When Did I Get SO Fat?

I am LOVING the blog format of communicating.  Seriously, it’s the best of all worlds. It gives me a writing outlet that is PERFECT.  I’m the writer AND editor, so no one ever cuts anything…except ME.  Since I think everything that flows out of me is brilliant, I never cut much!  I get the final decision on whether something is appropriate (almost always, the answer is, “Hell, Yes!”).  And, the only deadlines I have are the ones I give myself, and I’m extremely tolerant and understanding when it comes to procrastination and ME!

It’s also the perfect comedy outlet because I can fill the page with all kinds of snarky comments, and I can’t hear any judgmental groans.  And, even though I can’t hear your riotous laughter and thunderous applause, that noise is generally playing on a loop in my head whenever I’m spewing, so…there!  And the best, or so I thought until recently, is that I don’t have to put on makeup…or even get dressed for that matter, to do my little schtik.  It’s better than RADIO because I can do this in bed…in my jammies! 

Unfortunately, there is a lot to be said for the vanity issue of being on stage.  When you know people (translate: bitchy women in the audience) are judging the way you look on stage, the self control and willpower to stay in shape comes easily.  Not so much when you have a husband who adores you, a stagnant “real job” (OK -that excuse is gone…so BITE ME) and a great talent in cooking delicious meals.

And then something happens that makes you shout, “HOLY CRAP!  WHEN DID I GET SO FAT”?  And here it is…

This is a post pirated from my daughter’s blog.  And, I’m sure some of you are going to be jealous that Mother’s Day is mini-vacation in Theme Park World for me.  Quite frankly, I’ll admit to being spoiled.  But I can always take away something negative from the anything fabulous, it’s one of my little gifts.  So when I saw the photos of Mother’s Day that Alexis posted I almost plotzed!  She writes this really sweet post in her blog, and all I can see is my zaftig shape.  Take a look and a read:

THE MOTHER’S DAY FLOWER AND GARDEN TRADITION CONTINUES

Back during my days at the “mouse house” I started a tradition with my mom for Mother’s Day.  Each year we would go to the EPCOT Flower & Garden Festival to catch up, see the flowers, and enjoy lunch together.  This tradition continued every year until last year.  Right around Mother’s Day last year I found out that I would be changing jobs and desperately needed a full work attire overhaul.  For the first time ever we broke our streak and spent Mother’s Day of 2011 being true girls and shopping for dresses, suit jackets, new heels and all kinds of accessories.  Now, in 2012, the Flower & Garden tradition continued with a few alterations.

This year the party grew from 2 to 4 as Matt and his mother joined us.  We had a lovely Mother’s Day brunch before getting to the park, so it was totally appropriate to kick off the in-park festivities with a Mother’s Day margarita!

Now that is some Mother – Daughter bonding at it’s finest!  We decided before getting to the park that day that in order to truly be good kids we needed to introduce our Moms to Mexico’s tequila bar so it was our first stop of the afternoon.

I would say that the Moms approved.  We sipped our beverages, enjoyed the cool air conditioning and laughed it up before heading out to see the rest that the festival had to offer for the day.

It was a cloudy day, but the rain held off and the weather provided us plenty of shade so no one got burnt.  Luckily it wasn’t as crowded as it was in past years.  We still got to go into the expo and it was a wonderful opportunity to learn more about Bonsai trees before Matt’s mom got her very first one for an anniversary gift.  The Bonsai club gave her all kinds of thorough information to help her in her selection of the perfect one a few days later.

Being there earlier in the day gave me an opportunity to finally get Matt to see one of the Voices of Liberty shows.  He’s only had the pleasure of seeing them during the holidays when they participate in other shows, so it was cool to take him to the American Adventure so that he could see them in their normal daily action.

It was a terrific way to bring the tradition back and I’m glad that we all had such a good time together.  Not sure how you beat Mother’s Day margaritas, but Father’s Day is just around the corner so we better start brainstorming.   THE END

So there you are, it’s 29 years after I birthed her and it looks like she’s still inside me…in the actual size she is today!  I gotta do something about this.  And to make things worse, Steven has been charting his caloric intake since we returned from Tulsa in December and has slowly, but surely, lost almost 25 pounds.  I’ve lost 2. Shit!  I hate it when that happens.  So I’m setting up a new page called, not surpisingingly, WHEN DID I GET SO FAT?  It’s going to be a little more “earthy” than my regular journal posts (read that as more salty language because it looks like I’m retaining water, and the body of water is the ENTIRE freakin’ Atlantic Ocean!!!)  

My intent is to journal my trip though this field of flubber and hopefully entertain you and me enough to make cutting calories a little less painful.  I have tons of knowledge on how to do this, I just don’t use it…so maybe if I try to trick myself into thinking I’m doing it for you, it’ll be a WIN-WIN for all of us!

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Job Hunting

So here’s the thought of the day.  I’ve jumped into this job hunt thing and it’s unreal what the world has come to.  Remember back in the day, when you used to print out a resume on NICE paper, scour the newspaper for job opportunities, phone the listed companies and make appointments to meet?  Yeah…that was awesome.

Now it’s the impersonal world of the Zuckerberg generation.  Do you know that when his long time girlfriend graduated from medical school, he posted this on his Facebook page:  “I’m so proud of you, Dr. Chan : ) “  Seriously?  That’s what you get for becoming a doctor.   Colon space parenthesis in ITALICS???  I am SO screwed!

I have no idea how to job hunt in this world.  You have to trick up your resume for a COMPUTER!  People don’t look at it.  First it gets scanned by HAL, who could dump you in the “OUT” file if you have the wrong font.  And this whole key word thing is really crazy.  It’s cracking a code, to trick a computer into passing you on to a pile in HR that may or MAY NOT get human handling.  When I say ‘MAY NOT’, what I really mean is that you could end up in the hands of some 20-something associate who hates her mother, so you’re screwed just because you graduated in the Woodstock era. 

Is it like that everywhere?  I’m guessing that the computer that scans for the new hires in the local strip club must be looking for key words like this :

IMG_0411

  • Brazilian Wax
  • Flexible
  • Third Shift
  • Tattoo
  • Implants
  • Spray Tan
  • Daddy Issues
  • “Hands-On” Experience 
  •  

    Remember to good old days, when all you had to do was show up, shake your ta-tas and take a spin around a pole to be able to pick up your g-string and company ID?  Yeah…that was awesome!

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    I’D LOVE IT IF YOU SIGNED UP FOR MY E-MAILING LIST!  IT’S JUST YOU AND ME, BABY!  I DON’T SHARE MY TOP SECRET SUBSCRIBER LIST WITH ANYONE, SO YOU WON’T GET JUNK OR SPAM OR FOUND IF YOU’RE IN WITNESS PROTECTION!  I JUST WANT TO LET YOU KNOW WHEN I POST A NEW ENTRY.  SUBSCRIBE HERE

    Leave Me Alone, I’m Trying to Be Depressed!

    EVF2961Being a caregiver is not for sissies.  It’s hard work both physically and mentally.  You use all your energy trying to get everything done and then you try to scrape up some reserve to put on that happy face that is supposed to be helpful and healing.  

    Digression #1:

    1. Who was the genius who decided that a happy face was supposed to be a good thing.  Clowns have happy faces and there are millions of people desperately seeking therapy for a fear of clowns.  
    2. 🙂 is a “happy face” that is annoying as hell when it’s used inappropriately…like on one of those chain e-mails that suggest that God, or Buddha or fate will bring you good fortune…if you forward this e-mail to 10 friends you hate enough to screw up their day, too! 🙂 
    3. Just the term “happy face” is a farce.  It’s not “happiness” which would be a real emotion, it’s a look that is forced, making it insincere.  Like when you have to try something that you hate, but need to pretend you’re not gagging and puking in your head…as in “taste this gator jerky.”  Cue fake happy face and the code phrase for “I’m going to puke,” which is, “It tastes like chicken.

      LEAVE ME ALONE

      LEAVE ME ALONE

      Being depressed is a part of caregiving that doesn’t get enough good press, and I’m here today to be 
      an advocate for enjoying your depression.  I’m not a shrink, or a therapist or even a trained professional.  But sometimes I am depressed and I feel it’s my duty to speak out for all the depressed caregivers who never get the delightful chance to wallow in it for a little while. 

      Digression #2:

      1. You have to know going into this that you can’t wallow in depression for any length of time or someone will show up at your door with a net and a jacket…with REAL long sleeves…that buckle in the back.  Since I’m not an expert, I really don’t know what that time frame is.  But I do know that if the hair on your legs gets long enough to comb, you’ve been at it too long and the net guys are probably on the way!
      2. Wallowing in depression is safe when it involves wearing the same randy smelling pajamas for several days, propped up in bed eating Chunky Monkey with a spoon that’s encrusted with day old peanut butter and paging through copies of People magazine that are so old that you’re catching up on rumors that Jennifer Aniston’s husband is spending “off set” time with his co-star in Mr. & Mrs. Smith!  If you’re looking down at the water from the high point of a bridge, YOU need to call the net guys…and it’s got to be chilly up there, so tell them to bring the jacket!
      3. Staring, bleary-eyed, at a lap top screen that’s been connected to eBay for the last few days is fine and so is a “Watch List” that is as long as a Thanksgiving grocery list.  However, understand that if your depression is eased by the thrill of winning multiple bids on eBay for designer handbags, you MUST accept that the endorphins of the win have snapped you out of your depression, so any further bidding then becomes a gambling problem.

        Steven was diagnosed with Lymphoma in January 2004.  I note the “diagnosed” date because when the doctors found it, he already had a monster tumor, which means had HAD Lymphoma for a fair amount of time in 2003…or longer.  We just didn’t know it.

        FUN WITH TILE!  I LOVE DESIGNING KITCHENS

        FUN WITH TILE! I LOVE DESIGNING KITCHENS

        In September of 2003 I began a new job, the one with the great insurance.  YAY!!  But, the training was intense and I had tons to learn.  Much of which wasn’t written down anywhere.  You just had to “know” it.  So I jumped in with both feet and learned all I had to learn.  By the end of October I was booted out of the nest to soar on my own, working with clients and trying to look calm as I scoured my memory banks for all the information that I had crammed in there so I would “know.”  By the end of November, I found myself in charge of the Design Center, as the senior designers enjoyed their extended Thanksgiving vacation time.  Unbeknownst to me, the entire month of December would be the same.  Apparently, neither coworker had used any vacation time during the year preceding my arrival, so I was on my own, until one day I realized that I knew what I was doing and I was OK.  From that day forward, “on my own” just became “working.”

        That OK feeling only lasted a few weeks, because mid-January began the hospital visit for Steven that was about to change our lives.  After almost 2 weeks in the big house, being poked, prodded, x-rayed and scanned, they found a mega-tumor of Large B cell Stage 4 lymphoma that has been front and center in our lives ever since.  Then came chemo.  Then they sent him home, and it was all me.  New-new job – caregiver.

        There was a lot to learn.  The training was intense and I had tons to learn.  Much of which wasn’t written down anywhere.  You just had to “know” it.  So I jumped in with both feet and learned all I had to learn.   Sound familiar?  It was a copy & paste 🙂

        ALWAYS ON THE GO

        ALWAYS ON THE GO

        For the next 6 months I went to work Thursdays through Sundays.  On Tuesdays and Wednesdays I shuttled Steven around to weekly blood tests, and doctor’s visits.  Every third week was an 8 hour chemo treatment, where I dropped him off, ran errands for a few hours, came back to the chemo room, made a few jokes, slapped him around to wake him up enough to force feed him his “regular” lunchtime meds and then left to kill another four hours!  Not that I didn’t make it good for me…that’s when I discovered acrylic nails and mani-pedi combos!

        I’m not looking for any awards.  I just did what I had to do.  But the lymphoma has come and gone numerous times over the past eight years.  And I’ve gone to work.  At the same time I’ve studied the medical books, read the latest articles, tried to stay on top of all the new insurance changes and even made potions of nuts and berries mixed with herbs and supplements.  I’m tired.

        Now I’m out of work.  I’m looking for a job in the worst economy ever.  So I’ve sucked it up, signed up with unemployment for some of that Obama money that 80% of America is enjoying and now I feel like I’m entitled.  My entitlement comes in the form of a little time to just be depressed.  I’ve got the time, I’ve got the reason and I’ve got the pajamas.  So, will someone PLEASE send some Chunky Monkey?   STAT!

        Here’s the thing.  I don’t have much time left.  I got laid off almost 2 months ago.  Since my first job at 16 years old, I’ve never been out of work for more than 3 months.  (BTW – the shortest time I’ve ever been out of work was -30 minutes.  That’s correct – negative 3-Oh.  Once when I was 18 years old, I got hired during the lunch break of a crappy job I knew I wanted to quit!)   

        So time is of the essence right now.  I probably only have a few weeks left before one of the interviews I’ve had pans out!  I can’t keep wasting my days cleaning the house and catching up on projects.  If I want to allow myself a full fledged depression, I’ve got to get to it…and quick!

        LET THE EBB AND FLOW OF LIFE GO ON

        LET THE EBB AND FLOW OF LIFE GO ON

        For the record, I know I’m not the only one going through this.  Research shows that cancer patients are surviving longer.  YAY for them because it sure as hell beats the alternative.  On the other hand, the caregiver gets caught in the squeeze.  Obviously we don’t want the patient to hit the skids of the alternative.  That would be horrible.  Not only would you lose the job of the caregiver, but the depression part of that alternative scenario would become permanent.  On the other hand, survival means the situation isn’t going to change.  The ebb and flow of living with a long term illness is a roller coaster ride of health, both mental and physical for both the patient and caregiver.  So I’m pretty sure the only smart option is to occasionally give in to the depression and enjoy it. 

        Far be it from me to sugar coat things, so now here’s one last piece of bad news.  If you write about all your pent up feeling and get it out…Holy Crap!!!  It goes away.  And you find yourself sitting in bed in a crusty night shirt with a melted pint of Chunky Monkey!  I guess the only thing left to do is to drink it, take a shower and try again tomorrow. 

        I’D LOVE IT IF YOU SIGNED UP FOR MY E-MAILING LIST!  IT’S JUST YOU AND ME, BABY!  I DON’T SHARE MY TOP SECRET SUBSCRIBER LIST WITH ANYONE, SO YOU WON’T GET JUNK OR SPAM OR FOUND IF YOU’RE IN WITNESS PROTECTION!  I JUST WANT TO LET YOU KNOW WHEN I POST A NEW ENTRY.  SUBSCRIBE HERE  

    Derby Day

    As an unemployed slug, I’ve concocted several methods for making myself feel better between the hours of 9 and 5.  One of my favorites is to stare at a blank laptop screen pretending to be a professional writer…with writer’s block.  Unfortunately, after walking the walk instead of just talking about it, for the first time I’ve realized how stressful writer’s block really is.

    Normally I sit here and wax poetic on any random concept that enters my stream of consciousness.  But today I have an assignment.  Steven actually REQUESTED a post on a topic of HIS choice.  I thought it would be a piece of cake on Monday so I shampooed the rugs whilst ‘thinking’ about it.  On Tuesday, I was able to sidestep the whole thing by being out of the house most of the day.  On Wednesday I started doing laundry and cleaning the house like a maniac to avoid having to begin the task, and today I finally understand the plight of the professional freelance writer.  It’s not as easy as it seems…DUH!!!

    Luckily, I try to jump right in with my eyes shut, before I know the pitfalls of any career change.  I had been doing stand-up comedy for over a year before someone suggested to me that I should have been afraid of speaking in front of an audience.  I had been so busy trying to remember my jokes that it never crossed my mind.  And after a year, it was way too late to go back and manufacture stage fright.

    Yet even with my blind eye leading, there are some things that I just innately know.  Like I’ve always suspected that it must suck to be a ghost writer.  I could feel the frustration of trying to make sense out of someone else’s story and words.  I didn’t have to try it, I just KNEW.  

    Steven has a crusty old friend who has decided to write his memoir.  He’s just a regular guy with an Air Conditioning business, a love of chili peppers and a romance with alcohol who has done a lot of funky stuff in his life.  He started writing it down and Steven thought it would be a great project for me.  It recently crossed my hands when Steven was presented with the beginning of this book, written in longhand, I think in English, starting with kindergarten.  Suffice it to say that I was right, ghostwriting is a strain on the brain.  And I declared myself “GAME OVER.” 

    By the way, none of this is on topic…yet.  It’s all stream of consciousness crap trying to get a running start at…Derby Day.  Saturday is Derby Day.  And to someone who grew up in Louisville, Kentucky, Derby Day is as important as Christmas, Thanksgiving and anyone’s birthday.  Steven spent his formative years in Louisville, so the ‘greatest two minutes in sports’ is always acknowledged in our home.  As a damn yankee, I still don’t quite get it, but then I’ve never had the opportunity to wear a huge flowered hat and tip toe through horse exhaust in high heels trying not to trip in, or on, a pile.  

    Steven, on the other hand, has fond memories of it all.  He had the fortune to have lived near the track in his youth.  As a kid, he was one of those slick little entrepreneurs who set up a parking lot in his yard on Derby Day, collecting $10-$20 from each car owner who was too impatient to keep looking for a space.  And the cleanup afterwards always netted him some more change picking up Coke bottles and cashing them in for the 5 cent deposit!  (As usual kids, Google it.)  

    I’ve always been a little afraid of horses.  They’re kinda big, crap without warning WHILE walking, and lean against you in a way that just lets you know they could crush you at any second.  Of course that’s the take of a damn yankee!  My first job was as a cashier in an A&P.  Steven picked up cash hot walking, rubbing down and exercising horses.  (I’m guessing hot walking a horse is not the same as a a hot walking hooker!)

    And not only has he seen the Derby, he’s been able to watch it from all the best vantage points.  I can’t even imagine the excitement of seeing the race from the infield or the front row of the stands or millionaire’s row or trackside.  And just thinking of 6’6” Steven in the Jockey’s Room before the race sounds like a blast.  

    Steven has a friend from his childhood who shoed (shooed?…shod?…)horses for a living.  (How cool is that?  I never even knew that was a job.) David visited several years ago after ‘the bad’ chemo year, and I was so glad to meet him.  He is now retired but still has a million stories after years of making custom footwear for many Derby contenders.  I like to think of him as the Jimmy Choo of the Horse Shoe.  And according to Steven,  he was in big demand.  

    Long story longer…David phoned on Monday with his usual pre-Derby Day call, reminding Steven “not to take any wooden nickels.”  (Keep Googling, kids)  But he also reminded Steven about the little trackside chapel.  On the Thursday evening before the Derby, there is always a service in that little chapel.  As I write, the service is probably starting.  And David wanted us to know that he put Steven’s name is on a prayer list there,.  So tonight, with all of the horse people, Steven will get the combined prayers of all the good people who live their lives trying to win the race.

    And suddenly, I’m not a damn yankee.  I’m humming “My Old Kentucky Home,” hot glueing flowers on to a sun hat and and getting ready to place my bet…on Steven…to win.