Wednesday, April 22, 2009

This message brought to you in part by

The letter A
The number 3
And my new MacBook Pro

I went to the campus bookstore today to get a new flash drive because my little 2 gigger wasn't big enough to hold my project for my Illustrator class. Yeah, it's that big. Since I was there I ran upstairs just to ease my mind and have confirmation that my laptop was in fact still not there. You see, when I had called them yesterday they told me that it wasn't due to arrive until sometime on Thursday. Thursday, you see, is when I was leaving for the beach until Sunday. Thursday, in fact, would be too late unless it got there before 11 am. Understanding my plight, Mr. Computer Man told me to call him every day and he'd let me know how things were shaping up. Well, calling is so impersonal, no? He knew who I was upon initial contact today and after checking a few tracking numbers, serial numbers and whatever else it was he checked, he uttered the words, "I think that one's yours." Then voiced his amazement over how it got to Portland from Shanghai in a day. I told him that he was my new best friend. He said he was OK with that.

I've been having my dirty way with it all night. I've been installing software, setting's transferring all of my music from my iPod as I type. This entry is, in fact, the first thing I've really done on my new laptop that has nothing to do with setting it up. He's a beauty. Anyone that knows me will have no qualms proclaiming that I am a whore for electronic gadgets...this is no exception. I'll not bore you with the details, just trust that I'm a happy kid as I crawl into bed with dreams of our future together.

On the diet front, I've been 100% on top of things the last two days, which, as of late, is a feet for me. I even meandered around campus for a little while before my first class this morning and discovered something. The school gym and all things associated with physical activity type classes is in the building right next to the one I'm locked in most of the day. Who knew? Not me, obviously. I should see what's involved in using these facilities. Maybe there's a class I can take. Maybe I should take one. I can pretty much guarantee that it won't be swimming as I'm not interested in being half naked on campus at any time. Mayhaps a weight training class? Something of a cardio nature? Options abound I'm sure.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

I was skinny until that freak buffet accident.

Saturday was my mom's surprise birthday party. Complete success. I even managed to distract her as we pulled up to the house because I knew she'd catch on if she saw all the cars. I had her dig in my purse at just the right time to find my lip gloss and she found a brownie that a friend had given me at school. Like a moth to a flame, boy. She was so fixated on that thing that I was in the driveway and parked before she bothered to look up and notice the huge crowd of people. Like mother like daughter, no?

The food aspect was hardcore buffet. All of the invitees were told to bring their favorite dish. Well, they may not know how to RSVP, but they do know how to bring the grub. When I walked up to it and saw how much there was I flashed back to buffet tables of parties past. Buffet tables that have done me in so many times. Buffet tables that, as if it were a cage match, had me tapping out as my waistband cut off the circulation to my naughty bits. Not this time. Not this buffet table. I showed surprising restraint. There was so much food that I found it overwhelming. I was intimidated by it. I wasn't, however, scared and feeling like I was about to undergo an all time record breaking binge. I was just, well, kind of disgusted actually. I didn't even try most of it. I also didn't drink. As a matter of fact, I stayed well away from the food and drink by going to the backyard and throwin' down on the Vball court. Fat girls STILL can't jump, but we do have a wicked serve.

Today I tried out another new workout game for the Wii, Gold's Gym Cardio Workout. It was too hot in my room so I didn't do it for very long. Seems to be a lot of boxing, which I dig big time. I'll have to get back to you on if the game itself is any good. What I can tell you is that in the beginning, when you make your little character and give him/her all of your physical attributes, your belly stops growing once you reach a certain level of gordo. First I upped my lil characters height and she got a nice thin little waist because her weight hadn't changed. Then I started upping the weight and she just got thicker and thicker until her little animated belly had a nice rotundness to it. After a while she stopped growing because even animated Wii people aren't as fat as I am.

I gave homework the finger this weekend, too. I did a little, but I'll have to finish the remainder of the mandatory stuff tomorrow during a between class break I'll have. The weather was just too nice and, well, I was just too crampy. I decided that a day like today was better spent driving around with the top down for a little while, sitting in the backyard with Lola reading something that didn't involve learning anything, and daydreaming about my date with my new laptop. Roughly translated: I wanted to finish kicking my stress in the slats and focus on me a little more. The weather is supposed to be great for a few more days. Me, sunshine, convertible, new laptop, upcoming weekend beach trip, a ban on stress...things are lookin' up kids.

Friday, April 17, 2009

A day of class, culture, and introspection

I gave the Portland Art Museum three hours of my time today. It had been a very long time since I had been there. Many things were as I remembered them. The Monets, Renoirs and Picassos were all cohabitating together with various other artists. The Asian art exhibit is still so large that it takes up most of the lower level. I now firmly believe that, when it comes to sculpture, the Tang dynasty kicked the Han dynasty's ass. I realized that I still love art as much, if not more, as I always have. I see in every piece something different to appreciate. Mostly I am envious of their talent. Sometimes, I'm envious of the fact that someone, somewhere, got paid a lot of money to paint black stripes on a very large canvas.

I am mostly in awe of the European Collection. Some of the paintings are so life like. Considering the day and age that they were created? Their talent floors me. My question remains the same, however, what is up with all the little boy junk dangling about and all the rubenesque titty shots? Babies just laying around naked and women looking like Janet at Superbowl. Not because they were about to breast feed all the naked babies. Not because they were exquisitely depicted as the voluptuous women that they are. They would just be sitting with their friends and a boob would pop out, crying at the feet of a man in armor as if begging him not to go and a boob would pop out. Playing piano? Oh look, a boob. Plucking a chicken? Boob. Holding your dying husband? Boob. In a big battle with Centaurs? Two Boobs (some of those centaurs were hot, I must say). I get the appreciation for the female form. I love that we big women got mad props back in the day. I thought they were all very beautiful, but, seriously? This was my stroll around the European wing today, "Man in in wig looking a bit junk AND boob...two boobs...boob and man in's junk getting circumsized. (WTF?)...boob...ah, two women playing piano. Is that a nipple? junk..." I think you get the point. Let's not accuse me of immaturity just yet. I was at least 15 paintings in before I was consumed by the completely random diplays of T&J.

Anyhoo, I came to realize something else during my afternoon of class and culture. I need to get back to being me. I need to find balance. I need to do the things I enjoy and stop stressing so much about things that are out of my control. That's what most of the things going on in my life are; out of my control. Why worry about things that I cannot change? Why let it stifle me and make me miserable? Decision more stress. It's that simple.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Say anything

I woke up this morning to the familiar sound of Peter Gabriel. I slapped my snooze button soundly on the ass, but the music still played. I listened intently trying to determine where it was coming from. I got out of bed and looked out the window. There, with his bose speakers held high above his head (boomboxes are so 1980's), was my Cyrano. I've spent at least 3 years in love with him, but kept telling myself that he was no good for me; that it wasn't the right time in my life. Over the last year it's become more and more obvious that this is a relationship that was destined to be. I would get emails from him and letters in the mail. I would see him at school and at the mall. I couldn't get away from him and couldn't ignore him. I had been waivering over the last few weeks. Things were falling into place and it seemed like we would eventually be together. It seemed like now was our time. And yet, I couldn't bring myself to take the plunge.

My Cyrano is not John Cusack (though, please do give me a call cuz you kinda rock). My Cyrano is not someone I met online or someone that sits across class from me unable to focus on his design because he's so overwhelmingly smitten with me (though, I'm sure my classes are riddled with such casualties of my charm). My Cyrano is a bright and shiny new Macbook Pro. And after such a grand romantic gesture this morning, I agreed to meet him at the bookstore between classes today. Yes, I could have met him at his place (the apple store), but I didn't feel like it was a safe place. I needed neutral territory. I needed to be able to make an unbiased decision and if I had walked into an apple store I would have been like a moth to a flame. I would have seen them in all their prettyness and I would have said to the vulnerable salesman that dared approach, "Look, little man. We don't need to have a talk about how this little gem will meet all of my needs and then some. We don't need to wax poetic about gigabytes, ram, video cards, resolution, warranties or my additional software needs. We don't need to talk about Wacom tablets because I already have one (what we of the computer illustration age draw on, ya know the ones, big tablet of goodness with a pen so that when you draw it shows on the screen?). You, kind sir, are a truly lucky man. This is going to be the quickest sale of your computer pushing career. Now just turn yourself around, walk to the back room, and thank the heavens above that you walked up to me today. Run along now."

Instead, I walked up the stairs of my campus bookstore and I had a lil chat with my new relationship counselor. He explained that size doesn't always matter. That the 17" version is overkill and, really, what's another two inches when you've already got 15? It's just gonna make it heavier to carry around (giggle). Too true, sir, too true. He recommended that I get the 15" and take the money I would have shelled out for the 17" and invest it in a comparably priced, much larger and sassier monitor that I could hook my laptop up to. Agreed. I asked him how long I had after date of purchase to really make a commmitment as involved as a warranty. He explained that I had up until our one year anniversary to tie the knot. This investment was getting cheaper by the minute. I thought about it for .275 milliseconds and told him to sign me up.

I am now fully committed to a solid relationship with a 15" Macbook Pro laptop. We have our first date in 3-5 business days. I just hope that it's before I go to the beach next weekend because we have a lot of catching up to do. It's going to be a beautiful relationship.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The world I live in

When I was in first grade the biggest thing I had to worry about was making sure I didn't miss the bus. In fifth grade I had to move up to a different school and we were no longer in one classroom all day, but had to go from class to class. My biggest stress then was finding all of my classes. My freshman year was more of the same, but now I had to worry about the rumored initiations one might undergo by seniors. I also had to worry about my grandma that was dying of breast cancer. As high school progressed my stress ranged from my weight, to getting my driver's license, to boys I might have secretly liked, to grades, to a bad relationship with my father. At the time everything seemed so critically important and as if my life were hanging by a single tattered thread.

Now I'm a college student. I expected the various stresses that go along with this level of education, but there is one aspect of it that I didn't anticipate. Every term we have what is called an Active Shooter Drill. Whichever class you're in when it happens has its own method of dealing with this drill, but it goes a little something like this: an alarm goes off indicating that there is a lock down; lights are turned off; doors are locked and closed; people sit on the floor, huddled up, quietly hiding; we wait for the alarm to stop thus signaling us that the coast is clear. Usually when this happens I sit and ponder how fucked up it is that the world I live in has a need for a drill like this. That because someone is having a bad day or a series of bad days, they are coming to schools to kill people (I also occasionally joke with friends that, at my size, at least two of them could easily hide behind me should the shooter get through the series of locked doors between us and them).

Today was different. Today the alarm didn't stop. Today we sat huddled in a room texting furiously to family and friends. Today our hearts beat a little faster. Today was not a drill. Today there was someone on campus that meant harm. Today we sat in the dark with no information other than the fact that someone had a gun. The stories of other school shootings cross our minds and, for a moment, we feel the fear that they must have felt. At one point someone walked up to our door and tried to open it. "Of all the classrooms on all the campus," we think, "he chooses ours." He walks away and we never find out who he was. Maybe he was just someone trying to get into a room to hide. Maybe we should have let him in.

I text classmates telling them not to come to campus yet. I text my sister and let her know what's going on. I opt not to tell her I love her refusing to believe that this is serious enough for such a dramatic addition to her day. I do tell her to tell mom what's going on. Part of me does wonder if I should be doing more, saying more. What if the last thing I said was "You gotta be fucking kidding me. I'm up to my eyebrows in gradient mesh and clipping masks and you want to have another drill?" (I also wonder if the shooter is an over-stressed graphic design student and feel a sense of connection to his plight). Eventually the alarm stops. Eventually we snap out of our stupors and stand up. Eventually we walk out and go back to our classes as if nothing has happened. We find out that someone was at the bookstore threatening to commit suicide.

I learned something about myself today that bothers me greatly. I learned that no matter how dire the situation, I will still worry about my weight. Today I worried that I wasn't hidden enough because I'm too big. Today I worried that should we have to run, I'd never get away and secretly hoped that adrenaline worked miracles. Today I worried that I would, indeed, die fat. This is the world I live in.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Warriors, and Monkeys, and Dogs...Oh my!

There are a lot of experiences that I have not had, places I have not gone, and things I have not done. Some of them are because I'm too poor, too scared, too shy, too inept; you get the point. Often times, though, it's simply because I'm too fat. Take wearing a size 2 dress, posing for Playboy (giggle), or using my Wii Fit. I have never done these things because I am, legitimately, too fat. There are things, however, that I haven't done because I only THINK I'm too fat. Yoga is one of those things.

Until now.

I was working out yesterday with, you guessed it, Maya. She had me focusing on flexibility and towards the end I saw that the upcoming move was called a Triangle Pose. I don't know a lot about Yoga. What I do know is that if a phrase has the word pose in it and no one around has a camera, you're likely talking about Yoga. I've always wanted to do yoga, but have never done much more than a Child's Pose because I'm confident that there isn't a lot of it I could do at my size. I grimaced as I saw what Maya had in store for me, but went along with it. OMG! L.O.V.E.D.'d it. I was all stretched out and when we were done with the move I was so relaxed. We did something with the word Pretzel in it and a Child's Pose and...I did Yoga. But wait, there's more.

I crawled into bed and decided I needed to see what else Maya offered for a Yoga rookie. I got back out of bed and turned her on (naughty; stop it). I chose a Yoga for the workout instead of Upper Body or Cardio so that I would get all Yoga, all the time. Ya'll? I did 15 minutes of straight Yoga. Warrior Poses, Downward Facing Dogs, Triangle Poses, Upward Facing Dogs, Monkey Stretches, Half Moon Poses (sorta) Yoga. I know.

I can't say that I was style and grace. I can't say that I even did them correctly, but I can say that I tried and enjoyed it. The best part of working out with Maya? No one is watching. No one is judging. No one is yelling at me or making me feel inadequate because I can't do something. In my dojo? I am Yoga Master. Namaste, Bitches!