A Foot of Hair…

For the record, I wasn’t supposed to get up for another twenty minutes or so.  Shelli decided otherwise…first, by running around like a cracked-out hamster, and second by deciding to poop in the bedroom litterbox (which is right next to my side of the bed), thereby emitting noxious fumes and scratching the side of the box trying in vain to cover up said noxious fumes.  At least she did it in the box.  And she’s cute, so she gets a pass.  Of course, in true cat fashion, she decided after I got up that she didn’t really want to play anymore.

So, yesterday, I liberated myself from something I’d been carrying around for two and a half years.

(my stylist is a friend from church and she did such a good job.  If you’re local and need to get your hair done, check out Top Notch Salon in Matthews and ask for Amber)

Yep, peace-out to the hair.  I had close to a foot, I think.  It’ll be going to Locks of Love when I get back from camping.  I still keep feeling is because it’s so light and nice.

So, I’ve got this dress fitting today.  Say a prayer/think good thoughts for me.  I’m terrified and bummed.  I hope it goes fast.

We’re also embarking on our camping trip today.  I’m excited!  I’ll be even more excited once we get the trailer backed in.  This will be Joey’s first time actually doing it other than his couple of dry runs Tuesday night.

I think we’re going to have wireless at the campground, so I’ll save my long-winded, philosophical posts until then.

And the Drama Begins…

Nothing super-dramatic, really.  Joey had a rough time getting the camper out of the backyard because it was still muddy from the colossal monsoon we had Saturday.  Backing the trailer into its spot will be an adventure on Thursday when we get to the campground.  Random things that happened:

  1. Shelli always has to be in the bathroom with me when I’m pooping.  It’s kind of strange.  Anyway, I was in there today and she jumped on the counter and gave me a head bonk.  And it was apparent that she had just finished up in her own litterbox.  Litter-smell right up the nose.  Ew.
  2. I started Jillian Michael’s Thirty Day Shred this morning.  It was challenging.  Much moreso because I was barely conscious at 5 am and hadn’t thought to put on the following:  sports bra, ankle wrap, socks, gym clothes, or tennis shoes.  Yep, I stumbled into the living room, half-alive, and proceeded to jump around for thirty minutes in my pajamas without any support for either my boobs or ankles.  Smart move.
  3. I went outside after Joey and his folks got back from his “camper-backing dry run” and spent ten minutes outside and managed to get thrice-bitten by mosquitos and once by a fire ant.  All on my ankles/toe.  So my big toe is killing me.  I was going to take a picture of the bite, but I forgot to shave my toes this morning and I’d rather just tell you about my hairy big toe than show you.
  4. I think I’ve hit self-destruct mode with this bridesmaid dress.  I’ve lost twenty pounds, yes, but as the fitting draws closer and closer, I find myself wanting to eat indiscriminately, as though sabatoging myself is somehow “sticking it to the man.”  How utterly ridiculous.
  5. I have a new obsession with seltzer water.  I don’t know why.  It’s wonderful.  Especially with a twist of lime:).  I’ve always been a big water-drinker, but adding fizzy bubbles to it without any artificial flavors/sweeteners?  It’s perfect!  It’s like the things I like best about both water and soda wrapped up in a nice, fizzy, cheap package!!
  6. Shhh….don’t tell anyone, but I’m about to make a HUGE appearance change tomorrow!!

Yep, that’s the musty, litterbox-headed culprit right there.

I’m Having a Hard Time Sleeping…

and, as such, I’m out on the couch watching episodes of Dirty Jobs, hoping that maybe I’ll drift off again in a few.  I have this horrible habit of cracking my knuckles in bed when I can’t get to sleep…popping any joint that I can get to pop, actually, and rather than driving Joey nuts (or at least cause him to have some horrible dream), I’d come out to the living room and give him some peace and quiet.  He’s had a hard time getting enough sleep too. 

My friend Angela lost her dog yesterday.  She found out at work and had to leave to go  be with her family.  He was 17 and had been with her through so many significant times in her life.  I cried off and on all day because I was so sad for her and because it threw me back into memories of Puss and then brought to mind the fact that Shelli is four already.  In just a couple more years, she’ll be considered a senior cat.  I almost can’t bear the thought of it.  And, because I’m sick like that, I Googled “memorial poems for pets” and read them and cried and cried.  I’m not sure why I did that…it seems a little twisted in retrospect.

I know that a lot of this is hormones…honestly, guys, my hormones have been so jacked up after the mental apocalypse that was the last six months that I don’t know whether I’m coming or going emotionally.  I’m going back to my PCP in the fall (so I can lose some more weight and he won’t tell me how fat I am) to try to get everything straightened out.  One thing I do appreciate about the first part of the year is that it’s renewed my motivation to take control of my own health and pay attention to myself rather than simply trying to get out of bed in the morning.

Over the past two weeks, I’ve been going back and reading my previous blogs, and I noticed that the past several ones have been pretty superficial…I’m sorry for that.  Honestly, I’ve done a pretty good job of pretending that I was doing okay…half of me didn’t want to be seen as weak and the other half didn’t want to burden others since most of my acquaintances didn’t really care about my situation anyway.  This whole ordeal has given me a new perspective on my friends at work and has made me appreciate so much how they really do care about me.  Even though I’m not thrilled about being in the cubicle world all day, I’m pretty blessed with coworkers who are really my friends and who worry about how I’m doing.

Chris and Daisy, I’ve been clinging to you every day.  It’s been a great help to have your blogs to read first thing in the mornings.

My bridesmaid dress fitting is on Thursday and I’m totally dreading it like it’s a trip to the dentist or a pap smear or something.  I’ve only lost about twenty pounds, and I was aiming for fifty or sixty.  I don’t even know if it’s really going to make a difference in the size of the dress.  I’m going to keep working on it, though, and I’ll probably go back toward the end of September to get fitted again.

I’m back on the thesis horse.  I feel like I can do it now that I’m more mentally stable, so I’m going to get that sucker done and graduate in December.  It’ll be taking an extra semester, but I’m okay with that.

Phil is hanging in there.  He’s got some more chemo and then a scan on the 31st that’ll dictate whether or not he can have the surgery to remove the diseased part of his pancreas.  If so, the surgery will happen on September 14th.  He and his family are so amazing and so strong.

So, that’s the heavy part of my life-update.  Here’s what I’m looking forward to now that I’m not an emotional basket case:

  1. knitting again!!  I’ve got two patterns and pretty yarn for some excellent frocks for Miss Daisy the Curly Cat :).
  2. writing, both academically and personally.  Blogging has always been theraputic for me, and I really appreciate that there are a precious few people out there who, for some ungodly reason, are interested in what I have to say.  I love each and every one of you.
  3. frugality.  Since we bought the camper last month, we’re going to have to be much more prudent with our funds to be able to handle paying for it.  I’m looking forward to having frugal challenges again and seeing just how much we can do with our funds.
  4. Fall!  Summer isn’t really fun for me now that I’m not in school and don’t get any time off.  And now that it’s so freaking hot here now.  I don’t remember it being quite so hot when I was younger.  Fall is the time of year when I really thrive and I’m at my best.  There’s something about the crisp air, pumpkins, spices, the changing leaves, fall camping.  It makes me feel alive.

Well, that’s all of the inner monologue that I have tonight, folks.  I’m going to kick back on the couch, start another episode of Dirty Jobs, and hope that I’ll be able to doze off for a while before my alarm goes off at 6:15.

Lost and Floundering, But Otherwise, a Nice Vacation…

Most of my readers know that I went to Walt Disney World last week.  For those of you who don’t, I went to Disney World last week.  My in-laws very generously took us for four days.  We stayed at one of the Value Resorts in the Disney compound.  There were excellent times:

 like Joey spinning me so hard that I almost puked on the teacups;).

and Joey having a gift pack waiting in the room themed after one of my two favorite Disney movies ever!

to now owning every size of Stitch that Disney makes (don’t judge me).

to learning about one of my favorite topics in the world…

There were other cool things…we ate dinner at a SciFi-themed cafe in Hollywood Studios that played movie trailers from old movies…THREE of which had been MSTied, which was nerdily thrilling for Joey and me.  We got to ride Star Tours after all of the Star Wars folks finally left the park.  We had a swanky dinner at Jiko, the super-nice restaurant in the Animal Kingdom Lodge. 

On the flipside, the AC didn’t really work in the room, which really sucked, but at least Joey was able to get a one-night refund on both of our rooms.  And I had a panic attack the night that we got stuck in Magic Kingdom during the parade/fireworks show/child-stroller-apocalypse.  I have come to the conclusion that I just don’t really like being around that many people.  And, of course, the conspiracy theorist in me wonders how many terrorist attacks on those parks are foiled each year.  It’s just such a huge crowd of people.  So anyway, while I’m glad to have gotten to do it once, I’m undecided as to whether or not we’ll take our kids there.

Also, the frequency with which I became overwhelmed on trip, and my current state of malais-ey dread about the backup of work I’ll surely see tomorrow has left me kind of floundering right now.  I want to blog, but I get overwhelmed.  I take a day to relax and do nothing, and instead I end up spending all day thinking about how behind I’ll be at work and how I should be working on my thesis.  I used to like to make lists to motivate myself, and now I’m just overwhelmed whenever I even think about making them.  I have an appointment with a new psychiatrist on the 24th, so hopefully this will all get straightened out soon.

For now, I’ve got plenty of new stuffed animals to comfort me:)

And my Kins, who I missed a LOT:

I’ve had to spend a lot of today making up for our abandoning her.  And, even though we did have three pukes, we didn’t have any pees!!

I Got Nothing…

This is happening right now:

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You may notice that she’s in her harness.  We’re trying to get her used to it as we are working on getting an ultralight camper in the (relatively) near future and we want to be able to take her with us, which would require that she be on the harness/leash pretty constantly.  After half an hour of flopping around like she was dying, she’s discovered that the harness is not a torture device and is contentedly napping between my knees.

Today is supposed to be a thesis-working day, but thus far, I’ve made myself breakfast and watched the DVRed season premier of The Deadliest Catch.  I do intend to work hard on it today, though.  I promise (Dad).

The past few weeks haven’t been so great, honestly.  I need an adjustment to my meds, which won’t be coming until the 29th, and I’m going to have to pay out-of-pocket, which also sucks.  Work has been really stressful, which is both good (we’re getting more business, which is *excellent* for us) and bad (I’m having trouble keeping up with it all). My grandma fell and broke her wrist and her hip and had to have surgery.  We did get a nice weekend in the mountains last weekend, though (pictures to come…it was beautiful).

Unfortunately, this week showed me the ugly side of corporate America.  We had some “restructuring” which didn’t impact me directly, but affected the guy who took a chance on me six years ago and hired me even though I didn’t have any experience and knew nothing about the industry.  He’s a really good man and a good leader, and I feel blessed to have gotten to work for him.  He’ll still be with us, but in a different capacity, and it’s been a really hard thing to process while trying to keep up morale among us.  I still have a job, though, and I am grateful for that.  And I’m even more grateful that I love my team.

I’m also struggling with trying to let go of the desire to accomodate everyone.  I’ve always been that way, and it often leads me into friendships where I care about the other person more than they care about me…which breeds a lot of resentment on my end.  Detaching myself from that is something that I’m vowing to work on.

There’s no detaching me from this right now, though:

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🙂

Secrets of Successful Thesis Writing

I promised myself that I could blog as a reward for rewriting my introduction of my prospectus.  I don’t know how I’m going to bribe myself to get the rest done.  However, I will say, now that I have part of the rewrite under my belt, I am feeling much better.  I’ve also spent two hours or so corresponding with my advisor, and she has been really helpful, so the chances that I’ll spend tonight sobbing about anything/everything like I did yesterday are much lower.  It’s amazing to me how much being overwhelmed about this project can affect my ability to handle anything at all.  That and being home alone because Joey is on a trip with the guys (note to any freako pervs who may read this and want to break in:  I will shoot you dead.  And you can believe that).  I’m doing better with the solitude today, though.  It’s funny to me that, even though I enjoy and value time spent by myself, I don’t really like being alone all that much.  I can remember being a kid at home and crying all by myself when my parents went somewhere and I was home alone.  I wasn’t scared or anything, I just liked having them around.

I am getting more done without Joey here, though, so this is a blessing for me.  And, since he’s gone, Shelli is having to settle for second best and is currently sleeping on the couch with me.  I love this.  However, I am a slow coffee-drinker and have a bladder the size of a hamster, so I’m currently sitting here with lukewarm coffee and an intense need to pee.  Ah, the price we pay for the happiness of our fur-babies.

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Here’s what the other half of my immediate surroundings looks like.  Except now, there’s an empty tupperware container that had sliced deli ham in it.  Lunch of champions, folks…coffee and sliced ham.

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I’m totally amazed at the writing process for this prospectus.  I cannot begin to imagine what the next few months hold in the actual thesis-writing process.  I can tell you a couple of things I’ve learned thus far, though:

  1. Your first draft sucks.  Expect it.  Send it in, get criticism, pick out a few sentences that work, and then scrap the rest.
  2. Research *anything* that you think might have to do with your topic…not just about the novels you’re discussing.  In addition to the three novels I’m working on, I’ve ended up researching mental illness among Latino communities, mental illness and feminism, feminism in Caribbean literature…you name it.
  3. Think of your research as a pot of spaghetti; do a ton of it, and toss it at the wall to see what sticks.
  4. Ask, ask, ask, ask questions.  Dialogue with your advisor…about lots of things, not just the paper at hand.  This is a lot harder if you’re doing DE, but it’s worthwhile.
  5. Cut some slack in other areas of life.  I had to beg off on a slumber party last night that I was looking forward to.  I didn’t want to do it, but a peaceful evening at home spent sobbing about life and this paper, followed by a good night’s sleep left me refreshed and prepared to take on this paper this morning.  Some times you’ve got to be okay with letting things go.

OK, back to it.  Enjoy your Saturday!

2011: A New Year!

Today is going to be a good day!  It’s MLK day, so I’ve got the day off, and the morning is being spent like this:

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I can never pass up a Shellikins on the lap; it’s a rarity for me, since she usually wants to be on Joey all the time.  So, it dawned on me that, because things were so crappy, I’d neglected to post the resolutions I finally came up with for the year.  Here we go!

  1. Further My Education; (1) Graduate, (2) complete PhD applications
  2. Improve my health, fitness, and weight.  (1) reduce takeout to once a week, and make it last two meals if possible.  (2) Plan meals one week in advance. (3) eat mostly paleo and reduce refined carbs, (4) incorporate exercise every day!
  3. Lead a more peaceful life/reduce stress:  (1) Yoga at least once a week, (2) read Bible and pray every day, (3) have one fun outing with Joey every week, (4) establish morning and evening routines, both for myself and with Shelli, (5) incorporate 15 minutes of cleaning the house per day.
  4. Be a better friend/more thoughtful person
  5. Tighten back up financially, (1) the aforementioned reduction in takeout, (2), meal planning (getting our grocery/toiletries budget back down to $50 per week)

In an effort to improve both #2 and #5, we bought a Wii with the Wii Fit Plus package!  It was a bit of a steep up-front cost, yes, but when we did the math, we’ll save about $300 over the year over our memberships to our gym, which just isn’t convenient to us and doesn’t really fit our schedules.  I prefer to workout in the morning, but to do that, I have to get there at 5 am, right when the gym opens.  As much as I’d like to, I just can’t get myself up at 4:40 to be ready to leave at 4:45.  However, I can get up at 4:55 to do thirty minutes in the morning before I get in the shower!  Or even get up at 5 to do 30 minutes since it won’t really hurt to be five minutes later.

Here’s our home-screen:

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Initial thoughts:

  1. I do not appreciate that the little voice goes “Oooh!” when I step on the balance board/scale.
  2. It hurt to see my BMI and have the little voice tell me I’m obese and to imitiately change my Mii (avatar) into the chubby girl you see above.
  3. It’s TOTALLY awesome that you can enter your pet!  Shelli is just under 8 pounds, by the way, which is very healthy for her, so we’re not trying to change her weight with it.  However, she did NOT appreciate being held so that we could get her weight.  She got pretty pissed.
  4. It’s FUN!  It’s really nice to have something to work toward, and the games are great for a workout.  When I played it at my friend Katie’s house over the weekend, I was really sore the next day from the workout that I got…but it doesn’t usually feel like exercise because it’s a game.  Good stuff!

In other news, my prospectus draft has been submitted and I’ve gotten feedback, so the next step is revision and resubmittal, and then hopefully it’ll be good enough for submission to my committee for the meeting.  I’m feeling positive about it now rather than overwhelmed and my advisor is very involved in my progress, so I don’t feel nearly as lost.  Middle Eastern Lit has been interesting so far; I’ve read The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid, which was thought provoking and made me uncomfortable with my own thoughts/beliefs and assumptions.  That’s the sign of a good book, my friends; confronting uncomfortable realities isn’t a bad thing.  Too many people shy away from it.

That’s all; Maury is about to come on!