An update, more or less

Money is on my mind a lot lately. I don’t really have much of it, but for the past few months- since I’ve been “better”, I’ve been looking into what the rest of the world does.

I say this only half-joking, because, honestly, parts of my life have been so absurd that I actually do need to research normalcy sometimes to calibrate my expectations. Case in point- how much you make compared to how much you actually get.

I’m no expert, and it does not come naturally to me, so I’m basically studying it like I would any other subject, in controlled bites that I choose myself. I feel like I’m gaining an understanding, which is nice. I will never be that girl for whom this is all intuitive, but I’m a decent learner.

 

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A Special Day

I woke up early to answer the call of nature, but even that was when I’m usually up & out the door already. It was nice. Then, I dragged my butt over to the clothes lain askew on the floor in exhaustion, dropped them into the basket, and started up the laundry. I have to wait for them to dry & hang them so nothing wrinkles… and then, hopefully, I’m off to girlfriend’s place.

We still live far too far from each other for my taste, but she’s not going anywhere anytime soon, and I can’t right now, so we make do as best we can. I’ve mentioned before that she handles it better than I do. It is one of several items on a very long wish list- if things were better. Will I live to see that day? Sometimes, it just seems so impossible.

My health improves not in strides these days but in small increments, and sometimes, depending on what I’m doing, it’s becoming less noticeable. Sometimes I get frustrated, and Girlfriend brings me back to center.

Despite my distaste for poking my head up above my own atmosphere, I can’t help but notice that once again things are looking bad for ladylovin ladies. It is stressful. I was on the tail end of people who saw every day what it felt like to be marginalized based on your heart. Girlfriend fully lived through it. I felt marginalized in multiple ways in the past- like important people didn’t case whether I lived or died. It is… not something I have words for, to feel the stirrings of that once again.

I’ve felt marginalized in smaller ways, which don’t warrant being thrown in with the rest of it, and some of which, I’ve addressed already. But there’s more, there always is- this feeling of being othered on top of being othered- that I now can’t have children, at least with this body, and do I even want to? My closest friends are all married with kids. And it never really got to me before. And through a strange alchemy of circumstances, the difference finally hit me. And it was painful. And not really anyone’s fault. Just something for my own psyche to ponder.

*I was going to use an image of Cheer Bear for this post. The original Cheer Bear had a proper rainbow on its stomach. The newer drawings stop at green. Weird.

Update

Start your day of strong… #janeway #voyager #coffee #startrek #borg #scifi #sciencefiction #geek #nerd #coffeebeans #energy #coffeetime

A post shared by The Science Fiction Museum (@hollywoodscifimuseum) on

Yeah, I barely worked out this week. I went to one yoga class, which was a total bust. There’s nothing that can de-motivate a person like attending a class that’s supposed to be low-level, only to have the instructors be pushing it much harder than advertised. I can barely walk sometimes. I just want to get my stretch on. So, I don’t know about group exercise so far. Right now, it’s not working for me.

I also angered my injury the other day in a not-good way, and have been in pain ever since. I can feel it’s just angry- it’s not epically re-injured or anything… but yeah. And yes, I know to take it easy… was just in one of those can’t-win situations and whoop, there it is…

I’ve been re-watching GLOW and honestly, at this point, I’m pretty deep into it. I hope next season is just as good. There’s really nothing like it.

Despite being in pain, I am wavering on whether or not I want to go out today to get a few things done. Resting may win out.

I saw an old-ish interview with zelda williams, and man, she is a badass. She sounds like a person who has her shit together.

Oh, I’ve also watched interviews with many of the GLOW actresses, and the ones I saw seemed really intelligent. Though, there was this one interview I didn’t like as much because the interviewers took it in a kind of vapid direction.

I am not ready for fall. No, no, I don’t wanna, in the style of lego batman. I woke up from a sound sleep shivering. Not. Ready.

I bought some terrible coffee grounds the other day. So awful. I actually checked to see if they’d take them back. They did. Thanks, nice coffee-purveyors!

Hoping to be able to move in a few months or so, but even thinking about it is very stressful. I’ve been researching that and Other Things I Would Do If I Had Money. Even in the hypothetical, it’s kind of more stressful than fun to me. Why are cellphones so damn expensive? Why do they make them to only last a few years, when we are still basically in a recession? Blah. I mean, I’m not naive, I know these people aren’t in the business of charity… but it would look nice for their public images to have something accessible. Then again, they haven’t asked me…

Why do people not write you back when you ask them shit? Whatever. Just makes me not buy your thing. (In this case it was an apartment- which I’m not ready for yet, (just researching), but I was still put-off by people just ignoring my emails!). Oh look, I could’ve used the right kind of brackets. Oh well.

I’ve been getting coffee out now and then, which Girlfriend has given me shit for. In her defense, and if she’s reading this (she doesn’t usually), I do know she means well. But it just didn’t sit right. I mean, I’ve been so broke for so long… Coffee is a small treat.

I might make some waffles this morning. I still have some leftover mixes from that time I temped at a kitchen store. It’s so crazy for me to think of that now, compared to what I’m striving for. But, stuff like that keeps you humble and helped me a little with bills for as long as it lasted. May as well see if the mix is still good.

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Later…

Well, I’m out of that mix, but I found blueberry flapjack mix. I worked on teaching myself the whole pancake/flapjack making thing. The first one was lost to the pancake gods, the others were different experiments, but all good. Mostly, I’m just trying to find the right balance of heat.

Now, I have to decide if I want to get some pumpkin spice flavored waffle mix or not.

 

 

Update

I don’t even know where to start…

I joined a gym.

I started a temp gig.

I have an insane commute that I wholly under-estimated. But, I need the money & I like it, so there’s that.

I took a little vacation with Girlfriend.

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Put all of this together, and yes, I wholly over-estimated my abilities. Pain is a thing… nearly all of the time. Just from existing, before I even get to the gym.

When I go to the gym, I am kind to myself. It’s actually a re-charge from the physical toughness of the day.

Don’t get me wrong, I am in love with working, and the people, and the stuff I’m doing (which I won’t talk about here/ it’s considered bad form, sorry!). It is just very, very hard, and if I didn’t like just being part of the world again so much, I would not be putting myself through this.

I go home and my body is swollen, and I sleep with parts propped up on pillows, sometimes my whole body, sometimes I sleep nearly seated- like I was in the hospital bed. I take NSAIDs according to their directions. I am kind to myself. But yes, it hurts.

GF says that it will get easier with time. I want to believe her. I kind of need to, for my own piece of mind.

But I am good inside. I feel happy. I feel alive again. It’s been a long time…

 

Give Me Strength.

We have a right to be angry…

Stressor continues to greet me as though I am the largest piece of shit in the world. It makes it difficult to keep a solid day of believing in myself. I can’t avoid this person (well, any more than I have been), so mostly I’m just venting here for venting’s sake, and maybe a little reassurance.

An old friend of mine wrote to ask my opinion on something. On the one hand, it was overwhelming- because she was asking for a considered opinion, not a one-word answer. On the other, it was validating that she sees me as someone whose opinions are sought after.

The job hunt has not been going well in terms of seeing fruit for my labor. I have been vigilant and thorough in presenting myself in my best possible light, but so far, nothing. As we discussed in my last blog, I needed to step away and maybe find some balance. It. Is. Not. Easy. I’ll tell you that much. With me stressing myself out, bystanders asking how things are going, and Stressor breathing down my neck…

So, I have taken some time to do some “me stuff”. I got a haircut, teeth cleaned, etc. I spent today cleaning set-in stains off of my pillow and mattress cover- stains that happened during the medical stuff, and that really just bummed me out colossally thereafter.

I also did some cleaning up in the craft room. Again, I found some stuff from Xmas. I’m not really surprised. Things were much harder than… I went back and read my posts from the last two years. It shocked me. And validated me.

Girlfriend has been lovely, but she also wants me to be able to stand on my own two feet. At least she’s usually kinder about it though.

I also trimmed and polished my toenails, and I’m loving them. I did my fingernails, too, but the polish has since worn off.

My ankle continues to improve, but I keep tripping up on various things, which has made recovery from the break harder.

Holiday Wrap-Up

Preparing for the holidays this year felt a little like this: 1

“Making Christmas”, from The Nightmare Before Christmas

Although I love handmade and low-cost/no-cost gifts, I usually don’t make gifts for the holidays. I’d rather surprise people than rely on my creativity to come through for me in precisely the way I expect, at precisely the right time, in order to deliver a Martha-esque experience to my loved ones.

But, this year was especially tight on the budget. While I am hopeful things improve, it was challenging for me to create something out of nothing this year. If it weren’t for my friends and family, I wouldn’t have been able to do much of anything.

So, I decided to make cookies, which I make fairly often and with good results, thereby eliminating any pressure. Here is the classic recipe, if you don’t already have it.

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Phoebe from Friends, citing a “family recipe” for cookies.

 

My health was also wackypants this holiday season. For most of it, I felt like this line from the film, Frida:

“I feel like a rich girl with a new suitor every week. Except all of my suitors have turned into doctors.”

Of course, that was a little melodramatic of me, but it is what it is. I felt such complex feelings about dealing with my health at Xmas. On the one hand, I had the holidays to distract me from life’s more unpleasant hurdles. On the other, to be honest, it was hard getting into the holiday spirit at times.

I couldn’t really cook much. I didn’t want to write about what I was feeling. I tried to savor the moments of joy when they came, and in that respect, I think I was successful. I’d be lying if I said this was the best Xmas ever, but there were some truly joyous moments that really helped me get through the tough stuff.

New Year’s brought a welcome respite, with some quiet time shared with the one I love, and that felt exactly right. I hope you and yours found similar moments of perfection.

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Happy New Year! 🙂

 

Road Trip Round-up

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Road-tripping can be a challenge for anyone, but it’s particularly challenging bringing food allergies along for the ride. Add to that a vegetarian requirement, a budget requirement, and an overall desire for healthier choices, and it can seem insurmountable. I have not traveled with children, so I can’t speak to that challenge. But, here are my thoughts on road-tripping for two, based on our more successful moments. As always, you are responsible for your own safety.

Road-tripping in general:

1. Take shorter trips before a longer one. Prior to our most recent multi-day trip, we had taken several day-long road trips. We had also been camping together. Know the other person well, because you are going to be in a confined space together for hours on end. Account for the possibility that at least one of you might be overtired and cranky at any given time.

2. Bring something fun for the passenger. The license plate game is our perennial favorite, followed by travel bingo. I also take lots of pictures.

3. Bring a pillow, blanket, and possibly earplugs & an eye mask for the passenger to take a nap. I also brought my U-shaped travel pillow. You’d be surprised what a difference these creature comforts make.

4. Bring your favorite music. Be open to music you would otherwise not listen to if you plan on listening to the radio. We had an unexpected but delightful 70s interlude at one point.

5. Make sure your vehicle has been checked out by a mechanic, and spring for the best emergency auto-assistance plan you can afford. Have some sort of emergency funding available, even if you think you will never need it. You don’t know what the road has in store, and it’s best to be prepared.

Eating in motion:

1. The number one thing that works for us on any road trip is bringing a small cooler full of fresh food. At least on the way there, we are guaranteed something safe & satisfying. If you are able to, re-filling on the way home is highly recommended. We don’t always refill, but the times we have were so much better. You don’t want to be making food choices at odd hours of the evening. At least I don’t, because at that point, I will pretty much eat anything.

2. Don’t count on healthy choices being readily available. Yes, I saw bananas and apples more than I expected, but they were often more expensive than the easily found day-old hotdogs.

3. Bring fruit and vegetables. I had a large container of leftover salad that would have otherwise gone bad. I brought my camping utensils & a small bottle of dressing and had lunch in the passenger seat. I could feel the difference between this and my carb-laden choices on previous trips. Just make sure your salad is travel-friendly: no mushy stuff like sliced tomatoes. Grape tomatoes work better. I used diced Quorn cutlets for protein. Orange slices in their own container were also a great snack, and apples travel pretty well, too.

4. You will probably want snacks at some point. Even the healthiest among us needs a little treat now and then. If you pack healthier snacks, you lessen your chances of reaching for the powder-coated tortilla chips that seem to pop up everywhere. We brought veggie straws and popcorn for treats. There was also one chocolate rice confection that wasn’t even eaten until the ride home.

5. Stopping to stretch and have a meal: totally advisable if you don’t have allergies, a personal decision if you do. We did stop, and I was fine.

The Allergies:

This is one area where I cannot and will not advise you. I’m not a Doctor. I’m not even a good example. But, here’s how I handle it:

1. I mostly eat food from home, but when I do buy convenience store food, I choose something that seems relatively safe- like fruit, or I stick with foods that have been safe in the past. There are plenty of people that can’t do this, and it isn’t actually in my best interest, either. For example, with a nut allergy: the person handling the fruit could have just eaten a package of nuts. Foods that were once safe can easily not be, due to changes in the manufacturing process or cross-contamination. The point is, you can never be sure, which leads me to #2…

2. I always pack my medication. So far, every attack I’ve had has been treatable with OTC medication. But, that does not mean it’s something I can count on. The first time I had a full-blown attack, I didn’t even know I was allergic to the food in question- just that it had made my throat itchy in the past. The severity of an allergic reaction can change over time. I always make sure that others know where my medication and medical information is.

3. I know that I cannot control my exposure entirely. There are factors that cannot be planned for. For example, I planned to the best of my ability, and then had to walk past my allergen on the way to some random bathroom in the middle of nowhere. Any time I venture out, I have to face the possibility of a medical emergency, but I also don’t want to stop living my life. I am lucky that I can actually make this choice. There are plenty of others who cannot.

Bean and Cheese Enchiladas

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Let me preface this post by saying that my uterus demanded bean and cheese enchiladas. (PMS). While I love these (maybe a little too much), I haven’t had them in about 2 years, and had never made them myself. Yes, I know they’re fattening. In fact I could tell you long tales of precisely how I know this information, but let’s just leave it at “yes, you can be vegetarian and overweight.”

So, this was a blast from the past for me. But, I felt really confident and proud of myself that I am in such a better place now: to realize that I can now enjoy these without having them every weekend was really a breakthrough moment. I never had an eating disorder, but I did have some really bad eating habits back in the day. To be able to allow myself to eat things that aren’t so healthy once in a while, to get it out of my system and move on… well, it’s just good.

It was fun to actually look up the recipe (mostly for quantities’ sake), to pick up the items, and to give it a whirl. So forgive me for going with the easiest route, and choosing this basic recipe. I’m certainly not advocating one brand over another in this case, but their recipe was easy and filling, as promised.

My modifications weren’t all that complicated. I obviously used vegetarian refried beans. I used 3/4 of a can of salsa, and 1 can of enchilada sauce. I skipped the onion. I used farmer’s cheese for the top, and sprinkled them with cilantro. Because I wasn’t feeling 100% while preparing them, I took advantage food chopper for the cheddar, and the “stir” setting on the mixer for the filling.

Next time, I will absolutely go for 2 cans of enchilada sauce, with salsa at the ready. And obviously, there are a thousand other ways to make enchiladas, which I might try later on to lighten them up a bit. But for now, this was perfect.

Sharing is Caring: Barilla: “If gays don’t like it, they can eat another brand of pasta.”

There are plenty of other pasta choices out there for gays, straights, and everyone in between.