Monday, August 27, 2012

16 Years Ago.

Sixteen years ago today my dad's dad died. He had a massive heart attack and was gone before he hit the bedroom floor. He was born in and died in the same house.

Yesterday I took some photographs from my mom's house. Photos of my dad's side of the family. Theoretically, I should give these to my dad, but there are two problems with that: 1. I am not speaking to my father and 2. In all honesty, they will just end up in my hands anyhow after my dad dies. Morbid? Yes. True? Yes.

So these photo...
Images of my dad when he was a baby. Even a few photos of my grandmother pregnant which is something very cool to see. The baby pictures of my dad are nice, but I start to get sad when I see the older pictures of him; the photos when you can start to see the sadness in his eyes. But, that is a story for another blog, or really, a therapy session or three.

My absolute favorite photos are the ones of my grandfather. The ones of him serving in the war. Photos from Paris, images of him in his uniform. This is my favorite picture of him, oddly enough he wrote a little note on the back of this picture to his mother, "I don't like this one much. What do you think?"

He used to tell me stories about the war, censored stories, I'm sure. But I used to love to imagine these places and people. Sadly, I don't really remember any details. I see fleeting visions that I concocted in my mind as he spoke: him sitting in a canoe opening a metal box with cigarettes, ham sandwiches, and m&ms. Now, I am fairly certain that none of those pieces fit together correctly and are just a byproduct of my childhood imagination, but they are there. They are imprinted in my memory and therefore, associated with my grandfather and his kindness.

I also found some postcards from my grandfather to my grandmother:

Hello Honey,
I'm enjoying myself by drinking and thinking of you. I can't wait until we are together and tell you all the things I saw and did. Darling I love you and hope to be with you soon. 
Always your Honey, Joe
P.S. I got some picture made in Paris. They will send them to me in two weeks.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Parenthood: The Shit No One Tells You.

1. When another kid is mean to your kid; not just bratty, but outright, sociopathically cruel to your child. You must fight ever urge not to punch, kick in the face, or gouge out the eyes of the sociopathic child. I never realized it was possible to hate a child. No one tells you... it is possible.

2. You will doubt yourself every day. Every. Single. Day. "Should I have yelled at her for that?" "Maybe it's not really a big deal." Etc.

3. I have screamed curse words at my daughter. The words, "Who the FUCK do you think you are?!" have actually left my lips, and were immediately inserted into my guilt bank. I confess. I have said "fuck" when screaming at my daughter. I dislike myself for it and I hate my lack of self-control, but sometimes, it's better than smacking her across the face when she tells you, "I hate you!" "Shut your mouth!" "Don't you talk to me that way!" I am sad to admit that, but no one else admits it, so I will.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Decisions, decisions.

We are going to redo our bathroom. And our kitchen too! I just need a steady income first, so ya know, whatever year that happens...

In the meantime we are "redoing" our dining room. By that I mean painting, and taking out the IKEA furniture.

So, we want to brighten up the room since it only has one window that really only gets late afternoon sun. I was leaning towards an orange-y color. Then a yellow-y color. Neither of them were very "bright."

Waiting on the verdict of the bright yellow sample I just painted today. I think my favorite is the golden yellow on the left, it's called "Autumnal."
Autumnal/ Fun Yellow/ Copper Harbor
FYI: The room will be the same color above and below the chair rail. (The beige & red are what we are getting rid of!)

The orange, my daughter's favorite is called "Copper Harbor," but on the wall looks more, "Kraft Macaroni & Cheese." The bright yellow, which I know will brighten the room is called "Fun Yellow." It is bright, but I'm not loving it, apparently I'm a much more muted color person.

Fun Yellow/ Copper Harbor/ Autumnal

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Ars Gratia Artis.

I was in a World Literature college course when I first heard the explanation of ars gratia artis. Art for art's sake.

I have been out of college for over a decade and just finally have I been able to apply it to myself. I always have had a need to make things. To create things. I have been very frustrated with the whole task. I think, after years of pondering, that I know the root of my frustration.

My whole life I have been told to try to make money with my talents/skills. That was always, ALWAYS the underlying motivation. And that is shit. Complete and total shit. "Ooh, you could sell that." "Yeah, I'd buy that." That is the problem. I have been making and creating for others. Not for myself. Not to satisfy my inner need to create. When you stop caring what others think, when you stop looking for feedback, that is when you can just exist as an artist. And I feel overly dramatic and lofty to even call myself an artist, but ya know what? Fuck it. I make art. I am an artist.

So, I have been painting, specifically, water color. I have made at least a painting a day for about four days, yesterday I did two. And I'm proud of them. They won't be on museum walls, they won't even be on my walls, but I made them and I love them. And it feels so good to just make art because I want to; because I need to.

I don't know how to express my drive without sounding ridiculous. But this drive, this need has been with me since I was a child. And just now, at age 35 have I finally discovered how to satisfy it. It's silly, really. It's so obvious, but when you're constantly told that something "should" be one way, you don't even think of it any other way. This applies to many of areas of my life. In some areas, I have cracked the code: I no longer blindly follow my religious upbringing, and I am doing my best to eat intuitively. But when it comes to self expression, the most challenging area for me, it is just that; challenging.

I feel like the few times that I have put myself out there with photography, with words, it's often edited; and therefore, false, not completely false, just, shall we say, a mental reservation.

In my water color paintings, there is truth because, while they are simply still life; mostly fruit, today I did a flower, they are truthful because they are how I want them to be, not how I think they should be for acceptance. 

Thursday, July 26, 2012

A Few Non-Related Things.

1. Instagram annoys me. I like the idea of it. What I don't like is how now all of a sudden, everyone is a photographic genius. Not that I am. By any means! But, when I age my photos, I work hard at it. I spend time with it. I work in layers and textures, various gradient maps. Now there's an app for that and I find it annoying.

2. I gave in and purchased the second and third books of The Hunger Games trilogy. Unfortunately, I left the second book at my aunt's shore house. Now I am thoroughly annoyed at myself.

3. In light of #2, I had nothing to read when I took my daughter to our swim club, but I could not swim due to my own personal "red tent" issue. I scanned my bookcase for something to read. I picked up the little book of short stories by Nick Hornby that came with my Ben Folds' CD Lonely Avenue. Nick Hornby is a fantastic writer. Very real, very common man, very enjoyable. I think I will pick up About a Boy since I loved the movie; actually, it's one of my favorites. My theory, I loved the movie, so the book must be amazing! And really, how can you not love this scene!? Seriously. Watch it. Do it right now. You're welcome.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Book Review: The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

I was very hesitant to read this book. It seems like a lot of the super popular books are always a let down. Twilight? Eh. Only read bits of it online and it seemed horrible. I saw the movie. Didn't much care for it. The Sookie Stackhouse series? I read the first two. Read some of the third and just gave up. I felt like I was reading vampire porn written for tweens. Admittedly, I haven't read Fifty Shades of Grey, and I haven't decided if I will or not, but odds are it will get on my nerves based on some thing I've read on the internet.

I don't really know what possessed me to actually purchase this book. I was in Barnes and Noble, buying a couple of other books and some birthday presents for a three year old, and I just thought, "Eh, it's only $8.99." 

I loved this book. Not in a guilty pleasure way, either. Easy to read without being overly simplistic. Very well written and clever, so imaginative. Honestly, I usually dislike futuristic science-fiction type of stories (unless related to time travel.) I loved reading this book and am uncharacteristically looking forward to reading the other books in the trilogy. (I usually dislike series for some reason.)

I am finished all the books I've had lined up, so now I have to find something else to read. I think I'll have fun checking out this site for some good deals.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Book Review: The House of Velvet and Glass

The House of Velvet and Glass by Katherine Howe

Several factors led me to selecting this book:
  1. I really enjoyed Howe's first book, The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane.
  2. It is historical fiction.
  3. The Titanic plays a role.
  4. It is about seeing the future, or scrying.

With all of those things going for it, I am sad to say that I did not love this book. I just didn't. Its start was slow. I think a good amount of pages and superfluous details could have been edited out. The book could easily have been shortened by one hundred pages.

It didn't really pick up for me until the last quarter, things moved quickly then, but still, there were lulls. I also found it to be quite predictable, so that was disappointing too. Overall all, I give it the trendy apathetic, "Meh."

Monday, July 9, 2012

Being a Woman is Fucking Hard

You know you're not supposed to care what other people thing about you. You know it. And sometimes you can apply that knowledge to your life. But sometimes you can't. And those times are rough and fill you with self doubt. And then you get angry because, fuck you, I'm fat. Fucking deal with it.

I do not need canes to maneuver. I can walk up a flight of steps without getting out of breath. I can even buy clothes at Target. Those things considered, it still feels like complete and total shit to discover that you are no longer found attractive. It just flat out hurts.

My dazzling personality, apparently, is no compensation for my extra baggage. In my mind, I'm saying, "Fuck it. Deal with it. Who Cares? I'm worth more than that and you should fucking know that." In my heart, I'm saying, "Ouch."

So, I am embracing my fat even if no one else is. I am not for your viewing pleasure. Don't like how I look? Don't look at me.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Beach Bum.

When I was in about fourth or fifth grade, I read a book about a time traveling brother and sister. I don't remember the details of how they discovered the time travel technique, but it involved staring at a photograph and eventually they were back in the 1950s, when their parents were young.

Ever since reading (and re-reading) that book, I would desperately try to achieve time travel via photograph. Needless to say, that it doesn't work. I wish it did though, I really wish it did.
Joanna Tursi Orfeo, my maternal great grandmother.

Wouldn't you love to sit on the beach with this lady? I mean really! Fully clothed, shoes laced, and not a care in the world. I never met her, but I love her. I think she's the genetic donor of my spontaneity. Ha! I'm so funny.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Book Review: The Red Tent

The Red Tent by Anita Diamant

I wanted to LOOOOVE this book. I really did. I went in with a misguided view of what this books is about. I thought it was all about the "perks" of being a woman: menstruation and childbirth.

I wish I had gone into it knowing that's not all it was about. I wish it wasn't called "the red tent" because it is so much more than that. I feel like the title caused me to be misled.

I had a difficult time getting into this book. I believe this is due to a few factors: 1. I don't like reading books with unusual names, I hate trying to figure out how to pronounce it and my OCD makes me stop and read the name each time it is printed. And then each time I get pissed because I don't know if I'm pronouncing it correctly. (OK, that is my issue only, I realize.) 2. The beginning was full of family lineage and it was annoying me trying to remember who was who and how they are connected, etc. 3. Due to the trouble of the first two issues, I really needed to concentrate on the book and that is near impossible when hearing "Mom! Look!," "Mom! Watch this!"

So, this book took me longer than most to get through. All through the book I kept persevering. I would get caught up in the story, and then get annoyed at the injustices of being a woman and then the awesomeness of being a woman.  And then I'd wonder about the bible story of Dinah. Admittedly, I know nothing of it. (Also, is her name pronounced DEE-nah or DIE-nah?!)

Did I like this book? Yes, but it is not what I thought it would be. I guess I just had a difficult time letting go of my preconceived notions; once I did, I enjoyed it. (As an aside, why can't I just read a book for pleasure, why does everything have to be a problem with me?!)

I was sad when the book, and Dinah's life, ended. I came away with a few thoughts:
  •  No matter the time period, it is difficult to be a woman.
  • I am glad I am not sharing a husband with my sisters.
  • My daughter and I probably would have both died during her birth.
  • Tampons are awesome.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Book Review: Bossypants

I've heard good things about this book. I saw it in paperback. For 20% off. I bought it. I read over two days. It's a super quick read and very entertaining.

I preferred reading about Tina Fey's childhood/teen years as opposed to her adult life on SNL and 30 Rock. To be honest, I sort of skimmed over the 30 Rock stuff, it just wasn't doing anything for me. Tina's writing about her childhood was wonderful. Funny and poignant. For me, one of the funniest sections is when she is referencing Joyce DeWitt from Three's Company. She's commenting how, during the 70s, blonde was "it" and all brunettes had to aspire to was Joyce DeWitt. (Woah! That rhymed.)

“If I ever meet Joyce Dewitt I will first apologize for having immediately punching her in the face and then I will thank her. For a while she looked like a Liza Minnelli doll that had been damaged in a fire, at least she didn’t look like everyone else on TV.” 

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Sketchbook Project

Familiar with the Sketch Book Project? You pay $25, get a sketch book, do what you want with it, send it back, and then it goes on exhibit with other sketch books. A traveling art exhibit. Kinda cool, right? Right.

I have no clue what the "theme" of my book is; hence "Undecided."

I was wracking my brain. Nothing was coming to mind except a project I did as my brief stint as an art education major (this is why time travel is necessary: I could go back, and tell myself to stay in the program; although, I'm sure I would not have listened to myself. ) Anyhow...

The cumulative semester project was to create a book. About anything. Out of anything. I was struggling to come up with a creative idea. I eventually decided on creating a simple book that looked like it was found in the woods somewhere. I imagined it to be an old book of nature prints some young girl created to remember her afternoons in the woods. Yeah, so teenage-ary, I know. BUT...

I decided to create something similar because I still love the idea. And I love the making things look old. I love creating art that's time is questionable. Making new things that look old.

I aged the paper with teabags, water, and fire. Of course my child had to make a big fat mess with teabags and water, but whatever. It kept her busy while I worked.

Removed the staples and cover; soaking in a cake pan with hot water and decaf teabags.

Removed from water; drying.

Sprinkled paper with some brown water color.

Burnt edges.

All dried and aged.

 I've done some watercolor prints on a few pages. (Not yet photographed). I don't love it, but it is what it is. I need to just create and not think.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Book Review: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children

You know how you're not supposed to choose a book based on it's cover? Yeah, I know that is metaphorical for not judging people based on their physical appearance. BUT, it had to come from somewhere, right?

Yeah, well, the only reason I selected this book is because of its cover. It drew me in. Kudos to the person who was in charge of that whole thing.

I went over to see the photograph, picked up the book, scanned the back cover, read the description and then flips through the pages. Holy fuck! I need to get this book. There are old, bizarre photographs throughout the pages. The photos, while some occasionally manipulated, are mostly found photographs (list of the owners/contributors in the back of the book). Seriously, how could I not get it?

It is a quick, easy read, but still very good. I don't want really want to give anything away, but this book has a lot of what I long for when I read these sorts of fantasy stories: mystery, secret places, and time travel. So cool. The book's ending is left open for another tale, and, based on my reading about the book, another book is in the works, as is a movie... apparently Tim Burton is eyeballing it up! Perfect match, really.

Also, I'm looking forward to October's release of Talking Pictures. It is a book with a collection of found photographs. The description of the book is exactly why I love photographs: " ...Ransom Riggs's Talking Pictures is a haunting collection of antique found photographs—with evocative inscriptions that bring these lost personal moments to life...Each image in Talking Pictures reveals a singular, frozen moment in a person’s life, be it joyful, quiet, or steeped in sorrow. Yet the book’s unique depth comes from the writing accompanying each photo: as with the caption revealing how one seemingly random snapshot of a dancing couple captured the first dance of their 40-year marriage, each successive inscription shines like a flashbulb illuminating a photograph’s particular context and lighting up our connection to the past."

Good shit.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Book Review: A Discovery of Witches

As previously mentioned, I am enamored with witches. I think I have been most of my life, well, at least since I was about 6 or so when I started reading The Worst Witch book series by Jill Murphy. I have also been attracted to things simple things of the past: old barns, the smell of musty wood, cottages, and thick, worn books.

Lately, I have been reading witch-inspired books. It started last summer with The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane. True, the book was predictable, but I still loved every page.

A couple of weeks ago, I finished The Daughters of Witching Hill. I loved this book mainly because it is historical fiction. No present day woman discovering her family's history in witchcraft, it is all in the past. The dirty, gritty past filled with horrific details.

Last night I finished the first book in a trilogy: A Discovery of Witches. It was slow to get my interest, the I became very interested, then I became annoyed, then I just felt obligated to finish it. So, my review, I sort of liked it.

Firstly, I was disappointed when I realized that it was like an adult-version of the Twilight saga, of which, I have read none. I am not sure why, I thought it would be like Deliverance Dane, in that it is a woman from the present discovering her past. Not true. It is in present day. A present day that not only has human, but witches, vampires, and daemons (bugs the hell out of me how it's spelled). The latter three, can sense each other out, but humans do not know of their existence. That right that annoyed me.

Perhaps the thing that annoyed me the most, how the author kept insisting that the main character is a strong and independent woman, but her vampire boyfriend keeps rescuing her, and aiding her, and comforting her. Blah, blah, blah. They have known each other for a few weeks are so deeply in love that they are willing to die for each other. WHATEVER. Maybe I'm too much of a realist (says the woman who a few paragraphs up declared her love of witches), but seriously, I just can't get into that bullshit. I guess I can suspend my sense of reality a bit when dealing with supernatural beings, but when it comes to love, something that IS real, I just can't be so flighty. I wish it wasn't a love story.

I think this book could be really good, minus the love shit. So, I think I will read the second book, but not any time soon, even though it's not even out until next month. And, I will read it because it is about time travel, and I am interested in that too. Quantum Leap? Still one of my favorite shows. Oh boy!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Key Lime Pie

After having key lime pie at Darling's Diner for my husband's birthday, I've concluded that it is my favorite pie variety and having been thinking about it since.

I looked at pinterest for different recipes and decided on Borden Brand's version since it was quick & simple.
Key lime pie success!

I used Nellie & Joe's key lime juice  (there is a pie recipe on their bottle, which I might try too) from Whole Foods and grated some non-key lime lime zest on top. Yummy.

Thursday, May 24, 2012


After my appointment yesterday, which focused on my shitty job search, I got fired up about my photography. My doctor is awesome and he's getting me to focus on, as he calls it, but I still feel funny saying it, "my passion for photography." He is trying to help me get a job (career) in photography. I appreciate his efforts. After my appointment, a trip to Barnes & Noble, and a stop at Kiwi frozen yogurt (tart yogurt, berries, pretzels and m&ms), I came home, attached a lens to the camera and starting taking photos in my dining room.

It felt good to actually take photos of things. I am constantly take mental photos in my mind: studying light, cropping images, zooming, etc. So, yesterday I focused on the everyday bits of my dining room, perhaps the most under used room in my house. I concentrated on not decorative items, but the pieces that have been in the house since its construction in the late 1930s. OK, one shot is of the crown moulding that didn't exist in the house until 2007, but still, the wall is original.

Life is short. It's time to stop, pick up my camera and looks at the little things that make a whole.

We got a new window put in this week. This is the original wood work. Beautiful.

This is the window sill & chair rail. I love the uneven wood and the colors.

Radiator cover.

This is a damaged portion of the hardwood floor. I love the triangles. The missing piece of wood is my favorite section.

This is an old phone jack.

Look at the beauty and complexity of the hardwood flooring. Imagine the time it took to do this. Each house has it. Incredible.

I have loved this weird little section my entire life. I like how the wall juts out. When the crown moulding was added, it made me love it even more. I'm weird, I know.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

So far today I...

1. Used my new single filter thing-a-ma-jig for the keurig. This way, I can buy my own coffee and not spend eleventy billion dollars on those k-cup bad boys. Sad to say, the coffee was not strong enough. I will push it to the limit tomorrow and see what happens. My foreshadowing: I put too much in and end up with grounds in my coffee. (Grounds in my coffee, grounds in my coffee, and... you're so vain...) Yeah, I know it's not "grounds."

 2. Bought clothing at K-Mart. I felt embarrassed, but whatever. Fat ladies need to shop at fat-friendly stores. Unemployed fat ladies need to shop at cheap-bastard fat lady stores.

 3. Made a reverse-applique t-shirt and promptly nipped a hole in the t-shirt and then threw everything out.

4. Decided that after my therapy appointment, I'm going to spend an hour or so in Barnes & Noble and buy myself a book. Lately (within the past year or so) have developed a fascination with witch historical fiction. Talk about a niche market. Not that teen crap, sophisticated witch fiction. Ha. I make myself laugh.

5. Am unsure if I will purchase 50 Shades of Grey. Part of me wants to out of sheer curiosity. The other part of me doesn't because I know I will hate it because: it will be shittily written, there's too much hype about it, and finally, it will make me feel even more sexually inadequate.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


This is my third attempt in about a week to write a blog. All these thoughts I have that I am trying to make funny, and it's just not happening; plus, my life is thankfully pretty boring. Today's highlight: purchasing a basket for $19.99 at Burlington Coat Factory for my entryway.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

You want fries with that?

I may be asking that soon. If I can't find a job. Which it turns out, I can't. Ugh. I'm so frustrated.

I feel like, and I have no evidence to back it up, but I feel like the years I spent at home raising my daughter are being held against me. I don't know what else it could be. Yeah, the economy is shitty, blah, blah, blah.

BUT... when a place you worked for 5 1/2 years before giving birth, a place where your husband and friend currently work will not even call you for an interview when you fit every requirement for a job, it's difficult not to ponder the motives.

True, I didn't like my job there when I was there. But that was six years ago. I have changed. I know that I am not looking for a career, when I was there before, I was. I felt underutilized and unappreciated. Now, I couldn't care less, underutilized me, don't appreciate me. I have other places where I can get those things.

Fuck it. Maybe it's time to clasp pearls around my neck, tie an apron around my waist and up my meds.

Thursday, March 1, 2012


I've made Cooking Light's Spinach, Caramelized Onion, and Feta Quiche many times; but not recently. Cause I got tired of it. But, since I'm no longer working and have time to make meals, and because my kid has developed her father's picky food trait, and because pinterest is awesome, I've been cooking a lot.

I adapted the quiche recipe a bit, and I guess it's no longer "light," but it's very delicious and Abby loved it. "Mom, this Keith is delicious!" Score!

I made this whole wheat crust, subbing sucanat instead of sugar (much better than the pizza dough crust recommended in the recipe.)The one review states to double the oil and milk. I didn't find that to be necessary. I especially liked how the crust was assembled in the actual pie plate.

I used half a bag of hash browns and diced the onions. There were a lot left over (wouldn't fit into the crust) so I served them along side of the quiche. I used the same amount of eggs and egg whites as the recipe states. My changes: about 4 oz. of farmer's cheese and 2 oz. of smoked gouda (the smokiness really adds a lot of flavor!)

So basically, I followed the recipe swapping out the crust and adding smoke gouda and farmer's cheese to the egg & feta mixture.

Like I said, I served with the leftover potatoes and onions, and a side salad. And of course, I topped mine with sriracha because it is awesome.

Pretend the photo is in focus.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Q: Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road?

A: To have its neck snapped, feathers plucked, skin removed, and then been breaded and pan fried for my dinner.

(Notice the child's hand point to the chicken.)

Yes, I purchased and prepared a chicken breast for consumption. I bought it at Whole Foods, I feel better about that knowing that the chicken ate normal chicken food, walked around in its proper setting, and lived a happy chicken life before having its neck broken.

I was a bit queasy about the whole process, but went about it anyway. It smelled really good while it was cooking, and I enjoyed hearing the crackle of the chicken frying away. I just used some whole wheat bread crumbs, wheat germ, and parmesan for the breading. I pan-fried in canola oil.

I ate it with a side of whole wheat pasta (the family's main course) and some broccoli rabe. It was delicious.

Friday, February 17, 2012

A food-related post!

It's been months! MONTHS! Since I did one of these.
The only good thing about being laid off from work is that I have time to make some pinterest recipes!

This is one I pinned a few months back and finally decided to make it.
Zucchini Fries.

The reason behind this? Awhile ago, my daughter, my sister, and myself had lunch at The Cheesecake Factory. We ordered zucchini fries. My daughter devoured them! I deviously thought, "Huh. Interesting..."

I should have realized that she would not eat the ones that I prepared because:
1. They were not deep-fried and
2. I made them.

Eh. And that's probably my fault. I skipped the parmesan cheese, accidentally. I also should have added some garlic powder, but am currently out of it. The texture was good, and the "fries" weren't mushy like I feared they would be. My husband even ate like 5 of them! Of course, I think that is due to the dipping sauce, which he loved. To me, the sauce was OK. I would have preferred dipping them in a creamy sriracha sauce, which I should have made, but didn't.

Anyhow, these won't be a weekly menu item, perhaps monthly.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Truth

Turns out that I may or may not have fatty liver disease. I kinda hope I do, because the alternative is leukemia or another type of cancer.

For a long while (don't even know how long) I've had pain in my upper left abdomen. The pain actually began when I was about half way through my pregnancy. I mentioned it to the midwife. She seemed unconcerned. I did too. Of course, that didn't stop my googling, topics like "spleen" "pancreas" were are both articles in that region of the abdomen. I just figured the little bugger was pushing on something. (Even in utero, the kid can push my buttons.) After I had her, the pain pretty much stopped, or I should say, came very, very infrequently. Not enough to either give it a second thought.

More recently, the pain has gotten a lot more frequent, mainly after large and/or fatty meals. So, at my 6 month check up (gotta go every 6 months to keep an eye on cholesterol and triglyceride levels, which, by the way, the went down a bit!), I mention to her about the dull pain. She says, "Eh, probably gallstones (in my head I know this isn't the case b/c it's not where the gallbladder is), and she gives me a script for an abdominal ultrasound.

The results are in, but I haven't had my follow-up appointment yet. I have an enlarged spleen and liver. This is very disheartening. The condition is called NASH (Nonalcoholic Steato Hepatitis). From my reading, and yes, there has been lots and lots of reading, it can be reversed (if not too far along), with diet and exercise. Yay! If not reversed, it can lead to cirrhosis, and eventually cancer, and/or liver failure.

This condition can be caused by high triglycerides which, in my case, are genetic (thanks, fucked up paternal genes!), the result of obesity (thanks, idiot who likes to eat; oh wait...), alcohol, diabetes (perhaps should get glucose checked), Syndrome X (a.k.a. Insulin Resistance, a.k.a. Metabolic Syndrome). The latter makes losing weight very difficult.

So, I am self-diagnosing until I get the follow-up appointment. Since I have diagnosed myself, I have also laid out a plan to get this shit under control. No fucking way am I going to get cirrhosis. Fuck that shit. I mean, it's like (and pardon the lack of political correctness) getting lung cancer without being a smoker. Not that alcoholics deserve cirrhosis, or smokers deserve lung cancer, but there is a REASON. Yeah, I know my reason. I'm fat. And per a post last month, I'm OK with the fat part, but I'm not OK with the unhealthy part! No fucking way.

It is time to come to grips with reality. If I want to live long (I do) and be healthy (I do). I must make a change (I will.)

Today, February 14, 2012 is the day I am posting on the web all my numbers. I am going to use this blog to track my progress. It's not going to turn into a weight loss blog, cause (and no offense to anyone) they bore me. And I won't take offense if my blog bores you. It bores me too, it's just my little corner of the world where I can feel like, "Hey, some one may read my dazzling writing and be inspired to do something cool." Whatever. I don't know.

My Stats (with a minor disclaimer: I weighed myself in clothes, around noon, after drinking a glass of water, so ya know, it's probably 1/2 lb. difference.)

Here goes...

Weight: 249 lbs.
Waist: 42"
Hips: 54"
Thigh: 30"
Upper Arm: 15"
Chest (including boobs): 45 1/2"

Lipid Panel (as of 11/25/11)
Total Cholesterol: 233
HDL: 41
Triglycerides: 267
LDL: 139

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Words of Wisdom for Today.

Sometimes it's OK to sit on your basement steps and ugly cry until snot dangles and drips off your nose and your eyes are almost swollen shut.

Sometimes it's not OK.

Knowing the difference is the challenge.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Pencil & Paper.

Within the past week, I have started sketching. Not random swirls, or leaves, or goofy faces which is my norm. But drawing, of real things.

They're unimpressive, but very therapeutic. I used to love to draw. Drawing was my favorite art class. It's not something I excel in, but it is something that I have rediscovered. I thought about buying a sketch pad, but I realized that will be destined for failure. I will put pressure on myself to "perform" and therefore take the joy out of it. And then it will sit around for months until the child finds it and starts to draw pictures of flowers and rain within its pages.

So for now, I will be content with my sketches from photographs and things that are in my vision. (I just drew my left hand.)

When I look at things, most things, I crop it in an image, even if it's boring. That's just how my mind works. I then analyze shadows and highlights. I've been doing this since highschool. And I do it all. the. time. Since I don't have my camera in work, and I do have a pencil and paper, some of these cropped images are finally making their way into the world.

Sunday, January 1, 2012


Traditionally, resolutions are made with each new year. Traditionally, those resolutions are abandoned by February. Ordinarily, I do not make resolutions because I know myself well enough to know that they are fruitless. This year, however, I am making anti-resolutions. I resolve to not try to lose weight. I'm not going to exercise more.I am not going to be more organized. I know, I'm a fucking rebel.

I am done with beating myself up for eating doritos with my peanut butter and jelly sandwich. I am going to get whipped cream on my salted caramel frappucino if I want it. I am going to get an everything bagel with cream cheese once in awhile. I will eat Turkey Hill cookies and cream ice cream because it tastes so much better than that "light" crap full of chemicals and unidentifiable ingredients.

I will exercise if I feel like it and not quit because I don't have a regular routine. Something is better than nothing. I will eat carrots because I like them, not because they have zero points. I will put Olivio on my baked potato because I want a healthy heart. I will choose whole wheat over white because I have never really like white bread. I will chose a hummus plate over grilled cheese because I like hummus.

I will not be ashamed of my body. I'm fat. That's just how I am. Just because I am fat, that does not mean that: my opinions hold less value, that I am lazy, that I can't be pretty, or stylish, or even sexy. I am fat and I'm healthy. The two are not mutually exclusive.

I like food. No. I love food. But not crappy McDonald's, or Applebee's, or Mrs. Smith's frozen pies. I love REAL food. Homemade pasta, homemade cookies & cakes. These are foods worth eating. Delicious food that makes me feel content, food that was made with love and care. Consequently, I also love to cook and bake. Knowing that you've made something that people genuinely enjoy is a wonderful feeling.

I'm not talking eating until I want to vomit, I'm talking about eating good food to nourish my body and my soul. I'm Italian, I like good food. There is no point in trying to stifle that part of myself.

Have a donut. (They're from Yum Yum's) And they are delicious. I ate a red velvet donut for breakfast with my coffee. Happy New Year!