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Wednesday, April 30, 2008

My big girl pants.......

What's that saying....."put on your big girl pants and deal with it"? Well, I can't. Not unless I want to wear them around my ankles. Probably not a good look. Trust me, even though I've lost a significant amount of weight, the world is just not ready for me to be walking around with my pants around my ankles.....even if I'm just doing it to deal with IT. Which means that dealing with IT or dealing with anything else, for that matter, is just not going to happen in my big girl pants. Somewhere in that truth, there's a silver lining. And, that silver lining is---yes, I still have things that are keeping me awake at night and yes, I still have stress and problems and all sorts of issues and pains. But, I don't have to wear a Size 22 or 24 pants while I deal with them. Like Martha would say--"that's a good thing." This is what I have to remember. There are good things amid all the shit things. Good things. My Lapband is one of them. And, not having to wear my big girl pants is another. So, perhaps I'll just put on a big hat and deal with IT.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

SEX reruns.......all night long.......

Back in the 90's, I was a mom with young children. I got up at the crack of dawn each day to pack lunches and back packs, set out color coordinated socks and perfect little hair bows. I'd throw myself in the shower, gulp down 3 cups of tea, yell at one kid to get out of bed and then coax the other out of her peaceful slumber. I'd whip around the house--a hungry baby in my arms and an ornery little boy who didn't want to put on his shoes laying on the floor at my feet. I'd shove them in the car, drop one off at day care, the other off at school and away I'd go---tea in the cup holder, string cheese in one hand, a cigarette in the other. Listening to DVE....turned up loud. Very loud. Rock and roll. In the morning.
At night, I'd put my life in reverse. I'd grip my hands on the steering wheel, put my diet coke in the cup holder, light up a cigarette and speed towards home. Listening to DVE....rock n roll.....turned up loud. Very loud. Picked up one at day care, got the other one off to baseball or soccer or wherever. Throw dinner in the oven. Sneak out back to have a cigarette. Head off to pick up one kid while the other squirmed in the back seat. Back home. Dinner. The sounds of Gameboy and Cinderella. Throwing dishes in the sink. Homework. Barbie dolls. Bath time. Story time. Begging my kids to go to sleep. Waiting for that magical moment---the sound of silence. Maybe a glass of wine. Maybe another cigarette. Fall into bed. Do it again. And again and again and again. Yes, I was missing a lot. But, I didn't have time to know it.

I can't say what the rest of the women in the world were doing in the 90's. I was busy...raising 2 kids, trying to keep a house going, trying different diets and doing my job. Yeah sure, I'd see other women---as I zoomed past them as they stood on the corner chatting. I'd see them in the grocery store as they narrowly escaped being run over by me as I raced through the aisles. I'd see them as I dropped the kids off at school. I'd often think--where did those other mothers go each morning? You know---the ones who leisurely walked their children up to the school door. Did they go home and bake brownies and do laundry or did they meet their girlfriends for coffee and talk about blow jobs and politics? The world was a blur in my rear view mirror. An impressionist painting. Lots of colors. No clarity. I was racing through it. I probably missed a lot. But, I didn't know what I didn't know.

"Did you see Sex In the City last night?" someone asked me one morning in the 90's as I was getting my tea at the office. Had no idea what she was talking about. Hell, I hadn't even had any sex in the city lately let alone seen any sex in the city. "It's a show on HBO.." she explained, realizing I was completely confused. "Oh, we don't have HBO..." I told her...."kids" I said...trying to explain why I lived in an HBO-less home. And, to be honest, even if we had HBO.... adult TV was a very rare luxury in my 90's life. Seeing Cory's parents on "Boy Meets World".........that was my adult TV watching. Ask me anything about Sabrina's 2 aunts on "Sabrina The Teenage Witch" and I could tell you. But, "Sex in the City" chance. I was having a hard enough time sneaking loud rock n roll and a few cigarettes into my life. Any more sneaking would have just have been too stressful. So, for that time being, cigarettes and rock n roll were my bad girl behavior. Sex in the city, in the country or in the backyard just wasn't. Clearly, I was missing a lot. I just didn't know it.

It's another century. Yes, I know, it's been another century for 8 years now. But, I'm late to the party. I was still living in my Van Gough world...dangling my feet in the clearer world...just to see how it felt. But, things are getting clearer now. Thanks to Carrie, Samantha, Miranda and Charlotte. My heroes. My mentors. My companions. My friends. They are helping me get through. I owe them a debt of gratitude. I never knew how much I missed them. It's probably best we didn't meet in the 90's. It's best we met in April of 2008. What are friends for? They know when you need them.....even if you never told them.
Yes, I'm doing Sex In the City......reruns..................ALL NIGHT LONG.

Monday, April 28, 2008 cleanses......

A few months back, on one of those days when the skies would be sun drenched one moment and then open up and dump buckets of rain the next, I found myself trapped between my car and the door of the health food store when the rain came. Naturally, I didn't have an umbrella. But, I had sunglasses on. The car was too far behind me to run back to take cover and my destination seemed so far away. So, I ran ahead..through the parking lot....amid the ever bashing rain drops....hoping to reach the store with at least some of my hair and makeup intact. It wasn't to be. By the time I yanked open the door and plunged into the store, I was soaked---my hair was stuck to my head, my mascara was under my eyes and running down my cheeks and my clothes were swathed around my body--clinging to every roll and bulge. It was then, as I stood in the entry way, trying to shake off the weather, the lovely young woman who owns the store said "isn't it beautiful" a dreamy, lush and soothing voice. I looked up at her. She-- so fresh faced and serene. Me--so covered with mascara and wet hair and feeling oh so miserable. "What?" I barked at her in utter disbelief. I mean, there I was--wet from head to toe--my hair was stuck to my would I ever get it to pouf up again, my mascara was running down my face--dear God, what did I look like and damn was raining...a fierce, beating down rain. The skies--that had just been blue and sunny were now dark and gloomy. I mean, I had sun glasses on for heaven's sake...that's how sunny it was! What the hell could be so damn beautiful? "It's awful!" I said, trying to snap her back into reality. "No, it's wonderful," she that same dreamy tone. This time, she gently tilted her head and softly smiled, lovingly gazing out the window. "Yeah, well, I'm wet and cold, my hair looks like shit, my shoes are wet for chrissake, my make up is a complete mess and I still have more stops to make. So, uh...forgive me if I can't stand here and join you in your rain love fest" I thought to myself. With that, I left her to her weather-induced trance and headed to the back of the store to find my ridiculously expensive and horribly tasting, super-duper, mega-watt liquid vitamins. As I tramped back, my shoes gushed and squeaked, my hair drooped lifelessly, my eyes burned from the gooey mascara and water dripped from the bottom of the new purse I had just got for my birthday. I was not happy. Not happy at all.
As I pulled out some wet bills to pay for my vitamins, the lovely young owner smiled "these are the best" she said pointing to the bottle. "They taste horrible..." I responded. "They taste like the earth," she quipped...laughing a bit. "More like fish food..." I told her....remembering that's what I had said the first time I took them. She giggled a bit as she handed me my change and then with great exuberance, she said "Thank you! Have a great day!" Now, I had just paid entirely too much for something that tasted like fish food, my hair was stuck to my head, my make up was a mess, my shoes were most likely ruined and I was supposed to have a great day? I looked out at the still pouring rain and then back at her...."it's disgusting out there!" I told her. I mean, she had no idea! Was she covered in wet clothes, mascara and putrid hair? Did she have shoes filled with water? No, her hair was softly falling in little tendrils around her angelic, glowing face, her Birkenstocks were very comfy looking, her sweet dress was flowing from her graceful frame and her eyes looked fresh and peaceful. This was a dry woman. Did she offer me a towel? No! Instead, she extended her hand and, quite by surprise, she tenderly took my hand in hers. Ever so lightly, she pulled it closer. And then, with great warmth and care, she touched my wet, cold, shriveled palm with her soft, unadorned finger. She gave me a look of loving sympathy. Yet, I could tell...she was not giving me sympathy for my wet hair or dripping mascara. It was for something deeper. Maybe it was for my state of being, my emotional condition or for what she thought as my inability to see beyond the rain. I didn't know the secret and she felt sad about that. So, she wanted to clue me in. Her eyes glazed over a bit, her lips formed a soft smile and her head eased into her shoulders. ....whispering to me," cleanses." What the hell did she say?!!? Did I hear her right? Who knows. I was too busy thinking...."holy shit, I am standing here dripping wet, I'm freezing, it's raining like crazy out there, I have 3 more stops to make before I can even head home and this woman at the register is holding my damn hand....I gotta get out of here....."

It's been raining most the night here. There was a storm---with loud thunder and lightening. As I gazed out at the angry, deeply dark sky from the chair next to my bed, I wondered when it would stop. Now, it's almost daylight. The rain continues. The thunder is gone. All that's left is the rain. cleanses?

Sunday, April 27, 2008


A sense of humor is a good thing. Optimism is important. Have faith. See the light at the end of the tunnel. Know that goodness will prevail. Believe that you are stronger than you even realize. Trust that what you have given has been all you have to give. And know that what you've given has been good and kind and filled with love. Keep the hope alive. See the faces and hear the voices of those who love you. Feel the warmth of friendships. These are the things that get you through the bumps in the road, the sleepless nights, the bleak mornings and the long lonely afternoons. It's not the french fries, the chips, the wine, the chocolate, the pie, the cake, the cookies, the huge bowls of pasta or the overflowing ice cream cones. It's not even the shoes. Well.....maybe the shoes. But, definitely not the other stuff. Like I said, a sense of humor is a good thing. A very good thing. Now, a sense of humor that came with mega doses of caffeine would be a better thing. But, I'll settle for good right now.

Friday, April 25, 2008

The Good News......I'm not eating donuts.......

The bad news.......

.....not that I want to choke anyone!

(Send shoes!)

Monday, April 21, 2008

Let's Get it Over With Right Now.......

Typically, Tuesday is my post productive day of the week. But, this week is just so chalk-full of special days and celebrations I was literally shaking with anticipation when my alarm clock went off this morning. I'm not sure which day I'm most excited about. We have Primary Election Day, Earth Day, Administrative Assistant's Day, Take Our Sons & Daughters to Work Day and of course---Friday. Should I plant a tree or force a child to do my job for a day? I just don't know. There's just so much to choose from! Anyway, while I contemplate my choices, I might as well jump start this overflowing week of hoopla by sending out my very special, hand-picked and yes....oh so personal greetings to you........

Happy Monday.......Love, Judi

Happy Earth Day.......Love, Judi

Happy Primary Election Day.......Love, Judi

Happy Administrative Assistant's Day........Love, Judi

Happy Bring Our Son's & Daughters to Work Day.......
Love, Judi

Happy Friday..........Love, Judi

Sort of makes you want to run and jump head first into your week, doesn't it?
Best wishes making it through to Friday!!
(I'll be checking back with you)

Sunday, April 20, 2008

I AM WHAT I EAT..........

I ate potato chips. With dip. Right there. At my nephew's birthday party. No one force fed me. Even though Italians have a reputation for doing so...not in this case. Perhaps Italians just force feed meatballs and ravioli and draw the line at potato chips. I don't know. All I can say is---I did this all on my own. As a matter of fact, I reached in front of my very Italian mother-in-law and pulled the bowl closer to me. No, no.....I didn't grab them away from her as she ate them! She didn't have to wrestle the bowl away from me. But, she didn't shove them in my mouth either. And, my gracious and lovely sister-in-law---who ferociously believes that everyone likes a little salt after eating something sweet and blesses every birthday cake she's ever came close to with a knife---didn't demand that I eat them or threaten my life with said knife if I didn't eat them. She didn't move them closer to me in retaliation for never been mentioned in my blog. She has more class than that. But.....potato chips? With dip? Right there? At my nephew's birthday party? No one gasped. My Lapband didn't have convulsions. Nothing crazy happened. Except.....I ate potato chips. With dip. Right there. At my nephew's birthday party.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Ode to Chardonnay......

Why oh why do I drink Chardonnay?
Don't I remember our last foray?
So pretty, so innocent, so precious in my glass....
You make me so sexy , so smart..... a girl with great class,
Oh, my chardonnay, you look so harmless and sweet.....
At my lips, you make me easy, I'm sweep off my feet....
The headache, the wonderment.... what did I do last night?
Was I funny or chatty or witty and light?
Did I dance on the table or do the bump in the street?
Did I sing or shout or give a great talk?
Did I stagger or stutter or sway up my walk?
Oh Chardonnay, my darling lush drink.....
Next time you seize me, I hope to be stop and think.
Chardonnay, oh, chardonnay, my white trouble friend, danger, oh danger in my glass.....
Why oh why my dear friend, do you knock me on my ass?

Friday, April 18, 2008

The motion in the ocean.........

Yes, it's true. The U.S. Government finally relented. I have officially been identified as the true red, white and blue American that I am. Just in time for election day too! I had visions of being accosted as I entered the church basement to vote next Tuesday. It's bad enough my son will be cancelling out my vote (unless, of course, I don't remind him it's election day)! But, imagine if I caused a scene at the polls! ("Look, the unidentifiable woman is trying to vote! Get her!"). The best I could hope for would be that they might say how light I was as they carried me out the door. ("Hey Larry, I don't need your help carrying this unidentified woman out.....she is sooo light!") I was ready for it though. I planned on wearing amazing shoes on election day. Just in case I was apprehended and became a suffragette. Can't wear bad shoes in the event I'd become a public spectacle and/or a historical figure. The thought of being handcuffed and dragged off in bad shoes is even worse than being handcuffed and dragged off! Even worse---going down in history....maybe even being pictured on Google or having a video on bad shoes. My grandchildren, their children and their children would have to live in shame. But, no one has to worry now. Well, unless I get into a scuttlebutt at the poll with my son because he's cancelling out my vote. Lessons learned---wear great shoes no matter what and don't let your kids register to vote.

By now, you probably figured out that my passport arrived! If I didn't need it so badly, I'd send the passport honchos a nasty note to complain about the picture. Oh, it's not good. The guy at the post office who took my picture would not let me wear my sunglasses on my head and he made me take off my really cute necklace and my adorable little jacket. And, he told me not to smile. Can you imagine? No accessories AND no smile? I would like to completely overhaul the entire passport process. But, I'll hold my tongue. No sense in arousing any suspicions about my terroristic tendencies when it comes to how I look in pictures. I'm just going to have to lay low and make sure that I look good in person for sure. Don't want the border patrol to think I'm as plain and dowdy looking as my passport picture makes me out to be. Just in case anyone thinks I have no fashion sense at all, I bought the cutest little gold lamme passport cover. So, even if the picture looks bad, as soon as those customs folks see my sassy little cover, they will know they aren't dealing with some ordinary broad. I'm a Super American. I've been checked and re-checked and double checked. Us complicated folks just take a little longer to figure out!

All of that aside, the really big deal here is that when my ship comes in....I can get on it. Me and my bathing suit and all my other cha-cha paraphernalia. Nothing and no one can stop me now. Look out Atlantic Ocean....the girl with the
gold lamme passport is on her way..........

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Twenty six years and counting.......

(what's left of my wedding cake........)

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Perfect Day......

That's what I hope for each morning. But, I settle for less. I'm not much for perfection anyhow. But, it's nice when it happens. Be the perfect mom. The perfect wife. The perfect daughter. The perfect sister. The perfect friend. Say the perfect words. Do the perfect things. Wear the perfect shoes. Make the perfect dinner. Serve the perfect wine. Whip up the perfect mug of chai latte. Even if you're not into perfection---it feels good. It always has. From your first "A" on your report card to your perfect manicure---we have it figured out. It's nice to get it right. It's a fun little high. We might not admit it but it's what we shoot for. Even if we will settle for less. Like me. But, today, I'm going to be very deliberate about perfection. Sort of like a little experiment. I'm going to shoot for the perfect version of me. I am going to work really hard at it. Really, really hard. Then, at the end of the day, I'm going to see if I like it. I'll be sure to report back.

P.S. I'm very nervous about this. But, they one thing each day that scares you. I'm scared. (I think this is a good start.....doing something "they say" to do....)

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

April 15: MOVE ON DAY

April 15. Tax day. Also, the day when anyone going off to graduate school has to decide where they will go. Yes, I had to pay my taxes. No, I am not going off to grad school. My son is. Yet, being the parent that I am---the torture and the agony he went through--they were also mine. Taxes and parenting. They never end. But somehow, we get through. The human's alive and well and living in those of us who let it. Sometimes we just have to find the silver lining. Or, the red stiletto. Preferably one with wheels. So we can move on.

Speaking of taxes---I read about this CPA in Hoboken NJ who runs a portable income tax service--Tax Tavern-- he sets up in various bars each year from early January through April 15 . Pretty ingenious on his part...don't you think? “No matter what’s going on in the economy, you’re going to need an accountant. And no matter what’s going on in the economy, you’re going to want to drink,” he was quoted as saying. Good quote. I could like this guy. Although, I'll admit--- it's probably not so good to promote the idea that taxpayers should drown their tax bill sorrows on a bar stool. On the other hand, bar stools do have their proper place in life. As far as I am concerned, that is. Don't look so shocked. I already told you---I like bars. And, with this guy--I figure business is business and CPA's are CPA's....they have to make a living. In addition to that, given the fact that CPA's are not known for being overly creative human beings (on most career/ skills/interest inventories), I was impressed with this guy's "thinking outside the box". Perhaps he is just more resourceful than creative....who knows. If he's a good CPA then I suppose that's what matters. Hopefully, he's not spending his days drinking AND doing the same time! That might be a problem! In any case, whether you like the idea of taxes being done at a bar or not, we all have to admit that doing taxes is not fun. Why? Because it's an inventory. This guy knows that. Hell---we all know that. Taking inventory is all about taking stock and bringing to light mistakes. Plus, it reminds you that there are things that you just can't control. Yes, it ranks up there with setting your hair on fire while someone pulls your teeth---without novacaine. Sometimes everything balances. Sometimes it doesn't. No matter what---you have to face April 15. Making the best of it is all we can do. So we can move on. Whether it's from a bar stool or not.
Moving's the hardest lesson to learn. Even after we DO learn it.....we tend to forget how to do it. These past few weeks as my son and I engaged in many, many deep and difficult discussions---agonzing over where he would finally end up doing his PhD---I found myself either thinking or saying those 2 words---move on. I kept thinking...."you're young, why can't you just make the decision and move on?" Yes, I probably said that outloud to him at least 50 times. Moving on was his problem. At least that's what it boiled down to. He couldn't hear me say that. Or, he didn't want to hear it.....again and again and again. He's not much of a mover-oner. Plus, he hasn't had much practice. I know all of that. But, still. It was time to make a decision. So we can move on.
Yes, I can talk the talk and walk the walk. I can stand on my soapbox and rant like a politician. But, can I really do it? Can I move on? I think so.....sort of. I paid my taxes. That's good. I've moved on....from that. But---my son going off to PhD land? Nope. I don't think I'll ever get used to that. Take my money. Just don't take my 6ft 250 ld baby.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Because I can........

Did I ever mention that I like bars? The neighborhood kind. Where everyone knows your name. Where they have a jukebox with songs I can actually sing along to. Where everyone is about the same age. Kids you went to high school are there, parents of your kids' friends are there and teachers from your children's elementary school go there for Friday Happy Hour. Old neighbors drop in. The guy who delivers your dry cleaning sits at the bar and the lovely woman from the flower shop chats with her friends at a corner table. Familiar faces. Lots of "hey, how are you?" There's a kind of if you are walking into a celebration...even if it's just a typical weekend evening. And, I especially like it when you run into old friends.....who you haven't seen in a long time. And, to be perfectly honest---since I've lost this weight---it's even better. Watching someone's jaw drop a little is decadent fun. It's as if they can't figure out why I look different. And, they make such a feels oh so lovely. A reason to order up another drink....just to celebrate!

So, Saturday night we went to a neighhood type place where we haven't been in quite some time. It's a nice, local establishment we used to go to when we lived on that side of town. As expected, it was filled with familiar faces. It still felt if time had stood still. Like coming home. From our corner table, we spotted a few old friends standing at the bar. One friend who was standing there doesn't even live in the state. He lives all the way in Utah. We probably haven't seen him in over 15 years. Excited to see them, I popped over to say hello. We did the the usual hugs and "gee this is great" talk. The out-of-town friend greeted me with "you have the same hairdo as your sister had 20 years ago...". Just what I wanted to hear. It was all coming back to me---he never had much tact or sensitivity. Later, I thought of so many responses. But, on the spot, I wasn't prepared. I mean, I could have said "come on, your hair can't be don't have a grey hair on your head". Or, I could have commented on the fact that his poor sense of fashion still hasn't improved.....all these years later...."are those the same pants you wore the last time we went out?" or "didn't someone tell you that you shouldn't wear your pants that gives your flat butt a wedgie". But, no, I just laughed a little and said "gee, thanks." Our other friend---who I probably saw about 3 years ago-- was smitten by my weight loss. So, of course, she asked "how did you do it?" I told her. As I've said so many times, my surgery is no secret. I'm happy to blab about it to anyone who will listen. Good thing she is a good listener. Because...blab I did. And, it seemed as though she was very interested in the entire procedure and process. Maybe it was my imagination or maybe it was the 2 glasses of wine! As I was explaining the band know gesturing how the band is around my stomach and how it limits the amount of food I can eat, our out-of-town tactless friend who probably dyes his hair interupted...."why did you do that?" he asked. "To loose weight" I told him. "So, you eat less?" he asked. "Yes...." I answered. Then, I continued on with the explanation---likening my stomach to a balloon and demonstrating with my hands in the air how the band squeezes a portion of the balloon (as a girl who has had 2 glasses of wine would do). The tactless friend with wierd high wasted pants and flat ass continued to listen in. He seemed quite perplexed. "So, you eat less?" he asked again....looking as if he just didn't get it. "Yes..." I told him. "You couldn't just eat less before?" he asked. At that point, I really wanted to dump my drink on his head. But, $7 for a glass of wine....I dare not waste it. Again.....I wasn't good on the spot with my come back. For lack of anything better to say---I explained the whole band around my stomach thing once more.....referring once again to the balloon and how the band goes in and tightens it so that the opening is much smaller. He didn't seem to get it. "The whole thing is that you eat less....." he said, pointing to my stomach. "That's how you lose weight, right?" Ah....the engineer in him was coming out. "Yes....." I replied. "So, my question remains...." he continued. "And, that question is?" I said through gritted teeth. Why did this man come back to Pittsburgh anyhow? I really never missed him. He smiled triumphantly.....probably thinking I didn't get it....."if all it takes to lose weight is to eat less...which we all know to be true....why didn't you just eat less before?" I smiled a bit but didn't answer. Probably because I wanted to pull out his dark hair by the roots. "You eat less now, right?" he said. I nodded affirmatively. "Why?" Mr. TactlessFakeHairPolyesterPants asked. "Because I can........" I chirped.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Happy Birthday to my Chariot Driver!

In the dark of night, my chariot driver carried me off to my new life.
Happy Birthday Denise!

Driving Sister Judi

Thanks for the ride and have a great birthday!!!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

8 months and counting......

Today is my Bandiversary. It's been 8 months since that warm August morning that I hopped in my sister's chariot in the wee hours of the morning and drove off into the my new life. My Lapbanded life. So much has happened in those 8 months. Little things. Big things. Things I probably haven't even discovered. It's the undiscovered things I like the best. I like the little surprises along the way. I like knowing there will be surprises even more so. If I had to be totally honest and rank how I feel about all the changes---that might be at the very top. Outranking the weight loss and the smaller pants and the willingness to do things that I couldn't bring myself to do before. It's a change that began that August morning 8 months ago. Beyond the dashboard and into the darkness, the girl who I wanted to be was peeking out from the horizon. I couldn't wait to see her emerge. On August 10, 2007......I found HOPE.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

I was young once......

Earlier in the week, Toni and I went to the gym. She's still doing the Hi-Low class. Not me. I'm doing the work out my personal trainer set up for me. I hate every second of it. There's nothing I can do about it. I hate it. Period. That's it. People tell me that I'll fall in love with working out. No. Not me. It's not going to happen. Now, don't accuse me of being stubborn. I'm not. If I could fall in love with it....I swear, I would. But, after 49 years of living with myself....I know Judi. Cupid is not going to hit my heart with the exercise loving arrow. So, don't even try to convert me. I'm perfectly okay with hating it. I realize life is like that. You hate some things. That's just the way it is. The only thing I think is horribly unfair is that if you hate something but you do it anyway because it's good for you, you should reap double the benefits from it. Doesn't that seem like a reasonable trade off? Wonder who I can talk to about that.

Anyway, one of our gym night routines has become weighing ourselves on the way out of the locker room. Now, Toni is a little slip of a thing---petite and perfectly proportioned. She would absolutely kill me if I listed her weight here on my I won't. But, let me tell you, if I weighed what she weighed.....well, I'd buy Google Blogger and have my weight plastered on every blog in the universe. That's just me, of course. Back to the scale....Toni is always so suspicious of the scale at the gym. She says it is "off". She claims that she always weighs less on that scale. I'm no stranger to scale-a-noia , that's for sure. So, I understand why she is frustrated. Plus, she's young. She expects things a certain way. When you reach my take what you can get. If THAT scale says I weigh 3 pounds less than my scale at home....I go with it. As long as I weight less than I did last week, it's all good. And, I'm not going to try to calibrate a scale...that's for damn sure. I guess I could complain to management. But, what would I say?

So, here's the thing. On the way home from the gym, as I mentally applauded myself for my current occurred to me that I now weigh what I weighed on that gloomy day in January 1986 when I decided "enough is enough". That's when I began my 10 year love affair with Weight Watchers. I was fat. I was disgusted. I was miserable. I couldn't believe I weighed THAT MUCH. I felt doomed and lost and hopeless. same exact weight is making me smile. I don't feel fat. I'm not disgusted. I am not miserable. I feel good. I feel oh so normal. I feel comfortable. I feel lighter. I feel hopeful. I feel like I'm winning.

What about that day in January 1986? Was I just a fool? No, I was young. YOUNG. What the hell did I know?

Patience........not my thing.......!

All of my identifying documentation has been sent to the U.S. Government. Will they know who I am? All I can do is wait. I'm not a big fan of waiting. So, I'm trying to draw inspiration from this picture. Only problem---I'm not a big fan of laundry either.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Who am I....really?

On Saturday when the letter from the U.S. Department of State arrived notifying me that my passport application was denied, I thought it was a joke. A cruel one at that. But, perhaps warranted. A few years back, Carmen played a magnificently genius, well-thought out and superbly executed similar type of joke on my unsuspecting brother-in-law. It has reached epic proportions. It is now a legend. It has a permanent place of honor in our family history book. Every time we get together, that story seems to surface. Inevitably, my brother-in-law hangs his head in disbelief....that he fell for such a prank. Despite my brother-in-law's embarrassment---it elicits roaring laughter---the kind where tears flow. Each time it's told, it manages to put Carmen one step closer to being crowned the grand master of illusion. In another few years, I suspect he will become the undisputed champion of "pulling off a good one". There will be no living with that man.

Okay. Back to the matter at hand. Since the passport denial seemed so absurd, I thought that maybe....just maybe....this was my brother-in-law's way of getting back. I wasn't so sure why he would play the joke on me when it was 100% Carmen who devised, planned and executed the notorious scam. But, I figured....what better way to torture a man than to make his wife completely miserable? So, given that thought and knowing how my brother-in-law's mind might work when it comes to made total sense to me that he could be behind the passport farce. And, if he was.....he would soon be crowned the king of punking! Because this was no ordinary prank. There were tears. My ship was not coming in. It would have been a wonderful miracle if it would have been my brother-in-law. But, no such luck. The post mark was Charleston, SC. It was the U.S. Government.

We were in the middle of running the typical Saturday morning errands and had just stopped home to pick up some lunch and switch cars. As I was bantering with Carmen and Toni about possible lunch menus, I spotted the very official looking envelope on the kitchen counter. Here's what it said---in a nutshell....they can't establish my identity.....sorry. Since they don't know who I am..even though I provided the documents they asked for---they just can't let me leave the country. They went on to say that if I can establish who I am and if I can provide sufficient evidence to prove who I am in the next 90 days, my application can be reviewed. In other words...they were asking.....who are you Judi?

Now, here's the part of the story that made me suspect my brother-in-law was toying with me. In the letter, they provided a long list of documents that I could enter into evidence to prove my identity. At the top of the list....."School yearbook photograph with your name and photo, also with the school's name and year that it was issued"......and another....."Newspaper/Magazine articles with your name and photo along with the newspaper's name and date of publication" and still another....."A traffic ticket". See what I mean? These items would establish my identity beyond a shadow of a doubt? Not the birth certificate that I dutifully sent in? Not the photo copy of my drivers' license that the passport guy at the post office made? I was born. I drive. Those are facts. But, my high school year book picture? What does that prove? That I had bad taste when it came to hairdos? All I could do was wipe away the tears that were trickling down my cheeks. Who am I?

Answering the "who am I?" question for the federal government took me into the corners of the basement and into that huge box my father gave me when he moved a few years back. My year book, not the formal one....the one of me as editor of the newspaper. A happy, smiling young girl....with all of my newspaper mates around me. I looked alive and real. I saw my own children as I looked at that young Judi. My nose is my daughter's nose. I never realized that. Ever. My old birth certificate.....I saw my mother's signature. The loopy cursive that I haven't seen in more than 35 years. I dragged my fingers across her signature.....thinking about the day she wrote her name there. A young woman who had just given birth to her first child. A happy woman. A healthy woman. Even her signature can bring me to tears....all these years later. And, there was my father's angled, terse writing. The penmanship of a man who was born to write left-handed but forced by his nuns to write with his right hand. The very same strokes as he uses today. Yet, they were from a man almost 50 years younger. A man who just became a father. And, there was something called a "birth record"......with my mom's thumb print and my little footprint. My mother was probably holding me in her arms as they placed my foot on that ink pad, I thought to myself. And, I'll bet she fretted over washing her thumb before touching me. She was like that. Tucked inside an envelope was my baptismal certificate. The signatures of my dear aunt and my beloved uncle. Many years ago....when they were young and fresh and filled with dreams and hopes. Both of their signatures are the same today as they were then. They sign their names to my birthday cards and Christmas cards. They still send them. I'm lucky like that.

You know, if it wasn't for the fact that this whole passport business might screw up something very important to was actually a very wonderful experience. Touching the past and seeing the past in the future was a a gift. Tracing my finger across my mother's signature. Seeing my daughter's nose. Imagining the young faces of people who are still....50 years my life. Gifts I would have never received if the U.S. Government wouldn't have dubbed me unidentifiable.

So, who am I? A girl with a Lapband on a journey. It's still that simple. But, the most important thing is that my journey started long before this. In fact, my journey is just the continuation of the journey that was started on the day my parents signed my birth certificate. That's who I am.....really.

Got that Mr or Ms U.S. Department of State?

Sunday, April 6, 2008

The U.S. Government is trying to stop me from wearing a bathing suit.......

Seriously. Well, the letter didn't say that exactly. But, I know what they are getting at. I can read between the lines. When the U.S. Department of State sends me a letter telling me that they can't give me a passport because they can't identify me---even though I provided the exact documentation they asked for---I am pretty sure it's bathing suit related. They gave Carmen, Vince and Toni theirs. But, not me.
The U.S. Government is standing between me and my ship.

Friday, April 4, 2008

The view from the bottom of my wine glass......

Okay, I'm over my little foot-stomping rant about the dishes. But still..........! Well, you get my point. No need to go over it again. It just goes to show you....losing weight doesn't solve all of your problems. There's still dishes in the sink, laundry in the hamper and dust on the coffee table. But, it's Friday night. I have a glass of wine. I can deal with anything. The work week is over. Ooooh, but, let me tell you--- it was one heck of a pesky work week! Even my Lapband can't stop audits or fix my poor record keeping! matter..... life is good. Even though I live with a certain someone who has a severe case of dish washing phobia and I'm up to my forehead in Excel spreadsheets (that are slowly ruining my vision!) and my office floor is covered in papers, I'm happy. In fact, I refuse not to be happy. The certain someone with the dish washing problem---he's a good guy. We'll be celebrating our 26th Anniversary in 2 weeks (now the secret is out....the non dish washer is Carmen!) So, he's got staying power. He's a habit I can't shake. He can't wash a damn dish. But, I'll keep him nonetheless. He's cute. He makes me laugh. He sings me songs as he strums his guitar. He ignores my clutter-bugginess. He closes his eyes to my massive shoe collection. A keeper. My job...yes, the auditors are looming. But, I've been doing it for going on 28 years. Thankfully, it's been good to me. Despite the drama and the scuttlebuts, it's a happy place to be. I have amassed a beautiful and spirited group of amazing friends. From the amazing wordsmith shoe fanatic Professor H to my team of sassy women who deserve a Nobel Peace Prize.....I've been blessed. And, all that laundry---thank God we have underwear, towels and clothes to wash! I do realize I'm very lucky in that regard. I'll never have to go naked or dripping wet....unless I want to!!! As for the dust.....thankfully, my eyes are being ruined by those spreadsheets! So, I can't see it. And, everything else---it's just life. Life in the fast lane. The slow lane. And the passing lane. It's the road I chose and the road I'm on. I'm here. I'm happy. And, yes, I've had a glass of wine. I suggest you do the same.

It's all in how you look at it.....that's what I say......

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Am I the only person who can do the dishes?

I bring home the bacon (or, at least some of it), fry it up in the pan and then I have to clean the damn pan! I'll tell you, there's something terribly wrong with this scenario. And, it's got nothing to do with the fat content of bacon. Remember yesterday when I said that once the kids were gone, we'd be running around naked? Well, scratch that. There will be no more nakedness in this house until someone learns how to do the dishes! I am not going to mention this someone's name. It will only make me angrier. I'm just going to try to remain cool and collected as I bang every pot, rattle every dish and hammer every piece of silver ware. he sleeping? Not to worry....nothing will wake him from his slumber. He's been well-fed.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Will we really run around naked?

That's the question that I pondered as I drove home last night.......
College planning. That's how it all happened. My running naked thinking.
On Monday, Toni and I met with her guidance counselor to plot out her senior year and the whole college application process. My youngest wonderful, perfect shopping partner and all around sweet, dear beautiful, shoe-loving daughter---will be graduating from high school next year. That in itself is a tough one to comprehend. When did that precious little baby with the never ending supply of smiles and hair bows leave my arms and start walking on her own? Somewhere in between all of my diets, I suppose.
Last night, after work, I picked up my wonderfully magical, funny, quirky, entirely too intense son, Vince. We had one of our long discussions about where he will go to get his PhD. He has to make his final decision by April 15 . So, time is closing in on him. Remember....I said he was intense. Let that describe our conversation. After I dropped him off.....I had to take a very deep breath and take a few drags on a contraband cigarette in order to make the rest of my drive home. Then, as I veered my way up towards the bridge--- it all hit me. In a little less than 18 months, both of my children will be off on campuses many miles away. Not one of them. Both of them. Another contraband cigarette.
All these years of dropping kids off at day care and school and racing home to pick them up, getting them to where they need to be, going to baseball games and school art shows and cheerleading competitions and finding babysitters and rooting them on at soccer tournaments and dance recitals and attending open houses and making lunches and dinners and doing homework and scheduling parent-teacher meetings and......all of those years of being me---Judi the mom. Being us---Carmen and Judi---the parents. Baptisms and First Holy Communions and Confirmations and big, big moments. Finding the perfect that fits. Meeting the perfect friends.....the supportive mom who wore curlers in her hair to day care...and her sexy, fun sister-in-law, the boisterous perfectly dressed wild mom at the dance studio. Forever friends. Everything else....gone. Over. Never again. Now what?
That's what got me to think about running around naked. Because that's what we could do. That thought didn't feel quite as daunting as the empty nest thoughts I was having moments before. So, I stayed with it. We could run around naked. All over the house. Up the steps. Down the steps. I could do laundry naked. Cook naked. Heck, I could eat naked. I couldn't garden naked. But, I could watch TV naked. Talk on the phone naked. "Hello, I'm naked....". We'd have to stop our naked running around during holiday breaks and Spring breaks. But, after that.....naked, naked, naked. Hey, I could blog naked. But, no Christmas morning naked fests.
Funny thing.....if I would have realized that I could do all this naked living a year ago.....I would have probably preferred to think about my empty nest problem. Why? Well, because I was 60+ lbs heavier with no hope of ever finding the right diet. But, thinking about it now---well, I've lost 60+ lbs and I have hope of loosing about 40 more. Although I'm sane and realistic enough to know that I won't be Playboy bunny material naked.....I'm not quite as horrified by the thought.....of being naked. Infact, I'm kind of curious what I'll look like.....40 or so pounds from I do all my naked stuff. Trust me, I have no grand illusions about what I'll really look like. I'll be 50 years old and lots of my body will be going south. I'll have sagging skin....I'm sure. And, things won't be quite as perky as they once were. But, I'm guessing I'll be normal looking for a 50 year old broad. Naked but normal. Natural too. Except of course for my feet. I can't run around naked without shoes. And they will have to be great shoes. Amazing shoes. To-die-for, over-the-top, spectacular shoes. Academy award winner shoes. And, lots of them. Lots and lots of goddessy, queen-worthy shoes. Pile and piles of diva, decadent and damn adorable shoes. Fu-fu shoes. Sexy shoes. Girly shoes. Sassy shoes. Wild shoes. Shiney shoes. Swanky shoes. Killer shoes. Shoes. Shoes. And more shoes.
.................But, who will I shop for my naked running shoes with? Time for another contraband cigarette.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008


Okay, let's have some April Fool's Day fun. .......

My new bathing suit? My new look? What do you think?


Sort of makes you want to forgo the perfectly tanned butt and the cute little string bikini....doesn't it?
ME TOO! So, no string bikini for me!!!
I'm definitely NOT a piece of meat!

"Our wisdom comes from our experiences and our experience comes from our foolishness"
Sacha Guiltry

"He who lives without folly isn't so wise as he thinks"
Francois duc de La Rochefoucauld

Happy April Fool's Day!!!!!