Sunday, October 3, 2010

The Blank Page

Hi there. Remember me? I'm the person who used to blog regularly, right here, on this blog. Life has been pretty busy lately. I've been working a full-time job, a traditional 8-5, 40 hour a week job, which is a situation and schedule that never suits me well. I just also started teaching a class once a week, so I've been easing into that. It's not that I haven't had time, it's just that I've felt mentally drained when I got home. I was leaving the house at 7, going to work, swimming after work, and getting home about 7, eating dinner, and going to bed.

Last week, I was informed that my temp job would be ending. I looked forward to working there another week, because I actually liked the people I worked with. I hung out with Mr. J. last weekend, and he managed to give me some kind of sinus/throat infection and I had to call in sick on Wednesday. I really was very ill, went to the doctor on Thursday, got anti-biotics and painkillers and have been recuperating since. It's Sunday and I still feel pretty awful. I know it isn't flu and it isn't strep throat, but whatever caused it is pretty nasty.

The temp agency didn't believe I was sick and the lady became rather suspicious and accusatory with me, and although I am presenting doctor's notes and prescriptions to them, I don't expect they will be in a hurry to find me another job. If you're a temp, you're not allowed to get sick, even though getting sick is on your own dime.

I'm still not feeling well, although I'm much better than a few days ago. My mother is angry with me because I'm not over at her house helping her go through her garage to collect things for a yard sale. So today, I'm a little tired of people being mad at me for being sick. I've already lost my job. I don't need more guilt.

I meant to write this blog about all the wonderful documentaries I watched while laying around the house for the past few days, but I got sidetracked. I do have to say that there are a few entries before this one that also appear on my other blog: Light and Dark, which is mostly about photography, but there are entries I wrote there that also fit here, and I didn't want readers of this blog to have a huge gap in what's been happening to me.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Amazing Swim

I've been recovering from bronchitis/sinus infection Hell for the past couple of weeks, and rather typically, becoming impatient and frustrated with my body when I don't recover quickly enough. I went swimming on Sunday, did fine, went again on Monday and ached all the way through it and had difficulty breathing, went Tuesday and was miserable - I struggled to breathe, couldn't find any energy and just thoroughly felt defeated. I started to berate myself on the way home because I could only do a lethargic 25 lengths. Of course, I snowballed this self-abuse into me giving up on it entirely and getting tired of things too quickly. I said to a friend to tonight that if I were as mean to anyone else as I am to myself, I probably wouldn't speak to me.

Yesterday, an act of God intervened. I went to the Y and the pool was closed because of thunder and lightening. I didn't want to hang around downtown for it to re-open, so I just headed home and decided to go over to Miss B.'s for dinner and wine spritzers with her and her young though incredibly smart and charming new man-friend.

A night of good food, wine, Scrabble and good old Nashville guitar playing did me the world of good, even though I exceeded my calorie goals (OH NO!) and got a little tipsy and home too late.

Today I braved the pool after my divinely intentioned Day of Rest and knew immediately on dipping myself into the water that I was back! I sailed through the water effortlessly and just rejoiced in the feel of it around my skin and revelled in my ability to glide through it. Today, I managed to swim more than half my lengths front-crawl, and finished 1600 metres in under half an hour. I was actually out of breath when I got out of the pool and felt like I had an incredible workout. I was proud of my body and what it can do.

When I left the Y, I actually felt high on the endorphins. I truly enjoyed my workout. I am glad I have got to the point where it is fun, challenging and a high point in my day, not a chore or just a way to burn calories. I'm actually doing this for my mental as well as physical well-being. Not being able to work out properly until today has left me stressed and frustrated and I am grateful to finally feel like myself again.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

More of the Same

Hello dear readers. It seems I haven't written in close to a month, but I just re-read my last blog and I am happy to announce I've continued according to the plan laid out then. I'm still swimming, still eating well, and still going to bed early.

Despite swimming regularly and eating well, I've been plagued with not feeling well for the past month. I had a weird stint of vertigo that lasted about three weeks, followed by a cold that turned into bronchitis and a sinus infection, so it has been difficult to maintain the good habits. I had to take three days off work (for which I did not get paid) and I've had to take a week off from swimming. I'm finally beginning to feel somewhat better, so I plan to swim this afternoon, and I know it will be difficult because I haven't done it for a week. I was getting pretty good there - I even got up to a mile! There's not much else going on really. I'm just eating well, exercising, and am pleased to say I'm losing weight. I'm currently wearing a pair of jeans that haven't fit since last September. I don't feel deprived in the least. I just finished eating a breakfast consisting of coffee with real cream and a whole wheat bagel with cream cheese and smoked salmon and capers. I've cut down my portions significantly (I think that comes from not eating for three weeks - I never picked the appetite back up) and I'm trying to eat a lot of fish, fruit, whole grains and vegetables (oh and some chocolate thrown in for good measure).

I've also cut down on drinking. I figure it doesn't do me much good to swill down caloric depressants every night when I'm trying to battle that sort of thing. Also, the swimming makes me feel good and I find I don't really want to drink. This has cut down significantly on the calories I'm ingesting daily, and from what I can see, my efforts are working.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Mind and Body Connection

I had a little bit of an epiphany today. For the past few months, I've been trying to fix my mind and my heart, and all efforts have, in truth, failed, but I noticed that recently I've begun to do something else, and it wasn't initially a planned thing. I think I was feeling rotten, so I started to take steps to fix it, and that meant fixing what is going on physically first, and if I feel good in body, the theory goes, maybe the mind and eventually the heart will follow.

I stopped smoking. Actually, joining the Y happened first, but the smoking stopped about 2 days later. I knew exercise would do it, but I thought the actual quitting process would happen much more slowly; however, after the first full day swimming and a night out on which I smoked a ridiculous amount of Camel Crushes, enough to make myself sick really, I quit, suddenly, and without any of the usual crutches. I quit smoking the first time in 2002 after smoking for seven years and that time, I needed the patch. I quit again last year (after starting again, obviously) and I needed the patch again, but this time, I was able to go the full cold turkey. I don't know why that makes me prouder, or more in control, but it does. I finally killed the nicotine craving all by myself. Go me!

The swimming: I adore the swimming. I think I have more of an addiction to the way it makes me feel rather than the actual process of doing it, although I love that too. A friend asked if I found swimming laps boring, I suppose because you can't listen to music or watch TV, but I enjoy not having those distractions and I enjoy consciously working on improving my stroke and my time and monitoring how my body reacts to the challenges I set for it. I enjoy reaping the rewards of the effort becoming easier, or at least smoother, and being able to do a little bit more, or do the same a little bit better, each day.

After getting out of the pool, I feel strangely calm. After not having the opportunity to swim yesterday or today, I feel uptight, both physically and mentally. My mood is distracted and anxious and I can't wait to get back in the pool tomorrow. I mentioned earlier that I started exercising to reduce my anxiety level, and it has, but I already feel stronger, and I can already see improvements in my body (or my figure, as my grandma would say). It's amazing what can happen in two weeks.

Like bad habits, it seems good habits also have a domino effect, or come together because the mutual benefits are greater than the singular. I have mentioned previously my rotten eating habits the past few months. My stomach has been constantly upset and intolerant of anything weird, so I ate a lot of stodge: chicken, bread, butter, some salad. That's about it. Well, now I've cut out the butter and the white bread, started eating more fish, taking my lunch to work, and actually planning ahead for meals, like, you know, an adult or something. Today, two ladies in the cafeteria said to each other within purposeful earshot of me, "Can we bash her over the head and steal her lunch?" I haven't cooked inside in about two months. The little Weber porch grill has cooked everything, and that makes for healthier eating too. I find when I cook for myself, I generally lose weight. There are some great things about being single, and one is the act of controlling exactly what you eat and when, and not having to compromise with someone else so often over food choices.

Sleep: Oh dear readers, I do not sleep. I've had trouble with this since college and when there are stressors in my life, the problem manifests itself severely. For the past several months, I've been averaging about four hours' sleep a night, if I'm lucky, but I took steps to take care of this problem also. The doctor said I have all the symptoms of chronic insomnia, and prescribed more exercise and sleepy pills. I don't really have to take the pills all that often - just knowing they are there and I won't have to lie awake all night helps most of the time, and the swimming really wears me out, but even if I'm dead to the world tired, my mind keeps ticking and won't let me sleep. This week's goal has been Project Early Night. I've been in bed before ten every night, comfy and reading. I don't set a limit on how long I can read - just no phone, no computer, and no other distractions.

This is my plan for now. I take one day at a time, and try to make improvements one little step at a time. I'm hoping the physical improvements and the benefit of endorphins will work their magic on me. I also haven't forgotten about the healing benefits of creativity and am about to text Miss. L. to ask if she wants to work on our photo project this weekend. We are still brainstorming and it has been on hiatus because she went on vacation, but the plan is still very much in the works.

Sunday, June 20, 2010


I do apologize, dear readers, for the lack of activity on this blog over the past couple of weeks. A couple of posts ago, I explained I was feeling a little down in the dumps, which actually has continued for a while, despite my best efforts to kick the doldrums into the middle of the proverbial "next week" for several past weeks. I also have developed a mysterious ailment, the origin of which is completely bamboozling both me and my doctor: I have, at this point, almost constant vertigo. This started about three weeks ago, when I stood up at work and felt suddenly lightheaded and as if my legs would buckle. The occurrences of this have become so often that it feels like I am dizzy all the time. I am finding it difficult to function under these circumstances. I have been depressed, had panic and anxiety attacks, and now, on top of this, I am constantly dizzy and nauseous. My doctor's best guess is a viral infection, cause unknown, that will "probably" work its way out. I hope probably turns out to be pretty probable, because I feel awful.

I have to go to work tomorrow, and I am dreading being there and feeling terrible all day. The only time I feel better, weirdly enough, is when I'm swimming. The only explanation I have is that I'm on a different equilibrium in the water, so I don't feel sick or dizzy.

I joined the Y, dear readers. I decided that the legacy of AMWUDM would not be the destruction of my health. I quit smoking, cold turkey, twelve days ago, two days after I joined the Y and started swimming, after work, as often as my schedule will allow. I started swimming to feel better, to thwart depression, moodiness, apathy, and to gain some energy. It wouldn't hurt if it continued to help me lose weight (I'm already much skinnier post break-up - that is one good thing), but some toning wouldn't hurt either, especially as I happen to know that the post break-up weight reaction has not gone quite the same way for the other party involved. I hate to say it, but that gives me impetus to be fit, healthy, and look good. Perhaps that's spiteful, but I don't really care - it's all about me at this point, and what makes ME feel good, and knowing that I do and will look a hundred times better than I did then gives me a kind of smug satisfaction. Well, whatever it takes to motivate, right?

Really Good Thai Food!

So, the other night, NGIHOW and I went to eat Thai at this restaurant on Nolensville Road. I was in one of those moods where I was starving and couldn't make a decision. I kept saying I wanted Greek food but couldn't think of anywhere decent to get it. After a while, Mr. J. (or NGIHOW) made the observation that I was not making any concrete suggestions but just picking fault with everyone else's. He was right, and I told him so, so I conceded and decided to put my night's culinary fate in his hands. It was a good choice. Notoriously picky about Thai food and not a fan of Royal Thai or Siam Cuisine, I didn't have high expectations, despite Mr. J's good endorsement. I should have trusted him because the food was excellent and very cheap. I recommend the Tiger Tear Salad and the Fresh Spring Rolls. He was jealous of my salad, and even ate a good amount of it, although I couldn't really share his as he ordered it hot as hellfire.

Finding new, inexpensive, out of the way cuisine is one of my favourite things in life - it's one of the pleasures that makes life occasionally delicious and worth living, so when I do find these gems, I share them with you.
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Monday, June 7, 2010

Three Things

Has it really been a week since I posted? I've been thinking about writing on this blog all week, but I suppose thinking it doesn't really get the baby bathed does it?

It's been a rough week and I won't pretend otherwise for the sake of keeping my chin up on this blog. I think I reached something akin to my nadir during the past few days. Suddenly everything seemed totally shit. My life seemed pointless and irreparable and I didn't know what to do. The months of not sleeping, of rehashing my former relationship in my head, of fighting and fighting to try and find a decent job, of struggling with money and broken cars and unforeseen expenses, finally got to me and I felt more down than I have in years. I cried every day last week, sometimes about these big things and sometimes because I spilt cat food on the floor or couldn't find anything to wear. I felt rotten. I had panic attacks, dizzy spells, the fits of crying, extreme exhaustion, swings between extreme emotion and extreme apathy, and on top of that, my skin broke out like you wouldn't believe.

Fortunately, I have good friends, friends who took me out and cheered me up last Friday and Saturday. The combination of $5 martinis at the gay bar, game night, and an amazing U2 cover show did show me that perhaps life might occasionally be worth sticking around for, even if those moments seem fleeting.

My weekend was terrible. I napped a lot, picked fights with my parents and anyone else who would listen, thought about getting things done, but didn't, complained about the heat, moped, and dreaded going back to work.

Today though, today seemed better. I set myself three manageable goals: Join the Y, make a doctor's appointment, and buy good, healthy groceries. I did all three. I didn't get home until almost 8pm, and I'm tired, but I feel good that I got something done.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Crazy is Relative

Tonight, Miss L. and I brainstormed a photo project. I won't go into details, but it is quite an undertaking, involving 78 images that require planning, staging, models and props, and possibly a lot of post-processing. She is really good at that. I suck, and lack the proper resources anyway. I didn't intend to hang out with her all day, but she got out of work early and I had to pick up some pics from her, so we started hanging out, drinking beer and got into planning a project, something I'd been thinking about for a while, but I needed someone else on board with me and she seems game.

Miss B. came over later, agreed to be one of our models, and helped us brainstorm the images. We talked until about midnight and I drove the relatively short distance home. Perhaps I'm getting old, or more sensible, but driving home on a Saturday night is like taking your life into your hands. I stopped at a light to turn onto Briley Parkway, and whilst there, nearly got hit by not one, but two cars. One truck did a noisy and seemingly last minute u-turn right behind me and another car swerved to miss me and went barrelling through a red light. What the hell? It was like that all the way home. I was minding my own business, driving between the lines and below the speed limit, and all around me, the crazies were out to get me. Where were the cops? Oh, they were probably busy racial-profiling on Charlotte Pike or pulling over people for driving while being Mexican. I was just relieved to get back through my front door in one piece. I had been drinking beer, but not a lot, and over a long period of time, and I felt stone cold sober on the way home. If I hadn't, I'm sure the many near-death experiences I encountered would have sobered me right up.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Wine (Whine)

Claire has nothing to say really, other than she has drank an entire bottle of wine, by herself. She thinks that some would raise red flags at this, but she (to quote Shakespeare) bites her thumb at them. Claire's great excursion of the week has been to Aldi, where, in a frenzy of not having gone out anywhere, she spent rather too much money and bought way too much meat and charcoal. Well, she will be well fed for the next couple of weeks.

There's an amazing deal going on in Nashville right now, and it's not Groupon related. Main Street Liquors on Gallatin Road (code name: Ghetto Liquors) has acclimated to its clientele, which is homeless people and East Nashville broke pseudo-yuppies (kind of like myself, but I am not even pseudo-yuppie enough to live in the ENash). My old roommate, who has been mentioned before on this blog, Miss C., introduced me to this place a few years ago. There's an amazing deal there: three bottles of wine for 10.99. It works out at $12 exactly with tax. Back in the day, when we first started going there, you had to pick through the rubbish and the expired stuff to find something semi-decent. I'll admit (and this is a shameless window into my shady personality) to going there before a party to stock up on cheap stuff for people to drink who were too cheap to bring enough booze to satiate themselves at my parties. That was Ghetto Liquor's main function.

However, lately, they have begun to really evaluate their clientele. Now they still have the 3 for 10.99 deal, but they also have more upmarket three-fors. There's a 3 for 13.99 and a 3 for 21.99, and all are wines sold elsewhere in Nashville for much higher prices. The more expensive deals tempt me every time I go in, and I darken their door often these days.

However, as mentioned earlier, this girl works a temp job, for crappy money, but there are still needs that have to be met, and wine is one of them. I require (because I have champagne taste on a Nat Light budget) decent wine and lots of it at a good price. Friends introduced me to Gato Negro, which is a lovely Chilean Sav Blanc for 3 for 10.99. Even my budget and drinking habits can handle that. I love Montez, which is a reminder of past relationship blah de blah de blah, but it's $10 a bottle, and to me, and one of my snobbier friends, Gato Negro tastes just like it.  I hope no one is really reading this blog, because I'm giving away great secrets, which I'm sure will end up on a certain Tennessean's columnist's page (no names mentioned on purpose) and ruin everything. Not having a car is screwing up my plans because tonight I paid the same amount for one bottle of wine here in Old Hickory.

So I started this blog in the third person, which is always a sign that Claire is tipsy. Time to take Claire to bed because she has to get up in the morning and work a totally pointless job. Seriously, Claire has worked out a way to make her job completely obsolete, but shush, don't tell anyone...

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


I'm stranded between work and home for the next few days and the thought is depressing the hell out of me. I do not want to be home, alone, bored. I'm sure there's plenty I could be doing with my time like cleaning out the sock drawer, or rearranging my CD's into alphabetical order. Or perhaps I could mow my grass or finish some laundry, or remember what the vacuum cleaner looks like.

My parents are borrowing my car. My mother is taking me to work and picking me up again, and at all other times, I am stranded here. I also have hurt my back somehow, so heavy housework and lawn-mowing is not in my immediate future. So tonight, life pretty much sucks. I was hoping to go out and distract myself from my life, if I can't actually divorce it right now, but that plan is pretty much shot. So, I'm in a funk.

What's the funk about, you ask, or maybe you didn't, but I'll tell you anyway. Radio Silence was interrupted by a transmission last week, and it has me funked out. AMWUDM sent a message asking if I was o.k. I replied. He answered "Yup." Two months of not speaking and "Yup." I think my former theory that he's gone completely off his rocker might actually be the most on target. I don't even get a real word? I'm not worthy of a REAL WORD? I guess not, I am just the good time girl after all. That's what he said when we broke up (he really does have a way with words), after months of professing love for me, that "we had a good time." I honestly could have smacked him across the face for that one. Perhaps I should have, maybe it would have knocked some sense into him. Was that supposed to make me feel better? "I broke your heart, but damn, we had a really great time doing it. See ya around kiddo!"

We did have a flood, and it's conceivable, possibly, that I could have drowned, but still, he doesn't care that he broke my heart into a million completely unrecognizable pieces, but he cares that I'm not drowned, or dead, or my house isn't washed away?

I have a nibbling doubt from that, one that creeps forward from the back of my head at inconvenient times, that maybe I am the Good Time Girl. Maybe I'm not the girl men marry or have kids with or hang out with at barbecues with their parents with. Maybe I'm just the Good Time. I drink, I swear, I have a good time. I like to talk about sex and politics and get feisty about both. Perhaps that's not what men want in the girls they marry or settle down with. I should be the demure virgin (whether real or just in demeanor), the Angel of the Household, as the Victorians would have it. It does no good to ponder though, because I'm just not that kind of girl and will never be.

I promise to interrupt my self-indulgent and whiny posts with picture postings soon. I'm working on the 150 or so photographs I uploaded a few days ago and I'm finding the sheer volume a little overwhelming, but I'm getting there, I promise. They are divided into albums, so that's a step in the right direction. Well, me and my very sore back are going to bed with a heavy dose of painkiller.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


Tonight I went out with my favourite gays to eat Indian food. Somehow I still managed to order a concoction of chicken and bread. What is it with me lately? That's still basically all I can eat, or all I want to eat. I hadn't been to Bombay Palace in a while, and I really love that place - if you live in Nashville, you should give it a try - the chicken tikka is pretty amazing.

I have a new job, for which I am grateful, as far as the money issue goes, but this working 8-5 day in, day out thing has me thinking about what I want from my life and what I need from a job. The whole set-up just leaves me feeling empty - there's nothing to think about when I come home. I just go in, mindlessly complete the tasks set out for me, and come home. I can see how some people could find that somewhat freeing, but I just bemoan the lack of vocation it takes. I'm trying to at least get some adjunct teaching gigs, and I feel like the flexible schedule plus the creativity and control over my own classroom is much more in line with my personality and with who I need to be. Except for showing up to teach class at an assigned time, I can do grading and planning on my own schedule, and I really like having that freedom. Right about now, the colleges are starting to think about hiring professors for next semester, and some might even have summer classes. All my applications are in, and I am going to start bugging them this week. The squeaky wheel approach has worked wonders for me in the past. I can't continue to do a job that requires so little from me mentally and has me boxed in for eight plus hours a day in a room full of cubicles and no windows. Is that what life is really about?

Don't talk to me about pipe dreams either. I just want to get out of here - just take off travelling around the country. I know it's highly impractical, but my brain is cooking up escape plans, some more ludicrous than others, but I don't want to look back at my life and think about all the things I wanted to do but didn't because I was afraid, or because I worried what other people would think. I always wanted to be the person who did the things other people just talk about. If those things are somehow within my means, I should at least consider the possibility of making them happen. It just seems that the world is such an interesting and unpredictable place, and I am stuck here, travelling the same route every day to and from work to sit looking at the same cubicle walls and computer screen. Something will have to give soon or I may go crazy.

I am so behind on film developing that I'm almost scared to take more pictures. I wanted to go out tonight, but I now have six rolls that I can't afford to get processed. I have to slow it down some. I can just take them and just have a backlog, I suppose. Next week, when I get paid for an entire week, I will start chipping away at the mountain of canisters. I have mostly 35mm, so at least those are cheap to get processed and scanned and they do produce more numerous results than the medium format, but lately, my heart lies with the high resolution and the retro delight of the square image. There's just something so deliciously restraining about composing within a square - it makes you think differently, and if there's something I need right now, it's the new and different.

Part of my malaise is because I was supposed to go out on a date tonight - well I don't know if it was a date or just a hanging out kind of deal, and I was actually looking forward to it. Last time I got out of a relationship, I didn't do the whole rebound thing, and I really don't want to this time, but it just feels good to go out and hang out with a straight guy and have good conversation, so I was a little disappointed when his life got in the way, but hey, it can't be helped.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Birthday Fun

So Monday was my birthday. I lost my job, just before I was supposed to go out and celebrate with friends. I decided to not worry about it and go out and have fun, but it was difficult to fake/try to make reality a good mood, at first. But, my lovely, wonderful friends were there, full of joy and good wishes for me. People came out whom I did not expect and it was a nice little evening, and the cheer and the beer gradually lifted my mood out of the doldrums. I was in the atrium at the Flying Saucer and I noticed the gorgeous sunset light outside, so I went to my car, got my FE2, and took more pictures of Union Station. I also took some pictures of my friends inside and some interior shots of the atrium. I'm switching to 35mm for now, because I haven't worked consistently for the past three weeks and medium format takes a heavy toll on the old pocketbook, but I can't wait to get back to it. Miss B. and I went to the Villager afterwards, where I got asked out by someone whom I was speaking with last week. He didn't ask me for my number then, but he got up the gumption on Monday. It probably helped that I looked ridiculous drinking Shiner Bock from a large dogbowl (it's a birthday tradition at the Villager - free beer in a dogbowl).

So last night I went out on a date. Totally unexpected, and I did have a good time. I told him not to have any expectations of me, and he said he was willing to just go along with me and have fun - no pressure - just good conversation and no emotional heaviness. I cannot write tonight. I want to get this all down, but the words aren't flowing very well. I apologize. He's a good listener and a good conversationalist and he's smart, and that is a prerequisite for my interest. I am probably going out with him next week sometime, and I'm happy about it, but I'm not able to feel too much of anything for anyone right now - but perhaps that's good.

I am tired and not making much sense. I have more pictures to post, but I am spacing them out a little until I can get more film processed. I don't want to give up all the goods at once - I'm not that kind of girl.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


So I'm finally able to eat something that's not chicken and bread. I don't exactly have my appetite back yet, but I am now eating salad and sandwiches, and tonight I grilled a pork tenderloin on the grill when a friend came over, and I made salad and grilled potatoes too. I'm not eating much each day, and it seems like lunch is completely off the menu, but I am back to eating breakfast and sometimes dinner. At least I'm hungry when I wake up, which is more like me. I'm still not ok with rich foods, but that might be a blessing in disguise. I've definitely dropped some weight, which is a bonus. It's starting to be time for summer clothes again, and my summer clothes fit exactly like they did when I stopped wearing them last year, which means I'm pretty much the same as I was then, which is great because I lost a lot of weight last summer after the surgery.

I'm not too worried about it. I'm just eating what I want when I'm hungry, and if I'm not hungry, I just don't bother.

I cleaned the entire house today, and my friend helped me take my mountain of recycling to the recycling place, so I feel like the house has been cleansed. It always makes me feel so much better when I have a nice clean house. Martin is asleep bunched up on the television cabinet and snoring, and everything here is pretty quiet. I'm going to bed early.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Not Trying

So apparently the way you lose weight is go through a break-up, a horribly heart-wrenching and inexplicable break-up, have no communication with the person who broke up with you without a viable explanation, and spend your days wondering what happened, and not eating.

That works wonders for your waistline. The good jeans fit. The other good jeans fit even better. I'm trying to eat - that's the thing. I'm not trying to starve myself. I am eating when I am hungry, but I can only think about stomaching a very limited number of things, and that makes it complicated. If something is there, and it's not exactly what I want, I just don't eat. I can't tolerate a lot of foods, for some reason. I don't know if the stress has brought out the gallbladder symptoms again, but rich foods are completely off the radar right now. Soup is a stretch, although I've had some chicken soup this week. I've eaten out, but it has mostly been chicken sandwiches.

I know this is a really boring blog, and you're tired of my chicken, bread, fruit, wine (whine) routine, but that's the way it is right now. I'm beginning to feel better in other ways. I'm taking pictures again, which is marvellous and I am really excited about the revitalization of my creative juices, but the appetite has just not come back. For someone who loves her food, this is somewhat disquieting, and I am afraid of the effect it is having on my health, as my diet is ridiculously unbalanced, but losing weight might outweigh that. Anyway I have given up worrying about it. I'm going to try and eat more fruit tomorrow and leave it at that.

Thursday, March 25, 2010


So, today I was stuck at home, apart from a short walk to the Piggly Wiggly, which was, I hate to admit, to buy a Vitamin Water and a pack of Camel Crush. The weather outside was beautiful, and I spent much of it sunning myself outside on my front porch, in between bouts of coordinating recommendation letters, CV, and cleaning and laundry.

I spent much of the day on the phone, to people who I talk to often, and to some people I don't. I had a long long talk today with an ex-boyfriend and once great love, who knows me well enough and has been through enough with me and since me to give me an excellent perspective on my current situation. It's good to hear from someone who has been in a relationship with you and loved you how you will recover and what you deserve in life. I can't quite articulate what makes that different from talking to just friends, but it's something about the shared intimacy and knowledge of how you are within that particular realm of relationships that no one else really has. He told me some things about myself that others haven't really picked up on and I am grateful for his bluntness (which has been at times a double-edged sword).

A very good friendship of mine has suffered a mutual neglect on behalf of both parties since her move up north, but today we talked like friends who haven't skipped a beat. It was good to hear a familiar, yet missed voice, especially one so feisty and sunny. I know she too is going through difficulties, so it was good to talk, rant, and catch up.

Tonight I was talking to my pseudo-sister, who doesn't read my blog, but that's not really her bag exactly. We talk all the time, and she is going through a heart-wrenching separation because her boyfriend has gone to South America to make money. She feels as though money is the mistress, and she has been abandoned for its siren call. I feel like crap, and I'm struggling to deal with what happened, so it is good to talk to others and hear what they are going through.

I haven't written the particulars of what happened after the breakup. I didn't really get an explanation apart from "we don't work as a couple," which to me seems like a lame cop-out excuse, almost like the famous post-it note breakup from Sex and the City. I guess he chose to deliver that verbal post-it note in person and that makes him feel better about himself - nothing like getting dumped in your own living room. It's a cop out because we did work, on many many levels, but I'm not going to get into that. He also apparently didn't take it lightly.

Flash forward. Three days later: I am devastated, driving home from my parents' house, where I had just collapsed in a crying fit on their kitchen floor; I'm smoking in the car, which I don't normally do,and remembering I had told my friend I would go out with her that night. Every bone in my body wanted not to, to just go home, get under the covers and make it all go away. But, I called her back, still crying and still a mess. She said, "oh honey, he's not worth it." "Yes, yes he is," I said. She then revealed to me that on the dating website she had recently joined, he had come up the day before as her top match. Two days. I drank a Guinness that night at an Irish bar, and it slowly sank into my body, my body that hadn't eaten for close to three days. It's taken a little longer for reality to start to sink in.

I don't want to date anyone. The thought makes me feel ill, but I have a friend who says that in times like this, you should do something that makes you feel uncomfortable every day. I had a profile on the aforementioned dating website, and going on there to see for my own eyes meant reactivating it, and once I did, I couldn't deactivate it for a week. Well today I got sick of seeing him come up as a match for me, especially since I've tried to hide him and it doesn't take, so I decided to try searching another site, just to see if it was the same set of dufusses (sp?) on there, and sure enough, up he comes again. I got angry because it said he was active during the last 30 days, which could mean after, or perhaps before we broke up.I want to give him the benefit of the doubt, but you know, I did that for a couple of months and I'm a little tired of that approach.

So those of you who know me know I have this weirdo mystical astrology loving, tarot card reading side. I was angry and emotional and decided to do a reading, just out of anger and a need for some clarity, whether imagined or real. Sometimes you just need a touchstone.

Here's what it said. We're going with traditional Celtic Cross reading, which if you're curious, you can find an explanation of the layout here.

My card: 4 of wands - marriage, party, celebration of things well done
Crossing: Wheel of Fortune - letting the world turn, achieving balance between love and hate
Subconscious: The Star - a time of healing and hope, things will start to go right
Conscious: The 2 of Cups - love, union - the Romeo and Juliet card
Recent Past: Queen of Wands - getting what you want, finding your true nature (I am a redheaded Aries, so this is my card)
Near Future: Ten of Pentacles - the good life, financial security and a sense of happy well-being
Present Situation: King of Pentacles - man involved with money, steady, fastidious, or acting that way
Surrounding: Magician - someone using power, good or evil, getting in tune with your own powers, can mean trickery and secrets
Hopes and Fears: Judgement - change and renewal, reaping the seeds of your actions, a resurrection of sorts
Outcome: The Tower - sudden and forced change, something will happen to force me out of stagnation, usually it will cause chaos and trauma, but it is usually for the best, the stripping down of old and outworn structures.

I do readings fairly often, and I regularly do them for other people, but I did this one is such a state of emotion and I was really passionate about it, that it came out as feeling somehow profound and right and I should pay attention, plus the cards I got seemed right and seemed to be telling me something. They are all very powerful, not messing around cards. The Tower card is seen as the most frightening card in the deck, but I am relieved to get it because I feel in such a state of stagnation, on such a mental merry-go-round, that I really need something to force some change in my life.

Now, when that happens, remind me I said that.

Well, goodnight, I must go to bed because I have to get up in five and a half hours, even though these days I am almost never tired enough.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Off to Work We Go

I talked to a friend I haven't talked to in way too long today. She knows who she is, and she's a reader, so here's a shout out to you. It was good for my soul.

I've been cleaning the house all day, and I should have done more than I did, but the important thing is that the laundry is done, I have clean clothes for tomorrow, and fresh sheets. Fresh sheets were needed for my emotional house-cleaning as well as for general hygiene.

I'm still not eating. I tried today and managed a vitamin water, a ciabatta roll, and half a bowl of soup, plus several cups of tea, some decaf as the day wore on. I've been stuck here all day, except for my little walk to the Piggly Wiggly (yes we still have one of those out here). I'm not too worried about the eating though, because I don't feel ill or weak like I did last week, and I'm trying to make sure I get some protein and some fruit to go along with the bread. I'm being pretty balanced even if I'm not eating much. I plan to try and eat some fruit before I go to bed.

I think I've just got used to not eating anything, so my stomach has shrunk and I just can't eat anything much, which is not altogether a bad thing as I think I've lost about 12 pounds in the past two weeks. I had no idea what I weighed before and I don't have a clue now either.

I'm planning to take lunch to work tomorrow. I've been taking it and not eating it, but I intend to at least try tomorrow. Anyway, I'm rambling and need to go to bed.

The Past Year

Much has happened in the past year. My healthy eating apparently came as a shock to my poor body, whose gallbladder decided to rebel and create gallstones and a horrible infection. Surgery and no gallbladder later, I felt much better. For a while after surgery, I couldn't eat normally and had to reduce my fat intake quite considerably, but after a while, my body got used to it, and I returned to bad habits of eating, although I was never quite as bad as the period before I originally started writing this blog.

Over the past couple of months, I started watching what I ate again, and I was walking all the time in a genuine effort to become more healthy. However, events of the last couple of weeks have upset my eating routine all over again.

It seems that when I am upset, the first part of my body to notice and react is my stomach. My stomach is miles ahead of my head and my heart, and shuts down immediately. I was very suddenly and cruelly broken up with by a man whom I had truly fallen in love with, and my stomach knew the truth first.

It's been two weeks, and I still can't really eat. Everything tastes like cardboard, except for chicken (specifically grilled chicken) and bread. I can tolerate fruit o.k. when I think about it. I've drank gallons of tea, some wine (you'll be shocked to know) and the odd Guinness here and there, but the number of calories I'm actually remembering to ingest has drastically diminished.

I'm starting to feel a little better, not because I'm really any more at peace with what happened, but because I am the sort of person who really can't put up with herself feeling rotten for too long, but my appetite has not returned, and the thought of most foods turns my stomach. I smell things, and they smell good, but then I think about eating them and feel nauseous. I am sure this will go away eventually.

I hate to say it, but it's making me look hot. I've lost a bunch of weight in the past couple of weeks, and I'm not sorry about that part of it, but I'd really like to relish my food again.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Quotes from Persuasion

You can always trust Jane Austin to say it so succinctly. Here are some quotes from her last and darkest novel, Persuasion, from its sensible and quiet heroine, Ann Elliott:

"Once there were no two hearts so open, no feelings so in harmony, but now we are strangers, worse than strangers; it is perpetual estrangement."

"The one claim I shall make for my own sex is that we love longest, when all hope is gone"

"Time is a great healer, or so at least I am told."

Feeling Good

The job search is proving fruitful. I have two recommendation letters in hand, and promises of at least three more, so I am sitting in good shape. It feels good to have accomplished something today. And to those of you who said I burnt my bridges, I say, my bridges are in very good operational state, thank you very much, and the flow of traffic is steady. That's bitchy, but I just have to get it out there. The two recommendations I have so far are probably more glowing than I think I deserve, and I am grateful to my former professors for helping me out so quickly. Two of the jobs were just posted the other day and have a deadline of March 31st, so it doesn't give me much time to get it all together, considering getting recommendations is usually like herding cats, and went disastrously the last time I attempted it. However I have asked many more people than I need, so I should have the basics covered.

Still can't eat anything, but I think today that's because I am excited about the prospect of finding a new job. I should perhaps think about doing that soon before I make myself sick from too much tea drinking.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Better Day

Today was a little better. I'm getting there, although tonight I'm exhausted and ready to go to bed. Friends said I looked more like myself again, like the spark is coming back, and it is, bit by bit. Same story tonight though with the food - came home, ate chicken, now I feel sick. I'm sure that will change eventually and I will enjoy food again.

I'm sure I must have to go through this for a reason, that there is a meaning to finding such happiness and losing it inexplicably and suddenly. What that meaning is, right now, I don't have a clue, but I have to believe it leads to better things. I have to believe that. If I don't, I will just cry, and I don't want any more of that going on tonight.

Thank God for Pandora. I can't listen to anything on my itunes. I can't even look at itunes right now, so Pandora is the only thing that I don't have to think about, but will play (mostly) music that is just pure me, and that is what I need right now. I have to be thankful for the little things: Pandora, cat curled up on feet, two confirmed recommendation letters, and hopefully more to come, a job well done today, and more to do tomorrow, good friends and family who are working diligently to stitch me back up again.

Tomorrow is laundry and cleaning the hell out of the house. I think it will do me good. I can't go anywhere because I don't have a car, so I have to stay here and get things done, but at least I don't have to go to work.

On another note, maybe things are going right in the world because healthcare reform passed today. I'm glad. I hope it will save some lives, and soon. Working in healthcare has clued me in even more to the sad realization of the price arbitrarily put on people's health, well-being, and even lives. It really does sicken me and I hope to be out of it soon. I can go to bed happy about that.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Bad day

Apparently that's what I get when I get near a computer and still have the ability to type drunk. Today has been a pretty awful day. Nothing bad has happened, but I have been in a rotten, inconsolable mood all day. I've tried to dispel it with no success. I need something else to focus on, but I don't have anything. I lie - I can distract myself by applying for jobs there's actually a good chance I can get, and I think that will be my focus tomorrow. Today is just a wash. I basically came home, ate chicken, and cried. I was actually hungry - that's happened occasionally during the past two weeks - but I'm not eating habitually, so when I do, it makes me feel nauseous, and my stomach is not the most sane of creatures at the best of times. However, my skinnier jeans fit, quite well now, and I guess I'm on my way to the much skinnier 2006 jeans, which I have of course, kept. Peeking silver lining.

My car is still dead too, so I have a week or so of essentially being stranded at my house, which is good for the cat, but terrible for me. Well maybe not. I've tried to go out this week and distract myself. I went to Flying Saucer's trivia night, and I even ventured out for a Guinness on St. Patrick's, although that was a mistake because I just had a rotten time.

Tomorrow night's plan of action is to ask for recommendation letters for three jobs I'm applying for, fill out the applications, and sort out my CV so it looks as good as the resume I did last week. I'm quite proud of my resume now. On Tuesday, it looks like I will be stuck here, so I plan to clean the house, listen to music loudly, and sort out my head. I was supposed to have an appointment with the head of graduate studies, but I have to postpone because I have no way to get out there. I guess I just have to listen to my mother and place distractions in my head, even if it doesn't seem like they will actually distract me. At least they will fill the time and prevent my mind from racing around in circles.

Anyway, I'll quit moaning, take some IB Profen PM, knock myself out, and get up and go to work tomorrow. One foot in front of the other. I think about What About Bob: "baby steps to the car."

Saturday, March 20, 2010

It's been a year since I've posted on this blog. Am I resurrecting something that's already dead? If so, perhaps that's a theme in my life. Perhaps I am an emotional Frankenstein's monster. You knew it was the monster and not Frankenstein himself, right?

Well that's what you get when you can drink a litre bottle of Gruner Vetleiner and still be conscious. I have to work tomorrow too.

This used to be my Myspace blog. Do you remember Myspace? I remember that it was what the Facebook is now. I wonder what the new Facebook will be. In truth, I'm really sick of it all right now, but I need an outlet to write something, as my friends either are, or soon will be, sick of dealing with me.

I just went through a break-up, and to use cricket terminology, it's knocked me for six. Considering the large amount of wine I have drank and the food I haven't eaten for the past two weeks, I don't want to get into it. I could, but anyone who cares is tired of hearing about it, perhaps even me. I just need to listen to more Snow Patrol, smoke more cigarettes I shouldn't, drink some more Guinness, and eat more chicken and bread, which are the only things that don't taste like cardboard right now. I'm writing this to try to make sense of the whole thing, but even in a drunken state, it doesn't seem like a worthy endevour.

I should just go to bed and go to sleep. I have to get up and work a pointless job tomorrow, so I should be responsible against the odds. Last week I took two days off for a stomach virus. I think I had one, but it could have just been heartache, as I still feel the same and I can't eat. My friends are trying to feed me and I am not interested.