Monday, January 24, 2011

Oh my sweet new lungs

Yep, breathing easy over here. No smoking in many moons now.

And that's about all I can say for myself. I'm in the big, big one-step-forward-two-steps-back world. This weekend was abysmal. Today was abysmal. Between my narcolepsy and my sudden shitstorm at work, I'm ready to give the middle finger to just about everything that breathes. Want some?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

She's so...

I watched the premiere of the new A&E show "Heavy" lastnight. What a downer. The chick kept crying during her workouts, and they made it look like that was just utterly insane behavior. I kept yelling things at the TV, particularly, "SHE'S CRYING BECAUSE SHE HATES EXERCISING! IF SHE LIKED IT SHE WOULDN'T BE IN THIS MESS!" Of course, I was mainly talking about myself. If you don't hate exercise, you can't know how awful it is. I guess what I learned from the show is that if you don't have someone there yelling at you, and all the time in the world, and the resources to have a personal trainer 6 days a week at the gym, and you hate exercising like me and Jodi, you're probably screwed. Watching her was pretty scary. We have a lot in common. Particularly the self-talk, I fear. And we both wear clogs. Here is the text exchange between me and my brother (who also has weight issues) during the show.

John: Turn on a and e now!
Me: Oh hell. Bridget is here and we're watching it. My phone went off and I said, "That's someone texting me to watch this show." (Bridget is falling over laughing at this point.)
John: Me and that guy pick the same things off the value menu.
Me: Um that chick just said my life story.
John: She's wearing clogs.
(30 minutes later)
Me: Sorry I haven't texted you back but I've had to do squat thrusts during the commercial breaks.
John: That's ok, I was riding the exercise bike and lifting dumbbells.
John: And purging.
Me: Oh good idea.
(end of the show)
John: God.
Me: I'm so glad they are still fatter than we are.
John: Really.

Anyway, I'm not the kind of person to learn something and then act upon it, but we'll see. I fully understand the risks of being a fatty. Just like I understand the risks of smoking. One day at a time, Sweet Jesus. I did decide, though, that eating raw fruits and vegetables between meals is not to be considered eating between meals. I have such a deficit of that food group that I think the benefits heavily outweigh the costs should such a thing ever occur. I had a mid-morning banana today. Why does that make me feel like such a tool?

I'm doing great with not smoking, cleaning, organizing, staying on top of my money (except I spent too much this weekend, but at least I know that), everything except, of course, this.

Step to it, bitch!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

I Need to Watch "Shrek 4" Seven or Eight More Times

Oh really now, it's not all that bad! Get over yourself! Sheesh!

I have these huge, massive plans. RESOURCE ALLOCATION. Big, big problem.

I have a milestone birthday coming up next year in March. I've always wanted to be one of those people who did it up right on milestone birthdays. Alas, not since "Annafest '90" have I really done it up right, and that was just a slumber party with a grandiose name. So I've decided, I'm going to Iceland. I've always wanted to go. I'm going. I have to be in better physical shape, undoubtedly. Also there's a matter of about $2000 I would need to come up with at minimum just to take myself. I'm planning. I want to skulk around (oh give me a break, I have no idea what the right verb is) in the Blue Lagoon. I want to have ridiculous spa treatments performed on me. I want to dogsled and not herniate the poor dogs. I want to see the northern lights but I have no idea if that's the right time of year or not. I want to take jeep tours of glaciers and geysers. I want to go out in what's supposed to be the secret party hotspot of Europe. I'm going to do it. I hope I'll have company, but if not I'll just go.

Another big project that will require an actual investment... I want to landscape the backyard. Don't get me wrong; I love my hippy flower garden back there that is the result of utter neglect. I love the combination of plastic and metal and dog crap and the grill. But it's time for a change. I want a house that looks like it's managed by grown-ups, and I want a garden to match. God, I wish I had skills in carpentry and / or metalworking. Anyway, the plan is to build a zen garden, but not a japanese zen garden. A Georgian zen garden. Instead of cherry trees I want dogwoods, instead of koi I want catfish, instead of bonsai I want giant fucking southern pines, etc. But I am planting bamboo for privacy and because it does really well here. Same concept with the pebble paths and everything, but extending the idea of "being at one with nature" to include things that are - uh - natural. For here. For my red clay world.

Also on the list is the interior redux. We're gradually getting organized, but WHAT an undertaking. It's starting to look like some grown-ups live here somewhere, but what I'm left with doesn't really look very pretty. Sure I'm utilizing vertical space, but at what cost? I'd rather just have less stuff and more room. Ironically, that costs money. And on top of that, I'm literally afraid of the office now. The upstairs office. It used to be my little stinky sanctuary, but then Kevs started shoving things in there. Endlessly. I haven't spent any time in there in probably over 2 years. GROTY. Even Delia doesn't go in there any more, and that's where her litter box is. I once dreamt it would be my little guest room / office / reading nook / play with my one baby area. It has never been clean. I don't know how to get it clean. I'm going up there tomorrow. Wish me luck, I have a feeling it's going to suck like I could never have imagined... Anyway, that whole project already has lots of costs associated with it.

Where am I going to get all the money for all this?

Plus add in the fact that I'm an impulse shopper and then, well, we're doomed. It's a tight budget over here. I did what I promised, I kept my 2011 vow, and Kevs and I did thorough financial planning today, as thorough as we possibly are capable of doing, and we're fine, but man. It's tight.

So much to think about...

Ate too much chocolate, didn't exercise, did clean and write, did not smoke, and did check the bankbook as well as several billion other accounts. Day 15 of this year was better than day 14.

Friday, January 14, 2011


One day when I am old and insane I'm going to make an absurd claim that the menstrual cycle is a spiritual portal through time. Sometimes when I am depressed or anxious, and everything seems to be sort of out of control, the things that I say to myself are things like:

"Something is fundamentally wrong and I can't put my finger on it."
"I don't know how to fix my life."
"This is not the life I am supposed to be living."
"How did everything go so wrong?"

The insistence that this is not the life I'm supposed to be living is with me most of the time, somewhere, but it tends to be exposed more often in concert with my menses. Any sane, logical person would note that yes, this time of the month is one of increased hormonal activity, and thus a time of heightened sensitivity, depressed mood, and general irritability. Duly noted.
But tonight, I swear to God, I could see 14-year-old Anna below me. She was screaming something unintelligible and raising her hand up at me in a fist. Perhaps what she was screaming was, "Why?" And in that moment, the excuses, the facade, the decades of acceptance and dishonesty just melted away. Instantly. I know why. I let this happen. I made this happen.

I did not follow my dreams. I did not hold out for the best. I did not demand the best for or of myself. I didn't go for it, and I could have. For so many years now I've been confident that it's not too late, but in all honesty it might be too late now.

The intellectual achievements always came easy. Always. That should have led to so much more, but it has not.

I wanted to be a musician. I gave up without trying. The lie that I might have made it keeping music as a hobby, or inadvertently somehow been "discovered" comforted me for a long time, but I never even went that far. I'm only now rediscovering my love of playing music, and probably only because I'm fairly confident that even if I did try I wouldn't be successful at this point. Someone suggested to me once that I might have a fear of success. I can't wrap my mind around that one. That fact is probably an indicator that there's some truth to it.

I have never really believed that I would have a happy storybook love life. I regret with all my heart that I settled for so little in my marriage. I knew it wasn't the right thing long before we were married. In fact, I actually do deserve a great man. Kevs is a great man. He is perfect for me in many ways. But he's not the one. I will spend the rest of my life with him except in the unlikely event that he passes away before I do. If the only thing I had accomplished in my life was to find true love, I would have considered myself very lucky, and very honored. I could have at least done that for myself. I could have at least tried, and not always succumbed to fear and loneliness. But I do adore Kevs and I'm usually very happy with him. It's a nice consolation.

I would have loved being a writer, too. I've always loved writing. I thought at some point there should be some financial security, but even the career I stumbled into has not turned out to be lucrative for me, really. Except for the very highly skilled and supremely educated people in the world, the working sphere has very little to do with intelligence. It has much more to do with things like appearance. Punctuality. Politics. One's ability to completely suppress one's personality. I'm not good at those things. So my back-up plan eats most of my time and effort, and I can't really find the time to pursue either my first or second passion. Plus I smoked for 20 years, took very poor care of my body, had two children, engaged in all kinds of other hobbies, lived through a miserable marriage, spent every free minute engaged in the pursuit of fun, spent every free dime on stupid things like shoes, and honored every other commitment above any commitment to myself. It could be argued that I throw down the roadblocks before me rather than behind. It certainly seems that way.

The problem with reflection and self-discovery / self-awareness is that it does not prescribe the means or methods for change. I understand so much about what has gone wrong in my life and why things are the way they are. I have no idea how to change. I have no idea what it would take to "turn this ship around" and effect meaningful, significant improvement.

The only thing I have left to try is to be a robot. Fourteen days of this year are gone. This is how years go by, in increments. Very small increments. I have to do better. Every day.

I didn't smoke today. I exercised. I checked and caught up my bank book. I wrote. I did not play the bass. I did not do any cleaning. I ate my weight in chocolate.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Perfect Storm

Holy shit it's been 8 days since I blogged. So no, I haven't been writing most days.

I actually have been keeping up my lil spreadsheet pretty well. Not amazing results, but hey, there's still 343 days left in the year. You want the good news first, or the bad?

The actually kind of amazing news is that I'm still a nonsmoker. After my last post I felt like a loser, even though I only had one, but god, I could only make it THREE DAYS. Bleah. So then on Friday I got drunk with Bridget and Kevs in celebration of Kevs getting to keep his job, and afterwards Bridg and I shared my 1/2 'emergency' cigarette. Other than that, no smokes for me. Just the sweet, sweet patch. Which I did without one day and was relatively ok. But I'd prefer to keep it glued to me for the time being. :)

So, exercising, meh. Hit or miss. I should probably start weighing myself but it's so fucking depressing I can hardly stand it. The good news is that all of 2010 I was at an all-time LOW on exercise, so any little bit is good these days. I would say I've definitely been more active this year so far, but I'd liek to truly put in some hours doing exercise for the sake of exercise.

All the other things, eating between meals, checking the bank book, playing bass, writing, etc... they've all been kinda fucked up the past few days due to


Sunday night it started to snow and it came down hard and gigantic. Maybe 3-4 inches. Then Monday morning it started to sleet and formed a giant ice crust and it hasn't really been above freezing much since. It's Wednesday night and we've all been locked in the house pretty much since then. Kevs and I haven't ventured out much since Saturday, but the kids at least went to Mom's Saturday night and most of the day Sunday. CABIN FEVER.

Here are some things that make me fail at being organized and most other goals:
* uncertain schedule
* time off from work
* nicotine withdrawal

Also note they make me very cranky, so some of the time since Friday has been most unpleasant for all involved. Saturday I spent a lot of time screaming. The kids were driving me bonkers. I had massive PMS. I had horrid nicotine withdrawal. And the house was an utter shithole. Sunday I managed to get loads of cleaning and organizing done, and everything kind of abated after that. But I'm starting to feel like if we don't get out tomorrow things might get weird. I've been helping Kevs a lot with getting his etsy site up and running, and with kicking him in the ass to go get registered for a festival. I re-organized the kids room yet again and got Joseph involved. I cleaned many, many things. I've done a lot of cooking and cleaning. I reorganized the medicines and one of the cupboards. Wow, it's starting to sound like a lot less stuff now that I'm actually writing it down.

Not going outside makes me feel like I can't exercise. Being trapped in the house with food and snacks and making the boys food at their every whim knocks my eating off track. Not being at work makes me get out of the routine of checking my bank book and doing my spreadsheet and writing in my blog, as they are kind of chore-ish things. They say you're supposed to try and identify these types of triggers. I'm not sure why. So I can prevent them from having an effect? Yeah, right.

We saw Shrek 4 tonight and it was awesome. I loved the witches and the reference to Dorothy Hamilton.

Also, Bridget fwded me a link to a site where they have Dungen playing a Foreigner cover - "I Want To Know What Love Is." It's great. Here's a picture of the comment I left them. I love Dungen 4-ever. Some day I will go back in time and be a shitty Swedish teenager and stand outside their house with my iPhone and cry. I will be thin and beautiful but have no idea what to do with it except wear arm warmers and squeal and never have to pay for drinks.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


I failed everything today. I figure my time was due. Four days is a pretty big commitment.

So Kevs is for sure losing his job now and I once again feel completely incapable. No bass playing. I ate about 7 pounds of chips and cheese when I went for a drink with Ed, which was in fact 3 drinks followed by a cigarette. With the patch on. No cleaning. I actually simply forgot to check my bank account because I knew I had not done anything in it. No exercise.

Kevs is my man. He's a dear, sweet man. But to be completely honest, he has some issues. It takes him a long time to do everything. He doesn't have a malicious bone in his body. He has a massive work ethic and a very high ethical standard. There's just something very wrong, and sadly, I know it will take hima long time to get a steady job again. And it will take me a lot of work to help him. for which I will get no credit. I know, I should be primarily concerned for Kevs, and I'm trying. But when he's out of work it's me and the children who suffer. I'm irritated. No more drinking for me for a while. I can't stay off the cigs if I'm too tipsy.


Monday, January 3, 2011

A Journey of a Thousand Miles Starts With a Single Something

See, I think the bottom line is that I'm not convinced that 'little by little' ever actually gets you anywhere. I guess we'll see. I won't know until I try I suppose. I made a spreadsheet. I'm trying to keep it all very simple. Low overhead is the name of the game. Actually when I was pregnant with my younger son I kept this little written journal in which I wrote down all the good things I had done that day. It helped, but the goals were pretty different. Simply put, this is all about


I have certain battles in life. Everyone does. If I keep letting them go on and on without getting better, they will overcome me, and I will lose the war. I will die early, and broke, and etc.

So, become a robot. Form good habits.

I took a long walk today at lunch time. It was nice. I have the feeling I will sleep like a coma victim tonight. Not sure if I can do it again tomorrow, but I think I should be able to. I need more music, and more rocking music. I need more jams I can sink my teeth into and forget that I'm in motion.

Oh and hey if I can't do it tomorrow, FTW. I'll do something else. As long as I do something I'll be ok. And yes, laundry counts. It doesn't count as both cleaning and exercise, but it can count as exercise because folding a week's worth of laundry for 4 is no fucking joke.

I can't believe I'm somebody's Mom.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Richer. Thinner. Healthier.

Oh right, also it's New Year's Day! New Year, New Me. (grooooooaaaaaan)

I quit smoking today, so there's the first thing. I'm on the patch, and so far, so good. Oh yeah except I feel awful and I can't write for shit. But see the thing is, I have high blood pressure and I've been sick with a cold for 2 months, and I'm so tired of it. I've been told quitting smoking could help. See, that's a writing device called understatement. Funny.

Also I'm morbidly obese. I'm not afraid to write it publicly because anyone who knows me would have to be blind to not notice that. I've sort of come to terms with the social ramifications; I mean, not everyone finds voluptuous women repulsive, honestly. There's been no lack of play, ever. I can poke fun at myself, etc. I've been overweight almost my entire life, from toddlerhood on. The problem is that heart disease is looming and I have two tiny little boys. I want to be around when they are my age, and at this rate, I won't. No chance. My good friend Sally stated it best (right after I explained how at ease I am with myself) when she said, "There are no obese 70-year-olds". And she's right.

Oh and to make matters worse, at my last appointment my doctor told me I am borderline diabetic. Great.

So, there's all this shit, tons of emotional baggage and reasons behind the things I'm unhappy with in my life, and I've gone through literally decades of thinking and reasoning and understanding why, but the bottom line is that it all needs to change. I asked my shrink how. This is not the first time I've asked a mental health professional, btw. To paraphrase, he said I understand it intellectually, probably better than he does or many other mental health folks, but it's not a matter of intellect. I wandered away with a big question mark over my head, and then Bridget explained that I need to just become a robot. Just fucking do it like every other loser on the fucking globe. Until I can handle it and I'm used to it. She might be the smartest person I've ever known.

I've formulated a plan, at least initially, to try and meet some initial goals. It's New Years Day, by the way. The sun is cold.

1. Go on the patch for an indefinite amount of time. No more smoking, ever. When I turn 70 I can start again if I want to.

2. No eating between meals. I can eat 10,000 calories in the meal, but no eating between them.

3. Get some kind of exercise every day. Run for six hours or do 5 sit-ups, whatever. Just get some every day.

4. Look at / catch up my bank register every day. Every day.

5. Do the biweekly finances with Kevin every payday. Every payday.

6. Play the bass most days.

7. Do some writing most days.

I'll build on these as I go along, but I've gotta take some goddam baby steps. I'm sick of failing. FTW.

OK, writing about this is making me cranky. Now I want to pay homage to an amazing woman and actor, Margaret Hamilton. Yeah, Judy Garland could sing and was the heroine, but Margaret Hamilton is the scariest and most iconic witch of all times. Period. Peerless. It must have been so fun to play the Wicked Witch of the West, especially back then. What a brilliant actor. Well done.

Area Personality

The whole thing about the name... It's a joke, right?

"Area Personality"

I've been using it for a while and, like all my jokes, anyone with a sub-110 IQ doesn't get it, or they find it off-putting.

Just read the Onion, ok? Every headline or story includes "area man," "area woman," "area dog," "area mechanic," etc. Like newspapers did in olden times. It's a gag.

So, I wear many hats. I'm a Mom, an IT Exec, an art and music jerk, a bass player in the Sleazestaxx (perhaps he least-known band on the planet), a friend, a Catholic, and lots of other things. One thing that I try to keep consistent while carrying out all these various duties is to maintain a sense of humor and keep people smiling / laughing.

This is all the explaining I'm going to do. If you don't get it, you can just piss off.

The other thing that is consistent about me is that I'm chronically hostile. Also I quit smoking today.