Sunday, January 27, 2008

The Naked Penis Dance

Let's just say that it exists.

(And is especially amusing when performed with a toothbrush sticking out of his mouth.)

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Do Not Take Your Bra Off Before The Delivery Guy Gets There (And Other Phrases To Disprove My Point)

I very much love you, Invisible Internet Friends, because you know me. You get me. You do not try to change me.

When I say that I am afraid of my new apartment because it is cooler than I am, you don't say things like, "Kristy, that's crazy." You say things like, "Oh, yeah. I can see that."

(Okay, I'm paraphrasing. Sort of. But thanks for the encouragement, Sarah.)

Anyway, so I am currently in Ish's apartment waiting for the delivery guy. Because Ish and I have decided to change up our Indian take-out habits. Tonight we have decided to order Indian delivery. We are always living on the edge like that.

I took the initiative tonight, too. I found the delivery place and called and placed the order and got the cash all ready and have been fully prepared to have the food ready for when Ish gets home. Which is maybe thoughtful and sweet, except really it isn't because 9.5 times out of 10, Ish picks up the food. So I owe him.

Except I forgot.

I was just sitting here on the futon --

Yes. Futon. The man is going to be 40 this year, and he does not own a sofa. Only a futon.

Let me type that again. Futon.

Well okay fine. On the one hand, it's kind of understandable. He went through a separation, and since he was the one who moved out and across country, he was also the one who had to fend for himself in the furniture department. So he bought a bunch of things on the cheap.

On the other hand, this is why our new apartment is already not speaking to us.


-- doing what I normally do. Which is remember that I hate spending "downtime" in clothes that bind and thus remove them.

So, right. I took off my bra.

I have no idea if other people do this. (Do they? Do you?) Perhaps most women have a sense of "decorum" in their homes that's more like "all-underwear, all the time." Ha, ha. I do not live in one of those homes.

Anyway, so I was watching television and poking around online and started thinking about my last post and the comments and found myself getting defensive. Not because of the coolness/loft, uncoolness/me thing. (Lord, no. That's right on the money. Hi.)

But defensive because I do cook! Because I do love the kitchen and can't wait to use it! And I do not want my invisible friends to think that the kitchen will be wasted!

It's just -- well, since Ish and I started dating, I have made a concerted effort to actually cook more than twice a year. And also not set my kitchen on fire when so doing. And it turns out that I'm not (actually) even bad at making things! (Let us not discuss the chicken/red wine/ fig concoction that didn't so much work when increased from 4 servings to 12.) I'm just absolutely awful at making things regularly. I still do not know how to grocery shop for a whole week's worth of meals.

The point of this all is to say, well, I guess two things.

1. Hey! I sort of sometimes cook now!

and

2. I should really not get upset about people questioning my culinary skills when I am sitting on my boyfriend's futon(!), contemplating removing my pants(!) because I have forgotten(!!!) that I am waiting for Indian delivery. AND THEN PANICKING because I suddenly realize that at any second the phone is going to ring and I am going to have to run downstairs to meet the delivery guy and I'm not 100% sure where I've put my bra.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

And So It Begins

I am sitting in my apartment right now. It's Saturday morning and I've got my tv-as-crack habit rolling in full force (I could watch HGTV for days on end, regardless of the fact that, technically, I have neither an H nor a G*).

My apartment looks like it's been hit by a tornado, even though only a few things are out of place. That's what happens these days, though -- I don't know where all the stuff comes from, but suddenly whatever it is, it's everywhere. Some people might take this as a sign that it's time to get rid of some things. Me? I see it as a sign that it's time to move.

Hahahaha. I'm not even kidding.

Of course, moving is the perfect time to force yourself to assess all that you own in a whole new light. Because it's no longer a matter of my current stuff-having mantra, i.e., "If it can fit in the closet, I may as well keep it." (Um, which more appropriately stated would be, "If it is in the closet, I have forgotten I own it.") Now, though, with moving day fast approaching, it's a matter of "Sure it's nice, but do I want to wrap it in paper, add it to a box and then pay someone to move it, just so that I can unpack it and put it back in a closet?" And I suspect that more often than not, my answer is going to be no.

Well, let's face it. That's a lot of steps. Moving things requires work, and I am completely lazy. And thus, each item I own must pass the "Am I lazier than this thing?" test. If I am, then the item gets thrown out or donated. And much as it pains me to admit this because we're talking about inanimate objects here, I am, actually, lazier than a LOT of things.

HOWEVER.

I am not made of stone. I'm not a horder, but I do have the genetic and astrological disposition to be one (Cancer? Anyone?). When I got divorced and moved across the country and had to give up most everything I ever owned and loved, it was a horrible experience. But the result is that I don't own a lot of stuff.

That's the good part.

The problem is that I now have a stronger-than-is-maybe-psychologically-sound emotional attachment to some of the things that I do own. Especially those things that came from a long time ago. Thus, I tend to make very odd moving decisions. Ex: I have a great coffee machine, but it's not as great as Ish's and it's big and bulky and so I'm giving it away, even though it's in perfect condition. Whereas I have a navy blue sweatshirt that I got at the GAP for my 12th birthday that is all but un-wearable for its holes, etc. and I am 100% unwilling to part with it.

If I were to go on that HGTV show where they make you declutter by sorting everything into boxes -- keep, donate, throw away -- I am afraid that I would get through the process and they'd mistake my "keep" box with the "pitch" box. You know?

So how do I even start, knowing that I'm strangely sentimental about things like 20-year-old-sweatshirts and at the same time, too lazy to bother moving my "nice" things?

Eh, I don't know. But I'm open to suggestions.

And while we're at it, I'm happy to get advice on What To Do If Your Apartment Is Entirely Cooler Than You Are.

(Photos of the soon-to-be-ours loft are available here. I did not take these, and the photos aren't of our stuff, since we don't actually live there yet.)







*This is actually one of Ish's jokes.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

American Idol! Project Runway! Where Were You In The January Of My Youth!?!?!?

I remember the month of back-to-school, post-holiday winter bleakness as being dreary and cold and long and dull. And while you're in grade school, it's not like you have hot dates or wine to supplement slush-filled days. No. There was just the phone (and three-way-calling, which in my town we called "total phone" for reasons I do not understand) and nights filled with homework. And reruns.

Oh, sure, eventually NBC, CBS and ABC would re-up the television season with new episodes of the same few shows, but they were nowhere near exciting enough to compensate for the gray days of winter.

But now! Now there are hot dates AND there is wine AND there is Project Runway! And then for some crazy, Brave New World reason, perhaps because God really does love us ("us" = bloggers), who's to say, there is American Idol and Project Runway on ON THE SAME NIGHT. And I fall to my knees and delight in joy such as I have never known.

Perhaps I exaggerate. (Perhaps not.)

My point here is that this current television season is what the term "glorious" was invented for, and I would like to blog about it.

Now.

I have tried, at least three times, to keep a regularly updated (separate) blog about reality tv, with the help of some of my friends. But I have failed, because I simply cannot keep up more than one blog if I am to do anything else at all with my time, like work. Or breathe.

I also considered writing reality-tv commentary here, but failed (miserably) at that, too, because sometimes it's hard to write about with regularity.

It's hard to be brilliant and snarky and verbose on demand, even when something as rife with pop culture-y goodness as Twizzler Tits presents itself.

So I have decided - AND LO IT WAS DECREED - that, starting today, I WILL BLOG ABOUT REALITY TELEVISION SOME OF THE TIME MAYBE.

(Hey, I'm not really in the business of making decrees, so I realize mine kinda sucks. Will work on that.)

That said, I would have to say that the words, "If I were Columbo, I'd Peter Falk her" are my favorite to have ever been uttered in the history of American Idol.


Who cares if he's an improv guy? It totally worked.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Dear Mexican Construction Workers Outside Our Office:

Hi!

I hope you're having a great day! And you know? I have a sneaking suspicion that you are. Well, because I know that when I'm in a good mood, I totally want to sing at the top of my lungs, la la laaaaaa. Unfortunately for me, I work in an office, where sudden and sporadic YELPS of melody-challenged song bursting forth from my cube might disturb my colleagues, who -- right -- are also working in an office. But sure, I understand that your reality is quite different from mine, what with your being allllllllllll the way on the other side of the drywall. That you installed.

I am curious, though. When you built that drywall, did you do so with that new soundproofing kind? Because if you did, if you paid extra for that special soundproof drywall, I am afraid I have some bad news: you were overcharged.

Yes, I regret to inform you that there is no such thing as soundproof drywall. Which means that those few inches that separate you from us are protected by...well, not by very much at all.

Do you hear that? How when Jen said that thing, we all laughed? Yes! Right! That was because you can hear us! Through the walls!

So -- funnily enough -- it turns out that we can also hear you! When you hammer, and drill, and bang for indeterminate reasons, we hear it all. And we do not begrudge this. The building is expanding and we were the first ones here on this end and we're really okay with it.

The hallway's looking awesome, by the way.

But the singing is...ah...really something. I mean, we'll be tap-tap-tapping at our computers, working silently, and then WHAM! We'll be awakened by a few lines of something in SPANISH AT TOP VOLUME FOR NO REASON. And then it will subside entirely. We're just never quite prepared for it to start, you know? Or stop, for that matter.

So I guess my point is that, as long as we're going to be hearing your many and varied forays into Drywall Opera anyway, it might be nice if you'd at least sing a whole song.

Thanks,
One of the frequent bathroom-goers-who-sorry!-disturbs-your-work-getting-around-your-
scaffolding-like-four-times-a-day in Suite 305

Sunday, January 13, 2008

I'm Moving

Wow, that's weird to write.

In case you don't already know, I am a sap. A big, drippy, sappy mess. I turn it off much of the time, because if I didn't I would spend the better part of most days weeping over that time that thing happened. Or at the beauty of random objects. Or who knows what else. Let's just say it wouldn't be pretty and you wouldn't be my friend anymore.

All joking aside, my mother lived with her emotional dial turned ALL THE WAY UP ALL THE TIME and living like that, and living with someone like that, is exhausting. (Will today be a crying day? Or will today be a good day? Or will today be a good, crying day?) So I try and keep myself in check. But in case you didn't know, I have that same dial. I inherited it just as my sisters did and God help our significant others on those days and nights when we accidentally forget to turn the dial down.

So as I was saying.

I began this blog three years ago today.

My fabulous, black retro-smallish-shabby-chic desk that I snagged at a garage sale for $20 was up against the wall where my tv stand now lives. That's where my computer used to go.

That's where I started "She Walks," three years ago on January 13.

Geez, this blog is such an integral part of my life that I wonder how I ever lived without it. I am flattered and humbled every single day that you read it. (Yes, you.) It's the coolest and most amazing thing. The truth is, though, that I have been writing a blog since I learned how to write. I've kept a journal my whole life, and for whatever personality-quirk reason, I've always written it as though an audience of Invisible Friends were reading. Uh...that anyone actually does is a crazy wonderful thing I'll never get over.

Did you know that when I started this, I actually sent out an Evite? I did! I sent an Evite to my blog. Ha. I thought that if a few of my friends were actually reading and keeping tabs, that I would feel more accountable to my weight-loss plan/goal. OH WELL.

So three years ago...three years...

I weighed almost exactly what I weigh now. I owned very little cookware. I did all my internet-ing at my black desk from my PC laptop -- the Sony Vaio I'd purchased when I first moved to San Francisco. My finances were in pretty pitiful condition. My social life alternated between hanging out with PinkJaime, Sex and the City on DVD, and dating T, The Boy. My best friend, Emily, had just given birth to Ella, my sister Sam had just started dating Mike, and my sister Healy was pregnant. My father was alive. I wasn't 30 yet.

And then I discovered knitting and Crazy Aunt Purl and the whole huge wide world of non-political blogs which inspired me to just open up. And then everything changed. (Life will have a tendency to do that.)

And now it's January 13 2008. My black desk is in my closet, having been replaced by the Office Desk I acquired when I began working for BlogHer. I gave my laptop to my sister when I got my MacBook. She and her fiance, Mike, use it all the time. (Their wedding is this Labor Day.) Ella has a little sister now. Charlie's one cool ass kid, and it's awesome that he got to meet his grandfather ("Old Grandad"), even if he won't remember him. T and I broke up and it was pretty miserable for a few months there, but by the end of that summer I was finally back on track, with a new, real, job and foreseeable career path. I started dating Ish.

I'll tell you something, 'k?

When I moved into my apartment in September of 2004, it was a defining moment, in some ways just as defining as when I actually arrived in San Francisco three years before that. I'd lived in my own place that first year in SF, but on what felt like borrowed money, maybe even borrowed time. I landed here fresh from divorce proceedings that weren't even final. I was dating El_Gallo and still had a LOT of stuff (like, you know, my divorce and my mom's death) to work through. It took a long while. And it was only after ElG and I followed the course of a relationship riddled with Trying Times, after we realized we were not, actually, going to spend the rest of our lives together, that I was totally on my own.

For the very first time, I was on my own. And I moved here, to this apartment, to live by myself. It was scary and cool and full of possibility.

I didn't have any plan at all.

I didn't have money. I had a job, but at something of a strange company, and my long-term prospects there were iffy at best. I was dating a guy who was none too serious about me. I needed to lose weight, still. I had some furniture, my cats, a couple credit cards, fantastic friends, and absolutely zero idea what I was doing. I could not -- not even vaguely -- picture what my life would look like three years later.

I remember moving in and wondering when it would be that I'd ever move out again. I mean, what would the impetus be to ever leave? Surely I wouldn't stay in my cute little place forever, but...

Would I save enough money to someday buy a place? Would I find a killer job somewhere way outside the Bay Area? Would I go back "home" to the East Coast? Would I simply crave change and decide to move...someplace? Or what if (I'd wonder on my Bridget Jones + bottle of wine + Indian food take-out nights) I DID just stay forever? Just me and my cats and my yarn, here in apartment #5, becoming the building's ever-increasingly spinsteresque resident, leaving anonymous notes in the lobby blaming my neighbors for noise and poor laundry room habits.

Or? Or, well, there was that other option. The one where maybe I'd meet a great guy, and we'd go through the various Stages of Dating in Our 30s, and eventually decide to take that next step together and wander off into the sunset. (Where by "sunset" I mean "joint utility bills.") But I knew better than to plan for that.

No, I most definitely did NOT plan for that.

And yet.

While all of this crazy "life" stuff has been going on, so have Ish/Pete and I. And through those good, bad and ugly Stages of Dating in Our 30s (oof!), we've managed to make it work.

So exactly 2.5 years after our first date, on this February 6, we will be picking up the keys to our first apartment together.

I'm moving!

And this means I'm at once nostalgic and thrilled. I can't wait to be in the new place, and I can't believe I'm really going to let this apartment go. I moved in here knowing anything was possible, and now I guess "anything" has happened. I've come a long way. We've come a long way.

(We still have a gloriously long way to go.)

As it stands, I love the life I've had while I've been here, in my space, on my own. It's done a fantastic job at preparing me for the life I'll keep on loving.

Just, someplace else.



Saturday, January 12, 2008

By God, It's Working

When you have a lot of weight to lose, and you dive into a weight-loss program, there is almost immediate good and bad news.

The good news is, if you're doing it right (and, as I said, way overweight to begin with), you'll lose a lot of pounds right off the bat. Because you have them to spare.

Regardless, it's encouraging.

One week into my no/low carbs, no booze, bitch-on-wheels diet program and I have lost 7+ lbs. I feel and see the difference. It's awesome.

But then, there's the discouraging part. The part where you've lost 7+ lbs and even though you have noticed, no one else has. Because the truth is, 7 lbs just doesn't make that big a dent.

It's nothing to sneeze at, of course. It's just that at times like this you can no longer ignore just how much weight you've let yourself gain, just how much weight you've been walking around with. And just how far you have to go to get rid of it.

Friday, January 11, 2008

I'm Syndicated!

Okay, sure. You might be all like, Um, don't you WORK there? And so sure, yes, I do. But still. It's totally fun to do more write-y things than work-y things sometimes!


Announcing BlogHer's 2008 Good Health-a-thon!


It's only January 2nd, and I'm already tired of ad campaigns flashing scales and measuring tapes at me, reminding me that NOW! is the time to join the gym/lose inches/spend a fortune on pre-packaged food diets. I can't hear the words "new year" without some company also trying to convince me that I need to "Lose Weight!" so I can finally "feel better about myself!" Forgive me if I'm skeptical.

The truth is, it's 2008 and it's time for a whole new approach. No more meaningless resolutions, no more unrealistic expectations. No more buying into the notion that "feeling better" is inextricably linked to my weight and nothing else. My life, and my health, is bigger than that.

It's not about losing weight to feel better; it's about feeling better, period.

Which is why I'm very, very happy to be introducing BlogHer's 2008 Good Health-a-thon. It's simple. It's fun. It's personal. And I'll hope you'll join me in making it a success.

(The best part? No scales required!)

Overview


There are lots of things that each of us could do to improve our health. But with so many options and opportunities, sometimes I simply feel overwhelmed.

Example A: Eating Healthy

"Okay, so...I'm supposed to be lowering my salt and eating only lean proteins, got it. And saturated fat is the enemy. And so is dairy. And so are carbs. And what was that about wheat? Oh, not wheat, just gluten? So no gluten, carbs, dairy, fat or salt. And organic? Organic is better for me? So I should order only free-range, organic, non-gluten, non-salt, non-dairy, fat-free items? But then...huh? How is it possible that fruit can be bad for me, I thought... What? Glycemic index? No, I don't know -- HEY, CAN I HAVE THIS GRAPE OR NOT?"


And then, frustrated and fed up, I order a cheeseburger.

My problem -- and perhaps yours, if the above example sounds familiar -- is that I try and do it all at once, taking an all-or-nothing approach. If I can't do everything right, I feel I may as well not bother at all. Which gets me nowhere.

Help me, Good Health-a-thon!

BlogHer's Good Health-a-thon is all about what we can do, little by little, day by day, week by week and month by month to live healthier. It's not a matter of saying "I'm going to go to the gym more this year" and then reviewing your progress in January of 2009, only to discover you haven't actually used your gym card since mid-February.

Instead, the point of the Good Health-a-thon is to have each of us set simple, attainable, health-related goals for ourselves throughout the year. Our goals can be anything we want, but with the idea of broadening our definition of "health" well beyond calorie counting.


How It Works


Each day, week, month (or whatever time frame works best for you), set a goal for yourself and blog it. You can let others know you're planning to participate by commenting below and linking to your posts. Then, you can help your fellow BlogHers by visiting their blogs to offer support and suggestions.

That's all there is to it!

Well, sort of. Because before we kick-off the 'thon, it would probably make sense to talk about the kind of goal-setting that really works, and then open the floor to suggestions from you about ways we can make healthy choices this year. (Or you can scroll down or click here to go right to some healthy ideas!)

Goal Setting & The Good Health-a-thon

There's a trick I learned a long time ago about setting "SMART" goals; that is, goals should be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely. So what does that mean for the Good Health-a-thon?



Well, you can go on to read the rest of the article here, because I do actually find the SMART goal-setting approach useful.

Regardless, the best part of this is that it's a series, and for my first update, I got to re-purpose my BALLS OF DEATH entry. Yay!


It turns out that my own very personal goals actually do involve weight loss, and (more specifically) getting into better physical shape. And so I thought a good first step would be to hire myself a personal trainer.

Or, more accurately, I decided that I wasn't throwing nearly enough money at my weight-loss efforts...

Sure, I thought, I am donating huge sums of money to my gym every month, but what I want to know is: how can I spend even MORE money to get exactly NO results? Surely there must be a way to keep my ass and boobs inflating at a frightening rate!


And then it occurred to me.

I KNOW! I did not exclaim, because I was totally doing this at work and people would have stared at me. I could hire a personal trainer!

And lo, one of the most disastrous work-outs of my life ensued. (And this is really saying something. See historic reference.)

-----------

I looked [my trainer] straight in the eye and said, "I notice that 'wine' is not a food group."

He did not seem to think this was funny, although maybe he was laughing on the inside. I certainly was. Instead, he explained to me that while a glass of wine is probably okay sometimes, alcohol is not really a standard part of a healthy living plan.

"You should probably just not drink," I believe he said.

Uh huh. So apparently, if I eat only super healthy foods, stop drinking, and work out regularly, I will probably get healthy.






So let me just end by saying, whatever you may think of BlogHer, you HAVE to give them props for letting me be the poster girl for the 2008 Good Health-a-thon.

Seriously.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

The Fried Chicken Diet

Anyone heard of this?

I mean, I haven't. But it has to be out there, right? Somewhere? Because while I'm not ready to sign up for fried chicken as a "lifestyle" choice (see post below), I really think I could make a long-term commitment to it.

Oh, and speaking of not being a "lifestyle" change kind of person, have you seen the new Weight Watchers commercials? Where they're all "diets don't work"? Yeah, well. I was flipping the channels and caught the part of the commercial where a woman is looking at different diet options online and the voiceover says, "The Coffee and Peanut Butter Diet?"

And before I realized what commercial I was watching and that this was supposed to sound ridiculous, I thought, "THAT SOUNDS AWESOME!"

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

No Carbs And No Booze Make Me Something, Something

Question: No carbs and no booze make me ______? (Fill in the blank.)

Incorrect (albeit very valid) Answer: Go crazy? (you ask, quoting sort of The Shining but mostly The Simpsons.)

Ha, ha. Yeah. No.

More correct Answer: A BITCH ON WHEELS OH MY GOD.

Hello, and welcome to 2008.


For those of you who've been around a while, you might remember the illustrious NO JOY IN '06, wherein I declared that 2006 would be alllllll about cutting back. Spending less, eating less, going out less, having less mess, less clutter, less noise, blah blah you get the picture. And thus --

knowing as I do that "less is more" is bullshit and that less isn't so much "more" as it is "less" and thus it is CALLED "LESS" --

I dubbed '06 the year of NO JOY.

Well.

Perhaps this wasn't the most positive attitude I could have had about the whole thing. Which is also perhaps why I got as far as organizing my closet and losing a few pounds before inadvertently deciding I'm way too fucking joyful to adhere to such a ridiculous program.

Tra la la.

So then, in a -- is it possible? -- even more ill-advised New Year's resolution fervor, I decided to focus all of 2007 on simply losing weight. Specifically, 70 pounds. "70 in '07" I called it. (Because hey, if I'm going to make a totally absurd resolution, I may as well give the resolution a catchy title.)

But Kristy, you might be saying, if you talk to your computer, you know, whatever, I have never heard of this "70 in '07" thing! What happened?

To which I might reply, Really, you haven't? Why, I swear, I was just talking about it a second ago and--hoo, look at that! It's 2008 already! WHERE DOES THE TIME GO?

I think it's safe to say, then, that any proclamation, declaration, resolution, or catch-phrase I come up with is to be wholly ignored. Or laughed at.

Because clever sloganing aside, I began this blog THREE YEARS AGO for the express purpose of chronicling my weight loss. And let's just say thank God I veered off topic because the weight-loss chronicling alone would have resulted in a very barren blog. Something like:

Entry #1: Gosh, this weight loss thing is hard. I guess I'll write more when I've made some progress.

Entry #2: Uh...

Entry #3: What is the blog equivalent of *crickets*?

Not good. Uh, also not the point.

The point IS, at the end of the first year, the year without a slogan (poor 2005), I started off great, but ended the year about 5 pounds heavier than I started. Then, newly inspired at the start of '06 (aka "no joy"), I started off great, but ended the year about 5 pounds heavier than I started. Finally, smarter and braver and clearer-minded, I launched 2007 with a totally new attitude...meaning I started off great, but ended the year about 5 pounds heavier than I started.

So if you're doing the maths, that means that (and I'm guessing here) I'm starting 2008 a good 15 lbs heavier than I was when I began this whole thing.

Siiiiiiiiiigh. That's just not how it was supposed to go. I moved to San Francisco to expand my horizons, not my ass.

Stupid happiness.

But okay, okay. Let's stop the madness now. Because here we are. Again. Staring a new year in the face. Again. Knowing I have to lose weight. Again. And get in shape. Again.

Oh, except this year, I needn't lose weight and get in shape simply because I want to, for vain reasons. But because (now that I'm actually in my 30s) I have to, for health reasons.

HAHAHAHAHA. Did you believe me?

I mean, sure. Of course I need to lose weight for health reasons, but let's not delude ourselves. The sincerest, most motivating, super number one reason I want to lose weight is so that I can look a photo of me and not have to wonder who the blond posing as Jabba the Hut is.

So what to do...what to do?...

Ohthatsright. Three years out (or, let's be honest here, 32 years out) I actually HAVE NO IDEA.

Well, but, I gotta do something.

So here's what I've figured out. For right now, I'm going to worry about right now. Not next month or six months from now or how I'll ever manage to lose 70 pounds or eleventeen dress sizes. I just...can't.

(Note to self: It's not like anyone even asked or expected you to.)

(Note to self-who-writes-notes: Are you getting all self-helpish on me?)

(Note to self: Darn. Thought I could sneak that one in.)

(Note to self-who-writes-notes: Hush up.)

But facing facts here, I am just not good at thinking in terms of a year, let alone a lifetime. Everyone is always expressing just how important it is to make lifestyle changes. Changes you can live with so that you can sustain weight loss and spend the rest of your life healthy and happy.

(You know, instead of walking around in t-shirts that say things like, "If God didn't want me to be fat, he wouldn't have invented the fry-o-later*.")

Except what if I'm not built like that? What if the idea of making any kind of change "for life" scares the ever-loving crap outta me? Because hi. This world is crazy, and so am I. I am in flux all the time, with a totally new "life plan" practically every two weeks. I've been in and out of several serious relationships. I moved to San Francisco and then moved to 4 different apartments in almost as many years. I've had like, a million jobs and couldn't for the life of you tell you where I see myself in 5 years. Even in general I couldn't answer that question. Will I marry? Settle down? Have kids? WHO KNOWS. Not because I don't think those things are swell, but because I know that no matter how I plan, things change all the damn time.

Why should my approach to weight loss be any different?

So I offer a big "sorry!" to Everyone Who Is A Weight-Loss Expert In The Whole World, but I'm going to have to do this my way.

And my way means -- for now -- that I am hitting "reset" on my metabolic dial. I am taking a cue from several sources, and cutting out all booze and carbs.

For two weeks.

After that? Um? It's a mystery to me, too. (Perhaps this year's tagline can be "2008: WTF?")

In the meantime, I can say I know it must be working because the first three days of no sugar and no liquor made me INSANE. I was cranky, irritable, frustrated, annoyed. My system was like a child who (perhaps literally) wanted! A! Cookie! And when I refused it, it threw some horrific tantrum.

I am also happy to report that it has since settled down. I have stopped dreaming of bread and martinis, and the urge to throw things at Ish's head has subsided dramatically.

And I think THAT is progress worth blogging about.

Happy New Year!






*I do not actually own this t-shirt. Yet.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Rite of Passage

I began this post on the day it happened, December 4, 2007

If you own a car in San Francisco, it's going to be broken into. There's pretty much no way around this, short of finding a garage equivalent to the Bat Cave (Batcave? BatCave?). And you know, even then I'm not so sure. Crackheads can be awfully tenacious.

When I first moved to SF, I owned a car.


It wasn't this very one, though.

But within about a month, I pretty much stopped driving it anywhere. I opted instead for public transportation and walking (by which I should clarify that I mean "taking cabs"), especially since the most secure garage I could find was a mile away from my apartment. I thought I was brilliant to have found such a secure space...uh, except that any time I wanted to drive somewhere, I had to first figure out how to transport myself to my car. Me, with the street smarts.

Of course I eventually realized how stupid it was to be paying for parking and a garage for a car I never used, and I so I sold my car. Before, I should add, it was ever broken into. Which wasn't so much tempting fate as it was putting it on hold.

Because right. Five years later -- this past summer -- I decided to once again purchase a car, since BlogHer got all official and moved into a real office down the Peninsula and I realized I hadn't spent nearly enough of my adult life in bumper-to-bumper traffic. (Why take the train when I can be part of the commuting throng, clogging up the environment and listening to NPR 2+ hours a day?) And as anyone around here will tell you, "I work on the Peninsula" is sometimes Bay Area code for "I work for a dotcom," but mostly it means "Yeah, traffic's pretty bad. I'm going to be late."


This is not a picture of my actual car, either.
I love Google images.


But commuting aside, getting a car meant also getting a parking space. One that wasn't a mile from my apartment, and one that could, you know, ostensibly deter break-ins. So when I happened to find one a block from my apartment in a real, locked and gated garage with 24-hour access, I snatched it up before I had even found a car. Yes, it's that hard to find a good parking space. And yes, it's like a million dollars a month. But locked! Gated! And I don't even have to take a cab to get to it!

Well.

You can imagine how pleased I was to arrive at my car this morning after walking a block in the dark, cold rain, to discover it had been broken into. The driver's side window had been smashed into a billion bits all over the driver's seat, and someone had clearly made a mad dash through everything they could find in the front. Which was a lot of receipts (which they left), spare change (which they left), and a pair of sunglasses (which they took).


I really loved those glasses.

I just sort of stared at it. I was hardly shocked, but awfully annoyed. And from that point on, my day just became stupid.

First debated about whether or not I should drive to work. I wouldn't mind driving with a broken window, even in the stupid rain, if it didn't also mean sitting in a pile of glass. I actually thought about what I might have in my car trunk that I could sit on to protect me from the glass, or to scoop the glass from the seat to the floor, until I realized I would surely end up bleeding.

So I called Emily to tell her I wouldn't be picking her up. (Hey, as long as I'm going to be commuting, I may as well be carpooling.) Then I called Ish to get the requisite "Aww, Sweetie"s and confirmation that going into the office would not be a good idea.

Then I called Progressive.

I have never had to call an insurance company to make a claim before (knock wood), so I don't know what I was expecting exactly. But based on my extensive experience with insurance company commercials, I thought that I would at least have an opportunity to speak with an agent who was capable of recognizing me as a fellow human being.

Instead, first I got a recorded voice directing me through a phone tree, asking questions about which language I speak and what kind of damage I'm calling about, and then I had to enter my policy number and blah blah blah. Wholly impersonal. And would have been way worse if I'd actually been in a real accident and was scared and on the side of a highway, trying to gain composure enough to enter an entire policy number into a cell phone.

But I managed to connect to an agent (who NATURALLY had to ask for my policy number again), and when she got through all the preliminary screening questions and FINALLY asked me why I was calling, and I said, "My driver's side window was smashed and my car was broken into," I at least expected an "Oh, I'm sorry to hear that." Especially because I was calm and collected and not sobbing like I could have been. Instead, she just shot right to whatever script she's supposed to follow, including putting me on hold so she could look up my policy only to explain all the ways in which my policy is limited and how I have to meet the deductible and how they can gladly recommend a glass company but they are required by law to explain to me that they cannot require I use a certain glass company and do I understand? Would I like to be transferred now? And that will be $193.95 (before tax) out of pocket. Oh, and to have a nice day.

Then I got to talk to the Glass Man. He was much friendlier than the Progressive-bot, but only at first.

"So this is through Progressive?"

He asks this despite that Progressive called him, not me.

"Yes. But I haven't met my deductible yet, so it's going to be out of pocket."

"Oh I see. Okay then...your total will be...$215."

Sigh.

"Progressive said it would be $193."

"Oh? Progressive quoted you $193.95? Let me see if I can get you that price."

Um, I never mentioned the .95 part, and yet somehow he knew about it.

"Okay then, I will be able to offer you that price. But there will be tax. And so...if you're okay with that, someone will be by between 9 and 1."

It's fantastic that we live in an age where same-day glass replacement service is as easy as making a phone call (well, and forking over $200). On the other hand, I am not so thrilled with the idea that the window is FIVE HOURS long. How do you plan a day around that? Oh right, you don't. So I sort of, politely, mentioned this to the glass man.

"And there's no way to send someone over right away?"

No.

"And there's no more specific time window you could give me?"

No.

And as I'm saying this next part I realize the extent to which my day is not going to be well spent:
"It's just that I don't actually live at the garage where my car is parked. So if someone is going to come, I need to know so that I can meet them there."

I'm not entirely sure why, but this was apparently the feather that broke the Glass Man's back. He evidently did not like being questioned about his company's policies, even though it was my car that was broken into and not his and I'm spending money for his company to fix it.

So he offered the following in an extremely faux-pleasant tone:

"...well, if you were able to drive to one of our stations, then I could give you a more specific appointment time."

Yes, well, if i could drive my car, I'd be ON MY WAY TO WORK.

I told him that I would be looking for an alternate company to come fix my window and that I'd be in touch if I still needed his services. I was not playing hardball, I just wanted my damn window fixed.

Except -- and I don't really know how to convey this properly -- he basically said no. He told me that canceling the appointment would not be a good idea, and we hung up with me still expecting someone between 9 and 1.

* * *
Sometime last September I got an offer in the mail to join AAA. Normally I would ignore such things, but for some reason (perhaps because I'd just purchased a vehicle?) I decided to go ahead and join. It seemed like the responsible thing to do.

I will confess that I do not know anything about AAA except that it's the sort of thing that my ex-husband's dad would ramble on and on about which can only mean two things: it was boring, and it was cost-effective.

So now me and my responsible self get AAA mailers, and still neither of us knows what exactly AAA does for us, except maybe offer discounts to places we don't go. I know we're supposed to also get some sort of roadside assistance, but I don't get when we use them versus Progressive. These are the kinds of things kids raised by people who weren't my parents might know.

Anyway.

* * *

Pissed at the Progressive/Glass Man situation, I decided I would call AAA. That would show them.

And the phone tree situation was far more pleasant and swift, and I got to a live human almost immediately.

Which would have been great except the woman who answered the phone simply could not understand why I was calling her. After giving her my spiel, it came down to this:

"Well, um, do you replace glass?" I asked.

"What's your policy number?" she asked.

I start telling her.

"No, that's your membership number."

Um.

"Well, do you replace glass?"

"Yes. But what's your policy number."

It went like this for quite a while, until she finally figured out that I did not have AAA "insurance" I simply had a "membership" even though this did not change the fact that I still needed my glass replaced.

After a few more go-rounds of "policy number" versus "glass replacement" questioning, the AAA woman suddenly spurted, "OH SO YOU NEED THE GLASS REPLACEMENT DEPARTMENT."

And then she put me on hold to connect me to the right person, whose name was Miriam, from the glass replacement department, and just as we got through giving her all my information, the original AAA woman disconnected and the whole call was dropped entirely.

And THAT is when I lost it, and started crying, and decided I may as well just wait for the Glass People. It was almost 9 anyway.

* * *

As you might have suspected, the rest of my day was one big celebration of inefficiency and bad decision making. It kinda went like this:

9:10 a.m. Garage is cold and damp. Also no wifi. Need coffee. Decide that going around the corner to a cafe makes far more sense than going home, because home is a whole BLOCK and THREE FLIGHTS of stairs away. Plus cafe has bagels.

9:50 a.m. Stupid cafe has great coffee but spotty wifi. Could go home now, but maybe should stick it out.

10:30 a.m. This is dumb. I'm going home to my reliable high-speed.

11:15 a.m. Have finally clocked a solid half-hour of work after leaving my apartment nearly 4 hours prior. Awesome.

11:30 a.m. Tired of feeling held hostage by the Glass People, I make bold decision to call them. Am told "Oh, the guy's leaving right now from South San Francisco." Knowing exactly where that is, I confirm, "So 15-20 minutes?" Glass People say, "Yes."

11:45 a.m. Have arrived at garage to let Glass Guy in. Glass Guy nowhere to be seen. Would go to cafe instead of waiting, but did not bring my laptop because I thought I'd be gone for 15 minutes.

12:05 p.m. Still no Glass Guy (or laptop). Garage still cold and damp. Call Glass People. "Oh yeah, he's stuck in traffic." Of course he is. "He doesn't know how long he'll be. But he'll call you when he gets to the city." Of course he will. Decide I do not have enough time to go home and get work done or to go home, get laptop, go to cafe and try and work. Decide instead to go to nearby "Internet Cafe" so that I can pay by the minute for internet access I'm already paying for at home.

12:10 p.m. "Internet Cafe" would more appropriately be named "Methadone Clinic and Internet Cafe." Do not understand why so many recovering drug addicts have selected this particular cafe but am feeling very uncomfortable. Sort of like that "whore in church" adage except where by "whore" I mean "girl who showers regularly" and by "in church" I mean "in a cafe full of people who do not shower regularly."

12:45 p.m. My phone rings. Glass Guy has not called me from the city, he has called from the garage, telling me he can't get in. Tell him I'll be right there.

12:55 p.m. We have gotten to my car and assessed the damage. "How long will this take?" I ask. "Should be no longer than 45 minutes," he says. I consider. Go back to my place? Probably best. "Please call me when you're done," I say. And go home.

2:15 p.m. Concerned that I have not heard from Glass Guy, I call Glass People (realizing I do not have Glass Guy's cell). They put me on hold. When they finally come back, they say, "Yeah. He's all set now." So I should go meet him? "Yes."

2:25 p.m. Get to garage to discover Glass Guy's van is all unpacked, equipment still everywhere. Glass appears to have been replaced, but broken glass is still taking up the better part of the driver's seat. "Oh, I'm going to be about 15 minutes more," he says. Of course. Decide again there is not enough time to go home and do anything productive, so return to Methadone Cafe to pay for 15 more minutes of online time.

2:45 p.m. Get call from Glass Guy that I can come pay him now. Do. Return home.


And there you have it. It sucked and was stupid and annoying. (Thanks for reading through it with me.)

And in case you're wondering what I've learned, well. I still don't know why I have AAA. I still haven't met my insurance deductible. And I still park in the same garage, except now I back into the space with the hope that if someone's going to repeat the break-in, they will at least pick a different window.

The end.