Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Let the angels sing.

I am off my plateau. Only by half a pound, but I am OFF IT!!!!!

I had a really good job interview yesterday, and I am SO done taking crap at the job I am winding up now. I popped off to a high mucky-muck who was being an over-the-top assclown yesterday and it felt good. Damn good. The person I popped off to is (a) not my boss and (b) will have nothing to do with giving me any kind of reference, and he was just being rude (as he always is), but 99.9% of the people who work there just keep their mouths shut when he does it because they fear for their livelihoods. It wasn't a personal attack of any stripe, I simply made an observation that happened to be true about our work area after he found fault with its cluttered appearance (and not for the first time in my presence). Since I have no livelihood after a week from tomorrow, I am at quarter of give-a-shit--and I giggled all day. (Why can't they put that feeling in a pill?)

Stick a fork in me, you know? The organization I am leaving reminds me of an abusive boyfriend. Employees stay for years and years because they get so beaten down, thinking they can't do any better and maybe someday things will change (in part because they are always hearing things will change, but the crises never end). Managers don't stay, and every few years the worker bees get to break in a new regime and the cycle starts all over again, a la Sisyphus.

Life is too short.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Hunger and kindness

I am getting hungry more often and eating larger portions (the largest portions being about a cup). I'm trying not to be paranoid about this--I have no desire to go back to full-blown eating-disorder-think, and I'm fairly certain I'm "normal" for seven months out from surgery. I don't keep a food journal at present (and I have no desire to, because it just feels punitive and therefore begs me to chafe against it), but I do try to keep a running tally throughout the day of approximate protein grams and calorie intake. I was told to try to stay at about 1500 calories a day, which I assume I am going to have to do for the rest of my life. Fine, fabulous, okay--I'm fine with that as long as I keep losing at some point. At present, I am still in plateau range, holding at 207-208 pounds--I have yet to see the scale go below 207. I'm only walking two days a week (about a mile at a time and at a brisk pace). I have the best of intentions in terms of stepping that up in the near future, but my ankle has been hurting quite a bit. With the stress of the next couple of weeks--job ending, interviewing and applying for new jobs, grandmother moving--I am not pressuring myself too terribly hard to make any extra changes until this month is over.


There is no quality in people (myself AND others) that I value more than kindness--actually, if I had to choose, it would probably be a tie between kindness and humor. After venting about wanting a technical writing certificate and how hard it would be for me to obtain it due to finances, a friend of mine offered to loan me the money--completely out of the blue. I was--AM--so touched, it is difficult to articulate my feelings.

I put myself through college (it took ten years for me to earn a B.A.; I started a Masters, but left after one quarter) with not one offer of financial help from anyone that I knew. It was a long, hard struggle--one I am still making payments on, but one I am also extremely proud of and wouldn't trade for anything in the world. I also hate (like fire) to borrow money or feel like I owe anyone for anything, EVER. However, this friend is the rare person it would not be awkward to accept a loan from. She cares about me, is generous and kind, and has no agenda whatsoever--I've known her for twenty years. (And seriously, on the whole, how often are we afforded such opportunities in life? Knowing people like this, knowing their hearts--it makes me a bit verklempt.)

I feel very calm, unusually Zen, about this particular situation. I think there are valuable lessons in it for me that go beyond "things happen for a reason". It's a telegram from the universe telling me once again to practice what I preach, in this case: when people are kind, it's okay to accept their kindness--and when they want to help, it's okay to accept their help. Acceptance of kindness and help does not make me less of a person--it invites me to become more of one. It opens my heart, it gives me hope, and it helps me to thrive so that I can put that much more positive energy and action out into the world.

Thank you.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Fatigued but strangely determined...

I am making myself go out and walk even though my ankle has been hurting. It was really hard to do this morning, and I celebrated by doing basically nothing the rest of today. My weight remains exactly the !@#$%^& same. Grrrrrrr.

I feel a microscopic bit better because I have a job interview scheduled. I'm not terribly excited about the job itself, but one does what one has to do. I'm waiting for my last tax form so I can get the taxes done and file a FAFSA. I'm going to find a way to get a technical writing certificate, no matter what I have to borrow or sell.

Saturday 9: Gimme Three Steps

1. Are you the type of person who jumps into new ventures or do you prefer baby steps?
Once I give it enough thought and research, I jump into it.

2. Who do you feel believes in you the most?

I have a handful of people who do; they know who they are. I am lucky to have as many as I do.

3. When was the last time you were on a stage?
When I got my BA.

4. Tell us about the worst boss you ever had.
Passive/aggressive woman who would screw me over and then bring me a gift.

5. If the NCAA Men's or Women's Final Four basketball tournament was played in your hometown arena or within easy driving distance from where you live, would you try to attend one the three games?
I don't do basketball.

6. Of all the clothes you own, what do you feel most comfortable wearing, and why?
Well-loved cotton T-shirt and lounge pants. Soft, loose, comfortable.

7. On what television show—either past or present—would you like to make to make a guest appearance, and what role would you play?

I would have loved to be anyone on "Roseanne" or "Veronica Mars".

8. St. Patrick's Day is on Wednesday March 17th. Do you celebrate and wear green? Drink Green Beer? Ignore it?

I wear something green so no moron tries to pinch me. I don't do beer of any color, and I'm not fond of corned beef and cabbage, but I've always wanted to go to a real Irish pub with a songbook.

9. If a leprechaun told you that you could have any amount of money from his pot of gold but it had to be a specified amount for a specified item, how much would you ask for and what would it be for?

Enough to pay off all our debt--credit cards and my student loan.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


At this precise moment, I long to smash my shiny glass scale with a hammer.

I'm eating well. I make myself go out and walk regularly. My weight? It stays the same--or goes up a couple of pounds.

The curve on which I grade my own obsessive tendencies is definitely skewed, as I spent a sizable chunk of my life with an eating disorder. The number on the scale is annoying me, but not consuming me. Today, however, it's annoying me a lot more than usual.

That's probably because I'm annoyed about other things, like that my job is being eliminated. I know for a fact that my work is not only important, but an asset to their business. The people behind the elimination of this job ultimately have little to no idea what I do or what the impact of laying me off will be. (That's usually the way it works, isn't it?) I've always worked really hard for this agency; in 2008, I left a full-time job there after two years because I had so many stress-related medical problems (stomach issues, migraines, panic attacks). It had to almost kill me for me to quit, and even then, I quit reluctantly.

I came back part-time last summer because they would work around my schedule and because I really needed the money--I had one job as a blogger that only lasted a couple of months, so I went about ten months without any income. There was just nothing out there--I sent out hundreds of resumes and had a bunch of interviews. One of the reasons I actually went forward with weight-loss surgery was because of these circumstances--because I had time to fight the insurance company. Even though I went without working or drawing unemployment all that time, it was really like earning $25K because the weight-loss surgery was covered and only cost us about $5K out of pocket.

There doesn't seem to be much out there now in the way of jobs. At ALL. I don't know if I can get unemployment this time--I really hope I can, assume I can because my job is being eliminated, despite veiled hints that they "might" want me to come in and do a little work for them here and there as they figure out their whole restructuring scenario over the next few months. This is the ultimate frustration: this is all I'm worth?

I'm trying to figure out what to do next--what's actually feasible for me to do next. If I had my druthers, I would pursue a technical writing certificate/degree, and I'm looking into that--but funding is an obstacle.

I also wonder if I'm more likely to get hired now because I weigh less. It's a shallow world.

Sunday, March 7, 2010


As life will do, everything hits at one time. My job is ending the last day of the month. It came as a bit of a shock, but at the same time was not unexpected--I just thought I would have a few more months as the place I work is moving into its busiest season. In classic style where upper management has no idea what its workers actually DO, their solution was to cut two (very busy and productive) jobs and create two new ones that are totally unrealistic and don't have much to do with where all the work needs to be done. I had hoped I would have more time to recover from both my surgeries before making any huge decisions about my career. I also hope I will qualify for unemployment, or it will be a real hardship. (I had been back there working for nine months, but only part-time.)

My grandmother is finally relocating to another state to be near her sons at the end of the month. I have been helping her pack and will be glad when everything there is finally taken care of--it will be a great load off my mind.

So my focus has been on getting through the rest of the month. I need to get our taxes done, figure out if I can apply for school, and look for work. I am extending my job search to a neighboring state as well, and frankly, it all exhausts me just thinking about it. I woke up sick today (migraine, sinus, etc.) and that didn't really surprise me, either. My body is nothing if not reliable for notifying me when it needs to slow down.

As far as my weight, things are chugging along. The number on the scale remains at 207. I've been walking, and am going to have to keep that (and workout DVDs I already have) as my workout regimen because I won't be able to afford to pay for pool use now. I feel great and am trying not to be too discouraged that my weight isn't changing. I'm fairly certain by the way clothes are fitting that I am still losing body fat. It's that shifting around stuff--it's hard to remain patient.

Best Picture Showcase, Vol. 2


Immediately became one of my favorite children’s movies of all time. Sweet, funny, original and touching.

A Serious Man

Worth seeing—fun and quirky—but not the Coen brothers’ best.

The Hurt Locker

A really fine movie. I loved its immediacy, both of action and emotion--the hand-held camera, the rawness, the grit.

An Education

A pleasant surprise. Carey Mulligan really deserved her Oscar nod. Thoroughly enjoyable, it never took the easy way out and reminds us of how far women have come—and haven’t come—since 1962.

District 9

Mr. Indra called it “a big bag of suck”, and this is usually his kind of film. I tried to see what it was doing, but it was too long, too loud, too violent and it seemed like it smashed several movies I’d already seen together and called it a new one.

How I rank the Best Picture nominees from best to worst:

The Hurt Locker
An Education
Up in the Air
The Blind Side
A Serious Man
District 9
Inglourious Basterds

About Me

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Seattle, WA, United States
This blog focuses largely on a personal journey to and through weight-loss surgery. It's also about reading, writing, animals, photography, love, humor, music, thinking out loud, and memes. In other words...life.
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