So I couldn't sleep last night, even with a dose of Nyquil. I tossed and turned and woke up a lot. So I felt crummy to begin with. And then I went to work and talked myself into sounding like I was about to fall over dead. That's from five hours of work. And I'm supposed to do twelve hours tomorrow. Ha!

A smart person would have her humidifier running, in fact that would've been the case all week. And I am a smart person. Unfortunately, I'm also a ditz. I have a new filter for the damn thing; I just have no idea where I put it. The last time I saw it, about two months ago, it was in a Wal Mart bag on my kitchen chair. I was very excited to have found a humidifier filter at all, since I'd been having to buy them online for the last year. But then I had too many other things to do to bother bleaching my humidifier and getting it running again, and now I'm sick and suffering the consequences because I can't find my bloody brand-new filter.

I have no idea how to get myself into shape for a long, long day tomorrow. I can't afford to take any of it off; I need the money too badly. Of course, I can't waitress if I can't talk. I'm so screwed.

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It's 2:39 in the morning. Seeing as I have to work tomorrow night, which is a very depressing proposition considering I've really enjoyed the last two days of bra-less pajama wearing, I should probably take my Nyquil and get some sleep. So do I go to bed, and hope my cold has subsided enough that I can sleep flat without waking up with the Sahara in my throat, or do I prop myself up on my couch and fall asleep to the dulcet sounds of "Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles".

Normally, I don't sleep well on the couch, especially with the tv on. But if I'm not going to have the tv on, I might as well go to bed! But the addition of Nyquil changes all that. I woke up at 12:57 this afternoon, having been asleep and propped up all night. I slept through two hours of Angel, two hours of Charmed, and several hours of Law & Order. Usually the familiar voices will wake me up, or I'll have dreams with parts of the dialogue in it. (On an unrelated note, blogger doesn't like that word, dialogue. It underlines it every time. This has prompted me to check the spelling of a word I know perfectly well. Spell check: UR DOIN IT RONG.) Last night, though, I slept all the way through. I did have quite a vivid dream, but it didn't involve anything there's any logical trigger for.

My throat feels like sandpaper, and peppermint tea isn't helping. Grr. I'm taking my Nyquil, pushing my vile schnauzer off my couch pillow, and going to sleep.

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The place I work at now, I also used to work at about six years ago. A few of the same people are there, including one I never forgot whom, in my previous tenure, I hated. See, when I worked there before was during the height of my self-hating period, when I thought I was worthless because I was fat, when I assumed people hated me because I was fat. And, accordingly, I hated skinny chicks because I was jealous.

My distaste for this person was heightened by the fact that she was snotty, bossy, and a know-it-all. At the time, I pretty much thought she just acted that way toward me because I was fat. Now that I'm back in the same place, I've discovered she's not as bad as I remembered. She's still fairly bossy, and snotty, and she still acts like she's better than everyone. But now I can see that, while I used to interpret it as superiority because she's skinny, it's because she's worked at this place for nine years so she thinks she knows everything. Also, I'm pretty sure I gave off subservient, "I'm less worthy" vibes because I hated myself.

I've discovered, though, that when you talk to her about things not involving work, she's actually fairly nice. I don't hate her anymore. But she does still sometimes get on my nerves, and sometimes I still find myself thinking nasty thoughts because she's so tiny (seriously, she's like six feet tall and maybe 110 pounds). The other day I had one of those flare-ups. She was bitching because her husband bought the wrong yogurt. "He got half the fat-free, which is fine, it's got 80 calories. But the other half is low fat, and it's got 230!"

My immediate response was to think, "why the hell are you worrying about it, you're a twig! Shut up and eat something more for dinner than friggin' yogurt!" But of course, thinking that way implies that she doesn't need to lose weight, because she's below some sort of cut-off point. Which conversely implies that some people do need to lose weight, and should be obsessing over calories. Thinking that way also discounts the possibility that this girl is suffering from the same screwed-up body image issues of most of us, and might actually think she's fat. Basically, it's just not a very accepting thoughts, and I'm trying not to think those sorts of things anymore.

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A bunch of idiots are suing Applebee's, International. Not over something important, like fair wages or unsafe labor conditions or anything like that. Nope, they're suing because their Weight Watchers menu items have slight variances in the nutritional information. WTF? Who the hell cares!

The information came from one of those local "investigative reports" sort of things in Detroit, where they took various menu items and tested them. The full chart is here, and I'm sure Chili's and Macaroni Grill are going to get sued soon too. I'm sure Applebee's was just the first in line because they have a special "Weight Watchers" menu, so it's an easy target. Here's how it breaks down:
So basically, people are suing over a maximum of 89 extra calories, or maybe over the 12.6 extra grams of fat. I can't believe that a) people are that psychotic about calorie intake b) lawyers get paid for this crap c) public court time and money are going to be wasted on this shit.

I avoid saying where I work because I don't want to lose the option to bitch about it without fear of being dooced. :) But I will say that I used to work at the Applebee's in my old hometown. So I know these menu items. If I were to hazard a guess here, I'd say that the portion of cajun lime tilapia they tested accidentally received a regular portion of almond rice pilaf (buttery goodness!) instead of the WW rice. Maybe the cook who made the chicken and portobello sandwich accidentally toasted the bun with butter. Maybe the person who got the steak and portobello thing pissed off their server, and they put buttery broccoli on the plate instead of the bland WW broccoli. Etc.

What it boils down to is this: when you put your food preparation in the hands of someone else, you can't be 100% absolutely positive what's in it. If you can't deal with that, stay home. If you're so fucking freaked out about calorie content that you're going to sue over 89 calories, go home and weigh and measure your little ingredients in your own kitchen.

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A movie is being made of "The Fantastic Mr. Fox"! I love that story. I haven't read it in years and years and years, but I'm totally excited for the movie.

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I felt better at work, but now that my Airborne and Dayquil are wearing off, blech. Although still not nearly as bad as my colds used to be. I'm just sort of ... not so much with the focusing, you know?

Which is why I've spent the last hour and a half since opening this blog entry ... umm ... watching old country music videos on youtube. It started out looking up Hal Ketchum videos. On Sunday when I was at my dad's house, I made dinner and was listening to my mom's old "Past The Point Of Rescue" CD that my dad ended up with it. I forget how much I like that CD. Anyway, from there I ended up on Patty Loveless videos and then on to Alan Jackson and then finally realized how much time I was wasting while giggling at the dumbness of a song called "800 Pound Jesus". It's about a giant Jesus statue, but I'm thinking of, like, SUMO JESUS MUST FEED or something. :)

Maybe I ought to get some sleep. :)

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This is awesome--I'm sick. I felt fine when I went to bed last night. I was unusually tired, but I thought it was just from working a lot in the last few days and worrying about things. But I woke up at 6:30 this morning feeling like my throat was scraped raw. I thought maybe it was just sinus drainage from my allergies, so I did a sinus rinse, drank some warm water, and went back to bed.

Sadly, I think I am actually sick. It's sort of hard to tell--I feel feverish, and my throat hurts, and I've got a little bit of congestion, but not as bad as I'd usually associate with a cold. Then again, this is the first cold I've had since I had my sinuses fixed over the summer. So maybe this is what a cold is like for a regular person, rather than the 1-2 week long suckfest of not sleeping and feeling like my head is full of concrete, followed by another week or two of sore throat and drainage issues.

I took some Airborne, and also some Nyquil, so I'll be passing out soon. Hopefully I'll wake up feeling better!

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I need to make another $400 this week. This is ... well, it's possible, but probable is another thing. And that $400 doesn't even include my massive, crippling cell phone bill that's already six days late. But that's another problem for another day. :) Right now, I'm stressing out about needing to make another $150 to cover my giant credit card bill, and another $270 for the rest of my rent.

I keep running the figures over and over in my mind. If I make this much tomorrow, and this much on Tuesday .... but the fact is, I have no idea how much I'll make. It all depends on how busy we are, what section I have, if people are generous, etc. So there's absolutely no point in stressing out over it. Either I'll make enough money, or I won't. If I don't, I'll ask my dad for help. Or if I can't swallow my pride, I'll let my account by overdrawn for a couple of days.

What I can do, of course, is work as much as possible. I'm not very good at that. I used to be, but since moving and dropping down to one job it's a struggle--I think because I get bored. When I was working two jobs, I had a change of scenery, a change of company, and a change of needed skills. Plus, one of my jobs, I was a manager--so I did a whole lot of different things. I wasn't just a peon like now.

Now, it's difficult to force myself to go to the same place, with the same people, and do the same things over and over. The same mindless things, the same busywork things, the same smile-and-take-orders routine. But this week, and these next couple of months, I'm just going to have to force myself to do it. I'm just going to have to drive to work every shift I'm not working and ask if anyone wants to leave. Someone usually does. If not, it's a quick drive home. If so, it's a little extra money.

I'll be cranky, and sore, and angry at life. But it's only a couple of months. In January I'll get my next batch of financial aid, which will pay my rent for five more months, and by that time I'll have my debt management plan paid off, and that will be $270 a month I don't have to stress about anymore. Hooray! Four years I've been making that payment.

This is how I cope with stress. I obsess over all the things I'll do to fix it, and how/when things will be better. Having run through all this, and written it down, I can hopefully sleep. When I just think about it, I just keep thinking about it and can't rest because I get myself all worked up. If I try to do that when I go to bed in three minutes, I'll tell myself I've already written it out, I don't need to review it any more. Let's see if it works.

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I've really had a repulsive amount of carbs today. Popcorn shrimp and biscuits and ice cream and pizza. Yum yum. I'm not doing so well with this buckling down stuff; I'm still eating a little more carb than I should to feel optimal. Why? Well ... they taste good!

I'm still reading about the War of the Roses. Although I have yet to get to the war part. I have gotten to the point, I think, where all the major players have been born. I think Henry VI is about to lost his mind and trigger all the conflict. Hooray!

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So I knew that all those old English nobles were big on the inter-marrying. But I guess I never realized quite how much until I started putting all the descendant of Henry III into this family tree program. There's so many marriages of siblings in one family to their cousins, who are also siblings, in another, that you can't even really draw all the connecting lines with any coherence. Crazy people. :)

It's sort of pointless to be studying all this, I suppose; it's not exactly useful information. But I do enjoy learning stuff, despite despising studying for certain classes I'm currently in!

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So I'm reading The Wars of the Roses by Alison Weir, because it's sort of the step before the Tudor time period I'm familiar with. When I got into the second chapter, which breaks down the descendants of Richard III, I realized I was going to get really freaking confused. So I thought I'd sketch out a family tree. Of course, I forgot how everybody's related to everybody and descended from everybody else, so that didn't work so well.

I thought about just finding a tree on the Internet, but I know I'd remember it better if I made it myself. So what did I do? Umm ... I downloaded a family tree maker program. Yeah. Big geek, right here.

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I feel very content right now. It's been a sort of strange, fragmented day. I stayed up until four studying; slept for a couple of hours; went and took my exam; came home and slept until it was time to get up and go to work. Had a decent night at work, and then I went to the gym. I didn't work out; I just sat in the hot tub, and sometimes the pool, reading. It was a nice relaxing hour or so. Now I'm home, and in my pajamas, and ready to curl up and read for a while longer before going to sleep.

I'm also somewhat distracted by "Stigmata". The "on demand" section of my cable has a bunch of "scary" movies for free, and I was surprised to see "Stigmata" on there. I wouldn't classify it as scary, just suspenseful. Definitely not something that belongs on the same list as "Friday the 13th" and something called "Midnight Meat Train".

Every time I see this movie I want to read more about the phenomenon of stigmata. Although I'm not in the least religious, I am very curious about the mystical side of Catholicism. I guess it's the same reason I love The X-Files and reading about "cryptid" creatures, etc. I'm not sure why, but I've always believed in .... I don't know. Not the Loch Ness Monster or Bigfoot or anything specifically, but in the possibility of some funky shit out in there. :)

Anyway, with stigmata I don't really know where to start. I don't want to read some crazy religious "it's a gift from the LORD!!!11!!" type of book. I'd like to find an analytical look at it, but I don't know how to find such a thing.

I'll probably forget about it by tomorrow. I'm starting to feel sleepy, so I think I'll turn off the movie (as gorgeous as Gabriel Byrne is) and go snuggle up in my down comforter. :)

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I only worked until 5 tonight; it's now 11:45 and I have yet to start studying for my test in the morning. I'm not sure where the last seven hours went, actually, although I did fall asleep on my couch for a couple of hours. Which I planned to, I was sleepy. Now, though, my head feels vaguely achy all over, with a sort of throbbing behind my left eye, and I can't seem to focus. I've got 80 more pages to read for tomorrow's test, plus general review.

I'm also crazy craving pizza, and I'm not sure why that is. I think just because it's warm and flavorful and comforting. I decided today I really need to be more strict with myself about eating properly, though, because my jeans were uncomfortably tight this morning. I don't meant that in an "OMG I'M SO FAT" way, just that if I'm retaining even more water than I was last week pre-period, I've obviously been overdoing it.

Plus, although I have the cash right now, I still need to make another $450 to finish paying rent and bills this month. Actually it's a lot more if I were to pay everything, but I'm still hoping my mother will come through on her part of the phone bill, and that I can put off paying my electric bill (and natural gas and my part of the phone bill and cable ...) until after I get my rent paid. As it is I think I'll be doing well to pay my rent and my major credit card bill. Luckily, because of the first falling on a Saturday, I've got two extra weekend days to accomplish this. So it might be possible. If those two weekends are like this one, then it will be.

But no pizza for me. I really don't want to get a second job; I'm sort of enjoying actually having days off. But it's looking like I'm going to have to, at least through January. I could pick up more shifts, but the more I waitress the crankier I get and the less I make, even though I try to hide it. I guess I've always been better at having multiple jobs, because I get less bored.

***

Ten pages of studying done. This is very slow for me. I'll get to the end of a line and as my eyes scan to the next one I'll forget what it said. Or I'll totally lose my place, or I'll be looking at the page and it'll start to sort of waver before my eyes. Blech. I'm not sure what to do about it. I'm going to try dinner, Advil, water, and a break. It's one in the morning; my exam is in eight hours. I'll sleep afterward, I guess!

***

Well, that seems to have helped. I've made progress. I still feel ... not headachy, but that weird over-tired feeling, at the back of my head. But I'm nearly done with the reading portion. Maybe I'll be able to take a pre-exam nap!

***

Hot damn. Three in the morning and I'm done with the reading portion. Now it's on to the "answering study guide questions" part. First I'm being distracted by Dell's website. Not that I need a new computer; I really don't do anything high-end. This is basically an Internet-and-music box. But it's three months shy of eight years old, which of course for a computer is ancient. :) But I don't need it. Even if I do have a Dell credit line. Nope, don't need it. :)

Ugh. I don't want to mess with this study guide. I want to just wing it! Even when my vision isn't blurry (or whatever that was before), it's so hard to be interested in this stuff. I've probably whined about it before. I chose my classes this year based on two criteria: allowing me plenty of time to work, and being easy for my first semester back. Unfortunately, that also combined with two terrible features: early in the morning and boring as fuck!

Seven weeks left, plus finals. Gaaaaaaaaaaaah.

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I'm sure there are plenty of people out there who think that Powell is endorsing Obama because of racial issues; I think assuming that is racist in and of itself. But more to the point, in this interview on msnbc.com he cites problems with the Republic Party in general, as well as giving a glowing recommendation of Obama. I think it's awesome--it's definitely time for someone to speak up on a national stage about how nasty the Republicans' campaigning has been.



When I first learned that Obama was the Democratic candidate, I thought that meant McCain was a lock. Actually, I thought that when the Dem candidates were down to Clinton and McCain. I figured there were just too many "good old boys" like my grandfather who would never vote for a woman or a black man. Or a Democrat, in the instance of my grandfather, actually. Now however, it looks like Obama's chances are pretty good. This makes me happy.

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Essentially, a bill in OK would require a woman to have an ultrasound an hour before having an abortion--and specifies the screen has to be facing her. Also, it prevents a woman from suing a doctor who withholds information about developmental issues--Down syndrome, etc.--that might reinforce her decision. Here's a quick clip about it:

Make a Point at Current.com

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BOO delayed release date. Stupid Warner Bros. I bet they only changed it because they didn't want to compete over Christmas with Twilight and the new James Bond. Which is completely ridiculous--it's freaking Harry Potter, it's going to make them a mint regardless of when it's released.

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Several times in the last few weeks, I've had another waitress' tables confuse me with her. I don't mean they've just asked me for something I walked by; I mean they've continued conversations they had with the other girl. And we look nothing alike. She's a little taller than me, and her face is a little thinner. I have very blonde hair, she has very brown hair. We don't even wear our hair in the same style. I have blue eyes, she has brown. Our faces aren't at all similar, neither are our voices.

The only physical similarity between us is we're both fat. We're approximately the same size, although she carries her weight differently than I do. It used to happen at my old restaurant, too, with a girl with green eyes and long, long, long red hair. Now, I realize that one server in jeans and a black shirt is very similar to any other ... but nobody ever mistakes me for their server when that server is slender.

On a somewhat related note, I learned long ago that my tips are better when I wear makeup. I used to think it was because it disguised the color of my face--I thought maybe I was flushing with anger when people asked me for things and this was showing my irritation despite my polite words. But in the last year or so, I've quit being quite so annoyed with people, so I don't think that's it. Nor does my makeup drastically change how I look--it's not like I'm a genius with blush shading. I don't wear lipstick. I don't even do eyeshadow or mascara. When I ask people if my makeup looks alright, they almost invariably say "What makeup? You're not wearing any makeup!"

But when I don't wear even my basic makeup, it's obvious because my skin tone is uneven. As far as the tip discrepancy, I think it's simply that if I'm not wearing makeup, I'm not conforming to "normal" beauty standards.Whatever the cause, I find my tips are generally about 5% higher when I wear makeup.

I also think I get better tips when I wear jewelry, particularly earrings. I used to think it was because the earrings made my face look less fat with my hair pulled back; now I think it's simply because the earrings are something non-uniform compared to the rest of what I have to wear at work. But still, I wonder about my original assumption, that it was because it made my face look less fat. Would I get better tips if I were thinner? I don't even mean super skinny--just not obviously "morbidly obese". If I were a size 14 instead of a 22, would people think I "deserved" their tips more?

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$2.97 a gallon for gas? Really? Yippee!

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Apparently, my father was being over-dramatic. The dog is mostly fine. He can walk, he can run, he can jump up and down on things. Just sometimes it looks like his back legs give out--not at the same time, but sort of like if a human's knee gives out and they sort of stumble. The vet has him on steroids for inflammation, and they seem to be helping. Thank goodness. :)

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I had a big long post here, written while I was very upset thinking my dad's dog was practically at death's door. I've deleted it because it made me sad. :)

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Saw this on The Rotund and had to share!

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Today I went to work, and met with a group for a project for a class, and studied some, and watched some tv. And now it's 12:30, and I'm not tired (which sucks since tomorrow's a very long day) but I am bored. I don't feel like reading or watching anything, I've checked all my usual websites, and I just feel listless and bored.

I definitely could study more; it's not like I don't have chapters and chapters to read. But yuck.

I've decided to start a car down payment fund. This is it so far:

Isn't it inspiring?

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Yeah, I'm watching Harry Potter movies again. What's it to you? :)

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So ... I was sure I had a test last Friday. Then I looked at the online copy of the schedule, rather than the original handout in class, and I could swear, absolutely swear, that it said my test was Wednesday. Then, I'm looking at my original handout, and it says next Monday. And the online one does too. WTF? Am I really that blonde?

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I just made a milkshake with sugar free ice cream and dark chocolate mint sticks I had left from a gift basket. It was delicious!

I guess I blogged myself out in the last few days, right now I don't seem to have much to say. Other than I have a tremendous amount of studying to do, and I've had all day to do it and haven't touched my books. Instead, I've ... umm ... well, I guess I've watched some tv, done a bit of cleaning, went to dinner with a friend, and finished a non-school book I was reading. Looking at that list it doesn't seem like it should've taken up my entire day. Oops.

Alright. If I go to bed in an hour, I'll still get enough sleep to deal with work tomorrow. And if I spend this next hour studying, I'll be able to sleep without panicking about how much is left to do tomorrow. Good plan.

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So one thing I've learned, in budgeting, is that Dollar Tree stores are awesome. I thought at first that it would be all nasty, funky off-brand stuff. Turns out, it's awesome! Last time I went there, I got a big bottle of Dial dishsoap (2.50 at WalMart), Tidy-Bol tablets (don't know how much, but I'm guessing more than $1), a bag of Reese's peanut butter cups, a pack of hilighters, a 12 pack of pens, 2 bags of shredded cheese, 2 bags of caramels, five packages of Halloween straws (for kids at work), two ice cube trays, and I forget what else. But just from those things, I'd guess I saved at least $15 bucks over Wal-Mart.

The cool thing is that they do have the brand-name stuff. The cheese I got is Sargento. They have other food stuff (dry, canned, frozen and refrigerated), brand-name cleaning stuff, even small things of brand name cat and dog food. They've got tools, headphones, books, kids' toys, just all sorts of stuff.

Anyway, if you have a Dollar Tree nearby, it's worth checking out!

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One thing I did like about the mini-series of "The Starter Wife" was that, although it took place in the Hollywood upperclass setting, there was a certain reality to it. I did especially like the line where Molly, having a breakdown post-divorce, snaps "OF COURSE I'M CRANKY! I haven't eaten in TWELVE YEARS!" The new series has that same sort of mix of Hollywood stuff and reality, which is nice.

But within the first few minutes of the first episode of the regular series, I'm pissed. Molly and her friends Joan and .... umm ... gay guy who's name I don't remember ... anyway, they're at a mall.

Molly: I feel so thin!
(You're Debra Messing. You're a stick insect.)
Joan: That pretzel is the size of her head! (hissing) No wonder everyone is SO FAT!

Gah! Fuck you!

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Somehow, when I start feeling like my life in unraveling, my first thought is that I just suck. Then it's "maybe it's PMS, isn't it that time?" And eventually it dawns on me ... I ran out of Prozac last week. Or maybe the end of the week before. I remember taking my last pill and thinking I'd better get a refill ... but I guess I didn't realize how long ago that was. This explains my trouble sleeping, my exhaustion, my annoyance at relatively little things, my lack of give-a-damn about my eating, my hours of crying over that stupid Kiwi video (still, the link is to the happy one!), and the panic attack I had at my dad's.

This is just so fucking stupid! I know what happens to me when I stop taking my happy pills. I don't know why my brain chemistry is so screwed up; but I know that if I just take my pills I'm much better off. I didn't mean to stop taking them ... I guess I just was busy and so I didn't realize just how long it's been since I ran out.

I used to think my depression was a function of other things in my life. My dad's drinking, or my boyfriend living on the other side of the work, or being fat, or having no friends, or whatever. But after a couple of years of life basically being good, I had to admit that it's not situational. It's chemical. For example, right now, there's not anything really wrong with my life. Yeah, I have a lot of bills to pay, and that's a little stressful. I'm single, but I'm okay with that. I miss my friends, who are all 90 miles away, but I'm not isolated or miserable about it. My dad still drinks, but I've mostly learned to avoid or cope with it. Etc. etc. And yet, even though I have friends, and good relationships with my family, and things I enjoy, and I'm managing with bills .... without my prozac I've turned into an over-sensitive, panicking, exhausted mess.

So I've called it in the the pharmacy, and I can pick it up tomorrow. Yippee!

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Aside from keeping my toes warm whilst watching television and having no central heat right now, it provides another important benefit: it attracts my kitties to bask in its warmth with me. :)

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I have a ridiculous amount of clothing. Two years ago, I did finally get rid of the vast majority of my "skinny" clothes. That was before I was really comfortable with myself, so my reasoning for getting rid of most of them wasn't accepting I'd be "skinny enough" to wear them again. It was more "good grief, why did I ever wear that?!" Sometimes it was "I'll never wear that again"--regardless of losing weight, I'll never be as short or as flat-chested (well, okay, flat-chested compared to now) as I was at 13.

Other things, I kept. For example, I have a pair of size 18 purple jeans that I love. I remember the day I found them at the Ross in Boulder. I was so damn excited! And the one time I lost a significant amount of weight, I was very happy to wear them again. Now, I'm still clinging to them, but I'm not sure why. Even if I did lose weight and could wear them again, I wouldn't--they're tapered-leg, terribly unflattering. But every time I go through my clothing trying to purge more, I keep those jeans.

A few items, mostly shirts, shrank when I washed them. I kept them, because it seems a shame to get rid of sexy corset tops or cool embellished t-shirts because they're just a little bit too tight. If my weight fluctuates down about ten pounds, they'll be wearable, so I keep them. The same with items that fit before I lost about twenty pounds just from stress relief--if I gain a bit, I can wear my neat handkerchief hem skirt again! So I'll keep it.

And then there are a few pieces of "motivational" clothing. I got rid of all my old "motivational" clothing two years ago ... but not too long after that I started working for Lane Bryant, and boy, did I make the most of my employee discount. Most of my money was spent on things that I could and did wear right away ... but some of the items I bought, like a pair of size 18 Seven7 jeans, didn't fit at the time. They may never.

But I hold on to them. I'm not sure why. The only thing I can think of is that I'd never find that exact item again. So I hold on to these things because maybe someday, under some circumstance, I might wear them--and it's better to have them in case than to get rid of them and regret it.

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Ice-T is hilarious. Especially as a cop.

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There's a certain salad at my restaurant that can be ordered will either fried or grilled chicken. The default option is the fried chicken; that's how it's pictured, and how it's described, with only a small line offering the grilled chicken.

Still, after three years I've learned to always clarify, as I've had so many people get pissed off and tell me they wanted the GRILLED chicken and that's how they ALWAYS get it and it just never OCCURRED to them I wouldn't KNOW that!!!

So now I clarify, but I hate doing it. I hate it because of the way people react, especially women. When I asked if they'd like grilled or fried chicken, the universal response is almost always a sort of sidelong glance at their companion ("Will my husband think I'm a pig if I get fried chicken?"), a sort of cocking of the head to the side, and then one of two things:

1) *sigh* I guess I'd better have grilled.

2) Oh, I'll be bad and have the fried.

"I'd better" and "I'll be bad". More values assigned to food, again. Now granted, some people like grilled chicken over fried. Some people it's just so ingrained they don't think about it. Those two just answer right away, without stopping to argue with themselves. But I really hate it when my question causes someone to sigh and make the "better" choice rather than what they want.

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The same day that Harriet at Feed Me! wrote about being asked if she'd lost weight, I had the same issue. But at the same time, I also got the assumption that I must want to. And that dark colors are slimming!!!11! I was having dinner with my dad and my grandma, and had just sat down after getting more water.

Grandma: Have you lost weight?

Me: Nope.

Dad: Why not?

Me: *DEATH STARE*

Grandma: *sniff* Well then I guess that top is slimming. It's a dark color.

Me: It's purple, it's a good color for me.

Dad: Why haven't you lost weight?

I rolled my eyes at him and went to check on my laundry. When I came back, they were thankfully on to other topics. It's partially my own fault that my dad's asking about it--I asked him to make vegetables instead of potatoes, turned down bread, etc. I tried to tell him it was about feeling better, and that I wasn't on a diet, especially when he got all food police-y on me one night, but of course to my dad, 1) I'm fat 2) Fat is bad 3) so I must be unhappy 4) so I must want to lose weight.

I've tried to talk to him before about my weight--or rather, when he's brought it up, I've tried to explain why I wasn't trying to lose weight. I've tried to convince him I'm healthy. I've tried to convince him I'm happy, or at least that my unhappiness isn't connected to my flab. But he just doesn't listen. I'm not sure exactly why he's so certain my life would change if I weren't fat; I guess it's just general societal views having taken root in his head.

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Nothing really went terribly wrong today; just a lot of little things going slightly awry. First there was something weird going on with my cable--it just didn't record something, and then all my channels said "this channel will be available shortly" ... but something recording on one of those channels was fine, every though when I tried to view it on the channel I got the error message. I just had to reset my cable box, which wiped out my viewing guide, which means some of my recordings might not happen again because it takes so long for it to load again.

While in the shower I realized I hadn't hung my bras up after washing them on Thursday. Luckily, they don't seem to have mildewed, I guess because it's so cold in here.

Then on my way to work, my driver's side windshield wiper quit working. So I had to get out of the car every half mile to manually move the wiper to clear the glass. I borrowed a wrench at work to tighten up the bolt that attaches the arm, and it seems to be working now.

Like I said, nothing big, just minor annoyances. Stupid stuff like my socks slipping down, and my ears itching, blah blah blah.

But now I'm home! And after I take out the trash, and clean and refill the cat boxes, I can put on my pajamas and curl up in front of my space heater. :)

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Last night it was 40 degrees on my way home, according to the electronic bank sign. My house was still pretty warm, though. Today, it's very cold out, and the temperature in my house is dropping. That'd be fine, except for the fact that I just discovered my damn furnace doesn't work! That's just splendid. Now I have to figure out a time I can just hang around waiting for maintenance to come look at it. I think the pilot light is just out--but the way the thing is rigged up, I can't figure out where the hell that is. I've taken off all the parts I can trying to find it, but there's this big funky silver thing hooked to one side of it. Grr.

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When a friend first mentioned that Palin supports aerial hunting, it didn't incense me all that much. It's idiotic, and unsporting, and just a ridiculous concept in general. Tonight, however, I read that it's not hunting of game animals for food. Nope. It's wolves.

As governor of Alaska, Palin wanted to offer a $150 bounty per wolf killed from planes. Are you fucking kidding me? Has nobody told this ignorant bitch that wolves are an endangered species? Actually, they were apparently taken off the list six months ago--but at the time Palin was supporting the slaughter of them, they were still endangered. Her reasoning is that wolves were killing the moose that hunters should be able to kill. Excuse me? Go to the grocery store and buy a fucking beef steak! Or shoot a deer instead!

I suppose this shouldn't surprise me. She wants to destroy the Arctic Wildlife Preserve in the name of oil, too. Obviously, she has zero respect for nature, and doesn't give a damn about the balance of the ecology. If them hunters want them a moose, we'd better slaughter all those innocent, beautiful natural predators. It's not enough that humans already have the advantages they do--motorized vehicles, high-powered weapons, the larger brain that allows humans to think of ways to more efficiently lure and slaughter wildlife. Nope, humans need to have near unchallenged access to those moose.

This really, really upsets me. Of course, I've had a soft spot for wolves since I was young. I don't remember how it started; I just remember being very excited when I learned wolves were being reintroduced to the west. I think they're beautiful, amazing creatures, and the idea of them being slaughtered--by plane or otherwise--just breaks my heart. It's not like wolves are a food source--these people are shooting them just for the hell of it. And our country's potential VP is all for it.

I really, really dislike Sarah Palin.

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This is absurd. A man gets called to go to Iraq, his wife is pregnant and staying with family, and the developer of the subdivision where they bought their home is throwing a fit about the freaking LANDSCAPING and threatening to sue.

Every once in a while, something comes along that restores my faith in humanity. Then I read about something like this.

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I'm not really sure what's going on with me the last week or so; I've been doing a lot of emotional eating. I don't know why I'm freaking out so much lately; I had a half-hour long panic attack today at my dad's, and I don't even know what triggered it. I've been feeling very despondent and miserable a lot, and sometimes just felt numb. WTF?

Anyway, because of this, I haven't been paying hardly any attention to whether or not my food choices were healthy. I haven't actually been eating to try to soothe my feelings, which is improvement; I'm more been uncaring and eating whatever sounded good at whatever point in time. Some days I've been okay, other days not so much. Right now, I really want to order pizza. I don't even know if anywhere is open. And I shouldn't spend the money either. This is entirely emotionally-based eating; I am hungry. My dad made a sort of doctored hamburger helper for dinner, which was okay but not very filling--I didn't eat much because of the noodles. I had some of the stew he had going, but not much--after he told me the meat was bear and rattlesnake ground together, I sort of lost my appetite for it. Which I know is dumb.

At any rate, I am actually hungry, and a bit short on foodstuffs as I haven't gone to the grocery story. Peanut butter actually sounds better than pizza. But that would require getting dressed, going out in to the cold, and going to the story. I think laziness is going to triumph over hunger.

I'm trying to remember what I had to eat yesterday. I remember what I ate at work, but not before that. Hmm. Mindsuck.

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Where else are you going to get to hear Judith Light call someone a douchebag?

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I was so damn upset from that Kiwi video that I sat alternating between sobbing and just leaking tears for about half an hour, and feeling generally upset since then. I feel like an idiot; it's just somebody's animation project. I'm not sure why it upset me so much. I'm trying not to analyze it. I hope I'll be able to sleep soon.

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This always happens. I have to get up early, for a long, exhausting day, and late at night I suddenly feel motivated to do all the things I should've been doing earlier. When I got home from work, I took a nap, then screwed around doing nothing in particular. About an hour ago I started working on putting away my mountains of clothing I don't know what to do with. I have a ridiculous amount of clothing. Some of it is too small; but most of it I just have nowhere to where anymore, as it was for work. Now all I can wear to work is jeans and a black polo, so most of my clothes are useless now.


I keep thinking about this stupid Youtube video my cousins showed me. It's called Kiwi, and it makes me cry. If you go look for it, look for Kiwi 2, which has a happy ending, dammit. I'm going to take my crying self to bed now.

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Fucking PMS. At least that's what I'm assuming it is. I could sleep 24/7 the week before my period, and that's how I feel now. So naturally, this is the week I get scheduled for more shifts than usual. And I'll only have one day off. That's partially my fault, I suppose; I could've left when I got there tonight and discovered they'd taken me off the schedule (and added me on in other places). But I was pissed off and I'd made the trip, so I stayed and worked for someone who wasn't feeling well.

I'm really quite annoyed with the situation. This is the second time I've been positive the schedule was changed from the original version, although the first time it was a smaller thing. The way my schedule is arranged I don't have a day I can easily go to my dad's to do laundry; I don't have a day I could go visit my friends down the highway; there's one day I'll have two hours of class, an hour break, three hours of work, an hour break, then another four hours of work; basically I just don't like this arrangement at all. But I don't want to be a demanding pain in the ass, so for this week I'll let it go. Hopefully next week it'll be back to normal. Maybe.

Ugh. I'm going to bed.

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There's a Pantene Pro-V commercial with Maria Menounos where she describes her hairstyle as "actually pretty easy". The steps are: 1) blow dry in sections 2) spray some root lifter 3) use giant curling rollers 4) mess it up with your hands 5) spray it all over with hairspray. That would take me at least half an hour. This is easy? Really? Do real, every-day women actually spend all this time on their freaking hair?



You know what else is easy? Put your hair in a damn ponytail.

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I'm by no means the most politically savvy person around; but the more I think about Sarah Palin the more pissed off I get. Choosing her for VP is just so blatantly manipulative! I can just picture a bunch of old Republican men sitting around saying, "Well, that there Hillary Clinton has a vaginer! Let's get us someone with a vaginer and then all those little ladies will vote for us!"

Well, maybe it's not that simple. See, her ridiculous "I'm just a regular person, hyuck!" routine makes me think they're assuming that not only women are stupid, but the population in general. ("I'm a-gonna vote for that ladee that talks lahk me!") I realize that politicians always try to bring in the undecided or less politically inclined voters with these sort of appeals--but campaign ads and slogans are a far cry from selecting a VP based on these reasons.

I'd be surprised to hear anyone state that Palin was chosen for her experience or political acumen. She is in no way qualified to be president should McCain die in office. She's in no way qualified to be that close to the seat of power. I say this not because of her number of years of political experience (Obama has about the same number of years), but because she has no experience with foreign policy or the government outside of Alaska. So if she wasn't chosen based on her qualifications, what was she chosen for? Obviously, this is a completely transparent attempt by the Republican party to take advantage of the feminist excitement following Hillary Clinton's campaign.

I'm not saying Barack Obama is perfect; but I think that Obama and Biden are a more sound, secure option. I also personally worry about a number of things if the Republicans stay in the White House. This post on Salon.com details the potential for disaster in the Supreme Court (such as the possibility of Roe v. Wade being overturned).

Like everyone, I'm concerned about the Iraq situation. This is one reason I find a certain McCain/Palin ad running now to be hilarious. The ad describes Obama's goals as "wasteful pork" and shows an adorable sleeping baby being eclipsed by the shadow of BIG GOVERNMENT!!!!!11!1 First, babies as a campaign prop are so cliched. Second, I'd rather pay taxes for social programs (aka "wasteful pork") than continue paying taxes to bring "democracy" to a country that didn't want our "help" in the first place. Wasteful indeed.

It also makes me absolutely furious that rape victims in Wasilla were charged for the processing of medical rape kits. While Palin didn't instigate this law, it appears she was aware of it, and for her to fail to address it is fucking disgusting. If she wasn't willing to protect women in her own small home town, why would we think she gives a damn about the rights of a country full of women? Oh wait, we already know she doesn't. She doesn't even give a damn about what her own daughter wants, or about taking care of her four month old baby.

Basically, to me, this election boils down to a couple of things: Iraq/the economy, and protecting civil rights of everyone (although I realize I've only mentioned women here). Republicans suck at dealing with both those issues, IMHO.

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After three weeks of eating more or less healthily, I decided today I was going to have what I wanted without restrictions. So I had a little cup of chocolate mousse, and I had spinach and artichoke dip with chips, and I had boneless wings in BBQ sauce. Much to my surprise, though, three things happened: the mousse was just enough and I didn't crave more, the chips really weren't all that (just a dip delivery medium), and the BBQ sauce was just way too .... thick. I didn't eat most of the chips, and only ate half of the wings. Still, I'll probably regret it tomorrow because I'll probably feel like crap--it was still a lot more carb than I'm used to having now.

Ah well. Tomorrow's another day. I think I'll have salad tomorrow, that actually sounds good. I'm glad I can eat salads again--I was off them for months because around Christmas time I puked up just-eaten salad three times, and the association was bad.

And really, although I might feel less than optimal tomorrow, I don't regret having what I did for dinner. The spinach dip, and the first half of the wings, and the chocolate mousse, were quite delicious. And since this isn't about losing weight, but rather about consistently eating a healthier diet than I have been, I don't have to feel guilty. Hurrah! Let's all get drunk and play ping pong!

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As above.

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My crazy dog won't play with dog toys. She doesn't like more dog treats. She will very occasionally play with cat toys, but strangely she will play fetch with my dirty socks. It's quite cute, actually; she'll run and slide across the carpet, grabbing my sock and shaking it like she's trying to snap something's neck, then she'll barrel back straight at me with it and crouch, waiting till I throw it again. Of course, after about five minutes she still acts all excited, and she'll run after it, but she won't actually get it. Crazy dog.

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I once again managed to not eat until really, really late. But it wasn't intentional this time. I went in to work early, planning to eat before my shift started, but it was so busy I couldn't have gotten food in time. Lovely. So I'd had a sugar-free pudding cup, six french fries, and a few sips of raspberry tea, until I was finally able to eat at 9:30. No wonder I feel like crap now.

I really wanted to have one of our chocolate before I left work, too, but I didn't--because I knew that it wasn't a "real" craving, but rather my subconscious recognizing the most calorie-dense, quickly absorbed food in the vicinity. So I had real food instead.

But still, after my day of next-to-no-food, I feel awful. My head is vaguely aching, I'm freezing cold, I feel unsettled and discontent with everything I sit down to do, and my skin feels hot. I'm also unusually tired for the length of time I've been awake/amount of activity today. I keep getting this strange chills. I already feel cold all over, but occasionally I get this strange radiating cold shiver so intense it makes me gasp, like it almost hurts. Maybe it's a coincidence, maybe it's not connected to my scant nutrition.

Part of me wants to crawl into bed and try to sleep, but until my headache goes away I wouldn't be able to. It also feels like the sort of headache that just might worsen during the night. :(

****

Okay, ytmnd.com has revived me. People are crazy! I found one that combines a-ha and Picard! Hilarious!! With multiple exclamation marks!!! And another combining Super Mario and Picard! Oh, the endless amusement. Oh look, Riker's got boobs.

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I am SO fucking sick of commercials for The Starter Wife! I admit, I watched the mini-series, mostly for lack of anything better to watch. Now they've made it a regular series, and they have been advertising it 1-2 times per ad break for the last three months. The first month or so featured brief clips from the show and Debra Messing posing and being "glamorous" (Oh look I'm laughing, oh now I'm serious, now I'm pouting) in tight dresses. Then, I assume as they made more episodes, the commercials started including more and more clips from the show, which out of context seem like Messing is just ridiculously over-acting. I understand that they're promoting their new show; that's their job. But good grief! How many times, in a single episode of Monk, do I need to hear "Molly Kagan" exclaiming "I. Live. In. ACRAZYWORLD!"

I know networks always over-advertise shows; but it doesn't seem like they take it to this extreme with any other show.

( /end pointless entry)

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So I went to my dad's for dinner, and my cousin and his wife came ... and brought fresh, homemade tortillas to go with the chili. I originally was only going to have a part of one, just to taste it--I've been doing so well with that approach that I didn't think it'd be a problem.

Oh my god, SO GOOD. Sort of chewy and buttery and just delicious. I ended up having a whole one, and it was quite large. But so worth it! Except ... now, a few hours later, I feel like consuming the world. Obviously it caused a blood sugar spike and drop that's now making me hungry. It's also making me crave things that I luckily don't have--like more tortillas, or chocolate.

It was a really nice night; I got to talk to my cousin's wife for hours, which was great since I never really had talked to her before a whole lot. The only downside is that I intended to leave three hours earlier than I did. Not so good when I have class in the morning. I was sort of planning to do some yoga and go to bed early. Instead, it's 1:30 and I'm still wide-awake after driving soda and chatting all night and driving home.

But you know what? It was all worth it. :) I do have a little voice in my head whispering and trying to mentally whip me for eating "too much" carb, but I think it's based on the fact that I'm now experiencing the FAT GIRL MUST FEED syndrome, rather than an irrational guilt over an arbitrary number.

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My mom had this cool "OM Yoga In A Box" thing when I was in high school. It had position flashcards, and a cd with a number of different routine options. She never used it that, I don't think, and probably doesn't even remember owning it, because when I went away to college I "borrowed" it. I still have it, but I haven't used it in at least ... umm ... four years. Possibly more. I just know where I was living when I last did it, but I lived there for three years, so it could be as many as six years since I've even opened this freakin' box.

So naturally, it's now in the middle of the night when I have a driving urge to dig it out. Huh?

Of course, for a normal person, this probably wouldn't be a big deal. Pop the CD in and go. But for someone as, um, domestically challenged as I am, it's a bit more involved. I have to clear the space in my living room, which means moving my laundry basket that's been sitting where I dropped it last week. It means moving a basket full of CDs I started sorting two months ago and didn't ever finish. It means gathering up all the dirty socks my dog has been playing fetch with, moving the cinder block that ought to be propping up my bed, and scooping a bunch of random papers into a sack to sort out later.

And then, of course, it means vacuuming--can't do yoga on a fine coating of cat hair with my allergies. The vacuum isn't really that noisy; the dog, however is. I thought at first she might be quiet; through the first half of the room, she stayed silent, stretched out on the couch watching. Then she started emitting shrill barks at random intervals. (Hi, neighbor on the other side of my duplex wall! Sorry! You said nothing bothers you, so I'm taking you at your word!)

***

Several things I forgot. When I did this before, I didn't have three cats. I found it's rather difficult to concentrate on cat/cow when a cat is trying to pay with your hair. Luckily I didn't need the flashcards, seeing as the other cat had stretched out across them.

Another thing I forgot is how it hurts my hands. Well, hand, singular, actually. Putting weight on my palms isn't so comfortable on my right side, the entire top of my hand feels all stiff now. I assume it'll get better if I keep at it--my left hand doesn't hurt, probably because that's the hand that constantly bears the weight of trays and plates.

I also forgot what I stupid poseur I feel like chanting "Ommmmmmmmmmmmmmm"!

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I didn't know I wanted to know how Cheetos are made! Thank you, Unwrapped! Seriously, I can watch Food Network for ages. Even the shows that feature cooking processes I totally don't get. Actually, I can watch Food Network Nighttime for ages--I almost never put it on during the day. Giada DiLaurentis and Paul Deen drive me nuts. :) Actually, traditional cooking shows in general drive me nuts. My mom used to watch them all the time; Frugal Gourmet and Julia Child and stuff. You'd think, growing up with the shows, I'd enjoy them, but not so much. I more enjoy the Good Eats style of show (despite the fact that Alton Brown is a fat-hater).

In other news, I'm craving pancakes. Why? I don't know! (And it wasn't Food Network, they were talking about Mike & Ikes when this hit. :) ) SF chocolate pudding will work for now.

I'm feeling sort of general crappy, but in such a vague way I can't even explain it. I don't have any aches or pains, my stomach doesn't hurt, nothing like that ... I just feel very .... blah. And since I don't understand it, I can't really counter it.

However, I'm trying! Booksfree.com is a nice distraction. I actually canceled my Netflix membership to try this one out--my Netflix queue was getting pretty scarce anyway, I there are a fuckton of books I want to read but can't afford to buy. Why not use the library, you say? Weeeeeelll .... I'm not so good with the returning-things-on-time thing. Which is why I own two books, two Nintendo games, and three movies that I originally just rented. So this service, where all I have to do is walk to my mailbox? Perfection! Even if I do have to pay for the privilege.

The only thing that sucks is that it's paperback only. Also annoying? When you go to look at a book, you don't get suggestions. If you add it to your queue, a couple of things will pop up, but usually by the same author, rather than in the same genre. Also, I find myself jumping over to Amazon every few minutes to determine the order of a series, as it just doesn't tell you on Booksfree. Somewhat obnoxious as well is the fact that it'll list two editions of a book, with different covers, and sometimes one is "rare" and the other is abundant. I suppose because they're cataloged by ISBN rather than title.

But I have hope! Netflix was rough around the edges too, back in the day.

Hooray! Star Trek: The Next Generation books! I can indulge my inner geek!

Interesting. "The Ultimate Guide To Anal Sex For Women"? Not something I'd put in the "health and fitness" category!
(Hello, people who searched for "anal sex" and ended up here. Sorry to disappoint you.)

I have this vague feeling I was actually going to write about something serious today, but hell if I know what it was.

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