Tuesday, February 19, 2013

I didn't bother with pictures today

But I finally went back to the gym after a week and a half lapse.

I weighed myself today, too. On the first day I went to the gym in Peters Hall, it said I weighed 250. Now, the  little weight on top is gone so I can't tell you exactly how much I am down, but when I put the big weight up to 250, the arrow part hit the... bottom? Top? whichever side that indicates that I weight less than the weighted thing on top is indicating.

I know I've been losing a little, at least. Pants that were uncomfortably tight before are now just tight. I don't exactly push myself when working out (except when the wii fit fucked me over the other week) but I've been paying closer attention to what, when, and how much I eat. I've always been a second or more helpings person. This change did not come overnight, though.

When I first started working out, I figured I could still eat the same way because I was moving around a lot more. But over time (5 weeks) I have wanted to eat less in order to become satisfied and I definitely don't snack as much. I'm pretty sure I need to keep doing both (work out and eat decently) in order to get to my goal.

Here's the deal. I didn't start working out because of a resolution. I don't like resolutions, especially those of the new year's persuasion. I also don't work out because I want to be seen differently, I want to be sexier, I want to eat whatever I want, I have the desire (heh no) to, or anything like that. 

I work out because I want to fit into my old clothes. I don't want to buy a new wardrobe every so often to adjust with my expanding waistline. I also don't care if I'm a statistic-- 35% of Americans over 20 are obese. I'm a human; I'm a statistic no matter what I do. Am I self-conscious? Hell yes. Do I care? Yeah. Again, I'm human. But I'm not interested in being a fitness fanatic. 

My goal is to get back into a size 10 (female, American). I have no qualms telling the world that I am obese according to The Powers That Be, that I am on a good day an American size 18, that I get winded just shaving my legs, and that I have been over 250 lbs (I stopped looking at that point).

I wonder if my mother will read this. If so, I hope she forgives me for what I'm about to reveal.

When I was young, 6-7 or so, my mother told me how much she weighed. I can't remember if I caught her crying or she asked me to come into the bathroom, but I remember she was standing on the scale and made me swear I would never tell anyone what that shameful number was. I'm still not going to tell anyone, but let me be clear that I have surpassed that terrible number that devastated my mum back in the early 1990's.

You cannot fault my mother. She is and was a product of her generation. Also, she had 3 kids in 4 years, so I suppose that can take a toll on a woman's body. At any rate, within the past few years, I have been to the doctor and they weighed me with their (admittedly broken) machine that told me I was at or above that dreaded number. The first time I saw it, I was suddenly that little girl standing in my parents' bathroom staring at a number and thinking it was the worst fate available for a girl. it's still in the back of my mind, but I try not to think about it too much.

On one hand, I can see how someone could make the case for my mindset being "it's only a number." But it isn't only a number. It's actually nothing to me. A size 10 is an abstract goal because that's the size I was when I remember being the most satisfied with how I felt in my own body. It's also nothing to my in the way that I don't give a damn who knows how much I weigh, what my BMI is, or about any illness I may suffer from. I don't. I don't care. I don't mind. However you want to look at it.

Will being a size 10 make me happy? Fuck I don't know. I just thought it was a nice goal to set for myself. Will I award myself an ice cream sundae whenever I meet it? PROBABLY.

Anyway, I didn't bother taking pictures at the gym today. I was halfway through a random workout (that's how I've figured out the bikes work the best, if you let it choose the resistance and stuff for you) and accidentally hit the "reset" button instead of checking how much time in that particular interval I had left. I actually yelled out (GAH!) and startled some people around me. Whoops. I started over, but of course I had reset it and the random is truly random-- it resets to another random course when a workout is completed or aborted. At any rate, I biked 6-7 miles in 20 minutes. I figure that's okay. I sweated a little. Not a lot.

Two weeks ago, the news said that most people give up on their fitness-related new years resolutions on or by Feb. 7. I felt a little bad about that, because that was the week I fucked up my calves running in place because of that fucking wii fit. For the record, the pain lasted all damn week even after I took a hot bath with epsom salts and shit to ease the muscle tension.

I heard that teachers get a workout because they tend to stand most of the day. One of my classrooms (in which I teach two back to back 50 minute classes) is regularly over 90 degrees (no windows, I can't leave the door open, and maintenance doesn't believe I'm an instructor so they won't do anything about it) and I stand for 2 hours straight. Yesterday was one of those days. I was sweating like hell. It was so gross. I'm not a fan of sweating while I'm teaching.

So I burn calories (admittedly, it is only a few) just doing my job. If you think about it, I am holding up a 250+ lb body on my little feet. My calves are fucking massive. I can't wear boots because none will fit over my calves. Forget about tucking my pants into said boots. It takes a lot of muscle to hold me up.

I've feared that once I get my weight down a little that something bad would happen to my calves-- they would lose muscle mass, become atrophied, they would sag and get fatty... Because they aren't working as hard as they did before. However, something occurred to me today: My OCD.

I promise I'm going somewhere with this.

My OCD tic has always been that things needed to be even. Not in the numerical sense, but like pencils and books needed to be lined up right on the desk, curtains should hang exactly the same way on both sides of a window, and for me personally, if I did something (like pop a knuckle or bend a fingernail [just... don't ask]) on one hand, I had to do it on the other one to be even. At some point, I started to feel the need to flex every muscle I was able to consciously flex on my own at the same time, correspondingly on each side. I still do it. Now though it's mostly my legs. Maybe this has no scientific value, but I think another reason my legs are so fucking big is because I am constantly flexing the muscles in them. It's not necessarily an RLS thing, it's just how my brain works. I needed to tighten the muscles in my legs, and it had to be even so I had to do it on both legs.

That's my story for the day.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Free as my hair

Today I cut my hair. Finally. It was like, overnight, My hair became unmanageable. When I went to brush it out, it was like I wanted to stop brushing at a certain point, where I was used to stopping, but there was like 3 more inches of hair left to brush. It sucked.

It was uncomfortably long. Even more than that, I had people telling me not to cut my hair. That they liked me better with long hair. Ugh.  I don't like me with long hair. The picture above was taken about 3 weeks ago. Not like it's grown all that much since then.

So I cut those 3 inches off today. I've been pretty sick of it for a while now. 

I'm also sick of people's opinions. Something as seemingly inane as my hair can drive me up the wall. I *almost* went and got a pixie cut but I stopped myself. Apparently some people's happiness depend on my hair length. Also, I don't think a pixie cut would suit me in this current form. read: I don't want to be the fat chick with short hair.

Too much of what everyone else thinks keeps me from doing things. they might not be earth-changing things, they may not be the most important things, but it's the little things that make up the bigger things.

I took control of my hair. It may not seem like a huge things to everyone else, but it was a big thing for me. I haven't cut it since June 2011. No trim, not cut, no shaping, nothing. It's nice to control something.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Losing Friends and Acquaintances.

FIRST. This is not a "woe is me, feel bad for me, I have no friends" post.
SECOND. You can look back to this post to see my explanation of how friendship kind of works in my head.

Moving on.

I went on kind of an unfriending spree this week on Facebook. I won't go over who I deleted, but I will say that I'm wrestling with it.

Myself, I get too emotional about this shit. Just last night, I saw that someone I knew (in person and on the internet; they live in a different state and we met on a website; we've met in person twice) had unfriended me. I no idea how long ago it was, what I did wrong, or if they even had a reason. Maybe they were just culling the herd.

But the thing is, is on a different website, this person is super-friendly to me. I sent a message and asked if they knew who I was, since my real name is not shown there. I guess they know who I am, but I haven't gotten an explanation as to why they have "unfriended" me on other websites. Not that they owe me an explanation. It's my insecurity, not theirs.

I will/would gladly tell those whom I have unfriended what their sin against me was. If they're interested.

But this is starting to make me re-think the whole "internet friends are real friends" idea. I have people out there that I think I will be in touch with for a long time. But then, the person above was one of those people. And something unknown happened.

I'm not beating myself up over this, but I have a problem. I really do invest myself in too many people. I know that's like someone whining that they are too beautiful or they have too much time on their hands. But I do say too much to too many and expect too much in return.

It's hard to convey exact meaning on the internet. We try to explain ourselves as best as we can, when we care, but it seems that the shit always ends up hitting the fan at some point. Some grievance will be committed, someone will completely (and vociferously) disagree with you, and things will fall apart.

Is it even worth having friendships?

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Working on it

This week hasn't been so great as far as working out has gone. On Monday, I tried to work out with the Wii Fit Active game and it kicked my ass. I am still paying for it-- since then, my thighs and calves have burned like hell every time I've moved. It's really frustrating to be doing kind of well, and then this thing that is supposed to help you just makes you worse. Every movement I make now is labored and painful. I just not got out of an hour-long epsom salt soak/bath. Hopefully that will make a difference tomorrow.

I read (on the internet) that muscles are built while at rest. That is how it was phrased. I of course can't find the link now. But at any rate, muscles repair themselves while at rest. I must've torn the shit out of my muscles for them to be hurting this bad for this long. The worst part is waking up. I can generally get through the night without encountering any pain issues. But I also sleep with my legs bent, so my muscles kind of "set" that way. When I get up and stretch, it's utter agony. (If that's not how it works, then just hush--that's how it works in my brain.) And I have to continue my whole day--on my feet-- in this pain. I wish it would just go away.

As mentioned before, I haven't been able to work out since then. I've tried doing really basic stretches and light yoga to try and work out the pain in my legs, but it's not helped. But I know I can't give up. This is just a minor setback, and I can re-start as soon as my legs feel better. This is no reason to quit.

One thing I have noticed that is making a big difference is my relationship with food. Yesterday, I didn't even bother to pack my gym bag and just came straight home after class. Without thinking about it, I fell into the same old routine-- the tv is on, a commercial comes up, so I go into the kitchen for something to eat. I was halfway through a cheese sandwich before I realised what I had done. I was startled. I haven't done this in what seems like a very long time!

I've been really good about not over-eating and portion control and even to some extent paying attention to my caloric intake. For another example, Andy and I went to O'Charley's on Sunday. I always order a salad with my meal, eat pretty much all of my meal, and split a mini-desert with Andy. This time, I got just an entree, and only ate half. Yes, I had *some* bread, but no more than usual.

There is a final example that happened tonight that got me thinking about this. When I got off the bus tonight, I went into the store and got M&Ms and my prescription. I'm not really the type that goes gaga for chocolate or wine or anything like that. The reason I am overweight is because I don't like moving around and I love cheese. Among other things. But, I felt like I could use chocolate in the house in the future, so I grabbed a bag. I did actually go into the store with the two items I bought in mind.

I went upstairs with my bag of chocolates, intending to have a nice long soak in the tub and some chocolate and read, but something else happened. I opened the bag, one piece fell into my hand, and I ate it. That was all. I had that one piece. A month ago, the whole bag would have been gone in less than half an hour. Then I'd be left feeling sad, for a variety of reasons. But I only had one. Once I noticed this, at the end of my soak, I had a few more (because I was thinking about them) and put them on the dining room table. Where (for lack of a better space) they belong. Not on my bedside table, not in my bed (don't judge me!) and certainly not in my tummy.

I'm not saying I'm a new woman. I'm not. I'm still cranky as hell, irritating, and lazy. But I'm working on it. I'm attempting to work out and get more active, I'm more conscious of what I eat, I have been drinking green tea almost every day, and I'm more aware of the things around me.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Happy Pancake day!

I think that's the proper greeting. It's probably acceptable in some circles to wish each other Happy Pancake Day.

Andy had a bad day at work and I figured he didn't want to go anywhere. In fact, at the suggestion that we go out to IHOP for free pancakes, he shrugged and kind of mumbled "nah." I was sad. FREE PANCAKES, DUDE.

So, as I am wont to do, I whined about it on Facebook. A former student said that she'd like to go, along with her roommate (another former student). Fun!  

I went to leave and either Andy had changed his mind or, according to him, he has never disinterested in going. Meh. Misunderstandings. So, I went to pick up the girls at their dorm and off we went! We ordered food and Student 1 was wondering how we were supposed to order the free pancakes. She suggested that we order our food then just mumble: "andfreepancakes" afterward. It was really funny to us, because we ordered like that. "Cheese eggs, bacon, andfreepancakes." "Two biscuits with bacon and cheese, andfreepancakes." It was really really funny to us. The server was a good sport. Andy high-fived him and kept referring to him as his name. I said that our server probably thought Andy was flirting with him.

Anyway, none of that is particularly remarkable. 

My students EAT SO WEIRD.

First, student 1, a self described sugar lover ("I LOVE SUGAR!"- Student 1) put little bits of flavoured syrup on her hash browns. First strawberry, then blueberry after Andy suggested it. According to her, she puts either jelly or syrup on everything. Okay.

Then I look over at Student 2, who has made a sampler platter of sorts out of the three flavours of syrup. I guess she wanted to try them all.
Student 1 was not wearing a fez. I obviously put it there to protect her ID

THEN I look over to see Student 1 PICKING UP AND TEARING APART her pancakes. WTF. Apparently this is a thing RU students do now. 


Also, Andy left a $10 tip for a $7 bill. I'm a good tipper, but I admit to being a little irritated.

I had a fun night. I hope it cheered Andy up a little.

Monday, February 4, 2013


The bus rides today were crazy.

First, the bus driver left VERY early (they are supposed to stay at the stop I get on/off at until the hour turn) and I told Andy, who told the dispatcher who radioed the bus driver and told her she had to turn around and go back. She flipped her shit and just yelled and bitched about it, then drove like a maniac the rest of the way. I was very glad to get off the bus.

While I was waiting for the bus to depart this evening, the numpties were out in full force.

There is a certain way that we expect others to act in public. I get that everyone is their own person, and fuck society, and blah blah blah. But... come on. Have a little respect for the people around you.

Two older women (women in their 40's) (by older I mean older than me) were play fighting all over the bus. They kept knocking into me (and eventually stopped apologising, even though I never said "It's okay." I never say "It's okay" because it's not) and running all over the bus and kicking each other and throwing things. It was very annoying. Sure, have fun, I don't know their situation or anything, but really... Again, have some respect for your fellow bus riders.

This is not a new thing. Every evening, they do this shit. It's so tiring. And when they aren't trying to make merry with each other, they are interrogating the other passengers. I hope they recognize me from previous interrogations and remember that I'm not a talker.

There was that, and screaming children, which you can't really do much about.

I just wish people would leave me alone. I generally don't want to talk to anyone. Really ever. I've said it before, but having headphones in usually means that that person is otherwise occupied. I'm not doing anything important-- just listening to music-- but I like my space. I like my quiet time. 

Friday, February 1, 2013

Annoying people and taxes

Today we got our taxes done. We have always had them done, especially since I have a mountain of student loan debt and we bought our house. So far, I'm glad that no obnoxious dickwad on facebook has given us shit about having them done professionally. Everyone has a fucking opinion on how EVERYTHING should be run. If I don't drink the right kind of beer, someone has something shitty to say about it. If I post too often, someone has something to say. If I merely comment that we changed our dog food, I get endless (unsolicited) advice on everything from what to feed a dog to the evils of those who don't spay and neuter.

Unless I ask for it, I never want your opinion. I imagine that everyone else has the same policy.

Today, we ran into someone we used to work with. I can't stand the guy. Call him Bob. I don't know anyone named Bob. But we unfortunately know this guy. He came in after us to the taxes place, with his (I was surprised*) wife. Bob worked with us both at Walmart. Then I worked with him at another job, but thankfully I only saw him a handful of times. He's a total douche. He's that terrible combination of super nerd, know-it-all, and mega religious. It's... annoying.

He was (is?) friends with my ex before Andy. They went to the same (Pentecostal) church together, and tried to talk my ex into dumping me immediately because I am Jewish. Bob said, and I quote, that I am "worse than someone that is 'lost' because [I] don't believe in Jesus." he wrote me off immediately because I wasn't the same religion as him. Of course that irritated me. And, remember, we all worked together (Me, Andy, Bob, and ex before Andy). At Walmart.

Over time, he just managed to piss me off over and over. He is unusually nosy and inserts himself into every conversation he walks past. Tonight was kind of no different. I haven't seen him in 2 years; Andy for probably closer to 4. First, Bob wanted to talk to us. He introduced us to his wife, which I guess was nice but he HAS to know I don't like him and I definitely don't care. Then he asked us a few times how we were and what we were up to (HOW DARE HE). Then "Call Me Maybe" came on the radio in the tax place and even though we hadn't spoken to him in a few minutes, I remarked to Andy that I had just gotten that fucking song out of my head. Bob inserts himself into the exchange and says: "It can't get stuck in my head, because I've never heard it before."

He's that type of guy.

So more than death and taxes are guaranteed in this life, especially if you have ever had co workers and you participate in social networking.

*I really thought he was gay, but that he would never come out because he is so crazy religious. Aside from that, assuming he is straight, I can't imagine what kind of woman could put up with his shit. She didn't look happy to be there, but doing taxes isn't exactly the most exhilarating thing ever.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Daily Life

Today, when I woke up, I couldn't believe that it was 6:20 am. It was still pitch black dark outside (I know it's winter) and Top Gear was still playing on Netflix. I must have advanced it in my sleep. I remember continuing once. Also, after going to bed at 9, Amy decided it would be awesome to start crying and freaking out at 11. I was just barely asleep. Gah.

I went to bed irritated about something, but it kept escaping me as to why. Finally, I remembered: one of my student loans had sent back my payment. Again. I've been struggling with figuring out why this company keeps sending back my payments, and why they keep saying I am behind, despite my paying more than the amount due before the due date.

It turns out, my account number on my online bill pay was off by one number. My bad. I thought I had checked it, but I must've missed the error when I did. This time I caught it.

I had called the company, ready to be angry and argumentative with them. But for once, I kept my temper and the conversation turned out fine! I was (and still am) very surprised at myself. Usually, I get myself ready for a fight and stay in that mindset for a long time. But this time, I knew that something wasn't quite right, and despite my best efforts, the problem could be me. It was.

So, the number I was sending the money to doesn't correspond with another account, thankfully. The bank has been sending back my payments 2 months late after trying to send it to the loan company. On one hand, it's good, because my money is coming back to me, and the loan company is willing to waive the late fees if I fax them the statements saying that the bank returned the payments. On the other hand, it's still a little bit of a clusterfuck and there is some residual annoyance over the situation.

In other news, I went to the gym today. I found the bike that worked. Turns out something weird happens with the type of bike I like to use... If you choose a preset course that requires bpm, you're screwed. None of the machines have bpm sensors that work. I figured that much out today. I had to keep resetting the bike for a few reasons. One reason was that I was trying to see what worked and what didn't on that particular bike. The resistance kind of worked, but I could only turn it up, not down. Also, almost all of the preset courses require bpm monitoring, except the cross-country course (which  goes from resistance level 1 to 4 to 7 in 5 minutes... ouch) and the resistance course. I didn't try the second one though. It started on level 6. No.

The second reason I had to keep restarting was because my left thigh was hurting like a motherfucker. I guess because my legs hurt so bad after being on my feet all evening (from 2-6:15) (okay in hindsight that doesn't seem like long... BUT I'm a weakling and I'm not used to it), the pain never really went away there. I actually had a hard time falling asleep (and staying asleep) because my legs and feet were hurting so badly. It was almost as bad as last semester, when on the first day, I was on my feet from 2-7:45 after 3 months of exerting little or no energy on anything. That week, I was in so much pain I felt like vomiting at the end of the day.

I'm proud of myself, though. I managed to bike 3 miles on resistance level 6 for like 20 miles. No pictures this time, because of the constant restarting. I really need to start stretching better. Wellllll I need to start being in shape but I have to start somewhere.

It's been really hard for me to keep myself busy. I know I need to get used to getting up so early, so I set my alarm for the same time every day, despite not needing to be on campus until 1 on MWF. So I don't have anything to do until then on those days. And when I get home on TR, I also don't have anything to do.

Everything needs to change in my routine, apparently. I know there are things around the house that should get done, and I also could be using that time to work out or do yoga or something. But I am so used to doing nothing. Napping. Reading. Watching Netflix. Damn I am a lazy ass.

I think I will start to unfuck my habitat. Maybe knit more. Definitely clean more. I even loaded the dishwasher and *gasp* started it today! That's 2 loads in like 3 days. That's amazing for me. What's even more amazing (and telling of how lazy I am) is that we had that many dirty dishes.

Monday, January 28, 2013


I have no idea what to do with myself in the mornings. Or the afternoon. Or really the evening. I'm trying to wake up between 6-8 am every morning so I can get used to having to be up at 6 on TR. I keep looking at the clock thinking it's going to be much later than it actually is.

I made an egg and some tea. That took no time. I cleaned up the couch. 2 minutes. I scrolled through tumblr and listened to music. I thought I'd been at it at least half an hour. Try closer to 15.

I know lots of people would love to have nothing to do, but I don't thrive under these conditions. I NEED something to do. But my brain stops me from doing much of anything:

I could do laundry. But then I would probably forget about it or run out of time and it would sit in the washing machine for forever and get disgusting.

There aren't enough dishes to fill the dishwasher. I could do it by hand, but then I probably wouldn't have enough hot water for a shower.

I could shower but then I'd just be bored with wet hair for a while.

There is any number of things I COULD do, but most involve me paying enough attention to the task to where I'm not paying attention to the time. Yes, I could set an alarm but that stresses me out. All I am doing then is waiting for the alarm. Running down the clock. This is stressing me out thinking about it all. Shit.

Thursday, January 24, 2013


Today, I was defeated by the gym. And myself I guess.

Since learning my spring schedule, I started to plan working out in the gym on campus. Tuesdays and Thursdays, I only have an 8 am class, so this week I have worked out after those classes. Tuesday went great, for a first day. I biked for more than 30 minutes and walked on the treadmill for a little while too.

I should mention that I worked out with the Wii fit yesterday.

Today though, I didn't fare so well. I realised that the bike machine I was using on Tuesday (and today) was broken-- the resistance didn't budge when it was supposed to (on the pre-set program I selected). Also, the resistance button didn't work. So I biked for a very sad 7 minutes on resistance level 1:
Then I moved on to another bike. Most of them are run by the electricity generated by the act of pedaling. The second bike must have had a short, because the screen kept blinking on and off (it was a different bike than the one pictured above). The next bike's seat was set so high I couldn't reach the pedals. The adjustment knob was broken. I gave up on bikes and went to an elliptical-the only one left without an "Out of order" sign on it. It too was out of order because nothing I did would turn the screen on. Then I went to a treadmill. The first one didn't work. I even tried to move the belt with my feet, but no.

I finally found a machine that worked, but it was so annoyed by then that I just stopped caring about working out. So, I walked at 3.5 mph for 7 minutes and 3 minutes at 3 mph.

Not a whole lot of calories were burned.

I keep hearing that no one is paying attention to anyone else really at the gym. But I can't help but think that I looked dumb going from machine to machine, looking hopeful, but then walking off in exasperation.

I'm trying to not let today discourage me. I walk around all the time, and often in a hurry. My job requires that I stand for more than an hour at a time, and move around a lot to keep students engaged. The act of holding up and moving around a body with my proportions and weight and everything is no small feat. I have crazy strong calves. It's kind of embarrassing, because I can't really wear high boots. And I like high boots. But at any rate, just being me and putting forth some effort in keeping mobile and active rather than just sitting on the couch or lying down and watching Top Gear is something to be proud of.

I came home and had a big salad for lunch and I'm drinking unsweetened green tea. I know things need to change. I don't have all the answers and I know I will screw up at some point. I can't let this crap get me down and allow myself to give up.

I did have a look around the gym myself and spotted a bike that worked. Hopefully I'll manage to snag it in the future.

I am amazingly exhausted so I doubt this is very coherent.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013


If it weren't for the internet, a lot of things would be different. On the social side of things, I would have about 5 friends. (Whether or not I purposely distanced myself from IRL friends is another post)

So often, I hear things like "Online friends don't count" and "You can't really know a person unless you know them in person." On the other hand, I also hear a lot of what I said in my first couple of lines: "Online friends are real friends," "I love my online friends," and "the people I know on the internet are awesome."

The first set of statements is over-generalizing and too all-inclusive. The second set is generous. But, then, I suppose it all depends on your definition of "friend."

Oh, cyberbullying. It's so easy. You just sit down, decide you're right about everything, and type away. Like pretty much everyone on the internet, I have been on both ends of bullying on the internet. Recently, I've been trying to keep more to myself because of an incident that happened last summer on a crafting website's forum. I shared too much and someone decided to shame me for it. Endlessly.

Well friends, I stepped in it again. I asked for advice on the same forum-- in the same place as last time-- and got burned. This time, I asked for help in writing up an assignment for my lit class on fan fiction. The assignment is for the student to write a short piece of fan fiction while including some of the tenants of fiction we cover in the textbook. I thought it was a cute and fun activity-- it gets the student away from writing a boring old term paper that they probably won't enjoy.

I have done this before. I did it last year and had an expert come into the class and speak to them about writing fan fiction. This year, since I have such an early class, I didn't ask the expert to return because I didn't want to inconvenience her. So, I asked the internet.

Big mistake.

Most of the responses were warning me about copyright issues, which I hadn't thought of. That was helpful.

A few were very supportive and offered to help me form a good, solid overview of the beginnings of the subject.

But most were scathing: "Why would you teach something you obviously know nothing about?" "I can't figure out why you would pursue this subject as an assignment." "This is really not thought-through at all. You should consider changing your syllabus."

I'm paraphrasing, and I know that people from the website will read this and want to compare to the original post. For the record, the last one was from a private message sent through that website.

Maybe I'm crying "Wolf!" here. Much, much, MUCH worse happens every day. And I can't go all "YOU DON'T KNOW ME!" because I just can't. This is a forum that has 12,000 members. I should have known better. I shouldn't have asked for advice. I knew what was going to happen. Sort of.

When I started the thread, I really really thought that I would get some good input on how to write fan fiction  and how to convey it to my students. I didn't expect a parade. I didn't think people were going to come out of the woodwork to tell me that I was the most insightful and entrepreneurial teacher ever. I honestly thought I would get advice.

This has, of course, bummed me out. I feel defeated and deflated. I feel like never going back to that forum again.

I can't ask: "Why are people so much different on the internet than they are in person?" because I know the answer. No one is held accountable for being mean. The mods on the board I am talking about are amazing. They really are. They have so much more to deal with than my petty squabbles over a lesson plan and a handful of people sharing their opinions in a blunt and destructive way. But I asked them to shut the thread down, which they did in a timely manner. For that, I thank(ed) them. I didn't want to deal with it anymore. 

More than 70% of my Facebook friends list is made up of people I know strictly from this group. But I don't have all 12k of them as friends. Does that make those that are my "friends" any less valuable? I want to think no, but every time I get a little hurt, I withdraw a little more. I'm a pussy. I've said this countless times. When it comes to being social and nice and buddy buddy, most of the time I just can't do it.

So, am I a coward? Am I a social deviant? Do I suck at being a friend? I do consider my online friends to be just as real as my 5 "real life" friends.But at some point, I'm going to disagree with them.

But I come back with the belief that everyone I love is gonna leave me.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

It's too much

I have too much coming at me right now. It's a constant stream of endless opinions and thoughts and feelings and information and anger and just everything all at once. I can't handle this anymore.

A fight on my Facebook about gun control. Who's wrong and who's right? I'm fucking right because in my brain, that's how I feel. Who the fuck are you to come into my space and tell me I am wrong?

A fight on LSG about flu vaccinations. I am ROASTED and made to feel like shit because I don't get them. Everyone else's reasons for getting the vaccine is right, I am completely wrong, no questions asked.  The mods don't even give a fuck.

I can't go anywhere anymore. All I do is complain when I do land somewhere. I hate myself, the furnace is broken and we don't have the money to fix it, a winter storm is moving in, I hate myself, guns guns guns guns, rights, fuck. I am tired of fighting.

Earlier today, Kevin Smith posted that part of Hollywood was shut down because of an attempted suicide. He tweeted a picture of the person on the roof of a tall building, with a big inflatable mattress ting on the ground below. My first thought was: Why can't they just let them be? Why can't someone just be left alone?

I'm not saying that people don't deserve a special kind of attention when they are in that state. I'm not getting into that. What I am getting into is that once someone has made the decision, why can't people just let them be? The decision has been made. If you have never been in that place, never felt that helpless, then I can't help you to understand. But how someone feels afterward, how they feel when suddenly all of the attention is on them, the guilt they feel for making people worry, for hurting people, the shame they have afterward, the hurt and the pain and the absolute hopelessness coming back from an attempt... Sometimes I think it would just be better if they were left alone.

There is a forest in Japan where people go to kill themselves. People walk in with a rope leading out of the forest so they can either find their way back out if they don't, or so their bodies can be found if they do. Apparently there is a caretaker of the forest that has become a sort of guide for the lost souls. He talks to them, and tries to talk them out of it, but doesn't always succeed.

This isn't going to be noticed by anyone. I'm not going to post it on facebook. I need help. Why can'y I get help?

Thursday, January 3, 2013

I probably shouldn't be a mom, part 2

I was thinking about baby clothes. Sure, they're cute. Endless onesies that say clever things that kids don't understand (because they are babies) seem awesome, but let's do some math:

A 5- pack of plain onesies from Gerber is $10.99. Let's say you go through 3 a day (what the fuck do I know about kids?) and you do laundry once a week. That's $44 for a week's worth of clothes. But that little fucker is going to grow.

Let's say 4 packs of newborn clothing ($44), 4 of 0-3 months ($44), 4 of 3-6 months ($44), and 4 for 6-9 months ($44). That's $176 in the first year alone (not including 9-12 months), and that's if you go with bog-standard plain onesies. But people don't. They spend endless money on clothes that the child will wear once or twice. Then they freak out when the kid gets it dirty.

Kids are fuckin' filthy. 

In a previous post, I talked about how I wouldn't buy my kid many toys because they won't end up playing with most of them. And I'm still not kidding. The same goes for clothes, too.

Gender roles aside, buying a little girl a dress that can cost upwards of $70 is completely insane to me. If my little girl wants to look like a princess, that's fine. Let her run around in a tutu or some wings or something. Later on in life, if she "needs" a pair of jeans or shoes that will make her more awesome in her social group, meh. I can't rule out anything except that I cannot make peace with paying money for tons of clothes that the kid is almost immediately going to grow out of.

Sarah commented on the previously mentioned post, saying that her kids will never be cold or hungry, nor will they be bored, because only boring people get bored. Kids are far from boring. They are always wanting to do something fun, something cool, something completely new to them. As adults, we can take for granted the things the kids are seeing for the first time because it's not new to us.

My SIL was talking about her daughter, my niece, D. Apparently D is really interested in bugs and outdoorsy things. From what little time I have been able to spend with her, it seems that she is not interested in being a princess, or crazy clothes, or playing dress-up. I am not saying these things are bad for children. I am only stating that they are learned behaviors. If we tell our kids that material things are the most important things in life, they will continue to think that forever.

Back to clothes, who really looks at a kid's clothing anyway? Yeah, if they are dirty or unkempt, someone is going to notice. Teachers have a keen eye too. If a student shows up in the same shirt (it's easier to tell with shirts for various obvious reasons) constantly, one might be inclined to think that the child's home situation is not ideal, OR, crazily enough, the kid might really like that shirt. We might think, "That kid might not have much to choose from at home" but that's usually our own predetermined assumptions taking hold.

Really though, when it comes down to it, who is to say that lack of a huge wardrobe for a kid is a bad thing? Let's assume the clothes are clean, they fit the child, and they are appropriate to the season and climate. Social protocol dictates that you can and cannot do certain things when it comes to fashion.

We wear pink on Wednesdays.

Recently, actress Jada Pinkett Smith was criticized for allowing her daughter complete reign over her style choices: everything from her hair, to her clothing. The kid is 12. Does she know what's best for her? No. But Pinkett Smith hits on a very valuable lesson:  

"The question why I would let Willow cut her hair. First the 'let' must be challenged. This is a world where women, girls are constantly reminded that they don't belong to themselves; that their bodies are not their own, nor their power or self determination. I made a promise to endow my little girl with the power to always know that her body, spirit and her mind are her domain."

The idea of a parent controlling a child's actions are understandable. But at some point, you have to let go. "Allowing" a child to do something is one thing. I will allow my kid to get their ears pierced if they want. I will allow them to borrow the car. But at some point, parents start to make decisions for kids. This could go into a whole big thing about body image and good parenting and all that jazz.

I'm not going to go into that. No, I don't know you or your special circumstance. But I do know that any parent worth their salt is willing to go to the end of the Earth to make their child happy and healthy. However, I plan on taking a step back from what exactly is best for my future child. If that means depriving the kid from a unique outfit for every day of the week, so be it. 

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

I'll probably never understand addiction.

I used to smoke, but I was the worst kind of smoker: I'd have a pack on me at all times, but forget it was there until someone would ask to "borrow" one from me. Over the span of 3 years, I probably gave away 90% of my cigarettes. I didn't smoke at home-- I never felt the need. The only reason I "started" was because that was the only way I could get breaks at work. I tried just going out back and standing with the smokers for 5 minutes or so, but I would inevitably get caught and yelled at. It's so backwards. My bosses were fine with people taking 15 minutes to slowly kill themselves then go back into the restaurant, reeking or stale smoke and coughing like they had TB, but I couldn't take a small break just to rest. It's a very unjust system.

 I do like Cloves, though. I've had the same pack of Cloves in my purse
for almost two years.

I've never done any drugs. I've gotten a tiny contact high off someone smoking pot at the Art Alexakis solo show. I once took too many Tylenol cold & flu for my body size when I was in 9th grade. That's about it.

My mother is always afraid that I will become an alcoholic. I guess it's never too late to be looking out for that sort of thing, but I think I am past my drinking prime. Andy and I were talking about it the other day, and he doesn't remember ever having seen me drink myself into oblivion. One Halloween, I made Jungle Juice with 180 octane Everclear and drank most of it myself, along with some keg beer and 6 Stella Artios'. I just puked and laughed a lot. Alcohol has never really appealed to me. I just get a little warm after one or two beers and then I have to pee.

I've bought a few lottery tickets in my time. The day after my 18th birthday, I went to a casino and lost $40 to nickel slots. I never make bets.

I like carbs. I love noodles. But if someone told me I could never have noodles again, I would probably be fine. I can go weeks and months without coffee or tea. I don't drink pop. Caffeine isn't something I need.

I like water an awful lot, though.

Andy and I have said to one another countless times that we are really lucky that neither of us have any addictions that are costly or noticeable. Both of us have cravings, as all humans do, but it's not like we live on a rush of adrenaline or a high of any means. Maybe we're boring.

What brought this on was seeing a former co-worker at the pharmacy today. Let's call him Richard. Richard is a disgusting person. I can't even begin to tell you... ugh. I worked with him for 2 years and I don't think he once showered that entire time. What's more, he has like 5 kids and I'm pretty sure he's married. Anyway, we were checking out at the pharmacy at the same time today. He had two prescriptions adding up to $14. He said he couldn't afford both. In hindsight, I might have offered to pay for them, as he sounded quite ill. At any rate, he said he could pay for one-- the $4 one.

I felt pretty bad for Richard. People not being able to afford their basic needs like medication is one of the worst things I can imagine. I've been there. But I've never been an addict.

He declined paying at the counter for the prescription. I thought nothing of it. But I was driving out of the parking lot, and I saw him: prescription in one hand, a cube of Pepsi in the other hand.

Why? WHY? I just don't understand. If you need medicine, and can't afford it, why can't you put off buying 24 cans of battery acid that you're going to deposit straight into your stomach? I stopped feeling bad for him just then. Now I'm starting up again though. I suppose in the same way that people can't understand my mental state most of the time, I will never understand the idea of addiction.