Friday, June 10, 2011

Surrender Dorothy

Way before tornadoes started ripping throughout the U.S. lately, I have always been a tornado dreamer. Tornadoes have been showing up in my dreams since I was a kid; maybe as a reaction to that, I've always been fascinated by them.

Until the tornadoes in my dreams started sucking me up into the funnel and then throwing me out -- and I wake up right as I'm about to hit the ground. And then tornadoes started touching down in my state and county. Dreamz just got realz.

I Googled "dream meanings tornadoes" and was expecting the usual -- they mean turmoil, or change, or I've just been watching too much Weather Channel. One interpretation I thought was interesting was: Tornadoes are air, and air in dreams supposedly represents the thought process. The spinning motion can mean your thoughts are spinning and you don't know which way to go. Or so the hippie website said.

That hippie moon-catcher dream lady sounds right. I've been going through a lot emotionally lately and actually have been considering a few changes with much related stress -- to the point where I considered going back on Celexa, but didn't. Because I didn't want to gain weight again. I'm a paragon of health.

My mom has always had tornado dreams too -- maybe it's hereditary, or maybe we're both just drama queens (Everyone we know: "Drama queens.") I either need to get my emotions/thoughts under control or really pay attention to those storm warnings from the Creepy Hobbit Weather Guy on my local station.

Right now, the only vortex I see is the swirling vortex of procrastination. Back to work.

Friday, May 13, 2011

In Which I Depress Myself or Squick Myself Out on Purpose

For some reason, I am attracted to articles/stories/news that are either crushingly sad/depressing or so horrifying/gross that I've been scarred after reading or seeing them. I'm a very visual person, so just reading something that is graphically described will just play on an endless loop in my head.

I guess I wouldn't say I'm attracted -- more like plain stupid. Repeatedly.

I can talk about this now (because I am no longer scarred--OK, fine, I'm no longer having nightmares about it) but my most recent example of this stupidity involves an article on The Awl a month or so ago about cannibal fetishists, or basically people who want to be eaten and find that exciting even though the end result is being dead. I know. I am an asshole for even clicking on the link to read it. But since The Awl tends to be snarky fun and I had the idea that it was just about communities of people who talked on discussion boards about it (and that was also covered in the article), I started reading. And then the article started talking about a dude WHO WAS ACTUALLY EATEN, and that there were VIDEO RECORDINGS of how it happened that they would then GO THROUGH IN GRAPHIC DETAIL.


So guess who didn't stop reading? Yeah. I can't even link to the article because I don't want to subject someone else to it.

It was like I was driving and couldn't stop in time to keep from running over a squirrel. I just could not stop reading. And then picturing it. And then freaking out to the point where I actually broke out in a cold sweat. Who does that to themselves?

I was traumatized. I tried talking to my husband about it later that night because nothing makes you feel better about something awful than forcing other people to experience it. I still had crazy dreams about it that night and for a few nights after, and then for weeks I'd be driving or running or whatever and into my head would pop SOME DUDE TRIED TO EAT HIS OWN JUNK. Why God why??

So I share this story of my epic dumbassery as a public service: Don't be me. That's good advice on many levels, but particularly in this case. I can't even get into why I always end up reading stories about spouses and children dying, end up tears, and then internally yell at myself for putting those vibes into the universe. I think the cannibal article is my swan song of Fucked Up Shit I End Up Reading.

It's puppy dogs and ice cream from here on out.

Thursday, May 5, 2011


It's been about a week since I found out I got an A in Statistics. I know, right? Me? Who barely got through basic Algebra II that was a requirement to graduate high school, even though I was taking Physics, AP English and had taken every science class offered by Stafford County? Well, except AP Biology because I refused to skin a cat -- plus it conflicted with AP English which I knew I would do well in. Anyway. Back to me usually sucking at math.

I was a typical overachieving student who did well in everything except math; even the sciences that require math, like Chemistry and Physics, were fine for me because for some reason when applied to science, math made sense. Otherwise, nah. It took me forever to learn how to tell time on a clock. In 7th grade I had all As on my report card except math. I managed to squeak out a C after pulling a D+ during one of the grading periods. The shame, the shame. And that shame has pretty much followed me throughout my learning life -- anytime math is involved, I freeze. No one was more relieved to take the first calculator-enabled SATs than I.

Statistics was on its way to becoming the same albatross as other math classes; the prof wasn't that engaged, when I read stuff it kind of went over my head, using the Excel tools to pull the data was fine, but interpreting them afterward was like wha? I was starting to sweat this whole shebang. Then I had to prepare for my midterm. So I decided I was going to start over and be good at this, dammit. I read the chapters out loud to myself like I was in first grade. I did all the practice problems. I reinterpreted examples to apply them to my life instead of the sample in the textbooks. I worked hard -- which for a Type-A classic Good Girl student with a photographic memory, was challenging. I'm not used to having to study to know something. ;)

I got an A. By myself! Oh, it was on.

And then I got a B on the second exam and promptly spiraled into panic mode. Maybe the A the first time was a fluke. I'm going to fail the final OMG.

Never mind that the B was actually a B+ and I still had an A overall; suddenly I was in 11th grade again and felt like I had no idea what I was doing.

Then I took the final and to no one's surprise, the checked-out professor has simply rehashed questions from the other tests and quizzes and with my photo-memory, I was golden. There were a few original problems that popped up, but I got through them. I got an A on the final and an A in class.

So does it feel like a hollow victory that the final was a rehash and it was my memory that pretty much got me the A?

Hell no. Now that I'm an adult, one of the biggest lessons I've learned is: You take the victories when you can.

Monday, April 18, 2011

So, Hi. How Are You?

Hey there, you ... people who are not reading this anymore because I disappeared for almost a year!

A lot has happened since June 2010. A lot. For instance:

My son turned 3 and will turn 4 this July. He is graduating from preschool in June and will go to pre-K in the fall. Holy nuts.

I got into business school shortly after my last entry. I'm about to finish my second semester and will hopefully graduate next May. BTW, I hate Statistics.

I went on anti-anxiety medication that made me gain a bunch of weight and I looked like a fat cow at my sister-in-law's wedding.

My sister-in-law was a lovely bride and is now married.

I went off the meds in October and I started running again and things are falling back into place.

Well, they would be falling back into place if I didn't have to have foot surgery in July and take 3 months off from running. I'm enjoying it now while I can.

I'm still at my job. November will mark 5 years with my company. That is the longest I have stayed anywhere, ever. I moved offices for the 9th time.

I'm still not sure what the future holds for me there, but I'm taking it one day at a time and just seeing what happens.

I started a tradition of going to VA Beach for summer vacation. This will be the second summer that we go.

I bought a leather couch.

I paid off all of my credit cards.

My husband painted our office.

OK, now I'm just reaching.

Anyway ... a lot has happened. I felt like sharing it. I might share more -- writing things down is cheaper and less fattening than Celexa.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Waiting Game

Why hello, all two of my readers! I know, I've been gone for a bit. So what's up with me lately?

I've been applying for business school! Yes, before taking the GMAT because I was smart enough to schedule my test *after* most application deadlines! I am smart, S-M-R-T. So I have also applied for a GMAT waiver. Everything has been mailed off, so I should hear from the school ... sometime, I guess. The official deadline is August 2.

I've been taking pre-requisite modules in case I get into the school. Yes, you have to take these before you find out if you're accepted, so that you have enough time to complete everything before the MBA program begins. Since I majored in English as an undergrad, I have to take ... all 6 of the pre-reqs. Which in time spent going "wha?" and furiously taking tons of notes adds up to eleventy bajillion hours of modules. I've gotten into a routine and stuff is actually making sense now. How do I know? I tried explaining to Tom how to figure out predetermined overhead in order to calculate proper cost per unit using normal costing and he looked at me like I had three heads. I mean maybe I did have three heads at the time, but I think he was just awed by my awesome grasp of managerial accounting.

Diet and exercise are going alright. Still working out with Jillian via 30DS although I've been itching to get back on my treadmill lately, so I may alternate. I hit a wicked plateau after dropping a quick 6 pounds after signing on with Lose It on my iPhone. Luckily patience (and not diving into a Costco-sized bag of Swedish Fish) kept me on track and as of this week I am losing again. Woo!

I've got about 2 weeks before fulfilling my promise to post a pic of myself in my bridesmaid dress, so my weight picked a good time to start dropping again.

The container garden is going well. Still waiting on tomatoes and green peppers to get going, though.

It's way easier to wait for the veggies than the answer from school.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Traveling and Plans and Projects, Oh My!

Yes, it's been a few weeks!

I've spent the last three weeks traveling to Nashville (before the floods), North Carolina, and Ohio. Then I promptly got sick last week and am continuing to battle allergies this week. It's been an awesome few weeks.

Despite the travel and sickness and general malaise, there has been progress on several plans/projects. I have managed to not kill anything in my container garden -- in fact, stuff is growing! I've narrowed down my business school options and am now trying to figure out how to afford any of them. I'm still working out, doing the 30 Day Shred again. So sore am I. I've also started tracking my weight with the LoseIt! program - more to make sure my portions and calories don't start creeping up (like they did when I was traveling. Well actually, the calories didn't so much creep as make leaps and bounds; hello, lemon martinis and grapefruit gimlets and wine and copious amounts of delicious restaurant food).

The family is good. B is still potty training and I am continually amazed at the power of M&Ms as a motivating factor. His birthday will be here before I know it and then I'll sit and wonder how the hell I have a three year and have managed to not break him yet. Tom has some cool things going on and his school year is almost over; then it will officially be summer.

Finally, my bridesmaid dress arrived about a week and a half ago. I'm feeling so poofy that I have yet to admit that it's here or take a picture of myself in it. I'm giving myself a month to get my act together and then I am posting a picture no matter what. It will serve as good motivation, or public humiliation, or most likely, both!

Monday, April 26, 2010

In Which The South Beach Diet Fails Me Again.

When I'm chatting with friends, two of my go-to phrases involve the "definition of insanity" (doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting a different result) and Sisyphean efforts. Probably because half the things I do in life tend to fall into these categories. Dieting has always been one of my Sisyphean standouts. Which brings me to the South Beach Diet, which I always think is going to work (and sometimes it does) but usually is just a big pile of fail.

I first tried the diet at its peak in 2003, a few months before my wedding. Actually, Tom and I both tried it. And we were cranky bastards the entire two weeks where you cut out sugar and fruit and delicious carbs. It's a wonder we still got married. Weeks three and onward were fine. Although honestly, I should have known that anything that tells you that cocoa powder, Splenda, and RICOTTA CHEESE make a delicious dessert is not to be trusted. Ever.

I've been dancing with SBD ever since -- whenever I get it in my head that I need to drop weight fast, I head right for the SBD.

Last week I was in Nashville for a client conference, so the week involved a lot of meals out, desserts, lemon drop martinis, etc. I came home and knew I needed to get back to my better-eating ways so decided to do SBD for a bit to "get back on track." Today's lunch? Spinach salad with carrots, tomatoes, and shrimp. I decided that I didn't need salad dressing -- oh no, just a spritz of lemon for me!

Yeah, it was bad. And served as a reminder that I am not going to lose weight for the long haul if I keep making myself eat stuff that I can't tolerate for an afternoon, much less forever. This might be the fastest attempt at SBD in my history. Sure, it seems like some dressing could have solved the problem, but I think the biggest issue was convincing myself that this was going to be good enough to get me through the afternoon until dinner. It so was not.

It did impart a good lesson though - sure, make your lunch (cheaper and better for you anyway), and include lots of veggies and good protein. But make it tasty, put some care into it. Add some carbs to lunch as long as they're not full of empty calories. I need to keep on my 30-Day cleanse, which was about making better choices, not dieting per se. I dropped almost 10 pounds that month, so why did I panic and go with SBD?

Old habits die hard, I guess. Time to start rolling that rock up the hill again ...