Tuesday, December 20, 2011

I'm probably too biased for this, but...

<img src="http://img.bzzagent.com/image/krogerTrulyAwesome.jpg?Type=activity&Activity=4683196915&Campaign=8088046278&Uid=1185440&token=0ec945be29deba7be33588646a5b4e56" alt=""/>

This is a review of the Kroger's The Truly Awesome(TM) Homestyle Chocolate Chip Cookies, which I'm submitting here as a BzzAgent.  I was able to try this product for free, and am now giving my own personal opinion, for which I will earn points to elevate my Agent status. 

Thing is, I'm a culinary student and an avid baker besides. I can tell the difference between real, homemade food and something from a box, no matter how much that box promotes its ingredients as "fresh" or "authentic." These cookies might be OK for road-trip snacks, or for a sudden cookie fix when you don't have time to make something from scratch. I would never serve them, though--they're just not up to my standards.

The flavor felt a little phoned-in to me, not unlike a Grandma's cookie (still good, but something's a little off).

The texture was too cake-y for my tastes--I prefer cookies to be flatter, crispy on the edges and chewy in the middle.

Like I said, they weren't the worst cookies I've ever had, but there's no way they could be called "as good as homemade."

Monday, December 19, 2011


I follow the blogs of a few recovering anorexics. I do this because I relate to them, and reading their words is like reading my own madness set to text.

The latest post in my e-mail today was about "thinsperation," better known as pro-ana blogs, etc.

I'm a bit fascinated by thinsperation, and I want to go to those blogs. I want to read about girls still entrenched in their disorders and be.....what? Inspired to relapse? Horrified at the sight of their skeletons? I think it would be justification for me. I've been counting calories again, this time with a spreadsheet. I can know exactly what my calorie balance is for the day (today's was about 1560--260 over what I felt comfortable with). And I realized today that because it's winter, I can wear a lot of baggy sweaters and pajama pants without drawing attention to myself or my (hopefully pending) weight loss.

Justification: I can look at those poor anorexic girls (I just want to hug them, wrap them in a blanket, tell them it's OK and have them BELIEVE it), and I can think to myself, "I don't look that bad. I still have a looooooooong way to go before anyone could say I looked like that, or even that I look skinny at all." I can lie to myself that I'm still in control, that I'm recovered and only want to lose 15 pounds or so. But even as I read these books on how to recover, how to address the mental illness itself, I'm beginning to feel frustrated. Thing is, I don't want to accept my body as it is. I don't want to be this fat, and I loathe the idea of being "average" in anything. So it has to be the other extreme--it has to be "underweight" and "too skinny" and "be careful."

I think I promise not to let it get too far out of control this time. But I'm probably lying.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

My Love Affair with Ed: an Explanation

My love affair with Ed probably began the same way as everyone else: we met as children, flirted through adolescence, and eventually became closer and closer until we were inseparable. I suppose I had always been a chubby child, or so I was told (although, looking back at the photos, I think I looked healthy, and not fat at all). You know, there were the usual cruel jokes from crueler children who were probably even more insecure than I was, though I couldn’t have known about that at the time. When you’re 8, you don’t know that bullies are bullies because they hate themselves. You hear that, but you’re not sophisticated enough to realize the much deeper implications; and anyway it’s nothing you’d remember when you’re trying to reclaim your fragile second-grade dignity after said cruel boy says you look pregnant.
And somehow age doesn’t make you any wiser—not in these cases. At 12 you’re much more mature, and you begin to realize that people have pain and people have anxiety and boys are still mean and immature…but you don’t realize that that’s where careless, nasty comments come from. Especially not when they come from the boy you’ve developed a massive crush on. Especially not when you’d been under the impression that he liked you, too. Especially not when he explains the flatness of a sidewalk-chalked United States as “Shaina jumped.”
Those shreds of dignity? Maybe you can braid them or something and pretend it’s all fixed.
So I knew I was chubby; I knew I wasn’t as pretty, as stylish, even as smart as some other girls. I was funny—the class clown. With crippling stage fright, I somehow managed to crack the class and myself up on a daily basis. I was strange and funny and ME (at least, I think I was). I thrived on my reputation as a lover of sci-fi and supernatural phenomenon. It was what I was known for—it was my image. So even if I wasn’t desirable or even pretty, I was still at least me…ish.
Throughout junior high and then high school, the boy who had been the object of my affection became the object of my obsession, and I sought him out whenever I could. I just wanted him to notice me, to like me—instead, I succeeded only in scaring him away and I’m pretty sure that by the end of high school, he outright hated me. I tried one last-ditch effort after graduation to explain my feelings for him, but receiving no response, forced myself to acknowledge that he’d likely be happy never to talk to me or hear about me again.
Besides that, high school wasn’t the nightmare most people say it was. I know I’m supposed to talk about how hard high school was, how isolated and dark my life was, how nobody understood me or my pain. But the truth is, I found a lot of kindred spirits in high school. I fell in with the anime and manga kids, the ones who taught themselves Japanese and carried Pikachu backpacks. I tried to get in with the Drama kids, too, but because I was terrified of being away from home (that’s another issue entirely), I wasn’t willing to devote my every free second to the stage and was therefore not-so-subtly rejected from their clique.
No, school was great. Home was different.
My parents divorced when I was 4 and unlike most kids, I was always happy about that. I remembered their fights and didn’t miss that at all.
Mom was overprotective, I know that much. She was also very manipulative, and given what’s happen in recent years, I think I have every right to say that. Because I don’t know what’s real about my childhood anymore, and therefore try not to think too much on it, I can only go by what I experienced and what I can deduce with my current knowledge. But for years I lived with the intense fear that if I spent too much time away from her, she would certainly die. This may have been a leftover never-dealt-with-phobia from losing my baby brother at a young age. Whatever the source, I somehow believed myself to be endowed with the superpower of “protection through proximity,” and believed also that my stepdad (a lovely man, I now realize) was plotting to kill her. So you can understand why I didn’t do extracurricular activities: it was, for me, literally a matter of life and death.
Dad remarried a beautiful woman who is still fortunate to be naturally thin. Both of them being cops, and noticing my disdain for sports and physical activity, they tried to get me moving on my visiting weekends. You can imagine this was met by me with petulance, loud complaining, and learned manipulation. Mom had me convinced I had asthma and allergies (neither are true), and I used those as crutches for years. Dad and Michelle would ask me, “Don’t you want to be able to run and play with the other kids?” What they didn’t realize was that my best recess was spent swinging, because I’ll never be able to fly but I like to get as close as I can. I knew I was too fat in their eyes and began lying when they’d ask about my weight, saying I was about 80lbs, even to the point where I was old enough that that weight would have been ludicrous. What really stuck with me was the time my dad was drinking a Slim Fast, and asked if I wanted to try it. I didn’t, but I never said no as a kid (even at the risk of my own happiness), so I took a sip, and Dad said I should finish it. In my mind, that translated to “Maybe if you drink some Slim Fast you’ll lose a bit of weight, Fatty.”
So there was that, and the Christmas Eve wherein my emotionally troubled then-uncle caught me at the hors d’ouevres table and called me a horse.
Again, a 13-year-old doesn’t understand the way an adult’s inner pain might manifest itself into a dagger of hate directed at her; she only knows that her Uncle Rick, whom she’s always trusted, has just said something horrible, so it must be true.
So I suppose there were incidents that led me to make friends with Ed; but I think it was the breakdown of my home life towards the end of high school, paired with my mother’s instability, that took our relationship to the next level. I was a teenager, dealing with body issues, insecurity, and, stupid as it may have been, unrequited love. And even though I was 16, I remember times when it did hurt and even though I had friends, I did so often feel alone and left out, so I began to rely more on myself. I became an escape artist, concocting wild fantasy world based off the anime I loved, wherein I had all the love and companionship I wanted. It was pure Mary Sue; it was fantastic. But it made dealing with the world and me much more difficult and I resented myself for it. I resented reality. I wanted to punish myself, punish mom, punish those who dismissed me; I wanted to feel pain; I wanted attention, maybe even sympathy. So I began cutting myself. To be honest, it was just scratching at first. As much as I fantasized about making everyone feel bad, I was terrified of being caught. And in any case, as my little sister grew older and more aware of the tension in the house, and as Mom slowly sank into paranoia and alcoholism, I found myself increasingly obligated to clean up the messes Mom kept making.
The summer I graduated, the shit finally hit the fan at home. Mom was in deep trouble (at that point I had no idea of the extent of it, or the extent to which I was about to be involved). After a particularly bad night, Mom, my sister, and I left the house with the dog and precious little else, and went to stay with my Granny in her 1-bedroom apartment for what would end up being a month. I won’t go into great detail about the things that went down, the level of betrayal I faced, the absolute horror at finding a strange man knocking on our apartment door at 3:00 in the morning and feeling fortunate that at least Mom was deep in a wine-induced sleep, and so heard neither the door knocking nor her phone ringing when the strange man became confused by her absence and tried calling (just to be safe, I took her phone and buried it under pillows to muffle it, since I couldn’t risk pressing buttons that beeped, then watched out my bedroom window as he left, came back, and finally left for good). I knew what was going on when she “went out with friends.” I knew what was up when I’d come home from work at 10:00 at night and find “an old friend from high school that she’d recently reconnected with” sitting on our couch in the dark. I knew I wasn’t just mistaken when I insisted my wallet was missing, only to have it reappear after catching her sneaking out of my room a few hours later. I never questioned, never outright accused—I always just tried to keep it all together as best I could: throwing away hidden bottles of wine as I found them; accepting that I’d never get all my missing money back and I’d just have to hope I’d get to keep my future earnings; staying awake late into the night to make sure the strange man downstairs didn’t kill us all; and, when I was alone, plummeting into violent rages of screaming and self-hatred, using my Exact-O blades (purchased legitimately for art and design classes) to rip open my legs. That was the real cutting, and I was pretty clever about it: after the initial sessions, I began cutting scars open again so it wouldn’t be as obvious if anyone ever saw my legs. I wore pants all the time anyway, and I always carefully cleaned up after myself. I don’t think I ever wanted to die necessarily, regardless of how much I thought, wrote, or drew about it. I had too much to take care of and too much guilt at the prospect of hurting my family.
And that’s how life was. Eventually we moved out of our scuzzy apartment in Old Town Peoria and moved to a townhouse in our old neighborhood, but things didn’t really improve. The best part for me was just being closer to my friends, which allowed me to spend more time away from home. I’d had enough by that point, but got some relief in January when Mom announced she’d move in with her then-boyfriend, and I could stay in the townhouse for the remainder of the lease.
It was during this time that I got hired as a Barista for the new Seattle’s Best CafĂ© in Borders, which turned out to be one of the best things ever to happen to me, despite later clashes with management. Because it was at Borders where I met some new friends, who provided something that was safe and stable, and that I desperately needed; and most importantly, I met Jake. Jake and I got along immediately and shared a mutual attraction, not to mention a myriad of interests. Most of all, I knew I could trust Jake, so I let myself fall in love and tomorrow is our 6th anniversary. He’s my best friend and the only person in the world who has seen the best and worst of me, who has seen ME as I really am, who understands me, listens to me, supports me, loves me, cares for me, lets me be free while providing a safe and solid ground to come back to; who never judges, never criticizes; who knows and accepts the REAL ME. He has talked me down from more ledges than he’ll ever know, and I know I’d be lost without him. Life hasn’t gone the way I’d planned, but I can always find comfort in Jake’s arms, in the way he makes me laugh even when I don’t want to, and in his unending love.
Around 2007, I was working at Borders and attending ASU for my English degree, and I decided it was time to take charge of my physical health. I’d always been afraid that too much cholesterol might lead to diabetes or pulmonary embolisms, so I got a gym membership and began working out. I’d been at a size 5 for a while, not really knowing or caring how much I weighed, but as I exercised and began eating less junk and more healthy food, I shrunk to 110lbs and a size 3! Suddenly the fat kid wasn’t fat! I was on top of the world—I felt great, looked great, everything was great! Dad and Michelle even commented that I looked fit and healthy, but I probably shouldn’t try to lose any more. And actually, I agreed! I had no intention of losing any more weight, and I don’t really know what happened. All I know is that somewhere along the way, working out became a chore, and an obsession. Somewhere along the way I lost control of it. It wasn’t healthy anymore, and neither was I. 110 turned into 105, but for some reason that wasn’t good enough. I’d gotten this far—I could do more. The first time I burned 100 calories on the elliptical machine, I bragged about it and felt so proud of myself. That night, I bought a salad for dinner and ate half of it. I was being healthy, I told myself. But I could do more. I already took the bus to school and often to work (my bus pass was free through ASU, and with the price of gas and parking, you can see the appeal), but what if I walked to the next bus stop a few blocks away? Borders was only a mile away from my apartment; the gym only a few blocks more. What if I started walking to work, then to the gym? I could take the bus home! So 2007 turned into 2008 and I kept losing, but I didn’t see it. To be fair, nobody who saw me on a daily basis noticed how drastic it was, because it was still gradual. Jake expressed his concern for my health, but it was only recently, looking at photos of me at my lowest weight, that he was truly horrified. My coworkers might’ve commented here and there that I was skinny, but I took that in stride and never believed a word of it. Even as I celebrated finally fitting into a size 0, I still saw myself as grotesquely overweight (anything over being technically underweight was unacceptable to me), and reminded myself that pant sizes today were larger than they’d been when these sizes were first determined. I measured my waist every morning, and never got below 25 inches, so I figured that in reality, I was probably a size 9 or something. After graduating in December 2008, I was no longer able to use my bus pass, so began walking everywhere. I walked to work, then to the gym, then home, all the while restricting my diet further and further. I ate carrots, leafy greens, and bananas, along with the occasional mixed nuts or dried cranberries from Sprouts—and most of it was raw. The only things I cooked were beans and barley (barley was lower in calories than rice), and cut portions into fourths, and then further into eighths. I became angry if Jake suggested I could have more than a quarter-inch slice of pizza. I was suffering, but I was thin. I was disciplined. I had done what those people who called me fat would never have thought possible. I could see my bones, my veins, even the places where muscles intertwined, but in my mind it was just good fitness, hard-won results, and there was still more I could do.
In January 2009 I checked my credit score for the first time and realized the magnitude of the damage Mom had done to my finances; in March I was laid off from Borders. With my world completely turned upside down, I decided to make the best of it and reassess my situation. Maybe it was time to seek out a “real job,” with an office and business-casual and all that shit that I’d always dreaded in the first place. But the world was different, and we’d finally gotten rid of the imbecilic radical evangelist who had stolen the Presidency twice in a row. I felt a surge of optimism and Dad and Michelle, happy that I was taking all this bad stuff in stride, took me on a shopping trip to buy some new, business-y clothes. The only thing that bothered me was that I’d have to skip the gym that day, but if I just ate a bit less, I should still be OK. I knew they were concerned about my weight loss, and agreed to stay away from the gym until I gained some weight back (as Dad tearfully implored me to do), but that night, after finding out I’d eaten nearly 800 calories in a salad at dinner, I felt another heavy surge of self-hatred. Of course my family was alarmed at my thinness—they’d only ever known me as my former chubby self. I was perfectly healthy, they just weren’t used to seeing me that way. So I’d stay away from the gym for a bit like I promised I’d do; but I never promised not to do basic calisthenics at home, or ride my bike. So the weight loss continued. In May, thanks to Jake’s sister, I got hired at the Lake Pleasant Petsmart, working in the Pet Hotel overnight. It was a job, and I had rent to pay, but I was sick of my old apartment, so used the new job as an excuse to move to what seemed like a nicer apartment that was, in reality, only a couple of miles closer to work. By now I was regularly experiencing severe hot flashes and swelling in my neck, and I suspect it was my thyroid gland going completely haywire.
Working overnight didn’t seem like it would be that big of a deal, but it turned out to be one of the worst experiences ever. I’d been going back to the gym by this time, but when I came to visit Dad on Father’s Day, he finally gave me an ultimatum: stop going to the gym altogether, and start eating more, or he was going to come live with me to monitor my behavior.
And that was the end of it, but not really. Of course, I was completely exhausted with lack of nighttime sleep and poor quality daytime sleep. First, I just enjoyed eating again and not working out every day. But then I began to retain water. I started feeling short of breath and having heart palpitations. Jake, afraid I might be experiencing congestive heart failure, implored me to go to the doctor and drove me to the appointment. But the doctor was busy, so I only spoke to the nurse, who said I was fine, everything was normal, and some water pills might help with the water retention. In hindsight, I should have gone back for a follow-up, but that became unimportant as the weight came creeping back. I tried to keep it at bay, and for a while succeeded.
In March 2010 I was hired for what seemed to be the opportunity of a lifetime. A “real job” that paid 30K per year, had benefits, and might finally get me ahead in the game. That job turned out to be another awful experience, because who would’ve thought that sitting in a cubicle with no view outside, doing data entry all day, would turn out to be psychological torture for the girl who thrived on color and art and creativity? And along with that came the hard-core weight gain. I went to a stretchy size 1, then 3, then 5, then seven. I got blood work done, tried starving and exercise bulimia again, but for all intents and purposes there was nothing wrong with me, and the weight wouldn’t budge.
And that’s where I’ve been since October 2010. I’m now in culinary school, and I don’t work out as much as I should, but nothing matters because the weight won’t budge. My family says I look great and healthy; Jake tells me he loves my body and thinks I’m sexy; but I see Ed hanging around in my peripheral vision, and part of me wants to get closer again.
This is my reality now. I cringe at what I used to do, used to be; but also lament my healthy weight of 110, and how nice that was, and how much I wish I could be back there. Maybe I just need to be patient, and this will all work itself out. I hope I can be a size 3 again, and I hope this time that will be enough for me. But if I’ve learned one thing about Ed, it’s that he’s coy and calculated, and may lead me down even more dangerous paths, and I hope I’ll have the strength to resist.

Friday, December 2, 2011

So I'm reading "The Four Levels of Social Entrapment" on Allie Brosh's fantastic blog, Hyperbole and a Half. http://tinyurl.com/73laz9c

And I'm wondering: why do we try so valiantly to get out of awkward social situations? You bump into someone you don't want to talk to, so you pretend to be REALLY INTERESTED in something--your hand, the sky, an invisible spot on the wall, etc. Next time you're in such a jam, just run away. Seriously, just turn the other way and run like hell. Awkwardness evaded, and probably forever. You think that person is going to maintain a friendship? No way.

OMG i am SO FREAKING EXCITED about going to see #Wicked on Feb 19!!!!!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

my @klout score is PITIFUL at the moment.....

Old Man in Chair and Bad Picasso Re-creation

Yes, the man is naked. This class is where I gained such an appreciation for the human form. In the background is my crude representation of a Picasso work depicting a woman urinating. Classy to the last.

Male and Female Forms

The male form in the foreground appears to be punching--his arm is extended in a forceful manner. The female form in the background seems to be leaning her head and arms against the wall.

Lady in Repose with Doodles

Title says it all--there are some hands, some characters of mine, some random Japanese.....

Quick sketches from my days as an Art major at GCC.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

It knows

Windows Live Photo Gallery is psychic.

It knows

Windows Live Photo Gallery is psychic.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Like, Every Goddamned Day

Would you get tired of being treated, every day, like you were nothing but the greatest annoyance to those around you?  Of being so keenly aware of your apparent odiousness that you don't even dare to roam freely?


Wednesday, July 6, 2011

60 Details Challenge:

1) one favorite word: silhouette
2) one favorite phoneme: sh
3) favorite color: blue
4) explain your favorite sound (or what is your favorite onomatopoeia?): ring
5) one word that reminds you of caring: backrub
6) one word that reminds you of absence: later
7) one word that sounds beautiful: window
8) one color that tastes like something: orange
9) one flavor that instantly leads to your childhood: Thrifty’s rainbow sherbet
10) one word in another language: Tasche
11) favorite flavour and kind of flavour: baked items, sweet
12) a feeling you hate:
13) one strong word: 
14) a strong feeling: 
15) a sweet word: 
16) a sweet feeling: 
17) an acid word: 
18) an acid feeling:
19) favorite texture: 
20) a texture you hate: 
20) the perfect situation:
Jake and I living in our own house, in Oregon or Washington or NorCal, I with my own bakery and he as a professor at the University
21) a wonderful song with lyrics:
“Empty Garden (Hey Hey Johnny)
22) a wonderful song with no lyrics: 
“King of Pride Rock”
23) a word and a sensation: 
25) a sense you could be without:
26) a word you could not do without: 
27) favorite sensation: 
28) favorite sense:
29) a place to go: 
New Hampshire
30) a place to be:
with Jake
30) a smell:
orange blossoms
31) a drug:
31) an animal:
31) an animal smell:
wet dog
32) an animal sound:
mourning dove song
33) a word that has a flavour that turns you on:
34) a word that has a sound that turns you on:
35) a place to smell:
the mountains
36) a body part:
37) a body part’s smell:
38) a non-edible taste:
40) a taste that reminds you someone you love (and if you want, who are they?):
Jamba Juice and Quiznos, Jake
41) a smell that reminds you someone you love (and if you want, who are they?):
castor oil, Granny
42) a texture that reminds you someone you love (and if you want, who are they?):  facial stubble, Jake
43) a sound that reminds you someone you love (and if you want, who are they?):
Wheel of Fortune, Grandma and Grampa Van
44) a landscape: Pacific coastline
45) a vision that reminds you someone you love (and if you want, who are they?):
sky, everyone
46) a movie you just love the cinematography:
Peter Pan (2003)
47) a movie you love the sounds:
Lion King
48) a visually beautiful letter:
49) a letter that sounds awesome in your language:
50) a letter that sounds awesome in some other language (and what language?): 
Upsilon (Y) - German
51) a word that makes you angry: fib
52) a word that makes you happy:
53) an image that makes you think:
54) an interesting thought you always have:
what if my life is all a TV show and I don’t know?
55) wet clothes or arid air?:
cool humidity
56) a word that scares you.:
57) your smile sounds like…?:
58) a substance that makes you fall in love:
59) a word that reminds you the thing or feeling you like and hate the most.:
60) a word that puts together all the five senses: living

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

There's a world where I can go and tell my secrets to (19 January 2011)

There’s a place my mind has created.  It exists only in my dreams.  I’m not sure what triggers it, but it could be intense sadness, because I dreamed of it last night.
It’s a sort of Disneyland.  Last night it finally got a name: Disneyland East, because it’s in Arizona and thus east of the original Disneyland; however, Disneyland East is, first and foremost, a water park.
Last night I went, or tried to go, several times.  To get there, take the I-17 north.  I want to say that if you get to Indian School, you’ve gone too far.  A 2-lane exit is what you’re looking for—2A02, I believe.  It loops up, curves southbound under the surface street overpass, and takes you to Disneyland East which has no boundaries—it’s just crystal blue water and skies forever.  Just $45 to get in.  And the food is cheap.

If there is a Heaven, I hope it’s like this.

Pigeon Watch update (19 January 2011)

Day 5
He’s looking pale today.  If this is the same bird…..feathers look white today.  They didn’t yesterday.  Is he dying?  Is this why he’s all ruffled?  Animals know when they’re dying.  I don’t want him to die alone, but I’m human.  I don’t think like a bird.  I can’t impose my human sentimentalities on him.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Pigeon Watch over the past few days (18 January 2011)

Day 1 of Pigeon Watch
There’s this pigeon standing on the corner of the ledge outside where the spiky plastic things to keep birds away don’t meet.  I can see it from the second-story window.  It may be male or female, but I can’t tell.  It is, if nothing else, a rugged creature.  Feathers all ruffled.  Is it cold?  Is it defense?  Is it a mating display?
All ruffled up.

Day 2
It could be a pregnant female.  Maybe it’s just fat.

Day 3
I think it’s a defense thing.  I thought the puffed feathers may help to conserve heat, but that doesn’t make sense.  Those vented feathers wouldn’t hold in heat like tightly compacted feathers.

Day 4
Have I seen this bird before and forgotten?  Have I not seen it all—have I been oblivious to its existence?  If it’s been there this whole time, why am I just now noticing it?

Monday, January 17, 2011

I get so down. (17 January 2011)

Sometimes you don’t feel entirely wanted.  I know I’m a burden; I know it’s starting to get old having me around ALL THE TIME.
I don’t want this to be forever.  I don’t want to be a burden forever.
I’m 25 years old, nearly, but I’m living like an 8-year-old.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

16 January 2011

Forgot to mention yesterday about my altercation at the gym.
I was on the elliptical.  To my immediate right was a man on another elliptical, an empty elliptical, and then another man on the last elliptical in the row.  So we have Man A and Man B, separated by the empty elliptical, and they decide to have a goddamned conversation—SHOUTING!!! as though standing in opposite corners of a busy warehouse.  How obnoxious!  I said to Man A, “You know, it’s really not polite to shout indoors.”  Man A apologized, saying something about the noise in the gym and the distance between him and Man B.
“ Well, you could move closer.”  There was an empty elliptical!
And then Man B made a stupid mistake.  He said, “Oh, shut the hell up, woman!”  Oh, no no no…..
“Excuse me?!”
“Don’t tell us to move closer when there’s someone on that machine!”  Meaning the vacant elliptical, the elliptical that had been vacant long before they began their shouting.  And if someone had been there, do you think these two men would have engaged each other in such ridiculous volumes to begin with?  Bellowing at each other over the hapless person in between?  I think not!
I do not suffer bullshit to pass.  I informed the current Gym-Employee-in-Charge of the disruption to the collective peace and the subsequent harassment.  Man A ran up and tried to defend his friend—“He’s a good guy, he was just kidding around!”
Again, I call bullshit.  As I walked past Man B on my way to bigger and better fitness horizons, he started in on me again:
“I shouldn’t have said anything, I—“
 “No, you shouldn’t have said anything.  In fact, you should stop saying things right now.”  Walk away.  Break the wrist and walk away.
Go me!
Not much to report about today.  I am a fantastic cook.  And AGAIN!!!  JUST BECAUSE I’m quiet, DOESN’T MEAN there’s anything wrong!  I am NOT delinquent, NOT antisocial, and WHEN will I be able to stop explaining that to people?!?!?!

15 January 2011

Saturday, a lazy day.  And that’s fine because I really needed the sleep.
I go the feeling today that Michelle was mad at me.  She seemed a little brusque talking to me.  I think she may be starting to regret having me around.  I was afraid this was going to happen—that’s why I was so dubious about this whole arrangement to begin with.  She suggested that I plan dinner for the evening, which normally wouldn’t’ bother me at all.  But her tone…she seemed to be telling me, “You’re providing dinner tonight because you contribute absolutely nothing around here, you freeloading slob.”  That, added to her behavior the night before—
They had a guy over to set up their new computer, do all the data transfer, etc.  He was there for 7.5 hours, until 8:00 pm.  Michelle went out for Mexican takeout when he left; when she got home, she set the food on the counter, threw some placemats at me, and stalked out of the room.
So she’s allowed to act like that, but I’m not allowed to be a little quiet or even aloof sometimes?  I’m supposed to be “on”—chipper Shaina, 24/7?  It’s so exhausting.  They act like there’s some sort of delinquency in being relatively low-key.  I’m not a party animal.  I don’t mind going out from time to time, but I had so much of that in the years immediately following high school and it wore me out.  I still can’t stay up past 1:30 or 2:00 am without feeling nauseous.
So there’s that, and my fear in general of this whole school thing.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m totally excited, but a little afraid of the payment.  Job prospects don’t worry me so much, but oh, it’s a lot of money to get there.

Friday, January 14, 2011

14 January 2011

Whew, I am tired today.  I slept relatively well last night, but a whole workweek of restless, disjointed, generally uncomfortable sleep is catching up with me.
I found out yesterday that my very good friend is having a boy.  I was so hoping for a girl—I always do.  She seems happy though, so I’m happy for her, but I’m really glad it’s not me.  I can’t stand little boys—they’re obnoxious, they’re dirty, they pee EVERYWHERE (not just when they’re young, either), and they do stupid things.  Really, they’re just less-evolved females, and though they become more tolerable when they grow up, it’s a long way to get there.  That’s one reason I don’t want kids—if I found out I was having a son, I’d be completely distraught.  And when people hope for sons, I think they’re stupid.
There’s sushi tonight, but I’m not sure I want to go.  I am so tired and my stomach’s still not completely recovered form yesterday.  I just want to sleep.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Every little nest needs a bird (13 Janurary 2011)

There are those people, there will always be those people, who just annoy the piss right out of you.  I try not to get irritated.  I try to ignore the “tap tap tap” of feet going into shoes, the inane comments, and sing-songy preschool teacher naiivities, the overloud “internal” dialogue…..  But this person drives me nuts at best! and at worst, absolutely disgusts me.
I went to the gym (of course!) and since it was later, there were far fewer people than yesterday.  I’ll be glad when Jake and I can go at these later times and take advantage of the ebb of humans.
I have doubts every now and again about my present career path.  It’s not something I really panned—it just sort of fell into my lap.  At such times, I have to take a moment to calm down and envision it, and to ask myself if I’ve ever gotten tired of baking?  And I answer myself that no, I never have.  When I have the time and the resources, I don’t tire of it at all.
Will it ever rain again?  I really should live in the Northwest.

Check out this great MSN video: One Year In 2 Minutes

Check out this great MSN video: One Year In 2 Minutes

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Sestinas (11 January 2011)

In the hallway stood a stately clock
Given to a man and his bride, a wedding present
Back in their youth.  But now, old—
She passed five years ago in her sleep.
He recalled her beauty, though lines marked her face,
She’d smiled up at him one last time.

He bought her cherry trees for a present,
But she never made her birthday (78 years old!)
Nor saw the blossoms as she woke from sleep
--Delicate pink, like the blush of her face,
Which hadn’t faded in all this time,
These ticks and chimes of the patient clock.

The man, alone in this house, was very, very old,
And though tired, could not sleep.
Grief traced canals in his face.
He sat in the library most of the time,
Kept company by books and the hallway clock,
Which was chiming the midnight hour at present.

“Wish he’d leave so we could sleep,”
Said each wise book with its stoic face.
“He may stay up all night this time.”
Out in the hallway, the sentinel clock
Was a friend to the man, attentive and present,
And didn’t mind that the night grew old.

The man, weary, could not face
Another lonely night—“I’m running out of time.”
He thanked the faithful clock.
The wise books settled down for the present,
Shut up in their bindings, faded and old,
And fell into a dusty sleep.

A lifetime spent standing, keeping perfect time,
(Decades had passed before that clock),
The happy couple’s cherished present
Skipped one second, two—“I’ve gotten old.”
The man would not wake from his sleep,
And relief showed on his tired face.

Monday, January 10, 2011

10 January 2011

The countdown has begun.  I’m so excited—I want to do art again!  I want to make things!  I WANT TO DRAW NAKED PEOPLE AGAIN!!!!!  I miss the charcoal smudge embedded into my fingertips.  I miss the bold lines, the curve of a woman’s leg, the squares of a man’s shoulder.  I miss seeing the negative spaces—they tell as much of a story as the positive ones.
I miss art.  I will do art again. 
I watched Despereaux tonight and I enjoyed it, but it was a little scattered.  That’s the problem with turning books into movies—you lose so much detail and coherency.  Maybe I just need to read the books.  It’s just like Harry Potter or, dare I say it, The Golden Compass (read: The Northern Lights).  I can’t think of that movie without launching myself headfirst into the inaccuracies of it, so I’ll leave it for another day.
For now, I need to focus on my financial aid applications!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

9 January 2011

I hate it when people are bothersome for no reason. 
The gym was not as much fun today, simply because the exercises I had to do today were not as much fun as the ones I did yesterday.  But I made banana bread when I got home and FINALLY got file transfers to work from my iMac to my HP laptop.  Since Home Sharing on iTunes is absolute crap (it doesn’t work), this is fantastic for me!!!  
Btw, this video REALLY helped me out where everything else failed.


Saturday, January 8, 2011

Cupcakes! (8 January 2011)

I had my cupcake class today at Sweet Basil!  (http://www.sweetbasilgourmet.com/)  What fun!  There were 7 different recipes (all of which I have a copy).  We paired off into groups and each group was responsible for 1 recipe (we made the Chocolate-Rolo Candy Cupcake Bites with Whipped Ganache & Caramel Drizzle and they were DELICIOUS!).  All the cupcakes were simply wonderful—even the minty ones, and I’m really not a fan of mint!  There will be pictures to come.  But sad! we couldn’t take any home!  Apparently, Sweet Basil has no food license and can’t allow people to take prepared food away.  So the inevitable upshot of all this is that I’ll just have to make each of the recipes on my own at home.  Oh darn, I get to bake.
After that I hit the gym and had an amazing workout, while watching some not-so-amazing news.  I’ve already said my bit about the assassination attempt on Representative Giffords, so I’ll leave it alone here.  Suffice to say, I’m disgusted by the rhetoric of hate and lies in this country, and it needs to stop, and I plan to do my part in making this happen.
Homemade brats for dinner makes me happy, and all things said, today was a good day.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Close my eyes and leap (7 January 2011)

Is it going to hurt? she wondered, but knew that it wouldn’t.  She knew that this was all perfectly safe.  People did it all the time without even a scratch, but with one amazing story to tell.
So she took a deep breath and launched herself.  Magnificent chaos! gravity and weightlessness.  From the ground it would have looked as though she were falling, but she was flying.  Gone was her stomach, tugged away in the tempest with all its butterflies, and she was simply free.  She could make any decision: pull the cord and sail gently to completion and success; do nothing and plummet to a wild and brilliant annihilation.
Amazing stories always start with a launch into the reckless unknown.  Take a deep breath.
Now jump.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

6 January 2011

Breakfast went so wrong today.  My first attempt at oatmeal overflowed in the microwave.  The second attempt didn’t cook quite right, so was more like hot water with some softish grains at the bottom.  All this could be remedied if I used instant oatmeal—you know, the kind in packets?  But I much prefer the texture of the canister-oatmeal, when it’s fully cooked.
I’m going to start drinking more tea, I think.  I had some kickass green tea at Got Sushi the other night—best I’ve ever had.  I think the problem I’ve been having with tea when I make it is that I let it steep too long, which I didn’t even know what a faux pas until a month or so ago.  And I was a barista.  For shame.  Honestly, I thought the whole steeping-for-a-set-limit-of-time thing was arbitrary.
I feel like I don’t have much to say today.  This has been the longest week ever—probably because I know I have SOMETHING BIG! to do on Friday—so I can’t believe it’s finally Thursday.
Maybe I’ll have more later.  Or tomorrow.  Whichever.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

5 January 2011

How do I get away with these things?  I woke up 13 minutes after I was supposed to be at work.  Oops!  Fortunately I get in an hour before anybody else, so I was OK.  Don’t get your panties in a bunch—I didn’t take lunch yesterday or today, so I think that makes up for it.
As for my plan, it is simply to market MYSELF—not as an employee, not as a “good candidate,” because I’m through with that.  If I’ve learned nothing else from this experience, I can at least say definitely that I DON’T BELONG IN AN OFFICE!!!  I hate this beige cubicle.  I hate these fluorescent lights (naptha lamps would be so much nicer :D).  I hate sitting all day!  I’ve gained 20 pounds since I took this job!  I wore a size 1 back then.  Now I barely fit into a size 7.  And I’m a workout FREAK.  In June of 2009, I weighed 97 pounds (I’m 5’3”), and at the behest of my family, started eating more than lettuce and vinegar, and stopped working out every day.  I got back up to a reasonable weight and could still fit into my skinny clothes.  I’m back to working out every day, and though I no longer starve myself, neither am I a glutton.  Still, I’m horrified to watch myself growing fatter and fatter, and the only thing left to attribute it to is this job!  I sit all day and I’m totally stressed and it’s taking its toll!
Part of my plan is to lose 30 pounds by the end of the year.  Go me!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

4 January 2011

We had a meeting today.  All meetings are fairly predictable, really.  If I had a company, my meetings would be hella fun.
Getting back to the topic, though.  We have a new…someone here.  A director, I think?  She is a very strong personality.  She’s direct, she talks quickly, and she’s often asking her next question while you’re still answering her previous one.
You’d think such a person would be intimidating.
But I found myself engaged by her, and more willing to speak up than in any meeting previous, where all participants were polite and docile and careful.  See what a warm and outspoken person can do?  And it made me think that maybe I’m stronger than I thought.  I have things to say.
I know I’m absolutely wasted here.  I’m very intelligent, I’m very creative, and I’m driven to change the world and make a name for myself.  Here in this beige cubicle, under these fluorescent lights, I am intellectually and creatively starved.  I can make no name for myself; I can’t do anything that will ever matter to me.
It’s about time I get out of here and put my plan into motion.

Monday, January 3, 2011

3 January 2011

For reasons of not wanting to be sued I shall, in my blog, refer to a certain someone in my life as L.  I was very sick to my stomach today.  I mean, I was sick.  I asked L if I could go home to rest a bit (when you've spent the morning being sick off and on, it leaves you feeling slightly drained).  She said I could leave when I could confirm that certain things (which could have been put off to the next day!) were done.  Of course, there were obstacles.  Of course, nothing was good enough.  OF COURSE! the unrelenting militant gave me even more work to do.  I sat in her office, shaking with nausea and exhaustion, and listened to her again enumerate all my faults and shortcomings.  And not only did I not get to go home and rest like I should have, I left 15 minutes late!!!
This is NOT fabulous.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

2 January 2011

Is chivalry dead?  I wsa thnkign about this in the shower today.
Let me back up—I get all my best ideas around drains.  Toilet, sink, shower, bottom of the pool.  I would say it’s the water, not the drain, but I live in Arizona, so I’m not often around water in its natural environment (i.e. sans drain).
So chivalry—dead?  No, it’s not…but maybe it should be.  Let me explain.  I’m no feminist.  I believe women should have EQUAL rights but not SPECIAL rights.  In my opinion, chivalry affords women special rights to which men are not privileged.  My boyfriend would never slam a door in my face, but he has never opened the car door for me, and I’ve never expected it.  I think it’s a little sad when a woman can’t (or won’t) open her own door.  It’s just another way to make a woman into a child (much like she was in Victoria times, when a woman’s life was an endless stream of useless whimsy).  Chivalry benefits no one.  I don’t want a man-slave, nor do I want to be patronized.
I welcome all opposing opinions.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

1 January 2011

First day of the new year, of 2011.  Twenty-eleven, I’m trying to get used to saying.  This after 10 years of Two-thousand-something.  Two-thousand-eleven is just obnoxious, though, and is getting to be too many syllables.
I had a blowout today on the freeway.  There went my gym plans, but it gave me an opportunity to clean out my trunk while waiting for my rescue.  I’ve got pictures.  Thankfully, there was no damage to me or my car, traffic on the freeway was really light, and though I wasn’t in the best part of town, it was 3:00 in the afternoon and sunny out.
This is the year I want to live amazingly.  I want to focus on my happiness.
That’s going to be the gist of this blog, which I hope to make a daily thing.  It’s nothing spectacular; spectacular is what I want my life to be, and this blog is an outlet for that.  I won’t be cooking my way through any of Julia Child’s cookbooks.  I do plan to start baking quite a bit, and you may even get the occasional review now and then of movies, restaurants, whatever.
So there it is.  My year of living fabulously.  365 days, we’ll see how this goes…