The Fallow Days

Write this post.  That’s happening, if only now at ten-thirty at night.  I don’t why I so often refer to the time in these posts, I guess I figure it’s all part of the record-keeping.  But I was intending to get this and many other things done early, but, as is obvious, I am getting there.

Eat low carb today.  Don’t lose my mind over it.   That pretty much is accurate.  I didn’t fall backwards into a burrito or anything.  I do need to drink more water tomorrow since I think I had an excess of salt today.  Whoo boy.  Exciting stuff.  I made myself some eggs and sausage for lunch, but I defrosted some green beans and something unholy happened to them in the process.  A friend who recently went to Tuscany brought back some flavored olive oil and I tried dousing the beans in it, to no avail.  I would chew one and feel as though I was eating rotting shoe leather.  Shoe leather slathered in hot pepper flavored olive oil, but shoe leather nonetheless.  So when my sister weathered the insane storm this afternoon, and got me an unwich, I was glad to get some more vegetables in.  I will try and get over to my parents’ tomorrow with their proper cooking apparati and see what and can get myself filled on.

Also, tomorrow, since I kept saying I would do a full-out exercise session and didn’t, I want to take a long walk.  Wearing walking shoes (not rotting or made of green beans) and listening to my music and then, I’d like to do some proper stretching and exercise back here.  Use the WiiActive or something.    I did do what I’d like to do every day between now and the concerts – 10 situps.  I can manage that.  Oh, and I did 10 minutes on the exercise bike.  Done.  At least I can write it down as having been accomplished. And it has already made an incredible difference in my energy level.

Get this room livable again.  Well, I did some laundry and some dishes.  So I wasn’t a complete waste in that regard.  I got sort of hung up since I felt like I made some strides on ukulele learning and I wanted to keep progressing:  C to Em to F to G, repeat until numb in both fingers and brain and then repeat again.   And I also got working on my charitable project page again and making the artwork for that in Photoshop subsumed me until the rains were so loud and aggressive that I had to put the laptop down and shut the windows for fear that everything inside would be sodden and warped.

It really was an incredible storm.  And I know the market didn’t get washed out.  That’s going to make everyone in a better mood on Monday.  Right now, getting rest, drinking water, minding my mood, taking a bath, these things are all a priority.  Because as my friend noted, it’s only five weeks until the first concert.  Five weeks for me to lose seven pounds, get some energy for the madness of August and work on not letting all the plates fall out of the air.

 

Cathode Man Ray

Boiled, salt-brined olives.  That’s a fair description of my eyes at the moment.   I’ll save you a clever analogy of what is running down my throat.  I am sick as a dog and there’s nothing but medicine and rest and seeing how I turn up in the morning as a remedy.  There’s no not going to work tomorrow to face the piles of things that needed doing while I was gone so the best I can really hope for is a quiet day tomorrow – which is a hopeless hope.

On top of this, two things are slowly coming together in their own time.  The first of which is the story that I’m trying to write is taking some of my energy and interest and I’m trying my best to focus on how to get myself into the world of these poor people.  At the moment, I’m sort of coming to terms as I make my outline that my plotpoints are all horrific deaths of family members.  I am starting to wonder if it’s a bit excessive.  Unbelievable.   So I’m trying to scale that back somehow and still have the story feel like it’s moving forward in some organic way.   Just have to keep at it.  So I’m going to try and at least read some of the old parts before I go to bed.   There’s a lot of it I think is going rather maudlin and I’m way more interested in the mother of these characters, but I think that’s because I’ve spent so long developing her story to the point where I am trying to figure out whether or not it’s fair for a character who was dead, dead, dead, to get to get up and live somehow in the future just because I’m a fan of what’s happened in her backstory and her character.   Maybe it’s because she’s less of a romantic character and she is built to keep people out that it’s easier to spend time with her.  The two main characters are younger and I don’t want them to be too snarky or too worldly and so I need to spend a bit of time with them and find out how they work on their own, much less together.

And I’ve decided that it’s important after my loosey-goosey food vacation where I didn’t eat a ton, but what I ate was entirely unmeasured, inappropriate for low-carb, may have even had alcohol in it…it’s important to get back on board.  Especially with all these summer plans and I have the added kick of having seen the vacation photos and being pretty sure that I could do better than that.  So I know that I don’t especially want to do it, but I also feel kind of okay with doing it so we’ll see.  I’m going to weigh myself in the morning if I remember and am able to get myself kinda semi-sorta out of bed without a stun gun to prod me.

I just need to feel better.

The Prescient Prussian

Totally awesome band name, right there.

I should learn a few more chords on my guitar and start a band.  We’d probably be one of those terrible bands that changes their name more than they actually ever write or play music, but we’d always have really amazing band names and probably equally excellent t-shirt designs.  So you should probably get ahead of the game and just start being our fans now before someone hears of us and we have to change our name and you have to resign yourself to being a damn hipster.

There’s a dying rainstorm leaving us.  It came with the kind of light show you would think would portend something epic and tremendous happening in the firmament, maybe like Heaven got The Avengers on IMAX or something.  But it was miraculous enough with just cannons and rocketfire  and the occasional darting appearance of  neon white veins across the smoked-out cloudscape.

As for other things, well, there are other things which is nice to talk about apart from the notable weather.

My weight was, as I was pretty well aware, up a tisch this morning.  That’s what happens when you justify straying.  So I am fully re-horsed, with bike riding, a longish walk about and low-carb eating making me feel much better physically.  Funny how you give yourself the option to screw up and there is nothing about eating that feels good accept that quick flare of relief that your addiction was satisfied.  It’s like, oh, fuck, I ate all that bread.  Well.  That’s going to mess with me, I sure am delighted I did that so randomly and impulsively.  I’m sure going to remember that bread until the day I die.  Except, of course, it was utterly without meaning and making my stomach knot up as well as turn the volume back up on the voices in my head that just keep saying “Fuck it, fuck it, fuck it, don’t change ever, buy Chipotle, grow into your mattress, the best thing about death is the absence of the fear of death.”  You know, the awesome voices that project stagnancy is the same as security.

So, I am doing what I can to get those voices, among others, muted.   I’ll see what I say in the morning.  Gotta continue to think positive and do things I love – like read.  Read some more of The Bean Trees and remembered why I loved it so much the first time.  I think I like re-reading it now in light of having read more of Barbara Kingsolver’s non-fiction and knowing something about her circumstances and life.

This morning was really good, though, because I set my timer and got things done in 7 minute sections at a time.  Cleaned out the drawer in the night table which was so overloaded with pens and batteries and random junk drawer detritus that it was getting difficult to close.

Small pleasures.  Your anthologist, journalist, whatever I am, has a rather Amelie-like life, save perhaps, the end.  But there is always tomorrow.

 

 

 

The Shrine

I have to keep moving else I will turn into a pillar of salt, I just know it.

I woke up with a throat massaged all night by steel wool.  There’s plenty to do – exercise-wise and food-wise and cleaning-wise and writing-wise and guitar-wise and I can’t throw it all over to curl up in this sagging bed.  So, as you can tell, I’m here, writing to you on what is really late morning here so I can check this off the list.

I’d like to invent a new way.  A new thing to say.  I’d like it to be really lovely and mean something to you as much as it means to me, but lately, I’ve been working really hard on not thinking or feeling anything.  So, I feel vaguely out of practice.  Maybe that’s not the impression of the last few days, maybe that’s not the impression I give, but that’s definitely what I surmise is the situation today.   I’m always caught waiting, but I’m the one who doesn’t forge forward.  I’m the one who sits still and assumes that my life will change just in the virtue of time.

I have laundry to do.

…..

So, middle of the day, and I’ve done my SparkPeople exercise mandate.  Burnt the requisite 217 calories.  Had breakfast and am now contemplating lunch.  I need to see if we have pasta sauce.  One load of laundry is in the dryer, another’s been started.  I’ve fixed the slats in my bed.  I’ve sucked two Chloraseptics.

….

Lunch has been accomplished and tracked.  I have to deal with my green beans which are kind of raw and gamey?  But I’ll eat them, drink some more water.

I know that this is the kind of thing that nobody could possibly care about, but it honestly helps me to say it out loud, of a sort.  To get it written on paper.  Sometimes it feels like I can’t hold on to one idea for two minutes in succession and if I don’t push hard, and almost obsessively redirect my lemming-like brain back towards the goal, I always, always drift off into nothingness.  I just don’t do shit with myself.  So I know that this seems childish and not the sort of personal essay that anyone can engage with, it’s basically just a list.  It’s not a really reinforcing my writing skills, but it’s what I need right at the moment.

Yesterday, at work for lunch, I had a burrito at the usual Mexican restaurant and aside from not being able to finish it, the usual experience of weighing myself and finding myself up a bit as a result is frustrating enough that I don’t want to go and get anything to eat today.  Maybe tomorrow, maybe.  I looked up something I usually eat and it’s 1200 calories.  I think I can go without that.

Time to take care of some more laundry, and see about practicing some instruments, do the strength exercises, and get those flameless candles for my room.  Make a little more room on the floor for mucking about, dancing.

The Girl With the Adjective Noun

Structured relaxation.

I am off.  I need to figure out how to get myself back on.   So we’re tackling relaxation.  I am going to finish Mass Effect once I’m done here.  I am going to practice my guitar and then I’ll get dressed and put on the new guitar DVD and practice that.   Then I’ll get all my scattered things together.

2012 is coming, racing itself and I am sitting here remembering with an ulcerous awareness, everything I have to do.  It is terrifying.  I know what the usual plan is in the face of overwhelming workload: duck and cover.  When I need to do a little more than that now.  Now that I’m becoming this new person that faces some of the barrels aimed at her head, I have to get in the practice of handling reality as opposed to putting my head in the sand and waiting for everything to pass.  So I’m here, doing this in the morning hours with my cold feet thinking about how I need to clip my nails for the guitar, thinking I am blessed and lucky, thinking there’s strength in me to do this.

Here’s what I want.  I want the driving phobia cured.  I want to have lost the twenty pounds by May 20th.  I want to be reading maniacally all year, anything and everything I can get my hands on.  I want to be writing poetry every day.  I want to get the story of Falls Valley and all the messed-up souls within together so that I can say this is what this story is about and why don’t you read it and tell me what you think.  I want to get the house managed.  The finances managed and checked.  I want to not want to cry over the job.  I want to be personally more secure and braver in my person.  I want to do my makeup everyday and not lay about waiting for my door to be broken down.  I want to be excited about walking, exercise, and vegetables under the aegis of self-care.  I want to take my dreams seriously.  I want to get our front room finished and the floor laid down.  I want to practice my guitar everyday, knowing that’s the only way to get better.  I want to flirt outrageously with all the epic banter and caustic wit I have at my command.  I want to draw in and not repel backwards.  I want to own my own experiences and choices and stop disassociating from situations where I feel like I don’t have control.  I want to keep writing here, 500 words everyday, but I want to show and prove that I’m working towards other goals, too.  I want to be thoughtful about how I’m using my time.  I want to be alert and aware of the needs of others.  I want to begin to be the lovely person I always hoped and assumed I would be.  I want to find my way out of the desert a few years early.

Darling: Day 14

Never, never, never is it a safe bet that I will turn up to this blank white page with anything of consequence to tell you.

What I need to do is take a good, serious, intensive nap so I can finish my exercise.   Took about a mile walk with the dog and if I’m smart, and I like to think from time to time I am, I’ll pop some aspirin, clear off the bed and get my book and read until I pass out.  Well.  Einstein, off you fucking go….

Okay.  So that was 3 hours ago.  I read and passed out.  Nice.  Great.  Fine.  Whatever.

Some things that I’ve figured out for the next two weeks as I modulate the diet for better results.

Water.  I need a lot more of it to counteract the saltiness I’ve had lately.  Moreover, I need to eat a lot less salty things.  Now that I’m not eating carbs much at all, there isn’t a lot of stuff, except the vegetables to really absorb the salt/sodium and I think it’s hindering me.  I like the saltiness because it sort of makes me feel somehow less deprived.   So, that’s something I want to make sure I’m not ignoring in the name of just being low-carb.

Exercise.  I want to track it better.  I’ve been trying to get 185 calories burnt a day because that seems both feasible and a challenge as well as being what SparkPeople recommended.  So, I’ve been doing that, but it’s been a lot of walking which is fine – and good and I don’t want to get away from that aspect of it because I already feel stronger as a result. I’m frustrated that all of a sudden the wii – sports active 2 game (game?) –  isn’t working because the peripherals aren’t connecting anymore for a reason I cannot discern and buying new ones seems expensive and wasteful.  So I’m trying to find a better routine than just marching about everyday.  Something that doesn’t piss me off like the random exercise videos on Netflix do with their gormless smiles and insistence that chuckling and ribbing your squadron of equally gormless aerobics drones while you exercise somehow makes it fun.  Exercise is fun – I think –  when it makes you feel like you’re getting stronger and pushing through or you have music to distract you from the movement so that you just flow through it.   So, something that does more of an all-over type of workout that I can manage everyday would be great.

Um.  So let’s see, darlings, what else.  I’ve been reading, writing, drinking my water, catching up on Game of Thrones: Littlefinger Will Fuck You and I’m considering the future.  All of these are good things.  We need to get the window fixed so that I can open it with this growing heat.  I need to visit my parents tomorrow and settle on their travel arrangements.  I need to do a project for work.  And also?  I need to smile.  It’ll be okay and I’m making progress.

Today: 159.2 (begrudgingly)
Yesterday: 160.8 – I think.
Goal: 155

 

 

Pining for the Fjord

Other things I’d like to do before this day is over:

1. Finish this post.  Not that I’m questioning it.  It’s just on the top of the list.
2. Get on the bike for a little bit.
3. Plan tomorrow’s food.
4. Write 100 words in the novel, just fleshing and working on the timeline
5. Finish reading A Storm of Swords
6.  Figure out about my brakes.
7.  Figure out about emailing back.

So, here’s what I think I know.  Day 2 is the day where you always question the whole idea of diet/food restriction/lifestyle change/getting your shit together.  Day 2’s the day where, oh, ho! This is what it’s going to be like on the second morning, the twenty-second morning, and what it’s going to be like does not involve cake!  Of course, that’s counter balanced with this really nascent but vital desire to try and not fuck it up on only the second day.  But since it was Sunday and I didn’t really have to think about much with a full larder at the ready and an icy, joint-stiffening gray sky keeping me indoors, it was a lot easier than it might have been to just carry on and do right.

So, what does doing right look like?  Well, drinking what feels like an eternity of water and of course, minding the bladder’s unaccustomed response to that.  Walking with the very silly soundtrack on Walk It Out for an hour.  Eating celery and peppers and broccoli and cauliflower (along with eggs and bacon).  Reading a bit more of A Storm of Swords – so close to the end I can taste it/be naturally frightened of what at a George RR Martin ending entails.  Played Mass Effect for a bit.  Considering playing Civilization V if I get my writing ducks in a row with the outline I started yesterday and was pretty happy with just because I was astonished I remembered 5 characters worth of plot points.

Now to make sure I do something with those characters tonight instead of leaving them to languish in further doubt of their fate.

I have the feeling right now that if I could just have this day 30 days in a row – I could manage to meet all my goals and have every success with this diet possible.  There wouldn’t be room for error, the other factors that boggle my head and convince me to give up.   But as I was thinking about these tender spots, these reasons why this low-carb diet expedition wouldn’t work if it didn’t work and as serendipitously as my life sometimes turns, I come across this TED video about wrongness.   I think this presentation is remarkable because it asks us to consider that as sure as we are in any direction, time and chance and fate can alter what happens.  All we can do is try again and this time be open to possibility and not the dogmatic drumbeats in our own heads, especially when they’re tweaked and prodded by media, by physical hunger, by the exclusivity of personal experience, by…essential wrongness.

I don’t know if this diet is right for me.  I don’t know if weight loss is going to make me more creative, more popular, fall in love, change my life or if it’ll add an enormous psychological load on my shoulders that I won’t be able to bear.  I don’t know if I’d be happier and more successful cutting my calories instead.  I don’t know if my success or developing weight loss would cause rifts and hurt to other people.  I don’t know if I’ll give it up tomorrow on account of it being boring or too hard and if this will make me feel terrible or relieved.   I don’t know if I’ll stay the course and go to this concerts as emotionally resolved and physically altered as I hope to be.  I don’t know if I’ll feel more alone and regretful and miserable that day than any other.  I don’t know if I’ll wished I never tried.

But I will know.  Because I will try.

166 today.

Oh, I forgot yesterday that I mentioned I’d explain the counting.  The concert is going to be on the 16th.  So.  I think a 30-day challenge, despite beginning early, should really begin on May 16th.  So, things are happening and I’ve got my food and I’m eating low carb, but the “challenge” aspect is starting tomorrow.  Oh, shit!  Oh, yay! Oh!