Thursday, January 31, 2008

I'm stealing this End-of-Year Meme from Leigha. Yeah, I know it's officially February. I'm a tad behind--SO?! :teehee:

1. What did you do in 2007 that you’d never done before?
I got on a plane and went to Chicago by myself, and met a bunch of crazy knitters whom I'd never met before, some of whom have turned out to be some of my best friends. It was incredible!

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I don't believe the hype. :rofl: I know when I'll be setting myself up for disappointment!

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Um...yeah! My SIL. Her little guy's darling, but we don't get to see him often, since they live out of state. I think she's the only one. If not, please don't anyone hit me!

4. Did anyone close to you die?
Yes. My cousin, Adrienne. I hadn't actually spoken with her for about five years, and we'd never had an extremely personal relationship, but I still love her very much. I'd thought of her often, recently, in fact, since someone I know looks a lot like her. When I saw this friend last week, it was like I'd been hit between the eyes.

5. What countries did you visit?
Just stayed in the good ol' US of A this year. I'm really starting to feel bummed about that. International travel has spoiled me.

6. What would you like to have in 2008 that you lacked in 2007?
What did I just say about more international travel? Um, and more yarn. And something to keep me busy when my boys go to school in the Fall, please!

7. What dates from 2007 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
July 21. My birthday was freakin' awesome. It was part of that crazy-fun Chicago trip and I loved it! I also turned 30 this year, which made it an even bigger deal. Seems like there should be other big dates...maybe they'll come to me later?

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
I learned to knit a sock! Is that seriously my biggest achievement? OH! I wrangled a neighborhood that had no homeowner's association into agreeing on a plan for landscaping, and sweet-talked the property management company into signing the rights to the money over to us to spend. We got $35,000 in landscaping installed, all with no legal right to do so! And it looks great. Pretty freakin' awesome. Of course, it came with a price. Now I have to be on the board. Gah.

9. What was your biggest failure?
Not realizing until it was too late that our mortgage broker was an idiot. And that we should have saved more of the equity from the sale of our house to make the exorbitant payments on this one. :doh:

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Nope. Just the usual cold/flu stuff.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
Our house. Despite the exorbitant payments. :teehee:

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
My boys'! They do awesome things every day! My husband weathered a frightening layoff period at work, and survived another semester of school. My brother got hired by a great firm, after a scary period of unemployment.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Um, let's not name names.

14. Where did most of your money go?
Seriously? I wish I knew. I bet my Money file could tell me, but it'd be skeery.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
MOVING! Selling our house. Picking out stuff for our new house. Chicago. My Ravelry invite.

16. What song will always remind you of 2007?
Toss up between Cake's "Short Skirt, Long Jacket" and "All That Jazz" from Chicago. :rofl:

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
 a) happier or sadder? b) thinner or fatter? c) richer or poorer?
a) About the same. But wiser. Which is good.
b) Thinner! Woot! Thank you, Topamax!
c) Uh, good question. Higher wages - ginormous house payment = poorer, I think. Let's not talk about it, K?

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Thinking before I spoke.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Worrying about what other people thought.

20. How did you spend Christmas?
Christmas Eve with my family. Yay! It's always a nice evening.
Christmas morning with hubby and our kids, opening Santa presents. One of our kids wanted to head straight to the mall to thank Santa. :heart:
Christmas afternoon trying to weather the awkwardness with the in-laws.

21. Did you fall in love in 2007?
Um, yes. With Ravelry. :rofl:

22. What was your favorite TV program?
Tough choice! I love me some 24. (I have a hardcore crush on Jack Bauer. :sigh:)But I find that with the strike, I'm also really missing Journeyman.

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
I honestly don't think I hate anyone. There are a few people I don't trust anymore.

24. What was the best book you read?
The Kite Runner. Hands down.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Imogen Heap. Love her. Especially "The Moment I Said It." Pure genius.

26. What did you want and get?
My house. Pretty much everything in it and about it.

27. What did you want and not get?
Four more feet of width in the living room. :rofl: Kidding! Um, I'm sure there are lots of things I've done without. None of them amount to much in the grand scheme.

28. What was your favorite film of this year?
I...need to think some more about that.

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
Oh! Again, I was in Chigaco with the knittergirls. We were at karaoke at midnight, and I was waiting for some of the girls to come back from Borders and bring back my copy of Harry Potter. Who could ask for more! :teehee: Day-of, we went and had a knit-in at a yarn store, where I was spoiled with presents, and there were several meals out crammed in there. More knitting that the fire in the lobby of our hotel, I believe. Very laid-back. Good times! Such a nice way to spend my 30th birthday

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Hmm. Going without a few of the stresses that came with it? I don't mind the major trials in life that inevitably come my way. But I could have done without a couple of the personal tiffs.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2007?
Uh, lazy. Ponytail, no makeup, jeans and a dressy tee.

32. What kept you sane?
My husband. My mom. My online girls.

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Ha! Must I choose? I :heart: Kiefer, but I decided maybe I just have a crush on the character, and not so much the man. As much as I love a bad boy, I'm not attracted to other forms of Kiefer. I need the short-haired, long-tee-shirt and jeans, messenger bag Kiefer. :roflhard:

I also have an inordinate attraction to Jason Bateman. I just came to terms with this one.

34. What political issue stirred you the most?
Let's not go over that again. It was ugly the first time.

35. Who did you miss?
Um, I really, really miss my male friends from college. I just had a little cry over this on Tuesday. I've lost touch with all of them, now, but I had some incredibly deep, close relationships with several guys during those years, and I miss them immensely. There are a few songs that remind me of one or another of them, and the memories really hit me in the gut. It hurts.

36. Who was the best new person you met?
Oh, I don't think I could choose! But I'm definitely the closest to Julie. We are :peas:!

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2007.
That I do need my husband to choose sides.

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
It's hard to rely on my good intentions
When my heads full of things that I cant mention....

I'm not afraid things wont get better
But it feels like this has gone on forever.
You have to cry with your own blue tears
Have to laugh with your own good cheer

I cant be hard on you
'cause you know I've been there too
Learned a lot of things from you

But life gives little relief
Give us reprieve
And when everyone is cold as ice
I clinch my fists and close my eyes
Imagining the world outside
But I can see that I'm not blind

Bigotry by any other name...

I've been thinking a lot, lately, about what it means to be "in the minority." I'm white, so, you know, obviously I'm in the majority on the race issue. I'm a woman, which isn't a minority in this country. But, sure, there are oppression issues there. I've been incredibly lucky not to have been the brunt of them, though. At least, not to my knowledge. Career-wise, I was actually the most highly paid writer and editor in the company for which I worked. The men didn't do so well in that area of the company--they were pretty lazy. The company before that? All women. In high school, I worked retail, in fabric stores and at Hallmark, and one time at a retail grocery store, but my Dad worked in the office, and I know I got a comparable wage.

OK, so I've personally never dealt with sexism, at least not in the workplace. (Ha! Well, not sexism related to pay...we won't go into the coworker who flashed me.) So, what other prejudices might I deal with?

Well, religion, it turns out, can be a big one. Never has been for me before. I grew up in a community that's got a large LDS population (I'd guess around 20%), and though most of my friends in high school were not Mormon, most of my friends (in town) now are. I'm surrounded by people who believe the same things I do. And my friends who don't at all share my beliefs? They don't really seem to care. We respect one another for the loving, intelligent people we all are. Why should anything else matter?

Interestingly, apparently it does. I've found that there are, indeed, some in this world who loftily claim to "accept all, regardless of their views," who just can't seem to do it.

To be clear, I've never made any such claim. I'll be honest with you and tell you that it's my goal to try. I'll tell you that I believe it's not my place to judge. And that I know I should love everyone. But some people really do make it so danged hard!

That said, I do still try. I'm not proud of my weaknesses. But I do also believe that no matter how much I love someone, there's still such a thing as right and wrong. I know that the trend continues toward "anything goes," and that my definition of right and wrong isn't the same as everyone else's. But I stand by it, and I'll continue to defend least, until the conversation becomes completely ugly and unproductive. It's happened on more than one occasion, recently.

I'm alright, frankly, with the idea that some people just won't like me. I just want them to stop avoiding the fact that when it's because of my religious beliefs, it's bigotry, just the same.

Friday, January 18, 2008

On Slimming Down

It's been four months, and I've lost 36 pounds now. THIRTY SIX. :shakinghead: This is a bizarre phenomenon. Every time I think I've hit a stopping-point, and my body's done dropping weight solely as a side-effect of a drug I'm taking, it starts back up again. I've lost two pounds in the last two days. It's utterly unfathomable.

The strangest part about it is that I didn't really care about my weight. Sure--I was overweight. Yes, it had been sneaking on, not so slowly, for the last five or six years. But the thing is, I didn't care! It wasn't
really bothering me. My weight had been pretty stable for the last 8 months before I started the Topamax, and I was OK with how I looked and felt. It just wasn't an issue.

I think, for me, being OK with my weight was revolutionary. I grew up thinking I was fat. I'd never had my mother's tiny bone structure. I was built solidly, like my dad, with short, thick bones and a propensity to build dense muscle. But I was never fat. I just perceived myself that way. As a result, I spent most of high school and a good portion of junior high on a diet, unhappily comparing myself to slight, slim girls.

When I finally came to terms with the fact that I would never look like that, and stopped trying to diet myself into oblivion and just be healthy, my outlook changed. I became happy with myself for who I was, and not what I looked like. I looked great, but it simply wasn't important anymore.

Of course, after I got married and began cooking and snacking and putting on weight, I wasn't thrilled, but I remembered what I'd learned--that my worth was in no way related to my weight. It's a lesson that's stuck with me. So now, as my weight continues to plummet and everyone congratulates me (and rightly so! I'm healthier!), it's strange for me to consider. I have no "weight-loss goals." I had no desire to lose weight. It's an odd thing to have something good come at you out of left field and blindside you, I suppose.

Thursday, January 3, 2008


Sometimes, people make me want to slam my head into a wall. Not everything has to be perverse! Not everything has to be a melodrama! Honestly--do we live in a soap opera? No? A "reality" TV show? OK, then--CALM THE HECK DOWN!!

:sigh: I know I get worked up over stuff, too, and sometimes over stuff that doesn't matter. I guess it's just other people's stuff that bugs me, sometimes. The stuff belonging to people for whom I don't care particularly. :teehee: Also, I'm no prude, but I'm really tired of everything being some kind of sex-related joke. Honestly. It's like living in a frat house sometimes. :roll:

Sooo...not much really going on with me right now. Mr. Feffer has gone back to work after a long vacation, and I'm adjusting to having more time to myself. Yesterday was spent feeling a tad lonely, but today's been quite nice! I went on a renting spree at the video store, and I've gotten a lot of knitting done on my Mr. Greenjeans. I'm making it in black Malabrigo, and I'm loving it! It's my first Mmmm project, and it really is luscious! Mmmmmmmmm-y soft!

Oh--here's my one moment of entertainment for the day, though. Anyone who's seen Disney's Peter Pan should get it: my older son showed me his pirate ship today. They got these for Christmas, and they've been a big hit--they have lots of little features and hidden gadgets; anchors and booty and secret doors, etc. Well, this child discovered a little trigger that makes the plank pop out from the side of the ship, and in his delight asked me, "Mommy?! Is this the 'Choice Is Up to You?'" :roflhard:

I spent several minutes trying to convince him that it was called a plank, but to no avail. :teehee: Thanks, Disney! Aaaaaand now that song's been stuck in my haid all day. :snrx: