Sunday, March 25, 2007

Two things that are 100% Awesome

Firstly, I have become a subject of gossip in my ward.

I love it!

I've never been a subject of gossip before, and all of a sudden I hear that people are talking about me left & right! Hoorah! The other day, my sister told me that a group of Relief Society sisters sat around discussing ways to lose weight and used me as an example of someone who was making progress. Yay! Also, people keep coming up to me to express their congratulations on my acceptance to grad school. The only person in my ward I had told was my mom, who apparently helped get the rumor mill going. Thanks, Mom!

Secondly, if you go to this LiveJournal site, (Neon Dragon's), you will see this awesome picture here (plus another one of equal awesomeness):

Wow. What a great day.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Under Chobee's Protective Influence

Lest you think I am a cruel, cruel auntie, let me first of all inform you that I did not do this to my niece. She did it herself, before she fell asleep.

The reason she did it is simply this: Chobee is everyone's favorite terrycloth-covered, beanbagably-mushable, green little unidendifiable reptilian sort of action hero.

Yes, that's right. Action hero.

And, like Vin Diesel in The Pacifier (which I have never seen, and likely never will) he has moved on from being an actor who overthrows the powers of darkness (in Chobee's case said powers being embodied in the form of one unpronounceably Russian Dame) and then suddenly moves on to a fanbase of children.

It's quite a jump, really. The last time some of you saw Chobee, he was dashing out of trees and jumping down several stories to knock out Russian heads. (We won't mention the make-out scene here.)

And now, he is exerting his terrycloth protective influence over children. Specifically my niece. Who loves him dearly.

Alas. I could tell her now (but won't) that her heart will surely be broken. Chobee has never existed just for one girl, but for all.

(The little punk.)

Thursday, March 22, 2007

The Power of Resistance

I saw something highly disturbing (and also elating) today.

I saw pictures of myself from several months to a year ago. And let me tell you, they were not pretty. Really.

Despite my frustration with how slowly the whole weight-loss thing is going, I can't deny that I've come a long, long way in 6 months. Actually, looking at myself in the mirror after looking at my past self (via the amazing invention of pixels, not time-travel, sillies), I couldn't help but wonder where on earth all that...all that Me has gone. For it hath. Several poundages of it.

Frankly, I feel amazed that the little things I do every day (i.e. the resisting of delicious-looking English goodies, donuts, cookies, chocolate cake, White Bread, not to mention the three to five days a week I manage to get roughly an hour of exercising) have made a great deal of what made up my body disappear.

I mean, it is gone. (Well, not all of it, of course. I'm still not halfway to my goal (I had a LOT to lose) but I hope to reach the halfway point this Monday.)

Anyway--my point is ('Is there ever a point in my meanderings,' she thought desparingly to herself) how really powerful resistance is.

Yes, the exercise has been important. It's half of the equation, or so I believe. (You nutritional scientists out there would be able to give me a better idea of the actual ratio.) But I believe that a huge amount of the weight I've lost is due simply to the consistent resistance of foods I knew would make me want to eat more (sweet stuff, mainly) and by so doing either stall or reverse this weight loss.

So I just haven't eaten anything like that. Since late last year (October, I think). I mean, nothing. I haven't cheated on this diet except for one day a few weeks after I started where...well, the situation would have been difficult if I hadn't participated in eating the foods prepared for me.

People around me (particularly at work) keep saying to me that they're stunned at my self-control. Truth be told, I'm actually stunned myself. I didn't think I had it in me, which brings me to my real honest-to-goodness point:

We're all capable of doing things like this. Those same co-workers who express amazement at my food-resisiting ability say that they're just not capable of doing the same. But they are!

Previous to my experience these past 6 months, I thought that I would never be able to handle something like this for this long. Heck, the exercise part again was nigh-to-impossible, as I have a serious love affair going on with my bed and I am loathe to leave it. Ever.

But, I give up both sweet foods & my precious, precious sleeps. Why? Because this goal of getting down to a normal weight is something I've made more important than either of those things I genuinely loved.

It actually makes me wonder what else I'd be capable of doing (really, what anybody would be capable of doing) if I were more willing to just say to myself, "Self, I am doing this and there just simply is no way that I am not doing it. Not doing it is just not an option."

I've discovered I'm capable of getting halfway to a normal BMI in 6 months. I'm also capable of making the seemingly impossible (for me) leap to applying for grad school. I've also learned I'm capable of being pretty good at name indexing. And heck, even if I never finished that darn novel, at least I wrote 50,000+ words of it. Even if it was no good. I still did it.

Now, if I can just overcome the whole pride thing, I think I'll be sitting pretty. Er. But not prettier than anybody else. Really.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

New Motivations

I hate not exercising when I'm sick.

Of course, this is a new discovery, since I've never been a person who thought exercise was at all desirable in any form ever.

But now I am.


Today, despite that cough that just WON'T go away, I got up early, laced on my tattered sneakers and exercised for the first time since getting sick on Saturday. And, I've kind of half regretted it, because the coughing has been worse today, and I've felt utterly junky tired, like an 'Oh, I think I'm getting sick' type of tired, except it turns into 'Wait, I've suddenly realized that I just was sick, therefore this must be me recovering from being sick' type of tired.

Unfortunately, going without exercising tomorrow is simply not an option, because I've been feeling blehFATblah again, and the only cure for that (over a period of months and months) is to jam as much as I can to excellent Coldplay tunes and climb up the hills in my hometown while trying not to pass out because the air is so thin. (Great fun, that, actually.)

Oh, and also I avoid sweet things as if they're snake venom, which is really difficult to do when someone brings delectable and delightful English treats to our Middlemarch book club (Oh, fie, fie! Why dost thou tempt me thus?) which I force myself to refrain from eating and yet cannot resist numerous backwards longing glances.

I will now comfort myself with yet another sugar-free cough drop.

Mmm! Black Cherry!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Because I won't have time to blog tomorrow

I might as well blog right now!

Except I don't really have anything to blog about.

Hoho! Except for an awesome story my sister told me this evening! She was teaching her kids about the allegory of the olive tree in Jacob 5, and asked her daughter (who is, I believe, 5 at the moment) what she could do to try to be a 'good fruit.'

My niece pondered for a little bit, then responded, "Um, we could not steal babies?"


Now, of course not-stealing-babies is very important in the process of becoming a 'good fruit.' But why my 5-year-old niece was thinking about stealing babies, I just couldn't guess. But I loved the story.

And now you can too!

And now I will go to bed because I have a lot of driving to do tomorrow and I'm still recovering from my weekend of fever-induced crazy dreams. Hurrah!

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Bloody corpses and flying cars

Some highlights from the dream I woke up from this morning:

  • Flying cars
  • Flying people flying from the flying cars while wearing superhero suits
  • A horribly bloody corpse
  • Someone using said corpse to get stuff out of a vending machine without paying for it
  • Looking over and seeing that the guy I was with had a huge number of tatooed female names on his exceedingly brawny arms
  • Me putting parmesan cheese and salad into my hair because hey--that's just how I eat it, okay?

Random. And also weird (and somewhat disturbing). And so, so entertaining.

Friday, March 16, 2007



You know those days when you're going along, feeling pretty good about yourself, saying, "Yeah. I'm pretty much okay. I don't try to steal money from little old ladies and hello! I am SO rocking this whole customer service thing!"

And then something comes along and clubs you upside the head and you realize that you really, really, really stink.


And as much as you try, there's no way you can blame it on someone else, because it really is seriously your fault. You dropped the ball and you were stupid and you just kind of want to curl yourself into your stomach and swallow yourself whole (which really is a pretty nonsensical thing to try anatomically).

Ugh. I HATE days like that.

Yesterday was one of those days.

And I'm slowly approaching normal again, but I just keep remembering that...really angry email...and I just kind of get this ringing in my ears and I zone out for a few minutes remembering how much I really, really am no good. No, no. No good at all.

Of course, the temple helped yesterday evening (which is where I had planned to go anyway before something blew up on me; lucky coincidence). My sense of self-worth is definitely several points higher than it would otherwise have been. And, I'm sure that by Monday most of this will be safely padded on the inside of my head so it's not sharp and painful anymore.

But darn it, WHY CAN'T I JUST DO THINGS RIGHT? And then I wouldn't have those days. Those awful, awful, really bad days.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007


Driving home from work the same way every day is boring.

So I try to mix it up a little now and then by taking some back roads. (Well. Actually, every road back to my place is a back road, I think.)

One of my favorite drives goes by some empty fields, and in one of those fields is this:

(Here's a closeup of the sign beneath "Save the Dragon"):

I'm not sure what it used to be before becoming a medieval reptilian monster, but now (with the loving addition of some green & white spray paint) it's become a monument to whimsy, just something fun that someone put together once for no reason at all.

I wish I made things like this more often.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Five stages of happiness

I've never realized this before, but the stages of happiness actually closely mirror the five stages of grief.

For instance, when I received a letter today saying that I'd been accepted to an MLS program at the school I like the best, my stages of happiness were as follows:

1. Denial - I couldn't believe they had accepted me. I had to double check my name at the top of the letter to be sure they'd sent it to the right person.
2. Painful feeling of happiness (Grief: Anger) - Okay. So maybe it wasn't painful happiness, but my cheeks started hurting with all the smiling I was doing. Ouch!
3. Bargaining - My parents reminded me that this college isn't the only fish in the sea of MLS programs (man that analogy doesn't work well here) and I immediately started formulating arguments that would mean I should go to this program despite its higher cost and despite its being so darn far away from family.
4. Euphoria (Grief: Depression) - Whoooo! Defninitely in this one now! I kind of half-jumped on my bed, a thing which a woman in her late 20's definitely should never do.
5. Acceptance - Not quite ready to do this yet, since I do realize that my parents' fish/sea argument does have some merit. However, my gut is crying out for this place. (Which actually sounds really weird. I'm glad you can't hear it. Ew.)


I'm in.


Saturday, March 10, 2007

Just another reason why I am no earthly good:

I cannot play Brahms.

I have tried (for about 20 minutes sitting on a coffee table because our piano bench is currently in another room because we're painting the piano room, and yes I realize that 20 minutes isn't really that long) and I have discovered that I cannot do it.

There are too many notes.

And also sharps and flats, not to mention those dang naturals that creep in and throw me off.

Pshaw. I think I'll stick to hymns.

(Not really. I'm going to stick to this piece & seriously, seriously learn it. It may take several more 20-minute sessions at the coffee table, though.)

Friday, March 09, 2007

May I show you a beautiful man?

Oh. My gosh.

I just found an image on a Toby Stephens fansite. I can't seem to get it to show up in my post, so I'll link you there instead.

Here he is. (It's the large image on the right-hand side of the page.)

Ohmyheavens he's like a male embodiment of autumn and

Phew. I can't really breathe here. Uh. Just give me a minute...

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Today, while the wind was blowing

I felt like writing today. I'm not sure why; I think it had something to do with the smells coming off of the warming earth and the sight of the infant grass just raising itself into the lowering sunlight.

I wanted to write; I wanted to create; I wanted to be part of this burgeoning world that's just on the verge of becoming itself again.

And yet I didn't write today. I mean, aside from the writing I'm doing now.

I'm not sure why. I can only think that this is what most of the days of my life are made up of: this desire to grow and become and live fully at my potential, a desire slowly submerged in the mundane ways I spend my time.

I keep thinking that someday I'll get there; I'll be able to live fully at the height of my existence, but the hours spent reading books I have not written myself and the endless minutes spent in languorous perusal of websites and television shows all prove me wrong daily.

There is potential yet though, and I will meet it someday, but I grieve for all of this time that's slipping away unused.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007


All of my teeth fell out again last night. Or rather, early this morning, I think.

It was one of those times when they start coming out, and I can feel it, so (while sitting or standing in a large group of people) I mess around with my tongue trying to fit the detatched teeth back to where they belong in my gums, only to have more fall out from the movement.

At last, in despair, I go to the bathroom and let them all come out into my hands, where they sit, crumbled porcelain remnants of my molars, bicuspids and incisors. My incisors, the only ones still whole, I try to attach back onto my gums, gazing into a mirror as I carefully handle the small, translucent white teeth, placing them onto that smooth pink surface.

And of course, that's the moment the alarm goes off.

I've dreamed about losing my teeth before, but I don't know what it means this time.

The last time I dreamed it, my mom told me she thought it indicated a certain feeling of powerlessness. Something clicked in me when I heard the explanation; I felt an instant connection between the crumbling of my teeth and this feeling of helpless, flailing impotence I was experiencing in my life just then.

But now?

I don't feel powerless. I don't really feel anxious. Why on earth would I dream about losing all of my teeth?

And does the fact that the loss of my teeth made me look like Ruth Wilson (who plays Jane Eyre in the Masterpiece Theatre adaptation) have anything to do with anything?

Seriously. I'm open to explanations.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Living vicariously is great fun...until the DVD is over.

Having the new Masterpiece Theatre production of Jane Eyre on DVD is...well...'wonderful' is too mild a word.

I've watched it twice in the past 24 hours, and I've watched certain parts more than that.

And I love it.


But alas, the DVD comes to an end, and now here I am again, stuck in this life where I have my room to clean & laundry to do and no Mr. Rochester.

And so I guarantee that it won't be too long before I go and live Jane's life vicariously again. Not long at all.

Why books are like potato chips:

You can't have just one. Nossir, you can't.

For I tried.

I meandered over to Borders last night as part of a long list of errands I assigned myself, consisting mainly of things that I wanted to get but didn't really need. Typical.

I went to get a copy of Mitch Albom's For One More Day and ended up with a copy of The Time Traveler's Wife as well.

And it's because when I had the first book in hand, I couldn't conceive of just getting one. It was...impossible to wrap my mind around it, as though opportuntites to come to a bookstore were so rare that I couldn't pass up this opportunity to grab just one more book.

Nevermind that I already have shelf-fulls of books that I haven't read yet. Nevermind that I've already spent way too much money this week on non-essentials (like plane tickets & tickets to go see a local production of Hamlet (my absolutely favorite Shakespeare play) and, like, gasoline & stuff). Nevermind that those books will just sit on my shelf until I 'have time' (a non-existent yet hopeful-sounding imaginary future period of my life).

I bought them anyway.

And you know what? I still got a thrill from buying them. Yeah. Books just do that to me.