Saturday, July 27, 2013

Now what?

Ian is staying with my parents this weekend. Steve and I were supposed to be camping in San Luis Obispo, at a 3 day belly dance extravaganza. That was cancelled, but Ian was looking forward to spending the weekend with his grandparents that we decided to keep  that part as planned.

I hadn't realized how dependent I've become on him.

It's weird not to have him around, and we're both going, "Ok, so now what do we do?"

This morning, that question was answered for us fairly quickly by the dozens of maggots that invaded our kitchen, for the second time. We can't figure out what is going on! Steve now thinks maybe something has died in our roof space, and the maggots are dropping out of the light sockets in the ceiling. That's a great thought. I may wear a hat for a while.

While typing this, I had to go kill two more.

I'm thoroughly disgusted now.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Just getting silly

We have another new family member.

Ian's been wanting a cockatiel for a little over a year now, and despite a few doubts, we got him one for his birthday last week. Except it wasn't fully weaned by his birthday, so we had to wait 3 more days (until Steve's birthday) to actually bring it home.

I don't understand birds. He's huddled in his cage acting like we're trying to kill him, and from what I can gather from the internets, that's totally normal. But, I fucked up a little at first, and now I'm trying to run damage control. See, with other small animals that live most of their lives in cages, like rats and guinea pigs, it's important to take them out of their cages for bonding time right from day one. So that's what I did with bird. Apparently that was wrong. Birds want to be left the fuck alone for the first couple of days to adjust. Oops. So, damage control in the form of talking to bird, singing to bird, and feeding bird has ensued.

My doubts about Ian's ability to care for the bird are being slightly solidified, and most of it is my fault. I think he had this picture in his head (despite us telling him different and even reading the cockatiel care book we got) that the bird was going to come in the house, start singing and repeating everything he said, and be content to sit on his shoulder while he plays video games. Yeah, not going to happen. One good thing to happen, is that not only do I not mind spending time with the bird that I'm pretty much sure has decided I'm a devil, I actually kind of like it. Despite the bird's obvious contempt of me. But, I'm also keenly aware that Ian really needs to accept the responsibility of taking care of the bird.

Starting with bird's name. Ian was having a really hard time thinking of a name for the months leading up to getting the bird. I told him to wait until the bird arrived, and then he could see what the bird looked like- to help find a fitting name. Ian doesn't think like that. He needed a name. So I suggested Kai (pronounced like eye, with a k in front). It's a Maori word for food. I thought it would be funny. Maybe the bird is right, I am a devil. Anyway, once Ian discovered it was easy to spell, he was cool with naming his bird Kai. Until the day after the bird arrived. Now the bird's name is Sensei Kai, or just Sensei.  But Ian hasn't given us the 100% yet.

Our menagerie has well and truly started. I think next will be a frog or lizard of some sort. Steve really wants a snake, but I'm not sure I could deal with that. Actually, right now we're maxed out of animals for a bit. Toby needs some serious training, and Sensei needs some time to cope. Plus, we need time to spend with each of our babies.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Sick day from life

If I could, I'd take a sick day today. Not just from work, which I have to leave for soon, more training- yay- but from life itself. Just call life and be like, "Yeah, this isn't happening today, I'm just not going to be able to make it."

Basically, so many oddly bad things have happened in the three hours I've been awake. Like hundreds of maggots invading our kitchen. Go ahead, read that sentence again. Yes, that really happened.

I don't know. Maybe it's not as bad as it seems, but honestly, it seems really bad. But not over the top so bad that it awakens my inner super woman-I-can-do-anything type of bad. Just the blah-it's-not-worth-taking-another-step type of bad. I kind of wish it were the death and dismemberment type of bad because then it's easy to be like "Hell no! I'm going to kick this death and dismemberment in the ass! RAWR!" Instead it's kind of a muffled sob wondering what's next.

So, there should be sick days from life. But there's not. So I'm going to go to work, and hope that the bad stays at home.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013


I'm done.

Yesterday's training went fine. It's training, it's boring, it just is. I'm still not 100% sure the job is going to work out, and I won't know for a while. I've got to get on the floor, start seeing what kind of schedule I can get, yadda yadda yadda, and then we'll see.

Today has been much worse.

I went to Jo-Ann's to get an insert for a bra top I want to decorate for a dance costume and stabilizer for the embroidery machine. It took forever to find the stabilizers. Then, when I went to check out, it turns out it's not sold by Jo-Ann's, it's sold by the sewing machine place inside the store. The one where no one is at. The one that when the women are there, they're incredibly rude.

When I got home, the inserts I bought don't fit in the bra.

Today is not my day.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013


Today marks one of the most important days of my life: ten years ago, my son was born. I was 21 years old, single, with a restraining order against his biological father, scared and alone. Every bit of energy went into keeping this difficult child alive, and making ends meet.

Our lives have changed so radically over the last 10 years, I hardly recognize the person I was then. Most of my energy still goes into keeping this difficult child alive, but I've got more time for myself now. I still don't know what I'm doing most of the time, but I've become very adept at acting like I do.

I can't believe my little boy is now in double digits! Honestly, I just cannot get over that fact.

As another momentous occasion to mark today, it's my first day at my new job! Orientation, to be precise. Actually, day one of orientation. I've been hired for an on call position at Macy's as a cosmetic adviser. I get to play with make up! And they carry Bare Escentuals! So excited! But also scared out of my wits. It's been six years since I've had a job, and closer to 11 years since I worked retail! I'm terrified. And to show it, I have the biggest pimple I've had in....a really long time. Figures.

So, wish me luck on my first day. Wish Ian a happy birthday. And let's hope this job is easier than this kid! If I love the job half as much as I love this kid, I'll be in heaven.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Will we ever get there?

Today we're going to a friend's house to swim in her gorgeous pool. Honestly, she has the most beautiful house, a gorgeous yard... I'm ever so jealous! And although I'm very grateful to have met her, something I believe will open a number of doors, and even more grateful that she's such a lovely person that she invites us to her house to swim, being there does remind me of just how far away from our dreams we are.

The awful thing is, we were pretty close to those dreams in New Zealand. Or at least, closer than we are now. We had a great house that had studio space. We had friends. We were set up pretty well. Now we're in a scuzzy rental, no studio, no contacts, and several years away from being able to get back on track. It's depressing and frustrating as hell!

Luckily, when you're in a beautiful place with genuinely nice people, the frustration takes a back seat. So, I'll go relax, have fun, and enjoy my afternoon so that when I feel depressed this evening, at least I can do so with a good memory.

Monday, July 8, 2013

New addition...again

On Saturday, I convinced Steve that we should go look at the dogs needing homes in front of the local PetSmart. Although we wanted to take all of them, especially the pit bull mixes, none really called out as the perfect match.

Until we were about to leave.

Sitting in a cage, was Cesar, a wire haired terrier mix. I'm not a fan of long haired dogs and his cage was on top of another holding a pit bull, so I hadn't really noticed him. Steve, however, made not to subtle murmurings about how cute the dog was. We asked if we could take him out and say hello.

He's never really been on a leash before, or really had any training, so there's a bit of work to do, but it was instantly apparent that he is a very laid back and affectionate soul. We decided to get Zack and introduce them, see how they reacted to one another. It went well.

We haven't officially adopted him. We took him for a week to make sure it's a good fit, but we don't actually need the whole week. He's got his forever home.

Even though there's one little issue that's beginning to really drive me nuts: he keeps peeing inside.

It drives me up the wall! And of course, I can't watch him 24/7, and it's not as easy as with a puppy. With a puppy you can time it. There's no marking. And there's no bad habits. This little guy is 2 years old. We're getting him at the worst possible time: the teenage years. So, we're going to be relying heavily on Zack to help train him, and I'm not 100% sure Zack's up to it.

His name isn't Cesar anymore, either. His name is now Tobias Thorpe, Toby-wan, or just simply Toby. We had a day at the beach yesterday, and he's very good with other dogs, so maybe he'll help Zack to calm down a little. Asha, the cat, also seems to be dealing with him fairly well. I think it helps that she's bigger than he is.

Our first step before bringing him home on Saturday, though, was to wander over to the vet to get Toby checked out. After what we went through with Jack, we're a little gun shy about opening our hearts again. Aside from a bit of wax in his ears, filthy teeth, and a bum knee, he's in good health. We picked up some doggy toothpaste (because I haven't found the tube I bought a while back), and some ear cleaning solution. The knee will need supplements, but I suspect a bit of exercise will help as well.

The vet was also able to give us an update on Jack. His heart worm condition is pretty bad. He's in late stages, so his prognosis doesn't look good. They'll be doing a fundraiser, and Banfield (the vet company) has said they will match what the vets raise. His care is going to be expensive, but he couldn't be in a better place. Also, he's still living in the back of the vet office, but when he's able to, one of the vets is taking him home. He's got a lot of people who love him, and he's helping other animals who are scared and in a strange place. He's in pretty bad shape, but he's got the best possible chance he could get.

Saturday, July 6, 2013


I had an appointment at my doctor's office yesterday with the resident "life coach." Basically, someone else to tell me that I'm fat because I do all the wrong things. I drink too much, I don't eat right, and I don't get enough exercise. So yeah, I wasn't really relishing going to the appointment.

But I was wrong. The first sign that this was going to be a different sort of appointment was that she didn't make me get on the mental torture device scales. Instead, she said, "I don't care how much you weigh or what size pants you wear. I care about how you feel. If your body is working right, then that's good."

It was a little difficult, though. She was quite blunt and said I'm "fat all over," which despite the truth of that statement, having it put quite so succinctly was a bit hard to take. It wasn't a judgement, though, just a statement of fact. The weird thing was, she could list my symptoms easily- aches, fatigue, sensitive skin, itchy scalp, headaches, gas, etc. Then she told me dieting would be pointless right now. I will continue to get fatter no matter how well I eat, how much exercise I do, which is exactly what's been happening! Doctors keep telling me to cut down on the amounts I eat, only eat "good" food, and exercise. Well, I exercise and I'm very careful about what I eat. I've even been making huge efforts to cut back on alcohol. But I continue to gain weight. So I've been getting really frustrated.

According to the life coach, the weight gain, stress, headaches, lack of sleep, and skin issues all come down to two main things: intestines and sinuses. She suspects my intestines resemble a frat pad after a homecoming party that lasts a week. So, I'm now on massive amounts of probiotics, licorice, and no more Coke zero- regular Coke instead. As for my sinuses, I got a neti pot yesterday and I'm making it a part of daily life. I used it last night, and I actually could breathe freely for the first time in months!

I feel really good about where this is going. She told me I'm doing the right things, I just needed a little shove in the right direction. My body needs help to heal from past damage. All my little issues and history have taken their toll on my poor insides, but if we can heal that damage, I should come right. I love that her way of "dieting" isn't to deny yourself of all those things you know are bad for you, but to limit them or find better alternatives. Like the coke thing. I've been drinking coke zero to limit the calories I take in. I have one a day, that's it. She said to stop the zero, drink regular coke. One a day is not bad. Artificial sweeteners destroy your intestines, but your body still reacts like you've ingested sugar. Your body can deal with real sugar without the harm the chemicals do.

Plus it tastes better.

So, we'll see what happens. Right now I'm around 200 pounds, a size 16-18. I'd like to get down around 160 pounds, a size 10-12. That's about where I feel comfortable and don't get sick as often.

I will miss my boobs, though. 

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy Day of Freedom!

This is my first Independence Day in 6 years. Oddly enough, it's not one of the holiday's I missed whilst overseas, but now that I'm back I'm very excited about it.

Even though we're not really doing much of anything today.

We will, however, be watching the fireworks tonight. With our fried chicken, watermelon, and brownies.

I know that the 4th is to celebrate the birth of our nation, the freedoms we take for granted all too often, and the people that continue to fight for us. Honestly, I can't think of a better way to do that than with a picnic, fireworks, and rock and roll. How American is that? Add in a beer or two, and boy howdy!

America has some issues. Some pretty severe issues, as a matter of fact. We're not perfect. But this is a great country. People make this a great country. We fight with each other like siblings, but, like siblings, we love each other and will support one another no matter what. You don't see it while living here, and it's easy to be distracted by the hatred slung in every direction like a chimp in a bad mood. It's easy to feel alone when there's so much competition to be the best, and anything less than the best isn't worth the time and effort. But in a different country, it doesn't matter if you're from New York, Texas, California, or Wisconsin. American is American, and we come together like brothers and sisters separated for too long.

So next time you feel lost in the maw or like there's no one else around that gives a shit, just fly to New Zealand for a few months and find your tribe.

Happy 4th everyone! Remember, keep your animals safe tonight! It's scary and hurts their ears when those booms start going.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Disappointment continues to reign

I just found out that the 3 day belly dance workshop/performance/camp that Steve and I have been planning for for the last few months has been cancelled. The rug has been yanked from under me once again.

Steve's been building a tent, I've been sewing, we've gotten things sorted for the kids over the weekend, and were really looking forward to it. I'm done making plans. Lately, every time I make a plan to do something, it completely back fires and I wind up flailing around with my teeth kicked out. This is getting seriously old.