"I want to be my own design" Clive Barker - Imajica

Sunday, November 8, 2015

the zen arrows that hurt the most are the ones you lob at yourself

So as some of you may know Mr. S has been on tour with his band and I've been home living the bachelor life.

In the last month or so, other than Halloween I've not been invited anywhere, not for dinner, happy hour, brunch, nothing. And I also haven't pursued anything either, content to simply come home, eat dinner, clean, read, hang out with the cat, and completely isolate myself from everyone. I haven't tried to make plans with anyone, haven't gone out, and other than some grocery shopping and one trip to the mall, haven't really done anything out of the house.

Halloween was awesome. I had a wonderful time, with great people that I love and want to see more. Several of them who I could have easily reached out to and made plans with. I see my friends posting about going out with each other and think "gee I wish someone had asked me to go along"

(insert sound of a bow string being released)

But why would they when I never ask them to do stuff? Why would anyone invite me to do stuff if it's always one sided or if I have a tendency to say no? Why haven't I asked anyone to hang out the last couple of weeks? Why haven't I made any plans. I have no problem being the social instigator so what gives?

(insert sound of arrow hitting a target)

All of a sudden it came to me. I have a surprisingly strong tendency to hermit when given the opportunity. I have always isolated myself and then bemoaned the fact that no one is paying attention to me or asking me to hang out. I have always put the burden on other people to show interest in hanging out with me, and that makes me a pretty selfish person in a way that I am not entirely comfortable with.

fuck. fuck. fuck.

There are a million excuses that I could give on why I do that but this is what it boils down to.

The ghost of external gratification.

FUCK.

I want people to show an interest in being around me, I want to feel like people want and enjoy having me around and I want them to approach me, not the other way around. And it all springs from my goddamned childhood and how I was treated both by my family and my peers. I can (but won't) point to specific things in my past that helped form this unconscious behavior and now it all becomes painfully clear.

So now that I know the how and why, what do I do about it?


But the other half? I think has to do with realizing what I am doing and WHY and then pushing myself to different behaviors. Breaking free from this pattern of 30+ years and moving forward. I already know that I am awesome and that people enjoy being around me. I wouldn't have any friends if they didn't. You are drawn to people you like and enjoy being around, most people don't spend time with voids,

I shouldn't be continuing to chase that elusive ghost of external gratification anymore, that way only leads to disappointment and heartache. I've already done so much work in letting go of bullshit behaviors and childhood hangups, I guess this is the next step on that path.

Self awareness is bullshit, but I wouldn't have it any other way.


Sunday, August 30, 2015

Dear Insomnia

Dear Insomnia -

I know that we have been partners for the last 20 odd years and while you've never been kind, you have been exceptionally cruel for the last 2 weeks. Usually when we go on a jaunt together you give me at least 4 hours of broken sleep, but lately it's only been 2 hours at best. I have been putting off playing my hand in this game of ours, but tonight I'm upping the ante. I try to avoid resorting to such drastic tactics but it's got to be done.

I know that this doesn't mean our relationship is over, I've made peace with our association long ago and at times, I embrace you. This is not one of them. For one night at least, I will be through with you. I will get some sleep if it kills me because if we continue down this path, you will be the death of me. "Pj's little helper" will aide me in my endeavor and with any luck, tomorrow will be a brighter day.

Yours truly,
PJ

PS - thank science that over the counter sleeping pills generally work for me.




Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Precious

“How passionately she longed to be important to somebody again - not important on platforms, not important as an asset in an organisation, but privately important, just to one other person, quite privately, nobody else to know or notice. It didn't seem much to ask in a world so crowded with people, just to have one of them, only one out of all the millions to oneself. Somebody who needed one, who thought of one, who was eager to come to one - oh, oh how dreadfully one wanted to be precious.” 

"Enchanted April"
Elizabeth von Arnim

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Back in the Saddle. Again. Part Deux

So a long, long time ago on this very blog I posted this entry  where I swore that I was going to get back on track and work on losing some of the weight I'd regained.

That was 4 years and at least 35 lbs ago. Since that date, instead of working on refocusing and regaining control over my eating habits, I've let it go. I've climbed back up to 240 lbs and that, my friends, is simply unacceptable to me.

While I appreciate the "you look great" commentary (no seriously, keep that coming) you have to understand that being at this weight, this waist measurement, makes me very, very unhappy. It makes me very unhappy that there are several gorgeous dresses hanging in my very closet, that I cannot wear right now because I've gained too much weight to wear them.

I don't want to obsess over weight, over what I eat, to have every single conversation be about my weight or what I'm eating (or not eating). What I do want is to get my habits back under a modicum of control. I want to not let my lazy control my eating, I need to remember that it takes the same (or less time) to cook, as it does to go out to eat. What I want, is to wear those dresses! I want to not feel like I am going to die when I go up a couple flights of stairs. I don't want to carry around this extra 40 lbs anymore.

I worked so freaking hard the last time and essentially I've thrown away a large part of that progress over the last 6 years.

No platitudes, no reassurances, that is the situation and I know it for sure. 

So with that said, I rejoined Weight Watchers. It worked for me before, it will work for me again. I am thinking I might also use my food blog, Bitch can Cook, to help me track some of the things I'm eating and cooking so that I don't run out of ideas for meals.

I am doing this for me, and me alone.

Well, me and my Pinup Girl Clothing dresses because they are far too pretty to stay in a closet unworn.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

musing on the college experience (or lack thereof)

Growing up I never thought that college was an option to me, I always thought it was too expensive, that I couldn't get in with my shitty grades and ultimately that I would fail at it, much like I felt that I had failed in so many other ways, not the best attitude to have at 17 but there it is.

Part of me dreamed of college as an escape. A way to get away from my mom, from my home, from Colorado Springs. It's not that I thought that college was the be all, end all, or even the only way to escape but I envied my friends who I felt had more advantages, who had more nurturing and supportive families, and more encouragement to get out and do their own things, to get educated and in the end to get better jobs and better lives.  I had it in my head that I would always be some uneducated yokel, living in a shitty apartment, in a town I hated, working a dead end job because I wasn't capable of improving my lot in life.  (Wow its really depressing when I start to think about how much I loathed myself and my life back then)

I think maybe for most people, college is their first time really being independent. It's their first time taking care of themselves, of having to try and make new friends, live in an unfamiliar place, and dealing with having to be a semi -adult. But for me, we moved every year so it felt like I was always the new kid even though we were always in the same city. I'd been a latch key kid since I was 7, I worked 2 jobs, I started paying rent when I was 16, I moved out when I was 18. I paid for my own car, I lived my own life, I was independent and for the most part I loved it.

I think part of the romance of the idea for  me was the  moving away, out of state, away from the Springs and all the baggage and negativity the place held for me. The chance to start over, where I wouldn't be known as Fatty Patty, where there weren't people who pretended to be my friend just to play jokes on me. A chance to be a different me.

And here is where the joke is on me and what took me years to realize and understand.

It took me awhile but I moved out of the Springs, I got a good job and then I got a better job. I've lived alone, I've lived with roommates, I've lived with partners.  I have a great life and I became so much more than 17 year old me thought I ever would, and I did it all without the college "experience".

Now don't get me wrong, I'd still probably go to college to get a degree especially if I felt that it would benefit me professionally but the college experience as an adult is far different than that fresh out of high school experience.

Did you go to college right out of high school? What do you think you got out of that experience, what did you like about it, not like about it? Why did you end up making the choice to go to college? Or was it something your parents wanted you to do? Do you use your degree?

 Inquiring minds want to know.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Underthings, part 2

Brassieres have come a long way since Aunt Nellie was an adolescent and they bound her flat with a straight, tight bra which eventually broke down her muscles and, in her otherwise attractive forties,made her droopy. For young people brassiere not necessary except perhaps for active sports, unless support of abnormally heavy breasts is actually needed. For problem figures the various types of new brassieres may be carefully fitted with wire, but never pressing on the soft tissues. No woman need look droopy today, either in a dress or a bathing suite, or flat-chested either. Ready-made clothes fit better if the bust line is something like the ideal - even if this approach to perfection in considerably helped along by uplifts or falsies or both.

I love that she mentions that it is perfectly acceptable to wear falsies! But I can't help but wonder what she would think/say about some of the ridiculous looking breast enlargements that people have gotten.   I realize that I'm... blessed naturally and therefore cannot really understand the desire to have a surgery to change my breasts at all. 

I did have a doctor try to talk me into a reduction once to which I said "NO WAY!  These suckers get me drinks!" *laugh* 
Behold the power of a good brassiere! 

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Underthings

The most comfortable girdle is the two-way stretch, which allows body movement and which is made at least party of lastex. Its loose weave permits evaporation of perspiration. Any girdle that pulls you in unnaturally, into some semblance of the currently fashionable figure, is likely to make you so uncomfortable and irritable that any striking effect your new clothes can make is nullified by your tense expression. If you are conscious of your girdle, it's the wrong one for you. The most you should ask of a girdle, anyhow, is that it hold in your stomach somewhat, give a smooth line to your hips, and support your stockings. If it does more than that it is merely displacing fat - pushing it from one spot, say your abdomen, to another, to your thighs or your diaphragm. And don't think the new bulges don't show.

PS - Lastex - an elastic yarn consisting of a core of latex thread wound with threads of cotton, rayon, nylon, or silk and used to give a one-way or two-way stretch to fabrics and garments —formerly a U.S. registered trademark

PPS - you may know that I LOVE my girdles, the ones I own are comfy, looks great and do exactly what I want them to. Here is my review of my favorite girdle from RAGO

Friday, March 27, 2015

"Attitude Toward Other Women"

It has been said many times that women have difficulty as executives because they treat other women business associates as implacable rivals, as if they were competing on a sexual rather than an intellectual level. This does seem to be true, that there is little real solidarity among women. I believe that with woman's increasing sense of security a more generous attitude toward women co-workers will come too. At any rate, it helps to be conscious of the competitive feeling and thus make an effort to modify it.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

LOOK AT THESE MONKEYS~

earlier on the social networks I was playing a game of "Guess the Monkey" where we were trying to identify a specific type of monkey from a photo. While looking for information I came across the below photos that are too freaking adorable not to share. 



OM NOM NOM
dis is mine 

Dubious Monkey is Dubious 

It wasn't me! 


Hi there! 

This is what I look like after too much coffee 

The Precious... 


Hello ladies! 

This is bullshit... 

I'm ready for my close up Mr. DeMille 


I do not think that word means what you think it means...


Starting with my favorite topic - The Well-Dressed Woman

While fashion, if you can afford it, is fun, it is no fun to feel you must discard an expensive dress you have worn only a few times because it's no longer "high style." Unless you can really afford it, or because your position must afford it, it is better to avoid all the expensive aspects of radically new fashion ideas until they have been sifted enough for the sound ones to emerge and have a fair existence. .

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

"For we must all learn the socially acceptable ways of living with others in no matter what society we move."

So the BFF and I frequently have talks about manners, etiquette, courtesy and how it seems to be a disappearing art in the modern world. She even wrote a recent blog entry about her super awesome find of a 1937 version of Emily Post's Etiquette at an estate sale.

Flash forward to this evening and I noticed, sitting on my bookshelf my grandmothers copy of "Amy Vanderbilt's Complete Book of Etiquette"  from 1952.

Etiquette is important to me,learning how to be a better, more courteous person (plus the outdated entries are pretty darn amusing) so I decided I'm going to start posting regular excerpts with various etiquette tips.

I'm looking forward to learning new things, getting reminders of old tips and getting a chuckle at some of the outdated entries.


Thanks Ms. Vanderbilt!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

What's cooking?

As most of you already know, I love cooking and I try to cook my own food as frequently as possible. I am an intuitive cook in that I don't really measure anything and I am pretty decent at making improvisational meals which makes it really hard for me to write accurate recipes for my other blog Bitch Can Cook

It definitely wasn't something I was taught, as my mom is not the worlds greatest or most creative cook.  I grew up eating things like beans and rice or fish sticks and mac and cheese, nothing too complicated. When she tried to be experimental with her cooking, it generally didn't end well. I remember one time when she tried to make a version of Shepard's Pie that was so bad, it took me almost a decade to try eating the dish again. (One dish that she excels at is Arroz con Pollo and no matter what I do it's never as good as hers). One thing that I always have a hard time with though, is wasting food. I buy stuff that goes bad in the fridge due to laziness, I buy things like veggies and cut too much off of them and then just throw the bits and bobs out instead of finding a way to utilize them. 

Today on a  foodie group page that I belong to on the facepage, someone posted this interesting article called "Starve a Landfill" from the New York Times  about efficiency in the kitchen and reducing the amount of crap that we throw out every day. It was really interesting and it brought up an excellent point. My generation is the generation of convenience food, frozen dinners, frozen breakfasts, pre-packaged lunches, you all know the drill. 

When you are used to having all the work done for you, how do you learn to do it for yourself? Where do you get the knowledge about what parts to use and how to use them? Where do you get information on what to do with all of those bits and bobs? What about composting? What is that even? Why would I do that in an apartment or if I don't have a garden? Does anyone even teach this stuff anymore? I mean I took Home Economics in high school that taught me some basic skills but I've heard that they don't even have that class anymore. 

I know Mr. S's roommate, aka the squirrel that lives on our roof, will be disappointed, but I definitely want to learn more about being less wasteful and being more budget conscious.  I think it's time to start doing some more reading, do some fact finding, maybe check out the books mentioned in that article. 

What do you do to reduce kitchen waste? Or is this something that you even think about? Inquiring minds want to know... 



Sunday, March 1, 2015

Cleaning house

There is something so satisfying to me about having a clean and tidy house. It's so nice to be able to not have to worry about tripping over anything, trying to find something because it's out of place, wiping dust off of something I want to use, grossing out over the hair or cat litter on my floors, or searching for something I want to wear only to find it's in the laundry.

It drives me insane and yet, I let my house get really icky sometimes. I know why. Laziness and depression are the two biggest culprits to my untidy home. While I don't let a lot of stuff accumulate on the floor, there is stuff on almost every single surface, papers, random ephemera, bobby pins, etc. Add it together and it makes an untidy mess that is actually really easy to prevent.

Yesterday, I spent about 8 hours cleaning my house, moving furniture, dusting, vacuuming, laundry (even my comforter got washed!), and steam cleaning spots on the carpet. At the end of the night, I took a nice hot shower to help relax after a hard days work and there was such a sense of satisfaction in having a clean, tidy home.

I really need to stay on top of this because damn it feels good to have a clean home and if I just clean up a little bit every day it won't take me 8 hours to clean the damn place, the reward is greater than the cost.

Addendum - I went to my mom's house today and now all becomes clear to me. I love my mother but she is a borderline hoarder and she suffers from clinical depression. As anyone who suffers from clinical depression knows, sometimes it's just too much to expend the effort to clean yourself, let alone your house. You let shit slide, you spend too much money, you are disorganized, frustrated, apathetic. Add that to the borderline hoarding tendencies and I'm sure you can imagine what kind of mess her home is. And then it reminds me of what I grew up in.

Until I hit the age of 10 or 11, my mom was an active lady who worked, took care of the house and me. After the age of 10/11 when she was diagnosed with a myriad of illnesses and her depression got worse, she more or less gave up. Not completely, there would be the manic phases where the house would get "Spring Cleaned" but the manic phases became more and more infrequent and the house would get messier and messier. From the age of 7 I was responsible for cleaning my room and doing all of the laundry but as I got older I became largely responsible for most of the cleaning and the laundry and whatnot but I definitely did not keep up with it. When I first moved out at 19, she did a decent job of keeping the house tidy but as the years have passed, it feels like it's been sliding more and more frequently.

Today when I was there, I saw things that made me very sad. It was dirty, unkempt, and heartbreaking. To be clear though, it wasn't like there were dead cats under piles of magazines, there was no dog shit on the floor, nothing that gross. It was just... dishes with old food in them that made the kitchen smell terrible. Fruit that was so rotted and desiccated it was barely recognizable.

So I cleaned her kitchen for her while I was there, I moved everything around, cleaned the counters, threw out any bad food, cleaned the stove top, put away all of the dishes and took her trash out. And all of a sudden my childhood came back to me, then the pieces in my head clicked about why I get so cranky when my house is gross, about why I get so angry at myself for letting shit slide, for letting my house get to the point where I embarrassed to even let a delivery person see the inside. I know logically that my house isn't THAT bad, after all Mr. S would have said or done something if it had gotten that bad but it's how I perceive it, it's how I feel about it that is what triggers my annoyance and irritation.

What today did was further enforce the fact that I really need to take control over myself and my surroundings, that I need to spend that 15-20 minutes a day tidying up, that I need to keep up with it. It's for my sanity, my mood, my love and my friends. I want to be able to have friends drop by whenever they want. I want to be able to feel proud of my home. I can do this. I will do this. I will maintain it.

A clean home is a happy home.