Wednesday, January 12, 2005

"We Hope to See Less of You"

This time, dear readers, I'm sitting here at home, six inches from my computer but still typing this entry on the Neo. That's just beyond weird, but somehow it works for me.

I've got iTunes cranked up loud (one of my few concessions to the Apple world, since they make so few to us in the PC world), with "Numb" by Linkin Park bursting my eardrums. An anthem for living, if ever there was one. Well, perhaps not if you are 43, but I take what I can get.

Novel #3 has finally burst onto the scene, after stalling in fits and starts repeatedly since January 1. In fact, it's an entirely different story now. I'll get back to the previous incarnations someday, but not this month or next. For now, the murdery mystery of fun will take precedence. It's just too much fun to turn down, although it'll mean a lot of plotting so I don't get lost in the mess. No plotting might work for a character-driven piece, but once you start throwing in murders, you'd better be able to back them up with something like plot that ties together at some point. And not in the sequel, either. Didn't work for the Wachowski brothers. Wouldn't work for me either.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, if I find myself writing out plot points in a short burst, rereading them always manages to sound like I'm writing for a soap opera. And, not a very good one, either. No one's gotten amnesia or married their cousin by mistake yet, but give me some time. I'm sure I'll come up with something.

3:15 p.m.

I'm now sitting in the local library in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania, at a table that is a tad too high, or perhaps the chairs are just a little too low. I am tempted to grab a very large book off one of the many shelves around me and sit on it so I can reach the keyboard more easily. Sitting on my coat would have helped, but it is 65 degrees today (yes, in January; yes, in Pennsylvania), so I have brought only my gray hoodie today. It's something, but not quite substantial enough to raise me up in the chair for more ergonomic comfort. Woe is I.

I have slipped an Elizabeth Berg novel off the shelf next to me and under the Neo to put that at a better angle for typing, and this has helped somewhat. Still, I am vexed greatly, and I wonder deep inside my soul why this blog is starting to sound like I'm trying to be a misunderstood writer.

My weight loss blog starts here

I'm doing a risky thing right now. I'm starting an entry about my weight loss program. I'm asking for trouble, but it seems to be a good idea at the moment, so I'll run with it and sort out the consequences later.

I'm down about eight pounds so far, having gone up two pounds over the holiday season for reasons I can only foist on everyone around me because that's usually pretty believable. So-and-so brought over homemade cookies. Thus-and-such gave me a gift certificate to Fat Burgers. That eggnog poured itself down my throat. And the list of credible excuses goes on.

And yet, amid the holiday season, I kept telling myself that this was the last time the family photos would have me taking up half the lens shot. It just wasn't fair to the rest of the family any more. It was time for me to do something about me.

I will allow myself one excuse: It is extremely difficult for the woman of the house to lose weight unless she takes everyone down with her. And I doubt anyone in my house is willing to take a bullet (or a celery stalk) for me. I'm on my own, but I still have to cook for everyone else. In my case, "everyone else" includes one on a sugar-free diet, another on a sugar-free low-carb diet, one who comes into the house long enough to drink a gallon of milk in one gulp but little else, and one who eats anything I put in front of him as long as he doesn't have to cook it or wash the dishes. Or even put his plate in the dishwasher after he's done inhaling the food. But I digress.

This is a dilemma. Huge dilemma. The kind of dilemma someone like me (read: no will power of her own and no inclination to borrow someone else's) cannot bear for very long without dire consequences. Like, eating a Quarter Pounder.

I fight the urge to simply yell, "You're all on your own!" some night and enact it for about the next year and a half. After all, what kind of eating lessons would I be teaching myself if I could only lose weight (or maintain a lower weight) when I never had to cook for anyone but myself? Easy enough when you're single, but tack on a handful of kids who come and go and a husband who, well, let's just say who never met a Hot Pocket he didn't like, and you have a diet disaster in the making. And, I'm livin' it, brothers and sisters. Every single, nightmarish day.

Part of the program I am on involves a periodic two-day "cleansing" that severely limits caloric intake and flushes the system with their own brand of fruity juicy stuff (not bad, really) and some veggies and lean protein. This usually jump-starts any plateaus I've been on, and aside from the pulse-pounding headaches I get midway through Day 1, it does work for me. I could do without the nausea and the hallucinations, but you can't have everything. In fact, you pretty much can't have ANYthing. I'm waiting for them to modify the two-day cleansing phase into something like: Drink 45 glasses of water today and breathe only purified air. Regular air will result in weight gain and also copious amounts of hair loss--but not on your head.

Be afraid. Be very afraid.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled blog, already in progress.

3:45 p.m.

A man in a long black overcoat, with long black stringy hair, just walked by me very slowly, a menacing look on his face. He sat down at a table across the room, alongside a woman also dressed in black with long black hair (not stringy). I can only hope for her sake that they know each other and she doesn't mind, but it is difficult to say for sure because neither of them is speaking. Every other table in the room is empty except the one I'm at and the one she's at. If he sat down without an implicit invitation, then I'd say I lucked out. I mean, if his goal was to sit at a table with a woman in the library, then I had a 50/50 shot of it being me. But I'm not wearing black, and my hair is brown (well, the ones that aren't gray are brown). So, perhaps he chose her because of their shared affinity for dressing in black and having long black hair, hoping he had found a kindred spirit. In any case, it appears the day has not been a total loss. I am yet alone at the table.

And, the new novel is calling me. I believe it will be called THE PEN IS MIGHTIER, but that is beginning to feel like a working title. Speaking of working, that's what I should be doing. With that last tidbit, I am off to File #6 on the Neo and a newly created world that still smells too much like all my old created worlds. Gotta fix that....

8:00 p.m.

Home now, after a nice dinner out with my parents at the Fire Grill steak buffet. Eating dinner at 6 p.m. is like eating dinner in the middle of the night to old, retired people, but I convinced them to think of it as an adventure, and that seemed to put them at ease. I had to explain the concept of "darkness" to them again, since I am convinced they were out well past their usual bedtime. They did seem to enjoy themselves, though, much as young children enjoy the thrill of the circus for the first time.

It is, though, never a good idea to try to use the words "diet" and "buffet" in the same breath. They just don't belong together, although I didn't do too badly. I had a salad, some steak and chicken and a little fish, and then a sugar-free cookie and pudding. Oh, okay, and some garlic mashed potatoes. So sue me. I'll be paying for it on Friday when I get weighed in again. I'll probably be relegated to breathing purified air and drinking two gallons of water as penance.

At dinner, my mother and I discussed the beauty and wonder of Pennsylvania potholes, a phenomenon she and my father had all but forgotten about out west in Nevada. She will quickly learn that, in Pennsylvania, people exchange pothole stories the way some people swap fishing stories. ("Oh yeah? My PT Cruiser fell into a pothole the size of Aunt Martha's butt!") I predict it will all come back to them in a post-traumatic stress syndrome sort of way sometime around mid-February. Then there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. And tires. Gnashing of tires too. That's the really ugly part.


Blogger Sylver said...

hi :D Just wanted to let you know that from now on I read your blog :D

I am sylver on the a/s board, and a fellow Neo girl :D

2:33 PM  
Blogger Me said...

Hey, sylver, thanks! That's one in a row! :) Always happy to meet a fellow Neo user. It does make posting in here regularly a lot easier.

11:40 PM  

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