Monday, March 30, 2009

My PostSecret

I only just discovered that when I hold the cursor over a postcard sometimes it will show me the other side/rest of the secret. I'm such an idiot. Now I'll always wonder what I've missed every Sunday for the last 2 years.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Invisible Demons

Whew! That was a rough week. I've never been so happy to see a Friday in all my life, and believe me, I'm always happy to see a Friday.

I think it's pretty obvious that I have been on an emotional roller coaster since the announcement, but for some reason I couldn't see just how bumpy a ride it was until this week. My mood seems to be flip-flopping every 6 minutes from perfectly fine to kill me now. I don't know if it truly is all work related or if it's hormonal or perhaps even something I haven't been able to figure out yet, but it is draining me. I'm back to where I was 2 years ago when I had to give myself a pep talk every morning just to get out of bed and each leg seems to weigh 5 tons as I pull them out from under the covers. Obviously I'm not happy and I mostly understand why but I don't really know how to fix it, not when every tenth of an hour my outlook on life changes.

I took the dogs for an extremely long walk tonight in an effort to avoid running away from my thoughts. My thoughts may not always be pretty but I've been getting a little too dependent on seeking out friends and family to help lock them away. I've been running away from home on the nights that Jon isn't here because I don't want to be by myself and I think that's just sad. I used to revel in the time that I had to myself to read, to write, to watch last week's episode of America's Next Top Model. Finding the companionship is always great, but I know I'm not going to be able to fix my head by pretending nothing is wrong. I have to find a way off of this nauseating ride, and the longer I put it off, the harder it will be.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Why I tried to dissuade Jon from watching Twilight

Edward: "You need to see what I look like in the sunlight."

Jon: "You...sparkle?"

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Painful goodbyes

Rather than let this weekend go down in history as that time my niece asked about my boobs (or continuous lack thereof) I should probably say something about the more important and emotional things that happened like the funeral for my sister Kim's mother-in-law.

She had been in the hospital for the last two weeks beginning with pneumonia that eventually snowballed into kidney failure. It was excruciatingly sad but not entirely unexpected.

I didn't knew her well but I did see and speak to her at every birthday and joint-family outing. What I did know of her was extremely kind and attentive. She was always curious about how I was or what I'd been up to. She was genuinely interested in the people around her and she never let me feel invisible.

I attended her calling hours Friday night and her funeral Saturday afternoon. My heart broke as I listened to the poem my niece, Valerie, read at her mass. My heart broke again as I watched tears fall from beneath the sunglasses of my other niece, Ashley, while the National Guard played "Taps" during her grandmother's burial. It was extremely hard to watch them endure a pain that even I haven't had to experience, at least not at an age in which I truly understood what was happening. It was understandably emotional and hard to accept, but the entire family held their heads high, and tried with all their might to be at peace with what was happening.

I only hope that I can be as graceful and open as they were to me.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Boob talk

"Okay, Katie, I know you're my aunt and all, but it's just that, well, I'm shorter than you so they're right there, and I have to big are your boobs now and how big were they before?"

"Hunh. Ummm, I was a D cup and now I'm a C cup."

"Really? Because if I'm being honest, I don't think they look that big. They look way smaller than they were before. And I'd be really upset if I lost my boobs."

"You know, I honestly don't mind. If I'm only a B cup when it's all said and done I won't have a problem with it. Besides, all the cute bras are in smaller sizes!"

"I think you better plan on becoming at least a B, 'cause they are shrinking."

Friday, March 20, 2009

Uh oh, she's at it again

Dear Sad Self,

Your weakness sickens me. Your fear of change and what you are letting it do to you is giving me dry heaves. I get that your life is about to change forever and you have no say in it, but don't you think you could suck it up and do the right thing? No, of course not. That's why I've created a small list of demands I expect to go into effect immediately, if not for your sanity, then for mine. Please keep in mind that I could have started by banging your head against the wall, but for some weird reason I care about you, so I'm being civil for now.

1) Get off the fucking couch and start working out again. It takes 3 weeks to create a habit, but it only took you 3 days to break it. Embarrassing. Do you remember what happened last May when you started working out everyday? That's right! You were suddenly happy. You were more optimistic than you had ever been and you hadn't even lost a pound. So why on earth, when you're feeling depressed again and could use a little optimism, do you feel it's okay to stop releasing those feel-good endorphins? Suck it up and start moving. I'm tired of watching you blow off the fastest route to a so desperately needed attitude adjustment.

2) Stop trying to drown your stress in caffeine and chocolate! Sure, your doctor said those heart palpitations were harmless, but he also said they were caused by mixing--drum roll please--stress, caffeine and chocolate. You've gone well over a year without experiencing a single irregular heart beat and yet the last 2 nights you woke up in a cold sweat with a heart that was beating so fast you could see and feel it popping out of your chest. I don't care if they're harmless, they aren't healthy, and they are entirely preventable. You have to understand that you aren't going to find happiness in a bottle of Diet Coke and a bag of peanut M&Ms.

3) Understand that I--and everyone else in your life--loves you, and we will do everything we can to get you through this confusing time, but you have to make the final decision to let us help you. Don't make it so that we're talking until we're blue in the face and you still let yourself get swallowed up in doom. I'll tell you what, let's start easy. How about you stop worrying about losing the house, or about all of the things you have to do to put it up on the market before you've submitted a single application? Do you think that's asking too much? I don't, because I don't see the sense in letting go of anything without a fight. So, fight for it, and if we lose then we at least lose trying.

And there you have it. I've said my two cents. It's up to you to decide if you want to take it and fly or if you still want to crawl into that black hole you keep eyeing and wither away.

(Regretfully) yours,
Sensible Self

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Wake up call

The latest issue of Reader's Digest was sitting out on one of the break room tables this morning. The cover story boasted "Best New Jobs: The guide you need now". It was a little off-putting to see it sitting there, abandoned on purpose, as if someone thought I needed to find a new job. Well, obviously I do, but it's so strange to have it being advertised every where in my place of business. I took the magazine back to my desk, flipped to page 98, and started skimming the article.

The opening paragraph was harsh. It recapped the unemployment percentages and the snowballing economy. People who lose their jobs have to spend less, and spending less results in more lay-offs, yada, yada, yada. But it was all good, because Reader's Digest had come to the rescue, providing the answers to finding the steady job of your dreams, and they were hidden somewhere in that 16 page article.

I'd like to say I read all 16 pages but I didn't. Actually, I only made it to page 4 where I discovered a little illustration of a very sad looking girl who was carrying a beat-up box of personal items, and scrawled on the beat-up box of personal items in sloppy, all caps were the letters K-A-T-I-E. She was a cartoon, and much skinnier than me, with a short bob haircut, but none of that mattered. It mattered that I felt like I was looking into my future if I didn't get my ass in gear and begin work on my resume or at least figuring out where I go from here. I know me and I know that given the choice I will let myself despair just enough to ignore that my company is closing and then I'll shove the thought into the back of my mind for the next 3 months. Before I know it I'll be walking out of the office building for the last time with only a few weeks severance and the same worrisome expression as the girl in the illustration.

I hate that I give up easily, especially when I give up before I've even tried, but I can see this and feel this becoming one of those situations already. And of all things, this cannot become one of those situations. I hope now that I've recognized it I'll do everything I can to prevent it.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Pardon the mess

I'm pretty sure I was the only one around last night while I fiddled with the layout, but if you were lurking in the corners you must have thought I was a total loon. I got lost in a lot of code and tested A LOT of different headers, so many headers that you might have thought I had a rotation for each time you hit the Refresh button. Unfortunately I can't promise that it's over or that my urge to destroy then recreate has been satiated just yet, but I think I'm getting close.

I have a lot of big plans for this blog that are requiring more of my attention than I had intended because each day I wake up with a different plan or a different idea and I have to start a new list of things to get done. But I feel like I made a lot of progress through my trial and error last night. It should all be minor adjustments from here on out.

So why am I doing this now? Sadly, it's for the same reason I do everything; to procrastinate. If I'm up to my elbows in redesigns and website to-do lists I have an excuse to avoid things like Careerboard and Monster. Is it a legitimate excuse? Probably not, but I don't want to start re-writing my resume or scouring employment forums yet. Everything job-hunting related only disappoints me, but finally seeing a blog that reflects me feels rewarding, so I go with it.

Anyway, I just wanted to warn you. I'm not losing my mind--at least not completely--even if this blog does look entirely different each time you visit.

Monday, March 16, 2009

I was lip sinking in the dairy aisle

I think Giant Eagle, one of the 3 grocery stores I hit up for food on Saturday afternoon, only played David Bowie's Under Pressure to make me feel better about spending $130 on groceries for 2 people.

It almost worked.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Infertility is not the only issue

When my nephew, Brandan, stays the night it's all fun and games between him and his Uncle Jon. Jon's inner child keeps life entertaining at all times and my cautious, protective nature keeps us all safe and civil. While the three of us play games together or talk about what's going on at Brandan's school, it's so easy to see what our life could be like in 8 years if Jon and I had a child sometime soon, and I like what I see. I let myself think we could actually be good parents.

But then, SMACK! the bottom of Jon's shoe is imprinted on Brandan's forehead and the kid looks a little dizzy. Jon is yelling, "Why didn't you dodge that, man? You were supposed to dodge that! Woah. Are you okay, Brandan?"

And all I can I think is, well, that was sweet while it lasted.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

What I know now

I didn't subscribe to Seventeen magazine when I was seventeen. I was closer to thirteen when I was tossing the latest issue into my mom's shopping cart at the grocery store. I liked the magazine then because at thirteen I thought life could only get easier if I became beautiful and all of the Do's and Don'ts, hair and style secrets, and personal accounts of love were going to put me on the fast track to a world of only beautiful people.

I waited patiently each month for the new issue. I read those magazines cover to cover. I stayed up late in to the night to complete all of the quizzes and memorizing the tricks to controlling frizz. And when I say I read them cover to cover, that includes all of the adds in the very back of the magazine where I once found an advertisement for the "secret" to weight loss. The ad was very discreet. I wasn't sure if I would be ordering pills or a personal trainer, but it was only $10, promised I would lose the stubborn fat, and it would be shipped to my address in a plain brown envelope for secrecy. I mailed off two weeks of my allowance on that very day.

When my plain brown package arrived a few weeks later, I immediately snuck it up to my bedroom to open in private. Imagine my surprise when I found that I'd bought a small book. It was purple with white lettering, the size of an appliance manual, and guaranteed results or my money back. I read the whole thing in minutes, and couldn't have been more disappointed. The book told me to keep a food journal, writing down every little bite I took through out the day. It explained calories and the importance of exercise to burn those calories. It told me to count calories, eat fruits and vegetables, and get at least 30 minutes of exercise a day. I was so angry I found a hiding place for the little booklet and never took it out again. This was not a lose weight quick secret. I was never going to be able to do what they were asking of me (vegetables were EVIL when I was 13) and I was doomed to be fat forever.

I just remembered that top secret delivery yesterday while I was driving around town, and I couldn't help but laugh. Here was a book that was ahead of its time, containing the only healthy, successful way to lose weight and I might as well have thrown it in the garbage. At the age of thirteen I didn't want to waste my time working with numbers I didn't fully understand. All I wanted was something that could make me look like Tiffany Amber Theissen tomorrow.

As of this morning's weigh-in I am down 56 pounds since June 1, 2008. I am officially over the half way point for my 110 pound goal. I've done it by keeping a food journal at The Daily Plate, counting calories, and exercising as much as I can. I've done it by doing everything that book tried to tell me to do, everything I rolled my eyes at for years.

If I'd lost 56 pounds at the age of thirteen I would have been severely underweight. As it is now, I'm just crossing over that line between obese and overweight.

Friday, March 13, 2009

The first step is admitting your defeat

There are only 2 things on the agenda for today: stopping at Chipotle for dinner, and breaking the news of my pending unemployment to my parents.

Weird and unexciting. I know.

I manage to get through the meatless Fridays of Lent on fruits, vegetables, and grains all right, but only if I know Chipotle's delectable guacamole is waiting at the finish line for me. I'm pretty sure they put crack in it.

As for breaking the news to my're surprised I haven't told them yet, aren't you? The truth is no one in my family knows except Jon and I. My family doesn't read this blog (not because I've kept it a secret, they just haven't figured out how to click on a link yet) and I haven't attempted to get in touch with anyone. I haven't been ready to talk about it, and I'm not entirely sure I'm ready now, but I figure I might as well get it out of the way. I also think I can only benefit from the addition of 7 plus sets of eyes and ears on the lookout for another job opportunity for me.

And it's not that I'm afraid of what they will say. Our family is so large that we're only that much more familiar with lay-offs and filing for unemployment. I hope to not reach that point, but if it comes down to filing for unemployment, I know I'll have at least 4 immediate family members who can tell me exactly what to do and what to look out for.

More than anything, I haven't come to terms with the shock yet. A part of me is still waiting for Ashton Kutcher to pop out from behind the fax machine, laughing at me because I've been Punk'd. A part of me is waiting for our parent company to send out the memo explaining how they've made a terrible mistake and we should call everyone back immediately. But the better part of me knows neither of these things will happen and that I'd better start getting my ducks in a row now. So, I'm starting by telling my parents, but only after a trip to guacamole heaven.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Here's to working in my pajamas!

Today can be summed up to the first thing I noticed when I walked into my cubicle this morning: a box of my personal items had been thrown away. I'd started packing it Monday after they announced the company would be closing, but before I knew whether I was staying or going. I'd grabbed a box and started putting various things I'd purchased in to it like my thumb tacks, plastic filing racks, and a blue miniature Ohio license plate that said "KATIE" which I'd had hanging on my overheard cabinet for the last five years. After I found out that I'd be staying on with the company for a few more months, I just shoved the box under my desk, figuring I'd get back to packing sometime in the near future. But apparently I put it a little too close to the trash bin I keep stashed under my desk, because this morning I walked in to find the plastic filing racks sitting on top of my desk and an empty box sitting next to the trash bin underneath. The cleaning service cleaned me out of my personal effects. Oh well, I never really noticed that license plate anyway.

I finally know what it's like to be too busy to eat. We've gone from a department of 8 people to a group of 3 who are trying to handle the same work flow as we had last week. Each day my head is spinning in about 25 thousand different directions and everything is a priority but there's too much to do in one day. I'm not used to this. I'm used to having a very particular schedule that I follow. I'm used to setting morning deadlines and afternoon deadlines for myself so that I know everything will be done before I leave the building at 5:00. I'm used to scheduled breaks in which I eat my scheduled snacks but every day my snack has sat uneaten next to me because I'm too afraid to take a bite of an apple when the phone is ringing almost the moment I hang it up. I know I'll get used to this eventually. I have to find my rhythm and create new schedules but it is just so freaking hectic that I can't figure it out right now.

I'm thanking my lucky stars that tomorrow is my second shutdown day. I won't be getting paid, but I won't have to be at work!

On the bright side, my head is emerging from the fog just enough to pick out the good things this inevitable job loss will mean:

1. No commute. I don't care if it means I'm flipping burgers at McDonald's for a year until I can find something better in Summit County, but I will never again accept a position that has me driving an hour to and from work.

2. I will be happy eventually. I hadn't been happy at work for a very long time--probably close to 2 years--and it had only been getting progressively worse with each month (or week, or day...) that passed. I would come home from work and Jon would ask how my day was and I'd say it was the same as it always was--it sucked. I don't want to spend the rest of my working career at a job that does nothing for me but suck.

3. Branching out. I've been working with books for the last 11 years and here's my chance--and excuse--to try something different. Granted, I'm going to have some pretty slim picking, but I'll manage. I've also got some great ideas that with the right amount of research, determination, and skill I'll be able to love the job I do.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Jesus would forgive me

"What can I do to help you get to sleep?"

"I need a cheeseburger."

"C'mon, Kate, you don't need pizza, a Wendy's chicken sandwich, or a cheeseburger!"

"I'm pretty sure I do."

"Even if I really believed you needed one I couldn't get it for you. It's after midnight, so it's too late, and it's against your religion to eat fast food right now."

"Who's idea was it to give up fast food for Lent anyway? Wait! We could go to Eat 'N Park! They're open 24 hours."

"I'm not driving you to Eat 'N Park."


Tuesday, March 10, 2009


Jon has been very gentle with me. He's stepping lightly around me and helping in whatever way he can. He can tell--and understands--that I'm walking around in a fog right now and he will once again be patiently waiting for me to step out from behind it. I thought for sure he'd think I was being melodramatic about what's going on with my job but he doesn't. He's been nothing but encouraging. He's on board to help in any way he can to guide me in making the right decisions--whatever they may be--in these next few months. I couldn't be more grateful for him than I am right now.

After having the last 24 hours to think it over, I've figured out why I'm so shaken by my company closing (beyond the obvious reasons of course) and I'm pretty sure it's because my life is about to change in a very drastic way and there's nothing I can do about it. I can't try harder, I can't go above and beyond goals and deadlines anymore, it's just done. Given my track record, I will most likely never see or speak to a lot of these people again. I won't be able to stand at the back door and stare off into the woods or watch the planes fly overhead. I'll miss the comfort of knowing what I'm doing. My job may have been unnecessarily stressful but I was good at pushing through the stress and getting it done right, simply because I knew I could.

Now I have to find myself a new job, one that fits me and my goals, and then I have to convince that company that I'm worthy, more so than the other dozens of people who think they're equally worthy. A girl without an ego has a tough time selling herself to anyone let alone someone who holds her fate in their hands. I'm just clinging to the fact that I've gotten every job I've interviewed for except one, so I guess I'm more than capable of selling myself even though I don't think I am. The more challenging part is finding something, because after doing just a little poking around on the internet, I'm coming up with absolutely nothing.

Monday, March 9, 2009

When Corporate America falls

It’s not out of the ordinary for me to think today could be the day I’m getting ready for work for nothing. There have been plenty of mornings in these last few months that I’ve thought I was only packing my lunch to turn right around and bring it back home with me, or that I was straightening my hair just to be back home in a couple of hours and climbing back into bed. My company has been on a downward slope for a while now but I've been hesitant to search for another job because I'm a creature of habit and I shy away from change.

This morning was no different than the others. If anything the thoughts of pointlessness were more intensified, because our company meeting was being held at 9:00 instead of 10:30 and there were out of town executives scheduled to attend. At the very least this meant bad news, and at the very worst it meant THE bad news. I packed my lunch and got dressed up for work anyway, because really, how else was I going to know?

At 9:00 on the dot we were all sitting in the meeting room recapping our weekend adventures and laughing. At 9:05 many people in the room had been reduced to tears, others whispered, “Is this really happening?” to no one in particular, and I sat at the back of the room with my jaw dropped out of habit, not so much shock. I’d seen it coming this morning. I think most of us saw it coming, but no matter how much you prepare for it, it’s still a fierce punch to the gut when you hear your company is closing and this will be the last day of employment for most of you.

They counseled us each individually to go more in-depth with the situation and explain severance packages. I am one of the lucky ones. I am 1 of a dozen employees (out of 33) who have been asked to stay until June 30, 2009 to help finish the work we already have and shut the company down. I am not unemployed yet, but I will be in 4 very short months. I’ve already been given all of my paperwork outlining what is expected of me and what I can expect to receive at the very end of this. I’ve never been laid-off before. I’m a little scared and very thankful that I have more than a few hours to figure out how I’ll make my next mortgage payment.

I spent the rest of the day watching two thirds of my co-workers pack their belongings into used and dented cardboard boxes. It felt like I was witness to them all being shot and then drug out one by one. I’ve hugged a lot of them and wished them all the best of luck in everything they do. I’ve listened to some of them break down and wonder where they could possibly go from here, and I heard some of them make plans to paint their houses or take care of their aging parents. I’ve taken phone calls from publishers wondering if what they’ve heard through the grapevine is true and if we’re really closing. I transferred calls as I was instructed, even if meant transferring them to a dead extension. I spent the day going through the motions, saying and doing only what I needed to, and keeping my emotions locked up in the deepest corners of my brain. It’s just too sad to see this company fall.

I don’t know where my road goes from here but I am fortunate to have up to 4 months to map it all out. Like I've been telling everyone else; where there's a will, there's a way, and I have every intention to come out of this almost entirely unscathed.

Emotional eating at its best.

I just fell off the wagon. I'm eating the fucking Twix bar.

Details later.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Triumph. It tastes good.

Our friend Dina and her boyfriend Errington are coming down from Cleveland to visit tonight. We went back and forth a few times about what we wanted to do while they were in Akron and we finally settled on making dinner here. I wanted to do something a little fancier than grilled chicken and vegetables but I've been futzing around all day, finding every conceivable form of procrastination I can to prolong cleaning and grocery shopping and now I don't really have time for anything more extravagant. I should consider myself very lucky that Jon makes the best grilled chicken I've ever had so at least I know the food will be good.

My Triple Dog Dare is finally coming to a close today. Once I hit the Publish button I will have officially written a blog for every day in the first week of March. I'm shocked I was able to follow through with it. And it's been a lot harder than I thought it would be. I've always used the excuse that I'm too busy when attempting to talk myself into posting a blog entry but I never realized that I was actually telling the truth. I honestly thought I was just making it up. What I've discovered amidst this week is between the overtime at work, cooking, spending time with Jon and the dogs, keeping up with television shows, and getting to bed early enough to work out the next morning, there really isn't much time left for writing. All week I was pushing something back in the schedule in order to get a post in before midnight and I was always getting to bed way too late for a morning workout to happen. I have to figure out a more solid schedule that will work for me. Something that will give me at least 30 minutes each evening to get the thoughts out of my head and onto the computer screen. I made it work, I enjoyed it, but I can't go another week without working out because I can see the difference in body composition already.

A week ago I didn't want to do this dare at all but I felt it was something I should at least give a try. Today I want to find some way to make it keep going because despite the inconvenience of re-arranging my schedule I had a really good time with Deciphering Kate again. It also feels good to have made a little wiggle room in my head. I was pretty sure my brain was going to blow, scattering mutilated thoughts all over the place, if I didn't get something out soon.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Don't underestimate the little guy

Jon and I thought we'd bested AT&T U-verse when they sent us a flyer in the mail exclaiming that all we had to do was call this number to receive 2 free months of HBO. We'd been down that road before. We knew it require us calling to cancel before the 2 months was up or else they would start charging us for it, and we knew we're both cheap enough to remember to cancel in time. We thought AT&T were the suckers for thinking we'd fall for such a scam when what we'd really walk away with was 2 months of free HBO and that's it.


We're a little over a month into the free service and we're hooked on 2 HBO original series; Entourage and Flight of the Concords. We don't know if we'll have the strength to stop following our favorite new characters by the end of the month.

AT&T might have just suckered us out of $12 a month. They play dirtier than Paul Pierce.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

So I guess there will be nothing left of me

Co-worker: “I have to ask…how much weight have you lost now?”

Me: “53 pounds.”

Co-worker: “Wow. Well you look great. It must be fun shopping for a whole new wardrobe!”

Me: “Actually, I’ve only been buying bits and pieces that I find on clearance. I don’t want to buy a lot of new clothes because I still plan on losing quite a bit more weight.”

Co-worker: “How much more?”

Me: “Umm…about another 50.”

Co-worker: “Really?! There will be nothing left of you!”

Conversations like that remind me what it's like to be on both ends of the spectrum. I've been in my co-workers shoes many times, telling someone they couldn't possibly need to lose so much weight--they couldn't possibly be as heavy as they think they are--and I truly believed it. But now that the tables have turned and I'm on the other side I'm having trouble understanding how they can't see this extra 50 pounds hanging around on my hips, thighs, and mid-section. I stare at those extra pounds in the mirror every morning, willing them to come off as quickly as the first 50 did--the first 50 that I still have trouble seeing--and hope that by the time I've reached my goal I will finally see a more confident, beautiful person in the mirror.

I suppose my biggest problem is I don't know what I can expect to see at the end of this. Some mornings I hope I'll come out with Kate Austin's body, and other mornings I think I'll be happy with Callie Torres. I've never tried to lose weight before. I don't know what my body will look like without the extra cushion, so I'm just kind of making it up as I go. My goal is to lose 110 total pounds for a final weight of 132, but it's a loose goal, because I only have to get down to around 140 to get to a normal BMI, and that's my ultimate goal.

Every once in a while Jon will accuse me of having an eating disorder but I don't think that's the case. I think sometimes I have a bad relationship with my body--a disagreement if you will--where I let all of the numbers get the best of me and I can go one of two ways: contemplate running to the nearest convenience store for a bag of Doritos and a box of Little Debbies, or out of spite, decide that I'm just going to starve the fat off instead of jumping through hoops to figure out how many calories are coming from what sources. I've never done either of those things though. I usually just walk away and start over again the next day. I don't have an eating disorder. I have The Fat Kid Complex and I am an impatient fat kid.

I'm making it sound like I'm having a tough time, and sometimes I do mentally, but most of the time I think I got this. There are times when I'm convinced the scale has been lying to me all along, but more often than not, I think if I just stick to it--this new lifestyle I've created--I'll have no problem reaching my goal. Besides, even if I can never lose more than the 53 pounds I've already lost, I think I'm still doing my body a world of good by not surviving off Doritos and fudge rounds like I've been known to do in the past.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The power of a blog

I love how writing one sentence announcing to the world that our outdoor Christmas lights were still up was enough to get the job done. I pulled into the driveway this evening to find that Jon had finally taken the lights down.

Next you'll be hearing about the leaky faucet in the basement and pealing paint on the back of the house.

Better yet, I probably shouldn't push it. My blog and tendency to over share has been the topic of more than one argument between Jon and I. They usually begin or end with the sentence, "Why don't you go blog about this?"

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Top 10 reasons I'm impatiently waiting for Spring

1. I can walk the dogs again.

2. I can justify washing the dingy salt off my car.

3. There are more opportunities to take down the Christmas lights.

4. My fingers and toes might actually defrost.

5. Flip flops!

6. It's not dark before 5:30 in the evening.

7. I won't have to fear for my life while driving to and from work.

8. The scent of flowers.

9. Shopping for a new Spring jacket.

10. Macy needs a hair cut. Bad.

Monday, March 2, 2009

The things I forgot

I was smacking my forehead a lot yesterday as I remembered more and more things that happened in February which made it a very noteworthy month contrary to how much I down played it before.

Most importantly was my 33-year-old brother getting diagnosed with testicular cancer on February 11th. He had gone into the Cleveland Clinic to have a tumor removed and everyone--doctors included-were optimistic that the tumor would be benign. Unfortunately, the test results proved differently and he did in fact have cancer and had to undergo a second major surgery in 4 days. He's doing good. He's recovering well at home and again everyone is optimistic that all of the cancerous cells have been removed. They're waiting until he recovers fully from the 2 surgeries before talking about chemo.

My family felt like the metaphorical rug had been pulled out from beneath our feet when we were given the test results on February 11th. We've always considered ourselves blessed to be such a large family and to all be here relatively happy and healthy. It's so easy to lose someone close to you, but my parents and 5 siblings have only seen our numbers grow. We've been dealt our fair share of scares including my father's 2 heart attacks, but we've always made it through--we've always remained whole--and we fully intend to keep doing so.

The rest of the noteworthy things I remembered from February truly pale in comparison to my brother but they have altered my life as well.

My company announced mandatory Shutdown Days beginning in February and lasting at least through the end of this year. What they've done is designated one day each month--it was February 17th this time--in which the company will completely shut down, the employees will take the day off, and we won't be paid for it. The idea is to save 2 weeks worth of payroll by the end of the year, and hopefully, along with other cost cutting measures, it will be enough to save our jobs. I can't argue with that. School budgets are getting hacked by the economy right now, and considering the majority of our revenue comes from school libraries, we are in a very tight pinch.

Again, I have to consider myself fortunate. I can afford to lose 2 weeks pay when it's spread throughout the year. I can't, however, afford to lose my job, not when finding a replacement is next to impossible around here. I'll accept whatever measures my company has to take in order to keep me employed. I can't afford not to.

Lastly, and this is going to sound silly that I consider it life-altering, but earlier this month I was pulled over for the first time in my 9 years of driving.

I was on my way home from my parents house when I was stopped for "rolling through a flashing red". The police cruiser was parked at the Army Reserve building roughly 200 feet from the 4 way stop with flashing red lights and I saw them clear as day despite it being after 10:00PM. I immediately checked my speed, which was hovering just under the speed limit, and drove passed. I went through the intersection, stopping as I usually do (which apparently wasn't enough), looked in all 3 remaining directions, and continued to drive home.

I wasn't 500 feet passed the 4 way stop when the cruiser pulled up behind me and turned its lights on. I pulled over immediately, rolled down both front windows when I saw there were 2 officers climbing out of the cruiser, turned off the car, and watched in the rear view mirror as they surveyed the houses around us and slowly walked to either side of my car. The officer at my driver's side door told me I was pulled over for rolling through a flashing red, asked for my driver's license, verified that my address was really only 2 streets over, and asked if I'd ever been pulled over for rolling through a flashing red.

I told them that I was sorry, that I thought I had made a complete stop, and no, I had never been pulled over for rolling through a stop, that this was actually the first time I'd ever been pulled over. The officer handed my license back to me, told me to drive safely, and they both headed back to the cruiser. I may have been stopped for the first time, but I wasn't going to get a ticket. I was shaking, relieved, and a little pissed off at the same time.

I guess I should explain that I have a problem with authority figures. I don't have a problem listening or following directions from authority figures, but they scare me half to death, almost to the point where I can't function properly. I'm so afraid of being in trouble or not pleasing that I actually make myself look guilty. As I write this and read it back to myself, it sounds like I was perfectly calm and collected while speaking to these officers, but I was actually a nervous wreck. My voice was high pitched and shaky. I didn't answer in proper English or full sentences, and I stuttered a lot. I was a little surprised when they didn't just slap the cuffs on me right away because this girl had to have done something wrong to be so nervous.

I was a little pissed off because getting pulled over didn't go down at all like it does on television and therefore how I had pictured it. They didn't take the time to look up my record. They didn't ask for proof of insurance or registration. They pulled me over for not coming to a complete stop on a deserted night and not something dangerous, like, you know, speeding or driving recklessly. Everyone I've talked to says it sounds like they saw something that made them suspicious, but I think I was pulled over because they were bored, and it sucks that my perfect driving record is tarnished because of it. According to the books my record is still spotless, but I can't honestly say that I've never even been pulled over now.

One positive thing it has done to me is that I make sure everyone I know--myself included--knows to come to a complete stop at all stop signs, because you know, they catch you for that around here.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Out like a lamb

I did it again. I went an entire month without posting, and that's almost funny to me because all through the month of February I kept daring myself to write every day for one week. I thought if I could just break the streak of nothing I would come out with something. Obviously, I never stepped up to my own dare.

I think Andy Rooney said it best when he said you have to have an ego if you’re a writer because it’s egotistical to think anyone else cares what you think. My problem is I don’t have much of an ego and I can’t for one second convince myself that anyone would care what I think, and if no one cares then why should I write? It’s a vicious cycle that I’ve been battling for years and I keep trying to get a handle on it but every few months I stumble backwards.

The bottom line is I want to write and that's all that should matter. I have to keep on keepin’ on, even it means mundane reports of how much it sucked to work one day. So, here it goes: I Triple Dog Dare myself to write every day for the first week of March. It may not be much, but there will at least be something posted for each day this week.

First, I'll get February out of the way:

Fortunately there wasn't much to write about in February. I worked a lot and then I worked some more.

I slept in on weekends and left the house a few times to hit up the grocery store for food.

I met two of my favorite friends for dinner on President's Day and then we closed down Border's by sipping our coffees and catching up as the store grew more and more quiet around us.

I turned 27 yesterday and Jon and I celebrated by making the trip to IKEA Pittsburgh (I think it's safe to call this a birthday tradition by now) with my little sister and mom. After arriving back to Akron we met friends for dinner and drinks. I have to say it was a pretty good birthday.