Monthly Archives: February 2012

Things I Don’t Like

I wrote a list of things I liked, a while back, so I thought I’d write down a list of things I don’t like.  Since there are many, many, many…well quite a few things I don’t like, I’ll only share the short list.  I left off the obvious: poverty, mean people, politicians, materialism, illness, extremely fit people, (damn fit people out there exercising ALL THE TIME, who has that kind of time anyway) etc.  Here they are, in no particular order:

Sour Candy: When did kids start liking their candy sour?  I don’t know what the draw is for putting things in your mouth that make you cringe:  are kids really that masochistic?  I was so annoyed, around Valentine’s Day, when I accidentally bought sour conversation hearts.  They were terrible:  I don’t know how I managed to eat the whole box.  It made me a little queasy.

Mushrooms:  Am I the only person who realizes these are a form of fungus? Seriously, I would not be happy if a doctor told me I had a fungal infection; I certainly wouldn’t scrape it off and put it in soup for flavoring.  (Janet Note: Auwck! Tongue sticking out! I USED TO LIKE MUSHROOMS.)

Child Pageants: This is a creepy one and it bothers me more than I can ever express.  I think of parents who put their kids through beauty pageants as similar to parents with Munchausen by Proxy.  Have you heard of this?  It’s where a parent, usually the mother, will poison their kids to draw sympathy and attention towards themselves.  Jessie and I were in Las Vegas, by the pool, when a woman came up to me and asked if my daughter was in the pageant.  I said ‘no, of course not’, before I realized the woman’s daughter must have been; that’s what I gathered from the look on her face.  Oops, no response editing, thoughts just slip right out before I realize.  And curse these facial expressions of mine, they never work when I want them to, no Texas Hold’em for me in Vegas.

Tomatoes: I’ve tried to like tomatoes.  I love ketchup and tomato sauce; I just don’t like the consistency of certain foods.  Tomatoes are a prime example.  I like crunchy things.  Is there such a thing as a tomato chip?

Television: I mostly don’t like TV.  I have a serious love/hate relationship with it.  Several years ago, my one TV broke down and I took it to be fixed.  The gentleman told me it would take 2 weeks and I was heartbroken: how could I go that long without watching anything?  (Okay, this was a couple of decades ago, before all this tech stuff.)  Those were the best two weeks.  I read and went for walks and had long interesting conversations with friends.  And my house was very clean.  Basically, I was a productive human being.  When the repairman called and said the TV was done, what do you think was my response?  Exactly.  I yelled, “Oh, Thank God!” and ran down to get it.

Romance Novels:  I’m sorry. I just don’t like the romances.  I’ve tried reading several, I just can’t enjoy myself.  I don’t like the flowering prose or the ‘build-up’ to anyone’s throbbing members.  I originally thought I could write a romance.  Then a friend read a rough draft and told me there wasn’t nearly enough sex in the book to be called a romance.  I’m okay with that.  Now I’m a ‘fiction’ writer geared towards the LGBTQ crowd.  Okay, really only the L part.

Loud People:  Even though I’m losing my hearing at a rapid pace, loud people still annoy me, especially when they live above and below me.  Whose idea was it to live in the middle apartment?  Oh…me?  I don’t know what the people upstairs are doing but it sounds like a combination of zumba/horse training/pole vaulting/cage matches.

People who leave their grocery carts in the middle of the parking lot: These sure aren’t the fit people.   Seriously, I’m an incredibly lazy human being, but I always put mine in the cart corral.  It’s strategically placed every dozen cars or so.  When I’m feeling extra spunky, I take it back up to the store.  Okay, that doesn’t happen very often, only when I’m doing a step competition and I’m desperate.

February as a sports month: I’m not a big basketball fan.  I usually reserve my energies for baseball and then football: my two favorite sports to watch.  Janet and I went to a Trailblazer’s game last month and that was a lot of fun, but I don’t like to sit around and watch basketball on TV, which is truly saying something since I love to sit around and I love/hate my TV.

jenn

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And The Winner Is…Janet!

Congratulations to Janet, who won ‘Karen’s’ (name changed for her safety) first 2012 six-week challenge.  Good job, Janet.  So, I, of the sit around and watch TV life, lost to a woman who commutes from Washington to California every week, works 12 – 14 hours a day, and is in meetings seems about 120 hours a week.  Not a good sign for me.

Janet only missed one day of her challenge, she didn’t eat 5 fruits/veggies on one day.  That’s it: one.  One fruit out of 267 individual items in 42 days!  Me?  I missed two days of fruits and three days of cardio.  That’s right: I had to borrow $5 from Janet to give Karen the $5 I owed to pay Janet for winning.  Life is so hard sometimes.

I’d like to talk a little about Budge now.  I don’t want to because I…do…not…like…Budge.  January was a hard month on Budge.  We were quite a bit over on three categories: car insurance, travel, car maintenance.  No surprise in the travel department, but that little Prius stabbed Budge a couple of times.  I should probably feel bad.

So, we set aside money for car insurance, the whole year broken down into monthly payments, but didn’t realize it was due in January.  Oops.  We should be ready for July’s bill, though.  The Prius hit 60k miles the end of 2011 and we took it to the dealership for its checkup.  I want to say we took her in the 2nd of January; didn’t take us long into the New Year to go way over budget.  Oops again.

I don’t know what to say about travel: both Janet and I realize we have a problem, have verbalized and now own our problem, we just can’t seem to help ourselves.  Every time we see super cheap flights somewhere it’s like a crack dealer having buy one get one (BOGO) free sale.  We know we’re addicts and we need help…but how can we say no to BOGO?!?

We now have the car expenses behind us, unless I go outside and the car is up on blocks totally stripped, (maybe I shouldn’t joke) and Budge this month looks pretty good.  Let me just see where our problem areas are: Dining Out, Entertainment, Gifts, Clothing and Miscellaneous, oh, everything we went over on last month.  Apparently, we are having problems in all the areas where we need just a little bit of self-control.

We are under Budge in some areas: Groceries might come in under and Gasoline is way under.  After the Prius had her checkup, we haven’t spent any money in our Maintenance category.  Now where did we park that truck of ours?  We are also under in our water/sewer/trash bill.  I guess only flushing once a week really does help keep costs down.

You’re not going to believe this.  Are you sitting?  We are $28.60 under Budge on Travel!  What day is it?  The 22nd: we might make it to the end of the month without anymore travel expenses.  I’m so excited.  Of course, that doesn’t make up for the overage on the above list.  Our Groceries and Gas expenses are under Budge, so it looks like everything will be close.

We don’t have any travel plans next month that I know of, so we might be way under our Budge in March.  Unless one of us happens to see $59 tickets to Long Beach again, how can we say no to $59 tickets?  Just one more BOGO for us…we can quit anytime we want to.  I know we can.

jenn

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Things I Wish Were True

I really shouldn’t complain about anything; I will, but I really shouldn’t because my life is pretty good.  There are some things going on, in my life, I don’t like – Curse You, Budge!, 5 veggies a day – but I’ll probably survive.  There are more really great things in my life than I can shake a stick at – exercising makes me feel good, Janet & Jessie, the abundance of sun lately – …but still.

I started volunteering at In Other Words Feminist Center a couple of months ago and I went in yesterday to help run the place (okay, I went to dust) and I saw some buttons, for sale, in case you need any buttons, that made me think of a few things I wish were true.

The First Button: The Coffee Party.  I wish there was a viable third party to compete with the Democrats and the Republicans.  Isn’t the Coffee Party a much stronger choice than the Tea Party?  I think so.  I would love to be a member of the Coffee Party.

I’m a socially liberal, fiscally conservative voter who has to register as a Democrat because I’m too nice to be a Republican.  I’m not green enough, not independent enough, and not wacky enough to be any other type of voter.  I’ve given up hope of getting rid of party labels and just declaring what you believe in – I think the parties have been around too long and we’d have to pry the Democrat and Republican cards from their cold, dead hands.

So, in order to be a Coffee Partier you must meet these criteria: your IQ must be above 85, you must enjoy traveling, you must embrace the ‘live beneath your means’ mantra, you must not see corporations as people, you must observe the Golden Rule – treat others as you would like to be treated, you must not force others to believe what you believe, you must not have a twisted interest in what goes on in someone else’s bedroom, you must be willing to compromise in all things…

And the most important, the one I think is hurting our country, the one, if you were to adhere to it, could change the world: You must be true to yourself.  What does that mean?  It means: know who you are, embrace who you are, and live the life YOU were meant to live.

Don’t be limited to these choices, though.  I really just don’t want any lazy stupid people in the Coffee Party; there are other parties for those people.  Being open minded is the key.  It helps if you are even slightly intelligent and have travelled outside of your county.  Outside of your state would be great and outside of the country would be too much to hope for.

The Second Button: Marry The Person You Love.  Now, I realize this button is for marriage equality.  Being a lesbian, I have to know this, but that’s not what I thought of when I read it.  I’m going to admit something you might take in the wrong way, something I don’t say very often; do not take me literally, especially you Janet: I wish sex didn’t exist.

Again, don’t take me literally, I just wish we could be friends with whomever we wanted to be friends with, instead of having the sex equation always lurking in the background.  We could hang out with men and women and parents would never have to worry about their kids and there would be no such things as creepy neighbors.  We could just be friends because the concept of sex doesn’t exist.

A while back, I moved into a third floor apartment and, on my way downstairs, I met the guy who lived in the apartment below mine.  I said, ‘hi, my name is Jenn and I just moved in upstairs.’  He said, ‘I have a girlfriend and she’s inside.’  Okay…I have a girlfriend, too.  If no sex, would he have said that?  I’m thinking he would have said, ‘Hi, Jenn, I’m tattoo man (he never did give me his name).  Can I get you a beer?’ ‘Why, yes, tattoo man, that would be lovely.’

See, guys, this is why some women aren’t very friendly around you: it’s not all about sex with us.  Just because we smile at you, or crack a joke with you, doesn’t mean we want to have your kids.  Sometimes we’re just happy, and by happy I mean Gay!  Anyhoo, if no sex, we could be happy all the time and not worry about sending the wrong message to a man who recently saw a movie where the guy relentlessly chased the woman, who finally stopped running and they got married, and now that man thinks that’s the way to win a woman!  Crazy!

The Third Button: Portland, There’s No Place Like Home.  I really like Portland.  A lot.  I wish I could call Portland home, but it doesn’t seem to be the case.  Jessie lives in Seattle, spending the school year with her dad and his wife.  She spends vacations and summers with me and Janet.  At least, that was the plan.  Then something occurred to me, something I hadn’t realized: Jessie still likes me.

She’s only 10 so I figure I have a couple of years of good love left in her before she becomes possessed by the devil, a head spinning, crazed teenager.  I hope she doesn’t start spitting out pea soup, I hate that part.  Yuck.  Moving closer to Jessie seems like a good idea right now, Portland will be there for us when we get Jessie safely tucked into Yale or Harvard or Stanford; when I dream, I dream big.

When my ex and I talked about moving to the Pacific Northwest, he was moving to Seattle for a job, I decided to move to Portland.  At the time, I thought Portland was close enough to Seattle to see Jessie all the time (a 3 hour drive) and I wanted to put some space between my ex-husband, his new wife, and myself (as all good exes should do).  But Janet knew better.

Janet said, ‘why don’t we rent something for now and see how it goes?’  I can’t remember my response, but it probably sounded like a snort.  I like to snort.  ‘I’m a big girl, I can live on my own’.  Janet wasn’t convinced…and she was right.  I want to be closer to Jessie because she still likes me and I really should take advantage of that.  That might not always be the case.  I am pretty embarrassing.

Janet and I have a lot of freedom in our lives right now.  Janet travels for work, she can live anywhere near an airport, and I work from home.  Work…watch TV…whatever.  Just kidding, Janet!  Now where did she hide the remotes?  Moving closer to Jessie is something we can do because we have the freedom to move.  Of course, freedom does come with a price.

The Fourth Button: In Other Words.  I like this button.  It has a nice background, the words stand out, and there’s a little bird flying free…as a bird.  Oh, it would be nice if Janet could volunteer with me at In Other Words.  I wish Janet could stop travelling and stay at home with me.  I see Janet from Thursday night, when I pick her up from the airport, until early Monday morning, when I drive her to the airport.  I see her for 3 days out of the week.  That gets old after a while.  Like 3 years ago.

The reason Janet and I are trying to save as much money as we can (Curse You, Budge!) is to get her off the road.  However that happens – saving money, not traveling as much (hmmph), the books do well, we win the lottery – it can’t happen soon enough.  We are aiming for 2020 as a retirement date, holding that, and our magical retirement number, out as a measuring stick of what we need to do to be ready for retirement.  Of course, if we win the $200 million lottery, forget about 2020, let’s all go to Maui!

So, I gave myself 4 wishes because in JennWorld I can do anything; I’m not limited to just 3 wishes like you people.  In Jennworld, I can write bestsellers, be a world famous blogger, and use my powers for good and not evil (usually).  So I’m spending my time blogging and researching and writing my book, in the hopes of an early retirement.  I figure if I work really hard…oh, hey, look!  The remote!  Um, I’ve gotta go, I’ve got a lot of…research to do.

jenn

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A Conversation With My Body

So, I was driving home last night, from a meeting I had in Portland, one of my all time favorite cities, and I had a thought.  Why don’t our minds and bodies communicate together?  We’ve made huge strides, as a civilization, since the time of the Caveperson.  Ginormous strides in all kinds of different areas.  So why can’t my brain tell my body that I’m trying to lose weight, so, body, quit lowering my metabolism, please!

My second, more urgent, thought was: I’m really hungry.  Speaking of counting calories, I always know when I’m losing weight by my hunger: if hunger is constantly bubbling beneath the surface, I’m losing weight.  I’ve lost 3 pounds in the last 3 weeks.  If I keep this up, I’ll be dead by mid 2013.  Don’t worry, Janet; I’ve got a ways to go.

I love the idea of losing 1 pound a week.  But losing weight, and life in general, would be a lot easier if only my mind (Jennhead) and body (Jennbod) could actually speak to one another.  So I was thinking, on my drive over the bridge, what would that conversation sound like?  Knowing me, I’m pretty sure it would go something like this:

Jennbod: I’m hungry.

Jennhead: I just ate a Wendy’s burger not 2 hours ago. (disclaimer: now before you say anything resembling, “what the…” about trying to lose weight and eating a burger know this: I still had 900 calories left on my day and could afford the 450 calories of the burg.  That’s why I walk around town for an hour a day.)

Jennbod: Fries would have been nice.

Jhead: I couldn’t afford those calories, sorry.

Jbod: Hmmmph.

Jhead: This is your fault, you know, Jennbod.

Jbod: How is this my fault?

Jhead: Well, if you would just rev up your metabolism, none of this calorie counting would be necessary.  I’d just feed you whatever you wanted, you could easily burn off the extra calories, and you would be a drop dead gorgeous bod.  As it is, you are the Pillsbury doughgirl.

Jbod: What!?!  It’s not that easy, bighead, I haven’t evolve as much as, well, not your brain, but other brains.  I have this fight or flight thing going on.

Jhead: And the water retention, what’s that about?  Can’t I just tell you I’m not thirsty and not have it be life or death?

Jbod: No, if I don’t have enough water in my system, I panic and keep a hold of the water floating around.

Jhead:  What are you talking about?  I’m within 10 feet of a spigot at all times!  We live in the middle of a big city! Can’t you see that?

Jbod: No, I don’t have eyes.

Jhead:  Oh, right.  You’ll just have to trust me on this one, I’ll tell you if we’re in the middle of the Sahara and in deep doodoo.

Jbod: I don’t work that way.  Plus, I don’t trust you.  You lie.

Jhead: I like to think of it as stretching things a bit, trying to find the boundaries of the truth.

Jbod:  Jackass.

Jhead: Hey!  There’s no need for that kind of talk, Jennbod, we pretty much have to stick together, you know.

Jbod: Hmmmph.

Jhead: Oh, and while I have your attention: do you think it might be possible to warn me about any weird growths?

Jbod: You mean like that ugly thing sprouting out of my neck?

Jhead: Hey! No, wow, you’re something when you’re hungry.

Jbod: Feed me. Now.

Jhead: Just a minute!  If you see anything out of the ordinary, any weird cellular growths, or anything at all…could you just send me an email early enough before it gets too big to deal with?

Jbod: Are you near a Jack in the Box?  I love those weird little tacos.

Jhead: No!  Seriously, bod, why won’t you talk with me about these things?  Life would be so much easier if we communicated with each other.  Can’t we do that?  Can’t we just talk to each other?

Jbod: No.

Jhead: Why not?

Jbod: I don’t have the energy.  I’m too worn out from lack of food.

Jhead: Well then, I just won’t feed you until we work out a communications schedule.

Jbod:  What?!? A communications what?!?

Jhead: You heard me.

Jbod: Okay, this is war.

Jhead: Oh, yeah?  What you gonna do?  Huh, bod?

Jbod: I strongly suggest you get me to a bathroom.

 

And that’s enough of that imaginary conversation!  That was totally uncalled for, Jennbod.  Yikes.  It would be nice if our minds and our bodies talked with one another, though, wouldn’t it?  Maybe not that exact conversation, at least not for you.  You’ve probably matured past 11 or 12.  I’m still working on it.

As it is, I’m going to have to assume that my mind and body won’t be conversing anytime soon.  So I’ll keep up with my food journaling, keep up with my 1 pound a week weight loss, keep wandering the earth trying to burn a few more calories.  I still have 450 calories in today’s calorie bank…I wonder how many calories are in two Jack in the Box tacos?

jenn

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