Welcome to my nightmare….

So after much thought and deliberation, here I am with a blog.  I plan to put a lot of things I’ve already written (and I will let you know stuff like “this was written in FB on   /  /  .”), as well as general musings, and probably a bunch of stuff about my weight loss (man do I have a LOT to say about that).  I welcome you, I warn you, and I send you on your way.  Stay on the path, be out of the woods before dark, and don’t trust the wolf that says he knows a shortcut.  He’s full of crap.

This Is My Friend’s Family

I will probably never put another GoFundMe here, but this is Mary.  She’s one of my best friends.  She’s had a year from Hell, and it’s only February.  I am sending her some cash in the mail (and I’ve been unemployed for YEARS), and you can see by some of the amounts donated, she means a lot to people!  This girl has talked more people down from the ledge than anyone I know.  All while taking care of her terminally ill mum, homeschooling her son, and taking care of a veritable stable of animals that have been abused/abandoned.  Please, I am begging you.  If you can, please throw a dollar her way.  Yes, a dollar.  When we say “every bit helps”, we mean it!



Thank you so much!


Axe Body Spray – The Funk of 40000 Years

Had to pick up a few things at CVS today (my favorite store).  I was strolling down the aisle with my Iced Earl Grey Latte in one hand (from Peet’s, another favorite place), and my little shopping basket in the other.  A guy passed me going the other way.  I was about to pull a jar of peanut butter off the shelf, when I was momentarily frozen in my tracks by the impenetrable wall of Axe Body Spray that the guy left in his wake.  Time froze, my lungs were choked for air….I was sure this was it.  My headstone would say, “She died from some dudes overuse of Axe.  The body spray, not the hand tool.”

Guys, please quit using this stuff.

My friends and I have joked that it is “The Smell of Desperation” and “Eau de Douchebag”.  Their own instructions are to spray it “all over your body”.  NO.  You guys know how you hate it when girls wear too much perfume?  YOU ARE NOW THAT GIRL.  Some schools have even banned wearing it because it STINKS.

Even worse are those who think that it can be used in lieu of a shower.  No, it can’t.  Guys, please, for the love of everything that is good in the world, shower every day.  Please use soap.  Honestly, that’s all you need.    Please don’t use Axe Body Wash.  That’s like a double whammy of yuck.  I call it “The Funk of 40,000 Years”, because the smell doesn’t dissipate during the day.  It just forms a cloud around you, like Pigpen from Charlie Brown, only not as adorable.  No matter what the commercials or the bottle try to tell you, that smell won’t get you laid.

No girl wants to sleep with a guy who reeks of Axe.  Because then the smell gets all over her, and she has to shower in bleach to get it off.

The guys I have dated have used Irish Spring bar soap, or Old Spice Body Wash, and they smelled clean, not like a chemical bukkake (if you don’t know what that word means, don’t look it up.  Seriously.).  So please, do the people of America a favor.

Don’t use Axe.


Rain and More Rain

I know, I’ve been MIA for a bit.  But I have an excuse.  Not a GOOD one, mind you.

I’m blaming the rain.

After something like 10 years of drought here in Northern California, we have been getting hammered.  We have gotten so much rain this season that we are officially out of the drought.  Yet, it keeps falling.  Mother Nature is mad at our whining, I suppose.  I have a few friends who live in the mountains, and one hasn’t really been able to leave his house for something like a week.  At least he can work from home, so he won’t lose his job.
And that right there amuses me.  They tell us there’s pouring rain, there’s flooding, there’s 50 mph winds, don’t leave your house if you don’t have to…..but if you want to keep your crap job ringing up groceries or whatever, you need to get to work.  We had flooding over in Niles Canyon last night, and the friggin’ CHP was saying not to go out if you could help it.  All I could think was, “Somewhere, there is a boss nice and warm in his house threatening to fire his employees if they don’t show up for work.”

But along with the gray and cloudy crappy weather, I have a gray and cloudy disposition.  I have Seasonal Affective Disorder.  The one thing I found out that helped it years ago was to go into a tanning bed for 5 minutes once a week.  However, there is only one tanning salon in town, and it’s the one I was fired from.  Not to worry, he tried to decline my unemployment, and we went to court over it.  Yeah, I won that case.  But I doubt I’d be welcomed back to the shop with open arms!

As far as flooding goes, although we only live about 100 yards from a creek, it’s REALLY deep.  I’d say the creek bed is a good 50 feet down, and is about 10 feet full.  Plus it flows out to the Bay, so we’re good.  But running to a sandwich shop nearby yesterday, we checked out the creek, as there’s a bridge going over it.  I have never seen that much water in there.  Every summer, there is a creek cleanup, as there is never any water in there.  I don’t know if they’ll be able to do it this year!

So my absence isn’t my fault.  It’s the weather.  Nature is a mother.


Killer Stoves and Cleavage Coolers

The stove/oven combo at the place I live is really unusual.  It’s not all one thing.  There is a stove top with four burners, but the oven is NEXT to it, set into the wall.  We actually like this set up, we don’t have to bend over to get things out, and it’s especially good for when we cook anything heavy, like when we cook turkey on Christmas.

But I think our stove top is trying to kill us.

There was the day when one of the burners burst into flame.  And when I say that, I mean it BURST, LOUDLY and turned into a Roman candle for about 30 seconds.  The mom unit was trapped in the kitchen, I was trying to figure out how to get her out while simultaneously trying to remember if we had baking soda (electric stoves suck), and both of us were screaming.  I also remember being really happy that our renter’s insurance was paid up.  Then, it just stopped.  They came and replaced said burner, but even the repair guy couldn’t explain why our stove wanted to kill us.

Then some burners would randomly stop working….and then just start again.  The repair guy came about 3 months back, and replaced the little electrical box under one of the dials, telling us that should take care of it.  Nope.  Just a few days ago, I put the kettle on to make tea and had a seat on the couch.  It’s a whistling kettle (belonged to my late uncle and I love it), so I never worry about forgetting it.  I got involved with my TV program, and 10 minutes later, realized that my kettle never started whistling.  Had I turned on the wrong burner?
Going into the kitchen, I saw that I had the right burner on (the large right front one), but nothing was happening, it was stone cold.  Then we realized the back rear left one (also a large one) wasn’t working as well.  So another call to the management who called out the repair guy again.

I don’t know about you, but I kind of hate having repair people in my house.  There is no reason, I’m just misanthropic.  I am kind of fascinated by most of the stuff they do, but the stove guy grates on me.  The worst part is that whoever designed these apartments decided that the best place to put the breaker box was right behind my bedroom door.  So when he has to turn the electricity off/on (and he has to because it’s an electric stove and he’s fiddling with the wires), he has to go in and out.  Right next to the door is a large bookshelf I refer to as “my altar”.  I have stuff on there that means something to me.  I have a tiara a boyfriend got me to wear for my birthday several years ago, an empty mint tin that has a Ouija board design on the outside, a strand of green Mardi Gras beads that hang down to my knees given to me way back in 2009, and so on.  Well, the last time he went in and out of my room, he had a bid stupid smile.  It wasn’t until he left that I went in and looked around….what was so funny?  That’s when I realized what it might be.
My bodice cooler from Ren Faire.
I’ve attached a photo below of a vendor with several of them, for those of you who don’t know what they are.
See, Ren Faire tends to be really hot.  Like, REALLY HOT (at least around these parts).  So a bodice chiller is meant to be placed between the breasts and filled with ice, and it helps keep you cool.  Last time I went to faire a few years ago, I bought one, but I bought an “unusual” one.  Instead of it having a normal “pointy” end, the end is shaped….like a penis.
And it’s green.
Now when I bought it, I thought it was funny and clever.  But now it’s only my alter with its penis end pointing up to the ceiling.
It looks like I have a glass dildo that I am proudly displaying, and yes, it’s fairly obvious, sitting on my shelf in all it’s green penile glory.

So basically, if the stove ever craps out again, we will just have to move.


My Theory About the T. Rex

I have a very good theory about how the dinosaurs went extinct, and specifically the T. Rex.

So the world is full of dinos, and they’re just doing their thing, dino-ing about.  There were big ones, like the Argentinosaurs, and little guys, like the Compsognathus.  Meat eaters, and plant eaters.  Land dwellers, water dwellers, and ones that flew in the sky.  And then there was the bully.

The T. Rex.

Rex was a big bully.  Like most bullies, it was because he had bad feelings about himself.  He was embarrassed by his little baby arms.  When he was young, the other dinos probably made fun of him, so he decided he would make them all pay!  He was a mean bully, beating up, hunting, and eating other dinos, even when they did nothing to him.
He was kind of an asshole.

As he was such a bully, he had no friends, which made him angrier and more of a bully….really, it was a vicious cycle.

So he goes around, picking on dinos and making them afraid of him.  Until one day…..one day, he falls into a tar pit.

With his little baby arms, he can’t pull himself out!  This is BAD.  He is in real trouble.  Well, a triceratops happens by.  So he calls out to it.
“Hey!  Triceratops!  I’m stuck!  Come down here and help me out!”
Well Triceratops remembers what an ass Rex was to her, he called her “stupid spiky plate head” and laughed.  “Why should I help you?”
“Come on, Cera.  I’m your friend!”
“No, you called me a stupid spiky plate head.  Why would you want help from a stupid spiky plate head like me?”
“I was only KIDDING!”

Triceratops looks around, and sees an Apatosaurus not too far away and calls out to it.  “Pat!  HEY PAT!  Come here!  You’ve gotta see this!”
So Pat comes over, looks down in the tar pit at Rex….and starts LAUGHING.  Rex gets mad.  “Pat!  Come on now!  This isn’t funny!  Help me out of here!  I’m warning you!”
“Oh really?” says Pat.  “What are you gonna do, Baby Arms?”  Pat then calls a bunch of other dinosaurs over.
They all point and laugh at this big bully stuck in the tar pits, unable to pull himself out with his wee baby arms.  Maybe they even threw rotten tomatoes at him, like you see on old cartoons.  The pterodactyls probably pooped on him and laughed.

Finally Cory (Corythosaurus) took pity on Rex.  Even though Rex had once called Cory “duck face mohawk head” he decides to help him.  So he backs down a bit into the pit and waves his tail to Rex for him to grab, and he does.  Unfortunately, Rex is almost twice as heavy as Cory, and instead of Cory pulling Rex out, Rex ends up pulling Cory in.

I’m sure you can see where this is going.

Surely somebody tried to pull Cory out, but Rex wasn’t about to let go.  Besides, tar is very sticky.  One by one, as they tried to save their friends, the dinosaurs got pulled into the tar pits and they all died.

I am 100% sure that’s what happened.


The Couch Trip

The mom unit and I have decided to buy a new couch.  We only have a small love seat and recliner at the moment, and when my brother visits with his sons, it gets quite crowded.  You can squeeze three people on the love seat, but it’s an uncomfortable place to sit anyway.  The seat cushions are not very firm, plus it’s quite low to the ground.  Sitting on there for any length of time hurts my back (I’m so old).
The first couch we had when I was growing up was secondhand and lasted until we moved.  Then, my grandparents lived with us, so we had their couch.  My dad worked as a furniture upholsterer, so we usually got stuff that was second-hand.  Couches that had been dropped off to get recovered, and never picked up, so we would just have to pay for the recover job.  Nowadays, it seems that most stuff is throwaway.  I saw an old episode of “I Love Lucy” where she remarked that she had knocked the toaster off of the counter, so it was sent out for repair.  These days, we just toss it and buy a new one, which is sad.  It’s not cost-effective to fix things anymore.  Why pay $50 to get a lamp fixed when you can buy a new one at Target for half of that?
Well we need a new couch, a GOOD one.  So we headed to the furniture store in town.  This place has been in business for probably 50 years or more.  We had looked online, but looking at a picture of a couch and actually sitting your ass down on one are two different things.  The lady was very nice and helpful, even though we told her we were looking to get a new one “sometime this year” (meaning after we get our tax refund), not today.  We found a few options we liked, but damn the prices!
We got our little love seat from a place called Jennifer Convertibles.  It opens into a full-sized bed (important at the time, as that was where I was sleeping), and cost something like $299, with free delivery.
These sofas started at $800 and the last one we looked at was $1800!  We are going to get it there, but we already had the “we can’t spend more than $1000” discussion.  We weren’t prepared for that sticker shock, that’s for sure.  Luckily, since we don’t need a sleeper, that not only keeps the price down, but opens our options.  We even saw one that guaranteed it’s cushions for ten years!
The one we have with the uncomfortable, non-reversible cushions came in one color: buff.  So any tiny drip has shown up on it, plus it this velour type fabric, that can’t be scotch guarded.  We have already decided that whatever we get, it will be dark fabric that can be scotch guarded!

So hopefully by April, we will have a nice, new couch.  Not a love seat that I can’t nap on, full of stained, uncomfortable cushions.  We will get that best sofa money can buy….as long as it’s less than $1000!

Ever suffered from sticker shock like that?


On My Weight Loss

I am 5’3″.  At my heaviest, I weighed over 170 pounds.  That’s a lot for such a little body, and even more when you consider the biggest I had ever been was 130.  I was clinically obese.  My knees hurt, my feet hurt, my back hurt, and even just walking a few blocks could wear me out.  I was taking Zumba twice a week (it was only offered in my area that often), and Zumba is hardcore.  You burn about 500 calories in an hour.  I would walk the few blocks there and back, and come home covered in sweat, so I was working hard.  But nothing was changing.  I just kept getting bigger.
I was eating all of the time because I was hungry all the time.  I was completely unhappy.

Then I looked at a pill I was taking for the off label use of adult acne (spironolactone).  I remember sitting on the couch one day and thinking, “Could my pills be making me fat?”  I looked up the med on WebMD or something.  Weight gain was not listed as a side effect.  Then I just googled the med.  BOOM.  I found page after page of people on the med who had all gained weight.  Could this be it?  I called my dermatologist to make sure it was safe to go off, and told him why, to which he replied, “Weight gain isn’t listed as a side effect.”  I went off of it anyway.

I had hoped that the weight would just fall off as easily as it had come.  I immediately lost three whole pounds and then….nothing.  Maybe it wasn’t the meds. Maybe it was just me.  There are some big people in my family, maybe I was destined to be one.  I tried to tell myself that it was ok, I was still cute.  And I’d gained the weight more or less proportionally all over my body.  It was fine.  Really.

But it wasn’t.

And then I read something that opened my eyes, held a mirror up in front of me, and made me realize that I didn’t like what I saw.  I read a post on actor Sean Patrick Flanery’s blog Shine…Until Tomorrow (http://www.shineuntiltomorrow.com/).  It was a post titled, “Wonderful News: NO ONE HAS A WEIGHT PROBLEM!!!”  I got excited, then read the first sentence.
“But some people DO have eating problems!”

At first I was offended as I read the post.  How dare he judge me!  He doesn’t even know me!  But then I read it again.  And again.  And I saw myself.  I was making excuses.  I was only looking for shortcuts, and when I didn’t find one, I was giving up.  I had started “working out”.  I was power walking, and it was HARD.  I would walk to the park and back, 8 blocks round trip, and I hated every second.  I was doing it three days a week.  That was how I’d lost my three pounds.
This wasn’t enough.
I needed to do more.
Because I was WORTH more.

The longer I stayed big, the worse it would get.  I was hearing words I really didn’t like: diabetes, heart disease, blindness, DEATH.  No.  No way.

In September of 2015, I decided I needed to get serious.  This was my very life we were talking about.  It may not be the best life, but I sure as Hell wasn’t ready to check out!  I started logging everything I ate into myfitnesspal.com.  That helped me see exactly what I was eating and if I had any patterns.  I was kind of disgusted, really.  The first week I just logged it all,  and without changing anything.  I noticed that I ate more at night, I was eating a lot of crap, I was eating more than a normal portion at meals ( I would eat until I felt like I was going to explode, instead of stopping when I was full).  Then I started tweaking what I was eating.  I had a food scale I’d bought for a dollar at a garage sale a few years ago, and I pulled that out and dusted it off.  I started eating normal portions of food (a 1 cup serving of vegetable stew, instead of 2 1/2 bowls), and slowly but surely cut down the junk food.  I’m not gonna lie, I still eat cookies!  BUT, I eat 2 or 3, not 7 or 8.  And I stepped up my walking to 5 days a week.

On September 25, 2015, I was ready to do it all.  I decided that I would keep a log of my weight.  I would weigh myself on Friday, first thing in the morning, in my underwear.  At that first weigh in, I was 156 pounds exactly.  I’d lost more weight!  Then the next week, I was….159.2 pounds.  What the hell????
I refused to let it discourage me.  I kept it up.  I added one more day, working out 6 days a week, walking to the park and back.  Again, I hated every damn minute.  However, I noticed how good I felt afterward.  Accomplished.  I likened it to hitting yourself in the head with a hammer because it feels so good when you stop.  It wasn’t easy.  I didn’t get below 150 pounds for four months.  But the thing was, I’d made a deal with myself.  Do it for 6 months.  If there is really no change, find a way to see a doctor, because that’s not right.
The only times I didn’t exercise was a few times when I got an upper respiratory infection (all the heavy breathing would lead to coughing), days when I had migraines, and Sunday was my day off.

Here I am, 15 months later.
Here I am, 44 pounds lighter.
Here I am, alive and well.

I had it out with someone in an online group who said she was “unable” to lose weight because she couldn’t afford weight loss pills or a gym membership.  She was looking for excuses and shortcuts.  I have not taken one “weight loss” pill.  Every morning I take a basic multivitamin…and I took that when I was a fattie, too.  I have never set foot in a gym to lose weight.  I even stopped doing Zumba (I couldn’t afford the classes anymore).  I told her that if a pill worked, we would ALL take it.  I told her to start small.  Walk to your mailbox and back.  When that’s easy, walk to the corner and back.  When that’s easy, walk around the block.  I started out walking eight blocks, huffing and puffing all the way.  I now walk between 3 and 4 miles (weather permitting) every day.  When it’s raining or too cold out, I work out with my Wii or one of the workout DVD’s I own.  Don’t have workout videos?  Get a library card, they usually have several to choose from, and you can try a different one every week!  Your library is small and doesn’t offer videos/DVD’s?  Check out an exercise book, there are dozens out there.  If you spent as much time trying as you do making excuses, you would be halfway there.

There are no shortcuts, there are no magic pills.  There is only hard work, and with hard work, there are results.  It won’t happen overnight.  But look at it this way: you didn’t gain this weight overnight.  You won’t lose it overnight, either.
The other thing to touch on is diets.  Diets don’t work.  Look at Kirstie Alley.  She had been on Jenny Craig a bunch of times.  Every time she went off the program, she gained back all the weight she lost and then some.  You have to change how you eat, not just what you eat, and prepackaged foods aren’t going to help you.  The only program that I have heard of that has worked is Weight Watchers, as they actually teach you how to eat right.  But you have to depend on yourself to do it, not Weight Watchers or Jenny Craig or Hydroxycut.  You have to make a lifestyle change and commit to it.

But if you fall off the wagon, don’t beat yourself up!  We are humans, and we make mistakes!  Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and try again tomorrow.  I’ve screwed up, too.  And don’t deny yourself anything!  Like I said earlier, I still eat cookies!  Are you at a birthday party and that cake looks delicious?  THEN HAVE SOME.  Have a small piece, and enjoy it.  It’s Thanksgiving, and grandma has made her homemade pumpkin pie?  HAVE SOME!  Have a small piece instead of 1/4th of the pie (I was so guilty of that in the past).  For my own birthday, we no longer make cake.  Because then there is cake in the house, and you don’t want it to go to waste because there are starving children in Ethiopia.  Instead, my mom goes to the local sweet shop and buys me a super fancy cupcake.  It’s fattening, yes, but it’s one thing.  One thing will not destroy your plan and undo all your hard work.  I once heard Madonna quoted as saying that she watched what she ate all week so she could splurge a bit on the weekends.  Now if you’re really trying to lose a lot, you might want to keep those splurges to a minimum….not every weekend.

I won’t lie.  It’s hard work, and it’s not always pleasant.  But the end result is SO worth it.  Because not only will you look and feel better, you will be prolonging your life.  Not just for yourself but for your family.  You will be around for them for that much longer.