Monday, October 29, 2012

Trying To Take A Stand

shaded area ≠ ideal

I may give up on standing upright. This shit's just not working for me.

First there were the Thighs Of Great Chunkiness. They're too thick to both exist, I reasoned; so powerful there can only be one, like the Highlander. That's why I wear holes in my jeans and have to choose which leg one kind of goes in front of the other. They're a natural Venn Diagram (Thigh-agram?) of too much snackfood.

Then came Major Weight Loss and his Not All Your Flaws Were Because Of Weight After All brigade, to point out that I was hugely duckfooted (Thanks ballet! You were expensive, time-consuming and overly competitive!) and that because I had been turning my feet out during my formative years, my kneecaps don't line up with my feet; when my knees are pointed straight ahead LIKE THEY SHOULD, my feet are still out-turned. When I line my feet up with 12 o'clock, my knees are looking in at each other. (Thanks again, ballet! I'm permanently malformed! And I can't imagine it could ever possibly adversely affect me as I grow older!)

Meh.                                 Howdy howdy howdy!
Just when I thought Nurture could take Weight's place as whipping-boy, Nature also piped up to inform me that I've inherited my mother's lockleg over-extension issue; when I try to just stand, my knees lock into a freaky concavity that should be impossible on a homonoid frame. So I try to stand with my knees ever so slightly bent, so that my legs look like they go straight up and down, but it's hard to feel natural while doing it, or to not overshoot a little and go around bandy-legged as a cowboy.

I've weighed the options for stances to help me with all this; they all have their issues.

It's time to admit it, fair's fair. They've got me coming and going; circumference, vertical, and horizontal alignment, it's all effed. I'm just going to walk in whatever way I can still manage, get where I need to go, then either hunker down into a hunter-gatherer squat, or sprawl out like a samurai. Ganbatte, me.


Monday, October 22, 2012

I Will Survive This Winter OR: Squirrels Have Poor Time-Management Skills

I have started cooking. Like, actually cooking. With multiple ingredients and shit.
I know.

Something in my little mammal brain is telling me to stock up on food, fatten up and stuff my cheeks; I’m trying to fight it, but I haven’t been able to quite get back to target weight in about 2 weeks. It’s the fact that I have about 10 Double Stuf Oreos every night, when my will is weakest. It’s not even stuff, it’s Stuf; why am I eating this?! I usually couldn’t give two shits about dessert food. It’s the little mammal brain, I tell you.

I straight-up ruined the kitchen in my pursuit of beef stroganoff; I used every baking dish in the house in my pursuit of ALL the cherry pineapple cobbler; I used our entire Costco assorted-pastas bundle making epic amounts of pasta salad. Because the rodent running my mind says this will make all the difference; I look upon the serried rows of redundant foodstuffs, and the creature that lives deep within me says, Yes...I will survive this Winter.
I cannot even tell you about the pot pies. Oh, the flaky, golden, gooey pot pies…no.
Angels sang. And wept.
I’m broke, my kitchen’s a mess, and I’m still hungry. This is why you shouldn’t put a squirrel in charge of your home life…Their time management skills are atrocious, they scramble frantically around breaking/eating everything, and then they go into torpor and abandon you. Tiny, fluffy jerks, man.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Early Mornings As A Baby Rabbit

Early mornings have a terrible mystery all their own - what are they for? Why should I ever have to live through one? Especially on a Thursday. I could never get the hang of Thursdays.

Thursday is the day we get up extra early to drive a friend to school before work, and you could call it a favor but it's more of a punishment. In the mornings, I am not a person. Not that I'm a grouchy or unkind person, you understand, I'm just genuinely not a homonid that early in the morning. Probably due to those mysterious early-morning forces. Regardless, if asked to rise before 7 am, I will indeed rise (eventually), but not as a human. Not as a woman, not as a child. I am, in fact, a baby rabbit.


My poor friend endures the puffy-eyed squinting, the inability to understand or adapt to last-minute changes in schedule, the awkward silences that come after he asks me questions more complex than "Food?" (Yes) and "Go?" (No). It gets him to class, while his car and wife are far away -- but I bet that as soon as any other arrangement can be found, he'll take it. Baby rabbits are cute(ish), but not when they're 5' 7''. And I think he was kind of hoping for someone who could see out of both eyes.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Mountain Dew: A Lifelong Love Affair


The stuff of dreams
Yeah, you know what time it is. Tasty beverage time, à la every drink commercial you've ever seen. Beading condensation, a refreshing spray; whatever your fantasy is, baby. Soda pop is here for you, and always has been.

I first got my habit from hula lessons -- no, I know, really -- where our hale, for some unknowable reason, had electricity running to a large incongruous vending machine "out da back." Since there was nothing else remotely stimulating to the American eight-year-old in the vicinity -- being disappointingly full of stupid things like trees, well-mown play fields and other children, while totally bereft of televisions and bright plastic toys -- I turned to the glowing monolith as my only contact with the materialistic consumer real world. After every lesson, I'd take my small change out back where the vending machine stood humming on a pallet in the grass, plugged in right next to the electrical meter -- whose sole purpose was to monitor its lone charge's (ha!) consumption. There's nothing like a cool drink on a hot tropical day -- and there's nothing like soda pop to a little kid. It was, between us, the only reason I could bring myself to go to those lessons. There is something fundamental to my very biological makeup that prevents me from being able to wield puili without hurting myself.

Once I had imprinted on this delicious nectar of the gods, nothing could dissuade me from Doin' the Dew. Not the older girl at hula class who said it was pee-colored, and so therefore was pee-flavored. Not the fact that my mother suddenly decided she wasn't going to shell out for the privilege of caffeinating her child every afternoon, necessitating the gathering up of every coin I could find in order to get that sweet taste; pushing in every dirty penny one at a time with great deliberation, lest my childish motor control somehow ruin this countdown to Dew. It didn't matter -- none of it did. I had Mountain Dew.

When I was ten, the great test of our love struck on a sunny afternoon during Teacher Conferences. Not only was I out of school for two bonus days, but my mother was a teacher, so I was unsupervised & free as a bird on some high school campus I'd never seen before -- for hours each day. Shit got EXPLORED.

It was a wonderland of comically oversized school trappings; desks and chairs and lockers, for children who were the size of grownups? How droll! There was an especially wonderful outdoor staircase that, instead of having handrails, was sided by giant (in hindsight, probably 4-foot high) steps! They had to be conquered. But first, a refreshing Dew!

I had brought one along with us with almost god-like (for a ten-year-old) foresight, and once I had broken into the meeting and wheedled the car keys from my mother to let me go get it out, all was anticipation. I raced to the car; the door opened with a gagging whoosh of superheated air. I had somehow forgotten a phenomenon I had witnessed firsthand every day of my life to that date -- cars parked in the Hawaiian sun get HOT. I extracted my precious Mountain Dew, now almost too hot to touch, and returned the car keys, crestfallen. I stared at my once-frosty midday treat; what was I to do? And the answer is, drink it anyway. Besides, Mom had told me to wait a few hours for it to cool down with her in the air-conditioned conference I was continually interrupting, so of course I had to keep my treasure out of the hands of that longstanding Mountain Dew-hating nemesis. Besides, I knew what I was doing! Yeah!

I knocked it back like a champ. I don't know if anyone else in the Universe has found occasion to drink an actively hot soda, and I really don't think the lone survivor of that experience would happen upon this blog, but if the unthinkable has indeed happened -- you know what I'm talking about. There's just nothing else quite like it. (And you're glad there isn't, because that would be a nightmare world with acid-trip demons and shit.)

But I had accomplished Dew, and that meant I was victorious; and now, giant stairs! I had come from up-campus, so first I got to scramble down them; hop, hop, hop. Awesome! This was like being Alice in Wonderland! I drank something weird, and now I'm tiny! I jumped down at the bottom, spiked the landing, and looked back up the stairs; this was gonna be epic.

It was going to be much harder, my tiny brain suddenly realized, to get back up the giant stairs than to get down. But I was determined, I was ten, I was caffeinated; and most importantly, I had all day. And that, my friends, is the secret formula to achieving any goal. Can't get that spare bedroom cleaned out, or finish that last chapter you've been meaning to write? All you need is a time machine to Being Ten, a soda pop, and no supervision. I SOLVED those stairs, yo; with energy, brains, and good joint strength. If you run at a stair, I found, then sort of grab the lip of it and pull yourself up with the momentum, you'd get the upper half of your body onto the next stair; which is, of course, enough of you to then flail and heave yourself up to victory. It sounded sort of like:

Patapatapata HEAVE
Flail, flail, strain, flop

Grin, pant pant pant
Patapatapata HEAVE...

The first one was easiest, because I had an unlimited space for my run-up; the following ones could only be the length of the stair I was on. But I had. ALL. DAY.

I think there were something like four to six of these stairs -- numbers have never really been my thing -- and by the time I got to the top, I was the happiest little mess you'd ever seen. I ran a jelly-legged victory lap on the lawn at the top of the stairs. But strangely, as elated as I was, my stomach didn't feel so hot. Or rather, it felt like I'd put hot Mountain Dew in it and then slammed it into the edge of several giant stairs. Whatever you want to call that; maybe slammy.

Essentially, I had regrets.

Slammy tummy or no, I at least wanted to look back at my achievement -- but when I went back to the top of the stairs, instead of admiring my hard earned view I immediately threw up (still) hot Mountain Dew over the edge.

Of course, by the time Mom got out of conferences and the shadows were growing long, all distress had been forgotten -- after all, that was like, four hours ago -- and all I remembered was that I'd climbed Alice's Stairs. And that I didn't want any Mountain Dew.

It wasn't until high school that I managed to return to Mountain Dew's embrace -- but it was there, waiting for me. It understood, it forgave; we fell in love all over again. Unfortunately, since then I had developed a terrible chronic headache, and caffeine apparently made it worse; but after surviving the Alice-Stairs Incident, what was a little more head pain between friends? And to this day, I just chase my (now Diet) Dew with water, or at least try to take it with food; but most importantly, I just drink it anyway. Like a ten-year-old champ.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Life's Lessons

I am only one-quarter complete on this game of Life, but I think I've cracked some of the codes...may my findings grow exponentially in the three-quarters to come.

This is, in fact, the life
 The majority of life is most optimally experienced under a quilt, by a window, with a beverage, a book and a cat
Examples: Autumn, first kisses, rainy Sunday afternoons, "me-time", the Northern Lights, long quiet heart-to-hearts, a really good storm, a sunset, a sunrise, snuggling with your somebody, silent snowfalls, personal revelations, naps.

Always provide people with the opportunity to please you
Examples: Not telling the person whose joke hurt your feelings means they'll probably do it again; saying "I love it when you ______, it makes me feel so _____" reinforces good behavior and gives a really personalized compliment, which is the best kind; failing to remind your special someone about the upcoming birthday/anniversary/gift-giving holiday to test them and see if they "really" love you leaves you feeling betrayed and presentless, and makes them feel vilified and guilty.

If you have to explain to someone you love why they should think/feel/act another way, it's probably not worth it
Me: "Baby, you wanna come home with me this year, see my island?"
Him: "At your Mom's? Uh, no."
Me: "Don't you want to see where I grew up?"
Him: "Well, sure...I guess..."
Me: "Well? When, if not this time? What's going to have changed by next time?"
Him: "I just...I've been to Hawaii, you know? With my family."
Me: "But this is my home, not just a tourist destination. We visit your family all the time."
Him: "Yeah, because they live in Wasilla."
Me: "It's not like I'm asking you to go every week...just try it. This is important to me."
Him: "...  :( "

Does that sound like either of us would have a good time? He does it just to humor me, and I get mad when he doesn't seem to be enjoying himself? Oh yeah, I want to buy expensive tickets to that show.

I realized at about this point in the conversation what kind of scenario I was leading us to, and I thought:

But I want my neighbors
to think I'm successful...
 Don't disguise the trappings of success with actually having succeeded
Example: "Getting" your guy to marry you and planning an elaborate quote-unquote perfect wedding is not a gurantee of a lifelong love, which is what you're actually dreaming of...him wanting to marry you and having everything feel "just right" are symptoms of love, but you can't reverse-engineer it by mimicking the side effects.

Inactivity sees you through
Examples: Is he giving me mixed signals, or am I just reading too much into this? Is she being passive-aggressive, or am I just being overly sensitive? Should I go to the party with those new acquaintances I already RSVP'd to, or bail to make it to that really important person's birthday?

It always gets cleared up, the other people's plans fall through, or a third party lends a new perspective; if you're unsure of how not to make an ass out of yourself, just Don't. Move. It's not sure-fire, but it's always been my best bet. Overcomplicating the situation with half-assed compromises, complex contingency plans or awkward apology-explanations just make a bad thing worse. If you can, try not to worry about it  too much while you're waiting, either, because...

Those who dig the best ditches
get given a bigger shovel

The one who cares the most is the one who suffers the most
Example: I bet there's only one person in any given household who cleans out the refrigerator, every time. It may not be frequent, it may not even be a source of contention, but I bet it's the same person, every time it's been done. They care the most, and so it falls to them. Props if they raise hell about it and make others help them. That shit's disgusting.

Monday, October 1, 2012

All My Bed's A Stage

 And Bunny and I are merely players.

Sorry, guys; it's not what you think. No tawdry tales of voyeurism here, I'm actually talking about the bed.
The bed is not made. The bed is never made.
Making beds is how society tries to keep us from  
doing things that actually matter. Like watch TV.

Now, I love my bed; I got the delicate 4-poster frame cheap from a friend who was moving, and may or may not have then strung hedge-net-style Christmas lights interwoven with leaf garlands over it. It is my precious fairy bower, and Bunny is just man enough to not be totally emasculated by its dominating presence in our room. The bed is wonderful. But that window...

We moved into this house last January, and Bunny & I scored the master bedroom by dint of putting all our stuff in it while the other 4 roomies were getting the couch up the front stairs. It's on the top floor, so it's warmer than the downstairs bedrooms, and best of all it's carpeted -- I'll do cold wood/tile/linoleum/etc, just not as my first step out of bed in the morning. It is an altogether superior room, with only one glaring indiscrepancy; it has, for some reason, a storefront display window. It starts low, about 3/4 of a foot off the floor, and goes up almost to the ceiling -- and, as you might have noticed, it's about as wide as a bed is long. Because who would want to miss an inch of this HOT FURNITURE ACTION.

 Maybe our neighbors. But screw 'em.

I freely admit that if we didn't have a 4-poster fairy bower, we could've oriented the bed another way without hitting the ceiling fan. And that it's the boxed-in sensation of being under that canopy which turns the weirdly-sumptuous drapes on this big-ass window into a puppet show's stage curtain, inspiring the urge to do a one-man Punch & Judy show. After I regain consciousness, however, I object that it is that weirdo window that robs our room of its superior-upstairs-heat all winter, and greenhouse-blasts the place all summer. To which my nonexistent opponent raises one invisible eyebrow and asks why we chose it in the first place then. And I am forced to rebut with Are you kidding, look at the SIZE of that thing; it's Alaska, man, I need the LIGHT.

Plus, some previous inhabitants painted one wall aubergine and the others buttercream. That's OUTSTANDING.