Follow me.......





Friday, August 31, 2007

Spill it sister........






I wasn't going to approach this subject just quite yet. But, things have escalated to the point that I must. It's about that plaster of Paris image.....you know the one.....the rubenesque image to the left of the screen. Before I begin.....I'd like to know.....just for the record.....how many of you believe that it is a plaster of Paris statue of me? Go ahead, don't be shy....raise your hand.

I have this friend.....who I will call "A". I'm not sure if she is a regular reader of my blog or not. She's a very busy woman with quite a lot on her plate. However, early on, A did read my blog. Soon after, A ran into another friend of mine--who I will identify as "P". So, A asked P if she happened to see the plaster of Paris cast that I had done of my body prior to my surgery. P, being a self-proclaimed computer ditz, knew nothing of it. So, A filled her in--telling her that I had a plaster of Paris cast done of my body and I posted a picture on my blog. P was quite interested in seeing it for herself. So, during one of P's visits, she told me about what A had shared with her and asked to see it.
Then, a few days later, another friend.....who I will call "K", emailed me and asked about the plaster of Paris image. She was very interested in knowing more.
Following that, I heard from another friend---who I will call "J". She too wanted more info.
Then, my darling 21 year old niece mentioned to her mother (my younger sister) that Aunt Judi had some really cute guy do a plaster of Paris cast of her body.
Was I holding out on all of my friends and family?

Now, before I go any further.......let's think about how one would do a cast of one's body. First of all....as you can see.....the cast is of a nude body. Nude. Meaning no clothes were worn during the plastering session. Not that I want to give anyone hot flashes here....but....the scenario we have here is that a really cute guy (who does plaster of Paris casts of overweight women) is spreading goop all over my nude body. And, I mean, all over my body. Yes, there. And, there. And, there too. And, I'm just laying there. While this really cute guy spreads goop all over my body. Now, we won't even discuss why this guy does this. But, for this particular discussion....let's assume that he is part of the bariatric medical team. (An interesting career for a sculptor, I would say) So, there we are---really cute guy and me. He's really cute. I'm nude. And he's spreading goop all over my body. Oh, and since it's his job to make sure to get every nook and cranny of my body---the lights are on. And, yes, I have my eyes open. Because, well, he's really cute. As for the reason why he is doing this instead of just taking a picture of me in all my glory, we'll just assume it's related to the entire process that everyone has to go through. So, given that theory, we must assume that somewhere there are thousands of casts of pre-weight loss surgery bodies just sitting around. Not sure where they would all be housed.....maybe a huge warehouse. I'm quite sure I would not want to go there. But, speaking of a warehouse....if they are all kept somewhere like a warehouse, one would have to assume there would be warehouse workers cataloging them, moving them around, keeping them safe. Now, that might be an interesting career too.

Okay, so.....back to me being nude and a really cute guy spreading goop all over my body. What do you think? The obvious answer, in my mind would be-----it's amazing the cast was ever finished! You know what I mean? I'm nude. He's really cute. He's spreading goop all over my body. I'm human. Okay, I'm not just human. I'm alive. I've got nerve endings just like the rest of the world! Well......is that a plaster of Paris cast of me or not?

Looks like I started a rumor about myself that I'm not ready to confirm or deny. But, for the record.......no matter how overweight or obese a person is......they are no different than anyone else. Nude. Cute guy. Goop. Whether you are a Size 2 or a Size 20......the cast has the same odds of being completed. Now, if you'll excuse me......I have to go and take a very cold shower.....

Thursday, August 30, 2007

August 2007.......a month to remember......


It's rather funny, the twists and turns life takes. "You never know what's around the next corner" is one of my standard lines when I'm talking to someone else. And, as much as I know that's true and believe it 100%---I never really apply it to myself. You see, I always assume that there will be "something" around the next corner. And, I'm optimistic enough to assume it will be good. So, I just sit and wait for it. Essentially, I let things happen to me. I don't make things happen. I don't really script my life nor do I have a plan. I'm a dreamer without really working on fullfilling them. It's not that I'm lazy or unmotivated. I'm just content at what life has given me and what it has in store for me. You see, up until now, I'm pretty sure I got to where I am by sheer luck. Often, I look back at my path and see that other people actually got me to where I landed. It wasn't really me. It's not that "where I am" is any place special. It's just that I've been blessed with many things---a guy who has loved me for 3 decades, 2 children who have given me nothing but sheer joy, the love and support of a wonderful, generous and caring family, the good fortune of having extraordinary, talented and spirited friends, a home that makes me happy and a job that I enjoy going to. Tucked in those blessings of course, are a few things I'd like to forget, several losses that I will always carry with me and those pesky things that I'm not so proud of. But, for the most part, the smiles and the laughter have outweighed the tears and the sadness. So, that's good. Very good. Looking back, I can safely say that my strategy of letting good things rain down on me worked out nicely.


Knowing all of that---how is it that I came to this decision to actually make something happen to me that would change my life? In other words---what brought me to the decision to have this Lap Band surgery? The first time I remember uttering the words "I am having Lap Band Surgery", I was standing in a friend's kitchen at a holiday dinner party in December 2006. Two of my dearest (and most spirited) friends and I were having a glass of wine, chatting about whatever we were chatting about. I'm not quite sure what prompted me to say it. Perhaps it was the 5 outfits that I threw on the bed while getting ready. Or, maybe I was saying it as an excuse for the fact that I was wearing black from head to toe. Or, it could have been my way of saying "yes, I really do plan to loose this weight." But, whatever the reason was, I found myself saying it. I'm not sure if I really, really meant it at that point. Yet, having said it, it was as if I had to do it. If for no other reason---I had to do it for them. After all, I confided in them. That was a pretty big thing. A sacred thing. A thing of trust. At that point, the only thing I knew about Lap Band was from the TV commercial where a woman is being chased by a lion. However, no matter---- from that moment on, I was having Lap Band Surgery. After that, I tested telling others. Once I crossed the line of making it known, it became real. Although I hadn't told a doctor about my plan, I was considered as "going to have Lap Band Surgery".



The process of getting to the point of having the surgery is not easy. There are lots of hoops to jump through. The first thing is that you have to prove that you need it. In other words, you have to be obese. Or, better yet, morbidly obese. That means that you have to be at least 100 lbs overweight or have a BMI of at least 40. And, you have to provide documentation that you have tried every method out there to loose weight and yet you remain obese. Plus, you have to show that you have been on a medically supervised diet for at least 6 months and yet you still remain obese. The point is that you have to be obese and stay obese. Then, once all of that is established, you must endure hours of medical and psychological tests, go through nutritional counseling and attend support group meetings. Once you have completed all of that, you will finally gain entrance into the doctor's office. At that point, the doctor will meticulously review your records and decide if you could be considered a candidate for the surgery. Once that is completed, the doctor will send the recommendation to your insurance company for final approval. And, before I forget---during this entire process, should you loose weight and drop below the weight or BMI cut off---you could loose your eligibility! Knowing this, you find yourself in a very unusual place---you pray that you do not loose weight!! You do novenas to help keep you obese. This is a time in your life when you want to be obese. You want the doctor to call you obese---to your face. You want your insurance company to agree that you are obese. All in all, you want at least 100 people to point at you and say "YOU ARE OBESE". And, then you want them to write it down.....everywhere.....that you are OBESE. They don't let just anyone get Lap Band Surgery. If you are found to be ineligible, you could go to Mexico---as many people have--to get it done. They will definitely call you obese if you have the cash up front to pay for the surgery. But, for those of us who wish to be called OBESE in our native tongue, you have to follow the rules.



As for me.....after I committed to having the surgery by telling 2 friends that I was doing it...over a glass of wine......I began the long process. Grueling and time consuming as it was, it was the very first time in my life that I was taking charge of a situation and really following through regardless of the hurdles. I'm not a "tough it out" kind of girl by nature. But, I jumped through the hoops, I did all the work and before I knew it.....I won the coveted and undisputed title of "OBESE".


Friday August 31 will mark my 3rd week anniversary of being banded. And, to be quite honest, I am still a bit surprised that I really went through with it. If anyone would have asked me if I would ever consider weight loss surgeryin my lifetime, I would have given them a resounding "NO". But, life has a funny way of twisting and turning. Thankfully, somehow, someway, I peered around the next corner and wanted to change what was going to happen to me. Yes, there were many reasons why I had this surgery. And, I just can't wait to find out.......


P.S.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

I interupt this blog to say thank you..........




Roses from my garden.....to thank you for joining me
on this journey!
You have paved my way with love, support and encouragement. And, it's meant more to me than you will know!
Looking forward to seeing you again and again
on the winding road that is my journey.......
love, Judi


Tuesday, August 28, 2007

P.S. BIG NEWS! Symbolism-Free Post

Bruce Springsteen will be in Pittsburgh on
November 14.

English Lit 101.....


In an unusual twist of events, my husband read an entry in my blog. The reason why I say it’s unusual is that he has a very short attention span. He believes in well written headlines and topic sentences that explain it all. So, I was clearly delighted that the sight of all my prose on the computer screen did not scare him off. It’s not that he is opposed to reading, it’s just that…..well……like I said, he has a short attention span. Most likely, his genius mind works in a whole different way that the rest of us. Or, at the very least,it works in a whole different way than mine. The latter is a proven fact. I’m completely at ease not knowing the balance of my checkbook yet I become completely unglued if someone leaves me a voicemail and says “I have something to tell you, give me a call!”. I NEED TO KNOW NOW. Do not call me and tell you have something to tell me…..just tell me! As for him, he goes by the rule that one should know the exact amount in your checking account and believes that the less information he has to put in his head, the better. A sure sign that opposites attract, I suppose.

Although you would think that I would know better than to ask what he thought of the entry, I did it anyhow. I just had to know. The conversation went like this:

Me: So, what did you think?

Him: Fine

Me: Which one did you read?

Him: About the car.

Me: Which car?

Him: The van

Me: Did you get it?

Him: Yeah, you wrote about the van dying.

Me: No, no, did you get what I was trying to say?

Him: We needed a new car

Me: No, did you understand what the point was?

Him: Yes.

Me: Then, what was I saying?

Him: That we needed a new car

Me: No, I mean, did you get how I was relating that to my life, my surgery, ME?

Him: Huh?

Me: I can’t believe you didn’t get what I was trying to convey!

Him: Huh?

Me: It wasn’t about the car!

Him: That’s what I read.

Me: Didn’t you read it? I thought you said you read it?

Him: I did.

Me: You couldn’t have read it

Him: Okay, I didn’t read it.

Me: Did you read it or didn’t’ you read it?

Him: I thought I did. You shouldn’t write in riddles.

Me: And, you mean to tell me that you read it but you didn’t get what I was talking about? It wasn’t a riddle! It was symbolism!

Him: You said we needed a new car. The van died. Period.

Me: I can’t believe it! I just can’t believe you thought that was all it was about!

Him: That’s what it said. If you meant something else, you should have said it.

Me: That’s it! You just don’t understand me! If you thought that all I was saying is that we needed a new car then you have a lot to learn buster! It was symbolism. Symbolism? Have you ever heard of symbolism? I was talking about the changes in my life. I was talking about how that car and I have both ended an era. And, it was bittersweet. That’s what I was saying. The old van died just as I was emerging as a new person. That’s what I was saying. That’s what my entire blog is about. I’m relating my experiences to the changes in my life. I’m not out there just telling silly stories about my life! It’s all connected. It’s symbolism! I’m relating my experiences and how they connect to my journey. That is what I am talking about! My journey! NOT A CAR! My journey!

Him: Okay

Me: Everything in my blog relates to my journey. I am on a journey.

Him: Good thing we have a new car.





Monday, August 27, 2007

My Aunt told me to always keep my legs crossed......

But, the more weight I gained, that became an impossibility!

The week before I left for college, I spent an afternoon with my Aunt Theresa. It was 1976. I was only the third (and last) member of our big family to go to college. And, I was going away. Not all that far, mind you. But, I was not going to be living in a place where my grandfather was up the street, one aunt was around the corner, another was a few blocks away and the furtherest relative lived about 3 miles. My college campus would not be filled with first, second or third cousins and uncles on every corner. And, being a girl......well.....it was a pretty adventuresome idea to go to college let alone leave home to do it. Given all of that, my aunt had a bit of advice for me----"keep your legs crossed." Now, I'm pretty sure she wasn't giving me etiquette advice. But, if she were----at 17, I would have had no problem crossing my legs. If she were giving me that advice just a few months ago.....I'd have to say "Aunt Theresa, it ain't going to happen." And, I would not be talking about what she was talking about back in 1976. I'd be talking about the fact that somewhere along the line, as I gained weight, it became impossible to cross my legs. It's as if one day, I swung one leg to cross it and all of a sudden, it bounced back. No matter how hard I tried to swing my leg, it still came bouncing back. Soon I gave up crossing my legs. It made me sad. I always liked the whole look of crossing legs. There was something so grown up about it. So classy and elegant. Sitting with legs crossed at the ankles never held the same clout as sitting with your entire legs crossed. But, that's what I had to do. I became one of those crossed ankle people. My large girth had taken away my ability to be classy and elegant.

But, today, it happened. Without thinking, I crossed my legs. A few seconds later, I realized that I was sitting there.....in a chair....with my legs crossed. And, my leg was holding in place. One leg was draped across the other---above my knee and it was staying put. I was sitting there......with my legs crossed. Right there. With my legs crossed.

Aunt Theresa......I'm keeping my legs crossed. And, this time, they are staying that way.




Sunday, August 26, 2007

When Irish eyes are smiling...........

It will steal your heart away.......
Funny how life changes. Yet, some things remain the same. Take for instance....the twinkle in my Uncle Patsy's eyes.
This weekend, my dear Uncle Patsy came to stay. He had always been a fun uncle to have. He is my father's only brother---13 months younger than him. When my sisters and I were growing up, he always used our address for his mail. But, he never lived there. According to my mother, he lived at the YMCA. It's not that my mother wanted to lie. She just couldn't seem to figure out how to tell her daughters that the uncle who they loved so much was a Playboy. And, probably a cad. You see, he lived with women. Different women. At different times....maybe.
Our Uncle Patsy was a tall, handsome, impeccably dressed, blue-eyed charmer who added a bit of excitement to our peaceful suburban lives. He was so different from our conservative, cautious and conventional father. For one thing---Uncle Patsy always drove a convertible. One time he even drove his convertible with the top down in a snowstorm on Christmas Eve just to get our electric organ to us. And, that man loved a party. In fact, he was the life of any party, bar, nightclub or wake he showed up at. He seemed to know everyone. Every politician, every bartender, every police officer, every judge. And, no matter how naughty he was, they all loved him. Even my mother adored him in spite of the fact that he could make her so angry by disrupting the entire household on holidays, in the middle of the night or just on any given day. One time he took a young woman from our neighborhood out on a date......to Atlantic City......for several days. Her mother showed up at our door after 2 days looking for her daughter. My mother was not too happy about that. Our babysitters even loved my uncle......he'd pop in out of the blue on a Saturday night when our parents were out.....probably after being booted out the door by his latest lady friend. And, he'd entertain us with his silly stories and off color humor. We just idolized our uncle. And, we were so proud of how fun and handsome he was. We felt so lucky.
My uncle is in his late 80's now. He's in the middle stages of either dementia or alzheimer's. He is still tall. But, he shakes quite a bit. He still charms everyone with his gentlemanly manners, his catchy phrases and his mischevious grin. But, he can't remember what just happened a few moments before. He asks questions over and over again and he seems befuddled quite a bit of the time. He still calls his brother "Frankie". He still enjoys smoking his cigarettes. But, even the most routine activities like changing his clothes bewilder him. Yet, his blue eyes still twinkle. Perhaps he's secretly remembering or maybe he's just enjoying the moment. You just don't know.
While we were sitting on my porch on Saturday, the 2 of us got to talking about various things. On a whim, I decided to tell him about my Lap band surgery. He was quite interested in all of it....or so it seemed. "So, you are going to loose weight?" he asked me. "Yes". I told him. "That's good." he replied. I went on to compliment him on the fact that he never had a problem with weight so he must have taken after his tall and lanky father. Whereas my father took after their mother---a very large, rosey cheeked woman. "And, I look like your mother," I told him. Just as I was about to say something like "and I don't want to be as big as her", my Uncle Patsy looked at me, his eyes twinkling......"yes, you do".
You know, I never really liked it when my father or my uncle would say "you look just like my mother". To me, that always meant that I was fat. But, yesterday, sitting on my porch with my dear Uncle......it was somehow okay. I have a soft spot for twinkling blue eyes.......

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Because I'm big, blonde and beautiful........

Come on....sing it with me! Makes you feel good....doesn't it? Sing it again....."because I'm big, blonde and beautiful!". This time, tap your foot and bob your head. Give it some sass!!! You sassy thing, you! Bump it up! Come on, don't be shy! Shake it up! Got those boobs going? Ass swaying? Yeah, you got it! Come on, sing it loud! Put on the attitude! Smirk a little. Strut a little. Shoulders back. Chest out. Get that booty bobbing! Hey, even if you aren't blonde (please no blonde jokes!), belt it out with me. BECAUSE I'M BIG, BLONDE AND BEAUTIFUL!!! Give it to me good....come on now....! You got it. Now, put those hands behind your head and whip it out! Grind it to the left. Grind it to the right. You got it....! Damn, it feels so nice! Makes you want to start a congo line right there in front of your computer. It feels that good....don't it?

I am not afraid
To throw my weight around
Pound by pound by pound
Because I'm
Big, blonde and beautiful
There is nothin' 'bout me
That's unsuitable


Let's start with the "blonde" part. I won't lie---I'm not a natural blonde. At the moment, I am blonde. A sister who is a hairdresser and two weeks at the beach will do that to a girl. As for the "big" part----I won't lie about that either.....at the moment, I am big. But, I'm not naturally big. Inherited fat genes and a penchant for pasta will do that to a girl. As for the "beautiful" part. Again, I won't lie.....I'm not naturally beautiful. But, at the moment, I am beautiful. A new outlook on life and loosing a few pounds will do that to a girl.

I offer big love
With no apology
How can I deny the world
The most of me ?



If you haven't seen the movie "Hairspray"......go.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

My Escape.........

So, I decided NOT to go with the Salsa Vibe (vehicle). Even though the name itself was kind of fun, in person it just didn't do it for me. Not that I'm picky about cars. In fact, as long as it gets me from place to place, I'm okay with whatever wheels I have. Carmen isn't fussy either. With all of his traveling and daily commutes, he just beats vehicles to death. Come vacation time, we no longer bring our own personal vehicles anymore. We prefer to rent them. We learned that lesson a few years back. So, whatever we buy just has to fit our daily lives. But, here's the thing---looking for a new vehicle, test driving them, doing all that negotiating and finally spending the money to buy them just makes us both a little cranky. That's why I was hoping that the Salsa Vibe would win me over. The color was incredible. Definitely a Judi color. But, once inside, I felt a little, oh, I don't know, cramped. This meant that I had to find myself another car that would fit our life. But, I did not want to spend a lot of time doing it nor did I want to go through all the shenanigans of getting in my driveway. And, of course, the other issue is that I'm sort of on "light duty"---not really supposed to be driving. Plus, being on this liquid diet, my patience is not exactly in tact. I had the potential to be a car sales person's nightmare. Given my needs, my dear, dear friend Patty gave me a lift to a Ford dealer near the house. I told her to leave since I knew I'd be leaving with a vehicle. She pulled away, knowing that I would get what I came for. As I approached the door of the dealership, a peppy sales guy named Jim approached me. I gave him a rundown of what I wanted (I did not mention my liquid diet....). He pointed to a silver SUV type vehicle and said "fully loaded, just got it on the lot today." To be honest, I had no idea what "fully loaded" meant nor did I care. He rattled off things---leather interior, 6 CD changer, side airbags, running boards, sport details, yadda, yadda, yadda. "I was thinking of a red one" I told him. "Nothing like this in red right now" he told me. "But, it's fully loaded...." he repeated. Little did he know that I was also fully loaded.....ready to scream at any moment....."don't try your sales tactics on me!" But, I contained myself. He offered that I take a test drive it. I did not bother to tell him that I was under doctor's orders not to drive. Why spoil the fun? So, we went on a little drive. And, I had to admit, I liked this vehicle. And, I felt sooooo good driving. As soon as we got back, I decided it would do. "So, what's the name of this?" I asked. "The Escape" he told me. I thought for a moment. Yes, that will do.....it sort of fits my life right now, I reasoned. I'm escaping my former life as an obese person. "Okay, I'll take it," I said whipping out my checkbook. Easiest sale that man ever made. And, I'll bet he wonders what was the key that clinched the deal. Between the time he held out his hand to introduce himself until the time I sat there writing a check, a total of 26 minutes had passed. Lucky guy. As I was leaving the lot, he said "you know, this is the sports model. Souped up!" I glanced back at him....wincing at the mere thought of SOUP (a liquid!). "Yep, it's good. All I need is some red mats and it will be fine," I said as I drove off. In the rear view mirror, I saw him scratching his head. Yep, that's how I operate, Jim.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Socks.......

My life has always followed an academic calendar. End of August/beginning of September always meant leaving summer behind and embarking on something new. Brimming with possibilities. New clothes. New shoes. New lip stick shade. New experiences while wearing it all. New people to see the new clothes, the new shoes and the new lipstick. A new school year. That's where I am at right now. On the brink of a new school year. Toni is getting mentally prepared for her third year in high school. We are not allowed to use the words "back to school" around her unless we add a fourth word...."shopping". She sees the possibilities......in fashion. For the first time in many years, I'm not getting 2 kids ready to go back to school. It hurts a little. And, I'll miss buying socks.

Early on, I recognized that my son was not a fashion plate in his own rite. He was practical.....always. Blues. Beiges. T-shirts. And, maybe the occasional Steeler shirt for dress. But, for the first 6 or 7 years of his life, he always had the best socks. Everyone always commented---"Vince always has the best socks!" I took great pride in that. Finding the best socks became my mission. During the early years, he never balked at his socks. He needed to wear them. Like I said, he has always been practical. When he finally realized that his socks were giving him a reputation, my days of sock fun came to a brutal ending. I was sad. Soon, however, nature and a Saturday night drinking some cheap wine kindly intervened---Toni came into our world. Bringing with her a whole new world of fashion. Headbands. Dresses. Hats. Shoes. Gymboree. The Gap. And, yes, socks. Ruffled socks. Striped socks. Socks to match her hat. Socks to match her dress. Polka dot socks. Christmas socks. Halloween socks. Easter socks. Socks with her name. Socks with bells. Socks with lace. Socks with beading. Socks with fur. Sock heaven! I left no sock unturned. Although it took a little bit longer for Toni to decide that socks should go down a rung on her fashion priority budget, she too put a stop to my amazing sock hunts. After that, the only time I bought socks were at back to school time. Like now. Even though I wasn't buying the best socks for the past few years, I was able to buy socks. Mostly white socks. But, I was buying socks. Now, Toni tells me "mom, enough with the socks". And Vince said "mom, it's embarrassing. Everyone always asks me why I have so many socks."
More than likely, my addiction to buying socks began because of some deep, primal need to exercise my creativity. With boys' fashions not being so much fun in the 80's and having a son who was destined to wear khaki all of his life, socks became my outlet and the only way I knew how to control my son's wardrobe. And, then, of course, there's the whole mothering thing......I never wanted my children to have cold feet. It just seemed cruel not to buy them socks. And, then there was the problem with my dryer always eating socks. That left me fretting over the day they would become sockless. Irrational, neurotic behavior---yes. But this is how it all began. My spiral into the dark and sometimes argyle life of maniacal sock hording.
Entering sock withdrawl at the very same time as I'm becoming acquainted with my new life as a lap bander as well as mourning the loss of all things solid has forced me to examine the underlying issues that brought me to this point in my life. After many hours of self exploration and reflection, the way I see it is like this----my sock-love thing is intimately connected to the many challenges I've faced during my years of diets and battling obesity. Socks are safe. So, yes, even though it all began as a creative outlet, it eventually morphed into a social-shopping-avoidant anxiety disorder. You see, socks are not like jeans. There are no skinny socks. There are no plus size socks. If you are a woman and you want a pair of socks, you head to the woman's hosiery department. Even if you are a plus size woman, you can still shop in the woman's hosiery department. There are no children's sections called "the chubby socks section". Same goes for everyone. You want socks, the only thing separating you from the next socks buyer is possibly your gender or your age. There is no line drawn or sign on the wall that announces your weight, the size of your hips or your stomach or your back side. These are socks. They go on your feet. They do not have special stores for plus size socks. You can shop among the regular sock buyers. The salesperson doesn't look at you with that "NO WAY!" attitude as you hold up a lovely pair of paisley socks. The shopper next to you doesn't give you the once over as you pick up the same pair of socks as her even if she's a size 2 and you are a size 20! We are all equal in the sock department. Of course, some of us have better taste in socks than others. But, that discussion is for another blog entry. Socks shopping....a place where you are accepted. That's all I'm talking about here. All I've ever wanted for myself and my children. With socks, we are all the same. (well, except for people with bad taste in socks). Now, it all makes sense. All I ever wanted was to shop like everyone else. And, I wanted to the same for my children. That's not such a crazed fantasy....is it?

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Strap your hands across my engines.....'cause baby we were Born to Run!

Well, beloved, dear, sweet readers.......
Look at my ticker! Look at my ticker! Do you see it? Do you see it? Yes, this senorita is off and running......! In fact, I'm BORN TO RUN!







My Lap band and ME......
Together we could break this trap
We'll run till we drop, baby we'll never go back..............

Monday, August 20, 2007

Speaking of GAS.......I apologize to all and I hope my Papa Dip hears me....

I have no idea how much air they had to inflate into my stomach for this operation! But, this gas pain (not really gas, you know) has overstayed it's welcome. Today, for some reason, the pain was so incredibly awful, I found myself in tears several times. They definitely said to expect this. And, they said it would be intense. But, holy HELL, this is beyond intense! Gives me a whole new perspective on having gas! And, now I feel so guilty. I never gave people the benefit of the doubt when they "passed gas" in my presence. Even the people who I love! I want to go back and tell everyone who ever found the need to have gas in my presence that I am sorry for thinking badly of them, calling them names, laughing at them or even lecturing them. Trapped gas is torture. (even though mind is air....not gas) It needs to be relieved. Hopefully, I'll be able to make peace with those who I ridiculed. It might take me awhile but this is hugely important. I will beg for their forgiveness. For I just didn't know. I was ignorant to the trauma of gas pain. And, I'll tell them that I applaud the fact that they know what their bodies need and are brave enough to suffer the humiliation hoisted upon them from savage, uncaring people like me. I must make amends. I will proclaim them as true pioneers and geniuses! I will let them know that they are not rude or gross or old or disgusting or deplorable or not worthy of living among humans. And, I will make a solemn promise to each and every one of them that they will always have a safe haven with me should they need to have gas. And that I shall spread the word of gas acceptance! But, sadly, I won't be able to apologize to my dear Papa......a man with major gas. Therein lies my great heartache.

When I was growing up, my mother talked to her father several times a day. They always discussed whether he had gas or if he didn't have gas or if he passed his gas or if his gas was trapped. Gas. Gas. Gas. Gas. Sometimes they used Italian words, other times they spoke in English. But, what it boiled down to was that my dear Papa always seemed to have problems with gas. As little kids, my sisters, my cousins and I were entertained by all those gas discussions....."Papa farts!" we would giggle! My Papa was a good guy who lived to a ripe old age. Growing up only a few houses away from him, I spent many, many hours with him, my beloved mute aunt and my Nana (when she was alive). I'd tag along with him in his garden, steal the figs from the tree he lovingly brought from his homeland and eat the sour grapes he grew on the many arbors around his small yard. I'd sneak down into his basement and fiddle with the church he spent 10 years building....a replica of St. Peter's in the Hill District of Pittsburgh. It would play an entire mass for you if you knew the secret of how to operate it. Which, of course, I did. The bells would ring, the Latin songs would begin to play and the altar boys would go down the aisle. And then the priest would appear and say an entire Latin mass. It was a sight to see. He liked to call me "Angelina"....naming me after himself since his wife never allowed one of his nine children to carry his name. He buried 3 of his children--my mother being one of them--and one grandson. In his later years, he complained a lot, prayed a lot and had a lot of gas. His name was Angelo. A little Italian man with merry blue eyes, a balding head, always wearing a shirt with 2 pockets and a vest. On holidays or on days when he was feeling especially good, he would sit in his chair with a cigar. On bad days, he would sit up in the bathroom and yell downstairs to anyone who would listen about the agony of his gas. Along with his yelling, loud sounds would emerge. The gas. Thankfully, his daughter( my dear, dear aunt who lived with him) could not hear. But, she could smell. So, she'd stand in the middle of the living room holding her nose and scrunching up her face. I'm not sure if anyone knew, as I do now, that his pain was real. I feel bad about that. I feel very sad. And, I'm so sorry. And, I hope my Papa Dip is sitting up there nodding his head with an "I told you so attitude". I deserve it. But, I also pray that he finds it in his heart to forgive those of us who did not give him a comfortable and accepting place to unharness his pain. Although the gift of my obesity did not come from him (the Irish side gave it to me....), perhaps this gas lesson was my Papa's gift to me......his Angelina. My Lap Band journey has given me so much. I love the memories it brings back.....
Fare Un Peto, Papa! Fare Un Peto!!!


Sunday, August 19, 2007

Ode to a blender........a love story......

July 1979. We were living in our sleepy little college town that summer. In a house behind the library, up an alley way on Fourth Street. My room mates and I. Classes were over. We took little jobs during the day to pay our rent. Weekend days were spent floating in a dirty river, riding silly bicycles through town and laying out on tin foil covered loungers on the little roof outside our 2nd floor window, our bodies slathered in iodine tinged baby oil . Nights were spent escaping the broiling heat of our attic bedroom by sitting on what we considered our veranda, talking and laughing. Some weekends, my boyfriend would travel the winding roads to visit me. It was a sweet summer. The summer of '79.
The week before my boyfriend was to leave for Italy, my room mate somehow got her hands on a blender. A Norelco blender. Never owning a blender before, I was quite intrigued by the possibilities. As the weekend approached, I began to plan a very special good-bye for my boyfriend's visit, knowing that when we parted, it would be many weeks before we would see each other again. I decided I wanted to use the blender to heighten the importance of our final weekend together before he went off to Italy (where I was certain he would find a nice Italian girl!). So, I set about experimenting with what type of recipe I could make to insure not just a special weekend, but a VERY special weekend. Feeling very grown up....me with my blender.....I imagined a beautiful drink....icey, unique, spiked. Using my room mates as my taste testers, I began experimenting with impromptu recipes. As the evening wore on, our laughter mounted and the recipes went from bad to worse. But, wanting to keep those Italian girls at bay, I continued to try. To help me in my quest to head of a broken heart, my room mates held fast to their duties.....tasting, tasting, tasting. As my creative juices became increasingly laced with whatever cheap alcohol I was using, I hit on an idea that I was certain would meet my goal. A red, white and blue dacquari. Everyone agreed it was the perfect, perfect drink to bid farewell to my beloved beau. Dacquaris were very in vogue at that time. To be honest, I can't remember the exact recipe. But what I do recall is that as I mixed what was to be the patriotic love potion, the lid flew off and every ounce of whatever was in that blender flew everywhere---all over the taste testers and I, on the walls, the floor, the windows, the chairs, the sink........ everywhere. I was heartbroken. My fantasies of a special drink were dashed. I was certain that I had no way to keep my boyfriend from those Italian girls. I was sure they could use blenders.

Little did I know, that July night in 1979, as I washed down the apartment, that both the boy and a blender would be my beloved companions on a rainy Sunday in August 2007.
Today I graduated to FULL LIQUIDS. In the life of a lap bander, this means that I can have creamier foods/drinks. That may not sound like much. But, it is. I can take ordinary foods and blend them into liquid! Soups. Fruits. Yogurt. Shakes. And, so, that boy---my husband of 25 years---and I ventured out this morning to find a new blender. When we returned home, the boy sat at the dining room table and played his guitar while I experimented with my blender. Creamy chicken broccoli soup---blended into a liquid. My fantasy was complete. Full liquid. No Italian girls in sight.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

What not to say to a woman on a liquid diet at a dinner party......

Tonight I had to go to a dinner party. It was held to honor someone I like very much....my sister-in-law. So, I decided that I was feeling decent enough to go. And, I didn't relish the idea of spending Saturday night home alone.....I've had enough aloness already. So, I made a little plan in order to get through the night. All went well at first. The appetizer buffet---which was filled with all of my favorites--was easy to deal with. I sat far enough away, sipped my water and focused on talking. When dinner was served, I managed to keep myself occupied with more talking and leaving the area as much as possible. It was easy to slip away since the weather was lovely outside. Dessert even went well. I busied myself with my water and more talking. You get the picture.....I did lots of talking. No talk about my surgery, no talk about my diet, no talk about anything remotely relating to diets. Dinner party talk. After dessert had finished, the small time remaining seemed like a cinch. I was home free. Then, my sister-in-law's sister---a very flamboyant, colorful, descriptive and lovely person who I think is just great---began talking about what she did on her vacation. As it turned out, what she did was eat. And, eat. And, eat. But she did not just eat. She dined. She dined in incredible restaurants.....in fact, they were outstanding. And, so, for what felt like 3 hours, she described every meal.....in mind blowing detail. She hit all the senses---what it smelled like. Outstanding.
What it looked like on the plate. Outstanding. What it tasted like. Outstanding. She did not leave one detail out. "Mounds of fresh crab spilling out of huge shrimps that were seasoned with garlic and wine and lemon. "You should have seen these steaks. Huge. Juicy. Tender." "Oh, the sauce was to die for. It had huge chunks of tomatoes and basil and sausage." "You never tasted a pecan ball like this in your life. It was heavenly. The chocolate sauce was so rich and creamy." "You just have to eat their scallops! Like butter!" She rolled her tongue and perched her lips as she talked.....forming each word as if she were once again tasting the delectable foods . Those beautiful, incredible, outstanding foods.
Like I said before, it's not like I am starving. But, I AM on a liquid diet.

Friday, August 17, 2007

My dad can't drive, retail therapy, Posh Spice,speed and no, I won't take my underwear off.........

My father has a car. He is well into his late 80's, can't see very well and doesn't drive. But, he has a car. It might have something to do with the fact that his last name is Carr. Makes as much sense as any other reason. But, for the most part, my sisters and I don't have it in us to tell him that he doesn't need a car. Depending on how you look at it....we are either wimps or loving daughters. Probably both. In any case, it was time to have my father's car inspected. As with most folks of his age, he is quite set in his ways. To that end, he only permits certain mechanics to work on his car. So, we worked out some elaborate scheme to figure out how we were going to have it dropped off and picked up at some little garage that sits midway on a road that is closed. It is situated across a one lane wooden bridge that looks like it may collapse at any time. Enough said. Our scheme depended primarily on Carmen's schedule. As anyone knows, my husband's schedule is as dependable as winning big in Las Vegas. But, with me on house arrest from my lap banding, one sister living well North of us and my other sister not able to drive 2 cars at once, he was the only option. Things started out well. Carmen had been in Akron but had been able to escape without delay. Things progressed nicely. He pulled into the driveway a little earlier than planned. But, as I surveyed the situation, thanking the odds, one problem loomed. He was on the phone. That was never good news.
Fast forward this story and we had no one to pick up my dad's car. So, I volunteered. This sent shock waves across phone lines. But, with no choice within reason, we had to settle on my sister dropping me off to pick it up. For the sake of safety, it was decided that it would be best if Toni (who turned 16 on July 1o and still does not have a permit to drive and never even sat in a driver's seat) should accompany me. That went well. It calmed a lot of nerves....strangely enough.
For anyone who knows me, they know I have no sense of direction. In fact, the entire Carr clan is plagued with an inability to tell left from right. I use my rings to figure out which is which. When Carrs are in a car together, we say "turn my way" or "turn your way". Like I said, the road where this garage sits is closed. But, there is a detour. My sister gave me the directions using the words "left and right". But, we failed to realize that I was not wearing my rings. So, after making it safely across the wooden bridge of possible death, I just turned. I went the wrong way. After winding down the unknown road, I found myself smack in front of a T.J. Maxx. Finally, a known and beloved entity. Being on a liquid diet, I was in major need of a bathroom break. Knowing that I could find one at T.J. Maxx, I decided it was best I stop.....just in case there's not another bathroom within 10 miles on this stretch of busy retail stores and restaurants. As I entered the store, I immediately claimed a cart.....to carry my purse. Toni headed to the Juniors section as I meandered the aisles in search of the bathroom.
After emerging from the bathroom---which sits at the back of the home decor section--- I felt the great urge to "just look". Since I'm restricted from carrying, lifting or pushing more than 10 pounds, I was sure I would not buy a thing. Anyway, I needed to walk as much as possible to move the "gas" (not real gas....remember that) around. As I rounded the bend into the aisle with candles and stationary, I heard a voice call my name. Like a deer in the headlights, I stopped. There was nowhere to go. WHO saw me???? There I was....no make up, baggy clothes and my arms had track marks on them (my veins are hard to find.....). My manicure was past it's prime and my hair was sprouting dark roots. How did she recognize me? There she was.....an old friend. She was coming towards me. Slim. Lovely. So fashionably cute....as always. A friend from when we spent many long hours at the studio where our girls danced----rehearsals, costume fittings, photo sessions for the girls while we moms discussed diets and husbands and shopping. A wonderful, dear person. Three darling girls. A husband who is a semi-celebrity after having been featured on a national TV series about sports. As she approached, I felt the immediate need to explain WHY I looked so horrible....not to mention more than 60 lbs heavier than when last we saw each other. But, I didn't think that should be my greeting ("I know I'm fat but I just had surgery to fix that!"). So, I did the only thing I could do......I stroked her...... "Oh my gosh Jeanie!" I gasped (still wondering how in the hell she knew it was ME!). After some hugs and kisses, I said "You look like Posh Spice!" Which, yes she did. I would have NEVER really known what Posh Spice even looked like these days if not for the fact that I've never watched or read so many tabloid-type stories than I have this past week. We gushed over Posh's hair and husband. "I just love Posh. I am so glued to her every move. Do you REALLY think I look like her?" she said, touching her hair. "Yes!" I gasped...as if there was any question. Then, I said "Sooooo.....I guess you are wondering why I look like this?" So, I explained. At the end of that, she hugged me. "I am sooo happy for you!" Hmmmm. So, I continued, trying to explain my decision and catching her up on my diet adventures "well, you know, I did all the diets, Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, Atkins....heck I even did speed." "Ohhhh, I love speed." she cooed. Well, geez, who doesn't? Now before anyone thinks I was "doing speed", I have to explain.....I was taking speed prescribed by a doctor.....for weight loss. But, yes, I loved it too. After a few more discussions, we bid each other farewell with pecks and wishes for luck and promises that we'd "do lunch" soon. As I was lingering in another aisle, waiting on Toni, I once again heard my Posh-look-alike friend's voice......she found me. In her hand, she had a bedspread. "Do you see green when you look at this?" she asked. I looked at it for a few minutes and decided that I did. "Yes, I do". "Oh no! I don't want green!" she stomped her foot. So, I looked at the bedspread again and started to ask a few questions. As we were discussing the problem at hand---it had too much green but the price was just too good to pass up.....Janie said, ever so sweetly......"So, do you have any speed?" Right there in T.J. Maxx in the aisle between the Junior section and the Plus sizes (I guess she knew just where to look for me) while we discussed the problems with golds, greens and taupes, my Posh Spice look-alike friend wanted to score some speed. Funny thing is.....I did have some....the prescription speed. Intimately knowing her pain, I promptly opened my purse and found it. I plopped it in her hand saying "I don't need it. If I do, I can get more." As if I'm a big time dealer......OMG!!! Janie looked so relieved. "You know I gained 12 pounds. I just can't tell you what my life has been like! Thank you!" she confided to me....right there in the aisle in between the Juniors and the Plus sizes. Sadly, I understood. Then, we finished our conversation about the color problems. Not sure if Janie ever bought the bedspread or not. But, she did manage to score some speed. Right there in the aisle between the Junior section and the Plus sizes at T.J. Maxx. And, I was the dealer. No money changed hands. I gave it as a gift....from one life long dieter to another. The two of us.....who live in lovely homes on tree lined streets with manicured lawns and SUVS parked in the driveways.
Toni soon found me, unbeknownst of the transaction that had just occurred in that aisle at T. J. Maxx. "What did you find?" she asked. I pointed to a bead covered box that I thought my sister-in-law would enjoy as a birthday gift and a few candles that smelled nice. "And, what did you find?" I asked her, seeing the pile of clothes in her hands. "Work-out clothes for the gym" she said tossing the items into my cart. "Good" I smiled as I headed to the cash register.
Maybe I think too much or analyze things to death. Or, maybe I just have too much time on my hands. Or, maybe I'm just at place in my life that things relating to weight loss and image and what lengths we will go to be who we want to be are at the forefront. But, I can't help but wonder what pieces of our lives and our self worth are connected to the number on the scale or the size of our pants. And, with that thought in mind.....I ask.....is my journey about these things or is it about more than that? Right there in the aisle at T.J. Maxx, I started wondering.

I have to stop here. The gas (that is caused by the air that they inflated my stomach with) has traveled to my neck and is causing severe pain. So, I am headed to a little Oriental massage place that just opened down the road. Maybe they can move my gas (that's NOT really gas) around. The last time Carmen was there, they made him remove his underwear. I will not. And, I'll cause a huge drama if they make me. The things we do in the name of a Size 10......

Thursday, August 16, 2007

I feel a sin coming on........

Yes, I stole that line. Shhhhhhh. But, as I head into my 1 week bandiversary, things are getting a little.....well.....boring. Wanting to sin is a good sign, I guess. On the other hand, the type of sin I'm talking about is not at all similar to the type of sin I would be thinking about PB (pre-band). For the most part, at least. The only original sin (not THE original sin.....MY original sin) that's kind of lurking in my bad girl body is wanting to sneak a smoke. It's always been one of my favorite sins. For the most part, no one really 'knows' I smoke. Well, some people know. Bartenders know. My favorite waitress at the Saloon knows. Oh, and my vacation group knows. And, yes, my sisters know....they like to smoke with me. And, there's my don't-leave-the-bar-until-they-run-the-sweeper-under-our-feet friends....they know. They do the dirty deed on the sly too. And, of course, my husband knows. And, some of my neighbors know. Toni and Vince know but they hate it. And, maybe a few cousins. I think a handful of people I work with know. But, really, no one knows. Or maybe everybody knows. If that's the case, it really would not be that much fun.....my dirty little secret. It's not that I smoke-smoke. I like to sneak a smoke. It feels so bad, so decadent, so, I don't know, wonderfully trashy. So, I'd like to keep it under wraps....my sneak smoking, that is. It's much better that way. Wouldn't want the whole world to know that I like to sneak a smoke. One thing will lead to another and then eventually they will find out about the cage dancing thing. So, mum's the word.....on the smoking. As I was saying, life is getting a little stale. For that matter....the pack of cigarettes I have hidden are probably getting stale too. In any case, as far as some of the things that are becoming sins now that were never sins before....this is where I find myself. These new-to-me sins would include taking a hit of Diet Coke. Eating a fudgescicle instead of a SF popscicle. Swallowing that little piece of onion that I didn't strain out of my broth. Taking a swig of my favorite wine. Lifting my flower box that Carmen didn't quite place right and putting it where I want it. Grabbing the keys to the car and driving somewhere....anywhere. These are the sins that are invading my thoughts. For the most part, I'm your average sinner. Being raised Catholic and knowing all the evil that awaits me should I be a big time sinner, I try to stay on the right side of the 10 Commandments. I do pretty well. But, when I have strayed, being Catholic helped me out. We Catholics are given an out......go to Confession, tell the Priest (I never go face-to-face....seems too rough.....), do your Penance (say 3 Hail Marys, 3 Our Fathers and be nice to your family) and all is well with the world. So, this whole new world of possible sins has me a bit perplexed. See, in my brought-up-Catholic world, those things are part of the "Disobeying" realm of sins. What we call menial sins. Little sins. You are allowed a lot of them (at least I hope so). I guess if you have a huge pile of them and die without telling the priest about them, things might not go exactly as planned. You'd have to hang out in pergatory for awhile before visiting the Holy Gates. But, since I think pergatory closed it's doors awhile back---sort of went out of business---you might just have to wait in the long line at the Gates instead of proceeding directly to see St. Peter with those folks who managed to get a priest to listen to all of their transgressions....even if they had more than you. It's just the way it goes. A result of re-engineering, no doubt. Now, the mortal sins.....well, we won't go there. The only road for those nasty folks goes SOUTH. But, as I was saying....my new list of things that can now be sins have me a bit puzzled. Then, there's the whole problem with having "bad thoughts"......you know...thinking about sinning. Many young boys...my classmates..... found themselves in that situation with Sister John Joseph. Thinking bad thoughts has me scared to this day. The paddle with the holes still swings as far as I am concerned. Since I'm a proponent of thinking of things differently.... maybe I'll look at these "sins" in the world of science.....we know that every action has an equal reaction. At least I think that's the way it goes. (Sounds very similiar to the sin-confess thing now that I think of it). For this discussion, let's assume that's correct.....action=reaction. So, I take a hit of Diet Coke. Or, I eat a fudgescicle? Or, I hop in the car and drive down to 7-11. What happens? Okay, let's say I swallow the onion? Anything? See what I mean.....it's very, very confusing. Tell me I can't murder my arch enemy...the one with the small waist, the big boobs who is also an uber bitch with a damn cute husband who adores her and doesn't know she is cheating on him.........got it. Tell me I can't use a straw.....I'm *this* close to doing it because I'm told I can't. It's not so much that I want to disobey. It's just getting boring. Even the sins that I could commit are boring. I guess that's why I don't want to commit them. Boring is just......well.....boring. Now, sneaking a smoke and cage dancing......not boring, not mentioned in the 10 Commandments.......

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

My van could not accept it.......

My van has suffered so many near death experiences over the years. Some of them at the hands of folks in the food industry---a pizza delivery guy did $8000 of damage to it while trying to beat the clock, a famous local sandwich maker rammed it from behind and a non-English speaking fry cook charged at it for no apparent reason. Then there was the break down in the Hill district, the transmission blown on the Parkway and of course, the not-so-fun experience in the early morning hours on the back roads of Virginia near a Christian Rock Station. Not to mention the many drives between Oakland and Mt. Lebanon with smoke billowing out of the hood or those humiliating times when I managed to make a whole new slew of enemies as it stalled out during rush hour traffic. And, then, there's the mysterious bullet holes. Yet, each time, no matter how dreadful the situation, my red van rallied. Even during some it's most gruesome hours, it somehow wanted to live. But.....the hour has come. It is no longer begging for mercy. It has called it quits. Somehow it found out that it's resident driver is transforming. My loyal van knows that it will no longer suit me. It knows I'm moving on. It knows I need something a little sassier, something that doesn't scream "I'm a middle-aged mom with kids, a belly that giggles and my breasts are not perky.....". It's been a great van. It's comfortably held my body from size 10 to size 22 without wincing. It's transported little boys in baseball uniforms that spit on the floor, it hauled groceries and hockey sticks and sweet little ballerinas in the making. It carried nieces and nephews, beach toys and luggage. Bouncy cheerleaders practiced hand movements and chants to and from games and practices. It got us through raging storms and snowy holidays and sunny days at the Dormont Pool. It carried kids in tears, in giggles and in their formal attire. It picked them up at childcare centers and elementary schools and middle schools and high schools. It parked in church parking lots and at malls, hotels and beach houses. It safely cradled life's treasures, pumpkin pies and big vats of meatballs. It was Santa's sleigh and a dining coach at the drive-in. It housed stray french fries, missing Barbie shoes and hidden packs of cigarettes. It hid dirty laundry from visitors, rocked babies to sleep and stood in sports locker and junk drawers. It was lived in and loved. My van. Me.


Carmen says "we need a new van". Our van days are over, babe. I've got a whole new VIBE going on......maybe even a SALSA VIBE! ME.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Today's accomplishments--sitting on deck.......

Trashing the pain meds was probably the best decision I made since.....well.....not sure. But, it's done a world of good for my ability to think. Now that I can legally be considered "of sound mind", I must say that I'm a bit red-faced by my previous post. As you should know, I'm completely against violence of any kind and I certainly would not allow my own son to act as a hit man (no matter how hitman-like the name "Vinny" sounds....anyway I've never called him Vinny and have become extremely agitated when people do....not enough to be violent, of course). Nonetheless, I still stand by my assertion that these people who are out there saying they did this or that within days of having this surgery.....LIARS! Take for example this surgeon.....he says he operated 2 days after his own surgery. I'd like to see those folks HE operated on! (I hope I did that html link correctly....if not....take my word for it).
So, yes, that's me sitting on my deck. Well, it's a visual of me. Not exactly me. No one was here to take my pix so I lifted it from one of my favorite websites. Anyway, love the little table....don't you? I'd paint it red with white trim but considering that I am using it without the permission of the artist, I am not in a position to say a word. In any case, it felt good to sit on the deck. My flowers are all doing well. My herbs that took a big hit a few weeks back during a storm seem to be rallying once again. And, I just love the new red flowered oilcloth tablecover I found on a little shopping excursion in NC. I chatted on the phone a bit, watched some weeds grow down by the arbor, considered starting an exercise regimen on the big trampoline sitting in the middle of the yard and fantasized that my crystal light was a luscious glass of wine. Luxury living.
As for how things are REALLY going. Today's pain is manageable. Still have a good deal of discomfort from what they say is gas (I still haven't come to terms with the fact that it's really "gas".....just so you know). And, the incisions are a bit more bothersome. It's most likely because clothes are hitting up against them. To be more precise.....my undies. Maybe I should just go commando. But, I just love my undies.....thankfully the plus size undergarment designers didn't scrimp when it came to making sure us bigger girls could cover our private parts in style. Remember the scene from "Shallow Hal". Yes, big girls wear thongs......


As for other things.....most people think the clear liquid thing sounds absolutely dreadful. In all honesty, it's not that bad....but for reasons most people probably aren't considering. I am NOT starving. I'm not loosing my mind looking at the bag of tortilla chips Carmen thoughtlessly left laying on the chair next to my computer. I'm not crying and stomping my feet as I pass the fridge. I'm completely satisfied with having a red popsicle for breakfast, sugar free jello for a snack, a smidgen of my own chicken broth for lunch, a tad of my own French onion broth for dinner and lots of crystal light in between to keep my body hydrated. The horrible liquid vitamins aren't even as awful as I thought they would be. But, what the real problem is that there just aren't enough clear liquid menu items to keep me interested in consuming them. I HAVE to continue to eat/drink this way for awhile. I don't want these things. I'm not hungry so I could go on and on without putting anything in my mouth. But, even though I'm quite sure I have enough fat stockpiled on this body to live off of it for several weeks, I do need to eat/drink. There might be a very good business idea in all of this. My sister is always on the look out for the next big thing that would make her wildly rich and successful. Here is it Cathy......Gourmet Clear Liquids........!
So, the report from Day 4 is---no, I could not go out and do my normal daily routine but yes, it is getting better. And, I feel good enough to feel lucky. The florist came to the door twice today. Unfortunately, neither delivery guy was worth what it took me to walk to the door. But, the flowers and those who sent them more than made up for these 2 guys' poor hygiene habits. A lesson learned......it's in there somewhere.

Monday, August 13, 2007

WHO went shopping within 48 hours of having lapband surgery? I need their names, their addresses and directions to their houses......

There are people out there who are doing a number on my reputation! They say they went shopping the day after surgery. There's one woman who said she went to a wedding the day of surgery. There's other people who swear they were at work within 48 hours of their surgery. I've got the phone in my hand right now and I am calling my son Vinny and he's going to pay them a visit. He's watched enough Soprano's to know what to do to anyone who makes his mama look like a wimp. I am not a wimp. I laugh in the face of pain. I can dance even when my feet are killing me if the shoes are worth it. Trust me, I can take pain. I went shopping within 3 days of having a c-section because my daughter needed headbands! You get it......I am NOT a wimp. No one, and I mean N-O-O-N-E can tell me that they did anything remotely resembling life-as-usual within 4 hours, 24 hours, 48 hours or even 72 hours of having this surgery. If they are out there spreading that kind of b.s., they are disrespecting the family (Lapband Family.....) big time. They need taken out......
Look, I feel pretty lousy. The pain is significant. I am horribly uncomfortable. And, I just don't feel very pretty. If I felt pretty then I guess I could put up with some discomfort. But, when I am not feeling pretty.....ain't going to happen. You know me.....I'm not whining or moaning for attention. Even if I was moaning for attention......I have some pretty hefty competition around here. Remember.....Carmen has gout.
Anway, I decided to stop my pain meds....more proof that I am not a wimp. They were clouding my thinking and I am pretty sure that they are to blame for this hang-over like feeling I've been having the past 2 days. When I told my father that I felt like I had a hangover, he said "you're not drinking over there, are you?" That's exactly what I'm doing, dad! I even had a bar stool installed next to my slushy machine! Parents!!! Anyway, I'm trying to walk as much as I can. They say it's good for me. Helps with the gassy stuff (no, I'm not passing unladylike gas.....it's from the air they inflate your belly with....I swear that's the reason for it). Mostly, I've been walking around the house today. Toni won't let me out because she is a bit embarrassed of my comfy outfit choice for today. (my little nephew didn't think it was THAT bad!). But, she'll be heading out to the gym in awhile. After that, I might just run and up and down the street with a sign that says "I am Toni's Mother!" Well, I don't think I could run. Maybe I'll just get a megaphone and sit on my porch and make announcements about what Toni's mom is wearing!!! As you can tell.....I'm a bit vendictive today. Just don't mess with me at all and you shall live another day. It looks like my beloved RT Team knows exactly how to deal with me. A sweet little pot of flowers were just delivered to my door. Trust me, that group needed NO training.....they were all wonderful to begin with!! Very smart women!!!! Send me flowers/your life is spared.......;-)
So, the only news I have today is that this recuperation is definitely not a 2-3 day affair. And, for anyone who says differently, I better not find out about it. I've still got the phone in my hand and I'm calling my son Vinny........
BTW......here's pix of me leaving for the hospital and pix of my pink painted clogs. I can't figure out how to re-do the pix so it's right side up and I'm a bit too cranky too figure it out. So, deal with it.....
Anyway, the "person" who is with me in the sideways pix (hope you are dealing with it!) is sort of like my alter-ego. She dresses for each season in outfits that my pre-lapband body cannot. Sometimes she can get a bit trashy. I just never know what she'll wear next. She is still dressed in her patriotic garb from celebrating 4th of July and Toni's Birthday. She has not found any Labor Day outfits that she likes. So, she is keeping this one on until it's time to choose a little "back-to-school" number that she fancies.......

Sunday, August 12, 2007

I'll give it to you straight......

I am miserable. The best thing that has happened to me in the past 24 hours is a lime popsicle that sort of tasted like a margarita. Thanks for the great comments.....I really do not deserve them. But, I'll take them. I am sure I'll be much better tomorrow. Carmen has gout. I am in pain. So, you don't need a good imagination to figure out what's going on around here......

Friday, August 10, 2007

My chariot awaits........

I feel like I should be saying something very prolific. But, the most I could come up with was the title of this post. And, even then, it's not entirely true. My chariot does not await me. My chariot has not even arrived. When it does....I'll be riding off into the sunset. Not true....again. Just another attempt at being prolific. There will be no sunset to ride off into. It's 4:45 am and dreary. So much for stealing someone else's lines. And, they aren't great lines as it is. If I was going to quote something great to give this moment some "umph", you'd think I'd pilfer one of great literary worth. But, all I can come with are silly ones that aren't even true. Perhaps that's what it means to be lost for words. It's not something that I experience quite often. Oh sure, there's lots of thoughts swirling through my head right now. Given my penchant for clothes and shoes and all things materialistic.....you'd think I'd be fantisizing about my first shopping trip where I don't have to settle for something that resembles a moo-moo but the fabric is pretty. Yet, the closest thought I've had about clothes in the past 45 minutes is if it's stupid of me to wear white to the hospital.....will there be blood?
So, here's what's happening....the highlights only. My surgery is at 7:30. I have to be there at 5:45. My sister Denise is picking me up (she is my chariot driver, I guess). I am wearing a pair of pink rubber clog type shoes (the real name of them escapes me right now) that were hand painted by someone at the beach. When I saw them, I thought they would be great for the hospital....they would make me smile. Oh, and I bought these little things that you plug into the holes of the shoes--a strawberry and a butterfly. Again...for smiles only. Typically, these shoes would not make it within 500 feet of my shoe collection. I don't want anyone thinking that these are standard Judi shoes. Here again....a conumdrum. You'd think I'd wear a pair of amazing shoes. It's a pretty confusing morning. So, I guess whatever makes me smile will just have to do......

Thursday, August 9, 2007

What song will play?

Ever since I was a little girl, I considered life to be like a movie. Maybe that's why I'm always intrigued by my connection to the world and why I'm constantly fascinated by the ordinary stories that play out each and everyday around me. I remember often wondering if anyone was watching my movie....you know, the one where I am the star.....my life. And, if so, what song would play during the big moments ? If I were scripting it.....which I'm pretty sure I'm not (if I were, I assure you I would not HAVE to get lapband surgery!)....but, if I were.....I would have complete artistic and story control. So, I'd give a great deal of thought to what music should be playing as I'm receiving my Nobel Prize, or my Academy Award (or both) . It would have to be the perfect song to capture the importance of the moment. It would have to be one that would stay with my viewers forever. Sort of like the scene from "Almost Famous".....in the bus.....when they sing "Tiny Dancer". Total genius. Sweet staying power. Too perfect.
I'm not sure who IS scripting my life. But, when it comes to picking out songs that play during big moments....I am pretty sure it's WDVE. Take tonight for example.....as I was driving home from my sister's, I found myself becoming quite emotional. I was thinking about what I was about to do. In one way, I was mourning the loss of what I have come to live with for many years....the stomach that seems to arrive before I do, the big plate of pasta, handfuls of popcorn at the movies, Diet Coke, straws, a candy bar if I want one, Friday night Happy Hours eating bar food, shopping for bigger sizes, etc. I found myself becoming frightened. I wondered about all the changes. It was the great unknown. I'm not good with the unknown. As I sat at a red light, looking out into the dark and dreary night, Fleetwood Mac's "Landslide" began to play on the radio. I know every word....as I do most songs. Can't sing a note but I know all the words. But, I NEVER knew that song was written for this moment in my life! It must have been a long red light because I belted out that song like my life depended on it. "Landslide" is not a song I would have chosen for that moment. But, those people at DVE knew what they are doing!!! If you haven't listened to it lately....maybe you should. Then, you tell me if Stevie wasn't singing for me. "Landslide", Lapband....not sure if there' s any connection. But, it sure feels like it belongs right here, right now, during this big moment in my life. So, I'm sending this out to all you viewers out there........http://www.last.fm/music/Fleetwood+Mac/_/Landslide

Oh, mirror in the sky
What is love
Can the child within my heart rise above
Can I sail thru the changing ocean tides
Can I handle the seasons of my life

Well, Ive been afraid of changing
cause Ive built my life around you
But time makes you bolder
Children get older
Im getting older too



Wednesday, August 8, 2007