Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Paint Chip Pathos

So I've developed a bit of an obsession. It all started when I won this book by the wonderful women over at this blog. The first chapter in the book is all about finding colors that you feel express certain people or qualities. I starting digging through my already sizeable collection of paint chips but quickly became overwhelmed by the sheer volume of options and the utter lack of organization. I mean, raspberry pudding looks like the perfect dark pink, but how do I know if I can't compare it to fuschia kiss?

So I decided to create my own color guides. Because the blisters I gave myself punching holes in all my paint chips (and the blade I destroyed on my paper cutter) are nothing compared to the $375 it costs to buy the Pantone set. Paint chips are free! Even if I did have to make multiple trips to Home Depot because I was too embarrassed to walk out with 10 pounds of paint chips tucked in my purse.

It started out as this quirky little project, but now I've become a bit of a color freak. I guess we all need a hobby. Check out the obsessions of some other people at the Overlooked blog's Subject Two.

Now I've created a tag with the colors in each of our rooms to carry with me when I go shopping. No more buying the perfect pillows only to get them home and realize they're the perfectly wrong color! And whenever I come across a color combo I like, in a magazine spread say, I create another tag (on a different ring) that I keep for inspiration in decorating, scrapbooking, etc. It keeps me busy.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Jackass Overpopulation

Not that anyone is surprised, but I'm already behind on my to-dos for this year. I'm trying to focus on the positive. Yes, last week was pretty much a wash, but I'm already getting back on track this week.

The truth is that fighting the spiral into full blown depression has really put a crimp in my schedule. Two weeks ago it occurred to me that rage might not be an appropriate response to a typically defiant three year old, and I've been having regular crying jags ever since. On the top of my to-do list at the moment is calling my physician so we can talk about upping my meds. I'm blogging instead. If you recall this incident, you may understand why I haven't gotten around to calling yet. But I'll be out of magic little pills altogether soon so I suppose it can't be avoided. Yes, yes, I should just find another doctor. Do you have any idea how much energy that will require? More than I have at the moment. I'll just lie to the jackass about breastfeeding, and I'm sure he won't even hesitate.

It's possible that I'm just finally feeling the effects of serious sleep deprivation. I asked Monkey Man on Saturday to take the first feeding of the night so I could sleep 5 or 6 hours straight. The idiot changed Cha-Cha's diaper before feeding him so the baby was screaming pissed off and then, because he didn't want to make him more angry, brought him to me. And then he didn't understand why my face was puffy Sunday morning when he got up at 7. Could have been the weeping I did from 5 until 7. And he didn't understand why I was so angry all day, or why waking me up from a nap to ask if he should make a bottle made me cry again.

All these jackasses in my life, no wonder I'm depressed.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Friendship Wasted

Don't worry, I won't bore you with the details, but I have to share a dream I had the other night. It was all about an old friend of mine, someone I haven't had contact with in probably 10 years. In the dream we were running around together, just being silly, just being friends. I woke up with mixed emotions; the dream had been great fun, but it made me sad to think about how much I missed this woman.

I spent at least the first few hours of my day absorbed in that sadness. I thought about the last time I had seen her, some of the times we shared, the way that our lives had been intertwined for a period. I even spent an hour or so last year "googling" her to see if I could find out anything that had happened to her recently.

I think it's telling that I describe someone I have had no contact with for a decade as a "friend". This woman cut off most contact with me after I ended a romantic relationship, apparently agreeing with the rest of "our" friends that the only reason she was my friend is because I was dating that certain boy. The little contact we had after that was always initiated by me, and it was always disappointing and frustrating contact for me.

I can't help but wonder why I continued to consider her a friend then. And it certainly makes no sense that I would still consider her a friend now, after all these years. Of course she's not the only person I've felt this way about. I think of anyone I've ever let into my heart as a friend no matter how horribly they've gone on to treat me. In fact, I often secretly wonder what I could have done differently to salvage the relationship.

What a waste.

My life is filled with wonderful people who truly care about me, and I'm spending my precious time fretting about the jerks who used me or discarded me or just generally didn't like me. I'll be 36 next month, and I think it's time to put an end to this wasteful and painful (self inflicted pain - I love that!) bad habit. I'm a little slow, but I seem to be finally catching on.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

A Little Privacy, Please

So the other day, in a wild attempt to get just a few moments to myself, I dared to lock the bathroom door. A whole potty break without a preschooler turning the lights on and off? A little slice of heaven.

Of course I was afraid I'd have to exchange the flickering lights for the preschooler beating the shit out of the door. He threw his whole body at the bathroom door and wailed like his puppy just died when my mother locked the door while she took a shower a few weeks ago. But he only yelled at me that the door was locked and then went away to find something else to do. Like light the kitchen on fire. But I don't care! Because I got to poop. alone. finally.

Could the "shitty threes" finally be coming to an end? More likely he's plotting something hugely evil and just being sweet to throw me off my game...

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

The Fat Sister-In-Law

Christmas with my husband’s family can sometimes be a bit of tug-of-war since his parents are divorced and both of my sisters-in-law have family here too. So my mother-in-law planned a nice dinner a few days before Christmas where she could be with her three sons and their families without the pressure of one or more of them rushing off to another house.

So picture, if you will, three women (my mother-in-law, Sister-in-law#3*, and myself) getting ready to leave my mother-in-law’s house to travel to Brother#2’s house for dinner. The brothers had been out at the sand dunes so my husband called to ask me to bring his bathing suit since Brother#2 has a hot tub. I grabbed my suit too; it was chilly and a hot tub sounded divine. SIL#3 tells me she’s not packing her suit because she can’t face wearing it at the moment.

SIL#3 who is tall, thin, leggy and gorgeous. SIL#3 who is 10 years younger than me, weighs less than me, and is a good 4 inches taller than me.

I look at her, dumbfounded, and say, “If the fat sister-in-law who just had a baby 6 weeks ago can put on a bathing suit, then I think you can manage it.” She tried to make some lame excuse about being bloated, to which I pretty much responded, “What the fuck?” Then she went and got her bathing suit, and I told everyone how I shamed her into bringing it.

Maybe I’m crazy, but I just think life is too short to being worrying about whether or not my husband’s family thinks I’m too fat to wear a bathing suit.

*I’ve taken the liberty of numbering us according to the brothers’ birth order, making me SIL#1 and Monkey Man Brother#1.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Shapely Prose Writing Tips

As noted earlier, I recently discovered the fantastic blog, Shapely Prose. It’s helped me remember a part of myself that I find too easy to forget. When I first read this entry of Kate’s writing tips, I sort of skimmed over it. After all, I was there to read bitingly funny commentary on our fat-phobic culture. But her words wouldn’t leave my head, and I realized hours later that they were exactly what I needed to read.

I’ve been having problems with this little blog lately. I’d been thinking that perhaps I didn’t like writing nearly as much as I thought I might since I couldn’t seem to, you know, write anything. But Kate’s words made me realize that I’ve been deep in the fantasy of “writing for everyone” while pretending I was only “writing for myself”. I need to focus on an audience. And get over myself.

Why am I writing here at all? I tell everyone that it’s to keep all my far flung friends up to date on what’s happening in my life. And that’s true. But I also wanted a place to share what was going on in my head (frankly being alone with my thoughts is kinda scary most days). And I was hoping that the act of writing regularly, for an audience, would help me develop my own “voice”.

I’ve been censoring myself too much, trying too hard to fit my writing topics and styles into the topics and styles that I admire in other blogs. It’s time to stretch beyond what feels safe (which isn’t much most days), and discover myself by revealing myself to you.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

New Links for a New Year

It's been awhile since I've updated my links, and I've certainly found many more blogs worthy of your precious time. Or at least my precious time. Anyway...

To tie in nicely with my previous post about figuring out what I want to do with my life, I present:

inside a black apple - the look, the art, the creativity! It's all in one fabulous package. For my birthday I may just have to buy myself something. Does anyone think I'm too old for knee socks yet?
shimelle - can I help it if it inspires me to see other women find their calling through a not-so-straight path? When I pop over I'm always impressed by her creativity. And I usually leave with burning desire to make cupcakes.

And I've found a few other sites that I love to read:

suburban bliss - Melissa never fails to make me laugh. Or to wish I could have a drink (or 5) with her so we could discuss our perfect husbands.

dooce - Heather knows the truth of living with a preschooler, and she ain't afraid to tell it. With biting wit, naturally. And it's nice to know that someone out there has a stranger dog than me.

shapely prose - Kate and her cohorts are smart, funny, and feminist. They write about fat acceptance, the evils of diets, and why thin isn't always healthy. All with more cuss words than I usually use!

Hope you enjoy!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Be Bold

I made a New Year’s Resolution for the first time in years.

Be Bold

I’ve been living much smaller than I want to, and I think it’s time to change that. Of course being bold isn’t exactly something that’s easy to measure, and we all know from reading too many self-help books (or maybe that’s just me) that goals must be specific and measurable. So I’ve actually got a whole list of goals for the year, not one of which is “lose weight”. Thank you, Shapely Prose, for reminding me that The Fantasy of Being Thin is a crock of shit. It’s time to get on with my life.

I haven’t made any resolutions in years (except for my private “lose weight” resolution that I was ashamed to voice), but I’ve been busy this past week scribbling notes at random times about what I’d like to change this year. It all started during the massage I got the day after Christmas (a gift from my two sons). As I was letting my mind drift with the soft music before the massage got started, the thought “this is the year I figure out what I want to do with my life” popped, fully formed, into my head.

I believe the whole “I Don’t Know What I Want to Be When I Grow Up” thing is just another version of the being thin fantasy. Not knowing what I want to do is great way to avoid doing anything. And of course I can’t figure out what I want to do with my life if the house is a mess and the kids still need me around and the bills need to be paid and I can’t even figure out what I want for dinner. Right?

So I started a list of all the jobs and careers that I fantasize about or think I might want to pursue. I’m going to do that overly analytical thing of comparing and contrasting all the pros and cons of each one in an attempt to distract my head long enough to give my gut a chance to offer an opinion. But I’d also like opinions from any of you. What do you think I should do? What do you think my talents are?