.. is to keep my house as nice as it looks now! Well, except for my bedroom, which is buried in boxes. And the fact that I still need to vacuum, but that'll have to wait until in the morning right before my new roommate arrives--I have a super tolerant neighbor, but I doubt that tolerance extends to running the vacuum, and thus running the yapping dog, at three in the morning!

Okay, and there's still an excess of crap on my kitchen table. But overall, it looks like somebody lives here instead of camping out in the ruins! For me, this is progress. Of course, I did the same thing about this time last year ... and a few short months later ended up moving. Crud.

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Especially not by making Aphrodite look like she couldn't stand upright. Actually, she kind of looks like a barely pubescent girl in the reproduction. I find this equal parts disgusting and hilarious--who the hell would come up with something like this? and where do they live so I can kick them in the nuts?

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Apparently, whales have 12-foot-long junk. Who knew!

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I can't decide if this is hilarious because it makes fun of fat-hairy-sports addicted-stripclub goers expecting to have an exotic, hot babe, or if it's insulting because it implies that all women should want the same thing and tolerate him doing "whatever he wants".

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Probably NSFW.

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The Corn Pushers Of America, I mean, the Corn Refiners Association, has been running obnoxious ads claiming the high-fructose corn syrup isn't really all that bad. I've ranted about that before; suffice it to say, it's bullcrap.

But now there's a study saying that half of commercially produced HFCS contains mercury.

Yeah, it's just like sugar!

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I don't know when I started saying things like that--I used to get so annoyed at acronyms and people who typed in caps. :)

ANYWAY!

This is the cutest thing I've seen all day!

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At the beginning of last summer, I was supposed to be taking over the store I worked at. I was supposed to become the manager and get a substantial raise. If you'd asked me there where I'd be in a year, I'd have said in the same town, with the same people, and possibly starting to organize a move to another continent.

So what happened? Well, the store got shut down because of the economy--and shutting down a retail store full of merchandise and ten years of debris is no easy task, even spread over two months. I decided to go back to school--which meant moving to my old hometown 80 miles away, which meant finding a house there, organizing moving, doing all the paperwork to get back into school, packing, dealing with leaving the people I'd spent the last two years seeing every day, transferring my waitressing job to a new location, etc. And then I had sinus surgery about two days before I was out of a job, so that was all that and a bag of Vicodin--surgery coordination, insurance potentially not covering it, surgery being eighty miles away, and where to recover, and what about my pets, and guilt over not being there the last couple of days for my store, and .. and ... yeah.

And oh yeah, I got dumped (Kind of. Very confusing. Long story.). And I was sad about about it, and I didn't like it, but I also didn't have the sort of panic attacks I've been having the last week--thinking I can't live without him, thinking I don't want to live without him, thinking I miss him terribly, torturing myself thinking of him so much as touching another woman, hating myself and wondering what I can do to fix it, going back and forth between being desperate for him and feeling normal. I've felt like I'm losing my goddamn mind. It was hard to believe I'd be okay when it seemed like there was no reason for this sudden onslaught of pain.

And I finally realized ... I think it's a delayed reaction. Delayed by a long, long time--like seven months--because there was just too much other crap going on for me to cope with. I'm see-sawing less the last day or too; I still miss him terribly, and if I could wave a magic wand and fix everything I'd be with him now. But realizing what's going on, rather than just feeling like I'm headed for a straightjacket, makes me feel better.

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One way or the other, I'll be okay. I'll even be happy. I need to remember moments of calm like this when I'm feeling broken. It will pass.
Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

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Almost everybody I work with has someone to go home to. I have my furballs, but right now I really feel the lack of Someone. Probably because there's a particular someone I'd like to be waiting for me. Ah well.
Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

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I few days ago, I posted about needing to lose a small amount of weight so I can wear my black pants for work again. In that post, I mentioned not wanting to fall back into the self-loathing patterns that come along with diets. I said that because I was already starting to feel them coming on, and I thought it was just a product of the impending need to police what I eat.

But today, I realized it's something else, and that it started earlier than the pants dilemma. See ... there's this guy. And it's all much, much too confusing to go into here. But basically, he's trying to get his own life worked out, and it's looking like I won't be a part of it in the end. I know there's nothing I can do to make him decide I'm what he wants. But the idea of not being able to do anything is kind of hard to accept ... and part of me thinks if I were better somehow, maybe he'd want me. (This, of course, is the same part of me that thought having straight A grades in school would stop my dad's drinking.)

But what's better? I'm already pretty damn cool. Not perfect, no, but perfect would be boring. And I can't/won't change who I am--already been there, done that, emotionally beat the crap out of each other with it. I can't make myself smarter, or more patient, or less moody (well, okay, that can be and is tempered by Prozac. :) ). But what if I were thinner? This thought has flown through my head a few times. And I've started feeling guilty about what I eat. And I've started, ever so slightly, to be disgusted with my body and think I should lose weight, and lots of it, and then he'll love me again.

This is absolutely fucking idiotic.

And for so many reasons. The most basic of which, intellectually, is that thin does not equal better. And I like myself as I am. And I even usually like my warm, squishy fat. And if he were the kind of person who thought fat was bad and looked down on me, I wouldn't have loved him for so long. The fact is, he finds me hot just the way I am and always has. He likes me fat, he's liked me less fat and more fat than I am now.

So ... why am I going into self-hating diet mentality?

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Having an 8 a.m. class is already verging on torture for me. I know, I know, I'm spoiled. I just have always gotten my best sleep in the morning.

Anyway, aside from the time, one class session has already pissed me right off. In 50 minutes, I already heard about childhood obeeeeeesity twice; how Americans overconsume fat; how "more people are obese than overweight"; how BMI is a "great indicator" of health; and ZOMG DIABEEEETUS. And she's the kind of instructor who likes to state obesity "facts" and then look around waiting for everyone to be horrified.

This is going to try my patience.

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I had ice cream for dinner last night.

And tonight.

But I'm out now. :)

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Peace out, W. Don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out. :)

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So the geniuses at corporate have decided to change our uniform. Again. They've decided that instead of jeans, we have to wear black pants again in a few months. I guess it could be worse; they could be taking us back to khakis, which was just six kinds of wrong (khakis+restaurant=massively stained at the end of a single shift). Still, I'm not happy. Black shows things a lot easier the denim; it's not as comfortable; I have trouble finding ones I don't have to have hemmed; and I look like a short fat black blob. I hate it.

But I don't have a choice. So here's the quandry: I have several pairs of black slacks. But they're all just a little too tight to be comfortable. I could go up to a 24, but those are too loose and feel like they're going to fall off me, plus because they're a size bigger they're too long. Even petites. So I can either gain weight or lose some. I'm not even sure how to go about gaining weight--I'm already eating whatever I want, when I want to, in whatever amount I want, and I'm at a setpoint that hasn't changed in months. Plus, if I did that, I'd have to buy all new pants, and pay to get them hemmed. I already owe too much on my Lane Bryant account!

So as much as I hate it, I guess I'm going to try to lose some weight. I think if I just eat properly (meaning fruits and vegetables and proteins most of the time instead of macaroni and cheese followed by ice cream for dinner every night one week), that I'll stop retaining water and probably move back down to my other setpoint, where my pants fit last time, and is really only about seven pounds down.

The tricky part is going to be not falling into the stressed-out dieting mindset that comes along with any sort of restriction or intentional weight loss. The tricky part is going to be not to fall back into self-loathing, just because it's so societally ingrained. I think I'll be okay; but stupid goddamn corporate restaurant goons! Why couldn't they just leave me to my jeans? :)

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I thought I'd made great progress overcoming them. Apparently not.

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I have quite a bit of money right now. And I had to come to the mall for new work shoes. But I'm not going in to the Coach outlet. Even though they have pretty purses. Pretty, well-made, long-lasting, possibly purple purses. That cost half a month's rent or more. And that is why I'm going to drive away now.

Stupid priorities.
Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

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I feel a little out of sorts being home! Like I don't know what to do with myself. Sleeping would probably be a good bet. But that would require changing my cat hair-covered sheets, which would require changing the light bulb that burned out. Maybe I'm sleeping on the couch. :)

I wish I'd taken the time to go the the Denver Aquarium while I was on my mini vacation. I love that place. But I didn't think of it until today on my way home. I have the next two days off, I could go this weekend ... but the weekend isn't the time for that, the best time to go is a weekday when all the munchkins are in school. :)

Time to either change those sheets or curl up on the couch, I'm getting random and rambly. :)

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I've spent most of the last week just goofing around. Sleeping in, playing games, watching movies, hanging out. And it's been great! But I also sort of am looking forward to getting back to my regular life. It's funny how when I'm busy, all I want is to slack off endlessly. Now that I've had plenty of time for that, I'm sick of it. Just never satisfied, I guess!

But I have another few days of lounging. And working at my old restaurant, which is .... odd. Deja vu-ish, except not, since I hardly know anyone there anymore. It's also hellish--I forgot how trying to accomplish anything there is like slogging through mud.

One of the reasons I'm looking forward to resuming my normal life is that classes start Monday, and I'm actually taking something interesting. I also really want to start going to the gym--my schedule will hopefully be more conducive to that this semester, since I'll only have an 8 a.m. class two days. I'm tired of feeling weak and wobbly. I also want to start eating better--the last two weeks, especially, have been filled with junk food. Not so good.

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I'm spending most of the next two weeks in the town I used to live in, 80 miles away from where I live now. It's great, because I get to see my cousins, and all my friends. But I also have to drive home twice a week to check on my cats and get my allergy shots, so that's where I am now. It's very odd, to have spent the last two days at "home" and yet be home now, you know? Monday I worked at my old restaurant, and then hung out with my cousins. Yesterday I had lunch with two friends, hung out and watched a movie with one of them, hung out with my cousins, and then had dinner with two friends. Hooray for temporarily having a social life again!

Now I'm home, and I feel oddly sad, with my pets and my stuff in my house. But it's not something I can solve; I can't move back there without dropping out of school again, and that's not an option. And there are things I like here, anyway. So I feel conflicted. But I guess I just have to enjoy the temporary time back in my old life.

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I wasn't really watching "To Love and Die"; it was just background noise. But I did catch one snippet, where the main character's mother basically tells her she's fat. Hildy comes home to find her mother in her apartment. She then opens her fridge to find nothing in it but a ridiculous amount of water bottles and sugar-free Red Bull.

"Where's my food?" Hildy asks.
"You have low-carb protein bars in the cupboard."

Excuse me? How is calling this girl fat even remotely plausible? Her mother then tells her she just doesn't know what else to do with a girl who's still single. The message is clear: no matter how skinny you are, if you don't have a man, you're not skinny enough. Oh, and "cats are the death of dating."

I get that her mother isn't supposed to be a likeable character, really; but couldn't they have taken a path other than calling a size zero person fat?

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I fell asleep waiting for a friend to call me back; she didn't call, and I woke up two hours later. I spent another hour trying to fall asleep and couldn't manage it. Now it's almost four in the morning and I don't feel sleepy. Grr.

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Apparently, he was seeing a woman strip. While wearing a hat. This sort of (temporarily) spoils my enjoyment of "You Can Leave Your Hat On". I knew Joe Cocker didn't write it, or Tom Jones; but Randy Newman? The mind boggles.

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As a waitress, I deal with a lot of people. A lot of them piss me off for various reasons. But few things piss me off as much as people who have their children on diets.

The first time I saw this, it was a mom and daughter. The mother was rail-thin, and didn't look healthy (pale skin, dark circles, limp hair, etc.). Her daughter was about ten, and looked like a healthy kid. Maybe slightly plumper, but not enough that I would've even noticed it if it weren't for the woman's behavior. She wouldn't even let the kid order her own meal. She made her share a meal with her. And not a regular meal, either. Mother and daughter shared a house salad--no bacon, low fat cheese, and fat free ranch--and a low fat baked onion soup. I heard her mention Weight Watchers points. The girl wanted something else; she wanted a drink other than water; I heard her pleading to order something off the kid's menu. Bitchy mom says no. I saw the girl by herself in the bathroom later, and I wanted to say something, something to tell her she was beautiful and her mother's a bitch, but I didn't find the words before she finished washing her hands.

A couple of weeks ago, I had a family of four in my section--mom, dad, and two boys. One was about five, the other maybe nine. When they ordered their dinner, the parents ordered the five year old broccoli when he said he wanted fries with his pasta. His brother got chicken fingers and fries. I didn't think much of it, until the younger boy asked for a second drink and was told no--but then his brother ordered one too, and their mom said "Oh, that's fine. It's just him that's got restrictions." and she waved her hand at the younger son. Still, I didn't overthink it until I came back with something and the parents had whipped out a calorie counter and were telling the youngest boy how many grams of fat he'd had that day! The older boy was stick-thin; the younger one was normal looking. He was a normal, healthy, chubby-cheeked baby. And his parents had him on a fucking diet.

I just don't understand how people have gotten so freaked out about fat that they're willing to compromise their childrens' health, both mental and physical.

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So at a family birthday party on Monday, I found out something really quite obnoxious. My aunt went to get a certain soda, and her daughter's boyfriend informed her she shouldn't drink it because the grapefruit juice in the soda could interact with her statin cholesterol medication, and cause muscle damage. He's a pharmacist, and he's male, so naturally the sun shines out of his ass, so she put the soda back.

When I asked more about the interaction he rattled off a bunch of chemical names ... which I think he pulled out of his ass, because I've been doing some reading and none of the chemicals mentioned are familiar--and the names are pretty distinctive. Also? A chemical in grapefruit juice inhibits metabolism of statins, meaning levels can temporarily build up higher, and increase the risk of side effects. As in, a half a grapefruit can affect it for 24 hours. So basically, the .12 oz (I calculated!) of grapefruit juice in the can of soda wasn't going to hurt her. But whatever.

What shocked me is to find out that her daughter is on the same medication! She's 25! When I asked why, she said because she has high cholesterol on "both sides of her family" and then the boyfriend chimed in with "her LDL was 200!" Oh. Em. GEEEEEEEEE. I couldn't control my expression, which led Pharmacist Boy to snidely remark "I take it you don't believe in medication." I told him there were other ways to deal with and I don't believe in preventatively medicating people with potentially dangerous drugs. My cousin told me that she asked her doctor about dietary changes--but what she asked was "if I stopped eating completely would that even do any good?" Grr. Ahrg. Pharm Boy then started asking me if I believed in using red yeast rice for cholesterol, and then informed me that "herbal supplements are drugs too".

I don't have all the details, of course; I thought about asking for more info on her cholesterol readings, but a party isn't the best place--I couldn't hear some of what they were saying anyway. And, I admit, I didn't want to get into it with the pharmacist--he's got more formal education than I do, and it'd been a while since I'd read up on cholesterol. Add to that the fact that he's male, and therefore infalliable in their eyes, and it wasn't worth it.

There are just so many things wrong with this. For one thing, the girl is 25 freaking years old. Other than the one cholesterol reading, she's healthy. But she's on this potentially dangerous drug--which isn't actually proven to reduce heart attack risk or fatality, despite lowering cholesterol!--because ... umm ... her mom is? And her boyfriend told her she should be? Because it might be a problem later? Because ZOMG TEH FATZ AND KOLESTROL WILL KILLZ U?

It's just not as simple as "my LDL is 200!" What about HDL levels? What about the type of LDL--dense and prone to attaching to artery walls, or fluffy and not prone to that? What about triglycerides? What about triglyceride to HDL ratio? And LDL levels aren't even directly measured--they're calculated using other cholesterol types. Specifically, total - HDL - trigylceride/5. So maybe not always so accurate? That I'm not sure on.

And what about how statins work? They work by shutting down the activity of HMG-CoA reductase. You know what else limits the activity of that? Not eating carbs every fifteen minutes. Seriously. Insulin is a storage hormones--storage means fat cells--cells are built using cholesterol--so insulin tells your liver to manufacture some cholesterol to build those cells! So if your insulin is lower, your body produces less cholesterol. If you eat less carbs, your insulin is lower, and your glucagon is higher (glucagon is the opposite of insulin, so not a storage hormone). Best of all, if you do it that way, you don't run the risk of skeletal muscle wasting/death, renal failure, or liver problems. Of course that requires eating, say, chicken instead of pasta, but if I ever develop high cholesterol, I know which path I'll be taking.

But what do I know--I'm not a pharmacist.

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I've spent the last hour reading stuff on Cracked and didn't even notice it was midnight. Happy 2009, ya'll! Let's hope this year doesn't suck!

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