Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Plan B

Today, I:
  • had a couple sips of coffee before leaving for work;
  • ate melted cheese on toast for breakfast;
  • am drinking yet more coffee at work;
  • am trying to strategize Plan B.

Plan B is not a new plan, it is simply a plan that didn't get as much air time as Plan A. A very interesting weekend passed, ending (in a way) with my boyfriend calling me yesterday after work. Plan A (trucking school) was scrapped in favor of Plan B, him leaving trucking. He is probably as I type this packing his stuff to come to California.

Sudden? Well, I made the offer about four months ago. And three months ago. And the other week. So, yes, as far as a turnabout is concerned, it's sudden, but the offer has been longstanding, so this is not something totally out of left field.

This should be interesting. I need to clean everything. I have seriously been letting things go around the apartment, and now I have to seriously pick it all up. Time to finally plug in that new vacuum, scrub the bathtub, and clean the freezer. Time to make space in the medicine cabinet and thank goodness he can't carry furniture on a bus.

So. What is going to happen?

I will most likely be at my current job for a while longer, despite the tendinitis. I will save up for those doula classes I was thinking about (instead of saving for trucking classes) and concentrate once again on writing and art as a means out of the office, as well. I am also formulating plans to exploit the aforementioned boyfriend as a model for painting. Hehe.

Wish us luck!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Brace Yourself

I'm having ideas lately. (More on that after the food.)

Yesterday, I:
  • skipped breakfast yet again;
  • did not enjoy it;
  • had a bagel with cream cheese and nutritional yeast for lunch;
  • had a scrambled egg sandwich for dinner, just like I did the day before;
  • did a lot of Internet research.

Today, I:

  • had a fried egg on a whole wheat English muffin for breakfast for breakfast;
  • drank a cup of warm milk with instant coffee in it;
  • made myself late for work as a consequence.

I got a wrist brace for my left wrist, and I'm sleeping in it, and I am doing virtually no knitting or crocheting. Which is annoying. (I'm biting my nails instead. Good? Bad? See why I knit. I am fidgety.)

I am considering a major career change. This one is giving me tendinitis, for goodness sake! (Okay, well, maybe I wouldn't have tendinitis if I didn't knit and spend nine hours a day on a computer, but if something has to go to reduce strain... we know it isn't the knitting, is all I'm going to say.) And I have a very interesting option which most people I know will consider insane. Not because it is dangerous, or involves something indecent or actually crazy, but because it's kind of unconventional and out of left field.

My boyfriend (not partner or whatnot, merely boyfriend) is a trucker. I am on the phone (we both have headsets) over six hours a day. (Seriously - if a bug hits his windshield in an interesting splatter pattern, I know about it.) He is planning to truck for at least another year, but not more than two. He knows it's not a long-term lifestyle option for him: he has hobbies he can't do in a truck, and he wants to have kids that actually recognize him. And I am sick of offices. Do you see where this is going?

I'm researching trucking schools. If I team with him, his pay would go up several thousand dollars, and even though I'd technically be making half of what I make now, my overhead costs would be so much lower that I'd actually be able to save more money than I do now. (Which is presently zilch.) And while it's hard work, I'd get to see the country. Plus, if we can't live in truck together, it's probably not meant to be, but I doubt that. He seems to doubt that, too, because he was one the one who said Yes Please.

Unfortunately, I have a lease that doesn't expire until June (or July?), and two cats. I'm strategizing how to deal with the lease, and I think I could get family or friends to surrogate the cats. My main concern, actually, aside from the fact that I need to get in shape to pass some of the physical requirements of the job, is telling my friends. Esp. the California ones, who have been helping me settle in and nest. When (if?) I end up packing it all up and putting it in storage, they will probably be a) hurt and/or b) pissed. But I really can't do this lifestyle much longer, and the only problem I had with a transitory lifestyle before was the insecurity about money and where to sleep. That is not really a problem with trucking, since it is a job and one lives in the truck.

Plus, knitting is portable.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Sports Injuries

Yesterday, I:
  • had leftover clam chowder with a whole wheat English muffin for lunch with a Diet Coke;
  • caved in and got a medium curly fries and a bottle of water from Jack n the Box on the way home;
  • had cheese melted on toast for dinner;
  • drank a couple shots of sake (I'm really doubting whether this stuff has alcohol in it or not!);
  • called my little sister;
  • rummaged through my knitting mags for baby patterns.

Today, I:

  • skipped breakfast again. My bad.
  • am drinking coffee in its most doctored manifestation;
  • am wondering what to do about my hands.

I'm going to say something very obvious now, such as: "Hands are important." Especially my hands, thank you very much. I use them a lot. (And that is another understatement.) I spend about nine hours on a computer at work every day, and when I am not on the computer, I am knitting or crocheting or something else... handy. I'm 34 so I guess it's only expected that I might start to notice my body turning mutinous on me by doing things like having my hands swell up and display symptoms of CTS.

So, a bit of swelling today, even though my knitting and crocheting the past couple days has been minimum. (Four or five rows of 116s! That's all!) I have even been dragging my ass at work on the computer to give my hands a rest. But all to no real avail. My left wrist is killing me, and both hands are sore. It is really annoying. I already take breaks when knitting, but that doesn't seem to matter. Strangely enough, these left wrist flare ups have little to do with how much I am knitting. They come seemingly out of nowhere. Seriously. I have mainly been crocheting lately, and I have had plenty of times when I've whipped out a sweater in eight or nine days without so much as a whine from my hands. It's really inexplicable.

Salt could be a bit of a culprit still. Note those curly fries yesterday? Note the slight swelling I am feeling in both hands and forearms right now? True, the swelling feeling didn't start directly after the curly fries, but it was only last night, and I haven't really been doing anything different than usual. There is still some room for doubt. I need to get a bit more scientific about this.

I'm thinking I need to get a wrist brace. Or two. Continue to lay off the handicrafts as much as I can stand, do hand exercises, drink lots of water, and maybe even do something radical like try one of those allergy discovery diets where you're eating gruel or something 24/7 and then add things to see what you react to.

Any suggestions?

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


In my dream the other night, I was angry because I was being co-opted in motherhood; all my efforts where appropriated by others who felt they had that right before I even had a chance. (In the dream, I didn't even get to see the baby before my family took it.) I had gone through nine months of pregnancy, labor, etc., only to have others treat me like I was just making something for them.

It's an interesting issue, to be sure. You may have noticed in my previous post that I mentioned that my little sister is kind of complicit in the co-opting of her own motherhood: while she protests verbally, her actions are the opposite. She needs help, but she is getting the help from people who don't trust her to manage things on her own in any way. As a result, getting someone to babysit so that she can work becomes a battle to have custody of the child at all. And as a teen mother who is very insecure in herself to begin with, she's losing.

I imagine she is very conflicted. It is hard to go from not having your own independence and concrete identity to motherhood in our culture. (Young women are not prepared for it. Not that they should or shouldn't be, but that's just the facts as I see it.) Which is why this new baby worries me so much. My sister could get even more lost in all of it. Or she could get it together somehow. I don't know.

While I know that what is happening to my sister won't happen to me, and wouldn't have happened to me at her age (not just because I wasn't sexually active, but because I am an altogether different person) there is still the danger of some co-opting, no matter what. Family and government, for better or worse, tend to think they have a right. This is a real stress for me when I think about having children someday, because I wildly disagree with my family on many issues, and with the government on some key points. For instance, I know my family will want me to bring the kid(s) around for key holidays, etc., but... I am not Christian. They aren't really, either - as long as I can remember, my family has practiced a kind of secular Christianity. Mainly, I think, to conform with society. Rebelling against that will be an uphill battle.

Hell, just telling them I think midwifery is a better option than an OB/GYN would be huge drama.

Fortunately, I don't get any pressure from my parents to "give" them grandchildren; if they spoke like that to me, I'd move to Alaska. Or New Zealand. And then have kids, and send them photos every now and then. I won't be having children because it fits into their plans. Or even the father of the children's plans. I'm firmly behind equal co-parenting, but I'm not having kids as a present for someone else. No sirree! It happens to be my body, my life.

So, many dreams. Nightmares. Nights awake, analyzing. Wishing family wasn't just a collection of people with similar genes who can be loved, but not necessarily liked, or even lived around harmoniously.

Frickin' Babies

Yesterday, I:

  • had a sprouted bagel with cream cheese and a coffee for breakfast;

  • had another sprouted bagel with cream cheese with a Diet Coke for lunch;

  • ate a piece of chocolate and two packages of crackers (the kind you get with soup in a restaurant) on the walk home to avoid fainting from hunger;

  • ate a bowl of clam chowder with toast for dinner;

  • chugged some Crystal Light.

This morning, I:

  • had a piece of chocolate on the BART platform on the way to work;

  • have skipped breakfast because I was late to work and didn't want to dawdle in the office kitchen;

  • am drinking coffee;

  • checked my email through my phone while walking to work and found out my eighteen year old sister is pregnant AGAIN;

  • nearly started to cry.

Not out of envy, mind you. More like the sort of reaction one has when they see a bus heading straight toward someone they love. And I'm not saying this because she's eighteen and unmarried and lives with our dad. There are a lot of ways where, under those conditions, her pregnancy would be a cause for joy. She could be one of those teen mothers one sometimes encounters that put so-called adult parents to shame with their dedication and joy in parenting. It could be a profound, life-changing experience that brings everything into perspective and enriches life-


That is not what is happening. What is happening is my dad unofficially adopting the child she already has because she is busy partying. The child recognizes our younger sister more than he recognizes her, because our younger sister spends more time with him. Perhaps it won't always be this way, but that's how it is now, and I must say our dad is partly to blame. It is right that he should try to help where he can, but there is a difference between helping out with a baby and co-opting it that he hasn't distinguished yet. It's all a big mess, frankly, and it's only going to get messier.

So, stay tuned! More baby knitting to follow. I only hope the other stuff I made wasn't thrown out or given away. Now, to go gnash my teeth and rend my hair...

P.S. - the bridge in the previous post? That's the Golden Gate. Love California summers!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Weekend, and baby lust

Friday, I:

  • had a sprouted bagel with cream cheese for lunch, along with the emergency food (have I already mentioned this?);

  • went home and... (hmm. What did I eat? I know it wasn't fast food...)

  • Oh! Had a Rainbow Dragon sushi roll from the Berkeley Bowl, and a small can of anchovies on whole wheat crackers with sharp cheddar cheese;
  • drank much foggy sake, to little effect;
  • watched Only You, which I seem to recall watching in the theater when it came out, alone, because my partner-boyfriend-whatnot did not do romantic comedies (or Harry Potter);

  • fell asleep with the phone on. (But it's okay - it didn't count towards our minutes!)

Saturday, I:

  • woke at 8:30 am, thinking it was at least noon;

  • had a whole wheat English muffin with sweet organic butter;

  • wondered why my butter had no flavor;
  • drank instant coffee with some Mexican hot chocolate;

  • reminded myself to someday get a coffee press again;

  • went to the city (in this case, SF), and walked forever along the Presidio while drinking hot cocoa;

  • ate a banana;
  • had half a veggie burger with guacamole, lettuce, ketchup, and bacon (I know, contradictory) and some mac and cheese and a hot chai in the Castro;
  • bought way too much yarn;
  • had cheese raviolis for dinner, with marinara sauce, as well as more sake;
  • ate the rest of that burger;
  • fell asleep with the phone on, but he noticed and hung up.

Sunday, I:

  • had a whole wheat English muffin toasted with butter and cheese;
  • drank coffee?
  • polished off the raviolis;
  • polished off all my potatoes, too;
  • had an English muffin with tofu dogs glued to them with cheese;
  • dug some pecans out the back of the cabinet to eat;
  • ate them;
  • wondered where all the food went;
  • knit booties for a co-worker;
  • thought about babies to the extent that I dreamt about them last night.

I heard somewhere that dreaming of babies was a sign of impending doom. (That interpretation could be interpreted many ways in itself.) In my dream, I had a baby, but my family was so proprietorial about my baby that they had it for a couple days, and then the hospital had it for a couple days, and when I finally got to fetch it, I was supremely pissed. Everybody else had been so involved I hadn't even had a chance to see what my baby looked like. I started yelling at the hospital staff about it, how my breastfeeding plan was all f*ck*d up and I was without milk because something like four days had passed sans baby, etc., and I wouldn't be able to nurse now. (And when I say I was pissed, I mean pissed. I even woke up affronted and angry.) On top of it all, the baby was ugly.

I don't think this is a sign of impending doom. I think this is just my subconscious mulling over what I've been thinking about lately. You may notice that my mention of my partner-boyfriend-whatnot is now in the past tense; he did not die or anything, rest assured, nor did some thing similarly disastrous happen. It's just that after seven years together he finally realized he really won't ever be ready to have kids and I basically had to choose.

I am 34.

Baby won.

So, baby on the brains. I even have a victim - I mean, volunteer for this business. But in a romantic way. Notice all that falling asleep on the phone in the text above? That kind of behavior has been going on for some time now. About seven months. It's someone I used to know from my home town who is now a trucker and always... elsewhere. Ohio. Wyoming. Or, like at present, New Mexico, soon to be Arizona. Through happy coincidence, we both remembered each other very, very well, and through another happy coincidence, he practically had an apoplectic fit of joy when I mentioned why my former partner-boyfriend-whatnot got left behind in the foul East Coast weather. So, no baby right now, but maybe in a year or two, eh? It looks like it's going that way.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Kitten Breakthough

When I woke up this morning, Simon was asleep at the foot of my bed. Very, very slowly, I reached down and pet him, then I slinked out of bed - I didn't want to scare him off of it. (Meanwhile, Jamieson is looking at me from the other side of the bed like, "Hey? What about me?") I go to the bathroom and when I come out, Simon is in the hallway actually preening for attention. So I picked him up, took him to the kitchen, poured him some food, and...

The little fella is afraid of the cat food bag. I did eventually catch him and show him the food wouldn't hurt him.

But the main thing is, he's a little less skittish.

Yesterday evening, I:
  • caved and ate the piece of British milk chocolate;
  • had baby red potatoes sauteed in canola oil with diced red onion and chopped up tofu dogs for dinner;
  • had a cup of the fruit smoothie;
  • drank a glass of mixed wine;
  • decided that if I am indeed serious about getting that 1923 crochet dress done by Halloween, I should get back to working on it;
  • continued to work on a tan/beige/white afghan I've been doing lately anyway.

This morning, I:

  • am drinking hot cocoa with a teaspoon of instant coffee. (It's Friday! I need it!)
  • have decided to have my breakfast bagel for lunch;
  • because I forgot lunch and am going to have to eat the emergency food at some point, and I'd rather it not be during lunch.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Feed me!

Last night, I:

  • ate a lot of sauteed veggies with quinoa and salmon cooked in butter and lemon juice;
  • drank a glass or two of wine;
  • had about half a cup of green tea ginger ice cream;
  • drank a "qualude" and a "snowflake";
  • took a taxi home;
  • oh, and it was knit night.

See? It's getting a bit better!

Today, I:

  • had leftover salmon, veggies and quinoa for lunch (lots of it);
  • ate a sprouted bagel with cream cheese and nutritional yeast for breakfast;
  • have drunk two Lipton teas, straight, and a Diet Coke;
  • am dying of hunger, and it's only 4:30 pm.

See what I mean by metabolism? I've been sitting at a desk for almost nine hours, have eaten quite a bit (I portion of salmon (1/8 lb?), a cup of quinoa, two cups of veggies... I'd call that a fair portion. Wouldn't you? And when I say "cup," I mean coffee cup size.) and I am starving. Seriously, I don't know how I am going to make it. I have a piece of that British chocolate in my purse, and I have some emergency food given to me by a friend that I'm supposed to hide in my filing cabinet for emergencies (7 oz. unsweetened dried fruit bar, and a 1 oz. package of seiten teriyaki "meatless jerky" - she swears they stand in for a meal, and she is someone who would know) and it is taking amazing willpower to not devour it all. And it's only been one day. I've been considering adopting an exercise regimen, and I can only imagine what state I'd be in right now if I was also burning calories from something other than typing.

Boy, would I love to be ripped like Linda Hamilton. But alas, I do not have a personal trainer, and what's more, I am not sporty or inclined to do much other than sit and knit or sit and read or walk to somewhere where I can do the aforementioned activities.

Now, to do something about this stomach...

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

And so it goes

Yesterday evening, I:

  • ate a piece of milk chocolate from the British Isles;

  • had a gulp of banana/apricot/Russian yogurt/orange juice smoothie;

  • ate leftover bread sticks with sharp cheddar cheese melted on top (new toaster oven!);

  • had about a cup and a half of sauteed chopped spinach with garlic, red onion, and butter;

  • drank some warm Sprite.

I know, I make it sound so glamorous.

Today, I:

  • had half a cup of the fruit smoothie for breakfast before running out the door;

  • ate a plain bagel with cream cheese from a dreaded coffee chain near my work;
  • am drinking Lipton with no sugar or cream;
  • forgot lunch!

Cat Update

So that little tabby I just got? He is very shy, unless you catch him and make him like it. However, he has interesting nocturnal tendencies. For instance, I was lying in bed this weekend - about to pass out- I mean, fall asleep - after getting back from a show in the city - and I felt something at the foot of the bed. Then I felt something on my foot. Then my other foot. I tried to move, but that only encouraged this mysterious entity, this... toe biter. (After a half hour, it stopped.)

Since Jamieson hasn't perpetuated this kind of bedroom behavior in at least five years, I have reason to believe it was the kitten, Simon. This has since been confirmed, because he gets very excited when I am about to lay down for the night. He even goes to far as to walk up my chest and look at me to see if I am moving my hands under the covers. Then I say something, and poof! he is away, because he then remembers I am in the room. And I am so scary! So scary, it takes him about a half hour to come back and do it all over again.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Diagnosis: Too Salty

My hands are swelling like crazy today, and the reason why is not obvious. CTS has been suggested, but I have no tingling or numbness. I cruised the Internet for possible causes (I am a generally healthy person, albeit I have the kind of blood pressure that worries nurses – 98/60) and I think it may be my sodium intake. I am about 124 lbs., and in the past two days I have eaten a large pizza and Jack n the Box, and basically nothing else. Just a tad salty.


Solutions that may prevent me from having to use my medical insurance for something that is probably nothing…

Diet. Exercise. Research. I need to take better care of myself.

Keep in mind, to me, the word “diet” doesn’t not mean “starvation.” It means “nutrition.” So, I am embarking on something kind of like that Month of Vegan I did a while back.

The most obvious thing here is the elimination of fast food from my system. No more Taco Bell at 2am after the bar, no more breakfast sandwiches while walking to work. No more. Bad girl! Bad! *deletes pizzeria phone number from cell phone*

Fortunately, I have already begun a meat reduction in my diet. Or I think I have? Well, practically speaking, that may not be happening, but the desire is there, which is half the battle.

Beyond that, I dunno. Drink more water? It’s so hard to pinpoint what the right thing to do would be. Everybody’s body is different, reacts differently to different diets, etc., so what may be logical for someone else may not work for me. I am not overweight, which is usually in this slim-figure oriented society the first thing addressed when it comes to feeling good and being healthy. I have never been overweight, although my metabolism is slowing a bit now that I’ve past the three-decade mark, but I’ve got one of those metabolisms where I get hungry ever forty minutes or so. (Munchie, munchie, that’s me. I need fuel to generate all this nervous energy.) I walk a lot, but I don't "exercise." ...maybe I should get a jump rope?
So, the short of it is I'm going to be posting what I eat once again. Here we go!
Today I:
  • had an egg with bacon and cheese on a croissant and hash brown sticks for breakfast;
  • had a burger slathered in "cheese" for lunch, but rejected the bacon;
  • drank two cups of Lipton with vanilla flavor creamer;
  • am drinking a Diet Coke;
  • and am forcing down a glass of water.
You can see how bad it is.

Monday, August 04, 2008

New Addition

This is Simon. I got him from the Berkeley pound Saturday. He looks a little cowed in this picture, and so far, that is his normal expression. He's about five months old, and is a bit skittish. But there are signs of him becoming as much of a attention nuisance as Jamieson.

He has been with Jamieson 24 hours so far. They are already chasing (bounce, bounce, bounce!) each other up and down the hall, then hissing when the other gets too close, then doing it again. Considering I got Simon so that Jamieson would have someone to play with, I think this is a success.