Thursday, July 30, 2009

One of Those Days

TWO TIMES today a customer has called and we have had the following conversation (edited, of course):

"It isn't working!"
"I am sorry to hear that. What exactly do you see?"
"Oh, should I turn it on?"
"Yes, definitely turn it on."
"Oh, look, it's working now!"

Electricity. It's amazing.

In other work-related news, it is shift-bid time. The shift that I have now, to which I have grown accustomed, that fits so well into my life and need for sleep? *poof* It is no more. So I have to choose from 11 other shifts, none of which are nearly as nice. Do I want to give up three days off each week? Having Sundays off? Sleeping? Seeing my child? I have stared and stewed and finally numbered them 1 through 11 and hopefully, hopefully, they will give me something that works. I am aware that last time around I was exceptionally blessed, this time I am hoping for merely workable.

I haven't walked today yet. Actually, I totally forgot until I signed in to my blog and saw the walking blog list! But my shoes are in the car, socks and everything, and I can head down to the river while Nate is in karate and maybe even catch a breeze. A hot breeze, but that is better than none.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Sudden Need for Motivation

I didn't make the cut on the very first round! I knew it was a long shot, but I thought I might have a chance. In any case, I now need to find another reason to walk. I did two short walks today, laps around the (inside! air conditioned!) of the building I work in. It used to be a Walmart, so even though we don't use the whole building, it's pretty sizeable. While I didn't get many minutes in, I pushed hard enough to hurt.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Walking Blog

I can't find a good gadget for this, so for the time being, it's going to appear at the top right of this page.

A word of explanation: As stated in the post previous to this one, I am beginning 'walking training.' This is for many reasons, not just a possible trip out of country. Walking is something people take for granted until they can't do it anymore. Due to an innate muscular imbalance in my legs, walking tends to be excruciatingly painful--as in, causing me to cry most times. My shin muscles are very week in comparison to my calf muscles. The shin muscles are what pull your toes up, so you can see how if they don't work well, walking could be difficult. My calf muscles try to overcompensate and end up cramping. Altogether it is no fun. The only cure is to walk in pain long enough to build up some sort of endurance. This isn't a result of being fat or lazy, by the way, I can remember this problem even during my teen years, even when tap dancing, an activity that strengthens the needed shin muscles. Walking has always been difficult and running simply out of the question. Combine this with a desk job and if I am not careful, I become unable to walk more than a block. This happened over the last two years, but I am fixing the situation now.

Tonight's walk was 12 minutes and a little more than half a mile. I walked pretty slowly, because I find that I can walk further that way. My goal isn't to get my heart rate up, lose weight, etc., it is simply to strengthen my shin muscles and build endurance, and for that, slow works, at least right now. Actually, tonight's walk went better than I expected-I haven't lost as much ground as I had expected over the last couple of weeks. My right foot didn't start to drag until the last block or so, and that is also about when the pain began to get bad-but it never did get as bad as it usually does.

Intrigue, Adventure and Motivation

So, I applied for an overseas position that I am not able to discuss. No, really. I even had the follow conversation (or just about) with my own mother:

Hey, if I leave the country sometime this fall, can Nate stay with you?
Of course. Where are you going?
I can't tell you. (and I don't really know)
What are you doing?
I don't know, they won't tell us.
How long will you be gone?
I don't know that, either.

Never say I am not adventurous.

This possible trip, however, raises some issues. Clothes, for instance. I may be going to a very hot place, or I may be going to a cold place. I guess I should make...a few sundresses and sweaters? Then there's the regular preparing for this kind of trip. Find my passport, plan Nate's schoolwork, figure out what to do with the animals, how to pay bills while gone, etc.

And then there's the walking. No matter which location they send me to, I will be doing plenty of walking. Since walking is generally pretty painful for me, I need to build up some resistance. A couple weeks back I was doing a lot of walking and found that it became a tad easier and in fact, when I quit walking (someone loaned me a car), my body reacted rather badly. I should have kept it up, but used the 'it's a hundred degrees outside!' excuse (and I am not exaggerating). But now I realize I ought to be in training.

Nate is heading off to boot camp in two weeks, as well, and while he passed his PT qualifications, he says his stamina is not what it ought to be, so I guess we are both in training. I am NOT running, however. The kid will just have to run circles around me or something.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Well, Thanks, Kiddo

Sitting in church today Nate leaned over and said, "You are sure having hair day."
"I am?"
"Yes, very interesting. It just kind of went Kapow!"


Friday, July 24, 2009

If I Go Insane...

THIS is the customer that put me over the edge.
(disclaimer: in order to hide where I work and what I work with, today we are pretending I work for a Toyota Repair Shoppe. Yes, I do mean 'shoppe'.)

"Welcome to Jenny-Fair's Toyota Repair Shoppe! How can I help you today?"
"Well, my husband's Toyota is broken. It does crazy things and sometimes it just won't go."
"Oh, I am sorry to hear that. Is that your husband's car that you brought with you today?"
"No, my husband has his car. This is my car. But I paid for both of them."
"I see. I would love to help, but in order to fix your husband's car, we need you to bring your husband's car to us."
"You don't understand. My husband is a very busy man. He's a doctor! He doesn't have time to bring his car in for repairs."
"Well, if you had your husband give you a description of the problem, and you brought his car in, we could take a look at it."
"Now, listen. Here is MY car. It is JUST THE SAME as his. You show me what to do."
"Um...I am really sorry, but if your husband's car is broken, then that is the car we need to look at. I can't tell from looking at your car what is wrong with your husband's car."
"Listen, I paid for BOTH cars. You CAN tell me. Just tell me what is wrong with the car and how to fix it! "
"Ma'am, really, without your husband's car, we can't actually help."
"Well, just show me on my car."
"No, really, we need to see the broken car."
"Fine! I am going to come back tomorrow with my own car and pretend it is the broken one! You will never know and you will fix it and I will be just fine!" (crazy lady stomps out)

Monday, July 20, 2009

Famous People

I talked to someone famous today. I mean, Time-magazine-cover-famous. I talk to famous people every so often, probably oftener than I realize as I am really bad with names. Every so often I will be talking to someone and realize they are an actor or movie producer and I was just too clueless to figure it out without being told, but sometimes there is no doubt as to who I am helping. Anyway, the thing is, I never get the ones that I WANT to talk to.
Being in the unique position of having power and knowledge that they don't have, but still 'serving' these people gives me an insight into what they are really like. For instance, the person I spoke to this morning, while never on my 'I'd love to talk to THEM' list, and while diametrically opposed to me in beliefs, was relatively humble, never pointing out who he was, never asking for anything special, and following my directions even when they may not have made sense to him. Also, he didn't have his assistant call. I feel sorry for the assistants of the world-they are overworked, underpaid and frequently uninformed. Their boss hands them something and says 'Doesn't work! Take care of it!'. I can tell a lot about a person by how worried their assistant is, as well.
I am somewhat relieved to find out that I treat people normally, as well. At least, I hope I treat every customer with the same respect that I give when I know I am helping someone powerful or well-known. I did have one customer say that we should rate our customers (she said she was sure she would be #1), but I couldn't abide by that system, I don't think.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Creeping Discontent

I am not sure if it is viral or bacterial, but I am sure that I have come down with it. Creeping Discontent.

It begins with something small, say, a car breaking down. Then it begins to snowball, adding teen troubles, busy schedules, money problems, etc...then I lose my ability to look at the glass-half-full side of life...until before I know it good friends are asking far too often, 'Hey, are you ok?'

Yesterday I turned to a work buddy and said, "I am in a bad mood!" and his reply was, "I had noticed."


Really, what is my contentedness supposed to be based on? I don't think it's the car, the money, the kids or the house. Apparently I need to climb to a higher vantage point, 'cause I have lost sight of the point.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

If God Texted The 10 Commandments

1. no1 b4 me. srsly.
2. dnt wrshp pix/idols
3. no omg's
4. no wrk on w/end (sat 4 now; sun l8r)
5. pos ok - ur m&d r cool
6. dnt kill ppl
7. :-X only w/ m8
8. dnt steal
9. dnt lie re: bf
10. dnt ogle ur bf's m8. or ox. or dnkey. myob.

M, pls rite on tabs & giv 2 ppl.

ttyl, JHWH.

ps. wwjd?


The Downside of Intuitive Eating

I don't talk about my Intuitive Eating journey often enough on here. Part of that, I think, is that in real life I frequently have to defend my way of eating, which makes me want to hold tighter to the parts of it that stay personal. But lately I have been struck many times by the downside of the process. Downside? There isn't supposed to be one! But, as with everything else in life, there are pretty parts and not-so-pretty parts, and sometimes they are even the same thing.

Family tension: My family doesn't eat like I do. They don't even understand my new way of eating. If I refuse dessert because I am not hungry or it doesn't sound wonderful, someone comments, "Jenny is trying to be good." Um, no, I am not...I think eating choices are morally neutral...I am just not hungry! Frequently if I don't put something on my plate, it's personal to the cook, and if my meal doesn't look 'balanced' I sometimes get a speech on the subject (as does Nate, who is the most intuitive eater I know...but at family dinners, there are veggies, fruit, chips and salsa out and he eats bunches of those and then when it is 'dinner time' he eats only meat...and gets a speech about it, every time. Um...he already had the other food groups? And what he eats is none of your business??!!). To be fair, this situation is getting better. I think my family has given up.

Inability to commiserate: Eat something not 'on your diet'? I could care less. Moaning and groaning about your belly? Really, I think your belly is fine. I think mine is fine, too. I don't care to sit around wallowing in self-hate, denial and false hopes. I actually think it's stupid to starve yourself or try to follow some formula. This does not make me popular.

Inability to eat emotionally: What?! But I thought that was the GOAL of this whole thing? Well, yeah, but do you realize what that means? It means...that when I am sad, chocolate is irrelevant. That some people who care about me can't make me happy by giving me Ghirardelli. I have to find new ways to cope. I am no fun at all-women ice-cream pity-parties. Chocolate sits in my cupboard or night table long enough that it has to be thrown out. In some ways that is very sad.

It's a bone of contention: Generally, what I believe about food and body size shouldn't be a point of argument, but it has become so at times. For instance, Raoul was coming over one evening. I asked him to bring me a cheeseburger. I don't eat cheeseburgers often but that night it really sounded good. What did he bring me? Nuts and berries. I kid you not. I insisted that nuts and berries are no 'better' or 'healthier' than a cheeseburger, but this was brushed aside. Of course they must be better for you! After all, you can pick them right off a vine! Um, no, actually, if one's body demands a cheeseburger, nuts and berries are not going to satisfy, no matter how 'healthy' they are deemed by some expert or another. And no, I don't really care that our ancestors and even some people on the planet today survive on that kind of diet, you can't listen to my stomach and you have no right to tell me what to eat. I could barely choke down a few nuts and berries and had to go to bed hungry (carless, mother hubbard me that evening, or I would have done something about that). Granted, not everyone is as conceited and self-righteous as my ex-boyfriend, but still, the need to shout "You're not the boss of me!" does pop up from time to time. Sometimes it isn't a friend or relative so much as it is society and at work, where the choice of convenience food is yucky vending-machine fare or the 'healthy food' table that only has granola bars and dried fruit...and this girl needs protein! So I have to go with the yucky Jenny-hating vending machine and be deemed 'that girl who is so fat because she eats hot pockets'. Well, no one has said that aloud, but you know how society makes you feel.

It won't make me skinny, and it ain't fast: Intuitive eating will never make me skinny. If I hadn't screwed with my metabolism to begin with, then perhaps I could intuitively eat myself to a socially acceptable weight, but I did screw with my metabolism and I have no delusions about what that means. I will be fat the rest of my life. I am ok with that now, but other people are not. The Navy, for instance. Nate's Sea Cadet unit could sure use another uniformed adult...but my body is, according to Navy regs, "a disgrace to the uniform." As if body size is, again, a moral issue? Um, no, thanks anyway. And other women are always assuming that I am trying to get thin. Nope! Wasted enough years on that, thanks! But then again, it is hard to give up the diet dreams, plus it is yet another way that I am different from the women around me.

The worst part? When angry at things like this, potato chips are no help. Sigh.

It makes special occasions harder: I almost didn't eat my own birthday cake this year. I wasn't hungry. It didn't even sound good, even though I had asked for it. I finally ate a small piece just to be polite, but I have grown to dislike doing such things. I know that naturally thin, intuitively-eating people eat when they are not hungry, and that is what I told myself, but I guess now that I am listening to my body, it's hard to argue with it.

It's more work sometimes: Starving myself is not an option, even for convenience's sake. Although I do struggle with this from time to time, the right thing to do is feed my hungry body. This is especially hard when I am home alone. Cooking a whole meal for one person who isn't even going to say thank you? What fun is that? But the other night I did make myself cook up a great chicken-pepper stir fry (with nuts...leftover from the anti-cheeseburger ex-boyfriend). It was wonderful, and I was so glad that I had done that. It hit the spot perfectly. But most days, I just want the hunger to go away rather than a cooking/eating experience. I have to learn to take better care of myself than that.

All in all, I still choose this path. I am free from the bondage of emotional eating, food rules and regulations, self-hate, despair, false's wonderful! Freedom is a tasty thing :-)

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Sometimes 'Homeschooling' is the Wrong Word

I guess we could call this sailboatschooling? Zac Sunderland is about to become the world's youngest solo circumnavigator. I can't tell exactly what his educational history has been from his website, but I can tell you that clearly traditional school has not been an option for the last year! If that isn't unschooling I am not sure what is! LOL Anyway, it caught my eye because Nate started Sailing class last week, but I thought I would share it with my homeschooling friends. Get a load of his reading choices on board, and the classes his experience is counting for (in the FAQ section).

Monday, July 6, 2009

Garfield Had a Point

You know how every Monday Garfield wakes up and gets a pie in the face? He thinks Mondays are inherently evil, that they are actually out to get us. He has a point.

This morning I woke up with a sore throat. I am fighting a sinus infection and apparently it is fighting back!

I checked my bank balance and find that my landlord had been holding on to not one, not two, but THREE rent checks...until last week. I thought there were only two outstanding, so all of a sudden my carefully laid financial plans for the month are blown to bits.

I am still carless, but I had on my 'absolutely necessary!' list things like buying deck shoes and sunglasses for Nate. No, really, it was necessary-he's at his first Sailing class as I write this. I would not want to see him sun-blinded, falling into the river in the hiking boots he insists on wearing every day. And since he is training for Boot Camp and has to run every day, sending him in his running shoes was also not an option.

So I begged my mother to loan me her car. On the way home from dropping her back at her office, sandwiched between a concrete barricade and a line of cars, I had no choice but to run over some object in the road. It made an awful sound and I drove home in a panic and looked underneath. Seeing no damage, I gingerly drove to the sporting goods store. When we left I saw a small puddle under the car, so I confessed to my mother and she sent me off to the Toyota repair shop.

This is where my Monday took a turn for the comedic and not-quite-disastrous. Turns out Lola (the car...choose your Lola song, I frequently sing when I see her) was fine...until I brought her into the shop. They ran into her with a golf cart while checking her over. The good news? This is not costing me any money, or my mom, either. Plus, Lola got a bath so they could check her for damage.

The Toyota repair shop has a waiting room to beat the Hilton. Massage chairs, a big screen television playing The Science Channel (I now know how they make those 13-foot long Riiiiicooooolllllaaaa horns and also how they make action figures based on real people), a boutique and a lady who kept trying to give people drinks and food.

And now I find myself with four hours (minus the time it takes me to post this) of solitude, peace and quiet. And a mile-long to-do list, but hey, we can't have everything! And, Monday, I believe I have beaten you this week after all!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

The Vending Machine Hates Me

We have a wall of vending machines in our break room. One dispenses frozen items. Last week, in desperate want of chocolate, I chose a frozen Snickers ice cream bar. I put in my money. I pressed the right buttons in the right order. And I retrieved from the machine...a beef and bean burrito. Not a happy thing. (You see, that morning, someone had stolen my very last Ferraro Rocher chocolate from my desk. My very last one. I have received a ransom note, but have not been able to retrieve the chocolate.)

This morning I went to the same machine to get a hot pocket for breakfast. The machine took my money and then twirled its screws hot pocket was halfway on and halfway off the rack. Ok, I thought...I will buy two of them, then the second will push the first down and I will be able to eat breakfast! I put in my money. It twirled its screws. And one--only one!--hot pocket fell to the bucket.

I heated up my twice-paid-for hot pocket and then...what is this? A thump?! Oh, yes, my second hot pocket has....fallen onto the secret shelf that apparently only opens when the machine WANTS it to open, and is still irretrievable! Argh!

So...I put in my money, and I pushed the buttons for a Snickers Ice Cream bar...and this time it worked and I got all my paid-for food items...far too much to eat for breakfast, but mine nonetheless.

And I thought packing breakfast sounded like too much work this morning.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Nathan, Amazing Again

So, I missed it due to my new schedule, but...

Nate made Yellow Belt in ADULT karate class last night! He has only been in the class for seven months, so this is quite a feat. I am very proud of him!