Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The thing about a funk is it makes it really easy to just sit and eat chips for extended periods of time. Or overdose on sunflower seeds. Or have a second helping of ice cream. And as you're in a funk, the more you do that, the more you want to do that because hey, what else are you doing? And I'm not saying I'm fat, because by no stretch of the imagination am I actually fat. But some time ago, I picked a number that if I ever saw it on the scale again, I would take some serious action. Because the thing about really obese people is you know there had to be some point, somewhere along the line, when their pants didn't fit anymore and they had to make a choice - seek help, or buy new pants - and they chose to buy new pants. I'm not saying every person with a weight issue has the issues as a result of simple overeating. I know there are those with thyroid problems and such. But there had to be a point, maybe at 250 pounds, maybe at 300 pounds, when they thought to themself, "I wonder if this is healthy" and they could have taken action (either diet/exercise or medical intervention) instead of continuing on to the point they are at today, weighing 700 pounds and being unable to leave the house and asking some daytime talk show for help because if they don't lose weight soon they'll die. There had to be that point. For me, I picked a number. It's a somewhat arbitrary number, and I'm pretty sure my doctor would still give me a clean bill of health, but I don't want to see the number get any bigger, regardless of how much lean muscle I'm building by going to the special gym for women. It's time to start losing some fat. For real. So I joined one of those weight loss places you sometimes see ads for on television. It's all about portion control, which is something I need to learn anyway. I eat healthy. Hi, I'm a vegan. But you eat too much of anything and you'll gain weight. But this is about portion control and exercise. And it's structured in just such a way as to appeal to my pseudo-competitive nature. I'm on day two and so far, so good. I'm technically not supposed to weigh myself more than once a week, but already this morning, the big, scary number was gone. A slightly smaller, not-quite-as-scary number was there instead. Here's hoping we keep on that trend. But if you hear me blogging randomly about food and points and things, that's why. I'm trying to lose some fat.

I'm also actively trying to find a challenge, so I'm thinking about joining Mensa. I think that if I can get ahold of my ACT scores, I'll be able to join without having to go take a test for it. But if what I'm looking for in life is a creative group of people who stimulate my intellect, wouldn't Mensa seem like a decent place to try looking to find them?

And to complete the random trifecta, I watched Obama's infomercial tonight. I really wish I had the opportunity to meet him in person, and I'm pretty sure I would weep if I did. I can't help but think of Kennedy - the hope and enthusiasm that he infused into this country. Obama just strikes me as a beautiful person - a beautiful speaker, a wonderful father, a loving husband, an intelligent man who will listen to as many sides of the argument as he can find before making an informed decision. And what makes it really nice is that his campaign promises are saying all of the right things. And he's saying them in just such a way that you can believe that at least some of them might actually come true. I know there are people out there who think he doesn't have enough experience, or that he's a socialist, or that he's trying to destroy the country from within. I don't think any of that is true. I think he's exactly what this country needs right now. And what makes me almost unspeakably sad is that if he is elected, I will spend 4-8 years holding my breath for the day they announce there was an attempt on his life. There are already people out there plotting to assassinate him. It's almost like he's campaigning for a death sentence. But he's campaigning anyway because he believes he can make a difference, and because he believes it is that important. Thank you, Mr. Obama, for (if nothing else) your desire to make that sacrifice. Here's hoping I'm wrong and you serve out your two terms and then retire to a happy life with your wife, children, and grandchildren.

And I know that some of you out there think I'm a crackpot for thinking this way. Sorry. It's what makes sense to me. But whatever your views, please go vote on Tuesday if you haven't already. The thing that makes this country truly great is that all of our voices can be heard, but only if you speak up.


Saturday, October 25, 2008

I met a fellow introvert last night and it was lovely. I'll probably never see him again and that is fine. Both of us knew that we could exchange the pleasantries of "Gimmie your number and we'll hang out sometime," but we're introverts. Both of us would wait forever for the other one to call and neither one would actually do so. But I do have to say that it was really nice to talk to another introvert about introversion. About our general love of people (as in human kind) and our general disdain for having to participate from time to time. I got a laugh out of a friend of mine, too, as we were talking about it when I said, "Introversion isn't about self-consciousness, it's not about having low self-esteem, it's not about being shy; it just means that other people make you tired." So that was groovy.

It was also nice to find out that being an introvert makes dating difficult for more people than just me. And I think I've figured out what it is. It seems that there are a lot of men out there (at least a lot of the ones I'm meeting) who want to get into a relationship in the shortest amount of time possible, probably so that a) they can get regular nookie or b) they really need to talk to someone about some really deep stuff and it seems only fitting to be able to talk to a girlfriend 'cuz they can't talk to their guy friends about this stuff and nobody wants to have to go to therapy. Anyway. I want more out of a relationship than that. I want someone who I can trust with my crap, too. I want someone who challenges me. I want to be with someone who stimulates my intellect as well as my emotions and my spirtuality and my physical being. Silly me, I want the whole package, in reciprocation, not in an "I get to be this for you and you get to have me be this for you" kind of a way. And it usually takes me a little while to figure out if this type of person is the one I'm sharing a beer with at this very moment. Longer than it takes him to figure out that I'm a good listener. I just don't know if, in this society, at this point in time, at this point in my life, I'll find someone who is willing to take the time to let me get to know him, and who is going to take the time to get to know me. Really know me. Which says that if I'm going to date someone, I should date someone in my circle of friends because they're already halfway there. Unfortunately, the gender distribution of my friends has changed and I'm hanging out with more women (which is lovely, just not great for dating. For me).

So yeah, being an introvert is great. I am very happy that I am one. Makes dating difficult. But we already covered the fact that I'm okay with not doing that so much.

Happy Saturday, everybody.
I have to make one little amendment to my post from yesterday. There was one relationship type thing that I did enjoy, even though it was frustratingly ambiguous. I enjoyed being in love like that and caring that deeply for someone. That was pretty cool. It would have been cooler had he felt the same way, but one can't really ask that of someone who isn't attracted to your gender, now, can one?

Friday, October 24, 2008

So I went to a movie with a couple of friends last night because I've been rather anti-social lately. It was a pretty good movie - Choke. Not for the feint of heart, but entertaining. We like Sam Rockwell. Anyway. There was a preview for this darling-looking movie beforehand that of course, I'm not going to remember the title of, but it looked like it was about this woman who is just a happy person and she's single and people keep telling her that she should find someone because really, they just want her to be happy and she keeps responding, "But I am happy." My guess is that in this film either A) she falls in love with some wonderful guy when she was least expecting it, B) her heart is broken by some jackass and she finds love elsewhere as she picks up the pieces, or C) we find that she has some horrible disease that causes dementia.

Which, while it looks like a lovely movie, brings me back to a question I've asked before: why do we all think that being in a relationship will automatically make us happier than we already are?

I'm not trying to poo-poo relationships. I know lots of people in lots of relationships and they are happy in them and I think that's fantastic. But seeing as I've not been happy for a little while now, I've started to think about what it is that truly, truly makes me happy and you know what? None of the romantic relationships I have been in is on that list. Granted, a couple of them made me feel giddy at the time (for which I hated myself), but after the fact, they're not the sort of thing where I find myself thinking, "Wow, that sucked. I should do it again and maybe I'll be happy this time."

Wow, that came out really cynical, didn't it? Sorry.

The things in my life that have made me truly happy have nothing to do with romance. My family. My cat. Making music. Performing. Being vegan. I love it when I am challenged. I think we can all agree that I'm smarter than the average bear, and I'm good at pushing myself to do things that a lot of other people wouldn't do or that I would have previously been afraid to do, but what really gets me going is a challenge from something external. Usually a community of creative people. Like my former theater company. Or when I had a band. I would have foregone just about any romantic relationship for those things, and I probably still would. If I could have both, great, but if not... Give me a challenge and/or a group of people to create with and I'm all good. Even if it's just someone who says, "Hey, what about this?" and then I can run off and play with the thought and create something new out of that one little "this" (because I am a rather independent person, you see). Give me a challenge and I'm happy. Let my cat sleep on my lap and I'm happy. Put me on a stage and let me sing and I'm happy.

My guess is that this kind of goes back to people not really understanding introversion, and that's why the general opinion is that happiness is to be found in other people. That's not really an introverted point of view. Happiness is to be found in all kinds of places. I think I just need to put some gas in my car and take a little road trip to all kinds of places.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Next time you're in the grocery store, walk down the aisle where they keep the nuts and pick up a container of, say, roasted sunflower seeds and look at the ingredients. My guess is that it will read something like this, "Sunflower seeds, cottonseed oil, salt." Granted, there are brands that will try to throw preservatives or high fructose corn syrup in there as if they were necessary, but for the most part, you'll find the nut, some oil, and salt. Look at some almonds. Same thing - the nut, some oil, and salt.

My question is this: why don't they roast sunflower seeds in sunflower seed oil? Why don't they roast peanuts in peanut oil? Why don't they roast almonds in almond oil? You almost never see a nut roasted in it's own oil. Why not? Would that create an almond flavor overload? My guess is that it is for financial reasons - canola/vegetable/cottonseed oils are cheaper than the fancy ones. But still. You're roasting peanuts, which means you have easy access to peanut oil, why not use it?

Just a thought.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

No, I'm sorry, I can assure you that you have never "boughten" anything from me, the same way I am certain that I have never been guilty of driving on the "medium."
So another nightmare.

In this one, I was out somewhere with one of my girl friends, and when we were ready to leave, we went back to my car, only to discover all of the windows were smashed, and there was a scummy looking guy in the driver's seat trying to hot wire the car. I was on the passenger's side, but I got in and started hitting him and yelling. My friend opened the driver's side door and dragged him out of the car. When I couldn't reach him to hit him anymore, I called 911, but then all of a sudden, there was a cop there, telling me it was useless to call the police because my car hadn't actually been stolen. I looked at him, incredulous and furious at his lack of assistance, and the thief's accomplice (don't know where he came from, but it's a dream, remember?) starts leaning on the trunk of my car. I scream at him, "Don't you fuckin' TOUCH my car!" but by the time I get that out, he has opened the trunk, taken my guitar out, and started running down the street. I started running after him, tears streaming down my face, knowing all the while that as I chase this guy down to get my guitar back, the completely unhelpful cop is going to steal my car.

Then I woke up. It was about two in the morning, and I couldn't get the thief's face out of my head, and I had to go into the living room and touch my guitar to know that everything was okay.

Dream analysis: I feel not only like I'm losing things that are important to me, but that they are being taken away. Including my ability to create. On the up side, I had a friend there with me, helping me fight, which is good. At least I don't feel like I'm in it alone. But the feeling of powerlessness is not one that I like. Gotta do something about that.

Monday, October 13, 2008

So the fun thing about having new windows is that I can open and close them at will. Also, that it is a lot lighter in my apartment. I had no idea how dirty my old windows were. The not-so-fun thing about having new windows is that I can see my neighbors from time to time. And you know how on Friends, they had Ugly Naked Guy across the street? Yeah, well, I have Little Old Masturbating Guy across the courtyard. I don't mean to see him. I don't want to see him. And it's not that I'm anti-masturbation. I know it is a natural, healthy thing, and if this particular gentleman's heart is strong enough to do that at age seventy, then more power to him. I just don't want to see him do it. All it would take is for him to close his blinds beforehand. Or even, to do it with the lights off. And I will also acknowledge that for him half of the fun might be doing it with the lights on and the blinds open on the off chance that someone will see him. Okay. But can it be someone else? Who then doesn't tell me about it later? Please?


Thursday, October 09, 2008

So my apartment still kind of smells like caulk from when they put in new windows. And it's just kind of dull in here. The air isn't moving much, and everything just kind of has this general feeling of dampness. I did laundry the other night and had to hang up a couple of sweaters to dry. They're still damp. Water just isn't evaporating in my apartment.

So I found a gluten-free, dairy free cinnamon raisin bread mix and I pulled out my old bread maker and I'm currently baking some cinnamon raisin bread in my apartment. Hoping it will help make things smell better in here. It probably won't help with the dampness, but it might make it feel more like home.

And I found an eco-friendly drain unclogging substance that I'm going to try in my kitchen sink. Yay.

And I've gone to the gym two days in a row now, after not going since before I went to San Francisco. With any luck, things will start looking up soon.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

So you remember the story about the two doors, and one of them always lies and one of them always tells the truth, and you have one question to figure out which is which?

Yeah, the debate tonight made me think of that. Not quite sure why.
So the resounding cry from the south side of Chicago is, "At least we did better than the Cubs!" My question is, "Based on what?" The Cubs scored more runs (855 to 811), had more hits (1552 to 1458), more doubles (329 to 296), more triples (21 to 13), more RBIs (811 to 785), more stolen bases (87 to 67), a better on-base percentage (.354 to .332), better team batting average (.278 to .263), grounded into fewer double plays (134 to 157), a better stolen base percentage (71.9% to 66.3%), fewer ground outs and fly outs (1434 to 1685), a better season record (97/64 to 89/74), a better ERA (3.87 to 4.06), more saves (44 to 34), gave up fewer hits (1329 to 1471), gave up fewer runs (671 to 729 or 624 to 658 when you talk earned runs), struck out more batters (1264 to 1147), had a lower opponent's slugging and on base percentages (.395 and .316 to .410 and .320), committed fewer errors (99 to 108), gave up fewer stolen bases (87 to 139), and caught more guys stealing (36 to 30) than the White Sox. In every category - pitching, fielding, and hitting - across both leagues, the Cubs were ranked above the White Sox (Fielding: Cubs-19th, Sox-23rd); Pitching: Cubs-5th, Sox-11th; Hitting: Cubs-5th, White Sox-18th). So really, White Sox fans, you want to try to convince me that you had the better team this year? Based on what? One measly game that brought your season record to 90 and 77, versus our season record of 97 and 67? Really? You're going to try to play that card?

I don't think so.

I'm sorry to be angry and bitter, but I am angry and bitter. This was an amazing Cubs team. The best we've had, probably as long as I've been alive. And it pisses me off that a kind of decent team is trying to squash all of the accomplishments the Cubs achieved and records we broke because they won one game in the post season and we didn't. Sox fans can kiss my ass. I'm done being diplomatic on this one.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

I still love the Cubs. It hurts and I'm really disappointed, but I still love the Cubs.

Next year. It'll be a different team, but it will still be baseball. Hopefully, we'll still have Theriot, Fontenot, DeRosa, Johnson, Dempster, Big Z, Hardin, Lilly. I'd like to see Lee and Ramirez back, too. I can see places where improvements can be made. Six months from yesterday and it'll all start over again.

I'd also like to send a little something to Mark DeRosa if I can, just because I know in his blog he is beating himself up about this. Mr. DeRosa, you provided more offense in the NLDS than the rest of the team combined. Yes, you committed an error or two in the second game, but you were out there playing as best you could. It's just sad that one man can't win it by himself. But please know that your efforts were noticed and appreciated. And I hope to see you back again next year for another amazing season of Chicago Cubs baseball. Thanks for everything you did this season.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

I love the Cubs.

I was born loving the Cubs.

I will love the Cubs until I die.

I have learned many important life lessons from the Cubs:

- Tomorrow is another day, and it should be met with the same enthusiasm and energy and positive attitude that started today.
- You can fall flat on your face, BIG TIME, and still come back and do something amazing.
- Hope for the best, expect the worst.
- Sometimes, you have to find the joy in the little victories.
- There are some things in your life that you just can't give up on.

It hurts to see them losing in the post season. Again. But I love the Cubs. I have always loved the Cubs. I will always love the Cubs. I'm still crossing my fingers that they take the last three games of the series and blow us all away. But if they don't, I will spend the off season counting down to opening day.

Let's go, Cubbies! (clap, clap, clap, clap, clap) Let's go, Cubbies!

(Especially Mark DeRosa. Tee hee.)