Monday, December 24, 2007


Hello! This is not your usual hostess of the Trapped Realm - she is "away from her desk", at this time; on her way home to her family for Christmas. I, the Tapdancer, have shimmied my way over here to get these pictures up for you viewing pleasure. The first part of these pictures can be seen over at Tapdancing on the Edge of Reason.
This first picture is of the fun we have with Christmas crackers- its awfully hard to be grumpy with a silly paper crown on your head (although none of these dopes are wearing crowns - hmmmm).

Bea, aka Chanda made an incredible Baked Ziti for dinner, accompanied by a lovely green salad, dressed with gorgonzola, olive oil and balsalmic vinegar. The equally astounding homemade bread was made by Dave-man, who is renowned for not only his kick-ass BBQ, but his KA bread as well. Are you hungry yet?

We open the Christmas crackers at the table before dinner, to keep the "kids" busy. Look how well its working! Here Grandma translates one of the jokes that are written in French - I thought she might have been deigning to read fortunes, but alas, she was not that drunk at this point.

Here I am, the Tapdancer, with my sister-in-love, mugging for the Trapped One. I am a bit glassy-eyed here, but happy! That has to count for something in times like these.

This is my beloved niece, Nickel (I'm not telling you her real name - she's a celebrity in actuality, so we try to keep it low-key, so the fans will give her a break) - isn't she lovely? And she is as sweet on the inside as she looks on the outside, which a rarer and more wonderful gift than a pretty exterior. Sniff - i just love that girl!

Once we had demolished the appetizers, and the dinner feast, we brought out the big guns - dessert! Here you see the cookie tier and a beautiful old dish full of Bea's incredible biscotti. she made her grandmother's traditional anise-flavored ones, but then she created her own recipe for Cranberry Orange Biscotti, which we dredged in Scharffenberger's Semi-sweet chocolate. OMFG, they are orgasmic - I think they should be her signature recipe, they are just perfection!

The Piece de Resistance of the evening was my mother's Buche de Noel - a chocolate roll cake filled with coffee ganache and frosted with her famous chocolate chip frosting. Its an awesome cake; one that I am always trying to get her to make (I had a version of it for a wedding cake), and what makes it truly an artform, is the little meringue/chocolate mushrooms that decorate it. They look real enough to fool your more "groovy" friends, but they melt in your mouth, and you can't get arrested for possesion of them...I don't think. She made extra mushrooms to garnish with, which was greatly appreciated by everyone - it can turn ugly with a limited supply of 'shrooms.

so there you have it - the Solstice Party, in two parts. (Don't forget, the other half is over here, at Tapdancing on the Edge of Reason). Bon appetit, and Happy Christmas!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Ok, so maybe just a picture.

I know I said I wasn't posting this week, but I was getting some pictures printed as Christmas presents, and this one came out particularly well (at least I think it did), so I thought I'd post it. I took it with an ancient 35 mm camera and then played with it in Photoshop a little(gotta love Photoshop). It's a view of the top half of the Currituck Beach Light House that was taken this summer on our annual trip to the Outer Banks.

We now return to our regularly scheduled pre-holiday panic.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


The last week before Christmas has sent me running around like the proverbial chicken sans head, and writing everyday just has not been possible. I've been feeling somewhat guilty about that in an I-haven't-done-my-homework- sort of way, and what's the fun in that!? So, in order to preserve my Joi de blog and finish my holiday shopping, baking, wrapping, packing, freaking out, I am taking a break until after Christmas (unless inspiration or the insanity that is my family strikes). Until then my friends....

Merry Christmas, Happy Solstice, Peace.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Starting Small

I have been called out on the mat by She who Tap Dances to post some of my poetry out here in blog land. Well, I went digging through old journals with the best intentions of pulling out my 20 year old angst ridden- unrequited love filled poetry to subject you to. I read it all and Oh the Horrors it was AWFUL! Bad beyond bad. Bad like Debbie Gibson and Stevie Nicks got together and had a love child,and that child wrote poetry bad! I'm telling you people, it was stinkaroo.

So I wrote a couple of new ones. Little ones. Haiku(s)specifically. I figured I would start small, and maybe revisit those stinky poems later. While these bits of poetic sushi are far from being good , at least they don't sound like a bad country western song.

Here they are

friend revisited
charming and recalcitrant
can never return

Burger of my dreams
clings to my thighs looming large
awaken to fruit

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Squirrely Girl - The Anatomy of a Binge(averted).

8:30PM - Saturday Night. Returned from a wonderful dinner over at Casa de Toy, feeling comfortably full, ready for a quiet evening at home. Curled up with Harry Potter book.

8:50PM - It's quiet in here, too quiet.

9:00PM - Made a cup of tea, placed last three peppermint patty cookies(no sin greater) on a pretty plate and consciously enjoyed my dessert.

9:14PM - Returned to Harry Potter feeling smug and superior for my planned eating and control. Yay me.

9:25PM - No longer feeling smug and superior, feeling restless and agitated. In the back of my mind I know whats coming. Mixed feelings of dread, anticipation, anger, and acquiescence.

9:30PM - Close book, wander into kitchen to peruse contents of cabinets - Pretzels, oatmeal, canned tomatoes, black beans, Kashi bars? No. Staring blankly into the fridge, hmmmm cheese, cold cuts, olives, bread? Cheese toast! Pull half the items out. Stop, throw them all back in, take a deep breath, close the door and give myself a firm but kind pep talk about not being hungry, emotional eating, blah blah blah. Sent myself outside to get some air.

9:44PM - Back inside. Freaked myself out listening to random feral kitties make axe murderer noises in my backyard.

9:45PM - Walk past fridge, open it, close it, open it again. Close it again. Shit.

9:50PM - Sit down at the computer to write a blog entry. Perhaps of version of this very blog entry. Blank blog page gives me the finger. Play a game of online scrabble (OK 3 games).

10:50PM - Ass is asleep. Get up and wander around the house. Well, what do you know? I'm back in the freekin' kitchen again, standing in font of the cabinet. All still there. Open fridge. Nope, no changes in there either. *sigh* Give myself a stern "what the hell are you doing?" talking to and head back into the den.

11:00PM - Turn on the TV. Surf through all 77 channels of crap (4 or 5 times).

11:30PM - Ah! SNL. All is well.... until the damned fast food commercial. Are you f*#!ing kidding me!???

11:45PM - Standing in the kitchen again (there's a shock). Open and close both the cabinet and the fridge again (You have to keep an eye on those suckers, don't ya know).

11:50PM - Pick up my knitting in a last ditch effort to keep my hands and my head busy. SNL in the background. *Knit 1 Purl 2 Knit 1 Purl 2 just keep knitting, just keep knitting, knitting knitting...*

1:00AM - Sleep comes at last. This battle won. Countless more to fight.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

A Christmas Ditty

Twas the fortnight before Christmas and all through Home Depot
Not a white light was twinkling,they'd been bought by the people.

I stood there, face hung, in disbelief and despair,
surely just one, one little set was left there.

I'd gotten there early, pulled myself out of bed,
as visions of Christmas lights danced in my head.

So I in my sweat pants and teeth barely brushed,
Just popped down the road to run errands and such.
Now standing in front of displays oh so bare,
"You'll have to drive further", the clerk said with no care.

Away to the suburbs I flew like a flash.
Parked in the nose bleeds, and inside at a dash.
And what to my bloodshot eyes should appear,
No white lights up front. Nay! None in the rear.

As I threw up my hands, ready to leave in a huff
Down the isle a sales rep came shuffling , no rush.
His eyes they were blank and is jaw hung a' slack,
His beer gut jiggled when I asked. "Are there some in the back?"

He spoke not a word, just pointed his finger
at the carnival colors of lights left there to linger.
Then scratching his ass and cocking his head
He left me there, standing alone, seeing red.

I sighed as I purchased what little was left,
Then hiked back to my car,drove home sad and bereft.

But as I strung all those lights I saw something wonderous and new.
Merry Christmas to all-
My tree's balls have turned blue!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

It's called a list, Dear.

The encroaching holiday season is kicking into high gear, and so are my ADD tendencies. Evidently I‘m not the only one who’s feeling the burn either; my father said these exact words to me last night on the phone.
“I think I have a mental illness – I have all this shit piling up on my desk at the office, and I can’t focus on any of it. All I can think about is that Pink Floyd line ‘there’s someone in my head, but it’s not me.’”

You just gotta love Ol’ Bill.

I know how he feels though, I’m scattered to the four winds these days and it’s wrecking havoc on my diet skilz (and for the record, they aren't that great to begin with). So, I took a moment today during my lunch hour to calm my ass down, breathe a deep breath and (what else) make a list. I was inspired, of course, by She Who Tap Dances, who made a couple of lists of her own last night. Here's what I came up with to help keep the sanity.
2007 Holiday Season Survival Guide
• Sleep – in bed dearie, every school night by 11. I'm far less likely to eat Satan’s breakfast (a bacon egg and cheese biscuit) if I haven’t overslept.

• Water – 6-8 glasses a day, minimum. Gonna flush my worries down the drain.

• Portion Control – What? You mean ½ bag of Oreos isn’t a serving size? WTF?

• Exercise 3 to 4 times a week – Shit. (Yea, yeah, I know – but I HATE it.)

• No late night snackage – No no no no! Bad Bea! Bad!

• In case of emergency break glass. – Or pop cork. Either way, I know it’s not the most well adjusted way to deal with family/holiday stress, but a girl’s gotta have a secret weapon stashed away somewhere.

As for all the other holiday lists? I will write them, post them on the fridge, and ultimately ignore them. Let's hope this first one sticks.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Whine and Cheese

I read an interesting article over at (working real hard!) about venting and/or complaining continually about things you find unacceptable. Whether it be work, a troublesome friend or spouse, or *cough* weight, this article has some thought provoking ideas.

Basically it said that contrary to popular belief, venting about a situation is not as healthy as one might think. It basically allows you to release just enough emotional pressure to keep you in whatever situation is causing you stress, but does not actually effect change.

Wow. Kind of a simplistic concept, but it makes some sense, and I’ve honestly never thought about it that way. I feel like I do nothing these days except complain about what’s not right in my life, particularly my weight. Is this constant release of “steam” keeping me just comfortable enough to keep things status quo? Not that I would call my weight comfortable, but it’s safe.

This article challenges the reader to go on a “venting fast” for a predetermined amount of time, and see if that energy can be channeled and used the impetus for personal growth and change. There are rules, of course, and evidently a step not to be taken lightly. The article warns of the possibility for all that unreleased steam to expand and eventually explode. Who knows who could get wiped out in the storm? The rules involve a lot of journaling (hmmm, would blog entries count?), and finding at least one productive way to overcome whatever that day’s frustration was.

This all got me thinking about what I’ve been doing about my weight and my life for the past, oh I don’t know, DECADE or so, and the sad answer to that is – nothing. But man do I complain about it. A lot. It’s almost embarrassing. I’ve been whining about my job, my weight, my status as a singleton, my house, my parents, and my oh my how I do go on. And nothing has changed, in fact, in a few areas, things have gotten alarmingly worse.

Serious food for thought, and not a moment too soon, as today’s blog was going to be yet another spectacular whine about this weekend’s binges and the feelings of guilt and self loathing it produced. Perhaps it’s time for a paradigm shift.

If you want to read the entire article you can, here.

Monday, December 3, 2007

The Golden Road to Unlimited Devotion

Saturday morning, at the butt crack of dawn, my two best friends and I took a mini road trip to mecca. Well, our personal mecca, anyway. Moore County. Home to some of the most talented, time honored potters on the planet. I've been collecting pottery from that area, for about 10 years, I caught the bug from my father, who can take collecting things (anythings) to a compulsive level that is truly impressive, if not a little frightening.

Anyhow, She Who Tap dances, ever the historian, gives a really good overview of the history of the area in her post today, so you should go check it out(along with some illustrative tid bits for flava). Me, I'm just there for the pretty pots. Though, to be honest, in order to make informed choices, you have to know your stuff, and should have done at least a little research. Regardless, it's a wonderful way to spend a day, and I even managed to get a little Santa business out of the way.

Our first stop of the day was here. Jugtown. It was kiln opening day, so even though we got there a mere 13 minutes after the place opened (Ms Q needed a biscuit some kine'a awful),it was packed, and people were staking their claims with a ferocity that would shock you. There was literally a man standing in the corner of the shop with about half a dozen items behind him, and he would NOT let anyone near that corner shelf. This is serious stuff people!

The beauty of Jugtown is that you are free to wander around and take in your surroundings, to really get up close and personal to the workings of the place. Below are a few shots I took while wandering around.(Don't ya'll just want to hop in a car and go!?).

Wood Fired Kiln

Unfinished Bisque

Another Jugtown view

And then it was time to move on. Cold, and ready to depart, my two compadres suffer one more picture.

Carpe Pottery!

We spent the rest of the day puttering around Seagrove, and the surrounding area. We got lost a couple of times (as all good road trippers should), but still managed to find our way to one or two other places.

And these? Well these I just thought were funny.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Mental Health Days

The alarm went off at it's usual time. 6am. It should be outlawed, nobody should have to get up at that hour. Ever. Normally I hit the snooze button about 46 times until I absolutely have to get out of bed and face the day. Today I staged a small coup. I turned the alarm off, reached for my phone and left my regrets on my boss's voice mail. And I was FREEEEEEEE!!!!!!!

Part of the reason for not going today, was the ginormous pot luck breakfast that was scheduled for today. Not only did I not make the banana bread I had said I would, but I just wasn't feeling strong enough to withstand the abuse my diet would take when faced with the long-ass buffet line loaded with all that bacon-donut-grits-sausage-muffin-yumminess. I have been struggling this week with starting a diet(no- a healthy eating lifestyle change)and did not want to go into the weekend with that on my ever widening butt.

The next call of the Friday morning coup was to buzz She who Tap dances and corrupt her. Let's just say - Mission Accomplished.

Let's recap the day, shall we?

There was the pre battle coffee klatch,where there was much merry making and gossip flinging. Then off we went to explore the new shopping opportunities in our little town. I'm sad to say the opportunities were plentiful, and my credit card is feeling the burn. Bad news for the diet though - who knew there was a brand new chocolatier in town.. who makes their own chocolate...and has a little coffee house on the side....oh the humanity!

I believe the frivolity will carry over into evening, with adult beverages, and if I can convince everyone a John Cusak movie. (Gawd I love that man!)

All in all a good mental health day, much needed, and well spent (just ask my credit card!). I highly recommend them to charge a worn down spirit.

Being bad feels pretty good!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

True Story

When I was just about 4 years old, my parents and I were living in student housing while my father completed his doctoral degree here. During that time my mother substitute taught while finishing her teaching degree.

At times, my care fell to Lucy, a wizened southern black woman whom my parents met while commissioning her husband to build a trestle table for our kitchen. (I still have a warm fuzzy for that long, darkly stained hunk of a table that was still in our house long after I left for college).

Evidently Lucy and her husband took a shine to the very young,student poor hippie couple and their precocious child who liked to sing at the top of her lungs to anyone who'd listen, and Lucy would offer babysitting services on afternoons my mother had to be at school. On those days, she would also clean while she watched her "stories". Id sit at that table and color, listening to Lucy talk back to the TV as she shuffled around the kitchen.

One afternoon Lucy was cleaning the kitchen floor, the smell of Ajax permeating the whole house (that smell, 36 years later, forcibly reminds me of that day),when she opened the screened door and just stood there leaning heavily on her dust mop. Being the helpful child I was, thought she was tired, and needed help shaking out the mop, so I walked over to help her.

"I don't need help child, Lucy just needs to catch her breath"

Those were the last words she spoke. She stumbled back into the kitchen and promptly passed out, falling into my little red rocking chair. I remember being very concerned for my little red rocking chair, as it was not meant for grownups to take naps in.

"Lucy, Lucy, ummm.. I'm going to go take a walk now" I think on some level I knew something was wrong, but as a 4 year old did not quite understand what that "wrong" could be. In my head, she had simply fallen asleep. And In MY red rocking chair.

I wanted my dad to come and wake Lucy up, but he was at the Lab working. The Lab was down the path, across the main highway, and in one of those big red brick buildings.But which one? So, I toddled myself up to the big road and stopped. I had been told in no uncertain terms that I was NEVER EVER to cross that road without an adult. NEVER NEVER NEVER!!!! SO, I did the next best thing. Yelled.


I'm not sure how long I stood there yelling across the street at the facades of those buildings. I remember being kind of amused at the way my voice echoed off of them. Luckily our next door neighbor and class mate of my father's was home for lunch and heard me yelling.

"What's wrong Chanda?"
"Lucy fell asleep in my rocking chair and won't wake up" (again with the rocking chair).

He stood there for a moment, probably trying to process what this kid just said then sprinted back toward the house.

Lucy had died of a massive stroke - instantly.

My mother sat on the edge of my bed that night to talk to me about what had happened. She was convinced I would be traumatized, permanently scarred by what I had seen.

"Is Lucy coming over again tomorrow?"
"No, Honey, she died today"
"Where did she go?"
"Heaven" (as all good Irish Catholic moms would say).
"Is she coming back?"
"No, but she's happy where she is"
"Oh... Okay"

Early childhood memories before the age of 4 are spotty at best, but that one stands out in extreme clarity, and one would think it would be a traumatic one. But it wasn't. Not once do I remember being scared or anxious, even after I had learned of her death. I don't know what that says about me, or it may just be that's how little kids process the abstract concept of death.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Neurosis, thy name is Bea.

Historically speaking, my weight has been a bone of contention in my family since I started sprouting breasts. I wasn't overweight at that point but that changed over time. There have been lectures, ultimatums, pleading, bargaining, bribes, and threats. Each round left me feeling emotionally wrecked. I took their concern and worry and interpreted it as judgement and conditional love. I looked for comfort and control in food. DUH! I was a teenager, teenagers do the exact opposite of what their parents want. So, eating was like flipping my parents a tasty bird.

So,when two days after Thanksgiving,your mother starts a conversation with "I'm only going to bring this up once, and then I'll never speak of it again, but I want you to listen"...RUN!Or at least grab a bottle of wine,because you're going to need it.

In a nut shell- she wants me to consider "that lap band operation" because she doesn't think anything else will work, "you've tried everything", and she thinks I'm ignoring the problem....[blink].... [blink] WTF???

My knee jerk reaction was to get angry, hurt, and revert back to my not so healthy habit of flipping the bird. But I'm an adult now, sort of(there was an unfortunate incident with a bacon egg and cheese biscuit this morning), and can recognize that my mother is truly worried about my health, happiness, and general well being. She is handling it the only way any good Irish/Italian mother would - worry, research, then tell you what you should do(oh, and don't think she didn't through in a little guilt- she's a professional!).

So, back to going under the knife. How do I feel about going under the knife? I don't know, seems a little drastic to me, and kind of like using a band aid to cover a gun shot wound. If you take away the physical ability to binge eat, or over eat, or eat period ,really, what happens with the underlying bag of crap that got you here in the first place? Does that go away? I don't think so. How is that little ol bugaboo going to resurface? With an even more destructive compulsion? Therapy, yes, that would have to come with it, but that takes time. You've ripped away all your coping mechanisms (as unhealthy as they were), without giving yourself time to safeguard yourself with new ones. I don't know, that scares the shit out of me.

And maybe this is all one big rationalization because I don't want to entirely give up my security blanket.

Fuck! I want to be able to do this on my own, without invasive surgery, without obsessing over every bite of food I put in my freekin' mouth! This is really starting to PISS ME OFF!!!! Why is this so god damned hard for me! What if I can't do this? What then???? Christ, maybe I do need therapy.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The Bright Side

It's the day before Thanksgiving, and as I read through my past blog entries I can't help but feel like they focus on more of the negative side of things. I'm okay with that, it's what I needed to say at the time. But, given the time of season, I thought it would be a pleasant change to focus on a few good things in life. Things I am profoundly grateful for:

Health - I am a healthy person. I have all my teeth, and I can walk, talk, laugh and love unfettered by injury or disease.

Hearth - I have a home, and all the comforts there in. Heat, water, food, and a couple of furry critters to keep my feet warm during cold winter nights. There are many, too many people out there with no home, no safe haven to retreat to at the end of the day, who will go hungry tonight, and every night for their foreseeable future. This is usually the time of year people focus on being generous to those who go without, but once the season passes, that focus blurs and fades until next season. I am guilty of this myself. I now challenge myself to not take what I have for granted, and to find ways to give of myself through out the coming year. Care to take that challenge with me?

Family - As much as my family can drive me bat shit, I'm thankful that I have them. We may be spread out up and down the East Coast, and across the country, but we are all connected by love and history. We always find time to gather during the year,and during those times we are kind and supportive of each other's endeavors (though my father's support sometimes feels like lecturing, Ol' Bill means well). We've also welcomed a new member of the clan this year. Welcome to the family, Breck!

Friends - I'm not even sure I have the words sufficient enough to express myself fully - I have been lucky enough to find a second family in the friends I have. I can honestly say I would be lost without them. They are the people I turn to for strength when I have none. They are the people I can be my true self with, and never feel judged or censured. They are the people I can be silly with and laugh with until I literally pee my pants( You haven't heard a joke until it's told by Ms. Q - she even cracks herself up.) I am grateful for each and every one of you.

Ok.. so there it is. Happy Thanksgiving to everyone out there in the blogosphere (Hi Flutter!)If you like, Id love to hear what ya'll are thankful for this season.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Time Waster Tuesday

Yeah Yeah Yeah, I'm lame, but the creative juices have dried up like dog poo on the sidewalk. So, in place of a post of any substance I thought Id share with you what Ive been wasting my time with today. Surfing the web and avoiding the tedious - any idiot with a calculator could do it pile of crap on my desk(Ahhhh that's a college education well spent).

I found this site totally devoted to things people overhear in the office, or on the street, or anywhere you hear random weirdness. Damn! Why didn't I think of that. She who tap dances and I are always sitting in restaurants trying to listen in on other people's conversations. Is that wrong?

Overheard in the Office.

Worker girl: I have to clean my room when I get home tonight. Clothing is everywhere.
Worker guy: Why? Are you having someone come over?
Worker girl: Not planning on it, but you never know.
Worker guy: Why the hell do you bother picking up clothing? Maybe if it were actually filthy... But if you're going to let a guy look at your vagina, he should be willing to deal with a shirt on your floor.

McLean, Virginia

Overheard by: Well He's Right

Monday, November 19, 2007

Garden State

I watched Garden State last night for the umpteen millionth time, and if you haven't already seen it, go watch it. Seriously. Tonight, go watch it. It has to be one of the best movies ever made. It stars, and was written and directed by Zach Braff. Natalie Portman stars in it as well, and she her usual brilliant self. Even if you never see the movie(which would be a bad bad idea), the soundtrack is amazing. The Shins, Paul Simon, Nick Drake, Coldplay, come on- it just doesn't get any better than that.

Andrew Largeman returns to his home town in New Jersey to attend his mother's funeral, he hasn't been back in nine years, and he hasn't been without heavy medication since he was a child. He chooses this week to stop taking all his medication as he is beginning to suspect he's missing something.

Anyway, without giving away anymore of the plot,the movie is all about waking up. Waking up and experiencing your entire life, and all it entails; all its beauty, and all its pain without apology.

It's an idea I find myself knocking around a lot lately - to shrug off whatever insular cloak one wraps around oneself, and really live, feel, and experience life with clarity(and hopefully with more than just a little kindness and insight). By doing so you open yourself up to the possibility of love, in all its beautifully flawed and dysfunctional guises.

I like that idea.

Good luck exploring the infinite abyss!.

Friday, November 16, 2007

You always remember your first.

She who tap dances was tagged by the lovely Flutter for the 7 random things about you meme, and she in turn has tagged me. My first meme(does it make me a dork if Im kind of cheesed about it? Probably, but Im OK with that.) First things first - the rules:
* Link to your tagger and post the rules.
* Share seven facts about yourself, some random, some weird.
* Tag seven people at the end of the post and list their names there. - Uh Houston, we have a problem. The only two blogger I know are Flutter and Ms. B. Can you tag someone you read all the time but don't know? That can't be considered good manners. Any suggestions?
* Let those you've tagged know by leaving comments on their blogs.

Ok, here goes nothing.
1) I love road trips. I love picking the destination, loading up the car, pulling out the map and watching the scenery change from place to place. Ms. B is usually the co-pilot, as she is usually who I road trip with. It is the co-pilot's job to man the cooler, pick the music and read the map. Oh, and take Rain Man-esque pictures out the window as we drive.

2) I am a spectacular slob. My cleaning style revolves around letting things go for so long the health department shows up, then spending eight hours on a saturday cleaning and blaring the stereo as loud as it can go. Don't ya know the neighbors just love me.

3) I hate yard work and do-it-yourself home improvement with a passion. So, of course I bought a 65 year old fixer upper on half an acre of land.... cuz Im smart that way.

4)One semester in college I withdrew early, took the tuition money and wandered up and down the east coast going to Dead shows. My parents still don't know. I really hope they don't find this blog! Id be SO grounded.

5)I have never and will never be able to spell. I like to call it creative spelling. All I can say is spell check is a beautiful thing.

6) I am God(dess) mother and guardian to The Professor and The Bohemian I love them like they were my own and occasionally spoil them like they're not.

7) I can never ever find my phone. Ever. My cell is the only phone I use, and Im usually running around the house trying to figure out where I left it,or digging around in the pit of despair I like to call a purse, all before the pretty song ends. And, as a matter of course, if I can find it, I can't talk long because Ive forgotten to charge the damn thing and it dies mid conversation.

Ok.. there they are, seven random facts about moi. Since I know no one to tag, feel free to tag someone you know. You can always blame it on the new girl.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Trifecta of Crap

- Getting on the scales this morning - nothing has changed. Realize I haven't really worked that hard on "dieting" so all the workouts in hell have been for naught. Neat.

- Driving to work in wicked bad traffic amidst the SUV zombies yapping on their cell phones and doing their make-up (sometimes both. I kid you not!). Obsessing about what the scales didn't show, feeling ugly, resentful, mean and spectacularly sorry for myself.

- Sitting at my desk this morning just trying to deal when all four of the mysoginistic, neanderthal men I work with get up en mass and oogle out the window at some poor woman walking to her car. They procede to snort and gafaw about how "thick" she is. That "yeah, her legs are thin enough, but then she gets really big". They laugh as she gets in the car and the car shifts with her. I sat there mute, mortified, blinking back tears of shame, embarassment and anger. Hello! Im right here, your "thick" co-worker - mother fuckers!

As I stuffed my ear buds in and turned up the music to try to tune them out I my anger turned inward.
Me - you should say something, stand up for her, for yourself!
Myself - but Im all alone, they're going to turn on me.
Me - Coward!

I feel like a booger dangling from the nose hairs of life..... GAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

I Got the Music in Me

Music has always been present in my life. My first memories are of the student housing where I spent my first 5 years as my father completed his PhD filled with music by The Beatles, Janis Joplin, Jimmy Hendrix, The Grateful Dead and Bob Dylan. There were always people around with guitars or small hand held drums (it was the 60's after all).

Once,my parents went to a production of Jesus Christ Superstar in Boston, and brought back the soundtrack. Much to the bemusement of my mother, I appropriated that album and played it. To death. I knew every word. And would sing it,loudly,in various public places. Little did my 5 year old self realize "The King of the Juice" was not who they were singing about. Go figure, the son of God was not the Hey Kool-aid guy.

High school in the early 80's in a rural Virginia county was a dark time for the musically adventurous(it wasn't even a town,just a county with a lot of 4 wheel drive trucks). If I had to hear Hungry Like the Wolf one more time, and watch my friends dye their bangs blond and don headbands for one more minute I was going to scream. So I held my breath until college. Thank god for college radio! The promised land, and not a head band for miles. There I was introduced to music I had never heard before- Kate Bush, The Talking Heads, REM, Siouxie and the Banshees, and The Cure.

Where is this digression leading? Where else, to my iPod. I was setting up some play lists to get my ass moving when I visit my own personal level of hell I like to call The Gym. And Satan's implement of torture du jour? The elliptical cross trainer. Sounds kind of poetic doesn't it? Well it's not - it's 30 minutes of butt burning, calf cramping, oh my god is that my lung collapsing fun. I need my tunes to distract me from the encroaching coronary and the Access Hollywood crap they show on giant screened TVs. Seriously, do you really need to see a life size David Hasselhoff barfing a cheeseburger 27 times in 15 minutes? In slow motion? I think not,but again, I digress.

Where was I? Oh yes,music. Music is inspiration, whether it be to move, laugh, cry,create or love(ahem Marvin Gaye), it inspires. So,if you're still reading, Id love to hear what you listen to for inspiration. What music moves you?

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Black wind Blowing.

Yesterday I was restless. All day long pacing around my house pretending to clean, but never focusing on any one task long enough to do anything other than leave finger traced notes across my piano. Dust Me.

It felt like those energized moments right before a big storm. Everything is still, but you can feel the atmosphere building pressure.

A drawing of breath before a primal scream.

I imagine how an alcoholic must feel when faced with giving up booze. To have to give up something used to comfort, and to numb. The idea of letting go, of living my life, feeling my emotions, no longer diluted by the protective haze of food fills me with a nauseating dread that boarders on panic. Oh, wait - that is panic.

The actual paradigm shift I have to make to be able to do this has to happen now. If I don't do this now nothing will change and I will never....anything. I will be stuck in this dusty cage of my own making. Bring on the storm.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

When in doubt, post a poem.

I've been wracking my feeble brains all day to try to come up with a post worth reading. I'm sad to say I have absolutely nothing of interest to say. I feel sort of empty. Perhaps it's yesterday's soul sucking that's catching up to me, and today was more of the same. It could be that it's cold, and dark, and all I want to do is curl up in a comfy chair with a good book and cup of tea. It is time to hibernate after all... but I digress.

Instead of a post of my own, I want to share a favorite poem of mine. I hope you enjoy it.

Overweight Poem
biscuits with honey running down into the deep crevices
thick dark bread cut into fresh chunks and butter waving over the terrain,
red berries and yellow cream

am I thinking of these things
or you?

Love fills my body,
all the crevices
for the first time. and I feel
like the September limbs of an apple tree.

Feel opulent

and don't like this opulence.

Coming from a man who knows less than I,
one who, like my father, talks big
and goes away;
one who, like my father, loves deep, a lot,
and goes away/has many others.
And I want it all.
A man who is everything.
Everything I can find in the refrigerator,
or the fruit bin, or the oven, or the larder, or the cupboard,
everything in the silverware chest, the freezing
I want him to be handsome and brilliant and
making a mark on the world, rich, responsible,
older. Someone to rescue me.

The British Museum, perhaps.
Something that will last well.
My favorite foods do not keep well;
must be gotten fresh each week.

I never know how far
for the sake of wisdom
to carry a metaphor.

Diane Wakoski(1965)

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Calgon take me away.

Today was a long, tedious, soul sucking day, as only a Wednesday can be. But rather than whine my way down the page and bore you with the details, I'm going to share some of my favorite places in the world, and regenerate a little.

This is my paternal grandparent's house up in New England. I went up to visit this summer to reconnect with Grammy and Grampy, as I haven't seen them in several years. It was like being a little kid again; even though I'm 40 years old, they spoiled me like I was four. It was wonderful being in that house again, the smells of my grandmother's kitchen always invoke feelings of home. While I was there we had amazing conversations about family I never knew. For instance, I found out my great grandfather kept a giant still in his basement during prohibition and made "TNT" (hard cider distilled down into harder liquor),which he took with him to sell when he went on business trips for his company.

While I was in New England I also had the chance to visit my other grandfather in Gloucester. Again, I have amazing memories of summers up there, going out on Papa's boat, eating steamers (steamed clams dipped in butter),playing crazy eights with my grandmother while watching Johny Carson (oh the illicit thrill of staying up that late!) and swimming in the frigid northern Atlantic. Gloucester is the oldest working fishing port on the east coast, you can walk along the harbor and take in the fantastic views.

Moving on down the east coast, to my own beloved Outer Banks, where every September my best friends and I make the trek out to Corolla, where the horses roam, and the 4 wheel drive is the only way down the beach. This is truly a restorative week. We completely unplug and play cards, work puzzles, and drink ice cold glass bottle cokes on the beach as we watch the kiddies try to drown themselves in the waves.Oh, and did I forget to mention the cocktails? Silly me.

Last but not least, there is Anguilla - a small island in the Caribbean that my parents, in an unprecedented show of love and generosity, decided to take my brother, my sister in law, and myself for a week of lounging by the ocean and rum drinks a couple of years ago. They go every January for three weeks(don't ya just hate them?) with friends of theirs that they have known since they were all in college together. Well, as luck would have it, I get to go again this January (thank you mom and dad!).

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Diet is a Four Letter Word

I have been on some sort of diet since I was 14. More to the point, I have been not sticking to one diet or another since I was 14.

The first one was the Scarsdale Diet. Does anyone remember that one? You basically starve yourself on 1000 calories a day but still can't bring yourself to choke down your yummy nekkid tuna and Melba toast lunch. Imagine what that does to teenager's metabolism.

The others that followed were all variations of counting calories, or food combinations, or pills and powders. All of them worked for a short period of time, then didn't, because quite frankly who could last under all that pressure. Now we have things like Adkins. Hello!? What did fruits and veggies ever do to this guy? And Weight Watchers which, to be fair, is at least sensible, but Ive been through those doors at least 4 times in the last 4 years with varied success and if I have to count or weigh or measure one more thing I will go barking mad. Besides,their fascination with fat free dairy (which tastes like dammit), and artificial sweeteners (which literally rot your brain),has me more that a little disenchanted.

I'm not knocking any of these diets, if that's what works for you, but for me, the moment someone tells me what to eat, what not to eat, or how to eat, I immediately revert back to that 14 year old girl who was continually straining against a father who used food to both nurture and control, and a mother who, I now suspect, had her own issues with body image and food.

So here I sit, trying to figure out what is going to work for me once and for all, and quite frankly I am at a loss. Though I can pretty much asume that last night's Leftover Halloween Candy Masacree(complete with three part harmony)is not the way to go, but that's a post for another time. All I can think to do is get off my ass and exercise(yuck),eat as healthy as possible, stay as sane as possible, and as for the rest, well, that remains to be seen.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Little Miss Chicken Little

I've wanted to start a blog for some time now, ruminating over it for so long my best friendThe Tapdancing Ms. B started one with me as a show of support. She managed to get hers up and running a full month before I got around to mine.

One could infer that I'm a horrible procrastinator(and one would be correct!), but I think there was more to my reticence than just being lazy(and again, I am that too).

The nano-second I posted my first blog entry I immediately wanted to take it down. I was overwhelmed with insecurity. Is it too personal? Is it too melodramatic? Will people think it's stupid? Is my writing so horrible that the blog police will knock on my door in the middle of the night to arrest me and steal the letters from my keyboard? Will people like it? Like me? And then it hit me.

I'm a big chicken shit-no really, I am. I have realized that I let fear run a big portion of my life. I'm neurotically afraid of what people will think(and god forbid someone actually confronted me), so I stay quiet. Afraid of failing, so I attempt nothing. Afraid no one will love me for who I am, so I make sure I find every fault with them and reject them first.

Ms.B is forever teasing me about how I'm always shushing her in public, and its true, I do. I'm so worried about drawing attention to myself that I try to make her tone down her amazingly warm- draw-you-in personality. She really should just smack me up side the head and tell me to get over it. But, as she knows me well, she knows I'm channeling my mother and can't help myself. So, she humors me(with the understanding that she can, and will give me large rafts of poo about it later). It's ironic, really, since it was her dynamic personality that compelled me to tap her on the shoulder 20 years ago in a poetry writing class, and ask her to work on a project our professor had assigned. She turned me down, but we started chatting as we walked across campus, and we've been friends ever since.

Back to this blog thang. It may not always be funny, or insightful, - hell, it may not even be coherent at times, but its mine. It's me, in all my scatter brained glory. So, in the spirit of self empowerment and not giving a flying hoo-ha what people think, I'm not going to hit that big red delete button just yet. Judge me, don't judge me - I'll try not to care.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Jumping In

I turned 40 this year.
Holy crap!
How did I get here? I look in the mirror and see an overweight single woman who has no idea who she is. I don’t feel like I’ve grown into the person I am supposed to be. Way back when there was this amazing person to nurture, and bring to her fullest potential, but the small, dark hearted side of me locked her away, and whispered damaging untruths, until she believed, then finally became the damaged goods I see in the mirror every morning. But I don’t want to dwell on that. Aside from being overly dramatic, my penchant for dwelling on the negative; on what I’m not, rather than what I am, on what I don’t have, rather than on what I do has been a large contributor to my current existential crisis.

What I want to focus on now (and the impetus behind baring my soul to the blogosphere - lucky you!) is how to unlock that metaphorical door, and let my true self out ('cuz damn, she really has to pee). I want to get to know her, become that person I denied myself access to so long ago. I suspect she’s a pretty cool chick. I want to unite what I see as my fractured physical, emotional, and spiritual selves into one well adjusted, happy, thinner me.

Pretty sentiment, yes,but how do I do that?

I’ve been thinking a lot about that lately ,and what I keep coming back to is writing. Honest- no holds barred- writing. It’s all up for grabs; my past, my present, my future, whether it be painful, embarrassing, or funny, I want to put it out there to try to understand who I am, and change myself for the better. Writing is also a great creative outlet, and anyone who knows me, knows I’m always whining about wanting to be more creative. So here I am, not whining (much), writing.

So, welcome to my little corner of the Internet, here’s to belly flopping into the deep end of the pool. Come on in, the water’s fine.