Does anybody read these?

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Back on track

This week is beyond busy, but I wanted to give you all an update on my life.

I started training for a 5K yesterday at the gym. I love my running group and our coach, and I am looking forward to the race.

Today, I went to the gym at lunch and swam for 40 minutes.

The worst thing I've eaten today was one of those little granola bars covered in chocolate. The current plan is to run through somewhere and get a grilled chicken wrap between jobs. Yesterday after running I had a big, giant salad.

Pretty much when I am not at the office or at the gym, I will be at the ol' second job this week. I have Saturday night off, but I volunteered to watch one of my friend's kids while he goes on a date. Totally nuts, I know, but I'm hoping they'll go to bed early and I can work on my book club book.

It's also magazine time at work. And we have a big meeting tomorrow.

And I'm doing all this on very limited sleep because I don't pick my machine up until Thursday.

I really just need a nap. I'm going to try to get one on Sunday before Once Upon a Time comes on.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Adios, Jackass.

With as little fanfare as when it began, my attempts at online dating have ended. I wish I could say I was telling you with regret, but the only regret I have is that I gave my phone number to a few asshats.

Unfortunately, those of you who have followed my journey may be disappointed that it's ending, but keep reading this last missive, because I assure you it went out with a bang.

(No, not a real "bang." Sorry about that. Trust me, I'm so sorry for that. Celibacy is not my favorite thing in the world. Oh well.)

So, what caused me to bid adieu to my online dating pals and retreat to my cave like a hermit?

I don't have a clever nickname for him, and if I use his real name he'll probably sue me, so let's just call him "Jackass."


So, Jackass and I just started talking casually a few months ago, no big deal. We went out to lunch once and he was cute and seemed sweet. Then we watched a movie at my house. And yes, watching a movie at my house ended how it usually ends. Don't judge.

I can hear you judging.

Anyhow, let's fast forward. It wasn't that I didn't like him; in fact, I enjoyed myself very much. But summer is busy for me work-wise (at both places) and I've been busy as hell. Plus I would check in with him and he wouldn't answer my calls, texts or emails. Officially, he blamed that on his phone being out of minutes. It could be true, he has some serious money management issues.

I know he has some serious money management issues because a few days after we had a date, he told me he was probably going to lose his job because he didn't have any gas money. I am pretty sure that he was angling for me to reimburse him the gas money from said date, but I wasn't taking the bait.

So, he flitted and floated from job to job, gas money permitting. Well, until his car got repossessed.

This economy sucks. I don't wish joblessness on anyone, not even The Chef (whose restaurant has already closed and his lovely wife lost her job as well. Hello, karma. But I still feel bad about it.). So, yes, I felt bad that he kept losing his job. Not enough to bankroll his life, but bad nonetheless.

Fast forward a few weeks, and Jackass has a new job. He's riding the bus to work everyday, but you do what you have to do, right?

One afternoon I texted him and told him not to ride the bus, that I would meet him after work and we could go out to dinner. And because I knew he hadn't gotten paid yet and I am a nice person, I paid for dinner.

Or, as I call it now, "opened the floodgates."

Apparently a $9 meal at the grossest Chinese buffet in the history of Chinese buffets (aka his favorite restaurant), made Jackass think he was entitled to ride some sort of imaginary gravy train.

He started asking me for money constantly. Bus fare to get to work was semi-reasonable. A nipple ring and a penis pump (his rationale: I'm getting them for your enjoyment), not so much. To say that I was extremely hostile at those requests would be the understatement of the year. Especially when he proceeded to whine that he never gets to see me because I work too much.

Well, buddy, here's a secret for you: I go to that magical place called work everyday so they can magically put something called MONEY in my bank account every week. Funny how that works.

When I told my friends about this, every single one of them responded by asking me how old this man is. Unfortunately, the answer is 40, although this explains why a good looking, 40-year-old man is single, doesn't it?

After this episode, do you really blame for deciding that I'm better off single. Between him, the foreign guys trying to get green cards (and, most likely, money as well) and the guys who just want me to email pictures of my breasts, I am beyond over trying to date right now.

They always say that you find love when you least expect it, that as soon as you stop looking, someone will show up in your life. I really hope this is true, because I sure as hell am not going out and seeking this dysfunction again on purpose.

I guess we'll see. I won't hold my breath.

Song of the Day: "Mercedes Benz" by Janis Joplin

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Sleep like no one's watching

I just got my health insurance's monthly newsletter. This month's topic -- ironically -- is sleep apnea. Our insurer was encouraging anyone who has sleeping issues or feels excessively tired to talk to their doctor about being tested for sleeping disorders. And, then, they said if you need to be tested they'll just send you a machine so you can be tested at home.

Some things can be done at home: watching a movie, a mani/pedi (and a pedi is stretching it), possibly yoga, but a sleep test really isn't one of those things.

I went last week to have my sleep test. At a sleep clinic which looks like a hotel, but is still really just part of the hospital with all its scary wires and stuff. And while it sucked the big one, I really don't think I could've done it at home for many, many reasons. I had been planning to share the experience anyhow, so the United Healthcare newsletter just gave me a gentle push.

I was very anxious about the whole concept of the sleep study. First of all, you are paying strangers $3,000 to watch you sleep all night. That's odd enough right there. Secondly, as someone who cannot even wear a breathe right strip all night without ripping it off, I didn't really see how I was going to be connected to about 20 million cables and tubes BEFORE they put that stupid breathing machine on me.

Plus, I have to pee a lot at night. Hard wiring me to a wall is not really conducive to excessive bathroom breaks.

Yet, I sucked it up and showed up with my overnight bag. I brought PJs, toiletries and my clothes for work the next day, since the test was from 8:30 p.m. to 6:30 a.m. I mostly sucked it up and arrived at the clinic because they kept leaving me voice mails everyday for a week before the test telling me they would bill me $100 if I didn't show.

Clearly I am not the only person freaked out by the sleep study. And, rightly so.

I got there at 8:30 and sat there and waited with at least a dozen other people. I was suprised how many studies they did in a night. After maxing out my Health Savings Account VISA card, I headed to my room where a technician would be meeting me in a moment.

She asked me when I normally went to bed, and I fibbed and said 10 p.m. She told me just to make myself comfortable so they could observe my evening routine. I sat down to watch some HGTV and she brought me a Diet Sprite and an apple. I didn't drink much Diet Sprite, because I was scared of having to pee. She told me she'd be back around 10 to hook me up to all the equipment and to be in my PJs by then.

Let's talk about the equipment for a minute. There were electrodes in my scalp, all over my face, on my legs, on my chest. They put them on with this nasty blue glue. And then, because I may have mentioned that I rip breathe right strips off my face while I sleep, they taped it all down, as well. That was fun in the morning.

After all that, they hooked up a strap on my belly and one on my chest to see what was causing me to wake up when I stopped breathing. Then they put a monitor on my finger and plugged me into the wall. There must've been two dozen wires.

I felt like I was actually sleeping well for the first time in ages. I was trying really hard to get a good report. However, I was wrong. Apparently every time I breathe at night I stop breathing for several seconds. So, after two hours of sleepy time, my technician came to wake me up and put what I call "the scuba mask" on my face.

Yes, it was the dreaded CPAP machine. And dreaded it was, indeed.

She came in and hooked up the mask on my face and plugged that into another spot on the wall. For someone who's a little claustrophobic and can't handle having things on her face while she sleeps, this was a nightmare. But, I tried to suck it up and be calm so that it would get over more quickly.

That is, until I had a massive panic attack. Yep. She put this mask that covered my mouth and nose and pumped oxygen into it. Then she left. And I started crying a little bit, which turned into a lot of crying. I'm not sure if you've ever tried to cry with an air-tight oxygen mask strapped to your face and blowing air at you, but it's not an easy thing to do. And, when you're on monitors and video cameras, it's not easy to hide.

She came back and had me try to hold the mask up without strapping me in. That wasn't as bad, but that also wasn't reality. It was 2 a.m., and honestly, I just basically tried to be calm until I was so tired I couldn’t take it anymore and then I let her hook me back up. She could’ve probably also dressed me up in costumes and put it on the Internet and I wouldn’t have cared either.

She kept telling me the machine would help me sleep. I felt like I tossed and turned and never even fell asleep. However, the machine says I slept really well. Who cares what my body says, right?

When morning arrived around 6 a.m., she came and woke me up and unhooked all of the hoses and wires. I went into the bathroom to get ready for work, sat on the toilet and fell asleep just like I’ve been doing for months. That’s actually the reason that I told the doctor about my sleep problems in the first place, so I was feeling pretty hopeless then. Finally I woke up for real, exhausted, took a shower and went to work.

After a few hours of dozing off at my desk, I told my boss I had to go home and sleep. I went home and slept on my couch for a few hours and felt better, but not great. I am really hoping the sleep machine will work when I get it at home, but I really have very little hope for it. And I’m terrified of it. So, this should be fun.

I guess the moral of all this rambling was that I had major issues with the sleep study. Despite the creepiness of having strangers watch you sleep for eight hours, I cannot imagine what I would’ve done without the technicians.

Oh yeah, I can imagine what I would’ve done. I would’ve probably given up before I had to put all the shit on my face. Or I would’ve given up the first time I had to pee. But I never, ever would’ve made it through the night if I hadn’t been at a sleep clinic.

Much like I don’t cut my own hair or change my own oil, some things are just better done my licensed professionals and not in your own home.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

It was the best of times...

There is a quote, attributed to Marilyn Monroe, that goes something like this:
"If you can't handle me at my worst, then you don't deserve me at my best."

I stumbled upon this quote on the ol' online dating site last night. One of the guys had posted it as his thought for the day. I thought it was ironic because of what I had posted earlier.

"I'm always there for the bad times, waiting for the good times. Yet when the good times arrive, there's always someone else to share them with."

You see, that's kind of the opposite of the Marilyn Monroe quote. In fact, I'm going to call bullshit on Marilyn Monroe.

I am going to blame my weight and/or my kind nature, but I always seem to be attracted to guys with damage. And I patiently wait for them to work out their issues so that we can get on with the good times. As they share their sob-stories and temper tantrums, I remind them that I am there with them during the bad times because it will make the good times so much better.

And then the good times come. They get a new job. They buy a house. They even get a pet dog. And then they find another lady friend (usually, in my case, their ex) to share it all with.

Just once, I'd like to share the good times with someone. I'd like to be good enough for the good times. I'd like to put up with all the bullshit about ex-wives, unemployment, cars getting repossessed, etc. and still be there when life was back on track. Instead, it's the chick that caused all the issues in the first place who gets the good times. How's that fair?

Now don't get me wrong, I have watched the karma bus not only hit people, but back up and spin its tires on people, lately. But maybe it's the fact that I'm not getting happiness and self-fulfillment from that. Maybe that's what made me realize I want to be there for the new dogs and new jobs and happily ever after.

Let's not tell Gloria Steinem, but I think there are days that I'd love nothing more than to be waiting in the kitchen in an apron with children and puppies lapping at my ankles, holding a pipe and the afternoon newspaper. (Yes, I realize that scene is so June Cleaver that afternoon papers don't even exist anymore.) For my entire life, I've been bamboozled by the feminine mystique. I have worked my ass off to be successful professionally. In fact, my boss just told me today that I am doing my best work ever. That is validating. I bought my own house this year. I did it all by myself. I have a nice car. Maybe the puppy is next.

I can do everything on my own, and I'm doing it quite well. But it's clear that while I was making my own life that I've missed out on sharing it with someone else. The dream of being a parent is fading fast. The dream of having a partner who is my equal intellectually, professionally and socially has been gone for a while.

Sometimes I wonder if the women of my generation will look back and have serious regrets. I'm not at that point yet. In some ways, I am perfectly fulfilled. And this is a life I made for myself. Rather than settle with a spouse that isn't exactly what I want (and believe me the opportunity exists), I have chosen to be single. And, if I really wanted to, I could have a child without a spouse.

Maybe what I'm doing is creating the new American dream. However, there are plenty of days that I'd rather not climb in a big, empty bed by myself, and I'd give my left arm just to have someone meet me at the door with a glass of wine and ask me how my day went for a change.

I've listened to a lot of sob stories over the years. I feel like I've earned it.

Monday, September 10, 2012


While I'm being so truthful (and possibly due to lack of caffeine and/or other nutrients) I decided to update my online dating profile.

It now says, Let's save us all some time. I do not do the following things with strangers: send dirty pictures, "hook up," or give out my personal information. However, if you take the time to know me, you'll find out I'm a very sweet person.

I'm guessing that will reduce my online traffic.

At least, I have my fingers crossed.


Wow, I haven't been here for a while. Sorry about that. My laptop seems to have gone to heaven, and I won't be getting a new one (OK, a totally used netbook) from my aunt until next month. I am a little hesitant to post at work, but I'm also hesitant to burst into tears and run out of my workplace, so they'll have to deal with a little literary therapy this morning.

I promise I will get back to newsletter advertisements and press releases shortly, and it will be wonderful.

I feel like I am losing my mind and going to the bad place again. I am sure part of it is that I haven't taken my meds yet today. But, part of it is that I know there are a lot of toxic people in my life and I'm just not sure what to do about it. The current plan is to internalize all feelings until I have another breakdown. Always a good time.

I go Thursday for my sleep study, which means a few things: 1) I will soon look like an elephant when I get to wear that contraption to bed at night (not that I think I will wear it; I take my breathe right strips off during the night now). 2) I will never ever get laid again, because I have to wear some sort of contraption to sleep at night. 3) I cannot discuss these issues with my therapist, because I am using what's left of my insurance money to let strangers watch me sleep and buy the contraption.

I was going to put something about finally caring about my health and making a commitment to getting healthy, which was true last week. This week, however, I don't give a fuck about cholesterol and glucose levels, not being able to breathe when you sleep or old-lady arthritis knees.

That doesn't mean I'm eating the two cookies that some nice person left on my desk. All I've had was a cup of coffee with two tablespoons of fat-free half and half and two Splenda, a Greek yogurt, a tangerine and one ounce of cheese. Yes, the dreaded diet is back. Tomorrow I am going to attempt to go to the gym. I was going to do it today, then I had a meltdown and ran out of time to pack my gym bag.

I would love to say I'm doing all this to be healthier. I would love to say that because that would be the good thing to do, the right thing to do. That would probably also be the goal that would give me the greatest amount of success.

But, no, I'm way too shallow for that. I'm just doing this so skinny asshole bitches will stop thinking I'm a worthless human being and men will start seeing me as more than a fat chick who will take what she can get. I'm neither of those things, and I'm sick of it. I guess the breaking point should've been when my fat pants ceased to button, but the reality is, I don't want people thinking it's ok to treat me poorly because I'm overweight.

It's probably a senseless mission. I'm not ever going to be thin, no matter what I do. My body just isn't built that way. And, I'm too old to date anyway. But damn it, I'm going to try if it kills me. The thing is, I'm totally keeping it on the downlow. My dietician thinks it's because of my lipids and my glucose, which were apparently higher than usual on my latest round of blood tests. We'll let her go on thinking that. But I'm not telling anyone else because I can't deal with the judgment and commentary.

Can I be successful all by myself? I'm not sure. But, after this weekend, I figure I need to learn how to do things on my own, because it's just me from here in. Deep down, at the end of the day, all I've got is myself and that's just how it is. So, I need to get used to it and just suck it up.

We'll see what happens. I'm not expecting much.