Friday, April 27, 2012

Rancid Walrus Balls

My schedule takes a lot of out of me. So does getting older.

Being over 40 sucks rancid walrus balls.

It also means gaining weight even though you're not eating more than normal. Along with the mystery aches, menopause, and frequent bad hair days, it's like your body is playing a cruel joke on you.

A while back, I tried the Special K diet and failed. The shakes and bars were okay, but I was always hungry. I think this diet is for people who don't actually get fat. Stick people who whine about losing five pounds left over from their last period.

As for Alli... well, do I have to say it? Anal leakage. Involuntary butt grease pushes the limit of what I'll do to lose weight.

I've tried most of the sweet, fruity, carbtastic, meal replacement diets. They all left me with no energy and an unbelievable craving for steak. Even if I didn't have the cravings, my blood sugar crashed by 1pm, and I was face down on my keyboard.

I remember the days of Dexatrim back in the 1980's. One of the benefits of old school diet pills was the ephedra kept you awake and moving. I miss that.

So I've been doing the low-carb thing again. Specifically, The Atkins.

This isn't the first time for me, and I could never stick with it because a) I couldn't part with my five cups of coffee, or b) my evening glass of wine. Besides, I was painfully carbohydrate and sugar addicted. Usually by the third day I wanted to sell my ovaries for a slice of bread.

But......and this is a big BUT (ha!): After a few weeks, I always felt great. Seriously, I felt AWESOME. Tons of energy. Unfortunately, I never lost more than a few pounds, which was discouraging since everybody loses something like ten pounds in the first week. So I gave up.

Anyway, I felt like shit six out of seven days (Doc's run all the blood tests, and still insists I don't have a thyroid issue. I think he's lying, but whatevs). So last January, I made the decision to go low carb again. I figured I can continue to feel fat and crappy, or I could just feel fat without the crappy.

So I opted for feeling better, and maybe if I'm lucky I'll lose some weight too. Within six months, I'd lost around 20 pounds. Well, I'm assuming 20 pounds because I was fitting into clothes from 20 pounds ago. I refused to monitor my weight by anything other than how my clothes fit. Scales are depressing.

Anyway, for some reason, this time around I had no adverse effects during the induction period. I wasn't craving carbs, and I didn't get the “Atkins Flu” that occurs when you're body switches over from carb burning to fat-burning.

The Atkins website was revamped since the last time I used it, and there's great recipes, info and support. Sure, they're going to try to sell you some bars and shakes (which are pretty decent, by the way), but there's a lot of good info out there. It also helped that I read the revised book which explains the diet in a more condensed manner.

My only problem: Thanksgiving and Christmas 2011. I relented, and went off the diet in order to enjoy the holidays. I didn't go crazy, but in that short time I put some weight back on. I'm still in my 20-pounds-ago pants, but they're tight. I popped a button the other day and it made me sad.

I also felt like crap. That should have told me something was wrong. Seriously, achy, tired, crabby – just awful. You actually CAN have a hangover from carbohydrates.

So yeah. I'm back on the low carb and it's taken me months to get back to feeling better again.

Lesson learned. I'll come up with a better game plan for enjoying the holidays next year.


Monday, April 23, 2012

Those Old Movies In My Head

When I think of my childhood, I swear all that stuff happened to someone else.

I call up those cringe-worthy memories from elementary and junior high school, and even though I feel a pang of “what the hell was I thinking...?” it still feels like it happened to someone else. Like recalling a movie watched years ago.

The only explanation I can come up with is Time x Transformation. Most of these memories take place so long ago, I'm simply not the same person I was then. 

All through elementary school I was the super quiet kid. When I tried to open my mouth, I usually stuck my foot in it. One time, my parents came back from parent-teacher night telling me my Science teacher wants me to participate more. As in, raise my hand and answer questions. This was something I avoided because.... WHAT IF I WAS WRONG!?

The horror.

Anyways, I tried. We were studying earth (dirt, not the planet), and I recall the subject was something about soil, humus and other organic matter (this was the 1970's so it was all hippy-dippy Save The Planet stuff. Kinda like today, but with bell-bottoms and dirty hippies. Also, humus not hummus. Hummus is that tasty, tasty chickpea mash. Humus is dirt.)

So the teacher asked some question about types of organic matter. She got the usual textbook answers fed back to her, but there was one answer nobody else though of: peat. So me, thinking I'm all clever, raised my hand and answered, “PEAT”.

Yay me, right?

Except it didn't go down that way. See, I was the quiet kid, remember? So I didn’t speak very loudly OR clearly. Thus, everyone in the classroom thought I said, “PEE”.

I assume the combination of shock that the quiet kid actually said something, combined with what they thought I said, caused a general meltdown in the classroom. I don't think the laughing stopped for fifteen minutes. It felt like days.

Junior high school was slightly better, but one special incident stands out. My English teacher had a bro-mance with the Math teacher (I often wonder about those two now...) and they loved to play jokes on each other. So one day, my English teacher Mr. Bevans got bored during a reading assignment, and in order to entertain himself, decided to be a dick.

He had one of those pointer thingies – it was a thin stick about two feet long, with a rubber tip on one end (ahem), and a screw for hanging it up on the other (ahem).

So Bevans told me to take his “new” pointer over to the Math teacher, Mr. Murray, apparently to show him what a freakin awesome stick he had. Whatever.

So I went to Mr. Murray's room and showed him the pointer.

“Why?” asked Mr. Murray.

“No idea.” I said. It's their stupid game - he could fill in the blanks himself.

With that, Murray snapped the rubber tip off the pointer, removed the screw from the other end, and handed it back to me. Then he told me to leave.

I got back to Bevans' room, handed him the pointer and told him what Murray did. Bevans got angry (or pretended to be), and told me to go back to Murray and get the pieces back, OR ELSE.

I was all of twelve years old at the time, and completely clueless. I should've told both of them to suck it, then gone to the principal's office and explain how these two douchenuggets use their class time.

But no. Only the bad kids talked back to their teachers, right?

I went back. And yeah, Murray refused to give the pieces back, and kicked me out of his classroom again. I seem to recall the bell rang for the next class period, and that's how I got away.

My friends told me later that Bevans was cackling to himself that I was “so meek and mild” that it was entertaining to watch me squirm.

By the time high school came along I managed to creatively dodge this type of bullshit, and on a few occasions stand up for myself. In college it got better. After that was a series of my first real jobs, in my twenties.

One of those jobs was a rep at a bank, where I had to explain lending documents to customers all day long. This was an exercise in daily abuse, so I went from quiet to snotty fairly quickly. I would stand up for myself alright, but without the wisdom of knowing when to shut the f@(k up.

But I learned, and I got better at picking my battles.

This was especially useful when one psycho customer threw a chair at me, then said he ought to “punch me in the face” (I'd like to say I was being a bitch at the time, but all I did was walk into the room and introduce myself). This idiot was angry about his closing fees, and so decided to threaten the first bank rep who walked in the room.

I stared at him quietly, giving him just enough time to absorb that fact that he was being a dumbass. Then I decided it wasn't worth the potential bodily harm, and got a bank officer to go talk to him. It was a good decision – the customer ended up leaving in handcuffs.

I think somewhere along the line, events like these changed me. The more experience I got with assholes, the easier it was to stand up for myself. Or it just got easier to be bitchy. Sometimes I can't tell.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

First Spider of Spring 2012

The First Spider of Spring is always the one that scares me out of my skin, because it always shows up somewhere completely unexpected.

Over the years, I've had several memorable ones:

The basement tarantula, whose leg hairs I lightly brushed when I hit the light switch.

Some kind of crab-like spider on the ceiling, directly over my head. Just.....yuck. They lie perfectly flat til you try to squash them, then they become 3-D again and run faster than anything with eight legs should.

This year's was extra special. Apparently this spider was mildly retarded, because it emerged from around the sink, and immediately decided this was the best place to set up camp. It's little spidery brain thought the ceramic dish with a wet sponge was good digs for catching tasty snacks, apparently. It wasn't until Hubby sent it into the afterlife that I realized I should have taken a photo.

So here's my crappy artist's rendering:

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Perry Men 'O Paws

Just when I thought life was going great, Mother Nature had to throw something new into the mix.

Basically, I'm not sleeping well. I wake up every night at 3:30am, boiling hot, soaked in sweat. I throw the blankets off, then an hour later I'm freezing. I'm usually that person who can fall asleep anywhere, even after five cups of coffee. Well, no more. Once 3:30am rolls around, I'm awake staring at the ceiling.

Welcome to The Menopause Years.

So here's warning to my sisters: it started slowly, around age 38. It only happened when Aunt Irma** came to town. Within the last year, it progressed to Every. Single. F@ck1ng. Night. And let me tell you, it gets old really fast. No pun intended.

It's especially fun now when the hot flashes show up during the day. Or better yet, while I'm getting dressed for work. There have been many days where I'm heading off to work in 35 degree weather with no coat trying to prolong the usefulness of my antiperspirant.

My skin dried out, my hair dried out, I've got fuzzy brain syndrome, although that could be due to lack of sleep. Either way, I need to write notes to make sure I brush my teeth and dress myself appropriately.

Diet and exercise are useless now, the weight just doesn't shift. The only diet that actually works for me is Low Carb. But that's another post.

And there's the mystery rash: hives on my hands daily. It doesn't matter if I moisturize, they're always there to make me look like I've got leprosy. Some Googling finds that hives and The Menopause go hand in hand (That pun wasn't intended either).

Topical antihistamine doesn’t work. They show up out of nowhere, stick around for a few hours, then disappear without a trace. Stress and heat makes them worse – I had a “stress incident” a few weeks back, triggered a hot flash, and the hives blew up to epic proportions. My hands looked like purple balloons.

Although it might also be allergy related. I haven't had them since I started Zyrtec-D. It could also be sleep. Oddly, I noticed they're not that bad when I get enough sleep. Lack of sleep might be putting just enough stress on my body to cause the hives. Which just brings me back to the fact that I'm not getting enough sleep, apparently.

The only upside is that Aunt Irma isn't nearly as bad as she used to be, nor does she hang around as long. After tolerating her for 33 years, I'm glad to see the back end of that bitch.

Estroven didn't work, I'm about to try Femestra. What's worse is I can't take hormones since I had a blood clot a million years ago. I think it was during the Jurassic.

Doc says I'm still in the early stages, most of this is what he calls peri-menopause. Not that it makes me feel any better. I still feel like my body is staging a revolt.

I assumed my father was to blame - I usually blame his side of the family for ailments. I'm surprised any of them made it to adulthood with all the disease in that family. I heard that my paternal grandmother had early menopause. Then I find out from my Mom that her mother had a real hard time with it. Double point score! Both sides are cursed.

I try making fun of this, but it's just aggravating. I'm too young to feel this old.

**Aunt Irma is an episode from the TV show The IT Crowd where Jen has her monthly. I was going to embed a video from YouTube about it, but couldn't find one without advertisements, which suck. But, I highly recommend anything IT Crowd, it's worth it. Go to and search on Aunt Irma. It's pretty funny.