Friday, October 30, 2009

Trying On Different Hats

Yep, I changed the name and description of my blog. And, I may change it yet again. I'm indecisive that way. :)

I had originally set out for this to be a way to document my health journey, but found I want to write about other things as well. Plus, I have so many different interests - that sometimes contradict each other - that I felt I needed to make this a catch-all place to hold them. There are many different pieces to the puzzle that is yours truly.

So....does this new title capture what I'm trying to convey? Any suggestions?

(and Husband, I took off the comment word verification thingy just for you....see, I really do love you! hehehe)

Thursday, October 29, 2009

A Bit O' Blah....blah.

I had another job interview yesterday (it was a no-go on the one I blogged about last) at a place that I'm not sure I even want to work at. But what the hell, eh? At this point I have no expectations since I've been disappointed so often in this stoooopid job hunt.

Note to self: start playing the lottery.

It's a dreary day here, grey and rainy and cool. Normally I like days like these....when I'm not already depressed, that is. But if it were sunny out, that would probably just piss me off. Yeah, I can be contrary at times. What I really want is snow. Snow! The western half of my state (Nebraska) was supposed to get at least 12 inches dumped on them today. Where I'm at? Nada. Not even a flake. C'mon, Ma Nature....whip up a Halloween blizzard. Pwease?

Today is my Husband's birthday. [waves at hubby!] The blog title is in honor of the occasion. Kinda. More of an inside joke, really. You see, one of our favorite sit-coms of all time is Greg The Bunny. Never heard of it? Don't worry, most people haven't. Eight years ago it debuted on Fox but was canceled after only twelve episodes. It was a brilliantly written and hilarious show that mainstream America just wasn't ready for. Who doesn't think drunk, crass puppets are funny!? It would have been more at home on Comedy Central; in fact ever since its cancellation fans have lobbyed CC to pick the show up and get it going again. Pity it probably won't ever happen.....we just have to be satisfied with our measly twelve episodes on DVD. Back to the blog title....well, it's probably best explained by showing it:

Happy Birthday.....blah. :)

Oh alright, one more, just because it's your birthday.....

How about you....what are some shows you loved and thought were unjustly canceled?

Friday, October 23, 2009

TGIF...Now Give Me Some News!

I'm sitting at my desk at work, watching the minutes slowly tick by. The wait is agonizing. Will today be the day I find out my job fate?

The clothing store headquarters job is least I haven't been called back for a second interview yet (hmph!) so I'm assuming it's out. But the other interview I had last week, for the different department on campus....that went extremely well I thought. They said they'd be hopefully making a decision and letting me know this week....well, it's Friday now and still no word. Come on people, don't you know what this is doing to me!? Even if it's a NO, just let me know so I can stop going stark raving mad with worry!

I do have another interview scheduled for next Wednesday for a job off campus, so I guess if this one doesn't pan out I still have an iron in the fire. Sigh.

I know it could be worse. I could be unemployed and looking for a job; at least right now I still have a paycheck coming in. I'm trying to be patient and positive and a good lil' trooper, because that's all I can do, that's all I have control over. My reserves are nearing the end though and I'm hanging on by a thread that's going to snap soon. ARGH!

Vent over. Deep breath.

Onto other good thing that's been happening amidst all my chaos: *drum roll* I have new hair growth! Yippee!!

*does happy dance*

I have never been more consciously aware of my scalp in my life than in the last 3 months. Well, when one is in danger of developing bald spots due to hair loss, how could one not be? In my rapid attempt to nip the problem in the bud, I made the following changes:
  • went back on birth control pills, for hormone regulation
  • began taking vitamins and other supplements, including omega-3, biotin, magnesium, and a cinnamon/chromium combo for insulin resistance
  • cut way down on drinking Diet Coke and began drinking lots and lots more water
  • began using Nioxin shampoo/conditioner, which is designed for people dealing with hair loss
  • began implementing dietary changes, cutting down on fast food and eating more fruits and veggies

I still have a long way to go in my health makeover; but these changes over the last few months have started paying off. Last week, as I was running my fingers up under my hair to feel my scalp, I felt what I thought at first to be dry flakiness....but the more I felt, I realized what I was feeling was stubble. I thought, "No Way!" but 'tis true, I got me some new hairs a-growin'! I have no way of seeing it, lacking a powerful magnifying glass and the ability to look that close at the back of my head, but I'm 99.9% certain that's what's going on. Hey, even if it's just a little bit, I'll take it! I don't know if it was just one change I made, or a combination of everything, that made it happen; probably a combination. Now I just have to keep on track and not lose sight of my other health goals.

Let's see, what else is going on in my world right now....I'm still knitting, I've progressed to making a real scarf! I'll post a pic when it's done. I can see this being something I could really get into; in fact I've already bought more yarn and a couple of beginnger instruction/pattern books to continue on with once the class is done. It still amazes me that I'm even doing this, lol.

As I've been in such a depressive funk lately, I've started re-reading the Harry Potter series. Some people have comfort food to escape, I have comfort reading....I'll go back to books I've read hundreds of times before; it's like wrapping myself up in a security blanket or slipping on my most comfortable pair of old sweats. It doesn't matter that I already know what's going to happen.....for a few hours, at least, I can walk into that book's world and get lost in it for awhile before I have to come back to reality. Harry Potter happens to be one of those I turn to frequently when I'm down. Not only is it comforting, but fun.....with each new reading I discover something I'd missed before, some small detail, foreshadowing, new insights, etc. And, as I have very little to do at work, I can visit Harry Potter fan sites and message boards (I prefer to satisfy my inner geek by reading analyzations of every tiny detail......I know, I'm weird!

From Harry to Ginger.....see, I have eclectic tastes....I got to see a Ginger Rogers movie last night that I'd not seen before: Gold Diggers of 1933. She had a bit part, but the movie opens right on Ginger in a skimpy outfit covered in gold coins singing "We're In The Money" (and then later singing it in pig latin, heh). Here's a YouTube clip of that famous opening scene (I tried to imbed it but it kept giving me an error message):

Add one to my collection....recorded it with my good old VCR. Yeah, Husband and I are a bit behind the times, but we don't care. I also recently discovered a plethora of Ginger fans here in the Blogger universe! Gingerology, and Finding Ginger being a couple of blogs I now follow. It's so great to find others who have the same obsessions I do!

Well, that's enough fun for one post. Everyone have a great weekend!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Beautiful People, or, Adventures in Paranoia

I haven't been blogging as often as I should and I'm behind in reading other gets in the way sometimes!

But, I had a job interview yesterday! At a very unlikely place, at least for me.

The town I live in is where the headquarters for a national clothing chain are located, and I applied for the position of "Adminsitrative Assistant to the Director of Operations." Sounds high-falutin' eh? lol

But the reason it's an unlikely place for me to work? This chain sells clothes targeted to teens and young adults a'la The Gap and Abercrombie and know the kind.....where you have to be a size 4 or 6 to be able to look good in any of their hip and trendy clothes that the Beautiful People wear. Back in the day, in high school when I *could* wear those types of fashions, I shopped at this particular store frequently. It was THE place to shop; in my era if you didn't get your Guess jeans from there you were considered so uncool.

This is one of their ads

Fast forward 20 years.....and I'm a frumpy, plus-sized woman who couldn't care less about trends and fashion. And I'm applying *there*? Holy Schnikey! Well, I'm desperate to get out my current job, that's the only reason for that kind of insanity!

Now, of course, I realized that I was applying to work in their corporate office, not in the retail store itself (where only thin young folk work), but I was irrationally expecting the office to be full of the Beautiful People too. I know from other people who have had friends or their kids work in the retail stores that employees are given a 40% discount because there's an unspoken expectation that you're supposed to wear their clothes to work. So, yesterday I was browsing their online store to see if they had any plus-size offerings......I found four things. Three pairs of jeans, and one blouse. That's ALL they had in a size above a 16! I thought, "If they have that clothes expectation in their offices as well, I'll be in trouble if I get this job!"

I arrived for the interview and the girl behind the front desk was.....a Beautiful Person. Oh No! I felt doomed before the interview even started. She directed me to the lobby to sit and wait.....surrounding me on the walls were blown up photos of models wearing the fall fashions. I averted my eyes and tried to calm down; I could already feel the nervous perspiration beginning. A few minutes later out walked the woman who was to interview me.....and she was normal! To show my petty side, I silently reveled in the fact that she was slightly older than I, AND her hair was thinning even worse than mine! Sometimes, in desperate situations, the only things that matter are the shallow ones.

*disclaimer: now please don't go thinking that I'm a shallow person who doesn't think people are worth anything unless they're a "beautiful person," I'm writing tongue in cheek here and poking fun at my own insecurities.

Carry on.

I was pleasantly surprised that the job wouldn't have anything to do with clothes or fashion at all. The director I'd be reporting to oversees the logistical side of the stores: new construction, maintenance, dealing with vendors, architects, etc, which would be right up my alley as that's what my job at the university has entailed. On paper, I'm more than qualified for this administrative assistant remains to be seen though if she liked how I presented myself and will call me back for a second interview.

Keep your fingers crossed for me! :)

*and lo and behold, as I was typing this blog I got a phone call for another interview at a different department on campus I had applied for weeks ago....doesn't rain but pours I guess. Something had better come of all this soon!!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Cast On, Cast Off

What is it, you ask?

Hell if I know, but it's what I've accomplished so far in my "homework" for my weekly knitting class. It's green and lumpy and I'm proud of it, doggone it! I had quite the adventure getting to this point too.

Last Thursday was my first class, and I was nervous as heck walking into the room in my old high school. There are 8 other women in the class, ranging in age from slightly younger than me to little white haired grandmas. Some were complete novices, like me, and some were just needing a refresher on the basics. I was glad I wasn't the only one at the beginning level, but even the other beginners still had a leg up on me, as they had at least been exposed to knitting in the past by watching their moms or grandmas do it.

The first thing the teacher showed us was how to "cast on," which is the first step in any kind of knitting project. Basically it's just getting the first of the yarn on the needle. I can tell you right now that being in a class that has varying levels of experience is frustrating for both the students and the teacher, as the beginners need literal hands on help; at one point the teacher was standing behind me with her hands on mine guiding me through the proper movements. I felt like a 4 year old being taught how to tie my shoes. Everyone else seemed to be getting it except me and I started getting red faced and panicky in my self-imposed humiliation. Ain't social anxiety grand?

Next we learned the most basic of the stitches, the garter stitch. Again, I ended up with the teacher behind me guiding me. When it comes to crafty things like this, I always feel like I should have drool coming out of my mouth while I mutter "duhhhhh." I'm just not good at doing things with my hands (unelss it's on the computer). I know, I know, quit being so hard on myself! Anyway, I *finally* got the gist of it and when I got home, promptly started working on it lest I forget what I just learned.

Enter The Diva.

Runty (yes, her name is really Runty) was under the table I was sitting at and saw flashes of the ends of the needles as I was holding them almost on my lap. Well, what else is a self-respecting cat supposed to do when something shiny and stringy is moving to-and-fro? She jumped up between my knees and started swatting at the needles. Startled, I lost hold and dropped them.....and the whole green lumpy mass of intricate knots slipped off the needle and lay there, mocking me.

It was tangled beyond the point of just being able to slip it back on. I sat there staring at it in disbelief....oh HELL no, that did not just happen! Of course, me being me, I took it as more than just an unfortunate mishap that could be fixed. I took it as a personal failure of epic proportions that represented every failed project of my life. I seriously need to be on meds of some sort. But the real meltdown didn't happen until after I tried to start the whole thing over again.....only to find out that I had already forgotten how to cast on, despite just having learned it a few hours prior.

With teary eyes, I got online and sought out YouTube videos that would hopefully show me how to get started again. Nope. Oh yeah, there's plenty of knitting tutorials out there.....but I watched 3 different cast-on vids, and all 3 showed a different method and all were completely different from the way the teacher had shown us, leaving me even more confused than before. I admitted defeat, went to the living room couch and gave in to my tears, vowing never to go back to the class; what in the world had I been thinking, learn to knit!? Ha!

My dear, wonderful Husband patiently tried to calm me down and talked me into getting ahold of my teacher to meet one-on-one with me to get me back on track before throwing in the towel completely. Oh sure, take the rational, logical way out! ;)

I did, and met with her at her home after work on Monday. She re-taught me how to cast on and sat there with me, watching my fumbling fingers as I finished 4 rows of garter stitches, until she was confident that I could continue on my own at home. Whew!

Note to self: don't let the cats near me at home when I'm knitting in the future.

So, that's been my paranoid adventures in knitting thus far. My next class is tomorrow night where we're supposed to learn how to purl. Pearl? Perl? Who knows.

This whole thing is more than just learning how to's my attempt at trying something new, getting myself out of my self-imposed depressed isolation and making contact with other people beyond my family and co-workers. I've allowed my anxiety and paranoia and fear to rule my life for many years.....and I'm tired of it. I want to be normal, and the only way to do that is to force (ok ok, coerce....happy Husband?) myself to do these types of things.

But hey, maybe I'll be able to make lumpy looking tea cozies in the process!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Treadmills and Knitting Needles

I just adore this time of year. Leaves turning color and gently falling to the ground, the deep blue crispness of the sky, the chill in the it, love it, love it! I perk up in the fall. I don't handle heat and humidity well so after slugging through the summer I feel like a drowning person coming up for air.

My camera doesn't work well so I pilfer shamelessly from Photobucket. I feel the need for some fall eye candy right about now....

Ahhh.....that's better!

I've been hitting the treadmill this past week, starting slowly and not pushing myself too hard; I didn't want to crash and burn by plunging in too fast. So I've only been doing 10-15 minutes at a moderate pace. That is, until Tuesday. I got cocky and did 20 minutes at the fastest pace I could walk before needing to start jogging. I made it, and felt sore muscles the next day. So yesterday, heartened by the experience, I did the same thing again for 25 minutes.

Oy. Not such a good idea. I'm really feeling it today. What was I just saying about crashing and burning? I never learn. I'll not be doing the treadmill thing tonight in order to give my legs a rest. Besides....I have plans tonight. I have a hot date with my knitting needles.

Wait.....what? Ok, lemme 'splain.

One day, about a month ago, I was browsing through the extended learning catalogue that our local community college sends out periodically. These are classes for anyone in the community to sign up for, like cooking workshops, learn to salsa dance, etc. My eye fell on one class for beginning knitting. I passed on to the next page, then went back to it again. And again. Then I thought, "Why not?"

Now, let me explain that I am not a crafty person. I've never sewn, embroidered, crocheted, or woven a thing in my life. I can't even do basic repairs like sew on a button or stitch a sagging hem. So why in the world do I now, all of a sudden, want to learn to knit?

Well......I'm not sure exactly. It's not like I've been dreaming of learning to knit for ages and am finally doing something about it. I've never seen a scarf and wondered, "Gee, I wish I could make something like that!" But, I do value the idea of the "womanly arts" and feel this is an area in my life that is sadly lacking. I've been reading a lot recently about a return to the "old ways," meaning being more self-sufficient instead of continuing to buy into the consumeristic, corporate treadmill. The only treadmill I want to be on is the one in my basement.

Now, I have wanted to learn to sew for years. I dislike the feeling of being helpless when a button pops off a coat or a zipper breaks. I see so many things I could make and repair and alter but feel like an illiterate person standing in the middle of a library.....surrounded by possibility but without the knowledge or tools to take advantage of it.

So, when I saw that class for knitting basics, I realized this could be my baby step into that world of manipulating fabric into something creative and useful. Give me some initiative and motivation for pursuing the next step, learning to sew.

Tonight will be my first class. I'm excited, and aprehensive. I'm extremely shy by nature and walking into a group situation among strangers just gives me the willies. To top it off, the class is being held in my old high school.....that'll be a very surreal experience! I'll be sure to fill you all in tomorrow on how it're just dying to know right?

(wow, I have followers! neato! thanks guys!)