Today I am experiencing a mixture of overwhelming excitement and stomach-churning dread. In the wee hours of the morning, I made the final payment on my car. It's actually a month early, but I went ahead and paid the balance just to be finished with the darned thing. I feel like celebrating and throwing up all at the same time. With my luck, the engine will just drop out of the thing while I'm driving home tonight.
Wednesday, September 02, 2009
Not long ago, I wrote an entire post about two things: my lip-product addiction, and smoking. Apparently those things are quite important in my life, because once again they have been on my mind enough that I feel the need to revisit the topics.
I have, unfortunately, fallen off the wagon with smoking. I can no longer proudly say that I'm a non-smoker. I can say that I smoke much, much less than I did in my previous smoker incarnation, but I am nonetheless a smoker again. Rather than smoking over a pack a day, over the last couple of months I have settled into a 2-3 packs per week habit, with the majority of that happening during weekend socializing.
But the one or two that I smoke during the workday has had a huge impact. And by that, I mean my work socialization has jumped like crazy. Since I'd quit smoking before I started this job, taking a smoke break here is a new thing. I'm generally quiet and keep to myself at work, and had forgotten how smokers' camaraderie could be. There are people I've seen almost daily for over a year now, and we've barely done more than nod to one another. But now that they've run into me in the smoking area, they've struck up conversations, made little jokes, talked about work, etc. I've learned more about the insider workings, machinations, and gossip in this company during smoke breaks in the past month, than I have in a year.
Since I began smoking again, I noticed that my lippy addiction grew again. I mean, I've always had it, but it did get less when I wasn't smoking. But the return of moisture-sucking cigarette filters meant a higher need for oral emollients, and I was back on high levels of the stuff. It hit me this past weekend, when I realized that I had more lip products just in my bag than some people own.
At this very moment, this is what I have on me: an Avon "Sweet Spells" lip balm (smells like candy corn); a Kiss My Face cranberry orange spf 15 lip balm; a Blistex Fruit Smoothies strawberry-banana spf 15 lip balm; a Body Shop hemp lip balm with beeswax; a Mary Kay apple berry lipstick; and a Mary Kay sugarberry lip gloss.
Six lip products. Seriously. And I have more at home; those 6 just happen to be in my bag right now. In my defense, the Kiss My Face just joined me last weekend as a gift from a fellow lippy addict... who also gave me the most delicious butter crème lip gloss for my birthday a couple of weeks ago. Of course, I can't complain, since I often gift her household with lippy as well. Ah well, it is what it is.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Okay, now back to Gluteus Giganticus: So, yeah, I need to lose a stupid amount of weight, because I have gained a stupid amount of weight. It is negatively influencing my blood pressure, edema, and my menstrual cycles (WHAT menstrual cycles?!?).
I have not had regular cycles since my miscarriage, which is normal for a bit. But it never improved, and now I know it's because of the weight gain. My new ob-gyn is increasing my metformin to 1000mg, as I was on a super-low dose of 500mg. She wants it more like 1500-2000mg, but doesn't want me to blow out an O-ring, so we'll gradually increase it over the next few months.
When I thought about my upcoming vacation, I thought, "Well, as weird as it is, I'm kinda glad I'm having mega 2-3 month cycles right now. Since I just got my period at the end of May, I won't have to worry about the Red Sea when I go on vacation over Fourth of July weekend."
Guess who increased their metformin dose around cd11? Guess who unexpectedly ovulated around cd23? Guess who, by their best estimate, will not only have their period, but will be having their heaviest flow on the same day as an all-day, outdoors in the middle of nowhere music festival, whilst on their first vacation in two years?
So, keep an eye peeled for a post-vacation update featuring embarrassing moments like baboon-red asses from bleeding through while waiting in mile-long porta-potty lines. Huzzah!
The image in my head is the second scene of "Connie and Carla", where the fearless singers/performers are giving their all as they perform in front of a listless and uncaring –not to mention sparse-- crowd in an airport lounge.
I'm fairly certain I hear crickets. I know that by now there very few people who bother to check in here anymore, seeing as I update about as frequently as Pepe LePew scores with that hot little black pussycat. I just seem to be caught in a weird state of apathetic mediocrity: I'm neither terribly sad, nor freakishly happy; I'm fairly bland and blah. And when I think about writing about that bland and blah, I just kinda go… ehhhh.
There have been scary layoffs at work in the last couple of months. It seemed like every Monday, we'd hear about people who left the previous Friday for the last time. Thankfully, I haven't heard of any recent layoffs in the last two weeks, and I'm really hoping it's over for now. Even though our VP/Controller told us in Financial Reporting that our department had no planned staff reductions—seeing as we're already stretched stupidly thin—I've been the victim of layoffs before, and know that no one is safe, no matter what someone says in a meeting.
I have a new ob-gyn, an older Indian lady who works in a labcoat-covered sari. I wasn't sure if I was going to like her, as she is so blunt and to the point about everything that it is almost—almost—offensive. But I decided that I could handle that, and even like it a little bit, having someone I know isn't going to sugarcoat things or beat around the bush. This woman tells it like it is, and if you don't like it, tough. The fact that she has an incredibly thriving practice should tell you something, though.
My General Health:
Is shit. I can't believe I'm going to actually put this in writing, set in stone so to speak, for all posterity. Since my miscarriage 17 months ago, I have gained 40 pounds.
Yes, that's a 4 with a 0 behind it. And seeing as I was already generously-sized, this is just ridiculous. Apparently depression + quitting a pack a day + apathy= an even bigger ass. Who knew? I have been smoking more lately, probably in shock over the size of my ass, but it's still a fairly small and manageable addiction at a pack a fortnight. I don't think the smoking will increase much more, since I will not smoke inside and it's too blazing hot to go outside too often to smoke.
A quick aside, speaking of the weather: We skipped the end of spring. One day it was spring weather, and then we had tornados a couple of weekends ago. When the haze of the tornados passed, it was suddenly freaking, full-blown SUMMER. It was 100 degrees yesterday, I kid you not.
I'm going to California on vacation next week, and was looking at weather projections and averages. Dude. Their so-called HIGHS? Um, yeah, they're about equal to our LOWS. And out there, I won't be struggling to breathe air that's like steam. I can't wait.
Wednesday, May 06, 2009
"It is a truth universally acknowledged that a zombie in possession of brains must be in want of more brains."
So begins Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, an expanded edition of the beloved Jane Austen novel featuring all-new scenes of bone-crunching zombie mayhem. As our story opens, a mysterious plague has fallen upon the quiet English village of Meryton—and the dead are returning to life! Feisty heroine Elizabeth Bennet is determined to wipe out the zombie menace, but she's soon distracted by the arrival of the haughty and arrogant Mr. Darcy.
What ensues is a delightful comedy of manners with plenty of civilized sparring between the two young lovers—and even more violent sparring on the blood-soaked battlefield as Elizabeth wages war against hordes of flesh-eating undead. Can she vanquish the spawn of Satan? And overcome the social prejudices of the class-conscious landed gentry? Complete with romance, heartbreak, swordfights, cannibalism, and thousands of rotting corpses, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies transforms a masterpiece of world literature into something you'd actually want to read.
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
In the interests of not being passive about enjoying this whole temporary (?) happiness, I've been looking for stuff I would like to do. Since Memphis is a HUGE music town, of course I looked to see what bands were going to be playing in the near future.
And for those of you playing the home game, here are some other shows coming up in the next couple of months in this general area that I'm considering:
I guess it's because I don't have a freaking clue from whence it came. If I didn't know any better I'd think someone was slipping E--or prozac-- into my water bottle or something. It happened a couple of weeks after I wrote the emotional vomit post: I just woke up one day, and it was a good day. I was humming and singing at work, even doing a little dance step around my cubicle every now and then. I wanted to hang out with friends. I thought about trying to recreate a social life, and started looking for bands and things to do out and about in the city. I felt good, and it didn't go away the next day. Or the next. Or the one after that.
Don't get me wrong; I'm not on perma-grin or anything. I've had pissy moments, and impatient moments, and sad moments. But they've been fairly fleeting, and the happy has been far outweighing the sad. I have even-- get this-- not completely fallen apart at the thought of being childless. I don't know, maybe this is the upswing of some massive emotional seesaw that's going to bust my ass once Fat Albert jumps off the other end. Maybe it is, but I've decided to just roll with it, and enjoy feeling fairly happy as long as it lasts.
Thursday, April 09, 2009
Friday, April 03, 2009
Seeing as I'm a product of the times-- ie, I can only seem to retain about five phone numbers in my memory—I no longer have phone numbers for most of you guys, since the Glorious Mugging of '09 resulted in the loss of my cell phone… and the accumulated numbers of the last 15 years or so.
So I'm sending out a general plea for phone numbers and contact info to those of you who know me in "real life": please drop me an email at any of the addresses you have, and give me your info. And if you have info for mutual friends, feel free to send it, too.
For the fertility-challenged: is there any word from Cali today??? I can't go to blogs while I'm at work, but I get my comments via email, so PLEASE leave a comment if you know anything!!!
Monday, March 30, 2009
Ever since I was a teenager, I have had two addictions that I cannot shake: smoking and lip balm. Okay, so lip balm isn't so horrible; I mean, I know I won't be checking in to Betty Ford because of my lippy obsession, but I really do have a thing for lip balm. I guess it actually started before my teen years. I can remember being quite small and getting really excited whenever I got a cherry Chapstick or a Lipsmackers, which I suppose were my gateway drugs, so to speak.
But I really got strung out in junior high, when I got into band. Dry and cracking lips are no joke when you're a musician who plays any type of wind/horn instrument, and everyone seemed to be using the same thing at the time: Blistex medicated ointment, the white salve in the squeeze tube. The bandroom always had a special smell: a blend of sweaty teenagers, spit, and the menthol/minty tang of Blistex.
I used Blistex all through junior and high school, and always felt great on it. Then I went to college, and was introduced to a new lip high: Carmex. Oh, the joy of removing that yellow lid from the little white jar, and getting a whiff of that rich saffron balm! The ecstasy of dipping in a finger, smoothing it over your lips, and feeling the rush of the tingles that let you know you were alive.
But then I hit the time in college when a lot of people get a little crunchy, and I was no exception. My neo-hippy phase demanded its own lippy, which turned out to be Burt's Beeswax lip balm. There are four things that will forever more remind me of my sophomore year in college: the swish of a broomstick skirt around my ankles, the musky-dirt scent of patchouli, the soundtrack of "Hair", and the creamy feel of Burt's Beeswax on my lips.
I'm not really sure when it happened, but at some point after sophomore year I became completely indiscriminate about my lip balm. Before that time I had been staunchly loyal to whatever lippy was my chosen, but no more. Instead, I became all about quantity, needing to know I had it available at any given moment, at any location. There would be a lip balm in the car, one in whatever jacket or coat I was wearing, and one or two in my purse. If I were wearing jeans, there'd be a little something stuck in my pocket; if I had a backpack, you'd better believe there was a little jar in there somewhere. And let's not forget the one on my desk, and the other one in the bedroom.
I am not even carrying a purse right now, but I have 3 lip products within reach: a Mary Kay "Apple Berry" lipstick; a tube of Kiss My Face "Cranberry Spice" lip gloss; and my newest crack, Cherry Carmex in a tube. To be fair, the lipstick and gloss don't really count, since my addiction is for really balm, but you get the idea. And I can't believe I've just written almost a whole page about my lip balm addiction.
In a way, I guess my nicotine addiction went hand-in-hand with the lip balm, seeing as cigarette filters seem to suck all the moisture out of your lips. And when you smoke over a pack a day, that's a lot of dry lips to cure. Since I (mostly) quit smoking, I only use about a fourth as much lip balm as I used to, even though I still buy it as often because I can't help myself. Of course, now I have the excuse that I'm buying it for my goddaughter Chava, who is already hooked on the stuff at not quite four years old.
Yes, you read it right: I said I've mostly quit smoking. I had quit the day I found out I was pregnant, and was then completely smoke-free for 13 months. Not a single cigarette, not even a drag, for thirteen months. Then one night at a bar, back in December, I decided I really wanted one and bummed off a friend. It was about 80% disgusting, but that other 20%... Oh, that 20% led me to smoking another one in January, two in February, and now four in March.
So now I'm at a crucial point: do I go along with "I'm okay as long as it's only a couple on the weekend", or do I try to go back to none at all? I think I might be able to keep it to the weekend, but a small part of me is afraid that it will continue to slowly escalate until I'm a full-time smoker again, which I don't really want.
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Do you know that overwhelmed feeling you get when a job is just so huge, and you don't know where to start? That's the way I've been feeling about blogging. So much has happened that, when I think about writing, I just feel swamped, like there's no possible way I could get it all down… so I don't write and get even further behind.
I've decided not to even try to give a blow-by-blow account of the last couple of months. Instead, here's a TV-style montage of the high(low)lights:
Feb 10: Mom had her other knee done (knee replacement) despite my disapproval and misgivings. You may remember that she had a "cardiac event" when she had the first knee done six months ago, so needless to say, I wasn't looking forward to another nail-biting surgery. Not to mention, on the purely selfish side, I wasn't ready to do that level of care-giving again. Thankfully, other than an episode of chest pain the day after surgery (that turned out to be nothing at all), everything has been going well with her recovery from surgery.
In other (crappy) news, though, she has been diagnosed with stage 3 kidney disease. This is on a scale of 1 to 5, where level 5 is the full-out deal with dialysis. This is on top of a degenerative spinal condition, bad knees, hypertension, and diabetes on a short and obese person who refuses to make any lifestyle or dietary changes to help her conditions. I am pretty much resigned to the fact that her health is going to deteriorate much faster than it needs to, just because she's stubborn.
Feb 25: Mom has a post-surgical check up. Her knee is doing fine, and her coumadin dosing is good. Of course, there has to be something wrong. Her blood pressure was stupid low, like 90/60. They checked it again about an hour later, and it had dropped to 75/50. They gave her a chance to hydrate and eat to see if it would rise; if it didn't, they weren't going to let her leave the hospital. Luckily, though, it turned out that her post-surgical lack of appetite and painkillers seemed to be the culprits, and her blood pressure improved. It was quite scary though, at the time.
Feb 26: I was mugged at gunpoint at 7:20 am, as I was walking to my car to go to work. I don't think I even have to describe how shook up I have been. This is the second time I've been mugged at gunpoint, once at night a few years ago, and now in broad daylight. Any remaining vestige of "innocence" has been shattered: there is no safety anytime; bad shit happens all the time, whether it's day or night.
I don't have a specific date—because I honestly can't remember—but I realized that my cycles have never truly normalized since my miscarriage last January. I'm sure my weight gain and PCOS aren't helping, but it's been frustrating to go back to having mega-cycles of 60+ days.
I have just about decided to stop trying to conceive. My head and body are both not in great places, and TTC just isn't what I need to be focusing on right now. I even let my membership to you-know-where expire a couple of months ago, for the first time since I joined a million years ago, if that tells you anything. I had even put down the thermometer, until I realized that with my cycles all wonky, charting was the only hope I had of having an idea of when I might expect to start my uncontrollable bleeding again. So I went back to half-hearted charting so I can at least semi-predict my periods.
I don't know; I'm all messed up. There have been some isolated moments of happiness, but they have been few and far between. Another reason I've been hesitant to blog is because if I'd been writing how I truly felt for the last year, my friends would have me on a suicide watch. Not that I would, but the deep depression would be so obvious that people might THINK I would.
I don't know "me" anymore. I don't feel comfortable with my friends anymore, or in social situations. I feel like I don't know what to say, how to act, what to feel, even with my closest and dearest. Imagine the social awkwardness of adolescence, but paired with the knowledge of an adult of how much life can suck you dry and spit out the husk, and it comes close to how I feel with people now.
I find myself just wanting to be alone and at home more and more, but I force myself to socialize with my friends. And then I realize how sad it is, that I have to "force" myself to be with the people I love. But I know that if I do, 90% of the time I enjoy myself, and it's worth it. Have I mentioned how screwed in the head I am? I know that it's a mix of trying to find "me" post-M, and the whole "there was a gun in my face and holy shit I could have died," and that it will pass, but right now I can't deny that I am fucked up.
And that's enough. We go forward from here.
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
I will eventually get all deep and meaningful, and tell you all why I haven't been writing much. But until I can manage that, here are two quickies for the morning:
I. My cankles are going away again. I've gotten back on my medium-to-low sodium diet, and my giant swollen ankles are slowly subsiding. Diuretics didn't help, exercise didn't help, and nothing showed any difference except for me being vigilant about my sodium intake. So, I'm back on track again, after having gotten off 6 months ago when mom had her knee replacement surgery. Which reminds me, I'm gonna have to go into that later…
II. I know this will upset some of you, but I just gotta say it: I can't stand dogs. I liked dogs as a kid, and then I just didn't care for them much as I got older. I didn't hate them, but they just weren't my "thing", you know?
But that was before I started working for the crazy dog lady, who spends much of her workday talking about her dogs. And talking to other people about their dogs. And talking on the phone to make arrangements to go to dog shows. And giving advice about dogs: breeding, feeding, showing, training; you name it, and I've heard it. She's one of those people who never had kids, and so her dogs are her "babies". Except that she somehow couples that with the cold-hearted attitude of a breeder/shower. It's creepy.
It is so much, so often, and so annoying that my mild distaste has turned into active dislike. Seriously.