Saturday, October 17, 2015

A Perspective of Grief

"Yet he was gone.  She knew it most keenly in the diminishment of her own self.  In her life, she'd been nourished and sustained by certain things, him being one of them . . . but it was really the three of them together, intersecting in her, for each of them powered her heart in a different way . . . She could not imagine that portion of her would never return.  With her it was not hope, or wistful thoughts - it was her sense of being alive that thinned by the proportion of her spirit devoted to him."

Taken from "The Story of Edgar Sawtelle" by David Wroblewski

Sunday, September 6, 2015

I'm Baaaacckk

Well, after a very long hiatus from this blog, and a couple month hiatus from Facebook, I'm back (on this blog at least).  I think I'm leaving Facebook for good - it started out as a just-for-the-summer decision, but I think it's going to be permanent.  I went back on FB today because I was going to post some vacation photos, but I was instantly reminded why I got off of it to begin with.  People are annoying and Facebook adds nothing good to my life.  I'm just going to have to quit being lazy and use this blog instead, even though it requires more effort.

A lot of things have happened since I've posted last.  A few really terrible things, the worst of which was the loss of my best friend and soulmate Lucy last April.  It's been over a year and I still feel lonely and lost and like I'm missing part of myself.  I don't think that feeling will ever go away.

Some good things have happened too.  I started a new job at the US Environmental Protection Agency, which I truly love.  I enjoy going to work every day, which was completely unimaginable previously.  We also have a new family member - Murphy!  I can't stay too sad looking at this goofy face every morning!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013


I haven't even been at work for 2 hours yet.  Haven't even finished my coffee.  I walk out my office door and guess what . . . MORE COOKIES.  And bagels.  And cream cheese.  I don't know how everyone in this office doesn't weigh 300 pounds.  This is ridiculous. 

But that's OK.  I have my super boring - I mean super yummy - greek yogurt and blueberries.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

My sugar's wearing off

A friend of mine is leaving our place of employment and this Friday is her last day.  In the past, she has made butter mochi and brought it in to share with the office, and it has turned into one of my very favorite things ever.  Yesterday, out of the kindness of her heart, she made me my very own tray of mochi and brought it to me, hugged me, and told me she couldn’t leave without making me some butter mochi.  So what did I do?  Proceeded to eat almost the entire tray in one day.  Not one or two pieces - almost the ENTIRE tray.  In less than eight hours.  BAD, BAD DANDELION.  At least I didn’t eat the chocolate cake that was brought out in the afternoon for someone else’s birthday.  Or the two plates of cookies that were sitting in front of me during a late afternoon meeting.  I was too full of mochi.

Why did I eat almost the entire tray at once?  Because I have no self-control.  Because I love mochi.  Because it is obviously better to just binge for one entire day instead of eating a small amount of something bad every day this week, right?  Right. 

Except I am paying for it today.  My sugar withdrawals are back in full effect.  There are still four pieces of mochi in my refrigerator and it is taking every ounce of self-control I can muster to not eat them.  In addition to the mochi in my fridge, there are two big trays of cookies, two bags of cookies, and a big tub of Jelly Belly jelly beans that have been sitting outside my office all day, which I have had to walk past at least twenty times. 

The day started out well.  I had Fage plain greek yogurt with blueberries and raspberries in it for breakfast.  It was delicious and filling and left me thinking “I can do this, no problem.”  However, not even six hours later, the day has deteriorated to the point that I am now applying copious amounts of vanilla buttercream flavored lip balm and licking it off my lips.  But at least I haven't eaten any cookies. 

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Day 4 - I actually feel human today

I didn't sleep very well because I was hungry.  But I did dream about bears and mooses and Montana again last night, for the 4th night in a row.  I woke up and it was cool, gray, rainy, and windy - perfect fall day in Seattle.  It was actually cold enough to put on socks and a cozy sweatshirt to curl up in and read a book and drink some morning coffee.   Other than that, I did pretty much nothing all day.  It was awesome. 

Right now I feel satisfyingly full for the first time since Wednesday.  Probably because I kind of cheated and had jasmine rice with my dinner.  But I am still within my allowable grams of everything in MFP, so it isn't really cheating, right?  Just not the most nutritious use of calories.  Is it bad that feeling full makes me feel guilty?  Probably, but I don't care.  My belly is happy right now and I have a delicious, healthy lunch ready to take to work with me tomorrow (compliments of my husband, who, as I mentioned before, is a saint). 

Oh yah, I also got my nose pierced last night.  I was craving sugar and couldn't have any, so I had to do something to distract myself.  Luckily for me, piercing is calorie-free!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Day 3 - Better than Day 1

Well, I made it through my workout Thursday night, but not without a major meltdown.  I feel bad for my trainer (who I will refer to as D for now).  I think he might be afraid of me after Thursday night.  It was so bad he actually called me the next day to see if I was OK and to make some nutrition suggestions.  In the course of that meltdown we discovered that (1) I have major post-trip depression and (2) I need to find a new motivation for why I am doing this because I lack one right now.  I have accomplished my first couple of goals, and the only ones I have left currently seem unattainable and impossible to see actually happening, so they aren't providing motivation for me.  I also think that instead of a Pepsi, maybe I need a therapist.  I eventually made it through my work out and left the gym feeling somewhat better.  I ate dinner and went to bed before I could get hungry again.

Friday was a challenge -  I knew I was going to have to eat in restaurants for two meals in one day.  Very dangerous move in my fragile condition, but unavoidable.  I needed a plan.  Right after breakfast (while I wasn't hungry) I checked out the menus of each restaurant and planned what I was going to order in advance.  We ate lunch at La Lot, a Vietnamese restaurant.  I had salmon spring rolls with herbed fish sauce, which was absolutely delicious and surprisingly filling.  (PS - that is NOT my Vietnamese Iced Tea in the background.)

I was starving by the time we got home to get ready for dinner.  Angry hungry + free bread basket = nutrition disaster, so I ate an apple and some peanut butter before we left for the restaurant.  We went to Ivar's, where I managed to stick with my predetermined choice and order the seafood cocktail appetizer and a side salad as my dinner.  I was too hungry to take a picture of that before I ate it - sorry.  It was really delicious and filling.  I was grouchy when everyone else was drinking beer and eating cheesecake, but I survived.  Again, I was hungry when we got home, so I just went to bed.  Plus it was 11 pm - waaaay past my lame bedtime.

Saturday morning I woke up feeling totally shithouse.  Hungry, grouchy, depressed, having sugar withdrawals.  My wonderful husband made me eggs for breakfast and put up with my complaining.  He is a saint.  We had a discussion about my motivation problems, then I went to the gym.  D looked he didn't even want to ask how I was doing, but did anyway.  I had decided by that time that I needed to have a good work out so I said I was doing better (which was somewhat true).  I knew if I started talking about it again I was going to cry.  We talked briefly about my frustrations with MFP, and how an apple contains over half the amount of sugar it says I can have in an entire day.  He said I can eat as many apples a day as I want to and sadly, that cheered me up a lot.  I then had an AWESOME workout - the 45 minutes flew by!  We talked about some backpacking trips in the area, and D mentioned the Enchantments.  I have heard of them often, but never seen them.  He did a Google image search and when I saw the first picture I knew that was it.  Just like that we found my motivation!  

I'm still starving and really want a Pepsi, but I just picture the view of the Enchantments that D showed me and I choke down some vegetables and turkey and feel like it is worth it, at least for now.  So I feel a little better.  Plus, I saw a really funny website with dogs wearing pictures of signs of shame that totally made me laugh like I haven't for awhile and cheered me up.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Day 1 on my uphill path to healthiness

In an unprecedented breach of my own privacy, I am going to start writing about my daily struggles to get healthy.  I don't know why I am making this decision, other than I feel like venting about it might result in less pent up hostility and grouchiness on my part.  Plus I'm sure my husband and friends are going to get sick of hearing about it sooner or later.  I'm only about half way through Day 1 and I am already angry hungry, so who knows how long it will last, but here goes. 

Today is my first day entering my food into MyFitnessPal (hereinafter "MFP").  I love that you can use your phone to scan bar codes.  It makes tracking easier and increases the likelihood I will stick with it.  I hate that MFP has decided that I can only consume 1270 calories a day.  For real?  I consume over half of that for lunch every day at Jimmy John's.  Oops.  After writing that, I realize why I need MFP.  Ugh.

One more reason to "ugh" - it's only 6:20 pm and I have only 18 of my 1270 calories left for the day. That's right.  18.  If I even look at food I am going to exceed my calorie allotment for the day.  And I'm starving.  So starving that I am salivating right now because they are showing banana slugs on TV and they look just like bananas, which are delicious.  I would definitely punch someone for a banana right now.  That's how hungry I am.

How am I going to work out with the trainer in 25 minutes feeling as hungry and weak as I do right now??  I don't know.  I'll probably just pass out.   

Thursday, February 23, 2012

My faith in humankind - renewed and destroyed in less than 5 minutes

My faith in humankind was restored today on the bus - an unlikely location, I know.  I had just got on the bus, sat down, and started reading my book.  A guy got on at the next stop and sat near me.  He looked pretty down on his luck, maybe homeless.  He took out an expensive-looking cell phone and made a call.  He told the person who answered the phone that he had just found this cell phone, and asked if that person could tell him how to get in touch with whoever the phone belonged to.  "How nice," I thought to myself, a bit surprised.  I was surprised because a couple years ago someone tried to steal my cellphone right out of my hand at this same bus stop (my bus stop is in a not-so-nice area of downtown - basically an open-air drug market).  Plus people are generally just POSs these days, so I was quite surprised that someone was actually trying to return a cellphone they found on the bus, especially in this area.  It left me feeling optimistic - like maybe people aren't as bad as I think they are, and I actually felt kind of bad for the assumptions I make about people sometimes. 

My new-found optimism was immediately dashed.  As soon as the guy hung up the phone, two other guys sitting near me told him that he should keep the phone because it looked expensive.  The guy who found the phone said he would keep it, but he didn't know how to use it.  Then as he got up to get off the bus, he said to the two guys:  don't worry, he [the owner] will have to pay to get it back.  What a jerk.  There goes my renewed faith in humankind.

I love the Voodoos!

Can't wait until they are back in the US, playing in Seattle!  Here is a link to one of my favorite songs by them:  Restless.  Go check it out!

Friday, February 17, 2012

One reason I love the month of March

Shamrock milkshakes are finally out at McDonald's!

Oh how I love them, with their green, minty goodness!  I'm so excited they are finally here.  But, this means that it is now going to be a daily struggle for me to not get one every day.  You would think I learned my lesson after my seasonal binge on gingerbread lattes at Starbuck's this year.  I swear I gained at least five pounds in gingerbread latte weight.  I was drinking one every day, and sometimes two.  I can't help it - I wait ALL YEAR for them to come out!  Then, because I don't know how long they will be around, I just go crazy and get them every day.  I really think that calories, sugars, and fats shouldn't count when it comes to seasonal items.

PS - I just heard there are also SHAMROCK SUNDAES!!!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

The Adventurous Spirit

"So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservatism, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more damaging to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future."

--- Chris McCandless, letter to a friend, taken from Into the Wild

This quote always makes me think about where I am in my life.  My future is about as secure as one's future can be, which is good in a responsible way.  But sometimes I think that secure future is stopping me from being really happy now, and squashing my adventurous spirit.  My job is OK - not my dream job, but OK.  Some days really suck, and other days are OK, but none are great.  So why do I keep this job?  Mostly because of the secure future - because of good retirement benefits, good health benefits, a decent salary, and a fairly large number of vacation days (compared to most private-sector jobs). Plus, I kind of sealed my fate by going to law school - I'm pretty much stuck in the legal world now.  I take some awesome vacations, but in between those times, I am not very satisfied with my daily routine.  I'm only 35 and I'm counting the days until retirement, when I can really have some fun.  I don't want to wait until 30 years to enjoy life - I want to enjoy it now! 

Ideally I would either have a job where I worked outside (like being a park ranger or a nature photographer or something), or I would own my own bookstore.  I have really been thinking about the bookstore thing, but people don't love books anymore.  Everyone has e-readers, and even big bookstores can't stay in business.  It would be cool to be a law school librarian, but that would require another degree, and there isn't a program for that around here.  Maybe I can just sell all my stuff and live in my tent.