Archive for January, 2008

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2008, The Year Without

January 31, 2008

I enjoy denying myself things. I’m not prepared to delve into the psychological aspects of WHY I do this, but it’s true. In the past, I’ve given up drinking, sodas, meat for over six years, and more. I’m pretty sure it’s not just food, but those are the easiest to quantify.

 So this year I’ve decided to make it a project: give something up each month, and track how it affects my life/body/relationships. Since I didn’t come up with this concept until mid-January, January is the Month Without Restrictions, which is especially apropos as I have been binge eating and not really taking care of myself at all.

So what’s on the slate for February? February is the month without fast food. I hate to admit it, but I adore greasy, unhealthy burgers and fake Mexican food. And lately, being so busy at work, and having un-adventurous lunch-mates, I’ve found myself going more and more. The goal of this exclusion is hopefully for me to make better choices about what I put in my mouth, and to also encourage me to make my lunch at home and bring it in. I also need to stop the bad habit of eating in my car!

I’d like to add that I’m not counting sandwich joints in this. I still need some options for quick dining, and I think in general that fresh-made sandwiches are better for you (and yes, I know some sandwiches are decidedly NOT healthy. I’m going to try and be aware).

And now, since it is the last day of January, I’m hitting Taco Bell.

Also, will someone please buy me this?

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On Solitary Sundays

January 28, 2008

In my last house, Grumpus and I had the specter of ‘moving’ hanging over us for years; soon, soon, we’d say, we’ll be out of here, so why bother doing anything nice, like hanging curtains or art or, you know, doing ANYTHING? So for four years or so, I stagnated in a place that looked like we were still complete and total college students with no money or taste.

Now that I’m living alone, I’m finally encouraging myself to do all the decorating I want. This, though, takes EFFORT, a word that I have fallen out of touch with. I have so many zany ideas rushing through my brain, I have a hard time just sitting down and planning them out. Focusing is difficult. But I have hit upon two things to start:

  1. Keeping the heat in
    January started with a bit of a shock: a nice bill for $108. Seems my ‘gas’ heater is not, in fact, gas. See, I’m fortunate that gas is included in my rent; electricity is all mine. And evidently the temperatures were dropping so low in my apartment that even when I had the thermostat set for low (while I was at work, or asleep), it was still running. Ouch! I tried to blame a host of things, but I think it boils down to the heater and the heater alone. So now, I’m trying to save as much heat in my place as I can.
    But, see, I’m excited about heat. The old house, the heater messed with my allergies and made Grumpus’s face fall off, so it was rarely on. Now, I don’t have to wear a jacket in the house, or a hat, or spend most of my time under a blanket. But on Sunday, I did spend most of the time under a blanket. Me, a blanket, and Harry Potter. Except when I tried a solution I found on Apartment Therapy: window insulation.
    I have huge windows in my kitchen, and I suspect a fair amount of heat escapes that way. So, even though I had a sore throat and about 10% the normal energy I have, I attempted to do one window. I found out something important: my counter hurts. Kneeling on it did some serious damage to my knees. It was pretty easy, once I figured out how to stand on my stove (please never make me do that again), but I still managed to mess it up by tearing the bottom. I think, though, once I’m feeling alive again, I may try the others. Besides, how often can you say you were standing on your stove, hair-drying your windows?
  2. Lighting the bedroom
    I have grown very weary of doing the mad dash from my bed to the light switch by the door of my bedroom. Sure, it’s tiny, but when I’m warm and cozy from reading, the last thing I want to do is make even a five foot trip. What I really need are some reading lights. I use lights (plural) because honestly, the boyfriend is over so many nights that he could use his own light. Plus, I like balance.
    Friday was a very slow day at work. I spent my downtime researching lamps. I found out a few things:
    – My style seems to be clean, modern, vaguely Danish.
    – I like silver and brushed steel.
    – Lamps Plus is either horribly overpriced, or I have expensive tastes.
    – Bed, Bath and Beyond has a disappointing lamp section, but is a fun place to while away a Saturday afternoon with DanielI could post the whole list of things I liked, but I won’t bore you. I was trying to avoid Ikea, as my house is starting to look like a showroom, but it really has the only things I like that are in my price range. Details and photos to follow. Probably.

I’ll be detailing other house projects here. Have you been to my house? Do you have ideas? Leave me a comment below.

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On 2007, in list form

January 23, 2008

The Best of 2007:

  1. Finding my super-sweet apartment, and moving to San Francisco
    I’ve always felt the pull of the city, and since I was driving up there every other day, to go to class, to see friends, to hear music, it made more sense to live there. I found my apartment on craigslist and almost didn’t go to the showing, since they didn’t post pictures in the ad. Am I ever glad I went!
  2. Falling in love
    When I met T in June, I thought he was handsome and interesting, but was convinced that he had been blown away by one of the other stunning girls at the party. I dropped a hint to his roommate that I thought he was cute, and soon she was announcing to an entire party that I was going to make out with him a week later. She was right. We haven’t stopped since.
  3. Meeting a group of people on my own
    I have amazing friends. But many of the people I’ve met through the years has been through people I’ve been dating, and more than once that’s come back to bite me when the relationship ends. So a year and a half ago, I joined a social networking site and ended up falling in with a group that I adore. For the first time, I’ve beat the paranoia that’s been haunting me since middle school. But at the same time…
  4. Maintaining contact with older friends
    It’s important to have that support system. That group of people who knew you ‘back then,’ who can see how you’ve changed and improved and still love you. It’s been difficult at times, but it’s comforting to know that even if I haven’t spoken to someone for awhile, we can just pick up again, because we’ll always have that bond.

The Worst of 2007:

  1. My health
    I tried to keep it quiet for most of the year, but I think I can officially call 2007 “the year I hated food.” I’m sure it was stress related, but it was a year full of upset stomachs, heartburn, diarrhea, and lack of interest in food. I hit my lowest point in spring, when I added not sleeping to not eating, which put me in a pretty crazy state. I appreciate the people closest to me putting up with it (and shame on those who didn’t). While things still aren’t 100%, bodywise, I’d say there’s a definite improvement so far, and the sleeping? It is wonderful.
  2. Getting my heart broken
    In the midst of the worst of my tears, a good friend pointed out that it was more or less the first time in my adult life that I had been dumped. Which made me feel better about completely falling apart, as I hadn’t really developed the tools that come with constant rejection. I have so much more I could say on this, but I’m making a conscious effort in 2008 to let go of the negative feels about things I cannot change. 9 months of grieving is enough.
  3. Breaking the heart of someone else
    2007 saw the end of my longest relationship to date: 5 years. And while Grumpus and I were content, I was far from happy, and there were so many things I wanted to do with my life that he didn’t want to do with me (see previous list). The relationship had run its course, and though I was the one who brought up the subject, I file the break up under “mutual.” He’s kind of lonely now, but he remains my best friend, and I speak to him at least every other day. I can’t imagine life without him, and I’m amazed that we could go backwards like this so smoothly. I think we’re atypical.
  4. Talking shit and getting caught
    After getting my heart broken, I tried to keep things pleasant, to keep things easy for mutual friends. However, the looming prospect of seeing him and his girlfriend made me extremely nervous, so I something that every teenage girl has done: I brought others down  to make myself feel better. It was pretty tame, but that doesn’t make it okay. It got back to them, and I got called out on it. But the part that feels the worst to me is that someone had to have told them. Instead of just saying to me, “He’s still my friend and it makes me uncomfortable when you talk like that,” they turned around and ratted me out. This started to set off the paranoia meter, but a few long chats with a few good friends calmed me down, and I can now say that’s behind me.

The Best Things I Said in 2007:

  1. I’m Peter Parker, bitch!
  2. Not a block-rockin’ beat, but a beet-blockin’ rock.
  3. Hold still, you must have leaned on something, you’re dusty. I don’t think we’ve met.

I am completely full of optimism for 2008! Now I just need to find a project.