Saturday, October 28, 2006

Well, I have done it.

I'm gonna do it. At least I am going to start it. I am going to at long last work on my dream of the Great American Novel.

I have several short stories, but I am starting from scratch. I have an idea in my head of where I'd like to go and what I'd like to do .... but none committed to paper yet. I am very much looking forward to this. I love to write, but I mostly do short stories and "creative non-fiction"/ little essays (like my blog posts). But to actually work daily toward this .... it's going to be interesting!

We shall see how far I get. And to my fellow participants (Stacey, Susan, and a bazillion others, I'm sure) --- WE CAN DO IT!!!

Friday, October 27, 2006

A good birthday!

My birthday was actually two days ago (the 25th). I hit the big 3-7, but I'm a little weird -- usually in July, I start calling myself my future age. That way, when the birthday rolls around, I'm used to saying "I'm (#)" and it doesn't wig me out.

Last Saturday was my boss's 50th birthday party -- what a blast!!! Then Wednesday, my coworkers all took me to lunch. That night, Stacey, Chris, the kids and Nicole all took me to dinner. What a blast!

It's going to be a good year. I just know it in my soul and in my bones. To a good year!

Wazzzzzup? I'm in da house!

Today was the day we did our Halloween dress-up at work. Normally, it's done on Halloween, but for whatever reason this year (usually lots of drop-in guests lately), it probably wasn't feasible. So I dressed up as a thuggy-ghetto-fab girl.

I wore my athletic jacket -- navy and pink -- and a pair of navy yoga pants with a matching pink stripe down the legs. They are actually two different brands, but it worked well together. I also wore a hot pink do-rag -- the bandanna had little skulls all over it. I had picked up a sticky rhinestone phrase ("fabulous") at AC Moore -- PERFECT for my do-rag. I actually have another one in navy at home that says "DIVA!" but I couldn't find it. Oh well -- this one worked. And for the crowning touch, I bought some chain -- literal chain -- out of the hardware section at Wally World last night. I also bought a big ol' honkin' X-Men alarm clock (hey, it was on sale; it could have been Barbie for all I cared). Yup -- a Flava-style neckpiece!

I was hoping to win "Most Opposite of Your Personality" -- but our sales manager dressed as a vampira/witchy creature and won. She's one of the sweetest people, so it really was opposite of her. There weren't too many of us who dressed up compared to last year, but it was STILL a lot of fun. The shop guys, who usually don't dress up, declared themselves nudists on strike.... that was funny!

And this is another reason I love my job!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

A real FMR moment yesterday -- and the past, revisited

I had a great weekend in the Coastal Empire with Talmadge and Seraphim. It was lots of fun, loads of laughs, good deep conversation, and complete silliness. I turned into a 7-year-old all over again, simply with one showing of Tweety & Sylvester, backed with Jabberjaw. Ahhhhh -- Jabberjaw!

Anyway, on Saturday, Tal asked me if I knew my right front tire had a screw in it. No .... no, I did not. So before I left on Monday, I stopped by their local Wally World for a tire. An hour later, I was on the road and happily heading for home. Right before dinner, my dad asked, "Did you say you got a new right front tire?" When I replied affirmatively, he said, "It's flat."

No. No. No...... Yes. Well, FMR (a phrase I use often, but I'm engaging in some self-censorship. Suffice to say the last word is "running). I had driven less than 300 miles on this tire. No way should it have done that. So this morning, I went to the local Wally and they gladly replaced it. Turns out it was definitely defective. There were two minor holes just past the tread but not to the sidewall, and the technician said there was no sign of puncture.

Back to work tomorrow -- the vacation has been fun, and I'm rested and ready to get back to work!

***

I actually went to Wally twice today -- I had to come back once the tire was actually on the car, so that they could do some additional checking. Okay, no problem. And it gave me a chance to do some shopping that I didn't get to do this morning.

I went to the buggy area, and got behind a lady with two sons. As I was putting my purse in the front section, I heard the phrase, "Yes, that's her -- hey (my real name)!!" It was some folks who were members of one of the churches I used to work for. I hadn't seen the boys in ages, and couldn't believe how tall they'd gotten! They're both junior high/high school age, and I remember when they were still in elementary school.

Later on, after I had checked out and was heading back to the automotive area, I saw one of the kids I used to teach in CCD (Sunday School). She has always come up to me with a huge hug, and today was no exception. I got to meet her boyfriend -- a very nice young man.

Just two seconds ago, I picked up the phone, and it was someone else from church -- sharing some fantastic wonderful news that has happened to her in the last few weeks. I am amazed that she found me -- I hadn't really talked to her since I left the office. But I am just in awe that she sought me out to tell me.

I miss seeing the people from church on a regular basis. Not that I'd change the way things are now; not in a million years. But I do miss them. It's nice to see them and catch up on things. And it humbles me that they still think so much of me.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

HAAAA! Take that, Doc!

Let me start this story in Summer 2004. I had noticed a pattern in my body that I wasn't liking. After doing a little research on WebMD, I determined that chances are I was having migraine headaches. So I made an appointment with my family doctor's practice. The name on the door says "(Blahblah) Family Practice," but really it's owned by a local hospital. Doc Blahblah sold it a few years ago, when he reached retirement age. He's still practicing there, but on a limited basis. So I got to meet the new doctor.

Two years later, the jury is still out on this doctor. He's very intelligent, and he certainly made the office far more technologically savvy. He's big into EMR - Electronic Medical Records - and there's a laptop in every exam room, the nurses' station, etc. He's also very no-nonsense in the way he gives you news. Doctor Blahblah, whom I've known forever, is one of those kind, sweet souls, and delivers the news in a very personal, loving way. Doctor Newguy does not. He delivers hollow-point bullets to you.

So on the first visit, we talked about my migraines. And eventually, we meandered over to my weight. He was not happy that I chose not to step up on the scales (and technically, they couldn't make me). So he then said, "Have you ever considered gastric bypass surgery?"

GBPS was and is kind of a hot-button issue with me. I am sure there are plenty of people who need it -- the truly super-obese who can no longer move without assistance, kind of like what you see on Discovery Health. But for me -- I'm mobile (maybe slower than I would like, but I can move), I'm in otherwise good health, I don't have any of the health issues (diabetes, etc.), so other than my weight alone, why in hell would you even suggest it? And I don't like the odds that 1 out of 200 don't make it off the operating table. I do not know how I know it, but somehow I just know that I would be that one.

I looked at him as though he'd just passed a large amount of gas in my direction. He backpedaled and explained that one of his nurses at his old practice had just had it the year before and it worked so well for her. I told him the topic was not up for discussion -- it was a big fat NO!

Last year, he didn't even broach the subject.

This year was the first visit since I've joined Weight Watchers. He was mightily, mightily impressed that I have lost 52.4 pounds in 5 months. Impressed enough to ask questions -- how I was doing it, what it took, where was I noticing the losses most. He was beaming almost as much as me.

Take that, Doc. Take that feeling of doing it myself, but of knowing where I can get help. Take that feeling of confidence that I have going through me every day, of knowing that I can do whatever I set my mind to! Take that!

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Once upon a time...

I listened to a CD this week that I hadn't put in the old machine for quite a while: Mary Chapin Carpenter's Stones in the Road. It has long been a favorite, but there was a long time that I just couldn't listen to it. It brought back memories I'd just as soon forget.

But this week, I felt compelled to listen again. I had been listening to the song "Jubilee" and remembered why that song attracted me. Yes, it still made me sad for all the things I connected to the song, but I also realized what a wonderful, hopeful song it is. So I decided to listen to the whole CD again.

I had to take it out after a couple of spin-throughs; it made me a little wistful. I realized how many various memories the songs brought back -- not just memories of the relationship but of various stages in my life. "House of Cards" reminds me of some of the less pleasant childhood memories -- too many cases of Mama being more worried about HER reputation than of whatever thing I was going through. If I heard "don't do anything to embarrass us" (meaning her) once, I heard it a dozen times. "Outside Looking In" hit a little too close to home too many times in my life .... and especially for the time I associate with this CD most. "John Doe No. 24" has always made me sad. I still love the "happy" songs on there -- "Shut Up & Kiss Me" and "Tender When I Want To Be" and especially "Jubilee."

It's also still one of my favorite CD's -- because it hits so close to home; because the songs aren't necessarily wrapped up in a pretty package; because there is no resolution. If you've never listened to it, do yourself a favor and listen.

Monday, October 02, 2006

I am completely verklempt....

This morning about 9:30, I watched as my coworkers gathered around my desk. I had no idea what was going on....... Finally, one of them spoke up and said, "We are so proud of you, and all the weight loss you've accomplished so far, that we wanted to get you a little something." Inside was $50 in cash -- a dollar per pound so far. And the instructions to buy myself something new that would fit just beautifully -- not to spend on groceries, or on gas, or anything else but something new to wear.

I nearly cried. I was completely overwhelmed by their support and their generosity! We have joked for a while about my "MC Hammer" pants -- baggy all over and u-g-l-y, I truly have no alibi....

And truth be told, I do need to go shopping for something new. Everything I own -- okay, just about everything -- is too big somewhere, either the waist, the knees, the thighs, the arms, the whatever.

I'm totally floored. Just completely floored, and incredibly thankful!!!! And so to Beth, Cindy, Elena, Heather, Kelly and Pam, you will always have my heartfelt gratitude for all the love and support!!!!!!! Y'all are terrific!!!