Tuesday, August 31, 2004

And I Forgot My Apple

Yesterday was the First Day of School. I have to be at work at 7:30 on the days I have classes so I can leave at 4:30. So, my day started dark and early around 6:30. Have I explained about my complete and utter lack of being a morning person? Seriously, there is only one 6:30 and it's at night. I am not coherent until around 10.

Class the First: Practical Criticism

I went into this class dreading it. Literary criticism and theory? Blech. Just let me read the damn book already. But, I think I'm really going to end up liking it. First off, no tests. Whee! And, more importantly, the teacher seems uber cool. We're going to be reading a bunch of literary theory and referring back to 2 works of fiction that we need to read now.

One is Marabou Stork Nightmares by Irvine Welsh (the guy who wrote Trainspotting). I've read the first chapter and it's a fucked up little tale. But, in explaining it, Dr. O says, "For those of you who get offended easily, this book may be a challenge. In other words, if you don't say 'fuck' regularly, you may be offended." I love that description!

So, now I'm all geeked about this class. Doesn't take much to sway me, does it?

Class the Second: Early British Lit.

BZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

That is the buzzing sound I heard in my head most of the evening. Now, this is a class that I've been arguing with my advisor over. I don't think I need it, he does. In undergrad, I had 3 European Lit survey classes that included British authors. I think that should suffice. My advisor, on the other hand, thinks I need more British than my European classes provided. Honestly, here's the conversation we had about it:

Kaffy: My European Lit classes covered a lot of British stuff. I just don't think I need this class.

Dr. S: Well, how far back did your class go?

Kaffy: The Greeks.

Dr. S.: Oh, well. That's pretty far back. Hmmm...have you read Beowulf?

Kaffy: Yes.

Dr. S.: Chaucer?

Kaffy: Yes.

Dr. S.: Well, you really need this survey class to help you pass the Content Exam.

[In Illinois, all teachers must pass a content exam in the area that they teach. I need to take (and pass) the English and Theatre exams.]

Kaffy: So, is the Content Exam the main reason?

Dr. S.: Yes.

Kaffy: I've already taken and passed the English exam.

Dr. S: Oh, you must be really well read then.

Kaffy: I am. Which is why I don't think I need the class.

And, so it goes. We went around and around. He finally agreed to let me out of the later Brit Lit class but wouldn't budge on the early Brit Lit.

The first thing we're reading? Beowulf. The good news, I guess, is that every single thing we're reading in the first 10 weeks is something I've already read. Seriously, it's not until November that we hit stuff that's new to me.

And, this class is a 200-level class. It's a bit on the easy level for someone who already has a Master's degree. At least I should get a fairly easy A.

Oh! And, the best part? One of our assignments is a recitation of 14 lines of poetry. It has to be (gasp!) memorized! And, it has to be recited with emotion! Have I mentioned that my masters degree is in Acting? Yep.

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Bahama Mama Challenge Tally for 8/30/2004:

Points: 26.5/26
APs Earned: 0
FlexPoints Remaining: 9/35
F/V: 6/5
Dairy: 3/2
Water: Yep
Vitamin: Yep
*****
Cardio: 3/5
Strength Training: 1/3

Weigh in tonight. The weekend was a complete wash, so who knows what tonight will bring. Time to start over today!

Monday, August 30, 2004

Best Weekend Evah!

I had a fantastic weekend. The absolute best weekend I've had in...well...I honestly can't remember. Yes, it's been that long since I've had a truly fabulous weekend, but this weekend? Truly luscious. It was a weekend spent in complete self-indulgent hedonism with Winston, so details will not be forthcoming. Just trust me on the wonderfulness of the weekend.

We did leave my apartment on Saturday evening to go see Eclipse Theatre's Brutality of Fact. The short description: dark comedy featuring a wacked out family of a mom and her two grown daughters learning how to cope with the crap that life hands us and deal with each other.

Just like other Eclipse productions, this one had great acting/ensemble work and decent direction. Cheri Chenowith as the mom was fantastic. She can convey so much subtext in her performance and it's a delight to watch. Kate Martin as the oldest daughter, Jackie, was wonderful. Jackie was going through a divorce and custody battle because of her conversion as a Jehovah's Witness. Jackie turned to JW during her rocky marriage as a way to soothe her loneliness (her hubby was travelling for work a lot). Through the play, you can see how she begins to heal and her involvement with JW is just a detriment to her development as a human being. Kate Martin plays the strengthening of her own personality juxtaposed with the deterioration of her happiness with incredible subtlty.

Technically, I thought the set was not that great. Way too crowded for the space and wasn't even completely used. Could have been much simpler and had a better impact. Lighting was too simple for my tastes. Not knowing the technical limitations of the very tiny space (how many instruments can the place reasonably accomodate?), I would have liked to have seen better use of color. There were 3 scenes that were very surreal dreams and it would have been nice to have seen some surreal lighting here.

Fantastic weekend with even more fantastic Winston. Makes Kaffy a happy girl.

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Bahama Mama Challenge Tally for 8/27-29/2004:

Let's just say that my weekend of hedonism affected the BMC. I ate crap, but stayed within my Points. But, still. Crap. And, got in no exercise. Well, none that I could do in public anyway. And, since school starts tonight, no gym tonight. Gotta re-do my gym nights to fit the school schedule.

Friday, August 27, 2004

School's Startin'

Went to the campus today to buy my books for the semester. Which starts on MONDAY! I spent $150 on 5 books. Compared to other semesters, that's downright cheap, but I still have one more book to buy that's out of stock that's gonna cost me at least $60.

But, what really chaps my hide is a little thing I had to spend $17 on today. It's a packet of applications for all the field experience I need for three classes (methods, clinicals and student teaching). I had to pay $17 for the privilege of applying to classes that are required.

I understand the the uni is cash-poor. But, seems to me that they could put .pdf's on the web site and we could print them out. They did at least three-hole punch the suckers so I can put them all in a binder.

Since I work, I've found that I can only take 2 classes in one term without making me completely insane. The two I'm taking this semester I'm not terribly geeked about: early British Lit and Practical Criticism. The first is gonna be a bunch of Beowulf and Chaucer. In fact, beyond the Norton Anthology, the only book for that class is Canterbury Tales. The second is literary criticism and theory. Zzzzzz.....

Yay! I'm so excited!!

wiping sarcasm off chin

And, on a side note, I saw my Child Development prof in the bookstore today. I took that class in the spring and, frankly, didn't enjoy it. Mainly due to the prof. Made for awkward conversation. But, at least he remembered me!

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Bahama Mama Challenge Tally for 8/26/2004:

Points: 33.5/26
APs Earned: 3
30 min, walking = 3
FlexPoints Remaining: 28/35
F/V: 5/5
Dairy: 3/2
Water: Yep
Vitamin: Yep
*****
Cardio: 3/5
Strength Training: 1/3

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Funny Words

My little sister is a sweet, loving, and caring person. When she was younger, you could throw in a bit naive, too. (Oh, who are we kidding? She was a lot naive.) When she heard a word that was funny, she'd make up little songs about the word whether she knew it's meaning or not.

She went to high school in a suburb of Memphis. My family moved there right before her sophomore year. During fall semester of that year, she heard a word in her school that she thought was funny and made up a little song for the word. As she skipped through the school parking lot singing her little song, she got many funny looks. Granted, a cute, blonde girl skipping through the parking lot singing is enough to warrant some funny looks, but that wasn't the main reason.

The main reason? Her word. The word she thought was funny-sounding. The word she, obviously, did not know the meaning of. Jigaboo. Yep, my very white sister was skipping around a racially integrated school singing, "Jigabooo. Jiga-booo-oooo."

She had no idea what the word meant until she was singing her little song at home and my mother overheard her. My mother, in shock and horror, said, "Do you know what that word means?" Leetle Seester did not, of course, but my mom soon told her. Leetle Seester was horrified but quickly understood the funny looks she had received.

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Bahama Mama Challenge Tally for 8/25/2004:

Points: 34/26
APs Earned: 8
10 min, treadmill = 1
40 min, free weights = 3
30 min, elliptical = 4
FlexPoints Remaining: 32.5/35
F/V: 5/5
Dairy: 1/2
Water: Yep
Vitamin: Yep
*****
Cardio: 2/5
Strength Training: 1/3

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Weight Watchers Banana?

My banana has a Weight Watchers sticker on it. Like the Chiquita Banana sticker? But it says "Weight Watchers Pick of the Season."

Huh?

Weight Watchers has fruit now?

New Program at Weight Watchers

Weight Watchers introduced a new program this week called "TurnAround" which consists of 2 plans: FlexPoints (same plan as before) and Core. The basic idea behind Core is that there are Core foods that you don't have to count Points for. You eat as much of those as you need to feel satisfied. On top of the Core foods, you are allowed 35 Points for the week to work in non-Core foods. The Core foods are healthy whole grains, fruits, vegetables, lean meats, fat free dairy, etc.

Since my losses have slowed down significantly in the past 4 months (stayed the same at weigh in last night), I'm considering switching plans. I'm pretty concerned about the "eat as much as you need to feel satisfied" bit, though. One of the reasons I'm overweight is that I have problems with cues to stop eating. My idea of a portion size is what is on my plate, not an actual measurement. But, after doing WW for a year, I do know that I get full faster than I used to. And, I am much more aware of what I eat. There would be no way I could do the Core plan without having done Flex for a year. Flex has taught me about portion sizes and what I, realistically, need to eat in order to be full.

So, I'm gonna think about it this week. I'm eating up some of the non-Core foods in my house in order to prepare. And, if I do it, I'll definitely need to change some of what I eat. My typical breakfast (bagel or english muffin, jelly, non-fat fruit yogurt, and coffee with coffee-mate) is completely non-Core. And, I don't want to spend 5-6 Points of my weekly allowance each day on breakfast.

If any of y'all are doing Core, I'd love to hear about your experiences.

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Bahama Mama Challenge Tally for 8/24/2004:

Points: 33.5/26
APs Earned: 5
(50 min, cycling = 5)
FlexPoints Remaining: 32.5/35
F/V: 5/5
Dairy: 1/2
Water: Yep
Vitamin: Yes! I finally bought some!
*****
Cardio: 1/5
Strength Training: 0/3

Monday, August 23, 2004

Kaffy's Weekend

Update on Kaffy's weekend! I was really busy, hence the lackage of posting this weekend.

Friday
Went to Hicksville Hobart, Indiana! The Broad wanted to go to a festival where her favorite local band was playing. They used to be called Wookie Luv but changed their name to Bite the Lime. Not really sure why. We did tell them that they should have had a transitional name in order to ease their fans over to the new name. Winston came up with Bite the Wookie.

Wookie, er...Lime, was good and we were having a great time. Winston & I were dancing and being schmoopy while the Broad was being her usual, social self flitting around and talking to everyone. I swear to God, I think she knows every single person in NW Indiana.

Including her sister. Unfortunately, there was a bit o'drama with the sis. My take? She (the sis) was being a complete bitch. But that's not a new state of being for her.

Winston & I took the Broad home then went back to his place. At one point during the evening, the three of us were walking across the street to get to my car. The Broad was quite tipsy (not drunk, but well buzzed) and didn't see a car coming. Winston reached out and blocked her with one arm and pulled her back with the other. At that exact moment? It hit me with full force just how much I care about that man. I'd even go so far as to use the "l" word, but I'm a bit scared of that right now. Scared of it being true and me getting hurt. Scared of me jinxing it. So, I'm not gonna say that.

Saturday
After leaving Winston's house pretty late in the morning, I headed back to Chicago to help a friend, K, paint her new apartment. It took me over 2 freakin' hours! Finally made it and spent about 7 hours painting. After painting, K and T and I went to Chipotle for supper. K scored us free meals because the guy working there was hitting on her in a major way. She doesn't believe it tho. Puh-lease. Guy asks if she's from the neighborhood. Has she ever been there before? Tell you what, this will be on the house as a thanks for coming in thing. Major flirting.

Went home, showered, took a hot bath and crashed.

Sunday
Church for Reader's Theatre rehearsal (can I just say this thing is gonna suck) then lunch. After, T and S and I went to Cold Stone Creamery. Dear me. That stuff is so freakin' good. And so freakin' rich. I got a small and could only eat half of it.

Actually, it wasn't the small, it was the "Like It" size compared to "Love It" and "Gotta Have It." Am I the only one that this annoys to absolutely no end?? I refuse to order food in sizes other than small, medium, and large. Take your talls, ventis, gotta have its and shove 'em.

Then, went to the gym to work off the tasty and decadent ice cream.

Winston came over last night. I find myself thinking about him way too much. And it makes my insides feel all squishy and warm. Which sounds really, really gross. But isn't.

The Harsh Truth

Regardless of what people tell themselves in an effort for an ego-boost, when a date doesn't call you back? It isn't because he lost the number or he's too busy or he's not ready for a commitment. The cold, harsh truth is that he just isn't interested. This article (registration required) explains this quite well and is what sparked me to think about it. And, I firmly believe that this is true 99.5% of the time.

Highlights:

It was a great date. He promised to call. He never called.

The average single woman will stare at the phone, willing it to ring. A long list of possibilities noisily circle through her brain, like a hamster on an exercise wheel: He lost my number. He's really busy. He's intimidated. I talked too much. I drank too much. I slept with him. I didn't sleep with him. Ei-yi-yi . . .

No, no, no. None of the above. The answer, according to author Greg Behrendt, is that he's not really interested. Doesn't matter why. No ego-soothing platitudes. No pop psychology. No cute relationship tricks. He's just not that into you. The truth will set you free, but first it will make you miserable.

There's plenty of dating advice, God knows, and most of it is for women trying to deconstruct the hearts of men. The premise, of course, is that men are complicated, emotionally stunted creatures incapable of direct action. And so women spend years obsessing with understanding girlfriends, wildly hoping that deep down he's really in love and wants to be with them.

When a guy is truly interested in a woman, he pursues her. That's the way it's always been, he says, and equality hasn't changed it. And so Behrendt strips away the excuses:

If a man is into you, he'll ask you out. (In fact, Behrendt believes no woman should ask out a man who hasn't asked her out first.) He will call, no matter now busy, because you'll be a bright spot in his day. He will want to have sex with you, and will stop having sex with other women. He will want to be with you when he's sober, not just to party. If he's really, really into you he'll want to marry you. He's not into you if he's breaking up with you, or disappearing with no explanation, or married to someone else, or abusive.

There are exceptions to every rule, he says, but he really wants you to ignore them. You might be wonderful, but many wonderful women are in relationships with men who don't call, don't bother, don't care. It's wiser, he says, to assume the worst: You're the rule. He's not that into you, so get out and find someone who is.



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Bahama Mama Challenge Tally for 8/20-22/2004:

Not gonna go into all the boring details, but I did earn some hefty APs this weekend (painting an apartment & rowing machine) and went over my daily points, but stayed within my FlexPoints. Got in water every day but fell short on dairy and f/v.

I'm headed to the gym tonight and will get another cardio and strength workout in.
*****
Cardio: 4/5
Strength Training: 1/3

Friday, August 20, 2004

Open Letter to All Concerned

Dear Mr. Poopiehead,

When the crosswalk sign is a red hand, that means Do NOT Walk. Particularly if there is a car coming down the street.

If you choose to walk even though the red hand has told you not to, do not be surprised when the driver of the car, who is merrily driving down the street through a green light, honks at you. You have surprised and scared the driver by unexpectedly walking in front of her. A mere 20 feet in front of her.

Also, do not turn around and yell at the driver that you just scared witless. Rather, thank the engineers at Subaru that she has good brakes and that you are still alive.

Thank you.


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Bahama Mama Challenge Tally for 8/19/2004:

Points: 31/26
APs Earned: 2
30 min, walking = 2
FlexPoints Remaining: 29.5/35
F/V: 5/5
Dairy: 1/2
Water: Yep
Vitamin: Nope.
*****
Cardio: 2/5
Strength Training: 1/3

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Blotto Bear

Question: What happens when you mix a bear in the woods with a couple of cases of beer??

Answer: Wackiness!

My favorite bit?

"They set a trap using as bait some doughnuts, honey and two cans of Rainier Beer. It worked, and the bear was captured for relocation."

Just Say "No" to Gay Marriages

1. Homosexuality is not natural, much like eyeglasses, polyester, and birth control.

2. Heterosexual marriages are valid becasue they produce children. Infertile couples and old people can't legally get married because the world needs more children.

3. Obviously, gay parents will raise gay children, since straight parents only raise straight children.

4. Straight marriage will be less meaningful if gay marriage is allowed, since Britney Spears' 55-hour just-for-fun marriage was meaningful.

5. Heterosexual marriage has been around a long time and hasn't changed at all; women are property, blacks can't marry whites, and divorce is illegal.

6. Gay marriage should be decided by people, not the courts, because the majority-elected legislatures, not courts, have historically protected the rights of the minorities.

7. Gay marriage is not supported by religion. In a theocracy like ours, the values of one religion are imposed on the entire counrty. That's why we have only one religion in America.

8. Gay marriage will encourage people to be gay, in the same way that hanging around tall people will make you tall.

9. Legalizing gay marriage will open the door to all kinds of crazy behavior. People may even wish to marry their pets because a dog has legal standing and can sign a marriage contract.

10. Children can never suceed without a male and a female role model at home. That's why single parents are forbidden to raise children.

11. Gay marriage will change the foundation of society. Heterosexual marriage has been around for a long time, and we could never adapt to new social norms because we haven't adapted to things like cars or longer lifespans.

12. Civil unions, providing most of the same benefits as marriage with a different name are better, because a "separate but equal" institution is always constitutional. Separate schools for African-Americans worked just as well as separate marriages for gays and lesbians will.

(got this off my favorite Weight Watchers message board)
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Bahama Mama Challenge Tally for 8/18/2004:

Points: 31/26
APs Earned: 10
10 min, treadmill = 1
60 min, free weights = 5
30 min, elliptical = 4
FlexPoints Remaining: 32.5/35
F/V: 4/5
Dairy: 2/2
Water: Yep
Vitamin: Nope.
*****
Cardio: 1/5
Strength Training: 1/3

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Consumer Warning

Did you know that Altoids makes Liquorice mints?

Did you know that Liquorice Altoids taste like ass?

Soft Landing, Please

Winston came over last night and I cooked supper for us. Nothing fancy, but healthy and tasty. He's the first guy in a long time that has given me tummy flips. I think I could be falling for him and that scares me a little. Not the falling part so much as the fear of a hard landing.

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Bahama Mama Challenge Tally for 8/17/2004:

Points: 28.5/26
APs Earned: 0
FlexPoints Remaining: 32.5/35
F/V: 5/5
Dairy: 2/2
Water: Yep
Vitamin: Nope.
*****
Cardio: 0/5
Strength Training: 0/3

I wanted to ride my bike last night, but the nasty hail kinda prevented that.

I had a great weigh in last night, though. Down 2.8 lbs. That's right. Two point eight. Not point eight. And, since the beginning of the year, my WW leader has been tracking my meeting's losses. We have now hit over 1000 lbs. gone. Look at us!! Thanks, Joelle, for issuing the Bahama Mama Challenge! Seems to be working!

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Sniff Sniff

You'll have to forgive me. I'm having some issues right now. Last night, I was watching men's gymnastics on the Olympics and when Japan won? I cried. Happy little tears. I've never been to Japan. I have no loyalty to the Japanese team. But they haven't won a medal since the early 1970's and it was so cool to watch their faces.

Later, I was on the phone talking to the Broad while packing my lunch for today. I managed to drop it and spill a crapload of spinach and broccoli all over the floor. I had to fight not to cry over it.

Why, yes. I am a bit hormonal. Why do you ask? And do you have any chocolate?

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Bahama Mama Challenge Tally for 8/16/2004:

Points: 31/26
APs Earned: 9
10 min, treadmill = 1
50 min, free weights = 4
30 min, elliptical = 4
FlexPoints Remaining: 1/35
F/V: 5/5
Dairy: 3/2
Water: Yep
Vitamin: Nope.
*****
Cardio: 4/5
Strength Training: 2/3

For the first week, I didn't quite make all my goals. I missed 1 cardio and 1 strength training workout. I'm pretty pleased with the 4 cardios, tho. I don't usually get that many in. My food goals? I stayed in my Points (I do eat APs and Flexies, so that's good). I didn't get in all F/V every day nor did I get in all dairy every day. I also fell short on water one day. Still need to buy vitamins.

Weigh in is tonight, so we'll see how my efforts translated to the scale. I cannot control the numbers on the scale. I can only control my behaviors.

Monday, August 16, 2004

Word of the Day

Had a lovely dinner with Da Broad and Winston last night. Mexican. Yummy. At dinner, I brought up my Word of the Day. Kind of like the Pee Wee's Playhouse word of the day where you scream when you hear it, but not really.

A couple of years ago, someone (I don't remember who) was talking about a word that she heard on a daily basis. It wasn't a word that you would think would come up in daily conversation, but it was a perfectly good English word. I don't remember what her word was, either.

Anyway, after she mentioned that, I started paying attention to recurring, somewhat odd words that I heard. I finally settled on my word. The word I hear every single day. Whether someone says it to me, or I hear it on the teevee, or I hear it on the radio. I hear this word every day. My word?

Monkey.

That's right. Monkey. I hear the word monkey every single day. At least I have since I started paying attention a couple of years ago.

So, here's your challenge. Start paying attention. I think everyone probably has a Word of the Day. What's your's?

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I was a bit remiss in posting my tallies for the past two days, so here's two in one shot.

Bahama Mama Challenge Tally for 8/14/2004:

Points: 40/26
APs Earned: 0 (unless you count TPs - trollop points)
FlexPoints Remaining: 9/35
F/V: 3/5
Dairy: 0/2
Water: Yep!
Vitamin: Nope.
*****
Cardio: 3/5
Strength Training: 1/3

Bahama Mama Challenge Tally for 8/15/2004:

Points: 34/26
APs Earned: 0
FlexPoints Remaining: 1/35
F/V: 4/5
Dairy: 0/2
Water: Nope
Vitamin: Nope.
*****
Cardio: 3/5
Strength Training: 1/3

Okay, not the most stellar weekend by any stretch of the imagination. I was gonna hit the gym on Sunday morning, but didn't quite make it there. Frankly, I was exhausted and slept in. Headed back to the gym tonight.

Saturday, August 14, 2004

Stella's Groovin'

Stella's got her groove back in a lovely way. I am quite smitten with my Winston and he says he is with me, too. I'm all tingly.

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Bahama Mama Challenge Tally for 8/13/2004:

Points: 33/26
APs Earned: 0
FlexPoints Remaining: 23/35
F/V: 5/5
Dairy: 1/2
Water: Yep!
Vitamin: Nope.
*****
Cardio: 3/5
Strength Training: 1/3

Friday, August 13, 2004

Twinkies that Stand the Test of Time

This article is about a 30 year old Twinkie. A science teacher put the Twinkie on his chalkboard 30 years ago as an experiment to see how long it would take it to go bad. Scary thing? He thinks it's probably still edible.

When I was a freshman in undergrad, we did a production of Neil Simon's God's Favorite. I played the girl half of a pair of twins who were described as having an IQ of 180...between them. My character was not only dumb but also a bit of a nymphomaniac. As such, the director thought it would be really funny if I had a phallic symbol hanging out of my mouth each time I entered, so I had to eat a Twinkie with each entrance. Over the course of one show, I would go through about 10 Twinkies. And we did 10 performances. You do the math.

Now, I didn't like Twinkies to begin with, and I certainly didn't like them after that experience. I don't think I've eaten a Twinkie since closing night back in 1987. But this 30 year old Twinkie is making me wonder what I have rolling around inside me.

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Bahama Mama Challenge Tally for 8/12/2004:

Points: 33/26
APs Earned: 2
Treadmill, 30 min = 2
FlexPoints Remaining: 30/35
F/V: 6/5
Dairy: 1/2
Water: Yep!
Vitamin: Nope.
*****
Cardio: 3/5
Strength Training: 1/3

So, I didn't have quite the perfect day. But, I did get in 30 min of cardio when I really didn't want to, so that's a positive!

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Virtue of Idleness

Now, this is a book I can get behind. The link is an excerpt from the book How to Be Idle by Tom Hodgkinson. I adore the concept of an idle life.

A life where I can sleep till I wake with no alarms. Lie in bed cuddling with my cat, petting him and listening to him purr in contentment. (Okay, unfortunately, there's no one else to cuddle right now...in my dream life, there would be a human man, as well, and a different sort of petting and purring.) Get out of bed when I want. Pad around the house in my pj's making coffee and muffins. Slowly eating while doing whatever I want. Taking as long as I want to do something because I have no other deadlines. Read, surf the 'net, blog, crochet, cook, take a bubble bath, give myself a pedicure, write. Whatever. Whenever. Go to bed when I want, not early because I have to get up at a certain time, just when I'm tired. No deadlines. No hurry hurry rush and wait.

Just take life as it comes and thoroughly enjoy the moment.

No Puddin' Head Wilson

Every year (for another 3 years) I have to have a full body scan to determine if my thyroid cancer has come back or spread to other parts of my body.

Basically, what they do is give me a dose of radioactive iodine and 2 days later, send me through a machine that can detect if any cells in my body have absorbed it. The only cells in your body that absorb iodine are thyroid cells. Since my thyroid was removed, if any cells are absorbing the iodine, it's because either some thyroid cells have regenerated (it can happen!) or the cancer has spread to other parts of my body.

When you have thyroid cancer, if it spreads, the parts it spreads to still act like thyroid cells even though it may be lymph nodes or your lungs which are the 2 most common places for it to spread to. It's a handy bit of chemistry that makes thyroid cancer easy to detect if it's spread and easy to treat if caught early.

For the test I have to take now, I have to do two things:

1. Go off my Synthroid for 6 weeks prior to the test. Synthroid is synthetic thyroid hormone and is lovely stuff. It has a long half-life which is great for a daily medication. Means if I forget to take it one day, no big deal. But, if I have to go off it? It takes 6 weeks to clear out of my system. They want it out of my system to that I am forced to go really hypothyroid and cause my brain to produce a metric crap load of TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone--the hormone that tells your thyroid to produce more). By forcing my TSH levels high, it makes any thyroid cells in my body really really thirsty. They'll just soak up that radioactive iodine.

Normal levels of TSH are around 0.5-5.0. My doc keeps me oversuppressed at about 0.2 which is usual practice for cancer patients. You keep the TSH way low so that thyroid cells won't regenerate. Don't want that to happen, cuz then the cancer could easily come back.

For the test, they want my TSH level to be at about 50. That puts me into severe hypothyroid. SEVERE. I cannot stress exactly how horrible I feel when this happens. No energy. None. Less than none. My muscles ache. I have to nap every afternoon. Weight gain. My face gets really pale and puffy. My periods get messed up. I mean, messed up. Like 15 day-long periods with only 2 weeks between them. Hair gets brittle and falls out. Nails get brittle. Skin dries out.

But, beyond the physical problems, the worst are the mental ones. Depression. My brain just doesn't connect. It's like the synapses are firing through pudding. I developed a stutter last year. I forget things. Like how to get to my bank that is less than 1/2 mile from my house. Or names of things. Or how to write. I forgot how to write one day last year. I could spell, but I couldn't figure out how to make the letters on the paper for the life of me. I forget where things in my house are. Normal things. Like where I store extra toilet paper.

When I get like this, The Broad calls it "Goin' Puddin' Head Wilson" or "a reverse Flowers for Algernon" cuz she's all literary 'n shit.

2. Go on a low iodine diet for 2 weeks prior to the test. This means I can't eat any prepared foods because there is salt in everything. Not all salt is iodized, but you can't tell, so you just have to stay away from it. Means I have to cook everything, and I do mean everything, from scratch. Nothing canned, no frozen meals (frozen fruits/vegetables are okay because no salt), even bread has to be baked at home. Now, this is not so bad if I have the energy to cook, but when I'm off my meds?? Forget it. I don't have the energy to cook.

So, for this year, I discuss an alternative test with my doc wherein I DON'T have to go off my med. Instead, I get a couple of injections of thyrogen which is a synthetic TSH. My body doesn't have to produce it. She tells me she's all for me having that test, but not all insurance companies approve it because it's pretty expensive. So, she'll check with my insurance and get back to me and that if I don't hear from her in a month, give her a call.

My mom has been on my ass about it, and I didn't follow up cuz I was scared she'd tell me that it wasn't covered. So, finally, I call yesterday. It just got approved. They had to force it through, but it got approved. Wheeeee!!!!!!

So, I went through that entire long post to explain why I'm not having to go Puddin' Head Wilson this year and exactly why I am so thrilled about that. I still have to do the low iodine diet, but that's not so bad if I have the energy to actually cook.

The downside is that me blogging while Puddin' Headed could have been really amusing.

***************************************************
Bahama Mama Challenge Tally for 8/11/2004:

Points: 30.5/26
APs Earned: 8
Stationary Bike, 10 min = 1
Free Weights, 50 min = 4
Elliptical, 20 min = 3
FlexPoints Remaining: 35/35
F/V: 6/5
Dairy: 3/2!
Water: Yep!
Vitamin: Nope. I still need to buy some of those.
*****
Cardio: 2/5
Strength Training: 1/3

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

100 Mark! Woot!!

I have now hit over 100 visitors! Whee!! And, I had a whopping 34 visitors just yesterday thanks in large part to Mikey pimping my site (he's just as appalled/intrigued by Günther as I am). Thanks, Mikey!!

Now, I know that for a lot of you (most of you!), 100 visitors is what you get daily or hourly. But for me, it's a big deal! I'm very excited and abusing exclamation points!!

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Results from my weigh in: up .8. I'm pretty happy about that. I thought it would be more after all the birthday cake, frozen drinks, martinis, french fries, etc. that I had over the weekend. Also, I rode my bike yesterday for a total of 3 APs.

I've joined Joelle's Bahama Mama Challenge over at Put Down the Donut. She's going on a cruise in January and really wants to kick her WW program in gear. So, here's the challenge (the first 5 are Joelle's, the others are my own):

1. Stay in your Points. For me, that's 26 per day plus any earned APs and FlexPoints. Also, be sure to weigh/measure everything to make sure I'm really staying true to portion sizes.

2. Some form of cardio 5 times per week for at least 30 minutes. This one's gonna be hard for me. I usually only do cardio 3 times per week.

3. Some form of strength training 3 times per week. This I already do so it's good.

4. Water, water, water!! Get in at least 48 oz per day (that's 6, 8 oz. glasses which is what WW recommends; Joelle's challenge is 64 oz.). I'm usually good with that, too. But, I know I need to up it on the days I work out. My WW leader says to add 8 oz for every 20 minutes of activity.

5. Take a daily multivitamin. Okay, I suck at this. I haven't taken vitamins since I was a kid

6. Get in 5 servings of fruits/vegetables every single day. I usually get 3-5, but I'm really going to work at making sure I have 5.

7. Get in 2-3 servings of real dairy each day. WW recommends this and I take a crap load of calcium supplements*, but I do find I do better if I get in real dairy. So, I need to work on that.

*I'm under doctor's orders to take 2000mg of calcium supplements each day. Under normal circumstances, you don't need to take more than 1000mg in supplements. And, only take 500mg at a time cuz that's all your body can really absorb.

Since my week resets on Tuesdays (my WW weigh in day), I'm gonna count my weekly tallies based off of Tuesday as the beginning of the week. So, here is my tally for Tuesday, 8/10:

Points: 27/26
APs Earned: 3
FlexPoints Remaining: 35/35
F/V: 5/5
Dairy: 3/2! Woot!
Water: Yep!
Vitamin: Nope. I need to buy some of those.
*****
Cardio: 1/5
Strength Training: 0/3

I'll be giving you up my updates every day just for my own accountability. I'm also posting in the Forums at Put Down the Donut.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Focus on Fitness

In my on-going effort to diminish the importance of numbers on the scale, I found this article on WebMD yesterday. The basic gist of the article is focus on being fit, meaning be active almost every day and eat healthy foods. Don't focus on numbers whether those numbers be on a scale or BMI chart.

Highlights:

*Weight loss really is the wrong goal. The real issue is to reduce percentage of body fat and, parenthetically for most, to increase percentage of muscle mass. Actual weight may increase, but body composition must change. And that comes from changing one's diet and altering one's exercise patterns.

*Early on, if an individual has a tough time losing weight, I would suggest they not focus on weight loss but focus on 30 to 40 minutes of moderately intense activity on most days. If they focus on that, they may see some weight or body composition changes. You may not lose a lot of weight, but you may see a smaller belt size. But you have to eat fewer calories, too.

* Cooper Institute studies show people at much higher BMIs than 25 can be quite fit -- although he stresses that extremely obese people, with a BMI of 45 or more, are almost never fit.


I have weigh in tonight and after my weekend of debauchery, I fully expect some ugly results. But, I'm okay with that. I got right back on track yesterday and even earned 10 APs at the gym. Those scale numbers are just numbers. (keep repeating until belief sets in)

You Touch My Tra La La

This is the most hysterical thing I've seen in a long time. Seems that Günther is quite a big thing in Europe. You've got to go and see his video. Be forewarned, you will pee. How could you not with these lyrics??

oh, you touch my tralala,
mmm... my ding ding dong.
la la la la la la la,
la la la la la la,
la la la la la la la.
Oh, you touch my tralala
la la la la la la la,
la la la la la la.
mmm... my ding ding dong.
la la la la la la la,
la la la la la la.

Monday, August 09, 2004

My Weekend in Sodom Saugatuck

I have survived the weekend with the Boys and had a fantastic time. While we are living by the creed "What happened in Saugatuck stays in Saugatuck," I do have some highlights to share.

Thursday

The Boys picked me up around 10:00 am and we headed off to Michigan. Let me take the time to introduce you to the Boys:

R.: Have known him for...oh dear...17 years. Rabid Democrat. Smart as a whip. Sarcasm can ooze from his pores.

M.: R's boyfriend. Funeral director. And, we're so glad he's got that job so the rest of us don't have to. He and R are very Six Feet Under. Sex in the living quarters over the funeral home and all that. Very sweet, can polka up a storm, and can keep R on his toes (quite a feat in itself).

K.: Lovely boy. While none of the Boys would ever be mistaken for straight men, K tends to be the queeniest. None would be mistaken for drag queens, either, so they're the happy medium gay men. One of the nicest people I know and has the most beautiful blue eyes ever.

A.: K's boyfriend. They've been together for almost 4 years. Ain't that grand? A works in retail and has the best fashion/style sense of all of us. He's the one who felt me up about a month ago (not the first time and not the last, either).

T.: Have known him for 12 years. He's single by choice and yet complains of his single status. We've been trying to figure him out and can't. Seems to me that he is not comfortable with emotional intimacy and sabotages himself in order to steer clear of it. Dangerously close to becoming a bitter old queen. (Note: the Boys don't read this blog, and if ever they do, the previous sentence will be deleted.)

S.: We have informed his mother that we are twins even though we were born 4 years apart (almost to the day) and we have different parents. Our tastes in men are eerily similar (except for that whole he likes gay men and I like straight ones thing). We've both said that if either I'd get a sex change or if he would turn straight, we'd be the perfect couple. His mother also thinks I would be a fantastic daughter-in-law. Smart, funny, kind. Quite a guy and if there are any gay men out there, he'd be quite a catch.

So, the seven of us pack up into 2 cars and head off to the wilds of Michigan. Only stopping to pee twice. And, yes, it was me that required the stops and they kidded me muchly about it.

We got to the resort around 2-ish and checked in. Found our rooms/cabin. S and T each had rooms in the hotel and the rest of us had a 2 bedroom cottage. R/M in one room and K/A in the other with me on the sofa sleeper in the living room. The cottage was great. Had a kitchenette and a hot tub that we shared with the cottage next to us.

Spent a couple of hours at the pool. The pool has a 2 drink minimum. Does this tell you anything about the place? I actually wore a 2 piece swim suit! Haven't done that in years. It's a modest 2 piece, but my tummy actually saw the light of day.

Went out to dinner that night then came back and passed around, what became to be known as "Kaffy's girlfriend," Mary Jane. She's quite the whore and got around a lot over the weekend. After a bit of my girlfriend, we were all ready for bed.

Friday

Slept in. Ate breakfast in the cottage. Spent the day at the pool. Drank frozen daiquiris. Yummy. Got sunburned. Way sunburned. Even though I slathered on SPF 30 every 2 hours. The tummy got it especially bad.

S picked up a guy in the pool. I invited them both back to the cottage for the hot tub. They accepted. Being the sweet friend that I am, I left pretty quickly to give them some alone time.

Now, let me just say, that if you...uh...have the hot monkey sex in a hot tub and there is a window from your friends' cottage that overlooks the hot tub? Your friends will look. And tease you mercilessly for days years about it. I'm just sayin'.

Went to dinner, S paid for dinner as a way to buy our silence about the hot tub incident. Didn't really work tho.

The guy S picked up was very nice, funny, cute, and lives in Chicago. So, they did exchange numbers and will be hooking up again.

By this time, I had some severe chills and was running a fever. We got back home, I crashed and the Boys went out dancing.

Saturday

The sun was not Kaffy's friend that day, so we went shopping. I bought a really cute purse but that was it. We had a lovely day just toodling around the very charming downtown area and nosing around in stores. R, M, S, and T left after lunch to go back to the hotel and hang at the pool while K, A, and I continued shopping.

I didn't notice it until A pointed it out, but the three of us were getting some funny looks. Like people were trying to figure out the relationships. At times K would have his arm around me or A would be grabbing my ass or they would be calling each other "Honey." After a while, it was terribly amusing to watch people's reactions.

A and M both told me that I have a great ass. I take that as a huge compliment from gay men.

We went out for dinner, came home and passed around my girlfriend then took a quick nap. A woke me up by pretending to (what's a polite way to say "eat me out??") through the blanket. If he had continued, it would have worked, too. Then, off to the bar.

I went to the cabaret show with S and the singer was pretty great. Soulful alto. And, I finally saw some women!! I think it was the first time since we had gotten there that I had seen women. And, I got checked out. Made me feel good.

As we were leaving, I hear from behind me, "Kaffy??" I turn around and there is someone I actually know. Now, here I am 200 miles from home in a gay resort and I know someone?? Very small, strange world.

S and I went down the to bar/dance floor and chatted with the Boys for a while. I danced with A during which he felt me up again. I think he has a fascination with boobs. Then, S and I took off and went to bed.

Sunday

Slept in. Went for breakfast. Boys asked if I was "gayed out" by then. Truthfully? Yes. I was craving straight male company by that point (more to the point, a specific straight man). It felt like a vitamin deficiency that I desperately needed to supplement.

Packed up the cars. Went home.

It really was a very nice, relaxing weekend spent with good friends. But, I was ready to go home by Sunday. And even though I didn't get to see that specific straight man, I did get to talk to him last night, and my vitamin deficiency isn't so bad anymore. Still need the physical presence to completely knock it out, though. Think I'll be getting that on Friday.

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

It's (Not) My Birthday

I got a birthday present from my friend, R., on Sunday. And, my birthday's not even until November!

It's this bumper sticker and this t-shirt that say "Feminism is the radical notion that women are people." Cheris Kramerae said that. Shi is a feminist who works and teaches at the University of Oregon Center for the Study of Women in Society and is co-editor of the new Routledge International Encyclopedia of Women.

I lurves it muchly and as soon as I can wash my car, the bumper sticker will be affixed. And, birthday presents 3 1/2 months before the actual day? That doesn't suck. Whee!

Results and Vacation!

The weigh in last night was as suspected: up .6. Not a big gain, but it does suck. I am working on really believing that the scale is not the only, not even the biggest, indicator of how I'm doing. I know full well that all those things from my previous post are important. Also, I can't control the scale. I can only control my behavior. Eventually, the scale will follow.

These are all things I know. And things I'm working on believing. I just got so disappointed because I knew my behaviors were on plan. Also, in the past six months, I've only lost 22 lbs. That's .8 lbs/week. That's also disappointing. Especially when you consider that in my first six months, I lost 44 lbs.

So, in an effort to get my mind off of the damn scale, this week the behaviors that I need to work on are:

1. Get in my daily calcium requirements. WW recommends 2-3 servings of dairy. Because of health issues, I'm on a doctor prescribed 2000mg of calcium supplements daily, but I do find that if I get in 2 servings of real dairy (yogurt, cheese, milk), my losses go better.

2. Water, water, water. I generally do well with this, but I don't think I get in enough when I'm working out.

3. Eat more. I know that sounds strange, but I have found that if I don't eat all of my APs and most of my Flexies, my losses slow down (or disappear completely). Need to keep the metabolism fueled.

I am going to have a major challenge this week because I'm going on a 4-day vacation with the Boys tomorrow. We'll be eating out 2 meals/day and I am confident that there will be much alcohol. Hell, I'm bringing a few bottles myself, so I can only imagine how much the Boys are bringing, lushes that they are. Honestly, K. is a fish. I don't know how he can drink like he can and barely feel it. He's really a freak of nature.

I'm going to try to choose wisely on food so that I can indulge on some cocktails. Also, I'm taking food for breakfast and snacks, so I'll at least have more control over that.

The vacation is going to be quite the experience in itself. We're going to a resort in Michigan that's right on Lake Michigan (duh). A gay resort. Yep, my friends, I will be spending the entire weekend with a bunch of horny, drunk, gay men. I suspect it will provide quite a bit of amusement.

Don't know if I'll be able to blog over the weekend, but I promise some fun stories upon my return.

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Body, Do As I Say!

Last week, I worked out and earned a total of 30 APs. I didn't eat all of them because I wasn't hungry. And, I only had 15 of my FlexPoints. Again, not that hungry. I figured it was because I went over my Points the previous week while down at the parents. My body was just making up for overindulging a bit.

[Side note: for those of you who aren't familiar with Weight Watchers, it works like this. Food=Points. Each food has a point value. You get a set number of Points to eat each day based on how much you weigh. In addition to your set number, you get 35 FlexPoints to use however you want to use them throughout your week. You can spread them out or use them all in one shot. By working out, you can earn Activity Points. You can then convert those Activity Points into food and eat more. You can only eat APs on the day that you earn them. They do not carry over from day to day. Thus endeth the lesson.]

My week restarts on Tuesdays because it's my weigh in day. My Flexies get reset and we're off. I won't be working out today because I am too busy and I worked out yesterday.

So, of course, today? I can't get enough to eat. I'm starving, I've already eaten almost all of my Points for the day, and I still need to eat supper. How much do I hate that I had all those Points left on the table for last week and I'm going to start this week by dipping into my Flexies already? And, I'm going on vacation this weekend (more about that later) so I wanted to save them for this weekend.

It's times like these that I wish I could command my body to behave in ways I want it to and not in the random, willy-nilly way it currently wants to work. Of course, I suppose if I could do that, I'd be all skinny and fit and toned right now, wouldn't I?

And, since tonight is my weigh in and I've already eaten a day's worth of food by 5:00pm, I suspect the scale will be unforgiving. I hope that seven days worth of working the program will make up for one day of eating. I also need to keep reminding myself that this process is much more than just a number on a scale.

To that end, I need to remind myself of some things from the past year (cuz, yeah, I've been on WW for an entire year now--wow):

1. I have lost 68.2 lbs. And, yes, I'm claiming those .2. Dammit.
2. I have gone from a 22/24 (in women's sizes) to a 16 in misses sizes.
3. I can cross my legs now.
4. I work out. Regularly. I have muscles. I know cuz I can actually see them now.
5. Soon, I will have collar bones! Not quite there yet, but I'm close.
6. I can walk without getting winded. I mean really long distances. I used to get winded after a couple of blocks.
7. My sleep apnea is under control. I don't snore so much anymore!
8. I have energy. Lots of it.
9. My nails look better and don't break as much.
10. My skin and hair look better, too.
11. My boobs are bigger. Well, that's not quite true. My boobs are the same size, but my torso is smaller (went from a 42C to a 40D).
12. People at work call me "skinny." How cool is that??
13. My feet are not as wide. I still wear wide width shoes, but now I can fit into a C width instead of needing a D.
14. My blood pressure is lower (went from 120/80 to 108/70 last time it was checked).
15. My resting pulse rate is down (80 to 68).
16. There's a ton of room in between me and my steering wheel.
17. I am getting to buy a lot of new clothes since none of mine fit anymore.
18. For some people, I'm not fat enough to date.
19. I can sit on my friend, S's, lap and his legs don't fall asleep (not that they ever did, but 68 lbs ago I wouldn't have crawled up into his lap, either).
20. A coworker, who started after I had lost about 50 lbs, told me that he couldn't imagine me ever being heavier. I think that's a good thing. (Ohh...just realized how bad that sounds. But, really, he meant it in a good way. Like he couldn't picture me being the really fat girl ever.)

So, what are some of your things? No matter where you are in your process whether you're just starting out, somewhere in the middle like me, or at your goal, what are some of the things that are different for you?

Monday, August 02, 2004

Making Out In Cars

It's been a very long time since I've had a serious make-out session in a car. It's fun, but I must be getting old cuz the comfort of a sofa would have been great. This did not, however, diminish my enjoyment of said activity.

Hey, Broad, Stella could just be gettin' her groove back. And about freakin' time.