Wednesday, January 31, 2007


So the other day, one of my new students sashays into class wearing a great retro outfiit:
  • tight black pants,
  • legwarmers of turquoise, yellow, and white,
  • ballet flats,
  • two shirts, one yellow, one sparkly turquoise,
  • a broad hot-pink belt, and
  • big dangly yellow earrings, among other accessories.

I told her, "You know, I would've worn that same outfit back in the '80s! It's awesome!" She said thanks and walked in. Her companion of the day said "Dag! You wearin' a Stone Age outfit, gurl!"


Thursday, January 25, 2007


Miss Peanut and I went to Outback Steakhouse for dinner tonight. Since the WCM was at a Fossil Club meeting ('cause Fossils are free - you can dig 'em up yourself!), we had ourselves a Girl's Night Out. Miss Peanut loves Outback because of their Spotted Dog Sundae. My bit of parental responsibility is to insist that she eat her meat before getting the sundae. My kid loves meat, so it's not a hardship for her.

Tonight, though...

Let me preface this by telling you that the little monster has a cold. She's been a bit cranky with it, too. She was really getting on my nerves at the restaurant, as she whined at me. She was tired, she didn't want to color, she wanted a hug, she had to lie down. I was the mean mommy who wouldn't let her have her way - Sit still, sit up, hug later, inside voice! After all, most parents know that, in child terms, tired + hungry = cranky, and tonight seemed to fit that equation. It's a logical equation, but that doesn't stop the combination from being iritating as hell, though.

I cut her meat in small pieces for her and, silently fuming, dug into my own dinner, as in Mommy terms, irritated + hungry = raving mad bitch. I'm thankful that I always watch Miss Peanut eat (we're working on table manners), as she choked on the very first bite. I was out of my seat and pounding her on the back in less than a second, and she brought up the poorly-chewed piece of meat.

As she clung to me, crying, I no longer cared that she had been a pain in the arse 30 seconds ago. She was alive.

And, strangely enough, she was still hungry. She finished her meat and got her Spotted Dog Sundae.

What I got?


Monday, January 22, 2007

Just call me Florence Nightingale

I spent the weekend being Florence Nightingale to my mother. The poor old dear had her right hip replaced. Old, of course, being relative - she's 60. That may seem young for a hip replacement, but I figure that she was probably better able to tolerate the operation being younger. But hey, I'm not a doctor. I don't even play one on TV.

I think she's doing pretty well: she can get around fine with a walker (a Zimmer frame, to my UK readers), less well with a cane. Her incision is only about 5-6 inches long, and has a lovely zipper-effect from the staples. She's taking lots of pain medication, so naturally, she's pretty happy most of the time. She got a bit grumpy when she missed it by a half-hour.

The thing that irks her most, though, is being constipated. My mother gives new meaning to the term "anal." She enjoys a good BM more than most people. Besides that, she's relentlessly tidy and organized. Sort of like an American Hyacinth Bucket ("It's pronounced 'Bouquet," dear"). Coming to my house makes her practically break out into hives, as I'm allergic to housework and have a "dirt problem." Guess that makes the WCM and me Daisy and Onslow.

Whatever. Let's all pray for some "regularity" to come to my mom's house. And soon!


Ok, I just got off the phone with the woman herself. I won't OVERSHARE go into the gory details of the conversation, but let's just say that the phrases "like shitting bricks," "Fleet's enema," "rubber gloves," "Vaseline," and "pull it out," were employed during the chat.

Hallelujah, praise Jesus, my Mother's regular again.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007


I've discovered that there are current students of mine who've found my blog. This makes me extremely uncomfortable, as I say things here that I wouldn't say in the classroom. I love my students - don't get me wrong - but they don't need that picture of me. If I want to post something lewd about Piggy & Tazzy or razz Garfer about his pussy, I don't want students reading it.

Do you hear that, students? I don't want you here.

I especially don't want to hear "I found your blog!" across my classroom. While this isn't a diary, I don't think it's appropriate for the under 18s.

If I change my address, I'll let some of you know. You may pass it on, like gonorrhea, to the others.

Monday, January 15, 2007

The Adipose Chronicles

I’ve been dragging my feet about writing this post, as it’s very, very personal. It is in response to a few posts on one of the DS (Duodenal Switch weight loss surgery) boards I read and has also been circulated on a few of the DS blogs that I read. The questions mainly deal with personality and self-image. I alluded to having a few issues with these concepts in my Pajama Post, but I’m thinking that it would be best to spell it all out – for my own psyche as well as for the benefit of any fledgling DSer that might get (mis)directed here.

The main thrust of the first question is “has your personality changed since you began losing weight?” There have been many denials and a few painfully honest yeses. I find myself falling into the NO camp. I’ll be the first to admit, though, that my behavior has changed, but my personality has remained the same. I’ll elaborate. Except during two deep bouts of depression, I’ve always been a fairly chirpy person. While I can kvetch with the best of ‘em, snark and cutting sarcasm usually make me uncomfortable. I’m an optimist, and idealist, and mostly liberal in my thinking. I love deeply and loyally, resist change – sometimes even when it’s for the better – and wilt under harsh criticism. I have been and still am eager to please, but have relatively few insecurities. I’m as flirtatious now as I was 110 pounds ago, even if I occasionally get taken seriously in my flirtation now. I can be bold as brass, and am working on developing tact and thinking before I speak. Circumspection has never come easy to me. I consider myself intelligent, fairly cultured, and well educated. I procrastinate. I’m messy. I love to cook, but hate to clean up. I’ve never liked taking the stage by myself. That will come as a surprise to many who knew me in my youth. I have blistering stage fright. I have a piano that I enjoy playing, but I play only for myself. As you can see, I know myself pretty well. Being a tad self-centered, I’ve given myself a lot of thought...

I do recognize that my behavior has changed, though. I’m more energetic physically. There are days when I bounce around my classroom like Tigger on crack, keeping my students’ attention. I’m less prone to make self-deprecating remarks (you know, say it yourself before anyone can say it for you.). I’m a bit happier these days, since there are so many things that are easier for me now that I’ve lost weight – sitting in a booth at a restaurant, using a regular-sized stall in a restroom, being able to cross my legs again. Kim said, and I wholeheartedly agree with her, that Life is easier on thin people. It’s absolutely true. Life, and society in general, is easier on us, and while I’ve lost weight in the triple digits, I’m still a good ways from “thin.” So if I seem different, it’s not my personality that’s different. I’m still the same me, there’s just less packaging.

Another question that resonated with me was about vanity. One woman was concerned that she was becoming vain at the expense of her character. This is something I’ve struggled with so much in the past. Reading her post took me back 8 years to my LA Weight Loss days. You see, even at my largest, I’ve always had a healthy chunk of vanity. I never thought I was ugly – I was one of those chubby women who took time to do my hair and makeup most days. Dressing well, that’s another story, as plus-sized clothing is often much more expensive than in regular sizes, and I am a teacher. ‘Nuff said, I think. The difficulty begins with the fact that I never really lived in my body. The body was something you washed and dressed and used to carry your brain around in. I was raised in a very intellectual household that placed more emphasis on education and character than on beauty. As long as one was clean, healthy, and presentable, that was enough. I had enough personal vanity to ensure that presentable included makeup and coiffure. Still, my body and how it worked was a bit of a mystery to me. It often betrayed me – gym class, for example, was a daily horror. Why was I always last to finish the race? Gah – I hated gym class. I wasn’t even fat in high school and I couldn’t make my body do what I wanted. My academic classes, when they interested me, were much better. I was a decent student when I could pull my head out of the clouds, and pretty freaking smart if I gave a damn about the material. I didn’t change in college or grad school, either. I ate and studied, got married halfway through my bachelor’s degree, and placed myself at the headquarters of stress central by living with my in-laws. I ate more, as narcotics weren’t available to me...

So, as I began losing major weight for the first time, I was really thrown for a loop by the emphasis that was placed on the physical, both by the diet industry and the people around me. In a way, I felt like I was betraying my brain with all the energy I was devoting to my appearance. I mean, did truly smart people really care this much about their appearance? Look at Einstein – damn sure Albert didn’t give a shit if he had a bad hair day! I felt vain and shallow out of all proportion. I realize now that my feelings had nothing to do with my appearance, but with the reactions I was receiving about it. I certainly wasn’t turning dumber with every pound I lost – intelligence isn’t stored in the fat cells, after all. In the end, the draconian nature of the LA Weight loss diet provided me with a convenient excuse for failure, and I took it. I was already uncomfortable with the attention I was getting, and I was feeling like a bimbo for taking so much time with my appearance. I was young enough, too, that I lacked the shades of gray given by age and experience and saw things only in black and white terms. Pretty equals dumb, not pretty equals smart. People who were both pretty and smart had obviously made some unsavory pact with Satan. That had to be it.

The last question that hit me was from a very intelligent and articulate blogger who was boggled by someone’s reaction to her weight loss. After having lost more than 100 pounds, she was unnerved at someone who couldn’t just recognize that she was “just not fat anymore.” Well, I’ve been there, said that, and outgrown the t-shirt a couple of times. What I’ve just said about people’s reactions above proves that. But, see, it’s more than just not being fat anymore. For anyone, losing 100 pounds is an achievement. For normal people, it usually entails stringent diet and exercise. When people admire you for losing 100 pounds, they’re not just admiring the loss of bulk – they’re admiring your effort, tenacity, and grit. I didn’t realize that before. It took me years of living in my fat to figure that reaction out. I realized that I’d always dismissed compliments based on weight loss because of my guilt.

I was guilty that I had 100 pounds to lose. I was guilty that I had let my weight accumulate to such a degree. I was guilty that I wasn’t active. I was guilty – so I felt that I didn’t deserve the compliments. Now that I’ve had weight loss surgery, you’d think I’d feel even more guilt. I mean, losing this much weigh has been almost effortless. Sure, I avoid certain kind of foods, but that’s my choice. I can have them, but they give me gas. I don’t want to fart in the classroom. My students should thank me. But I digress... Strangely enough, I don’t have guilt this time around. I think it’s because I reached the point of no return – the point where weight loss surgery was deemed Medically Necessary to save my life – and no longer feel guilt about my body. I was not normal. I have no more guilt.

I’ve ruminated about these questions, in one form or another, for the last 10 years. It’s taken way longer than it should’ve to compose the answers. I doubt that they’ll stay the same over the next 10 years, as I continue to evolve. But for today, at least, that’s how I see things. If you’re reading this sentence, well, damn. You have much more patience than I do.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Adventures in Driving

Or not driving, rather, as my lovely car had "issues" this morning.

On Friday, the poor dear began making a horrible rattling noise, which the WCM addressed with a can of this or that somewhere under the hood. He said it may take 100 miles or so to run through the system, so it was ok to drive it. He denies saying this now, but he did say it.

The noise abated somewhat over the weekend, when I drove the car sparingly, and I had resolved to call a mechanic today and drop the car off after work. Well, I didn't get the chance.

Lucky for me, part of my morning routine is stopping at the Dunkin' Donuts for breakfast (bacon, egg, & cheese on half a croissant - yum!). My car started up after Miss Peanut and I got back in, and wonder of wonders, the noise was gone! Unfortunately, the steering wheel was locked up, and I couldn't turn it. Now, if you have to be stranded somewhere, I highly recommend being stranded at the Dunkin' Donuts. It's warm, dry (because it was pissing it down this morning), and there is food. I also recommend having a cell phone, as I had to make about five phone calls to get the word out this morning, but that's neither here nor there.

Miss Peanut, to whom this whole inconvenience was a Wonderful Adventure, was well chuffed at the idea of not going to school today. I have to admit, I was rather looking forward to it, too - anextra day off with a legitimate excuse! Zowie! Also a Wonderful Adventure for Miss Peanut was riding in the Tow Truck after watching it load up Mommy's car.

Now, one of the wonderful things about the WCM's family, is that they are numerous and helpful in a crisis. I put in a phone call to one of my sisters-in-law who lives about a half-mile from the auto repair shop, and she came flying over to pick me up. Then, seeing as I wouldn't have a car, she offers me one of hers.

This one:

Yes, she loaned me a Jaguar. A fucking Jaguar! It's delightful to drive, and I can see why it cost only about half as much as my house. She is officially my favorite sister-in-law right now - not because of the car she loaned me, but because she generously loaned it to me without a thought when I needed it. Unfortunately, it dashed Miss Peanut's hopes of staying home from school, and she is there right now. I did call in to work and tell them that I managed to get a car and I could come in if they wanted. They said stay home - they'd have to pay the substitute anyway.

So I'm at home. Got my coffee next to me, the dogs snoring on the floor around me, and my comfy flannel PJs on. I may take a drive later [/smirk]

Thursday, January 04, 2007

I kind of like this one...

In the year 2007 I resolve to:
Dance randomly at work.

Get your resolution here.

This is one of the best resolutions ever. Go get your own.

(Thanks to Ezpy at A Smaller Target for this one)