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Saturday, December 29, 2007

last weekend of the year

I had my whole day planned around an event tonight. (I invited myself to a child's birthday party.) Upon check of my e-mail it turns out the thing is tomorrow. So now the pressure is off, and here I sit at my computer.

I've played some cards, checked the Obesity Help message boards, read a little about water and protein consumption, and am now rambling to you good person.

It doesn't seem like there's a lot to do, but my list is actually pretty long:

Laundry, when you only have 4 pairs of pants that fit the machine is going all the time. (More on pants later)
Dishes
Take down the tree.
GoodWill ( seems like I'm going every week. Here's even MORE clothes that don't fit.)
Gift for mom's birthday.
Litter Box , yuck
groceries
Bills
Christmas cards (I'm still hoping to send something this year.)


More on Pants:

So, I'm not losing weight at the same marvelous pace as when I first got home from the hospital, but my body is changing. The black pants I had hemmed have gone from a tad too tight to belt required. It has only been three weeks. There's a new rule in the clothing department - no pants shall enter my wardrobe unless they have belt loops. I refuse to wear stretchy pants to work, so I'm going to have to stay diligent about looking for good deals.

I have to say that while I fully get that my body is getting smaller I'm having trouble parting with some of my most favorite clothes. I am fitting into smaller sizes and feel great in them, but I keep putting on items that are bigger thinking that it's great how loose they fit. I changed my clothes twice before leaving the house yesterday, because I was swimming in the items I had put on.

I guess it's time to turn that aggressive "throw this stuff out" force on myself. Both Yaz and Ali know exactly what I mean. I'm able to help other people weed out crap out of closets, garages and spare rooms, but I may need help to do it for myself.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Movie Review: National Treasure, Book of Secrets

See, not every movie I pick is an epic love story or relevant commentary on how our half assed involvement in foreign affairs ends up hurting us.

The first half of this movie is smarmy, over the top, cheesy and totally fun! Set aside any thoughts of "yeah right" and enjoy this cotton candy.

There was an emergency in the building and they evacuated the entire Lincoln Square complex. Once the all clear was sounded and we finally wandered back over to the building they (theater management) were handing out movie passes (with your ticket stub of course) but without hassle. THANK YOU!

I have work today so we didn't opt to sit for the next showing. So, I'll have to review the second half of the movie when I ever get to see it.

It's a Disney movie so I can pretty much guess how it turns out. Ed Harris gets his, Nick and the gang find the treasure and Jon Voight gets it on with Helen Mirren. Wait, it is Disney so they don't "get it on" get it on... they have a laugh and a "knowing look" that says... when this damn mouse finally leaves, we're gonna "get it on!"

Movie Review: Charlie Wilson's War

Here's another splendid book turned into a splendid movie.

If you know much about our history and involvement in Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia then you know the gist of this movie. Based on real events this movie is both educational and entertaining.

Tom Hanks is as usual, wonderful. Phillip Seymour Hoffman brings every role he touches to life and you can't help but love to hate him. Julia, well she's Julia. Although I read that she was almost four months pregnant when she shot the bikini scene... she should get an Oscar for the flat stomach.

I think this one will be high on the Oscar nominations list, so take time out to see it.

Oh, and

Open Memo

To: The man sitting next to me in the theater
From: tp gal
RE: Your stupidity

Not ALL people from the middle east are terrorists you ignorant ass-hole.

Movie Review: Atonement

Read the book.
See the movie.

Both are splendid!

The book has much more in the way of nuances and character development. It is fluid, gripping and heartbreaking.

The movie is stunning and remarkably well done. The visual contrast between the soft memories of childhood and the reality of a war torn France are stirring.

This isn't a movie for kids - language and s.e.x. But, for those of us of age... whoa, very HOT.

Keira Knightly needs to eat a cookie or something, but she's so beautiful that she's a skeleton doesn't matter.

James McAvoy is oh what's the word... dreamy. If he keeps picking roles like this, and the one in The Last King of Scotland (which you should see - again, without the kids) he'll be an icon before you know it.

To recap:

Read the book
See the movie
Keira - eat something!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

More about my darned weight....

I lost weight over Christmas!!!! Only two pounds... but still - yeah!

I was worried about Christmas dinner. Would I be able to sit at the table with my family and not feel deprived? As it turns out, yes. I served myself a dollop of all my favorite foods and a TON of greenbeans. The stuffing was cornbread stuffing (which I secretly hate) so I didn't take much more than a tablespoon of that. I ate slowly, putting my fork down between bites.

I didn't spy anyone ogling my plate (I also spaced the food out so it looked like a full plate.) I ate slowly while everyone else threw food into their face like they hadn't eaten in years. We mostly finished at the same time, although I still had food on my plate at the end so I "picked" at it while some when back for seconds. I had that overly full feeling that is so satisfying after Thanksgiving, but not so much that I had to "give back".

Giving back is a side effect of eating too much, the doctor said it's best to "give back" than hold it in. I didn't want to do that at my aunts house because she's still a little bit on the fence about my surgery. I don't want to give her any reason to doubt that this might have been the best thing I've EVER done for myself.

So, here it is the 27, I lost weight while away and am excited about the return to a normal schedule.

Watch me waste way!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas

I didn't get it together enough to send holiday cards this year. I had three weeks off from work and I only managed to get gifts for my family. I'm totally filled with holiday spirit, but that didn't translate into kicky cards. Maybe for new years...

The drive over the pass to Eastern Washington was a long and slow event. The 3 hour drive took 6 and a half hours. But I made it, and I even put the tire chains on myself!

We spent yesterday with Aunt Glenda and today we're hanging out (saw a matinee ' Charlie WIlson's War.) Tomorrow we're off to Sandy & Ed's for dinner and cards.

Nothing super exciting to report. My parents watch Discovery, History, CNN or if I'm lucky the Independant Film Channel. Discovery is ok, but History and CNN get really old after the third hour. We argue over the computer. (I've won the latest round.)

So, have a happy holiday, don't worry that your annual card from me got lost, it never left my living room.

Kisses!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Whew

The scale is moving again! I'm 9 pounds from a major milestone for me. It feels like it's just around the corner. Yippie.

While I knew that the last two weeks have been normal weight loss (stall) behavior it is still a little distressing. I continue to pass by the Christmas Cookies that are at the office day after day with no "reward." I have always felt that those of us who struggle with our weight should get a small 1/2 pound dip in our weight after we resist something like fudge, french fries, or garlic bread. To get the bonus weight drop, you have had to have really struggled with the decision to walk away from the treat. Again, one more reason that I'm pissed that I don't run the world. (Kidding - I don't want to be responsible for the entire world. So, if you're reading this Morgan Freeman, don't drop by I'm not building you an Ark or anything.)

Anywho... I had a good workout last night. 30 minutes on the elliptical machine (cardio) and a limited (20lbs) set of weights on the circuit machine. I figure I'd better work both the top and bottom half of my body or I'll end up with strong legs but won't be able to lift a pencil.

Of course I didn't hit the gym until 8pm and wasn't tired at 10 so I was up until midnight trying to wind down. Oh well, that's better than a 4am alarm to get up and workout. I know that morning sessions are more effective, but damn... 4am - no thanks.

Have a wonderful wonderful day!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Taken out of context that sounded bad....

Standing in the bathroom at work today (washing my hands) someone walked in and greeted me. 

Them: "Hi, how are you doing?"
Me: "Pretty great, but I'm realizing my hair looks terrible,  it's all fuzzy and wacky today.  I guess I should always remember,"  (door opens as someone else walks in) "that half a blow job is not good enough."

The new lady just stared at me as I tried to recover…

"I, um, meant blow dryer, hair… ok, I gotta go"

Monday, December 17, 2007

One Month Out

Today marks the one month anniversary since my surgery... or as they say on the online support groups... "Surgiversary" - that's a word fitting for the Fictionary.

I'm still in a holding pattern with my weight, I'm "stuck" at about 30 pounds down. That's NOTHING to sneeze at, and I'm loving my new thinner frame.

I had hoped to hit 250 before Christmas, but with only 8 days to go, I don't see it happening. I seem to be holding at 261...

I haven't been meeting the protein goals so today I'm trying a new product called New-Whey Liquid Protein. This little 3 ounce bullet has 42 grams of protein and no sugar. It's very efficient. The only problem is that they've added so much splenda that it tastes like ass. I'm hoping that a different flavor tastes better. I'm having a little bit of trouble getting these 3 ounces in. You have to drink it over ice which makes it more than 3 ounces.

When my shipment arrives I'll store those suckers in the fridge so that I can shoot them down without the ice.

So, other than not losing weight (for now) I feel fan-damn-tastic! I was worried that the surgery would be top of mind for all time, but it's not. I'm able to focus on real life, and I'm getting back into the swing of taking care of my people vs. the other way around.

Now, all I really need to do is:
Finish Christmas Shopping
Write and send my holiday cards
Straighten up the house
pay bills
wrap Christmas presents
deal with Countrywide on the property tax thing
deal with Valley Medical on the bill for my surgery. (I pre-paid, but am still getting a bill for $27 Thousand dollars - I pre-paid and that bill is over an above the stated surgery amount. It's a mistake, but unsettling none the less.)
And.... well I think that's it before Christmas.

Oh, gotta run... work.

If I have a moment tonight I'll take a new round of pictures so you can see my progress.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Messy Martha an update

So, Messy Martha, the depressed aunt of the north is still living in squalor. I had a very long discussion with my dad and then MM today. We are ALL in agreement that SHE can NOT come and live with either my parents or me. It did cross my mind in a fit of insanity - but the blissful quiet of my home brought me back to reality.

I'm working with MM's type A friend Barb to bring in a squad of folks from Labor Ready to do some intensive cleaning. So, I'm throwing money at the problem for right now. Not much, but enough to make a difference.

My level of guilt over not taking care of my elderly relative is lower than it was, and I think that my small investment will help.

I'll be talking with the DSHS social worker to discuss the future because I can't believe that once she reaches the "must" be in a nursing home stage and she can't afford it that she'll be pushed to the curb. Right now, assisted living would be a great to have, but it isn't medically necessary.

It should be a fun spring! I will be soliciting volunteers for a day of fun to the north. Don't worry if you get a call I'll be offering all sorts of compensation.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Back to Me

The first week back to work started off well. I bragged to a friend Monday morning that things were quiet and I was getting a lot done. Well, be careful when you brag, usually that's a good sign that something is about to go really wrong.

My boss called me into a "mandatory meeting" at 12:45 Monday and he was there with my supervisor (not so super, but that's a different issue) and he tells me that he has been told to cut X% from our budget and that we will be losing some positions.

My eyes must have jumped out of my head because he then quickly said... "oh, it isn't you." (um whew) Then he launched into his though process and told me that I was losing someone on my team.

Oh man, the timing, the thought process it all blows. I'm thankful (selfishly) that I didn't get to participate in the decision process as my conscience is a little clear, but I'm not at all absolved from any feelings of guilt and sadness.

The Departed (TD) and I were not on the same page and a separation was in the works, but it didn't involve leaving the company. Needless to say, TD didn't say so long to me - which I understand.

So the rest of my week involved getting my hands into the job that TD was supposed to be doing. Holy Mother of Pearl... the work queue is so back logged that it will take me weeks to get it clear. I will be able to cross train some of the other team members, but wow... it's a damned mess.

In addition to getting things caught up, I have to work on how to re-tool the service dramatically. The newish big boss (the decider) thinks we should stop doing it altogether. That's an idea, but I seriously doubt it would fly with the regulators and auditors.

At this point my attitude is "I'll work as hard as I can, and get as much done as I can, but since you amputated my leg (which was only broken) it might take me a while to reach the finish line." I'm certainly NOT going to work 80 hours a week to do my job and TD's job.

All in all, the first week back at work... SUCKED. I look good, but I don't really care about that at this moment in time.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Saga of the Nutty Aunt

So, Messy Martha up in Bellingham had her visit with the social worker and it turns out that her retirement income disqualifies her for assistance.

She doesn't have enough money coming in to pay for an assisted living facility, and clearly can't live alone.

I got an e-mail from the friend (who has been so great) saying that it's time for the family to think about what we're going to do.

One word comes to mind....


F * U * C * K


---ignoring it until tomorrow morning. I'll call my parents and have a "meeting." Save your money folks, you aren't going to be 35 forever.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Rules are Rules


There's a lot of little rules for a successful life after weight loss surgery.  The doctor, nutritionist and all the online support groups are very clear about certain things:

1) don't eat after you've reached the "full" stage
2) don't drink 30 minutes before you eat
3) don't drink 30 minutes after you eat
4) no gummy bread
5) avoid sugary treats

These are RULES and not guidelines.  I think I over did it at lunch today. I was reading and finished all of my little 1/2 cup of chili because it tasted so good and then mindlessly picked up the water bottle and chugged about one and a half ounces of water in one glorious mouthful. 

I am burping and feel really heavy in my chest right now.  I need to either throw up or breath through it for the next 15 minutes.  I refuse to throw up at work so I'm breathing through. 

Stupid stupid stupid!  Perhaps the days of mindlessly eating at my desk with the Internet Browser up are over. 

Monday, December 10, 2007

1st day back

So far it's been quiet, which is good.  I know you'll be shocked to learn that I don't ALWAYS want to be the center of attention. 

I am looking really good today new haircut, good pants, heals, and a cute grey vest over a white top with French cuffs.  Oh I'm rocking the banking world today!

Funny thing tho' my weight has stayed the same for the last week.  This is called a stall - and after losing almost 30 pounds since surgery day it is clear that my body is taking a little time out.  I can hear it saying "WHAT THE *F* DID YOU DO TO ME!?  I NEED *ALL* OF THIS FLUB TO SURVIVE.  I GAVE YOU 30 - BUT YOU'RE NOT TAKING ANY MORE!!!"

What my poor body doesn't know (but my head does) is that these little stalls are normal and help the body maintain.  The goal is not to get frustrated or wander into to the headspace of thinking - "I did all this for 30 damned pounds!?"  Those aren't healthy thoughts.  The other thing (later on) is that once the workouts get more regular then weight stalls could be attributed to muscle gain. I'm not there yet -(Sunday was all about the couch)  but I will.  I'll be back on the sliding scale soon enough.

The one good thing about a stall is that I get to wear these cute pants a little longer.  After all, I had them hemmed and everything!

I also think being back to work will help with maintaining a regular eating schedule.  It's pretty easy to regulate the intake during the work day - yesterday (aka Couch Day) was a mini eating festival.  Of course the dynamics of that has changed - I'm limited to about 6 ounces an hour but I managed to have almost nothing but treats yesterday.  Sugar free popsicles, sugar-free pudding, low fat popcorn! (yeah!!!) , cottage cheese (not a treat, but it tastes like one), grapes (oh golly those were so good) and cheese. No meat, no protein drink, just snacks.  Here's how the food breaks out:

S-F Popsicles = count as water intake
S-F pudding = counts as milk
Popcorn = fiber
Cottage cheese = protein
Grapes = sugar and goodness
Cheese = protein

Here's a weird fact - some people have to peel their grapes.  I apparently can stomach almost anything!  Had no trouble with the grapes.  I did have *issues* with the toast I tried to eat - so for now, tp gal and toast are still not friends.  Boo.  However, peanut butter on a whole wheat cracker… GOOD.

Friday, December 07, 2007

My last day off...

Oh what a wonderful three weeks it's been. I'm ready (sort of) to go back to work, I'm in a smaller size (or more depending on the brand of clothing) and looking forward to starting a normal routine.

Don't get me wrong, I could get use to not working - EVER. Somehow I've managed to keep a pretty normal sleep schedule - I was worried that without mom here I'd start staying up late and getting up at noon - but in the last three weeks the latest I've slept in was 9 am (and that was after a 2 hour break from sleeping between 4 and 6am.) I have been getting up at 7:30 (or earlier - ick) pretty much every day. Hopefully the transition to the 5 am Monday wakeup won't be so terrible.

Even though Janie and I spent a good two hours out and about today I decided it was time to walk my (smaller) butt to the workout area. I just completed 30 minutes on the eliptical trainer. Oh how I love that machine - arms, core, legs AND sweating in fluid motions. It's wonderful!

Hopefully that, and focusing on getting the right amount of water in (I'm WAY behind the curve there) the dramatic results will continue.

Janie and I found the $4.99 sale rack at Macy's today and I picked up some cute things in all sorts of smaller sizes! At this point it doesn't matter if it doesn't fit now, because in no time it will!!!

I do have one piece of sad news. About two years ago I bought this really pretty green silk dress at Nordstrom (super on sale) and told myself that I would lose 20 lbs and be able to wear it. Well, now that I'm down (56+ lbs) the damn thing is too big! FRICK. It has the tags on it and everything. I know, you're thinking take it back - but I think I'd need the receipt.

Can't ramble, Rico is taking me out tonight so I gots ta shower and get pretty.

Happy Friday everybody!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Wednesday's Blather

Took my car in today to see why the check engine light was on. The reason? Volkswagen needed $375 - that's why. Apparently the falange or sprockethook was out of spec and badly needed to be reinstalled. Uh, I don't quite get how something that is no longer the preferred item in the car should be MY financial issue, but the cashier wasn't having any of my flogic on that topic.

I dropped the car off at 8 am and they dropped me at the Bellevue Square Mall at 8:15. I knew it would be a long day, but it really kicked my ass. I did manage to do the following:

a) 8:15 non-fat decaf coffee with old people (read 60 pages of my book)
b) 10:00 got a haircut (cute)
c) 10:50 had links taken out of my watch. Thank you Ben Bridge for not charging me!!!!!
d) 11:20 Picked up my eyeliner at Sephora (and spent an additional $100 on "stuff." Pretty perfume, makeup remover, a lipstick and a make up tool - if you must know.)
e) 12:00 Scowered the sale racks at the Bon... oops, Macy's. Found a H*O*T black dress to wear in a couple sizes and a replacement pink turtleneck sweater for the one I'm swimming in. (Used a gift card, so those items only cost $14!)
f) 12:30 Had soup and the insides of three pot stickers from World Wraps. When I say soup, I mean about two tablespoons.
g) 1:00 worked my way to Starbucks for a tall, non-fat, decaf, sugar-free gingerbread latte. (even the cashier laughed at me for that order.) Read for about 2 hours.
h) 2:00 realized that I had a date to hang out with Melinda today and I totally FORGOT. SHIT, I am a terrible friend. (Called Mel on her home number, and her cell...begging forgiveness.) She's got a good heart and forgave me but I am MORTIFIED.
i) 3:00 walked over to the container store - bought 6- 4 ounce containers for lunch brining in my new work life.
j) 3:25 found a chair and read some more.
k) 3:30 - phone call from VW - car is done! The shuttle will call soon for a pick up time.
l) 4:15 - I call back, um, still waiting
m) 4:30 - a call! 30-40 minutes. (urg)
n) killed some time (and $70) at Talbots. Two more smaller tops!
o) 5:15 back to VW to part with $$$ in the least fun way.
p) 7:00 (damned traffic) arrived home to find a beautiful wreath on my door. (Melinda)
q) 7:02 another phone call to Mel to thank her for being so wonderful
r) 8:39... posting and then... BED.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Tuesday News

Oh, I have absolutely nothing to report today. My Monday plans got canceled due to the terrific rain so I took the car to Les Schwab and had the tires rotated (woo hoo) and took my stash of good quality smaller clothes to the dry cleaner to give them a spiff up. That was pretty much my whole day.

Today I'm hanging out with the house cleaner people. (I really don't like being here sitting on my ass while they clean, but it is what it is.) They just got here, so I've really spent my day picking up crap around the house so all they have to do is the actual cleaning. It's a good system.

The office is an area that they don't clean (mostly because when I arranged for the service the office area was a F*cking Mess and I didn't want to deal with it. Now that mom has been here and gone and piles of stuff (clothes, shoes, ugly purses) have made their way to GoodWill the office isn't looking so bad. I moved some stuff around today (the printer and my dresser and made a nice little nook see:



I didn't have a photo for the white frame, so I dropped in some coordinating paper for a subtle touch. The lamp was on my grandfather's desk when he retired, so I think technically it is stolen property from the Washington State Patrol (circa 1965). I think the brass ads a nice contrast to all the purple.


It's going to be a hard day for cat. Not only are there strangers in the house, but the vacuum has been out running. At 3:30 my friend Aide will be brining over her kids so she can get the Christmas shopping done. They are going to hang out until the evening. I'm sure I'll sleep like a baby tonight!

My thought was to bring out the arts and crafts and set the kids up to make their dad (who is in Iraq) some christmas cards. Little gabe - LOVES Peter. I"m not quite sure how Peter feels about their friendship but maybe it works for him too. I do know that there are treats involved - which Peter does love.

My only worry about baby sitting is that my house is pretty much a treat free zone. I don't have any kid snacks unless you count the sugar free popcicles. (Although, those are mine and I don't really want to share.)

Well, that's about it. Tomorrow I'm off to get the Jetta serviced, which means dropping the car off and then hanging out at the mall until it's ready. Bummer - I may have to see a movie. Drat.

I also need to finish reading my book group book so I may be coffee shop hopping too. I am a little apprehensive about being out for the day away from the standard food supply, but I'll just make up a bunch of little meals and carry it with me. I'll be fine.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Fashion No-No


I don't like to poke fun at others... ha ha ha ha I totally do!

I wish I could have captured this outfit in a standing position because it had the matching leggings.

The explosion of fabric flowers in her hair really make this ensemble POP!

The tennis shoes are also a great touch.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Greece

In the midst of all this weight loss hoopla I did manage to book my trip to Greece. I'll be on the 5:35 flight to London October 1st, 2008 and will leave Athens for the UK and then home on the (get this) 22nd!

Yes, that is a crazy long time to be gone, but baby, I don't care! The sailboats leave from a little island called Keci Buku (in Turkey) at 11am on the 5th which gives me 3 days to tour Athens and get to Keci Buku.

Fourteen days later we arrive in the port town of Lakki on the Greek Island of Leros. I will then have 3 days to get back to Athens.

So, while I keep my mind on getting well, and continuing to lose weight, I'll also be dreaming of beautiful fall nights on the sailboat with my new friends (and hot vacation lover.) Oops, TMI?

Get over it, I'll be hot, he'll be hot... it's inevitable.

An interesting question

Becky came over last night and we had a power visit. She and I have a great talking pace - if anyone else could hear it they'd be amazed.

She is moving down a path of weight loss too and is doing really well. (Go Becky!!!!!) She raided my closet for an accessory to wear to a holiday party. (I almost said holiday sweater, but that brought to mind visions of Reindeer embroidered on a green background with a jingle bell for a nose. *shiver*)

We were in my (home) office and she was looking at all the pictures of me with the people I love, wedding photo's from June & Haji, Becky's own wedding photo, me and the girls the night of the Duran Duran (2006) concert, me and Seal. Becky asked "What happens when you get really skinny, will you look at those pictures and hate the girl in the photo?"

Wow, great question! I don't think so, because in each one of the photo's I display I'm genuinely happy. The photo brings back that feeling of joy and love that I feel for and get in return from my friends. The only photo I have posted that I DON'T love is the one of Seal and me. I look like a bright red blob and I can't see "me" in it at all.

I hope that I always love the girl in the photo no matter what her size. I just took some comparison photos. I couldn't decide which looked best, so here's a bunch:

Before (The Seal and the Whale):








Current:




Thursday, November 29, 2007

This crazy surgery just might work...

In the weight loss support groups people yammer on and on about "WOW" moments. Those are the experiences that rise up and slap them in the face to remind them that they are no longer their former fat selves.

WOW Moments include no longer having to ask for the airplane seatbelt extender, or when someone they haven't seen in a while doesn't recognize them, or shopping and no longer being able to find ANYTHING in the Plus Section that fits. They also celebrate milestones, 100 pounds lost, reaching goal weights, maintaining goal weight.

I stepped on the scale again this morning (a daily weigh in is not really a good idea, but it's so rewarding right now that I can't help myself) and damn if I haven't dropped ANOTHER two pounds. That's 10 pounds since MONDAY.

I have lost 48 pounds since I started this journey back in July. I quickly dropped 20 lbs. and then stalled and stalled. From the moment of the start of the liquid diet I have been steadily losing. With the minor exception of the 20 lb hospital induced gain, it's been down down down down.

So, I guess a WOW is in order for me!

I don't want to get too far ahead of myself but if this pace keeps up I could be at 225 by Christmas - which would be just shy of 100 lbs lost since my decision to start this journey. Being able to tell you that I started at 317 is a huge thing for me. I didn't think I'd be able to openly discuss my "size" with anyone ever again.

Woo Hoo! Go tp gal!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Thanks Mom!

I dropped moms off at the airport today. I am so grateful that she took a week and a half out of work to come be with me.

She was so awesome, she cleaned, organized, and stayed out of the way when needed. She cleaned the cat box (gross,) did laundry, helped me sort clothes, bedding, stored all the Christmas supplies. She even organized my deck storage unit (which was a total nightmare!)

Yesterday we pulled together a HUGE care package for my brother and shipped it off to Iraq. She hauled that heavy box into the post office!

This morning, she made all the rounds to make sure all my trash and recycling was out of the house. She made sure I had plenty of anything heavy I might need (cat litter, milk...laundry soap) and put all the guest bedding away. She even cleaned (scowered) the guest bathroom in a way that a guest should never have to do!

While I may not have been flat on my back these past few days, she found everything that I couldn't do for myself and got it done!

Thanks a million mom!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Death by a Thousand Papercuts

My recovery from surgery is going so well that I'm feeling sheepish about not going back to work. It's only been a week, and the trip to IKEA yesterday was almost too much so I still need to take it easy.

I'm still in a little pain, but not on meds. But there is something that is so irritating that it's keeping me up at night. My surgery was conducted lapriscopically - which means instead of a big 6 inch cut in my belly I have 6 little 1 inch incisions. Lapriscopic surgery has a faster recovery because they don't have to cut a lot of muscle (or move your ribs) but it also means that each one of those sites is recovery spot.

Each one of the sites is starting to heal and itch, and the surgi-tape is starting to come away which tickles and irritates the skin. I haven't progressed enough to where I could pull the tape free but man its really annoying. It seems wrong to tap into the narcotics because of being irritated... or is it?

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Movie Review: August Rush

What a sweet little movie. We won't be hearing any Oscar buzz about this one, but if you're looking for an uplifting movie about being true to yourself then I heartily recommend this little gem.

Jonathan Rhys Meyers is dreamy and emotes with the best of them. Kerri Russel is luminous, and Freddie Highmore (remember him from Finding Neverland?) is so easy to love, and excels as the modern day musically inclined Oliver Twist.

Robin Williams... well as usual he's a little too over the top, but does shine in one scene. Of course, he isn't talking, and it's quick so you might miss it.

One minor complaint... I saw this one with mom. She opted for a "medium" (a.k.a. enormous) popcorn. Movie popcorn may be one of the bad foods that I will miss the most. I obsessed silently through the commercials and previews about the popcorn. I didn't tell her that it was killing me that she was munching handful after warm, salty, handful of popcorn. I can only hope that eventually I'll be able to enjoy a little nugget of movie popcorn in my future life. If not, until I shake the popcorn monkey I may need to avoid the theaters.

Friday, November 23, 2007

A day of fun

Mom and I ventured out of the house today. We're challenged by two things, one I'm the pokey little puppy and it takes me an hour to move across a parking lot and two, she's really unhappy driving my jetta.

She's been in a automatic transmission for about 30 years so the (I think) easy shifting of the volkswagen is hard for her. The really terrible part is that she's so bad at it that it makes me laugh which actually hurts.

We made it to the RiteAid, the Post Office and the QFC before heading back in. She whined when I told her that I would prefer my car be in the garage. I had to walk away as she tried to wedge the car in. I figured if she hit the mirrors on the doors that it wouldn't be the worst thing that's ever happened to the car.

She made it happen - but has made it clear she isn't interested in any road trips until Monday when I can drive. We're headed to church Sunday and while I am recovering like crazy I know I can't walk it.

Rico and Cindy are coming over this afternoon with Thanksgiving leftovers for mom. They are like the nicest people EVER! She picked up a slice of pumpkin pie at the QFC today and ate it for lunch. "Maybe you should eat protein before you eat pie?" I suggested. "I am, it's in the pumpkin, duh!" She replied. Ah yes, the protein infused pumpkin, natures energy source. How stupid of me.

We're actually getting along really well. She's keeping the laundry and the dishes done and I'm focused on the insane eating plan. The schedule is really a bitch. I think I hate the shots the most. Setting the alarm for 6 am to give myself a shot just isn't fun. The heprin (a blood thinner) is leaving little freckles all over my tummy. Thankfully it doesn't really hurt.

Now that my vision is 100% I think I'll start in on the book club book that's due the 10th.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Home!

Wow, never before has coming home and taking a shower felt so good! I messed up the alarm on the day of my surgery. 4:30 p.m. instead of a.m. Luckily mom woke up at 5:45. I took a quick power shower (not time to wash and dry my hair) and we were off.

We were only 10 minutes late for check in which turned out to not be an issue.

They took us back into the prep area (very nice - warm blankets, private rooms) and they did a pregnancy test. I am not pregnant! (whew - that would have been hard to explain.)

After a while I was rolled into the surgery area, cracked a joke to the nurse and then woke up and it was 3pm. Damn... you would think that you would have some sort of awareness of time, but not really at all.

They wheeled me across the hospital to my room (which really was as far away from the surgery recovery place as possible.) Lot's of little bumpy transitions. Mom and Rico eventually found me and then the every three hour nursing visits began.

The nursing staff was great - everyone was really nice. I can't say that I loved the catheter. It's a handy little tool - but mostly it just icky.

Becky came Tuesday and we watched a movie (and I can not tell you what it was. ) I know that I liked it - but that's all I remember. By Tuesday my hair was beyond disgusting and I was thankful for only a couple visitors.

Wednesday my phone was ringing off the hook, but it was too far away for me to get to. Sorry if I missed your call.

It was really good to sleep in my own bed last night, and really good to be in my own pj's. Those damned gowns really don't cover very much and I know I was flashing my ass to everyone.

I'm puttering around today, and mom and I are debating about going to rico's for dinner. She's not comfortable driving my car and it's a pretty big hill between here and there. We'll see where the day takes us.

I'm off to shower again! Have a great Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

How Nice

I have been getting the most wonderful messages from my friends about Monday. You are all too fabulous! Thank you!

This little gem showed up on my profile on my account at ObesityHelp.com. (Hate the name, love the community.)

Monday is your day! Just remember you are on the journey of a lifetime. Try to enjoy every minute. It may sound weird now, but know that you are cared for and prayed for here, and all too soon this will be but a memory and you will be an inspiration to someone else. I am waiting for you on the losers' bench!


A total stranger - wow! It really never occurred to me that I might be an inspiration for someone down the road. That's cool.

Strange

I had a very pleasant dinner last night with some friends I haven't seen since last spring. We had lots of catching up to do, and spent the first hour and a half getting updated on their work, their fabulous home remodel, the health of a sister and other things. We made dinner, went down stairs to eat, and flipped on a movie.

I realized in the car on the way home that they didn't ask me a single question about what has been going on with me during all this time. I'm pretty sure they aren't readers of this informative online journal, so I'm a little perplexed.

To compound my confusement (oh it will be a word one day!) I sent out a pre-surgical update yesterday afternoon. I referred to it as the procedure and detailed the three week recovery schedule. I dropped P's email onto it, in case she tries to make contact during the next month. I sort of expected her to ask about it, considering we've never talked about this path I'm on.

On one hand it was NICE for dinner not to be the TP gal show. This past week has been ALL ME ALL THE TIME. I'm as egocentric as the next gal, but could I be just a little bit less in the spotlight? One of my favorite co-workers had a really hard week (his mom's health took a dramatic turn and she passed away Thursday) and that really puts some perspective on my week. On the other hand, it was really bizarre to have 6 months of catching up to be wholly focused on them. I know that I could have just turned the conversation to ME but I sort of thought it might wind there for a bit without my direction.

Part of my issue is that for some crazy reason I am more comfortable helping out others than I am accepting assistance. I really don't want to be a bother. I've always been this way. In college I didn't want to bother my one friend with a car to take me to the dentist so I walked three miles in freezing rain (up hill - both ways) instead of asking him to take 10 minutes out of his life. What an ass. (me, not him) I have NO issue asking for help if the answer is no that I have other options. If I need help - I'm likely to not ask. How jacked up is that? I know what you're thinking -- In college I should have picked better (richer) friends, but these things can't be helped. It was a learning experience. Now all my friends are picked based on the financial benefit to me - as it should be.

Seriously, I'm so grateful for the support that I've been getting that I'm out of my element. Maybe it's because I feel vulnerable. (Geez, where's a therapist when you need one?)

Alright.... enough! Mom and Dad called yesterday so say they were coming early. On one hand yeah!! On the other, crap, now I have one less day to get my home in order before the invasion. So I gotta run.

I'll post again Sunday night... I'm confident that I'll have lots of pent up energy and anxiety to share with the world.

Have a great Saturday!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Oh Hell No!

Dad called last night to broach a touchy subject. Aunt E (of the My House is Filled to the Brim with Crap relation) who suggested to him that it would be GREAT if she could come down and "help" me after my surgery.

Oh yes, this is a fantastic plan! I really can't think of anything I'll need more than a mentally challenged elderly lady who can't be bothered to throw her trash away, or pick up her dirty clothes, or cook, or fix her broken toilet staying at my house to "help me."

I think I may have actually told my dear sweet father that there's No-F*cking-Way that she's coming. He agreed it was a bad idea but didn't want to just say no to her before calling me.

He did make some crack about how she'd probably show up with dirty laundry - which is some sort of dig about all the times in college and shortly there after when I would visit for the weekend with all my dirty clothes. I didn't take the bait; plus he should know better than to try and tease me. I'll get even. I'll wait and then when it's time, I'll make him share a room in the nursing home with his sister!!!! bwahahahaha

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

The Almost Moon

The Almost Moon is Alice Sebold's follow up to her much touted and loved The Lovely Bones. I have to tell you that if you were a fan of TLB... The Almost Moon probably isn't for you. It holds none of the same charm nor does it have a single likable character.

I'm ok with complicated characters, but I'm not ok with book that is a death spiral of bad decisions and worse solutions. Those sort of books (and movies) stress me out. Except when it's done as farce... Very Bad Things was a crazy death spiral of a movie that really made me laugh. Disturbing, but funny.

I wholeheartedly do NOT recommend this book to my friends, or even those of you who really hack me off. Frankly, I don't recommend this book to anyone. To those out in the world who think I'm just bitter and cynical I tell you that the New York Times called this book "an assault on trees."

Ah HA!!!! Proof Positive that the New York Times is as smart as I am! Those of you who doubted that the NYTs is brilliant and well written need not worry any more. They have a rock solid recommendation from me. I'm sure they are very pleased - they really should be.

As I write this, I'm wondering if maybe I haven't dissed this book already. If I have, then I guess you'll just have to chalk it up to the fact that it is just that bad.

I am FULLY aware that I am not a published author and that writing novels is hard work and that those who can do it should be respected for their effort especially by us "blog hacks" but dude... this book sucked.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Anywho.....

I had to post something to move on from the last topic. I'm not quite sure how to transition from that disturbing issue to the more superficial stuff that I like to talk about.

Oh, I know.... Michael Buble - Love love love his music. He's bad for the environment tho' because when his cd is in the player in my car, I just want to drive around and sing.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

OH - MY - GOD !!!!

Holy sweet Jesus... I was not at all prepared for what I found at E's home. These are only a few of the photo's and I assure you that I have omitted the grossest one.


This is the "living room." E sleeps here and watches TV here. The fold out bed has been folded out for at least a year. Inside those bags are dishes and "recycling."

I pulled about four big bags of stuff from this room and didn't make a dent.















Here we have the kitchen. My picture of the counter tops is blurry (I was pretty disturbed by what we found.) SHe had run out of clean dishes so she was making little trips to Value Village and bringing home more. That's a handy trick.

Based on the date of the paper and items on the floor she's been "cleaning up" in here for about 6 months.

















This is the stove after 4 hours of dishes washing... I'm sad to say that we didn't even make a dent in the filth.

I did clean the bathroom - not to a state where I would want anyone to get naked or sit on the toilet, but enough so that the bio-hazzard is gone, and the landlord could fix the toilet so it would (fucking) flush.

I threw out the food in the fridge and the multiple loaves of "bread." I think it is now officially proven that there is some natural foodstuff in wonderbread. It has to be biological to turn blue and soggy in the unopened bag. I took her to the store and bought her fresh milk, cheese, bagels and bananas. I couldn't talk her into anything else. When I paid for the groceries (all of $21) she cried.

I am so filled with guilt and frustration that I don't know what to do. I haven't talked to her in over a year and had I come up during the summer we could have dealt with this months ago.

As it is, the best we can hope for is that the DSHS people will see that she can't live alone. She can't live with my parents, as there are too many guns in the house and mom is already stretched to the limit taking care of dad. That is a sick joke... sorry

I will admit that I am thankful that living with me isn't an option either - she wouldn't do it even if I had the space and the ability to take care of her. So she has to live in that shit hole for at least another month with paperwork is processed. I left her sitting on a chair in the 'entrance' way, she was sorting beads and reading a little book on depression with cute quotes from people like Charlie Brown and Shirley MacClain. Alright.

I am saddened and fearful that I too will be alone in my elder years. I must remember to marry someone with kids... (Put that on the list will you.)

Three Day Weekend

Down time has always been a challenge for me food wise. I eat (or rather use to eat) when I'm bored. Weekends where I wasn't running 98 million places were also known as terrible food bonanzas.

I've got a lot going on this weekend and since I'm restricted to the liquids for two meals it shouldn't be too tempting to cheat. Actually, the only form of cheating I'm doing right now is putting non-fat salad dressing on my fresh veggies. I'm not tempted by the (*%*$%^ cookie that Lil'John the intern brought me yesterday, or the fother mucking doughnuts supplied Tuesday, or the danged brownies from Monday. I celebrate that fact that pre-resolved TPgal would have had a "treat" Monday, Tuesday and Friday. I would have been able to rationalize that I've "been good" when I really hadn't.

So, this morning - I'm off to Bellingham to visit with Auntie E (of the north) and to do some major house cleaning. She's in her last month of living alone (great timing - crap, I am so self-absorbed - sorry) and I'm meeting her type A++ friend to clean up the house. She apparently fell onto the floor and waited FOUR days before calling anyone for help. I imagine the house is terrible... I'm taking gloves, bleach and hard core trash bags. Anyone wanna come?? Nope, didn't think so.

Tomorrow is BALLET DAY! Normally, Ali and I have lunch, but we're doing coffee instead. I also want to clean out some space in my office for Mom's stuff. She needs a space while she's here... I won't be able to stand a mess and be feeling like crap. I think closet space and drawers should do the trick.

Monday I get to go to the hospital and pre-pay for my surgery. I'm not looking forward to writing that check. In fact, I don't know how on earth you write a check that big. Oh well - must ignore the price as I've already decided to incur the cost. I'm worth it... I'm worth it... I'm worth it!

I also plan to sort through more clothes. I'm practically falling out of my work pants and I know I won't be in them when I return to work on the 10th (of December) so it's time to get rid of some closet bulk before I'm on a weight lifting restriction. I have dreams of cosignment for some of my more expensive items but have no idea where to go. Maybe eBay is a better choice. Oh why did I buy some of that stuff??? The 2500 t-shirts I'll part with easily, but I've got a $150 suede skirt that I couldn't wear now if I wanted to (well, if I cinched the damn thing with a binder clip I could wear it.)

These are not terrible problems to have... I am acutely aware. Have a great Saturday. I'll have my cell on if you want to come up to B'ham and clean old lady stuff. FUN FUN FUN

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Countrywide SUCKS!

Sorry to out a national branded company for poor customer serivce, but my story must be told.

I had a mortgage through Countrywide that I re-financed in February. I was with them for three years and one month. Through diligence and good timing I was able to take my shitty 3 year adjustable rate mortgage and turn it into a 30 year fixed rate before the bottom dropped out of the market. (whew!)

I've recieved all the paperwork releasing CW's claim on my condo and thought my relationship with them was severed. (They send SO much mail encouraging you to take the equity out of your property that it felt... oh I don't know, PREDATORY!)

So, on October 4th I get a letter from Candice at Country Wide Tax Reclamation Group stating that in 2004 they paid a tax payment to King County on my property from some other account, and they would like their $847 back please. To show the error they included a copy of a canceled check that did indeed have my tax number on it.

I'm not really very smart, but even I know a copy of a canceled check is NOT proof of overpayment. A quick check of the online records for King County were inconclusive as the records only go back 3 years. (One might wonder if countrywide knows this little fact but I doubt their timing is malicious.) The very nice person at King County records tells me that while the online records only go back 3 years, the off-line records would only show that the tax was paid, not what date or from what check. She did confirm that at no time was an overpayment applied. The County policy is if they get a check for paid taxes they reject the payment (and don't document it...thanks.)

I quickly called the number on the letter (nicely stamped in urgent red ink FIRST NOTICE) to speak with Candice. I left a message and waited a day... fearing that she was on vacation I tried calling the main number, but when I was transferred to the department the phone rang, then didn't ring, then disconnected.

I resorted to snail mail. I asked for a complete accounting of all the monies withheld and paid from my escrow account (including the starting balance at the escrow company from the time CW obtained my loan.)

I waited patiently for either a phone call back or a letter. Instead I received a certified letter stamped SECOND NOTICE. Reminding me that I owe this money and they will send me to collection to get it. BRING IT ON COUNTRYWIDE.

I called back and left another message for Candice - still no answer. Since I have other things going on in my life (and it took them three years to figure out they may have made a mistake) I don't really have the patience to force them to talk to me.

This week I got the FINAL NOTICE and as I haven't received any reply from my phone calls (now numbering 4) and letter I'm stumped. If I owe the money, I'll be happy (not happy) to pay - but they have to prove it. If I sent them a copy of a check I sent to them in 2004 and said it was an over payment they would laugh at me.

Frankly, I wonder how many people just fold. If they send me to collection they will have to prove the overpayment, I'm happy to go to court just to get answers.

Your advice and comments are welcome.

The Good News

After a month of gaining and losing the same 5 pounds over and over again, this liquid phase has kick started my weight loss. Too bad liquids and 1 meal a day aren't a sustainable plan long term. It's very economical.

Speaking of economical, I split my pre-op prescriptions between the RiteAid near my house and the new Target. Target send me a coupon for a $10 gift certificate for any prescription transfer so I decided to opt in. Of course, the stupid $10 gift certificate cost me $30 in other items that I might not have purchased (this month) but there are items like milk and feminine supplies that you buy when they are on sale.

(oh lord.. how personal am I going to get here... I've talked about pooh, and now *gasp* feminine supplies.)

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Day Two

Day two of the liquid diet.

On one hand it isn't terrible. The protein drinks are tasty and while they aren't necessarily satisfying I'm not starving and my stomach isn't growling. Last night for my real food dinner I cooked up a small chicken breast and a medley of fresh veggies. I really wanted something in the carbohydrate family but held off. I saved the non-fat yogurt portion of the meal and ate it later as a "treat."

On the other hand… it sucks! I arrived at work yesterday to find a big box of brownies (a thank you gift from a vendor for a referral) which I promptly gave away. It was easy to part with every one except the peanut butter brownie… my mouth was watering as I walked away from it.

Today, one of my new colleagues brought donuts and oranges to the staff meeting. I'm not sure what I want more, the donut or the orange. The orange smells really good.

Tomorrow, if they bring in garlic bread and oatmeal cookies I may have to hurt someone.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Breakfast


I know its tilted sideways.... I'll fix it when I get home.

The point is that this is my breakfast, and I'll get another tall foamy one for lunch.

Dinner will be 3oz of chicken, veggies and a yogurt!

Sunday, November 04, 2007

I'm really going to do this

As the date of my surgery looms I'm filled with mixed emotions. Fear is up top, the 2% chance of dropping dead on the table is worrisome even though I don't have any of the major risk factors (except for being overweight.)

I'm in a little bit of denial about the food thing, I do think I'm going to miss it and like everything else in our lives that changes I'll have to form a new relationship with it. Today is my "LAST" day of eat anything I want. I would have thought it would have been a crap food festival, but not so much. So far, I've had a normal lunch and a protein drink for breakfast.

I should be out and about finishing up stuff (like visiting the Super Supplements Store) but I'm still in pjs. I've reached the point where I really want to shower, but I also want to workout so once I'm done here I'll do that.

I was at the mall yesterday getting a birthday gift for a friend and I stopped at Nordstrom to look at shoes. Since I've started the pre-op diet my feet have shrunk from a 10 (mostly water weight) back to the 9.5. Lately, my feet have been sliding around inside the 9.5's and I think I may be headed back to the 8.5 or 9 were I was in college. I had no idea that was possible. I did buy a pair of cute Cole Haan's in a 9. They may be the new work shoe for a while.

TPgal loves to shop, but I'm realizing how fast the weight may come off - the average is about 100 pounds in 6 months. Can you wrap your brain around that? It seems like I have been FAT forever and the idea of weighing 180 or less by May is hard to fathom.

Summer ended and I packed my Capris and shorts away as if I'm actually going to use them next year. I should just get rid of them.

What happens when I'm a "normal" size and can shop in any store? How do I figure out what my style is? Frankly it's easy to shop when you're limited to two stores and you can only buy the things that fit. Mom suggested a personal shopper - and perhaps I'll consider that when the time comes. The idea of being able to shop in the petite section again seems really unrealistic - but I will be there. You just watch.

Ok, ENOUGH about me... I gotta get movin'. It's already 12:30 and I haven't done ANYTHING today.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

hurry up and wait


Yesterday was my final preoperative appointment with Valley Medical. Mom drove over from Yakima and we had a very lovely breakfast prior to heading to the hospital. I felt a little guilty about the two eggs, bacon, biscuit because it was a HUGE amount of food - but at the end of the day I'm thankful I didn't start the day on just one piece of toast and 8oz milk with protein powder.

Our day started to go sideways when the receptionist couldn't find my name on the schedule for the day. Considering both mom and I had taken the day off work, and the fact that there are two solid weeks of prep before the surgery we HAD to see the doc that day.

The other issue is that apparently I was supposed to pay yesterday, but no one said anything, so I didn't have my checkbook on me. I mean come on, how many people carry a checkbook any more? So, I knew I was going to have to "zip home and back" once we were done. While the hospital is close to my house, it is still far enough away to have to involve the Hwy 167 and I-405 interchange.... for those of you NOT in the PNW... imagine waiting waiting in line, inching forward, waiting, inching, and then some ass-hole cuts in at the last minute (because he's too good to wait?) oh... I don't like it Sam I am, not one bit.

So, the appointment was at 10 - we go to the little room and they (very nicely) offer us a water. 10:30 we start the super fun powerpoint RISKS OF WEIGHT LOSS SURGERY (subtitled... If you sue we are so going to bring this to court to say "I tole you so!") This was awesome because it went through all the terrible things that could happen and my mom who is supportive but a little bit of an alarmist was twitching in the chair next to me.

We finish that... wait 30 minutes, the nutritionist comes in (and you should know that any one of the people can raise their hand and tell me no, this isn't going to happen) and we discuss my food logs. I'm worried about this part because while I've been good about keeping track in the last week my diet has pretty much gone to shit. PIZZA... seriously I ordered pizza and it was really really good.

Anyway... we talk, she says she's happy, I don't have to log food anymore. Of course, I start the LIQUID Diet Monday. It isn't as awful as you might think, it's only 2 weeks and for 13 of the days I get to eat one meal in addition to the protein drinks. I imagine I'll actually be cooking!

She leaves, then we wait and wait and wait.... by now its 1pm and the staff is cooking up their lunches. Finally the exercise guy comes in and he's happy too. We talk about my gym plan, but asks me to wait until he clears me to join the gym. (he thinks it will be 3-4 weeks after surgery before I'm doing much more than working up my walking duration and intensity. I'll have an 8 week restriction on carrying anything over 20 lbs. (Maybe I should do my Christmas shopping now...)

Once we're done all we have to do is see the doctor and we can go. By this time mom and I are surfing the Internet on the computer. We've read CNN.com, the Onion, the comics (seattle pi and the Times) we've read back posts of my blog, spent about an hour looking at the before and after photos on the obesityhelp website. We talked to my dad, and started talking about which one of us would be more tasty if we had to eat one another.

at 2... (seriously 4 hours into this) the doc comes in and he basically shuts down our complaint about the day. The scheduling snafu screwed his day pretty hard too. I was a little put off, and had a hard time focusing because of the hunger pains, but once we started talking it faded away.

Wouldn't you know it... somewhere we missed a couple tests, so once we were done we had to go to the lab. (no blood draw yeah!) The doc gets up and says... ok, once the nurse comes in you're ok to go...

She didn't come until 3. I loved her immediately (there's a moment when crankiness turns to hysteria and I"m funny during hysteria) and we finished up in about 30 minutes. Looking at the time, and the fact that it was going to take us a least an hour to get home and back with the money the nurse called in a HUGE favor and made arrangements for me to make the payment next Monday.

The labs weren't too awful and we finally left the hospital at 4:30. We stumbled down the hill and had our lunch/dinner (linner maybe dunch.) We had planned to go shopping and all sorts of fun things, but ended up seeing a movie instead. All that sitting around really wore me out.

Mom left early this morning, and I'm about to hit the gym. It's Yaz' birthday today so I need to run out and get the perfect card to go with the perfect beyond perfect birthday gift.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

SAD

NOT EVEN A SINGLE DAMNED TRICK OR TREATER....

What the HELL do I do with the candy???

When will I learn?

My senior senior manager (two levels up) was asking the same question over and over about a process that I manage, so I offered to come up and answer any questions, help her to understand what the scoop is and to review the items that are under her.

I'm not one to finagle time with the high mucky-mucks. I want to get my job done, do it well and be rewarded at pay raise time (I want my 2.25% raise every year.) I tell you this so you know I went into this with the truest of intentions to clear up questions.

It was a train wreck. Instead of attempting to understand the purpose of the process and her role, she honed in on the report and a piece of data that I probably should have seen as the land mine of all land mines. She wouldn't get off it, and the meeting kept spiraling down and down and down. I didn't get defensive until she referenced someone else's process as a comparison. Frankly, the only good thing I would say about the referenced item is that the gal who botched it together is gone. She was MUCH better about selling herself than I am. Now, 6 hours later it occurs to me that perhaps both the senior manager and my new boss (the QB) don't know is that not only is the process I've developed the most robust at our company, but it may be one of the top in the industry. No company I've talked to can do the tracking, management or follow up that we can. There are books and books about all sorts of security management practices, but not for the process I've developed.

For her to be focused on the number of items vs. the content or the purpose is extremely deflating.

The end result... I get to go back in 2 months and report on my progress of making my process "better." Never mind the risk that we're managing, I for f*ck sake will make sure that my process lines up with what she THINKS is the right metric to capture.

AND... at one point she made some crack about how old one of the items were, "2004... NO ONE was here in 2004!" Um, be-Atch... I was.

Anyway, it was awful. I'm open to new ideas, but a total smack down out of left field over stuff management doesn't understand makes me want to hurl.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Scenes From Philly


Mr. Washington I presume?






















Da Bell



















Where they made it happen....


















Where it all went down.

all dolled up!

I love the iMac built in camera... but I need to do something about the background...

I'm in the midst of laundry and it shows.

Travel Whine

Blogger won't let me upload my excellent photos from Philadelphia just yet, so I'll take a moment to complain about my journey home yesterday.

It was raining on the east coast, so there were flight cancellations in Philadelphia. American Airlines called me at 2 to tell me they canceled my 5:30 flight and asked if I could be at the airport by 3. I could get there by three, but I had no idea about the security process so I had to say no. The agent was somewhat annoyed that I wasn't at the airport 3 1/2 hours early but booked me on a 4pm flight with a connection to Seattle. Middle seats.. (urg)

It wasn't until I was at the airport when they dropped the bomb that I would be flying through TEXAS and having a small THREE HOUR LAYOVER. I'm not sure, but flying through Texas might have been the most in direct way to fly from the northern east coast to the northern west coast.

Thankfully, the Dallas to Seattle flight wasn't remotely full and I had a whole row to stretch out in, and I actually fell asleep. Good thing too because it made the 2am arrival a little more bearable.

I have a little travel hungover today, but will rally in time for dinner and a show with the only group of super cute men who ever invite me out. Yes, I am speaking of the Gays. We're off to dinner and to see Spamalot. It should be a riot.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

thank you!

Your quick response has made a huge difference! While lunch was another "cheese" festival the afternoon snack was a delightful mix of green veggies (peas, cucumbers, asparagus, peppers and zucchinni) with a side of buffet fruit.

Buffet Fruit, what is that? You ask hoping that I'll write MORE about food.

Buffet Fruit is the standard mix of honeydew mellon, cantaloupe, strawberries and watermellon. Nothing exciting like berries, apples, oranges or pears - but still solid fruit of the non-canned variety. At this stage of the game, I loaded up with two plates of veggies and fruit.

Thank you so much for our generous contributions!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Philly-Aid

Calling all caring Americans, our brethren in the city of brotherly love need our help.

All over the city hotel patrons from lands lush with unique items like cucumbers, lettuce, and spinach are suffering from withdrawls.

I need your help in raising money to ship these needed food items to this otherwise lovely city.

This morning, I scrapped the only three raspberries in the entire state off the top of the (honestly) granola and frosting breakfast goo onto my plate. The other conference guests looked at me with hate and loathing in their eyes, but I didn't care. Scurvy was starting to set in, and something had to be done.

Lunch was a little better - a tomato and mozzarella salad (in 19 cups of oil) with (and remember, I said "little") salted shaved chicken or salted shaved "beef" and a vat of orange goo, with a steaming tray of onion rings.

I skipped the snack session today and went up to my room to work a little, but I heard that they served little squares of pecan pie. Now, I love me some pecan pie, but one should really only eat one square inch a year.

Our dinner party wasn't able to get into the local cuban restaraunt so we walked around the corner to an Italian place. We shared an Arugula salad and a flatbread pizza that we topped with ricotta and spinach. It was awesome, and it was a challenge to keep myself to one slice.

All joking aside, I am in LOVE with the neighborhood where our hotel is located. It is the perfect mix of urban and residential. We're in the historic district and it's very charming. Of course I couldn't afford a home here - the brownstones are in the low 2.5 millions - but it would be pretty cool.

I'm very much looking forward to my power tourist session Friday. I'm afraid the rain will arrive just in time for my day in the city, but I won't let it stop me. I can just walk around the corner to the Urban Outfitters and pick up a hat - and a hot pink Christmas Tree (ok...) and go about my day.

Monday, October 22, 2007

TP Wonka and the Fried Food Factory

Day one of the conference and its a food nightmare.  Breakfast was sweetbreads and whole milk, one strawberry adorned the top of a massive tub of butter.

Midmorning snacks were giant caramelized cinnamon rolls.

Lunch was salad (whew) chicken breasts each pre-dressed with 3 slices of bacon and cheese, or battered & fried catfish with French fries, the soup was a thick clam chowder with giant white bread rolls.   Dessert . Enormous wedges of a cream pie that looked to be lemon or banana based former fruit product.

The afternoon snack. ICE CREAM F*CKING SUNDAYS.

For those of us who are attempting to eat healthy this place blows!

My lunch was so light that I was (am) feeling hunger, so I ran up to my room and downed a calcium chew as a snack.  (thats simply sad)

I want credit for not eating this crap.  The hotel is really beautiful, but damn it this food situation had better improve.

Huge News...

Multiple sources this weekend informed me about JK Rowlings announcement that Harry Potters beloved headmaster Professor Dumbledore is actually gay.  Interesting news I guess, especially if you are wrapped up in the lives of fictional characters. 

To me it doesnt matter if hes gay, straight, had a secret affair with an elf, or worse a muggle. Mugglesexual?   While I believe Ms. Rowlings comments to be in jest, it bothers me that she would joke about it.  The days of insulting someone by calling them gay should be capital O over.  Had her intention been one of tolerance then she should have broached the subject in her multimillion dollar earning books in a forthright manner.  To mention it after the fact is a weak attempt with no cost to her pocketbook.  A more risky move (but one worthy of respect) would have been to write it into the actual story.

It is not shocking to me that a character in a childrens story would turn out to be gay.  Plenty of characters throughout the fiction have frequented the Neighbors Bar in fantasy land.  Last time I was there with my friend Craig, I saw Prince Charming putting the moves on TinkyWinky (who I thought was a little young to be out that late.)   Poor Cinderella, I hope that Prince tells her that hes a member of the family before they have kids.  Maybe they have an agreement but its really none of our business.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

See you in a week



I'm off for a week of security talks in Philadelphia. It should be fun, and I do have half a day for tourist stuff. I'm sure like all of my half day city explorations that it will prove to be too short.

My flight leaves at 6:46 am tomorrow morning which means I have to get up at the crack of dawn (even earlier truth be told) and I'm nowhere near ready. I just finished packing as I had to quickly re-set the wardrobe once I checked the weather for the week. I was mentally prepared for 50 and crisp, and we're actually looking at 70 and wet.

I realized that the housekeeper people were coming while I'm gone and I can't expect the cat sitter to pick up my crap, so I'm still making sweeps of rooms to pick up wayward shoes and lost socks.

Also... one last unfavorite task before bed... the damned cat box. I just scooped it yesterday, but I know I won't be doing it in the morning. I'm sure I'll be regretting my midnight bedtime when the alarm rings at 4:15. My plan is to sleep the first few hours on the plane. Sure, that makes for a hell of a time going to bed on the east coast but there's not much to do about it now.

I'm sure I'll be posting from the road, so don't think you're off the hook in trying to keep up with me.

As for you JANIE... for not returning my call Friday, I may just have to call you when I get up tomorrow.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Life

I went to the funeral today of a man I didn't really know. He and his family are members of my church. (My is an odd phrase I think.) I didn't know him personally, but I've met his wife a number of times and really liked her.

I was saddened to hear the weekly updates regarding his health and was moved when I got the e-mail that he had died. I sort of felt like an interloper today, but I'm glad I went.

It was your average funeral. Well, if average is a rock band and weeping Insurance salesman. Gary was in the insurance business and clearly was loved by his clients and the people he worked for. The gruff, no nonsense Insurance Salesman gave the most touching reading of 1 Corinthians I've ever heard. Normally, this passage is read at weddings by some cousin of the bride who has a terrible case of stage fright. All I ever really remember of it is that Love is patient, Love is kind, it is never boastful... and then I'm off in my head thinking about weddings and how my feet hurt. Well, not today. This beer swilling insurance guy was choked up, and read the damn thing with meaning and purpose. It was as if he had written the passage for his friend himself.

The big life lesson for me today is, it is what it is. Make the most of it, and to display the integrity myself that I expect in others.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

RE: Fictionary?

From MWR:

Asshorn - one of those over-ear Bluetooth hands-free cell headsets

Or perhaps I'm the only one who surmises a correlation between using those devices and personality.

You are so right! We have one of those at work, and the only time I EVER see him is when he’s on the phone. He purposely goes for a walk when a call comes in. Maybe it makes him feel important. Who knows. We mock him in a mean spirited way. We are small soulless people.

I also think there’s a term: MergeHole or FuckMerge : the individual who refuses to abide by the every other car freeway merge technique during heavy traffic. (This term applies is not limited to the over aggressive mergers but also applies to the folks already on the freeway who refuse to make a hole.) A prime example was the FuckMerge in the grey Ford Taurus Station Wagon this morning who refused to let me in.

I abandoned the term “AssMerge” (which could be something totally different)

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Billie Jean

The family got good news today. My brother's ex-wife Anna finally was compelled (that's legal talk for do it or you're going to jail) to do a DNA test on the child that was born as their marriage was ending. My brother has insisted since the beginning that the kid couldn't be his and has been in a long drawn out legal battle for almost 16 years.

Frankly its been a mess. There's this kid who may or may not be family. He didn't have access, we didn't have any relationship with her at all. And then, here's my brother who's holding his family together on a shoestring paying buckets of money for a kid he believes in his heart isn't his.

Well, the tests are in... and he's not the papa. Good news for my brother and his wife, maybe they'll get some or all of their money back. Good news for the kid, Anna is about to re-marry and the new guy wants to adopt the kid. I honestly hope they'll be really happy.

I wonder if the state of Georgia will be as fast at returning the paid child support as they were about garnishing his wages.

Frankly, I think they'll avoid returning Kev's money until they get it back from Anna. Hopefully my current sister-in-law wont run out and buy a pool or a new car until they have actual money in hand.

In other good news, it also seems that my dearest brother is so far from the action in Iraq that he's BORED. He said his job consists of watching the "detainees" (nice) walk the yard.

Technically, (and legally) I wonder how long you can be "detained" before it rolls over into actual captivity? One or two years? I love the semantic games we play.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Animal Planet

Last night was pretty dry in the tv arena, I'm caught up on all my dvr'd shows (except Friday Night Lights) so I was flipping and landed on the Animal Planet channel.

They were showing a program about fat pets in the UK. They featured a 40 pound (16 kilo) cat a 202 pound Rottweiler and a King James (I have no idea) Springer Spaniel who was so round that he could only lay on his tummy with his feet sprawled out. He had no spring...

The kitty had a heart murmur and the HOT vet gave the mummy a stern talking to. Poor Peter, because of this show the all-you-can-eat buffet is now closed. He's gone from a heaping 1/2 cup of crunchies in the morning and one at night (and then a top off any time the bowl was empty-ish) to the prescribed 1/4 cup in the morning and one at night.

I'm sure he's a little pissed. He keeps walking me by the bowl and making a noise as if to say.. HEY ASSHOLE... THE DAMNED DISH IS EMPTY!!!! LOOK! EMPTY.

Well buddy, I get it. My all-you-can-eat-buffet is closed too...

Maybe we'll do Kitty and Me Before and After photos. Oh lord, wouldn't that be the saddest thing ever? Here's Middle Aged Midge and her CAT. (She doesn't need a man, she has a cat.)