Tuesday, December 29, 2009

We Love Them But...

There are some things men JUST don't get!
Whether they be our husbands, significant others, brothers, fathers, sons, or buddies, sometimes we just want to smack them upside the head.
Am I right, ladies?
Or, even better, let them live our lives for a week.
If they last that long.
I'd LOVE for the men in my life to live as me for a month. To REALLY live as me, with my body, my thoughts and feelings, my memories, my menstrual cycle, work schedule, the whole 9 yards. Doing the grocery shopping, laundry, dishes, the bulk of the child care (including meetings with teachers and therapists, doctors' appointments, baths, staying awake with them at night, etc), doing my job, paying the utility bills...ALL of it!
Because they think we nag them. But when someone is coming to the house and we ask them to PLEASE pick their crap up off the floor and they don't do it, YES, it makes us crazy! You know why? Because if the house is a mess, guess who gets the blame! NOT the guys! US!!!! Even in our more enlightened times, it is the women who are seen as the caretakers, the keepers of home and hearth, and the ones who are expected to be on our knees scrubbing the toilet. Guys are SUPPOSED to be messy, right? If we know a guy who keeps his home clean, there's something *different* about him, right? (And let me just say, I know PLENTY of gay men [and women] who make me look like Martha Freakin' Stewart, so lets cut the stereotypical crap, shall we?!?!?!)
I think that if men experienced the kind of pressure we are under, from outside sources and from ourselves, they might just self-destruct. Or, if they care about us, they might step up and help out more.
I try to remember that. When I am at the end of my rope with one or another of the men in my life, I try, I really do, to remember that they don't understand. That I cannot expect them to understand unless I explain it to them. Calmly and rationally. In a way that a young child would comprehend.
But sometimes I'm only human, and I get upset. I don't yell and scream anymore, but I cannot be calm and in control all the time, especially when others around me are losing their sh*t. Or simply being rude. (Like when I'm driving, either alone or with my kids. I guess some guys see me in my red minivan and assume they can either tailgate and/or yell at me and I'll be intimidated. I soon prove them wrong. In fact, they usually drive away wondering if and when that psycho minivan lady is coming to hunt them down. Heh heh heh!!!!)
Don't get me wrong; for the most part, I love men. I'm a long way from my days in college in New York, when I was convinced that males were inherently evil, incapable of love, and rapists waiting to happen. (Yeah, New York'll do that to ya, especially if you're young.) I try not to buy into group-think: the whole Mars/Venus thing. I try to see people as individuals. But when people live up to their stereotypes, it can be hard ("Real Housewives," anyone?).
But all that doesn't stop me from complaining! Or shouting out the occasional "Men SUCK!", usually while I'm driving. (I try not to do this when the kids are in the car. One of this is, after all, a boy.) Then I come home to find that Hubby has vacuumed the house, washed the dishes, and walked the dog, and all is well again.
At least until next time.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!

To all who celebrate it. Happy New Year to us all, and have a wonderful weekend!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Temptation and Time

The past few days have been crazy. (In the words of my B-I-L as he was driving from San Diego to San Francisco 2 days before Christmas a few years ago, "Man, the holidays SUCK!") Hubby took his wriiten and practical fianl exams for his EMT training and...
They even asked if he'd be interested in coming back next semester to help with the new crop of students! Now he just needs to take the national exam, and he'll be certified!
Then it's on to Paramedic school.
My kids are on vacation, my mother is in town, I'm subbing a whole bunch of classes at 3 different gyms, and there's no parking to be had ANYWHERE ON THE PLANET! (At least, that's how it feels.)
I haven't done any journaling in the past 2 days and, surprise surprise, I've eaten more than I wanted.
Ah well. It's all part of the process, right?
But I've also been overdoing the workouts, and woke up with aches and cramps this morning. Which are always my first sign that I need to ease up. I guess working out hard 10 hours a week is a teeny bit too much.
And I need to ease up on the cokkies left over from my holiday bake-a-thon. My hips and my teeth can't take it. And I'm not even enjoying them anymore!

So, remember when we were kids and the 3 weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas were the longest weeks EVER?!?!?! Now it feels like we just got back from our vacation in Tahoe. Which was in mid-August.
Where did the year go?
It hit me, in the middle of yoga the other day, that I'm 40 freakin' years old! How did that happen? Wasn't I just 28? Not that I wanna go back there, thankyouverymuch. But I still feel like I'm 12.
And Hubby and I will be celebrating our 9 year wedding anniversary just after New Year's. Which means we've been together for 15 years. So I CAN'T be 12! And my mom turned 72 yesterday!
And my dog is 11 1/2! She's getting old!!!!! I want her to live forever!
And how can it be 2010?!?!?! We don't even have flying cars yet! We don't walk around in our houses on the moon wearing matching silver unitards! This can't possibly be the 2010 we all read about when we were kids. OK, when SOME OF US were kids. A LOOOONG time ago.

OK, freakout ending. That's just WAY TOO MANY exclamation points! -Sorry-.

Anyway, gotta go occupy the kinder before they destroy the house.

Oh, and R.I.P, Brittany Murphy! SO sad!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Journals: A Slippery Slope, or a Path to Self-Acceptance?

As I mentioned in my last post, I've started food journaling again, something I swore a couple of years ago I'd NEVER do. Because when I did it before, it was all about calorie counts, fat grams, and points, and it made me psychotic. It made me exercise for hours on end in order to "earn the right" to eat more. I was CONSTANTLY thinking about food: How much can I eat? When can I eat again? Can I have that mochachino and coffee cake at Starbucks after I finish this workout? (I usually did, regardless.)
One of the big hurdles for me, when trying to eat intuitively, is paying attention. To how I'm feeling emotionally, how hungry/satisfied I am, and what or even IF I really want to eat.
I know I'm an emotional eater, and have been for almost as long as I can remember. I also know I use food as a reward. I'm also the type who has trouble just sitting and eating and not doing anything else. I LOVE to read while I eat! A lot of this comes from my days as a New Yorker, when I'd eat alone most of the time because my schedule was so different from any of my friends'. They had 9-5 jobs, while I worked nights so my days could be free, on the off chance I should actually have an audition. So I would always have a book with me. Still do. I LOVE to read! I don't do big shopping excursions, I'm not a Lady Who Lunches, and I don't take many vacations. So reading is my Me Time. And I really, REALLY do not want to give up reading while eating!
I recently came across a book I bought about a year or so ago, called "The Eating Well Diet." "Eating Well" is a GREAT food magazine, and it's published out of Vermont (one of my favorite states) which is ALSO the home of VTrim, and this book combines the two. MizFit blogged about them recently. They are a group of physicians and dieticians who created an online weight loss program after performing a study at the University of Vermont. The program consists of behavioral changes that have helped many people lose weight and keep it off. I LIKE programs like this, because they work on understanding WHY we overeat, without the what, how, or when to eat. There are no forbidden foods, food combinations, pills, shakes, etc.
But what IS a big part of it is journaling. Including calorie counts, both for food eaten and calories burned off during exercise. Which raises a HUGE red flag for me. Because while I understand the reasoning behind it, it can be triggering for those of us with a history of disordered eating and exercising. They also recommend regular weigh-ins. Yikes! Also triggering.
However, I have decided to give it a try. Not the weighing part, yet. (I weighed myself 2 weeks ago and haven't gotten the courage up yet to step back up on the scale.) But the journaling. And I'm adding in how I feel when I eat, and how hungry I am before and after. Because that is very helpful for me. I'm only on day 3, but I feel much more aware of what, how much, and WHY I eat. The one drawback is that I can feel myself falling into the "If I exercise this much I can eat that much" mentality. But at least I'm recognizing it, and can hopefully put a stop to it.
Something else that has convinced me to return to journaling is reading "The Amazing Adventires of Dietgirl" by Shauna Reid. She lost 175 pounds over the course of 7 years, and kept a journal. It's a great read, and is about so much more than weight loss.
I'm also working my way, S-L-O-W-L-Y, through "The Appetite Awareness Workbook." Also very helpful, and includes a journal.
And all this navel contemplation, while making me seem self-centered, has led me to a light bulb moment; my old pal Guilt has not only paid me a visit, but he's camped out on the couch, taken possession of the remote, and seems to have no plans to leave. Or pay rent. So I've no choice but to kick him to the curb again.
What, you may ask (if you haven't fallen asleep yet) am I feeling guilty about NOW?!?!?! Well, lots of things, but the main one is this; wanting to lose weight.
I know, bizarre. After all, most people in this country, particularly women, want to lose weight, so why am I agonizing over it? Because of my belief in the Fat Acceptance movement. I truly believe that our bodies are our own, and no one else has the right to make snide, snarky comments, or to try to force someone into weith loss surgery, or deny them health care. I also believe that the objectification of the "perfect" body is doing horrible damage to us. We are driving women AND men ito eating disorders, multiple plastic surgeries, disordered exercise. We are also objectifying women to the point where 14 year-old boys are raping 12 year-old girls in staircases at school, while classes are in session! And 14 year-old girls are being gang-raped outside of homecoming dances.
It HAS to stop! (And if it doesn't, I think I just may grab a knife and start castrating the rapists myself.)
We are told, on one hand, that we are not worthy unless we have that perfect body. On the other hand, it is dangerous to be attractive, because then we are "asking" to be attacked. So the FA movement, among others, tells us we can truly love ourselves the way we are. And I BELIEVE that! I believe we MUST love ourselves as we are! But a part of me then thinks, well, if I love myself the way I am, why should I want to change anything? And if I can accept others, regardless of their size, why can't I accept myself?
Hence the guilt.
Until I realized that, hey, this acceptance thing goes both ways! If I can accept someone at their size, then they can accept the fact that I want to lose weight. I can accept that I want to lose weight! Specifically, the 30 pounds I've put on in the last 4 years. My family has a history of heart problems, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure. Why SHOULDN'T I do everything possible to keep myself healthy? If losing weight is going to help me lower my (borderline high) cholesterol, why SHOULDN'T I do it? If I can accept that a heavy person is not necessarily unhealthy and that thin does NOT automatically equal healthy, why shouldn't I pay attention to my own risk factors? I want to be around for my kids! And, yes, I want to like how I look. And I don't particularly like the way I look right now.
After all, IT'S MY BODY!!!!!!
As long as I'm not abusing it, it's no one else's business!
And just as I have the right to my own body, I also have the right to my emotions, WHATEVER they are. So, enough stuffing them down with food, or ignoring them, or pretending everything is hunky-dory when it isn't, or not being deliriously happy when it is. Enough of stifling my own opinions just to keep the peace. Enough of being told how to feel and what to think. And enough of being bullied! I have lived so much of my life in fear! And you know what? That's just bullshit! I'm THROUGH with being a second-class citizen. As a woman, and a mother, I'm supposed to sacrifice EVERYTHING?!?!?! Screw that! I'm not gonna be that kins of role model for my kids! I'm not going to raise my kids to believe that girls are less important than boys, or that children should be seen and not heard, or that just because they are "different" they are any less deserving. The world can be a harsh place. But we are ALL worthy of our place in it!
Including ME, dammit!

Monday, December 14, 2009


Gotta love watching futbol!

So it's creeping up on Jan. 1, and most folks will be setting their New Years' resolutions. A lot of those resolutions will involve weight loss and/or getting to the gym. For 3 months, our JCC will be filled to the brim with well-meaning folk sweating it out over treadmills, free weights, bikes, Pilates reformers, and crowding the already-crowded kickboxing classes. Then the numbers will taper off, leaving the Faithful. Pounds will remain un-lost, biceps flabby, water un-drunk (drank?), and Happy Hours will take the place of after-work sweat sessions.
So, like Charlotte, I am making changes NOW. I gave up on New Year's resolutions years ago, deciding, instead, to make changes whenever I was ready, be it January 1st, July 4th, or, say, December 13th.
See, yesterday morning I subbed a Pilates mat class. I then realized that there was a Spinning class right after, upstairs. And I thought, what the heck? I haven't been to a Spin class in 4 years, and I always enjoy it.
So I went.
And in the first 10 minutes I thought I was gonna die.
Then I got the hang of it.
Then I started enjoying it!
Then I realized that DAMN, I gotta work on my endurance!
Our gym has, like 14 Spin classes a week. And then there's Equinox, which I can still use for free, even though I'm only a sub, 'cause that's how they roll. And they have, like 20 Spin classes a week!
I can pretty much take a class whenever I want. I mean, aside from when I'm, y'know, working or watching my kids and all.
To add to that, our local Bikram yoga studio MIGHT be adding 2 early morning, hour-long classes. YAY! So if I can swing at least one yoga and 2 spin classes, added to my pilates and bar workouts (that's "bar" as in ballet barre, not shot-of-tequila-bar, unfortunately), I'll not only have my cardio endurance back, but I'll be strong and bendy, too! Maybe even bendy enough to grab both kids as they run off in different directions!
So, those are some of my new goals.
Along with keeping an emotional food journal.
OK, that sounds like a weepy notebook. I mean, a notebook to write down what I'm feeling every time I eat, so I can figure out when I'm truly hungry and when I'm simply avoiding feeling stuff.

Finally, I am going to show my gratitude for and appreciation of all the support we have for our kids. I just found out that my daughters' therapists, as well as the head of special ed for the school district, have been keeping an eye on her in her new classroom, and, like me, they believe it is not the right placement for her. Even as I write this, the search is on for a new classroom, and this is without my lifting a finger! (Meanwhile, the teachers in her current classroom have been bending over backwards trying to make her happy and comfortable, even as she scratches, pinches, and pulls their hair.)
Her ABA therapists have been working with her for over 3 years. Her Occupational Therapist has been with her for almost 2. They adore her, and she loves them right back. They are wonderful, as are my son's teachers (and he has the same OT).
We are very, VERY lucky!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Can't. Flippin'. TAKE IT ANYMORE!!!!!!

I think I needs must get off the internet. Or at least focus on blogs I like and lolcats. Because if I read one more comment referring to the president as "monkey boy," I'm gonna go postal! I'm gonna find Glenn Beck and do something horrible, like force him to clean my house INCLUDING THE BATHROOMS! It's almost 2010, people! Racism is SO 1950's! Get the hell over it!
And the environment? Yeah. We all gotta live here, and I don't feel like breathing in your pollution. So recycle a bottle every once in a while. It's not gonna kill ya.
Global warming is a sign of the Apocolypse? Perhaps. But you're all set, 'cause your going to Heaven, so who cares? The folks in parts of the world whose kids have no clean water care quite a bit. And that whole guarantee of getting into Heaven? When you turn away from the poorest people on earth, I wouldn't bet on it.
Finally, to anyone who is conducting a job interview: when you speak to someone on the phone and they tell you they're looking for part-time work in the morning? NOW would be a good time to let them know you're looking for someone to work full-time, especially evenings! Waiting until they've driven into the city, spent 30 minutes looking for parking and another 45 minutes looking for the address (because no one in your office is answering the damn phone!) is NOT the right time to tell them all this stuff. And when they tell you they MIGHT be able to work 2 evenings a week, don't yell at them when they say that it could be a challenge, a'ight?! They...I am trying to accommodate you, even though you are making no such effort. I just told you my availability. You told me your company's ridiculous (IMHO) requirements. They don't mesh. Other than adding more hours to the day, there is no way to make this work. So stop gettin' all up in my face with the 'tude, got it?

Plus I got my period this morning. It's been a hell of a day.

Monday, December 7, 2009

I Have A Confession to Make, or: Gettin' Political Up in Here!)

I am a card-carrying, old-school, bleeding-heart liberal.
I haven't always been a proud one, especially in the past few years. I admit I was more of a closet liberal. That was motivated by fear.
But no more. I am going to wear it proudly. Not obnoxiously, and not closed-mindedly. 'Cause I have lots of friends and family members who are absolutely, positively NOT liberals, and while we may shake our heads good-naturedly at one another from time to time, we do not denigrate each others' beliefs. Although I feel absolutely no qualms about doing so toward Shaun Hannity. But then, Keith Olberman drives me bonkers as well. (Can I just say kudos to Ben Affleck for his dead-on impersonation of the Olbster on SNL? I think it's on YouTube.) So I avoid cable news like the plague. Unless something big happens, like a pilot lands a passenger jet on the Hudson, saving the lives of every person on that plane. Then I'll tune in. In the meantime, I'll stick with NPR and the BBC. At least they're QUIET!
I just have to wonder, if regular Joes and Josephines like me can just agree to disagree, why can't the politicians? Why does EVERYTHING have to be about towing the party line? Are they THAT afraid of the Olbermans and Limbaughs?
OK, I just answered my own question.
The country is being run by the pundits. The talking heads. The people who HAVE to be outrageous, because their jobs depend on ratings, and the more outrageous you are, apparently the more entertaining you are.
Oh, and the more rumors you spread, the better you'll be at derailing ANY project the opposition is trying to set in motion.
We've turned Congress into Beverly Hills High School.
Wow, that's a scary thought!
The people running our country are a bunch of pretty, rich adolescents vying for Homecoming King and Queen.
And CNN, FOX News and CNBC may as well call themselves the WB. What's next? Democrats and Republicans change their names to Team Edward and Team Jacob?
If we look at history, we see things like the Roman and British Empires... Collapsing. I have to wonder if we are now on the verge of collapse. When we get to the point where our society is un-governable, it will happen. Is this the beginning of the end? And what happens next? Another dark Ages? Or perhaps we'll simply get back the common sense we seem to have lost. We'll take a look around, realize we are more alike than different, and that we all need each other. Maybe we'll stop worshipping the wealthy and foolish, and have REAL role models again; people who make a difference, and not just bundles of cash. Maybe we'll remember that fame isn't a goal in and of itself, and that famous doesn't necessarily equal good. Maybe we'll stop laughing at others' downfall, and reach out a hand to help them up.
Maybe we can turn on the morning news WITHOUT having to listen to 30 minutes of "What's going to happen to Tiger Woods/Carrie Prejean/BritenyLindseyMiley?"
THAT is my hope. That we can remember to see one anothers' humanity, beyond religious or political beliefs.
Not that I'm holding my breath.
But I refuse to give up hope.

Thursday, December 3, 2009


First of all, let me thank you for putting up with all my kvetching in the last post. I promise not to let that happen too often. And I'm working on that bumper sticker!

Remember that Thomas Dolby song, "She Blinded Me With Science?" At various intervals throughout the song, a famous physicist (whose name I have forgotten, which is a small part of the reason I'M not a famous physicist) would yell out "Science!" Well, I have that stuck in my head, because I just watched a news story about robotic therapy for cerebral palsy. Basically, these robotic arms and legs are teaching kids with CP how to use their limbs again, and it's REALLY cool! They also mentioned that stem cells will be coming into play for CP, and it made me wonder if they will play any role in Autism.
I was also thinking about the controversy, and while there is a part of me that understands and even sympathizes with the anti-stem cell folks, I respectfully disagree. I believe that we are given this knowledge by G-d for a reason. If we can help people, make them healthy, and maybe find cures for things like CP, paralysis, Alzheimer's, Lou Gehrig's Disease, even cancer, isn't that G-d's work?
I also read a poem in "Dear Abby" about how special needs kids are sent to the parents who can best care for them. I like to believe that. And I also believe that knowledge is NOT a sin, but a gift. And our responsibility as human beings. Whether it's scientific knowledge, how to cook, the best way to catch lightening bugs, whatever. We all have knowledge about something, and, like they taught us in kindergarten, it's good to share.
I also, obviously, have a vested interest in any research that can help people with Autism. My husband and I won't be around forever to take care of our kids. Everyone worries about their kids, but, of course, we worry more about our kids with special needs. The world isn't always kind to people who are "different," and we want our kids to be independent.

I have to wonder why it has to be religion vs. science. Einstein, arguably the greatest scientist ever, believed that science, art and spirituality were all connected. And I think he was right.

I hope my kids will grow up in a world that is open and accepting of all kinds of people. At this moment in time, I'm not all that optimistic, but I also know that the only constant is change. I hope we adults can find a way to live together and accept each other, rather than deride and despise anyone who is not the same as us.
ANd I really hope we can continue to find ways to heal.