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All posts for the month January, 2014

Mind Tricks

Published January 31, 2014 by sarcasmica

I’ve fallen victim to medical mind tricks.

Damnit! Damn silent stoic know-it-all doctor face.

I had to go in for a prescription renewal yesterday. This is something I have been putting off. Irresponsible, yes. Logical, of course not. Like that ever stops me from following through with a thought process?!

The script is for blood pressure. Yes. I’m 37 and I take BP meds. Why? Because of many many excuses that almost make up for the reasoning and logic and dialogue that goes through my head every time I have to take my daily medication. I’m overweight. Not because of some tragic oppressive story about my upbringing. Not because I have an irreversible medical condition. Not because I was born with anything other than the genes my parents gave me. Just because I make bad choices and always have.

So I put off the first renewal and had to get an emergency refill. I do few things well, but the best of these is procrastination.

I sucked up my frustration and made an appointment for Wednesday. I worked myself up into a tizzie the whole drive and wait in the doc office.

Why?

Because in my head, my doctor will become THE Doctor that makes an example out of me for all the thousands of people he deals with that do not take control of their own medical maladies. I had run through in my head all the terrible things he was going to tell me, all the statistics on all the people who die from not changing their habits. I had perfected the shamed and guilty look while still holding my hand out for the prescription refill.

In reality, none of the above happened.

The assistant weighed me. Which was enough of a slap in the face, thankyouverymuch.

He came in, asked if any side effects had happened, to which I replied “no”. He said “Ok, so here’s what we talked about last time. How’s it going? Where do I send the refill?”

And that was it. … or so I thought.

I was berating myself up to and following my visit. No one can shame you like your self, afterall. My conscience took over where the doctor failed to travel. I was beating myself up for continuing to make bad choices all the way out to the car.

And then, for some inexplicable reason, all I could think of was food. Such a cruel joke. I ran through a whole animated Broadway show of all the food I love that I shouldn’t have eaten. All the favorites were dancing in front of my mind’s eye. Chinese Food, Burritos, Chips & Salsa, Panera bread bowls, Red Robin fries, pasta, Tacos… it went on for quite a while. I think there might’ve been an intermission with popcorn. Buttered popcorn.

I had to pick up my son from an early day and decided an afternoon home with both kids would cause me to raid my pantry. Something stocked stupidly with all sorts of willpower challenges.

So bright and intelligent me decides to take the kids to Red Robin to help the afternoon along.

Brilliant!

I got a chicken wrap (sans cheese) with a side of broccoli instead of fries.

See? I’m making an effort here! My fingers perhaps might have strayed onto my child’s plate and possibly snagged a french fry here and there. I’m not saying it didn’t happen, but i’m not saying it did, either. Surely the broccoli counted for something?

And now i’m CONSTANTLY thinking about my food choices. CONSTANTLY. It’s like my doctor’s silence on the issue did more damage than any lecture could have done.

Bastard.

Every day is an ongoing struggle and dialogue about food. It’s everywhere. In my head, on TV, in my kid’s hands, in my house, in my furniture and car. It’s a frigging mind trip. In some ways I believe if I was working, it wouldn’t be such an issue, but then again I use any excuse to ‘celebrate’ and treat myself and those around me. Working only adds to the roster of available possibilities.

As of right now this very moment, i’m trying to gain control of something that on one hand is a healthy awareness, and on the other can turn into an obsession that pushes me to make bad choices. Walking is hindered by weather at this moment. I’m not going to let that take over and cancel any motivation, however. I managed to not snack yesterday. I kept to the basics and held strong.

Today I plan on doing the same, and throwing in some healthy options along the way. Raisins. Oranges. Apples. These are things I have in my house right now. I’m going to ignore – and possibly throw out – the chips and the sweets.

If I begin small with the controllable things i’m now comfortable with, tomorrow I can tackle going out for a walk. One step at a time I will get it under control.

I do not want to be diabetic. I do not want that added complication to my day, life, body, routine. I DO NOT WANT IT.

I’m pre-diabetic right now…. which is sort of a silly term for me. Both parents had/have diabetes. I was sort of born ‘pre’ diabetic.

At the same time I can be thinking about this very fact, and also my love of bread, potatoes, and all carbs. I’m not selective.

But now I also have an imaginary hand waiting to thunk the back of my head if I reach for anything carb-related.

Sugar isn’t such a big deal with me, but carbs and salt are.

So i’m a work in progress. A great big giant work dangling along the precipice of a huge cliff. A cliff wrought with needles and insulin and shots and blood sugar readings. A great cavern of side effects and medication and bypass surgeries and angioplastys and EKGs await me at the bottom. And a casket, really. A grave where my body would tumble into on it’s own, propelled by sheer gravity on my big round body.

I know exactly the direction I’m heading because my father led a life illustrating all the things that could and do go wrong with NOT changing your lifestyle after looking right into the reality of what these choices do to your body – and family.

So why do I still struggle?! Why is it STILL something that I have to think about and consider and mull over and justify?

Being fat is overwhelmingly exhausting. No wonder we eat for pleasure!!

Just another day in the head of a fat chick.

 

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Damn! He’s Cute.

Published January 30, 2014 by sarcasmica

I will preface this by saying I have no clue if i’ve already written on this subject before. Too bad.

Twelve years ago I had a great afternoon with my Great Aunt Norine. She was an amazing lady. Very strong and still gentile and elegant. She was beautiful her whole life. So poised and put together. She had the most lulling voice to me. It was soft and had an Oklahoma/Northern Texas accent that I badly wished I had. My mom and I had gone over to her house for a visit and to look at some of her old pictures. She had a photo collection of my dad’s side of the family, and lots of fun stories to go along with the pictures.

I grudgingly left her house that Sunday to drive aaaaall the way down to Irvine for a blind date. I was in Redondo Beach, and it was Sunday early evening traffic. It wasn’t that I wasn’t looking forward to the date, persay, it was just that I rarely spent time with my Great Aunt and I was sad to say goodbye for something so seemingly unimportant.

I’m glad I went.

The date was a guy I had seen on the online dating site I had joined. We hadn’t sent many messages back and forth, but I was willing to give it a shot. He seemed pretty together based on his profile. (that is to say, he actually took the time to put down answers for all of the questions… and i remember there being quite a few to answer!)

Anyway, I was not a regular on the 405 south and hadn’t planned for the traffic near the Irvine Spectrum. This flustered me. A combination of leaving a lovely family afternoon, unexpected traffic, driving before the turn-by-turn directions of the iPhone of today, and the unease of that pre-first-date anticipation. I pull into the gigantic shopping center and find parking.

I’m now fifteen minutes late.

I walk up to Dave & Busters and see this very cute guy with a goatee, earrings, cuffed jeans and a button down shirt. We awkwardly greet and go inside. I was told later that I was a bit ‘aggro’ (at myself for being late) and he found that to be both cute and annoying at the same time – a common theme in our relationship.

I remember feeling a confusing mix of emotions as we began to play pool. I was a little bummed and also excited that I actually found him attractive. He was the exact ‘type’ I would say I’m attracted to. (a rare find when blind dating online twelve years ago!) I quickly realized how good he was at pool and immediately allowed my competitive nature take over part of my brain. I ordered a drink in the hopes it would loosen everything up a bit. While attracted to him, he seemed to be a bit quiet. He seemed serious. This wasn’t something I usually gel’d very well with. I found out later he was just nervous to give me the run down on his life status. (previously married, kids, etc etc etc etc) The amount of ‘etc’ should have concerned me more than they did, but hell. I was 25. What the f did I know.

So the date began to get more and more smooth and comfortable. By the time we sat down to eat dinner and get into the heavier ‘all cards on the table’ talk, things were going quite nicely. I still remember that sinking feeling of beginning to really like someone and feeling scared by it. I don’t like being more attracted to someone and having no clue where they were at with me. He was giving me virtually nothing. The conversation was going well, and we were having a good time, but specifically regarding attraction and Barry White-esque feelings, I was in the dark.

So the date ends, and he is walking me to my car. My car is out in the vast darkness of the huge parking lot. Had I been wiser, I could have falsely forgotten where my car was parked so we were forced to walk together a bit longer.

As it was, we found it, and I offered to give him a ride to his car which was not all that close to mine. He gets in and we have this end of date tension. Is he / isn’t he. Do I continue to look straight ahead while navigating the parking lot ensuring we do not crash, or do I risk long glances his direction to make my face available for a goodnight kiss.

We arrive at his car all too soon. I pull over to let him out…. and he reaches his hand out.

I was confused.

wh …  .umm …. huh?

I put my hand in his and he shakes it. Not like a ‘how do ya do’ shake, but a strong, deliberate squeeze.

“A handshake? That’s what I get?”

yup .. just blurted out exactly that way. Because i’m stealthy-sexy.

He sort of chuckled and said, “What did you expect on the first date?”

Sure. Make me feel like the whore. I just shrugged and said ” I don’t know.”

Because i’m also just that eloquent.

And with that, he was gone. We had two more dates sporadically timed over the next month and while it seemed he must be attracted to me if he was asking me out more, I honestly was not at all sure what he felt.

After going AWOL from the site and my phone line for three months, he did end up calling me again and we proceeded to actually date.

That was twelve years ago and he’s now my husband and the father of my two crazy kids.

He still talks about that handshake like it was the most epic playa’ move ever thrust towards a girl.

I suppose if we are still talking about it, he could be right… but I cannot set that precedence.

Just A Rehearsal

Published January 29, 2014 by sarcasmica

Apparently my daughter has spent the last four months of being 3 practicing and plotting for the real unveiling of THREEDom. As of last week this very well-slumbered child decided everything in her room suddenly takes on scary shapes and sounds. Actually, it happens throughout the day at inconvenient times. Like the imaginary Gargantuan face-eating spider lurking behind the bathroom door ONLY when it’s time to go potty before we need to get appointment, or bedtime, or quiet time. Just to be certain it isn’t there, she also questions if there is a web.

However, when she decides it’s time to play Hurricane, she’s happy to scoot in there and drench her clothes and hair and floor without telling me it’s time to play. I don’t know if this is a random hibernating spider or what. Its time to talk about theories and holes in the logic.

At bedtime all the shadows become fingernail pulling, toe chomping monsters. However, when it’s time to put on PJs at night, or get dressed after waking up, the room is the only universe her legs will work long enough to hold her body up.

Again… inconsistency makes me suspect it’s an act…. just maybe. It’s all pre-programming the adolescent manipulation program that fully downloads around age 12.

So what this has meant for me is that my daughter, who has slept no less than 8hrs per night since 11 weeks old, has now figured out it’s fun to play “which personality will mommy bring to my room if I wake up screaming for her at various hours of the night”.

After a week of this game, we must have reached the end of the rolodex because last night, finally & blessedly, she slept through the whole night. … i think. Either that or I was finally so tired I completely tuned her out.

I was happy until I realized what the trade off was. Epic meltdown at dinner time.

The other fun game we are now playing is “which food will set off the THREEdom monster tonight”? My daughter -in her previous and unpossessed life- ate like a Champ training for a big match. Now, i’m beginning to think the mere act of sitting at the table with a plate in front of her is the main offense. It all goes downhill from there.

So my angel is now like every other toddler on the planet. This too shall pass and evolve… into F-ing Fours and Frightening Fives. Then and only then will I get to see the shimmering oasis of the promised land: Elementary school. It’s nothing my son didnt already train me to handle. I’ll just have to rebuild my booze tolerance!

(Here’s a post-time-out pic. Notice the “Calm down jar” amidst the chaos? Fat lotta good that thing has done)

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Adjustments

Published January 23, 2014 by sarcasmica

My nerves should be shot. The way the day has gone, I’m not sure why I’m not face down in a margarita by now, but i’m good.

Yay me.

This is either a sign that i’ve grown up a little as a parent, or i’ve completely given over to the chaos and it just doesn’t phase me anymore.

Perhaps a smidge of both?

This morning started pretty well. We were doing the get-the-boy-ready-for-school shuffle. No biggie. Head downstairs, throw the waffles in the toaster, ask my daughter to grab her shoes from the hall closet. Everyone is humming a happy tune when I hear the closet door shut – the bi-fold closet door – and then screams.

Sobbing, hurting, loud screams.

I drop everything and run for my daughter.

Gigantic tears fall out of her big blue eyes as she’s holding her pinched hand. She had closed the door from the middle, causing them to fold and shut on her hand. There was a bright red line telling me all I needed to know and to her it was maddening. She was so pissed off she had to look at a reminder of what happened that she was more upset over the mark than the actual injury.

Spongebob gel pack to the rescue. The stress eased up by the time we were only ten minutes late for leaving the house.

In the end, my son managed to get delivered to school on time. Whew!

We had a great playdate today, then off to Target for a little shop-o-rama. My daughter and I pick up my son and head back home.

It’s looking like a good day still.

We get home, let the dog out, start lunch, get homework out, bring the dog back in, sit down to eat lunch. A few minutes go by when I see this shaggy grungy brown shape trot across my back yard.

“Coyote!”

We’ve only lived here a little over a month. We’ve been in the state a year and a half and this is the second one i’ve seen.

I was completely surprised. I ran for my phone and managed to snap a pic of it for evidence. The picture didn’t do it any justice. In reality it looked massive and dangerous and riddled with mange and rabies.

In the picture it’s little more than an overgrown puppy at the far end of the yard.

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I banged on the window to scare it off, and it ran for the neighbor’s yard. It disappeared from view, and then had to deal with the next ten minutes of nonstop questions ranging from whether or not it would eat our faces off if we had been out there, to talk of packs of wolves and babies being hunted.

Then my son says, “There’s another one!!”

The bastard had the cojones to come back to the yard and exit the area the same way he entered it, I suppose.

If the kids weren’t inside with me, i’m not sure I wouldn’t have gone outside after it with  … i dunno what… cat turds, a bat, my big ass shoe. I was so angry it dared enter my yard. My anger was tempered by the direction of the conversation with my son. “Because houses are being built further and further in their territory, we are kind of in his home.”

Then I wanted to bite my tongue.

I was more angry at the fear this would establish for everyone. The kids, me, our dog.

How dare a wild animal traipse through open available land! *scoff*

We all simmered down from our wild animal encounter, and moved on with our day.

Cut to this evening after dinner. The kids are playing and i’m finally burning some CDs. Some old ass CDs that had to be excavated from dust and debris because this is an activity reserved for single people, teenagers, and DJs. My son is playing UNDER an easel I had JUST set up today…

BAM!!!

– silence –

eye contact ….

howling.

My son manages to somehow whack his nose on part of it as it’s toppling over.

“am I BLEEEEDING?! I’m BLEEEEEEDING! amibleedingamibleeding?!!?!?!!?!?”

This child averages 2 bloody noses/month and has for the past year or so. … my sensory – challenged kid was cursed with bloody noses as his mother was, and his grandfather did.

“yes. you are. but it’s ok because you know what to do.”

stay calm stay calm, don’t let him see your exasperation.

Is it bad all i could think about was the project I had just minutes before started that will certainly now once again fall to the wayside? … it is? ah well, add it to the list of shortcomings.

We get him all fixed up and I realize after a few deep breaths, i’m ok. I’m good. I’m not shaky. I’m not angry, i’m not upset…. i’m good. He calmed down, as well.

Truth be told I had just today made a  Calm Down Jar and have put it to use three times already. ( I think it did me some good to boot )

So I was able to take a step back, pat myself on the back a little, and then ignore the kids to sit down and write this all down before it leaked out of my ears.

I’m told my state has legalized marijuana. Who needs to smoke out when you can play with a glass jar full of glitter in front of bleeding and pinched children?!

answer:  MEE MEE MEMEMEME MEEEE!!!

PSA: Whales

Published January 21, 2014 by sarcasmica

http://blackfishmovie.com/

My husband and I watched Blackfish on Netflix last week.

I completely and highly recommend this documentary. ESPECIALLY if you are planning and hoping and saving to take your family to Sea World. I will admit first and foremost that I have been to Sea World San Diego three times. Growing up in Southern California, it’s just something you did. My first sea park was actually Marine Land in PV. That park shut down, San Diego was the next closest. My mom took me when I was a kid. It was a surprise trip, and I was amazed by the whole thing. I loved it! I was 12, what the hell did I know? The killer whales were mesmerizing and completely awe-inspiring. I remember having scary dreams of deep deep deeeeep pools with giant black fish swimming beneath me soon after.

Slightly terrifying considering my already healthy fear of deep water & sharks.

I went again with my husband before we moved away from California, and then once more with my son and two step daughters when I was six months pregnant. That time I even won a giant killer whale at the ring toss. (who knew that actually happens?!)

We happened to go soon after the trainer, Dawn Brancheau, was killed by Tilicum. There was a noticeable difference in the killer whale show. I found it sad and had I known what little interaction there would be, probably would have thought twice about going. You go for the spectacular voyeurism of a human swimming with a giant apex predator, afterall.

After seeing the documentary, it shakes you out of the marketing coma Sea World has programmed into your brain. Between the happy park commercials and all the conservation sweet talk, you really believe this organization is in it for the care and conservation of animals.

Not true.

Not true at all. They are a business like any other. However, you do not see Coca Cola opening The Polar Experience.

“Come watch our trainers feed themselves to these kidnapped polar bears. Watch them get tossed and chewed upon at a ridiculously high entrance fee. But wait! Don’t forget to overpay for your stuffed kidnapped killer! Don’t let your child go to sleep without his stuffed Apex Predator. Look! It even comes with a detachable body part.”

I can’t imagine that would sell very well to anyone except mob families.

So yes. I admit first and foremost I was duped into believing in the facade. Isn’t that the name of Sea World’s killer whale show? Believe.

I believe they are full of whale poop and should be ashamed of themselves.

I am all for patronizing zoos and wild animal parks. IF and that is a caps on IF the park is responsible in the keeping and care and enclosures of their animals. There is no way to ensure your children will understand what conservation even is unless you show them what it is that needs protection. There’s a purpose and a place for responsible animal parks.

No one is making those tigers and lions dance and splash and abandon their offspring in exchange for an alien landscape with little to no natural species interaction.

I vehemently oppose animal-act-based circuses. It’s not a natural environment for those animals and it isn’t a fair life. If you did it to a human, it would be inhumane. It’s no different for that elephant.

Sea World is a large, wet, smelly circus that specializes in misinformation, smoke and mirrors. … and fish. Stinky dead squid and fish they let you buy to throw at the dolphins.

If you are at all an admirer of animals, from up close or a distance, I highly recommend and challenge you to see this film and see if it doesn’t change they way you look at that company.

*steps off soapbox*

Mrs Game Designer

Published January 21, 2014 by sarcasmica

Here are some facts I wish I had known before marrying into the life of a game industry professional:

No he does not play video games all day. He plays life games like ‘how to change a lightbulb while small children run beneath your stool’. How to manipulate a family outing into a Fry’s Electronics and/or Best Buy drive by.

Yes we move. A lot!

No, our children were not named after game characters.

Yes we have changed a normal room into a game chamber. That is where all the toys are contained. (in our case the formal dining room is now the formal office)

Yes, he really does needs that warehouse of cords, game boxes, controllers and wires. If you think you can eliminate a box here and a cord there, Allah be with you and go with God. He will know, and if you are caught, the fires of Azeroth will rain down upon you.

Do not go to a game date with him. Just don’t.

Do NOT move/dust/clean/organize the collectibles. It’s not worth it.

Any decorating/painting/organizing of the house must be done first in Adobe or Photoshop.

Game time with kids IS quality time.

No he cannot get you a copy of that game for cheaper. (yes he can, just email me)

No, “I don’t know what he’s working on right now”.

Yes, he really did work on that game.

While extremely satisfying, it is not the most fun job in the world. (all the time)

I have to check with my husband before RSVPing to that weekend bbq. There might be a milestone or meeting or deadline -or all of the above.

Three months before a launch date, I have only the marriage certificate as proof of my marital status. Just a certificate and a phantom being who resembles the man I married… beneath the bloodshot eyes, shaky fingers, and hunched shoulders.

Yes i play games, too. Really.

Going to a work related function, do not expect anyone to care that you have a non-game industry job. It does not matter.

Marry the man, expect the lifestyle, do not expect change. They are simple creatures and you get what is advertised on their box. No surprises. They are a single person shooter, not an RPG where you mold them to what you want. You simply log on, join in, and pick up lives and ammo as you sweep the level and hope you are on a good connection when you get to the boss.

Be A Follower!

Published January 18, 2014 by sarcasmica

It dawned on me last week that I actually have a whole twenty followers. Twenty whole people are interested in what I have to say … or at least they fake it pretty well 🙂

This number may not sound like a lot to some, but considering I’m surprised when I get a rare comment, it’s fantastic news to me! I feel as if all of these people might be practicing to become ninjas, because I rarely see a ‘like’ or a comment.

I’d like to take a minute to thank anyone who stops by my little corner of the web. I’m still trying to figure out all the bells and whistles of this blogging lifestyle. Bear with me as I force myself to learn from a tutorial and not just use it as background noise to occupy the kids while i snack or raid the refrigerator.

For those who visit and don’t necessarily commit to following, I don’t bite, I promise! Despite some of my more scathing entries to a person in the general public, i’m pretty easily influenced into loyalty. If you take the time to check a box on my blog, chances are i’m going to like you…. afterall, you have impeccable taste.

So this entry is for those of you out there who pay attention and put down your car keys, laundry, ladle, apron, kids’ legos, and crayons and use some of that valuable down time to actually read my thoughts. It pushes me to write more, and makes me censor my otherwise random and inconsistent thoughts, and forces them into some sort of semblance resulting- hopefully- in a good read.

So thanks, and feel free to share the love with another reader who has fantastic taste in wit and humor!

And don’t forget to leave a comment!

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