30 November 2007

Disgusting Friday Surprise

This is just going to be a gross-out post. I'll put the really super TMI information in white font (so hold down your mouse's left button and run it over where the words ought to be, and they'll show up) but it's all kind of awful. Because that's the kind of week this has been. If your week been good or even moderately okay, CLICK AWAY NOW, because this story might ruin it.

So Zoe has been sick for a while - maybe a month - and losing weight and barfing a lot. A lot. Like, daily. Or thrice daily.

Yes, I took her to the vet. X-rays and blood tests showed nothing abnormal. It might just be that she's 13 and her long dirt nap is en route. Of course I'm sad even contemplating this, not to mention sad that I might not get much more than two years with her, and we love each other so. Dave says my armpit is the only one she's ever stuck her face into, which I guess isn't big news unless you're a total pet person and get what it's like to have an animal develop special affectionate behaviors for you specifically, because they loooooove you.

I do realise that burrowing into my armpit doesn't sound quite so magical once it's all typed out. You'll just have to grant me some slack here if you aren't an animal lover. She's just so damn cute when she burrows under the covers to get warm, for instance. Often I find a deflated little lump in the bed where she's been sleeping all day when I get home at night and it makes me smile.

Back to the barfing: cleanup has been fun, of course. Most nights I get home from work and do a run-through of the house to try to find the barf before I step in it. If I've got time, I do a quick run-through in the morning before work, too. Because she hasn't been eating, mostly it's thin watery yellowish barf (bile). Poor baby. She does have an appointment coming up to go see the vet again. A frequent thrower-upper myself, I feel her pain.

So, this morning? While I was making the bed? Guess what I found? ... yeah. A little oval yellow-ish stain on the bottom sheet. What the hell?, I thought, I don't remember that being there when I put the sheets on last week.

That's because ... it probably wasn't. My guess is that one of the days this week when she was sleeping under the covers, she barfed in there. Yeah. On my side. I found it this morning. I slept on barf-sheets last night, in a barf-bed. Ew ew ew ew ew. It's possible I've been sleeping in that since Monday night. Ew ew ew ew ew.

So, what with Zoe's sickness and my own previously-unmentioned medical stuff, it's been a bad week for pussies around here. (I admit it. I totally wrote this whole post for that single whited-out joke. Now go bleach your brain.)

27 November 2007

oh hai, teh funny!!!1!

There's a lolcat wiki to translate the Bible into lolspeak. It is fucking hilarious; check out Genesis 1, 1:

            Boreded Ceiling Cat makinkgz Urf n stuffs

1 Oh hai. In teh beginnin Ceiling Cat maded teh skiez An da Urfs, but he did not eated dem.

2 Da Urfs no had shapez An haded dark face, An Ceiling Cat rode invisible bike over teh waterz.

3 At start, no has lyte. An Ceiling Cat sayz, i can haz lite? An lite wuz.4 An Ceiling Cat sawed teh lite, to seez stuffs, An splitted teh lite from dark but taht wuz ok cuz kittehs can see in teh dark An not tripz over nethin.5 An Ceiling Cat sayed light Day An dark no Day. It were FURST!!!1

Of course, to enjoy this you have to be okay with thinking about teh Bibble as not-the-literal-truth, and you have to be okay with God = boreded ceiling cat. So, my mother? Would not think this was funny at all.

Just like that Christmas that my sister and I kidnapped the baby Jesus from his manger in our dime store creche. So that she wouldn't notice the absence of the tiny baby doll immediately, we subbed in a little pink pig (from our Pass the Pig game). We tucked a little ransom note (demanding, I think, "100 sheep by sundown or the baby gets it") under the piglet and sat back to await the fireworks.

And waited.

And waited some more.

Finally during Christmas dinner all the kids (all-bar-parents were in on the secret by now - you should have seen my brother turn red and cackle with suppressed glee when we told him) made a big fuss about "checking in on Jesus" and Mom eventually got up to look. Well. She was Not Amused. Especially the pig part, maybe more so because it was such dead ringer for the bebbe jebub.
Mmmmm, sacrilicious. I've never enjoyed brussels sprouts more.

... oh, and if you don't know what lolcats are, they are "poorly spelled human emotions ascribed to pictures of animals" (That's the most concise definition I've ever seen, and it comes from the terrific and even funnier lolsecretz blog.) Or you can just Google the phrase "I can has cheezburger?" and you'll pull up a ton of information. PWN!

(I don't really know what PWN means. That's okay, because judging by the way I keep this video all over the interwebs, no one else knows what it means, either.)

21 November 2007

Not just a river in Egpyt

I am so happy the NYT is now free all over the place, all the time. Check out this fun pop-psych article: Denial makes the world go round. (I can't say I'm super-psyched that the opening and closing example of the article is a woman whose shopping is out of control, who didn't feel able to tell her husband about it. Couldn't they have used a scenario about an affair or something not related to the duplicitous-female-likes-to-shop stereotype? But whatever, it's still worth the click.)

“There are lots of way to think about this,” said the lead author, Daniel J. Hruschka of the Santa Fe Institute, a research group that focuses on complex systems. “One is that you’re moving and you really need help, but your friend doesn’t return your call. Well, maybe he’s out of town, and it’s not a defection at all. The ability to overlook or forgive is a way to overcome these vicissitudes of everyday life.”

I've seen that. Aren't we way harsher about other drivers than ourselves or the trusted driver of our car? God, if I held myself and my friends and my family to the same standards I hold stangers and theoretical people to, I'd be friendless, alone and probably be planning my suicide, unable to live with myself.

Nowhere do people use denial skills to greater effect than with a spouse or partner. In a series of studies, Sandra Murray of the University of Buffalo and John Holmes of the University of Waterloo in Ontario have shown that people often idealize their partners, overestimating their strengths and playing down their flaws.

I can think of a zillion real life examples where I've seen this happening. I'm sure my own relationship is included.

This typically involves a blend of denial and touch-up work — seeing jealousy as passion, for instance, or stubbornness as a strong sense of right and wrong. But the studies have found that partners who idealize each other in this way are more likely to stay together and to report being satisfied in the relationship than those who do not.

So ... denial = neccesary coping tool for functioning in society. It's just when there's too much that there's a problem. Like drugs or alcohol! Whoa. Heavy.

16 November 2007

O I am a bad cat mother

A new low in Friday cat-blogging, hein? I'm pretty sure she spent a while last night deciding what part of me to eat first. And yes, that's a little Yahoo! t-shirt she's wearing. I bet you didn't know brand marketing schwag went all the way down to the pet-apparel vertical. (FYI: I think she had the shirt on for about 5 minutes in total. Just long enough for me to get the pictures. And no, I didn't get scratched or bitten. She was mad but apparently not mad enough to resist.)

08 November 2007

Exciting Text Fight

Exciting for me, anyway. If by “exciting” you mean “now I feel shitty”, which I do. Verbatim transcript below.

Me: I feel bloated and tired of boughten food.

Dave: Didja grab a burrito for lunch? Tasty, homemade. Like mom used to make.

Me: No, it’s the company lunch today (chili cookoff, which is actually cool.)

Dave: You’re going out to dinner tonight for the third time this week. May i suggest moderation?

Me: You can suggest anything you fucking want. I have been moderating.

Dave: Just saying.

Me: I’m in a pretty bad mood today and i miss exercise and fresh vegetables. I know you were trying to make a helpful suggestion but your advice seemed obvious and condescending to me, like my [redacted relative].

Dave: Jesus. Forget i said anything.

[this response crossed with my followup text, below]

Me: I am also extra sensitive due to compulsive eating issues. Like when someone asks you how come you have to get so mad all the time and suggests you chill out

And that is where things currently stand. Ain’t love grand?

Re-reading, it seems obvious to me that we’ve both got a point. My life has been hard and shitty lately (Dave’s has too), so anger is bubbling out all over the place – as you can see above, somewhat inappropriately. At the same time … we’ve been dating for two years, during which I have struggled with compulsive eating. Telling a compulsive eater to moderate is about equivalent telling an alcoholic that it’s fine to drink, just stop after one or two. They already know that, trust me.

I’ve been fighting compulsive eating since I was about 14, my first year of boarding school. That’s when the first eating disorder which had been carefully nurtured by the media and my fucked-up elementary school really took root and blossomed, helped greatly by the 32F breasts which had arrived with puberty the summer before I started high school. (No, they aren’t still that size. That’s another story, though. Insurance paid for the surgery, because I had back problems. At 17. Back problems.)

Sometimes people (men) have trouble understanding why a woman wouldn’t want huge tits. For men, bigger dicks are better, right? And big boobs on women are often a huge (heh) plus. Except a big dick is like a secret weapon, whereas big boobs are pretty much impossible to hide. I won’t even get into what a pain in the ass it is to try to find dresses when your top is a size 14 and your bottom is a size 6, or say much about how with really big boobs, all you can hope for re: tops is to find stuff that drapes nicely. Like, you know, a tent. Tents also don’t show “too much” cleavage (don’t want to look slutty!). Not showing cleavage, when you’re stacked like I was, pretty much requires a turtleneck.

Also, I gotta say, the summer I grew boobs was a pretty vicious induction into puberty. Suddenly construction workers were hollering at me from across the street, based on my new silhouette. (They probably had children my age.) Fathers of the children I babysat for showed new interest in my life, asking how school was going for me and casually asking if I had any boyfriends. (I know: predatory and disgusting.) Boys were talking to me, but not looking at my face while they did so. It didn’t help that my group of “friends” freshman year included some sharks who saw my weakness, smelled blood and drove in for the kill. I’m sure those girls had their own issues driving them, but that doesn’t mean being bullied doesn’t suck a lot more for the victim.

I was desperately lonely and wanted nothing more than a boyfriend, but I was so suspicious and terrified of sex and my new body that I couldn’t do anything but shoot them all down. I would spend hours and hours obsessing over one in particular and thinking how cute he as and how great it would be if he talked to me, trying to sound smart in English class so he would notice and then … if he did talk to me, I shut down completely. In retrospect, not ALL the boys were talking to me just ‘cause I had a pair of industrial-strength floatation devices on my front – the English class thing worked! – but I was too uncomfortable with myself to be able to tell that.

So I decided I didn’t have a boyfriend was because I wasn’t attractive enough. I couldn’t do anything about my face but my body, that was under my control, right? And I started trying to really control my food intake, which led to restricted eating and then binging and purging and what I eventually learned to call compulsive eating.

Because here’s the thing about eating for emotional reasons: it works. Your serotonin levels do rise. You feel worse about it afterwards but that temporary relief from pain is like a fucking drug. It’s a little worse, actually, since with a drug you can quit. With food you have to re-learn how to eat. You need to create a new relationship with food. You can’t get away from it. On bad days, well meaning friends will tell you that you “deserve” some chocolate. And I really LIKE to eat, it is a sensuous pleasure for me. I can’t just regard it as fuel.

I am 29 now. The battle with food has been going on for more than half my life. I mentioned in my comment on a previous post that I’d quit drinking to try to help my migraines. So far teetotalling hasn’t helped with the migraines (except that I can feel morally superior in knowing that a particular migraine is not my fault) but it’s been pretty easy not to drink at parties, dinners out, shows, home after a tough day … I have an initial desire for a drink and then after about 30 minutes I relax and watch other people get loaded. No big deal.

Similarly, I’ve never been able to cultivate a long-term relationship with cigarettes, and believe me, I’ve tried. (Yes, I know the physical downside. No one wants cancer. What no one seems to acknowledge is that cigarettes are hugely helpful emotionally – a built-in excuse to take little breaks throughout your day with a relaxing/stimulating legal drug which doesn’t impair your work performance. And smokers usually develop their own little relationship networks, which is another reason to smoke.)

No other drug has ever really gotten its hooks into me (except pot, but even that relationship is less problematic for me than food.) I think it’s probably because I’m already fighting an addiction battle, it’s just with food, and there’s not really room for anything else in there. (Plus I am just not THAT self-destructive, and know better than to keep a bottle in my desk drawer or hit the bong before work.) Food is different, though.

So: who wants leftover Halloween candy? Because my office was SWIMMING in the stuff last week. Of course, I ate my way through it, disgusting or not. (Runts: much less delicious than I remember.) Because – did I already mention? – last week was wicked shitty, this week is shaping up to be another crapper and there was all this serotonin-stuff lying in piles on tables. I found it impossible to resist, grabbibng handfuls whenever I went by and unwrapping as stealthily as possible so no one would realise what I was up to, how greedy and piggy I was being. My strategy became to just eat it as fast as possible, so it would go away. I had help from coworkers, of course, but I’d like to think that if we’d all saved our wrappers and counted them up, I’d have finished first. By a mile.

All of which is a long-winded way of explaining why I was so mad when Dave suggested (reasonably, if a little insensitively) that I moderate my food intake at lunch today and tonight at dinner. Thanks for the tip, hon.

Not that you asked but yes, my pants are a little tight this week.

02 November 2007

01 November 2007

change of subject

I was going to write about how I'm all depressed and stuff today, but then I got into work and there was Halloween candy everywhere, a tidal wave and all the good kind, too: whoppers and skittles and rolos and reese's cups (those singleton packages. I love those fucking things.). Anyway, the sugar high has made me unable to think about depression (what's that?) and also, unable to see straight but never mind. I'll probably get back to the depression in a couple of hours.

So instead I'm just going to mention that Jaden's Steamy Kitchen is doing a vanilla bean giveaway. Eight people will win half a pound of beans each. And if you mention this contest on your blog, you get an additional two entries. Also Jaden's blog is so fabulous - she has awesome, accessible recipes and she's really funny, so it's worth reading anyway, even if you don't cook. (A certain regular reader will know that I'm squinting west, in her direction, with a meaningful westerly squint.)

That photo there on the left is what half a pound of vanilla beans looks like. A lot of damn vanilla beans. (Photo credits to SteamyKitchen. Hope it's okay that I republished the picture.)
And if you've ever bought one or two sad looking beans curled up in a McCormick's jar at the supermarket, weeping little vanilla bean tears because they have been separated from their beanly brethren then it's hard not to weep in sympathy. Particularly because those jars seem to go for 6 - 9 bucks, which is HIGHWAY ROBBERY for one measly bean. So, uh, I'm kind of interested in winning this contest, not that I ever win anything (curse you, Popgadget, for tempting me to sign up for a pink Dyson giveaway which OF COURSE I did not win and now they've sold my fucking email address and I get lots and lots of shitty spam, all of which would have been totally worth it IF I had won but since I didn't win now I'm just bitter. And now you can see what I have to be depressed about.) Anyway. I'm pretty sure Jaden doesn't sell her email lists. I can has beans now?