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Monday, June 30, 2008

Have I become a good public puker?


I have this very dear friend who is so damn classy and elegant that she even makes puking look not so bad. Even in public. Time to puke? She turns her head, does the deed, without even letting on there's a problem. She's back to her smiling, cool and tranquil self in no time flat. She never lets out a wail, she never musses her hair and she never smears her lipstick. She even misses her shoes. A hero in my book.

Historically speaking, I'm a lousy puker. I've never looked good doing it. I make quite a bit of noise. Overall, it's just a bad scene. Messy hair. Messy eyeliner. Lipstick wiped out. And, in one particularly memorable episode--ruined shoes. Very unladylike and extremely unbecoming. Case in point---after one horrendous night of celebrating something....not sure what it was.....I had this overwhelming need to puke....right there in front of my children's elementary school. At the time....my children were both students there (what kind of mother am I?). Thankfully, I have this very compassionate and understanding friend who is a partier from way back. My sweet Kate. She's a good hair holder-backer. So, there I stood....in the very early morning hours as the sun peeked out--puking in front of Vince and Toni's school (Kate's son was also a student there!)...probably right outside the window where my darling children learned to read. One or two PTA members even jogged by. Lucky us. Naturally, Kate was friendly. As she held my hair, she greeted them good morning as if puking was as normal as them jogging by at that obscene hour. Yes, that puking episode sticks out in my mind as being one to tell the grandkids. Even though my memory of it is as vivid as it happened yesterday....it was many years ago. Fortunately, since then, my puking has been limited to bad food, influenza and the occasional excess gin. But, I haven't puked within 5 miles of an elementary school since then. In any case, no matter what the reason for my puking....they were all pretty miserable situations.

But, alas, there's a glimmer of hope! I'm getting much better at puking. Thanks to my Lapband. In the past few weeks, my puking skills have improved tremendously. Take for instance my puking at the dinner table on the cruise. Not only did I do it with great tact and decorum, I also had a wonderful excuse when my waiter inquired as to what the problem was. Seasickness, of course. And, these past few days....as my stress soared , eating anything resulted in immediate puking. As it turns out, excess stress causes the stomach to spasm....who knew...thus tightening my Lapband. But, I did okay. I sailed through it all with no problem at all. No matter what the situation, I took it on. Talking to a lovely woman who I had just met at a party, as we nibbled on crackers--it happened. So, I feigned a coughing spell. I excused myself. And, looking oh so apologetic, I scampered into the ladies' room. Working in the kitchen at the graduation party mindlessly chomping on watermellon....yep, a problem came up. So, I daintily tip-toed over to the sink and quietly got rid of said problem. Very chic if I must say so myself. Then, there was the moment when I was carrying a huge salad to the buffet table (at the very same graduation party). Did I panic when the feeling to puke overcame me like the storm that raged outside the windows? Nope, not me. I casually glided over to the table, set down the salad as if there was nothing at all wrong. Then, with grace and dignity, I slid out the door, maneuvered my way around the smokers and then I quietly puked behind a beautiful holly bush. Those smokers never even knew it happened. In fact, a friend offered me a drag. Being the mannerly girl that I am, I refused. I mean, I had just puked. And, I had to get back to my buffet duties.

Being a good puker was never really an ambition of mine. But, now that it's happened, it's given me quite a feeling of satisfaction. You see, when I started on this Lapband journey, one of my major fears was what Lapbanders call P-B-ing. That's short for productive burp amongst the Lapbanded set. Not a nice thing. Especially not a nice thing for a person such as myself who really is not at all into bodily noises of any kind. When I asked what the term "pbing" stood for, I was overcome with disgust upon hearing the description. You see...pbing is an overwhelming urge that happens very suddenly....like a burp...yet it produces....well.....um....okay,you get the picture. It's very disgusting. And, because it's a sudden reaction.....there's really no time to prepare. It just happens. Essentially, you are screwed. Scarey, huh? Now you know why I was pretrified of pbing.

Now, pbing is not a definite in a Lapbanded life. But you have to be prepared because it does happen. Some foods just don't work. Sometimes you just eat a tad too much. And, of course, there's the stress thing. Pbing should not be a daily occurrence. In fact, a little too much pbing could spell trouble. It's not healthy for your body and it could damage your Lapband. So, keeping tabs on how much you pb is a must. In my case, I could explain each incident--a non-friendly food, an extra mouthful of salmon, a few forkfuls of pasta, lots of stress....etc. I need to be extra vigilant. Because puking is not good. But since it does happen....it's best to be good at it. Mastering the finer art of discreet, nongross puking is a good skill to have. Maintaining your composure, thinking on your feet and not letting your make up get messed up while out in public is worth striving for. (Even if you weren't working on your puking skills--they are still good things to have, right? ) All it takes is a little bit of creativity, some fancy footwork, a clear idea of where the closest private puke location is (it's a bonus if the area is within a few feet of sink and a mirror) and a few good excuses on hand. Puking.....like life.....is all about how you handle it.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

TGISunday............

Another day.....another party. Yes, that's me....party girl. Dancing my way from one party to another.
It's a shoeapalooza weekend here in my world. One party=one pair of delicious shoes. Two parties=another pair of delicious shoes. Three parties=another pair of delicious shoes.
That's how it goes.
Parties. Shoes. Orgasmic, isn't it?





P.S. No more pasta and meatball talk. It's over. Done with. Sooooo last week........

Saturday, June 28, 2008

TGISaturday...........


It's well before 4 am. I'm cooking sauce and frying meatballs. Am I Italian or what? I'm on my 4th cup of tea and I am eating string cheese. I'm feeling a little bit nuts. And, a tad bit cranky. I'm pretty sure that's the Irish coming out in me!

Did I mention it's been a lousy week?

My house almost blew up and killed Toni and I yesterday. My walls are filled with soot. The air conditioning on the top floor is fried. Everything stinks. My walls are black. My bedroom is a sauna. And, to top it off, I have a huge bill from an electrician. Makes me wonder why I never slept with one (an electrician that is). I still don't have electricity on the entire top floor of my house and I'm not sure when I will get it. I'm sure if I slept with one(an electrician that is), he'd make sure I had electricity in my bedroom. Unless he was one of those guys who wants to do it in the dark. God knows what I was thinking when I married a man who works for a power company. He can work 90 hours a week to generate power to the rest of the world but not to my bedroom. I'm trying to be a good sport.

So, I'm sure you are wondering what's up with the pasta and meatball saga. Here goes....I had this super duper meatball frying and sauce making schedule that I planned to follow. I even wrote it on the refrigerator calendar. I was supposed to be finished by now! To be more precise....I was supposed to be done yesterday. I should be sleeping right now...like the rest of the civilized world!

So, what the hell happened?

Well, life got in the way. A big helping of life. You see, in addition to my frying meatballs and making sauce job, I also have a family. And, with that comes responsibilities, obligations, mini-disasters and well.....you name it. Anything can happen. And, most times....it will. And, let's not forget the fact that I also have a real job---my grown up girl job. The one that pays for the sauce and meatballs and the family stuff. It's a job I like. Most days. But, it's been a little.....well.....how do I describe it.....not so much fun....lately. I'm within a few weeks of hitting my 28th anniversary and it's not going so....um.... great. Not that it's going bad-bad. It's just not going great. Even if I wanted to describe why....I couldn't do it. I think it has to do with emotional investment and expectations and rewards and not feeling good about the time I devote to a place that I've loved (beyond reason) for so long. At the moment, it's not loving me back. And, it hurts. You know the whole woe is me/martyr thing...."I've given it the best years of my life and look what I get in return". If my job were a man....I might break up with it. But, it's not. It's a job. Somehow I lost sight of that along the way (28 years ago!). Even though it's my career, it really is just a job. Why didn't I ever get that? Why did I let it get into my heart and my soul? Even now, when my heart hurts and my soul is bruised, I care--beyond reason. I have people who depend on me and who I feel a great responsibility to and who I actually love. And,I truly, truly believe that what I do matters. That's the good stuff. But, then, there's those other things. The pesky things. The things that have turned on me, violated my trust and made me feel unworthy. Things that have made me sad. They are the things that are staying with me 24/7 and not allowing me to give my all to the things that matter. Like my meatballs and sauce.

So, here I am---with less than 10 hours until the big party. I still need a few hundred more meatballs and a few more vats of sauce. (And--FYI--I am in terrible need of a pedicure) And, no, I have not settled on the perfect amount of pasta to make. My mind is cluttered with thoughts and questions that have nothing at all to do with the tasks that lay before me in my kitchen.

This all would have been so much harder 70 some pounds ago
. Like I said....TGISaturday.

Friday, June 27, 2008

TGIF.............

I've arrived at Friday. Not without some wear and tear. But, I've survived...that's the important thing. I mean..... what's a girl to do? Not put on make up, eat potato chips and watch reruns of "Lost in Space"? I should say not. Yes, at the moment, things are a little....oh...how do you say it?.....fucking shitty. Oh well, could be worse. Right? The electrical fire didn't kill anyone and I still have power on the entire lower level of my house. So, no problem with frying up more meatballs, cooking more sauce and boiling those gadzillion pounds of pasta. Yes, things are looking up. If I've learned anything in this life, I've learned this---this is not the time to let yourself crumble. Save that for the good times when you have the energy and the desire to pick yourself up, dust yourself off and get on with it. Funny thing is....when all is well....you won't want to crumble. So, in the end....it's all good. But, still.....save the despair and panic attack until you feel better. It's much easier then. These are the times when you must shave your legs, wear a fun new shade of lipstick, slap on a tight ass pair of cute capris and march to a shoe store. It's the only sure cure. Looking good.....the only revenge for shitfuck days.

Oh....and by the way....you will not catch me going to Subway any time soon.
Look at this.....

“Fat People Smell Bad,” Says Subway


Yeah, don't mess with Judi.........

Thursday, June 26, 2008

On the edge of 50...........


The past 49 1/2 years (the good, the bad and the ugly) have been preparing me for this moment. The moment when I realize it's time to start planning my next 50 years. Planning for who Judi will be, where Judi will go and how Judi will get there. I have oodles of years of experience--in all aspects of my life. My personal life. My professional life. My life as a woman. A girl. A mother. A wife. A daughter. A sister. A friend. An obese woman. A recovering obese woman. All of it. I have been and I still am all of them.


Each person I've loved, each person who has loved me back--they are all pieces of me. Even those people who have done me wrong or who I have slighted--they are all a part of me. The joys and the sorrows and the dissappointments--all mine. The sins I've committed and the misunderstandings--mine too. The gifts I've been given and the gifts I have given others--all a part of me. The pounds I've gained, the pounds I've lost---all of it--my own. I have seen enough and been through enough and done enough and heard enough. It has all infused me with the wisdom that I need to plan for Judi at 50.


I have dreams. I just need to find them. I have things I need to change. I just need to realize them. I have things I need to say. I just need to start the sentences. I need to uncover the things in my life that have been tucked way beneath the fat and the layers of life that have kept me so unreachable and so busy for so long. I need to touch Judi, pull her out, dust her off, stand her up and give her life. She's not so far below the surface. My Lapband has helped me get rid of the layers that buried her. She is so close. There are days when I hear her crying to emerge. I know she's there. 76 pounds later. A million tears later. A ton of laughter later. It's time to plan for her arrival.
.....................I am going to start by buying her a new pair of shoes.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Hump Day..............

Maybe a good humpin' is just what I need.............



I am a woman of few words today. And, those words are bad words. I'm going to stick by the rule that if you have nothing nice to say then say nothing at all. Let's see how long this lasts.


Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Martini Tuesday......

Yes, I know it's Tuesday at 5 am. But, you know what they say...."it's 5 o'clock somewhere" (I don't think they meant 5 am....symantics). Okay....like my daughter says.....whatever! I'm pretty sure it's Wednesday somewhere. It's my midweek martini madness....a day early here but right on time in another part of the world. Afterall, I am so cultured and so into time zones.

Listen, I've got 1000 meatballs to make, an ocean of sauce to cook and a big dilemna about how many pounds of pasta to make....plus the cheese issue (how much should I grate?). Even with Mayor Eileen's expert guidance (thank you!) on how to calculate how much pasta to make, I'm still feeling very befuddled and edgey. Is 25 pounds an absurd amount or a stingy amount? Should I have 10 lbs already made then bring my big pot and make the rest as needed? Sounds risky....I'll be wearing fru-fru shoes and drinking wine. Risky....at best. What to do? What to do?


In the meantime, I'm going to be peeling garlic, chopping onions and cutting up basil every night....all night....this week! Imagine what I will smell like! Very sexy to an Italian man!! Well, no matter how alluring I will be, there will be no amore in the kitchen! Because in between all of my chopping and stirring and rolling, I have to carry on with my regular not-so-quiet life. Gotta do things like go to work, make dinner, pull weeds and clean up one mess after another. No time for anything except maybe some sleep. And, eyeliner and lipstick. Always time for that.

Now, do you see why I'm talking martinis? Lapband friendly martinis, of course! Alright, there isn't much protein but sometimes that's just gotta be okay.

Orange Creamsicle Martini
PER SERVING (entire recipe, 1 martini): 109 calories, 0g fat, 69mg sodium, 2.5g carbs, 0g fiber, 0.5g sugars, 0g protein


Ingredients:
4 oz. diet orange drink, room temperature
1.5 oz. orange-flavored vodka (like Smirnoff Twist of Orange)

1 tbsp. Cool Whip Free Directions: Place all ingredients in a martini shaker, but DO NOT shake

Mix thoroughly with a spoon until mixture is mostly lump-free. Add about 1 cup ice (crushed, if you've got it), and stir until mixture is cold. Then place the strainer on top and pour into a large martini glass. Enjoy! MAKES 1 SERVING




Mounds Bar Martini
PER SERVING (half of recipe, 1 martini): 112 calories, 0g fat, 80mg sodium, 2.5g carbs, 0.5g fiber, 1.5g sugars, 1g protein --

Ingredients: 3 oz. vodka (80 proof)
1 packet Diet Swiss Miss Hot Cocoa Mix (the 25-calorie one)
2 tbsp. Fat Free Reddi-wip

Directions: Fill a martini shaker halfway with ice (preferably crushed). Combine cocoa mix with 2 oz. hot water, and mix well. Then add 2 oz. cold water, and pour the mixture into the martini shaker. Add the vodka, syrup and Reddi-wip, and cover the top of the shaker. Shake for about a minute, or until the liquid is cold. Then strain into 2 martini glasses. Enjoy! MAKES 2 SERVINGS




Kickin' Key Lime Pie Martini
PER SERVING (entire recipe, 1 martini): 129 calories, 0g fat, 21mg sodium, 7g carbs, 0g fiber, 4g sugars, 0g protein

Ingredients:
1.5 oz. lime-flavored vodka (like Finlandia Lime or Smirnoff Twist of Lime)
2 tbsp. pineapple juice
1 tbsp. lime juice
1 tbsp. Cool Whip Free

Directions: Place all ingredients in a martini shaker with 1 cup ice (crushed ice works best). Cover the top of the shaker, and shake thoroughly. Strain into a martini glass and enjoy! MAKES 1 SERVING

Happy Martini Tasting!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Food, food....everywhere....there's food.....

My dear friend Patty thinks I make the best pasta on the planet. She has 7 brothers and sisters who agree. Even her mother agrees. Plus, I'm pretty sure she lobbies for me. "This is my friend Judi....she is the one who I told you makes the best pasta and meatballs...." These are Irish people. I know what that's like. I was raised in an Irish-Italian family. My dad is Irish. My mother was Italian. My dad's family didn't cook much. But they ate. My dear Irish grandma was a big woman. A rosey cheeked, merry-eyed, straight talking woman with a lovely Irish lilt in her voice. She thought the sun rose and set in her blue-eyed grandaughters. She would have preferred her son marry a good Irish girl. But, she settled for the Italian girl. She could cook. Grandma Carr loved to eat. Finally, she could be invited for Sunday dinner and actually enjoy the meal. Sitting at the table in front of a huge plate of pasta and meatballs with the promise of dessert. Basking in the glow of her beloved boy Frankie and surrounded by 3 grandchildren that didn't look one bit Italian. It was her little bit of heaven. So, I get it. Irish folks love Italian cooking.

Patty always asks me to cook for her family parties. Pasta and meatballs. I cook for all their big events. In the life of Irish Catholics---that consists of matching, hatching and dispatching. Translation--weddings, births and funerals. In between, there's communions, confirmations, anniversaries and graduations. So, a few times a year, Patty calls upon my expertise. This year, her son graduated from high school. It's a big deal. Patty throws herself into everyone of her children's milestones with the same gusto as she does everything. A big party. No, not just a big party--the best party ever. That's her thing. To do it up big. Make it memorable. Make it special. Pull out all the stops. Do it Patty style. Over the top. Outrageous. A few weeks ago, in the midst of her crazed planning, she confided in me that she didn't want to have the standard "fried chicken, pigs in a blanket, cold cuts and rigatoni". She said she's been to more than a dozen graduation parties this year and that's what's been on the menu. Determined not to host a party that resembles anyone else's, she's been laboring over her menu to make sure it not the standard Pittsburgh graduation party. When she first told me her goal, I figured my cooking skills would not be called into service. However, she informed me that there could not be a celebration in her family without my pasta and meatballs. "They would boycott..." she told me. So, once again--pasta and meatballs.

Like I said....Patty does everything big. This party is no exception. 200+ people. "And, your pasta and meatballs will be the star...." she told me the other morning as we chatted on our cell phones as I drove to work. Pasta and meatballs for 200+ people? How many pounds of pasta is that? How many meatballs will it take? When I was in my heyday of pasta eating, Carmen and I could easily polish of a pound of pasta in one sitting. Nowadays, I make 1.5 pounds if my son is coming for dinner. On holidays--I typically make 4-5 pounds. And, we don't have leftovers. As for the meatballs? Don't even go there. I used to be able to eat 5-6 meatballs even before we sat down to eat (just a little taste). I'll bet my family of 4 could go through 40 meatballs at one meal. So, using those scenarios as a yardstick--does this mean that I need to make 100 pounds of pasta (using the rational of one pound for every two people) and 1000 meatballs (conservatively 5 per person). The thought of that left me gasping for air this morning.

Being that I had to go the naughty nighty party on Saturday night, my father and I did not get to mass until 7:30 last evening. As we were driving home, I informed him that our mass schedule for next few weekends might get a little hairy since we are booked with parties. Plus, I explained, I'll be cooking for most of them. I mentioned that Saturday night was Patty's party. My dad likes Patty. She makes a huge fuss over him and she's Irish Catholic---that in itself gives her major bonus points with him. "We can't even go to 4:00 mass next Saturday because I'm cooking for Patty," I told him. "You're a good cook" he told me. My father appreciates good food. "There will be over 200 people there and I am making the pasta and meatballs. I'm not that good!" I told him. "I might be able to cook but I have lousy math skills. I can't figure out how much to make," I explained. "You better make alot!" he advised. "Yeah" I let out a big sigh. "Well, if your food wasn't so good then no one would want it!" he said, trying to make me feel better. All I could think about was 100 pounds of pasta boiling and 1000 meatballs frying and huge vats of sauce simmering on my stove. And, what about the cheese? You know, I love to smother pasta in lots of romano cheese. Will I need 50 pounds of freshly grated cheese?

As I head into a new week.....my panic is increasing. In less than 6 days I need to pull off my first major pasta and meatball gig. So, I'm trying to tell myself that my calculations are way out of proportion. It's not working. Even if that's so, I'm still left with wondering just how much I do need to make. How much pasta and meatballs do normal people eat?




Sunday, June 22, 2008

Lord Have Mercy.......!


I just thought of something. Listen to this.....last night I went to a "Naughty Nighty" party for a very sweet bride-to-be. There were about 30 or so women there. Everyone brought some version of lingerie. Except for me. I brought an apron. A cute apron, of course. Got it at one of my fav stores--Anthropologie. It's one of those full aprons with a bright, vintagey kind of print. And, I got her matching underwear. Oh and a cute little set of measuring spoons and a cookbook. Thirty or so women....of all ages.....brought lingerie and I brought an apron, measuring spoons and a cookbook. I guess I've been doing it in the kitchen for so long that I considered an apron naughty. No, no, I'm not talking about doing it in the kitchen. I'm talking being naughty in the kitchen. As in standing in front of the freezer and shoveling ice cream in my mouth or eating left over pasta and meatballs right out of the container in the fridge. Or, eating those fresh out of the oven chocolate chip cookies even before they make it off the cookie sheet. Oh, and let's not forget about hiding in the kitchen eating chips and dip. Being naughty in the kitchen. The rest of the world thinks you need lingerie to be naughty. Not me. Am I missing something?

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Rosalita.....jump a little lighter........

Sometimes, we just don't celebrate ourselves enough. We're so busy getting through the day or the week or the latest crisis that we don't stand still long enough to realize what's really happening. Are we too busy to know when it's time for an it's- all-about-me-party? Shame on us......

Ever since I joined the Lapbanded life, hundreds of things have been happening around me everyday. The worlds of my Lapbanded friends and I are changing. In big ways, in small ways.....in every way. As of late--I'm doing halleluias over being able to wear all the underwear in my drawer. Now, that's a good thing for sure. (You should see some of my undies....I've missed them so!) While I'm doing that, others are changing careers, having sex for the first time, moving to the other side of the country, walking out of abusive relationships, picking up good looking men in bars and buying sports cars--to name just a few things! Then, there are folks who are finally able to do things that most people find commonplace. Case in point--one woman announced with giddy glee that she could wear panty hose! I guess if you could never wear pantyhose, that would be a big thing (even though I'm happy if I never have to wear those things again)! But, to not be able to wear them....as in your body won't let you...that sucks! There are folks who never had a bathing suit who are buying bathing suits and going to swimming pools and going on vacations. There are women who wore a Size 24 for most of their adult life and now they are buying size 12s. Others who wouldn't have been caught dead exercising are joining gyms. Moms and Dads who didn't have the energy or the confidence to play with their children are now going to the park and swinging on swings! Isn't this all worthy of a party, a celebration or at the very least--a shout out? I should say so. In fact, I think it's time for a mega party. With margaritas and martinis and wine and even fancy protein-packed foods. We'll listen to rock n'roll....the good stuff. Lots of Bruce. Maybe a little Bob. We'll turn it up real loud and we'll sing along. I'll twirl.

It's amazing what obesity can rob from a person. Sometimes it's the most basic things....like going out in public or sitting on a bus. Yes, I know...it's not all about looking good and fitting into seats. Obesity brings with it all kinds of health issues. But, we all know....what your poor health doesn't suck out of you, the indignities of your size does. Leaving the life of an obese person behind and embracing a world where you are not obese can be daunting! Yet, the pleasures of it are undescribable (is that a word?). I mean, even the most miserable day can be improved with one look at your stomach...it's flatter, there's less of it and it's not poking out from the zipper of your pants. Even when things are going bad...if they are going bad while you are wearing a cute outfit....somehow it's okay. But, we're not used to that. Why? Well...before our Lapbanded lives began....if something bad happened.....you could take no solace in your ever growing belly. And, if you were hearing news that you'd rather not hear---there was no comfort in your moo-moo or your pants that were splitting at the seams.

Maybe it's just me but somehow life's miseries were compounded by the fact that I was.....yes, I'm going to say it.....FAT. Naturally, all of that conditioning did not help me in the self esteem department. Celebrating yourself just didn't fit into the picture when you're...yes, I'm going to say it again......FAT. I was oh so happy to celebrate other people. Hell, I'd cook and decorate and do a jig....for someone else. For me.....let me hide in the kitchen and take charge of the buffet table. Celebrating me was out of the question. Oh sure, celebrate my meatballs but don't try to put me in the hot seat. I did not want anyone to celebrate me and I didn't want to celebrate myself. Let me be the hostess with the mostess but not the center of attention. After all, I was fat. No, I just wasn't fat. I was FAT and hopeless. That's what many of my years were like----FAT with no hope of changing my fatness. Until my Lapband. Alright.... go ahead....say it...."there she goes again.....talking about how in love she is with her lapband...". This time you're wrong. What I'm saying right now is.....I was fat and hopeless before *I*.....me, Judi......made the decision to change my life and stick with it. Now, because of ME, I'm happier, healthier and I have better clothes. If that's not worthy of a celebration....I don't know what is!

We're doing it. An all-about-Judi party....right here, right now. You're all invited. I'll bring the gin..... you bring the limes. I'll dig up the rest. I've got my CD's....I'll turn them up real high. I know all the words and we'll let the music seep into our souls. I've got cigarettes in the freezer and leopard print glasses in my purse. I've got red shoes, dangly earrings and a sparkly, over-the-top necklace. Oh yes......it's a party.
So.....come sit my fire..... we'll try a new concoction and make that highway run......right here, right now....on my journey.....
Cantina
1.5 oz. Tanqueray Gin
1 oz. Limoncello
.25 oz. lime juice
2 dashes orange bitters
Brandy

In a shaker add the all the ingredients except the brandy. Shake briefly, just to mix the ingredients then strain into a Collins glass full of ice.
Add a brandy float on top and garnish with a lime.

Then, we'll dance..........

Celebrate Good Times, COME ON......
Spread out now Rosie, doctor come cut loose her mama's reins
You know playin' blindman's bluff is a little baby's game
You pick up Little Dynamite, I'm gonna pick up Little Gun
And together we're gonna go out tonight and make that highway run
You don't have to call me lieutenant Rosie and I don't want to be your son
The only lover I'm ever gonna need's your soft sweet little girl's tongue Rosie you're the one
Dynamite's in the belfry playin' with the bats
Little Gun's downtown in front of Woolworth's tryin' out his attitude on all the cats
Papa's on the corner waitin' for the bus
Mama she's home in the window waitin' up for us
She'll be there in that chair when they wrestle her upstairs
'Cause you know we ain't gonna come
I ain't here for business
I'm only here for fun
And Rosie you're the one


Rosalita jump a little lighter
Se–orita come sit by my fire
I just want to be your love, ain't no lie
Rosalita you're my stone desire

Jack the Rabbit and Weak Knees Willie, you know they're gonna be there
Ah, sloppy Sue and Big Bones Billie, they'll be comin' up for air
We're gonna play some pool, skip some school, act real cool
Stay out all night, it's gonna feel all right
So Rosie come out tonight, baby come out tonight
Windows are for cheaters, chimneys for the poor
Closets are for hangers, winners use the door
So use it Rosie, that's what it's there for



Now I know your mama she don't like me 'cause I play in a rock and roll band
And I know your daddy he don't dig me but he never did understand
Papa lowered the boom, he locked you in your room
I'm comin' to lend a hand
I'm comin' to liberate you, confiscate you, I want to be your man
Someday we'll look back on this and it will all seem funny
But now you're sad, your mama's mad
And your papa says he knows that I don't have any money
Tell him this is last chance to get his daughter in a fine romance
Because a record company, Rosie, just gave me a big advance

My tires were slashed and I almost crashed but the Lord had mercy
My machine she's a dud, I'm stuck in the mud somewhere in the swamps of Jersey
Hold on tight, stay up all night 'cause Rosie I'm comin' on strong
By the time we meet the morning light I will hold you in my arms
I know a pretty little place in Southern California down San Diego way
There's a little cafe where they play guitars all night and day
You can hear them in the back room strummin'
So hold tight baby 'cause don't you know daddy's comin'


Friday, June 20, 2008

Hellllllo Summer..................it's me, Judi

......I just bid you farewell.
Welcome back you little hottie!
There's a new me in town and ohhhhh have I been waiting for you! I just can't wait to see what you have in store for me...........
Little tops.....no problem!
White jeans.....bring 'em on!
Strappy sandles with a kitten heel.....ooooh baby!
What's on the menu? Sassy martinis? Oh, how lovely they'll look in my thinner hands as I sit cross legged on the chaise.
A big floppy hat? Oh, yes......look at me...I'm so coy under that brim!
Road trips? Of course....I can't hide the new me in my little suburban hamlet. The world awaits me. This is a journey....afterall....
The beach? There ain't no stopping me now, darling!
Skinny dipping? Oh, summmmer......you are so naughty. Oh how I like it......

Come get me, I'm yours.....
(I double dare ya.....)









P.S......Oh, where was I yesterday, you ask? Having my last Spring fling....of course.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

That perfect outfit........




When I was growing up, after Christmas was over....this is the day that made living worthwhile. Today is our community's school picnic. At Kennywood. Yes, I know...I am no longer in school and I no longer have young children to drag to the amusement park. Trust me, mention the words "Kennywood school picnic" to any Western Pennsylvanian and wait for the look in their eyes. It's a ritual. Starting with the poster they hung in the schools announcing that the tickets would go on sale. The dream of summer. Then there's the day you buy your tickets....a few weeks before school ends. Standing in line with the money your mother gave you in an envelope and told you not to lose. You felt so "big". Going to Stephen Richards or Kaufmann's to get your "Kennywood Outfit". Stopping by Pic-Way to get a new pair of canvas tenny shoes. Packing the basket. Figuring out who you would ride with. Taking the bus from upstreet. Going to Kennywood Park. All day. Rain or shine. The Little Dipper. The Big Dipper. The Jack Rabbit. The Racer. The Thunderbolt. French fries. Chocolate covered blocks of ice cream in a double cake cone with a cherry on top. Putting your trash in the roaring lion. The laughing lady at the train. Kennywood. A rite of summer. Memories of the anticipation, the adventure, the fun, and the friendships. And, that special outfit. Your Kennywood outfit. Brand new. The hieght of fashion. The best part of summer.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

What I learned today about belly fat......

For years, I protested against having a TV in our bedroom. I was perfectly happy with listening to the radio in the morning to start my day and reading in bed at night to put an end to it. Then came the TV wars. Two kids---7 years apart and one husband. We were a one TV family for years. I took quite a bit of pride in that. But, as I was inched out of the family room, I began to resent not being able to watch the one or two shows that I really enjoyed. Not only did I have to listen to the constant battle over the TV, I also lost an easy, mindless activity that I came to depend on for numbing my brain and blocking out the insanity of life. Two kids, a full time job and a husband with an insane schedule meant that I was constantly in some state of frenzy. TV time was the only time that I sat still. And, TV time was my time to do my nails, sip some wine or just sit in one place for more than 10 minutes. Still, I held firm to my belief that TVs and bedrooms don't mix. Then, I developed an intense love of HGTV. Kids and husbands don't want to watch HGTV. Was it time to get a TV in my bedroom? No, it wasn't. The thought of watching TV in bed made me think of being sick. I was never a person to lounge in a bed...unless I was sick. Beds were for sleeping, sex and sickness. Not watching TV. So, I held strong to my conviction that a TV would never enter my bedroom. Instead, I put TVs in the kids rooms. That made them happy. But, not me. I didn't like the fact that my children spent more time in their bedrooms than outside or with me. And, I didn't like the loss of control I had over their TV viewing. So, I set down bedroom TV rules. As with any rules laid down by a parent--they impacted my life as well. I'm not a very scheduled person and I don't have a good sense of time and I am terrible at being an enforcer. I have to work really hard at following the rules myself let alone making someone else do it...especially my children. It was exhausting. Add that to the fact that because they still wanted to watch TV and I was entirely too tired to come up with alternative enticing activities, the family room TV was once again a battle ground. Back to square one. Then, I discovered The Food Channel. That's what did it. The lure of food (no surprise there!). I went directly to the mall and bought a TV for my bedroom.

These days, the TV wars are pretty much a non issue. The kids are no longer fighting over the TV set. When Carmen is home, he channel surfs until he passes out (which happens relatively quickly). As a result, I can watch our big screen, HD TV (not my idea!) as much as I want. Plus, we have a TV in our home office...where I spend a great deal of time and Toni has her own TV in her room. The only time the main TV becomes an issue is when Vince comes home for a visit. But, the issue is that he is constantly buying movies on demand! (I guess I still can't control my children's TV viewing habits!) I spend very little time watching TV in my bedroom. Except for when I'm getting ready in the morning. That's when I watch Good Morning America. I consider the GMA crew as my friends....maybe even family. They educate me quite a bit while I'm putting on my eyeliner, my lipstick and my mascara. Any more, I consider them my main source of information on everything from world events to saving money on groceries. By the time I leave each morning, I have quite a bit to ponder as I make my way through rush hour traffic to the office.

So, today I learned about belly fat. Below are the five tips given to reduce belly fat. Now, this particular segment was related to cutting the risk of heart attacks. It was in response to the unexpected death of Tim Russert--the NBC News correspondent. He had just passed a stress test and was on the necessary medications for cholesterol and blood pressure. Which, seemingly, should have thwarted the heart attack. More and more, we hear about people who are doing everything medically correct to prevent heart attacks yet they still happen. Very frightening!!

To get back to the GMA segment---their medical expert said that belly fat plays a major role in heart health. Essentially, get rid of the belly fat, get rid of your risk of heart attack. Yes, I know...not a news flash. But, he gave a very interesting explanation--one I never heard before. He discussed why belly fat increases blood pressure (by pushing on your kidneys), increases the risk of Type 2 diabetes (pushing on your liver) and increased cholesterol (something else that was easy to understand but I forget). Very easy to comprehend for the common person such as myself. All of sudden, these things made sense. It wasn't as elusive and confusing as it had been before. It left me thinking...."so, that's why you don't want a fat belly! Now I get it".

I come from a belly fat family. My father and I--well, we are definitely belly fat people. We take after my Grandma Carr...my dad's mom. So, I guess I was destined to have this belly fat problem. Give us a few high calorie treats and they go directly to our bellies. My sisters were spared for the most part. They might tell you differently or they might say those calories go directly to another part of their anatomies. Not that it's a competition on who has it worse but it looks like fat on your belly is much more dire than fat on your ass. So, my sisters got off a bit luckier than me. Poor me. Not that it's a competition...... (and not that they have fat asses)


So, here's those five tips they gave......


Simple Ways to Reduce Your Belly Fat......
Avoid added simple sugars. Cut out things like corn, malt, maple, rice, syrups, dextrose, maltose and glucose. A good way to look for these on a nutrition label is to look for anything that ends in "ose," which usually indicate a syrup.
Limit your alcohol consumption. Women can have one glass per day and men can have a tiny bit more. But you should try to avoid it because it's sugar.
Don't skip out on sleep. When you don't get enough Zzzz, your satiety center is irritable. That's the part of your brain that drives you to sleep and to eat. If you don't sleep, you eat more.
Stress less. It's not the stress itself, it's the response. Thousands of years ago, stress meant one thing: there was no food.
When stress hormones are elevated, they are absorbed by your belly. So, whatever you eat turns to fat and is stored there.
Get moving. Just because reducing belly fat isn't simply about sit-ups doesn't mean you shouldn't exercise.
You should do aerobic or fast walking for at least 30 minutes daily. This reduces insulin resistance by as much as 15 percent.

Like I said....not rocket science. Belly fat is bad. You can do a simple things to reduce it. Simple. Easy to understand. Maybe that was my problem all along. I thought it had to be complex and scientific to work. Convoluted food combinations or eating at certain times or doing certain types of work outs. And, who in the hell wants to do ALL of that? Not me! Perhaps the simplicity of practicing simple things that I already knew just seemed too simple. Perhaps that's why the Lapband wasn't invented sooner. It just sounded too simple....a band to make your stomach smaller so you don't eat so much. So simple. Now, I get it. I'm just a girl with belly fat. And, a Lapband.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Okay, today we are going to talk about shoes......

Confession: I bought 3 pair of shoes this weekend. Well, if you want the whole truth---I paid for 5 pair. Two of them went to my favorite shopping partner. Three are mine....all mine. But we are not going to talk about them. You'll just have to trust me that they are darling. I do not buy subpar shoes. Ever. I don't buy less than amazing shoes for myself and I don't buy them for others. Just ask my sweet friend Kate. I just bought her a pair that Toni referred to as "screaming Kate" shoes. Turquoise blue slides with a big leather flower and a lime green kitten heel. Luscious summer shoes. With a nice pedicure and a martini, life could not get any better. Listen,if I'm spending my hard earned cash on shoes, they will be worthy shoes. Case in point--cowboy boots for the Kenny Chesny concert for Toni. Not just any pair of cowboy boots. Pink Dingo boots. But, I'm not going to talk about those shoes either. Not Kate's shoes. Not Toni's shoes. Not my shoes. Not even these shoes.....

(photo by Professor H.....they are her shoes too)

No, I'm not going to talk about any of those shoes.
Don't worry...we are going to talk shoes. The title of this blog wasn't some genious marketing hook just to lure you into reading my blog. I really am going to talk about shoes. Deep shoe talk. Digging down into the souls of my shoes....
Here goes.....
The other day, I was talking to one of my Lapbanded friends who was celebrating a 150pound weight loss. Naturally, she was thrilled with her success and was praising her decision to have the procedure done. Trust me, hers was a very hard-won battle...filled with many personal trials and tribulations. But, she did it (woo-hoo Lauren!) despite the obstacles that stood in her way. She shed many tears and lost many nights of sleep over problems that seemed insurmountable at the time. She somehow did it all. Even in her darkest moments, she overcame her fears and slayed her dragons without losing site of her weight loss and health goals. She is clearly a healthier and happier woman today.....only 18 short months after her surgery. A deserving woman. Inspirational. A true hero So, I asked her, as we sipped our chai lattes...."What was the hardest part?" Now, remember, this is a woman who has been to hell and back in the past 18 months---her entire life fell apart, she experienced death, tragedy and severe turmoil. She lost things and people who were very dear to her and she was forced to start her life over amid all of this upheaval. Even in good circumstances, getting accustomed to your new Lapband and learning how to make it work for you can be daunting! So...given that, I suspected her answer would reflect on things such as perseverance, determination, single-mindedness, and purpose. But, I was wrong. She talked about shoes. "You know, when I was living as an obese woman, I bought great shoes. Those shoes got me through, they made me happy. They made me feel like I was okay. Now, 150 pounds later, all of those great shoes are too big. I can't even wear them." she confessed. I nodded in understanding. Then, she looked deep into my eyes and in a sad, low voice, she whispered "saying goodbye to great shoes is always the hardest part." So simple. Yet so profound. Yes, shoes. Shoes are life.

Everything I know, I learned from shoes. Shoes: the basis for all of life's lessons.

If the shoe fits, wear it
Don't judge a person until you've walked a mile in his/her shoes
Value yourself. The only people who appreciate a doormat are people with dirty shoes
These boots were made for walking and that's just want they'll do
For want of a nail the shoe was lost
One shoe can change your life.....look at Cinderella
If a woman rebels against high-heeled shoes, she should take care to do it in a very smart hat
God will not tie my shoes without me
A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is still putting on its shoes
It is better to wear out one's sheets than one's shoes
Always wear the finest shoes. People notice
I had the blues because I had no shoes until upon the street, I met a man who had no feet
Momma always says there's an awful lot you could tell about a person by their shoes. Where they're going. Where they've been.
The shoe that fits one person pinches another
Every woman needs a pair of red shoes
No shoes. No shirt. No service.



Alot of think about.....isn't it?

Sunday, June 15, 2008

He Does It His Way.......


He's 87 years old. He's buried three wives. He has three daughters. He made sure I had braces....he said my teeth looked terrible. He thinks my Lapband is the best thing I ever did. He's looking for a woman to go to the movies and dinner. This man believes in love. And, he's on a diet. That's my father. This Irish man with the twinkling blue eyes and rosey cheeks. The one. The only. Frank Carr.
Happy Father's Day Dad.

P.S. That's his dear brother Patsy and his lovely wife Lois in the background of the picture. We were all at my sister's for one of our notorious eating events....

Friday, June 13, 2008

Look at me now, Ma..........

I'm having a HIGH BALL! I lost 70 some pounds!

Today is my mother's birthday. I won't tell you how old she would have been. She wouldn't like that.

My mother liked to have her favorite pie---lemon merengue--on every 39th birthday she celebrated. And, she had several of them. That probably explains my problem with math. Each year, on June 13th, my mother would announce that she was going to be 39. "Like Jack Benny" she would say. So, I figured, my mom and Jack Benny were 39. Year after year after year. One time, I innocently asked her about being 39 again. She explained....ever so seriously....that once you reach 39, that's it, you stay 39. She was my mother. What was there not to believe? Mothers don't lie. And, she looked pretty old....39 was old in my preteen world. (Now I know what "39 and holding" means.) It never occurred to me to ask her how her father got to be 80. It's one of the many questions I never got to ask her.

Speaking of my mother's age....a few weeks back, it occurred to me that my mother passed away less than 2 weeks shy of her 54th birthday. We never mentioned her age as being 54. We always used her current age...53. Even though she was 53,11 months and 352 days old. She died when she was 53. She never reached 54. We never had that lemon merengue pie so it didn't count. When you're a kid, if you're within a few months of your birthday---you always use the following year. "Going on 16" means it's your 15th birthday. "Almost 16" means it's less than a year away. "Going to be 16" means it's several months away. And, then finally, when it's about 2 months away....you are 16. But, not my mom. She was 53 on that Memorial Day in May when she died. Well, 53 for practical purposes. 39 in the World of Din (my mom's nickname).

The pain of my mom's death is behind me. Oh, I never thought that would happen. I couldn't imagine ever smiling again or laughing again. Or seeing her picture or saying her name without horrific sadness. But, she was a good mom....she gave me 14 years, 5 months and 5 days of what I needed to live in a world without her in it. And, I think of her each day. Well, maybe I miss a day or two of thinking about her, I'm not sure. But, I make up for it at other times. I named my daughter after her. Antoinette.

Naming her beautiful grandaughter after her makes up for at least 30 days of not thinking about her. She would agree. She was like that. She had a bawdy sense of humor, a down to earth attitude and a raucous laughter that brought her and everyone around her to tears. So, she would be perfectly okay if I got a little busy or preoccupied with other things and didn't see her in my mind's eye 24/7. And, trust me, she would completely forgive me for not thinking of her especially on days when I was preoccupied by my new Lapbanded life. She would have totally loved the whole idea of getting a Lapband. She was the diet queen of the neighborhood. Every Monday...without fail....a diet. If she would have heard about some band you put around your stomach to stop you from eating so much, my mother would have been first in line at the doctor's office, raising her fist in the air, threatening the doctor to give her that damn Lapband NOW! Trust me, she would be pro Lapband. She would have put me on her back and carried me to the hospital piggy back style to get my Lapband if she were alive. Believe me when I tell you....my mother would have traveled this road with me. As she would every road. She was a warrior....with alot of sass. What a fun ride it would have been....with my mom.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Every Picture Tells a Story...........

I have this digital frame in my office. Carmen got it for me as a gift for some holiday. Toni loaded it up with pictures from holidays, vacations, trips, outings and special events from 2006-2007. Before Lapband. So, everyday--all day--I get to stare at some of the most God awful pictures of me in various stages of obesity. Of course, there's also pictures of my kids, my family, my friends and places we've visited. And, of course, it's filled with memories of fun and special things in our life. But, there's still those lousy pictures of me. Each morning as I flick the light on in my office, I am faced with fat Judi, obese Judi, mildly obese Judi, morbidly obese Judi. Most days I don't even recognize the Judi in those pictures. When people stop by my office, as they often do, they are drawn to looking at them. The concept is quite fun....it's a little slide show...just sitting on the table. But,lately, I've found myself apologizing to people as they look at them---as if the images of me are as offensive to them as they are to myself. And, more and more, I am closing my eyes as I walk into the office to avoid looking at them. So, I figured, before I head straight into a chair, fall over it and crack open my skull on the side of my desk, I better do something about it. I need better pictures....which prompted me to take the time to download my cruise pictures. After 3 days of staring at the postcard worthy pictures of absolutely, incredibly breathtaking scenery, I snapped back to reality and started looking at the pictures with people in it. Now, I'm sure I'll be bitching about these pictures in a few months. But, for now....I'm content with them. Especially when compared to those God awful ones. See for yourself.




BEFORE LAPBAND.........
Here's Carmen and I in Florida---May 2007

Here's Carmen and I in North Carolina---August 2007


After Lapband....
Here's Carmen and I...May 2008....Baltimore, Little Italy, Cruise, Bermuda....






So...if every picture tells a story....what's the story here?
It goes like this.....
Once upon a time.....Happily ever after.
Fill in the blanks.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

ONE pound......



I went for years gaining weight. Yes, I noticed I was gaining it. But, not pound by pound. When the scale started drifting way past the 200 mark, I was more than shocked. I thought the damn scale was broke. So, I tossed it. Call it denial. But, honestly, I never felt the weight coming on. Maybe that was the problem. Or, it could have been the huge pasta dinners,the yummy Tangueray and tonics (with double limes), the mindless Dorito munching, my love of wine and that amazing Italian bread I took a liking to. Whatever it was, it was.

So, yesterday, when I did my weekly Tuesday weigh-in, I gained a pound. The first pound I've gained in my Lapband journey. Yes, I know....a year ago, gaining one pound in a weekend would have been cause for a party. But, since I wasn't aware that I was gaining that one pound, I missed the celebrations. Damn it anyway....I am one hell of a partier and I sure can put together a rocking celebration in no time flat. Call a few friends, whip up some nachos, run to the liquor store, grab some cigarettes and light some candles. Wa-la...a party. And to think---I could have had some really great "I only gained one pound" parties! Hindsight---20/20.

Yesterday, I didn't need the scale to tell me there was a new pound. I swear to God....I knew it. Darn that one pound. I went on a cruise and didn't gain one pound. But, I ate 2 rice cakes at lunch instead of one and there it was--one pound. And, the worse part of it? I felt that pound just like I could feel a razor slicing my skin. When I went to bed on Monday night, I knew that pound was there. When I woke up on Tuesday morning, I knew it was there. On my morning walk---I knew it was there. As I downed my chai tea latte....yep, you guessed it....I was well aware of that damn pound. Am I so thin these days that a measly little pound can make a difference? I think not. Or, am I so crazed over this whole weight loss thing that I'm actually becoming one with inertia? I don't even know what that means....but, it sounds good.

Since I don't know how to deal with this in an educated, guaranteed-successful way....I think I just have to go scale cold turkey....again. It's time to give up the scale....again. Just when I thought it was safe to go back. However, now I'm worried. Did my scale hiatus sensitize my mind into becoming a scale itself? Sort of like how the deaf can see better and the blind can smell better (or something like that)? You know...another sense or ability just becomes heightened. It's not such a crazy notion. Is my new ability to feel one pound on my body due to the fact that I gave up the scale but since I'm the scale junkie that I am, my mind compensated by increasing my ability to feel a rice cake deposit itself on my stomach? Am I really developing this new super power where I can feel weight as it forms? And, if so, will that cancel out the possibility that I will ever develop any other super power in my lifetime? Do we only get one super power? Can I use this super power on others or in any other situation? These are things I wonder about. The things I think about. Trust me, I'm complex. Speaking of complex....I had an enlightening session with Professor H this week....she's my damn smart, insightful, rock 'n rolling, Nike wearing, just turned bird watcher friend. I'll tell you all about it soon...I promise. In any case, I mention this session because as I was loading the dishwasher tonight....I was thinking about this one pound thing and my new super power and wondering if it had any career implications. And, it occurred to me that I could become a weight spy. Special ops kind of thing. I'd have a super power moniker and everything. Silver Girl(ala Fleetwood Mac). That's who Professor H says I am (like I said...a whole other post). For now, I have to contemplate what kind of outfit Silver Girl, the Weight Spy, will wear. And, of course, I'll have to figure out the shoes. I'm thinking all silver. Silver Girl, the Weight Spy. That might work. Lemons into lemonade. That's me.
Geez.....one pound caused all this???

Sunday, June 8, 2008

The Mercury is Rising.......


But I'm staying cool. Well, not really. I'm still sweating like a wild woman as I tend to all of my summer spiffing......weeding, planting, sweeping, hosing, scrubbing, fluffing, foofifying and beautifying. I'm a little late in getting it all done....the cruise interupted things a bit. It's only June and temperatures are hitting the 90's. And this is NOT the deep South! The good news is that I can actually wear tank tops and sleeveless shirts and my neighbors aren't running for cover. And, I'm having an easier time moving pots and hauling dirt....I'm not grunting and stopping every few moments for a little rest. Losing this weight has made the tasks easier. But, it hasn't made them go away. My Lapband is good but it ain't that good! So, I'm back at it.....shovel and dirt, here I come!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Pieces of June........

School's Out.....


Special family moments at the grill......



A bikini......and a fancy drink....



Batt-er up......




Yes, it's true.....



A new crop of bright ideas....


Red and juicy and oh so sweet.....


The smell of my amazing basil....


The sounds of the ice cream cart.....


The perfect picnic.....


The open road.....


The first bloom....a photo by Professor H


Ahhh......a lime please....




It's a June to remember. Enjoying each moment without the constant nag of being obese. Happy June.....

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Abolish Toxic Niceness and Ugly Shoes.........




So, the other day I was reading an article about something called "Toxic Niceness". Apparently, there's an entire book written on this affliction. Everyone must know about it but me. I'll bet my husband and children have kept me from finding out about it all these years. It's referred to as "the disease to please". It goes on the premise that everyone else in our lives gets more out of our efforts than we do. Well, if that ain't a Judi thing I don't know what is. I'm convinced I have it. A chronic, raging case of it! And, I've had it for years---49 to be exact. Typically, I'm not a hypocondriac. In fact, I'm quite the opposite. Even when I have symptoms of something, I don't think I have it. When the doctor says "you have a sinus infection"---even though I've been living with awful pain and misery and sporting a 105 fever---I look at him in shock...."who me? no way!" So, when I say I'm afflicted with this disease, it's not because I am paranoid. It's because I've looked in the mirror. Remember how I said I was feeling funky? After my quickie course on Toxic Niceness, I'm pretty sure that my funkiness wasn't post cruise let down. I'm now damn sure it was an outbreak of Toxic Niceness battling my INNER BITCH. I had myself all upset because I didn't feel like being nice and loving and sweet? And, I admitted to it...right here on my blog. Not only was that over the top Toxic Niceness, it was also a whole lot of stupidity. Let's face it....we're allowed to have days when we don't feel like being nice. We're not allowed to take people out with machetties. But, we are allowed to get cranky. So, I wasn't really funkified. My psyche was revolting against itself. Sort of like a convulsion. It was battling my inner bitch. My inner bitch was saying "what kind of wacko are you?" and I was saying "but I just want to be a nice person". Then, my inner bitch was saying "wise up!" Yeah, that was my inner bitch talking to toxic nice me (the book all of this is revealed in is called "Finding Your Inner Bitch"...that's how I know all this). Well, la-di-da, I have a bitch living inside of me. To be honest, I am feeling a little bit proud right now. I've known quite a few bitches in my day and there have been times when I've been in awe of them. Now, I come to find....there's one living right inside moi. Impressive...isn't it? MY inner bitch lives. It's that little voice inside that's saying "I don't think so" as my mouth is saying "why yes darling, I'm happy to make dinner, serve you while you're watching the game and then do the dishes while you take a little nap...." or "I completely understand that you are in a bad mood and can't deal with my very important concerns right now. Please let me know how I can help you deal with your issues."

So, what's next? Now that I know that I have a very severe case of this Toxic Niceness and major suppression of my inner bitch, is it time to seek treatment? Find a Toxic Niceness Detox Center? Go on a quest to find and uncage my inner bitch? All I know is this....when I read that article, a light bulb went off in my head. All of a sudden....I realized...all those times people said to me..."you're too nice"...it wasn't a compliment. It was a warning that I had Toxic Niceness. People were trying to help me see the light but I wasn't willing to. Now, I've got his full blown case of Toxic Niceness and years of damage to undo. Plus, I've got major fears that once I become detoxed and my inner bitch starts working properly....I may have to deal with lots of shocked family and friends (that statement in itself shows just how dire my illness is). It will be a long and strange trip but I will forge ahead. Toxic Niceness needs to go. And, while I am at it.....I also want to rid the world of ugly shoes too(that would be so bitchy of me). Oh yeah and I also want world peace.

Here's a "Finding Your Inner Bitch" quote that gets to the heart of it all:
"Your Inner Bitch knows that if you keep on doing the same thing, you'll keep on getting the same result. Toxic Niceness breeds more Toxic Niceness. It's time to move off that one-way street and try a little 'I don't think so.'"

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

A world gone mad.........

I'm pissed.
Did you hear.....a PLUS SIZE woman has been chosen as American's Next Top Model? Yes, I know....I'm a little late getting this information. To be honest, I think I heard about it when it happened. Afterall, I'm sure it made the news. Evidentally, when a PLUS SIZE woman gets recognized for something, it's newsworthy.

Why am I pissed? Where should I start? Let's start with this.....her picture.






Yes, I agree, she is beautiful. In fact, I am sure she deserved it. I hope she has a great career! This is a PLUS SIZED woman? If so....what am I? SUPERPLUS? News reports says she wears a SIZE 10. What...every size with 2 digits now becomes PLUS SIZE???? I've got Size 10 & 12 friends who would beat me over the head with their shoes if I called them PLUS SIZE. Hell, they'd set my hair on fire if I told them that all their dieting and exercise has rendered them the awesome label of "PLUS SIZE WOMAN". Someone better call Lane Bryant and tell them they should start carrying SIZE 10's & 12's.

America's Top Model should be ashamed of themselves....calling this woman PLUS SIZE and touting themselves as doing a good deed and setting a good example. First of all...what is so great about awarding the best person the title? That's what they are supposed to do for heaven's sake! Taking a bow for doing the right thing is a little ridiculous...don't you think? Then there's the whole idea that there are young women who are now being told that THIS is what PLUS SIZE looks like! Irresponsible behavior!! And, anyway why does the size of her body have to be newsworthy? Let's face it....if a man has a big penis...is it on the news ("hey there's the plus size man!)? See what I'm saying. And while I am at it.... the entire tabloid world should hang their heads for reporting that this is a PLUS SIZE woman! Bafoons. All of them! And, just for the record......I wish Hillary were going to run for president. Yes, I'm pissed. A Size 10 is PLUS SIZE and Hillary lost. It's not a good day for women.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

I'm feelin' the love............


Yesterday is over folks. My funkiness is gone. Oh, thank the Lord! I didn't become unfunked alone, let me tell you. A few precious blog reader friends unfunked me but good! First thing this morning....they started whipping that funk right out of me! You unfunkers know who you are! So many sweeet emails and comments....and even one phone call! So, I'm thinking.....next time I want some compliments and praise....I'll just put out an "I'm feeling funky" post and wa-la.....I'll be hearing all kinds of nice things about myself. What girl doesn't want to hear how beautiful and sweet and wonderful and amazing she is? Keep 'em coming friends.....just keep them coming! I'm feeling the love.....and I like it!



Speaking of feeling the love......I had a love fest of sorts with my lapband doctor's intern today at my appointment. Remember him? The one I called a few choice names. Well, he's back to being that cute intern. I guess I didn't ruin his medical career afterall. We bonded over my cruise. It seems that he's finishing up his residency this month and is taking a month off to reconnect with life....and his wife (makes him even cuter, don't ya think?). He said he is looking for things to do. He had been thinking about a cruise. So, I advised him....with the same gusto that I swore at him. Then he started telling me about his career choices and his life growing up and where he was going to live and about a house he wants to build and a few other tidbits of his life. And, of course, I advised him on many other things---restaurants in the town he is moving to, following his heart (he wants to practice in a rural area) and little bed & breakfasts he might want to try out. We talked about my children, my job, and of course---food. He was very interested in food and I sure can talk food. When he left, he hugged me (do you think he was trying to make up for our little tussle?) and said "I could stay and talk to you forever...." Yeah, right, until I start swearing and calling him names. Anyway, it occured to me.....do you think it's easier to talk to a person who is not obese as opposed to an obese person? Because when I was there in that hospital bed and he was threatening me with insulin shots---I was obese. Now, I'm not. Or, maybe that's just part of his charm.....maybe he plays hard to get. Or, maybe it was me....being obese and filled with drugs. No matter. I'm at peace. I will never see him again (most likely) and we parted on good terms. I didn't ruin his career. He can practice medicine in a rural area and take his wife on a cruise. He'll be a doctor afterall! It's all good......

You know, I'm thinking that all it takes to unfunk is a few nice words from wonderful people, a friendly face and nice conversation and a feeling that you matter. Not such a tough antidote. I have been restored. Now, I can go out and make someone else's day better. That's the way I like it.....uh-huh, uh-huh.....

Monday, June 2, 2008

Funking........

I'm in a bit of a funk. Maybe it's just for today. Let's hope. Because I'm not a good funk person. I enjoy wanting to smile and laugh and be friendly and nice...that's just who I am. If I didn't feel like doing that, I'd have an identity crisis. And, I don't like any kind of crisis. I like love, peace and happiness. I can't stand feeling overwhelmed and a tad down. I like being enthusiastic and upbeat. It's a much nicer way to live. It suits me best and I can't figure out a way to live any differently. I'm very uncomfortable with misery and sadness and being glum. And, being melancholy just annoys the hell out of me. I understand that in reality--we will all feel this way....sometimes. But, I don't want it to become a habit with me. I don't like people who always have sour looks on their faces or always seem put out or who are just not nice. And, I don't want to be one of those people. It's not a good look for me and it doesn't feel right. Clashes with my shoes. When I see someone, I want to smile and say "hi". And, damn it, I want them to do the same back to me. I want to want to do nice things for others---not grand gestures....just little nice things that make both of us feel good. And, I don't want to make others feel badly....I want to lift them up and make them feel important and worthy and special. I don't want them to feel compelled to ask me if I am okay or if something is bothering me or worry that somehow they upset me. No! I want to want to make someone's day a little better just by being who I am. That's how I want to live. But, today I don't feel that way. It's not so much that I can't do it....sure, I can fake it. It's that I don't want to do it. Now, I'm having to fake wanting to do it! Maybe I'm just having after cruise let-down. Tomorrow will be a better day......won't it? Hopefully, it will be a non-funker day.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

No one told me about those french fries and afternoon martini breaks......

And the margaritas and the rum swizzles and the crab bisque and the rasberry panna cotta.......
Ah, the cruising life.....an entire ship filled with Lapband friendly libations and indulgences!!! Unfortunately, I had a brief not-so-lapband friendly moment. Thankfully, it was our very first night aboard. So, when I had this especially unpleasant lapband moment---right there at our very formal table (naturally, I used the wonderfully oversized cloth napkin when "it" happened)---it was easy to blame it on seasickness when our concerned and oh so polite waiter, Virgil, looked at me with alarm. My family didn't take too kindly to my little episode at all! But, as the week wore on, it became a running joke......mom vomiting right there at the table! Yes, I know, I would scold my children (and my husband!) for doing that...telling them to at least excuse themselves before such bad manners. Sometimes good manners and the lapbanded life are just not in sync......


So, I'm back........somewhat rested, somewhat tan but nowhere near ready to join life on land. My cruise felt like an appetizer of sorts.....now I'm ready for the main course. But, it's not to be. I've checked my emails, I've listened to voicemails and I've looked at the pile of laundry that awaits me. No gourmet main course for me. More like fast food.

Give me a few days.....I promise--I'll share pictures, stories and reflections. But, for now....it's time to return to life aboard my ship......the one that's docked right here, right now.....