Wednesday, January 31, 2007

5 Months and Counting!

Last night as I was showering, I realized that it was the 30th - exactly five months until the wedding! I was excited but a little nervous, too. Not nervous like cold feet, but nervous like I-can't-believe-how-much-there-is-still-to-do. I'm on my way, but I'm not quite finished yet. I was supposed to call the photographer in January and I haven't even done that yet! Where did the month go? I was under the impression that I had a couple weeks of January left. Not so. I had a momentary freak out. Luckily, the more I thought the more I realized I have come a long way since this summer, and I have ideas on a lot more. Several things are too far away to worry about right now (invitations, for example), and several more are figured out, I just have to DO them. By the time I'd rinsed the conditioner out of my hair, I was feeling much better and even a little bit excited. It really is going to be an awesome day.

I tried to do my dave-the-dates last night but I can't install my printer software on my school laptop and my home laptop doesn't have MS Publisher. I brought the cardstock to school and will attempt to print them out here. I'll let you know how that goes.


PS I found the pic of me in my wedding dress. I'm hoping to get another one this weekend, in order to see if I can tell the difference - I've lost 16 pounds since I las had it on! Wish me luck...

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

I Guess I'm It

Several days ago I was tagged by Shari. The tag meant I had to write a top ten list that described my style. It has taken me quite a while to get to this list, but here it is:

1. Casual. I've never been a fan of frou-frou clothing. With me, comfort is everything. As a teacher I am held to a certain standard of dress, but I make it as relaxed as I can within the confines of my contract. For example, today I am wearing my sneakers, plain khaki pants with the cuffs turned up once (they are talls, and are just long enough with heels), a pink v-neck shirt and a grey zippered hoodie I got for Christmas. The hoodie is because I live in Maine and it is always cold in my school building in the winter. I don't bare my arms or legs for months.

2. Straightforward. This one I can blame on my father. He has always said the true-but-unpopular thoughts that no one would say. When asked if he wants a funeral after his death, his reply was, "Hell no! I can't stand any of those assholes while I'm alive, I won't stand any of those assholes when I die!" While I try to be a little more tactful than that, I am nearly as plain spoken as he is. If someone asks me my opinion, I give it to them. If I see something wrong or ignorant or mean, I speak up. I am upfront and honest about myself and what makes me laugh (people falling down is hilarious to me). People can be offended by my words, and that's okay, too. My conscience is clear.

3. Inquisitive. I am a lifelong learner. I believe in learning as much as you can about anything. I love the Discovery and Learning Channels, because they are full of useful bits of information. For example, did you know that snakes have two penises? That blonde hair and blue eyes are recessive genes? I do. I still have a lot to learn - I'm three grad classes away from my master's degree in Secondary Literacy Education. I also wonder about the bigger questions in life: Do animals that hibernate still urinate and defecate on a normal basis? If so, do they wake up to go? Do they just go right where they are? Wouldn't that get messy? If they don't pee every day, won't bacteria grow and give them bladder infections? If they do wake up, is it really hibernation?

4. Funny. I'm funny, damnit! I couldn't do stand up or have my own t.v. show, but sometimes I come up with very funny comebacks and one-liners. I can think up a sexual innuendo for almost anything, and I have a terrific sense of what is funny. I laugh a lot, and I like to think I cause others to laugh, too. Hopefully not at me.

5. Stubborn. This comes to my from my grandmother. She is the most stubborn person I know. She is 91 and still lives on her own. She still likes to garden when she can and even though she can barely walk, still makes sure that her home is shipshape. When I was small, my favorite words were, "I can do it myself," even when I couldn't. I still say these words because they're still true. I can do it myself, I will do it myself, and I don't need anyone's help. Even when I do.

6. Devoted. When I find something I love, be it a man, an author, a t.v. show, or a hobby, I go after it full force. I stick with that thing (sometimes too long) because I believe that's what you do. If it's a man, I care for him even when it keeps me from doing some of the things I love. I believe wholeheartedly in him and will encourage and support him with everything I am. If, later, it turns out that my devotion was misplaced... well, at least I never feel like I didn't give it my all. If it's a t.v. show or an author, I learn all of the important background, watch every episode or read every book, and wait (years, sometimes) for the next one to come out. Did you hear they are making a Dark Crystal 2? If it's a hobby, I learn all I can about it, do everything related to it at least once, and try to excell at whatever it is. I use the hobby to make gifts for other to prove the value and beauty of this new hobby, too.

7. Happy. Even though I love to complain and can be quite cynnical and sarcastic at times, my persona is generally happy. I believe life is worth living and that beauty, if you look for it, is everywhere. I enjoy life and all it has to offer. I like to think that other people do, too.

8. Simple. This relates to casual and straightforward in a way, but I think simple is more than just clothing or speech - it's a philosophy. I love simplicity in all areas of life. Relationships, decorating, clothes, stereo instructions... To me, simple = good. I don't play games or unnecessarily complicate matters; you could say I'm low maintenence in that regard. I like simple things like honesty, nature, sunshine, peace. The simple things are what I am about.

9. Creative. I adore making things and thinking of things. I like to find a unique solution to a problem, to see something in a way no one else has. I knit, I sew, I even color on occasion. I try to be as much of an original as I can; I don't like to do something just because that is the way it's always been done.

10. Selfish. It's okay, I can admit it. I have to be the center of attention all the time. I hate it when someone or something detracts from people paying attention to me. This is why I'm never having children; I don't want to resent them for getting attention I feel should be directed on me. As a teacher, the focus of fifteen pairs of eyes is me; I'm the one they go to with questions, comments, etc. I love being thought of as someone who has the answers, someone who you can go to when you need help or just conversation. I want to be the one that's picked, the one that gets the accolades. Maybe it's because I'm the youngest of six, but to me attention means that I'm special. That I'M the one that deserves to be recognized.

If I were to go beyond ten things, I'd add words like competitive, unforgiving, determined, deep, and maybe fair, too. What's your style? I want to know!




Usually I wouldn't use so many exclamation points, but for the first time in what seems like eons, I feel like my old self. Better, actually. I've been tired since at least Thanksgiving; I can't remember the time I got home and had any energy left over. Usually I crash on the couch until dinner, eat dinner, then crash on the couch again until it's time for shower and bed. I often get sleepy on the drive home and sometimes have to stop the car, get out, and run around it a time or two to wake back up.
But yesterday - oh, man!

I drove home in a fairly happy mood because Bear was home before me. He had left work early because he wasn't feeling well and wanted to try to get into the dr.'s office even without his file. He couldn't, but the hospital called - they'd found his file! So he ended up driving to Millinocket, getting his file, and making a dr.'s appointment for today at 2:00. By then most of the day was shot, so he took the rest of the day off. But I digress.

When I got home, Bear and I cuddled on the couch. He is very nuzzle-y when he's not feeling well, and since I LOVE that, I was right there beside him. But strangely, I really didn't want to stay on the couch. I had ENERGY! I actualy wriggled. Eventually I had to get up. I went into the kitchen and washed the dishes! When I was done that monumental task, Bear said he wanted some juice, so we went to the store a few miles down the road and got him one. Then we drove around town looking for deer. Deer infiltrate Brownville each winter. We saw ten deer in different places in town, then drove home. On a normal night, it would be enough to exhaust me, but I didn't even sit down - I started making dinner! After a hearty dinner of Hamburger Helper lasagna, I decided to make COOKIES! From scratch. Nestlé Toll House cookies, here I came! They were super good. The dough was the best part so I had several spoonfulls of that, too. After cookies my favorite shows came on - How I Met your Mother, The Class, and Two and a Half Men. Mother was an episode we hadn't seen, so we watched that, but The Class was a repeat. I wanted to go do my save the dates, but it was getting late, so I didn't. I DID, however, watch the eight-minute preview of Cinderella 3 on my computer. It looks really good! Then we showered and went to bed as usual (after Two and a Half Men, of course).

I know that my night sounds sorta boring. But for me, that was a jam-packed evening! I fell right to sleep last night but I don't feel utterly drained today. I'm really hoping that the mono is leaving my body and I am recovering from the exhaustion that came with it. I'm cautiously optomistic that this energy flow will last and I will continue to feel as amazing as I've felt yesterday and today.



PS I should probably add a disclaimer here that I have no idea who the guy in the photo is. He just showed up when I typed "hallelujah" into Google Images. ;)

Monday, January 29, 2007

Caring For Bear

Poor Bear. Just as I am beginning to feel better, he begins to feel worse. In the last two weeks we have been to the hospital twice and the walk in care once. He is suffering from some sort of internal issue; we're not sure if it is stomach, intestine, or gall bladder related. He can't go see a regular doctor because he doesn't HAVE one right now. How is this possible? It's a long story, but here's the jist:
  • Bear's regular doctor retired about five years ago.
  • His files are shipped to a new doc (Dr. Dunston).
  • Bear NEVER sees Dr. Dunston. Seriously - he doesn't go to a doctor for almost five years.
  • Bear goes to the hospital for what we think is Lyme Disease. Decides to get a real doctor closer to home.
  • Tries to get in to Milo Family Practice. They won't see him without his medical files.
  • Bear calls Dr. Dunston's office. They say they will send his records.
  • Weeks go by.
  • Bear tries at Milo FP again. Still no records.
  • He calls Dr. Dunston's office. THEY DON'T HAVE HIS FILE!
  • Dunston's office says the hospital may have his records; if not, they have been THROWN OUT!
  • Bear goes to hopsital for stomach issue, as he STILL cannot be seen by Milo FP.
Is that not the stupidest thing ever? How can they just throw out someone's file like that? It isn't like he's old and therefore probably dead - he's 23!! Shouldn't they have at least CHECKED to see if he was still alive or would possibly need his entire medical history?! It makes me so mad, especially because there is something really wrong with him, and he isn't getting any help for it. All the hospital does is draw blood. He needs a regular doctor to check him over, test his gall bladder, maybe get a CT or an ultrasound. SOMETHING!

Can you tell I'm frustrated?

That's what we've been dealing with this week... Friday we head to my parents' house for the annual Home Show in Augusta. Plus we will be dining at Country Farms restaurant, the best restaurant I've ever been to. Baked haddock with cheddar and bacon, here I come!


PS Watch in your mail for save-the-dates. I'm printing them tonight, so they should be mailed out this weekend! I will scan one in to show you once they're done.

Friday, January 26, 2007


I'm so glad today is Friday. I am beginning to think that five-day workweeks are just one day too long. Bear and I both went home early yesterday as we were feeling like crap, and slept most of the afternoon away. Of course, we felt guilty for doing that so we are both at work today. It isn't so bad for me, but this is the coldest day of the whole winter and Bear works outside for half of the day. Poor guy. I am feeling a bit better today, and my voice is coming back FINALLY. I sounded like a suffocating bullfrog for FOUR DAYS! I've never lost my voice this long before. It sucked. I was trying to discuss the finer points of To Kill a Mockingbird, but had to push so hard to get my voice out that I was exhausted by lunch. Today finally wasn't as bad. Actually overall, I feel pretty perky today... except for my kidneys. My back hurts today, and is growing slowly worse. I was hoping that it was just menstrual cramps, but I don't think that's what it is. I'm pretty sure it's my kidneys. I'm going to have to call my doctor because I don't remember ever hearing that Mono made your kidneys hurt. Spleen, yes. Kidneys, no.

Seriously - will I EVER feel totally better again?!

Aside from all of my recent health issues (which I'm sure you're sick of reading about by now), life is pretty good. My tax return this year is about $1,200; last year I had to pay in over $600 (I had to pay taxes on my Wheel of Fortune money). Bear and I are using the money for we wedding, so we can start paying the deposits and things that we need to reserve the vendors and equipment. I wanted to file electronically, but the stupid IRS won't let me until the first week of February because of some glitch that only affects teachers. GRRR. Oh well. I should still have my refund before Valentine's Day. Thank you, Turbo Tax!

That's all I've got for today... I hope people are visiting the blogs in my favorites list. Sue of Brite Hope has a hilarious story involving children, a cat, and a tub of Vick's Vapo-Rub. If you'd like me to link to your blog, leave me a comment and I'll check you (err, I mean your BLOG) out!


Tuesday, January 23, 2007


It took two calls to my doctor, but I am finally diagnosed with an actual illness. I have the Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV). It causes Mono. Basically, I have Mono. When she told me this, it answered so many questions about why I am so tired, why my neck was swollen (it lives in the lymph nodes and salivary glands), why I keep getting the chills, why my face is so often hot (low grade fever). Unfortunately, it also means there is no treatment. You can't take anything for a virus - you just have to wait it out. I was looking at WebMD about EBV, and it says that some people carry the virus their whole lives and never get sick, while others carry it and it "flairs up" from time to time. I think I fall into this second category. I think when I first got sick a year and a half ago, that was what was wrong with me. I think this is just another flair up. So, I am to drink lots of fluids, rest as much as I can, and avoid hitting my spleen. The virus can cause symptoms for several weeks, but the exhaustion can last months. I'm not looking forward to that!!

In other news, my FABULOUS mother (an adjective I've never used for her before) has booked Bear and me three fabulous nights at the Holland Inn! I couldn't believe that she offered to do that, but was very excited that she did. She paid the deposit, and Bear and I will pay the rest with the money we get from the wedding. We even got the best room in the place (Ship Harbor!) WOO HOO! That was a big thing checked off the list. I'm very relieved.

Also: Bear has given me the okay to create the invitations that I want to! They are super cute and have his fingerprint and mine on the outide. I'll scan one when I get them done and post it here. It's super cute! The only catch is that I have to have the vendor and porta potty companies booked in the next three weeks and have an estimate from the photographer. NO PROBLEM! I'm hoping to view the rental place on Feb. 4, and if I like it, then I will sign the contract then. Mom and Dad are paying the deposit, so no worries there. After that I just have to get a florist and some estimates from them! I'm not having a lot of flowers done by the florist - just the bridal bouquet and bouttenires (I know that is misspelled) for the guys. I'm not tossing my bouquet, so that's not an issue, and the flowers we are using on the tables will be in bloom on our property (so they are free!). I finally feel like things are coming together... yeay!


Monday, January 22, 2007

It's like a Greek Chorus

Many people have been blogging about how sick they or their family members are right now. I hate to add to the cacophony of that, but since I have a somewhat unique story, I hope you will bear with me as I do it anyway.

If you are a close friend or family member, you will know that I have been battling a mysterious illness for about a year and a half now. This illness manifests itself in achy, swollen lymph nodes. Sounds tame, I know, and for the most part it is, but it keeps coming back and my doctor has no idea what it is. When the swelling starts and I get uncomfortable, I head to the doctor's, she writes me a prescription for an antibiotic and sends me on my way. Sometimes it helps, sometimes it doesn't. The swelling will eventually go away, but it inevitably comes back again.

I've been to the doctor about my neck three times this school year. This latest time I went in, complaining of pain in the left side of my throat when I swallowed. I figured it was an infected tonsil or something similar. My doctor felt my neck and said, "hmmm, I can't seem to feel any real swelling." She must have seen the twin expressions of disbelief and frustration on my face, because she added, "But let's test you for Mono just to be sure." Thinking that Mono could certainly explain how tired I've been, I agreed.
I called the office on the following Tuesday (they were closed for MLK day), and found out that the mono test was negative. They put me on an antibiotic and told me to come back on the coming Friday. She said I'd have an ultrasound to look at my neck.
At this point I have spent $25 in copays and meds. That is one gas fill up for my car - I'm breaking my budget, and it does NOT make me happy.
Friday comes at long last and with it comes a snow storm. I drive the 50 miles to my Dr's office. It takes me about an hour and a half. I hate driving in the snow, so I'm in a pretty ugly mood when I pull into the driveway. When I get there and get in to the doctor, she feels my glands again, asks me what the mono test results were (shouldn't she know??), and says it's too soon to say if the antibiotics are working or not. She does not do the ultrasound on my neck and orders SIX more blood tests. Basically, she has no idea what is wrong with me. The tests were for the following:
1. A virus present at the onset of Mono (but not Mono)
2. Another virus present at the onset of Mono (but not Mono)
3. My Thyroid
4. My Liver
5. A CBC (I dont' know what that tests, but I think it's pretty broad spectrum)
6. HIV.

That's right, she is so out of ideas, she is even testing me for HIV. She was adamant that she didn't think I have it, but wanted "to be safe." Okay, fine, whatever, I don't care. Super.

So I go over to the lab place to get my blood drawn. They take one look at the orders and stop. "Did you sign a consent form for the HIV test?"
"Ummm... no, but she asked me if it was okay to test for it and I said yes."
"That's not enough. We can't test you for that today. You need to sign the form and come back."
"Well, can I get the other five done and come back later?"
"Sure." They take me back to the room and draw five vials of blood. After I leave, I call my doctor's office. They have no form, didn't know I needed a form, can't give me a form to sign. They recommend that I go to the Bangor STD Clinic for this test.


Whatever. At this point, I am seriously pissed, irritated, and embarassed. Why this test has to be such a pain, I don't know. When I get to the clinic, I almost walk back out again. It is dark and dingy with an atmosphere of squalor. I don't belong here, I think to myself. I am college educated, in a monogamous relationship who has never behaved in a risky or unsafe manor. AFter asking three different women for assistance (and having to explain what I was doing there three separate times), I get to where I need to go. This enormous black woman with an almost noncoherent accent proceeds to ask me a series of embarassing questions:
1. Have you had sex with an infected person? (yes, I try to make a habit of that)
2. What will you do if the test comes back positive? (crawl into a hole and die of embarassment and shame. That IS what you want to hear, isn't it?)
3. Have you had unproteced sex with a partner? (I'm on the pill. I'm guessing you don't count that).
4. Vaginal, Oral, or Anal? (Are you SERIOUSLY asking me that?!?!?)
5. With a male or a female? (?!?!?)

There are a host of other embarassing questions. This woman has basically made me feel dirty, ashamed, embarassed and guilty. I tried to explain why I was there, that I don't have HIV, that this was just a test for testing's sake. She looked at me like I was lying.

I am NEVER going back there again.

Not to mention that the test cost $25, which was another car fillup. Add the $15 of the second dr's visit copay, and I have completely and totally blown my budget.

I called this morning to get my results, and was told, "Yep, I put them on her desk. She will probably be calling you later."

Another day, another non-answer. *sigh*


Wednesday, January 17, 2007


Some days, for no apparent reason, I am soooo tired. Today, for example, I am stuggling to stay awake until the end of the day. All I want to do is take a nap. Impossible, as I have about a thousand papers to grade by Thursday afternoon and my budget is due ASAP, too. Not to mention, Bear and I have to go to Bangor tonight to get groceries. I don't have mono (they tested me for that last Friday), so what gives?

I think I'm a person who needs more sleep than most. Ideally I like about nine hours. During the week, however, I average between six and seven. 3 pm is my prime nap time (my body just kind of shuts down about that time), but I am driving the forty miles to my house then and can't just pull over to sleep.

It's very frustrating.

So I wonder if there is anything that can be done to wake a sleepyhead up? I don't eat too many carbs at lunch, I dislike coffee, I'm staying away from soda so I can lose weight... what can I do? I need some help on this one. It's too cold to take a walk outside, too - it was -8 degrees this morning when I got out of bed and isn't supposed to reach double digits today at all. Too cold to be outside, don't you agree?

... And now for something completely different....

Have you heard of page-a-day calendars? They have an online version that you can pick up for free. Go to their website here and click on the "contests" tab. Answer three trivia questions right and you can get a free calendar! I have two - Stitch 'n' Bitch and Why do Men Have Nipples?. You can even get them emailed to you daily if you like. I recommend the Bad Cat calendar - I had it last year and it is very funny. Let me know what you think!


Tuesday, January 16, 2007


I have been receiving some increased traffic on my blog, and it is tremendous! I've gone from only one reader to several regulars, with the odd person popping in off of a Google search. I only hope that I haven't been disappointing. I'm thinking about sharing an essay I've started, but I'm unsure if I should as it is long and isn't finished yet. After the class I took this summer (read about the program here), I consider myself to be a writer, but I haven't written much other than this blog, a poem here and there, and this essay. Nothing I've written has ever been published (not that I've tried). I guess you could say I'm dealing with the normal feelings of insecurity.

On a more positive side, I've been linked! Clare of Three Beautiful Things has added me to the list of people that have done what she has (blog about three beautiful things she has seen that day). Hooray! It's the first instance I've seen of someone providing a link to my blog. I have updated the list of my favorite blogs so you can see who I've been reading lately.

New Entries:
Jennifer Estep
Roughly Speaking
Literally Blind-Sided
Dear Douchebag

I have also noticed that some of the blogs that have been in my favorites for a while are getting cross traffic. People linking to their blogs via the link on mine. Hooray! It's like a college dorm here on the internet, everyone's doors open and people poking their heads in.


PS I AM going to do the save the dates - I just need to buy cardstock and postcard envelopes. The design is all done. Guess what Bear said - "Can you make all of the invitations look exactly like that?" Who does he think I am, Wonder Woman (or Martha Stewart)?!

Thursday, January 11, 2007

On the Pot

I think I do my best thinking when I'm in the bathroom. Becomming lactose intolerant as an adult has meant that I spend a lot of time in there. If I don't bring something to read (hard to do subtley when surrounded by staff and students), I just think. Today I was thinking about save-the-dates. You know, the little card you get months before the invitation that tells you to keep a certain date free? Originally I didn't think I'd need them. For one, I think they're pretentious (everyone I'm inviting already knows when the date is, for pity's sake!), and for another, I'm limited in funds (read: broke). But the more I think about it, the more a save-the-date notice looks appealing. I am getting married the weekend before the fourth of July, at least ten people are going to be flying in from out of state, and it's a busy time of year for a lot of people. I was thinking (while on the toilet) that if I just bought some cardstock and printed like 4 postcards per sheet I could make some pretty cheap notices. Are there any software programs I could use for neat logos and print options? I don't know if MSWord would do a good enough job. On one side I could have the family's address, and on the other the save the date info as well as a list of hotels in the area (maybe with phone numbers). If it was okay with mom, I could also put my phone number and hers on their in case people have housing questions. See, usually anyone that visits stays with my mom or my grandmother, but if everyone who does that is in the same place at the same time, we will run out of beds. I think Bear and I will be staying in our tent just to make room for people. No word yet on whether or not our wedding night will be spent in the tent, too. God, I hope not!

I guess I'm going to put the idea out to my wonderful readers - what do you think? Should I do the save-the-dates or not? What do you think when you get one in the mail? Are you pleased or mildly irritated (or worse)? Help!


Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Check this Out!

I was wandering around the internet today and came across this story. I LOVED it, even though it was about a failed wedding. it has just the right amount of humor in it. And I suppose if you're going to discover a cheating fiancé, that's one way to do it. Read it and tell me what you think! I wish I know who wrote it...


It's that time again!

BRIDAL SHOW TIME! I'm getting excited. There is a bridal show in Bangor this weekend and I'm going. I wouldn't have if I hadn't won tickets from the radio station, but I did, so I'm going. I am hoping to talk to florists and rental companies, and compete in American Bridal Idol. What is that, you ask? It's like American Idol (or any karaoke contest, really) where brides sing a song for about a minute and a half, and are judged by employees of the local jewelry store that sponsors the contest. Winners get jewelry worth as much as $200! Last July I went to my first bridal show and won third place in Idol, fetching me a $75 pair of sterling silver hoop earrings with ruby posts. Bridal shows are addicting. Every vendor kisses your butt, pretending to care about your event details in the hopes that you will hire them and they can make money. It's impossible not to feel special after an afternoon of butt kissing. They have hourly door prizes and if you are one of the first brides at a particular booth, you can win even more free stuff! They have samples of cake and other foods, goodie bags, gift certificates and one bride will win a free honeymoon cruise! It is worth going, I swear. You enter to win a bunch of stuff so that vendors can get your mailing address. Last time my arm got tired from filling out so many forms, so this time I'm going to be smart and will bring address labels.

I will write all about it next Monday. I am also hoping to get up some pictures of the afore-mentioned bookcase so you can see what an awesome job Bear did on it. Blogs are better with pictures, don't you agree? What do you want pics of? I'll put up what I can.


Monday, January 08, 2007

Monday Again...

It's Monday again. I don't really like Mondays. I'm tired from the weekend, my students are sluggish and dull, and I have four more days after this one until I can have another weekend. It snowed last night, which was fabulous, but the roads were shit for the drive in. Now it is raining, which promises to make the roads even worse for the drive home. Mondays suck.

On top of that, I can't find my purse. I thought I brought it home with me Friday, but couldn't find it. So I assumed that I left it at school. Not the case, it turns out - my purse is not here. So now what do I do? I keep looking, I guess. It's just so frustrating! My mind has been so absent lately it's starting to freak me out. I lost my purse, I never know where my cell phone is, and Saturday I bought some things at Wal Mart, but by bedtime couldn't remember if I had brought the bag in from the car or even left the store with it. That memory was just GONE. How is that possible?

It's been a while since I updated on my weight struggles. The reason? I'm still at 174. I haven't lost any weight in weeks, except for the three pounds I put on during vacation. It's time for more drastic measures. I think it's time for exercise. Now let me say here that when I was living in the thriving metropolis of Bangor, I went to the gym semi-regularly. My favorite machine was the elliptical machine. I could stay on that thing for a half an hour easy - it was fun, I worked hard, life was good. Now I live 40 miles from the nearest gym. Is it any wonder my weight is an issue? Now if I want exercise, I have to go outside. In the cold. ick. I suppose I could do work like chopping wood or shoveling snow, but what muscle groups do those work? In the gym, I have a handy-dandy picture on every machine that tells me which muscles are getting sexy and which are waiting for their turn. Shoveling snow is anyone's guess.
However, this weekend brought home to me just how far I have to go still. Bear and I spent the entire weekend with our friends Blondie and Snake (not their real names). Blondie does all the things that I wish I could do but am not allowed to - she jumps on her boyfriend and he catches her, Snake and Bear pick her up and toss her onto bookcases or over puddles. Blondie is 5'3" and maybe 120 pounds soaking wet. I'm 5'9" and 174 pounds completely naked (not even a hair elastic to inflate the weight). While I acknowledge that I have never been a small woman and will never shop in the petite section, I still harbor young girl fantasies of hanving a string virile man that can lift me as though I weigh nothing. Blondie, it appears, get to live my fantasies due to genetics and a few too many whoopie pies on my part. I admit it - I was jealous. Every time she got picked up or carried somewhere, I felt fat. I felt gigantic. I loomed. This is bad, because I was actually thinking that I had improved my self esteem with the 16 pounds I have lost since this summer. All that goodness flew away like Blondie's feet through the air. The worst part was that Bear was in on the lifting and carrying. Bear and Snake spent much of the weekend building me a nice sturdy bookcase (my old was was toppling down). When finished, the bookcase was tested with Blondie - they sat her on top of it, lifting her four feet into the air to set her upon it. She perched there, no problem, grinning. Snake must have seen something in my expression, because he asked me doubtfully, "do you want us to try to set you up there, too?" What was I supposed to say? Yes, but I want you to do it as effortlessly as you did with Blondie? I'm not crazy, I know that's not possible. So I smiled, replying, "no thanks, I won't subject you to that." Bear said, "Good, because the bookcase is strong, but I dont' think it's that strong." I know that in NO WAY did he mean for that to be a negative comment about my weight. He was literally thinking about the stress 180 pounds would put on 3/4" plywood. Still, it was not very much fun to hear.
So this brings me back to exercise. I am eating less food due to some mysterious lack of hunger pangs, but I'm still not losing weight. I've noticed that I've been eating less for at least two weeks now. Surely my body should have started eating it's fat reserves by now? Since the scale isn't budging, I guess I will have to. Walking sounds fairly easy - I will have to try that. But when? It gets dark shortly after I get home, the weather is always crappy, and I leave for work only 20 minutes after waking up. I have a recumbant bike in my living room, but I can't see the t.v. from there and it hurts my but bones to sit on for any length of time. What other options do I have? I tried using sex as an aerobic activity, but it's more difficult that you'd think to get your thirty minutes a day. It is the only one I don't have an excuse for, though. Hmmm...


Thursday, January 04, 2007

On Writing

Bear and I both have blogs. If you've clicked on his link to the left, you've no doubt noticed that he doesn't update very often. Of course, he isn't able to blog while he should be working, as I am. You'll also notice if you've read his blog, that he writes terrifically well, and he often writes wonderful things about me (or us). That is where the idea for this blog came from, actually, as I wanted a place where I could do the same. I am guilty of the cardinal sin of most bloggers, however; I mostly blog about me. I'm kind of ashamed of how much I enjoy writing about myself. But really, when you think about it, what do I know more about?


So I write about myself, I write about Bear, I write about our wedding and our lives. I write when pets pass away (I've written about Inigo, but I have yet to tell you about Minnie), and I write when I am frustrated by people in my life. All of these communications are housed in that nebulous world of cyperspace, where anyone can read it, any time.

That's the rub, really.

As much as I am an oversharer (Sue, you already know this about me), I do have my limits. I have a difficult time putting my vulnerable side out there for all of the world to see. I have a complete inability to discuss my weaknesses (especially in my relationship). I pride myself on my together-ness, my fiercely independent-ness, my I'd-be-fine-without-him-ness. The truth, however, is something less than that. I'm don't say that I couldn't physically live without Bear, but I never admit that I wouldn't want to, either. I shy away from superlatives like "forever," "the rest of our lives," and "never loved like this before." I think I have mentioned before that I don't believe in The One, that I think people can have happy, fullfilling relationships with any number of people on the planet. What I haven't mentioned before is that if there IS a One, Bear must be it. Something in me HATES risking my neck by saying that, hates putting myself out there in print where anyone can call me out if things change.

Maybe that's my problem. I spend too much time thinking thoughts like, "Well, IF we DID break up, what would happen?" It's like I always have to have a mental escape route planned, no matter where I am. I have NO intention of breaking up with Bear - he is the most wonderful man I know (okay, he's tied with my dad, but dads don't count). So why did I have to think to myself last week, "I know we got a box big enough to store all of our Christmas decorations, but if we break up it would be too difficult to have to dig out the Christmas box and sort mine from his. I'd better keep mine in a separate box."

This has got to stop! It's like there are two sides of me: the optomistic, loving version of me that is happy and plans on staying that way, and the cynnical, scarred version of me that always wants to be ready to cut and run. If I were to name them, which would be creepy and weird, they would be Misty (optomist) and Cyndi (cynnical). When I had the thought about the decorations, I had to sit Misty and Cyndi down for an intervention.

My inner dialogue went something like this.

Cyndi: I know we got a box big enough to store all of our Christmas decorations, but if we break up it would be too difficult to have to dig out the Christmas box and sort ours from his. We'd better keep ours in a separate box.
: Are we planning on breaking up with him?
Cyndi: No, but just in case. You know.
Misty: No, actually I don't. Just in case of what?
Cyndi: Just in case we BREAK UP, in case something awful happens and it's time to bail out!
Misty: That's a terrible, negative thought! Bail out?! Why are we marrying this guy, anyway?
Cyndi: Because he's perfect.
Misty: And you have some sort of problem with perfection?
Cyndi: No, I just want to be on the safe side. If the worst were to happen, it would be too tough to stick around. Better to be able to run quickly, and have a clean break.
Misty: Oh, so you're afraid of getting hurt?
Cyndi: Isn't everyone? Have you forgotten the last yahoo we were ready to marry? We thought he was great in the beginning, but he turned out to be a complete dink, didn't he?
Misty: You're right, he was, but this guy is nothing like him. NOTHING.
Cyndi: Okay, I see your point. Still, isn't it better to be safe than sorry? Who does it hurt to be prepared?
Misty: It hurts Bear. You know he's noticed you. Every time you show up he gets hurt!
Cyndi: Yeah, I guess you're right. But doesn't he have one of me in his head, too?
Misty: No, Cyn. He has someone else - Faith.
Cyndi: Faith?
Misty: Yeah, Faith. She tells him that this time, things will be different. That they are different. That if he believes, jumps in with both feet, he will be rewarded with the greatest love of his life. One that won't hurt him and won't run away.
Cyndi: I don't think I can do that.
Misty: That's okay, I understand. That's why you're going away, and Faith is going to take your place.
Cyndi: What?! You can't do that! I'm needed here!
Misty: That's just it, Cyn - you aren't any more. You're an outdated emotion, one with no place in our world. We kept you around because you helped us through some tough times. But those times are over now. You need to go.
Cyndi: But what if the break up DOES happen? You'll need me then!! Our life will be a wreck if we're not prepared. Can't you see that?
Misty (taking a knife out of her handbag): Faith says it won't happen. I agree. We're going to jump, feet first. This time, it's going to be different. This time, it's forever.
Cyndi (backing up nervously): What are you doing with the knife, Misty? We-we're friends, right? Back away! Stop! D-Don't come near me! I mean it - No.. NO Misty!! AAAAHHH!

Misty finishes her work and steps back. She tosses the knife away and dusts her hands off. As the sun sets, Misty strolls back to her apartment and Faith, her new, permanent, roommate. Together they will redecorate the interior of Amalia's head with a hodge-podge of belongings in an impossible to untangle fashion. That is just how Amalia wants it.


Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Six Months and Counting

Less than six months untill the wedding! Can you feel the excitement? I sure can. I feel like there is so much still to be done. I was stressing out about it a bit, actually, when Bear put things into perspective. "Honey, we have the rings, the dress, and a place to do it. What more do we need? Even if the worst happens, we still have everything we need for the ceremony." While I'm hoping the worst doesn't happen, I have to admit he's right.

Things still to do:
  • Book rental vendor (this is TOP PRIORITY)
  • Contract officiant
  • Call/Meet with Photographer
  • Buy wedding attendant clothes/gifts
  • Clean up wedding/reception area
  • Pick and contract florist
  • Buy vases for centerpieces
  • Steal butcher paper from school for "tablecloths"
  • Burn music CDs
  • Make and send invitations
  • Get engagement photo, notify papers
That's all I can think of right now. I'm sure there's more, even though that list is plenty long. Bear and I have been discussing getting our pictures done. We are destitute, but want nice pictures. I think it is going to have to wait until February. We could do it at WalMart for cheap, but you get Wal Mart quality pictures. I know I won't be happy. I hate cliché poses and that horrible lighting. I want something more us. I have this idea for one picture of us where we are both in our favorite football jerseys - him in a #54 Teddy Bruschi jersey, me in my #54 Brian Urlacher jersey. I think it would be cute! We could look all antagonistic towards each other and stuff. What do you think? Any recommendation for a good photo place? Sears is the only other place that comes to mind, or Northwood Studio in Milo (a private place I know nothing about). Help!