Archive for the ‘Sad’ Category

Prop 8

November 12, 2008

Of course I am outraged at this. That comes as no surprise. But it seems that everyone I know is outraged by its passing, and if not outraged, than at least indifferent. I can’t say that I know anyone who would have voted to pass Prop 8. I don’t even think my Catholic mother would have. And even if I have met the occasional person who is still so backwards in their thinking or so “religious” that they would vote YES, how on earth does it make up over 50% of the voters in California? HOW?! This just doesn’t compute to me.

If you would have voted “YES,” on constitutionally banning gay marriage, please let me know why. You can even e-mail me at tashamort (at) hotmail.com. If you can read or watch the following things and still argue against it, then I am even more curious.

A great, PRO gay marriage blog post. These are some amazing arguments that I had never even considered.

Keith Olbermann’s special comment. His passion is on parallel with what I feel. How can you deny a couple the same rights you enjoy? It’s so unfair that it hurts.

Don’t tell me it leads to worse things. No one in Massachusetts is married to their dog.

Don’t tell me marriage is about God. I know people who married without God. Specifically, my future sister-in-law. They did not marry in a church. They did not use a religious figure as their officiant. In fact, the woman who married them was a good friend who happens to be a lesbian! They did not have any bible readings (I don’t think…). They had readings from books and poems that expressed their love in the truest way. One of their readings was even from the MA Ruling about gay marriage!

And they are married. They are not civil unionized. MARRIED. Should they not be married because they didn’t marry under God? That is not the God that I believe in. Will I have God in my marriage and ceremony? Yes I will, but that will not make me any MORE married than them. And you know what? The fact that they married the way they did, does not in ANY way infringe upon my marriage.

No one wants to force churches to perform gay marriage ceremonies. That’s not the issue. So the fact that religion has entrenched itself in this part of the government is kind of ridiculous. How does the fact that a same sex couple would be married diminish your marriage?! Does it bother you so much that there are states that allow this? Perhaps you should move to Iran, where they don’t have any gay people!

It doesn’t surprise me that there are people out there who harbor these views, generally based on their religion. People who believe homosexuality is wrong, immoral, an abomination. There will always be extreme people in this world. What is absolutely shocking to me is that more than 50% of California voters harbor this particular view.

Why?

Woes

October 3, 2008

I watched the VP debate with my dental bills spread out before me. I always want to help others, but in times like these, I really need to help myself. I had great respect for Joe Biden when he admitted that assistance to foreign countries could not be as great until we solved our problems at home. This is also why I really respect the Obama/Biden ticket for wanting to end the war quickly and carefully.

I also believe that I will have more money in my pocket under the Obama/Biden tax plan. Is it fair that big companies and people making over $250,000 get taxed a little bit more? No, I honestly can’t say that’s FAIR, but I’ll be perfectly honest… It’s really difficult to have sympathy for those people while I sink deeper into debt and the dream of ever owning a home slips farther away.

I don’t want their money. Rather, I want the money in my pocket that Obama is promising me. I want the regulations on Wall St and I don’t want my employer to pay taxes on my health benefits.

This is really not supposed to be about politics. It’s supposed to be about the money pit I’m in.

I am trying to think about EVERY SINGLE PENNY that I spend now. Last month was a disaster. I drove up to Eau Claire to visit my sister and we drove to the Mall of America. I gave myself about $100 to shop with. I spent $120 on myself. Not bad. Except then I also found Christmas gifts for people and spent another $60. I try not to give myself too hard of a time about that, because if it’s Christmas and if I didn’t spend it now, I’d just spend it later. Oh, and don’t forget about the $60 tank of gas I had to use.

The next weekend we went camping and had a tent disaster in which we had to BUY A NEW TENT. “Only” $30, but still. That Sunday was the Packer game that I went to. $200 for two tickets. It was a great deal, and I had to go. The value of the experience was worth much more than $200, but still… I had to empty out my accounts and David and I lived off my credit card for the next week. And again, with the tank of gas.

These are all things that I would have had money for throughout the year, but the fact that it all happened in two weeks was pretty tough. Still, I feel like I start fresh with each new paycheck, and so far I’ve done pretty well and payed off the extra stuff I put on my credit card.

I got the final crown put on my molar on Monday. So far, so good. My dentist wasn’t worried about it not “working,” and so I’m feeling pretty good about it. Until I added up all the bills. Between the root canal and the crown, the amount I’m responsible for is $760. That is a lot. I mean, A LOT A LOT A LOT. And I have dental implants to look forward to in about 5 years or so.

My dad might be able to help me out, but right now I owe him about $300 for my car and cell phone (David and I just went on his family plan to save money.) So to be fair, it’s a wash. I have already paid about $400 on that dental bill, $200 from my savings and $200 on my credit card.

So now I have another $360 to deal with. It will have to go on my credit card, because my savings is empty. I had been hoping and dreaming about paying off my credit cards by next summer, but now it doesn’t look like that will happen. It is so frustrating, because I just want this debt GONE.

A couple months ago I was feeling good about paying it off and saving for a wedding sometime soon and taking a nice trip for David’s golden birthday. Now I don’t know where I am anymore and it’s frustrating and a little heartbreaking.

I’m trying to take it one day at a time. Do I need that cup of coffee? Why would we pick up dinner when we have a box of Mac & Cheese at home? I guess that’s all I can do right now, and hopefully I’ll be halfway out of this hole again sometime soon.

Whew. <end pity party>

What Is Important

September 11, 2008

On this, the SEVEN year anniversary of the attack that brought down the twin towers, I can’t help but feel a little different. I can’t help but think about what I’m doing and what is truly important to me.

Also, I still can’t think about that day without losing my breath and tears forming in my eyes. I didn’t know anyone who was injured, or worse, that day, but my heart just breaks for those who were, and the families that are still reeling from the events.

I don’t think I’ll ever forget where I was when I found out, or how that day felt. I remember watching the coverage in the evening, sitting alone at the kitchen table, trying to do my math homework. I remember my mom keeping my (then 6-year old) little sister in the den, with the TV on PBS, because they were running the normal after-school cartoons. I remember feeling lucky and grateful that my dad’s flight to New York City was scheduled to leave at around noon that day, rather than the early morning flights he was usually on. I remember crying, a lot.

I could go on and on, but I won’t. If anything can be gained from this, let it be that the empathy and spirit of Americans can continue, and we can save and use the best parts of ourselves from those days. Patriotism is not liberal or conservative and neither is compassion. It’s human.

Confronted with our mortality, what is important to us? If we were to die tomorrow, would we be happy with what we’ve done and what we have?

I know that I am not ready to leave this earth. I still have a lot of life to live and a lot to figure out, but I do know that I feel confident in what I’m trying to do and where my priorities are.

  1. Love
    It wasn’t hard for me to realize that love is the single most important thing to me. And because of this, I am SO happy and SO grateful that I have the most amazing person to love, and to love me back. As long as I have that, life can never be too terrible.
  2. Family
    My family is extremely important to me. I’m so happy that we’re all so close. As I grow, I feel their love and support behind me even more. I’m not totally and completely 100% sold on having a family of my own. But I think I will, and the idea really excites me.
  3. Career
    Here’s where I’m stuck. I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up! I was foolish for not finishing college when the opportunity was practically handed to me on a silver platter. As a result, I sometimes feel hopeless. I have a good, steady job that pays the bills, but it’s not where I see myself forever. But I don’t know where I see myself forever. I love theater, but am slowly coming to terms with the fact that I’m just not good enough to make a living of it out there. That hurts, but I have to be honest and realistic. I love photography and I love baking, but I don’t think I know enough about either to run with the idea at this point in time. Going back to school for a degree in business would be the easiest option, but all I can do with that degree would be to hope to end up somewhere, and doing something, that I love. At 23, I know I have plenty of time to figure things out, but I’m frustrated in not having any great ideas at the moment.
  4. Money
    Let’s face it, money is important to most people. I can’t live without money. I would like to have more money. I would like to be able to pay off my debt and go to college and travel and have a wedding and a house and kids… but I would not trade money for any of the first three items on my list, and especially not the first two. As long as I have those, I know I’ll be okay.
  5. Cake
    While not a traditional basic need, as long as there is cake in this world, there is good in this world. I speak the truth.

If anything else is gained from the memory of this date, I hope it is that everyone can be reminded of what really matters.

Pictures

August 7, 2008

 Some pictures from the last couple weeks…

What is it about alcohol that brings out maturity?

Also, alcohol makes me suck at darts. This is the game where you have to get to zero. Guess which player I was!!!

A couple weeks ago, I saw my own FAIL:

Have I mentioned “Clue” yet? I am playing Miss Scarlett when the Warped Cast  shadow cast’s Clue in a couple of months. I’m still new to this, so I’m a little honored to play such a big part.

Miss Scarlet is on the far left of this picture. Her dress hurts my brain when I try to think about making it.

Knee length, low cut, off the shoulder, and TIGHT. Fun…

I found and purchased this pattern. It’s not perfect, and it’s not easy, but I barely sew WITH a pattern. No way was I freestyling this. I think this will serve as a decent base that I can work with. The girl who does Scarlet in the Chicago cast has a PERFECT costume. I would swear to God she stole it from Leslie Ann Warren herself. I don’t think there’s any way mine will be as good, but I will try. It’ll be fun. I just need to start working on it. Like, two weeks ago.

I will not have the 14 inch waist Ms. Warren seems to have in the movie, but I’m looking better. I pulled some old dresses out of my closet and was completely blown away by the fact that they fit. Like, fit better even than when I bought them! Mostly, this red dress. I’ve only worn this once, to a work Christmas party. Two hours into it, I started to get sick. I came down with the worst flu ever. Two days before Christmas. It was awful. But the dress looked great, even though I had to stuff myself into it.

But now… I slipped it on, without even wearing Spanx! The amazing details about this dress… It was bought at Bloomingdales at the Mall of America a few years ago. My mom opened a credit card (to buy Spanx) and we shopped around the whole store. I wanted to look at fancy dresses, and then I saw this dress. ON SALE. I tried it on, and it fit, almost perfectly. With my mom’s credit card discount, the clearance price, and the lack of sales tax at the MOA, it was about $60. From around $400!! That makes it that much better! And now, it fits again. I just need to find a place to wear it. That’s difficult, because it’s pretty fancy and a little scandalous in the neckline. I cut my head off this picture because I was making a funny face.

Speaking of modeling new clothes, I made David do a fashion shoot with me in our new jeans. Thanks to the constant shoot mode on my camera, we made like fashion models and showed off our hot new looks. Kind of.

Playing it cool:

Heroin chic?

Ass-tastic:

Yeah, we’re goofy.

Tonight has been a totally chill night at home. We both needed that. I’m freaked out of my damn mind with this tooth stuff. So I ate a McD’s double cheeseburger and two cookies and a cupcake for dinner. Oh, and a handful of Life cereal. Yeah, soooo not sticking to the diet this week. I’m such an emotional eater sometimes. We watched a whole bunch of episodes of 30 Rock on Netflix’s instant view thing. Then I watched a rerun of Project Runway from last night. Wow, some of those outfits were so hilarious! Good night, huh? It may be lame, but it was the best I could hope for right now.

I need a massage. Or about 40 hours of sleep.

Rambling

August 7, 2008

My house is for sale. It’s not my house, but it’s my home. The house I really grew up in. I’ve lived in several homes, but this was the forever home. I spent almost 10 years here. My youngest sister was born the day we moved in. I went through middle and high school in this house. I still call it home.

And now it has been listed. It might take a while to sell, but it will sell. And then it will never be home again. This hurts in a certain way that reminds me that I told myself I was going to start seeing a therapist to help me through some parental divorce “issues.”

But that costs money.

I’m freaked out of my mind about money. Monday after work, David and I went to the Gap at Mayfair. I decided I finally needed a new pair of jeans, and their sizes seemed to fit well. They had a 20% off offer when you open a Gap card. I figured what the heck, so I opened one. David tried on jeans too. We both got a new pair that look AWESOME. And… mine are a size 14!!!!!!!!!!!! And they fit very comfortably, not tight at all. With the 20% off, I spent $100 on two pairs of jeans, which I think is a good deal. But it’s still $100.

I had a gift card for Envoy at the Ambassador Hotel, so we went there for dinner. We were feeling great, and decided to celebrate David’s show being over, AND the fact that he does not need surgery on his hand. We went overboard on the (absolutely delicious) meal and spent about $70 after the gift card.

On Wednesday we got Chinese food for lunch. We were both feeling a little sick and I was feeling depressed over my dental news. So David bought us Chinese take-out. My fortune cookie said something like, “Now is not the time to overspend. Frugality is important.”

HOLY GOD FREAKING OUT!!! Even my fortune cookie knows that things are about to get bad.

Oh yeah, and Tuesday, instead of going to State Fair, because it was hot and my teeth hurt, I went to Neroli and got a bikini and brow wax. These, combined with my jeans make me feel good, but then I think about how much I spent on it all, and I freak out some more.

Wednesday is my potential root canal. Thursday I have an appointment for a hair cut. I know I won’t have to pay for the root canal up front, and the crown is the expensive part anyway, but this still freaks me out. I’ve been waiting a long time for this cut, and I am planning on going MUCH shorter. Now I’m wondering if I should cancel the damn thing. I’ll probably have stroke face all Thursday anyway from the Novocain. Oh, and since I took TWO days off this week, I’ll have to go to work on Thursday with stroke face. Especially since I’ll have to take another day off for the crown.

I need to scream and cry into a pillow to vent my frustration.

This is very overdramatic, I know, but I’m scared to hope for the best. I so often just think about the worst, and am sometimes pleasantly surprised. But in this case, I don’t even know how to prepare for the worst. Even the BEST scenario still involves upwards of $6,000 within the next 10 years. Maybe I could get insurance to cover SOME of that (because it would be impossible to do a bridge on the left side). But still. I am feeling very down right now. And I think my cell phone bill is overdue as of today. Crap.

Freaking Out

August 7, 2008

I have to have a root canal.

And that’s the BEST case scenario.

I have had problems with my teeth for a long time. I had braces when I was younger and my teeth have always been a little unpredictable. The dentist was trying to shift my lower teeth to the left. I came back for a follow-up appointment a few weeks later, and they had shifted too far. He had never seen that happen, so he had to adjust the braces the other way. I spent a lot of time in that dentist’s chair.

My teeth were always pretty strong. I never had a cavity. But that seems to have changed now. I have a couple tiny cavities now. I’m not too worried about those, and neither is my current dentist.

Her big concern is my broken molar. I have this molar on the left side that is seriously fractured. I’ve known about it and it’s been this way for over a year. It doesn’t cause me much trouble, but I knew something would have to be done about it.

I went to the dentist yesterday and found out some details about my mouth that have me freaking out juuuuust a little. Mostly related to my broken tooth.

Best case: it can be saved by a root canal. I’m going to see a dentist out in Germantown next week. If the remaining tooth is strong enough, he will perform a root canal and my dentist will top it with a permanent crown. With proper care, it will last quite a while.

Monetary cost: $500-$800 depending on my insurance
Emotional cost: HIGH

I’m not scared of the dentist. I don’t mind regular cleanings, even though it can get uncomfortable. I am, however, scared of dental work or anything close to surgery. When I had my wisdom teeth removed, I asked to be completely put under. I guess a root canal is much more minor procedure compared to that, but still… I am already scared as hell. Especially since…

Worst case: They cannot save the tooth. Then we have more problems to consider. I still have two baby teeth. They are the second premolar/bicuspid on each side of my lower jaw. I’ve known this for a long time, but never really knew what would happen with them. This is not uncommon, according to my dentist. She says they still look mostly healthy and with me being young, she’s not concerned about them right now.

Eventually, they will need to come out. They’re baby teeth, and not meant to last my whole life. I guess they’ll start to wither and die, or something. Basically I will need a dental implant. I think a bridge is also a possibility, but my dentist doesn’t like bridges and thinks implants are worth the initial cost. After doing some preliminary research, I understand her reasoning.

SO… if my broken molar cannot be saved, it will have to come out. And since it’s right next to my baby tooth, it would be foolish to make a bridge on a tooth that will have to be removed. So I would get a dental implant there. My dentist recommended that if that’s what they have to do, that baby tooth might as well come out at the same time. And then I would get TWO dental implants.

Monetary cost: HUGE. Insurance doesn’t like to cover dental implants. I could be looking at around $6,000 for both implants.
Emotional cost: Even huge-r.

If this is what happens, I don’t know what I’ll do. I’m about halfway out of my mountain of credit card debt. I’m that much closer to being able to save for a wedding. And now this. I know I live on a very loose budget. I do fun stuff all the time. But even if I really tightened my wallet, it would still take months and months to pay off or save $6,000. That’s about how much credit card debt I have, and it will take me just under a year to pay that off.

If I manage to get by with “just” a root canal, it will wipe out just about all the savings I have right now. That includes the small CD that was the start of my “wedding fund” and the money I put aside for David’s birthday vacation next year.

If that is the way things work out, I’m not totally off the hook with those implants. My baby teeth will need to be dealt with eventually. Probably within the next 10 years. So again, at least around $6,000 for the both of them.

As my dentist told me, “You might as well start saving for them now.”

But… but… in the next 10 years I’d love to go back to school, get married, buy a house, have kids. I know that $6,000 is not that much money, in the grand scheme of things. But right now, to me, it is a fortune. A fortune I was planning on spending on OTHER things.

I love my teeth and I want to take care of them. I believe this implant thing would be money well spent. Meaning, I can’t NOT get them. I don’t want a nasty, rotten mouth. But I’m feeling such a whirlwind of emotions right now with how this could have such a huge impact on my life right now. It’s scary.

David and I are both considering finding and taking on second jobs. I really can’t imagine that existence, but would be willing to handle it for a short period of time. I think I wait to figure out that option until I know the deal with the broken tooth.

So please bear with me as I continue to throw myself a pity party and worry myself sick until my root canal appointment next Wednesday. Then I’ll know how bad it really is.

I Can Has More Weekend?

July 7, 2008

Please?

This three day weekend was NOT long enough. I did plenty, but David and I did not have enough time to relax and spend some quality “US” time together.

After I left work on Friday, I spend the afternoon slowly shopping at Boston Store. I didn’t really need anything, but I didn’t feel like going home, and I still had to pick David up from work at 4:00. I bought a couple of shirts and tried on several pairs of shoes, but I didn’t find THE pair that I’m looking for. Part of that is because I don’t really know what I’m looking for… but when I see them, I’ll know!

David and I wandered Mayfair Mall for a while and then walked over to Cheesecake Factory for dinner. It was pleasant, having time to eat dinner together and just engaging in casual conversation. Then it was off to my super-sexy pole dancing class, where I gave myself several new side bruises that still hurt today. I had planned on rushing downtown to see the US Bank Fireworks, but my drive home and the bus schedule just didn’t fit together very well. Plus I was feeling exhausted, so I called my friends and crapped out on them. I wasn’t too proud of that, but lounging on the couch felt pretty nice.

David got home from rehearsal and we sat on the couch talking for a while. We decided to go buy a scary movie, make some popcorn, and relax. That’s when our trouble began. Target and Blockbuster were closed. I talked about all the potential plans for the 4th of July. And somewhere in all of that, David got very overwhelmed. And just like that our fun night melted into frustration.

July 4th was going to be our day with no plans. Well, then my mom asked me to take my little sister to the Tosa parade. And my neighbors were having a cookout. And there were the Tosa fireworks. We worked things out and still manage to catch our own “Double Feature” at the movies (Hancock and Get Smart- both passable summer movies). But it wasn’t quite the care-free day David had hoped for.

There was a lot of tension and frustration on what should have been a very chilled-out and fun day. I feel so bad because of that. It all stems from our stress level right now. David’s show opens this Friday and his rehearsal schedule has been unbelievably crazy. He had rehearsal Saturday and Sunday this weekend. Sunday’s rehearsal was from 1pm-10pm!! And now, this whole week, rather than going from 7-10pm, they’re rehearsing from 6:30-11pm!

So he’s stressed out because that leaves almost ZERO minutes for relaxing. Usually we’re in bed before 11. I’m stressed out because I’m stuck at home every night with a house full of stuff to clean, but no energy to do so. I feel like I only have time to do the minimum… clean up from dinner, wash dishes, do laundry, shower, go to bed. And then I get sucked into TV. If I catch an addictive TV show it’s so hard to pull myself off the couch.

So I’m frustrated because I feel like I’m not doing enough. He’s frustrated because he’s doing too much. It’s not a good time in our house right now. We did manage to have a good time on Saturday night, after my family reunion. We curled up on the couch and watched Jurassic Park, one of our favorites. After that, everything seemed okay again.

We had few of long talks on Thursday and Friday about our feelings and what we were thinking and relationship problem-solving. I think we communicate very well for the most part. But sometimes even we suffer from communication breakdowns. Tears are shed and tension is high, but we have yet to leave anything unresolved. It’s been so difficult when we rarely see each other.

There is a light at the end of the tunnel. His show opens on Friday and it plays Thursday-Sunday for the next few weeks. That means we’ll at least have Monday-Wednesdays to catch up on our “us” time.

When things were SO built up and we were both frustrated with everything around us and each other, I looked down at my engagement ring. I thought, is this something that could destroy our relationship, or are we going to work through this?  The answer, of course, was Duh! We can work through this. Everything will end up okay, and we’ll be stronger for figuring it out. Just having that moment of clarity helped me talk through everything.

I guess that’s why I’m writing this. I like to blog because I like to look back at the years and remember things that I’ve done and been through. It’s the lazy person’s scrapbook. Perhaps a year from now I’ll reread this entry and remember this as another step in our relationship. Or maybe I’ll look at it during another trying time and remember that there is nothing that will stop us. That’s what that ring means to me. Whenever I feel scared or stressed I look down and it reminds me that we have made this promise to each other, to help each other through tough times and work through any problems. We may not be husband and wife yet, but I am confident that once we get there, we will be ready for anything.

We Named The Dog Indiana

May 23, 2008

I saw it last night! The new Indiana Jones movie. I had been hearing rumbles of discontent about the movie, so I went in with lowered expectations. And you know? I enjoyed myself. I thought it was a fun movie. There really were some great moments. I was excited and entertained and it made me laugh. But then it also made me laugh AT it. I never want to laugh AT a movie series that I love so very much. Fortunately, it was not as much of a joke as Star Wars Episode One felt like.

I feel like there were some “jokes” and scenes that were inserted because the writer/director/George Lucas thought it would be FUNNY, but didn’t think how it fit with the feel of the movie or how it would be received by audiences. (Ahem, Jar Jar Binks, cough.) The monkeys really did it for me. And the refrigerator.

Oh, and don’t ask me what the plot was, because I lost that halfway through the movie. But I didn’t really care that much, because it was still fun. Mostly. I am more than a little in love with Harrison Ford, and I think he is still super sexy. I am really liking Shia Labeouf more and more. I thought it was great that they brought back Karen Allen and she looks like a REAL woman! Cate Blanchett is always good, but I can’t really hear a Russian-ish accent without thinking of Boris and Natasha from “Rocky and Bulwinkle.”

Would I see it again? Yeah, probably. But it wasn’t quite the thrill I was hoping for. I may have to watch some of the originals this weekend to remind me of how good it used to be.

In other news, my scale said 188.5 this morning!! Incredible! I am so happy, but I’m also nervous. I plan to start myself on Phase Two this weekend. I think this will be harder than Phase One, because it’s going to involve more planning. On Phase Two, I will begin SLOWLY reintroducing healthy carbs into my diet. Slowly, meaning one serving a day. So if I have oatmeal for breakfast, I can’t have a sandwich for lunch, and pasta for dinner. Also, I’m nervous because my weight loss will slow. The book says you can expect to lose one or two pounds a week on Phase Two. On Phase one, I’m losing around 3 or 4 pounds a week. But as long as I keep seeing another half pound drop every couple of days, I’m hoping I’ll be okay. I decided it’s time to switch phases because I got a great initial loss, and I’m now starting to feel a little bored with the foods I’m allowed to eat. I’m looking forward to adding some foods back, especially fruit.

My dad wrote something nice, though slightly creepy seeming, on my Facebook wall about my weight loss. He talked about watching me walk up some stairs and thinking I looked great, etc. It made me laugh. He’s foreign, what can you do? I also think he was feeling a little shmoopy because he’s leaving the country for two weeks, and that was the last time I’d see him before he left.

He’s leaving for Iran today. I feel butterflies in my stomach. I’m sure everything will be fine. He has his visas in order. But there are so many risks. What if something happens while he’s there? What if he can’t come back? I’m sure he’ll encounter some hassle while he’s travelling, so I hope he packed his bags to be easily searchable! It’s also a little bittersweet, because I wish I was going with him. I want to go to Iran so badly. But all I get to see are pictures. It’s extremely difficult for an American to get a visa for Iran, I guess. Even though I’m the daughter of an Iranian citizen? Apparently. Maybe someday I’ll get to go, but it doesn’t look good any time soon. I wish I could go now, while my grandparents are still alive and healthy. I want to experience their life and culture. Not to mention it’s been a couple years since I’ve seen my grandpa, and much longer for my grandma. But for now, I’ll just wait for pictures of my dad and his brothers having a great time.

The Material Girl

May 12, 2008

I get the occasional “special offer” e-mail from my credit cards. Normally I delete them, but this one caught my eye. It’s a special pre-sale for card members for some of Madonna’s future tour dates. Including Chicago. On Sunday October 26th.

I love Madonna. However, I’m weird in that I don’t love concerts. I’ve been to very few, and although I’ve enjoyed many of them, they’re just not my thing. But Madonna… well, she’s a showstopper, isn’t she? A performer, to be sure.

There are very few concerts that I would hear about and say “YES PLEASE!!!” The only ones to really pop into my head are Madonna, Aerosmith, and Bare Naked Ladies. I would like to see these people before I die. Or, actually, before they die.

So now I need to somehow justify that this is worth spending huge amounts of money on, including the tickets, and the drive to Chicago, and probably the day off work on Monday, and possibly a hotel in Chicago on Sunday night.

With credit cards to pay off, a wedding to save for, and a fiance who wants to take a golden birthday trip to Disney World next year, I’m not so sure I can justify this.

But I love you Madonna. While I may confess to liking your 80s stuff more (Immaculate Collection, anyone?) and Like A Prayer may be my favorite song, I still like almost everything that you put out, and I can’t help but dance like a freak when I hear “Four Minutes.”

The Weight

May 1, 2008

I have always been heavier, since the age of 10. I thinned out a little in high school as I grew taller, but I was never skinny. I didn’t really care. My family always ate nutritious meals that my mom cooked. She has a degree in nutrition, and is an amazing cook, although I didn’t appreciate all the foods she made back then.

I don’t know where my problem with food came from. We never had much junk food in the house, but instead of not caring for it, I inhaled it every chance I got. Sleepovers? Baby sitting? I’d eat bags of Doritos or sneak into the kitchen for another handful of cookies. So here is my history of the last few years, complete with pictures that made me do a double take.

I was neither fat nor thin in early high school. Honestly, at that age, I didn’t really care. I was just coming out of my awkward middle school years, and that was enough for me! I was about a size 10/12 and carried about 150 pounds on my 5 foot 6 inch body.

This is me before a dance in 9th grade, at age 15 (in a dress I designed and my mom helped me make, I might add!):

The summer between 10th and 11th grade, I took a great tap dance workshop at Sunset Playhouse. There ended up being only two other girls in the class. About half the time I rode my bike there and back. And the dancing was intense. I learned more that summer than I had learned in years of lessons through the Wauwatosa Recreation Department. John Cramer, artistic director at the time, taught the class, and really pushed me, even when I was the only person who showed up. We learned a kick-ass routine to the Barenaked Ladies’ “One Week.” You know how fast that song goes? Yeah, I tapped that fast. It was awesome.

So I lost some weight that summer and toned my body. I didn’t really notice it until my friends pointed it out to me. Here’s me, happy and healthy on the first day of 11th grade, probably about 140 pounds and a comfortable size 10:

Junior year, I got less exercise and lost some of that tone that I worked so hard for. I also went through my teenage depression and gained weight. It didn’t really phase me. I had other “important” things to worry about. The dress I wore to prom was a size 12, and it just barely fit. I was back up to about 150 pounds. Here is my dad and I before prom, April of 2002:

My boyfriend broke up with me a week later, but the spring weather kept me from wallowing for too long. I didn’t have an exercise routine, except for walking to to school, and when senior year rolled around, I had gained a little more. My dress for senior ball was a size 14 and I was around 160 pounds. Early 2003:

I worked on singing and acting all winter in hopes to get a role in our school’s production of “Les Miserables.” The work paid off- I got the role of Madame Thenardier! There were weeks of long rehearsals, which included lots of junk-food snacks and fast-food dinners. Plus, they made my costume big on me, to make me look more plump, and strongly hinted that I could gain weight and look more like the Broadway pictures. I never bothered to step on a scale, but a couple months after the show, I was shocked to realize that I was up around 180 pounds! Yikes:

My mom discovered the Atkins Diet, and I tried to follow it with her. The last two months of school I went to the gym and worked out for at least an hour almost every day. I felt great! By graduation I was back down to 160. I don’t know why I don’t have any pictures of my high school graduation, but I wore a super cute black dress from Express. It was a 14, but it fit comfortably.

I stayed on Atkins for the first couple months of college, but the cost was a big deterrent. Ramen noodles and Mac & Cheese were much more budget friendly. Combine that with the late night pizzas, drinking parties, and living next to a George Webb, and the weight started creeping back on. In July of 2004, I did the Rocky Horror Show, where I met David. I was around 170 and feeling bad about it. I’m including this picture for laughs. No, that is not David, yes, I had blond hair:

David and I started dating soon after and I gained the happy relationship weight after a while. I guess that will happen when you’re dating someone who loves to cook and is damn good at it. I went to Florida with my family in the late spring of 2005, and was so embarrassed of my body. When I saw these pictures, I knew it was bad:


Yikes.

And almost three years later, I am even heavier. Ladies and gentlemen, I broke the 200 pound barrier. For the past 6 months, I have hovered around 200, the highest being 213. It makes me sick to admit this. How did I let that happen? So now I decided to make a real change. I realized I needed to devote time to this, as I would any other work. I turned down theater to make time to improve myself.

Two weeks ago, I weighed in at 204.5 on my scale at home. This morning I checked in at 194. It feels SO good to have some distance from that 200. I also hit a landmark at the YMCA. They have one of those old school doctor’s scales with the sliding weights. Since I started going to the Y near my work, about 8 months ago, I always slid the “200” weight over first. I don’t have to anymore. I can just use the “150” weight!! Of course, I have to move the single pound slider all the way up, but still- it is thrilling!

I am determined to keep this weight loss up. My dream weight is 140, but I will be thrilled with 150. My goal for the end of the year is 170. I know I will hit some roadblocks and will probably stall at some points, but I will come back and look at some of those early pictures of 150 and 160 for motivation. I wish it could be faster, but after all, it took five years to get to this point. Going back can’t be easy, but it will be worth it. I know I can do this!