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Archive for November, 2007

This morning I went back to my gym and signed up for another year of torture. 

I had been debating this decision for most of the month of November, since now that my work schedule has changed I don’t have the time to spend an hour at the gym three days a week.  I knew I needed to do something, because my pants were getting tight again (all hail the lovely cheesecake) and I like to eat about as much as I like to breathe. 

I checked into a couple of gyms that were close to my office, thinking that I could fit in a workout on my lunch hour three days a week.  Know what?  I’d rather use my lunch hour to, oh, eat.  And really, the idea of getting used to a new gym stopped me, too, because I know all the people at my current gym, and I’m comfortable there. 

Don’t underestimate the power of being comfortable with your gym. 

So I went this morning and walked two miles.  And I had forgotten how good that feels.  I find I’m a much more positive person when my metabolism is up; I like myself.  And then I signed up for another year of bank drafts for the privilege of sweating indoors. 

Best thing about all of this is that I now don’t feel nearly as guilty about how much I enjoy drinking beer. 

— Mox

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Every couple of years or so, I get the notion to grow my hair out.  I’ve only been able to do it twice in my life, and both of those times I was considerably unencumbered as well as quite cashless.  It’s not much of a mean feat from the standpoint of the number of hairs on my head, of which there are more than enough, but rather, it’s an exercise in patience.  Because I love to aggravate myself. 

I’ve sported a super-short haircut for a long time, and it works for me.  I don’t have to worry with hair in my face, it’s less of an issue on days I’m running late, and it suits my persona.  And since I’m mostly a “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” kind of person, I’ve kept the short hair, in pretty much the same format, for better than twelve years. 

But.  I’m also kind of, you know, a girl, and I want a change. 

Today marks the beginning of this little experiment.  I had an appointment to get my hair cut this morning, and told my stylist my plan.  So obligingly she didn’t give me the full haircut she usually does, even though she knows that in three months I will be standing in front of her all, shave my head. 

I don’t want long hair ever again, that much I know.  But I want to try something a little softer for a change.  Besides, when I picture myself, I’m thin, with cute shoes and a great haircut.  Then I look in the mirror and wow is reality ever a shock. 

I give this at least until spring. 

— Mox

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Cashier:  Gee, you don’t seem like the crickets type of person. 

Me:  I’m not.  But my kid is.  We have a pet frog. 

Cashier:  Ah.  I figured you for a fur lover. 

Me:  And you would be correct. 

My husband is descended from a line of people with a penchant for not-your-ordinary pets.  My mother in law owned an iguana, which was allowed to have free reign of the house, during the time my husband and I were dating.  My husband is more of a snake person, and when I say snake I mean Snake with a capital S because he’s into Burmese Pythons and whatnot.  Suffice it to say that that is one of the dealbreakers in our relationship.  He brings home a giant snake, and I walk.  He brings home a teeny snake, I walk.  I do not like snakes in any way, shape, or form. 

So of course Spawn has inherited this propensity for odd pets.  Last year the kid was heavily invested in owning a hedgehog, which I was completely unwilling to entertain the notion of.  This year the kid is asking Santa for either a pet turtle or a poodle, whichever.  I am trying to figure out which portion of that equation is the bait and which is the switch. 

— Mox

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Ordinarily I don’t engage in the habit of self-bashing about personal attributes I have no control over, since I have a semblance of control of most things of that ilk.  Notice I say a semblance of control, rather than saying I’ve got a grip on these things.  I don’t have a grip, and mostly it’s because I haven’t made up my mind to have that grip. 

Sure, there are things about myself that I’d like to change, and most of those things are changeable.  The only reason I haven’t made the changes is that I’m flat-out too lazy, or busy, or frankly, the desire just isn’t strong enough to make me make the change.  I mean, I could learn to play the piano but I don’t want to, so there’s no sense in heaving a big sigh about it. 

I got to thinking about things I wish were different about myself last night, as I was driving through the pissing rain on my way to have dinner with my parents.  If you’ve never had the kind of people in your life who believe you can do anything, you’ve missed out, let me tell you.  And hey, double bonus if you’ve not lived up to your potential.  But you know what?  Most of the things I wished were different, I realized, could be different if I only had the time, the money, the will, and/or the commitment to make them happen.  Change my hair?  Fix my eyesight?  Develop a tight, toned body?  Learn to ski?  All totally doable.  Not necessarily easy, mind you, but doable. 

It’s kind of hard to have a pity party when your conscience is so damned pragmatic. 

So you will understand when I tell you that I felt kind of victorious when I hit upon two things that I cannot change about myself.  I was all, ha! Rationalize that, Conscience! 

You have to know that I am at heart a pessimist.  I have a natural suspicion of most things, and boy if it’s too good to be true I can guarantee you that reality is just lying in wait to bite you in the ass.  What can I say, it’s a gift.  But I am married to an individual who is the yang to my yin, and damned if he isn’t the eternal optimist.  He’s a big believer in setting your mind to something and accomplishing it.  In his way of thinking, anything is possible.  And man, is it ever hard to bitch and gripe around him, because he’s always looking for that stupid silver lining.  If I’m all bummed about something and want someone to commiserate I don’t go to him. 

So yeah, it’s kind of hard to feel sorry for yourself when you’ve been exposed to that kind of approach to life for better than 20 years.  And I guess I could declare victory in a roundabout way by getting all depressed over things that I could change but don’t, but even I realize that’s a stupid way to think.  I may be a pessimist but I’m not interested in abusing myself. 

Oh, the things I would like to change about myself but can’t?  The list is two: 

1.  I wish I were taller. 

2.  I wish I had a good singing voice. 

Neither one of those things I can do anything about.  Everything else is open season. 

— Mox

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Concessions

I have finally waved the white flag. 

I struggled into my first turtleneck sweater over the weekend.  I have conceded to winter. 

In order to understand just how monumental that is, you must first know how much I despise winter and winter clothes. 

I know that winter is necessary in the cycle of life, an ecological resting period.  I also understand that I have no control over any of it; winter comes and goes regardless of my affection for it.  But I do not like being cold and I do not like having to bundle up. 

Here’s the thing I don’t like about winter clothes:  they restrict my movement.  They bind me.  They smother me.  They lead me into temptation, aka the bakery, because I know I can hide behind their bulk.  They make me feel like a big schlumpy mess.  

Since my job change I have fallen off the exercising wagon; I don’t have the time to hit the gym like I did before.  I am in fact debating on whether I even need to reup my membership this year, since that’s $300 I could use for, oh, cookies maybe? 

And this morning I put on a pair of wool pants that I haven’t worn since last winter and you know what?  They fit.  Which means that I have put on some weight, somewhere, because at the end of last winter they were too big on me. 

Uch. 

I know.  I know.  I need to keep up my commitment to the gym.  The main thing I like about getting exercise (besides those lovely endorphins which stave off my winter blahs) is that I can continue to drink beer.  And I like to eat, and eat what I want.  Life is too short to subsist on rabbit food. 

Winter clothes are a temptation to me — eat this, hide that.  But when it’s 38 and raining, sometimes you have to concede to the turtleneck. 

— Mox

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You gotta love Turkey Day at your inlaws, when you have a glass of wine in your hand before 10:30. 

— Mox

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Quest

I am on the hunt. 

Specifically, I am looking for a pair of khaki pants that don’t make me look/feel like a stuffed sausage. 

I have a number of khaki pants.  Only one pair feels good and doesn’t make me feel fat.  And that’s great, except they’re a pair of capris and when it’s 40° outside they’re not exactly practical to wear. 

The problem with khaki is that it’s khaki and not black.  Black, as any woman can tell you, is very slimming and can hide a multitude of sins.  But I get tired of wearing black pants all the time. 

Of course the obvious answer would be to get my fat arse in shape and lose those ten pounds I’m wagging around.  Hey guess what?  It’s two days before Thanksgiving.  Don’t talk to me about losing weight right now. 

No, what I need is a pair of khaki pants, plain front, nice fabric, a little stretch.  Don’t discount the wonders of stretch in fabric.  When manufacturers started putting stretch in fabric, the women of the world rejoiced.  Whoever came up with that idea needs the Nobel Prize, in my opinion. 

I suppose the other side of this coin is that I need to get rid of the numerous pairs of khakis in my closet, since I don’t like the way they look on me.  Yeah, only here’s the thing.  If I don’t find the Perfect Pair of Khakis then I have all the others to fall back on. 

And if you’re a man and you’re reading this, then there’s some of that good ol’ female logic for ya. 

Up next:  the quest for cute shoes! 

— Mox

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Spawn went to a birthday party yesterday.  I have resigned myself to the fact that I will be shelling out upward of $20 per party the kid’s invited to, and at this stage of the game the kid is invited to ALL the parties.  I don’t think I was ever this popular. 

The party was held at the local roller skating rink.  Now, if you’ve never seen a group of six- and seven-year-olds out on roller skates for the first time, let me tell you:  it’s a hoot.  Me, I never learned to roller skate.  I could tell Spawn in theory how to do it but to actually get out there and show the kid, well, no.  I can only hope that by introducing the kid to roller skating at this age (as opposed to age 12, which was far too late for me), combined with my husband’s athletic genes, Spawn will fare much better than I ever did. 

But.  First graders on roller skates.  Is. a. hoot. 

Because I grew up in the country, I was reminded of the sight of undignified pigs slipping and sliding all around a frozen pond.  Honestly, that’s what it looked like.  You take a kid who’s only a few years removed from learning to walk in the first place, and you strap wheels on their feet, and hilarity ensues. 

So does the potential for broken bones and concussions and knocked out teeth.  But hey.  Fun to watch. 

Spawn gave up on the whole skating thing after about 30 minutes.  After the birthday boy had done the cake-and-presents routine, Spawn — much to my surprise — decided to give skating another whirl.  Another hour of slipping and falling and learning how to balance and the kid was at least upright more than not.  So yay for the athletic genes. 

When we left I asked Spawn if it was fun, this roller skating thing.  “Oh yes!  I love it!  Think I could get a tutor to teach me more?” 

I have a cousin who is pretty good on those things.  Maybe I’ll give him a call. 

— Mox

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Back in the halcyon days of the early 70’s, when I was a mere child entering grade school (and right there I have dated myself), there were The Letter People. 

I vaguely remember my classroom having The Letter People hanging around, to help teach letter sounds to the children who just didn’t quite grasp the notion of phonics and its’ connection to reading.  As a reader from age 4, I never paid much attention to The Letter People, because duh, I knew which letters made which sounds. 

But because of The Letter People in their 1970’s incarnation, I now think of the alphabet’s consonants as masculine, and the vowels as feminine. 

Striking a blow to feminism right there.

In 1990 The Letter People got a much-needed political-correctness tweak, where the parent company owning the rights to this system equalized the number of female letters to the number of male letters, among other changes. 

But in my mind, AEIOU are all female and everything else is male. 

Does that make me a bad feminist? Or should I even care? 

I mean, thank God we’ve come as far as we have.  Women in business don’t need to wear a suit and ridiculous floppy tie to be considered businesslike anymore.  (I wore those stupid ties for a while… and then I relegated them to hairbows… and then I cut my hair.)  We can dress and look and act feminine — or not — as much as we care to these days. 

Does it really matter that we assign gender to inanimate objects and events and abstractions?  (National Hurricane Center, I’m looking at you.) 

The whole reason I’m taking this feministy trip down memory lane is that Spawn is having some issues with reading and I’m trying everything I can think of to help the kid.  The Letter People!  Worked for some of my classmates!  Maybe we should try that!  Works better than me screaming “what don’t you get about this?!”! 

Spawn is at that point of assigning gender to everything.  All dogs are boys, all cats are girls.  You know, that sort of thing.  (Which, come to think of it, is how I, a rational, educated adult, tend to look at things.  Hm.)  So maybe The Letter People can help, with their 50/50 divide between the genders. 

I expect that the New and Improved Letter People will take some adjustment on my part to make this work. 

— Mox

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Lost and found

So remember last week when I was short a tuition check for Spawn’s school?  I wrote a replacement check and sent it to school early this week, and was preparing to send another one later this week (after payday) to pay for the current month. 

Good thing I checked my online bank balance. 

Somehow my lost check surfaced, and the school cashed it, along with the replacement check.  Both on the same day.  Folks, that’s a big hit. 

And while I’m relieved that we’re all caught up and everything is peachy once again, I’m also a little upset that the school cashed both checks on the same day without even bothering to call me and tell me.  It’s not like they didn’t know what was going on. 

The assumption can be made of some of the parents at Spawn’s school that there are piles of money to be had.  The assumption ends with our family, because it’s taking all I make to send the kid to school, and clothe the kid in uniforms, and buy lunches, and all those other things that school is about. 

I guess it’s a moot issue, since we are now paid up for the month, but it still irritates me. 

— Mox

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