So little time, so many books, right? So I wouldn't have understood the real craft of the novel if it hadn't been for a few more-careful readers than myself. So many hints I'd missed. So many play-on-words, so much more there than I'd originally seen. I left the meeting with a full stomach and a much greater appreciation for the book.

So thanks, ladies, for a really wonderful time. You're the best!! (And I think mimosas should be included at all of our gatherings...)